Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

‘Captain Coward’: Behold our brave new sexually emancipated world

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
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SANTA MARINELLA, Italy, January 23, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – What kind of man sneaks away under cover of darkness from his own sinking ship, leaving nearly 4200 passengers and crew to fend for themselves? What kind of men knock aside old ladies, little girls and young mothers to get to lifeboats first? Why, modern men, sexually emancipated men who have been raised on the tenets of feminism and our “contemporary” mores.

What can an expression like “women and children first” mean to modern men who have been taught all their lives that women are nothing more precious than sexual playthings, and children nothing more than a disposable burden?

The capsizing of the Costa Concordia, one of the biggest cruise ships plying the Mediterranean, filtered into the English language press a week later and everyone has now heard the recorded phone conversation in which coast guard captain, Gregorio De Falco, furiously orders the ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, to return to his vessel. Schettino replied by repeatedly lying, while trying to flee in a lifeboat.

Passengers were left to rescue themselves aided by hired entertainers and a few crew members. One woman was quoted saying, “There were big men, crew members, pushing their way past us to get into the lifeboats.” Another passenger, a grandmother, said, “I was standing by the lifeboats and men, big men, were banging into me and knocking the girls.”

In the first days after the Costa Concordia tipped over in shallow water 300 yards from shore, all of Italy was gripped by shame at reports of Schettino’s behavior. He was arrested after he got to shore and charged with involuntary manslaughter and abandoning his ship. He was caught trying to get into a taxi, having reportedly asked the driver to “get me as far away from here as possible.”

Nicknamed “Captain Coward,” Schettino has become the focus of national fury for Italians fed up with the all too frequently accurate stereotype of Italian men as vain, feckless, irresponsible, selfish and untrustworthy permanent adolescents.

But the problem is not limited to Italy. It seemed apropos that the same week bad-boy American Catholic apologist Michael Voris was doing a series of videos on the emasculation of men and the effects of feminism on the Catholic Church and the world in general, a topic few in the Church dare to broach.

In one video, Voris mentioned the type of men who are approved by the feminist-controlled media: weak, stupid and ineffectual, who need to be ruled over by strong, hip, intelligent women. In the last 50 years, the Catholic institution has followed the world in adopting the feminist model. That ideal, Voris says, has driven strong men out of the Church and out of family life, pushing them to find a channel for their masculinity in unhealthy avenues like criminality and the objectification of women.

After watching one video, I sent Michael an email asking that he remember to talk about the flip side of feminism’s misandry, its vilification and demonisation of masculine strength. According to the tenets of the ideology, strong men are violent, evil and terrifying. Instead of heroes protecting women and children, feminism depicts strong men as brutal monsters, wife-beaters and child abusers.

The Costa Concordia disaster brought into the limelight the effects on men of feminism, and her strumpet daughter, the Sexual Revolution. Feminism has killed the cultural priority of men protecting and being responsible for women. In one video, Michael Voris spoke of the “hero’s journey,” the traditional western cultural archetype of the boy who leaves home, faces and overcomes adversity and becomes a man capable of protecting a family. But our feminist-inspired anti-culture, coupled with a soul-deadening consumerist materialism, has tossed these concepts out.

By telling women they don’t need men, by demonizing the value of masculinity, feminism has at the same time told men that they never need to grow up. If feminism has told women they can sleep around “like men,” it must be remembered that this implies that men may do the same right back. Instead of insisting that men grow up, marry a woman and protect and care for their children, it has offered men women as toys while offering women the Pill, abortion and family court as the back-up plan. Feminism defines “equality” as men and women competing equally in the labour market and using each other equally as objects.

A while ago, I read an interesting, though deeply frightening, website that claimed to be in support of men against the feminist world. In one article, the clearly angry men pointed out an unjust double standard in family law. The legal system, now held firmly in the feminist claw, holds them financially responsible for the children they father when they split from the mother. The article pointed out, however, logically enough, that at the same time feminism demands that contraception and abortion be freely available. Why then, if women are now allowed to use men as sexual objects, should a man ever be held responsible for fatherhood? Why should men be routinely financially ruined by family courts when abortion is legal, a lot cheaper and easy to get?

Why indeed? Feminism, because it is essentially dishonest, childish and self-serving, will never own up to the logical conclusions of its premises.

Recently, the popes have written against the kind of feminism that promotes abortion and contraception while hammering a wedge of hostility between men and women. Universal promiscuity, contraception, legal abortion, easy divorce, together with a youth-worshipping, madly materialist culture, they have said, has created an atomized society of isolated consumers for whom all relationships routinely end in abandonment. A vast cultural catastrophe that leaves children without fathers, tells women they don’t need men, and men they can remain happy, care-free adolescents their whole lives.

This message seems to have come through especially loud and clear in Italy where it is only too easy to find men who are the embodiment of the self-indulgent stereotype. The effeminate man-child is a plague in Italy; vain, self-important, shallow and self-seeking mamma’s boys who live in their parents’ house into their thirties and forties.  The once-family oriented Italians are increasingly either divorcing or refusing to marry in the first place.

Italian journalist Rosaria Sgueglia writes in the Huffington Post that the former master of the Costa Concordia is one of those Italian men who match the stereotype point for point. Italians are “furious,” she wrote, at “people like Mr. Schettino [who] do nothing but compromise the already damaged image the rest of the world has of Italian people.”

“The average Italian man is said to be narcissist, egomaniac, coward, selfish, unable to follow basic procedures and unable to follow the rules. True or not, it’s a stereotype, a stereotype which is strongly proved by the latest, tragic events in Italy.”

While Italians vent their fury on Francesco Schettino for being everything they hate about themselves, it must be remembered that many countries were represented in the crew roster of the Costa Concordia. The disaster has the fingerprints of our poisoned and dying western culture all over it.

Reading the reports of the Costa Concordia, I could not help but recognize the results of our society’s new priorities. Many observers made the comparison with the Titanic disaster. One hundred years ago, 1st class men lifted steerage class women and children into lifeboats in the full knowledge that they were giving their lives. The captain of that ship was last reported seen holding a child in his arms seeking a way to save her. A hundred years later, we have a coast guard officer shouting at “Captain Coward” to “Vada a bordo, cazzo!” … Get on board, damn it!

Behold our brave new sexually emancipated world.

Voris episodes referred to in this story:
Why Men Don’t Go To Mass
Masculinity and Catholicism
Catholic Men and the Church
‘Catholic’ Women’s Lib
Young Catholic Men

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

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By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

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Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
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Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

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By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

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Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

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Red Alert!

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By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

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