The Other McCain

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

For Some Strange Reason, I Was Reminded of Lawrence v. Texas

Posted on | December 19, 2011 | 26 Comments

Or more precisely, a certain dissenting opinion:

“The Texas statute undeniably seeks to further the belief of its citizens that certain forms of sexual behavior are ‘immoral and unacceptable’ . . . the same interest furthered by criminal laws against fornication, bigamy, adultery, adult incest, bestiality, and obscenity. Bowers held that this was a legitimate state interest. The Court today reaches the opposite conclusion. The Texas statute, it says, ‘furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual’ . . . The Court embraces instead Justice Stevens’ declaration in his Bowers dissent, that ‘the fact that the governing majority in a State has traditionally viewed a particular practice as immoral is not a sufficient reason for upholding a law prohibiting the practice’ . . . This effectively decrees the end of all morals legislation. If, as the Court asserts, the promotion of majoritarian sexual morality is not even a legitimate state interest, none of the above-mentioned laws can survive rational-basis review.”

One of the problems with slippery-slope arguments is that, when confronted with a demand for radical change, you can never know in advance exactly what the results of some hypothetical “reform” will be. You may have an educated guess that bad things will happen, but the Law of Unintended Consquences always has a way of surprising us, so trying to predict specific outcomes is difficult. And I’m pretty sure that even the most prescient observer did not predict, in June 2003, that we’d so soon see simulated incest as pep-rally entertainment:

[A] recent winter sports pep rally at Rosemount (Minn.) High featured a comedy skit which took advantage of unknowing captains of the various winter varsity squads. After the team captains walked into the gym blindfolded, they were told that they were going to be kissed by a special someone, and then were asked to guess who it was that kissed them. . . .
It turns out that the person who kissed the athletes — in every circumstance — was their own opposite sex parent. While no one has questioned the comedic intentions of the prank, the stunt itself has still drawn plenty of criticism not for the student athletes, but for what the parents did in executing the practical joke. . . . [S]ome of the parents took their roles as “special someones” to a level that left many onlookers feeling uncomfortable and even queasy.

The story says there is video, which I don’t want to see and you probably don’t want to see, either. The normal reaction is:

What the hell is wrong with people? What the hell were these parents thinking? What was the school thinking? Is self-respect a concept utterly lost to this country?

So says the Anchoress, who was linked by Da Tech Guy, citing lots of other things going on nowadays which make normal people wonder the same thing: What the hell is wrong with people?

This rampant insanity — which is, er, waxing rather than waning — Da Tech Guy calls “the logical result of 50 years of secularism,” and I am not disposed to argue much against that conclusion. But why secularism?

What force or forces have led to increased secularism? I would contend that the problem can be summed up in a single word: Equality.

Once you adopt the egalitarian mindset, you view all established order — all traditional hierarchies — as unjust and illegitimate.

Basic categorical distinctions like husband and wife, parent and child, student and teacher, and indeed even man and woman, are delegitimized by the egalitarian worldview. Why, after all, do we find the liberal media so sympathetic with Occupy Wall Street protests against the wealth of the rich? Because it is supposedly “unfair” for one man to have a million dollars while others are deeply in debt.

The traditions of private property and free enterprise are, to the egalitarian mind, as illegitimate as the tradition that marriage is the union of exactly one man and one woman. The pursuit of “social justice” requires that these allegedly arbitrary distinctions be swept away as obsolete and oppressive legacies of the benighted past, so as to usher in an age of Progress and Enlightenment.

Among the elements of the established order which the egalitarians were most determined to destroy was the distinction between God and Man, thus to remove from consideration any deference to Divine Authority. Religion was mocked as unscientific superstition, the Bible subjected to scornful literary criticism, and the clergy exposed as hypocritical.

