Are the culture wars really just about sex?

posted at 12:41 pm on July 30, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

In large part, the culture wars revolve around sex — sexual politics, sexual conventions, and the impact of sex on culture and cultural institutions. But is sex the actual prime issue in the culture wars? Damon Linker’s column at The Week argued that it is:

The culture war isn’t really about culture, and it never has been.

It’s about sex.

Leading social conservative Rod Dreher conceded as much last week — and I think he’s absolutely correct. Writing about what divides traditionalist religious believers from those who are more liberal or progressive, Dreher posed a pair of questions: “Take sex out of the picture, and what do you have? If we’re not talking about sex, what are we talking about?”

The answer is: nothing. We are talking — and fighting, and slinging mud, and spewing bile — about nothing but sex. And in particular, about two competing, largely incompatible visions of the proper place of sex in a good human life.

Damon spews no bile, but offers a very thoughtful essay in support of his argument that the culture war boils down to sex. In fact, Damon also argues that the “losing” side — the traditionalists — should be respected, since the implications of the sexual revolution are not yet fully known. He poses some of those issues in terms of tough questions that are still unanswered:

Do children do best with two parents of opposite genders? Or are two parents of the same gender just as good? Or better? How about one parent of either gender? What about three, four, five, or more people in a constantly evolving polyamorous arrangement?

Can the institution of marriage survive without the ideals of fidelity and monogamy? What kind of sexual temptations and experiences will technology present us with a year — or a decade, or a century — from now? Will people be able to think of reasons or conjure up the will to resist those temptations? Will they even try? Does it even matter?

After mulling Damon’s essay for a day or so, I wrote a response at The Week, which went up today, arguing that these questions show that the culture wars are not about sex, at least not as the prime concern. It’s about the impact that the sexual revolution has on culture and cultural institutions, especially the basic unit of civilization — the family. Speaking for the traditionalists, I argue that the devastation of the family over the last several decades makes that point, and Damon’s questions reflect the dangers:

Since the advent of The Pill, divorce has skyrocketed, as have out-of-wedlock births and the percentage of children raised in single-parent homes.

The traditionalists saw this coming. Pope Paul VI got roundly criticized for his encyclical Humanae Vitae, but it predicted 46 years ago this week most of the ills that have arisen from disconnecting sex from procreation and family life. The pontiff wrote:

Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards…

…a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection. [Humanae Vitae]

The issue in this warning isn’t the sex, but the degrading influence on the stability of the community that contraceptives create. …

To be sure, Pope Paul VI framed this in terms of Catholic teaching and faith. However, when he wrote that in “preserving intact the whole moral law of marriage, the Church is convinced that she is contributing to the creation of a truly human civilization,” the issue was not sex itself, but the health of human communities. The traditionalist view is that sex cannot be separated from its consequences for civilization, and that the effects of attempting to do so over the last several decades demonstrate the damage it does to try.

So yes, the culture “wars” relate in large part to sexual politics — but in the end, they are about culture and civilization, not just the sex itself.

Be sure to read them both in full, and let us know what you think in the comments.


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Where’d you get that picture of my wife?!?!

Akzed on July 30, 2014 at 12:44 PM

This thread should be fun. Which troll will show up first?

22044 on July 30, 2014 at 12:45 PM

The “culture war” is defiance of the recognition of God … period.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 12:45 PM

It’s about the impact that the sexual revolution has on culture and cultural institutions, especially the basic unit of civilization — the family. Speaking for the traditionalists, I argue that the devastation of the family over the last several decades makes that point, and Damon’s questions reflect the dangers

Exactly Ed.

The only way Fascism works is to destroy what binds…Autonomous Loyalty to family is the single biggest threat to tyranny…Traditional religions promote family bonds.

Mao turned children against their families during the cultural revolution…Hitler did the same with his youth organizations…Stalin made loyalty to the new religion of the state a question of survival.

workingclass artist on July 30, 2014 at 12:49 PM

The “culture war” is defiance of the recognition of God … period.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Yep.

workingclass artist on July 30, 2014 at 12:50 PM

It’s more than just about sex.

It’s about sex with ABSOLUTELY NO CONSEQUENCES OR RESPONSIBILITY.

Hence the drive to force others to pay for birth control, abortion pills, abortion, AIDS treatment, etc.

ConstantineXI on July 30, 2014 at 12:50 PM

The Islamists will fix all of it.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2014 at 12:51 PM

The “culture war” is defiance of the recognition of God … period.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 12:45 PM

this is the reason why conservatives are losing the marriage debate.

invoking God doesn’t make you right

weedisgood on July 30, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Hello.

ToddPA on July 30, 2014 at 12:52 PM

The “culture war” is defiance of the recognition of God … period.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Progressives cannot tolerate faith in God.

The Socialist State cannot reign supreme if God is there to judge it. Socialists cannot tolerate the idea that their own actions will be judged by God.

ConstantineXI on July 30, 2014 at 12:53 PM

The culture wars are about more than “just sex.” It’s a matter of what kind of a culture we want. Do we really want to be known by future historians as the society that spent its time and attention on:

Honey Boo Boo
Sandra Fluke
The Kardashians
The Bachelor/Bachelorette
Sharknado
Twerking
Baby daddies
Pajama boy
etc.

Happy Nomad on July 30, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Oh, there was an actual Article to discuss….

Tell ya what HotAir, why don’t you merge the Rape of a 12 year
old being brought to PP with this one??

Should allow the Trolls to genuflect….

ToddPA on July 30, 2014 at 12:55 PM

It’s just a matter of which side you’re on.

To say it’s about family is to imply the other group is intentionally out to destroy the family dynamic. For the zealots, that’s true.

To say it’s about sex is to imply the other group is intentionally out to control a person’s sexual behavior. For the zealots, that’s true again.

The difference is precedent. We don’t have the historical moments to point out that show how prog movements are about destroying certain norms. The progs do have that when it comes to repression through control, whether it be a king or a church.

