I Bet They Thought They Were Clever

« March 2005 »

Memo to the Natural Family Manifesto: YOUR JEDI MIND TRICKS ARE USELESS ON ME.

For two days now, we've been taking a look at the Natural Family Manifesto, which is rapidly moving past "Birth of a Nation", "The Turner Diaries", and the entire Ann Coulter section of your local Barnes & Noble as the most vomitous bit of fundie bile ever to spew across the media landscape. The work of Allan Carlson and Paul Mero, the NFM is a proposal to rework our entire economy and government around encouraging men to work and screw, women to knit and nurse, and gays to fuck off and die. Concealed within 30-odd, typographically inept pages, hidden amidst mountains of nice-sounding platitudes, lies an agenda that would piss any sane person right off.

And they knew they'd piss off people like me. They devote a whole section of their Manifesto to what their critics will say, in an attempt to pull the ground out from underneath us. By being pre-emptively dismissive in a section condescendingly titled "The Usual Charges", they hope to paint all their critics with a knee-jerk brush. The funny thing is, they actually do a pretty good job of listing their crimes: wanting to return to the 50's, subjugate women, impose Christian values on the country, block social evolution, and encourage overpopulation. Their response to these charges? ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"It is true that we look with affection to earlier familial eras such as '1950's America... Still, we find weaknesses in the family model of '1950's America'. We see that it was largely confined to the white majority. Black families actually showed mounting stress in those years." - Great. Their only problem with 1950's America was that the blacks were screwing everything up by not being good like white people. That makes me feel SO MUCH BETTER. Whew. Load off my liberal mind. Did they get David Duke to proofread this thing?

"We believe wholeheartedly in women's rights. Above all, we believe in rights that recognize women's unique gifts in pregnancy, birthing, and breastfeeding." - Well, thanks for clearing that up. You can have all the rights you want, women! From ovary to labia! Apparently, what they object to, however, is "restrictions on the liberty of employers to recognize family relations and obligations, and so reward indirectly those parents staying at home to care for their children." Note that the preceding sentence makes no fucking sense even from THEIR misguided perspective, but whatever. Anytime a group talks about "restrictions on the liberty of the employer", they mean deregulation so your boss can fire you for being gay or pregnant.

As to imposing their Christian worldview, which they freely admit to, it's apparently just dandy because "we find similar views in the other great world faiths. We even find recognition of the natural family in the marriage rituals of animists." You know, I can't help but think that that's still a bit small of a percentage for a group that seeks, disturbingly, "to liberate the whole world - including dying Europa - for light, life, and children. Don't these people know anything? You fuck with Europa, "dying" or otherwise, and the MONOLITH KICKS YOUR ASS. I'd shell out to watch that on pay-per-view, actually. Nothing like seeing a bunch of self-righteous fucks get one-by-four-by-nined into next week.

It's also good to know that they "celebrate the findings of empirical science" They celebrate it using the traditional rituals of fundamentalist religion. By cherry-picking it, paying for their friendly results, and when all else fails, outright lying about it. "Disease, depression, and early death come to those who reject family life." This one has an endnote, which is great, because I can then follow their incredibly detailed citation... which points vaguely to abstracts allegedly available from both their own website and the Heritage Foundation. Way to celebrate science, fuckwads.

"We seek to reduce domestic violence." - Well, what the hell else are they going to say? They can seek it all they want. I'm sure the guy at Burger King seeks to get my order right, but it ain't gonna happen using the methodology of pressing the Whopper button every time I say "Big Fish". You may not like men beating up women, but you're trying to reinstate the cultural conditions under which domestic violence was tolerated and condoned. So it doesn't really matter what you "seek".

Their answer to the question of overpopulation, in case you were wondering, boils down to "NUH-UH!".

So there we have it. The Natural Family Manifesto, in what is, trust me, a tiny fraction of all its repulsive glory. This is where they want to go. Most of the people who support this will not say it outright, but this is what they want, and if it's not what you want, they will simply fool you into voting for it anyway. Unless, by some miracle, you aren't dumb.