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Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Bigotry, Agendas, and Guilt

Aug 11, 2014

It will come as a shock to some people, especially the secular lefties, but when someone has guilt feelings, it is usually because they are in fact guilty. So instead of just trying to deal with the superficial level of feelings, they really ought to deal with the root causes.

Yet they so often will just lash out at anyone who even remotely brings up in a general fashion the thing they are struggling with, and/or living in denial about. We find this happening all the time. People who lash out at prolifers in most cases have had an abortion themselves, and the guilt is still there, so they hate anyone even discussing this issue.

In a similar vein, those who get angry at you for even daring to talk about divorce and its downsides are usually those who have had a divorce themselves. Instead of dealing with it, and perhaps admitting that they may have made a mistake, they will angrily lash out at anyone who even mentions the word.

divorce 1We seem to have another prime example of this in a major newspaper today. Both I and Family Minister Kevin Andrews are being taken to task by an angry feminist for daring to say something about divorce, and the costs of divorce to the community, individuals, marriages, and children.

Instead of carefully dealing with the arguments Andrews and I made, all we get is a blistering tongue-lashing from an obviously rather bitter person who is still struggling to come to terms with her own marriage breakdown. As I say, it is always easier to just attack others than actually deal with one’s own issues.

And that certainly seems to be the case in this article. Instead of dealing with the arguments, all we get are attacks on the person. The logical fallacy of ad hominem attacks is always the easy way out. Consider her enlightened and rational interaction with me in this quote:

One of the advocates of the Government’s scheme, former missionary and secretary to the Family Council of Victoria, Bill Muehlenberg, stated, “It is harder to get fired from McDonald’s family restaurants today than it is to walk out on a marriage.” Not only is this utter rubbish that demonstrates such ignorance about what’s involved in the monumental decision to separate and or divorce and the legal processes, it contributes to the notion that divorce is taking the easy way out.

OK, notice all the evidence, facts and arguments she uses to refute my position. Oh, sorry, there are none. Instead it is attack mode from the word go. Just say it is “utter rubbish” and speak about one’s “ignorance”. There, that settles that argument. Next.

Oh, and when you want to discount the evidence presented by someone, just seek to make nasty attacks on his person and character, and pretend this somehow disqualifies them from the right to say anything. Notice how she speaks of me as being a “former missionary”. What in the world does that have to do with anything?

Absolutely nothing of course, but she is playing the old game of trying to avoid dealing with an argument by painting a person in the darkest possible colours. To call someone a missionary today is of course a pretty low blow. This is what she is really saying: ‘We all know how terrible those folks are, now don’t we? So we can just ignore anything they have said.’

And of course this has already been going on from the very beginning of her article. She speaks about the costs Andrews seeks to save in keeping marriages together as “a pathetic nanny state plan pandering to the religious right”. Oh, really? So to be concerned about marriage, family and children and the social good is simply a nefarious agenda item of the religious right?

Well maybe this ornery feminist thinks these things are all a joke, but ordinary Australians by the millions think these are vitally crucial things. They have a much higher view of marriage and the wellbeing of children than she obviously does.

Speaking of children, she incredibly tries her hardest to claim that children get by with parental divorce just fine. No probs, it is all cool. She even appeals to one book to back up her claims. Never mind that she ignores a mountain of social science data that suggests otherwise.

The research is quite clear on this: on the whole, most children suffer tremendously from their parent’s divorce, and do so for decades to come. I can cite plenty of studies and books here. Let me just mention a few I have previously written up:

billmuehlenberg.com/2013/07/22/adult-selfishness-child-misery/
billmuehlenberg.com/2007/04/19/a-review-of-between-two-worlds-by-elizabeth-marquardt/
www.billmuehlenberg.com/2000/09/15/a-review-of-the-unexpected-legacy-of-divorce-by-judith-wallerstein/
www.billmuehlenberg.com/2008/04/29/the-tragic-results-of-marriage-breakdown-and-family-fragmentation/

As I say, it seems that the main reason this feminist wrote this attack article was to simply justify her own shortcomings here. No matter how loudly she screams things like ” D.I.V.O.R.C.E. is not a dirty word,” the reader is left with the clear impression that deep down she knows it really is.

