The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Intellectuals: Smarter Than God?

Posted on | June 5, 2010 | 39 Comments

Robert Knight takes a hard look at the elite punditocracy’s slow slide into moral relativism:

On ABC’s This Week on May 30, [George] Will agreed with colleague Matthew Dowd that apart from a few glitches, homosexuality will soon be a non-issue in the military. . . .
Will: “For people of Matt’s son’s generation, being gay is like being left-handed. … The Supreme Court has a famous phrase it used in some opinion, the evolving standards of decency that mark a maturing society. Clearly these are evolving, and the case is over, basically.” . . .
What we are witnessing among the intelligentsia is a catastrophic case of groupthink: because they all repeat the same thing, it must be true. They ignore biology, morality, history, common sense, and grim health statistics because they are smarter than anyone.
Charles Krauthammer, who has written some of the best critiques of Obamacare and the rest of the Left’s assault on America , is also aboard the gay express. He’s smarter than God. So, too, are Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman, Weekly Standard columnist Stephen Hayes, Fox News analyst Margaret Hoover, and American Spectator columnist Phillip Klein, all of whom have called for repealing the military ban. Klein called it a “no-brainer.” . . .

You should read the whole thing. In the secular world of modern intellectualism, it is too easy to forget that not everyone is secular, worldly or modern. Not everyone is a professor, a journalist or a political operative, and not everyone feels obliged to kowtow to the latest intellectual fads. 

What Knight calls intellectual “groupthink” means that viewpoints unpopular among the elite usually lack articulate advocates, and few things are currently less popular among the intelligentsia than “homophobia.” (Scare-quotes necessitated by the bogus diagnosis implied by that made-up word.) Just as with other issues, like immigration, the views of the articulate elite are opposed mainly by Ordinary Americans — people who live their lives outside the elite “bubble” — and those in political life risk ridicule and ostracism if they disagree too loudly with prevailing elite opinion.

What George Will says is true, in a limited sense: Young people are indeed more “gay-friendly” than their elders, because American youth have swum in a cultural ocean of “gay-friendly” messages for the past three decades. Whether it’s TV sitcoms or “tolerance” curricula in schools, the cumulative cultural effect is such that traditional moral strictures against homosexual behavior are seldom voiced except in the most conservative churches.

Despite the fact that more than 97% of Americans are heterosexual, the interests of the 2% gay minority are so actively advocated — in news media, in entertainment, in academia, in politics — that anyone in public life who says, “Hey, that’s wrong,” is instantly denounced. To invoke 3,000 years of Judeo-Christian moral teaching in a policy dispute is to invite the accusation of “hate” and “prejudice” and, without fail, to be diagnosed as suffering from that dreadfully disabling disorder, “homophobia.”

Well, it is neither hateful nor prejudiced nor psychotic to say that sin is sin. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 KJV). Once politics enters into the equation, however, and sin is defined as a “right,” Americans become confused, as I explained in November 2008:

Because Americans are taught to think of “rights” as something sacred in our civic religion, those accused of violating “rights” are easily demonized, while those who advocate “rights” are sanctified. . . .
“Rights talk” allowed liberals a means of preemptively delegitimizing their opponents and thereby to avoid arguing about policy in terms of necessity, utility and efficacy. If all legal and political conflicts are about “rights,” there is no need to argue about the specific consequences of laws and policies. Merely determine which side of the controversy represents “rights” and the debate ends there.

George Will and his intellectual peers have surrendered to the inexorable logic of “rights.” The ultimate consequences of that surrender can only be imagined. (Marines marching hand-in-hand in the San Francisco Gay Pride parade?) To the intellectual elite,  however, such consequences are of less concern than the difficulty of telling George Stephanopoulos, “I disagree.”

UPDATE: There’s a Memeorandum thread, and I’ve addressed the same topic from a somewhat different direction at the American Spectator, pointing out the predictable tendencies of radicalism.

Speaking of predictable, liberal blogger Ron Chusid has denounced me as being a member of the “American Taliban” and “the authoritarian right.”

Hey, I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night.

How is it “authoritarian” to argue for the continuation of a policy (“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”) instituted in 1993 by President Clinton?

The accusation is absurd, but perfectly illustrative of the intolerance inherent in radicalism. Merely disagree with them on matters of policy, and you are automatically compared to fanatical terrorists, accused of “hate” and “fear,” etc. And once they’ve grossly insulted you and impugned your good faith, they accuse you of “incivility.”

Bookmark and Share

Comments

  • blaster

    It maybe so that soon enough gays won’t be that big a deal in the military.

