Pattern recognition

The recent run of outed Republican Sexual Hypocrites reminds me of the moment — and I remember this quite clearly — at which the phrase “going postal” entered the lexicon. You read about one postal worker going on a gun rampage, and then another, and then yet another — and then suddenly it seemed to click for everyone, that there was a distinct pattern emerging, that these weren’t simply troubling isolated incidents but rather a symptom of some larger problem (i.e. the soulless monotony of the job).

We’re clearly at that pattern recognition moment now, the moment at which it becomes obvious to everyone that there’s more going on here, that some not insignificant percentage of sanctimonious moralizers are in fact leading personal lives significantly at odds with their public pronouncements. To put it politely.

I’m just not sure what the phrase should be in this instance. “Going Republican”?

With people like Craig and Vitter and the diving suit guy, it’s hard to not imagine that everyone would have been a lot happier if they’d just been able to accept what they were, rather than making it their mission in life to project their personal denial onto society at large. Especially the diving suit guy, who really should have just moved to San Francisco and hung out with the rubber fetishists, rather than going to Liberty University and hanging out with Jerry Falwell and, ultimately (and quite literally), dying of shame.

Which is not to suggest that there are no boundaries. The key words here would be “consenting” and “adult” — get beyond that, and you cross the line from pitiable to repulsive. Which brings us to the case of Klutzo the Christian Clown. (More after the fold).

A Springfield man who has been a clown, magician, police officer, minister, youth counselor and Big Brother volunteer was arrested Tuesday on charges of sex tourism and possessing child pornography.

A. Paul Carlock Jr., 57, of the 2300 block of Hedge Lane was arrested in Springfield after an investigation sparked by immigration and Homeland Security officers in June upon his return to the United States from a trip to the Philippines.

According to an affidavit filed in federal court, Carlock was stopped at the San Francisco airport June 12 after returning from the Philippines. At the airport, Carlock reportedly told immigration officers he had been working as a clown at the House of Joy orphanage in San Isidro, a city in the Philippines.

Because he was traveling from a country considered to be high-risk for child sex tourism and he had direct contact with children, the officers asked to look at Carlock’s digital camera and his computer. When they searched the computers, they said they found numerous pictures of nude young boys.

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When boys at House of Joy were interviewed in the Philippines in September, three boys indicated they had been asleep and awakened to find Carlock fondling them.

Carlock initially told investigating officers that the images on his computer and camera were photos he had intended to edit so they’d be appropriate to show at his church. He said the photos showed that the boys were too poor to afford clothes and that he photographed the naked boys because “that’s how they live,” the affidavit said.

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Federal authorities said Carlock spent more than 20 years in law enforcement. His resume reportedly includes: three years as a juvenile counselor with the Illinois Department of Corrections; six years as a trainer with the Illinois Department of Corrections; six years as a Springfield police officer, including four as a youth division detective; six years with the Illinois Department of Revenue; four years with the Illinois Department of Public Health in the child health division; and a period as a Grandview police officer, including several years as that department’s juvenile officer.

Carlock also is an ordained minister, originally with the Church of Nazarene and currently with the Missionary Church International.

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In December 1986, Carlock wrote a letter to the State Journal-Register complaining about a cartoon. In the letter, he said he was a conservative Christian and not ashamed of the fact.

“I am not in favor of censorship, but do feel that far too much ‘smut’ has been poured into the minds of Americans by all forms of media,” he wrote.