While the world has been talking about priests molesting children, up pops a three-year-old essay from a college professor in Kansas City who oddly suggests that the moral panic surrounding pedophilia these days might someday look as stupid or as wrong as the moral panic previous generations worked up over homosexuality, or even... feminism.

His name is Dr. Harris Mirkin. The New York Times reports that he is a kindly grandfather who has never been involved in any child abuse, who thinks incest and rape are always wrong, and that priests and teachers who touch children sexually are abusers.

But he's still sticking by his essay and his main point that there is such a panic about pedophilia that an adult teacher doesn't feel free to give a sobbing kid a hug anymore for fear of the police.

Mirkin says that when he was 12 — some 50 years ago — he fantasized about having an older woman taking advantage of him. Maybe life would have better, he says, had it happened.

He's right on about one thing. Most boys do have older woman fantasies. Even as men, they continue to think of boys for whom this fantasy comes true as being lucky indeed.

Well… may I remind you of Mary Kay Letourneau, who made a 12-year-old boy's sexual fantasy come true? Now that poor teenage Vili Fualaau finds himself the father of two kids.

And you only have to go see The Graduate to realize Mrs. Robinson didn't turn out to be such a great fantasy either.

The professor says he was trying to make people think. We have thought, and we think he's just plain wrong. He should have the good sense to realize it.

What's even worse is what his college's president said in defending the kindly, but wrong professor: "Today's heresy often becomes tomorrow's orthodoxy."

Meaning that pedophilia — which is today's heresy — is going to become tomorrow's orthodoxy? This is a college president saying something so stupid?

So here's the question: Why can't we grade people who teach in and run colleges the same way they grade students?

In the case of this professor and this president, they not only flunk, but they should flunk out.

That's My Word.

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