No. Really. Limbaugh is not Your Point Man for Traditional Marriage

“I got a great note from a friend of mine. “So Newt wanted an open marriage. BFD. At least he asked his wife for permission instead of cheating on her. That’s a mark of character, in my book. Newt’s a victim. We all are. Ours is the horniest generation. We were soldiers in the sex revolution. We were tempted by everything from Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice to Plato’s Retreat, Deep Throat to no-fault divorce. Many of us paid the ultimate price, AIDS, abortion, or alimony for the cultural marching orders we got. Hell, for all I know we should be getting disability from the government.” That’s from a good friend of mine, “Newt’s slogan ought to, ‘Hell, yes, I wanted it.’” (laughing) I’m sharing with you how some people are reacting to this.” – Rush Limbaugh

By the way, permit me to note here that the Sarah Silverman Defense Strategy for Advancing Morally Repugnant Arguments Under Cover of Comedy by Appending “I’m Just Saying” to Said Arguments has really passed the sell-by date.

“If you are sure that you are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth– you then who teach others, will you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” (Romans 2:19-24)

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  • John

    Who says Rush Limbaugh is my or anyone’s “point man” on traditional marriage? He’s got a show and schtick. He says things that I happen to agree with. But he’s not trying to be nor is anyone pointing to him as the grand poohbah, last word, on the culture war debates. He’d not even have come up here without you going all Inquisition on him for ‘hypocrisy’.

    The Left uses “ad hominem” disqualifiers all the time to shut down speech they disagree with. I contend that this has to stop and we need to push back hard on the canard that someone’s argument shall not hold water if the messenger can be proven to have dirty laundry.

    If an argument is poorly constructed or false, then it’s poorly constructed or false. That the one making the case is a sinner ought not add or subtract from this. But the Left generally always makes it personal as a way of outflanking the debate on IDEAS to direct artillery fire on PEOPLE.

    And so if we manage to roll out a genuine saint without any sins in the area of conflict….they’ll sniff and say “oh yeah, well then what do YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS HUH, YOU’VE NEVER BEEN TEMPTED SO YOU’RE NOT ONE TO SPEAK”…. while if we bring in a convert who admits to haveing fallen in the mire but who converted….they’ll sniff “OH YEAH, SURE, LIKE YOU’RE ONE TO PREACH, LOOK AT THE HYPOCRISY”.

    Either way, by personalizing ‘debate’ they insulate themselves from having to actually make arguments.

    So you get the bumper sticker, cliche’s as stand in for arguments, a sort of short hand or crib notes for debate.

    Let the topic be “Bush” and we get “Haliburton, war monger, stupid”! Or Santorum “torturer!” Or Romney “flip-flopper, neo-con, rich guy”. Or Rush “fat slob, druggie, married 4 times!

    And it might all be true. But does it change anything about their positions or arguments or points of view or policy preferences? No. It just shuts down the debate and draws us into the arena of taste on which no arguments can be made.

    Christians should know this from experience…what did they do with Jesus? They called him names. Suggested he was possessed, that he was the orphaned child of a Roman soldier. Or “what good can come from Nazareth”. Ad hominems all…. rather than engage on the substance of what he actually said or the miracles he did.

  • anon

    Yesterday I saw a post on Facebook where someone lauded Michael Voris by calling him “a Catholic Rush Limbaugh.” It was odd to see that appellation used as a compliment – does the world need more self-congratulatory windbags preaching factionalism?

  • John

    Oh and I hasten to add, I’m not comparing Rush with Jesus as moral equivalents in lifestyle. I’m comparing people with whom we disagree with others we agree with and showing how ad hominem diatribes can shut down debate with anyone, regardless of their personal moral standing.

    Mark Shea knows what it’s like to be pooh poohed and have his arguments dispensed with a wave of some casual put down…so do I. And so do most of us – as ad hominem bullies are a dime a dozen. It’s a universal phenomenon. But it’s also wrong.

    If I want to refute Marx, it’s not enough to point out what a personally corrupt and evil man he happened to be. I’ve got to prove what an economic and historical dunce he was and how his theory of society, history, economics and politics wasn’t based in reality. That not only doesn’t Marxism “work” but it fails everytime it’s tried.

    Just taking pot shots at the man isn’t enough. So it’s much better to just go to the argument and defeat that and leave the ad hominems for footnotes.

