Monday, July 09, 2007

Do we really think that women and children aren't human?

The operator of a popular feminist website notes that:

we end up arguing ... whether children, the only life form lower than we, are human.

It strikes the conservative mind as odd to debate whether children are human, or which rung on the human scale people are. That's because conservatives see our status as humans as being already invested in us. It's not something which can be added to or taken away. Individuals can be unequal in their talents or attainments, but not in their human status.

So why would feminists assume that there are variations in our status as humans? It's because liberal autonomy theory, on which feminism is ultimately based, doesn't begin with the concept of an "invested humanity". Instead, a starting point for autonomy theory is that our humanity is contingent. We are made human, according to this theory, by the fact that we are self-determining agents. Therefore, the more we are self-created, as autonomous, independent beings, the more human we are.

Feminists see women as being less autonomous than men (because it's easier to think of a male career path as being a unique, self-created, independent role than motherhood); children are obviously less autonomous than men, being dependent on their parents. Therefore, feminists logically conclude that men are, in a "patriarchy," more human than women and children.

The Italian beach

The feminist debate about children was sparked by the decision of an Italian businessman to set up a women-only beach, from which not only men but also children were excluded.

This led to a controversy at I blame the patriarchy, a popular radical feminist site. On one side of the dispute were feminists who supported the removal of children from the beach. Some adopted this stance because they didn't want women to be assumed to be the natural carers of children. Many, though, professed a dislike of children in general, finding them too noisy, boisterous and annoying.

Those in favour of children on the beach argued that mothers shouldn't miss out on women-only beach time and that children are an oppressed minority group just like women and that it is therefore wrong to discriminate against them.

The debate was finally closed after about 450 comments on two different threads.

Wanting to become human

There are countless references in the comments to women and children being relegated to a non-human status. As I mentioned earlier, this complaint only makes sense if you think that individuals can be more or less human, depending on their degree of autonomy.

Here's a selection of references in the comments to the idea of a contingent humanity:

Sean: it simply sounds like what feminists are pushing for in the 'real' world, that is, basic structures allowing women to participate in the world as humans.

Zora: I have tried time and time again to explain to folks that children are, in fact, people and deserve to be treated thusly.

Cafe Siren: What if they [women] took this new knowledge of themselves as fully human back into the wider world, and demanded changes.

Catherine: The comparison that is being made is not, therefore, between women's struggle to be seen as human ...

Dairon: The story in question encapsulates so many horrific underlying ideas about social hierarchy and what can and can't be human ...

Dr Sue: I don't think the choice is between "permissiveness" and repression, but between treating children as fully human ...

Blandina: ... father who told me I was a valueless thing and not a human being ...

Physio Prof: it treats children as an oppressed class without bodily or mental autonomy ...

Tigs: ... radical education that values children as human beings is a revolutionary act in and of itself ... Treating children like human beings is part of a revolutionary program ... it might be about the same amount of hard as is treating women like human beings!

Crys T: The whole idea that so many see children as some sort of separate group (often not even a human one) ... is the problem here.

Kiki: Wow, I am always amazed when people act as if children are somehow not fully human.

Gayle: Children, like women, are "othered" and treated as a sub-human species.

Recasting nature

Such ideas lead to further complications. For example, feminist women are not going to happily accept a non-human status. Therefore, they must explain their lack of human status as being a product of the way society is organised, rather than as a reflection of the real nature of women.

The first task, that of blaming social organisation, gives them their catchcry of "I blame the patriarchy" (they blame it for everything). It also turns them into self-described utopian revolutionaries, waiting for the day that the whole system is overthrown.

The second task, of denying that women or children are naturally lacking in autonomy, is more perverse. For instance, it leads many commenters to claim that childhood is a sentimentalised fiction and that it's not desirable for children to be raised by their biological parents. In order to present children as independent, autonomous mini-adults, and therefore as fully human, the reality of both childhood and parenthood is denied.

Similarly, the operator of the site argues that children currently are unruly, as many feminists on her site complain, but that this is not an expression of their true nature, but a neurosis brought on by their non-status under patriarchy:

I have stated on numerous occasions ... children are an oppressed class. Their universal and legitimately reviled unruliness is not natural. It is a product of neurosis generated by patriarchy's two main replicatory units ..

What this means is that we are to consider children to be neurotic when they behave childishly. It also means that children aren't to be considered fully human until they stop acting boisterously.

