The Other McCain

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


Posted on | December 11, 2010 | 50 Comments

Sometimes it’s strange how one thing leads to another. Last night, while blogging about the arrest of Columbia University Professor David Epstein, I noted that several people seemed to have a hard time understanding why incest is illegal:

Readers might suppose that arguments involving phrases like “thou shalt not” and words like “abomination” are sternly frowned on at Columbia University, so that the faculty would have a hard time answering such a question from their students.

Somewhere along the long journey from the “thou shalt not” standard to the “consenting adults” standard, the line between right and wrong got blurry enough that some people became hopelessly confused. Tim Blair responded to one such confused person:

According to Salon‘s Tracy Clark-Flory, “it isn’t a clear-cut case of child abuse.” Really?

Many people have been carefully taught (to borrow a lyric from Rodgers and Hammerstein) to look at the world through the prism of “rights.” The personal is political and vice-versa, so that by the process of what Mary Ann Glendon has called “rights talk,” everything becomes politicized.

Even when confronted with the most clear-cut case of perverted evil — and if the allegations against Epstein are true, “perverted evil” is certainly an apt phrase — some people cling so tightly to this rights-oriented worldview they care nothing at all about real people, except as political symbols.

Bigot Compares Incest To LGBT Rights
In Columbia Prof’s Incest Case

The “bigot” in Bridgette P. LaVictoire’s headline? Me.

And of course my alleged bigotry is a far more serious problem than Columbia University professors having sex with their daughters, because “LGBT rights” is the only thing that matters in the whole wide world.

 “LGBT rights” is Bridgette P. LaVictoire’s raison d’etre. Nothing else has any meaning. Ask her which football team she hopes wins the NFC East, and her answer will reflect her understanding of which team most symbolizes the cause of “LGBT rights.” (Hint for Bridgette: It’s the Eagles.)

Making an argument that offends Bridgette’s sense of what is in the best interests of  “LGBT rights” is sufficient to justify the “bigot” label, because the personal is political and — if you buy into the radical By Any Means Necessary mentality — no weapon is out of bounds when attacking our political enemies.

One thing leads to another, you see.

Meanwhile, Ann Althouse notes the relevance of recent Supreme Court decisions to the frightening concept of a constitutional right to consensual adult incest. (And I’m sure that’s what the Founding Fathers had in mind, aren’t you?)

Professor Glenn Reynolds seems to have tongue firmly in cheek in asking, “Why are they only charging the man in what’s said to have been a consensual relationship between adults? Isn’t that an equal protection violation? Where’s the civil rights community on this?”

Have we lost our cotton-picking minds?

Has some large segment of America succumbed to a mental disorder that makes them unable to accept any moral standard beyond legalistic, politicized notions of “rights”?

UPDATE: Notorious “bigot” Vox Day:

Once traditional mores have been thrown out the window, it is very difficult to rationally declare “thus far and no farther” since every single argument made in support of those legal abominations can just as easily be utilized in this case. If the professor chooses to vigorously defend himself on those terms, he should have a pretty good chance of being exonerated even if he is guilty. It should be interesting to see what folks like John Scalzi and other outspoken supporters of state-sanctioned homogamy have to say about this case.

The Scalzi mentioned is, appropriately, a writer of science fiction. A commenter notes that Ms. LaVictoire seems to have indicted me under the “Transitive Property of Internet Idiocy,” which as Cassandra of Villainous Company explains, “allows us to impute the utterances of one blogger to every other blogger of his acquaintance, to anyone who shares the same political persuasion or who dares to agree with him.”

Which is to say that I am now implicated in whatever errors any of Vox Day’s critics wish to impute to him, and vice-versa. Also, we are both symbolic proxies for Fred Phelps, or whatever homophobic bigot with whom you wish to compare us.

UPDATE II: Tom Maguire: “And eventually the Mormons wil be heard from.” By which, I suppose, he means the rogue fundamentalist sect (FLDS) which, in April 2008, provided us with lots of “Texas teen sex cult” headlines.

Big Fur Hat says there were clues that Professor Epstein might be a bit shady.


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