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What do sexual conservatives mean by 'freedom'?

Einzige

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One of the curiosities of our modern political (mis)alignment is the association with the rhetoric of liberty by those who, essentially, have no idea what the word means.

'Freedom' is more than the right to wear a sloppy red t-shirt sporting a bald eagle and a badly-printed copy of the Constitution that you found on the clearance rack at Wal-Mart. It is, rather, the absence of imposed inhibitions: negative liberty is the only liberty worthy of the name. And, I'd argue, the Jeffersonians were wrong when they held this freedom to be universal and inalienable, else we must grapple with our lack of freedom to voluntarily surrender freedom: freedom cannot be... compelled.

Consequently, we must accept that, in order to be free, one must free one's self. And the only way to do this is through self-creation.

All this is really simply a convoluted way of saying that freedom is rooted in individual actions and individual wills, not in some spurious, glazy-eyed patriotism. As such, the freedom to act is the first and fundamental freedom. And this by necessity includes the freedom to act sexually, as such activity is profoundly self-definitive.

This is one reason that the conservative argument that homosexuality is a 'choice' makes little sense to me, and liberal protestations to the contrary make even less: what of it? I hardly see that we should be less 'permissive' of it (assuming we have the right to not be so permissive) if it were a choice: for liberty requires choice. The execise of freedom is the exercise of choice.
 
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The extreme rightwing social agendas are the result of the infiltration and virtual takeover of the Republican Party by the religious rightwing - a goal started foremost way back by Pat Robertson and became incredibly successful as a take-over tactic.
 

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As a sexual conservative, to me, it is more about self control for the sake of society rather than externally imposed restrictions. Most people think of Christianity (to which I owe my ideology regarding sexual relations) as being about restrictions, but truly, it's about having your mind transformed to consider the effects of one's behavior on others rather than self. I am an avid heterosexual, but I don't let my streams run in the streets (see Proverbs for a reference), as a) I love my wife b) I would impregnate someone unintentionally c) I may spread disease d) I may break up someone else's marriage...the list goes on. I'm pretty sure our sexuality IS a choice, and like all other choices, it should be subject to what is good for others rather than me. A free society cannot remain free without this type of self-control.
JMHO



One of the curiosities of our modern political (mis)alignment is the association with the rhetoric of liberty by those who, essentially, have no idea what the word means.

'Freedom' is more than the right to wear a sloppy red t-shirt sporting a bald eagle and a badly-printed copy of the Constitution that you found on the clearance rack at Wal-Mart. It is, rather, the absence of imposed inhibitions: negative liberty is the only liberty worthy of the name. And, I'd argue, the Jeffersonians were wrong when they held this freedom to be universal and inalienable, else we must grapple with our lack of freedom to voluntarily surrender freedom: freedom cannot be... compelled.

Consequently, we must accept that, in order to be free, one must free one's self. And the only way to do this is through self-creation.

All this is really simply a convoluted way of saying that freedom is rooted in individual actions and individual wills, not in some spurious, glazy-eyed patriotism. As such, the freedom to act is the first and fundamental freedom. And this by necessity includes the freedom to act sexually, as such activity is profoundly self-definitive.

This is one reason that the conservative argument that homosexuality is a 'choice' makes little sense to me, and liberal protestations to the contrary make even less: what of it? I hardly see that we should be less 'permissive' of it (assuming we have the right to not be so permissive) if it were a choice: for liberty requires choice. The execise of freedom is the exercise of choice.
 

Einzige

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I'm pretty sure our sexuality IS a choice, and like all other choices, it should be subject to what is good for others rather than me. A free society cannot remain free without this type of self-control.
JMHO
I've heard this sort of argument advanced before in other contexts - it's essentially a modernization of the Greek philosophy of temperance - but it's always seemed incongruous to me for a few reasons:

In the first, the Greek ethos, at least, was one of moderation, not abstinence. Aristophanes, for instance, depicted both drunkards and teetotalers as objects of ridicule in his plays, and the general attitudes towards sex in classical life were very much the same: both overindulgence and abstinence alike suggested a tendency towards the radical, which was to be avoided at all costs.

Christianity and its secular derivatives (liberalism, socialism, conservatism) all encourage a tendency towards the extreme. Classical religion and society were incomparably superior in this regard: "harming none" - which is hardly unique to the Christian religion - included the individual first, and then the community. And the Greeks in particular took care to avoid what they called inversion, a particular mental state that encompassed hostility to a robust sex and social life and which the Romans would later associate with early Christian ascetics.

In other words: abstinence is not temperance, and it is not self-control. Genuine self-control is knowing one's limits and acting within them - but not avoiding them. The man who does not indulge whatsoever, to the contrary, knows that he has no self-control. This is the opposite of the Roman virtu, the happy moderation of the classical world.
 

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Indeed, it should not matter if it's a choice, but we like to say it's not just to point out what devils the right wing is and to infuriate them. It's funny how conservatives suddenly espouse a 'greater good' line of thinking, not to mention government intrusion into the bedroom, when it comes to sexuality. The saddest part is that it impacts society so trivially, if at all, that a small percent are homo, yet they cling to absurdities like "the species will go extinct." If we had such power, SSM would've been legal 100 years ago.
 

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I both personally and politically disagree with government intrusion into the bedroom. We (the US) are not a theocracy. All sexual acts are personal choices although I believe some of them to be immoral. That is my right to believe that as it is your right to be critical of me for that belief. You will get no argument here. However, behaving in such a way for the sake of infuriating someone is selfish and vengeful and has no place in a civil society.

