A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Vomitorium

Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights (c. 1490-1510)

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Vomitorium” is the title of my Federalist piece from the other day.  I spoke about it today with R. Scott Clark in a podcast at Heidelblog.net.

The main idea is that the movement to codify same sex marriage – supposedly only for the purpose of “equality” — has already let loose a lot of fringy sexual excesses into the mainstream.

Things you would have likely not heard about before this stage of the sexual revolution are now being injected into general public discourse. For example, New York Magazine recently ran an article “What’s it Like to Date a Horse,” a graphic interview with a zoophile who complains that his sexual orientation is not respected by society.  Following that one, they published “What’s it Like to Date Your Dad,” an interview with a young woman promoting her sexual relationship with her biological father as just as legit as any other romance.  And of course we now have the impending release of the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which serves to celebrate and mainstream the practice of sado-masochism.

There’s lots more where that came from, and I provide a short catalogue in my article. It’s all about excess and uncontrolled appetites.  The vomitorium — as understood in popular culture as a place where gluttony reigns so supreme that it can’t get enough of itself — seems to be where our society is headed.

But at the end of this road lies a society that’s lost its moorings. It’s an escapist culture centered around the Self.  At root, the sexual revolution wasn’t really about sex or even lust.  It used sexual desire to put people in a prison of Self and an empty cycle of gluttony.  It also served to create an easy means to escape responsible relationships. And we’re now at a phase when enough folks have swallowed that bait that their appetites have become unhinged.  At a certain point this state of affairs becomes not only ridiculous and dangerous, but also (to use a favorite term of self-described progressives) unsustainable.

This mindset of Self – brought to us by the sexual “revolution” — prevents people from seeing the world through the eyes of others, especially through the eyes of children. That’s an alienating and isolating mindset which creates a hostile climate for families and for all healthy personal relationships. Somewhere along this lonely path, the state will step more fully into that vacuum and take control of our personal lives, our relationships, and our conversations.

On Self-Reliance, Kids, Willie Mays, and Blasting Caps

Below is an old public service announcement in which baseball legend Willie Mays helps kids build awareness of the dangers of blasting caps (dynamite detonators) that they might come across while playing.  The 1950’s was a time when children played more freely outdoors than they do today.   Back then the answer to the problem of unattended blasting caps was to teach kids safety.  Not to tell parents to shelter them indoors and supervise them in their play 24/7.

This Willie Mays spot is astonishing in so many ways.  It illustrates that kids back then were far more independent and self-reliant than today.  We’ve fallen quite a ways in helping kids learn to navigate life.  Last week I wrote about this in the Federalist here: “Kids are Casualties in the War Against Self-Reliance.”

Constant hovering over kids to protect them teaches them dependence, not self-reliance. And the helicopter-parenting trend seems to correlate with a society that’s grown overly dependent on government.  It also correlates with a consumerist society that seems to indulge in excessive doses of passive entertainment from ever-present electronic devices.  Too many have forgotten that the process of growing up is really a process of controlled risk taking.  If we delay children from learning life skills when they are ready to learn them, we stunt their growth as well as their ability to pass those skills on to the next generation.  It creates a vacuum and it promotes a social climate more tolerant of a State that ever more aggressively monitors parents and families.

I wrote about the case of two very attentive Maryland parents who have been harassed by child protective services for allowing their children to walk home from a park unattended.   The kids were eager and ready to do so and had permission from their parents, but no matter.  As government grows, we will see more meddling in the parent-child relationship.  There is a connection between allowing parents to raise self-reliant kids and maintaining a free society.

Okay, we’re living in a big fat nanny state. That’s a euphemism, though. The reality is that central planners have always viewed a child’s first teachers of self-reliance—mothers and fathers—as enemies of the State. The less people learn about basic life skills (think thrift or basic survival) and how things work, the better it is for the bureaucratic tyranny. We ought to keep this in mind every time someone questions our right to think for ourselves or exercise self-reliance.

