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Culture of Vice
National Review ^ | 1996 | Robert Reilly

Posted on 09/07/2003 8:50:41 PM PDT by GrandMoM

The homosexual cause has moved naturally from a plea for tolerance to cultural conquest. As Robert Reilly notes a society can withstand any number of person who try to advance their own moral disorders as public policy. But it cannot survive once it adopts the justifications for whose moral disorders as its own. This is what is at stake in the culture war. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bob Dole's attack on Hollywood, Bill Clinton's defense of partial-birth abortions, and Congress's deliberations on the Defense of Marriage Act all clearly indicate that the culture war is alive and well. But why is there a culture war and what is at stake in it?

In The Ethics Aristotle wrote, “men start revolutionary changes for reasons connected with their private lives.” This is also true when revolutionary changes are cultural. What might these “private” reasons be, and why do they become public in the form of revolutionary changes? The answer to these questions lies in the intimate psychology of moral failure.

For any individual, moral failure is hard to live with because of the rebuke of conscience. Habitual moral failure, what used to be called vice, can be lived with only by obliterating conscience through rationalization. When we rationalize, we convince ourselves that heretofore forbidden desires are permissible. We advance the reality of the desires over the reality of the moral order to which the desires should be subordinated. In our minds we replace the reality of moral order with something more congenial to the activity we are excusing. In short, we assert that bad is good.

It is often difficult to detect rationalizations when one is living directly under their influence, and so historical examples are useful. One of the clearest was offered at the Nuremberg trials by Dr. Karl Brandt, who had been in charge of the Nazi regime's Aktion T-4 euthanasia program. He said in his defense: “...when I said `yes' to euthanasia I did so with the deepest conviction, just as it is my conviction today, that it was right. Death can mean deliverance. Death is life.”

Unlike Dr. Brandt, most people recover from their rationalizations when remorse and reality set back in. But when morally disordered acts become the defining centerpiece of one's life, vice can permanently pervert reason. Entrenched moral aberrations then impel people to rationalize vice not only to themselves but to others as well. Thus rationalizations become an engine for revolutionary change that will affect society as a whole.

The power of rationalization drives the culture war, gives it its particular revolutionary character, and makes its advocates indefatigable. It may draw its energy from desperation, but it is all the more powerful for that. Since failed rationalization means self-recrimination, it must be avoided at all cost. For this reason, the differences over which the culture war is being fought are not subject to reasoned discourse. Persons protecting themselves by rationalizing are interested not in finding the truth, but in maintaining the illusion that allows them to continue their behavior. For them to succeed in this, everyone must accede to their rationalization. This is why revolutionary change is required. The necessity for self-justification requires the complicity of the whole culture. Holdouts cannot be tolerated because they are potential rebukes. The self-hatred, anger, and guilt that a person possessed of a functioning conscience would normally feel from doing wrong are redirected by the rationalization and projected upon society as a whole (if the society is healthy), or upon those in society who do not accept the rationalization.

According to Dr. Jack Kevorkian, for example, all those reluctant to participate in his rationalization for killing people (including, it turns out, some who are not even ill) are the real problem; the judicial system is “corrupt,” the medical profession is “insane,” and the press is “meretricious.” Of the coroner who found nothing medically wrong with several of his victims, Dr. Kevorkian said that he is a “liar and a fanatical religious nut.”

The homosexual movement's rationalization is far more widely advanced in its claims. According to Jeffrey Levi, former executive director for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, “We (homosexuals)_ are no longer seeking just a right to privacy and a right to protection from wrong. We have a right - as heterosexuals have already - to see government and society affirm our lives.” Since only the act of sodomy differentiates an active homosexual from a heterosexual, homosexuals want “government and society” to affirm that sodomy is morally equivalent to the marital act. “Coming out of the closet” can only mean an assent on the level of moral principle to what would otherwise be considered morally disordered.

And so it must be. If you are going to center your public life on the private act of sodomy, you had better transform sodomy into a highly moral act. If sodomy is a moral disorder, it cannot be legitimately advanced on the legal or civil level. On the other hand, if it is a highly moral act, it should serve as the basis for marriage, family (adoption), and community. As a moral act, sodomy should be normative. If it is normative, it should be taught in our schools as a standard. In fact, homosexuality should be hieratic: active homosexuals should be ordained as priests. All of this is happening. It was predictable. The homosexual cause moved naturally from a plea for tolerance to cultural conquest. How successful that conquest has been can be seen in the poverty of the rhetoric of its opponents. In supporting the Defense of Marriage Act, the best one congressman could do was to say, “America is not yet ready for homosexual marriage,” as if we simply need a decent interval to adjust ourselves to its inevitable arrival.

