I recommend Angel Millar’s article on Strength, Spirituality, and Masculinity against Materialism at his People of Shambhala website. Millar argues that modern men have largely relinquished spirituality, ceding it by default to women who have, naturally, feminized and caricatured it.
Colorado has launched a new ad campaign that attempts to entice young women to sign up for the new national health-care program with the promise of free contraceptives and carefree sex.
In one of the print ads, a flirty young woman holding a package of birth-control pills and leaning against a young man says: “OMG, he’s hot! Let’s hope he’s as easy to get as this birth control.”
She continues her steamy monologue: “My health insurance covers the pill, which means all I have to worry about is getting him between the covers.”
“I got insurance. Now you can too,” she says. “Thanks ObamaCare!”
The ad, which is dripping with lusty sexuality, dubs the young couple “Susie and Nate … Hot to Trot.”
To be on the safe side, there’s an added warning: “The pill doesn’t protect you from STDs; condoms and common sense do that.”
The ad is part of the “thanks obamacare!” campaign targeting young Coloradans — and underscores how the law’s backers will say just about anything to lure young people to sign up for the new mandatory health coverage, an outcome that is critical to ObamaCare working as planned.
The leftist often says that we who disapprove of contraception are free to choose not to avail ourselves of it. True enough; the problem is that we aren’t free to choose not to live in a society that’s been vulgarized by it.
Your Orthospherean correspondent from the front lines of the culture wars – the San Francisco Bay Area, where the bleeding edge of Progress works its way relentlessly into the drugged and comatose body politic of the West – was riding an elevator down to the street last evening when he witnessed a short indicative conversation. Two colleagues of some other firm boarded the car, chit-chatting: a man of late middle years, conservatively dressed (for San Francisco – i.e., actually wearing clothes, that were clean, and tidy, and newish, and identifiably masculine), and a pretty, portly young woman dressed in painter’s jeans and a polo shirt (also conservative by SF standards). With only a few facial piercings, she was clearly not a transgressive type.
“… so your wife is OK with that,” says he, “… is ‘wife’ the right word?” You could hear the edge of anxiety in his voice; perhaps he had committed a fatal faux pas.
“Sure is,” she responded cheerfully, “it’s all legal now. We even have a certificate to prove it. It was funny: when we went down to apply for the license, we had to swear we weren’t related.”
“Ah!” says he, visibly relieved at his narrow escape from Othering, “always good to be sure you weren’t marrying your cousin!”
They both chuckled. As did your correspondent, a moment later, walking to the train, shaking his head at the absurdity of it all. It can’t be long, of course, before the alert bureaucrats of San Francisco are taught to realize that, gay “marriage” being legal, the question about pre-existing familiar relations between proposed spouses is irrelevant, if not downright discriminatory. Why should the forms of the law presume that reproduction is at all associated with marriage? It is not, any more. So all such questions – sex, age and number of the spouses, “religious preference,” whatever – are a waste of time, and an invasion of privacy too. Would the City have denied a marriage license to two lesbians if they were indeed cousins, or sisters, or mother and daughter? Had they tried, there would have been massive demonstrations by tens of braying protesters, heavily covered by the international media, and the bureaucrats would instantly have mended their ways.
The logic of this thing is adamantine.
Remember our earlier discussions (here and here) on the invented schema of “sexual orientation,” which I had described as “so protean that it can accommodate virtually any oddity”? Now, the USCCB is piling on and attacking, in one of its official blogs, the “flawed anthropology of ‘sexual orientation‘” (emphasis and links in the original):
In its decision on DOMA, the Court continued the trend of treating sexual orientation as a “class” marker. In other words, people who define themselves as having a homosexual orientation are de facto part of a “class” that deserves special protections from the government. The term “continued the trend” was used because it is common now to see, for example, in anti-discrimination legislation the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” used as two discrete categories of persons that may not be discriminated against.
