Althouse | category: Sarah Hoyt



an endless succession of beans and nuts.

The most obvious law school hypothetical when teaching the Good News Club case has come to life with the After School Satan Club.

I'm reading "Parents slam school’s ‘sick’ Satan Club for children as young as 5: ‘Disgusting’" (NY Post).

I got there via Sarah Hoyt at Instapundit:

WHOSE CHILDREN DO THOSE PARENTS THINK THOSE KIDS ARE? Parents slam school’s ‘sick’ Satan Club for children as young as 5: ‘Disgusting’.

Sorry, but this is exactly what was bargained for when by anyone who supported the after-school Christian club, approved of by the Supreme Court back in 2001.

Either you have a special rule excluding religion or you don't. In Good News Club, a Christian after-school club had been excluded and the Supreme Court saw that as discrimination against religion. Once you get that far, you can't have viewpoint discrimination. Viewpoint discrimination is worse than discrimination against religion in general. So there now you can't exclude the Satanist club.

I used to teach a Religion & the Constitution course, and I was teaching it when the Good News Club case came out. The first hypothetical that springs to mind is an After School Satan Club. Legal decisions have consequences, and sometimes they are perfectly obvious.


You think that's disgusting? Some people think all after-school religion clubs are disgusting, but they lost in the Supreme Court in 2001. And some people think government viewpoint discrimination is disgusting? Get your values in order and try to be consistent.

The Satan image is very well conceived to appeal to little kids who've been primed by children's books and cartoons. Don't you want to know what the li'l devil has to say?

Well, let's read the official web page for the group. Excerpt:

Proselytization is not our goal, and we’re not interested in converting children to Satanism. After School Satan Clubs will focus on free inquiry and rationalism, the scientific basis for which we know what we know about the world around us.

We prefer to give children an appreciation of the natural wonders surrounding them, not a fear of everlasting other-worldly horrors.

Well, hell!

More, from the handbook:

To call our club any alternative such as “science club” or “atheist club”, which has been suggested by many, would be disingenuous and akin to hiding. 

Satan, to us, is not a supernatural being. Instead, Satan is a literary figure that represents a metaphorical construct of rejecting tyranny over the human mind and spirit.

I know what you're thinking — That's just what the real Satan would say. He's such a clever deceiver.

But I say: If your Satan is so clever, how do you know he's not behind the Good News Club?

BONUS: My last point is reinforced by the #2 TV Devil on this list — Ned Flanders ("It's always the one you least expect"):

"You don’t have to just be a stay-at-home mom, you can aspire to be a young child-free woman and not work."

"I spend my hours doing what I want and have time to look after my body, cook nice meals and spend quality time with friends."

Says Emily de Rean, 37, who "previously worked as a financial analyst, but now lives off her boyfriend’s money after realizing she was unhappy climbing the corporate ladder," quoted in "I quit my job to be a full-time girlfriend: Get fit, cook and you can too" (NY Post). 

She had already quit her finance job — and switched to being a nanny — when she met this rich boyfriend who "encouraged me to stop working and become a stay-at-home girlfriend, so I could have time to do something more productive."

More productive?! Did he mean that staying home and become a beautiful "angel in the house" for him is productive? No. Read further into the article. She "hopes to become an author." She's not just looking after her body, cooking nice meals, and enjoying her friends. She's writing. You need a lot of good mental space to write. Devoting your mind to finance is — I should think — likely to blot out the freely buzzing mind you need for writing. Being a nanny is surely better: You're constantly observing children. And yet the mind may tire observing the same things all the time, always at the child level.

But I clipped off the end of that hope. She hopes "to become an author and is now giving advice to other women looking to leave the workforce." Did she move into "full-time girlfriend" mode because she believed she had a novel worth writing, or did she genuinely want to be a "full-time girlfriend" and then imagined herself an the author of a self-help book advising other women to aspire to the full-time girlfriend life?

