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Wednesday, December 15, A.D. 2010
Incest: Test Case for Liberalism

Yesterday, Auster commented on the move in Switzerland to decriminalize incest: “Switzerland is considering repealing incest laws, as ‘obsolete.’” My favorite View from the Right commentator, Kristor, wrote:

The thing is, liberalism offers no basis for any prohibition, except one: Thou shalt not make pejorative judgments. Which is a recipe for complete moral paralysis, and blindness (meaning that no one can really put liberalism into practice; unless you decide, you can’t do anything at all); and therefore for suicide. Incest is a great test case, at which most people will balk. But that just means incest is now where homosexuality was 40 years ago, when both were equally disgusting to normal minds. Yet incest is nothing in comparison to what is already accepted, or gaining acceptance. We see already that there is no judgment in liberalism against murderers—they are just “reaching out,” because they are “down on their luck,” so we should not condemn them. But even murder is nothing. How could a consistent liberal object to a religion that enjoined child sacrifice upon its adherents? Only by recourse to a set of illiberal moral standards. Let’s face it, if partial birth abortion is just fine, what could possibly be ruled out? If it is OK to kill babies who are sticking out of their mothers, what can we really say is not OK?

It’s funny, in a mordant way: infanticide is perfectly OK, but incandescent light bulbs are very wicked. How sick is that? I am overcome with horror, all of a sudden, and rage. Nominalism is demonic. I’m totally convinced.

Of course, he is right.

The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see.
O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!
Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.
Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.

Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, though it be told you.
For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not their’s.
They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves.
Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat.
They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand.
And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they shall deride every strong hold; for they shall heap dust, and take it.
Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his god.

Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction.
Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?
And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them?
They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad.
Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous.
Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?

Today, by chance or providence, is the feast day of the prophet Habakkuk on the old calendar (December 2). For we live in habakkukan times.

Posted by Joseph on Wednesday, December 15, Anno Domini 2010
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