Things are equally bad when attention turns to women. As I have already mentioned, women are thought to be less autonomous than men because they are more likely to be mothers rather than careerists. This means that a number of commenters seriously ask whether it is politically correct for a woman to become a mother. One commenter complains:

Patriarchy wants us to love babies.

There is apparently to be no oppressive mother love under the matriarchy.

One feminist mother doesn't give up without a fight. She asks those suggesting that motherhood is a patriarchal trap: "Well, what's the alternative in your opinion? Just Don't Breed?" The answer comes back:

For those of us who do have this choice, I would suggest that you strongly consider it.

It's also thought a good thing at I blame the patriarchy for women to be selfish, as this involves a pursuit of one's own autonomous wants. There's one comment I'll use to illustrate this point, though I'm not exactly sure if it's meant to be taken in earnest or if it's a clever, tongue-in-cheek send-up of the feminist ideal of selfishness:

Dawn Coyote: Speaking only for myself, I'm lazy and selfish, and the idea that I might not at any moment through my day have a space that is perfectly adjusted to my needs is vexing for me. It's all about me and what I want, after all.

I think the problem is one of entitlement, certainly, but also of independence as a worthy goal, because it's my independence, my autonomy, my right to the free enjoyment of my own pursuits in any space I occupy that has given me the idea that children are a nuisance. If I had more of a sense of responsibility to my fellow humans, be they big or little, I would not so cavalierly wish them into the cornfield.

A misanthropic humanism?

You would think that people who devoted themselves to achieving a full human status would hold humanity in high esteem. In fact, many of those feminists complaining about their lack of human status dislike humanity and wish it would be destroyed. Another selection:

Marcy: yes, I know that humans will go extinct, and I'm OK with that.

Crys T: Like you, I don't think it'd be any great tragedy for the human race to die out.

Silence: Do we need the next generation? I mean, do we really expect the human race to go on and on forever? Because I sure as sh.. don't.

It seems odd for a person to declare that "I want to be human but I don't want humanity to exist." Perhaps, though, this attitude is not such a contradiction. The demand that people have a completely free and equal autonomy is impossible to meet. As the feminists themselves admit it requires a utopian revolution.

Therefore, humanity is being set up to fail a basic test of decency. If it's impossible to achieve "free and equal wills", then humanity won't deliver to every person a full human status. There will forever be a serious breach of "human equality".

This is how "Marcy" seems to see things. In response to a commenter who thought that it was unethical to look forward to the extinction of human beings she wrote:

Ethical? It depends on whose point of view you're working from. If you're working from the planet's and the ecosystem's point of view, then it becomes very much ethical to talk about getting humans out of the picture altogether. As far as I know, it's not birds who are polluting the rivers with toxic waste. Cheetahs don't oppress other cheetahs. Elephants don't find a cure for syphilis and then withold it from some other elephants who have darker skin. I could go on. I'm sure you get the point.

Oppression and inequality have tainted humanity in Marcy's view, so humanity doesn't deserve to survive.

All of this stems, at least in part, from the logic of making human status contingent. It's an aspect of liberal autonomy theory which deserves to be challenged.


  1. Do these feminists really represent women?

    How the hell am I suppose to "love" this?

    I'm never going to get married.

    How depressing.

  2. Anon. Don't worry. They're out there. It's just a hard job to find them.

  3. Let me second Elijah's comment. It's been made much more difficult than it should be to find lovely women. It's especially difficult when dealing with uni educated women in their 20s who have had long exposure to feminist theory.

    Personally, I found it got easier when the women I was dating began to get closer to 30. Many of these women began to drop hints that they were most interested in motherhood and family life.

    And yes, I married one of them - a beautiful Australian woman with whom I have a son. We have a very traditional lifestyle.

    I think, anonymous, that you have to be more thick-skinned than previous generations of men. You have to be willing to meet a large number of inappropriate women, without getting too depressed over your prospects.

    If you meet a woman who strikes you instinctively as the right type, get into her good books and then, if she pushes the feminist stuff too far, calmly hold your ground. There's some chance she'll respect you for it and back down.

    If not, you might have to be willing to start over with someone else.

    Don't wait to find a woman who is conservative at the intellectual level. It's not necessary. What matters is that she is feminine, has family aspirations, and accepts (mostly at least) the masculine standards that you yourself live by.