But the problem with treating “sexual orientation” as a description of a class of people is that it proposes a deeply flawed [understanding of] anthropology, or understanding of the human person. Christian anthropology teaches that each person is called to accept his or her sexual identity as a man or as a woman (Catechism, no. 2333). This is consistent with the understanding that man – male and female – is a unity of body and soul (Catechism, no. 362-368). Our identity as human persons is intimately connected with our identity as a man or as a woman. In short, the body matters.
What the language of “sexual orientation” does, anthropologically, is separate one’s identity from one’s bodily nature as a man or woman, placing a premium on one’s desires and inclinations. The body then becomes a “bottom layer” – essentially meaningless matter – over which one’s “real” identity – comprised of desires and inclinations – is super-imposed.
At last — refreshing clarity!
“The good is getting better and the bad is getting worse” is one of the unofficial mottoes of the Orthosphere. By “worse,” we typically mean “more obvious” — the bad is shucking off its unprincipled exceptions, increasingly acknowledging and embracing the depravity demanded of its first principles. There’s been a few cases of this here in Texas the last few weeks over an abortion-restricting bill currently being considered by the state legislature. Besides that “Hail Satan” moment I’m sure you’ve heard about, there’s this amazing and rarely honest article calling on men to oppose the bill in order to have more sex:
How #HB2 Hurts Straight Texas Men
Your sex life is at stake. Can you think of anything that kills the vibe faster than a woman fearing a back-alley abortion? Making abortion essentially inaccessible in Texas will add an anxiety to sex that will drastically undercut its joys. And don’t be surprised if casual sex outside of relationships becomes far more difficult to come by.
It’s clear: if the Legislature basically takes away a Texas woman’s right to choose, having sex becomes a much, much riskier proposition for women and men.
(Emphases in the original).
Whew! Well, at least they’re abandoning their ridiculously unprincipled jibber-jabber about “rights” they don’t have any basis to believe in. If you doubted it before, believe it now: abortion is mainly a means of letting degenerate sluts and cads gratify their obscene and disordered lusts without consequence.
A full 95 percent of Americans have sex before getting married, and 93 percent have sex before the age of 30. 70 percent of sexually active Americans 21 and under have had a casual sexual encounter. In American culture, we’ve largely come to see that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with people making that choice.
Oh, the textbook narcissism of our degenerate enemies. “We do it, so it must be OK!” Move over, consensus of several thousand years of human history! Ben Sherman is here with his most of a bachelor’s degree in communications (or whatever) and he’s got some insights to share!
Yeah, we get that your opinion is radically at odds with the opinion of society in the 1950s (and the 1940s, and the 1930s, and the 1800s, and the 1700s, and most of the second millennium, and all of the first millennium, etc.). Which is, you know, sort of our point: that the scumbaggery of men like this, in thrall to leftist principles (to the extent there are any), is virtually without historical parallel.
The title got a chuckle out of me, too: “2013 or 1950? Conservatives Rail Against Having Sex Outside of Marriage.” The judgment is clear: he’ll happily endorse a mountain of dead babies if it means he can even potentially indulge his perverse desires… but at least he’s not old-fashioned!
Over at What’s Wrong with the World, Tony M. reports that a former APA head claims to have cured hundreds of homosexuals of their disordered desires. The Southern Poverty Law Center is up in arms, of course, which prompted this remark from commenter “Thomas Aquinas”:
Odd though that if a man goes to a plastic surgeon and permits the physician to carve him up and inject him with hormones so that he may look like a girl, even though he is in fact not a girl, we have to all pretend that he is a girl, or face severe punishment. On the other hand, if that same man were a homosexual, sought treatment to change his condition, and then claims to have succeeded after many years of arduous discipline, this is supposed to be an assault upon reason itself. In fact, we have to publicly deny what he and he alone can know, that he has in fact changed. In the case of the transgender, we have to all affirm what all of us can plainly know is false: you can no more make a girl out of boy than you can make a dolphin out a thalidomide baby.
So what’s the deal? Why do leftists celebrate the free choice of certain classes of people to sodomize one another or mutilate their own genitals, but not the free choice of those same people to remain celibate or seek treatment?
