The Culture Warriors’ Inner Battle

This whole thing with Mark Foley is insane. Not only was he the head of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus, but he sponsored more than one bill on child abuse. A 50 year old man was propositioning a page… it looks like more than one. Was it an intern? No. Was it someone of legal age? No. The worst part? The GOP leadership in the House knew about it for ten months and did basically nothing. The didn’t dig deep enough to find out what was going on so they could turn a blind eye and pretend that nothing happened.\
This seems to fit a pattern. Culture warrior rails against some big evil in the world, advocating draconian punishment for any criminal dastardly enough to perpetrate such a crime, only to be a secret practioner. There are plenty of examples:

  • Bill Bennett rails against gambling and all other forms of moral weakness only to turn out to be a huge gambler himself.
  • Rush Limbaugh advocates insane jail time for non-violent drug offenders only to turn out to be a huge illegal oxycontin user.
  • Henry Hyde, who helped lead the impeachment of President Clinton over what boils down to marital infidelity, turned out to have committed the same sin himself… no one threatened to impeach him.
  • Rick Santorum goes on a crusade for tort reform, yet his wife takes a huge settlement in a civil trial.\
    The rules only seem to apply to everyone else in the culture wars. They fight against what they themselves are most guilty about. Well, you know what? Not only is it hypocritical in the extreme, it’s just psychotic. Get counseling, talk to your clergy, pray, but keep your fetishes out of my laws, and your broken government out of my bedroom, e-mail and phone calls. Get your own life in order before you go preaching to me, you Pharisees.

By Kevin Lawver

Web developer, Software Engineer @ Gusto, Co-founder @ TechSAV, husband, father, aspiring social capitalist and troublemaker.


  1. When you are right, you are right!!
    I wish the whole nation could read what you just stated! They need to see it to perhaps let it sink in!!
    Auntie M

  2. I think the reason why some people rally so hard against evils they commit themselves is because they know how evil these things are first-hand.
    Is it hypocritical? Sure. But, perhaps they are theh most qualified people to know what to look for and how severe it really is.

  3. Ooh, ooh, pick me! I know the answer. It’s a psychological defense mechanism called ‘Reaction Formation’. It’s like the guy at church who wigs out about permission slips, multiple chaperones and scrutinizes youth leaders only to turn out to be a pedophile himself. It’s a fairly primitive one, but it is an unconscious (as all defense mechanisms are by definition in the Freudian system) way of dealing with feelings, attributes or proclivities that someone finds distressing. It is also hypocritical, but you were more on the money when you said it was psycho and recommended counseling.

  4. Dossy, you don’t let drunks decide what the legal limit is… you can’t let pedophiles make the rules, even if they happen to be on the harsh side. You make them recuse themselves.

  5. The founding fathers of this country were a bunch of civil disobedients and they set the foundations for the legal system in this country.
    Sorry Kevin, this pattern happens *all* the time.

  6. I’m not saying the pattern doesn’t happen all the time, and I don’t think I was talking about civil disobedience at all. I’m talking about what amount people who are unable to deal with their own guilt and shame making laws that make criminals out of themselves and others who haven’t really committed a crime. If they were _actually_ Christians and had any amount of empathy, we’d be in a better place. But no, they’ve gotten all messed up because they’re not only repressed, they’re stuck in repressive religions that make them unable to deal with their own issues. It makes them lash out at others instead of dealing with their own problems. It’s a disease, and it shouldn’t be codified and the rest of us shouldn’t have to put up with it.

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