O' Donnell's Masturbation Maturation – UPDATED

In my Tuesday column, I take a surprising turn (I am full of surprising twists and turns) in order to defend Christine O’ Donnell on two fronts, although neither of them is witchcraft, since I wrote it before that bit of silliness raised its pointed hat:

O’Donnell is like Palin-Lite; half the experience, less bitter. In her favor, though, is that she appears to be utterly without guile. She projects the sort of wide-eyed-innocent openness that personifies American naiveté to our cousins in Europe and often embarrasses (and trips up) the dismissive post-American sophisticates on the Upper West Side.

I rise to defend O’Donnell on two points tender to the Christian conscience, those of lying for the greater good, and masturbation.

I hope you’ll read it all and join in the debate.

I have a feeling O’ Donnell is going to need her own category.

Deacon Greg wonders: What if O’ Donnell were a man?

Re the Witchcraft: I wonder how many Americans find O’ Donnell’s situation rather relate-able and not all that troubling. I suspect many Americans would say, “yeah, did that, got the tee-shirt, then tasted the milk and honey…”

More on that: The Pagans Pipe Up!

Bookworm: It’s all about, you know…Growing UP!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com/ Bender

    On lying for the greater good, the “would you lie to a Nazi to protect hiding Jews” hypothetical posed to O’Donnell, and Joe Carter’s assertion that “it would be immoral to not lie in that situation” –

    We need to see these moral “what-ifs” for what they are. None of us — NONE — will ever have Nazis coming to our doors asking for Jews. It will never happen.

    But when someone promotes this idea that it is not only morally acceptable, but morally obligatory, to do some wrong in service of the greater good, to do a little evil to avoid a greater evil, given that we will NEVER face the situation posed in the question, we have to ask ourselves, now that we have stated that it is OK in some circumstances to do evil, where do we draw the line?

    In what other circumstances is it, not merely OK, but obligatory, to do what we think is a little evil (or not wrong at all, even though centuries of moral theology says it is an objective evil) to advance what we believe to be the greater good?

    When else is it OK to lie for the greater good? True, politicians do it EVERY DAY. Even a thief will justify his stealing, saying that it is permissible to steal from this person of means in order to feed himself or his family.

    Indeed, one lesson of eating the Fruit in the Garden is that we all justify our sins in this way — oh, what we are doing is only a small wrong, if a wrong at all, and it is done for the greater good in any event.

    Very few people do evil knowing it to be evil and purposely intending to do evil. Instead, they justify it. They say that it isn’t evil at all, but good to do. Even Adolf Hitler himself justified killing Jews, who he deemed to be social vermin, for the greater good of protecting the German people.

    So, where does this idea that it is morally acceptable to do a little wrong for the greater good get us? Where does this idea that a moral wrong is a actually a moral good if we have a good enough intention get us?

  • Andrew B

    Bender says that none of us will ever face Nazis at our doors. Perhaps, but I think the same question–leaving out the specific Nazi reference–is completely valid. Any one of us, this very day, could face someone at our door with violent intent. Just because they aren’t wearing jackboots doesn’t make the question any less valid.

    An example from my own life: While in high school, the man a few doors down came home one night and beat his wife to death with an iron skillet. He was a large, violent ex-con, but no Nazi. Had his wife taken refuge in my house, and had he come knocking, would my situation be so much different from the hypothetical posed to Miss O’Donnell?

  • Fuquay Steve

    Thanks for the links. Indeed ncr ignored or distorted the “truth” about the Papal visit.

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  • Jeff

    An excellent article, though I don’t see Sarah Palin as “bitter” in any way. I think she has a right to be bitter for the abuse that the democrat media rained down on her and her children, but hasn’t become bitter.

    In any case it’s sad that we’ve reached a point where public figures like James Carville actually target her for taking a position shared by the entire Catholic Church. He would not have the gonads to do it to Benedict XVI, but O’Donnell is an easier target.

    But while I was watching him ridicule her on her correct earlier comment on the moral problems with immodest acts with one’s self, I got this creepy feeling.