In other words, to re-frame the debate so it’s about progs eliminating norms you need to find a Torquemada-like poster boy or a moment in time where a central power dismantled these traditions. And it has to be documented history, not biblical.

Otherwise, it is going to be about sex because that’s the dominant obsession in our cultural zeitgeist.

budfox on July 30, 2014 at 12:55 PM

It’s about the impact that the sexual revolution has on culture and cultural institutions, especially the basic unit of civilization — the family.

For those who do not believe that traditional marriage, the extended family or other institutions have any value, then from their perspective it is all about sex. That fuddy-duddy stuff is irrelevant.

Fenris on July 30, 2014 at 12:57 PM

this is the reason why conservatives are losing the marriage debate.

invoking God doesn’t make you right

weedisgood on July 30, 2014 at 12:51 PM

You cannot bribe or blackmail God like you did Justice Roberts.

Judgement for you is certain and absolute.

The act gays perform is called Sodomy. Why is that? What happened to Sodom?

ConstantineXI on July 30, 2014 at 12:57 PM

That’s one touched up picture of Michelle Nunn.

sentinelrules on July 30, 2014 at 12:57 PM

The culture war being waged by the left is intended to breakdown / destroy the barriers that help keep the people from being servants of a centralized, largely fascist government.

Religion / Church
Redefinition of Marriage
Traditional morality and values
Personal accountability, liberty, and responsibility
The 2nd Amendment
Borders
etc…

Athos on July 30, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Happy Nomad on July 30, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Why you gotta throw shade on Sharknado?

AllahsNippleHair on July 30, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Sex has been around for a while, hasn’t it?

What we seem to be failing at is the moronic belief among too many adults that these attitudes don’t affect young people.

Consenting adults behind closed doors? Have it like wild animals. But what ever happened to discretion? And whatever happened to raising kids in an environment that allowed them to grow up without being sexualized? Once of age, kids aren’t taught the consequences of sex out of marriage at a young age. Does a teenage girl really want to find herself at an abortion clinic? Do teenage girls and boys really want to see a child of theirs grow up with one parent invariably in poverty.

The left celebrates sex outside of marriage as without consequence and without responsibility. And the US welfare system does nothing more than reinforce and underwrite those notions.

BuckeyeSam on July 30, 2014 at 12:58 PM


Sharknado

Happy Nomad on July 30, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Hands off my crappy Syfy movies. We all need one relief valve.

truth2power on July 30, 2014 at 12:58 PM

The Islamists will fix all of it.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2014 at 12:51 PM

They might liberate us from the existence of DC, that’s for sure…

ConstantineXI on July 30, 2014 at 12:58 PM

invoking God doesn’t make you right
weedisgood on July 30, 2014 at 12:51 PM

And smoking weed don’t make you smart.

Akzed on July 30, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Mostly agree with Damon. Abortion, contraception, gay marriage — three of the the most argued topics, and all related to sex. The Left is obsessed with them; but then so is the Right.

Cornfed on July 30, 2014 at 12:59 PM

That’s one touched up picture of Michelle Nunn.

sentinelrules on July 30, 2014 at 12:57 PM

LMAO!

ToddPA on July 30, 2014 at 12:59 PM

For those who do not believe that traditional marriage, the extended family or other institutions have any value, then from their perspective it is all about sex. That fuddy-duddy stuff is irrelevant.

Fenris on July 30, 2014 at 12:57 PM

That is exactly right.

Ed’s trying to frame a debate based on religion value, when there’s too much history of religious groups and individuals being OCD about sexual behavior. It feeds into the narrative.

budfox on July 30, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Otherwise, it is going to be about sex because that’s the dominant obsession in our cultural zeitgeist.

budfox on July 30, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Not to mention the sacred sacrament of the progressive religion.

Axeman on July 30, 2014 at 1:02 PM

The culture wars are the left’s attempt to destroy traditional social conventions such that the power that was previously distributed across society in various institutions can be centralized to the State.

Nothing more, nothing less.

This is why you can simultaneous efforts to make sex “easier” in the form of “free” birth control AND efforts to criminalize consensual sex via “rape culture” conspiracy theories.

In one care the left is nominally pro-sex and another nominally anti-sex…but both decisions empower the state which is the central point of the whole thing.

18-1 on July 30, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Careful guys. Coming soon:
 

Update: That’s a dude!

rogerb on July 30, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Why you gotta throw shade on Sharknado?

AllahsNippleHair on July 30, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Hands off my crappy Syfy movies. We all need one relief valve.

truth2power on July 30, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Just sayin’ that using chain saws on airborne sharks isn’t exactly on the same cultural level as Shakespeare.

Happy Nomad on July 30, 2014 at 1:05 PM

OT:

Obama back to 39% Approval Rating

sentinelrules on July 30, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Don’t care.

Why is my cost of living going through the roof, while my wages are decreasing?

Meople on July 30, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Why you gotta throw shade on Sharknado?
AllahsNippleHair on July 30, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Hands off my crappy Syfy movies. We all need one relief valve.

truth2power on July 30, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Just sayin’ that using chain saws on airborne sharks isn’t exactly on the same cultural level as Shakespeare.

Happy Nomad on July 30, 2014 at 1:05 PM

I’ve never seen this Shakespeare you speak of in IMAX with nachos and a frozen coke. That’s a classic evening right there.

AllahsNippleHair on July 30, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Mostly agree with Damon. Abortion, contraception, gay marriage — three of the the most argued topics, and all related to sex. The Left is obsessed with them; but then so is the Right.

Abortion has no more to do with sex then laws against child abuse.

There is no debate about contraception, it is legal and there is no serious opposition to it anywhere in the country. Who has to pay for yours is a debate, but that is just another element of the debate as to how much of your freedom the State has the right to demand.

Gay marriage is also loosely related to sex. In fact, until recently most gay activists would argue that gay marriage had no appeal for them and was inherently ludicrous.

Anyway, it is pretty clear that the culture wars are only very loosely related to sex. The left’s position is sold with sex, but much like beer ads, the product they are trying to get you to buy – Leviathan – had little to do with how they market it to you.

