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"Family Values, My Ass!"
May 13, 2005 8:46 AM   Subscribe

"Family Values, My Ass!" That article in the Lexington Herald-Leader inspired me to look up the Nation article it referred to. Now I'm beginning to see why many women won't go to "evangelical Christian" MDs: this guy Hager (previously brought up on MetaFilter in 2003, in fact twice, and then again in 2004) is strongly anti-abortion -- so pro-conception that he tried to keep the "morning-after pill" known as "Plan B" away from women -- but he's apparently pro- sodomy and pro-rape. It almost sounds like fiction.
posted by davy (86 comments total)

 
Don't you mean the ex Mrs. Hager's ass?
posted by caddis at 8:55 AM on May 13, 2005


The post would be funnier if you linked fiction like this.
posted by Mr_Zero at 8:56 AM on May 13, 2005


This whole story is a bit suspect in the sense that his wife, whom is accusing him of rape is also one of them there evangelical types. Also, the Wiki links you provide do little to buttress your assertions that he's in favor of rape and sodomy. Did I miss something?
posted by j.p. Hung at 9:02 AM on May 13, 2005


Does his personal inability to live up to the principles he espouses in any way reflect on the relative worth of those principles? While it shows him to be a hypocrite and a bad person, does it mean the values he is failing to meet are wrong?

I can say that it is good to tell the truth and it is bad to lie. If I lie, does it mean my assertion is wrong? Or does it mean that I have a personal shortcoming?
posted by dios at 9:03 AM on May 13, 2005


j.p. is right, where the heck do you get any evidence that he supports sodomy and rape? It's obvious you are trying to be inflammatory by making those allegations, but you do have any basis for doing so?
posted by dios at 9:06 AM on May 13, 2005


Mulefuckers. Anal rapists. Chasing women down the hallways of foreign hotels. God bless the GOP.
posted by bardic at 9:13 AM on May 13, 2005


dios writes " j.p. is right, where the heck do you get any evidence that he supports sodomy and rape? It's obvious you are trying to be inflammatory by making those allegations, but you do have any basis for doing so?"

You know, you righties need a bit of initiative. The article clearly states that allegations were made in an article appearing in the latest issue of The Nation, which I just looked at now. This is a direct quote from the article: "Davis alleges that between 1995 and their divorce in 2002, Hager repeatedly sodomized her without her consent."

The article ca be found here. I've pointed to it. Now you can no longer ignore it.
posted by clevershark at 9:13 AM on May 13, 2005


I can say that it is good to tell the truth and it is bad to lie. If I lie, does it mean my assertion is wrong? Or does it mean that I have a personal shortcoming?

I can say that we ought to have universal healthcare, robust environmental protections, a government more sensitive to the needs of its constituents and a nuanced foreign policy. If I receive a blowjob from an intern, does it mean my assertion is wrong? Or does it mean that I have a personal shortcoming?

/low-hanging fruit
posted by felix betachat at 9:14 AM on May 13, 2005


Statistically there is a 2% false report rate for instances of rape, but even if that's the case here I'm glad he's being tarred. He sounds like a paternalistic asshole.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:20 AM on May 13, 2005


well jp, dios, if you read a bit further into the first link...

Davis alleges that between 1995 and their divorce in 2002, Hager repeatedly sodomized her without her consent. Several sources on and off the record confirmed that she had told them it was the sexual and emotional abuse within their marriage that eventually forced her out. "I probably wouldn't have objected so much, or felt it was so abusive if he had just wanted normal [vaginal] sex all the time," she explained to me. "But it was the painful, invasive, totally nonconsensual nature of the [anal] sex that was so horrible."
posted by three blind mice at 9:20 AM on May 13, 2005


The details of the marriage are pretty repulsive, but offensive in a more important way is the fact that the FDA voted 23-4 if favor of legalizationof the "Plan B" drug, but the vote "didn't count" because of some evangelical Machiavellian behind the scenes action
posted by kozad at 9:27 AM on May 13, 2005


but he's found Jesus, so doesn't that make everything ok?
posted by bk at 9:31 AM on May 13, 2005


Wait a minute!

Am I hearing that misogny and sodomy aren't family values?

Well how about incest, rape or adultery?