  4. I simply don't understand these monomaniacal patriarchy-blamers.(Infact just reading through the comments , you can laugh at the lives of these women. Parents, keep your children away from these websites.)

    Why can't they understand that...

    1)Patriarchy is civilization. Civilization is patriarchy. So when these 'wymyn' go about conspiring to destroy the patriarchy, they are actually destroying what we have developed over hundreds of years.

    A matriarchal society cannot exist - though some partial forms exist in the ghettos, islands where society is still backward, interior Africa. In a matriarchy, men have no incentive to provide and protect since the family consists of women and children - and when a society discards the men, no work is done and society starts going backward.

    2)More than often, feminists confuse between patriarchal protection and patriarchal oppression. It is true that men tend to commit more violent crimes(against both men and women) but at the same time, only men will protect you from such men.

    3)Feminists tend to look at only the evils committed by men and never the good contributions and by slandering men as a whole, they will always remain a minority - albeit a loud one.

    4)Feminism is just a theory - equality for men and women - as the definition goes - but in the real world it cannot work. Because... men and women, on an average, are not equal. They have different abilities and different priorities in life. Feminists cannot do anything on their own - they will always need the government to enforce 'equality'.

    5)Because of these reasons feminists will never be content in life, since they are pessimists - they just cannot appreciate the good in any man and any woman who is still traditional - these women in the traditional family tend to be more happier.

    6)Feminists are fascists - anyone who does not agree with them gets branded as misogynist or in case of a woman, she is a 'traitor to her sex'.

    7)Anti-feminist women are still around - just that they are not as loud and whiny as feminists - and a lot of young women have been brainwashed in colleges and by the media. Recently a lot of women(especially mothers with sons) have realized the fraud of feminism - and though they aren't speaking out in the media, they are around on the Internet.

  5. The amount of directions that feminists take (as shown in that article) is enough to make you throw your hands up and walk away. (ie. Are children human? Should the human race die? My father told me I was nothing, etc, etc.).

    It all seems like ‘point scoring’ in a clucking hen-house to see who will get the attention with the most controversial/colourful viewpoint. Like most feminist books & conversations – it jumps around & goes in circles - kept afloat by emotion.

    When you consider the feminist mindset which purports to establishing long-term goals for society - is the same mindset which needs a new pair of shoes today because yesterday’s pair is obsolete, boring & passé – then I think I’m justified in my reasoning that they have NO place at the helm of ANY society. (ie. We're not going anywhere.")

    Feminists, despite what they say, are NOT after equality. The simple fact that their ideology exudes so much ‘man hating’ should tell any thinking person exactly what they are after.


  6. For Anonymous, this quote from Martin Luther:

    "A good wife is not found accidentally and without divine guidance. On the contrary, she is a gift of God and does not come, as the heathen imagine, in answer to our planning and judging."

  7. Quoting Luther, M.C.B. Esq (of Wednesday, 11 July 2007 01:47:00 PM EST) makes the point that the presence of a good woman in one's life is the result of divine intervention.

    I take this to be a sophist flourish of sorts, and not a serious comment, it being cited by an avowed anti-Catholic who presumably frowns upon what protestants have traditionally referred to as 'Popish superstition' and the like.

    Although the difficulty of finding a 'good woman' makes subscription to this belief all the more easy these days, it seems to be defeatist; expressed more in the throwing of one's hands into the air than as an exposition of any truth. Nevertheless, it is interesting that religion has entered this debate on feminism, relationships and the impossibility of maintaining a traditional family in modern times.

    Mary Eberstadt has recently argued that the dissolution of the traditional family unit and the resulting demographic winter within Western states predates the process of secularisation itself ('How the West Really Lost God', Policy Review, (June-July 2007)). This goes against the traditionalist consensus that secularisation is the cause of demographic decline:

    Mark Steyn states 'The design flaw of the secular social-democratic state is that it requires a religious-society birthrate to sustain it. Post-Christian hyperrationalism is, in the objective sense, a lot less rational than Catholicism or Mormonism.' ('It's the Demography, Stupid!', Opinion Journal, Wednesday, January 4, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST, reprinted from The New Criterion, vol 24 January 2006, subscription required for access. My emphasis). See also Phillip Longman, The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity And What to Do About It, Basic Books (2004).