 

Transgender Propaganda, Part I

Below is an Oprah Winfrey propaganda clip from about five years ago.  In it she interviews transgender supermodel Lea T.  The idea was to promote and glamorize sex reassignment surgery.  Today a primary goal of the transgender lobby is to push hard to get everyone to accept the transitioning of children.  Before that, the focus was primarily on adults. We can look back and see Oprah working to soften the ground here, as always prodding us to align our attitudes and beliefs with hers:

Of course, we’ve reached a new stage in the propaganda war to force feed transgender ideology to America at large.  Last night the TV series “Transparent” won several awards at the Golden Globe Awards.  The series centers around a family in which the father comes out as transgender. Audiences undergo a lot of emotional manipulation and emotional blackmail in this sort of propaganda.

My Friday Federalist piece on Leelah’s Law was about the transgender lobby’s exploitation of a teen’s suicide to push their agenda a whole lot harder.  The proposed law would essentially criminalize any counseling and psychotherapy that does not affirm transgenderism, and any parent who did not get with the Trans program would be guilty by association.  Of course it uses the catchphrase “conversion therapy” to imply that this only applies to one type of therapy.  It doesn’t.   You can read my article here:  “Leelah’s Law is Bad Law and Bad Medicine.”

The message behind the proposed law is that if you do not accept the ideology of transgenderism, you are morally responsible for any suicide of a transgender child who does not feel accepted.

I think there are at least five factors that make the onslaught of transgender propaganda different from other types of propaganda in the past.

1.  It seems far more organized, focused, faster-and-more-furious than any propaganda campaign in history. (Which means it can’t withstand much scrutiny.)

2.  It requires more than ever that the bystander reject physical reality in order to accommodate ever-shifting perceptions of others.  This is huge.  It comes with the territory that such laws require us to reject our own physical reality and question our own “gender identity.”

3. Under the phony guise of “anti-bullying” this type of propaganda exploits children and their peers as never before –physically, emotionally, and mentally.

4.  The scope of the endgame is enormous:  to legally and universally impose upon every human being a new definition — or rather, a non-definition — of what it means to be human.

(Even if for the moment it seems like everybody simply has the “freedom” to identify as one wishes, that’s not sustainable.  Because ultimately, the ideology of transgenderism rejects biology. It’s already begun to erase  everybody’s legal identity as either male or female simply by writing into law the presumption that your sex is merely “assigned at birth.”)

5.  It serves to abolish the family.  When male and female are eliminated as legal categories, it goes without saying that “mother” and “father” must also be eliminated as legal categories, along with any inherent right to a relationship with your biological children.  That’s the logical path transgender propaganda leads us down.

If we want to survive, it’s high time we spit out this kool-aid.

Minnesota’s Transgender Policy: Schools as Twilight Zones

Today at the Federalist I write about how the Minnesota State High School League wants to inject gender politics into school sports.  It’s quite an overreach and an assault on families.  And it’s a top agenda item for the transgender lobby, which is pushing it hard. The idea is to allow students to play on either a boys or girls team, depending on their “gender identity,” not their biological sex which is rooted in physical reality.

Unfortunately, we live in an age in which we are compelled to point out the obvious because so many have become detached from physical reality, including folks who are just plain tired and wish to bury their head in the sand hoping it will all go away.  It won’t go away on its own.  We need to confront assaults on reality and common sense whenever they’re imposed on us.  Otherwise we end up in the Twilight Zone.  Down the rabbit hole.  And the world will just keep getting more surreal and less healthy for us and our children.

The MSHSL plans to vote on this policy on Thursday morning, December 4 at 9:30.  The place is the MSHSL Board Room at 2100 Freeway Blvd., Brooklyn Center, MN  You can get more details by clicking here.  If you are concerned about it and in the area, it’s definitely worth showing up, perhaps with a sign or placard to express opposition.

The other side — flush with cash and media support — has always depended on projecting a manufactured illusion of support, always way disproportionate to any actual level of public support.  Be prepared for that.

In my article, I list 12 reasons why the MSHSL is a terrible idea (for those who need to hear them):

  1. It’s totally anti-privacy.
  2. It drives children to consider physically unhealthy and drastic, irreversible options.
  3. It encourages children to reject their bodies and discourages children from accepting their bodies.
  4. It’s psychologically destabilizing.
  5. It attacks the child-parent relationship.
  6. It shows no respect for child development.
  7. It’s totally anti-Title IX.
  8. It promotes a double standard about rights and responsibilities.
  9. It contributes to destruction of any universal code of human dignity.
  10. It creates unprotected categories for bullying.
  11. Conscience protections are a lie.
  12. It assaults independent thought and enforces cult-like conformity.

