On a related note:While the Bible addresses adultery, homosexuality and fornication, it doesn't really address what the appropriate age is for sexual conduct between similarly-aged minors or even one adult and one minor (as we consider them today).Do you feel there is an actual moral proscription against a thirty-year-old marrying and having sexual relations with a 12 or 13-year-old female (were they to do so in accordance with the laws of their country)? Is this just an unnecessary taboo? If it depends on the situation, what are the parameters?(I have my own opinions, but I'm interested how strict fundamentalists reach moral conclusions on topics not addressed in Scripture.)
i) Depending on the circumstances, statutory rape may merely be a legal technicality, viz. consensual relations between a 17 year old and an 18 year old. Like many laws, it can be arbitrary when applied in borderline cases. In those situations it functions more as a deterrent. ii) The age of consent in Bible times would be past puberty. iii) A 30-year-old marrying a 12-year-old is psychologically incestuous, since that’s more like a parent/child relationship. iv) We also need to be clear on how this is unrelated to the priestly abuse scandal. There you have:a) The vice of sodomy, since most victims are male, like the priest who abuses them.b) Coercion, inasmuch as most of the victims are not homosexual, unlike the priest. So it’s not consensual. Even if the minor were homosexual, that doesn’t mean he wants to have sex with a priest. In some (many?) cases the youth may be emotionally vulnerable. The priest is exploiting that vulnerability. c) Apropos (i-ii), abuse of power and corruption of a minor.v) There’s a sense in which rape, incest, pederasty, &c. can sometimes be both coercive and consensual if a Stockholm Syndrome dynamic is in play. That’s also a consideration in (iii). vi) You can also have quid pro quo situations. Say a student needs a football scholarship. Say a homosexual coach demands sexual favors in exchange for the scholarship. vii) If a female teacher seduces an adolescent boy, that may well be consensual. But that involves abuse of power and corruption of a minor.
James wrote:"I have my own opinions, but I'm interested how strict fundamentalists reach moral conclusions on topics not addressed in Scripture." Of course, it's misleading to use a term like "strict fundamentalist". The term "fundamentalist" often carries negative connotations that wouldn't be applicable to Steve. And I don't see how he's "strict" relative to other fundamentalists, if we assume for the sake of argument that he belongs to the fundamentalist category.