All you need to know to reject Black Lives Matter


That is, unless you’re insane.

Anyway, putting aside the rabble rousing, pillaging, burning of the very communities they claim to champion and the chanting, “Pigs in a blanket! Fry ’em like bacon!” there’s always this little habit of Black Lives Matters “protesters.”

Ah, I love the smell of irony in the morning. If only the good Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks could see their descendants piss on their inheritance. The brave men and women of the the Civil Rights movements of the 1950s and 1960s did not suffer indignity and physical harm for spoiled demagogues to exercise their own brand of racist violence and humiliation 50 years later.

Now, maybe this was covered in professional activist camp, but I thought the idea of a protest is to make a public scene to draw attention on your cause. This is sort of counter-intuitive, don’t you think, limiting your exposure? The press, after all, are the public’s eyes and ears.

Secondly, BLM have a right to organize and protest, but it doesn’t have a right to racially segregate the press. Media are there on behalf of the public and are agents representing the public’s right to information for self-governance. If you’re going to make a hullabaloo, it can’t infringe on other people’s and institutions’ First Amendment rights to document it. Same thing happened with the BLM-affiliated protesters at the University of Missouri with Tim Tai and Mark Schierbecker. There’s no legal or moral standing for what these despicable megalomaniacs are doing.

Please tell me how these racists are not driven by hatred and stupidity. Spare me the meaningless distinction about black people can only be prejudiced and not racist because they don’t have institutional power bullshit. Tell that to the six Baltimore cops charged by state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby, who hastily brought the full force of her office down upon them, in the Freddie Gray trial. You have to go to college — which not everyone does — and specialize in black studies — which many college attendees don’t — to know what Critical Race Theory is and how its tenets-as-tentacles skull-jockey the otherwise very hollow noggins of BLM supporters. Captured above is racism as it is colloquially understood. Even resorting to such semantic games, distinguishing between prejudice and racism, is ineffective because technically BLM is an institution and wielding institutional power to segregate on a whim. This is overtly unconstitutional and anti-civil rights.

Speaking of college, notice how many of these self-appointed defenders of blacks tend to be people who are privileged and educated. They never seem to need food, shelter, clothing or other fundamentals of existence. Instead, they apparently have the time and energy to be so idealistic as to put their ideals into practice. You don’t see struggling, impoverished individuals so lucky, yet these self-appointed champions of the downtrodden claim to speak for them. Social justice warriors are bourgeoisie who loathe everything about bourgeoisieness. Philosopher Roger Scruton has their number:

 Activist campaigns, which tend to be conducted in the name of the people as a whole, neither consult the people nor show much interest in noticing them—a point that was noticeable to Burke, in considering the insolence of the French revolutionaries. Such campaigns are affairs of elites who are seeking to triumph over real or imaginary adversaries, and who make an impact on politics because they share, in their hearts, the old socialist view that things must be changed from the top downwards, and that the people themselves are not to be trusted now, but only later, when the revolutionary vanguard has completed its task.

Bingo! The same applies to BLM and all its splinter chapters. It’s a movement doomed to fail. It’s too abrasively racist to win over potential allies, it’s message too unpalatable for normal people across the political spectrum. It’s primary methods of persuasion is guilt-mongering via slander, to which only self-flagellating individuals are susceptible. Most self-respecting people who are white don’t take too kindly to being smeared as a de facto racist. And to those, who out of some perversely false sense of responsibility and accept such unfair condemnation, such epithets don’t inspire loyalty but obedience out of fear. BLM is a band of tyrants who, between the language policing enforced by social stigma and rioting to disrupt the rule of law as an more overt form of intimidation, use both soft and hard methods of totalitarian control. If it wasn’t for that detestable species called journalist providing uncritical coverage as life support, this organized manifestation of wickedness masquerading as justice would be moribund already.

God-willing, it will be soon,

Modus Pownens

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Why I’m not a progressive


In 2000, The Guardian in a profile reported the event that prompted the junior Roger Scruton to be a conservative with the help of the philosopher’s own words:

cover-scruton
Sir Roger Scruton

For Roger Scruton, as for so many of his generation, the Paris riots of May 1968 were the defining political moment of his life. He was in the Latin Quarter when students tore up the cobblestones to hurl at the riot police. His friends overturned cars and uprooted lamp-posts to erect the barricades. Representatives of his own discipline, old philosophers like Marx and new ones like Foucault, were providing the intellectual fuel for the fire raging on the ground.

As he watched the events unfold from his apartment window, and listened to his friends, drunk on revolutionary hope and excitement, Scruton found his own emotions and opinions crystallising. “I suddenly realised that I was on the other side,” he says. “What I saw was an unruly mob of self-indulgent middle-class hooligans. When I asked my friends what they wanted, what were they trying to achieve, all I got back was this ludicrous Marxist gobbledegook. I was disgusted by it, and thought there must be a way back to the defence of western civilisation against these things. That’s when I became a conservative. I knew I wanted to conserve things rather than pull them down.”

Sir Roger’s reason is as good and lucid of an illustration as to why one should oppose the Left. Not that I have such a experience that so encapsulates the nature of Leftism, but I would like to detail a recent epiphany as to why I reject the synonymous progressivism.

Consider the term “progressive.” People who are progressives identify by being for progress. Duh, I know, but note that to identify by something suggests strong emotions for and fervent belief in it. To identify by progress is to advertise robust attachment for progression. Such strident convictions compel action toward their actualization, nurturing an agent for progress. Being for progress, change, by default, is being against the status quo. Hence, a progressive is someone who actively works to abolish the current state of affairs.

Now, change, in it of itself, is not a terrible thing. There are times when it’s justified. Rather, the fetishization of change as a good in it of itself is what’s grossly insidious. Identifying as progressive makes change a fetish; the act extols it. Then what constitutes progress for a progressive, someone, who as a matter of self-realization, is against the way things are? Simply what isn’t — what ought to be, his moral convictions regardless if they’re rational or possible. Taken together, the contrarian nature that inheres in progressive identity and the notion of change as intrinsically good, we have a potent and toxic recipe for radicalism.

Then there’s the problem that not everyone shares moral values and convictions. Disagreement is an obvious feature of the world. So, what then? If progress demands legalized abortion but others maintain abortion is infanticide, then what gives? Well, whoever’s convictions represent the de facto status quo, of course!

The moral stench is now becoming ever more pungent, I think. Behold its foulness: As agents radically pursuant to their own moral dogmas, progressives must impose their change as a matter of righteousness. If other people’s morals hinder it, they have a holy mandate to neutralize them, thus the eagerness to socially engineer. Nor is this crusade content with redefining a society’s morals. The cultural web of films, art, traditions, language, institutions that disseminate information — mass media, schools, churches, etc. — reaffirming these norms must also be dealt with. Every facet of society must be altered. Thusly, we see progressivism entails and justifies totalitarianism in theory, engenders it in practice.

When one examines Hegelian-influenced Marxism, which maintains that change occurs as a matter of dialectic — a clash of contradictions or polar opposites, where Aughebung is the negation or overcoming of the status quo, and with it, its assimilation into the greater totality and higher reality — one finds an intellectual penchant for such all-consuming tyrannical aspirations. Accordingly, everything is interconnected with mediated relationships between one another. As per this progressivism, totalitarian aggression is normalized as well as ennobled. And make no mistake, progressives are the aggressors, and they are motivated to act aggressively.

The point I’m making in a very roundabout way is, no matter how crude or refined, progressivism is totalitarianism. Period.

Like Scruton, it disgusts me,

Modus Pownens

Can you feel the Censorship tonight?


Please reblog from Ask the Bigot (aka Katy Faust) if you believe same-sex marriage is not the rosy picture as whitewashed by media, think industrial surrogacy takes us into a “Brave New World” of chattel slavery, find political correctness in the service of censorship abhorrent and just know in your bones that the truth sets us free, helps us flourish and sustains Western civilization as we know and love it.

“I aim to misbehave.” ~ Malcolm Reynolds.

askthe"Bigot"

On Monday my friend Paddy Manning, a gay man in Ireland, published “The Airbrushed Portrait of the Perfect Marriage” at Mercatornet. The article critiqued the narrative that Elton John and David Furnish have “one of the most blissfully happy marriages” in show-business. Paddy points out that such a picture of the couple is only possible because, in the name of protecting their children, there is a legal injunction saddling the British press/internet which forbids publishing details of their extra-marital escapades. 

rectangleSo, in other words, the nature of these two men’s behavior and it’s inevitable impact on the children is not a problem.  But reporting it is. The solution is not to stop the escapades, but to censor the reporting of them.

Because Mercatornet isn’t based in the UK, they published Paddy’s article. However, Mercatornet then informed Paddy that Elton John’s lawyers “issued an injunction of some sort to the hosting company…

View original post 1,168 more words

Free speech and anti-Trump “protesters”


There are those who have defended the Bernie Sanders’ supporters, members of MoveOn.org and the students of the University of Illinois-Chicago who shut down the Donald Trump rally in the Windy City as merely exercising their right to free speech. At the worst, this claim is dangerously incorrect, and at best, it’s grossly misleading. Some exfoliation is needed then.

Most charitably, it’s deceptive because while these malcontents do have the right to protest Trump on-site, they are stipulated to do it peacefully. They don’t have a carte blanche to engage in malicious actions, namely harassing those who came to see the Republican front runner and thereby molesting Trump and his supporters’ rights to assembly and speech.

And what did these “patriots” do? Precisely the sort of behaviors from which they are both legally and morally prohibited. Hence, one reason the sentiment is a grave falsehood. Though, there’s more.

As hinted above, contrary to popular belief, speech and expression is not absolutely unfettered and for good reasons. Defamation and libel laws come to mind. Furthermore, there’s issues concerning obscenity and public danger.

For the former, yelling the profane “Fuck Trump!” is difficult to construe as protected speech. And although what counts as obscenity is still up for debate among legal scholars, the Supreme Court has never considered what qualifies as under First Amendment protection.

Working even more to its disadvantage, the crass phrase pretty much summarizes the lack of a coherent idea ready for expression within the protesters. It betrays the inchoate urges that amounts to just a vehement recoil from The Donald—a purified coal seething of anti-Trump sentiment that belies a very feral temperament. “Fuck Trump!” is the magma bubbling up to the surface in the crudest manner possible. Unrefined, such a nugget of molten vulgarity directed at anyone adds nothing to the national conversation—in point of fact, it degrades it—and in some contexts, puts people in danger, bringing me to the latter.

Expression that incites rioting and panic is also not protected. Shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater is the classic example, or more recently, pulling the fire alarm in an attempt to prevent Ben Shapiro from speaking at California State University-Los Angeles. Including Chicago, in each case, there was an implicit threat of violence in the unruly mob that manifested. Aggregated as a whole, the rabble-rousers endanger themselves, the non-belicose protesters and the supporters of the controversial men who came to speak.

Hence, it’s not at all unjustified to call the Leftists who live Alinsky exactly what they are—enemies. Democracy can’t function if these reprobates’ actions are treated as acceptable or understandable. History actually shows it doesn’t. As mentioned previously, the Nazis did the same sort of things against political opponents to rig elections, conquering the Reichstag and bringing Hitler into power.

It’s disgusting Orwellian mendacity to claim Trump and the majority of his voters are the new fascists. Totalitarians like fascists aren’t bullied; they’re the bullies. The only ones bullying here on a mass scale—organizing to intimidate and silence dissenters and aggressively cornering the marketplace of ideas—are the folks who preach “tolerance,” “inclusiveness,” “diversity.” The irony is really not at all unexpected coming from a lot so intellectually and morally effete their ululations of comparison demean the millions who suffered and perished due to the Third Reich’s barbarism as just the latest sample of stunted denouncements delivered down from sandcastle parapets.

