Intellectual and world famous atheist Richard Dawkins has the internet ablaze after claiming that recent child sex abuse scandals have been "overblown" and that his own molestation at the hands of a former teacher caused him "no lasting damage."
According to an article in the Daily Mail, the God Delusion author and a forthcoming autobiography further insisted that being the victim of what he called "mild pedophilia" at boarding school did him no harm.
"I am very conscious that you can't condemn people of an earlier era by the standards of ours," he said in an interview with the Times Magazine. "... I look back a few decades to my childhood and see things like caning, like mild pedophilia, and can't find it in me to condemn it by the same standards as I or anyone would today."
The 72 year old was quick to distinguish between rape and the "mild touching up" administered to him and other boys at his school by a teacher who used to pull "him on to his knee and put his hand inside his shorts."
Needless to say, child protection groups are up in arms by his inflammatory statements. Sexual abuse is sexual abuse, they maintain, whether it occurred 50 minutes or 50 years ago.
How do you feel about Dawkins comments? Is there such a thing as "mild pedophilia"?