The Other McCain

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

The ‘Ick Factor’

Posted on | December 13, 2010 | 18 Comments

“In the hands of a skillful indoctrinator, the average student not only thinks what the indoctrinator wants him to think . . . but is altogether positive that he has arrived at his position by independent intellectual exertion. This man is outraged by the suggestion that he is the flesh-and-blood tribute to the success of his indoctrinators.”
William F. Buckley Jr., Up From Liberalism (1959)

Da Tech Guy blogs about the intellectual hand-wringing over “consensual adult” incest, a discussion provoked by the Epstein case. He helpfully links John Nolte’s comment on how “the idea is to get decent and thoughtful people to start second guessing themselves” about basic moral values. Sowing doubt is one of the easiest things in the world, especially in a society where young people are “carefully taught” (again, borrowing that Rodgers and Hammerstein lyric) that Progress and Science must inevitably disprove all traditional beliefs. 

The Temple Cult of Scientism, as I’ve called it, means that all values are subject to debunking, if some influential group of intellectuals decides they need debunking:

The federally-mandated triumph of secularism in public education — Engel v. Vitale, Abington School District, Epperson v. Arkansas – has steadily enlarged the credulous congregation of the Temple Cult.
These landmark Supreme Court decisions stigmatized religion as unconstitutionally subversive of the educational process, ensuring that future generations of American youth would be inculcated with a sort of neo-Manichean worldview, wherein traditional religious belief had nothing relevant to say about science, history, psychology or any other realm of human inquiry.
Ideas Have Consequences, as Richard Weaver famously observed, and this legally-certified declaration that there was no overlap between Faith and Reason has not merely marginalized Faith, it has also undermined Reason. . . .

The elite legal community has played a central role in this process. For more than 50 years, Americans have been taught that the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of all truth, so that the “penumbras and emanations” discerned by the court majority are beyond dispute. The language and concepts promulgated by court decisions seep into our culture and begin to replace the Constitution itself as legal authority.

Just as an example, think for a minute how it is that our society developed its pervasive — and, I would argue, entirely irrational — horror of “discrimination.” This attitude is why TSA screeners are groping harmless old ladies at the airport. Screening must be entirely random, with no extra scrutiny toward young Arab men, or else security officials would be vulnerable to accusations of “discrimination.”

Recall that, before 9/11, the actor James Woods called attention to the suspicious behavior of young Arab men on an airplane who, as it turned out, were training for the 9/11 hijackings. Yet despite that warning, no official action was taken. We were therefore vulnerable to terrorism in part because, at least since the 1960s, Americans have been carefully taught to avoid the Modern Secular Sin of “discrimination.”

Thus Eugene Volokh feels the need to find a secular, rational, non-discriminatory basis to forbid incest. Any reference to old-fashioned “Thou shalt not” taboos is out of bounds, because any invocation of divine will calls to mind certain other “Thou shalt not” taboos that are now considered unjustly discriminatory. (Although, as Justice Scalia noted, the majority in Lawrence found a way to overturn the Texas sodomy law without specifically creating a constitutional right to sodomy.) Few people ever question the intellectual origins of those fashionable prejudices we nowadays call “political correctness,” but indeed these ideas have pedigrees.

For three decades, Judith Reisman has been a voice crying in the wilderness about how Alfred Kinsey’s fraudulent “scientific” studies gave rise to the idea that All Sex Acts Are Created Equal. Kinsey’s methodology was invalid and his findings were dubious, and there is every reason to suspect that his entire purpose was to provide a “scientific” justification for his own perversions. Yet because Kinsey’s findings were embraced and promoted by influential liberals, it has become impossible for the criticisms of Reisman and others to get a fair hearing.

Meanwhile, the Kinseyan philosophy of sex has been interwoven so deeply into our cultural tapestry that, despite the self-evident harm caused by this perverse philosophy, no one wishes to re-examine Kinsey’s dangerous errors. We are now so far down a slippery slope that it seems impossible to climb back up, and the question of how we got here is examined in my latest column for The American Spectator:

Abraham Lincoln once remarked that “the philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” Nearly six decades have passed since William F. Buckley Jr., warned that the philosophy of America’s most eminent schoolhouses had taken a turn down a particular road, away from a tradition of faith and liberty, toward godless collectivism.
When God and Man at Yale was published in 1951, liberals denounced Buckley as a fanatic and worse. One hostile reviewer accused him of “un-Christian arrogance,” while another said that Buckley’s book had “the glow and appeal of a fiery cross on a hillside at night.” His critics, however, could not assail the facts assembled in God and Man at Yale, demonstrating that Yale was promoting economic theories hostile to the free market, that the university was neglecting its original mission of promoting the Christian faith, and that when confronted with this evidence, the administration defended itself by appeals to what Buckley called the “superstition of academic freedom.” . . .

Please read the whole thing.



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