These moral “giants” must be made low so as to preempt them from treading as tyrants on us all.

Sincerely,

Modus Pownens

Why I like “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”


To show that I’m not just a philosophical and theological stick in the mud, devoid of pop culture savvy, I’m going to do something a little new in this post. With The Avengers: Age of Ultron released Thursday, I thought I would take the time to come out and say that I am thoroughly a fanboy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Spider-Man has been my favorite superhero since childhood, but Disney/Marvel just got the licensing rights to put the web-head back on the silver screen — and hopefully well compared to the dreadful Amazing Spider-Man 2.

The MCU character I really connect with is the quintessential super-soldier himself, Steve Rogers, a.k.a Captain America (Chris Evans). In a time when the Left controls all the mass disseminators of culture — Hollywood, TV, news media and academia — it’s fantastic that a character that represents old-time American values isn’t just rewritten to accommodate today’s rampant moral relativism and politically correct Orwellian doublespeak. He actually is extolled and portrayed sympathetically as a paragon of moral fiber and virtue. His man-out-of-time schtick has never come off as a goody-too-shoes boy scout to me but rather as someone who has moral convictions, plants his feet and says, “I believe in x” or “y is wrong, and I won’t stand by it.” This is refreshing and appreciated.

For instance, in the original Avengers, somehow this exchange (if you want the actual scene) got into a movie: Not only did director Joss Whedon, a self-avowed atheist, stayed faithful to the character, but he showed he actually understands Christian theism better than many of today’s New Atheists. The sophisticated theist (here, here, here) does not hold God to be anything like Thor, Loki, Zeus, Ra, Ganesha, Quetzalcoatl, etc. Even though philosophically-minded theists disagree among themselves whether God is ipsum esse subsistens — Subsistent Being Itself — or is the necessary, infinite and maximally great being amongst contingent, finite and imperfect ones, comparisons to Odin, Vishnu, Marduk and the like are mere caricatures. As Edward Feser pithily puts it: “When you understand why I dismiss all other gods, you’ll understand why I dismiss your ‘one god further’ objection as puerile.”

Contrasted with the Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier inculcates some good political wisdom instead of theological thought. As a brief synopsis to add context, after the events of the Battle of New York, as depicted in the Avengers, Cap has gone to work for S.H.I.E.L.D, an advanced and clandestine intelligence agency headed by the sometimes shady super-spy Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Cap finds himself clashing with Fury due to his manipulations, lack of honesty and his plans to execute a morally ambiguous answer to a 21st-century problem that should resonate in this post-9/11, Patriot Act, drone-warfare age. Not to give the details away, but Cap calls him out on it, describing Fury’s plans as such: “I thought the punishment came after the crime…By holding the gun to everyone on Earth and calling it protection?…This isn’t freedom. This is fear.” The whole scene needs to be watched to see how Cap responds to Fury’s retorts. Our hero recognizes that big, sweeping governmental solutions, where the ends justify the means, aren’t enlightened nor do they preserve liberty.

Cap’s criticisms are inherently conservative in nature, not progressive. Ahem, cue up Grubergate, “If you like your plan you’ll keep your plan” and Marxist eschatology, where the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie by the proletariat to immanetize workers’ paradise, as a few examples that come to mind. See, agents of the Left operate under the delusions that they know best, that their utopias are not only true but achievable and that these axioms absolve the lying, defamation, bloodshed and domination of every facet of human life and will to get there. Don’t believe me? Who wants to tax soda? Who wants to introduce legislation to dictate what is considered officially consensual sex between a man and a woman? Who wants ensure that the appropriate numbers of people of each sex, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation are on TV, hired by employers, distributed correctly among professions or admitted into college? Who wants to implement policy to address the issue of racism despite there being no overt racists, i.e. correct thought-crimes or subconscious crimes? Who wants to re-educate people via “sensitivity training”? Who looks to punish those who refuse to bake a cake for a ceremony because of sincere religious and moral convictions when this spiteful patron could easily go somewhere else? Who demands the state step in to remove religious symbols from public ground lest the non-religious or those from different faiths take offense and feel stigmatized? Find those who call upon governmental force, that by its nature is always backed by a barrel of a gun, or other formally coercive and direct means like boycotts or terminations of employment as a first resort to confront every problem or diverging of opinions under the sun. Good, now those are your totalitarians.

The second gem of conservative virtue, which is very much related to the nefarious nature of the Left as described above, comes in one of those cliche scenes when a villain monologues about his scheme to our plucky protagonists. Within this one, this evildoer waxes:

…humanity could not be trusted with its own freedom. What we did not realize is that if you try to take that freedom, they resist…Humanity needed to surrender its freedom willingly…[We’ve] been secretly feeding crisis, reaping war. And when history did not cooperate, history was changed…[We’ve] created a world so chaotic that humanity is finally ready to sacrifice its freedom to gain its security. Once the purification process is complete, [our] new world order will arise.

I would replace “chaotic” with “unfair” or “unjust” and “security” with “equality” in order to apply it more accurately to designs of the Left. But this is another apt characterization. As I argued earlier, the Left does not believe in the liberty of free-market solutions, permit dissenting ideas to challenge its own in the marketplace of ideas or think the rule of law and its system of checks and balances, constitutional or otherwise, will right itself. It ultimately does not trust us with our own freedom, as evidenced by the perpetual attempts to regulate everything and politicize anything in everyday life as justification for its interference.

