Katy Faust, Raised in Same Sex Household, Speaks Truth in Love

Several adult children of same sex households are starting to speak up about the wounds children have when deliberately deprived of one of their parents, and why they oppose same sex marriage.  One such person is Katy Faust.  She’s an engaging, compassionate, brave, and loving voice for the rights of children to know their origins.   Listen to her speak in the clip below:

Katy’s open letter to Justice Anthony Kennedy which was published at The Public Discourse last month got nearly 300,000 shares on social media so far. You can follow Katy’s amazing blog, which goes by the tongue-in-cheek name www.askthebigot.com  In this clip Katy talks about how important it is — especially as Christians — to straddle a fence.  We should not cocoon ourselves, but must reach out in love to the other side while holding fast to the Truth.  This may be very difficult, but it is our calling.  After listening to Katy, I feel the need to strike a more conciliary tone in my writing.  I want to always hold fast to the truth, but I do need to delve more into understanding and conveying the pain people feel.  And the loneliness.  Our human condition so often motivates us to stray and get lost and end up feeling that only hate is coming from “the other side.”

Nevertheless, the mechanics of the same sex marriage campaign has been essentially political in nature.  It will reach a political apex in April’s Supreme Court hearings, which will determine if it is the law of the land.  In the past couple of years a few blue state legislatures legalized same sex marriage after hearing testimonies about how hurt people felt by the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.  Still, it was a close call.  In New York in 2011 Gov. Cuomo had to resort to late night back room deals and extend the session after official adjournment.  There was obviously a lot of arm twisting until he managed to get  the three votes he wanted.  A very similar thing happened in Maryland with Gov. O’Malley in 2012. He also worked overtime to get the three votes he wanted.  Then, after just a few legislatures passed the measures by the thinnest of margins, activist judges sprang into action to strike down laws in every state whose legislatures hadn’t passed same sex marriage.  And that’s where we are today.

Emotions have basically been the fuel of what looks to be window-of-opportunity politics.  Real societal change naturally occurs over time, as people absorb and think through the consequences of policies.  But when it moves at lightning speed like this, from the top down — along with speech codes that punish any dissent as “bigotry”  — that’s a clear indicator that you’re dealing with manufactured consent that has an expiration date.  It can be obtained only under extreme pressure.  Basically “marriage equality” has been a hard core propaganda campaign and a very hard and fast sell.   An excellent article that reflects on it all is “Gay Marriage: A Case Study in Conformism” by Brendan O’Neill in the British publication Spiked.  This goes way beyond gay marriage.  It seems that what we’re really dealing with here is the building of a closed society in which dissent will not be tolerated.  But, no matter what happens, I think Katy has the answer.

 

Bookcase: “Propaganda” by Edward Bernays

Cover of 2005 edition of Edward Bernays’ 1928 classic, “Propaganda.”

Propaganda is a little volume, written nearly 90 years ago by Edward Bernays, who happened to be the nephew of Sigmund Freud.  Both he and Walter Lippmann –who authored Public Opinion – wrote about the  “manufacture of consent.”  Or how to manipulate and control public opinion.

I have three observations to share today about this work:  1) Its general theme about manipulation of the “mass mind” is more important than ever; 2) Much of it is outdated because the mechanics of propaganda today have grown ever more toxic; 3)  It seems as though the folks most interested in manipulating the mass mind are the same people who control the study of propaganda in academia.  I see virtually no discussion in the public square about how propaganda works.

The general theme of Bernays’ book can be condensed in this assertion:

“We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way our democratic society is organized.  Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.”

So does this mean we all accept our ideas from these “men we have never heard of” for the common good, like obeying traffic laws?  Or does it mean we cooperate in building a mechanized society that attempts to squash civil inquiry in order to promote a monolithic agenda of central control?  Here’s another nugget from Bernays:

“We are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses.”

In totalitarian fashion, Bernays sees this as a good thing, that controlling people’s behavior is necessary to avoid chaos and confusion in society.

Bernays also stated that “Business today is taking the public into partnership.”  That may have seemed true in 1928, but it’s now outdated. I’d say it’s actually the other way around.  The government is absorbing and amassing corporations at breakneck speed today.

Whereas the propaganda of yesterday was more focused on the manufacture of consent, today the main efforts of propagandists seem to be the squashing of dissent in order to protect its monolithic machine.

Most eerie to me is that those who would promote independent thought do not seem to be in the forefront of the study of social psychology and propaganda methods.   Instead, the study of propaganda and communications seems to be controlled by folks in our universities who have an affinity for central planning.

