Archive for the ‘Morality’ Category

Is “lesbian” out?

November 28, 2007

Another stupid CNN headline: “Gay retired general questions candidates.” I bet he really got in their faces about homophobia in the military. Here’s the CNN screencap:

cnn_lesbiana.png

Somehow, questions like this are supposed to appear legitimate when asked by gay men. Professional enough? Seems a diversion from the real question: whether the presence of openly homosexual forces helps or hurts unit cohesion and loyalty.

And is “lesbiana” a typo or is this the new self-appointed adjective for homosexual women? Is the final “A” meant to emphasize their feminine gender? Can I start calling gay men “lesbianos”? I mean, I’m not gonna lie to ya . . . lesbiana with each other here. This seems silly to me. I thought these people were into ultra-inclusiveness. You know, GLBTQ—where Q used to stand for Queer, but now apparently stands for Questioning. I guess the L now stands for lesbiana. Stay tuned until next week, when the homosexual intelligentsia decides that the remaining letters also stand for words too outmoded to express the full complexity of the “alternative lifestyle.”

(By the way, the article itself didn’t say a single word about homosexuals.)

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More on marriage

September 30, 2007

An op-ed in the NY Times criticizes the Times’s piece on marriage that ran a few days ago. They say that, contrary to the dire note struck by that article, in reality marriages are more stable, percentagewise, than any time since 1979. (But fewer people get married, which they also note.)

I had to pause when reading this paragraph, though:

Why has the great divorce myth persisted so powerfully? Reporting on our families is a lot like reporting on the economy: statistical tales of woe provide the foundation for reform proposals. The only difference is that conservatives use these data to make the case for greater government intervention in the marriage market, while liberals use them to promote deregulation of marriage.

This seems to reverse the conventional wisdom about conservatives and liberals: namely, that conservatives favor less “government intervention”, and liberals more.

“Deregulation” in the manner meant by the op-ed writers must mean increased government involvement in the lives of many people “unmarried” in the traditional sense, since the whole push is for the state to recognize and reward their various nontraditional household arrangements. And though conservatives here are depicted as wanting “government intervention” in marriage, it seems to me that as good a case (if not better) can be made that they want to limit government intervention: if the definition of marriage is thrown wide open, all manner of legal tangles are born.

I can also see, though, how the original paragraph might make sense: conservatives want the government to intrude into our bedrooms, whereas liberals want it to leave us alone, to do as we see fit. I don’t favor that characterization of the issue, but that seems to be the essence of it.

The eros of souls

July 9, 2007

I spent 20 minutes reading this piece over at the American Scholar website, so I thought I’d share. The link came to me through my Arts & Letters Daily RSS feed (you can currently find a link in my “Other Sites” section in the right column).

The author, William Deresiewicz, a professor of English at Yale, discusses several recent movies that depict English professors as failed writers, sexual predators, bad husbands, deadbeat dads, etc. and analyzes possible causes for this new academic stereotype (the old stereotype was the absent-minded professor). At the end, he explains that a kind of eros does exist in the best of student-teacher relationships, but that it is a mental, not physical eros. I enjoyed this piece a lot. Here’s how it ends (note: it’s not possible to “spoil” this piece by giving away the ending):

The Socratic relationship is so profoundly disturbing to our culture that it must be defused before it can be approached. Yet many thousands of kids go off to college every year hoping, at least dimly, to experience it. It has become a kind of suppressed cultural memory, a haunting imaginative possibility. In our sex-stupefied, anti-intellectual culture, the eros of souls has become the love that dares not speak its name.

Toronto’s as gay as it gets

June 21, 2007

No, really: that’s their new tourism campaign. I kid you not.

Article here.
I’d be pissed off if I were an American sailor. Apparently it’s okay to stereotype now, too? Pink makes my head hurt . . .
toronto_gay

“The Catholic Boom”: some observations

May 25, 2007

David Brooks, writing in the Opinion section on the TimesSelect website (subscription required), argues that the “quasi-religious” have economic and sociological advantages over the truly religious and the truly unreligious.

In making this argument, he seems to insult both Protestants and Catholics even as he praises them for their great financial and educational achievements. You see, quasi-religious people respect history and tradition, and benefit from the stability these afford, but because they are always questioning and dissenting, they don’t get stuck in productivity- and income-quashing ruts.

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Short history of Protestant contraception

May 22, 2007

Why did Protestants forbid contraception, side by side with Catholics, for 400 years, only to repudiate this teaching in the 20th century? Allan Carlson, a self-described “cradle Lutheran”, founder and president of the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society, addresses this question in “Children of the Reformation“, the cover story of the new issue of Touchstone Magazine.

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One million demonstrate in Rome; NY Times looks other way

May 14, 2007

My point here is simple and obvious: the news media are dominated by Leftists. Consider the following cases.

Saturday was “Family Day” in Rome—a demonstration in defense of traditional family values against the ever-increasing demands of homosexuals. Estimates for the number of pro-family demonstrators range from several hundred thousand, up to 1.7 million. A huge event by any standard.

And yesterday the World Congress of Families concluded in Warsaw, Poland. This was a three-day event which calls itself “the world’s largest conference of pro-family leaders and grass roots activists.” Thousands of pro-family leaders and governmental ministers from 60 countries participated.