All of these anti-religious forces have been gathering momentum for far more than the 50 years Da Tech Guy ascribes to the secularist trend. Wasn’t this a basic complaint of Bill Buckley in God and Man at Yale, published in 1951? If eminent authorities at Yale were part of an observable trend six decades ago, certainly that trend had already been developing for many decades even then.

Buckley did not predict — for how could he have possibly imagined? — where that trend would lead, but by the time he sounded the alarm 60 years ago, America was already sliding down the slippery slope. And no sooner had I written that sentence than Smitty sent me this news:

Group sex is the latest trend for
teenagers, says disturbing new report

Average age of first group sex experience
among study participants is just 15.6 years old

A new study has found that one in 13 girls aged 14 to 20 have engaged in ‘multi-person sex’ (MPS).
A total of 328 girls who had visited health clinics in Boston, U.S, took part in the study and 7.3 per cent of them said they had had group sex.
Worryingly, among the girls in that group, 45 per cent said at least one male participant had not used a condom.
[R]esearchers at the Boston University School of Public Health said that the majority of the girls ‘reported being pressured, threatened, coerced, or forced to participate in MPS at least once.’
Although some of those participating in the study were adults, the average age of their first group-sex experience was just 15.6 years old.
A total of 54 per cent of those studied had multi-person sex for the first time when they were younger than 16.

Wonderful: The teenage orgy becomes a common rite of passage. Girls are having group sex even before they reach the legal age of consent. How long before the “emerging awareness” cited by the Supreme Court majority in Lawrence v. Texas emerges far enough to encompass this?

At this point, the safest prediction would be that America’s slide into degeneracy will continue, and we should not be too surprised by what strange things await us as we approach the bottom of that slippery slope, nearing that fabled destination of a road paved with good intention.



26 Responses to “For Some Strange Reason, I Was Reminded of Lawrence v. Texas

  1. M. Thompson
    December 19th, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

    That’s quite possibly one of the top two dissents in Supreme Court History (Plessey v. Ferguson the other).

    Also, I’m just tired of the quiet tyranny of lowered expectations inflicted onto our social lives.  Enough’s enough, but the opinion ‘leaders’ won’t go another way, and the desire to conform makes life even worse.  There’s now an expectation to ‘defy’ something that really doesn’t exist any more.

    Finding a cabin in the North Woods to hide in sounds increasingly like the best thing to do with my life.

  2. Adjoran
    December 19th, 2011 @ 10:06 pm

    There’s a lot of truth to the old saw about the road to Hell being paved with good intentions, but in this case I am inclined to doubt the intentions were at all good. 

    The breakdown of traditional mores and moral authority is a textbook technique of the communists, which is why they are so hostile to religion.

  3. Tennwriter
    December 19th, 2011 @ 10:34 pm

    One reason to be a social conservative aka Normal Conservative is because you wholly reject such nonsense.  Its another reason to be a YEC Creationist because such involves a deep rejection of such nonsense.

  4. Finrod Felagund
    December 19th, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

    The ‘average age’ thing shouldn’t really be considered to be anything more than a statistical artifact from the dataset chosen.  If they had a sample set that included women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, etc., the average age would be radically different with nothing other than the sample size changed.

    328 times 7.4 percent = 24 individuals admitting to having had group sex– wonder how many of those 24 were lying about it.  Of course there could be ones that were lying about not having had group sex, as well.  It’s hard to say too much with a subset sample size this small.

  5. Anonymous
    December 19th, 2011 @ 10:56 pm

    The most practical solution is plain and obvious: no more public school.  Everybody who graduates high school deserving the diploma could have been done by age 14 at the latest.  Everybody who graduates undeserving of the diploma never learned anything more advanced than what 14 year olds are learning now.

    Parents need to stop sending their kids to college, PARENTS!  Let them work while their 18-22, and then pay for it themselves, OR they can go to a program that allows little leisure time and is sexually segregated in living quarters.

