Designed for Sex

A good article from the Touchstone magazine website by J. Budziszewski, who has also been interviewed in Salvo. I recommend both to you.

Designed for Sex
What We Lose When We Forget What Sex Is For

Midnight. Shelly is getting herself drunk so that she can bring herself to go home with the strange man seated next to her at the bar. One o’clock. Steven is busy downloading pornographic images of children from Internet bulletin boards. Two o’clock. Marjorie, who used to spend every Friday night in bed with a different man, has been binging and purging since eleven. Three o’clock. Pablo stares through the darkness at the ceiling, wondering how to convince his girlfriend to have an abortion. Four o’clock. After partying all night, Jesse takes another man home, not mentioning that he tests positive for an incurable STD. Five o’clock. Lisa is in the bathroom, cutting herself delicately with a razor. This isn’t what my generation expected when it invented the sexual revolution. The game isn’t fun anymore. Even some of the diehard proponents of that enslaving liberation have begun to show signs of fatigue and confusion.

Naomi Wolf, in her book Promiscuities, reports that when she lost her own virginity at age 15, there was “something important missing.” Apparently, the thing missing was the very sense that anything could be important. In her book Last Night in Paradise, Katie Roiphe poignantly wonders what could be wrong with freedom: “It’s not the absence of rules exactly, the dizzying sense that we can do whatever we want, but the sudden realization that nothing we do matters.”

Desperate to find a way to make it matter, some young male homosexuals court death, deliberately seeking out men with deadly infections as partners; this is called “bug chasing.” At the opposite extreme, some of those who languish in the shadow of the revolution toy with the idea of abstinence—but an abstinence that arises less from purity or principle than from boredom, fear, and disgust. In Hollywood, of all places, it has become fashionable to talk up Buddhism, a doctrine that finds the cure of suffering in the ending of desire, and the cure of desire in annihilation.

Speaking of exhaustion, let me tell you about my students. In the ’80s, if I suggested in class that there might be any problem with sexual liberation, they said that everything was fine—what was I talking about? Now if I raise questions, many of them speak differently. Although they still live like libertines, it’s getting old. They are beginning to sound like the children of third-generation Maoists.

My generation may have ordered the sexual revolution; theirs is paying the price. I am not speaking only of the medical price of sexual promiscuity. To be sure, those consequences are ruinous: At the beginning of the revolution, most physicians had to worry about only two or three sexually transmitted diseases, and now it is more like two or three dozen. But I am not speaking only of broken bodies. I am speaking, for example, of broken childhoods. . . . Read the rest.

Reflections On Memorial Day 2016

iStock_000025141308_Smallby Michael Avramovich

Memorial Day is the most solemn of our national holidays.  The solemn tribute began in 1866 when three Christian women from Columbus, Mississippi, decorated the graves of Confederate soldiers there, and at the same time laid flowers on the graves of the Union soldiers buried in the cemetery.  At the insistence of his wife, General John Logan, then Army Chief of Staff, issued an official order shortly thereafter proclaiming Memorial Day an annual day of remembrance for our nation’s war dead.

From the days of the Revolution, through the struggles of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, Vietnam, the first Gulf War and the present War on Terror, the strength of our nation is in the spirit of its men and women who fought and died for a nation determined to know its ancient liberty.  There have been 4,435 combat deaths in the Revolutionary War, 2,260 in the War of 1812, 1,733 in the Mexican War, 140,415 on the Union side in the Civil War, 74.524 on the Confederate, 385 in the Spanish-American War, 53,513 in World War I, 292,131 in World War II, 33,667 in the Korea War, 47,393 in the Vietnam War and 148 in the Persian Gulf War.  Over 4,491 have died as a direct result of hostile action in Iraq since March 19, 2003, with 2,357 more in Afghanistan.  Most recently, there have been a number of combat deaths in Operation Inherent Resolve, the military intervention against ISIS. The loss of life to American military men and women in all of our nation’s wars exceeds 1,354,600.

On the first few days after D-Day in June 1944, 6,603 Americans died in combat; 4,000 alone on the first day.  Iwo Jima, lying midway between Guam and Japan, is less than five miles long.  On that island, Japanese troops were ordered to dig in the mountain fortress and to die to the last man.  The assault on Iwo Jima was the fiercest landing fight the world has ever seen.  The Japanese kept up an incessant rain of death upon the attacking American troops on the beaches.  Navy and Marine casualties exceeded 22,000; the Japanese counted more than 20,000 dead. On the sacred soil of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the battlefield was a sea of carnage.  In three days of fighting, Confederate losses were 3,900 killed, and 24,000 wounded and missing; Union losses were 3,100 killed, and 20,000 wounded or missing.  Those soldiers listed as missing simply vanished, ground up in battle disappearing into the soil.  In November 1863, several months after the battle of Gettysburg, its military cemetery was dedicated, at which President Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address.