    But the repeal of DADT has little or nothing to do with gays serving in the military. Gays ARE serving in the military today – even the gay advocacy groups admit that, claiming that there are tens of thousands doing so right now.

    However, as soon as the law that states that homosexuality is incompatible with military service is gone, the VERY NEXT step will be to sue for spousal benefits for homosexual partners. And the courts, absent a law saying that homosexuals are different from heterosexuals, will grant it.

    And that will be a Federal recognition of domestic partnerships and/or marriage.

    And while the military is prepared for gays in the ranks – they are there already, remember – the COUNTRY is not ready for gay marriage.

    But that is what we will get when DADT is repealed.

  • blaster

    It maybe so that soon enough gays won’t be that big a deal in the military.

    But the repeal of DADT has little or nothing to do with gays serving in the military. Gays ARE serving in the military today – even the gay advocacy groups admit that, claiming that there are tens of thousands doing so right now.

    However, as soon as the law that states that homosexuality is incompatible with military service is gone, the VERY NEXT step will be to sue for spousal benefits for homosexual partners. And the courts, absent a law saying that homosexuals are different from heterosexuals, will grant it.

    And that will be a Federal recognition of domestic partnerships and/or marriage.

    And while the military is prepared for gays in the ranks – they are there already, remember – the COUNTRY is not ready for gay marriage.

    But that is what we will get when DADT is repealed.

  • Pingback: Virginia Right! News Hound for 6/5/2010 | Virginia Right!

  • http://www.reddogreport.com Brian O’Connor

    As an Irishman, I have always loved this scene in “Braveheart” where the Irishman says: “In order to find his equal, an Irishman is forced to talk to God.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gHH0ih867U
    (some foul language)

  • http://www.reddogreport.com Brian O’Connor

    As an Irishman, I have always loved this scene in “Braveheart” where the Irishman says: “In order to find his equal, an Irishman is forced to talk to God.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gHH0ih867U
    (some foul language)

  • http://dad29.blogspot.com dad29

    Rod Dreher, IIRC, led that charge. The rest are merely followers. Not lemmings, of course, because they’re all far, far, far, too innerlekshul to be lemmings.

    Right?

  • http://dad29.blogspot.com dad29

    Rod Dreher, IIRC, led that charge. The rest are merely followers. Not lemmings, of course, because they’re all far, far, far, too innerlekshul to be lemmings.

    Right?

  • Joe

    Gays are serving in the military. Marines on guard duty will tell you that they find Navy personel up to all sort of shennangians at night on ships at sea (yes Virginia, the sterotypes about the Navy are true). That aside, you will still have the vast majority of recruits being straight. Gay ones will serve and either do well or not.

    The military will deal with this and has the tools to deal with behavior it deems counter productive. Even if they can’t seem to control those squabies.

  • Joe

    Gays are serving in the military. Marines on guard duty will tell you that they find Navy personel up to all sort of shennangians at night on ships at sea (yes Virginia, the sterotypes about the Navy are true). That aside, you will still have the vast majority of recruits being straight. Gay ones will serve and either do well or not.

    The military will deal with this and has the tools to deal with behavior it deems counter productive. Even if they can’t seem to control those squabies.

  • Joe

    Repealing DADT does not mean pandamonium. It is a policy that Bill Clinton imposed and resulted in kicking out qualified personnel for things that were often not even causing problems in the ranks. The Military will appropriately and professionally respond to this.

  • Joe

    Repealing DADT does not mean pandamonium. It is a policy that Bill Clinton imposed and resulted in kicking out qualified personnel for things that were often not even causing problems in the ranks. The Military will appropriately and professionally respond to this.

  • blaster

    But, Joe, how will the military deal with same-sex partners? They are not in the military. Will they exclude them?

    And if so, how long until *that* gets into court? You can rest assured the pleadings are already written, just blanks left for the names.

    And you don’t have to think much how it will be decided. It will likely be some sailor in San Diego. Which court will that end up in?

    The push for the repeal of DADT is NOT to get gays to serve in the military. You say so yourself, they are already there. And it isn’t like “gay activists” are all about the getting proportional representation in Afghanistan and Iraq theaters of operation.

    This is plain and simple a way to get a Federal recognition of marriage between persons of the same sex imposed by the courts, bypassing the democratic process that has overwhelmingly rejected it every time.

    The military (and the traditionalists) lost this battle by planting their flag on the good order and discipline argument. That was the wrong argument. Because once that argument is knocked down, DADT does not have a basis – read the law as written.

    Once the basis is gone, the law is gone, and hello gay marriage.