I maintain these machinations really picked up steam when Marx’s intellectual successors like Gramsci, Adorno and Horkheimer were puzzled as to why the apocalyptic communist revolutions never occurred like Marx and Engels had predicted. After all, white Russians opposed red Russians; Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalists fought again Mao Zedong’s communists; and the United States and its Western allies challenged the Soviet Union and its satellites. Therefore, these Marxist philosophers set out to determine why the popular uprisings struggled to even spark, let alone why heaven on Earth had not occurred as forecast, i.e. “What we did not realize is that if you try to take that freedom, they resist.” In the 1930s, Gramsci focused on what is known as cultural hegemony, where the ruling class transmits its values and beliefs, via educational institutions and mass media, to the exploited classes for the downtrodden to adopt them against their better interests as a means of control. Adorno, Horkheimer, Mercuse and others submitted a critical theory of Western civilization, which I believe has proven as one of the most influential contributions of philosophy in the last century. Critical theory is not only alive but has thrived on college campuses in its relentless pursuit to chastise the West, breeding and festering in university departments like African-American, gender and queer studies. Though I also submit the conditioning starts in earlier education, however, where do you think the myths of the wage gap and 1 out of 5 college girls are sexually assaulted exactly are born from? Moreover, gen-ed courses feature curriculum that indoctrinates students to believe that America is still fundamentally racist, white Christian males are the great oppressors, capitalism is the great evil and American imperialism is as heinous if not worse than the forcible subjugation of foreign peoples as perpetrated by ancient Rome, the Mongol khanates or Hirohito Japan. Meanwhile, the critique — if you can really call it that — ignores the inconvenient fact pertaining to all the cultural, intellectual, technological innovation, individual wealth and personalized autonomy in a nation that has never been so populous and ethnically and ideologically diverse in history. Reveling in both its shrillness and simplicity, this appraisal of America and the West thoroughly has been reinforced and perpetuated by our popular media and culture, which curiously also was a locus of scrutiny for Gramsci, Adorno and other Marxists from the Frankfurt School.

Isn’t it interesting that what these philosophers identified as weapons against the weak, within a generation of their writings, have become magically the inverse: tools to promote “social justice”? What a convenient and fortuitous reversal, unless its just the Hollywood and other media creme de la creme decidedly projecting their values onto the common person to adopts as his or her own, another manifestation of Gramscian cultural hegemony coming from a direction that heavily veers to the Left. Based on what we see on TV, doesn’t the outside world seem so “chaotic,” “unfair” and “unequal” that many of our “liberal” friends have mistakenly bought into it all and are unwittingly “ready to sacrifice their freedom” to ensure “equality”?

Let’s go through another litany of examples to demonstrate what I mean: Who wants to drastically raise the minimum wage even though it naturally will result in a sharp drop in jobs?; who wants the government to provide for entitlements to education and housing and more benefits to the unemployed despite that such initiatives impoverish cities like Detroit and Baltimore; who wants to redefine marriage, rendering mothers and fathers as optional to their children in the view of the state?; who wants to ban assault rifles and enact other gun control measures that likely will be ineffectual on gun violence, in general, because handguns are overwhelming the deadliest firearms in the country?; who demands that the Washington Redskins change its name because some people in a minority find it racially insensitive, despite such a change would fail to address the real empirical problems within their communities? Doesn’t it seem like an extremely bad, crisis-steeped world that requires decisive, comprehensive action from Big Brother, as everything from video games to “mansplaining” is somehow a form of overbearing oppression and injustice?

Furthermore, for the Left, “when history did not cooperate, history was changed”: Travyon Martin, the teenager who pounded “white hispanic” George Zimmerman’s face before being shot in self-defense, is Emmett Till; Ferguson, when a community abandoned all counsel from Rev. Martin Luther King to flaunt the rule of law and further impoverish itself, is Selma. “Hands up, don’t shoot” was and is a lie, yet demonstrators continue to repeat it to protest racist police brutality even though the evidence shows Michael Brown’s slaying was not an example of racist police brutality. Illegal aliens are now “undocumented workers,” and “global warming” has become “climate change.” A University of Virginia fraternity’s members gang-raped a girl, except that they didn’t. Orwell: War is peace; freedom is slavery; ignorance is strength.

As for the purification process, look no further than Memories Pizza which apparently deserves to be threatened out of business because its owners wouldn’t service a same-sex wedding if they were ever asked. A gay hotelier must pay penance for meeting with “anti-gay” Ted Cruz. Actress Alice Eve is harangued until she recants for stating the irrefutable truth: Bruce Jenner is a man whether or not he feels like he has the soul of a woman. More Orwell: “…we have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”

Anyway, I could go on ad infinitum chronically how today’s mainstream Left and progressives are the antithesis of what they claim to be. With Marvel in mind though, I summarily find it absolutely great that Cap finds that it his duty to say the Orwellian obvious like “This isn’t freedom. This is fear” to the “enlightened” Fury. I’m ecstatic that Cap fights against those who have lied, slandered and manipulated their way to cajole people into endorsing things that makes government bigger for no real purpose or reason other than some elite agenda. I find it hilariously ironic that all this appears in and can be gleaned from a singular work within one of the propaganda engines that the Left uses to “win young hearts and minds.”

Oh, and if you disagree with me, and or this analysis rubs you the wrong way, you should still give the film a try anyway, as it’s highly entertaining. Like the best superhero movies such as The Dark Knight or The Avengers, it not only stands alone but actually transcends the genre. Captain America: The Winter Soldier has elements from spy thrillers and 80s action fare. The fight sequences are arguably the best Marvel has ever produced, and I propose could be the best in recent memory. For the most part, they’re less CGI, more hand-to-hand combat and practical effects. Plus, this is the best iteration of the Winter Soldier I’ve ever seen. He’s a Terminator, not a whiny brat — at least so far — and actually a physical match for Cap. Overall, strongly recommended.

