December 22, 2007

Know Them By Their Deeds: Pittsburgh Diaper Fest

A reader sent me this bizarre story out of Pittsburgh that fits perfectly with my ongoing "know them by their deeds series" when one considers how eager many Christians are to play morality police. It seems that a local Christian youth group has been putting on skits in which teenage boys exchange their clothes for adult diapers, bibs, and bonnets. Have we learned nothing from the Catholic Church?

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, such a skit occurred during the Nov. 29 meeting of the Mt. Lebanon Young Life club, directed by youth minister O.J. Wandrisco. The mother of one 14-year-old boy contacted the Mt. Lebanon Police Department and the principal of the local school with her concerns, after which she and her son filed a formal complaint.
Ms. Metz said at the Nov. 29 Young Life meeting, after her son and two other boys were selected to take part in the skit, they were taken to a rest room by an older teen and given adult diapers, bibs and bonnets and directed to take their clothes off and put the diapers, bibs and bonnets on. Her son took off his pants, but kept on boxer undershorts, his shirt, shoes and socks.

The boys returned to the group, where they were asked to sit in the laps of three girls. The girls spoon-fed baby food to the boys and then gave them baby bottles filled with soda pop. The first boy to finish was the winner.
Strangely, it appears that the police are not going to pursue criminal charges. According to Lt. Truver, nothing criminal occurred.
"Her 14-year-old son told us he participated in an activity completely voluntary in nature and that he had fun with it and that there was no coercion and our position is that while the activities may be somewhat unorthodox depending on your perception, there's nothing to indicate that any crime occurred," he said.
Um...they were 14 and an adult was leading the activity. However, it sounds like the district attorney plans to review the case, and the school district appears to be trying to distance itself from the youth group, no longer allowing them to use school space. At least parents will now know what has been happening.
Mr. Wandrisco and a national spokesman for Young Life say the skits are all in fun and meant to be used as "icebreakers" at the youth group meetings.
Another skit commonly used by the group, and acknowledged by Mr. Wandrisco, involves young girls eating chocolate pudding out of adult diapers. What exactly is that supposed to represent? As the outraged reader who me this story put it, "And having girls lick pudding from diapers? Well, that makes sense because, you know, women are 'supposed' to eat shit."

The national vice president of communications for Young Life, said that such skits are commonly used in their organization and that they fully support Mr. Wandrisco.

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