For example, the author of the introduction to this 2005 edition of Propaganda is Mark Crispin Miller who seems cozy enough with politicians who seek to build a centrally-controlled society built on PC-controlled group think. In fact, the entire field of behavioral insight appears to be dominated by people who want to regulate our minds to the nth degree.  Many come out of the University of Chicago, including Cass Sunstein, Obama’s former regulatory czar, and co-author of Nudge. The extreme left linguist Noam Chomsky is another master of explaining propaganda and yet he is fine with the dictates of political correctness and seems intent on squashing independent thought in order to build a centralized state.  It doesn’t take much reading between his lines to see this.  This is exactly the sort of hoarding of information about self-awareness that Doris Lessing warned against, and which I discussed in a previous post.

I think the best antidote to living under a tyranny of extremist thinking is to cultivate truly independent thinking.  And independent thinking does not come about through adherence to political correctness. It happens through real relationships built on real trust with real people in real communities.

Acclaimed Author Doris Lessing: Our Future Depends on Resisting Groupthink

British author and Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing (1919-2013)

Doris Lessing died in 2013 at the age of 94, just a few years after winning the Nobel Prize for literature.  She identified as a communist for many years and was also known as an icon of modern feminism. But she came to firmly reject communism as well as the label “feminist.”  A New York Times article from 30 years ago describes how her politically correct followers became confused and annoyed by her exploration into different ideas and trains of thought.

What’s especially fascinating to me is how Lessing developed some keen insights into how humans behave in groups and how we handle dissent.  She could see the noxious effects of groupthink on human relationships.  It disturbed her so much that in 1985 she gave five lectures on the subject, which are contained in a little known volume entitled “Prisons we Choose to Live Inside” (1986).  

It’s a gem, especially given Lessing’s legacy and renown. Consider these two passages that pretty much sum up the mechanics of political correctness:

“ .. . we can stand in a room full of dear friends, knowing that nine-tenths of them, if the pack demands it, will become our enemies. .. . But there is always the minority who do not and it seems to me that our future, the future of everybody, depends on this minority.”

” . . .  whenever people are actually forced to recognize, from real experience, what we are capable of, it is so shocking that we can’t take it in easily. Or take it in at all; we want to forget it.”

Lessing also contemplates the effects of technology and how poorly we use it:

“I believe that people coming after us will marvel that on the one hand we accumulated more and more information about our behavior, while on the other, we made no attempt at all to use it to improve our lives.”

In fact, our blindness to the realities of our own patterns of human behavior will be our downfall.  If we could just take a clinical look at the mechanics of groupthink and how it hurts us, we’d all become freer and happier.

Lessing also ventured to say that she believed that critical knowledge of human behavior is actually being hoarded by elites in order to amass their own power, prompting her to ask this:

“How is it that so-called democratic movements don’t make a point of instructing their members in the laws of crowd psychology, group psychology?”

Today everyone would do well to read this handy 77-page volume.  You may not agree with every opinion Lessing includes in it (I didn’t) but her insights are absolutely essential if we are to remain a free society.  I’ll offer more quotes from Lessing’s work in future posts.  I absolutely love it.

 

Corruption of Language, Transgender Law, Paris Massacre & the Abolition of Man

C S Lewis, author of The Abolition of Man and truly a prophet of the 20th century

Corruption of the language seems to be surrounding us as never before.

On one front, we see how the transgender lobby is selling the snake oil of “gender identity.”  This insists that being female and male does not exist in physical reality, but only in our minds. So at root, it’s not really an agenda about gender per se or equality.  It’s an agenda to corrupt the language and every single person’s perception of reality.  You will see this become more prevalent if “Leelah’s Law” — a reaction to the recent suicide of a transgender youth — is pushed.  I hope to write more about it, but the idea is to ban any counseling for kids that doesn’t affirm transgenderism.  Under the guise that it only bans something called “conversion therapy.”

On another related front, we can see how the push to control language is causing mayhem globally.  After the massacre at the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, there is a new debate about the limits of free speech.  The magazine publishes a lot of content hostile to religion – all religions – but the killings were based only on its depictions of the prophet Mohammed.

At The Federalist Sean Davis reminds us How CS Lewis Predicted Charlie Hebdo Censorship:

Western news organizations are falling all over themselves to censor images that raise the ire of violent terrorists, and C.S. Lewis predicted their exact behavior over 70 years ago when he published “The Abolition of Man,” his treatise on how the corruption of language leads inevitably to the corruption of mind and soul.

When we allow language to be so manipulated that it distorts reality, that puts civilization itself on the path to suicide.

I love the way CJ Ciaramella leads his article, also at the Federalist: “Everything you Need to Know about Voxsplaining the Charlie Hebdo Massacre:”

Sometime in the Paleolithic past, one guy said to his friends, “Hey, have you ever noticed how small Steve the Chief’s brow is? Look at me, I’m Steve No-Brow.” Everyone laughed, then Steve the Chief caved the guy’s head in with a rock. Human affairs with regards to unauthorized satire remained the same for the next 100,000 years or so, with the only difference being who was holding the biggest rock.