    It is so stupid to think that sending kids 14-18 to a building where they are literally interred all day every day with other immature kids is going to be good for them.  Just like force in government, influence in high school accumulates to those most willing to wield it against others.  Peer pressure isn’t about decaying mores, it’s about the social environment parents essentially force their kids into.

    And then, sending a kid away from the ages of 18-22, with expenses paid, to a place where they only have to show up for class an average of 4 hours a day, three days a week, and they live confined with other immature 18-22 year olds, and EVERYONE drinks leading to plentiful situations of MASS LACK OF JUDGMENT, is the height of idiocy.

    18 year olds in the work environment will befriend people more mature than they are, who will help them develop better than the alternative of other 18 year olds who would be trying to get them to try shrooms. No kidding, in college I remember the 20-odd-percent who resisted booze and sex had given in by thanksgiving of their freshmen year. The other 70% acted as a unanimous support group, consoling emotions of guilt, telling them that that behavior was normal and everybody does it and it’ll be fine. (I suppose about 10% were religiously motivated to not partake) What most disturbs me about these observed anecdotes is the contrast of the real – non-religious – guilt that people felt as they entered a world of decadence and carelessness, boy and girl scouts becoming rock groupies, with the confidence of the morally aloof reassure-ers. This inversion of values proved to me the insidious moral dominance of the decadent culture among the youth.

    I’m sorry, but no matter how concerned you are about your kid’s future career, no matter how much you trust their judgment, no matter how much you assume it’s going to all come out in the wash once their fully mature, paying for your kid to go to college in this day and age is a criminal abdication of parental judgment.

    I’m 25, a military officer, never drank, never had extramarital sex, and, I’ve learned, the overwhelming majority of my colleagues were drinking by high school.  Isn’t that illegal?  And many of them are brand new parents, raising the next batch.

  6. D. Edwards
    December 19th, 2011 @ 11:22 pm

    ”The men of the hour synchronize their exquisitely accurate watches
    without having learned to tell the time. They scrutinize the compass,
    while declaring that East and West are all the same to them. Is 3 am
    yet? And if the phone rings what should be said? Since Noam Chomsky once
    likened Havel’s aspirations to an “embarrassingly silly and morally
    repugnant Sunday School sermon” one would guess the answer is

    To open the door but never to step through it; to notice the modern
    Berlin Wall but never to challenge it; to observe the fact of the
    slavery and never once mention it since that would be judgmental  — that
    is the hallmark of today’s post-Sunday School Man.”

  7. JeffS
    December 20th, 2011 @ 12:45 am

    I believe it was Robert Heinlein who said, “Everybody lies about sex”. 

    Including the media, who lies about nearly everything.

  8. Pathfinder's wife
    December 20th, 2011 @ 2:01 am

    Very good point.  I’m disinclined to believe it is merely secularism that is doing this — secularism was alive and kicking in America at its founding, but we didn’t turn into moral degenerates.

    This is militant, anti-religion secularism — which has always been the hallmark of socialism (both national and international, and all points inbetween); it is the hallmark of nihilistic thought (above all else, even the -isms, which are only offspring of the same) and gives rise to a very vicious and belligerent form of atheism (which means the right wing needs to beware of it as well).

    To be blunt — it plays at Satan and all that particular character has to offer mankind.  ( in this I am drawing a line between atheism which does not try to indoctrinate and go on the attack, to destroy and set up itself and only itself in the place of older traditional morals and pieties… and this form which does; the one leaves individual freedom of choice and does not deny some notion of moral/ethical behavior; the other should be avoided at all cost as it is truly evil, in a sense that even the non-religiously inclined can understand).

  9. Pathfinder's wife
    December 20th, 2011 @ 2:07 am

    So, you would force young people into segregated work camps?

    It has been done before, but never as any national policy here.