All this time I thought the GOP were representing!

but he's found Jesus Jaysus!,
posted by nofundy at 9:37 AM on May 13, 2005


Mulefuckers. Anal rapists. Chasing women down the hallways of foreign hotels. God bless the GOP.
posted by bardic at 9:13 AM PST on May 13


Nothing like demonizing The Other with ignorant generalizations based on isolated data points. Makes you seem so liberal, enlightened and intellectual.

Now you can no longer ignore it.
posted by clevershark at 9:13 AM PST on May 13


I didn't ignore it. It is an allegation by one woman in a divorce proceeding. It may well be true; it may be false. The allegations seem... odd... to say the least. Perhaps he liked sodomy. Its the rape allegations that I find spurious.

But you ignored my point: what the hell does this guy's personal shortcomings have to do with the principle he espoused (and which you are presumably opposing via ad hominem attacks). It shows that *this* guy is possibly a punk. But you need to explain how the principle he espouses are wrong in and of themselves.

I can say that we ought to have universal healthcare, robust environmental protections, a government more sensitive to the needs of its constituents and a nuanced foreign policy. If I receive a blowjob from an intern, does it mean my assertion is wrong? Or does it mean that I have a personal shortcoming?

No. It doesn't. Those polices fail on their own merits in some people estimations. I don't think anyone ever said they are wrong because of Lewinsky (which is the logical fallacy which seems to be subject of this post).

Furthermore, lets hope that in your example, you didn't also perjure yourself and obstruct justice thereby violating the laws of the land that you swore to uphold...
posted by dios at 9:38 AM on May 13, 2005


Thanks clevershark for pointing again to the article I drew the allegation of anal rape from. I don't know how someone who had clicked on the (what was actually the second) link on my post could have missed it (three blind mice clearly didn't), but then I don't know how someone could miss my use of the wikipedia article on "anal sex" to explain what I meant by the "biblical sin" called sodomy.

And kozad, I didn't say the FDA vote didn't count; my point, since you missed it, was "What a hypocrite!" Or maybe not: if men routinely ass-raped women when they're asleep there would be less need for emergency contraception, eh?

And before anybody brings HER up, I'm not saying I think her character and her behavior in the marriage was spotless either. It's just that she is not such a big public exemplar of Christian Living.
posted by davy at 9:42 AM on May 13, 2005


Does his personal inability to live up to the principles he espouses in any way reflect on the relative worth of those principles?

Did Davy say that? Or are you setting up something easy to knock down?
posted by pracowity at 9:45 AM on May 13, 2005


dios, come on. I'm no Sick Willy fan, but at least nobody accused him of ass-raping Monica while she was helpless. As sexual peccadillos go that one's a doozy.
posted by davy at 9:46 AM on May 13, 2005


Oh damn, that was supposed to Slick Willy. But the other fits too.
posted by davy at 9:47 AM on May 13, 2005


Furthermore, lets hope that in your example, you didn't also perjure yourself and obstruct justice thereby violating the laws of the land that you swore to uphold...

Too bad Hagar the Horrible didn't have a chance to give testimony under oath. If he'd had an attack-dog prosecutor with an infinitely extensible mandate on his ass, you might have a point here.

dios, Clinton had the personal humility not to dictate on matters of personal morality and still he was pilloried by zealots. It is not fallacious to note that these zealots often abrogate the very moral principles by which they accuse others.
posted by felix betachat at 9:48 AM on May 13, 2005


as the RudePundit wrote last night, "Somewhere in heaven, Michel Foucault is laughing his sore ass off".
posted by matteo at 9:51 AM on May 13, 2005


Dios, if you really think that Clinton was impeached because of perjury, I feel sorry for your lack of insight into the political process. While committing marital rape does not make his views irrelevant, it makes one wonder how much he truly believes those values apply to himself and how much he simply wishes to keep women in their place.
posted by Hactar at 9:51 AM on May 13, 2005


an allegation by one woman in a divorce proceeding

It wasn't in a divorce proceeding, dios. Read the links. She kept mum in the divorce proceeding but found it a bit much to take when, later in his career, he would make self-serving & self-righteous speeches about the dark time in his life when his well-cared-for wife left him.

