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It seems Pope Francis needs to brush up on his Tertullian!

It has been reported (in The ChristLast Media, I must note) that the current Pope does not like the phrase "lead us not into temptation...

"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Thursday, May 25, 2006

SEX IS DEATH. (Gimme some of that sweet zombie lovin')

I came to Carthage, where I found myself in the midst of a hissing cauldron of lusts. I had not yet fallen in love, but I was in love with the idea of it, and this feeling that something was missing made me despise myself for not being more anxious to satisfy the need. I began to look around for some object for my love, since I badly wanted to love something. —St. Augustine, Confessions

If you think this is nothing but the ranting of Euro-eggheads who need to vomit forth an occasional trifle in order to continue sucking at Leviathan's teats, think again. This is the way it always starts.

In a generation, this murderous flapdoodle will be mainstream. Repansycans will be introducing legislation to "moderate" the well intentioned but misguided Democrass innovations in societal modernization.

"The family must be updated! Why, we all have chips in our heads, don't we? We're modern things, after all."

From National Review Online:

Zombie Killers
A.K.A., “Queering the Social”
By Stanley Kurtz

Gay marriage undermines marriage....okay, I admit it. I’m a cranky, stick-in-the-mud conservative who keeps making the same tired old point. I can change, though. I can be a hip-and-happening culturally radical kind of guy. Try this: “The queering of the social calls into question the normativity and naturalness of both heterosexuality and heterorelationality.” Or how about this? “Marriage ‘in the traditional sense’ is disappearing. It is the gays who are the pioneers in this respect—the prime everyday experimenters.” Not radical enough? Then try this: “Gay and lesbian families are here; all our families are queer; let’s get used to it!”

I sense that some of you are still not grasping my meaning. So let me say it more carefully: The traditional family is losing its monopoly, as new forms of living, like parents without a formal marriage, single parents, and same-sex partnerships, appear and spread. It would be a reactionary mistake to attempt to recuperate the old notion of family, which is just not a picture of reality anymore.

Still confused? Then I’ll make my point succinctly: Gay marriage undermines marriage. You see, it turns out that this decidedly conservative observation is entirely consistent with the views of some of the most influential sociologists in Europe (and their followers here in America). I’ve been quoting and paraphrasing these prominent sociologists to show that I’m far from the only one who connects same-sex marriage with the decline of traditional marriage.

Of course, “hip-and-happening” left-leaning sociologists would be loathe to put the matter precisely the way I do. For fear of scaring the public away from still more change, they’d be careful not to offer a detailed causal case showing that gay marriage undermines marriage. Above all, Europe’s sociologists (and their American fellow travelers) actually celebrate and promote the decline of the traditional family that is signaled and advanced by same-sex marriage.

But strip away the jargon, drop the element of celebration, and it turns out that conservative opponents of same-sex marriage and some of Europe’s most influential sociologists are saying much the same thing: Same-sex marriage doesn’t reinforce marriage; instead, it upends marriage, and helps build acceptance for a host of other mutually reinforcing changes (like single parenting, parental cohabitation, and multi-partner unions) that only serve to weaken marriage. In short, “the queering of the social” (meaning a broad spectrum of family change, including, but not limited to, same-sex partnerships) calls into question the normativity and naturalness of “heterorelationality” (i.e., traditional marriage).

I guess you could call this progress. Big Government, Big Sodomy, and The Committee Responsible for Utter Destruction (CRUD) are acknowledging their aim is the destruction of the family.

The Pure Relationship

Consider Anthony Giddens, the most influential sociologist in Britain, and arguably all of Europe. Giddens’s 1992 book, The Transformation of Intimacy, with its famous notion of “the pure relationship,” is the text most frequently invoked by European demographers to explain trends like parental cohabitation and same-sex unions.