The homosexual rationalization is so successful that even the campaign against AIDS is part of it, with its message that “everyone is at risk.” If everyone is at risk, the disease cannot be related to specific behavior. Yet homosexual acts are the single greatest risk factor in catching AIDS. This unpleasant fact invites unwelcome attention to the nature of homosexual acts, so it must be ignored.

The movement for abortion is equally expansive in its claims upon society. The internal logic of abortion requires the spread of death from the unborn to the nearly born, and then to the infirm and otherwise burdensome individuals. The very psychology of rationalization also pushes those involved with abortion to spread the application of its principles in order to multiply the sources of support for it.

If you are going to kill innocent persons you had better convince yourself and others that is “right,” that you do it out of compassion. Thus, Beverly Harrison, a professor of Christian ethics at Union Theological Seminary, contends that abortion is a “positive good,” and even a “loving choice.” Jungian analyst Ginette Paris thinks it is even more. In her book, The Sacrament of Abortion, she calls for “new rituals as well as laws to restore to abortion its sacred dimension.” Defending the right to partial-birth abortions during the recent U.S. Senate debate, Senator Barbara Boxer assure her colleagues that mothers who have aborted their children by this means “buried those babies with love.” If abortion is love, then, indeed, as Dr. Brandt said, “Death is life.”

Abortion is the ultimate in the larger rationalization of the sexual revolution: if sex is only a form or amusement or self-realization (as it must be when divorced from the moral order), why should the generation of a child stand in the way of it, or penalize its fulfillment? The life of the child is a physical and moral rebuke to this proposition. But the child is too weak to overcome the power of the rationalization. The virtual reality of the rationalization is stronger than the actual reality of the child. The child succumbs to the rationalization and is killed in a new “sacrament.”

With over 35 million abortions performed since 1973, the investment in the denial of the evil of abortion has become tremendous. Anyone who has witnessed the eruption of grief and horror (often coming many years after the event) in a woman confronting for the first time the nature of what she has done in an abortion knows the lengths to which people must go to prevent its occurrence.

Thus the changing attitudes toward abortion can be directly traced to the growing number of people, including fathers, doctors, and nurses, with the need to justify it. As reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the number of people who think abortion should be illegal in all circumstances has declined from 21 per cent in 1975 to only 15 per cent in 1995. The proportion who support abortion in all circumstances has increased from 21 per cent to 33 per cent in the same period. This change has taken place not because pro-abortionists are winning arguments, but because of the enormous increase in the number of those with a personal, psychological need to deny what abortion is.

Controversies about life, generation, and death are decisive for the fate of any civilization. A society can withstand any number of persons who try to advance their own moral disorders as public policy. But it cannot survive once it adopts the justification for those moral disorders as its own. This is what is at stake in the culture war.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: abortion; culturewar; euthanasia; homosexual; homosexualagenda; moraldisorders; morality; prisoners

1 posted on 09/07/2003 8:50:42 PM PDT by GrandMoM
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To: GrandMoM
Good article bump.
2 posted on 09/07/2003 8:52:08 PM PDT by txzman (Jer 23:29)
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To: txzman
7 years old....guess no one paid attention to it!!!!!!
3 posted on 09/07/2003 8:57:28 PM PDT by GrandMoM ("What is impossible with men is possible with GOD -Luke 18:27)
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To: GrandMoM
I'd say this article hits it rather close.
4 posted on 09/07/2003 9:00:39 PM PDT by RLK
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To: RLK
I'd say this article hits it rather close.

....this is the part of it I refered to;As Robert Reilly notes a society can withstand any number of person who try to advance their own moral disorders as public policy. But it cannot survive once it adopts the justifications for whose moral disorders as its own.

5 posted on 09/07/2003 9:11:22 PM PDT by GrandMoM ("What is impossible with men is possible with GOD -Luke 18:27)
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To: EdReform; scripter
))))))))))PING((((((((((
6 posted on 09/07/2003 9:12:25 PM PDT by GrandMoM ("What is impossible with men is possible with GOD -Luke 18:27)
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To: GrandMoM
It is an excellent article.
7 posted on 09/07/2003 9:18:57 PM PDT by Judith Anne (For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us, and on the whole world.)
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To: GrandMoM
When society buys into the rationalizations, there is lost any basis for objection and society is in freefall.