It's hard to see this conservative Christian Methodist minister's wife making this stuff up to feed the political machine. Dios may not relate, but there are people whose actions and words are determined by something else.
posted by Zurishaddai at 9:57 AM on May 13, 2005


Perhaps he liked sodomy. Its the rape allegations that I find spurious.

Oh, you must think she let him fuck her poop chute, then got embarrassed and changed her mind afterward? Like most rape victims, right? Or do you think that marital rape is an oxymoron?

I agree that the end of the post is inflammatory (the links don't do much), but the word "apparently" is fair enough for me.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:57 AM on May 13, 2005


If you want to argue consent and say that between married couples, consent is implied and therefore, this can not be rape... well, that's one thing.

However, the article points to the fact that Ms. Davis developed a neurological condition (narcolepsy) which, when suffering an attack, leaves her dead asleep and completely unable to give consent. Say what you will about anything that happened between the couple previously, once he had any sort of sex with her when she was in a narcoleptic sleep, that's rape.

Is it a felony? I'm not sure. Should this guy be tarred for it? I don't know. It certainly doesn't sit well with me, but it is his private life. But is it rape? From what I know about the standards of consent, yes.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:57 AM on May 13, 2005


It is not fallacious to note that these zealots often abrogate the very moral principles by which they accuse others.
posted by felix betachat at 9:48 AM PST on May 13


It is the very defintion of the ad hominem fallacy. If you are trying to point out the actions of the individual to refute the argument the individual made, then it is by definition fallacious.

This guy may be a scumbag, but that doesn't reflect on the inherent worth of the argument; it reflects on him. The point of this post seems to clearly be that the Christians opposition to RU-486 is flawed because of this guys personal sex life. That is logically fallacious and weak. If you want to debate the merits of supporting or opposing RU-486, then you need to do something more than to point to allegations of sodomy by someone who supports the position. You need to address the argument on its merits.
posted by dios at 9:58 AM on May 13, 2005


Same guy under an alias?
posted by soyjoy at 10:00 AM on May 13, 2005


"This is trash journalism," said Carrie Gordon-Earll, a senior policy analyst for Focus on the Family. "It's an ugly divorce that's being used for political gain.

The issue wasn't raised in the couple's 2002 divorce paperwork in Fayette County.

on preview:

The point of this post seems to clearly be that the Christians opposition to RU-486 is flawed because of this guys personal sex life.

I would disagree (though I don't posts need to have a "point"--sometimes info is just info). It's yet another example (in a long line) of perverted Christian values, and perhaps this perversion is the fault of the conservative churches' theology.

I'll stop feeding him/her.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:02 AM on May 13, 2005


You need to address the argument on its merits.

dios. It's been done. And by people a lot smarter than me. This is not a post about RU-486. It's a post about another rightwing zealot who can't live up to his own ethical standards.

Invoke the ad hominem fallacy all you want. Given your concern for consistency, I trust you invoked it during the late days of the Clinton presidency as well.

It is disingenuous in the extreme for conservatives, at this late stage in the game, to re-discover Roberts Rules of Order and the principles of reasoned debate. Your leaders threw these out the window eight years ago in the interest of political expediency. When their abominable behavior is exposed by the same tactics...that's called payback.
posted by felix betachat at 10:07 AM on May 13, 2005


if men routinely ass-raped women when they're asleep there would be less need for emergency contraception, eh?

I belive that there's still a risk of pregnancy in anal sex if jizz seaps across the taint area and into the vagina. But I suppose it is "less likely".
posted by delmoi at 10:08 AM on May 13, 2005


It is not fallacious to note that these zealots often abrogate the very moral principles by which they accuse others.
posted by felix betachat at 9:48 AM PST on May 13

It is the very defintion of the ad hominem fallacy. If you are trying to point out the actions of the individual to refute the argument the individual made, then it is by definition fallacious.


True, dios - if you are trying to attack the arguments the individual made. But if you are trying to highlight the rank hypocrisy of those individuals, it's a perfectly valid thing to do.
posted by Decani at 10:24 AM on May 13, 2005


The point of this post seems to clearly be that the Christians opposition to RU-486 is flawed because of this guys personal sex life.

The point of the post seems to clearly be to identify yet another scum Republican who says one thing and does another, but to address your fallacious point:

The guy's public moral stance on sodomy and rape is informed by the same morals as those on which he bases his opposition to RU-486.

