Incest, Consent, and the Next Step in the Sexual Revolution

After putting forward a thoroughly tongue-in-cheek argument as to why the courts should invalidate a law prohibiting incestuous marriages, Carl Trueman points to the flaws in a system of sexual morality based solely on consent:

[T]he notion of consent is arguably meaningless by itself as the arbiter of legitimate sexual and marital relationships because of the potential for manipulation, coercion, and abuse in a situation where there are deep-rooted and unequal social power relations (e.g., the president of the United States “not” having sexual relations with a besotted young intern or . . . a parent and an adult child contracting a marriage). . . .

Incestuous marriages could well be where the use of consent as virtually the sole basis for sexual morality will founder. These marriages will be coming to the courts over the next few years. They might even make it to the Supreme Court. And they will—or at least should—thereby bring to the fore the philosophical and legal complexities of the issue of consent. As it stands, there is no compelling reason within the philosophical framework of our current sexual morality and marriage laws why . . . incestuous unions should not be contracted. . . .

Do not misunderstand me. I abominate the very idea of incest and contemplate with horror a society that might sanction it by granting such unions the status of marriage. But I did not make our current laws or the logic of their underlying principles. I’m simply thinking them through consistently as new challenges emerge and wanting to see them applied fairly to all.

Read more at First Things

More about: Marriage, Morality, Politics & Current Affairs, Sex, Sexual revolution

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy