Saturday, December 11, 2010

Just Another Victim of Laws That Reflect Religious Right Domination of America

Columbia University political science professor charged with incest.  From the December 9, 2010 New York Daily News:

A popular Columbia professor was charged Thursday with incest - accused of a sick sex relationship with a female relative, prosecutors said.

Political science Prof. David Epstein, 46, bedded the young woman over a three-year period ending last year, according to court papers.

He was arraigned before a Manhattan judge on a single felony incest count.

Read more:
The Other McCain points out that Epstein is a big Palin-hater.  (What a surprise.)   But the good news is that the relationship with his daughter was consensual.  Can we expect the ACLU to file suit to defend Professor Epstein from these narrow-minded laws that must clearly violate separation of church and state, since they reflect the narrow-minded Christianist perspective?  Why is it not okay to criminalize homosexuality, but okay to criminalize a consensual sexual relation between two consenting adults?

I'm dead serious: I want to see those who argue that laws against homosexuality are unconstitutional explain why this law against incest is okay.  The risk of birth defects isn't an argument; you could criminalize having children with your daughter, and certainly, liberals would say that abortion is a perfectly fine solution.  (It is for considerably lesser reasons and risks.)

Even better, Professor Epstein's column last year attacking Palin at The Huffington Post complaining about Republicans "taking hypocrisy in their personal lives to new levels of self-indulgent weirdness...."  (Thanks to Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters for finding this gem.)

UPDATE: Amazingly enough (or maybe not so amazing), the comments section of the New York Daily News article has lots of people saying, "What's the big deal?  Why should this be a crime?" Decline and fall, part 10220303032.

UPDATE 2: I had a good laugh at The Other McCain's weather forecast, after recounting another incest news account that was even worse:
Tomorrow’s forecast: Widely scattered fire with a 60% chance of afternoon and evening brimstone.
 God's mercy is obviously extreme--but perhaps not infinite.  This country is headed into the sewer.


  1. I think that the only meaningful reason that one is legal and the other is not is that we've not see folks pushing for incest rights.

    The problem is not as much what the Homosexual movement is pushing for for but the argument it is making. The argument for gay marriage are based on the idea of abandonning society's ability to make moral judgments. The problem is that things like Polygamy, Incest, and Prostitution are all illegal because of society making a moral judgment. To accept the arguments made, you have to abandon the very principles that make us a civilization.

  2. "I want to see those who argue that laws against homosexuality are unconstitutional explain why this law against incest is okay."

    I've looked at quite a few of the comment threads on this issue and it doesn't seem to be the only the liberals who genuinely seem to believe that NO parent child relationship of whatever age can truly be consensual.

    Leaving aside the homosexual issue, can the "conservatives" do any better than "incest is wrong because God in the Bible tells me so just like with homosexuality?" Is that what you really believe? Do you believe a parent-child sexual relationship even when the child is over 21 is truly "consensual"?

  3. 1. I have come to respect the reason for many of the Bible's limitations--even the ones that at first don't make much sense. To a large extent, homosexuality seems to be a canary in the mine--a warning that people are elevating sex to an idol. I know that many homosexuals (even most) aren't like the crowd that shows up for the Up Your Alley festival in San Francisco--but there are enough that are to make me skeptical of any system of thought that can justify that. It's no different from the problem of how self-interest can morph into hopeless, destructive greed. Both are early warning signs of something terribly wrong.

    2. The problem is that by any definition of "consensual," a parent-child sexual relationship where the child is an adult meets the definition! Yes, liberals even freak out about this--but why? Because traditional, Biblical standards still influence liberals enough to find it disturbing. But why? If it is all delusion, why should you object to this?

  4. You think that was bad? See this story at the Village Voice.

    Hedge fund billionaire Bruce McMahan begat a daughter in a long-forgotten hookup, who was given up for adoption. When the girl grew up, she contacted her birth mother, who named the father. McMahan was delighted, paid the girl's college expenses and such. Several years later he seduced her. He even went through a pseudo-marriage ceremony in Westminster Abbey. Really. (He was, during this period, married to another woman and had two other children.)

    The Voice should be honored for keeping this story out there; McMahan bullied Wikpedia into deleting his article, and sued many other outlets.