Given that he personally finds his own public stance to be unworthy of guiding his private behaviours, it isn't a stretch to argue that his opinion on the subject is worthless.

If he can't walk the walk, he sure as hell shouldn't be talking the talk, let alone trying to force everyone else to abide by those morals. "Do as I say, not as I do" is bullshit.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:27 AM on May 13, 2005


Nothing to see here.
Move along now.
Just remember:

IOKIYAR
posted by nofundy at 10:32 AM on May 13, 2005


What, me a hypocrite?
posted by bardic at 10:40 AM on May 13, 2005


If he can't walk the walk, he sure as hell shouldn't be talking the talk, let alone trying to force everyone else to abide by those morals. "Do as I say, not as I do" is bullshit.

now wait a minute there, five fresh fish, how is this inconsistent?

ass raping his wife is certainly one way to keep unwanted children from being born without having to resort to medical intervention - or any contraception at all.

it's the perfect christian solution.
posted by three blind mice at 10:42 AM on May 13, 2005


I think where this is going (what with the Ann Coulter flap last week and the growing littany of SexCrime incidents), is people are nibbling around the edges of some sort of link between authoritarian ideologies and sexual abuse.

The answer is not really very comforting to any partisans. There is a statistical link between authoritarian ideologies and sexual abuse, but it is not necessarily a causative one.

Sexual abusers (of both children and adults) do tend to be over-represented among people with authoritarian and paternalistic religious beliefs. This has been widely recognized for many years. There are even assessment instruments (checklists) that include Christian Fundamentalism as a "red flag" for child abuse and neglect. There was a big flap when this became known in my state (over ten years ago). You can just imagine the outrage some people were able to work up over it.

But, as I said earlier, the truth is that communities with authoritarian and paternalistic beliefs are good places for abusers to hide in plain sight. They know they are deceiving people and their adoption of political and religious trappings is part and parcel of their concealment of their behavior. It's very cold-blooded and premeditated.

For that matter, sexual abuse crimes tend to be the most carefully planned, premeditated, and remorseless of any of the varieties of violent crime.

So it shouldn't be suprising that these psychopaths are deceitful and manipulative in other areas of their life as well.
posted by warbaby at 10:44 AM on May 13, 2005


Please do not engage in any lame ad hominems by characterizing this guy as typical of the GOP.

Thanks.
posted by rush at 10:50 AM on May 13, 2005


The answer is not really very comforting to any partisans.

Except yourself, of course.
posted by jonmc at 10:52 AM on May 13, 2005


dios writes " I didn't ignore it. It is an allegation by one woman in a divorce proceeding. It may well be true; it may be false. The allegations seem... odd... to say the least. Perhaps he liked sodomy. Its the rape allegations that I find spurious."

You are ignoring the article, dios. It covers those issues in detail. You'd know that if you'd read it.
posted by clevershark at 10:53 AM on May 13, 2005


Oops. Didn't realize the psychopaths link required registration. Here's a different (and longer) article

on preview: jonmc, I worked for several years developing training for CPS workers. What is your problem, anyway?
posted by warbaby at 10:55 AM on May 13, 2005


I don't like people who like to pretend that their personal prejudices ( "that include Christian Fundamentalism as a "red flag" for child abuse and neglect.", insert any other religion or race and see how it sounds), are facts. I'm funny that way.
posted by jonmc at 11:01 AM on May 13, 2005


great article warbaby - thanks!
posted by rks404 at 11:04 AM on May 13, 2005


Please do not engage in any lame ad hominems by characterizing this guy as typical of Christians.

Thanks.
posted by rush at 11:06 AM on May 13, 2005


Sorry, dude, but the checklist was mandated, I didn't make it up. Nor did I make up the explanation. These are facts, not opinion. You've repeatedly thrown these accusations of prejudice around. At first I thought you just didn't get it, or were having a reading comprehension problem. But now it's just looking like trolling and intentional provocation. More signal, less noise, please.
posted by warbaby at 11:07 AM on May 13, 2005


Sorry, dude, but the checklist was mandated, I didn't make it up

And the checklist was prejudiced is what I'm saying, mr, comprehension. The fact that I say things you don't want to hear does not make me a troll.
posted by jonmc at 11:11 AM on May 13, 2005


I don't like people who like to pretend that their personal prejudices ( "that include Christian Fundamentalism as a "red flag" for child abuse and neglect.", insert any other religion or race and see how it sounds), are facts. I'm funny that way.