    As a matter of fact, the Catholic tradition's concept of marriage, the role of the wife, and even it's brand of feminism which I've already mentioned in a previous entry ('A Ballance of Goods', OzConservative, (entry of Tuesday, 22 May 2007 11:58:00 AM EST)), is completely inline with the tenets of traditionalism. This is exactly why the reassertion of the West's only and last institution which embodies these tenets is to be welcomed, and not derided (Richard Owen and Ruth Gledhill, 'Protestant faith “not a proper [c]hurch"', The Australian, 11 July 2007).

    In the face of the secular and leftist onslaught against traditionalist principles of marriage etc, the sectarianism of M.C.B. Esq and his ilk (as it appears in blogs such as "The Sectarian Strand") ought to be completely rejected for two further reasons.

    First, by the recognition that the traditionalist beliefs common to different brands of Christianity place us on the same side of the culture wars, and second, because Protestantism’s inability to form a united front against the common foe renders it somewhat feeble as a critic of conservative Catholicism.

    Walter Mead notes that "[B]oth Islam and evangelicalism are democratic religions without a priesthood or hierarchy" ('God's Country', Foreign Affairs (September-October 2006)). This is why modern 'progressive' protestant denominations too readily confuse 'conscience' and 'divine inspiration' with individual whim and fad (it may also say something about the politicisation of Islam, but I digress).

    Moreover, Mead claims that the tradition of liberal Protestantism ultimately lead to the path of the self-destruction we see today: 'In recent years, however, liberal Christianity has been confronted with several challenges. First, liberal Protestantism tends to evanesce into secularism: members follow the "Protestant principle" right out the door of the church. As a result, liberal, mainline denominations are now shrinking -- quickly. Second, liberal Christians are often only tepidly engaged with "religious" issues and causes. Liberal Christians may be environmentalists involved with the Sierra Club or human rights activists involved with Amnesty International, but those activities take place in the secular world. [...]' (my emphasis; my point here is that almost all feminists I have met who were Christian were (a) lead to their ideological stance through their protestant tradition, or (b) rejected Catholicism)

    Further, Mead claims that '[a]lthough more doctrinally conservative Christians often consider progressives to be outside the Christian mainstream, liberal Christians claim to represent the essence of Protestantism. The Reformation, in their view, was the first stage of reclaiming the valuable core of Christianity.'

    Thus, as much as I support the coalition of religious conservatives across the Church, Protestant and Schismatic divide, I cringe whenever I encounter anti-Catholic traditionalist. Hence the length of this entry. It seems this Trotsky'ist eternal revolution against Rome that the Protestants incessantly submit to, is just plain insane in today's world. It will be nothing but a liability to the traditionalist cause.

  8. Don't wait to find a woman who is conservative at the intellectual level. It's not necessary. What matters is that she is feminine, has family aspirations, and accepts (mostly at least) the masculine standards that you yourself live by.

    Sounds like pretty good advice, Mark. I think I'd second that.

    Good points, Kilroy. I take it that the excessive individualism in Protestantism has led us to secularism and ultimately liberalism.

  9. Feminists, despite what they say, are NOT after equality. The simple fact that their ideology exudes so much ‘man hating’ should tell any thinking person exactly what they are after.

    You're right, Bobby. "Equality" does seem to be out of the question here.

  10. Re Lyl's dicta: 'I take it that the excessive individualism in Protestantism has led us to secularism and ultimately liberalism.'

    Yes, I suppose this may very well be the nub of it, though I admit that it is a simplistic 'model' of sorts. I admit also that as a Catholic I am somewhat biased, but then again, I think Habermas, who is neither traditionalist in his outlook nor religious in any way, has himself acknowledged that 'Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [to Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter.' (Christa Chase, 'Germans Reconsider Religion', Christian Science Monitor, (15 September 2006) (@ 11 July 2007))

    Significantly, while Steyn describes the West as 'post-Christian' (Opinion Journal, ibid), Habermas, in a debate with the Pope Benedict XVI has recently referred to the need for a 'post-secular' future (Russell Shorto, 'Keeping the Faith', The New York Times, (8 April 2007) (@ 11 July 2007); see also 'Rapid Responce - 29th April 2005', The Heythrop Institute for Religion Ethics and Public Life, (undated) (@ 11 July 2007)).

    I think I should have specifically emphasised in my previous post that 'liberal Christians claim to represent the essence of Protestantism' (Mead: Foreign Affairs, ibid), and put it in closer proximity to Steyn's comments that the 'design flaw of the secular social-democratic state is that it requires a religious-society birthrate to sustain it.' (Steyn, ibid).