I clicked on this article from this post by Sarah Hoyt at Instapundit:

THE TRADITIONAL TITLES FOR THIS ARE “KEPT WOMAN”, “PECULIAR,” “CONVENIENT:”   I quit my job to be a full-time girlfriend: Get fit, cook and you can too.

Listen to the advice of someone who has read a lot of historical biographies: before you give up the day job, make sure you have a ring and a license. Or at least a contract. Not only didn’t you invent this, your reinvention of the wheel is square.

That makes sense up to a point. It's certainly a caution to the readers of the self-help book de Rean might write. But de Rean herself does have a ring — displayed conspicuously in the silly photographs of her at the link. Her real theme is not so much "full-time girlfriend" as it is find a rich husband. I do think it makes sense to say that if your mate is really rich, your contribution to the household is not going to be your income, and if you have a job taking up much of your waking hours, you may have less to offer than a woman who devotes herself full time to looking great and cooking extensively. You might have more if your paying job is very interesting and energizing, but is that your job?

Now, I think the key point de Rean is making is that you don't have to have children. You can offer a great and worthy partnership to a working spouse without expanding the household position into the demanding field of parenthood. You can be a childless wife who does not work outside the home. That is a good way to live, and if you want it, maybe you can get it. Of course there are risks! But are these risks greater than the risks you take as a stay-at-home married mother? I don't think they are, but if they are, you're allowed to choose risks. 

Let's turn around and look at it from the perspective of the partner who is out there earning the income, an income that is plenty to live on. What would he (or she) most like from a partner? It might be: Someone who has plenty of time and is happy and not frazzled or distracted. Somebody who pursues interesting things during the day — friends, art, reading — and can make good conversation at the end of the day. Someone who makes home life pleasant and beautiful and comfortable for you. Great food. Great sex. Everything lovely and in order in your home. What is the problem? What is this woman (or man) doing wrong?

"I'll just say this once, Althouse. Abstaining from voting is neither courageous nor principled."

"You don't have to love a candidate or adhere a million percent to his political philosophy in order to vote for him. It is your duty, which you appear to wish to neglect, to decide which candidate is less bad than the other and cast your vote. Anything else is cowardly."

Writes Tyrone Slothrop in the comments to yesterday's post "Galumphing toward the apocalypse."

I saw that last night but did not respond. What's different about today? 

Maybe the fact that I'd just read this by Sarah Hoyt over at Instapundit: 

"Forget about his manners; stop stomping your foot about how crass he is; and for the love of heaven stop holding your nose up high and pretending you’re too good for this: a vote for Trump is a vote for the constitutional republic."

Both Hoyt and Slothrop are saying something about Us the People Who Abstain that might be true of some of us, but is not true of me. And this method of using insults to push people to vote is ugly. Are they doing it because they think it's effective? I don't yield to bullies. Are they doing it to display their own staunchness? Does it feel like humor from their side? It falls flat for me. 

Notice how Hoyt and Slothrop contradict each other. Slothrop appeals to my vanity as he insists that I be  a good person — not cowardly and neglectful of duty. Hoyt denounces vanity and insists that I not get involved in any sense of my personal goodness. Is this about me or isn't it? I can harmonize Slothrop and Hoyt by saying Hoyt is also appealing to my vanity because she portrays the abstainer as snooty — with her nose in the air, acting like she's "too good for this."

Slothrop is distinctly wrong when he says voting is a duty. No. It is not. Like speaking, like religion, like getting married, like having sexual relations, voting is a right, and a right entails the power to decline to exercise it. It is horrible to be forced to speak, forced to take on a religion, forced to get married, forced to have sex — these are loathsome impositions. 

Hoyt is wrong — in my case at least — to attribute a refusal to vote for Trump to taking offense at his personal style — his manners, his crassness. I happen to enjoy his personal style. You can see that if you've been reading my blog over the last 5 years. I love freedom of expression, and I feel that I get him. He's a New Yorker. He's a comedian. He's free and daring. I like all that.  I do have some concern about the wellbeing of my fellow citizens who hate him at some instinctual level, but I don't think they ought to be appeased for losing or threatening to lose their minds.