  • Tim

    “I’m sharing with you how some people are reacting to this.” – Rush Limbaugh”

    His final comment sounds more like “some say” rather than “I’m just sayin'”. The latter is braver kind of deflection than the former in that at least “I’m just sayin'” admits it is your opinion (or unimpeachable observance), rather than that of some vague straw man.

    There are degrees of cowardice.

  • I think John makes a valid point. I’m sure there are people who see Rush as the end all to their moral teachings. Most I know don’t. Those who listen at all say they agree with him once in a while. Even Rush, some speculate, is capable of being right every now and then. Since the main post-Obama move for gay marriage emphasis has been on, well, Rush, perhaps some links where people are lifting up Rush as their moral compass could work. It might just be that they see a point of agreement, and that’s all. Just like I’m sure folks who reference someone like pro-abortion rights Jon Stewart when it comes to something Stewart has to say about the GOP aren’t automatically making Stewart their go-to man and moral compass.

  • David K. Monroe

    Yes, you’re right – Limbaugh is not anyone’s “point man” for traditional marriage. Never has been.

    Curious that some people keep insisting that he must be.

    • Mark Shea

      “Some people” includes “Rush Limbaugh”, who decided to make himself a point man before an audience of 20 million people.

      • poohead

        No, he doesn’t. It is funny though because you obviously miss one of the greatest underlying jokes of the show which is to irritate people like you. The sensitive type. You seem to be a good man but you definitely come with the buttons that he purposely pushes.

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          May I present the quintessential American, folks. This is the kind of nihilism I’ve come to know and despise.

  • David K. Monroe

    Citation please. Please provide the statement where Rush Limbaugh says, “I am the point man for traditional marriage.”

    Look, Rush Limbaugh is not a Catholic and probably has an inadequate understanding of marriage even by Protestant Evangelical standards. But he does understand the problems with homosexual “marriage.” He’s a co-belligerent. Is he really more your enemy than a President – or anyone else – who is actually eager to establish homosexual “marriage” as natural and normal and equivalent to actual marriage?

    • Mark Shea

      I get that he’s a co-belligerent. Sort of. But like it or not his approach just lends aid and comfort to the enemy when he goes on the attack without acknowledging in the slightest his own profound flaws in this area.

      And come on. It’s necessary to have a quote saying “i am a point man for traditional marriage”? You might as well trying to argue that Obama is not now the leading advocate for gay marriage on planet earth because he never explicitly said he was. Sorry, but when a public figure with a massive audience comes out swinging for something, he is taking point on that position.

      • David K. Monroe

        No, Obama doesn’t have to say, “I am the leading advocate for gay marriage”, but it is patently obvious that he is in favor of gay marriage AND is uniquely empowered to bring it about on a Federal level. He has power well above and beyond anything Rush Limbaugh has or will ever have which may be used to change the definition of marriage for everyone in the U.S.

        And I find it ironic that I never would have heard or read either Limbaugh’s quote about the President nor his “friend’s” opinion on the Gingrich issue if I had not read them on your blog. And it’s not as though I can reasonably say, “You shouldn’t point out the problems with Rush Limbaugh!” because that would be asinine, but still, the emphasis is peculiar.

        And, as others have pointed out, traditional marriage advocates who do not share Rush’s marriage-related baggage will scarcely be treated with greater respect by the advocates of homosexual “marriage.” Failure to recognize the legitimacy of homosexuality will always be counted as a character failure.

        • Did anyone say anything about Rush when he was *defending* the Catholic Church with the HHS mandate by Tyrant Obama and his Catholic enablers?

          • Hezekiah Garrett

            Actually, yes. I started singing “Dont stand so close to me” by the Police when I heard him doing so.

            • Kate Bluett

              Where is the “like” button? Where?!?!

  • Dear Rush: Asking permission to sin is not a mark of character. It’s an oxymoron. Newt made a vow of fidelity before God and neither his wife nor his mistress nor anyone else has the power or the ability to dispense him from that.

  • John

    He’s got an audience of 20 million people. People who voluntarily tune in every day to listen for a bit. So for them, who make up perhaps 3% of the total population of the country…he IS a “point man” for lots of things.

    But that doesn’t get to Marks hyperbolic claim that “they” or “we” are “making him our point man on marriage” and that “our cause is doomed if we don’t purge the less than pure among us from our side before resuming our battle with all ‘those’ people over there who are evil…”.