All of us reactionaries know that freedom and value are in some tension, in the sense that our values tend to restrict our freedom of action. For instance, a man who values marriage will find that this valuation restricts his freedom of sexual action by obliging him to remain faithful and chaste. In a properly-ordered society, freedom would, in fact, not be terribly important, concerning mainly prudential judgments (“Should I become a husband and father or a celibate priest?”) and arbitrary preferences (“Should I stop for lunch at McDonald’s or Burger King?”).
The leftist inverts this (and most other things) by subordinating values to freedom. To the extent that values restrict freedom, then, they must be deformed or destroyed, the better to liberate us from their shackles. Hence no-fault divorce laws, readily available and publicly financed abortions and contraception, gay “marriage,” open marriages, and every other innovation which destroys the value of marriage. They probably won’t abolish marriage outright, of course, and people can stay “married” if they like. But that’s the only reason they’re allowed to marry and to stay married: because they like it, not because they value it, and certainly not because it is objectively valuable.
Because value and freedom are in conflict, to the leftist mind, it is not enough to freely choose to do a thing. The choice to do a thing cannot be value-motivated, cannot be anything more than an arbitrary exercise of the utterly sovereign will, or else it is not truly free. The distressed homosexual who seeks treatment or opts for lifelong celibacy may be making a choice, but his choice (to the leftist’s horror) involves the endorsement of a value system and thus the denial of freedom-as-the-highest-good. They are freely choosing not-freedom — and this choice, in the leftist worldview, is one they are not free to make.
I have been spending some time lately reading in the androsphere, and based on what I have learned from scratching the surface of that huge and passionate discourse, I feel rather hopeful about the prospects of the men who participate therein. Most of them, to be sure, seem stuck for the time being in a slough of despond. They are cynical, skeptical, nihilistic. I will not go so far as to say that they are nihilist, as most of them still affirm the existence and value of manly virtues – some go so far as to affirm the value of womanly virtues. Mostly, though, they are angry, or bitter. But that’s no way to live, over the long run. So they won’t, I figure.
Yesterday (in the Roman liturgical calendar) was the feast of St. Boniface, the Anglo-Saxon missionary who contributed greatly to the cause of converting what is today Germany. From The Lives of the Saints (emphasis mine):
His first attempt to convert the pagans in Holland having failed, he went to Rome to obtain the Pope’s blessing on his mission, and returned with authority to preach to the German tribes. It was a slow and dangerous task; his own life was in constant peril, while his flock was often reduced to abject poverty by the wandering robber bands. Yet his courage never flagged. He began with Bavaria and Thuringia, next visited Friesland, then passed on to Hesse and Saxony, everywhere destroying the idol temples and raising churches on their site. He endeavored, as far as possible, to make every object of idolatry contribute in some way to the glory of God; on one occasion, having cut down on immense oak which was consecrated to Jupiter, he used the tree in building a church, which he dedicated to the Prince of the Apostles.
Such behavior might offend the syncretist neo-Pagans that populate the ruins of modern Christendom, but I, for one, take comfort in the story, and in the contradiction it offers to modern, feminized pseudo-Christianity. The faith was built by the labors of tough men, by fishers and farmers and carpenters, men with sunburned forearms and calloused hands and muscled backs, men with hammers and axes and nails clutched between their teeth. The love of Christ did not destroy their manliness, as our soft and doughy cultural elites insist it must; it perfected them as men.
St. Boniface, pray for us!
A guest post by Dalrock.
Alan Roebuck recently asked Can Man Live Traditionally?
Alan answered yes, and went so far as to argue that a man has an obligation to marry even though this means marrying in a legal and social regime which has done all it can to eradicate traditional marriage, and even if this means marrying a woman who wouldn’t have been considered appropriate to marry by tradition minded men of past generations.