    What can seem like a good (and easy, no?) solution to the problem can sometimes be a worse trap.  I think we can probably find a better solution than doing away with public school. (there are many who cannot afford private schools or homeschooling, do you consign them to ignorance which would guarantee that they never get beyond menial labor, or worse?  that’s been done before too — but never as a policy of the state here).
    But I’m afraid that what will be lacking is the quick and easy success, or having everything turn out “perfectly”.

  10. jwallin
    December 20th, 2011 @ 5:20 am

    Secularism/Liberalism have no black or white. No right or wrong. They claim there are only shades of gray. That there is no good or evil. That all points of view have equal value.

    They hold this because to do otherwise is to make a statement, to take a stand and this requires courage, conviction and strength of mind.

    It’s much easier to be blown hither and thither than to stand fast in the face of overwhelming force, to give in to one’s selfish desires and let go one’s hold on righteousness.

    This has always been the ultimate goal of secularists, atheists, relativists, nihilists and existentialists. The abandonment of the soul. The rejection of a higher plane of existence.

    The surrender to ones baser lusts, to abandon the fight of right over wrong, to regress back to the grunting caveman.

  11. SDN
    December 20th, 2011 @ 7:06 am

    Young Earth Creationism? Seriously?

  12. Quartermaster
    December 20th, 2011 @ 7:43 am

    The problem with calling the “slippery slope” argument a fallacy is that the slope is often slippery.

    People aren’t stupid and can see where things will usually lead. We saw where the Lawrence decision would lead and we are there. Frankly, it was intentional.

  13. ThePaganTemple
    December 20th, 2011 @ 8:31 am

    Well, the main reason to be a Young Earth Creationist would be that, well, you would have to be able to believe in it. I guess if you are able to walk that mile, all the other reasons might fall into place.

  14. ThePaganTemple
    December 20th, 2011 @ 8:49 am

    The teenage group sex thing is nothing new, that’s been going on for
    years now. Hell I used to know guys that would literally stand in line
    to have a go at certain girls. Pretty girls, too. Not all of them of
    course, some were ugly as homemade sin, and even retarded, but they were
    the minority. Some of these girls that engaged in this kind of practice
    were the kind of girls at first glance any boy would want to go out
    with. And these are just the ones I knew about. Who knows how many
    others there were I didn’t know anything about?

    But this story doesn’t ring true to me. How many times did this go on?
    You’d think after the first time or two the guys would catch on from the audience reaction that
    something wasn’t quite right. But then again I haven’t read the story
    yet. I guess if it all happened at the same time, it would be feasible.

    I just wonder how many of these boys were later asked to “discuss their
    feelings” about what happened in some class or some private counseling
    session. You can bet there was some greater point other than it being
    some kind of prank.

  15. herddog505
    December 20th, 2011 @ 9:03 am

    Devil’s advocate: does the slippery slope not go the other way, i.e. when society gets into the habit of saying X is “immoral” and hence illegal, what’s to stop it saying that Y or Z is as well?  Is this not the root of the Nanny State that many people (including me) abhor?

    /devil’s advocate

    What lefties fail to understand (or, at least, admit) is that most if not all laws have a basis in “collective morality”: enough people decide that this or that is wrong and should be a punishable offense.  This is where Mr. Justice Stevens is exactly wrong: the fact that the governing majority in a State has traditionally viewed a particular practice as immoral IS INDEED a sufficient reason for upholding a law prohibiting the practice, so long as basic constitutional rights are not trampled in the process.  Laws against murder, theft, child labor, drug use, speeding, smoking, etc., are all rooted in a basic, collective agreement by “society” that these things are harmful to the society, and therefore are proscribed.  This is also, incidentally, why our laws are (or, at least, are supposed to be) decided by LEGISLATURES, not judges.

  16. Andrew
    December 20th, 2011 @ 11:57 am

    Yes. Clearly the right of gay men to privacy in their own bedrooms and the desire to guarantee the most basic economic necessities of life to our citizens are both linked to Satan himself and will eventually lead to 
    mandatory  incestuous  teen sex orgies, or something.