Today, there are 120 national military cemeteries in our nation.  From Arlington, Virginia, on the Potomac to the Golden Gate in California, from St. Augustine, Florida, to Sitka, Alaska, as well as on many other burial grounds elsewhere around the world.  The war cemeteries in Normandy, one of which appears in the deeply powerful opening scene of the film “Saving Private Ryan,” holds the remains of 9,386 American soldiers. The cemetery of Meuse-Argonne in France contains more than 14,000 American military dead from World War I, the largest number interred in a single place in Europe. France has 11 American cemeteries, the most outside of the United States; Belgium has three, the United Kingdom and Italy, two, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, one. A number exist outside Europe; the oldest is the Mexico City National Cemetery, which dates from 1847, and is the burial site of nearly 750 unidentified American soldiers killed in the Mexican-American War, and later from the U.S. Civil War and Spanish-American War. Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines is the largest overseas cemetery, with more than 17,000 Americans who died in World War II’s Pacific Theatre. In 2003, former General Colin Powell, responding to a remark by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, who had been critical of American “hard power,” said, “We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we’ve done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan, and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in.” More than 125,000 U.S. war dead are buried in these overseas resting places.

On this hallowed soil, as in the hearts of the American people, the memory of these gallant men and women, who made the supreme sacrifice, is enshrined forever.  In a letter written by President Lincoln to Mrs. Lydia Bixby in late November 1864, a widow who lost her five sons in the Civil War, the President wrote the following:

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

On this Memorial Day, as I have been reminding younger people, that amidst the travel, barbeques, and shopping, let us not forget to thank God that such brave men and women as they lived and died for our nation’s freedom. May God have mercy upon them, and may their memory be eternal.

The Summer 2016 Issue of Salvo

We’re excited to be presenting Salvo #37 to you soon! Along with our great regular contributors such as Hugh Ross, Terrell Clemmons, Denyse O’Leary, and Cameron Wybrow, we’re happy to be welcoming some new writers for us this time. Philosophy professor James S. Spiegel’s article is featured on the cover, and here’s an early look at the piece by well-known apologist Sean McDowellCollege Prep: How Can Students Stand Strong for Their Faith in College? We’ll be updating the website next Monday with new online content, so be sure to check back soon. Now’s a great time to subscribe—Makes a great gift too!

Salvo37

A New Video from Live Action Plus Salvo Articles on Abortion

This was posted yesterday by Live Action:

Salvo has interviewed Live Action’s founder Ms. Lila Rose a few times over the years, and I encourage you to look up more Live Action videos on youtube.

Salvo has covered the topic of abortion from many angles as well. See below.

Acting for Life
An Interview with Lila Rose

“. . . We’ve known about the trafficking of the body parts of children for years now, so it wasn’t surprising. But it’s always heartbreaking and deeply disturbing to see it and hear it again. Even after being involved in this movement for twelve years, it still moves me deeply when I have an encounter with the violence that’s done to children we’re trying to protect and the heartache it causes families, mothers, all of society. . . . “


The Big Kill
Abortion Is by Far the Deadliest Thing—Ever

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Harm’s Way
Men, Abortion & Hemingway

. . . despite the feminists’ attempts to silence men on the subject, abortion is, and always will be, a matter that concerns men as much as women. Every unborn child, whether aborted or carried to term, is the offspring of a father as well as a mother, and the mere presence of “it” presents a new “thing” in his life with which he must contend. From the moment he receives the news, he has a choice to make: Will he rise, like a man, to the momentous task his male activity has wrought? Or will he shrink back in search of some sideways escape? The choice he makes will have lifelong consequences for him. . . .


Look! A Baby!
The Argument Against Abortion

. . . The religious justifications of abortion are not based on revelation, and the “rationalist” justifications of abortion self-evidently cannot be. They are certainly not based on reason. So they are based on nothing at all, except perhaps will and power. . . .


A Buried Grief
Finally, There Is More Help for Women Hurt by Abortion

. . . According to Burke and others in the field whom I spoke with, typical manifestations of post-abortion trauma include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, nightmares, and difficulty with intimacy. Some reactions are delayed for years; others are immediate. “I think most women, if they knew it was going to impact them in such a negative way, would never, ever in a million years have chosen to have an abortion,” Burke told me. “Having a baby would have been a breeze compared to trying to deal with all the problems that were borne later.” . . .


Roe v. Women
Pro “Choice” Clearly Harms Those It Claims to Help

. . . To pit the rights of prospective mothers against the rights of their unborn children is to begin the discussion with a false presumption—namely, that the interests of the two parties are at odds with one another. They are not. To harm the child is to harm the mother, and vice versa. . . .


Death in Bangkok
Opposition to Abortion Is Not Just a Judeo-Christian Thing

. . . Thailand is a star performer in government-sponsored family planning. In the 1960s women had an average of about 6.5 children. Now the average is about 1.8 children. Contraception is widely available. So even if abortion is frowned upon as the destruction of unborn human life, the dynamics of a contraceptive lifestyle make it more and more likely that women will resort to it. There can be little doubt why the abortion mills thrive in the face of public disgust, religious denunciations, and the danger of police raids. . . .


