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NOM Agrees: People Need To Be "Pressured" Into Sexual Conformity

October 24, 2013 1:28 pm ET by Luke Brinker

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) encouraged its supporters to "read and re-read" a  "remarkable" essay blaming gender equality and LGBT rights for myriad social problems and assailing the notion that people should "be free from all social pressure in their private lives."

An October 24 post on NOM Blog excerpted an essay by James Kalb in The Catholic World Report, in which Kalb moves beyond a simple critique of marriage equality to condemn the "radically unjust" ideas of "[s]exual freedom and standard-issue feminism" that allegedly define modern life. Disheartened that women are no longer mere vessels for child-bearing and that LGBT people don't experience sufficient social stigma, Kalb argues that the prevailing liberal thought must "be disputed and overthrown" (emphasis added):

Given the importance of marriage and family to human well-being, laws, practices, and attitudes must support such understandings. They must define marriage in a way consonant with its ends, and surround it with standards and expectations that guard and facilitate its functioning. Such considerations are a matter of fundamental social justice. Sexual freedom and standard-issue feminism are radically unjust, because they deprive necessary institutions of what is due them for support. They therefore injure all of us, the weakest and most vulnerable most of all.


Liberal thought is entrenched as the basis for public discussion, and it doesn't like the idea of a network of expectations and obligations to which people are subject other than those generated by state and market. What's just, liberals believe, is for individuals to be free from all social pressure in their private lives as long as they perform their duties as employees, taxpayers, and citizens of a diverse, tolerant, and multicultural society. If people are pressured to act one way or another for some reason other than the needs of liberal institutions, that's bigotry and discrimination, and eradicating it is one of the central duties of government.

However strong and entrenched that way of thinking is, it needs to be disputed and overthrown.

Kalb proceeds to list the allegedly harmful manifestations of liberal thought, which include "complaints about rape culture":

Liberals also claim to favor respect for individuals. Experience has made it obvious that the abolition of traditional rules and roles doesn't deliver the dignity, respect, happiness, or effective freedom that was promised. Instead, it's given us hooking up, slutwalks, failure to bond, epidemics of STDs, complaints about rape culture, and a great deal of resentment. The problem is that sex is profoundly expressive and interpersonal, and it can't mean what it naturally means when it's disconnected from other considerations. If you get rid of the natural function of sex as a guide, and therefore the natural ordering of the relation between man and woman, that relation becomes a matter of shifting and conflicting desires, and we end up in the crude and manipulative world that has grown up around us.

According to NOM, Kalb's essay "lays out in a compelling way how the standard for public discourse today" should "be attacked and shifted to more solid ground." The organization's enthusiastic endorsement of this misogynistic, retrograde screed is further evidence that despite its leaders' claims, NOM's real agenda extends far beyond the debate over same-sex marriage.


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