    To prove this I will link to a trashy British tabloid which has a history of sensationalist headlines about brown people next to images of scantily clad white women.

  17. Andrew
    December 20th, 2011 @ 12:00 pm

    How do you explain Ayn Rand and many other pro-capitalist secularists?

  18. Tennwriter
    December 20th, 2011 @ 1:36 pm


    Geology, Astronomy, Biology, History, Revelation, and Logic support YEC.

    Darwin, a second rate experimentalist and bad philosopher is supported by the Big Lie financed by Gov’t Cheese.

    If you think AGW is ridiculous, you should be laughing off your chair at Darwinism because the Darwinians make the Global Warmists look like pikers when it comes to hoaxes.

    Lastly, half the people in the nation are YEC. 39% are ‘God did evolution’ style Creationists.  And 11% are Darwinian fundamentalists.  Care to guess what percentage of the last group votes Democrat?

  19. Tennwriter
    December 20th, 2011 @ 1:39 pm

    I don’t believe he said he’d force people.  But I would like a bit of clarification.

  20. Tennwriter
    December 20th, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

    I see Ayn Rand as four things…
    1. She wanted to get rid of Christianity but keep America so she invented her own religion to do that.
    2. She’s right that the noble deserve respect. But, what she does not realized is that God Exists, and He is Most Noble, Most High, Deserving of All Glory and Honor, Forever and Ever, Amen.
    3. Like many a Catholic saint, she’s kinda crazy, but still useful.  Without her, we might be saluting the Hammer and Sickle every morning.
    4. She probably had Asperger’s or something.  I like SF Grandmaster Jerry Pournelle’s comment.  He wondered why she expected some guy to protect her, and he wanted to ask her, but then he met her, and understood.  I take this to mean, she was easy on the eyes, and had the Typical Pretty Girl’s perspective on Men Serving her.

    As to the following on pro-capitalist secularists, some of my views get downright nasty so I shall hold my tongue.

  21. Anonymous
    December 20th, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

    There are thousands of ways for the republic to handle the education of the young.  For example, we can continue to progressively tax people to procure funding for education so that it is universally available, while also allowing parents or appointed guardians to select where and how the money is spent. 

    I was touching on rethinking those culturally instituted habits we take for granted.  For example, the state might decide to fund education universally only up to the age of 14.

    I think parents, and youth, are free to do whatever they want.  I don’t see anything wrong with 15 year olds working as soda jerks, office clerks, or farm hands.

    I also think 14 year olds are smart enough to begin learning independence.   An 18 year old, independently adult, should know about paying rent, balancing the checkbook, saving, buying insurance, paying taxes, finding a job – or for that matter enrolling in a school.

    The transition needs to happen as soon as kids are able, while they still are attached to the home front so-to-speak.  Many parents do a great job of this, but they do so in spite of institutional pressures to just allow kids to glide through the system.

    My comments about a sex-segregated situation was only referring to the traditional practice of treating young people like young people.  Boarding schools and academies always used to acknowledge both the need for strict discipline in turning kids into adults, as well as the natural tendency for young people to absolutely resist discipline.

    In practice, I would say I’m thinking of a college-level of learning with kids a little bit younger, say 16-20, who are required to be in class or structured programs (athletics, music, debate, shop, study hall) for most of their waking hours.  Educational boot camp if you will.  I’m imagining this as an alternative to university (not as a national program for all young adults).  I figure it’s a waste of money and time otherwise – as well as a mishandling of youthful ignorance.  The consequence for not getting with the program would merely be not having the privilege of attending university at that time. 

    In other words, this would be the option for young people who aren’t going to get involved with trades, who already are planning long careers deep in higher education.  Everyone else would work/go to trade school.  And, of course, it would all be free to choose and market driven.