18-1 on July 30, 2014 at 1:07 PM

The “culture war” is defiance of the recognition of God … period.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 12:45 PM

.
this is the reason why conservatives are losing the marriage debate.

invoking God doesn’t make you right

weedisgood on July 30, 2014 at 12:51 PM

.
YES IT DOES ! … YES IT DOES ! . . . . . . .

I’m right, and you’re not

Nyeah nyeah … ttthhhhhhbbbbbbb (“raspberry”)

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 1:08 PM

the implications of the sexual revolution are not yet fully known.

Oh, don’t let that stop you from pronouncing final judgement on anything We don’t let the facts affect our final judgement on the Global Warmings either so, just, whatever. Do your thing. \

LetsBfrank on July 30, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Face it – prudish conservatives simply want to keep women pregnant and barefooted in the kitchen. Progressives are the ones who truly fight for women’s freedom.

It is really no different than slavery for a woman to be forced to live in a society where it’s only “acceptable” for her to sleep with a few men or even just a single “husband”. True female liberation is not just accepting, but actually encouraging a woman to open her legs to as many men as possible.

The true progressive goal for women will not be achieved until intercourse becomes no more risqué than a handshake.

Frank Lib on July 30, 2014 at 1:09 PM

The Socialist State cannot reign supreme if God is there to judge it

Indeed – from the first real leftwing regime in revolutionary France we’ve seen that Leviathan – the Left’s god – is a very jealous one.

18-1 on July 30, 2014 at 1:09 PM

The Sexual Revolution ruined the American family. How much i despise the sexual revolution?

terryannonline on July 30, 2014 at 1:12 PM

He poses some of those issues in terms of tough questions that are still unanswered:

Are those questions really still unanswered, Ed? Seriously? Do you not think that we have enough history at this point to know what family arrangement is better for children? Or what casual, consequence free sex, accepted as a normal lifestyle, does to society? Or whether a monogamous, two-person, traditional marriage is good for children?

If even you feel that these questions are “unanswered,” then we are in far worse shape than even I thought.

Shump on July 30, 2014 at 1:13 PM

barefooted

FrankLib

heh

ToddPA on July 30, 2014 at 1:14 PM

BuckeyeSam on July 30, 2014 at 12:58 PM

That’s a good start, but you’re not going to get people on the right make that argument because it makes other people on the right uncomfortable.

Until we’re able to frame the debate in a science context, we won’t win.

How many people are aware that the pron industry is imploding because of bacterial disease,STD/HIV, due to majority of males being bi performers? Not many, because the right would rather just wave pron off as a non-starter since the concept is immoral.

But, if you put pron a current timeline, says 90′s to now, and show what’s happened, it cannot be defended.

That’s the real prog trick: They know we’re unable to discuss certain actions because the right coddles prudes. Since we can’t talk about uncomfortable things, progs can frame it anyway they want and hold a one-sided debate.

It’s why progs don’t use the word “homosexual”. It makes straight people, mainly women, confront the idea that this is a physical-sex issue and not cultural-sex acceptance. Studies have shown how support craters when you boil it down actual sex and why physical homo-relationships are not shown on TV; women are repulsed and bolt.

budfox on July 30, 2014 at 1:14 PM

They’re about sex, and running out the “Christianists”. Basically getting rid of those pesky things that might make them feel bad when all they want is to feel so good.

GWB on July 30, 2014 at 1:14 PM

How to take sex off the table as a political and moral issue….hmmmmm…..got it!

Ban clothes. All of them. Shoes and hats excepted.

Once we get over the novelty of seeing all those people we’ve always wanted to see naked in the buff, sex will become a simple act of biology.

“Hey honey…wannna reproduce?”

BobMbx on July 30, 2014 at 1:16 PM

The “culture war” is defiance of the recognition of God … period.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 12:45 PM

The culture war is first (at least regarding Christians and Jews) a legitimate debate over what the Bible actually says on issues.

It’s then secondly a legitimate debate over what the Bible tells Christians and Jews regarding responsibility to implement laws regarding those issues.

jim56 on July 30, 2014 at 1:19 PM

The Sexual Revolution ruined the American family. How much i despise the sexual revolution?

terryannonline on July 30, 2014 at 1:12 PM

So …you’re saying you’re not a hippie? Don’t you want to be one of the cool kids? Oh wait, are hippies cool anymore, or was that a couple decades ago?

Nevermind, I have to go get some work done.

Fenris on July 30, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Sex? What sex? I’m happily married! Well, the wife tells me I am happy.

Lastly, how come the only time the wife shuts her mouth is when I ask……yes honey, coming upstairs…yes dear…getting off the internet right now sweetums.

HonestLib on July 30, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Once we get over the novelty of seeing all those people we’ve always wanted to see naked in the buff, sex will become a simple act of biology.

“Hey honey…wannna reproduce?”

BobMbx on July 30, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Some of us older folks don’t look so good naked. The response will be something like “ugg, I’m going home to throw up”.

jim56 on July 30, 2014 at 1:21 PM

this is the reason why conservatives are losing the marriage debate.

invoking God doesn’t make you right

weedisgood on July 30, 2014 at 12:51 PM

1. Conservatives aren’t losing anything. It’s everyone else who is losing. One need look no further than the devastated black community of fatherless children for a clue. Conservatives never lost sight of the truth and value of marriage in the first place.

2. If you knew who your Dad was you might not be so offensive about traditional families. Maybe you should take that into consideration before you rant.

HotAirian on July 30, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Happy Nomad on July 30, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Just for you…
Sharknado 2: The Second One trailer.