Furthermore you run into the situation of the Clintons. Part if Bill Clinton's political power is based upon the fact that his election validated the life styles many people were living.

8 posted on 09/07/2003 9:33:04 PM PDT by RLK
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To: GrandMoM
I saw a Nazi propaganda film which dealt with the issue of the mentally defective. This was part of the eugenics movement and the premise was that life had no meaning for people who mentally defective and so it was better to euthanized them.

The film starts out in the hallway of a German University in front of a bulletin board. With the exception that the language was German, from the clothing and demeanor of the two students, a young man and woman, you could've mistaken it as a scene from an American University in the 1930s.

The topic of a lecture came up regarding the euthanization of the mentally defective and the man suggested that they attend the lecture. The woman on the otherhand says, "I was taught that euthanasia is always wrong." The man rejoined with "maybe we should be open minded about this and attend anyway." The woman agreed.

The next scene shows the students attending the lecture and I must say I found myself in agreement with the lecturer, he made perfect sense. All his psychological, sociological and economic arguments made perfect sense.

I also knew that the Germans began their program of genocide by initially liquidating the mentally defective and also knew that no matter the reasonableness of the lecturer's argument he was wrong and what he was proposing was equally wrong.

Some respond, when one mentions a "slippery slope", that one's just blowing things out of proportion. This film wasn't just evidence that there is a "slippery slope" but that it's also quite easy and rational to end up on one.

9 posted on 09/07/2003 9:35:05 PM PDT by Coeur de Lion
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To: RLK
Furthermore you run into the situation of the Clintons. Part if Bill Clinton's political power is based upon the fact that his election validated the life styles many people were living.....as he was himself.

I truely believe the sprilling downfall accelerated during his pathetic administration!!!

10 posted on 09/07/2003 10:05:33 PM PDT by GrandMoM ("What is impossible with men is possible with GOD -Luke 18:27)
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To: GrandMoM
When a nation and society goes away from God, all things are up for debate. With God there is no debate as to right and wrong, there is no grey areas, there is simply right and wrong period. That is why the world hates us. God is love, he loves us but hates our sin. I can bet I will recieve a bombardment from the "intellectual elite" on this site for my comments. But I don't care. Free your mind and the rest will follow... into a rationalization hell.
11 posted on 09/07/2003 10:06:50 PM PDT by vpintheak (Our Liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain!)
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To: GrandMoM
A society can withstand any number of persons who try to advance their own moral disorders as public policy. But it cannot survive once it adopts the justification for those moral disorders as its own. This is what is at stake in the culture war.

If this is true, then we are finished as a culture.

And I believe it is true.

12 posted on 09/07/2003 10:25:21 PM PDT by spodefly (This is my tagline. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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To: Coeur de Lion
. This film wasn't just evidence that there is a "slippery slope" but that it's also quite easy and rational to end up on one. ....as so many have in our goverments, corperations, churches, schools and even in our own families.
13 posted on 09/07/2003 10:29:20 PM PDT by GrandMoM ("What is impossible with men is possible with GOD -Luke 18:27)
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To: spodefly
If this is true, then we are finished as a culture. And I believe it is true. ....my/our only hope lies here

...Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;and lean not unto thine own understanding

....In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy path-Proverbs[3:5,6]

