Response to Rush Limbaugh
Twelve Trusts adequately summarize the code of ethics that Chivalry-Now
represents. They are based on a tradition that actually dates back
long before the arrival of medieval chivalry. They express the respect
for truth, honor and virtue that gave birth to Western culture as
something unique and beneficial. The purpose of Chivalry-Now
is to reinstate those values in order to counter the proliferation
of many of our social ills.
Recently, a popular radio commentator, Rush
Limbaugh, made disparaging remarks about a young college student
named Sandra Fluke who had the courage to testify to a congressional
hearing in Washington. She is a third year student at Georgia
Law, a Jesuit college. Her commentary centered on the health
benefits of contraceptive medicine that have nothing to do with
avoidance of pregnancy. She spoke about endometriosis, polycystic
ovarian syndrome, and problems associated with early menopause,
which include risk of cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis. She
did not mention sexual promiscuity at all. Her testimony is available
online (see testimony).
Mr. Limbaugh did not use her actual testimony
to condemn her. In truth, there was nothing to condemn. She was
polite, well-spoken, and exercising her right to free speech to
Congress. Instead, he used the fact that she made any testimony
at all an excuse to publically attack her as a woman, with name-calling
and sexual innuendo.
The 6th Trust tells us to honor and respect
all women, and refute sexism in all its guises. The 5th and
7th Trusts, combined, tell us to defend those who cannot defend
themselves for the sake of justice.
What we are witnessing in Mr. Limbaugh's attack
is a blatant example of what we are up against. His words represent
the very opposite of the 12 Trusts.
His words do
nothing to promote the greater good. They promote the visceral anger
of ignorance. They are not true in their portrayal of Ms. Fluke.
The only honesty I can detect is the expression of uncalled-for
maliciousness. His victim is an innocent person whom we are called
upon to defend. He certainly shows no respect for women, and in
this regard stands as an advocate for sexism of the worst kind.
In this, he completely disregards justice, which we are asked to
uphold. He shows absolutely no regard for courtesy and honor. Indeed,
he makes himself an enemy of both.
Mr. Limbaugh enjoys a lucrative living using
the media to promote his anti-social discord, which reflect the
very opposite of Western culture's highest ideals. He draws a huge
audience, and for that reason alone he is rewarded for his crudeness.
In many ways, he shapes our national discussion, especially the
discord between political parties. Many of our leaders actually
His success as a celebrity has encouraged others
who also care little for civility to emulate him. Radio shows of
angry and insulting voices frequent the airwaves with distorted
lies and unwarranted calumny against good people. These so-called entertainers have made an industry out of degrading our Western
values, and igniting irrational fears and anger in those who listen
to them. They care little for the damage that they cause. They do
not place character above riches, or concern for others above personal
wealth, as the 2nd Trust appropriately recommends. They are
in it for money and for acclaim. They may believe what they are
saying, but that is little to commend them. Quite simply, and without
the least bit of shame, what they propagate is evil.
Thanks to Rush Limbaugh's particular vision of
the world, we see this phenomenon predominantly exploitive of conservative
ideology. In recent years, it is quite obvious that conservatism
has suffered because of itgiven to conspiracy theories and
all kinds of baseless paranoia.
To their own peril, liberals are following
suit with their own champions, twisting the world according to their
ideals. The battle lines are drawn and trenches filled with combatants.
Legitimate commentators, journalists and television
news must compete with the visceral emotionalism of these mercenary
rabble-rousers. Reason is often sacrificed as a result.
Those of us who are not enamored by partisan
politics, and have put aside our biases in order to find truer ideals,
must recognize what is going on around us. Women are being systematically
oppressed, and we must stand together firmly against it. Attacks
against equality are attacks against humanity itself, against personhood
and family and democracy. In the supposed name of free speech, we
are witnessing a war against freedom. This is what happens when
we forget that freedom has purpose, and must be judged by that purpose,
which is to facilitate the development of each person's highest
potentials. The free speech of Rush Limbaugh, which aims to pull
us all down, pales in comparison.
We cannot deny him free speech, which is his
constitutional right, but we can refuse to listen to it. We can
exercise our own freedom of speech to vigorously uphold our ideals
and express them clearly in defense of truth. We can withdraw our
financial support of businesses that promote his kind of gutter
calls upon us to raise humanity to a higher standard. We start by
freeing ourselves of the shackles of extreme partisan bickering
and rampant incivility. We are called to think for ourselves, and
not according to the terms that exploit the outdated ideologies
that political commercialism propagate.