    If 'protestation' against the Church is the first step towards secularism, criticisms of Catholic tradition and teaching seem a little silly from a traditionalist point of view.

    Having said that, I do have a deep respect for Australian Jensenites, and although I find President Bush's foreign affairs agenda misguided, I do admire his faith. But I do maintain, that for Europe, the only citadel left is the Church, and Roman Universal Church.

  11. But I do maintain, that for Europe, the only citadel left is the Church, and Roman Universal Church.

    It's not easy for me to sum up my response to this, Kilroy. On the one hand, I think it's a serious attitude to take for a Catholic traditionalist and a welcome relief from the unserious expressions of Catholicism that I am often subjected to (the local Catholic parish has decided, for instance, to celebrate a host of different deities at Christmas time, including those of the Hindu, Muslim and Bahai faiths).

    But there are a couple of points against. First, although the Catholic church may have held out longer than others against modern secularism, I don't see such a difference now between the state of the churches.

    It's important for both Catholics and Protestants to be realistic about this. There's not much room for a complacent sense of superiority in either camp. Both are being hit hard by liberal modernity.

    I think too it's a mistake to conceive of traditionalism as belonging to Catholicism alone, particularly in a country in which Catholicism doesn't represent the mainstream.

    If our immediate task is to break the grip of liberal orthodoxy over the political class, then we have to pitch traditionalism not just at Catholics or Protestants, but also at the much larger number of "unaffiliated" intellectuals.

    This doesn't mean that Catholic or Protestant intellectuals can't defend their own church traditions at the same time, but I would advocate limiting the amount of energy spent on Catholic vs Protestant disputation.

    I know that Mild Colonial Boy has some provocative anti-Catholic polemic featured at his website. I think that's unfortunate, but at the same time it's a welcome step to have a Protestant traditionalist who publishes excellent posts such as his most recent one on autonomy in liberal modernity.

    The Rev. Peter Sellick is another Australian Protestant who is also doing a good job presenting what are effectively traditionalist arguments against liberal modernity.

    Here is an excerpt from one of his articles:

    "At the end of the modern period freedom is understood as the stripping away of any allegiance. To be truly free is to cancel all authority, escape from any informing story, disband any sense of duty and look to what the self wants, to choose between a range of value neutral options.

    We tell our children they must follow their dream while simultaneously removing anything that might form that dream. Anything else would be an encroachment on the child’s right to make up their own mind, so they make it up in a vacuum and we wonder that their aspirations are so shallow and so narcissistic."

  12. Re Mr. Richardson’s dicta: ‘I think it's a serious attitude to take for a Catholic traditionalist and a welcome relief from the unserious expressions of Catholicism that I am often subjected to (the local Catholic parish has decided, for instance, to celebrate a host of different deities at Christmas time, including those of the Hindu, Muslim and Bahai faiths).’ (Thursday, 12 July 2007 09:14:00 AM EST)

    I too have had my fair share of these type of ‘Catholics’; what they don’t understand is that they are not Catholic if this is the rubbish they meddle in. George Cardinal Pell has stated not too long ago that:

    Catholics are not created by the accident of birth to remain only because their tribe has an interesting history. All Catholics who continue to reject important Catholic teachings - even in areas such as sexuality, family, marriage, abortion, euthanasia, cloning where "liberals'' claim the primacy of conscience rules - should expect to be confronted, gently and consistently, rather than comforted and encouraged in their wrongdoing.’ (George Cardinal Pell, ‘A Question of Conscience’, Daily Telegraph (10 June 2007) (@ 12 July 2007))

    The reaction from our predictably ‘tolerant’ and ‘progressive’ friends on the left to the Cardinal’s appeal to Catholic politicians to adhere to the teaching of their Church when passing law, has been, shall we say, predictable. See Lee Rhiannon, ‘Greens MP Refers Cardinal Pell to “Consequences Threat” to Upper House Privileges Committee’, The Greens Media Centre, (6 June 2007) (@ 12 July 2007); Lee Rhiannon, ‘Cardinal Pell to be Investigated by Parliamentary Privileges Committee’, The Greens Media Centre, (15 June 2007) (@ 12 July 2007); ‘Pell Comments Probed by Parliament’, News.Com.Au (15 June 2007) (@ 12 July 2007); Sherrill Nixon, ‘Investigation Like Stalinism, Claims Pell’, Sydney Morning Herald, (18 June 2007) (@ 12 July 2007).