Trump has his style and I have mine. If it makes you want to stomp your foot, go ahead. You can keep "stomping your foot about" how cruelly neutral I am. You're free. You've got your right and I've got mine. 

It's morning in Obama's Second Term America.

How are you feeling? If you didn't get what you wanted for Electionmas, how are you dealing with your disappointment? Me, I'm an optimist, and I instinctively look for the positives.
Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward.

It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.
I'm reading Obama's victory speech this morning, and, though I voted against him, I feel uplifted. I get a chill. Just as the writer of those words intended. Rereading them, my critical mind clicks in. A former colony won the right to determine its own destiny...? A colony? There were 13 colonies! Won the right? I read the Declaration of Independence to say that we had the right already, and we were entitled to throw off the power that oppressed us. The next phrase "perfecting our union" evokes the first sentence of the Constitution —  "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union...."— and ties it to his campaign slogan "forward" and to "you," who voted for him, propelling him forward. I've got to wonder if the idea is to move forward past the lesser perfection of the Constitution, into a system in which individuals merge into one nation, one people, one family. But you can still pursue your own individual dreams. Go ahead! Pursue them! If you can

I know some of you are thinking: If we can in this supposedly more perfect but actually terrifying system of socialism The One will move us forward into. Here are 2 expressions of that fear that went up last night on Instapundit and that struck me as excessive and over-scared. At 10:41, Sarah Hoyt wrote:
I HAVE  QUESTIONS:  We’re not a country of land or blood.  We’re a country of beliefs.  If we’ve lost that, who are we?  Who am I?  And where do I go?
And at 11:00, Glenn Reynolds put up the text of an email from a reader named Zach White:
If Obama is reelected, good hardworking people should give up and go Galt. The tipping point is the 2012 election. Will the makers finally succumb to the takers? It’s pointless to think that if America reelects the most unqualified disastrous president in recent memory, we should stand our ground and continue fighting. it’s a signal that marxist free-lunchism and free birth control for everyone trump economic well-being and prosperity in the minds of the masses. Give up. Go Galt. Protect what few assets you have left, and start to hunker down for the coming storm. America is beyond screwed, well past the fiscal insanity of a number of EU countries. Think of it this way – we sit and watch California destroy itself and wonder who could be so foolish as to remain there and dedicate himself to indentured servitude in a state headed for disaster. Why don’t those fools just leave!! Same for Venezuela. as they descend into chaos and totalitarianism, do they reject Chavez more? The answer is plainly no. The spiral down the drain is irreversible and obvious. The more the government creates misery, the more they create programs to help people cope with the misery they’ve created, and we achieve a perpetual negative feedback loop. My advice is simple – if Obama is reelected, get a lawyer and a financial advisor, cash out as much of your assets as you can, and prepare yourself for a nosedive off a cliff. anything else would be imprudent and irresponsible to yourself and your dependents. Who wants to be a Dagny Taggart dedicating themselves to a life of indentured servitude trying to correct the wrongs of a heavy handed government? i will not be volunteering. I didn’t give up on America, America gave up on me.
I read that this morning and pictured the young man in his 30s or early 40s, a man with a wife and children, reading that anything else would be imprudent and irresponsible to yourself and your dependents and actually spending money on a lawyer and a financial advisor, extracting all his cash from his retirement accounts, quickly selling the home they live in, and heading for the hinterlands to hunker down for the nose dive. The wife is distraught, the kids freak out. Dad's gone nuts. No, I'm not nuts, children. I am Galt! And I'm doing the only thing that is not imprudent!

Talk about nosedives. Get a grip, those of you who didn't get what you wanted for Electionmas. It's Obama's Second Term America, and you'll need to make the best of it. I think you've got some better ideas than cashing out and hunkering down. I know I do.
The most obvious law school hypothetical when teaching the Good News Club case has come to life with the After School Satan Club.

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