But as a gung-ho feminist she has to defend no-fault divorce to the death, otherwise she would have to burn her “Fem for life” card. She is committed to her ideology, so she has to rail against anyone who defends marriage and suggests that divorce is not so hot.

Indeed, she has to utterly whitewash the whole thing, and claim that divorce should be readily available for anyone at any time. After all, she complains that what else can one do when “you’ve drifted apart and lost interest in” someone. Forget about “till death do us part” and all the other solemn commitments and obligations she once may have made.

If you “lose interest” in your partner and your marriage like you do an old CD or a handbag, then just dump it. Why bother working at something, making sacrifices, seeking to put some effort into restoring things? Just treat marriage like everything else in a throwaway society.

That is the mantra of today, and it has been heavily aided and abetted by leftism and the feminist ideology. Indeed, as Santayana once remarked, “the chief aim of liberalism seems to be to liberate men from their marriage vows.” Losing interest? Drifting a bit? No probs. Just walk out – it ain’t no biggie.

And that is exactly what feminism and no-fault divorce have given us: the most easily broken contract in the West today. While she may not like it because it does not fit her ideology, what I said is perfectly true: it is harder to get fired from McDonalds than to dump one’s marriage partner today.

And that is just the way our commitment-free, irresponsible and selfish generation want it. So our feminist writer writes an entire column, lashing out at those who want to defend and promote marriage, love and commitment, while she takes her stand for her unsavoury ideology.

Well good luck with that miserable worldview. I prefer a worldview that values commitment, dedication, self-sacrifice and genuine love, which seeks the highest good of the other person, not a worldview that elevates selfishness above everything else, even the wellbeing of children, and the good of society.

www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-divorce-is-not-a-dirty-word-and-governments-should-stick-to-governing/story-fnihsr9v-1227019656406?nk=5aef973509728429c4d4dc51ce758ee2

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18 Responses to Bigotry, Agendas, and Guilt

  • Hi Bill, the bit that gets me, is the line: “…but I am asking for respect for adult choices – good and bad.”

    Why should I have to respect a bad or poor decision anyone makes? If it were true, then the poor decision to jump behind the wheel of a car, drunk, that results in someone else’s death, must be respected according to her logic.

    My pastor was recently bemoaning the lack of justice around us; well, you only get sufficient justice if there is sufficient opportunity for judgement.

  • Karen does talk a lot of bollocks (sorry to use this language but it’s the only term I can think of that best describes her work). She epitomises the academic ‘left’ that many news agencies turn to as so called ‘experts’ on a given topic. Most of the time they have little to no practical experience of the subject they teach, though it is conceded in this case Karen has been divorced, though as with many people who have been divorced it hardly makes you an expert. Karen appears to be trying to make herself feel better by convincing herself that her kids will not be disadvantaged or messed up in any way, shape or form because her marriage didn’t work. Well I can’t speak for her kids, but as a police prosecutor who has to work in the children’s court the vast majority of kids come from dysfunctional background’s, which almost always feature an absent father. I’m not saying that absent fathers always results in dysfunctional children, but it plays a large part in the scheme of things. The fact is kids need both parents around to mentor them, and keep them on the strait and narrow, ideally with everyone under the same roof. That’s the gold standard. Sometimes it’s in everyone’s best interests for a couple to divorce, but to suggest its harmless to the children, or the children living in a divorced household is as good as children living in a properly functioning marriage is dillusional.

    I don’t know what it is that has made religion so unfashionable these days, if interpreted and implemented correctly it provides the foundation blocks for all aspects of life. I look at the parents in my church, and I can honestly say the bench mark for parenting is set pretty high. That’s not to say everyone is perfect, but all the children are fortunate eneaugh to be brought up by parents who are married, live under the same roof, love their children, and spend a lot of time with them / invest allot in them. It’s not rocket science, and you don’t have to be a professor at UQ like Karen to know these are the ingredients for well rounded children. Unfortunately children who live in divorced households will be unlikely to have the same experience.

