Underwager complains... LITANY FOR FATHERS
written by Ralph Underwager, Ph. D.
for The American Coalition for Fathers and Children (ACFC) June, 1998
interpreted with a few other comments by Ralph Underwager [please read note]

Leader: Father, you volunteered to be our father knowing what it was to be a father and who we are. Therefore, open your heart to our perplexity and emptiness and show us what fatherhood is so we know where to aim.

Underwager: Paedophiles can make the assertion that the pursuit of intimacy and love is what they choose. With boldness they can say, "I believe this is in fact part of God's will.


L. Father, you have experienced the mystery, awe, and wonder of being a father while we stumble, mumble, and search in blindness, fear, and confusion. Lead us to where you have gone before so we may follow with courage, resolution, and perseverance.

Underwager: Take the risk, the consequences of the risk, and make the claim: this is something good. Paedophiles need to become more positive and make the claim that paedophilia is an acceptable expression of God's will for love and unity among human beings. This is the only way...


L. Father, you give us children to be ours. But when they are hurt, yours is the first tear that is shed. Let us know how you hurt for all our children. Let us know what we need to understand and do to heal and restore wholeness to our children as you bind up our wounds.

Underwager: Given this schizophrenia and these hysterical attitudes about childhood sexuality, it's going to be difficult for paedophiles to appear more positive, to start saying they're not exploiters of children, that they love children, the sexual part included...


L. Father, you rejoice, delight, and eternity echoes with your laughter when our children are loved, giggle, sing with joy, and yell with exultation. Show us how to rejoice when we see and hear them and learn from their wonder at life.

Underwager: Paedophiles need to become more positive and make the claim that paedophilia is an acceptable expression of God's will for love and unity among human beings.


L. Father, you want a good life for us and we want a good life for our children. Open us to goodness, love, and nurturance rather than hate, anger, and pride so that we can open golden doors and straight paths for our children.

Underwager: As with all human behavior, I would suggest that paedophiles can say, "I have chosen; I choose; I will act in this fashion. I believe that the outcome will be good..."


L. When your heart breaks and your chest fills with pain at seeing your children imprisoned in falseness, know that our hearts and chests do too and keep us from paralyzing despair and impotence.

Underwager: The blame for everything gets put on the so-called deviants, while the true American remains at home, pure, probably mortifying the flesh, crucifying the body, being a good citizen.


L. When enemies shoot out their tongues, buzz their mean words, sneak, and plot to steal our children, shield us with your truth and hold us and our children in your strong arms.

Underwager: I would add radical feminism, which includes a pretty hefty dose of anti-maleness. I think in a very real way, these women may be jealous that males are able to love each other, be comrades, friends, be close, intimate, work cooperatively, function in groups. The point where men may say that maleness can include the intimacy and closeness of sex may make women jealous. This would hold true for male bonding, and paedophile sex too. The woman is jealous of the connection.


L. When enemies rage against us, pierce our souls with barbs, and bury us under their stones of wrath, give us the strength to believe your promise, freely given, that vengeance is yours and you will repay. Then let us lay aside our resentments and angers and leave room for divine retribution while we sleep calmly.

Underwager: Paedophiles are too defensive. They go around saying, "You people out there are saying that what I choose is bad, that it's no good. You're putting me in prison, you're doing all these terrible things to me. I have to define my love as being in some way or other illicit." What I think is that paedophiles can make the assertion that the pursuit of intimacy and love is what they choose.


L. When we surrender to rage, disappointment, sunder our minds and spirits in shards, and try to feed our children stones rather than bread, cast us not aside.

Underwager: What I have been struck by as I have come to know more about and understand people who choose paedophilia is that they let themselves be too much defined by other people. That is usually an essentially negative definition. Paedophiles spend a lot of time and energy defending their choice. I don't think that a paedophile needs to do that.


L. When we are lost and searching for something, anything, to make it better for us and our children, take us by the hand and lead us to a place we can start again.

Underwager: Sex has always been the penultimate answer to the ultimate question, which is unity and wholeness. In theological terms, sex has been the way that human beings have tried to avoid dealing with the mystery of the Trinity, the mystery of Unity. Sex is penultimate.


L. Finally, when we and our children are safely home with you, and we can start the party you have promised us all, be there with us to watch the lambs and lions play, the children and the serpents snuggle, fathers and mothers laugh, clap hands and cry for joy, and be pleased at the life of children created as partners with you.

Underwager: I was urging earlier that you make the loving image clearer to the outside world. What appears to the public is not the picture of a loving man but rather the picture of the dirty old man lurking in alleys, waiting for nice innocent young lads to come by, grabbing their genitalia and hustling them off and sort of casting them aside and waiting for the next one.


L. Then join us in a glass of wine, a sup of milk and honey, the sweet fragrance of frankincense and myrrh, tender touch, the sound of beloved voices, the sight of lips, eyes, and mouths long known, and roll around with us in the clover.

Underwager: I do believe it is God's will that we have freedom. I believe that God's will is that we have absolute freedom. No conditions, no contingencies. When the blessed apostle Paul says, "All things are lawful for me," he says it not once but four times. "All things are lawful for me."


    Underwager: Paedophiles can boldly and courageously affirm what they choose. They can say that what they want is to find the best way to love. I am also a theologian and as a theologian, I believe it is God's will that there be closeness and intimacy, unity of the flesh, between people. A paedophile can say: "This closeness is possible for me within the choices that I've made."

      Underwager: The solution that I'm suggesting is that paedophiles become much more positive. They should directly attack the concept, the image, the picture of the paedophile as an evil, wicked, and reprehensible exploiter of children.