    And in case you are wondering – I think that gays should be allowed to marry. But I also think that this should be adopted through legislation, not imposed through the courts, because it isn’t a “civil right.” But when it goes to court, it will be.

  • blaster

    But, Joe, how will the military deal with same-sex partners? They are not in the military. Will they exclude them?

    And if so, how long until *that* gets into court? You can rest assured the pleadings are already written, just blanks left for the names.

    And you don’t have to think much how it will be decided. It will likely be some sailor in San Diego. Which court will that end up in?

    The push for the repeal of DADT is NOT to get gays to serve in the military. You say so yourself, they are already there. And it isn’t like “gay activists” are all about the getting proportional representation in Afghanistan and Iraq theaters of operation.

    This is plain and simple a way to get a Federal recognition of marriage between persons of the same sex imposed by the courts, bypassing the democratic process that has overwhelmingly rejected it every time.

    The military (and the traditionalists) lost this battle by planting their flag on the good order and discipline argument. That was the wrong argument. Because once that argument is knocked down, DADT does not have a basis – read the law as written.

    Once the basis is gone, the law is gone, and hello gay marriage.

    And in case you are wondering – I think that gays should be allowed to marry. But I also think that this should be adopted through legislation, not imposed through the courts, because it isn’t a “civil right.” But when it goes to court, it will be.

  • Joe

    The federal government does not recognize same sex marriages right now, so there is time to deal with it. But let’s face some reality, some states will pass it and eventually it will be recognized in part. The military can deal with that too.

    I do not disagree with you that gay activists are pushing this issue for reasons beyond merely getting married. But the obviously push back is gays do not get any special rights, just equal rights.

    Society is dealing with this. It will in the long run not be as big a deal as many think it will be.

  • Joe

    The federal government does not recognize same sex marriages right now, so there is time to deal with it. But let’s face some reality, some states will pass it and eventually it will be recognized in part. The military can deal with that too.

    I do not disagree with you that gay activists are pushing this issue for reasons beyond merely getting married. But the obviously push back is gays do not get any special rights, just equal rights.

    Society is dealing with this. It will in the long run not be as big a deal as many think it will be.

  • Joe

    Hmmm.
    Imagine that.

  • Joe
  • Joe

    Hmmm.
    Imagine that.

  • Joe
  • Pingback: » The American Taliban Uses Religion To Justify Descrimination Liberal Values

  • Pingback: The Spot-On Quote Of The Day… « The Camp Of The Saints

  • http://thecampofthesaints.wordpress.com Bob Belvedere

    I AM THE AMERICAN TALIBAN!

  • http://thecampofthesaints.wordpress.com Bob Belvedere

    I AM THE AMERICAN TALIBAN!

  • Smartacus

    NO, *I* AM THE AMERICAN TALIBAN!

  • Smartacus

    NO, *I* AM THE AMERICAN TALIBAN!

  • ccoffer

    What is it about the single sexual fetish called homosexuality that renders it the “good” sexual fetish?

  • ccoffer

    What is it about the single sexual fetish called homosexuality that renders it the “good” sexual fetish?

  • http://sparkupthenight.wordpress.com/ Sparks123

    To make the argument based on tradition and religion is to concede the argument, particularly if you’re trying to convince non-believers. Wagging your finger and asking “Who are you to question God?” just proves you have nothing left.

    And the elite liberal outfit that is Fox News found that 61% of Americans were in favor of allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve.

  • http://sparkupthenight.wordpress.com/ Sparks123

    To make the argument based on tradition and religion is to concede the argument, particularly if you’re trying to convince non-believers. Wagging your finger and asking “Who are you to question God?” just proves you have nothing left.

    And the elite liberal outfit that is Fox News found that 61% of Americans were in favor of allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve.

  • http://foxnews.com R. Murdoch

    Hey, Sparks, in trying to prove one liberal point, you have accidentally refuted another. We all know that Evil Right-Wing Fox News only reports conservative stuff and fixes all their data – oh, wait, what’s that, you say their survey didn’t “fix” the data like MSNBC routinely does, and then when they got a result contrary to conservative thought, they published it anyway. That seems awfully “Fair and Balanced” of them, hmmmm? Oooops!

  • http://foxnews.com R. Murdoch

    Hey, Sparks, in trying to prove one liberal point, you have accidentally refuted another. We all know that Evil Right-Wing Fox News only reports conservative stuff and fixes all their data – oh, wait, what’s that, you say their survey didn’t “fix” the data like MSNBC routinely does, and then when they got a result contrary to conservative thought, they published it anyway. That seems awfully “Fair and Balanced” of them, hmmmm? Oooops!