Enjoy (***Major spoiler after 02:57***),

Modus Pownens

The curious case of the Christian abortion cake


Consider the following: A woman walks into a Christian bakery called Immaculate Risings, named in double entendre to Jesus’ resurrection and the nature of dough rising when in an oven. The woman proceeds to the counter to make her order. After the baker comes out to greet and serve the potential customer, the woman requests a cake made to commemorate her college-aged daughter’s first abortion. The baker apologizes and says he cannot bake such a cake because it violates his sincerely held religious convictions to consciously help celebrate what he feels is murder, citing the Sixth Commandment and the implications about the unborn found in Jeremiah 1:5. Furious, the woman threatens legal action for what she deems as sexist prejudice and storms out of the bakery.

Is this scenario unjust discrimination? Did this baker plausibly deny service to this woman solely because of the sex of her daughter and presumably the animus he holds against women? Can it be reasonably inferred this baker has a problem serving women simply because they’re female?

I hope it’s obvious that the answers to all these questions are no, and any other charge of sexism can be swiftly dismissed as absurd. To stay in business, the baker must clearly serve women all the time. The refusal to bake the hypothetical abortion cake is such a specialized order in a highly particular case, it can’t be concluded that the baker’s customer service, both singularly or comprehensively, is inclined to not cater to women on the basis of their sex. In the word of its loudest advocates, an abortion is a choice after all — a choice distinct from the chooser’s personhood regardless if the act is only biologically possible for one sex. Logically speaking, I don’t find femininity, in every sense of the word, as purely identical to the decisions made involving feminine reproductive biology in a similar way playing football isn’t purely identical to throwing the pigskin. Though, I do concede that both seeking procedures for feminine reproductive organs and throwing a football are strongly associated with being a woman and playing football.

Metaphysics and or logical relationships aside, I think it’s safe to claim that there is nothing we could consider here as discriminatory with the case of the abortion cake. Permitting the baker to refuse the order for his religious reasons is not giving a carte blanche for further discrimination. It’s actually an apt example of “tolerance” in a culturally diverse society. I therefore submit the much publicized instances of bakers, florists, photographers or innkeepers not providing service to a same-sex wedding for a gay couple is very much the same thing.

There is no meaningful difference between them. Both pertain to declining to support a decision freely acted upon that is separate from personhood. It’s the act the Christian objects to endorse and not the people themselves, whether they be gay or female. Choosing to have an abortion is not equivalent to being a woman, and deciding to marry is not equivalent to being gay. Therefore, the alleged slippery slope of allowing a foothold for future discrimination is greatly unlikely. Apart from making the critical distinction between a person and a choice a person makes, they’re cases so particular that they cannot be applied as representative of every commercial interaction a Christian baker, florist and the like knowingly has with a gay individual. There too is scriptural basis, like Genesis 2:18-24, among many other passages, as to why a Christian would feel like he or she would violate his religious and ethical conscious if he or she was asked to provide a cake, bouquet, pictures or venue for a same-sex marriage.

So I earnestly ask: If the Christian is not guilty of discrimination in the case of the abortion cake, why does the scenarios with same-sex marriages, cakes, bouquets, etc., are instances of bigotry like Jim Crow laws? I’m sure there are those who will become cross at the notion that a same-sex wedding is comparable to a murder, but the moral severity of the acts isn’t what’s at issue. In the Christian’s mind, they both are conscious decisions to defy God’s will, and to celebrate sin is, in its own right, a grave sin. Also, to suppose the LGBTQ community is more susceptible to discrimination because women make up about generally half of a business owner’s customer base is a political dead end and a bit of a stretch. According to the Left’s own narrative of victimhood, both are woefully oppressed classes of people with large swaths of America predisposed against them for being what and who they are. For the Left to claim one group of victims is less discriminated than another, especially when women roughly account for 50.8 percent of the population and the LGBTQ approximately is less than 3 percent, is political capital it won’t waste. Plus, the effort required to actually nuance its arguments and rhetoric for the national conversation just seems so out of character when defamation and oversimplification has worked wonders for its agenda. I don’t see the average progressive social justice crusader changing his or her tune here to be that the supposed irrational, prejudicial Christian conservative business owner rationally selects not to discriminate against women while figuring that Adam and Steve is fair game because of some shrewd economic calculus. It just seems even a little too farfetched even by Leftist fairytale standards.

Anywho, I’m merely arguing for the ideal of religious liberty the first Americans had in mind when they came to these shores. You know, the negative liberty to live one’s faith without having the state forcing one to violate the ‘ole religiously influenced, moral conscious. What good is religious freedom if it’s relegated to a place of worship for one hour a week and to the privacy of one’s own domicile? Reasonably speaking, if a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist and whoever else can’t apply their faith-based tenets to every aspect of their existence like their personal business, it hardly seems like they’re dwelling in the land of the free.

Isn’t what I’m describing the sacred “tolerance” of the Left? Or is “tolerance” affirming one worldview to dominate at the expense of others? According to the dictionary and I, it’s the former; for many of today’s liberals, it’s unfortunately the latter. It makes one wonder where did all the good, classical liberals go, like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and company?

They’ve been dead for a very long time,

Modus Pownens

The SoFISHtry of the American Foundation for Equal Rights


I’ve already defended the American Organization for Marriage’s argument in “Marriage = Biology (Not Bigotry)” video from the polemical likes of Mr.Repzion. His channel is just an expression of his personal whims and beliefs. From what I can glean, there is no greater agenda motivating his editorial videos, and he doesn’t project an aura of legitimacy that should be heeded in the comprehensive context of American politics. This isn’t a knock against him but an acknowledgement of the nature of his online fiefdom. He is small fry: A guppy who darts hither and thither through the Internet’s currents, snacking on whatever his floppy fish-mouth can envelop.

Now, to bigger, more dangerous gilled creatures. (Spoiler: Gratuitous allusions and metaphors of fish to follow)

The larger piscean species to be tackled this time is the American Foundation for Equal Rights, and it’s devoted to “finding Nemo,” i.e. marriage equality. The organization also published a video in response to NOM, and before I sink my hooks into this one, I want you all to watch NOM’s video first and then view the “intrepid” Matt Baume and his stellar “refutation.”

