A Critique of the Culture of Life, Part 2

Although anti-abortion rhetoric usually takes up most of the space in the “culture of life” discourse, opposition to contraception pays a key part in this ideology as well. A particular point of scorn is the so-called “contraception mentality” which is:

…rooted in a hedonistic mentality unwilling to accept responsibility in matters of sexuality, and they imply a self-centered concept of freedom, which regards procreation as an obstacle to personal fulfilment. The life which could result from a sexual encounter thus becomes an enemy to be avoided at all costs, and abortion becomes the only possible decisive response to failed contraception (from Evangelium Vitae, John Paul II).

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Ferguson, I Love Lucy, and Living in an Alternative Dimension

In the wake of the Ferguson decision, I’ve been thinking about I Love Lucy. What, I Love Lucy? What does a sixty plus year old sitcom have to do with our current racial troubles? There’s a scene in that show where Lucy and Ethel are complaining about not being treated fairly on account of their gender, to which Fred answers dismissively (and here I’m paraphrasing), “You (i.e., women) can vote. You can wear pants. You can wrestle. You can drive buses. What more do you want?” I’ve encountered this same attitude in the conservotrad world, the general attitude being that since de jure segregation has been eliminated that blacks and other minorities have nothing to complain about, and any problems they experience are completely their own fault. I feel like they could rewrite the afore mentioned quote by Fred Mertz to say, “Black people can vote. You can sit where ever you want on the bus. You can even be president. What more do you want?”

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Southern Agrarianism, Distributism, and Its Discontents

As a traditional supporter of all things ancien regime, the Catholic church has always had an ambivalent relationship with industrialization, capitalism, and urbanization. The growth of cities creates a literate middle class, a group which invariably demands a greater role in determining the trajectory of their own lives, whether in the spiritual or temporal realm. While the hierarchy theoretically prefers a laity that is characterized by an informed orthodoxy, the truth is that a superstitious and illiterate populace residing in the countryside is much easier to deal with, since they don’t make the same intellectual or economic demands as educated city-dwellers.

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