    Further, you write: ‘I think too it's a mistake to conceive of traditionalism as belonging to Catholicism alone, particularly in a country in which Catholicism doesn't represent the mainstream.

    Perhaps I gave the wrong impression in my above posts. I did not wish to imply that Catholicism was the only repository of traditionalism, only that it was silly for a Protestant traditionalist to criticise Catholicism give recent moves by the Church to go ‘back to its roots’, so to speak, and the parallel liberalisation of the protestant denominations which some commentators in the US such as Mead have already stated lead naturally to secularism.

    I agree completely that the sectarian divide is not helpful, I only felt some of the points I made above were called for in the given context; M.C.B Esq’s blog “The Sectarian Strand” even has a section titled ‘’ (@ 12 July 2007), which contains an extract from the Statement of Faith of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia (July 1998). Some of this stuff is really quite bizarre and begs reproach. On other topics however, such as the opposition to the Bill of Rights, Dhimmitude, and general Australian conservatism, I am in complete and unqualified agreement with M.C.B Esq.

    My only wish is for the ‘No-Popery’ pathology to be dispensed with so that we can work together. Archbishop Peter Jensen is one Protestant leader that I find inspirational from a philosophical point of view, and he doesn’t wast his time on medieval anti-Catholic shenanigans.

    … anyway, we’ve somewhat digressed from the main topic of this tread, so I’ll leave it at that. Thanks for the links, BTW, they were an interesting read.

  13. My apologies,

    When I 'reviewed' my post, the HTML code didn't malfunction - however it looks like it has gone bananas at the end of my last entry.

    I can't imagine why that has happened. It was OK, when 'previewed'...

  14. It's important for both Catholics and Protestants to be realistic about this. There's not much room for a complacent sense of superiority in either camp. Both are being hit hard by liberal modernity.

    Everyone is being hit hard by liberal modernity. My own point was merely to (briefly and hence, simply) show where this all came from.

    I'd say we are all Children of our Age and we are all somewhat infected by a lot of this stuff - not many of us would appreciate, for example, being criticised by our parents for any of our actions etc. This is a modern take on things, I think.

    Although I agree with you, Mark, that none of us can afford to have a complacent sense of superiority here, and I also wouldn't wish to waste a lot of time on a catholic v. protestant argument, since we are to a large extent all in it together, but at the same time, what do we think we want to progress towards? What is the tradition that our traditionalism is based upon? Are we looking to reinstate 1950's values, for example, or 13th century values (with the comfort of modern plumbing).

    Personally, I prefer the latter.

  15. @Kilroy
    The reason why your post got screwed is because you didn't use double quotes to enclose the website link.

    Try using this method -

    <a href = "">Text </a>

    (If you drop the double quotes, it will still work in most cases, but sometimes it fails.)

  16. Yes, I thought something funny was going on - I do use double quotes, but this time the blog-host (for lack of a better descriptor) told me that it didn't recognise them when I first clicked "preview"... which I didn't understand.

    So when I removed the quotes, and tested it again, it was fine, but not when I "published" - the text of the name of the page I was linking was deleted and the link bled across the rest of the text in the entry.

    To make things even more strange, my second entry apologising for the sorry sight, was also hyperlinked even though I didn't use any "a href" tags in it (!!)

    I think this is just technology lashing out against this anti-modernist ;-) poetic justice perhaps - at least we know if has a sense of humour, lol.

  17. @Kilroy
    Let me tell you why this happenned:

    If your website link contains a / at it's end, and if you drop the double quotes, it looks like this...


    The ending / of the website link and the following > combine and we get /> which can mean end of tag...
    Hence the actual end of tag (</a>) gets ignored and all the following text gets shown as a hyperlink - even the next post.

    (Even I was facing this issue at 3-4 blogs where I had commented; had to ask an expert in HTML to explain why it was happening ?)

  18. MikeRay,

    You're a champ for explaining this to me - thanks! I'll keep this in mind for the future.

    You have my gratitude.

  19. "But there are a couple of points against. First, although the Catholic church may have held out longer than others against modern secularism, I don't see such a difference now between the state of the churches."

    This is an incredibly stupid statement.

