September 3, 2005

SHEEP ARE ONE THING... (via Thomas Corcoran):

Horse Sense: The debate in Washington state about bestiality is actually a fight over human exceptionalism. (Wesley J. Smith, 08/31/2005, Weekly Standard)

A WASHINGTON MAN died recently from internal injuries he sustained while having sex with a horse. After his body was dropped off at a hospital, police discovered that out-of-towners had rented a rural farm and then made local animals available for use in bestiality. Yes, video taping was involved.

This disgusting story should have had a quick ending with the arrests of the operators of the human/animal sex farm and their swift punishment. However, police discovered that there is no law against bestiality in Washington. So, even though a man is dead from a very intimate injury, even though police confiscated hundreds of graphic videotapes of people having sex with animals, apparently nothing is to be done about it.

Enter Republican state Senator Pam Roach, who announced plans to introduce legislation in the next legislative session to make it a felony in Washington to commit bestiality. "I found out that Washington is one of the few states in the country that doesn't outlaw this activity," she told me. "This has made Washington a Mecca for bestiality. People know it isn't against the law and so they come from other states to have sex with animals."

Roach told me she is receiving cooperation from the Democratic leaders of the legislature, but to her surprise, the proposed bill has stirred some controversy. The most prominent voice so far against outlawing bestiality is the Seattle Post Intelligencer's liberal columnist, Robert L. Jamieson Jr. In a July 23 column, Jamieson ridiculed Roach's proposal, writing that practices such as masturbation, oral sex, and gay sex were once considered wrong, too, and so why worry now about human/animal copulation if the animal isn't injured? "Human sex with animals remains a towering taboo, booty and the beast. But as Princeton University philosopher Peter Singer, the father of the animal rights movement, has put it, 'Sex with animals does not always involve cruelty.'" [...]

BOTH JAMIESON AND ROACH (and a very mild Post Intelligencer editorial supporting Roach) miss the true nub of what makes this repugnant issue so important. Bestiality is so very wrong not only because using animals sexually is abusive, but because such behavior is profoundly degrading and utterly subversive to the crucial understanding that human beings are unique, special, and of the highest moral worth in the known universe--a concept known as "human exceptionalism."

And this brings us back to Peter Singer, the world's most famous bioethicist and philosopher, who clearly does understand that the crucial moral issue of our time is whether human life has intrinsic value simply--merely--because it is human. Indeed, Singer is an avowed enemy of human exceptionalism.

It's easty enough to respect a political opponent with whom you have mere differences on policies or budgetary priorities, but the line that divides those who believe in human exceptionalism from those who don't separates genuine enemies.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 3, 2005 9:31 AM

Santorum was right: there's an oviphiliac in every closet (or barn), just waiting to come out.

Posted by: Lou Gots at September 3, 2005 10:27 AM

Words fail.

Posted by: erp [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 3, 2005 3:19 PM

Santorum has been right about almost everything. That's why he's going to lose big time in the coming elections.

Posted by: h-man at September 3, 2005 4:12 PM

I've got a beautiful Arabian mare, bay in colour (English spelling). Do I need to keep an eye on her. What kind of men are roaming this country?

Posted by: AllenS at September 3, 2005 5:16 PM

The horse in Enumclaw's Larry Flynt style petting zoo incident was a stallion, so your Arabian mare is safe.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 3, 2005 5:53 PM

Jamieson opposes outlawing besitality but is in favor of outlawing smoking in bars. So being sodomized by a horse is OK, but if it were discsovered that some of the hippophiles were enjoying post-coital cigarettes then it would be imperative for the state to step in.

Posted by: carter at September 3, 2005 8:12 PM

Ah come on guys! You know how it is, you're hanging out late in the barn, you and the horse have maybe had a bit too much to drink, she's on a painful rebound from some arabian stud she was seeing and she's going on and on about him and you wish she'd just shut up, but she's all like 'it's been just great to have you as a friend through this difficult period'..

Look, things can happen that both you and the horse regret the next day, and if there's a video camera involved well everyone's doing that. 'Let he who is without sin' and all that.

Posted by: Amos at September 3, 2005 10:49 PM


There's not much difference from a moral perspective between bestiality and smoking.

Posted by: oj at September 4, 2005 12:24 AM

I think anti-bestiality laws are a good idea, as long as there is an exception for sheep when the sheep has given her infomed consent.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 4, 2005 1:06 AM

Moo, moo, I love you, I know you're a cow but anything will doooooo..................

So, is Pete Singer married, involved? Gives an entire new meaning to swinging.

Posted by: Sandy P at September 4, 2005 1:07 AM

Besides being a terrible slander on so many of history's greatest men, falsely equating smoking with beastiality does not serve to make smoking seem worse, it only serves to make beastiality seem more acceptable.

