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Homosexuality, incest, and the death of sexual taboos

nielson

An Australian judge is currently being criticized for what many social conservatives would call a statement of the obvious. Judge Garry Nielson was presiding in a locally notorious trial involving rape and incest. There is a lot to criticize in Judge Neilson’s findings, at least to American eyes, but what has him in trouble — and could cost him his job — is not his lenient treatment of the rapist, the girl’s uncle who was already in sexual relationship with the victim’s mother, his own sister. Nope, it was this:

NSW Attorney-General Brad Hazzard now faces intense pressure to stand down Judge Neilson after the judge claimed incest was no longer taboo and likened it to homosexuality this week.

Speaking in court during the case of a 58-year-old man charged with repeatedly raping his younger sister in 1981, Judge Neilson said the community may no longer see sexual contact between siblings and between adults and children as “unnatural” or “taboo”, just as homosexuality is now widely accepted.

He added: “A jury might find nothing untoward in the advance of a brother towards his sister once she had sexually matured, had sexual relationships with other men and was now available, not having (a) sexual partner.”

Based on what we have seen over the past decade, I think Judge Nielson is completely on target. For millenia both homosexual activity and incest were criminal acts. As social mores have changed in regards to sexual activity, once quaintly seen as a precursor to having children to now viewing one’s body as Six Flags and sex one of the rides, homosexuality has become accepted. One might say in light of the spate of judicial rulings allowing homosexual marriage and punishing people opposed to that corruption of a sacramental act that homosexuality ia actuality the legally preferred sexual practice in Obama’s America.

It is an open question whether polygamy, polyandry, incest, or pedophilia will be the next social taboos to fall.

Less than two years ago, a father and daughter, both adults, were convicted in Connecticut of incest. As it took place in Connecticut I can only presume the prosecutors objected to heterosexual sex:

An aspiring porn actress and her father were arrested Monday after, accused of having a sexual relationship that resulted in a child, the New York Daily News reports.

According to the report, authorities said a DNA test proved the allegations against Tiffany Hartford, 23, and George Sayers Jr., 46, of Bethel, Conn.

Both Hartford and Sayers denied knowing that they were father and daughter, according tot he Daily News.

Sayers stands accused of impregnating his daughter, filming his daughter have sex with her then girlfriend and selling the footage without the other woman’s consent, according to the Daily News.

It there a ewwww! factor? Of course, but if two men engaging in anal sex is a constitutionally protected behavior (Lawrenece v. Texas) and states are required to legally recognize this activity (homosexual marriage) then, as a society we’ve moved well beyond being grossed out. As both father and daughter were consenting adults it is fairly hard to see what conceivable state interest exists in their prosecution.

Keep in mind this was December 2012. Fast forward to this month:

“Incest is hot, and we’re going to have fun!” MTV‘s Happyland star Bianca Santos said this morning during the new series’ Q&A session at the TCA Summer TV Press Tour. “Now we have our lead!” responded journalists, in their heads — and one said out loud, in a follow-up question.

That’s right. A “teen soap” features two characters, in a sexual relationship, who are brother and sister. And guess what “incest is hot.”

In December 2013, a federal judge struck down part of Utah’s anti-polygamy law:

Judge Clark Waddoups of United States District Court in Utah ruled late Friday that part of the state’s law prohibiting “cohabitation” — the language used in the law to restrict polygamous relationships — violates the First Amendment guarantee of free exercise of religion, as well as constitutional due process. He left standing the state’s ability to prohibit multiple marriages “in the literal sense” of having two or more valid marriage licenses.

There is a growing body of evidence that indicates polygamy is alive and well in the United States, and not in Morman Utah but in Muslim New York City and Philadelphia where extra wives often collect public assistance as single mothers:

Nevertheless, the number of polygamous Muslims and the opportunity presented by the redefining of marriage make it very likely that direct appeals for official recognition will ramp up over the next decade, as more Muslims join vocal non-Muslims already laying out the case that polygamists deserve no fewer rights than gays. In the meantime, watch for Islamists and their allies to prepare for ideological battle.

For starters, one hears a lot about the alleged social necessity of recognizing Islamic polygamy. The hardships encountered by second, third, and fourth wives who lack legal protections are regularly highlighted, while polygamy is promoted as a solution to the loss of marriageable black men in America to drugs, violence, and prison. Because polygamists who are not legally married are known to abuse welfare systems — for instance, Muslim women in polygamous marriages often claim benefits as single mothers — it would not be shocking to see legalization pushed even as a means of curbing fraud.

I have to say, that at least polygamy makes sense and creates something recognizable as a family and it is hard to see how the state’s ability to prevent polygamous marriages is going to fare any better than the bans on homosexual “marriages.”

Often we social conservatives are accused of using “slippery slope” fallacies in our arguments. This is just a lazy critique by stupid people. Predicting homosexual marriage was not a problem once Anthony Kennedy got his inner gay on and wrote the Lawrence decision. Once the ability of the state to regulate moral conduct was stripped away, there was no logical line at which to stop.

Likewise, once the courts decided that the only reason a state could object to broadly defining an institution that it both created and managed (licenses, divorce law, prohibitions on bigamy, at one time prohibitions on adultery) to include homosexuals — despite several thousand years of history — was rank bigotry then the state lost the ability to draw the line anywhere.

In fact, Judge Nielson is quite right is hypothesizing that society may be beyond the point of being offended by any manner of sex between any number of person, creatures, or objects and that justice might be best served by taking notice of this. The parallel he draws between homosexuality and incest is valid. Just as homosexual sex was punished by death, so, too, was incest. In fact, one of the accusations against Anne Boleyn was that she was involved in an incestuous relationship with her brother.

Seen in its totality, we are looking at a society in which it has become disreputable, and possibly criminal, to proclaim what has been regarded as Truth for some thousands of years. We make a fetish of tolerance and a vice of morality. As Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said:

As the historian Gertrude Himmelfarb observed more than a decade ago, “What was once stigmatized as deviant behavior is now tolerated and even sanctioned; what was once regarded as abnormal has been normalized.”  But even more importantly, she added, “As deviancy is normalized, so what was once normal becomes deviant.  The kind of family that has been regarded for centuries as natural and moral — the ‘bourgeois’ family as it is invidiously called — is now seen as pathological” and exclusionary, concealing the worst forms of psychic and physical oppression.

My point is this: Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it.  So it always has been.  So it always will be.  And America has no special immunity to becoming an enemy of its own founding beliefs about human freedom, human dignity, the limited power of the state, and the sovereignty of God.

Perhaps, someday, the pendulum will swing too far and the resulting outrage will create a countervailing force though there is no evidence the momentum of sexual license is anywhere close to being arrest.  If not, the family as it has been defined since prehistoric times is doomed.

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