*inserts another religion to see how it sounds... *

"that include Branch Davidianism as a "red flag" for child abuse and neglect."
posted by three blind mice at 11:16 AM on May 13, 2005


dios was clearly way off (read: looking for a fight) in assuming the post was attempting to discredit Hager's anti-abortion views by exposing his hypocrisy. I think davy was simply attempting to discredit Hager.

If the rape allegations are true, the real issue as I see it is whether this guy is qualified to be a member of a federal committe on reproductive health, especially given his self-described stance as a guardian of women's interests. I love the Nation article's quote from Hager's BFF Franklin Graham: "...the God of the Bible says that what one does in private does matter. There needs to be no clash between personal conduct and public appearance."

If it's true that he will not seek reappointment, though, the issue is somewhat moot.

Oh, and jonmc: you're losing this argument.
posted by urban rabbit at 11:21 AM on May 13, 2005


Please do not engage in any lame ad hominems by characterizing this guy as typical of the GOP.

Sure! You want a pass on Jim West, too? [QT]
posted by felix betachat at 11:22 AM on May 13, 2005


I think where this is going ... is people are nibbling around the edges of some sort of link between authoritarian ideologies and sexual abuse.

No, I think it all goes back to men's dominion over women.

That's the underlying motive for the Christian/wingnut right's assault on reproductive freedom. It's all about power - and, if the allegations of the former Mrs. Hager are to be believed, so was his conduct.

I will take what is mine, I will have the final say, you will be told how it's gonna be, you will do what I say.
posted by kgasmart at 11:24 AM on May 13, 2005


It's wrong to tar Republicans and Christians with the same brush when guys like this take a fall, but kind of hard not to. As a lefty mefite, I apologize for the potential offense. However, when will decent Republicans and Christians start to call-out the bigots, Falwells, Horseleys, Santorums, Dobsons, and other affiliates that spread hate?

In other words, my snarkiness pales in comparison to the tangible damage done to rights and psyches in the name of "America" or "Jesus."
posted by bardic at 11:24 AM on May 13, 2005


Oh, and jonmc: you're losing this argument.

there goes my nights sleep. warbaby seems to think it's OK to use someone's religious beliefs (as repugnant as I might find them) as criteria for judgement in a criminal investigations. And you don't seem to have a problem with that. I do.

Winning and losing is for little children playing games. I'm stating an opinion.
posted by jonmc at 11:25 AM on May 13, 2005


jonmc, if Christian Fundamentalists have been shown statistically to be significantly more likely to sexually abuse children (and/or adults), then how is it prejudice to state that fact? Or to use it in screening for said abuse?
Is screening for Tay-Sachs disease prejudiced against Ashkenazi Jews?
posted by bashos_frog at 11:25 AM on May 13, 2005


Please do not engage in any lame ad hominems by characterizing this guy as typical of Christians.

Sure! You want a pass on Bill Bennett, too?
posted by felix betachat at 11:28 AM on May 13, 2005


bashos_frog: there's people who will quote statistics that say black people commit more rapes than other groups. Is it OK to use that for investigations?

Look, I'm not a fundy, and I have no love for most of their crusades, but this is way to close to religious witch hunting for my taste. YMMV.
posted by jonmc at 11:29 AM on May 13, 2005


jonmc, let me flip that one around on you. If a black family in a small Georgia town found a cross burned on their lawn, do you think the cops should spend equal time chasing down black, white and asian suspects? Should they make sure to investigate the town's Jews and Buddhists as thoroughly as the town's Baptists? Would they be good cops if they did?

/derail
posted by bashos_frog at 11:34 AM on May 13, 2005


No, I think it all goes back to men's dominion over women.

