Despite the leftward tilt in Tuesday’s election, voters in three large states — California, Arizona, and Florida — passed propositions defining marriage as heterosexual only. There are several reasons why these propositions passed, but one stands out as worthy of mention, at least regarding the California vote.
The pro-amendment forces were running a devastating ad showing a self-satisfied San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom shouting wild-eyed at a rally that same-sex marriage was inevitable “whether you like it or not.” The announcer then said darkly, “It’s no longer about tolerance. Acceptance of gay marriage is now mandatory.” Many fence sitters were turned off by Newsom’s arrogance.
It’s not just Newsom’s arrogance. The whole gay rights movement is increasingly dominated by shrill activists whose in-your-face tactics turn off straight people. Their behavior confirms the fears of many, that the gay rights issue is not about simple tolerance; it’s about defiance — brash, arrogant, fist-shaking, you’d-better-accept-this-or-else defiance. Normal people will react negatively to that kind of pushiness every time, regardless of the merits of the cause.
Groundbreaking research suggests that pregnancy rates are much higher among teens who watch a lot of TV with sexual dialogue and behavior than among those who have tamer viewing tastes. . . . Previous research by some of the same scientists had already found that watching lots of sex on TV can influence teens to have sex at earlier ages.
So popular culture influences impressionable young minds. Who would have known?
No doubt you have heard by now of John Edwards’ confession about his affair with a younger woman two years ago. There are still some unanswered questions about this whole matter (such as, if the affair was dealt with two years ago, why was he caught in the same hotel with this woman just last month?). Whatever.
But buried in the details of his statement today was this revealing comment:
In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic.
Egocentric and narcissistic? A lot of people have had that opinion of John Edwards for years — there was certainly plenty of evidence — but their concerns were brushed aside as irrelevant and not representative of the real measure of the man. It turns out they were right all along.
This just reinforces the age-old lesson our grandmothers taught us long ago: humility can’t be faked. And most honest people can spot a phony.
No doubt you have heard by now of the reported pact made by 17 high school girls in Gloucester, MA, to get pregnant. The story apparently got twisted somewhat in the telling (it was a pact to support each other, made after the fact). Whatever the details, it became a national headline.
Kathleen Parker asks the key question in this story: Where are the fathers? No, not the young studs who proved their manhood by deflowering the fair maidens. Rather, where were the fathers of the girls?
It is a fair guess, though not possible to confirm at this point, that at least some of Gloucester’s pregnant daughters are from fatherless homes.
That guess is founded on sound social science indicating a strong correlation between father absence and a high risk for early sex and unwed pregnancy. Not only do fathers provide the masculine affection so many girls seek elsewhere, but they teach their daughters how to handle male sexual aggression, as well as to understand their own role in stimulating that aggression.
Contrary to the claims of feminists, fathers play a crucial role in the healthy emotional development of their daughters. So why isn’t our society doing more to encourage fathers, rather than denigrate them?
In the fallout over the Elliot Spitzer sex scandal, we are treated to more sniveling about the prudishness of our hang-ups over sex. “It’s just sex between consenting adults,” we are told, “so what’s the big deal?”
Ross Douthat makes an interesting observation on that line of reasoning:
Given the premises of the pro-prostitution worldview, what’s so abusive and damaging about incest and molestation in the first place? If there’s no moral distinction between giving a handjob in exchange for twenty dollars and getting paid twenty bucks to wash dishes or mow lawns, then why is there a moral distinction between a father who teaches his daughter how to pound nails and one who teaches his daughter to do something more intimate and (to go all wisdom-of-repugnance on you) disgusting? I understand that the kids involved aren’t “consenting adults,” but if selling sex is just like selling labor, and adults force kids to perform all kinds of menial tasks as part of their education, why can’t adults force kids to have intercourse too – especially if they’re safe about it? If selling sex is no big deal because sex itself is no big deal, what’s the big deal about incest?
Sex is not just a service that can be commoditized like any other labor exchange. It is the ultimate expression of human intimacy, reserved for those who have committed their lives to each other in a very unique relationship. Societies that lose sight of that basic rule of human nature are sowing the seeds of their own destruction.