Thursday, 4/28/16

  1. The definitive Tipsy
  2. The discrimination racket
  3. The unstoppable force of self-esteem
  4. My Libertarian temptation

1

I recently made the mistake of making a comment to a video at the Atlantic website. It was on a controversial topic, of course: the tension between LGBT demands and religious freedom. Why else step out in public?

It ended, all too predictably, with half of a gay couple ignoring my points and aiming scatological insults at me. One came in as I wrote this, though I’ve stopped responding.

Sometimes I think I should just search my own archives and embed a link to appropriate articles if I venture into comments on websites. I’ve written three pretty serviceable, even-handed pieces that I remain proud of:

  1. Let’s call the first “Two Guys Walk into a Bakery,” though that’s not the original title.
  2. The second, Craftsmanship, Worldview & Coercion, most fully summarizes my convictions on the prototypical cases of LGBT demands vs. Religious Freedom — “bakers, photographers, florists, et al., who won’t make gay-themed materials” — which are equally cases of LGBT demands vs. Freedom from Compelled Expressive Activity (“Free Speech,” legally).
  3. The third, Band-Aids for Boo-Boos delves into the human condition, and the Church’s work as a “hospital” for the soul, with the departure point of purported cures for homosexuality. It’s likely to please neither gays (“we’re not sinners”) nor stereotypical fundamentalists (“God will turn sodomites into fully functional he-men”), but I believe it deeply.

Better yet: a black letter rule for myself not to enter unmoderated commentary sites.

2

Am I the only person seeing a pattern here? Go find a business that doesn’t believe in gay weddings, tell them you want them to bake you a cake/supply you with flowers or host your ceremony and when they say no, then sue them out of existence? A lot of monetary judgments haven’t come down yet because the cases haven’t been resolved, but there’s obviously gold in them hills.

(Julia Duin, Gay grooms and a Colorado baker: Why don’t reporters ask about motives anymore?) The Supreme Court needs to take a case and stop the administrative and lower-court lawlessness as soon as possible.

3

“Labiaplasties” are surging in demand among girls under 18, despite the warnings of doctors against the procedures. What could be driving this demand for perfectly engineered nether-regions? Here’s how Rabin’s piece answers:

These girls have come of age at a time when they can go online and look up images of the vulva, doctors say. But the images are often air-brushed and do not portray the range of normal variation in shape, color, size and asymmetry, experts say.

“I think the most important thing to understand is that there’s huge variety in anatomy,” said Dr. Veronica Gomez-Lobo, the director of Pediatric and Adolescent Ob/Gyn at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and the president of the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. She often recommends young women look at unretouched photographs of vulvas, like those in the book “Petals” by Nick Karras.

This is an Olympic-quality hurdle. The “air-brushed” pictures mentioned in the second sentence are, obviously, not those of anatomy textbooks or health literature. It doesn’t take powerful deduction skills to realize that what’s being discussed here is pornography. So why is there a herculean effort to avoid mentioning it?

Perhaps Rabin or her editors were afraid that the word “pornography” would unnecessarily stigmatize or shame the girls seeking these dangerous procedures. That would be an understandable concern. But it’s also a deceitful one, and it gets to the heart of the divided mind that progressives display about a pornified culture. The motivations for labial surgery are easy to condemn because they violate our culture’s values of wellness and “body-positive” imagery. But the thing that shapes those motivations—pornography—is so morally ambiguous it ought not be mentioned at all. The unstoppable force of self-esteem has met the immovable object of sexual autonomy.

(Samuel D. James, See No Evil, on how progressives can’t bring themselves condemn pornography.) Girls under 18. Wanting to make their external genitalia prettier.

4

With the GOP increasingly withering when it’s corporate owners start singing gay protest songs, I’m likelier and likelier to vote Libertarian in the General Election unless the feckless GOP can engineer a miraculous surprise at a brokered Convention.

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.