That's the underlying motive for the Christian/wingnut right's assault on reproductive freedom. It's all about power - and, if the allegations of the former Mrs. Hager are to be believed, so was his conduct.


shebang kgasmart. that is EXACTLY what is at the core of the right's belief system. it is all about keeping those women in their biblical place. and that is why the fight for reproductive freedom is more about equal rights than it is about reproductive freedom. and why it is as important for men as it is for women.

jonmc, you point would be well taken if warbaby was talking about x-tians in general. but he wasn't. hagel's religious views "prejudice" him as an extremist. that reasonably raises a red flag.
posted by three blind mice at 11:36 AM on May 13, 2005


God bless Linda Davis for having the balls to tell the truth about that scumbag. It worked! He's off the Food and Drug Administration advisory committee on reproductive health. If we weren't living in bizarro world, he'd never have gotten on that committee to start with.
posted by wsg at 11:39 AM on May 13, 2005


bashos: even warbaby admits that any correlation is probably not causative. So, if a child is molested, should we start using religious beliefs as evidence in court? It's unconstitutional.

Look, people have plenty of antipathy to fundies. I share it, most of the time. But we cannot let that antipathy affect legal decisions and practices, otherwise we're no better than them.
posted by jonmc at 11:40 AM on May 13, 2005


jonmc, it's not witch hunting, it's ass-raping-hypocrite hunting. But then again if you know of anything alleging that this born-again moral prescriptivist is a secret Wiccan as well, please pile it on.
posted by davy at 11:42 AM on May 13, 2005


However, when will decent Republicans and Christians start to call-out the bigots, Falwells, Horseleys, Santorums, Dobsons, and other affiliates that spread hate?

We do all of the time, but it seems that few want to listen. It doesn't make for salacious gossip, I suppose. Or maybe it doesn't fit in with some people's world view. That fact of the matter is that it's easier for both sides to attack the wingnuts amongst their opposition. But, for my part, I try to focus more on the political reality than on the unempowered fringe.

Sure! You want a pass on Bill Bennett, too?

Yes, felix, I would.
posted by rush at 11:45 AM on May 13, 2005


davy, I fully acknowledge that this guy is a hypocrite. All I'm saying is that having anyone's religious beliefs on a screening checklist for a crime is not a good idea. "He's a fundamentalist!" is not evidence.
posted by jonmc at 11:45 AM on May 13, 2005


If we weren't living in bizarro world, he'd never have gotten on that committee to start with.

Agreed.
posted by rush at 11:46 AM on May 13, 2005


Am I getting the sense that there would not be the same moral outrage if a prominent Jewish doctor were ass-raping his wife?

Because really, Christianity doesn't seem to me to be the issue here. He ass-raped his wife. Regardless of religious belief, that's illegal and should certainly be punished.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:47 AM on May 13, 2005


jonmc: no one mentioned using religious profiling in court. am i missing something? all anyone said is that there's a not-necessarily-causative correlation between christian fundamentalism (and other authoritarian and paternalistic associations) and abuse. there's a huge difference between a red flag and damning evidence.
posted by urban rabbit at 11:48 AM on May 13, 2005


"tian Fundamentalists have been shown statistically to be significantly more likely to sexually abuse children (and/or adults), then how is it prejudice to state that fact?"

It's not prejudice...if we can all accept that we should be racialy profiling arabs at airports too.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:48 AM on May 13, 2005


... Hager's BFF Franklin Graham ...
What's the second F stand for?

And, dios makes good (if obvious) points about ad hominem, but I just keep hearing "I also wonder why we assume this person's version of the events to be true. After all, this person is a poster at Kos...".
posted by fleacircus at 11:52 AM on May 13, 2005


Sure! You want a pass on Bill Bennett, too?

Yes, felix, I would.


No problem. Gingrich, as well?
posted by felix betachat at 11:54 AM on May 13, 2005


The second F stands for friend. The first? Funky.
posted by urban rabbit at 11:54 AM on May 13, 2005


felix, let me cut to the chase. Unless you are talking about the political views of the Republican party, or the faith of the Christian population, instead of the personal habits, criminal or otherwise, of people that fall within those categories, then yes, I would like a pass.
posted by rush at 12:03 PM on May 13, 2005


no, davy, it would be hard to miss your point that the man is a hypocrite. That was YOUR obvious point.

However, I just happen to be more offended at such egregious procedural miscarriages of justice because there are just too many fucking hypocrites to go after (OK, perhaps there are too many governmental sins to address, too, but, still...)
posted by kozad at 12:16 PM on May 13, 2005


The drug under discussion was Plan B (or Levonorgestrel) a strong dose of birth control pills to be taken within 72 hours of sex to help preven pregnancy, not RU486 (or Mifepristone) a drug which induces abortion in a woman who is already pregnant.