 

Follow up about the Disruption of Speech at Catholic U

I hope each and every one of you reading this had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

This post is a follow up from my last post to let you know about my most recent Federalist article which I co-authored with Robert Oscar Lopez.   You can read a full account of our experience by clicking here.  (Just so you know:  in case the photo and headline strike you as a tad radioactive, we did not pick them!)  The Federalist piece goes into some detail about our speaking engagement at Catholic University being disrupted by protesters.  You can see them chanting in the clip below, as the room cleared out:

Here’s a brief synopsis of what Bobby and I had discussed:

Bobby spoke about the new Children’s Rights Movement.  It is building awareness of child trafficking, particularly through abuses by the growing industry of artificial reproductive technologies and exploitative and lucrative adoption industries.  Unfortunately, those lobbies are increasingly selling services that result in and depend upon the deliberate separation of children from their biological parents.  Social scientists have used various statistics to claim that it doesn’t matter for children if you separate them from their biological parents.  But it does matter to children, and it matters deeply. We know from millennia of history and literature and experience that children suffer a primal wound from such separation, even when their caretakers provide good homes.  They develop coping mechanisms, to be sure. But that doesn’t make it right.

So speaking up for the right of a child to know their origins is something those lobbies, as well as the LGBT lobby, wish to suppress. I followed Bobby’s talk with a presentation about how to speak out in a culture of fear.  “Political Correctness” is a euphemism for the silencing tactics of power elites who are pushing power-consolidating agendas.  It works by isolating and marginalizing anybody who might get in the way of those agendas, through smears and threats and psychological manipulation. I think it’s critical that each and every one of us build awareness of those tactics — as well as an understanding of our own human weaknesses — so that we can keep ourselves and our minds free.  Free speech is a use-it-or-lose-it proposition. If we don’t push back, we will lose it.  The protesters will lose their freedom as well, though, sadly, they don’t realize that.

Two major ironies here.  First, that Catholic University was under attack for being, well, Catholic.  Second, the protesters gave a live demonstration of my presentation.

On Sex Change Regret, Part III: Dr. Money vs. Dr. McHugh

You may have come here from Drudge Report today, which linked to my Federalist article Trouble in Transtopia.  So this seems like a good time to post again.  This time, a few words about physicians.

John Money (1921-2006) is perhaps the doctor most responsible for promoting the idea of surgical sex changes.  He was widely known as a pioneering sexologist, and was responsible for founding of the gender identity clinic at Johns Hopkins University.  Below is a documentary of Money’s most famous case today, the tragedy of David Reimer.

Money was so passionate about his gender identity theory, that he jumped at the chance to put it into practice on a baby.  David Reimer (born Bruce, 1965-2002) was an identical twin whose penis was destroyed by a botched circumcision.  Money convinced David’s parents to raise him as a girl.  It didn’t work and the story is thoroughly tragic.  Biology trumped the social experiment, as biology always does in the end.  Dr. Money had kept pushing for surgery to construct a vagina, but David (“Brenda”) resisted, and his parents decided to stop seeing Dr. Money.  They soon after told him he was a boy.  At that point, by the time he was 14, David then dropped all of the charades Money foisted upon him.  But before he was 40, he committed suicide.  You can read David’s story in John Colapinto’s 2001 book As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who was Raised as a Girl.

There are physicians who are skeptical of such blind passion for gender reassignment surgery, though you wouldn’t know it as you watch the transgender project go into media hyperdrive these days.  One of the skeptics is Dr. Paul McHugh, the psychiatrist responsible for shutting down the gender identity clinic at Johns Hopkins in 1979.

McHugh wrote about his experiences at Johns Hopkins in a 2004 First Things article entitled “Sexual Surgery,” and then recently reiterated his arguments in an op-ed this past summer in the Wall Street Journal. If you’re interested in this topic, it’s worth checking those links.  Here’s an excerpt:

We at Johns Hopkins University—which in the 1960s was the first American medical center to venture into “sex-reassignment surgery”—launched a study in the 1970s comparing the outcomes of transgendered people who had the surgery with the outcomes of those who did not. Most of the surgically treated patients described themselves as “satisfied” by the results, but their subsequent psycho-social adjustments were no better than those who didn’t have the surgery. And so at Hopkins we stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery, since producing a “satisfied” but still troubled patient seemed an inadequate reason for surgically amputating normal organs.

In Britain, Az Hakeem was almost as concerned as McHugh, writing in a 2007 article entitled “Trans-sexuality: A Case of the Emperor’s New Clothes,” that transgenderism was a “delusional disorder.”  Having come under extraordinary pressure from trans advocates, Hakeem has pretty much recanted that view since then. Nevertheless, he apparently still runs a psychotherapy program in a clinic that allows those who are pondering surgery to speak in a group setting with post-operative patients who express regret about their decisions.  In this way, he hopes to make sure that anyone considering surgery has a chance to talk it through as much as possible before making irreversible life-altering decisions to refashion or remove healthy body parts. In reading Hakeem’s website, particularly the FAQs, it’s clear that he is hyper-sensitive to the concerns of transgender activists who have in the past called him “transphobic.”

Since the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association both seem to work in lockstep with the transgender lobby today, they will likely continue to place increasing pressure to silence and discredit any psychiatrist who questions surgical sex, as does Paul McHugh.  If they have their way, you’ll likely see the story of David Reimer get suppressed and then see social experimenter John Money get resurrected as some kind of a hero.  In the meantime, more psychiatrists like Az Hakeem will be nudged and pressured to get with the trans program.

 

On Sex Change Regret: Part II

Consider the case of Matthew Attonley in the clip below.  There was a lot of media hype in Britain about his “transition to female” but now he wants the National Health Service there to reverse it.  You can also click here for a link to the story in a British paper.

I don’t think “gender identity dysphoria” is being effectively treated at all.  (Did I hear that right from this confused young man when he recalls how he felt the need to “get [his] boobs”?) No, surgery and hormones don’t “treat” this condition. The condition is being cultivated.  The media and Hollywood are cultivating it and seem blithely unconcerned about any of the underlying psychological reasons for it.  Individuals who are being hyped as examples — increasingly children — are being used as guinea pigs in a social experiment in which we are all, in fact, subjects.

Let’s think this through.  Transgender law requires that we all accept the false premise that our sex was “assigned” to us at birth.  Not identified, but “assigned.” In other words, your biological maleness or femaleness is not real.  According to this scheme, your physical sex is simply in your head.   When what’s in your head doesn’t “match” your genitalia, that’s called gender identity dysphoria.  When it “matches,” well there’s a fairly new and highly weaponized word for that:  “cisgender” which simply means you accept your body as is and don’t perseverate about your biological sex. In the trans scheme of things being “cisgender” means you are “privileged.”  Hence, the laws about everybody’s sexual identity (through the catchphrase “assigned at birth”) must be changed for the sake of “equality.”

If this is written into law across the board — and it already has been in many states and municipalities — we will eventually have no choice but to discard our sex as a legal distinction of who we are. Each and every one of us.  The implications are vast for legal recognition of motherhood, fatherhood, childhood, families, and, in fact, all human relationships.

The gender dysphoria craze illustrates the depths of dysfunction that our society has fallen into.

To begin with, it’s a grand fallacy to try to get the world to go along with an internal perception of who you think you are when that perception conflicts so directly with physical reality.  But the main fault lies with a tiny elite who are intent on enforcing the notion that human biology is meaningless, and that sex differences ought to be erased.  The snake oil of gender identity is the vehicle by which our biological differences are written out of law.  In that way mothers and fathers are written out of law, as is the family.  This does great violence to children.

And, in the meantime, it does great violence to those who bought the snake oil, used it, and then woke up to find themselves physically and psychologically mutilated.  As did Alan Finch. 

Alan Finch  decided to transition from male to female during his 20’s, a resident of Australia.  At 36, Finch told the Guardian newspaper in a 2004 interview:

“transsexualism was invented by psychiatrists . . . You fundamentally can’t change sex . . . the surgery doesn’t alter you genetically.  It’s genital mutilation.  My ‘vagina’ was just the bag of my scrotum.  It’s like a pouch, like a kangaroo.  What’s scary is you still feel like you have a penis when you’re sexually aroused.  It’s like phantom limb syndrome.  It’s all been a terrible misadventure.   I’ve never been a woman, just Alan . . . the analogy I use about giving surgery to someone desperate to change sex is it’s a bit like offering liposuction to an anorexic.”