As a member of what I have dubbed the traditional marriage group within the manosphere, I asked Alan if he would be interested in me providing a response as a guest post. Alan very graciously accepted. I suggested this because while I differ in some important aspects with Alan’s position on the topic, I was impressed with his willingness to go against the grain of our thoroughly feminised culture and acknowledge the unpopular truths regarding what our society has transformed marriage into. While I think it is unlikely that opinions will be changed on either side, my hope with this exchange is that each of us will better understand the positions of the other. Continue reading
For those of you who haven’t seen it, the article on gay marriage by John Milbank (Mr. Radical Orthodoxy) is pretty good:
During the course of recent debates in the British Parliament over the proposed legalisation of gay marriage, it has gradually become apparent that the proposal itself is impossible. For legislators have recognised that it would be intolerable to define gay marriage in terms equivalent to “consummation,” or to permit “adultery” as legitimate ground for gay divorce….Why, then, should Christians worry, if this is all just a matter of terminology? Can we not live with differing definitions of marriage? …This may, indeed, be the direction that the churches now need to take. However, the graver fear surrounding the new legislation is that secular thought will not so readily let go of the demand for absolutely equal rights based on identical definitions. In that case, we face an altogether more drastic prospect. Not only would “marriage” have been redefined so as to include gay marriage, it would inevitably be redefined even for heterosexual people in homosexual terms. Thus “consummation” and “adultery” would cease to be seen as having any relevance to the binding and loosing of straight unions…
Secondly, it would end the public legal recognition of a social reality defined in terms of the natural link between sex and procreation. In direct consequence, the natural children of heterosexual couples would then be only legally their children if the state decided that they might be legally “adopted” by them.
And this, I argue, reveals what is really at issue here. There was no demand for “gay marriage” and this has nothing to do with gay rights. Instead, it is a strategic move in the modern state’s drive to assume direct control over the reproduction of the population, bypassing our interpersonal encounters. This is not about natural justice, but the desire on the part of biopolitical tyranny to destroy marriage and the family as the most fundamental mediating social institution.
Heterosexual exchange and reproduction has always been the very “grammar” of social relating as such. The abandonment of this grammar would thus imply a society no longer primarily constituted by extended kinship, but rather by state control and merely monetary exchange and reproduction…
It is for this reason that practices of surrogate motherhood and sperm-donation (as distinct from the artificial assistance of a personal sexual union) should be rejected. For the biopolitical rupture which they invite is revealed by the irresolvable impasse to which they give rise. Increasingly, children resulting from anonymous artificial insemination are rightly demanding to know who their natural parents are, for they know that, in part, we indeed are our biology.
Set aside for the moment that heterosexual divorce is as great an abomination as gay marriage, and you’ll agree that Milbank ably makes two key points. First, gay marriage does affect straight marriage by forcing straights to radically impoverish their understanding of their own unions. Second, this is an attack by the state on a rival social structure, the kinship group.
Next, Milbank realizes where his logic is leading him and tries to draw back:
From this it follows that we should not re-define birth as essentially artificial and disconnected from the sexual act – which by no means implies that each and every sexual act must be open to the possibility of procreation…
Perish the thought.
By the way, the discussion we had here earlier on paternity testing got my thinking about what marriage really means from a purely legal standpoint. Here is what I came up with:
Marriage is an agreement that party A (the husband) should automatically be recognized as the father of any children born to party B (the wife), “automatically” meaning that once the marriage is contracted, neither party may refuse to acknowledge A’s paternal rights and duties to any children subsequently born to B.
There is much more to marriage, of course, but it’s all built on top of this. The point of marriage is to legally establish fatherhood. Once this is explicit, it is quite obvious that 1) marriage is heterosexual (such a contract would still be meaningful for an infertile heterosexual couple, but not a homosexual one); 2) a woman can have no more than one husband (since having more than one father would negate the essential paternal authority of all of them); 3) women may not divorce and remarry (because otherwise fatherhood would depend on the mother’s subsequent will, in violation of the contract). Again, everything else is on top of this. Love is the reason to make this contract, but it is not the essence of the contract itself. This contract is a fitting metaphor for the union of Christ with His Church, but only because it already has a nature fixed apart from theological considerations to make the metaphor apt.