  • Michael Adams

    I do have to wonder whether the idea that homosexuality is immoral came from God Himself, or from some human tradition. If God really is down on the practice, then we ought not to do it, nor to try to normalize it. If the idea arose from human tradition, then, why? Airhead young Marxists will say some blather about exploiting homosexuals. Only thing is, there were a good many homosexuals in ancient times who were not exploited at all, emperors and generals and such, so, where’s the exploitation?
    There are people who claim that homosexuality has been universally accepted everywhere and at all times. They love to cite the example of Socrates, who does appear to have had a boyfriend in his old age. (And was a traitor to Athens in her war with Sparta) On the other hand, Diodorus Seculous was quite scandalized at the homosexuality that he witnessed among the Gauls. Even today, Japan is only about one third nominal Christian, one tenth actually practicing that faith, but the Japanese words for homosexual are so bad they are rarely translated into English. Chinese society is similarly very hostile. Until about forty years ago, even American Leftists had no use, literally, as it turns out, for homosexuals. So, I am driven to ask, why are we being asked to rewrite military law, risk military morale and readiness, and revise marriage and family and inheritance law, to please less than two per cent of the population? What general societal benefit do we derive from such actions? The only one that I see is “greater tolerance.” Is that a real benefit? Kindness is a societal as well as an individual virtue, as are cooperation, compassion, inventiveness and innovation. Tolerance? To tolerate what? It all sounds rather like Holland or Sweden, which are both so tolerant that they don’t care about much of anything, any more, including having babies. Those exquisitely tolerant societies are dying. Just how much more tolerance do we need?

  • Michael Adams

    I do have to wonder whether the idea that homosexuality is immoral came from God Himself, or from some human tradition. If God really is down on the practice, then we ought not to do it, nor to try to normalize it. If the idea arose from human tradition, then, why? Airhead young Marxists will say some blather about exploiting homosexuals. Only thing is, there were a good many homosexuals in ancient times who were not exploited at all, emperors and generals and such, so, where’s the exploitation?
    There are people who claim that homosexuality has been universally accepted everywhere and at all times. They love to cite the example of Socrates, who does appear to have had a boyfriend in his old age. (And was a traitor to Athens in her war with Sparta) On the other hand, Diodorus Seculous was quite scandalized at the homosexuality that he witnessed among the Gauls. Even today, Japan is only about one third nominal Christian, one tenth actually practicing that faith, but the Japanese words for homosexual are so bad they are rarely translated into English. Chinese society is similarly very hostile. Until about forty years ago, even American Leftists had no use, literally, as it turns out, for homosexuals. So, I am driven to ask, why are we being asked to rewrite military law, risk military morale and readiness, and revise marriage and family and inheritance law, to please less than two per cent of the population? What general societal benefit do we derive from such actions? The only one that I see is “greater tolerance.” Is that a real benefit? Kindness is a societal as well as an individual virtue, as are cooperation, compassion, inventiveness and innovation. Tolerance? To tolerate what? It all sounds rather like Holland or Sweden, which are both so tolerant that they don’t care about much of anything, any more, including having babies. Those exquisitely tolerant societies are dying. Just how much more tolerance do we need?

  • http://nicholas-whatthe.blogspot.com nicholas

    Is George Will left handed?

  • http://nicholas-whatthe.blogspot.com nicholas

    Is George Will left handed?

  • Estragon

    I don’t disagree with the basic thesis, but I think the pundits who are saying “it’s no big deal these days” are making a valid observation on the culture as it exists. Whether through a gradual shift in social attitudes or a long indoctrination of PC values, the culture no longer views homosexuality as a moral question.

    As with other values abandoned by modern society, it’s not a question of right and wrong any more as far as popular culture is concerned. That’s just reality.

    I don’t see those pundits saying, “Wow isn’t it great that this is the case?” They are merely stating the facts, in that they are essentially correct.

  • Estragon

    I don’t disagree with the basic thesis, but I think the pundits who are saying “it’s no big deal these days” are making a valid observation on the culture as it exists. Whether through a gradual shift in social attitudes or a long indoctrination of PC values, the culture no longer views homosexuality as a moral question.

    As with other values abandoned by modern society, it’s not a question of right and wrong any more as far as popular culture is concerned. That’s just reality.

    I don’t see those pundits saying, “Wow isn’t it great that this is the case?” They are merely stating the facts, in that they are essentially correct.

  • Pingback: With Apologies to the Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker « Obi’s Sister

  • Pingback: The American Spectator : AmSpecBlog : God and Man at The American Spectator: Intellectuals Vs. Ordinary Americans