Alan went on to sue the Australian gender identity clinic, at Melbourne’s Monash Medical Center, for misdiagnosis.  The reaction from the transgender community was fast and furious and abusive, particularly in the Susans.org discussion forum.

Next time, I’ll provide a couple of links on what some physicians have to say.

Potential book reviews; Singles Article in Federalist

Okay, I’m scrambling again to keep up with this blog.  When I travel, I generally get behind in stuff.  But I  do plan to do a couple of new things in the future.  One is to keep a booklist.  I’ll try to keep the “reviews” short.  I recently read Sheila Jeffrey’s book Gender Hurts.  It’s a fascinating radical feminist take on the whole gender identity thing.  I find myself agreeing with a lot of it, but parting ways with her on certain predictable points.  But there’s definitely a lot of overlap in terms of understanding where the whole gender thing is headed.  More on that later.  All of the books I’d like to introduce deal in some way or another with how we try to make sense of relationships and how we deal with the effects of social isolation.

I have another essay up on the Federalist (submitted quite a while back but just published the other day, so please excuse if it seems a bit stale) which was an extended response to Bella DePaulo’s criticism of my take on the whole idea of “Singles’ Rights.”  I also published a somewhat lengthy blog post on that a couple of weeks ago.  She believes in abolishing civil marriage because she says it discriminates against single people.  I believe that abolishing marriage is tantamount to abolishing all hope for a civil society.  And the effects of that would be disastrous for everybody. Once the state doesn’t have to recognize marriage, each and every citizen becomes isolated and atomized in the eyes of the state.  Family autonomy and privacy dissolve in this scheme.   This is not a good thing.   You can read the article here:  “Why Singles Rights and Same Sex Marriage Will Abolish All Marriage.”  Oh, my goodness.  I just now noticed that that article of mine has 593 comments.  Yikes, that’s a lot!   Well, I’ll deal with that later.  I generally can’t get too caught up in conments — and as you can tell, I don’t use them on my own blog.  But I will definitely have to scan those soon — there are so many — and maybe even write up a post about them.  Usually when there’s that many, though, it means a few people are arguing back and forth amongst themselves. (Of course I do expect to take some hits.)

I’ll find another way to post more often.  Some book review posts.  More posts on the issue of social conformity and the effects of PC/propaganda.  Loneliness and alienation is another important topic for these times.  And whatever else comes my way. Thanks for reading!

 

Human Dignity, Human Life, and The Human Life Review

60%cropped hyde&teresa (1) (1)
http://humanlifereview.com/wp-content/uploads/images/M_images/60cropped_hydeteresa.jpg

Congressman Henry Hyde shares an issue of the Human Life Review with Mother Teresa

Forty years ago, aghast at the Roe Vs. Wade decision, James Patrick McFadden founded a journal called The Human Life Review.  It’s a dynamic publication with writers from a wide array of backgrounds:  physicians, lawyers, stay-at-home moms, philosophers, journalists, academics, retirees, and many others from all walks of life.  Today Jim McFadden’s daughter, Maria McFadden Maffucci is editor.  Click here to read my interview with her, published today at The Federalist. 

You’ve probably all noticed how abortion is becoming increasingly celebrated by forces in the culture who are so invested in it.  Planned Parenthood is pushing a campaign for women to put their “abortion stories” in a happy light.  The New York Times Magazine recently ran a story about abortion “doulas” or hand-holders for women getting abortions, basically to serve as accomplices for the procedure.  (After that, of course, they’re out of the picture. The post-abortion women often turn to pro-life folks to help them heal emotionally and spiritually from the trauma.)  There was a summer box office flop called “Obvious Child” that attempted to be a comedy that featured the abortion of the main character.   Lately, there’s been no shortage of in-your-face “abortion is good” propaganda.  The intent is for women to ingest it, buy it, and live with it so that Planned Parenthood can go about it’s multi-billion dollar abortion industry.