Giddens’s point is that modern marriage is slowly being divested of connections with anything beyond the purely emotional bonding of adults. It used to be that the love of husband and wife was only part of the picture. Men and women were held together by love, but also by economic interdependence, and a shared commitment to parenthood. But gradually, says Giddens, the marriage alliance is becoming less and less about a shared project of prosperity and parenting. Increasingly, marriage is being reduced to a strictly emotional connection between two adults: “the pure relationship.”

I knew that notion of romantic love would get us in trouble someday. Arranged marriages, anyone?

For Europe’s demographers, Giddens’s idea of the pure relationship makes sense of why so many parents now avoid marriage. When having a child turns into an experiment that might possibly lead to marriage, rather than a reason to get married in the first place, you know that marriage has been narrowed into an identification with the adult love relationship.Gay marriage fits in here, as well. When gay-marriage advocates define marriage, they carefully confine themselves to the adult love relationship, insisting that parenthood has no intrinsic connection to marriage. So, for Europe’s demographers, gay unions fit into a series of changes that signal the unraveling of marriage as an institution designed to keep mothers and fathers together for the sake of their children. The pattern makes sense in light of Giddens’s notion of “the pure relationship.”

Giddens’s views about marriage and homosexuality closely resemble the ideas of radical “queer theorists.” Giddens’s spent 1968 teaching in America, at UCLA, and it was during that dramatic year that Giddens added sexual radicalism to an already left-leaning political agenda. Yet Giddens is an utterly mainstream figure. Director of the influential London School of Economics, Giddens has been famously dubbed Tony Blair’s “guru.” In 2000, for example, Giddens played a key role in convincing Blair to withdraw backing for a policy that would have supported marriage as “the best model” for British family life.

I knew there was a price to be paid for cozying up to Blair the socialist.

In The Transformation of Intimacy, Giddens argues that “episodic gay sexuality of the bathhouse culture type” contains critical positive lessons for heterosexual relationships. Giddens is not necessarily opposed to monogamy. But monogamy, Giddens says, should be adopted, if at all, as a result of negotiation and understanding between two particular partners, and not because of some institutional obligation embedded in marriage itself. For Giddens, in an age when the increasingly empty institution of traditional marriage is destined to fall away, gay relationships and gay sexuality serve as the new positive models for heterosexuals. As Giddens notes, while “marriage in the traditional sense” disappears, “it is the gays who are the pioneers.” As for children, Giddens advocates laws that oblige parents to provide financially for their offspring, no matter what sort of living arrangements those parents enter into over time. Here, then, we have the cultural meaning of European gay unions, from the man who is arguably Europe’s most influential interpreter of the family.

Zombie Marriage

With their notions of “zombie families,” the “post-familial family,” and the “normal chaos of love,” German sociologists Ulrich Beck and Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim have captivated Europe’s intellectuals. (See especially their 2002 book, Individualization.) Second only to Giddens in their influence on Europe’s demographers and family sociologists, Beck and Beck-Gernsheim are frequently invoked to explain trends like cohabiting parenthood and same-sex unions.

Europe’s social theorists once warned of a fraying social fabric. Emile Durkheim, the founder of sociology, showed that without some larger sense of belonging, individuals suffer from “anomie” (alienation). Alexis de Tocqueville, that great French student of America, warned against an excessive individualism that weakens civic life. Beck and Beck-Gernsheim turn Durkheim and Tocqueville on their heads by actually celebrating the withdrawal from conventional politics, the increasing private preoccupation with food and the body, and the growing destabilization of the traditional family.

Destruction is Creation! Death is Life!

Franz Kafka would have a field day.

Orwell would just shake his head.

Beck and Beck-Gernsheim criticize scholars who they say have “systematically underestimated” European family change. They call on demographers to stop downplaying the impact of rising parental cohabitation and out-of-wedlock birth rates. For Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, marriage and family have become “zombie categories”: ideas which might seem to be alive and kicking, but in reality are dead.

"Let's see. We have destroyed the family. Now we must come up with some nonsensical socio-babble nobody can penetrate to explain our evil away. If we get enough intellectualoids to back us up, we can intimidate all who dare oppose us."

