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The PJ Tatler

by
Scott Ott

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July 11, 2014 - 6:14 am

When the taboos start to fall, who’s to say that yours will stand?

An Australian judge suggests that a 1950s court would have found sex between two men “unnatural,” and sex outside of marriage a violation of English Common Law.

So, now that more nations and states have declared what was taboo to be not just normative but a civil right, Judge Garry Neilson asks, why not incest? He then deals with the objection that birth defects may occur in the spawn of close relatives by noting that contraception is widely available and abortion socially acceptable.

The comments were labelled misogynistic and “completely disgraceful” by Sally Dowling, the crown prosecutor, who has asked an appeal court to appoint another judge.

“The reference to abortion is particularly repellent,” she said.

Dr Cathy Kezelman, an advocate for preventing child sex abuse, said incest was horrific, regardless of the ages of those involved.

“The relational betrayal of the horrors of incest between a brother and sister of any age is abhorrently criminal,” she told The Sydney Morning Herald.

But why the outrage in our postmodern, progressive era? Let’s think it through for a moment based on our spinning moral compass.

For the sake of this legal exercise, let’s assume society continues to condemn sexual acts involving the use of threats and violence, against the will of at least one party. Beyond that, who’s to say that sex, and/or marriage, between consenting members of a nuclear family is impermissible under law? On what principle can we continue to forbid it?

And if, as we’ve been told, the only significant question regarding marriage is “who do you love?”, then it seems that all other societal sexual restraints (beyond those on nonconsensual coercion and compulsion) must be lifted.

However, human experience shows that sexual relations need not involve “love” at all.

Mere momentary pleasure, with no commitment, has become the accepted standard for many people. Since we’re not willing to jail (or judge) people who engage in consensual one-night stands — even if one of them is married to a third party and thus in breach of contract — then the question really has nothing to do with “who you love,” does it?

As you follow that thread, you quickly arrive at the end where you must admit: The law should be what I feel it should be, at least for me. If you’re particularly democratic, you might amend that to say, the law should be what the majority decides from time to time.

This is tantamount to the statement: there is no law.

Now, some of my libertarian friends would have said “Amen” to that, if they didn’t fear it might sound too religious. (But, oddly enough, most libertarians are not so libertine nor antinomian.)

If the law literally has no business in the bedroom, or wherever intimate encounters occur, then who dares to prevent or punish sexual relations between a consenting adult and, for example, a consenting minor? So long as no one gets hurt, what’s the legal issue?

You might say, “Well, a minor cannot grant consent.”

Well, he can’t sign a binding contract, but he certainly can grant consent when an adult says, “Do you want some candy?” (We have an almost-universally observed holiday in October built around that transaction.) Parental warnings to the contrary, it’s not illegal to offer candy to a child.

In any case, the age of consent is merely an arbitrary construct of law (fashioned by old white guys, no doubt). We have decided as a society that a minor may not grant consent, but we could decide otherwise. In fact, we’ve changed the age of majority in several instances — drinking, voting, eligibility for possible compulsory military service.

Of course, one may forbid it on the grounds that a child in a consensual sexual relationship with an adult could sustain psychological damage, but by whose standard?

Are there not homosexuals and heterosexuals who suffer mental trauma and neuroses for years as a result of relationships between consenting adults? Humans have practically made a sport out of messing with each other’s emotions through awkward sexual encounters that prove psychologically devastating to one or more parties.

Remember, society has not always agreed that homosexuality is merely an alternative lifestyle. Until 1973, the American Psychiatric Association classified homosexuality as a mental illness, the American Psychological Association did until 1975, the World Health Organization until 1990.

So who gets to decide what’s acceptable, normal and healthy, and what’s unnatural, harmful and illegal?

Judge Neilson’s musings from the bench raise the question: Should we have a standard other than evolving preferences, or is all law arbitrary — merely a method to subject oppressed minorities to the wishes of the majority?

If there should be a standard, beyond the latest opinion poll, then where shall we find it?

Scott Ott co-hosts a news, commentary and humor show called Trifecta on PJTV. He created and hosted the 20-part series on the Constitution titled Freedom's Charter. His satire site, ScrappleFace, spawned three books and praise from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin and many others.

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Top Rated Comments   
From another site commenting on this:

This should make it clear to everyone who is not a sexual deviant that the position of the English Common Law was correct, and that all of the various deviancies that have been legalized and normalized and declared no longer indicative of psychological sickness since the 1950s should promptly be returned to their former status.

There is no middle ground. What devotees of one particular immorality or another believe is a reasonable stopping point - here, and no further - is nothing more than a waystation on the road to total depravity of the worst imaginable sort.

We libertarians were wrong. Societal liberty simply cannot be maximized through sexual anarchy any more than it can be maximized though unrestricted immigration, unrestricted government, or unrestricted voting. In retrospect, this should always have been obvious: if everything goes, then literally everything will go. This is no longer a hypothetical objection on the part of traditional conservatives, it is an undeniable reality. It is human nature to push at the boundaries; there will always be those who cross the line. Therefore, the line needs to be set firmly along boundaries that are undeniably beneficial to society and proven by centuries of tradition to be sustainable in the long term.

