Religion

The boycot was a bust

Unfortunately, according to Business Week, the boycott on Kanab, Utah, turned out to be a bust.

For those of you who missed it: In January, Kanab’s city council passed a Natural Family Resolution:

“The resolution described the natural family as man and woman, duly married “as ordained of God,” with hearts “open to a full quiver of children.” The council decreed that such households are to be treasured as “the locus of the true common good,” a bulwark against crime, delinquency, drug abuse and worse.

With rousing (if not always grammatical) rhetoric, the council promised to do all it could to promote the natural family: “We envision young women growing into wives, homemakers, and mothers; and we see young men growing into husbands, home-builders, and fathers…. We look to a landscape of family homes, lawns, and gardens busy with useful tasks and ringing with the laughter of many children.”

It may just be me, but this resolution makes me think of this photo.
And, once again, I have failed to meet my societal obligations:

“Mero argues that “society should maintain the expectation” that they will one day form a natural family. And if they don’t, well, they should accept that public benefits will favor those who get with the program.

“They ought to unselfishly set aside their own experiences in life and, for the greater good, say ‘Yeah, I get it. The natural family does benefit society.’ I don’t see what’s so hard about that,” said Mero, who has been married 30 years and has six children. “This is just so self-evident.”

Uh. Yeah.
Interestingly, Frommer’s called for the boycott because it interepreted this resolution as anti-gay. I would add that it seems profoundly anti-woman, as well.

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14 Comments

  1. 1/2/7

    The collectivist premises are pretty upfront in this resolution. Anybody with a shred of self-respect is properly offended by them.

    Having read some of the secular humanist literature and listened to most of the Skeptics Guide podcasts however, I note that the same premises are operative there. The calls for central planning, and funding, of alternative energy development, and universal health care, even with the admission by Steven Novella, who presumably knows enough about the two systems (socialized and free market medicine) to make informed judgements about their relative merits, that there is an unacceptable component of non-medical decision making inherent in the socialist version. There are other examples, but those are representative and illustrate the underlying premise. I am at a loss to see the non-arbitrary line of demarcation between “They ought to unselfishly set aside their own experiences in life and, for the greater good, …’, and the assertion that I have the moral obligation to provide medical care for others on the basis of their need. I would be interested to see your comments.

    On the particular of a boycott, the laboratory of the individual states structure of the U.S. should provide a meaningful censure of these folk, if the proper revulsion you feel at their social engineering is sufficiently widespread. People that object to having their lives directed by elitists of all stripes will simply live elsewhere. This town will eventually find itself bereft of folk of ability and either cease to exist or change its tax structure, etc., which looks like the means of coercion they’ve chosen. I agree with the two comments that point out that boycotts in which we try to persuade others to hurt these elitists by co-ordinated action are normally doomed to failure. There just aren’t enough people who feel strongly about it.

    Art

  2. I just wish that these people would for once attempt to explain why they think that the "Natural Family" benefits society, while other families don't. They just assert that it is so, and expect everyone else to go along.

    Art: I think the big difference between Natural Family rubbish and calls for universal healthcare is that the proponents of the latter can give some sort of evidence that what they suggest does in fact "benefit society". Wether or not they succeed in establishing this is a different matter, but at least some of them try, unlike these other kooks. Thus, you can argue against them by presenting evidence for an opposite viewpoint, and hope to get somewhere.

  3. The point I am making is that the premise is the same in both cases. The greatest good for the greatest number inherently enslaves the individual to the collective by putting their good above his. This clearly doesn't immediately lead to the worst abuses of collectivism, but when you accept the premise of utilitarianism as a basis for policy there is no non-arbitrary stopping point. The sovereignty of the individual is gone, his life is now dependant on the mercy of the many.

  4. As they say, you can never please all the people all the time.

    But I think the power of the "collective" is in being able to please most of the people most of the time.

    And every once in a while you need to point out to the people *IN* the collective that they may be wanting the wrong thing (it being the wrong thing for reasons they aren't aware of yet), or the majority may be wanting something other than what the collective thinks it wants.

    In general though, "the collective" tries to do the right thing, as long as its power (and that of individuals in charge) is kept in check.