So how do you balance free speech with irresponsible speech?  The answer lies in something we call “Civil Society.” It subsists upon a common uncorrupted language and agreement to allow the free exchange of ideas.  Unfortunately, civil society is ceding authority to the corruption of  language enforced by political correctness.  If civil society is ever to be rebuilt, PC must be resisted and always fought.

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.

Stepford Students Campaign against Free Minds at Catholic University

Professor Robert Lopez and I dealt with a bunch of spoiled kids representing the LGBT lobby when they crashed our event at Catholic University the other night.  They didn’t want us presenting topics of interest to the Anscombe Society there:  Lopez on the rights of children and I on political correctness. During Q and A things got loud and aggressive and very disruptive.  The shills came out of their seats and did their thing: juvenile chanting and flag waving, intended to shut us up.  This turned out to be an unwitting performance of Stella’s talk about the coercive tactics of political correctness.

I’ll write more about it all, but I’d like to refer you to an article today about the phenomenon.  Please look it up by clicking here: http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9376232/free-speech-is-so-last-century-todays-students-want-the-right-to-be-comfortable/

I say it’s way past time that we call out mindless Stepford students on their disruptive habits.  I’ll explore more on this in the days ahead.

 

A Fascinating Read: “Gay Marriage: A Case Study in Conformism”

Gay Marriage: A Case Study in Conformism” is an amazing article by Brendan O’Neill in the British online magazine Spiked.  It was published over a year ago, but its content is timeless.  I haven’t yet figured out what to make of O’Neill since he seems to have connected himself with the label of Marxism. Perhaps its a “brand” that would draw some unlikely folks in to consider and accept what he writes. Provides some cognitive dissonance, perhaps. I don’t know.  But Marxism is a philosophy so conducive to terror and conformity that I personally don’t think O’Neill should mess with it if he believes what he writes.  “Broadly libertarian” is a more suitable description.  In any event,  “Gay Marriage:  A Case Study in Conformism” is truly worth reading.  It’s passionate and compelling and contains so much truth about the squashing of independent thought. The subtitle reads as follows:

“Anyone who values diversity of thought and tolerance of dissent should find the sweeping consensus on gay marriage terrifying.”

Indeed, whenever there is a “seismic shift” in public opinion, particularly about a deeply embedded tradition such as marriage, our antennae should go up.   This is even truer when an agenda is pushed and engineered primarily by an elite that has a virtual monopoly on most outlets of communication — the media, Hollywood, academia.  The clincher in identifying a fake, manufactured opinion cascade is to look at the treatment of those who are opposed to the agenda.  To what extent are they allowed to speak freely?  During the period of “debate” have they been allowed to speak without being ostracized or fear losing their livelihood?  Are dissenters allowed to express an opinion without being routinely and summarily smeared and cast out of society?  If the answer to these questions is no, then you certainly have a mass scale push for tyranny on your hands.  All along, the agenda was just a front for a power grab.

Below are two excerpts from O’Neill’s essay, which you can read in full by clicking the link above:

In truth, the extraordinary rise of gay marriage speaks, not to a new spirit of liberty or equality on a par with the civil-rights movements of the 1960s, but rather to the political and moral conformism of our age; to the weirdly judgmental non-judgmentalism of our PC times; to the way in which, in an uncritical era such as ours, ideas can become dogma with alarming ease and speed; to the difficulty of speaking one’s mind or sticking with one’s beliefs at a time when doubt and disagreement are pathologised. Gay marriage brilliantly shows how political narratives are forged these days, and how people are made to accept them. This is a campaign that is elitist in nature, in the sense that, in direct contrast to those civil-rights agitators of old, it came from the top of society down; and it is a campaign which is extremely unforgiving of dissent or disagreement, implicitly, softly demanding acquiescence to its agenda.

With gay marriage turned into ‘a kind of common sense’, opposing it became more difficult, potentially even threatening one’s social and moral standing. The ‘common sense’ of gay marriage has been turned into something like a dogma of gay marriage, in a very subtle way. So the very act of debating gay marriage has been implicitly demonised, since in the words of one observer, ‘The fact that there is a debate over whether to deny a group of people their civil rights is unacceptable’. Here, through further linking gay marriage to the old civil-rights movement, even discussion itself can be branded ‘unacceptable’.

My Presentation on Political Correctness

Below in SlideShare  format, you’ll find the first section of a multimedia Power Point that I’ve presented in various forms to different groups of people.  I’ve been trying to raise awareness about what exactly happens inside each of us when we succumb to political correctness.  How are we manipulated?  Why? By whom?  And what can we do about it?