Planned Parenthood
Where the Blood & Money Flow

. . . Blood aside, it’s hard to single out one offense from the many. There are the allegations of massive misuse of public funds—for example, charges of Medicaid fraud totaling (to date) close to $100 million. Or the charges of practicing suspicious medicine, such as giving clients false information about fetal development and mishandling prescription drugs. And then there is the recorded evidence of complicity in statutory rape1 and child sex trafficking,2 due to the failure to report suspected perpetrators as required by law. These activities are all shady enough to warrant comparing Planned Parenthood to the mafia. . . .


SPLC: The Self-Appointed, National Thought-Crime Hall Monitor

The Poverty Palace

The Poverty Palace

From the New York Times:

For the second time, George W. Bush has written a warm letter in support of a conservative group that bills itself as promoting the “natural family” based on heterosexual marriage but that is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The group, the World Congress of Families, based in Rockford, Ill., is holding a conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, where it had planned to honor Mr. Bush. But he declined to attend, a spokesman said.

In a letter dated May 2016, the former president says: “I commend your efforts to recognize the importance of families in building nations. Your work improves many lives and makes the world better.”

The article continues:

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, added the World Congress of Families to its list in 2014, calling it “one of the key driving forces behind the U.S. religious right’s global export of homophobia and sexism.” But the liberal-leaning center has been criticized for including groups that fall within the conservative mainstream, like the Family Research Council, based on their stances on gay issues.

The World Congress of Families has strongly disputed the hate-group designation and the implication that it supports violence against the L.G.B.T. community.

“Nothing could be further from the truth, as W.C.F. strongly opposes violence and would never advocate violence or hatred toward any group of people, regardless of differences,” the group wrote in 2014.

Larry Jacobs, the group’s managing director, said in a statement that it seeks to fight “the sexual revolution and the harm that it has brought millions of victims worldwide.”

We here at Salvo support The World Congress of Families and the work of The Howard Center, one of the groups responsible for putting it together (and also a Salvo partner organization). The Southern Poverty Law Center has been targeted in Salvo‘s “Surveillance” column. I encourage you to read up on the SPLC, I’ve posted an excerpt from the Salvo article below. Frankly, I’d be proud to be on their naughty list.

. . . With the KKK having, thankfully, shriveled to a statistically trivial 2,000 members by the year 2000, the SPLC moved away from filing lawsuits to raising awareness about the threat of “hate groups.” A cursory look at the organizations so designated, though, reveals a malignant streak. Organizations that uphold pro-life, pro-family, and pro-marriage (of the man-woman variety) morals are (ta-da!) “hate groups” and earn a spot on the SPLC’s “Hate Map.” (Yes, Salvo would qualify.) Like a self-appointed, national thought-crime hall monitor, the SPLC presents regular “intelligence files” and an annual “Year in Hate” report to municipal, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

Never mind that traditional morality does not constitute “hate,” and that “heightened awareness” by itself has never helped the actual victims of anything, “hate-mapping,” too, is apparently quite profitable. According to tax records, at the end of 2010 the SPLC was sitting on “private investment funds” exceeding $200 million, with Dees and top SPLC execs—including co-founder Levin—collecting annual salaries well into six figures. They have stamped out poverty quite splendidly—for themselves. There’s big money in hate.

Further reading from Salvo:

Family Matters
An Interview with Allan Carlson, President of the Howard Center
by Bernard Chapin

World War Sex
A Global Revolution Imperils Men, Women & Children: An Interview with Gabriele Kuby
by Benjamin J. Vail

And up at the Touchstone blog:

The Dangerous Foolishness of Modern Man by Michael Avramovich

. . . Throwing fuel on the fire, Professor Marci Hamilton of the University of Pennsylvania, believes that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), passed in 1993 and signed by President Bill Clinton, gives a green light to discriminate today. RFRA bans the federal government from unjustly meddling in the way Americans express religious beliefs. RFRA provides “a claim or defense to persons whose religious exercise is substantially burdened by government.” But that is not exactly how Professor Hamilton sees things. In a recent interview with CBS, available here, Professor Hamilton said that RFRA is “Jim Crow. It’s just that there are different targets at this point for some of the people. [Religious traditionalists and conservatives] are arguing now, in these groups, is that they have ‘rights’ in order to be able to discriminate against others. But the ‘rights’ that they’re talking about are made up. They are not rights from the Constitution.” Thus, according to Professor Hamilton, religious liberty, although cited as our first freedom in the First Amendment, is not constitutional, whereas unlimited abortion license, a redefinition of marriage, and now, transgender bathroom policies throughout the nation, which are not in the Constitution, are fundamental constitutional rights. . . .