You draw your own conclusions, but here is my commentary of NFER’s rebuttal.

00:00 – 00:25: Firstly, NOM’s video never compares same-sex couples to drug dealers and pedophiles. Actually, NOM makes a comparison between gay marriage, “drug dealing” (00:47) and “incest and pedophilia” (01:02). These are behaviors, not citizens, according to NOM. The organization simply is arguing for the prohibition of behaviors it finds destructive and not the oppression of a group of individuals. It’s attacking the actions of people, not the people themselves. There is an important difference.

Moreover, NOM is lucid in this distinction. Throughout the video, the producers change the typography of the words “people” and “behavior” to draw attention to this point. Hint: They’re bolded and colored orange. In the 00:00 – 01:12 span, the upper right hand corner reads “behavior of its citizens.” And if this wasn’t crystalline, in 03:50 – 04:20, the video directly addresses this objection.

00:26 – 00:49: Again, Baume bastardizes what NOM means by natural marriage like Mr.Repzion before him. As NOM implies at 00:15 – 00:17, “natural” refers to  and I’m sorry for the graphic imagery when a penis releases semen into a vagina due to sexual intercourse, fertilization, followed by gestation and birth can occur. This is a fact confirmed by biology and thousands of years of history and prehistory. Couples didn’t magically manifest because sets of a man and a woman just happened to live together and their tribes, for no reason, just started to call and treat their relationships as what would eventually be dubbed as marriage. No, marriage has always been about sex and the resulting children. The society, people and legality of the institution, the state to that Nancy Cott’s quote refers and the civil rights that Baume’s NFER champions, all came afterward. I’m not just talking about in time either. Their ontological cradle is “natural marriage.”

The whole “This term is nonsense…[marriage] is something that comes from people, a set of laws” schtick is actually the nonsensical claim. Baume’s denial here is like saying a documentary about salmon spawning in rivers is not natural because the cameras, video and sound editing and David Attenborough’s dignified inflections is “something that comes from people, a production created by human technologies.” It neglects the fact the subject of the documentary, the root of the whole enterprise, is a natural phenomenon. Likewise, Baume ignores that the whole reason for marriage, as an institution, is the biological reality of procreative sex.

Moreover, Baume just begs the question in favor of same-sex marriage advocates. He does not demonstrate why NOM’s foundational premiss is faulty, and his asserted alternative is just left without any justification. Granted, it’s a tall order discrediting millennia of successful human reproduction and a biological tenant so apparent, people understood and repeatedly applied the principle way before microscopes made it possible to see sperm, with their flagella, rushing to fertilize egg cells. Instead, it’s easier to not engage your opponent’s argument and falsely conflate people with behaviors again by claiming, “with this term, NOM is calling gay people unnatural.” This statement patently isn’t true as a thorough scouring of NOM’s video will vindicate.  However, there will be more on what appears to be the blatant refusal to do honest discourse later in the post.

00:50 – 02:05: Here’s where it becomes apparent that Baume just wants to discredit NOM without that little something called intellectual honesty. Baume’s sophistry really starts to shine, and any charitable interpretation of his mistakes thus far, i.e. honest errors in reasoning, becomes less and less likely.

He says, “It’s not so surprising that NOM gets their terminology so wrong because their definition of marriage defies reality. Here’s what NOM thinks marriage is…”. Then, he attack NOM’s list of effects of marriage as if these are necessary characteristics of the institution, or its definition.

See, the verb “is” usually accompanies a sentence or phrase that would be considered a definition. For instance, with Baume in mind, sophistry is “a subtle, tricky, superficially plausible, but generally fallacious method of reasoning.” However, the list Baume targets is not expressed with the verb: “Natural marriage creates children, best raises children, protects women, civilizes men, [sic] lowers crime, poverty, and welfare.” All these verbs are extrinsic contrasted with the intrinsic is. They are a posteriori results of marriage and not a priori prerequisites of it. Hence, any of Baume’s thrusts are striking a straw man. For example, NOM’s video never argues that marriage categorically creates children like Baume insinuates. NOM is highly aware that sex is what puts the buns in the oven because the organization bases their entire video upon that fact, which Baume conveniently ignores and only now acknowledges here because he can levy it against NOM’s credibility. Though, he assuredly doesn’t draw any real blood here or throughout his rebuttal. He hits ketchup packets, whose crimson substitute, unfortunately, looks legitimate enough to many who will view his video and take his words as gospel.

Furthermore, anyone who knows anything about this debate should realize NOM’s definition of marriage, like each pro-family group, is delineated as a union between one man and one woman. It’s common knowledge. Baume certainly knows it. He also shows the ability to differentiate between a definition and an effect and what NOM means in this section because he says later, “That’s actually true. Marriage has a stabilizing social influence…”. Therefore, pinning that list of effects as a definition is like saying a pro-choice group’s definition of abortion is that it liberates women, gives them control of their body, etc., It’s a definition no one defends because it isn’t one. It takes a slimy panache to pull such a stunt, a feat Baume continually attempts to outdo.

For example, in regard to natural marriage “[sic] protecting women and civilizing men,” Baume spouts this glorious tidbit:

At least to NOM’s credit, this is sexist against both men and women. This is a hard claim to debunk because it doesn’t make sense, but what NOM seems to be saying is that if gay people can get married, then men will start impregnating women and then leaving them to go commit crimes. This is offensive to just about everyone but most of all, to reality.

What?!?! Baume’s statement is baffling. Nowhere in the span of NOM’s video is such a ludicrous notion even implied, let alone explicitly stated. For NOM, natural marriage has the aforementioned functions. That is all. The charges of sexism are off-kilter because in NOM’s video, the text underneath at 01:12 – 01:30 unpacks what is meant by “protects women” and “civilizes men.” That’s the context of their definition that both “defies” and “is offensive…to reality.”

Lastly, Baume’s contention that the children of same-sex couples are on equal footing with those of heterosexual ones is more contentious than what he portrays. Try here and here. I’ve also read that both sides have used studies with cherry-picked selections, so let’s say for the sake of intellectual honesty, the scientific jury is still out on the question whether same-sex households are equivalent in child rearing to heterosexual homes.

02:06 – 02:23: Once again, Baume demonstrates his uncanny, arbitrary and selective listening skills. The phrase that seems to go through one earhole and right out the other without leaving an impression in his grey matter is “as a whole.” Gay people comprise how much of the overall population? Four or five percent at most. Hence, it is political idiocy granting superfluous benefits under the law to a small minority whose plight amounts to a triangle demanding to be known as a square. It would be crafting an extra class of civil rights for a group of individuals whose choices  the free expressions of one’s sexual proclivities, homosexual or otherwise  afford them no “inalienable” or “self-evident” entitlement to such privileges. To succumb in this manner is not being fair or reasonable. The governance of our whole society is hardly supposed to be dictated by the whims of the irrational few.

Now, let me be transparent: Do gay members of the workforce deserve to be fired or denied employment based on their sexual orientation? Absolutely not. Do gay children deserve to be bullied at school? Good gracious no! Should gay people be derided as “fags” and suffer other malicious slurs? Of course not. They should be given the basic human dignity all imperfect people deserve. And I believe this truth entails gay couples having access to life insurance, hospital visitation, etc., all of which I feel civil unions ought to guarantee.

Ultimately, I’m as much an enemy as the gay civil rights movements chooses to make me. It all depends on you. You can march for what is fundamentally yours, and I will walk shoulder-to-shoulder in stride, or you can continue to tread on forbidden ground and trample the essential freedoms of others in your struggle for “equality.”

Every time you sue a Christian baker for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding, coercing a person to violate his or her constitutionally protected religious and moral conscience, you fashion a foe. On each occasion you slander someone who publicly expresses discontent at anal sex, a behavior completely enacted by free will, you raise an adversary. In each moment you indoctrinate our children at school with the lies that a gay lifestyle, consciously pursued, is as healthy as a heterosexual one, and thereby a viable and normal alternative, you forge opposition. Your scorched earth-tactics in this war are growing tiresome. The “tolerance” you so crave is becoming exhausted. We are weary as you tear up our constitutional rights “as recompense for your imagined slights.” Our ranks are swelling; a storm is coming. When it breaks, know that it was your lack of restraint that stirred this furious tempest against you.

The lesson of this ominous forecast, Mr. Baume? Whatever is left, if and when the proverbial straw breaks the camel’s back, it probably won’t be “the land of the free,” and that outcome doesn’t bode well for American society, as a whole. Moreover, the conditions now that are stoking these fires are not paradise for all either.

To summarize, NOM and I contend redefining marriage is and will have implicit and contingent negative repercussions for everyone. It’s clear Baume paid little attention to NOM’s and its listed consequences, so I’ll add more: the weakening of the family, a mediating institution against the reach of the state, the forfeiture of any logical ground to withstand the lunacy that is polygamy, polyandry and bestiality and the path to new judicial precedent in family law  as the litigation of custody battles in experimental same-sex families, in principle, would then be applicable to heterosexual households, the impoverishment of civil discourse, societal abandonment of common sense and the commoditization of women and children as chattel. That’s scratching the surface of the opportunity cost of granting “ancillary benefits” without proper qualification. Alas, this is “justice”; this is now America.

02:24 – 02:42:

There’s only a predatory hatred of gay people to be located within those words if and only if Baume and his allies want such meaning to lurk there. “Merely validates sex partners” refers to the erroneous legitimization of behavior between individuals solely because it’s amorous. It wasn’t intended to denigrate gay people, as Baume falsely asserts. The only one entering the “realm of invasive, personal attack” is Baume, whose blatant misrepresentation of NOM’s video and repeated cries of prejudice are so baffling inappropriate, dishonesty instead of mere fallacious reasoning is fast becoming the only explanation for his utterly feeble rebuttal. He accuses more than he argues, inventing bigotry when no such menace exists. Any attempt at civil debate becomes impossible if all he does is take umbrage at genuine logic.

Moreover, “What’s love got to do with it?” Nothing. The fact the partners, gay or straight, love each other is irrelevant, as the notion of marrying for love is a relatively recent Western addition to the institution. Do political or arranged marriages cease being marriages because the man and woman don’t love each other? Do loveless marriages not exist? Being in love is not a necessary condition of marriage, although I submit it’s certainly conducive to a happy, “until death do us part” endeavor.

02:43 – 02:57:

Once again, both sides of the debate claim academic studies as support to their conclusions. Personally, I haven’t read the studies to fairly ascertain for whom social science is a handmaiden. What I have read is that both are proliferated with statistical and sampling fallacies. Baume, for the first and only time, correctly asks for these statistics. However, he promptly returns to form when declaring their non-existence.

I’ll let Professor Robert Oscar

First, it is highly suspicious that studies into same-sex parenting generate a similar “no difference” hypothesis even though we know that the death of a parent, divorce, adoption, and third-party reproduction do cause different outcomes in children, when those aspects are studied outside the label of same-sex parenting. The only way that a same-sex couple can raise a child, is if there was the death of an opposite-sex parent, a divorce or breakup of a heterosexual couple, an adoption, or some kind of third-party reproduction. And on all these latter family issues, the social-science record is clear. Children grieve for dead parents for their whole lives. Divorce has catastrophic effects on children. Adoptees are almost four times more likely to commit suicide and reveal a host of other difficult outcomes. Children of sperm donors were revealed to have many more adjustments problems in a huge 2010 study that was commented on, by Elizabeth Marquardt. And now research into children of surrogacy contracts shows that they have greater levels of depression, disruptive development, and even higher rates of some forms of cancer. Then there is research into the Cinderella Effect, which finds that the highest indicator of risk for abuse of children is the presence of a non-genetically related guardian in the home.

