Daily Archives: April 21, 2010

Security Moms Scare Me

There is a bit of conventional wisdom and pop psychology, often proven in debate that women, in general, argue emotions while men argue logic.

It is how the reprehensible expression “I feel” has permeated our discourse.

The anti-war movement of the late 60s and early 70s coincided with the modern feminist movement, and was largely driven by emotion.

Obviously, both sides of the abortion issue are driven by emotion.

Ironically, though, in the past 8.5 years of American politics, a new form of emotion is developing vis-a-vis a war. While we still have the Cindy Sheehans of the world, and while we have plenty of women lamenting the deaths of people in the wars, and wanting the soldiers home, we have also seen the rise of the “security mom” as a force in American politics.

Now, the shrieking mothers who want their sons home are counterbalanced by shrieking mothers who say their sons are being dishonored by the anti-war movement.

Now, instead of worrying about the poor children who are being slaughtered by unjust war practices in Iraq, the women are basing their political decisions on irrational fears of protecting *their* children from “another 9/11.”

And that’s what scares me. The “security mom” movement is very self-centered. It’s “My kids.” So often, the “argument” thrown at me in discussions of the war, or Torture, or the Patriot act, is “I’d hate to be one of your children, if you don’t think they should be protected.”

Of course, I never said any such thing. I don’t understand how spreading our military too thin on interventionist wars in other people’s countries is keeping *us* safe. I don’t see how ringing up a multi-billion dollar tab in defense spending is protecting our kids’ future, especially when that tab is putting us deeper in debt to Communist China and Saudi Arabia, a debt that they will one day call?

I don’t see how allowing our government to torture suspects or violate other basic constitutional rights in the name of “fighting terrorism” is protecting my children at all, when history–and actual documents of the Clinton and Obama administrations–prove that liberals think all pro-lifers are “terrorists.”

But these arguments make no dent in the wall of self-centered emotionalism that is the “security mom”. It’s just angry invectives, personal insults and, ultimately, getting “defriended” or banned from the forum.

A typical security mom type defriended me a while back. This particular individual and I had disagreed on a number of Facebook discussions. The first time was a discussion of eschatology, where I was pointing out that the popular conception of “Heaven” is wrong, incompatible with Catholic teaching: we believe in the resurrection of the Body, and that will happen at the *end* of the world, as described in Revelation. I referred to St. Thomas Aquinas’ observation that what we call “heaven,” will be our true exile. This woman accused me of heresy, and kept citing passages from the Catechism that said exactly what I was saying but insisted they refuted me. She also told me that Catholics aren’t allowed to read the Book of Revelation.

Later, in a discussion of waterboarding, she hit me with the “I’d hate to be one of your children” thing, and said my anti-waterboarding position was evil. Though that didn’t also stop her from making the comment that “there are only a few intrinsic evils: abortion, ESCR, and homosexual marriage,” citing the infamous “Faithful Citizenship” documente from the USCCB. I pointed out that a) there are *plenty* of “intrinsic evils” and b) in _Veritatis Splendor_, torture is listed under the *definition* of intrinsic evil.

Then this led to her citing the fact that Cardinal Ratzinger said it’s OK for Catholics to vote for politicians who support the war (there’s a big difference for voting for them and cheering on the waterboarders), and that I was not even Catholic. . ..

Now, on my side, I frequently point out to these folks that they sound just like pro-choice Catholics, the way they manipulate Church teaching to justify their position and ignore the documents that are uncomfortable to them.

That leads to either or both.

They borrow Rush Limbaugh’s line, “You’re just a liberal pretending to be a conservative” (funny, since conservatives *used* to be the anti-war party).

Or, they say, “How DARE you compare an INNOCENT BABY to a TERRORIST!”

Technically, I didn’t compare an innocent baby to a terrorist–I compared our soldiers and CIA operatives to abortionists.

Nowhere does the Church say that “innocence” is a standard for the Right to Life. The Church says that it is justifiable–i.e., not a sin, but not virtuous, either–to kill someone in self defense if you have tried all other reasonable means and your goal is not to kill that person but to stop them from doing evil.

But there’s no use in arguing with a security mom, because they are driven by raw emotion, and not by logic. They’ll list “Catholic” politicians who support the war as evidence their position is OK, just as Democrat voters list “Catholic” politicians who are pro-choice. And they don’t see how they’re doing the same thing.

And so, in their zeal for immediate protection against an imagined threat, they facilitate the government in laying the groundwork to round up Catholics, or homeschoolers, or pro-lifers, or whatever dissenting group they want to wipe out.