Flange on July 30, 2014 at 1:21 PM

The beginning of the end of the culture war will occur when men go Galt. I may already be beginning with the dying (dead?) institutions of marriage and higher education. Men are beginning to shun marriage and college. Let us watch the results …

Nomennovum on July 30, 2014 at 1:22 PM

The issue isn’t just the liberal pop culture; the cultural conservatives response to the sexual revolution also helped bring about the situation. Yes, “twerking”, Kim Kardashian, and baby daddies are awful, but the correct response to the situation wasn’t to condemn all forms of birth control and lament the good old days when women knew their place was pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen. To most sane people, that vision is as unappealing as “twerking.” What I’ve said in the past is that both the secular culture and religious traditionalists both only see women as objects.. the secular culture as a pin up and religious traditionalists as a brood mare. I’d like to be seen as an individual instead. Perhaps, when society starts doing that, we can get to a better place concerning sexuality.

Illinidiva on July 30, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Well Hollywood girls don’t exactly have the best tast in dudes that chick from Chuck is screwing a jobless California surfer dude. Yes it’s all sex,sex,sex and more sex.

sorrowen on July 30, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Bud fox,

We don’t know that detonating a nuclear warhead in every major American city will produce bad effects, by a historical case either.

Deciding on a change in the future is different from roping the full citizenship into pursuing an experiment because it’s your “right” and people preventing the experimentation are “suppressing” you by voting not to go along with the ride.

You can frame it how you want. Birth control pill as pharmaceuticals, they maybe “about sex”, but they are also “about pharmaceuticals”.

Is adopting children “about sex”? Or is it “about children”. Somebody who dogmatically states that this is “all about sex” has a lib’s brain and can simply gerrymander their rubber-band boundaries around any contour, constantly equivocating at each turn what “sex” means, or how it is “about sex”, so that it can be more simply stated and sloganized and chanted and screeched and put on a sign and half-assed lampooned and ridiculed, per Alinsky.

Axeman on July 30, 2014 at 1:24 PM

It’s just a matter of which side you’re on.

To say it’s about family is to imply the other group is intentionally out to destroy the family dynamic. For the zealots, that’s true.

To say it’s about sex is to imply the other group is intentionally out to control a person’s sexual behavior. For the zealots, that’s true again.

The difference is precedent. We don’t have the historical moments to point out that show how prog movements are about destroying certain norms. The progs do have that when it comes to repression through control, whether it be a king or a church.

In other words, to re-frame the debate so it’s about progs eliminating norms you need to find a Torquemada-like poster boy or a moment in time where a central power dismantled these traditions. And it has to be documented history, not biblical.

Otherwise, it is going to be about sex because that’s the dominant obsession in our cultural zeitgeist.

budfox on July 30, 2014 at 12:55 PM

The only way Fascism works is to destroy what binds…Autonomous Loyalty to family is the single biggest threat to tyranny…Traditional religions promote family bonds.

Mao turned children against their families during the cultural revolution…Hitler did the same with his youth organizations…Stalin made loyalty to the new religion of the state a question of survival.

workingclass artist on July 30, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Exactly…but with a big caveat:

For the masses — i.e., the low-fo’s — it is indeed all about abolishing sexual restrictions. They may not have the stomach for what that actually looks like, but they support it as a broad-sweeping hypothetical. They cheer when a Whoopi Goldberg, for instance, espouses the general notion of it on “The View.”.

HOWEVER, and this is a big “however”…for the fascists — the statists who control the rungs of power today — it’s all about destroying the family unit.

But you can’t sell the idea of destroying the family unit to the low-fo’s by espousing the destruction of the family unit. Instead, you advocate for “sexual liberation.”

And here we are.

brentspolemics on July 30, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Again, Ed, I think you took a wrong take here.

If the debate is that Christians are arguing “sex is immoral and evil and we should restrict it!” and tolerant liberals saying “sex is fun n’s stuff and we should let people do what they want!” then why is the left trying to criminalize sex in college? Especially when this is the single biggest debate about sex going on now?

18-1 on July 30, 2014 at 1:26 PM

OT:
 
Obama back to 39% Approval Rating
 
sentinelrules on July 30, 2014 at 1:05 PM

 
Can he ever drop much lower than that?
 
12% of the population is black, 17%+ is Hispanic = 29%, so they only need 10% more and there are probably at least 12-15% non-black/hispanic true believers in the population (think verbaluce, jim56, UE, etc.) to make up any minority slack.

rogerb on July 30, 2014 at 1:27 PM

@Franklib…..,
Single moms are bringing home the bacon and taking care of the family all while living in poverty. go female empowerment!

terryannonline on July 30, 2014 at 1:27 PM

The issue isn’t just the liberal pop culture; the cultural conservatives response to the sexual revolution also helped bring about the situation. Yes, “twerking”, Kim Kardashian, and baby daddies are awful, but the correct response to the situation wasn’t to condemn all forms of birth control and lament the good old days when women knew their place was pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen. To most sane people, that vision is as unappealing as “twerking.” What I’ve said in the past is that both the secular culture and religious traditionalists both only see women as objects.. the secular culture as a pin up and religious traditionalists as a brood mare. I’d like to be seen as an individual instead. Perhaps, when society starts doing that, we can get to a better place concerning sexuality.

Illinidiva on July 30, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Ugh. I hate feminism.

DisneyFan on July 30, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Good job Ed.

cthemfly on July 30, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Men are beginning to shun marriage and college.

Prior to the rise of 3rd generation feminism marriage was a pretty good deal for both men and women.

Now, as a man, you are taking enormous risks…

And I don’t know how many women I’ve talked with shocked that the number of men looking to get married has cratered.

Incentives motivate people to make rational choices? Who would have thunk it?

18-1 on July 30, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Bud fox,

We don’t know that detonating a nuclear warhead in every major American city will produce bad effects, by a historical case either.

Axeman on July 30, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Yes, but at first blush the hypothetical consequences of a nuclear war are clear and present — apparently absolute, swift and final. They’re scary to even the shallowest of thinkers. In other words, “Everyone probably dies! My gawd, why isn’t somebody doing something about this?!?!?”

