Rally Criers

Another article from the new issue. This one is by Dr. Les Sillars, professor over at Patrick Henry College. He’s lampooned subjects for Salvo in the past–Guyland and the “Brights“–and this time is no exception. Here he is posing as a PR specialist trying to help out those reason ralliers.

Rally for Nothing

A Monologue to Help Atheists with Their Public Relations

by Les Sillars

Greetings, ladies and gentlemen; it’s good to be with you today. As your public relations consultant, I’m pleased to offer my report on Reason Rally 2012, held on March 24 near the Washington Monument on the Mall in D.C.

I’ll get right to the point. I can’t tell if you’re lucky or just really, really good. As representatives of the dozen or so atheist organizations that banded together for this event—American Atheists, the American Humanist Association, the Center for Inquiry, etc.—you organized a very public rally for atheists, rationalists, and free-thinkers of all types. Several thousand people showed up, along with a few dozen “turn-or-burn” Christian counter-demonstrators (as we expected), not to mention the thousands of people simply walking past us on the Mall, minding their own business.

The point of the rally was, as we all know, to soften your public image as cheerless, caustic scolds, and maybe to attract some new members. You wanted, as you explained when you first hired me, to make a “Closet atheists, you are not alone!” kind of statement. Too many of your members are ashamed, you said, to be known as atheists or humanists in such an oppressively theistic country. This rally would be a party to let everyone know that you support the sorts of things that everybody else favors, things like “reason” and “human potential” and “science.” These are wonderful concepts that evoke warm, positive feelings in people.

read the full article. . .

Of course this article lent itself quite nicely to a fake ad which I hope you’ll take a look at.

Also, I’d like to give a special thanks to our Facebook fans who have been pretty enthusiastic about this batch of fake ads. This is gratifying, as we were scrambling for ideas almost up until print day! It’s not that there is a shortage of things to go after but, as you might imagine, we also have to dedicate quite a bit of time to the material on the other 60 or so pages of each issue.

An Interview with Jennifer Roback Morse

From the new issue of Salvo:

While her academic credentials are impressive enough to be intimidating, Jennifer Roback Morse’s demeanor is anything but. She manages the not-so-simple task of being warm and genuinely friendly while speaking boldly and knowledgably about some of the most hot-button issues of the day.

Morse earned her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Rochester, spent a postdoctoral year at the University of Chicago, and taught economics for fifteen years at Yale University and George Mason University. She’s the author of two books: Love and Economics, recently reissued with a new subtitle, It Takes a Family to Raise a Village, and Smart Sex: Finding Lifelong Love in a Hook-Up World.

She is the founder and president of the Ruth Institute, which seeks “to promote lifelong married love to college students by creating an intellectual and social climate favorable to marriage.” To that end, Morse is a regular contributor to National Review Online, National Catholic Register, and TownHall, is a frequent speaker on college campuses and at other venues, and maintains a topical and engaging website at the Ruth Institute (ruthinstitute.org). She played a key role in the Proposition 8 battle to uphold the legal definition of marriage in California and continues to be on the front lines of the fight for natural marriage.

Dr. Morse spoke to Salvo about what changed the trajectory of her life, whether she’s optimistic or pessimistic about the future, and what keeps her awake at night.

Read the interview. To Make a Family: An Interview with Jennifer Roback Morse by Marcia Segelstein

Salvo Issue #22 – Fall 2012

It may have seemed quiet on our website and the Facebook page, but know that we’ve been hard at work on the next issue of Salvo. But that’s behind us as the issue is at the printer right now! There will be plenty of new material online soon, including FOUR new fake ads. One of which is circulating on Facebook. Join our Facebook page to see it!

Here’s what you’ll see in the next issue, set to mail on September 20th. Click on the cover (the design of which our business manager so encouragingly described as “dated”) to see the table of contents.