    While the Anglican / Episcopalian / other Protestant churches are buy ordaining gay transgendered Islamic priestesses to show how progressive they are, the Catholic Church has not shifted it's teaching on any the key issues of the culture wars.

    Although Kilroy writes with a tone of pretentious condescension (typical of those who want desperately to appear 'intellectual'), his analysis spot on.

    On homosexuality, abortion, divorce, contraception, marriage, euthanasia etc, the Catholic Church is the last bastion of traditional conservatism - theologically speaking at least. That most individual Catholics are essentially secular liberals is a sad matter of fact.

  20. GG, it's not possible to cover every angle in a brief comment. It's therefore unreasonable for you to label as "incredibly stupid" my brief observation on the state of the churches.

    Yes, it's true that in terms of official positions that the Catholic Church has resisted liberal modernity better than other denominations (though even this statement could be qualified at length).

    However, secularisation runs deep in the modern Catholic Church. The universities operate according to secular principles, so do the schools, and much of the "middle layer" of the clergy appear to be deeply influenced by secular thought (e.g. the Jesuits, the bishops).

    The only public resistance in the antipodean Church that I can think of is that of Cardinal Pell and Cardinal Williams.

    As for the laity, things have changed greatly since my childhood. Divorce has become more common, church observance rare, sexual mores little different to the general population. (See here for a survey on attitudes of the laity in the American Church.)

    Even if this were not the case, though, my original point would remain the same. We cannot build a successful traditionalism through Catholic intellectuals alone, particularly not in a country where the European population is largely non-Catholic (either Protestant or unaffiliated).

    We have to pitch traditionalism to all those who are receptive. It has to be a movement which finds support both within and without the churches.

    Most of all, the core arguments cannot be centred on the merits of Catholicism vs Protestantism.

    Jim Kalb manages to write openly as a Catholic traditionalist, whilst still making the larger arguments about modernity to a wider audience. I think this is a useful model for Catholic traditionalists to follow.

  21. I'm really not sure it can be done without The Gospel, to be honest.

    Nice idea, but I doubt it'll work.

  22. Re GG (of Sunday, 15 July 2007 12:32:00 PM EST): “Although Kilroy writes with a tone of pretentious condescension (typical of those who want desperately to appear 'intellectual'), his analysis spot on.

    Well, what can one say to this, other than that with some people, it’s not too difficult to be ‘condescending’.

    Nevertheless, I am glad you agree with my argument, however as I pointed out, it was ‘a simplistic 'model' of sorts’, and Mark Richardson is spot on that ‘secularisation runs deep in the modern Catholic Church’ and that ‘We have to pitch traditionalism to all those who are receptive. It has to be a movement which finds support both within and without the churches.

    Unfortunately, many of my closest colleagues hold that ‘it’s all about religion’ and are too narrow-minded to understand that society is multi-dimensional.

    Ooops, was that me being ‘pretentious’?


  23. Mark, your statement is as clear as day. One must distinguish between the church as an institution, and the fact that a group of rapidly dying out white people are expediting their exit from this planet by means of abortion / contraception etc.

    The Catholic Church is the last bastion of traditional conservatism. Any renewal of culture will flow from the Church itself, since it is religion that is the wellspring of culture.

    It is not in fact the Church that is dying out - but the secular whites who have rejected it.

    how bitterly ironic that you display the same conceited pomposity so favoured by the left liberal elites you purport to despise.

    Flowery language, overblown verbiage and meaningless references cannot hide the lack of substance in your mindless meanderings.

    A Western "traditionalist" movement, by it's very nature will be centred around the Church because it is the Church that is the creator of Western tradition.

    The theology of the Church is our guide, the Gospel our moral compass, it's saints our example and it's liturgy, our weapons.

    But by all means, you and Mark can continue to pitch traditionalism to those outside the Churches. Because, as we know, there are but thousands of people who would become traditionalist conservatives if only we could 'pitch' it right.

    Good luck with that...

  24. GG, a couple of points.

    First, I find Kilroy's comments to be written in a straightforward way. I don't know why you condemn them in terms of conceit, floweriness or pomposity.

    Second, the fate of the Church hangs to a greater extent on what happens in the wider society than you imagine.

    That's why I don't like talk of the Church being a "bastion", as if the Church can withdraw from a corrupt world and leave the field to the liberal modernists.

    This strategy simply allows those liberal modernists to build their forces in the wider society, until the Church itself finds it difficult to resist the secularising trends.