Please stop confusing those two very different drugs. You are only contributing to the confusion in the world that has somehow decided that preventing ovulation, fertilization, and/or implantation is the same as an abortion.
posted by hydropsyche at 12:20 PM on May 13, 2005


shorter Dios: I don't like the implications this information may have on my political perspective. Clearly the messanger is not to be beleived.

Repeat ad nauseum.
posted by Freen at 12:42 PM on May 13, 2005


It is the very defintion of the ad hominem fallacy. If you are trying to point out the actions of the individual to refute the argument the individual made, then it is by definition fallacious.
posted by dios at 12:58 PM EST on May 13

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem#Valid_Ad_Hominem

"The second form of the ad hominem was identified by John Locke in his An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, when he wrote that it was 'to press a man with consequences drawn from his own principles or concessions. This is already known under the name of argumentum ad hominem.'

For example, if an Atheist sent his children to a religious school on the ground that discipline or teaching was better there, an opponent might point out the inconsistency with the anti-religious atheism of his beliefs. Another form of the valid argument ad hominem can be applied to the testimony of a witness in a court-case. Ad hominem is fallacious when applied to deduction, and not the evidence (or premise) of an argument."
posted by prak at 2:09 PM on May 13, 2005


dios: But you ignored my point: what the hell does this guy's personal shortcomings have to do with the principle he espoused (and which you are presumably opposing via ad hominem attacks).

Feminists have pointed out that a large chunk of opposition to both abortion and contraception comes in part from latent misogyny. So to me, this seems less like an act of hypocricy, than a person who has been caught with some of the more unsavory aspects of his personal belief system made public.

I should add that it seems to be a funny thing when the "character" issue that was made so central to the 2000 and 2004 campaign is dismissed as a ad hom. in 2005.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:57 PM on May 13, 2005


Rush:
But, for my part, I try to focus more on the political reality than on the unempowered fringe.

The problem is that these guys on the wingnut-right aren't the "unempowered fringe." They're increasingly calling the shots.
posted by trigonometry at 5:51 PM on May 13, 2005


You know, I keep reading and re-reading the text of this post, looking for SOMETHING that criticizes the doctor's espoused values, rather than just his actions, and I just don't see it.

So, when dios goes parading up and down the thread talking about ad hominem attacks and acting all affronted... I guess he's just trolling.
posted by shmegegge at 6:22 PM on May 13, 2005


They dumped him: A controversial evangelical doctor will leave an important Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel following allegations that he had inordinate influence over the FDA's decision on nonprescription status for emergency contraception (EC). Dr. W. David Hager, appointed to the FDAs’s Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee after ardent opposition from women’s reproductive health and rights groups, including the Feminist Majority, told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he “will no longer be on the advisory committee after June 30.” ...
posted by amberglow at 6:24 PM on May 13, 2005


I don't like people who like to pretend that their personal prejudices ( "that include Christian Fundamentalism as a "red flag" for child abuse and neglect.", insert any other religion or race and see how it sounds), are facts. I'm funny that way.

Funny "ha-ha" or funny "differnt"?
posted by raygun21 at 6:34 PM on May 13, 2005


davy, I fully acknowledge that this guy is a hypocrite.

Okay.

All I'm saying is that having anyone's religious beliefs on a screening checklist for a crime is not a good idea. "He's a fundamentalist!" is not evidence.

Well, I never said that, and in fact I'm with you there. My Grandma was more or less fundamentalist, but I never heard her accused of ass-raping anybody, unconscious or not. It's not the beliefs I'm carping about. Fundies who don't hurt anybody are no worse than armchair Trotskyites.
posted by davy at 6:53 PM on May 13, 2005


it's not about sex, it's not about crime, it's not about hypocrisy ... it's about control ... the same mind-set that believes in controlling people to extreme measure in public policy may also believe that it's appropriate to do in his private life ... one can be a clear indication of the other ... and no, the mind-set does not have to be fundamentalist christianity
posted by pyramid termite at 8:46 PM on May 13, 2005


Unless you are talking about the political views of the Republican party, or the faith of the Christian population, instead of the personal habits, criminal or otherwise, of people that fall within those categories, then yes, I would like a pass.