There will be those who disingenuously insist that the clock cannot be turned back, that humanity is doomed to an endless future of sodomy, incest, rape, necrophilia, and bestiality. This is provably false; the current period of sexual anarchy in the West is hardly the first in human history and it is very short by historical standards. And this particular clock most certainly will be turned back, one way or another, because everything from birth rates to the transmission rates of sexually transmitted diseases indicate that the current state of near-sexual anarchy has already reached the point of unsustainability.

Technology can never trump Creator-imposed morality any more than science can surmount the physical laws of Nature. It may appear to do so, for a short time, but that is nothing more than an illusion based on incomplete understanding.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
I remember years ago at one of those advice columns, Ann Landers or Dear Abby, a man wrote in and explained that he and his sister were both divorced, and middle aged, and that they got together occasionally and had sex. Ann or Abby went full rant in her response. There was no doubt in Abby's or Ann's opinion that brother on sister kind of sex was the foulest kind. Abby and Ann had long been OK with man on man anal sex, but brother sister fornication was downright evil. I never read their columns again.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bingo.

I recall the hapless and naive Gary Bauer, back in the 80s, I think, on a talk show. As usual, it was one conservative against 4 or 5 liberals, and of course, most of the time they simply shouted him down.

Bauer, certain he had a "gotcha" question, asked if homosexuality is okay, why not polygamy, incest, bestiality. Since they supported homosexuality being normalized, would they likewise support these other things?

When they confidently affirmed that they DID support these other things, in an "of course!" manner, Bauer was completely flummoxed. He was literally speechless.

The biology is clear. Man, woman. That's how the species reproduces. Biology is equally clear that man, woman, children is the only possible healthy arrangement of a family. Sex with children is demonstrably harmful to them, as is all sex outside of a committed heterosexual relationship.

33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (60)
All Comments   (60)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Our biological mission is not survival of the individual, pleasure, happiness,etc., but it is propagation and survival of the species. We humans, like all other species, are programmed for that function. All the laws and codes of behavior of all civilizations are designed for that purpose.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Howdy dubrovnov
The vast majority of people want heterosexual sex and the species will continue. I decline to make a crime, or even a shame, out of something that people enjoy and that does no harm.
There are various codes and laws, historically and now, that I think do not especially tend to favor survival of the species at a biological level.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
If two men can marry so can a brother a sister. In fact, the brother and sister have the better argument.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Dr Cathy Kezelman, an advocate for preventing child sex abuse, said incest was horrific, regardless of the ages of those involved."

Funny, I feel exactly the same way about homosexuality, but I bet you don't. I also bet there are those who disagree that incest is horrific.

How do we settle this? Where do we draw the line? Well, everyone can agree that man-woman sex is okay, since without it, the species dies out. Beyond that, though, opinions vary. So, let's draw the line at heterosexual sex, and not endorse any of the rest, since we cannot agree.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not the Shakers... I don't know if they thought it was OK or not, but they did not engage in it, and sure enough, there aren't too many of them left!
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Only a man and a woman can naturally produce a child. That biological reality makes limiting marriage to a single man and woman a biologically objective line of determination in who may and may not 'marry'. That a man and woman may not be able to have children or may not want children does not change either that biology is an objective determinative 'line' nor that biological reproduction is society's primary interest in marriage, which is why most societies have chosen to use the one man/one woman standard.

Our society is in the process of moving away from the traditional standard. Unfortunately, the primary method being used is judicial, activist judges are ruling that limiting marriage to one man/woman is discriminatory. The unintended consequence of that ruling is that it removes all legal barriers to any 'marriage' arrangement other than ability TO consent. As all other lines of determination in who may and may not marry are arbitrary and thus unconstitutionally discriminatory. That does however rule out bestiality. Age OF consent is an arbitrary demarcation and arbitrary is legally, discriminatory. All of this ignores what is healthy for a society but there is no legal rationale for healthy not also being discriminatory. Thus banning plural marriages and incestuous marriages between consenting adults can only be viewed legally as unconstitutionally discriminatory.

The effect upon future generations will be tragic.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Exactly the slippery slope that many warned about.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Punch line to an old joke. Said by a judge in New Zealand. (Or Australia, or Wyoming, or Scotland)

"A good sheep will do that, you know."
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
And she won't sue you!
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who didn't see this coming? Lets not forget child sexual abuse or as the Left calls it 'Soft Pedophilia'
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Overheard in Tennessee.

"You know son, you're the best lay I ever had"

"Thanks Mom, Dad tells me the same thing"

33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
There have been a number of interesting mate selection experiments utilizing body odor. It turns out that MHC (major histocompatibility locus) genes produce a distinct odor in all of us that serves as a kind of genetic fingerprint. These experiments have shown that women have a very strong preference for men with dissimilar MHC. Selecting MHC-dissimilar mates serves three basic functions: it boosts fertility, results in offspring with stronger immune systems, and reduces the risk of genetic diseases and mental deficiencies. All very valuable results for a healthy society. So it seems that whatever our cultural norms tell us we should be doing, mother nature usually gets it right.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
From another site commenting on this:

This should make it clear to everyone who is not a sexual deviant that the position of the English Common Law was correct, and that all of the various deviancies that have been legalized and normalized and declared no longer indicative of psychological sickness since the 1950s should promptly be returned to their former status.

There is no middle ground. What devotees of one particular immorality or another believe is a reasonable stopping point - here, and no further - is nothing more than a waystation on the road to total depravity of the worst imaginable sort.

We libertarians were wrong. Societal liberty simply cannot be maximized through sexual anarchy any more than it can be maximized though unrestricted immigration, unrestricted government, or unrestricted voting. In retrospect, this should always have been obvious: if everything goes, then literally everything will go. This is no longer a hypothetical objection on the part of traditional conservatives, it is an undeniable reality. It is human nature to push at the boundaries; there will always be those who cross the line. Therefore, the line needs to be set firmly along boundaries that are undeniably beneficial to society and proven by centuries of tradition to be sustainable in the long term.

There will be those who disingenuously insist that the clock cannot be turned back, that humanity is doomed to an endless future of sodomy, incest, rape, necrophilia, and bestiality. This is provably false; the current period of sexual anarchy in the West is hardly the first in human history and it is very short by historical standards. And this particular clock most certainly will be turned back, one way or another, because everything from birth rates to the transmission rates of sexually transmitted diseases indicate that the current state of near-sexual anarchy has already reached the point of unsustainability.

Technology can never trump Creator-imposed morality any more than science can surmount the physical laws of Nature. It may appear to do so, for a short time, but that is nothing more than an illusion based on incomplete understanding.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm a libertarian and I have never thought that societal liberty was to be maximized by personal drug use, by promiscuity or sexual anarchy, nor "unrestricted xx."
In a society with maximized liberty, some people will make bad choices. They do so in the most controlled societies. Only those bad choices that harm others should be criminal.
In a society with maximized liberty, some people will make choices that other people think are bad. Maybe those who think the choices are bad are mistaken; there was a time when marriage across racial lines was unlawful, then scorned, but we now think that marriage across racial lines is fine.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Only those bad choices that harm others should be criminal."

Humans do not live in a vacuum.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nor do we live in each others' pockets, Chris B. Where do you plan to draw your line?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maximizes liberty. Maximized responsibility for ones actions. Two sides of the same coin.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Absolutely. Only the responsible have liberty. The irresponsible have privileges.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bad example. Interracial marriage has been common throughout the world for all of history with only a few exceptions (e.g., America until 1967) and these were not prohibitive of interracial marriage in general but were directed specifically at blacks marrying other races.

History shows us the corrosive effect of decadence and depravity on civilizations. At some point the cumulative weight of bad individual choices destroys a civilization.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Howdy Splash Daddy
I'll stand by my statement on inter-racial (really inter-ethnic) marriage often being condemned. The Levitical law, among others, isn't any too thrilled with it. Many Asian societies have some strict cultural norms, and have had laws, about marriage across ethnic lines. Yet societies that got past inter-ethnic relationships have usually been stronger rather than weaker.
Decadence and depravity corrode a culture. Now we have to define "decadent" and "depraved" and there's a lot of disputed ground here. We also have to consider where the shaping of culture belongs: in the home or in the courthouse.
Believing something should be legal is different from believing it should be practiced. And reasonable people disagree sometimes on what should be practiced and what should not. I have never been able to see homosexual activity as decadent or sinful in itself, no more than heterosexual activity.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I'll stand by my statement on inter-racial (really inter-ethnic) marriage often being condemned."

You're wrong to stand by it. Interracial marriage has frequently been accepted throughout civilization. Some interracial marriages were verboten (black/white in the United States for example), but interracial marriage as a practice has never been absolutely condemned. I like to point out that one of the most famous interracial marriages of the 19th Century was between Frederick Douglass and Helen Pitts.

As for your second paragraph, regarding defining "decadent" and "depraved" you only serve to prove the author's point: If there's a lot of disputed ground here who's to say that there is disputed ground at all? If gay marriage is to be protected by the Equal Protection Clause, why can't incestuous marriage or bestial marriage? Are not the rights of these people being made less equal before the law?

At the root of homosexuality and fornication is a narcissism, namely, the satisfaction of selfish desires. Decadence is the summation of the seven deadly sins - wrath, lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, envy, pride. Trying to build a society on the those is what ultimately leads to a society's downfall.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Howdy Chris
At the root of almost all sexual activity is the satisfaction of selfish desires. I hope also the satisfaction of the partner's selfish desires. The same is true of good cooking.
I personally see promiscuity and adultery as decadent behavior and I will guide my life by that. I won't demand the same of you.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
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