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Posted at 04:50 PM ET, 07/08/2011

Michele Bachmann’s slavery and pornography problem

Michele Bachmann’s recent decision to sign something called the ”Marriage Vow” has the Internet up in arms. An aide said she did not hesitate to sign. Maybe she didn’t hesitate because she didn’t read it. Signing this vow is tantamount to shoving someone else’s foot in your mouth.

By signing, she agreed to ban pornography, called homosexuality a choice, and implied that slavery — while not perfect — at least guaranteed that children grew up in two-parent households. Among other things.

And for what? This is a pledge for being endorsed not by the Family Leader but by the “FAMiLY LEADER.” This is a subtle and meaningful distinction!

If you want reassurance that the pledge you are signing to declare homosexuality a choice and postmarital sex The Best And Only Sex is legitimate, look no further than whether or not the name of the organization in question is erratically capitalized. That always bodes well. As a general rule, the more you enjoy capital letters, the more prone you are to feeling that Marriage Should Be Between ONE MAN AND ONE WoMAN.

The vow includes almost every faux pas conceivable to a social liberal, or even a social moderate, or anyone who thinks it sounds goofy to refer to children as the “innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy.”

It actually includes the sentence, “Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.”

Michele, you were doing so well! You established that you weren’t a flake! And now you go and sign a pledge that includes a statement that can be summarized “gee, slavery was terrible for slaves, but at least they grew up in two-parent households?” Right when everyone was about to stop suggesting you didn’t know history! There might have been two parents there, but that doesn’t really improve your family situation if the children are being treated like property. Do we really want to go down this path? I bet no one in slave plantations was addicted to online pornography either. And they had a lot of healthful outdoor exercise!

I don’t care what point you’re trying to make, if you see a sentence that starts “Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet” — run as far away from that sentence as you can, because it is going nowhere good.

We do have a marriage crisis. Being reared by two stable, loving, committed parents is an opportunity far too many children are denied, and this has a horrible impact, as the vow states. But there are ways of conveying this — and what a grave problem it is — without dragging in, say, slavery.

And leaving aside the fact that homosexuality is, apparently, a choice now, on par with polyandry and polygamy and bigamy, in spite of what Lady Gaga has to say about it, the most troublesome vow by far in this litany of ill-advised statements is Bachmann’s commitment to “humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy — our next generation of American children — from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence.” (Italics mine.)

“But what about the children?” So 2000. “But what about the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy?”

We can all agree that human trafficking and sexual slavery are wrong. Vowing to fight seduction into promiscuity puts something of a damper on the social lives of our Innocent Fruit of Conjugal Intimacy (hereafter abbreviated IFOCI), given that all popular music, films, art, and even interacting with the boy in chemistry class could be deemed to fall into that category. But I’m sure the IFOCI will cope. We will just alter their curfew.

No, the real problem is when we reach the ban on pornography.

Do you really want to stand between America and pornography, Michele Bachmann? Compared to this, Michelle Obama’s effort to stand between us and cake will be nothing. It is possible to stop eating cake.

Every second, more than 20,000 people are watching pornography. AdultFriendFinder.com has millions more visitors each day than the New York Times. And sex, as I’ve written before, is the most-searched word on the Internet. It might be why you clicked on this column, and now you are disappointed that it does not include more nudity.

Bachmann may get away with signing off on an inept reference to slavery as a positive family institution. But ban pornography? Good luck with that!

Nearly everyone agrees that marriage is a good thing. Just look at its popularity among the gay population in New York! That’s always a sign that something is coming back into vogue. But this vow bites off far more than any sane vow could be expected to chew, and does so in troublesome and slightly florid prose. Smaller government! No Sharia Law! End all pornography! Destroy vice wherever in the world it lurks!

Vow it all! But a lot of good vowing does, as Newt Gingrich or Bill Clinton could tell you.

If Bachmann wants to be taken seriously, this is the sort of marriage vow from which she might want to seek what it denounces as a “quickie divorce.”

By  |  04:50 PM ET, 07/08/2011

Tags:  Marriage Vow, Michele Bachmann, slavery, pornography

 
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