By Jonathon Van Maren
For those of you still brave enough to be reading these weekly updates, here’s what you need to know from the last week.
Athens was not only the first democracy, it was the first society to insist on monogamy and shame those who divorced. And, also according to renaissance-man journalist William Tucker, author of Marriage and Civilization: How monogamy made us human, Christianity, in its adamant opposition to polygamy, was “the most powerful force for implementing monogamy in Western Civilization.”
All societies are imperfect, but the least imperfect societies, according to Tucker, and those most likely to war only intermittently rather than continuously, practise monogamy. By “optimiz(ing) everyone’s individual outcome in a way that maintains the integrity of the entire society” rather than maximizing the outcomes of the high-status few, as with polygamy, monogamy creates an environment of trust where human endeavours flourish…
Marriage and Civilization is the kind of book that elicits the shock of recognition, like watching a perfectly proportioned human figure emerge out of a block of marble under a sculptor’s unerring chisel. Tucker says it was a decade in the making and that seems right, for there is profundity here, especially in his analysis of the Western literary canon. The Odyssey, Tucker observes, was the world’s first literary “hymn to monogamy,” with the uxorious Ulysses turning down eternal life with the goddess Calypso to return to Penelope, who represents the model of wifely virtue that used to inform all monogamous societies.
Used to. Tucker’s final chapters on the modern family are illuminating. Our social elites cling to monogamy, for they instinctively know its benefits, but for ideological reasons encourage low-status men and women to practise “state polygamy,” the effects of which are predictably deleterious for men, women and children.
That a column promoting what was, within my short memory, a rather boring and taken-for-granted point—that monogamy is the foundational building block of civilization—is now rather radical is one indication of just how far we’ve come. But some truths always persist. It reminds me of what Robert Jastrow wrote in God and the Astronomers: “At this moment it seems as though science will never be able to raise the curtain on the mystery of creation. For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
Sigmund Freud may have been crazy, but nothing makes me believe in the Freudian death instinct more than watching the macabre celebration that erupts on the Left every time they win the right to off some new group of people. Here in Canada, where Quebec got tired of waiting for everyone to figure out this euthanasia thing and just went ahead and started killing, the National Post reports that things might not be as simple as they originally thought:
Canada’s anesthesiologists, doctors who work every day with some of the drugs commonly used in euthanasia and assisted suicide, are warning hastened death may not always result in a peaceful exit.
They say patients could experience convulsions, or a longer-than-expected “time to death,” or “awakenings” while the fatal cocktail of drugs take effect.
Some are even questioning whether they — or any other doctor — ought to be involved at all, and recommend the task be left instead to “euthanists” or some other group.
“We suggest the burden of proof lies with the Supreme Court (of Canada) to demonstrate the legitimacy of the nomination of physicians as the exclusive purveyors of a non-medical practice,” Dr. Cheryl Mack and co-author Dr. Brendan Leier write in this month’s edition of the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia, “particularly when the ethos of medicine has historically forbidden participation in this very act.”
It’s hardly surprising that plenty of medical professionals might object to the practice of euthanasia. As Mack points out, euthanasia—and abortion, mind you—were explicitly forbidden through much of medical history.
But it’s 2016, and we now construct our own reality.
“The doctor will kill you now.”
Back when Brendan Eich was getting forced out of his job as CEO of Mozilla for opposing gay marriage at a time when it was cool for everyone to oppose gay marriage, Bill Maher joked that he was starting to believe there was a gay mafia, and that anyone who crossed them “got whacked.” People laughed. It seems less funny now, as Christian businesses are increasingly the target of gay activists who are demanding concession, re-education, or retribution. From New York:
A farmer who was fined $13,000 by New York State’s Division of Human Rights for refusing to host a gay wedding on her property believes that the government’s handling of the situation “is frightening” and should scare every American.
Cynthia Gifford, who owns Liberty Ridge Farm, a farm and special events venue in Schaghticoke, New York, along with her husband, Robert, told The Church Boys podcast on Friday that she is a Christian who simply wishes to live by biblical values.