Salvo Fall 2012

Salvo issue 22 – Fall 2012

Gloria Steinem advises Dems to ‘behave as if babies exist’

This can’t be serious. As reported in the Charlotte Observer, the Democratic Convention will be making it difficult for women with babies to attend.

Now National Organization for Women chapters in Southern California – with an assist from feminist Gloria Steinem – are denouncing the convention for “discrimination against moms.”

“Women are the key to a Democratic victory, and sometimes, children are the key to women,” Steinem said in a statement. “It’s both right and smart for the Democratic Convention to behave as if children exist.”

Of course, the radical pro-abortion Democratic Party Platform itself makes it very difficult if not impossible for some babies to exist.

Girls and Guys, Getting [It] Together; Some Observations on Double Standards

(Surprise, surprise, Intern 2 has a bone to pick with cultural attitudes on sexuality and the sexes)

Recently my friend Barnabas mentioned that another (male) acquaintance of ours had once written a story whose implausible content “revealed his virginity.” The tone was not complimentary.

Due to the setting we were in, I chose not to mention that I too was wrestling with a scene in my own work-in-progress, one key to the characters’ emotional trajectory, that suffered from my lack of firsthand experience. But if I had, I know my friend would have vocally distinguished my situation from our classmate’s. There were other reasons (my actual presence, for one) that my lack of experience could be denoted the more respectable, but I’ve long suspected that chief among them would be the fact that I was a girl.

Say what we will about the pervasively decadent quality of popular and academic culture, but the secular world is still remarkably kind to female virgins. We have our detractors, (Jessica Valenti comes first to my mind), but they are generally not disdainers. It is frequently argued that women are harmed or restricted by abstinence, but not that there’s something innately wrong with a woman who abstains. The prevailing mindset does not suggest that a woman who has not engaged in sexual conduct is any less of a woman for it. (If your evidence or experience says otherwise, by all means post a link/tell us your story, and join the conversation.)

This is not the case for abstinent men, and men and women alike bear the responsibility to face the injustice.

Surely it is a point of agreement for all reasonable people that men’s promiscuity ought not to be excused and even praised while the same behavior is denigrated in women. I do not believe that this, which many feminists hold as the capital-D-S Double Standard (see also; “Stud/Slut Dichotomy”), is nearly so prevalent now as it was many decades ago, but this new double standard that excuses women’s virginity while denigrating men’s (we can call it the “Nice Girl/Nice Guy Dichotomy”) seems to have sprouted from the same root. The difference might have come with the shift of mainstream sexual mores. As pre-marital abstinence, rather than sexual activity, becomes the frowned-upon behavior, so do men, rather than women, become the chiefly frowned-upon participants.

This is not progressive thinking. This merely inverts our old thinking. The new double standard operates from the same false premises as the old. It still presupposes that men are passive victims to their all-consuming sexual desires (so, if a man has not had sex by a certain age, he must be either completely undesirable to women or otherwise suspect in his manliness). It still presupposes that women do not struggle with sexual desire at all, or only to a degree that is easily controlled (so, if a woman has not had sex by a certain age, that is an understandable decision on her part.) Just like the old double standard, this discredits both men’s and women’s capacity for strength in virtue.

It may be easier in this cultural climate for me, as a woman, to openly discuss my moral choices than it is for my male friends and counterparts. But I propose that even so, in such contexts that are appropriate and in such terms that are constructive, we all put these choices into open discussion. We, men and women together, bolstering the required courage, should calmly explain ourselves and defend each other.

Had it come to that, I could have reminded Barnabas, who does know better, that being male or female was not really a relevant factor in the conversation about twenty-something virgins trying to write what they don’t know. He would have listened. So would many others.

As we strive together toward the same fixed and unchanging standards, let us be confident, assured, and transparent* in our striving. Let us strive together so that others may see and understand, and may begin to strive alongside us.

I remain, sincerely yours,
Intern 2

*But tactful, and not obnoxious or boastful. Discretion, valor, better part, etc.