Whatever the old expectations of marriage and family, say Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, individuals increasingly make up their own rules (e.g., having a child as a test of whether to get married, rather than getting married as a requirement for having a child). (Hmmm..."make up their own rules", eh? Smells like protestantism to me. - F.G.) Just as Giddens stresses the need for an optional, negotiated monogamy, rather than monogamy as an expected part of marriage, Beck and Beck-Gernsheim say that individual choice is hollowing out the institutions that used to guide our choices. Families may look traditional on the outside, but in fact they’re “post-familial families.” And for Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, it would be “reactionary” to try to “recuperate the old values of family.” Let’s drive the final stake through that old-fashioned-family-zombie’s heart! And of course, Beck and Beck-Gernsheim want the government to subsidize the new, “experimental” forms of family that emerge in the aftermath of the traditional family’s final collapse.

"The feckless, emasculated, and deracinated Church cannot stop us!"

The most radical implication of all this is the willingness of Beck and Beck-Gernsheim to embrace and celebrate the instability of the emerging family system, even for children. (Instant translation: Children are toys. Or pets. - F.G.) For Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, family dissolution teaches children a hard but necessary lesson about our new social world. Family breakup socializes children into “the normal chaos of love,” the instability that is an intrinsic part of life in the “post-familial family.” Some might call this a selfish rationalization of the profound costs to children of family breakup. Yet Beck and Beck-Gernsheim boldly tout the childhood experience of divorce as a kind of useful boot camp for post-modern adulthood.

How sick is that?

Germans. Can't live with 'em, didn't shoot enough of 'em.


Norwegian sociologist, Kari Moxnes, a follower of Giddens, is invoked by Scandinavian social scientists searching for a way to make sense of same-sex unions. Viewing marriage and at-home motherhood as intrinsically oppressive to women, Moxnes is a proponent of parental cohabitation. Moxnes welcomes same-sex marriage, not as a way of ratifying marriage itself, but as an innovation that affirms and advances marriage’s ongoing decline. Gay marriage has been adopted, argues Moxnes, not so much because homosexuality is more accepted, as because marriage is becoming an increasingly empty institution. A strong proponent of Scandinavia’s extensive welfare state, Moxnes believes that more government money is the way to counter the psychological costs of Scandinavia’s high family-dissolution rate.

The mind boggles. This is the cutting edge thinking your kids are being taught in college.

In America, the key followers of thinkers like Giddens, Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, and Moxnes are “queer sociologists.” Viewpoints that are mainstream in Europe, where Giddens advises Britain’s Prime Minister, are the province of far-left academics in the United States.

Take Sash Roseneil, the sociologist who argues that “the queering of the social” disrupts conventional “heterorelationality.” Like Moxnes, Roseneil’s views couldn’t be further from the “conservative case” for gay marriage. Roseneil believes that a host of family changes—from same-sex unions, to births to cohabiting parents, to mothers who are “single by choice,”—is collectively conspiring to “release” individuals from “heterorelationality” (i.e., traditional marriage). Roseneil draws on Giddens to make her points, while also linking her views to the prominent American family sociologist, Judith Stacey.

Get Used to It!

“Gay and lesbian families are here; all our families are queer; let’s get used to it!” That’s how NYU sociologist, Judith Stacey, (formerly the Barbra Streisand Professor in Contemporary Gender Studies at USC) (WTF??? Are you certain that isn't the Rock Hudson Memorial Chair in Non-Euclidean Sex? You couldn't make up anything funnier! - F.G.) begins the chapter on same-sex unions in her 1996 book, In the Name of the Family. Stacey’s slogan neatly encapsulates her idea that gays are pioneering ways of living that will transform the family for everyone. Consciously echoing Giddens, Stacey draws out the implications of European family sociology in an American context.

