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In Response to Rush Limbaugh

The 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.

Consider:

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 fear him.
    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 it—given to conspiracy theories and all kinds of baseless paranoia.
    At their own peril, liberals are trying 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 exploitation.
   
Chivalry-Now 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.

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