The issue is when all kinds of privileges and responsibilities are granted or denied to one based upon whether they are married or not. Talk about government intrusion into the bedroom. One can't demand that their neighbor stay out of his/her bedroom and then ask for rights based upon his/her behavior there.

Indeed, it should not matter if it's a choice, but we like to say it's not just to point out what devils the right wing is and to infuriate them. It's funny how conservatives suddenly espouse a 'greater good' line of thinking, not to mention government intrusion into the bedroom, when it comes to sexuality. The saddest part is that it impacts society so trivially, if at all, that a small percent are homo, yet they cling to absurdities like "the species will go extinct." If we had such power, SSM would've been legal 100 years ago.
 

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I agree that some things to excess are dangerous and should be avoided. However, the concept of sin is not completely about moderation or context. Certain things should not be done, as they DO cause harm to one's neighbor. Regarding behavior (within Christianity at least), one can't use the moderation argument regarding such acts as adultery, lying, ignoring the sick and poor, idolatry, hatred, strife, gossip, etc. Those things as defined by Christ OR his apostles (to whom were promised the Holy Spirit to speak for Christ in John 16) are sinful in and of themselves and must be avoided. Most people took (and still take) issue with Christ's teachings because certain things are considered wrong to which people are enslaved by their desires. No one wants to be told they are wrong. The major issue is when people try to judge and regulate those who live outside of a relationship with God, and there is considerable backlash, which I sense in your posts. I disagree with governmental regulations of or privileges based on consensual sexual behavior among adults, but inside the church, that's a different story. Hopefully no one is going to get pissy here and start name calling, but you asked, and I think I'm being pretty objective.

I've heard this sort of argument advanced before in other contexts - it's essentially a modernization of the Greek philosophy of temperance - but it's always seemed incongruous to me for a few reasons:

In the first, the Greek ethos, at least, was one of moderation, not abstinence. Aristophanes, for instance, depicted both drunkards and teetotalers as objects of ridicule in his plays, and the general attitudes towards sex in classical life were very much the same: both overindulgence and abstinence alike suggested a tendency towards the radical, which was to be avoided at all costs.

Christianity and its secular derivatives (liberalism, socialism, conservatism) all encourage a tendency towards the extreme. Classical religion and society were incomparably superior in this regard: "harming none" - which is hardly unique to the Christian religion - included the individual first, and then the community. And the Greeks in particular took care to avoid what they called inversion, a particular mental state that encompassed hostility to a robust sex and social life and which the Romans would later associate with early Christian ascetics.

In other words: abstinence is not temperance, and it is not self-control. Genuine self-control is knowing one's limits and acting within them - but not avoiding them. The man who does not indulge whatsoever, to the contrary, knows that he has no self-control. This is the opposite of the Roman virtu, the happy moderation of the classical world.
 

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Damn, such angst over essentially a non-issue.

Sorry that evangelical Christians don't like you or gays. Lick your wounds and move on. Everyone's free to say what they want or be with who they want, barring extreme circumstances.

You make it sound like freedoms and choices are limited. They're not. Chancellor Sutter isn't going to black-bag all the gays that walk around.
 

Einzige

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Did I make the suggestion that there was any danger of that? No. Instead you felt the need to jump in and defend your social conservative political buddies because, hey, what else is a right-wing libertarian to do but that which he is used to - continue to apologize for his political handlers?
 

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Did I make the suggestion that there was any danger of that? No. Instead you felt the need to jump in and defend your social conservative political buddies because, hey, what else is a right-wing libertarian to do but that which he is used to - continue to apologize for his political handlers?
Libertarians are social conservatives now, huh? Okay then, fellow "social conservative"...how do you really feel?
 

Einzige

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Libertarians are social conservatives now, huh? Okay then, fellow "social conservative"...how do you really feel?
No. Right-wing libertarians are, however, content to serve as their lackeys in exchange for a seat at the table (see also: Rothbard, Murray, and his sickening pandering to Pat Buchanan in the late eighties.)
 

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No. Right-wing libertarians are, however, content to serve as their lackeys in exchange for a seat at the table (see also: Rothbard, Murray, and his sickening pandering to Pat Buchanan in the late eighties.)
Interesting. I'll make sure to start opposing SSM now. Thanks for the insight.
 

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Any way back to the point of this thread, it seems odd to me that conservatives are conservative on most things but not this. Government get out of people's way, but make rules about homos. Seems silly to me. Then the progressives are conservative on it? Its like Alice in Wonderland.
 

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Any way back to the point of this thread, it seems odd to me that conservatives are conservative on most things but not this. Government get out of people's way, but make rules about homos. Seems silly to me. Then the progressives are conservative on it? Its like Alice in Wonderland.
'Conservative' does not inherently mean 'small government': e.g. Bismarck, a conservative Statist who initiated the first public healthcare system in European history.
 

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So, what exactly is a "sexual conservative"? :lol:
Someone who only has sex with their opposite sex spouse, in a bed, in the dark, in the missionary position, strictly for reproduction purposes? ;)
 

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'Conservative' does not inherently mean 'small government': e.g. Bismarck, a conservative Statist who initiated the first public healthcare system in European history.
In the United states a social conservative is specific. Which is what I thought you were talking about.

My position is pro liberty, to me that means liberal, meaning no restrictions on individuals by the government, for some reason thus is what conservative means (in the United states) except for a few things. I am beginning to think it isn't for any reason but to differ.
 

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That depends on the philosophical traditional the conservative comes from. Both Frank Meyer-esque fusionism and French throne-and-altar monarchism are conservative, but the former ostensibly rejects Statism while the latter is explicitly Statist. I'd argue religious social conservatism, insofar as it looks to preserve the social views of a pre-liberal capitalist society, is closer to the latter.
 
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