Perpetual moral scold and professional victim town crier Rod Dreher (unintentional rhyme) has made a career of gay panic mongering on top of End of the Christian West predictions. Just in the last seven days, he has posted thirteen stories on GLBT issues wherein he praised President Putin (In a nuanced way, mind you!) for upholding Orthodox Christian values while keeping teh ghey under control (maybe with a little too much force for Rod’s comfort, hence a cheer and half for Putin and not three cheers), suggested that maybe it was time for the Benedictine option where he would presumably withdraw his family from evil ghey society (like those anti gay folks from Arizona who tried to sail to the South Pacific last spring and ended up lost at sea for three months…) and inevitably mocked trans people and the state of California for trying to have trans friendly bathroom policies in school.
The only blogs I have seen that spent this much time obsessing over GLBT people were actual GLBT blogs.
But Rod has outdone himself on this one.
He starts out strong with quotes from Dante’s Inferno along with a bonus Dore’ illustration of the second level of hell (where the lustful hang out for those who are not familiar) and uses that to segue into…Germany is allowing intersexed children to decide for themselves what gender they should be and even have a special passport designation that is neither female nor male!
The horror! If Biology will simply not go along with conservative teleology and Natural Law, then WE MUST FIX IT!
But Rod is just getting started…
He cheerfully endorses this little gem.
It’s fitting that Germany passed this legislation. It reflects our postmodern version of the will’s triumph over given realities. Nazism was an earlier version of this triumph, very different in countless ways, of course, but sharing a basic, underlying similarity. Hitler believed in the priority of the deed over truth, the will over fact, strength over established affairs. He wanted to forge a New Germany in accord with new myths, and part of his appeal rested in the fact that he affirmed the priority of this desire over all else. It’s intoxicating to believe that we can make our own destiny by the strength of our self-choosing.
Because helping intersexed people is totally like being in a Leni Riefenstahl Nazi propaganda flick! Triumph of the Will!
It goes downhill from there as he quotes Ross Douthat from the NYT:
It’s the dream of Thomas Friedman as well as Karl Marx, as old as Babel and as young as the South Korean cloners. It whispered to us in Eden, and it whispers to us now: ye shall be as gods. And no conservative dream, in the 400 years from Francis Bacon until now, has proven strong enough to stand in its way.
You got that? Intersexed people are part of the liberal delusion of Godhood that is making Rod and Ross haz a sad. Or something.
He tries pick it up a little bit with an obligatory Marxism quote from cranky Enlightenment disapproval guy Alasdair MacIntyre:
Even if Marxist characterizations of advanced capitalism are inadequate, the Marxist understanding of liberalism as ideological, as a deceiving and self-deceiving mask for certain social interests, remains compelling. Liberalism in the name of freedom imposes a certain kind of unacknowledged domination, and one which in the long run tends to dissolve traditional human ties and to impoverish social and cultural relationships. Liberalism, while imposing through state power regimes that declare everyone free to pursue whatever they take to be their own good, deprives most people of the possibility of understanding their lives as a quest for the discovery and achievement of the good…
You got that? Intersexed people are Fascistic and Marxist all at once! You can’t let them out of the hospital without correcting that Fascist/Marxist biological anomaly! Who knows what they might do?
But Mac is just winding up:
Precisely. In After Virtue I argued that the failure of the Enlightenment project is best understood as a sequel to the wrong-headed rejection, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, of what I called “the tradition of the virtues.”…Virtues are those qualities of mind and character without which the goods internal to such human practices as those of the arts and the sciences and such productive activities as those of farming, fishing, and architecture cannot be achieved. Second, virtues are those qualities without which an individual cannot achieve that life, ordered in terms of those goods, which is best for her or him to achieve; and third, those qualities without which a community cannot flourish, and there can be no adequate conception of overall human good.
So the Enlightenment was a bad idea according to reactionary Catholic theologians, and Rod thinks this has something to do with intersexed people who have ambiguous reproductive organs.
But Rod tries to tie all of this together in a Grand Unified Theory of
quantum mechanics and relativity keeping those damned free will people off of his lawn.
Technology and desire will free us from the tyranny of our bodies. And, as Dante knew, it will ultimately open the gate of Hell, because it so seductively appeared to us as Good. Here is one way to state the temptation:
At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.
That is true, insofar as it is a metaphysical statement about free will. But it is a seductive truth, because it is ultimately nihilistic, claiming that morality is what we say it is, and calling that liberty. It is no wonder that those lines, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, on behalf of a Supreme Court majority, were used to justify leaving mothers free to murder without restriction their unborn children. A passionate love of liberty so construed leads us to choose one death.