The above are just a very few items discussed in my interview with Maria.  The Human Life Review deals with all issues related to human life and dignity, including assisted suicide, euthanasia, and eugenics. And the dark truth is that we are headed towards a future in which eugenics is more blatantly promoted and practiced.  Here’s just one small excerpt that gives you an idea of how Jim McFadden expected it all to play out.  As Obamacare pushes a culture of death on us all, we can see how Jim McFadden was prescient indeed:

Stella: Is there any particular human life issue that you see as the biggest threat facing human dignity in the coming years?

Maria: I would just say the biggest threat is what’s happening at end of life or with sudden disabling and not having life support offered. Obamacare and incentives for saving money are reaching a boiling point. How are you going to feel safe? My father was prescient about that, that a doctor would become either a “quality of life” doctor or a “sanctity-of-life” doctor. And there are going to be fewer and fewer sanctity-of-life doctors. If you are a sanctity-of-life doctor, who is going to back you up, hospital-wise, medicine-wise, insurance-wise?

Please take a look at the interview.  And also check out The Human Life Review online by clicking here.  You may want to consider subscribing because there’s no other publication like it.  As a subscriber for over 25 years I can personally assure you of that.  You can follow Human Life Review on Twitter too!

 

 

 

 

“Singles’ Rights” Goal of Abolishing Marriage Would Impose Legal Isolation on Everyone

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d0/Thoma_Loneliness.jpg

Hans Thoma. Loneliness (1880)   To impose legal separation on all of us would only cultivate loneliness.

Last week a singles’ rights activist wrote up what she claimed was a critique of my recent Federalist article called Welcome to Selfie Nation.  My piece was an exploration of various social trends, particularly some recent attempts to cultivate hostility towards married people for being “privileged.”

Most significantly, Bella DePaulo, author of the book Singlism and a blogger for Psychology Today essentially confirmed in her response what I’ve been saying for quite some time:  that same sex marriage isn’t really about marriage, but is being used as a vehicle to abolish marriage.  A coterie of singles’ rights advocates are arguing that state recognition of marriage discriminates against singles.  And they hope to use the precedent of same sex marriage to abolish marriage.

But DePaulo never addressed my most basic points:

1.  That the decline of marriage “plays right into the hands of central planners who have always been keen on getting rid of marriage altogether.”

2.  That putting every human being in legal isolation — which is exactly what abolishing civil marriage would do – can only diminish freedom of association for every child, woman, and man.  Once the state no longer recognizes your spouse or child or parent or siblings, etc. except at its pleasure, your personal relationships will inevitably come under greater regulation and bureaucratic control.

Rather than confront these concerns, DePaulo pulled out of thin air the bemusing nonsense that I am “afraid of single people.”  She also claimed I place blame on single people for “breaking down family bonds and community ties and contributing to a sense of alienation and division and distrust.”  Are you kidding me?

Who believes single people are even capable of doing such things?  Unless maybe you believe they’re some sort of monolithic force.  That idea — so untrue — would never occur to me.  Maybe it has more to do with DePaulo’s own outlook, but it sure isn’t mine.

I was talking about a shift in society that breeds isolation in people, reflected in the General Social Survey.  It’s a cycle driven by complex forces that we can’t pin on any one group of people.  Distrust breeds isolation.  Isolation breeds distrust.  Separation from intimate ties breeds distrust.   Distrust discourages the formation of intimate ties.

On Pious Baloney

A fun touch in DePaulo’s  post on my article is her (subconscious?) reference to a famous line by Newt Gingrich.  By which I mean she labels as “pious bologna” [sic] my connection of children with marriage. But I’ll raise DePaulo ten Newts on that.  Whether we grown-ups like it or not, the only legitimate reason for any state interest in marriage is that the state’s citizens come from a particular organic union that produces them.

Now the problem here for DePaulo and so many others, is that they have a perspective on children that insists on separating them from the people who sire and bear them.   Look, I get it. Indeed, a lot of unmarried people have kids and a lot of married people don’t.  And different family configurations abound.  And I understand that there are cases of dysfunction.  But that’s irrelevant to the point that state recognition of marriage can’t really exist for the benefit of adults.  It exists for the benefit of all the children in a society, whether or not their parents can or do get married, and whether or not married people have children, and no matter how many or how few children there are.

