Monday, March 21, 2016

Witherspoon conspiracy theorist claims that the "wrong women" are voting

Mary Rice Hasson
Mary Rice Hasson writes “Women and the Power to Change the World” at Witherspoon Institute's pseudo-intellectual blog (Public Discourse). Hasson is a “fellow” with the Ethics and Public Policy Center. In other words, she enjoys a pretentious academic title at an organization with a $4 million annual operating budget. For perspective, Witherspoon Institute is an ultra-orthodox Catholic organization founded by Robert P. George and Luis E. Tellez. Tellez is an Opus Dei numerary (a secular celibate). Hasson's piece is verbose — I want to address just one section:
And how is it that in Ireland—a Catholic country where the faith of Irish mothers is legendary—same-sex marriage was legalized on the power of the mother’s vote? Yes, the advocates of same-sex marriage celebrated that it was the Irish mothers who gave them the victory.

What’s the takeaway here? The takeaway is John Paul II was right: Women do have the power to shape the moral dimension of culture. But it looks like the wrong women have been doing the job. The powers behind all the “isms” out there today realize the power of women—they know that women shape the moral dimension of culture. And the NGOs, governments, foundations, and international organizations know this too. That’s why their campaigns promoting “sexual rights,” abortion, same-sex marriage, and gender ideology target women and adolescent girls. Their slogan? “Empower women, change the world.” Put differently, “Empower women, change the culture.”
What Hasson is claiming is that there is some sort of conspiracy among government and organizations to impose their lily-livered liberal agenda by indoctrinating young women. By the way, “gender ideology” seems to be the current Vatican phrase to describe transgender rights advocacy. This represents a change from “gender theory.” But I digress.

I would argue that Ms. Hasson is projecting. If there is a paradigm for the imposition of dogma on public policy through the indoctrination of children it is the Vatican's libretto on social issues. It is an opera without end. The reason for the continuing intransigence of conservative Catholics on marriage equality is that they are astonished that they lost. At confirmation every practicing Catholic kid becomes a defender of the faith. Catholic elementary and secondary schools typically do a very good job educating young people. They also inculcate in kids the Vatican's social doctrine. When marriage equality and reproductive rights prevail it signals that the entire system – the Vatican's enormous enterprise constructed over many years – has failed. Combine that with millions of dollars to oppose equality plus the will of the Church and the loss seems impossible.

It's not that the wrong women are voting or advocating. Not at all. Equality represents a sane, analytical, objective success over religiosity.  The problem is not the women. The problem is the unwillingness of the Vatican to be content to limit its influence to the behaviors of practicing adherents. The Church does not need to change its teachings (although that would be nice). It needs to adjust its hubris.

Considering the immensity of the Church's loss on marriage, a smart-ass like me can posit that God must want gay couples to marry.

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