The Gospel Truth

The Schoolyard and the Political Lexicon | May 30, 2014

When I attended my 50th high school reunion at Xavier H.S. in New York City, three years ago, I was reminded of the story of Jim Harmon’s bold request to me before the start of the second of my three varsity football games.

He had forgotten to bring with him the most important piece of equipment next to his helmet and that was the small plastic cup that would protect his manhood from any harm during the game with Cardinal Hayes High School, a known refuge for tough kids who would thing nothing of punching our starting center between his beefy legs during a play.

Reluctantly I agreed to do it. I was a team player and he was a starter. How could I refuse? I am not sure where we made the exchange which left me with little more than the anxiety of feeling vulnerable. I prayed that I would not get to play which was a pretty good bet since I did not play in our first game, nor would I ever play in a real game for Xavier.

Jim went on to distinguish himself, first at West Point and later on the bloody battlefields of Vietnam where he was awarded the Silver Star for valor, the nation’s second highest honor. You usually have to die to get the first one.

I doubt if he would remember my one little tiny act of valor, near the battlefields of Randall’s Island where he had played while I meekly watched the loss to Hayes.

Before my high school days I always felt uncomfortable when much more knowledgeable boys would make crude references to the anatomical difference of our female classmates in the schoolyard.

I was even more uncomfortable when they made similar references to our own bodies. Such crude terms for our genitals or other private areas roiled my sensibilities and usually left me in pure disgust.

A man’s body parts–the one’s I would have sacrificed for my football comrade—are part of the political lexicon.   While the number of crude and vulgar references for that part of a man’s body are legion, the one that  has made it to the ranks of America’s political debates is balls.

Technically this is a misnomer since their shape is closer to that of almonds.  But that has no ring to it.

The schoolyard has now moved to the political arenas of the boardroom and the electoral campaign.

Today a man’s balls have become a household metaphor for power, authority, courage and all the aggressive tendencies that men have been publicly displaying since the Greeks held the first Olympics where all the athletes were nude.

What inspired me to write this essay on balls was an article that an e-pal sent me a few weeks ago. She is a very astute and modest person.  If she felt no compunction in addressing this issue then it must have become perfectly mainstream.

Here’s the gist of the article’s content with the heading simply BALLS

It could easily be titled: Balls and the Games Men Play

1. The sport of choice for the urban poor is BASKETBALL.

2. The sport of choice for maintenance level employees is BOWLING.

3. The sport of choice for front-line workers is FOOTBALL.

4. The sport of choice for supervisors is BASEBALL.

5. The sport of choice for middle management is TENNIS And…

6. The sport of choice for corporate executives and officers is GOLF.


The higher you go in the corporate structure, the smaller your balls become. There must be a boat-load of people in Washington playing marbles.

The choice of bureacrats

And this has nothing to do with drugs.  Just ask Barry Bonds.

The e-pal asked me what kind of sport the USCCB played.

To the uninformed that is the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops.

My response tried hard to convey both my respect for her and my personal discomfort with this subject. I told her that they played chess, a sport without any balls because they were according to their celibate vows, spiritual eunuchs.

I raise the question as to why and how a man’s balls or lack of have filtered into the political equation?

I might offer a few ideas in an attempt to explain my understanding of this rhetorical invasion of the body parts by looking to  Sigmund Freud.

It was Dr. Freud who tried to explain women over a 100 years ago and their so-called Electra Complex, in wanting to kill their mothers and marry or at least have incestuous sex with their fathers.

He said that women suffered from Penis envy. I have run that term by several people and no one seemed to have ever heard of it.

For the record penis envy in Freudian psychoanalysis refers to the theorized reaction of a girl during her psychosexual development to the realization that she does not have a penis.  Freud considered this realization a defining moment in the development of gender and sexual identity for women

While Freud was wrong about girls he might have accidentally nailed it with boys and men. According to Freud the parallel reaction in boys to the realization that women do not have a penis is castration anxiety. 

So if Logic may have a moment it is not the penis that women envy but the battery pack below it that energizes him to climb mountains, sustain all kinds of physical deprivation, fight wars, race down fields and knock opponents senseless and within an inch of their lives.