  • My parents got divorced and it sucked. Did I survive? Yes. Do I forgive them? Yes. Would I wish it on anyone? Never. Didn’t like most of the people my parents dated and I felt uncomfortable in my own home for years. Swapped the parent I lived with just to get away from one step-parent and ended up a parent who let me do anything I wanted. My parent’s divorces and the ongoing consequences of it were easily the single biggest impacting factor upon my childhood and teenage years.

    You want to know if divorce is good, ask the children that have to live with its consequences. Some will be happy to be out of an abusive situation and that’s a good thing but plenty others like me will bring the sad truth that divorce screws people up and makes childhood bloody stressful.

    Jesus, of course, offers healing.

  • If divorce is ok and has no consequences, why can`t we break any binding contract any time, for any reason.

  • Most comments on her article refute what she is saying, the best one was a police prosecutor who deals with the problems divorce causes with the justice system. But apparently she is more learned than he is.

  • Sadly, most people who enter into marriage do not know what it is. It is more than a contract, it is a blood covenant.
    I recently noticed this quote: “The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”
    Guilt is real for all of us and that won’t go until it gets consciously laid at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ, accepting everything he has done and said about the matter with gratitude and obedience. Nothing else works, for nothing else is true.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  • Strange that some buy into the idea that divorce/separation doesn’t hurt children. I actually have a full time secular job that employs me precisely because it does hurt children (Parenting After Separation). My role is all about reminding bitter, bickering, separating couples who are racing towards the courts that their children are the ones who are caught up in the crossfire of their parental disputes during separation. The children suffer whether the parents are married or not. My experience is that although parents frequently complain that their relationship hasn’t worked for them, and it’s best for everyone to call it quits, it absolutely works for the children, no matter what kind of parents they have. Most children, even in cases of domestic abuse, have a deep seated loyalty to their parents, and after divorce/separation they grow up with a deep sense of guilt and shame, believing they were the cause of the breakup. Although I love my job, I often feel sad that I can actually hold down a full time job doing it.

  • Just to briefly clarify if anyone takes me to task on my previous comment. I’m not for one minute suggesting that children living with domestically violent parents should be left in that situation for the sake of keeping a parental relationship together. The point is purely about the deep loyalty young children experience to their parents, whatever kind of parents they have. This loyalty is often mixed with fear and hatred, causing so much confusion. These children usually need lots of ongoing professional support, love, care and prayer to manage the confused feelings they have coming from a background such as this.

  • Bob, it is a bit like Elizabeth Taylor who once said that she was an expert on men as she married six of them.

  • Matt Patchon, I think Karen Brooks’ comment “…but I am asking for respect for adult choices – good and bad, ” stems from the human rights idea that governments have no right to interfere in what one does in private, for this would take away a person’s dignity. In other words what I do in private is of no business of anyone except me. However it denies the fact that the consequences of our actions impact horizontally on those around us and vertically towards God.

    In a way she is right about her being able to make good and bad choices, gives her human dignity, but she is probably also a hypocrite. For she would be the first to aggressively invade the private lives of others and impose her morality on others. Whilst espousing freedom of choice, she would not hesitate to interfere in the lives of Christians and demand that they conform to the world around them.

    David Skinner

  • This may sound hard but divorce is never the solution. No doubt separation for the sake of health and safety, if a husband or wife is abusive or downright cruel. At least separation allows the possibility of the husband and wife to be reconciled, at a later date. But divorce is permanent.

    We all know of divorces where rather than for the sake of health and safety, they have been carried out for the sake of personal happeness and yet in the long term cause more grief.

