Thursday, 6/26/14

  1. Spectator Sports and Pornography
  2. Explicit consent?
  3. Ted Cruz sleeps with The Enemy
  4. Chastity Connoisseurs
  5. Isolated in a religious homeland
  6. My lonely Wednesday
  7. My historical comeuppance


Spectator sports and pornography share these characteristics: 1) They both involve watching other people having a good time; 2) They both involve different people doing the same things over and over again. I could go on, but this is a family page.

David Goldman via David Mills, provoked especially by the World Cup.


Harvey Mansfield “blames feminism for insisting on a culture of sexual adventure that never results in misadventure,” according to the Arts & Letters Daily summary, but at the risk of being mistaken for some hysterical caricature of George Will, I note that the California legislature is heeding their insistence:

Cathy Young has an excellent column in about a bill in California that would require universities in that state to use an “affirmative consent” standard for evaluating sexual assault complaints in the campus disciplinary system for complaints involving students … [I]t’s not a good idea, and it’s a product of the current moral panic over the hookup culture.

By contrast, the Office on Violence against Women, a U.S. Justice Department subsidiary, informs us on its home page that “sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the *explicit consent* of the recipient.”

(David Bernstein, YOU are a rapist; yes YOU!)

I have no use for hookup culture, or for the cads and cadettes who go to college for a five-year drunken orgy, but to bear the stigma of “rapist” for a consensual encounter that doesn’t start with “Wanna f**k?” and a corresponding “Sure!” is a bit much.

Read Bernstein’s whole piece. I’ve only scratched the surface. For his trouble, by the way, Prof. Bernstein got his own coating of the George Will smear.


Jeffrey Toobin at the New Yorker has an extended hatchet-job on Ted Cruz, perhaps the biggest zinger in which is that substantively, he’s Sarah Palin. Toobin wants, I guess, to be one of the early attackers of Cruz, who he thinks a fairly likely contender for the GOP nomination in 2016. I won’t claim to have read it through; I lack sufficient faith in politics to warrant that. But I did clip it just in case.

The Sarah Palin zinger may work for Toobin’s target audience, but that Cruz’s wife is a Vice President of Goldman Sachs is what gives me the willies.


I’ve written about chastity and about how it differs from abstinence. I don’t know if that’s supposed to make me a Chastity Connoisseur, and reading a column at Ethika Politika by the guy who coined that term doesn’t help me much because I find his writing well-nigh impenetrable.

That’s been my experience of Ethika Politika thus far: when it’s good, it’s moderately good to well above average; when it’s bad, it’s really, really bad to the point of unintelligibility.

I suspect my blog’s about the same, but with one big difference: I don’t have my hand out.


South African Orthodox blogger Khanya laments the decline of the personal blog:

The Mail & Guardian invited some active bloggers to blog in their Thought Leader section. That, it seemed to me, was a betrayal of the spirit of blogging. It was bloggers allowing themselves to be coopted by the mainstream media. Something similar happened with Patheos, which was a kind of vacuum-cleaner site that sucked in several Christian blogs that I used to read. I rarely read them now, because of my aversion to the very concept of Patheos. It describes itself as “hosting the conversation on faith”, which seems to confuse means and ends, as if “faith” were something separate from life itself. Faith is surely a conversation about life, and not an end in itself. Hosting a conversation on faith seems to be removing religion from the publicx (sic) square, and isolating it in a kind of religious homeland.

“Isolated in a religious homeland” is a nice, distinctively South African way of describing the equivalent of America’s “naked public square” construal of the establishment clause.


So there I was. To the left of me, a federal judge, striking down my state’s marriage law (I refuse the sloppy cant of “ban on same-sex marriage”) in an addled opinion affecting clairvoyance:

the fundamental right to marry shall not be deprived to some individuals based solely on the person they choose to love. In time, Americans will look at the marriage of couples such as Plaintiffs, and refer to it simply as a marriage – not a samesex marriage

(The fundamental right to what? Define, please. Oh: the fundamental right to overturn the historic meaning of the most basic institution of society. “Choose to love”? Are we back to sovereign choice again instead of “born this way”?) Oh well, Judge Young knows that all the cool judges are striking down marriage laws. Probably sporting tattoos under those robes, too. To the right of me, crackpot echoes from my Evangelical past:

One contemporary evangelical pastor who usefully encapsulates this type of teaching is Jim Wilson from Moscow Idaho, the father of the popular writer and speaker Douglas Wilson. In Wilson’s blog post ‘Try to Obey’, he rebukes another Christian for writing about his struggles “trying” to obey.  Wilson responds:

“Listen carefully even if you have to read this several times. The key sentence in your letter is, ‘I have really tried most everything.’ The key word in the sentence is ‘tried’. That is the reason for your continued defeat. Try is a dirty, un-Christian word. It is a practice taught by the devil. It is a lie of the enemy. A person who tries is trusting himself. That is the wrong person to trust. It is impossible to trust God and try at the same time. In order to trust God we have to quit trying.” (emphasis his)

It felt kind of lonely Wednesday. And I couldn’t even get out and bike as rain was always imminent. Oh well, there’s always “Blessed are you when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and utter all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.”

Irrational “homophobe.” “Devil’s disciple.” I must be doing something right.


Gosh, I thought the notion of same-sex marriage was a recent innovation. I presume that radical ideas that sprung up only recently are wrong, and nothing goes much deeper into the roots than the family. Novelties bear a heavy burden with me to prove that they’re in accord with deep reality.

But a book reviewer at the Wall Street Journal, wanting to steal a little valor from Ted Olson and David Boies and to pour justified scorn on a second credulous and sloppy author, points out that it goes all the way back to 1970!

So I guess I’ll have to rethink the whole SSM thingy now now that I know the ancients entertained it.

* * * * *

“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.

One thought on “Thursday, 6/26/14

  1. I find your blog to be never unintelligible and rarely boring. I find Ethika Politika to be rarely unintelligible and usually boring. Just my non-inflation-adjusted 2¢.

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