In Stacey’s view, lesbian motherhood via artificial insemination helps pave the way for intentional single motherhood among heterosexuals. (Then artificial wombs and then cloning and then the extinction of the female. You've heard it here before, kiddies. All "men" will be homosexuals and will "reproduce" themselves in this monstrous fashion. For what? I can imagine, but only the Devil knows for sure. - F.G.) Sexually open relationships among gay men can increase the acceptance of non-monogamy by heterosexuals, and the triple and quadruple unions between lesbians and gays created by donor insemination suggest the possibility of group marriage for society as a whole. True, Stacey is ambivalent about formal same-sex marriage. She worries that the effect will be too conservative, and so would prefer to abolish marriage outright. Failing that, however, Stacey is enthusiastic about using gay marriage as a device with which to undermine marriage from within.

Like Beck and Beck Gernsheim, Stacey sees the traditional family as something like the living dead. We are haunted by the ghost of the family, says Stacey. She suggests “a proper memorial service” to help us get over its death. But wouldn’t burying the traditional family mean greater instability, especially for children? Absolutely. Stacey frankly acknowledges her willingness to pay a steep price in family instability if it means promoting feminist values and unleashing a raft of experimental family forms. Stacey’s ideal is Scandinavia, where same-sex unions and unwed parenting are accepted, and where the welfare state steps in to mitigate the effects of family instability.

Pity the children. I can only hope they will arm themselves and exact terrible vengeance upon their liberators.

So there’s hardly a point about the power of same-sex unions to disrupt traditional marriage that Stacey herself hasn’t already made. The key difference between Stacey and conservative critics of same-sex marriage is that Stacey actually wants to undermine marriage. In short, the most influential European family sociologists, America’s radical academics, and American conservatives are surprisingly united in recognizing the potential of same-sex marriage to undermine marriage itself.


The outliers in this argument are the folks who claim that gay marriage does nothing to weaken marriage as a whole. William Eskridge and Darren Spedale, who’ve been making this claim for some time (I reply to their argument in “No Nordic Bliss”), have just expanded their earlier article into a book. And what does that book have to say about Giddens, Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, Moxnes, and their American sociological counterparts? Absolutely nothing. Remarkably, Eskridge and Spedale ignore the very sociological literature invoked by Scandinavia’s own demographers to make sense of marital change. Of course, it would be inconvenient to draw attention to a literature so at odds with their own approach.

Yet there’s actually a striking similarity between the views of Eskridge and Spedale, and the European sociologists they neglect to discuss. Eskridge and Spedale have summarily dumped the “conservative case” for same-sex marriage. Instead, they favor a “menu” approach, in which marriage is merely one of several options among a wide array of family forms. Eskridge and Spedale even call for an American state to abolish marriage altogether and experiment with a partnership registration scheme for everyone. It’s tough to get more radical than that. Eskridge and Spedale deride the “slippery-slope” argument, even as they themselves recommend a slide down the slope. And like radical sociologists, Eskridge and Spedale tell conservatives to stop fighting these changes, because they’re bound to happen anyway.

The inevitability of mass death and unimaginable destruction? Oh, right. They're socialists.

But if Eskridge and Spedale are so radical, why don’t they invoke their European and American intellectual allies for support? The problem is that Stacey, Beck, and Beck-Gernsheim openly admit that a free-form “menu” approach is bound to heighten family instability. Beck and Beck-Gernsheim even browbeat demographers who downplay and disguise the disruptive effects of European family change. But, of course, downplay and disguise is exactly what Eskridge and Spedale do when they portray same-sex partnerships and cohabiting heterosexual parenthood as somehow conservative in their effects.

Although their larger outlook is radical, the need to defend same-sex marriage forces Eskridge and Spedale to deny what European family sociologists (and their American followers) freely confess: instability is the price to be paid for the end of the old family system, and same-sex unions help usher in this new, more unstable regime.

Wow. These psychos make the goat rapists look like nice guys.

