OK, sometimes things take an unexpected turn. Some friends and I were having a conversation. I was, as I often am, freely expressing myself. Let me try to set the stage a bit. There were several conversations which preceded this discussion:
Seems there is a young lady who, in her early twenties is a mother of a very young child. She had informed me that she was following a family tradition of sorts. It seems her mother had given birth to a daughter in her late teens, and her older sister had given birth at the same age, to a daughter. The tradition proved true, as she had given birth at the same age, also to a daughter. Further cementing the common bond, none of these women had a husband, and never did bring a father into the family.
I was later engaged in a conversation with someone else. She related to me that she had been invited to a baby shower. Images of cutesy toys, outfits, and gifts for mommy and daddy to be to enjoy with the new child. “Oh, no”, I was told. “There’s no daddy. She’s not married.” Who was putting on this celebration for her, a concerned friend? Wrong again! Her mom is hosting the baby shower. It seems as she is happy and proud her daughter, her unmarried daughter, is pregnant, and the father is nowhere to be found. I was uncharacteristically quiet while digesting this tidbit.
Now back to the conversation which is the point of this essay. Some friends and I were discussing the issues which both those conversations had brought to mind.
I was wondering how our society had wandered so far in such a short time. Within my own lifetime, I can recall that a young woman who became pregnant without benefit of a father or a marriage was secluded. There was still a sense of shame, of a need to go away and have the child in secret. Now such”indiscretions” are celebrated. Out of wedlock births ( funny how even that phrase seems so out of date) is no longer stigmatized. We encourage such things, without giving a thought to the consequences, to society in general and to the individuals whose lives are so directly and negatively impacted. Study after study shows that the life of children born to single mother families are more likely to be underachievers. Schooling is shortchanged. Income is greatly restricted. And the chance of such devastation being repeated is huge, continuing the path of economic, social, and individual life destruction into subsequent generations.
As I carefully voiced my opinions, I was interrupted. One of my conversation mates loudly interjected: ” Well, That’s all because the Catholic Church stops all those abortions.”
(Did I tell you he was liberal?) I turned and said “What does that possibly matter to the subject at hand?” “Because, the damn Church is so strict, and opposed to abortion, forcing those girls to have babies!”
First, let’s look at the internal logic here. He’s upset that the Catholic Church is opposed to abortion. The Church’s rules are strict. None of these women are Catholic. Even should they be Catholic, they have already shown a disregard for the “strict rules” of the Church by engaging in behavior also prohibited. None of the women in question seemed the least bit inclined to terminate the pregnancy. In fact, one of them had specifically and quite clearly told me she was absolutely and resolutely opposed to abortion. She simply would not ever consider ‘killing my baby’. So the oppressive rules of the Church, upon which he had so certainly fixed the blame, (if they were as totally omnipotent as he seemed to imply) would have prevented the situation in the first place. So the logic is totally out of synch with reality. (but who needs logic when smearing organized religion)
So, what’s going on here? He was employing what I have come to call the Liberal Logic for Arguments. Find an issue which you feel is a home run, and in which you can portray your opponent as heartless, cruel and (one of the worst sins in the liberal pantheon) Oppressive. No matter what topic is at issue, find a way to tag your opposition with the oppressive trait which you wish to demonize. It doesn’t matter if that’s not relevant to the topic. Simply smear your opponent, and push the issue. If you do so loudly and fiercely enough, you can change the debate to your pet topic, and bash your opponent as a proponent of whichever oppressive evil you have chosen to hate. This has a couple of distinct advantages. It stops the discussion from continuing and revealing that the position you are currently defending is indefensible and your argument baseless and without merit , and it allows you without any logic or proof to shut down your opponent’s argument while needing no evidence to support your own ideas. Stifle real debate and end discussion. Appear to win while actually losing. Neat trick.
The sad part here is that the real losers are not those taking a stand, a moral stand liberals find repugnant. The real losers are those who never will learn that their actions do, in fact have consequences. They will be told to blame the sorry state of their lives on some mythical institution which has oppressed them through it’s evil intent. There will be no intervention to prevent dangerous and destructive behavior, such as illegitimacy, to be celebrated and rewarded without regard for the long term havoc it can wreak on our society and more importantly on the individual lives which comprise our society. One final note:
The biggest difference between liberals and libertarians is that liberals seek to make a better society. Everything done by liberal big government is done, they claim, to perfect society. Libertarians wish to provide freedom for individuals. Permitting individuals to pursue freedom is anathema to liberals, who believe only group action can perfect society, not individual action. ( see the “New Soviet Man”, the “Aryan Super Man” or whichever current ism or therapy will free man from all his oppressive inhibitions and allow him to perfect his humanness and become a perfect modern man.)
One of the things we must always understand is that freedom includes freedom to fail. We’re not perfect, nor even perfectible. But we have proved time and again, that given the opportunity to actually see the results of our actions, we can learn from our mistakes, and grow. Sometimes we even grow into better people. Better people make for a better society.