    That the Left personalizes everything and uses ad hominems rather than arguments is a given. It’s wrong and we ought not adopt their tactics.

    • Maybe for some. But it just might be they agree with him sometimes, and at other times don’t. You never know.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      You know what inverted commas mean, right? And you know you can go to hell for falsely attributing to a man things he never said, right?

  • Andy

    Sandra Fluke is a slut – not ad hominem, Obama is a drug-dealer, not an ad hominem – the use of personalization and ad hominem attacks has become for all parties the way to move an argument. Please don’t say it is a false equivalency, it is a fact of life – the folks you like, whomever they are do it and its OK, but the other side, not so fast.
    Defending Rush Limbaugh as not having used ad hominem attacks is the ultimate absurdity. If you want to argue that he has a right to express his beliefs, I am with you, but others have the same right, and the can be just as inappropriate as Rush or whoever is the current left leaning person to be odious.
    My larger concern is that we have many talking heads (minus the brains) pontificating and we have people of all stripes saying this is what I believe, instead of thinking for themselves. Rush Limbaugh because of his large following would seem to be the leader of this activity, or at least that is how he presents himself.

  • Mark S.

    My view on Limbaugh is very much the same as my view on Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Bill Maher, and all the rest of the MSM talking heads: They’re clowns. As clowns, when they are doing their job well, they are very often entertaining.

    But if you’re taking them seriously, God help you.

    • MattyD

      That’s an insult to clowns. I’m not kidding. “Entertainment” is, to me, at its best, a great craft, a *gift* to the rest of us who need story, relief, laughter, catharsis. The folks you mention, worst of all Rush, are not *giving* anything to anyone. They are distorting truth, sowing social distress, anger, fear and fanaticism – then taking home a massive check. That’s not entertainment, it’s social poison.

      • billtuba

        In my I head was replaying this from “Elf” substituting “Clown” and “Elf”

      • Mark S (not for Shea)

        I hate clowns, so it wasn’t a compliment. 😉

  • …………………..and yet, here we go again addressing something else other than the real issue at hand.

    And for that the regime and the tyrant thank you. Go ahead and piss and moan about Limbaugh and this and that….that’s just the thing they want you to do as they continue to implement their agenda.

    It’s like the cow and the shrimp bitching about whether it should be called “surf and turf” or “turf and surf”…either way neither one of them fares well in the end…….

  • If he actually said what he’s quoted as saying about marriage and sexual mores, then he’s wrong. What’s left and right have to do with it?

    BTW, I’m in my eighth decade of life and I may have listened to Rush Limbaugh for four minutes total. I listen to classical music, the news, and occasionally CSpan.

  • The Deuce

    Being a conservative, I agree with the majority of what Rush says on political matters, and it sounds like the guy he was quoting was being somewhat sarcastic, but the fact is, “no-fault” divorce is what Rush has lived by, and neither he nor his friend were taking it seriously. We can’t possibly hope to win the argument on the sanctity of marriage if we hold up guys like Rush (or Newt, or Giuliani, or McCain, or any number of others) as our exemplars and representatives.

    • MPSchneiderLC

      In other words, we need some strong Catholic or Evangelical Christian models of marriage in the public square.
      Right now Dolan looks like he is the point man. Those who dislike him will always claim that as a ceibate he should keep silent. (I disagree but many we want to convince don’t.)

  • j. blum

    Dittos, if you will, to Matty D.

  • John

    People who have never listened at length to some radio talk show host who is easily accessible and yet hold VERY STRONG OPINIONS ABOUT WHAT THEY KNOW MUST BE THE CASE… are fools.

    Yes, fools. A fool is someone who runs off not just half cocked but into battle without their pants on.

    How can you be SOOOO sure about your opinion of Rush or Glen Beck or even Howard Stern based on one quote, one 4 second sound byte? You’re really going to judge a man’s entire body of work based on 1 session with him? Really? And then brag about it?

    Is Rush perfect? No, and he has a schtick that’s just that…a schtick. Bombastic for effect. Glenn’s schtick is armageddon doom and gloom…but he’s also a clown and funny. If you think either are WRONG, then bring your counter-arguments to bear. But to dismiss all they have to say with a quick put down based on taste or difference of feelings…that’s foolish.