Cool. But don't you think, then, that those same people should cease comment on the personal habits, criminal or otherwise, of others? That'd put the kaibosh on all this "treason" talk vis-a-vis opposition to the Iraq war. Oh, and any equation of non-straight sex with deviance or sin. Come to think of it, it cuts out a big chunk of their social-darwinist economic philosophy too, since that involves arguments, implicit or explicit, that poor people demonstrate lack of initiative.

You see my point, I'm sure. Without "comment on the personal habits, criminal or otherwise" of others, Christian republicans haven't got a whole lot of talking points left. You may wish democrats and progressives to elevate the discourse and treat personal lives with discretion. But alas, the cat is long since out of the bag.
posted by felix betachat at 9:34 PM on May 13, 2005


When jonmc writes: "All I'm saying is that having anyone's religious beliefs on a screening checklist for a crime is not a good idea. "He's a fundamentalist!" is not evidence." he's just making this stuff up. It's not a criminal investigation, it's a set of risk factors used to evaluate the potential risk to the child. And it was part of a set of assessment tools developed because the legislature set a 24 hr maximum on the time allowed between the initial report and when the agency had to either take action or say that the report was unfounded.

My own feeling about the correlation between authoritarian fundamentalist beliefs (and the emphasis here is on authoritarian, not fundamentalist) is the underlying ideology about paternalism and property -- where the notion is widespread that the father "owns" the rest of the family and may do with them what he will.

There is, of course, a lot of other baggage that goes along with these beliefs and behaviors. It's sort of a chicken and egg situtation. And one has to be wary of the false syllogism with it's reversal of causality.

But the essential point is that people who embrace these authoritarian beliefs will frequently act on them.
posted by warbaby at 10:29 PM on May 13, 2005


Ouch. Helluva point. All these tell-you-what-you're-allowed-to-do types aren't exactly in a position to tell anyone what to do. Mind their own business, they should, and especially so if they don't want their own dirty laundry aired.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:35 PM on May 13, 2005


To put a finer point on it, a man who rapes his wife casts
doubt on his disposition toward all women,
until he proves that his crimes against his wife
had no bearing on his attitude toward women in general.

It's best not to invite such doubt in the first place, as his
position on an FDA committee on reproductive health could
have something to do with women.

Does he sue for libel? Does he win? Does he serve a third
term in his position on the FDA committee? We'll see.

Is it political? Yes.
posted by the Real Dan at 2:30 AM on May 14, 2005


I have to agree with warbaby on this. Certain fundy views directly contribute to a environment open for abuse. An example is the Jehovah's Witness religion.

Also, I was pretty amused by dios's obvious attempts to troll.
posted by john at 8:44 AM on May 14, 2005


"This guy may be a scumbag, but that doesn't reflect on the inherent worth of the argument; it reflects on him. The point of this post seems to clearly be that the Christians opposition to RU-486 is flawed because of this guys personal sex life. "

I suspect the argument is that supporting a viewpoint that you yourself cannot or will not uphold, yet expect others to follow is not only hypocritical, but in the case of an individual with some power certainly elitist.
Since this is America and we espouse at least egalitarianism, that'd be...um, wrong -and agreed - for him.

However he is a public servant and has an agenda. And (since we're throwing philosophy around) morals must be by definition egalitarian to be considered valid. If a set of morals does not apply to everyone or at least a member of a group that espouses them than it cannot be an ethos. Furthermore in this case the man is associated with a group that is attempting to impress this set of morals as law.

This, I suspect, is where the snag is. If he were not connected with a law enforcing body he would just be some dufus. However his moral set does have influence so it moves from abstract theory - where he's merely a hypocrite - to the practical, where he is trying to enforce a set of values that he himself manifestly does not practice.
Ergo - why should we?
The worth of the argument in this case can be argued from it's functionality, not merely "on it's merits."
If a strong proponent of a practice cannot adhere to that practice, the likelihood of that practice being useful is very slim.
He is constrained by his public office to not deviate from his theoretical responsibilities, that is if we are going to hold him accountable.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:59 PM on May 16, 2005


wow, I posted that - or tried to - Friday, and it just showed up today. Stupid work computer.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:53 PM on May 16, 2005


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