“A government that tells you what you can’t say is bad enough. A government that tells you what you must say and punishes you if you don’t is frightening,” she said. “This kind of power should scare all of us no matter where we stand on the issue.”
Gifford’s comments came just days after the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department, upheld the $13,000 punishment, which included $10,000 in fines and $3,000 in damages.
Oh, and the wedding ceremonies were usually held on the first floor of the Gifford home. And still, they apparently didn’t have the right to respectfully decline the request of two lesbians who wanted to get married in their living room.
If you’re worried about religious freedom, you should be. Most people on the Left don’t even acknowledge it as a concept. After all, they’re far too busy rushing about making sure that people have the right to put their genitals wherever they want while the rest of us give them a standing ovation to celebrate their “courage.” Out of Ottawa this week:
The Liberal government is considering whether to scrap Canada’s controversial Office of Religious Freedom — considered a signature achievement by the previous Conservative government — and instead focus on ways to champion a broader array of human rights abroad.
And one can see why. Religious freedom is rather out of vogue at the moment, and the attacks are starting fast and strong in, of all places, Alberta. From LifeSiteNews:
Using the language by which homosexual activists have gained access to practically every curriculum and classroom across North America, NDP Education Minister David Eggen said the new guidelines ensure the “safety” of transgendered students.
“The bottom line here is the equality and integrity of every student to feel safe and welcome and cared for in our schools across the province,” he told CBC News.
The 21-page guideline document states that best practices are based on the principle that “Self-identification is the sole measure of an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.”
The guidelines set forth 12 “best practices” principles that seem to be ordered towards blurring and even erasing the biological differences between males and females. Some of these include that dress codes must respect the individuals preferred “gender identity and gender expression,” that gender-segregated activities must be “reduce[d]…to the greatest extent possible,” and that transgender individuals must have access to the team, washroom, and change room of their choosing.
The guidelines state that schools are expected to provide “safe access to washroom and change-room facilities” to gender-nonconforming students. In other words, young female students would be expected to share not only the washroom but also changing rooms with an older boy who identifies himself as a ‘girl,’ and vice versa.
“Students with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions have a right to accommodation when it comes to the use of washroom and change room facilities that are congruent with their gender identity,” the document states.
Got that? If your little girl doesn’t want to see a penis in her change room, that’s too bad. Because if Jamie has one and says he’s a she, even Catholic schools are now mandated by law to allow this to happen.
Remember the kerfuffle between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz at the last Republican debate on “New York values”? Well, this lovely story should be sure to stoke that debate a bit:
A New York entrepreneur is providing a way for men to masturbate in public as a way to reduce stress and leave more focused on their work.
Adam Lewis and his “award-winning sex toy brand Hot Octopuss” are introducing “the world’s first ‘GuyFi’ male stress relief booth in Manhattan,” according to a press release. The “booth” appears to be an old telephone kiosk with a chair, a curtain, and an Internet connection.
The press release explains further: “According to Time Out, a remarkable 39% of New Yorkers ‘self-soothe’ in the workplace to alleviate stress. Hot Octopuss has created the GuyFi booth to take this habit out of the office and into a more suitable environment designed to give the busy Manhattan man the privacy, and the high-speed Internet connection, he deserves.”
Lewis adds: “At Hot Octopuss we are all about looking for new solutions to improve everyday life and we feel we’ve done just that with the new GuyFi booth. We hope the city’s men enjoy using the space we’ve created in whatever way they want. It’s completely free of charge… all that we ask is they thank us when they get their promotion!
“We’ve aimed our booth at men because they are our main customers but we invite people of all genders to use. And don’t worry, we are working on solutions specifically tailored for women and trans people too.”
Oh, phew, I was just about to ask. And this Lewis fellow is a real visionary. It’s so important that we find ways for men to able to play with themselves at all times, in all places.
Fully grown men masturbating in public without shame. There’s an analogy in there somewhere.