    If I had to summarize my point of view, I’d say that I think that young people lack judgment, but have great ability and potential.  Adults should provide, therefore, environments that properly channel the potential of youth towards moral and productive endeavors – ones which leave them best prepared for a healthy adulthood.

    Our current system is in place – I’m not kidding – for convenience, I believe.  It’s just easier to let youth drag on and on, and lump all the kids together.  But it’s destroying them.

  22. Anonymous
    December 20th, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

    One more thing.  I used the term “educational boot camp”.  I wasn’t advocating for military-style environments.  I just mean highly structured ones that demand much from the students.  So, there might be academic uniforms, discipline, and schedule keeping – but there needn’t be anything military about it per se.

  23. ThePaganTemple
    December 20th, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

    Gay men need to stop sticking gerbils up their asses, that’s animal abuse.

  24. Datechguy's Blog » Blog Archive » Nothing to see here, just teens having group sex » Datechguy's Blog
    December 20th, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

    […] now Stacy McCain links to this story A new study has found that one in 13 girls aged 14 to 20 have engaged in […]

  25. Anonymous
    December 20th, 2011 @ 9:46 pm

    Hopefully when the Muslims take over they will stamp out this stuff.  They might not have much to say about the incest though

  26. Droidist
    December 22nd, 2011 @ 9:38 am

    All of these anti-religious forces have been gathering momentum for far more than the 50 years Da Tech Guy ascribes to the secularist trend.

    Oh yes. Much more than 50 years! I’ve been “aware of grownup society” since the mid- or late 1920s.

    At those times people pushing the prurient agenda that Hollywood,Universities, Politicians, and Progressives in general have foisted on our culture were treated with the cold amazement at their foolishness, the derision, and shame such ideas deserve.

    I do disagree that there were “good intentions” involved anywhere in this. These people set out to damage society, and they’ve succeeded well.

    Of course, when any of us, in a place minors can notice, make crude jokes and references such as the “breast institute”, we’re directly contributing to the slide.

    I’m deadly serious about this, and when I see the sex-drenched postings here, I wonder about the outrage I see over the slide into pruriency here. When taken in toto, it often strikes me more as mock outrage than serious critique. I think that it gives the degenerates a “foothold” from which to push their destructive “advances”.

    Of course I don’t expect the above to be well received ? in 85yrs of my experience (of course I had a childhood, I was born in the ‘teens…) “ringing this bell”, few were the people who didn’t shrug off the road’s terminus… usually saying I was over-reacting, (if they were attempting to be kind…) ? or a “prude”, or somesuch.

    I could see the “prudish” point ? I’m LDS, (you know, a “Mormon”), and taken on the whole, we do tend to be a prudish lot: children are so import wives should run the home ? careers outside the home are for after the children are grown, eschew vices, deal honestly with your fellow man, and other values laughed at today.

    The laughing doesn’t phase me: when called a “prude” I consider what the root of the word leads to… prudes are just being prudent….

    We know what works, as developed in the only laboratory that matters: civilization! Tested over thousands of years in”real-world laboratory conditions”, there’s truly nothing new in human interaction, it’s dictated by our physicallity.

    Oh, we are human: which means we don’t always do so well at meeting those standards, in being prudent.

    As long as we’re honestly and earnestly working toward becoming the divine nature our Heavenly Father’s graced us with as an endowment, we’re doing well.

    I don’t intend this as an indictment, but I think that semi-naked women, sexual jokes and innuendo belong in the bedroom, between a husband and wife and not in a public forum potentially frequented by minors ? so I don’t click the weekly “sex” links here… and I’ve dropped other blogs, almost as good, for the same reasons. I don’t take offense, but neither do I subject myself to these things. If I find the urge to view almost completely unclad women uncontrollable ? not a big danger at 96, I might add ? there’s plenty on television without mixing it with my political discussion.

    Anyway, this has become much longer than originally conceived, though it wasn’t meant to tell you how to run your blog.

    Thank You Mr. McCain for allowing us to comment on your site!