It takes a deeper mind to fathom the probable consequences of today’s cultural revolution. Everyone doesn’t die, for instance. A pondering of its terrible effects appeals to the cerebral mind, not the shallow thinker’s. Ironically, it’s something that ought to be right up the ivory tower set’s alley. But they side with the shallow thinkers. Maybe they aren’t as smart as they think they are. Hmm…

brentspolemics on July 30, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Ugh. I hate feminism.

DisneyFan on July 30, 2014 at 1:28 PM

As I said, I have no use for Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus. I also don’t want to be a subservient housewife who has seven kids and waits on her husband hand and foot.

Illinidiva on July 30, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Where’d you get that picture of my wife?!?!

Akzed on July 30, 2014 at 12:44 PM

That’s one touched up picture of Michelle Nunn.

sentinelrules on July 30, 2014 at 12:57 PM

I wonder if Akzed has ever seen his wife without make-up?

PrettyD_Vicious on July 30, 2014 at 1:41 PM

The only way Fascism works is to destroy what binds…Autonomous Loyalty to family is the single biggest threat to tyranny…Traditional religions promote family bonds.

Mao turned children against their families during the cultural revolution…Hitler did the same with his youth organizations…Stalin made loyalty to the new religion of the state a question of survival.

workingclass artist on July 30, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Exactly…but with a big caveat:

For the masses — i.e., the low-fo’s — it is indeed all about abolishing sexual restrictions. They may not have the stomach for what that actually looks like, but they support it as a broad-sweeping hypothetical. They cheer when a Whoopi Goldberg, for instance, espouses the general notion of it on “The View.”.

HOWEVER, and this is a big “however”…for the fascists — the statists who control the rungs of power today — it’s all about destroying the family unit.

But you can’t sell the idea of destroying the family unit to the low-fo’s by espousing the destruction of the family unit. Instead, you advocate for “sexual liberation.”

And here we are.

brentspolemics on July 30, 2014 at 1:25 PM

The simplest way to accomplish that is to re-define what is the family.

Mao…Hitler…Stalin sought to undermine the clan nature of families by creating the super state family.

Replacing the tribal/clan nature of families as understood for millennia with a new concept of nationalist families governed by the “Head of State aka Father Figure”

Old story re-invented for the 20th century.

Greece…Persians…Rome hated the Jews because they refused a hollow replacement for their divine Father.

Rome found a similar problem with the later Christians and their Triune understanding of the Judaic God….They also weren’t to keen on the moral criticism…

There can be no competition to the supremacy of the tyrannical Fascist State…and so the Tyrannical Fascist State must try and kill God…God’s institutions that bind families/tribes…God’s Moral traditions that are antithetical to tyranny of the state…God’s hope for a life hereafter because that gives believers courage….etc.

One reason Islam is so intolerant of Jews and Christians…Because they can’t stand competition to their prophet, who in practice is worshiped right along with Allah.

workingclass artist on July 30, 2014 at 1:41 PM

What I’ve said in the past is that both the secular culture and religious traditionalists both only see women as objects.. the secular culture as a pin up and religious traditionalists as a brood mare. I’d like to be seen as an individual instead. Perhaps, when society starts doing that, we can get to a better place concerning sexuality.

Illinidiva on July 30, 2014 at 1:22 PM

I agree with you on the point of women being cast as objects to serve a purpose where sex is concerned. But some of that women bring on ourselves.

We bought into the lie of “sexual freedoms and liberties” without taking a long hard look at the outcomes and of the position we would be getting ourselves into. And feminists….forget the feminists. Their goal from the get-go wasn’t to “liberate” women. It was to make progress on establishing socialistic/Marxist philosophy in our society. On that front, traditionalist values had to be discredited and destroyed.

That was when moral and ethical standards of women (as individual human beings) living in America started sinking like a stone, contributing to the moral decline of our nation.

If and when women start taking that responsibility seriously, and determine that they absolutely refuse to condemn another generation of females to those low standards….then, we as females can actually work together, to raise the standards of living for women, and have well-earned respect in American society.

lineholder on July 30, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Yes, but at first blush the hypothetical consequences of a nuclear war are clear and present — apparently absolute, swift and final. They’re scary to even the shallowest of thinkers. In other words, “Everyone probably dies! My gawd, why isn’t somebody doing something about this?!?!?”

brentspolemics on July 30, 2014 at 1:33 PM

The whole point is that the counter example be easily understood to be a counter example. If the argument is that homosex is harmless, to contrast it to another harmless change, like the mainstreaming of deely-boppers or pretending to be a record-player, makes no point whatsoever.

The point is to illustrate , therefore the relationships must be obvious. The point is not that homosex is as bad as nuclear suicide, the point is that there is a line where what has to have the bad effects historically documented becomes unreasonable risk.

For example, let’s say it is reasonable that our case could end up being the documentable case of a death of a society. Do you need to kill our society to find this out?

I’m surprised that so many people have such a conditioned reflex to a clear illustration of a principle. If we can even posit that wearing deely-boppers might have negative effects south of eating ice cream, and somebody else thinks it’s no worse than eating ice cream, comparing it to something that is obviously worse than eating ice cream might be an offense to the person who thinks that wearing deely-boppers isn’t “that bad” (comparative).

It’s simple exploration of a topic which has loaded (moral) contentions and conclusions. We either uniformly agree on the degree of goodness or badness of everything, or one of us is going to make a case that some. one. thing. is worse than where the other places it. And that leaves it up to the other person to huff about “unfairness” and being poopy.

Axeman on July 30, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Compare how people looked in 1961 and how they look today.

It has less to do with sex than the idea everybody should act (and look and talk) like a slob.

A Lefty innovation, of course, and the Left has no culture.

People with any culture have self-respect and respect for other people.

formwiz on July 30, 2014 at 1:50 PM

I’m socially liberal, a supporter of gay marriage, but I will immediately say that saying that culture wars are about sex is a ludicrous proposition. The war over gay sex has long been won; nobody argues for policing bedrooms anymore.