    Finally, it's one thing to be realistic about current demographic trends. It's another to accept too lightly the demise of European populations.

    If the Church fatalistically accepts the dying out of the European peoples, then it is breaking, from its side, the union of church, culture and people.

  25. I find it interesting that GG will state (concerning my entries here) that the 'analysis [is] spot on', but within 24 hours write: 'lack of substance in your mindless meanderings' (presumably referring to the same).

    So, my detractor finds my writing accurate and meaningless at the same time... how, er, interesting.

    This is the cognitive dissonance so typical in leftist rhetoric; for GG to accuse me of liberal tendencies in my writing style is truly risible, and indeed 'ironic' in itself. Nor can it hide the emotional basis of GG's retort, yet another liberal trait so phobic of reason that references which cannot be refuted are denounced as 'meaningless'.

    I can understand why he thinks I am 'condescending'; this is probably a feeling that plagues him often.

    The disparaging references to 'whites' in his entry is a little telling though. Let me guess, a Third World Catholic living in the West with one too many chips on the shoulder? One who therefore cannot regard traditionalism beyond a strictly religious perspective, as if the Church (indeed any and all religion) ontologically preceded tradition in all its respects.

    Perhaps GG may wish to familiarise himself with the Radical Traditionalists who based their ideologies and politics on the rejection of Catholicism and Christianity in the late 19th century and early 20th. I of course do not subscribe to that world view, but to reject the fact that it exists would be an exercise in intellectual mediocrity. Formalised religion is not axiomatic to tradition itself, and by extension, traditionalism as a socio-political system. To suggest that one cannot communicate traditionalism and its policies other than via religious rhetoric will condemn one to the fringes of political discourse by reason of the inherently secular nature of society. Good luck with that.

    As much as I share your ultimate view on the role of the Church in Western renewal and survival, and as far as I share your traditionalism (giving you some benefit of my substantial doubt), I must confess you manifest a large part of the problem in the culture wars: I've seen this with 'conservatives' with no intellectual backbone other than a blind faith or a 'hunch'; these are the same types that will slander the academic elite, thus ceding ground to them, and then complain that the Right has not intellectual brains-trust.

    To put it in terms devoid of '[f]lowery language, [and] overblown verbiage': you're a political ally, albeit a simple moron.

    I trust you understand that clearly enough.

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  27. Mark,

    Unfortunately for you, Kilroy and other whites here, your time is up.

    No western country currently has a replacement level birth rate. These trends are not improving - they are getting worse.

    The Catholic Church, having been rejected by whites, has now turned its attention to the developing world.

    It's simply a matter of numbers.

    While whites such as yourself and Kilroy continue to reject the central nature of the Church in traditional culture, these trends will not and cannot be reversed.


  28. Kilroy,
    Yet again you display the fact that you are a pretentious and arrogant halfwit by saying in 50 lines what can be said in 5.

    Given the success of whites in divorcing the Church from culture and their subsequent demise, it is self evident the critical role that the Church must play in traditional culture.

    Self evident and obvious to everyone but an intellectual lightweight such as yourself, more intent on impressing others with your flatulent verbosity than constructing solid arguments.

    To reduce the scholarly tradition of Catholic church to 'feelings' makes one wonder how 'Catholic' you truly are - or is this yet another affectation you choose to adopt?

    It is no wonder conservative traditionalism is struggling if Kilroy represents our 'intellectual wing'


  29. Re: GoanGod (of Tuesday, 17 July 2007 12:16:00 PM EST, and Tuesday, 17 July 2007 12:07:00 PM EST, and presumably also Tuesday, 17 July 2007 12:05:00 PM EST)

    LOL, this guy is hilarious!

    I particularly like the way he reverts to name calling when not being able to refute an opposing view.

    'Self evident' is something that is either irrefutably and objectively true, or appears to be so to the fanatical beliefs of the mentally inflexible.

    I have made it very clear that I believe the Church is essential to Western revival; In fact it was my reply to M.C.B Esq that started this tangential debate on what was originally the topic of feminism.

    My heresy, apparently, was to merely suggest that the character of socio-political Traditionalism is not solely religious (an empirical truth, no less).

    As GoanGod has not proven his or her point beyond ad honenimus diatribe, I remain satisfied while my argument remains undisturbed.

    My apology is only that this entry transgresses the acceptable limit of 5 lines under the Codex Goan Godus.