    What God has joined together let no man break assunder

    David Skinner UK

  • I hope this is not off topic, but the words ‘love’ and ‘kindness’ have a diversity of meaning these days. The homosexual Bishop Gene Robinson and his “June bride,” Mark Andrew could say to one another in an almost sacrificial spirit, that it was for love’s sake and kindness to all that they abandoned their wives and children and led astray young people in the church and those weak in their faith. What costlier offering can be laid on the love’s altar than one’s conscience and the break up of the Anglican communion? Indeed it seems that the love between Gene and his husband Mark was so powerful that not even their own marriage, could contain its force, with the result that divorce came after only six years. A love by any other name would smell just as sweet perhaps?

    Gene Robinson denies responsibility for his divorce but blames it on life. He also says that gay marriage is just as complex as straight marriage. “It is at least a small comfort to me, as a gay rights and marriage equality advocate, to know that like any marriage, gay and lesbian couples are subject to the same complications and hardships that afflict marriages between heterosexual couples.” But most egregious of all he denies comparing himself with Jesus Christ but does exactly that by saying, “We have just concluded the dramatic remembrance of the events of Holy Week, Good Friday and Easter…..The thing that astounds me about Jesus, as told in this Passion story, is that he keeps putting one foot in front of the other, praying that it’s in the right direction, but not knowing for sure.” God have mercy on this narcissist.

    www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/04/a-bishop-s-decision-to-divorce.html

    David Skinner

  • Hi David, thanks for the comment and extrapolation. Agreed! That’s a fine description of how moral relativism does not work in practice. An autonomous person exerting his or her right to make a choice strikes up against a brick wall when it impinges upon someone else exerting that same right from a contradictory viewpoint.

    The mental gymnastics that ensue to ensure both person’s autonomy and right to choose are justified boggles the mind.

    Matt

  • I am not sure, Matt, that too much mental gymnastics is done on Karen Brook’s part. I think she is pretty blatantly selective when it comes to human rights. It’s us who have to do the mental gymnastics because we just cannot concieve just how wicked and perverse these people are. However I think we as Christians must learn how the enemy performs these sleight of hand tricks and expose them.

    David Skinner UK

  • The evil thing about the Gaymafia is that they will not allow anyone to escape from being gay – though they will provide therapy and counselling to harden a person into sexual perversion. This lady will certainly make sure that any child in school, once labelled as gay is never allowed to escape.

    Jan Gooding, a director of Aviva, is also the Chairman of Stonewall. According to the Telegraph, until 2008 she had been living happily in Balham, south London, as a wife and mother of two boys said “I had been married for 16 years to a very wonderful man, with whom I had my two sons,” she explains. “I was not someone who was gay and leading a straight life. I married in good faith. That is very important to me. I was a straight woman, as far as I was aware. And then, astonishingly, I fell in love with a woman.” Since then she has fallen out of love with that woman and now loves another. Who is to say that she will not change again to being bisexual ? She would then qualify for a bisexual marriage which would require a minimum of four bisexual partners to make it complete.

    www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/10802102/Jan-Gooding-my-fight-against-gay-prejudice-starts-now.html

    David Skinner UK

  • Fair point about the mental gymnastics, David; and the Gay Agenda is simply an Agenda within a bigger Agenda, so it is a battle that needs to be fought on multiple fronts, which makes it an uphill battle.

    Agenda : Grinding America Down is an important (scarily so) documentary that explores the extent of this strategy of destroying something from within.

    You can search this title in Vimeo.

  • Thanks Matt. Yes a great video – see it here:

    And I discuss it here: billmuehlenberg.com/2012/11/09/the-agenda/

  • And being a missionary is such an easy thing to dismiss, especially by those whose liberal value system is what many missionaries work within, trying to deal with the human fall-out from alcoholism and other drugs, resulting in domestic violence and scarred children, often in remote locations, between cultures, with a day off usually spent assuring themselves that they can continue to cope with the job description, but the joy of being surprised by the fruits of grace and simply being nice to others is a reward that cannot be bought in the secular market place. The only way you can be a “former missionary” is to have never been one at all. Onya, Bill.

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