Yes, it is about marriage and family. The problem is, in short, that there is absolutely no evidence, none whatsoever, that having “traditional” views on gay marriage is correlated with better families. Black community is (attention, teh racism is coming!) quite anti-gay marriage, and they have more “family problems” than any other subset of our society. Divorce rate in Northeast is the lowest in the country, and this is where the gay marriage issue has been positively settled. I live in Massachusetts, and the divorce rate is 2.5 here. It is more than 5 in Tennessee, Alabama, Wyoming or Arkansas.

Sorry, Bible Belt, but you have nothing to offer us in terms of solutions to our family problems to the extent that they exist. Please get somewhere close to us on any meaningful metric, and then we will listen.

PBH on July 30, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Do we really want to be known by future historians as the society that spent its time and attention on:

Honey Boo Boo
Sandra Fluke
The Kardashians
The Bachelor/Bachelorette
Sharknado
Twerking
Baby daddies
Pajama boy
etc.

Happy Nomad on July 30, 2014 at 12:55 PM

We are the society that invented and obsessed on trivial crap, and we’re famous around the world for it. Although I resent Sharknado making your egregious list. The character of Fin was persistently heroic and selfless throughout the film. Young kids, watching the Kardashians, are trained to grow up whores. Sharknado (and Sharknado II, on tomorrow night!!!) will produce, if anything, another generation of lifeguards and rescue personnel, just like the old show Emergency did back in the 1970s. Remember?

Garbage TV is all over the world, but we make the worst, with the Brits coming in a distant second.

Claiming the culture war is about sex is sensational clickbait, but it is a story without a core. Just about anything can be made to look like an attempt at sex.

thejackal on July 30, 2014 at 1:52 PM

18-1 on July 30, 2014 at 1:30 PM

3rd-wavers (for the most part) are actually far less judgmental and critical of males than 2nd-wavers.

2nd-wavers were (and still are) as vindictive as it gets.

lineholder on July 30, 2014 at 1:52 PM

lineholder on July 30, 2014 at 1:45 PM

The feminists gained traction because the traditional way women were treated in society was so unappealing. If you want to fight the highly sexualized culture, the best way to go about it isn’t to double down on the things that made the secular left’s view on sexuality so appealing in the first place.

Illinidiva on July 30, 2014 at 1:52 PM

So all of those posts about legalizing weed have nothing to do with the culture war? BS.

rhombus on July 30, 2014 at 1:54 PM

What I’ve said in the past is that both the secular culture and religious traditionalists both only see women as objects.. the secular culture as a pin up and religious traditionalists as a brood mare. I’d like to be seen as an individual instead. Perhaps, when society starts doing that, we can get to a better place concerning sexuality.

Illinidiva on July 30, 2014 at 1:22 PM

As long as individuals buy into the idea that their identity is established by others…they will be slaves to that weak fallacy and tactic of divide and conquer.

The aim of any tyrant is to control identity and exploit through that control the natural fear of exclusion from any group.

Fascism like other tyrannical constructs divides by controlling the individual through seeking to define their identity and bestow favors on the approved.

The whole objectified women thingy is an example of this fallacy and this tactic.

Is a woman an individual?

If so…the other is a type and irrelevant.

workingclass artist on July 30, 2014 at 1:55 PM

this is the reason why conservatives are losing the marriage debate.

weedisgood on July 30, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Actually, we’re not.

Lefty judges are imposing Lefty doctrine on the country in defiance of the will of the people.

weedis is a great argument against legalization, BTW.

formwiz on July 30, 2014 at 1:56 PM

PBH on July 30, 2014 at 1:51 PM

The marriage rate where you live is lower than it is in the Bible Belt. That has to be taken into consideration when looking at divorce rate.

No, the gay marriage war isn’t over. You have to consider this when dealing with traditionalists….

Our sense of right versus wrong comes from moral absolutes. Those absolutes do not change. They remain constant over time. The society in which we live does not define those constants. Neither does government.

That’s why it’s 40+ years after Roe v Wade was defined as legal, and traditionalists are still fighting against abortion.

lineholder on July 30, 2014 at 1:57 PM

The feminists gained traction because the traditional way women were treated in society was so unappealing.

Illinidiva on July 30, 2014 at 1:52 PM

The feminists gained traction because they became the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Left and had all the resources of the Left shilling for them.

FIFY

formwiz on July 30, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Since the advent of The Pill, divorce has skyrocketed, as have out-of-wedlock births and the percentage of children raised in single-parent homes.

Notice that Ed doesn’t even bother to try and establish an actual causal link between these things whatsoever. Just a very loose temporal correlation (A happened before B, therefore A caused B). Since the advent of the Pill, man also walked on the moon. I guess the Pill is responsible for that too, using Ed’s sloppy reasoning.

Armin Tamzarian on July 30, 2014 at 1:59 PM

@Illin

And the way women treated today is better? Women are used for sex and dumped like trash by men. At least the men prior to sexual revolution made honest women and settled down. They bought their wives homes and raised a family. You’re lucky these days if baby daddies pay child support on time.

terryannonline on July 30, 2014 at 1:59 PM

invoking God doesn’t make you right

weedisgood on July 30, 2014 at 12:51 PM

LOL! Actually it does. Since you cannot claim “right” verses “wrong” without a standard of measurement that defines “right” verses “wrong”. You are using our worldview to make your point… that’s cheating. Make your point with YOUR worldview, not ours. What is your standard of measurement?

dominigan on July 30, 2014 at 2:02 PM

The feminists gained traction because the traditional way women were treated in society was so unappealing. If you want to fight the highly sexualized culture, the best way to go about it isn’t to double down on the things that made the secular left’s view on sexuality so appealing in the first place.

Illinidiva on July 30, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Wrong.

Feminists succeeded because they redefined the approved identity of Women.

Women bought into the fallacy of allowing others to define them preferring the laziness of group solidarity to individual freedom because they saw this as a means to achieve political power.

Like any other group…Women allowed the group to create an identity.

