This blog started out as a companion piece to my book, Musings from the Christian Left (excerpts of which can be found in the July 2004 link) and to support a planned radio show. Now, its simply a long term writing project from a Christian Left Libertarian perspective (meaning I often argue for liberty within the (Catholic) Church, rather than liberty because the church takes care of a conservative view of morality.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Elitism

The obsession with elitism started with resentment against the self-styled New York Jewish Elite. The Jewish was quickly left off and the concept became bi-coastal with Dan Quayle's use of the term Cultural Elite (presumably to include Hollywood and its Jews. The resistance to elitism spoke out for decency and family values, mostly because censorship does not focus group well. What the New York elite was known for was an avante garde sensibility that defied the censors, especially those resisting sexuality.

The elite was known to support women’s rights and gay rights, although they were not alone in this. Plenty of Catholics and High Church Protestants agreed with expanding freedom for those the mainstream would suppress, except that the mainstream no longer agreed with the so-called forces of decency, so censorship fell, Will and Grace topped the charts and support for abortion rights (if not abortion) became the majority view (and everyone seemed to look at porn and use contraception). Of course, in a 50% nation, majorities were slim and shifting and some states were decidedly non-elite in their attitudes.

The question arose, was there a compelling state interest for everything from regulating contraception to abortion to denying gays the right to marry. The Court concluded that these issues were private and that moral scorn, even by the majority, was not a compelling interest. It was the equivalent of yelling fire in a theater, not religious freedom. It was rather an attempt at religious power and therefore not protected or a counter-balancne against the liberty of others, most of whom were neither elite nor powerful, they just wanted the same dignity that others have. If supporting that dignity makes me an elitist, I wear the term proudly. Trump says he stands up for decency, but that is a very hard sell from the epitome of the New York elite.

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