Rape culture and the sexual revolution

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. — I Corinthians 6:18

Can you really separate rape culture from the sexual revolution and our “anything goes” attitude toward sex? I do not think you can. The former is a product of and feeds on the latter.

I have been following three shocking cases where teenage girls were raped. Either the rapists or bystanders took photographs of the victims and shared the photos on social media or by sending the photos to each other. Two of the victims (Rehtaeh Parsons and Audrie Pott) committed suicide due to the online harassment or widespread dissemination of the photographs of them in a vulnerable state. Pott’s attackers allegedly wrote on her unconscious body. The photos shared on social media were critical in convicting the rapists in Steubenville, Ohio.

While I have been following these three cases, it has become increasingly obvious to me that our sexually permissive culture – brought about by the sexual revolution of the 1960’s – is at the root of these rapes, and especially the callous and spiteful gloating about the crimes on social media websites.

While sexual sin has certainly existed all throughout history, it was not that long ago that American culture generally embraced the Christian world view that sexual activity is to be confined to the marriage bed. But over the last forty or fifty years, Christianity’s influence over our culture has been deeply eroded to the point that most of the cultural and social expectations regarding the proper boundaries have been abolished – with more on the way. For one shocking example, see this post at BaylyBlog for a quote by a false “pastor” in New Mexico.

We have come to believe that we have a “right” to engage in whatever sexual behavior we wish, and that no one may judge us for it. Think about this for a minute: Were the attitudes of the rapists in the three cases I mentioned above fundamentally different than the attitudes of men who “hook up” with women on our college campuses? Is the attitude of the man who has a series of one night stands with various women fundamentally different from the two young men who raped those three teenage girls and then gloated about it electronically?

I would submit that the answer is “no.” In both cases, the women and girls are little more than sexual playthings. These men don’t care about the women themselves. They are the means to an end, with no more moral standing than a blow-up doll. They are used and discarded. When men see women as sexual toys rather than immortal souls made in the image of Almighty God, should we be surprised that the boundaries between consensual sex and rape begin to blur to the point that it does not matter what the woman or teenage girl wants?

If we want to address and fight against rape culture, then we need to get serious about undoing the horrific damage the sexual revolution has brought to our culture. From the broken families and economic consequences of no-fault divorce to the dramatic spread of sexually transmitted diseases brought about by widespread promiscuity, we cannot continue to ignore the consequences of the sexual revolution.

As with so many of our society’s problems, the fault lies at the feet of the Christian church. Our churches have completely failed to preach, teach, rebuke and exhort on sexual morality and Almighty God’s many commandments to be sexually pure. If sexual sin is not addressed by the Christian church, how can we possibly expect the world to respect Biblical sexual morality? They will rightly dismiss us as hypocrites. Revival and judgment must always begin with the house of God.

Interactive content providers and rape victims

A federal appeals court ruled in May of 2008 that interactive content providers are not legally liable for content posted on their sites, in that case MySpace.com, after a teenage girl was sexually assaulted by a man she met through the social networking site. The family had alleged that MySpace.com did not properly protect teens from sexual predators, but the Associated Press reports that Judge Edith Brown Clement “ruled that the Communications Decency Act of 1996 bars such lawsuits against Web-based services like MySpace.” (I addressed this when it happened.)

This is important to note in the case of Rehtaeh Parsons, who was gang-raped at the age of 15 and killed herself two years later after being harassed and cyberstalked. Images of the attack were posted to social-media websites, much like what happened in the shocking and abhorrent Steubenville rape case in 2012. A children’s advocacy group calling itself the Red Hood Project is calling for Facebook and other social media websites to be more responsible but also for government action to prevent abusive images from being posted to the sites in the first place.

One suggestion was for Facebook be punished with “something like a $10 million fine every time someone posted the image” of a sexual assault in progress. As noted above, such an action is not legally permitted in the United States because of the Communications Decency Act. I am not familiar enough with Canadian law to comment on that, but even if it is legally permissible it would be a bad idea.

Obviously, no person with any human decency wants to see victims of rape and sexual assault humiliated and tormented in public by perverted monsters who gloat about and post images of their crimes on the Internet. Such despicable and depraved actions should be punished to the fullest extent of the law and I would fully support legislation enacting harsher penalties for crimes like this in addition to making the punishment for the rapists themselves harsher when they use social media to gloat about the crimes they commit.

But punishing the social media sites themselves is a tricky area and will have serious unintended consequences. Social media websites can (and do) take things down, but preventing things from being posted in the first place is a completely different matter. Interactive content providers (whether they are social media websites, discussion forums or newspaper comment sections) for the most part cannot screen content before it is posted, and hitting them with huge fines every time one of their users does something illegal will either force heavy-handed censorship or shut them down completely. Punishing social media websites for actions of users who are breaking the law and the website’s Terms of Service Agreement is like punishing Honda and Budweiser when someone is driving drunk.

Unfortunately, the virtual raw sewage we see posted on the Internet is a product of our society. If the bastards who post images of themselves raping an unconscious teenage girl had been raised by mothers and fathers who taught them to be real men who respect and honor women, they would not have considered assaulting an unconscious teenager, much less gloat about it on the Internet. The problem here is a problem with our culture, not Facebook. The place to start fixing this is (as always) within the church. We must train our covenant sons to honor and respect women.

Disgusting, perverted and reprehensible

On the April 23 edition of ABC Nightline, a “news” story explained that the “teenage brain” is not fully developed and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s impulse control was not as mature.

Bovine feces!

When I was 19 years old (some 20 years ago) I knew full well that setting off a bomb in a crowd of people to maim and kill was evil. I knew that at 15. I knew that at 10.

The attempt to take away ANY moral responsibility for this act of terrorism based on agenda-driven junk science is disgusting, perverted and reprehensible.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s civil liberties must be protected

Timothy McVeigh murdered 168 people and maimed hundreds more when he used a fertilizer bomb to attack a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev allegedly murdered three people and maimed nearly 200 with a bomb inside a pressure cooker at the Boston Marathon on April 15

Both McVeigh and Tsarnaev are American citizens. McVeigh was afforded due process and his guilt was proven after a fair trial. He was put to death a few years ago and is currently suffering in horrible burning agony in Hell, where he will continue to suffer in horrible burning agony for all eternity. So why can we not treat Tsarnaev the same way we treated McVeigh? What is dramatically different about the cases of McVeigh and Tsarnaev?

According to several Republican lawmakers, Tsarnaev should be treated as an “unlawful enemy combatant,” at least for the purposes of interrogation. As Radley Balko pointed out over the weekend, the notion that we have rights until it is inconvenient means we have no rights at all. Fortunately, the Obama administration has rejected this suggestion and will prosecute Tsarnaev through our civilian justice system.

September 11 was a traumatic event and it demonstrated we have to take Islamic terrorism seriously. However, our reaction to 9/11 has led to troubling results, as we have seen here. There is far too much irrational fear and hysteria surrounding the War on Terror, and making policy out of fear is dangerous. If we give up our civil liberties in response to a terrorist attack designed to spread fear and paranoia, we are giving the terrorists exactly what they want. To put it bluntly, if John McCain gets what he wants then the terrorists win.

I enthusiastically support the death penalty for murderers, and if Tsarnaev is convicted after a fair trial by a jury of his peers then he should be put to death as commanded by Almighty God in Genesis 9:6. But we should not forget that he is innocent until proven guilty. We need to take every precaution to make sure he actually is guilty and not give in to the temptation to take shortcuts, with the goal being justice – not a conviction.

We also need to remember that once the precedent is established that the Constitution can be ignored for an American citizen arrested on American soil, that precedent can (and will) be used in more destructive ways in the future. A government that ignores the rule of law is more dangerous to our liberty (and our security) than any terrorist or foreign aggressor could ever hope to be.

Movie Review: Red Dawn remake

The original Red Dawn in 1984 was a classic – a surprise invasion by Soviet ground troops leads to the occupation of a significant portion of the United States. Once you get past the fact that such an invasion was highly unlikely, the story of some high school kids fighting a guerrilla war against the occupying Soviets was a great story. The Soviets were a believable enemy and the movie played on Cold War fears.

The new Red Dawn? The movie is fine, the action is great and the characters are engaging, but the premise is simply laughable. The North Koreans are invading us? Really? North Korea was not exactly a believable enemy in Olympus Has Fallen, but that was a commando strike against the White House, not a full blown invasion of the West Coast! You cannot expect your audience to take North Korea seriously as an invading army.

If a remake of Red Dawn was going to be made, it should have been China as the invading force. Despite its huge population, China does not have the capacity to launch a full-scale invasion of the United States, but China is a far more believable enemy than North Korea. The studio decided not to offend China, so the enemy suddenly became North Korea. If you cannot use China, why not set the movie in 1984 and have the Soviets invade again?

North Korea (guffaw!) is able to shut down U.S. defenses with an electromagnetic pulse, enabling the invasion. They have a special device that protects them from being harmed by the EMP. There are all kinds of problems with this, and it would be easier to suspend disbelief if the movie was more science-fiction oriented – perhaps if the invading army was Cobra in a G.I. Joe sequel. It is out of place in a movie that is supposed to take place in the real world.

Despite these problems, the movie is enjoyable. Chris Hemsworth does a great job as Jed, and his relationship with his brother Matt (and the disciplinary problems he has with Matt as Jed tries to mold the kids into a formidable resistance cell) is well done. The scene with Matt screaming “WOLVERINES!” as the resistance cell is attacking the North Korean (guffaw!) occupying force in the streets to prevent the execution of one of their contacts is just awesome and makes you want to stand up and cheer.

If there is a problem from a storytelling perspective (other than the issue of not having a credible enemy) it is that you never really get the sense that the Wolverines are in a desperate situation. It takes almost no time at all for a bunch of high school kids to become legitimate soldiers, and they are far too effective against the occupying army. The situation does not become really desperate until the final scene, which is unfortunate.

The movie would have been better with more tension – making the stakes much higher and the objective more unattainable. Having Jed proclaim the Wolverines cannot win in a straight up fight and then have them decisively win a straight up fight does not help matters. It winds up being more of a feel good patriotic movie than the story of following a ragtag resistance cell fighting impossible odds.

Overall, this is worth a rental, though it’s not something I would own on DVD.

Final Grade: B.

Immoral libertarianism and the "morning-after pill"

Steve Chapman illustrates the problem with libertarians who place purist ideology over common sense, resulting in an anti-libertarian stance. Giving birth control to pre-teen girls is not a libertarian position for two very big reasons.

First, it violates parental rights. The state has traditionally deferred to parents’ authority in matters of child-rearing. For the government to allow the “morning after pill” to be available over the counter seriously undermines that authority, and violates the First Amendment rights of parents (especially Catholics) who oppose artificial birth control on religious grounds. It also undermines the ability of parents to protect their daughters from sexual predators. With MAP available over the counter, sexual predators much more easily cover up the results of their crimes.

Second, the state has always had a role in protecting children from abuse by adults. The essence of libertarian ideology can be summed up by the (admittedly simplistic) statement that “you can swing your fist as much as you want until it touches my nose.” Once harm is committed, the state has reason to step in. Enabling sexual predators to cover up their crimes is not a libertarian position – it is an anarchist position.

Chapman has bought into the propaganda from the “reproductive rights” crowd that the “morning after pill” does not prevent implantation. If the point of “contraception” is to prevent fertilization in the first place, why is it that “emergency contraception” is taken after sexual contact -including up to three days later? Furthermore, the makers of “Plan B” admit on their own website that their drug can cause a fertilized egg not to implant, destroying a newly-created human life before it has a chance to grow:

It is possible that Plan B One-StepĀ® may also work by preventing fertilization of an egg (the uniting of the sperm with the egg) or by preventing attachment (implantation) to the uterus (womb).

Source: http://www.planbonestep.com/faqs.aspx
Screenshots: TwitterPhotoBucket

Treating the “morning after pill” like acetaminophen or laxatives is illogical and ignores the moral and religious implications of the MAP. Drugs that relieve pain, suppress cold symptoms or encourage bowel movements are wildly different from the destructive social effects of allowing young teens and pre-teen girls unfettered access to a drug that enables felony sexual abuse and/or sexual activity before the age of consent. Like I said on April 12, this lawless decision is part of a larger and frightening movement to legalize pedophilia.

The solution here is simple. Congress should immediately draft and pass legislation to give the executive branch the authority to not authorize over the counter sales of “emergency contraception.” The Food and Drug Administration is an agency created by Congressional legislation, so Congress has the legal authority to expand the authority of the agency and the executive branch that oversees it. Barack Obama has already said that he agrees with limiting OTC sales of “Plan B,” so unless the President was being dishonest this should pass easily.