Yet—amazingly? expectedly?—not a single word of this appears to have been reported by the New York Times. I could be wrong on this, but searching for key words such as “Family Day” and “Lateran” (the rally being convened at St. John Lateran Square) turned up ZERO hits at nytimes.com. A search on “World Congress of Families” also turned up nothing, even though this is the fourth such Congress, with previous meetings held in Prague (1997), Geneva (1999), and Mexico City (2004). Apparently the Times has ignored them all.

The same goes for cnn.com. Unless I’m searching incorrectly, neither of these “news” outlets considers either of these events newsworthy. (The NY Times did run a full-length report on Leonard Nimoy’s photographs of obese nude women, however. And CNN is rightfully famous for its coverage of such “news” as its current Top Story: “Olympic bomber taunts victims from prison”.)

The LA Times and the BBC reported on Family Day (though neither noticed the World Congress of Families). However, this is not to say that they acknowledged the strength of the pro-family forces in Italy. The BBC ends its piece by lamenting that gay couples are still not getting equal rights, and claims that

Recent polls showed that most Catholics in Italy are in favour of changes to the legislation despite Church opposition.

Interesting, then, that a MILLION of them should turn out in person to demonstrate against the very legislation that “recent polls” claim they support! One really has to believe strongly in something to actually go and participate in person.

Read more about Family Day at the WDTPRS blog, written by an American priest living in Rome. Here is one of his pictures of the pro-family crowd (click for larger picture).
family day crowd

Fetus hit man

April 5, 2007

Teen gets 76.5 months in jail for trying to hire a hit man to “to injure his estranged 17-year-old girlfriend so badly that her fetus would die.” According to the article, the law in Washington state provides for charges of “first-degree solicitation to commit manslaughter . . . when a viable fetus is the intended target.”

Yet according to our “liberal” and “progressive” laws, had the woman offered an officially-licensed fetus hit man money to do the job, her boyfriend likely could have been thrown in jail for obstructing the abortion. She wouldn’t have been punished, at any rate.

It would be nice if the laws on this matter were consistent with each other. And better if they protected fetuses no matter who was attacking them.

Israeli court: Family can have dead soldier’s sperm (CNN)

January 30, 2007

JERUSALEM (AP) — In a precedent-setting decision, an Israeli court has ruled that a dead soldier’s family can have his sperm impregnated into the body of a woman he never met.

Keivan Cohen, 20, was shot dead in 2002 by a Palestinian sniper in the Gaza Strip. He was single and left no will. But at the urging of his parents, a sample of his sperm was taken two hours after his death and has been stored in a hospital since.
[. . .]
On January 15, after a four-year legal battle, a Tel Aviv court granted the family’s wish and ruled the sperm could be injected into a woman selected by Cohen’s family. [I get the feeling that something is being omitted here–such as whether this woman must consent to being injected?]
[. . .]
Irit Rosenblum, a family rights advocate who represented the Cohen family, said the ruling was significant because it set a precedent for those seeking to continue bloodlines after death.

At the trial, Rosenblum presented testimony, including video recordings, in which Cohen expressed his desire to have children.

“He always said he wanted children,” she told The Associated Press. “But there were no regulations in the law that deals with using sperm from dead people.” [Hmm. First of all, notice the politically correct use of the genderless word “people” even though only men have sperm. Second, you don’t “use sperm” as if it were some tool for achieving your own personal goals. Human beings aren’t inanimate material to be worked and reworked at someone’s pleasure.]

Rosenblum said soldiers increasingly have been leaving sperm samples, or explicit instructions on post-mortem extraction, before heading to battle. [Sure, because it’s so much easier to be a dead dad than a deadbeat dad–no responsibilities whatsoever!]
[. . .]
“I think it is a human revolution,” Rosenblum said. “Ten years ago, who would believe that a human being can continue after he has died. I think it is great for humanity.” [I think it’s wrong, and, as usual, the children are going to get the short end of the deal. No real family and a father who knowingly unloads all of his fatherly responsibility on others.]

It’s all about pills

October 13, 2006

Apple is selling a red iPod nano as part of a campaign to fight AIDS in Africa. Apparently, the whole epidemic hinges on the availability of “pills.” It sounds rather Communist, if you ask me, but the founding document behind this campaign is called the “(Red) Manifesto” and contains this statement:

YOU BUY (RED) STUFF. WE GET THE MONEY, BUY THE PILLS AND DISTRIBUTE THEM. THEY TAKE THE PILLS, STAY ALIVE, AND CONTINUE TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR FAMILIES AND CONTRIBUTE SOCIALLY AND ECONOMICALLY IN THEIR COMMUNITIES.

IF THEY DON’T GET THE PILLS, THEY DIE. WE DON’T WANT THEM TO DIE. WE WANT TO GIVE THEM THE PILLS. AND WE CAN. AND YOU CAN. AND IT’S EASY.

Far be it from me to condemn them as reductionist. They are trying to do good in the world, and there is evidence that these antiretroviral pills are effective in preventing the transmission of the disease to one’s children. But according to (red), it’s all about the pills. Horrible living conditions, corrupt leaders, and endless war are negligible factors. And I wonder if the sexual habits of Africans have anything to do with the spread of AIDS, or if they would be better off if we offered help without also pushing them to adopt Western-style sexual mores. I mean, let’s help them out with “the pills” and all, but without also burying them in condoms. Condoms just encourage promiscuity, and promiscuity spreads AIDS. (Here it’s my turn to be reductionist.) Okay . . . condoms may help somewhat, but a “condom culture” is the wrong road to take if you really want to eradicate the disease.