How can you argue for a “menu” approach that allows people to choose legal unions with low levels of commitment, while also claiming that the advent of this regime has done nothing to reduce total levels of commitment and stability? We know, for example, that Europe’s cohabiting parents break up at substantially higher rates than married parents. Yet Eskridge and Spedale have consistently downplayed this key point, while defending parental cohabitation.

Torch Bearers

Giddens, Beck, Beck-Gernsheim, Moxnes and their exuberant torch-bearing kill-the-zombie followers among European intellectuals (along with those happy-go-lucky Night-of-the-Living-Dead American radical sociologists) are simply better company than America’s deny-it-all gay marriage defenders. They cheerfully admit they want to burn down traditional marriage and they look forward to basking in the glow of the conflagration. B & B offer a brilliant duet on the virtues of divorce and family fragmentation as a way to harden up the children born into the brave new post-family paradise.

May God have mercy on the next generation.

We should, I think, be grateful for this line of argument, which at least owns its own premises and walks them through to their unavoidable conclusions. Eskridge and Spedale, by contrast, want much the same outcome, but hope to get there without stirring up the zombies. Their “menu approach” to relationships, however, ends in the same cul-de-sac as B&B, Giddens, Moxnes, Stacey, and the rest. Nor does money solve the problem. Recent research by Norwegian scholars Kyrre Breivik and Dan Olweus suggests that the huge Scandinavian welfare state fails to undo the traumas that follow from parental breakups. When it comes to children, it seems, something runs thicker and deeper than state-sponsored entitlements.

Shifting to a broad “menu” of experimental family forms may feel liberating to some, but it is really a recipe for thinning out society’s commitment to children. Each unconventional experiment reinforces the others, ultimately yielding a significantly less stable family regime. Which is to say, gay marriage undermines marriage. Or, as we say in some precincts, the “queering of the social calls into question the normativity and naturalness of heterorelationality.”

Part 1: SEX IS DEATH. (Stories for boys) is here.
Part 2: SEX IS DEATH. (Distaff death) is here.
Part 3: SEX IS DEATH. (Joyously dispensing death) is here.
Part 4: SEX IS DEATH. (Sex is depression) is here.
Part 5: SEX IS DEATH. (When self-pleasuring becomes self-destruction) is here.
Part 6: SEX IS DEATH. (Sex is theft) is
Part 7: SEX IS DEATH. (A review of Bareback Mountain) is
Part 8: SEX IS DEATH. (What is the ultimate penalty?) is
Part 9: SEX IS DEATH. (Haven from reality) is
Part 10: SEX IS DEATH. (Sin-redemption-reasons-reason) is
Part 11: SEX IS DEATH. (Mommy loves you) is
Part 12: SEX IS DEATH. (George Gilder offers a clue) is
Part 13: SEX IS DEATH. (Post-killem depression) is
Part 14: SEX IS DEATH. (Whither womanhood) is
Part 15: SEX IS DEATH. (Saving psychology 1) is
Part 16: SEX IS DEATH. (Saving psychology 2) is
Part 17: SEX IS DEATH. (Fear of the boomers) is
Part 18: SEX IS DEATH. (The battle continues apace) is
Part 19: SEX IS DEATH. (Hot for teacher) is
Part 20: SEX IS DEATH. (Kids do the darndest things) is
Part 21: SEX IS DEATH. (Defects) is
Part 22: SEX IS DEATH. (Privates' privacy) is
Part 23: SEX IS DEATH. (National Condom Week) is
Part 24: SEX IS DEATH. (Wegenics) is
Part 25: SEX IS DEATH. (White wedding) is
Part 26: SEX IS DEATH. (Literally) is
Part 27: SEX IS DEATH. (Can't get me no satisfaction) is
Part 28: SEX IS DEATH. (Wrestle with mania) is
Part 29: SEX IS DEATH. (Press one for death/Presione uno para la muerte) is

Part 30: SEX IS DEATH. (Raunch culture) is here.

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About Me

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.


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