Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Even by Witherspoon standards, this anti-LGBT post is colossally nutty

I have had quite a morning, Actually my batshit-to-English app has done most of the work — from Mat Staver to John Stemberger and now Daniel Moody. Moody, who claims to be an “independent philosopher” (in contrast to one who is dependent) in England, has a new post on Witherspoon Institute's blog titled: “Throw Off Your Rubber Chains! From Contraception to Transgenderism via Abortion.”

I have written about Moody before when he posted to The Federalist. His spew there included titles such as “Transgenderism is a Fake Legal Construct” and “Why You Shouldn't Use Transgender Pronouns.” I never did figure out what a transgender pronoun is but you get the idea. Trans people cause considerable distress for Mr. Moody. Since he is posting to an ultra-conservative Catholic outlet I will presume that religion is the source of his immeasurable anxiety.

According to Moody:
It has taken mankind less than one hundred years to make the journey from an embrace of contraception to an embrace of “gender fluidity,” but the link between the two is not always obvious. To make their connection more apparent, let us consider the following analogy.
Moody's analogy is too crazy for me to process and contraception actually goes back to ancient civilizations. Allow me to define “gender fluidity.” Gender fluidity is a phenomenon that is most common in children who may change from gender nonconforming to conforming or vice versa. Adults who are genderfluid prefer not to be constrained by a fixed binary analogue. There is virtually no debate that gender fluidity exists. Our scientific understanding has improved but there is nothing new about gender, gender nonconformity or gender fluidity.
… we first need to recognize that the human body points in two directions. Firstly, at the level of the individual, each of us as male or female points toward another sex. (That is: independent of what we are thinking or doing, the body itself is being heterosexual.) Secondly, at the level of a sexual union, male and female point through each other, not toward another sex but toward another time: the future. Sexual difference points toward the possibility of new life. When we add in the fact that “sex” is the word by which we signify the nature of the whole of the body rather than a part or parts of it, we can say everything about being male or female makes sense.
I am truly enlightened. This seems to be an unsuccessful attempt to amateurishly secularize the catechism of the Catholic Church whereby all sex is procreative. Moody is wed to the notion that an economy of verbiage doesn't look as learned as verbosity. The entire polemic is about 2,500 words.
But what happens when a layer of insulating material is placed between John and his wife, Joan? Well, if John regards this baby-less version of sexual union to be valid, then we have a couple of questions for him. Why does his wife need to be female? And why does he need to be male? Through a combination of time and the sheer weight of logic, John’s understanding of himself starts to disintegrate. If he thinks his body has nothing to do with the future, he will eventually need to accept that it has nothing to do with the other sex either.
Apparently rubbers create a disruption in our understanding of our sex and gender.  Somehow I doubt that that is in the scientific literature.  Most people would agree that contraception allows people to enjoy sex without concern over an unwanted pregnancy. Men and women have careers, economic limits and other conditions that  require the production of children to be controlled and timed. Most of us require sexual relations or we end up … sounding like Mr. Moody who is in a state of utter confusion.

This theme about contraception goes on for awhile and then:
From Contraception to Abortion

Upon losing sight of the fact that our embodiedness is inextricably tied both to relational identity and generations past and future, we must proceed to lose sight of two more things. Firstly, John needs to turn his back on the idea that there exists any objective reference point for sexual morality. Why? Because, in truth, marriage is the sexual right by which sexual wrongs can be known. …
I think that he just opposed marriage equality as well. Anyway, I tend to think that contraception reduces abortions. Moody is trying to make the case that the use of contraceptives is immoral which, again, is the position of the Catholic Church along with prohibitions on masturbation and a whole bunch of rules that don't make much sense. But religion exists because it provides a path to an afterlife. Follow the rules and you go to heaven or Nirvana or whatever and these are some of the rules.