As you go through the slides, you won’t have my running commentary.  But the basic idea is that political correctness is not just the hard sell of an agenda.  It’s a deceptive and highly manipulative method of coercive persuasion. It forces compliance by exploiting the universal human fear of being cast out of society.   But this compliance — usually through self-censorship — actually isolates us even more.  It’s important for us to recognize that we only dig ourselves in deeper when we cave in to it, because we cut ourselves off from like-minded people and only build an illusion that we are all alone in our beliefs. That, of course, is the main purpose of political correctness: to get us to paint ourselves into a corner and isolate ourselves from others. So the big question is how best to speak out and reach out.

Also, here’s the Steve Martin clip from Slide 9 (which doesn’t seem to run in the slideshare):


We often hear the words “group think” and “peer pressure”tossed about.  But it’s really important to go deeper into the meaning of those terms.  We begin by taking a hard, clinical look at what exactly happens to us as human beings when we are subjected to this method of coercive persuasion.  The term “emotional blackmail” sums it up well.

 

Was Enforced Silence the ACLU’s Agenda all along?

After reading Charlotte Allen’s blog on “The Left’s War on Free Speech,” it’s difficult to conclude that the so-called progressives at the American Civil Liberties Union were ever much dedicated to free speech.   More likely, they’ve been committed to squashing it.   And now it seems the time is ripe for them to do so.  Allen quotes several advocates for curbing the right to think out loud.  In part, she writes:

The watchword was that of one of the Supreme Court’s most liberal justices, Louis Brandeis (1856-1941), who wrote: “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the process of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”

Now for many progressives, it seems, the remedy is…enforced silence.-  

Now for many progressives, it seems, the remedy is …enforced silence. Here is author William D. Cohan, writing in the Huffington Post to wonder “if there should be limits to saying or writing whatever you please in online forums that can sully someone’s reputation with impunity and impair his or her ability to make a living.”

This sort of thing should make us all shudder.  Allen continues:

Cohan’s Huffington Post piece is titled “How Much Free Speech Is Too Much?” His answer:

 “What’s clear is that we’re are at a crucial moment where the ability of technology to permit instant, unvetted and unfiltered commentary is running head-first into the justified concerns of those whose reputations can be torn asunder unfairly by it. It’s a conundrum for sure and one that needs some serious sorting out.”

He’s not the only liberal to complain that America’s 1st Amendment allows just plain too much free speech.

Cohan echoes the voice of tyranny  quoted in The Singing Revolution: “Whenever you give free speech to people, then things get out of hand.”

In fact, free speech is a use it or lose it proposition. Keep talking!

 

 

 

“The Doctor-Patient Relationship IS the Practice of Medicine”

I was so pleased when a friend sent my way  this Wall Street Journal op-ed written by a physician who spells it out:   Obamacare is essentially all about meddling in the doctor-patient relationship.

Here are some excerpts from the fantastic essay by Daniel F. Craviotto, Jr., an orthopedic surgeon from Santa Barbara, California:

“In my 23 years as a practicing physician, I’ve learned that the only thing that matters is the doctor-patient relationship. How we interact and treat our patients is the practice of medicine. . . . So when do we say damn the mandates and requirements from bureaucrats who are not in the healing profession? When do we stand up and say we are not going to take it any more?

I don’t know about other physicians but I am tired—tired of the mandates, tired of outside interference, tired of anything that unnecessarily interferes with the way I practice medicine. No other profession would put up with this kind of scrutiny and coercion from outside forces. The legal profession would not. The labor unions would not. We as physicians continue to plod along and take care of our patients while those on the outside continue to intrude and interfere with the practice of medicine.

We could change the paradigm. . . . “

Thank you and Bravo Dr. Craviotto!

The doctor-patient relationship is just one of many personal relationships under attack today by power elites.  All big government programs aim to meddle in personal relationships.  They have the teacher-student relationship in their crosshairs, the parent-child relationship, the merchant-customer relationship, the neighbor-to-neighbor relationship.  Every personal relationship you experience.  That’s what dictators from time immemorial have sought to control.  That’s why they silence you through the dictates of “political correctness” which is just another word for coercive persuasion.

By meddling in relationships the cliques that run the bureaucracies usurp our personal power and freedom in order to bloat themselves.  In the meantime, they demand we support their habit of getting drunk on power.

All of us need to change the paradigm.  We need to “stand up and say we are not going to take it anymore,” as Dr. Craviotto urges his fellow physicians.  This means not allowing political thugs and bureaucrats to meddle and interfere with our personal relationships — our relationships with our families, our neighbors, our co-workers, our classmates, our doctors, or anyone else in our personal lives.

Freedom of association is  under attack as never before.  Preserving it is probably the first — and last — line of defense for all of our other freedoms.