In order to be part of the Power Union of Women…one needs to first swallow the group authored history/mythology/doctrine etc. to feel defined along the new perimeters…

This happens in any group seeking power.

workingclass artist on July 30, 2014 at 2:02 PM

The marriage rate where you live is lower than it is in the Bible Belt. That has to be taken into consideration when looking at divorce rate.

No, the gay marriage war isn’t over. You have to consider this when dealing with traditionalists….

Our sense of right versus wrong comes from moral absolutes. Those absolutes do not change. They remain constant over time. The society in which we live does not define those constants. Neither does government.

That’s why it’s 40+ years after Roe v Wade was defined as legal, and traditionalists are still fighting against abortion.

It’s not really lower, and definitely not nearly enough to offset the divorce rate.

As for moral absolutes, I actually do believe in moral absolutes but precisely because they are absolute, they cannot possibly be conditioned on provincial fairy tales composed by Bronze Age people.

PBH on July 30, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Ed –
You have an easier time giving the Church a pass here than I do.
Maybe it’s the Irish Catholic in me…or that my parents actually grew up where the Church was the societal ruler. It kept a stranglehold on the lives of people there by using sex as a weapon against them. The Sexual Revolution was a response to that…not some hedonistic party train.
Indeed for many ‘traditionalists’ and many social conservatives it is all about sex. They’re view SSM as about 2 men having sex. They see abortion rights as women being sluts. They see sex ed as kids being encouraged to have sex. So the Church is instructive here in that they pioneered the idea of keeping people uninformed and/or ashamed, and thus beholden to those who could deem them worthy or not worthy of G-d’s love.
It’s called the Sexual Revolution because it was about freedom.

verbaluce on July 30, 2014 at 2:03 PM

The only real connection the culture war (if it really exists, and I’m far from convinced if dunces like Bill O’Reilly claim it is) has with sex is the Democrats’ brilliant scheme to demonize the Right in the eyes of women. Stupid women, college-indoctrinated women, but women nonetheless. The Dems have and will continue to invent sexual ManBearPigs with contraception, welfare, the ease with which a single mother can suck off the public teat with her bastard offspring and Family Court, where she can methodically disembowel whatever boyfriend or husband or sperm sire she can find. Turn sex and reproduction into a gladiator’s court where the Evil Republicans “want to put y’all back in chains [or chain your leg to a washing machine],” and tree stump-stupid women–of which this country has battalions–and you’ll have those b!tch3s voting Democrat for 200 years.

With all due respect to the women who frequent this site, do you really, truly believe that if the 19th Amendment were repealed and women were completely shut out of the making of public policy, there would even be a Democratic Party in less than 30 years?

Protection, provision, safety and security. They is 99.9% of the female imperative. It’s practically the flag of the Dem party!

thejackal on July 30, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Culture wars revolve around everything:

Language
Work ethic
Education
Religion
Sex
Drugs

The idea that the culture war is singularly based on competing sexual ideals is silly. Very elementary.

blatantblue on July 30, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Illinidiva on July 30, 2014 at 1:52 PM

But women have not gained freedom and liberty through the course sought by feminists. They’ve simply exchanged being an a means to an end in one sense with being a means to an end in another sense.

The feminists lied through their teeth and manipulated women in order to move towards a political philosophy they sought to implement.

Let me put it this way….can you name five character traits, define the meaning of those traits, and provide an example of how those traits impact the person’s actions in life?

Many women can’t. And it isn’t because they are too stupid to comprehend it. It’s because they’ve been taught, told, and led to believe that they have to define themselves on a comparative scale of sex.

lineholder on July 30, 2014 at 2:04 PM

What is your standard of measurement?

dominigan on July 30, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Objective reality, you idiot.

Oh, and it’s spelled versus. “Verses” are trite little readings for soft-headed children.

thejackal on July 30, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Notice that Ed doesn’t even bother to try and establish an actual causal link between these things whatsoever. Just a very loose temporal correlation (A happened before B, therefore A caused B). Since the advent of the Pill, man also walked on the moon. I guess the Pill is responsible for that too, using Ed’s sloppy reasoning.

Armin Tamzarian on July 30, 2014 at 1:59 PM

I can see here is someone who failed freshman high school science class. Stating a hypothesis, and observing the phenomena and the hypothesis being proven correct, is the cornerstone of science. You present a strawman analogy and heroically knock it down as if that proves you right. What it does is prove you a fool.

dominigan on July 30, 2014 at 2:06 PM

PBH on July 30, 2014 at 2:03 PM

All your mockery of religious origination of moral absolutes aside (and I do understand that’s what you’re doing), what part do you see moral absolutes as playing in maintaining a stable society?

My suggestion to you, if you are gay, is to look long and hard at how far you want to support the LGBT movement in undermine traditional values.

lineholder on July 30, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Objective reality, you idiot.

Oh, and it’s spelled versus. “Verses” are trite little readings for soft-headed children.

thejackal on July 30, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Ahhh, the poor little miscreant doesn’t like getting called out.

What standards are established by “objective reality”? Seems like objective reality backs up the Judeo-Christian view of the world, far more than your non-believing view.

Oh, and jackals thrive on destroying life and feeding off decay. Seems like a fitting username. Congrats.

dominigan on July 30, 2014 at 2:09 PM

When we deliberately throw out any societal or religious standards about sex or marriage or procreation, the end result is going to be ugly.

See: Idiocracy.

rockmom on July 30, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Young kids, watching the Kardashians, are trained to grow up whores. Sharknado (and Sharknado II, on tomorrow night!!!) will produce, if anything, another generation of lifeguards and rescue personnel, just like the old show Emergency did back in the 1970s. Remember?

thejackal on July 30, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Sharknado 2 is on tonight. Though I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunity to catch it this week.

I agree with you about the Kardashians trains whores in the same way that MTV glamorizes teen pregnancy and binge drinking. And it shouldn’t be overlooked that every little girl has this idea that they are princesses.

To tie it all to sex is, as you say, clickbait. Nevertheless the culture wars are real. Superficial TV shows may be a symptom and not the cause but they do reflect a view of society that isn’t all that encouraging.