Eliminating quite a bit of extraneous fluff, Moody claims:
Our embrace of contraception compels us to hide the consequences of being made male and female. We must hide our babies.
Utter rubbish. Nonsensical tripe. Our gender exists because it is part of who we are. Contraception has no effect whatsoever on our gender or sex. The use of contraceptives does not compel us to do anything and we don't hide babies. Properly used, contraception prevents making unwanted babies in the first place. It is not comparable to the effort by religious conservatives to hide their gay children. “John is just waiting for the right girl to come along.” John, who is 39, either has a male lover or an intimate relationship with a very good vibrator (or both). But I digress.
The Legalization of Abortion and the End of Legal Sex

It is obvious to some, if not to all, that the legalization of abortion played a prominent part in unleashing many of the social ills prevalent today—cohabitation, a rise in sexual violence, and so forth. … … …
That is called a confusion of correlation with causation.
Gender Identity and Tyranny

If we limit the number of components in play to two—contraception and sexual morality—we can say the link between the components has been enunciated many times, perhaps most famously by Elizabeth Anscombe. Anscombe joined the dots from contraception to “gay marriage” quick as a flash—too quickly for some to follow her line of reasoning. … …
Gender fluidity just changed to gender identity. Moody is terribly confused. Actually Anscombe (who died in 2001 and retired from Oxford in 1986) was most prolific in the late 1950s with some work being published in the '60s and '70s. As a staunch Catholic she was opposed to gay sex and would have opposed marriage equality — but she didn't get around to it. (There is always the possibility that it is obscured somewhere). Some of Moody's discourse is similar to Anscombe's 1972 Contraception and Chastity. Anscombe is the far better apologist for the Church.

Most of us follow Anscombe's “reasoning” which was applied to marriage equality by Robert P. George. We just do not agree with it. Comprehension and agreement are two different things. Marriage equality was always about civil marriage and its recognition which means that it was always a legal issue. In this country laws require a secular purpose and we have a Constitution to which all laws must conform. Where evidence exists (and prior to Obergefell we had more than a decade of experience) we have a legal tradition of insisting that consequences not be theoretical or prospective. We tend to insist on the available evidence.
Charles Rice added two more components: law and tyranny. In what sadly proved to be his final book, Contraception & Persecution, Rice perceptively draws attention to what we might call “the ownership of law.” He asks, if God is no longer considered to be in the business of making laws, then who is? From the state’s point of view, the answer is, well, the state.
That presupposes that a god ever made laws. Every religion has different rules. Who has the best set of rules? So far, I am still waiting for the gender identity stuff. Rice, by the way, was an extraordinarily conservative Catholic and a professor of law at Notre Dame who frequently clashed with the university's more liberal leadership.
In requiring sex to vanish from law, abortion represents a paradigm shift in human identity: out with the old, given sexual identities of male and female, and in with the new, chosen “gender identities” of “male,” “female,” both, neither, and other.
The jump from abortion to gender identity is a non sequitur. Moreover, recognizing that gender identity exists doesn't require “sex to vanish from law.” Moody keeps plugging square objects into round holes and claiming “voila!”
Without doubt, “transgender rights” are the manifestation of the tyranny produced by a claimed transfer of ownership of identity from God to the state; a deal, I submit, silently brokered by the legalization of abortion.… … …
It's not tyranny to treat people civilly and gender identity has nothing whatsoever to do with abortion. Tyranny is the Catholic Church trying to impose its rules on public policy.
The task of recovering and sustaining God-centric law will be difficult if the conversation is to take place in the presence of an affirmation of the thwarting of the flow of new life. If we truly wish to see our body again, shining bright both in our mind and in law, we must break free of the shackles of contraception. Men and women of the world, sexually unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains.
Well if we all convert to Catholicism then, well … Voila!

Meanwhile, what Moody has done is something like: Two plus two equals five. Therefore the square root of four is three. Therefore two cubed is six. None of these arguments hold up independently or as a sequential chain. To put it more succinctly, this make no sense at all. By the way the only instance of gender fluidity is in the first paragraph. Many conservatives confuse fluidity with identity.

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