Also, when a man has sex with an animal, he dehumanizes himself. When an animal smokes a cigarette like a man, well, it's hilarious.

Posted by: carter at September 4, 2005 3:38 AM

When a man who knows the health effects of smoking does so anyway he treats himself with disregard, just as when he consorts with an animal.

Posted by: oj at September 4, 2005 9:35 AM

But what does Patty Murray and Jim McWhatever have to say about this?

Posted by: Genecis at September 4, 2005 11:28 AM

Would someone please pour Orrin a stiff drink, light him a good cigar and explain to him the difference between unhealthy habits and moral perversions?

Posted by: Peter B at September 5, 2005 7:24 AM

It's immoral to treat oneself without the dignity God granted you.

Posted by: oj at September 5, 2005 7:46 AM

So, is the man who has a cigar once a month the moral equivalent of the guy who has it off with a horse once a month?

Posted by: Peter B at September 5, 2005 8:09 AM

No, there are no malign health effects from the former and do no disregard of dignity. The guy who has one cigar a month is the exception, and generally kidding himself:

No "safe" smoking
Even light smokers face nicotine addiction and the same health hazards found in heavier usage, experts say. (Valerie Ulene, September 5, 2005, LA Times)

About one-third of smokers do not use cigarettes on a regular, daily basis, and "light" smoking is becoming increasingly common, according to the 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Some heavy smokers have even made the transition to light smoking in the belief they can eliminate the health risks. Many light smokers use cigarettes only when around friends who smoke or when they're consuming alcohol. Some limit themselves to a few cigarettes a week; others smoke as little as one or two a month. In fact, some light smokers never actually buy their own cigarettes, but "bum" them off of others when they want to smoke.

"In their own minds, they're not really smokers," says Dr. Joseph DiFranza, professor of family medicine at University of Massachusetts Medical School. They say they could take cigarettes or leave them. Recent research tells a different story.

The notion that light smokers can become dependent on nicotine is a relatively new one. Until recently, it was assumed that only heavy or moderately heavy smokers could become nicotine dependent. Traditional definitions of dependency also require that smokers meet a number of clear-cut criteria. They must, for example, suffer from nicotine withdrawal or demand increasingly larger amounts of nicotine.

Now some experts argue that dependence begins when smoking can no longer be given up freely. They suggest that it should be viewed simply as a loss of autonomy or free will. "The real meaning of addiction is that you've lost some control," says DiFranza.
Squandering the gift of Free Will is sinful.

Posted by: oj at September 5, 2005 8:28 AM

He may well be, but the difference is that his sin, if any, is excess, and therefore dependent on frequency and context, whereas the bestiality, like murder, is a malum in se and always wrong irrespective of frequency. Smoking, drinking, gambling etc, may be sins, but isn't it a little presumtuous to assert that you know when they begin to be so and that they are the equivalent of perversions? Where does it start--two a day? Five? Ten? What do you imagine the Lord has to say about the skinny lifelong smoker who died at eighty-five, especially if he was a former drunk who kicked the booze but couldn't shake the caffeine and nicotine as he did his duty to his family? I mean, as opposed to the Mafia hitman or pederast who did the same?

Posted by: Peter B at September 5, 2005 9:16 AM


No. We all know when something is harmful physically and/or spiritually, both of which are immoral.

Posted by: oj at September 5, 2005 9:24 AM

The following is the response of an intelligent, atheist, PHD. I sent the article to:

"Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute and a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture."

The first is an ID think tank that claims that the Universe was created by a designer (singular, not plural - and sometimes capitalized) specifically for human beings; hence the "human exceptionalism." This is even more arrogant than Ptolemaic theory.

The second is a Christian organization whose mission is to "educate people to understand today's issues in bioethics from a traditional Judeo-Christian worldview."

This is obviously part of the ID Wedge Strategy, :

1. Bestiality is disgusting, so I don't engage in it.
2. Therefore, nobody else should engage in it. There ought to be a law.
3. The law needs a justification, which is human exceptionalism.
4. Humans are exceptional because the Universe was created specifically for us.
5. The creator and designer must be a god.
6. That god is Jehovah.
7. QED, and Hallelujah!


Posted by: Genecis at September 5, 2005 12:56 PM


Obviously for an atheist there's no moral issue in anything.

Posted by: oj at September 5, 2005 1:12 PM


Actually the man is a highly moral person, well read in religious history, but in denial of the obvious roots of his own morality. He also claims to be an Independent but has bought totally into the leftwing agenda, perhaps taking comfort in the need to belong among those who share his highly prejudicial, really intolerant, antireligious views. Not healthy.

Posted by: Genecis at September 5, 2005 1:41 PM