14 posted on 09/07/2003 10:34:39 PM PDT by GrandMoM ("What is impossible with men is possible with GOD -Luke 18:27)
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To: GrandMoM
Worth bookmarking. Thanks for posting this.
15 posted on 09/07/2003 10:43:36 PM PDT by ChocChipCookie (Beware: the Chip is pissed.)
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To: GrandMoM
BTTT
16 posted on 09/07/2003 10:45:31 PM PDT by secret garden (are you ready for some football?)
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To: pram
))))))))))PING(((((((((
17 posted on 09/07/2003 10:49:37 PM PDT by GrandMoM ("What is impossible with men is possible with GOD -Luke 18:27)
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To: GrandMoM
Thanks - you know my interests!! I will bookmark it for tomorrow reading.
18 posted on 09/07/2003 11:15:11 PM PDT by First Amendment
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To: spodefly
Wait until the liberals find out, when they win the war, that their expendable.
19 posted on 09/07/2003 11:15:21 PM PDT by philetus (Keep doing what you always do and you'll keep getting what you always get)
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To: pram
you know my interests!! ....YEP, Goodnight!
20 posted on 09/07/2003 11:25:34 PM PDT by GrandMoM ("What is impossible with men is possible with GOD -Luke 18:27)
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To: GrandMoM
bump
21 posted on 09/08/2003 3:04:25 AM PDT by expatguy
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To: GrandMoM
Culture of Vice
any doubt just watch FOX TV...
22 posted on 09/08/2003 3:08:09 AM PDT by Gone_Postal
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To: GrandMoM
With decadence comes weakness.
23 posted on 09/08/2003 3:18:12 AM PDT by tkathy
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To: GrandMoM
bttt
24 posted on 09/08/2003 3:20:08 AM PDT by mitch5501 (by the grace of God,I am what I am)
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To: GrandMoM
In The Ethics, Aristotle wrote, "men start revolutionary changes for reasons connected with their private lives."

Good piece. Rush Limbaugh remarked a number of times that this country has always had a few wierdos and oddballs and they were considered wierdos and oddballs by everyone else. Now they are tired of being considered wierdos and oddballs -- they want to be the new majority.

I've read about people involved with various radical movements and what struck me was that so many project their own personal problems, misfortunes, frustrations or failings on society. For example, a woman may be drawn to feminism because her father was an SOB. Instead of just accepting the fact that she had an SOB for a father, so turns on all men and society. She blames society for her personal misfortune and seeks to radically change it. Leftists have succeeded in fostering resentment, hate and the desire for revenge in many previously happy and content people.

I see liberalism simply as rationalized bad behavior -- rationalized selfishness and self-indulgence. They want to do what they want to do, they don't want anyone to make them do what they don't want to do, they want someone to give them whatever they want and take care of them when things go wrong. BWAA! BWAA! They're nothing but a bunch of adult spoiled brats. Liberals will self-righteously blubber about the poor and the oppressed, but they don't really care about them (they don't care about anyone) - their politically correct noises are just an affectation and allow them to look good to like-minded people and feel good about themselves.

25 posted on 09/08/2003 4:16:08 AM PDT by Siamese Princess
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To: GrandMoM; scripter; *Homosexual Agenda; backhoe; pram; Yehuda; Clint N. Suhks; saradippity; ...
Bump and ping.

Scripter will be off line occasionally between now and the middle of September. I've agreed to help him out by running his homosexual agenda ping list.

Homosexual Agenda: Categorical Index of Links
Homosexual Agenda Index (bump list)
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A simple freepmail is all it takes to subscribe to or unsubscribe from scripter's homosexual agenda ping list. If you wish to be added to the list in scripter's absence, please FReepmail me.

26 posted on 09/08/2003 6:00:44 AM PDT by EdReform (Support Free Republic - Become a Monthly Donor)
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To: Bryan; lentulusgracchus; ArGee; Kevin Curry; Coleus
Ping
27 posted on 09/08/2003 6:11:30 AM PDT by EdReform (Support Free Republic - Become a Monthly Donor)
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To: GrandMoM
"7 years old....guess no one paid attention to "

That makes it all that more powerful - and distrubing.
28 posted on 09/08/2003 6:47:18 AM PDT by txzman (Jer 23:29)
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To: Siamese Princess
For example, a woman may be drawn to feminism because her father was an SOB. Instead of just accepting the fact that she had an SOB for a father, so turns on all men and society. She blames society for her personal misfortune and seeks to radically change it.

Andrea Dworkin must have hated her father's very soul. I made the mistake of reading her ramblings once, trying to understand what one of the leading theorists of radical feminism was trying to say. I regretted it, and concluded that Dworkin is to men as Hitler was to the Jews.

29 posted on 09/08/2003 6:49:48 AM PDT by Mackey
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To: txzman
That makes it all that more powerful - and distrubing.....Thanks, exactly my point!
30 posted on 09/08/2003 7:02:00 AM PDT by GrandMoM ("What is impossible with men is possible with GOD -Luke 18:27)
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To: GrandMoM; txzman; All

"The homosexual movement's rationalization is far more widely advanced in its claims. According to Jeffrey Levi, former executive director for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, “We (homosexuals)_ are no longer seeking just a right to privacy and a right to protection from wrong. We have a right - as heterosexuals have already - to see government and society affirm our lives.” Since only the act of sodomy differentiates an active homosexual from a heterosexual, homosexuals want “government and society” to affirm that sodomy is morally equivalent to the marital act. “Coming out of the closet” can only mean an assent on the level of moral principle to what would otherwise be considered morally disordered...


