Mainstream acceptance of sexualizing children was once thought unthinkable, but with society celebrating such things as children performing in drag shows, some are asking: Is pedophilia being normalized?
Crystallizing these worries in recent days was a photo posted to Instagram showing a 10-year-old Canadian boy named Nemis Quinn Mélançon-Golden — who's been featured on network and cable news shows as "Lactatia," his stage name — posing next to a naked man who was the most recent winner of "RuPaul's Drag Race."
The photo emerged on the heels of another child drag performer, Desmond Napoles, who is known as Desmond is Amazing, being seen in a video dancing in a skimpy white top and a blond wig to Gwen Stefani's "I'm Just A Girl" before a crowd of men who threw dollar bills at him at a gay bar in New York City.
Both Mélançon-Golden's and Napoles' parents are supportive of their sons and have said they are just playing and expressing themselves, and have asserted that they are not sexualizing their own children.
In a "Final Point" segment on OANN Monday, host Liz Wheeler asked how the photo of Mélançon-Golden could be construed as anything other than child pornography.
"Are drag queens exempt from the laws protecting children from adult sexual predators? Are parents of 'drag kids' exempt from the laws that prohibit parents from facilitating sexual encounters between minor children and adult predators?" she inquired, rejecting the notion that her distaste was rooted in bigotry and homophobia.
"Tell me how this is possibly OK. Tell me how this is not child abuse. Tell me how this is not this close to pedophilia," Wheeler said, challenging leftists to defend this.
"What makes this any different from child pornography?"
Wheeler noted that no one has attempted to protect these children from sexual exploitation. Instead, the boys' parents are facilitating their participation in drag events and the phenomenon of "drag kids" has even been celebrated on ABC's "Good Morning America."
"If a straight, 10-year-old girl was posed with a naked adult man, the man would go to prison so fast he wouldn't know what happened to him. And his fellow inmates would beat him for child sex abuse before he had time to unpack his bag."
Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, believes the phenomena of children in drag has come about because of the cultural dumbing down of what it means to be a human being to nothing but the sum total of ones desires and inclinations.
"In other words, we've insulted the definition of the human being, the imago Dei," the image of God, Piper said in an interview with The Christian Post on Tuesday.
"If you've got a passion or an appetite, an inclination or a proclivity to do something — that's the sum total of who you are."
That's an insult to the human being, he said, as it reduces humans to mere animals.
The Christian faith, then, is exactly the opposite of that, he stressed; as beings made in God's image, humans have moral culpability, awareness, and responsibility. And in the context of young boys in drag, culture is dumbing down the definition of a child as nothing but what he wants to do, he added.
Piper also believes another factor lies at the root of the problem.
"When the male libido is unleashed from any constraints, any biblical standard, who suffers most and who suffers first? Women and children."
The culture's elevation of "consent" as the end all be all is also proving to be disastrous, he continued.
"What was absolutely wrong five minutes ago becomes OK now because I simply found someone to consent to it. And we move the definition of consent to whatever line we have today downward. We're going to see the use and abuse of children."
Theologian an CP Voices contributor Fay Voshell believes the phenomenon of children in drag portends something nefarious.
"The coming out moments for pedophiles and pederasts have arrived," Voshell said in a CP interview on Tuesday.
"The dreams of organizations like the North American Man Boy Love Association, which advocates the open practice of deviant sexualities that will lead to a reinvention of society, are finally being realized."
The vehicle through which this is happening is advocacy of children's "rights," she said, echoing Piper, "including the 'rights' of this clearly confused little guy," who is being "aided and abetted by his wicked, gaslighting mother — to express his latent sexuality in relationships with older men."
"Will we continue to allow open season on children and youths by pederasts and pedophiles, or will we rise up in outrage against the mainstreaming of sexual deviancy?"
She added that the sexualization of children is not limited to young boys, calling beauty pageants for young girls "prurient."
"Some contestants are mere toddlers; nearly all are oversexualized, many are costumed like prostitutes and taught to gyrate seductively by their moms and coaches, thereby making them attractive to predators who are only too eager to regard the little girls as actually desiring sex. The necessary protections for our children, boys and girls alike, are disappearing at a rapid rate, inviting deviants to corrupt and despoil innocence," she said.