  5. We are talking past one another. The question I asked was, once you adopt the premise that the life of an individual is not an end in itself, but a means to the ends of others, what principle do you have to guide you in avoiding the excesses of mob rule. The will of the majority executed Socrates. The will of the majority sanctioned chattel slavery long after the enlightenment highlighted the sanctity of the individual. The will of the majority still sanctions it in the mid-east, Africa and the far east. The good of the many at the expense of the one led to all the bloodbaths that were communism and fascism throughout the 20th century. And they were supported by good progressive brother lovers throughout the industrialized west.

    I ask again, without any distractions of natural family or socialized medicine, when you have accepted the principle of utilitarianism, how do you stop it?

    When you see each individual’s life as an end in itself, then men can only deal with one another on a voluntary basis. No one may initiate force against another. No one has the right to use another as the means to his ends. That becomes an inviolable principle. What is the analogue of that principle in utilitarianism?

    Exarch, there is not a single real world example of the collective doing the “right thing”. To quote a famous little green guy, “do or not do, no try”. Tell a million Tutsis about try. Tell 60 million murdered subjects of the USSR and Communist China about try. Tell 10 million Jews, gypsies and other “inferiors” about try. When the good of the many has primacy over the good of the one, it has only ever led one place. We saw it in the 20th century. If it hasn’t lead there here yet, it’s only because as a people we don’t accept the premise operationally.

  6. If you have so much trouble looking for an example of a "collective" doin,g the right thing, then I guess there's really no point in trying to talk to you, because you'll just ignore whatever I have to say. Obviously, you've already ignored plenty of examples of a group taking the rights of a single individual to heart.

    Either you're pleading for total anarchy: no government, no law enforcement, just kill or be killed. Not a viable option in my opinion.

    Or your pleading for a Star-Trek-ian utopia universe where at least everyone within "The Federation" collective is happy and safe and treated with respect. And then all I can say is I agree but I see no realistic means of achieving that goal any time soon.

    So what's your point really?

  7. This is something that happens alot. People overcomplicate issues to prove thier end. The ONLY thing that should matter in government is personal freedom. Do what you want, but the second you infringe on someone elses freedom there is a system in place to "smack thee down" which we call govenment.

    Now granted this isnt the way it is, but it's the most simplistic, easy and free system that can exist.

    Worship god or satan, or nothing. Sleep with men, women, both. Marry who you want. Go to work, don't work, whatever, it shouldnt matter what you do to your neighbor and you should keep your nose out of your neighbors life.

    (I'm talking about private lives of course, not those of public personas, or forums in which ideas are supposed to be seen and responded too.)

  8. Not fear, Joshua, but a realization of where it has always led if you let it. Sweden, for example, has retained some measure of respect for the individual while implementing a considerable measure of socialism, so as I said before, although it's not inevitable that collectivist premises lead to a soviet hell hole, that is the general rule when you follow them to their obvious end point.

  9. Hounshell predicts Muslim domination; an update on Kanab City’s 2006 Natural Family Resolution.

    In a recent newspaper advertisement, Doug Hounshell, a Baptist pastor in Kanab, stated that whereas “Only Muslims have high birth rates,” they will one day inherit the Earth due to Western society’s “sins of homosexuality and abortion.”

    Hounshell further stated that the Muslim world in many ways is “headed backwards into its barbaric phase. So ladies, if you think the Natural Family Resolution was bad for you, just wait to you all are wearing hijabs.”

    Hounshell’s concluding paragraph stated “if you don’t want the world to turn into Saudi Arabia, then it might be wise to dust off your copy of the Natural Family and heed its vision.”

    To view Pastor Hounshell’s advertisement in its entirety, visit:

    http://www.cliffviewchapel.org

    click on the “Read Bible Answers Column” box.

    click on “view PAST columns”

    click on “Why The Natural Family's Full Quiver Is Good?” ( Wednesday, February 14, 2007 )

    Important Note: The Southern Utah News, the newspaper in which Hounshell’s weekly advertisements appear, took a strong stand AGAINST the Natural Family Resolution and has printed numerous editorials which run counter to Pastor Hounshell’s opinions.

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