    Here was a grown man making it sound like masturbation was “ok.” On national television. And that she was “strange” for criticizing it during a small time talk show somewhere. Or that she might outlaw it. And the rest of the “hyena set” as Anchoress well put it, then followed suit in the attempt to tar and feather here. A mature man probably would not have said anything about it on national TV, and certainly would not have ridiculed her for it. What is the agenda here for the democrats? To be advocates for masturbation on top of abortion on demand, euthanasia and, now, infanticide according to Obama’s earlier votes? A truly creepy party.

  • dry valleys

    In the “good” old days, teenagers would be beaten for masturbating, & told of the terrible consequences that awaited them if it went on. Are we worse off now?

    Does she not want right-wing men having fantasies about her, or Palin? I can’t say either of them does anything for me but I thought Palin’s supposed sex appeal was one of her selling points.

    I won’t pretend otherwise, I want her to fail. Presumably she would then be forgotten about, unless she has Palin’s capacity to reinvent herself as an entertainer.

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  • c matt

    I hope they keep up the ridiculous attacks on her. So far, she has national name recognition without spending a dime, and her opponent is nameless, faceless (and brainless to boot).

    I think her main problem with running for office is her pecadillos with the IRS and mortgage company just aren’t BIG enough to earn her a senate seat – she needs to take a lesson from Kerry and Rangel. If she can’t commit a multi-million dollar scandal, how can she fit in with the big boys?

  • Beatrix

    Of course you lie to the Nazis about the whereabouts of the Frank family. I can’t believe it’s even a question.

  • Beatrix

    Here’s a short story: Mark Twain’s take on the question (lying, not masturbation):


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  • S Cary

    I like the clip I saw of Christine answering the question of a reporter about her video on Masturbation. She said “I was in my 20s, and very excited and passionate about my newfound faith. But I assure you, my faith has matured.” I believe her and am more interested in issues too.

    Hopefully she well have a few serious debates with her opponent where they can compare and contrast their positions. And discuss their differences which are many. And I am not interested in the fact that in high school she dated a boy that dabbled in witch craft. Kids do silly, crazy things on their way to growing up.

    Not being a DE resident that is not a race I will invest in but I am interested in the outcome. Her opponent will definitely support Reid and Obama’s agenda. So I prefer her to win.

  • baleen

    Slowly but surely the Republicans demand that their supporters defend worse and worse actions.

    Adultery, theft, lying, torture, witchcraft, etc., etc.

  • Joe

    Dr Valleys asks, “Are we worse off now?”

    Yes. And I am sorry you were beaten as a youth.

  • Doc

    So, baleen, have you demanded the resignations of Charlie Rangle, Maxine Waters, and that Texas rep who gave scholarships directly to family members yet? Were you calling on Pelosi to censure cold cash Jefferson before he was beaten?

  • dry valleys

    I wasn’t beaten myself, but I know youngsters were punished for alleged sins & impurities which turned out to be harmless. They still are in a lot of parts of the world, but where does “morality” get places like sub-Saharan Africa or the Muslim world? Not very far, it looks like.

    I don’t think it is unreasonable to say that if people like Christine O’Donnell are in prominent positions, then things like that will become more common, a thing which I certainly don’t want to happen.

    Of course you still had single parents, abusive families & all sorts in the old days, it was just kept hidden, often because no one dared to tell of thir ordeals. Life in town & country was a lot harder & nastier than it is now. The nostalgics would soon wish themselves back in the supposedly decadent modern age if they got a taste of what things were really like in past times.

  • Tom

    I flunked this quiz, but I’ll blame my youth (Carter-Ford was the first presidential election I was aware of, at 6 years old).


  • Jeff

    what are you trying to say?

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  • Pat

    She is wholly unqualified to hold office. As is Palin. They are each an embarrassment to Americans who study hard, do well in school and achieve prominence in their fields through smarts and hard work.

  • Jeff

    Like Obama? Who snorted coke? And whose grades we know nothing about? But I guess we’ll overlook that because he is half-black.