So it’s the union that produces citizens in which the state should be interested.  And it doesn’t matter whether that union takes place traditionally or in a petri dish or even at all.  I know that’s a hard thing for us grown-ups to wrap our heads around these days.  I do understand, believe me, that it doesn’t feel easy.  But it’s just one of those buried truths that have a way of outing themselves rather unpleasantly when ignored. You can take it or leave it, but it’s still true whether we like it or not.

If there are concerns about inequities, people of goodwill should find a way to address the inequities without endowing a centralized bureaucracy with the power to impose legal isolation on every single one of us, and particularly on children.

Families are the Roots of Community          

Below are a few claims DePaulo uses to support her belief that marriage should be abolished, and by logical extension, why she believes each and every person should be legally single:

  • Married people are “insular” and don’t contribute much to community
  • Married people don’t call their parents or siblings as often as singles do
  • Singles do more things “in the community” than marrieds do:  “They participate more in civil groups and public events, they take more art and music classes.”
  • Singles, not marrieds, keep cities lively and dynamic
  • Singles, she says, visit sick and infirm people more than married people in Britain do

DePaulo doesn’t cite sources on the above.  She’s suggesting, I guess, that singles are in some form, morally superior because, for example, they call Mom and Dad more than married people.  This is silliness.  Just arguing on her terms, I’d venture a guess that married couples are far more involved in community schools.  I don’t know how many members of legislatures and county councils and people who work for non-profits are married versus single.  But I’d be willing to bet it’s quite a majority of marrieds, even today.   And, no, married people are not morally superior for this participation.

Intimacy, not Separation, is What Breeds Trust

But I do find one of DePaulo’s observations of particular interest.  She writes that “getting married changes people in ways that make them more insular.”  I think what DePaulo perceives as “insular” is probably just a by-product of intimacy. Intimacy requires time and a certain degree of exclusivity and privacy in relationship. Committed relationships usually require intense work and a great degree of self-sacrifice that’s not going to be handily visible in the public sphere.  Nevertheless, that kind of interpersonal work with family members pays huge dividends for society because it tends to build empathy.

What this means, though, is that contributions to the community by marrieds – with or without children – are going to have deep roots and perhaps might not be as apparent to people like DePaulo who look to have everybody engaged on the surface, primarily in public places.   Not so much in private places which seem “insulated” from the larger community.  It seems that DePaulo doesn’t view the nurturing of one’s own children as something that counts in this scheme of things.  Nor perhaps would running a scout troop, or volunteering at your child’s school or with their sports teams, or through a church.  And certainly not the hard work of ironing out a committed relationship with or without children in the home.

If the only kinds of community activities that “count” in DePaulo’s eyes are at specific places identified as “community” – whether they be parks and recreation, theater groups, environmental groups, and so on – well, then, perhaps singles do those things more because that’s where the people are?  Or perhaps because practically every young adult today has “mandatory community service hours” to put in as requirement for high school graduation?   Regardless, DePaulo’s view speaks volumes about her stunted view of community and who contributes to it.

Abolishing Marriage Would Abolish Community 

I think we all understand in our gut that intimacy breeds trust.  Without trust – which has been declining over the past several decades – people become alienated and true community dies. You can have lots of people out there doing lots of activities, busy as bees at the hive.  But if there are no bonds of family intimacy which serve as the unseen ground water that irrigates the community – or what goes on unseen inside the hive of community by both marrieds and singles — then you don’t really have a community.  What you have left is a shell of a hive with the bees buzzing about outside of it.  Yes, you can see them better that way.  But without the hidden core – consisting of families, consisting of both marrieds and singles – each of us ultimately has no place to go.

Let’s abolish the Big Lie that abolishing civil marriage would “get the state out of the marriage business.”  It would do the exact opposite, which is why statists love the idea so much.  I leave you with this excerpt from my Federalist piece:

All of the machinery of this bait-and-switch operation is well in motion to abolish civil marriage, and with it family autonomy. So our national conversation on marriage ought to cut right to the chase. Ultimately, the real question is not about who can get married, but whether or not we may live in a society that recognizes marriage and family. Abolishing civil marriage is a dangerous proposition that imposes legal isolation on everybody, making us all strangers to one another in the eyes of the state.