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Legalizing adult incest -- here we go again

I just returned from the Faroe Islands (not far from Iceland) where I was scheduled to debate two parliamentary members about same-sex “marriage.” When they dropped out just a few days before the debate, the organizers changed the event to a lecture on the subject, followed by an interview with a local journalist and then audience Q&A.

During my lecture, I asked the question, “If ‘love is love,’ how can it be limited to two people? What if three or more people love each other? And why must it exclude adult siblings who love each other romantically? After all, love is love, right?”

Lest this seem ridiculous and farfetched, I cited a website that advocates for this very thing based on the concept of “marriage equality for all,” and I noted that the Irish Times recently reported that Independent Sen. David Norris, himself gay, “has said that gay cousins should be allowed to marry each other following the same-sex marriage referendum.”

Of course, it would have seemed even more farfetched 20 years ago to suggest that the Faroe Islands would one day be debating whether a man could “marry” a man, but that didn’t stop some critics there from mocking my reference to adult incest, as if to say, “There you go again with your slippery slope argument!”

The reality is that we have been careening down that slippery slope for years now.

As I noted in an October 2014 article, “A government-backed committee in Germany has recommended that the government abolish laws criminalizing incest between siblings, arguing that such bans impinge upon citizens’ rights to sexual self-determination. According to findings from the German Ethics Council, that right is a ‘fundamental’ one, and carries more weight than society’s ‘abstract protection of the family.'”

Yes, you read that correctly. This recommendation came the “German Ethics Council.”

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A few months earlier, in July 2014, I documented the increased prevalence of consensual adult incest in TV and the movies, from “Game of Thrones” to MTV.

Not surprisingly, when I participated in a written debate in late 2014 on the now defunct DebateOut.com website, I was the only one of five participants who argued that consensual adult incest should remain illegal. (Two of the participants didn’t like the idea of consensual adult incest but felt the government had no right to interfere; the other two operated on the “love is love” principle.)

Well, adult incest is back in the news this month, and on a couple of fronts at that.

Reporting on a new BBC edition of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace,” a headline in the U.K.’s Telegraph said, “Who cares if Andrew Davies inserted incest into ‘War and Peace’ – it will get people reading Tolstoy.”

This was followed by, “Andrew Davies might have taken historical liberties with his new BBC1 drama, but if it gets a few viewers to return to the book then we should approve.”

Yes, who cares about some consensual adult incest, even as a main part of the story line. If it gets people to read Tolstoy “then we should approve,” even though the incestuous relationship is “barely hinted at” in Tolstoy’s book.

Does anyone really think that some viewers repeatedly exposed to scenes featuring consensual adult incest, some of them portrayed quite positively in various movies and TV shows, will not have their natural repulsion to this diminished?

Of course, in the vast majority of cases, this is a matter of heterosexual incest, not homosexual incest, and I am not blaming this slide into sexual anarchy on homosexuality.

I am simply stating that our embrace of homosexuality is part of our larger descent into sexual anarchy, a position I documented carefully in “Outlasting the Gay Revolution.”

This subject was also in the news in the Scottish Parliament, where headlines announced, “MSPs [Parliamentary members] to debate bid to legalise incest between consenting adults.”

In “a petition to the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee, Richard Morris argued the current law needs reform,” claiming that, the current legislation “does unnecessarily and unfairly punish consensual adult incest, breaching the rights to sexual autonomy for all consenting adults that is accepted in other more developed countries.”

It turns out that the Parliament immediately rejected the petition, which, it was reported, “A group of MSPs had no choice but to consider.” This is because, “As law is devolved to Scotland, the Parliament’s petition committee had to consider it even though the head of the committee said he personally found the content of it ‘abhorrent.'”

But how long will this be considered abhorrent, and on what moral grounds?

It wasn’t that long ago that the idea of two men or two women having sex was viewed with almost equal abhorrence by large swaths of the population.

Now we are told that this is something to be celebrated. So, why not the love of two adult brothers or sisters? (To repeat: Love is love!)

When I participated in the online debate for DebateOut.com, I repeated one of my favorite lines from G.K. Chesterton, namely, “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.” (Strikingly, during the online debate, I was the only one to raise the issue of societal fences and their purposes.)

We had best leave these fences in place for the good of society.

In fact, it would be best to put some of the old fences back up, the sooner the better.

We can see where things are heading.

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