The homosexual community's well planned, well funded campaign has been going on for years, as documented in the following references:

The Overhauling of Straight America

The Homosexual Propaganda and Media Manipulation Game

31 posted on 09/08/2003 7:10:10 AM PDT by EdReform (Support Free Republic - Become a Monthly Donor)
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To: GrandMoM
In our minds we replace the reality of moral order with something more congenial to the activity we are excusing. In short, we assert that bad is good.

I can't quote exactly, but John 3 says:

"And this is their condemnation, the light has come into the world, but they preferred the darkness because their deeds were evil."

Outstanding post.

Shalom.

32 posted on 09/08/2003 7:34:00 AM PDT by ArGee (Hey, how did I get in this handcart? And why is it so hot?)
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To: EdReform
an excerpt from the link EdReform posted

"The Homosexual Propaganda & Media Manipulation Game"

Although homosexual propaganda has been around for 50 years, the current campaign started in 1989 with a very popular book within the homosexual community called: “After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 1990s” by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen. This very popular book within the homosexual community makes a passionate argument that homosexual activists should implement an organized propaganda campaign to change public opinion to gain public acceptance to their behavior and obtain special rights, benefits, and privileges. Their rationalization for launching such a campaign is that people who do not agree with them are “bigots, haters, or ignorants”, and therefore activists can and should justifiably employ any tactic possible, including mass deceit, lying, slander, maliciousness, intimidation, violence, etc. ....please go to link and view the 62 calculating tactics the authors Of "After the Ball" use to mutate public opinion....excellent read!!!

33 posted on 09/08/2003 7:56:55 AM PDT by GrandMoM ("What is impossible with men is possible with GOD -Luke 18:27)
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To: GrandMoM
Thus, Beverly Harrison, a professor of Christian ethics at Union Theological Seminary, contends that abortion is a “positive good,” and even a “loving choice.”

While a professor of Christian ethics, she, however, is not a Christian and will be burning in hell (unless of course she gets saved before she dies)

34 posted on 09/08/2003 8:10:18 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: John O
“positive good,” and even a “loving choice.”

....I almost got sick when I read this!!!!!!!

....how depraved this person and people who think like her are!!!

35 posted on 09/08/2003 8:46:24 AM PDT by GrandMoM ("What is impossible with men is possible with GOD -Luke 18:27)
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To: Polycarp; ahadams2
Bump.
36 posted on 09/08/2003 10:29:21 AM PDT by NYer (Roman Catholic and proud of it.)
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To: Mackey
Andrea Dworkin must have hated her father's very soul. I made the mistake of reading her ramblings once, trying to understand what one of the leading theorists of radical feminism was trying to say. I regretted it, and concluded that Dworkin is to men as Hitler was to the Jews.

I know that Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem had bad fathers. Also, do you know what Andrea Dworkin looks like? To be polite, she is an excellent candidate for stomach stapling. She may hate men simply because she can't get a date. I suspect that that's true of many lesbians.

37 posted on 09/08/2003 10:40:30 AM PDT by Siamese Princess
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To: EdReform
BTTT
38 posted on 01/09/2004 6:58:36 PM PST by GrandMoM (The attitude of faith will cause you to live one day at a time, enjoying each one. 2 Cor.5:7)
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To: GrandMoM
In The Ethics Aristotle wrote, “men start revolutionary changes for reasons connected with their private lives.” This is also true when revolutionary changes are cultural. What might these “private” reasons be, and why do they become public in the form of revolutionary changes? The answer to these questions lies in the intimate psychology of moral failure.

Revolutionary changes bump. Bumped for topicalness.

39 posted on 02/18/2004 11:35:40 AM PST by tuesday afternoon
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To: GrandMoM
BTTT
40 posted on 03/13/2004 6:12:26 AM PST by EdReform (Support Free Republic - All donations are greatly appreciated. Thank you for your support!)
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To: little jeremiah
Hey lj, I found this article via a link on a current thread. This is a very good article and would serve as ammo for M/A Threads. We need to make a list of links somehow any ideas?
41 posted on 12/10/2004 11:00:32 AM PST by DirtyHarryY2K (Perversion is not a civil right.)
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