Happy Nomad on July 30, 2014 at 2:11 PM

When we deliberately throw out any societal or religious standards about sex or marriage or procreation, the end result is going to be ugly.

See: Idiocracy.

rockmom on July 30, 2014 at 2:09 PM

See Pagan Rome

workingclass artist on July 30, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Damon is incorrect about who is losing the “culture wars.”

It isn’t traditionalists. We kick progressive deviant rear end on every single aspect of social health and welfare. We live longer, are more charitable, our lives our happier, and our families are more stable.

The real losers in Damon’s argument for selfish hedonism are the children whose parents inflict Damon’s stupidity on them in their formative years. Children are just an accessory or a guinea pig to social experimentation in Damon’s world. This is inarguable.

BKennedy on July 30, 2014 at 2:13 PM

It’s called the Sexual Revolution because it was about freedom.

verbaluce on July 30, 2014 at 2:03 PM

No, it really wasn’t about freedom. Go to archive.org. Lots of info/books/periodicals available there describing the motivations behind the feminist movement. These are sources that were written during the Sexual Revolution rather than going through post-Revolution revisionism.

lineholder on July 30, 2014 at 2:13 PM

It’s called the Sexual Revolution because it was about freedom.

verbaluce on July 30, 2014 at 2:03 PM

No, it’s called the sexual revolution because it was about overthrowing the norms that came before. In it’s place wasn’t freedom, but depravity.

nobar on July 30, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Culture wars revolve around everything:

Language
Work ethic
Education
Religion
Sex
Drugs

The idea that the culture war is singularly based on competing sexual ideals is silly. Very elementary.

blatantblue on July 30, 2014 at 2:03 PM

True. It’s really about whether there is or should be any limiting principle to the individual’s quest to satisfy his/her physical desires. Religious people generally accept the limitations of their faith’s doctrines. Some nonreligious people acknowledge that there should be some limiting pronciples but have a very hard time articulating where the lines should be drawn and by whom, and what sanctions should be imposed on those crossing those lines.

Many people, if left alone, would not work because they are do not have a value system that supports work as an intrinsic value and a necessity for human happiness. This is certainly an area of cultural conflict although the primary “wars” that have spilled over into politics are primarily over sex.

rockmom on July 30, 2014 at 2:16 PM

I can see here is someone who failed freshman high school science class. Stating a hypothesis, and observing the phenomena and the hypothesis being proven correct, is the cornerstone of science. You present a strawman analogy and heroically knock it down as if that proves you right. What it does is prove you a fool.

dominigan on July 30, 2014 at 2:06 PM

You’re a moron, and the fact that the first year of high school is your point of reference for this idiotic rebuttal suggests to me that it’s about as far as your education went. You’re in good company here on this site, that’s for sure.

You can’t just state a “hypothesis” and then claim support for it from various “phenomena” without demonstrating a meaningful (causal) relationship between them. Literally the only link between the widespread availability of the Pill and divorce, out-of-wedlock births and other various supposed social evils that Ed and other like-minded Vatican stooges can demonstrate is that one happened before the other. That’s not good enough for me.

Armin Tamzarian on July 30, 2014 at 2:17 PM

All your mockery of religious origination of moral absolutes aside (and I do understand that’s what you’re doing), what part do you see moral absolutes as playing in maintaining a stable society?

My suggestion to you, if you are gay, is to look long and hard at how far you want to support the LGBT movement in undermine traditional values.

lineholder on July 30, 2014 at 2:07 PM

I’m not gay. I’m a straight male with a wife and two children. Again, your notion that gay people undermine traditional values is not rooted in any facts. I actually know only two gay families. One is a usual family with two women and two daughter. They are absolutely well-adjusted, and you wouldn’t notice any difference other than “where’s the dad?” The other family are simply heroes with no exaggeration. These guys have made a point to adopt only children with Down syndrome. When you see how patient and kind they are with their kids, you just feel horrible about yourself (and I generally don’t think I’m a horrible father).

LGBT do not undermine traditional marriage. They couldn’t even if they wanted – there’s not enough of them. This doesn’t mean I need to support specific groups that claim to advance gay people; I haven’t voted for a Democrat once.

PBH on July 30, 2014 at 2:18 PM

To tie it all to sex is, as you say, clickbait. Nevertheless the culture wars are real. Superficial TV shows may be a symptom and not the cause but they do reflect a view of society that isn’t all that encouraging.

Happy Nomad on July 30, 2014 at 2:11 PM

The “Culture Wars” happen in cycles…and have done so repeatedly in history with fairly predictable pressures initiating each cycle.

The biggest difference in this late 20th c-early 21st c cycle is that medical technology makes possible absurd delusions that were never even imagined culturally in prior generations and international policy as well as laws are enacted based on those delusions.

Example of a current moon bat lunacy:

headline: Why Feminism Can’t Afford To Ignore Transgender Women

http://www.buzzfeed.com/annanorth/why-feminism-cant-afford-to-ignore-transgender-wo

workingclass artist on July 30, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Indeed for many ‘traditionalists’ and many social conservatives it is all about sex. They’re view SSM as about 2 men having sex. They see abortion rights as women being sluts. They see sex ed as kids being encouraged to have sex. So the Church is instructive here in that they pioneered the idea of keeping people uninformed and/or ashamed, and thus beholden to those who could deem them worthy or not worthy of G-d’s love.

verbaluce on July 30, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Alternatively, traditionalists and social conservatives could see SSM as straying from the covenant of marriage being between a man and a woman who come together to create and raise a family. Two dudes having sex are not going to produce a child no matter how many times they have sex.

Traditionalists and conservatives could see abortion rights as saving the child even if the mother is a bar slut seeking to kill a life because it is inconvenient. And they could see sex ed as something the parents and not the state should be teaching a child- free from the amorality that comes in the socialist incubators known as the public school system.

Bottom line, traditionalists and social conservatives are hardly the one-dimensional stereotypes you people think they are.

Happy Nomad on July 30, 2014 at 2:19 PM

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