        Underwager: With boldness, they can say, "I believe this is in fact part of God's will." They have the right to make these statements for themselves as personal choices.

          Underwager: Certainly it is responsible.

            Wakefield: It would be nice if someone could get some kind of big research grant to do a longitudinal study of, let's say, a hundred twelve year old boys in relationships with loving paedophiles. Whoever was doing the study would have to follow that at five year intervals for twenty years.

              Underwager: Let me give you another example. The paedophile literature keeps talking about relationships. Every time I hear the word "relationship" I wince. It's a peculiarly bloodless, essentially Latin word that may have a lot of intellectual or cognitive content, but has little emotion. I think it would be much more honest to use the good old Anglo-Saxon four letter word "love," more honest for paedophiles to say, "I want to love somebody." Not, "I want a relationship." I mean, what the hell's a relationship?

                Underwager: We don't tell children things like, "Well, it's all the other person's fault, you were helpless, you were powerless, and you're not responsible." Some people are now saying that this is the best thing to tell children. If you tell them they were powerless, it gives the children more power. We don't do that...

All of the above text was either written or spoken by Ralph Underwager, Ph.D. Not at the same time, of course. The Litany for Fathers was written by Underwager and published by the ACFC "American Coalition of Fathers and Children." The comments in purple were Underwager's words as published in an interview in 1993 in Paidika: The Journal of Paedophilia. RETURN TO TOP

THE INFLUENCE OF RALPH UNDERWAGER? The ACFC, along with every single other "fathers rights" or (ahem) "fathers and children's rights" group, routinely decry the "epidemic" of "false accusations of abuse" that they claim plague the family law system. The following (in blue) is excerpted from

"Recent indications are that the age of consent for gay men will be lowered to sixteen with the blessing of the New Labour government. This would bring it into line with the age of consent for heterosexuals and lesbians... Traditionalists warn of moral decline and the threat of paedophilia....

"Gay rights activist and theoretician Peter Tatchell argues that both conservative and liberal perceptions of sexuality are culturally narrow, and that the most important questions are those which few dare to ask...

"THE LAST TABOO?  By Peter Tatchell

"The Sex Offenders Act (1997), passed in the dying days of the Major government, with Labour support, was trumpeted as a crackdown on paedophiles. On top of their sentence, convicted offenders are now compelled to register their addresses with the police for a period of between five years to life.

"Few people realise that under this act a 20 year old man who has consenting gay sex with a 17 year old man is categorised as a dangerous sex criminal, on a par with men who rape children...

"There is something else very odd about the Sex Offenders Act. It makes no distinction between consensual and coercive sexual relations : a man in a loving gay relationship with a teenaged boy is lumped together with men who physically force infant girls to give them oral sex.

"Isn't it also bizarre that the special 'child protection' penalty of police registration applies to adults who have sex with youngsters, but not to those who murder or mutilate them? Paedophiles have to register, child killers don't! ..." [liznote: Does pedophilia also dull the mind? Convicted child killers should be on death row or in prison for life in the first place, not living anywhere on the outside where they might have to register!]

"Dares to Speak is an outstanding collection of essays by psychologists, historians and anthropologists, offering a much needed rational, informed perspective on sexual bonds between younger and older people. Boy-love was, they point out, venerated by all the great civilisations. Greek and Islamic writers idealised pederasty. Samurai regarded it as noble and manly. [liznote: So shall we also castrate boys as many other "great" societies have done? How about foot-binding, or genital mutilation, or sticking plates in our lips?] The boys were not coerced or harmed. They were loved.

"Abusive, exploitative relationships are indefensible. but Dares to Speak documents many examples of societies where consenting inter-generational sex is considered normal, acceptable, beneficial and enjoyable by old and young alike. Professor Gilbert Herdt points to the Samba tribe of Papua New Guinea. From the ages of 7 to 15, all young boys have homosexual relations with older warriors as part of their rite of passage to manhood. Far from being damaged, Herdt says that boys regard sex with men as a pleasure and grow up to be happy, well-adjusted husbands and fathers." [liznote: "Happy, well-adjusted husbands and fathers" who regularly have sex with 7 year old boys?]

"A Dutch study by the psychologist Frits Bernard found no evidence of trauma or regret in adults who, as children, had freely chosen to have sex with older people. He noted that these forms of paedophile relationships were usually characterised by strong mutual affection and often continued well into adulthood, long after the sexual aspect had ended.

"These facts are unpalatable. We find them difficult to accept. Nevertheless, as the Lutheran theologian Dr. Ralph Underwager argues, while it may be impossible ever to condone paedophilia, we must face up to the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful." RETURN TO TOP

Remember these remarks next time you hear that Ralph Underwager or another of his ilk have testified that "It was a false accusation of abuse" or that "No 'abuse' took place."

Underwager et al. constantly protests that his words have been "taken out of context" or misconstrued, e.g. his interview in PAIDIKA, following which he hastily resigned from the board of FMSF (The False Memory Syndrome Foundation), lest we make a connection (?), ding ding... Well, at the very least, then, his inability to see how his statements will be understood, "misconstrued," used as rationalizations, and "erroneously" encourage pedophiles and other sex abusers, indicates to me that he's flat out incompetent as a psychologist on that ground alone.

-- liz

Underwager complains about this site, yet again claims
that his words have been taken out of context, and says that
he prays for God to wreak vengeance on liz et al.
Inciting the unstable? See Here.


Except as otherwise noted, all contents in this collection are copyright 1996-2009 the liz library. All rights reserved.
This site is hosted and maintained by Send queries to: