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Breaking Liberal Taboos on Education Turning On the Sixties

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The Birth of "Folliage"

by Christopher Chantrill
July 17, 2004 at 8:00 pm


THEY TOLD US it was coming.  No sooner will we get gay marriage than the polyamory advocates would be knocking on our doors.  And wouldn’t you know, the polyamory folks recently got a respectful hearing at—where would you think—the Unitarian Universalists.

It really is remarkable, how the Unitarians seem to be in on every disreputable idea that comes down the pike.  Who can forget their role in the public education movement of the 1840s, when the Unitarians at Harvard hooked up with the Puritans and the socialists to cure the Irish Catholics of their Catholicism?  Well, public education didn’t do much for literacy and numeracy, but it did encourage the Catholics who, under the principle of “first the school, then the church” built an education system that remains clearly better than the tax-fed system that was built to humiliate them.

The liberal war on marriage issue confirms one of the inevitable truths of existence.  Liberals demand absolute freedom to do the things they want, and they demand approval and subsidy too.  Liberals demand absolute freedom for sexual license, under the banner of “keeping government out of the bedroom.”  Some day, social scientists will solemnly study this Liberal Extended Adolescence Syndrome.

In the case of the relations between the sexes, those of us of a certain age recognize that sex is “for the children,” in the exact sense of the word.  The production of children is the one thing needful, because without children the whole remarkable, indeed, risky scheme of sexual reproduction falls apart.  In recognition of this fact, Nature has provided all living things with a powerful box of tools to help them focus on the all-important sexual cycle.  For humans the whole life cycle—from conception through birth to growth to pair formation, reproduction, nurturing of the young, and aging—has been socialized, that is, brought under the aegis of social cooperation, tradition, custom, and, in the bourgeois age, contract. There is a name for this socialized system. It is called “marriage.”

In Europe we have seen over the last generation a sudden collapse in child production.  Conservative commentators have attributed this collapse to the anti-marriage culture.  In Europe all sexual arrangements are given equal prestige with monogamous heterosexual marriage.  Of course, it is impossible to separate the variables out, but the combination of delayed marriage, single parenthood, abortion, divorce, and now gay marriage combines to influence women to have fewer children.  Many fewer children.  Taken together, or considered separately, these trends amount to folly on a massive scale. 

The conflict over human sexual relations puts conservatives into a head-on conflict with liberals, denying liberals what they want most of all: an absolute right to do anything they want in the bedroom.  So let us take advice from the great military strategists and try the indirect approach.  Let liberals screw up their lives, if they want.  But just don’t let them call it “marriage.”  Let us combine in a vast right-wing conspiracy to deny them the the right to dignify their sexual follies as “marriage.”  I propose “folliage,” pronounced “foll-idge,” but screaming on the printed page Folly-age.

If the liberals demand we bow and scrape before their folliage, and call it wisdom, let them.  If they demand subsidies and taxes, they got it.  If Katie Couric wants to thrill to the lucubrations of the folliage activists, be our guest.  But let there be no doubt that what they are doing is folly, a great movement of self-destructive foolishness that attacks the very nature and intent of sexual reproduction.

But every so often we should slide a stiletto between the liberal ribs, to rile up our liberal lords and masters.  If gays experience a life expectancy twenty years less than ordinary Americans, shouldn’t we suggest a social program to improve their life expectancy, something perhaps a little more immediate than an eventual cure for AIDS?  If it turns out that the children of lesbians are angy that their paternity was arranged by mixing together the semen from a couple of gay friends, shouldn’t we wonder aloud about the positive self-esteem of such a marginalized group?  Should we not demand a program of national registration so that every child is a wanted child—with a publicly acknowledged father?  And given that children living with their married, biological parents have the best chance of escaping child abuse, shouldn’t we design a comprehensive and mandatory program to maximize the number of children living with their married biological parents?  And if, as studies show, married conservative women report the highest level of sexual satisfaction, shouldn’t we do something about it, like, er, mention it in those all-important sex education programs that liberals are so keen on? 

Let the liberals have their polyamory and anything else they want.  But let’s call folly by its real name: not “marriage” but “folliage.”

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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