One of the recurring themes of this blog is that reality always prevails in the end. Professor Anthony Esolen, who has commented here, has a brilliant post at Crisis on this theme:
It may be that all of the mad errors of the last hundred years have risen from one first and terrible error: that of refusing to honor reality, including human reality, as it is. In generations past, if you did not honor reality, you paid for it swiftly and severely. Try to plant strawberries in a desert, or fig trees in a swamp, and your belly will tell you that you have been a fool, even if your mind is stubborn and slow to admit it. Send your women out with the oxen and the plow, the cross-cut saw and the mattock, while your boys do the laundry and the mending, and the very stones will testify to your stupidity. But our wealth and sophisticated technology are a great buffer between us and those stones. We can seem to ourselves, for a while, to get away with ignoring the real.
Not that we actually do get away with it. Ideologies treat man as if he could be pressed into any shape, like molten plastic poured into a form. Stalin tried his hand at the human extruding machine, ignoring the ordinary farmer’s love for the land to which he and his forebears had given their sweat and their souls. The result was to turn one of the great breadbaskets of the world, the Ukraine, into barrens, while six million people died—not before some of them had sunk below the beast and eaten their own dead. Mao tried his hand at the human extruding machine, ignoring the ordinary man’s piety towards his ancestors and their ways, and the result was a mass destruction of culture, and sixty million people dead.
These are flagrant sinners against God and the reality he made. But the murderer of only one man is a murderer all the same, and more pleasant or vacuous sinners against reality are still sinners and still work harm. In the aggregate they can destroy every bit as much as Stalin and Mao did. Abortion of course is one obvious example of a refusal to look at reality. The child-making act has as its natural and foreseeable end the making of a child. We do know this, just as we know that men should revere their parents and grandparents, and that people who have lived on a tract of land for a hundred years love it and will tend it more carefully than a cadre of bureaucrats could ever imagine. We simply pretend that we do not know it. We pretend that when a man and a woman do the child-making thing, and they make a child, it can strike them as an utter surprise, a bolt from the blue. If you are walking beside a row of high-rise row houses, and you are struck by a piano falling from a great height, that is a surprise, that is an unnerving accident. Not the other.
But, having stiffed the real and embraced a fantasy, here the ideology of sexual liberation, having played at being husband and wife without being husband and wife, we claim all at once to be Surprised by Baby, Dismayed by Baby, Utterly Undone by Baby, and, hence, we want Baby out of the way. To have it out of the way, we have to plunge ourselves even deeper into the unreal. We have to pretend that the baby is not human, when we know, of course, that it is, and that it is not alive, when we know that if it were dead, it would be called a miscarriage, and no moral problem would arise. We have to cleave our minds in half to have our lives of license whole.
So it is that Planned Parenthood, which has never helped any woman to become a parent, sells as human body parts the members of the human beings they have killed under the fiction that they were not human at all, calling it “medical care” when nothing is remediated. So also the Pill, destructive of the common good and (like all synthetic growth hormones) deleterious to the health of the women who use it, is called “medical care,” when no disease is cured, and no limb or organ is restored to its normal and natural function; rather, its purpose is to thwart the natural function of the reproductive system, even at the cost of the woman’s health. It is thus not like an inoculation to protect you against a communicable disease. It is like deliberately putting a joint out of socket. Continue reading
Hattip to Mary Katharine Ham at Hot Air. Wendy Davis, Texas State Senator, who won her Senate seat running as a pro-abort with the help of the man who was and is the head of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, and who is campaigning for governor of the Lone Star State on the strength of her ultimately futile filibuster against restrictions on abortion passed by the Texas legislature, has proclaimed herself pro-life.
Emily at Naked DC gives us the gruesome details:
She’s lagging because of a few key features of her campaign. First, it makes gun control a key issue in a state where not only are the people heavily armed, but the livestock as well. Second, she’s allied her communications with Organizing for Action’s Texas arm, which promptly ran an ad making a joke about Greg Abbott walking into the legislature, when it is abundantly clear to everyone who has ever seen Greg Abbott that he cannot walk. She had yet to talk about the cornerstone of her political career, her filibuster of a Texas law that prevents abortions after 20 weeks, which rolled the Texas abortion deadline back from 24 weeks.
She’s since corrected that oversight. Today, Wendy Davis, says she’s “pro-life.”
Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth), best known for her 11-hour filibusteragainst a controversial bill aimed at severely cutting access to abortion services across the Lone Star State, said her views on abortion make her “pro-life.”
“I am pro-life,” Davis said during a campaign stop at the University of Texas at Brownsville, according to the Valley Morning Star.
“I care about the life of every child: every child that goes to bed hungry, every child that goes to bed without a proper education, every child that goes to bed without being able to be a part of the Texas dream, every woman and man who worry about their children’s future and their ability to provide for that future,” Davis said. “I care about life and I have a record of fighting for people above all else.”
B—h, please. Continue reading
Adam Winkler in The New Republic, warns us against the evils of potty discrimination:
Restrooms are one of the last explicit vestiges of segregation on the basis of sex. In a nation evolved enough to allow women to serve in combat and have women on the presidential ticket, we still maintain strict and outdated rules that discriminate in who can use which restroom. Even at liberal law schools like UCLA, where I teach, the bathrooms are all clearly marked for gender uses in a way that no one would accept for race: there are rooms labeled specifically for men and others specifically for women.
Most people don’t question this form of separate-but-equal, perhaps because there don’t appear to be inequalities engendered by gendered bathrooms. (This, despite the fact that there often seem to be much longer lines to use women’s rooms.) The controversy over transgender students, however, may force us to reconsider our sex-specific bathrooms. As our society becomes more tolerant of gender differences, especially in the context of transgender people, the issue will continue to arise. More and more people, even children, are comfortable admitting their gender identity, even if it isn’t the one that matches their biological gender at birth, and parents are increasingly willing to fight school policies that prevent their children from using appropriate facilities.
We don’t necessarily need to eliminate gender-specific bathrooms to solve the problem—or even create a third (and fourth) category of bathroom. We can simply allow transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. In the school setting, this can be easily accomplished by having parents with transgender children choose which bathroom their kids will use. Especially for underage schoolchildren, this shouldn’t pose a threat to anyone. (And if the idea of a transgender person using your bathroom makes you uncomfortable, consider that that you share a bathroom with gays or lesbians all the time—and probably don’t even notice it.) Continue reading
I divide the causes of human laughter into Joy, Fun, the Joke Proper, and Flippancy. You will see the first among friends and lovers reunited on the eve of a holiday. Among adults some pretext in the way of Jokes is usually provided, but the facility with which the smallest witticisms produce laughter at such a time shows that they are not the real cause. What that real cause is we do not know. Something like it is expressed in much of that detestable art which the humans call Music, and something like it occurs in Heaven—a meaningless acceleration in the rhythm of celestial experience, quite opaque to us. Laughter of this kind does us no good and should always be discouraged. Besides, the phenomenon is of itself disgusting and a direct insult to the realism, dignity, and austerity of Hell.
Fun is closely related to Joy—a sort of emotional froth arising from the play instinct. It is very little use to us. It can sometimes be used, of course, to divert humans from something else which the Enemy would like them to be feeling or doing: but in itself it has wholly undesirable tendencies; it promotes charity, courage, contentment, and many other evils.
CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
My family and I had a great time on our vacation. Gen Con was grand as it always is, and, as the picture at the top of the post indicates, I made a new friend! (I am the one who is not green.)
During vacations I attempt to studiously ignore the news, forget about the Law, and focus in on my family and fun. I find that a bit difficult to do, as I always take a great deal of interest in the noteworthy events of the day, and my legal practice tends to be fairly consuming of my time during non-vacation periods. Fortunately my family I also find fascinating, and after a day or two I am in full vacation mode and everything but my family fades into the distance for a time.
Alas, vacations always end. When I go back to my office on Monday, I know that I will have many messages to return, and a full schedule of appointments and court appearances to deal with. Back home with the internet, I will spend at least an hour each day getting up to speed with current events, and writing my blog posts, and my life proceeds in its familiar non-vacation manner.
It would be easy for me to think that the vacation was a temporary illusion and the way I normally spend my life the reality, but this is incorrect. God gives us this life as an entirety and it is not for us to divide it. Our different activities each year and each day are merely facets of the time on this planet we have as a free-will gift from our Creator. What we do with the time, good and bad, is up to us, but no portion is less our reality than any other portion. It is our task to enfuse everything we do with love of God and love of our neighbor.