For the Right, it’s Not About About Helping, but Controlling People
Posted on February 8, 2016
The Christian Right wing of movement conservatism provides the major part of radical right votes; the Business-libertarian wing provides most of the money. They have little in common other than a burning desire to seize power and share the spoils of war. The Christians are seeking two basic spoils: a symbolic fundamentalist theonomy, and a state-imposed regime of sexual repression. The Christian symbolism they want to implant in public institutions is burdensome, as is the denigration of other religions, but what really matters is their efforts towards a sexual counterrevolution. Antiabortion, gay wrongs, legislative dress codes for women, defunding planned Parenthood–it’s all about controlling sex.
And also sex miseducation. Now comes Kansas State Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook of Johnson County, once again attacking K-12 teachers for doing their job. Her bill would allow prosecution of school teachers for exposing children to any sexual materials deemed unacceptable by the local district Attorney. Now as it happens, nearly all such prosecutions would very likely fail in the end because they are unconstitutional and because the ACLU would most certainly get pissed. But that is entirely irrelevant for this kind of scapegoating. The victimized teachers would be responsible for their own defense, they would very likely never be reimbursed, and in many cases the USD would fire them on a pretext because administrators don’t like the adverse publicity.
Now comes the hooker: what this is really about is self-censorship. It is intended that teachers should be so intimidated that they veer away from any realistic discussion of sexuality at all. And let us be very clear that discussion of the realities of sex, especially though not only when done openly with children, is precisely what the Christian right objects to. In other words, their goal is science denial and social science denial and humanities denial and art denial and common sense denial in all matters of sex.
What this would mean of course would be more teenage pregnancies and more abortions and more opportunities to stigmatize young people or even throw them in jail for engaging in sex. In this and other matters you cannot assume the antiabortion movement cares about saving fetal lives. If they did they would support the only tactics that actually work: free contraceptives and realistic sex education. Instead they quite obviously seek opportunities to punish women who have sex for pleasure rather than for procreation.