    People shouldn’t judge Obama because he’s black or because he’s a poor extemporaneous speaker. You shouldn’t have judged Bush merely based on his garbled pronunciation. Both should be judged on weighter premises according to their decisions and actions and what they ‘stood for’ and promoted while in power.

    But that gets to the heart of it: to properly judge a man’s actions you actually need to know the actions (or words, and context etc.) not just take as Gospel whatever it is some obvious enemy of theirs OPINES or claims was their actions, words, motives, etc.

    And that requires at least some basic homework and sense of responsibility. To say “I’ve only listened to Rush one time in 23 years but I know, KNOW for sure he’s a joke and wrong about everything” is absurd. Try listening to him for a week or 2 and then get back to us.

    • I don’t have an opinion about Rush Limbaugh. I don’t have a judgment to offer about Rush Limbaugh as a person. I have an opinion about what he is quoted as saying.
      I don’t want to listen to Rush Limbaugh. I prefer to spend my time in other ways.
      But if I ever become dictator I will condemn you to stay in one room for two months and listen to an accordion playing a constant loop of Lady of Spain and Tico Tico, 24/7.

  • Observer

    Redefining marri’age was done by a public figure: King Henry VIII.

    Funny, same-gender marrying has really evolved, and of course not being admitted nor observed, from a man who wanted any wife he pleased. I’d even say the remedy is when the abuse of divorce (running to what it was intended for – dealing with exceptional circumstances in which it was meant for aiding an espoused couple in moments of abuse and social crisis) is stopped, then you can disclose the obvious wrongs of same-gender marrage. However, there are people who use legal circumvention of the same system of laws for marrying as well as being used to divorce to re-marry anyone they please: legalized poligomy.

  • RUs

    Well, one thing about it is true:
    “Ours is the horniest generation. We were soldiers in the sex revolution. We were tempted by everything from Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice to Plato’s Retreat, Deep Throat to no-fault divorce.”

    We have been trashed, and continue to be trashed in an unrelenting onslaught of hell. To a certain degree, Rush’s divorces make of him an apt example of a trashed man, and the wickedness that is having its way.

    “Many of us paid the ultimate price, AIDS, abortion, or alimony for the cultural marching orders we got.”

    Those are, of course, not the ultimate prices. But the ultimate price is in their natures.

  • David K. Monroe

    OK, it would seem that a recurring theme here is that no one has any business judging homosexual marriage because the practice of no-fault divorce has already eroded marriage in our society to the point that it doesn’t make any difference. So, suppose a Presidential candidate, or indeed an executive or a Congressman or Senator at any level, was to propose a re-structuring of divorce laws to make it harder for married couples to obtain divorces, and maybe even harder for individuals who get divorced to re-marry. What would be your reaction? Would you say, “It’s about time someone got a handle on this,” or would it be something like, “Who does this crazy old coot think he is, meddling with people’s lives this way?” Whether you would support or reject any such proposals, would you expect that they would hope to succeed in gaining public support?

    • jolly

      I would state God bless him for trying to lift marriage closer to it’s proper place in society- much as I would pray for a soldier going on a mission likely to result in his death for the multitudes would be crying for his blood.

    • Observer

      I don’t think the purpose is to make for something harder or easier (nor mediocre.) The law is to be wielded in accordance to what is exactly meant to be fixed (i.e. restored, mended, etc. – hence the actual meaning of justice, in particular to restore or salvaging in a marital relation, to elevate what is hopeful in a relationship of marriage.)

      The problem is divorce has been used for making govt a solution on the matter of a problem when someone feels entitled and warranted, without limit, to do away with any relationship they please (even when children are involved.) Bottom-line, divorce has become a disaster because it has become the grounds for someone to have any number relations as one pleases.

  • johnpaul79

    hello guys just to chime in apparently some yale professor is claiming that same sex unions were very fashionable during the 10th to the 12th centuries if you wanna read his “findings” just hit the jump, but first take a deep breath,

  • phil

    In a related story, Obama also apparently choose the “create your own religious views” option:

    The dogma of these pols is determined but whoever their party’s current donors happen to be.

  • Richard M

    You know the culture of victimhood has spread far and deep when even a nigh profile conservative spokesman is marinating in it.

    So here we have yet another screed of Boomers as The Exceptional Generation. If they aren’t remaking the world into something wonderful, they are suffering things no other generation had to.