How is it possible that hundreds upon hundreds of studies into same-sex parenting find that when gay parents are involved, none of these family dynamics produce differential outcomes?

I hate to tell you, but it’s not possible.

Now, it bears elucidation: Death of a parent is not always associable with same-sex parenting. However, I believe refers to a situation in which a single parent dies, and his or her child is then moved to the other biological parent who now is living with his or her same-sex partner. Moreover, surrogacy, in-vitro fertilization and adoption are natural developments of same-sex marriage. In other words, they are very applicable to same-sex families.

Hence, contrary to Baume, the studies and statistics do exist. When gay couples are removed from the equation, studies are lucid that biological, intact families are preferable for child-rearing. However, when gay couples are considered in this same type of research, the evidence for this conclusion vanishes even though “the only way that a same-sex couple can raise a child, is if there was the death of an opposite-sex parent, a divorce or breakup of a heterosexual couple, an adoption, or some kind of third-party reproduction.

Curious, very curious.

02:58 – 03:19: 

Baume once again asserts, “It’s true in some states that companies might have to do business with gay couples, but that has nothing to do with marriage.” Au contraire, Monseur Baume, there is such a thing as a marriage industry. Where do the decadent wedding cakes, lovely flower arrangements and funky bands come from for both the ceremonies and receptions? Companies have and will do business for gay couples planning their weddings. Plus, it’s been well popularized about florists or bakers suffering lawsuits for refusing service to a gay couples because it would be in violation of their constitutionally protected right to abide by their religious and moral conscience. I’ve even watched a video where Baume comments on situations such as these. Granted, “fund” is an unusual word, and perhaps NOM could be more clear, but government coerced endorsement of something citizens find morally repugnant is what’s at issue here.

I also maintain the subject can be reasonably inferred because of the box floating next to Baume’s head with NOM’s video reading, “Gov’t ‘can override your religion [sic].’ Court rules: Businesses not allowed to reflect faith of their owners.” I also wager the “taxes” refer to the funding of this abuse of federal power, although this connection is more tenuous.

I’m not sure how Baume does not make this realization, as involved and well-versed he is in the happenings involved in this civil rights issue. Certainly, this absence is embarrassing for a “journalistic” show called “Marriage News Watch” that describes itself as “a news and editorial program” at the end of the video.

What the forever slippery Baume is not silent about is that gays have to “file extra returns and pay extra taxes because the government does not recognize those relationships.” This is a red herring, as it is not pertinent to the topic at hand, and civil unions could remedy this issue rather than a radical overhaul of humanity’s first institution. It also fits in nicely with the victim-narrative Baume is broadcasting: NOM is oppressive to gays and wants government to enable that prejudice.

03:20 – 03:59:

Ok, the crucial assumption of this whole push for same-sex marriage is that heterosexual and homosexual relationships are essentially equivalent; therefore, they deserve equal treatment. Ah, but they’re not. Only sexual relations between a man and woman can create human life. Marriage arose because of this biologically affirmed phenomenon. On the other side, a man and a man or a woman and a woman, no matter how many times they try, will never conceive a child without help from outside of the bedroom. In-vitro fertilization, renting out a woman’s womb to compensate and the industry that provides these services are seriously questionable. Women and children are reduced to chattel to be bought and sold. Sounds familiar? The antebellum American South built their society on a similar practice.

Ruminations on the past aside, marriage, by definition, only pertains to couples that can engage in procreative sex. Therefore, NOM’s video is not advocating for “separate but equal” or anti-miscegenation-type laws, as Baume insinuates. A black man and a white woman, vice versa or any racial combination between a man and a woman can still result in offspring. So appeals to Loving v. Virginia are misplaced. Moreover, NOM’s video tacitly recognizes this distinction; Baume dismisses it because marriage, in his view, is mere consensual commitment between loving adults. Human history and biology vastly attests otherwise.

04:00 – 04:15:

No, no, no! NOM’s video never calls gay people “uncivilized” nor deems them as not a part of “civilized society.” If anyone is being demeaned and treated as unfit of dignity, it’s NOM by Baume’s slanderous commentary. NOM refers to the institution, properly understood, as the foundation of civilization. It isn’t even directly talking about heterosexual couples let alone homosexual ones. Again, this is obvious, as any honest viewing of NOM’s video will demonstrate. Plus, the vindicating words are elevated right next to Baume’s countenance.

How stupid does he and AFER believe us to be?

04:16 – 04:38:

Here’s Baume’s concluding and knockout punch:

So let’s see: NOM just compared an entire minority group to criminals, called them unnatural, said they are less fit to raise children, demeaned their relationships and called them uncivilized. And then they say, ‘That’s not bigotry.'”

Except it isn’t. None of these accusations are true.

I would like to add NOM claims “natural marriage creates the best possible family for children.” Their video never says gay people “are less fit to raise children,” as Baume would have us believe. Rather, it means the arrangement or union of same-sex marriage is not conducive to child-rearing. This is not an assessment of gay people’s parenting skills. It’s an evaluation of environment. It’s akin to saying a cage around a diver best protects while swimming with sharks, while a cageless diver is implied to be less safe. This isn’t a reflection of the diver’s swimming ability. The diver is not being questioned. Of course, if gay people choose “to swim sans a cage” and believes themselves as impervious as those who choose to “surround themselves with iron bars,” such folly can and should be challenged.

So, Baume’s wild haymaker does not land. However, it’s so off-target, his charges so false, the video ends with the disclaimer that “The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of AFER or its legal team.” Good think too as Baume’s counterstrike comes off as a low-blow. It’s not just sophistry; it’s slander in what appears to be uttered in actual malice.

Fish stink,

Modus Pownens