Only half right

Properly he should have called it Ball Envy.

I believe this is the kind of envy that prompted radical feminism and abortion on demand.

Like slavery the abortion issue was primarily an economic issue.

I remember the 1964 movie with Polly Bergen and Fred McMurry, Kisses for My President. The United States elects its first female President in the form of Leslie McCloud. She and her first gentleman, Thad, move into the White House with their daughter Gloria and son Peter.

Complications with her rule lead her to become pregnant and resign her office so she can spend more time with the family.   This is how Hollywood wrote it but the understated truth is that being pregnant many times necessitates a woman leaving the workforce and staying home with her children.

This has become the worst of all possible worlds for feminists today.

The only way women can become equal with men is to neuter their sexual role in reproduction. As a result 50 million have died so that a woman can be economically competitive with men.

Hardly a war on women!

Phyllis Schlafly quotes a frustrated young man who left his wife because he did not want to be married to another man. Had his former wife grown a real pair?  

This is refers to the term used by California mayor, Cameron Hamilton who made his declaration to victims of bullying while on the dais of the Porterville City Council in May.

Or had she just internalized the aggressive spirit so that everything they did became a competition?

I have seen this in my own life. I have met many women who would enjoy being called ballsy.  They seem to think little about sacrificing their feminine spirit and integrity or what made them special if they could beat a man beating a man in the courtroom, boardroom or maybe some day on the football field.

What has this attitude done to traditional marriage?

Gay couples argue that it is heterosexuals who have destroyed the institution of marriage.  They do have a valid point.

Most men don’t want to marry a woman who acts like a man.   They have to fight it out everyday on the battlefields of work and life with men.  They don’t want to continue the battle at home as well.

I think this explains why  so many marriages fail and our society is in such shambles.

We have come a long way from the schoolyard that used to embarrass me.   I now see and hear references to my manhood each and every day.  Movies today are filled with men and women jesting about breaking the other’s balls.

Like it or not balls has transcended the schoolyard and now has become an established member of the political lexicon

All this makes me wonder what my life would have been if I had actually gotten into that game 54 years ago.   Hopefully Mayor Hamilton was right and one can grow a pair.


Schoolyard lexicon





  1. The only answer to your prose is Simply put, women have been sold a bill of goods that they are as good as men! There are physical reasons women are called the weaker sex as you stated in your prose. I’m not saying women should walk three paces behind all men, but if you want to make a women like a man inject her with testosterone. Same goes for turning a man in to a female, give him lots estrogen. If the goals of some in our society want men to be Metro sexual then start at birth and give them Estrogen and see how long the human race last.

    Comment by Mike Ellington — May 31, 2014 @ 3:35 pm

  2. Believe it or not, I liked your article. Look at body structure. Women have breasts and large hips. Breasts to nurse babies and wide hips to contain a growing unborn baby. Designed by God. Women are the heart of a family. Man is designed with a beard, large upper body for strength to work and a penis and balls to procreate. Having “balls” is just a term used to indicate that a person is “tough”. .

    Comment by Mary B. Lachney — May 31, 2014 @ 4:14 pm

  3. I hate to see example after example of the non-jew people’s of the world continuing to embrace the jew world-view and holding it up as if it were the end-all-and-be-all of outlooks.

    But since you did want to drag Ziggy into this, just remember that he is reputed to have, at one point, quipped that “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”. There are economic issues and they may have some sort of psychosexual cognate or overtone but I can assure you it is the economic issues growing out of doubling the number of prospective job applicants by having women assume what were traditional male roles in our society which are the essence of those issues, not the psychological ephemera.

    You’d do better to worry more about the fact that as we are all mystified and occupied with “talking dirty” to one another about every issue which probably has very little to do with the “dirty” issue being associated with it, increasingly the local beat-cop is becoming the Head of Household rather than whichever life-partner is the economic or psychological dominant member of said household.

    There was a time in this fair land when the weaker member(s) of the household looked to the strongest most-dominant as their ultimate protector and police tended to respect this Home-as-castle arrangement. Now we have to have special legislation passed by those trying to desperately attempt to turn us back from the sociological precipice upon which we are perched called “castle doctrine” because this home-as-castle ( whoever our “liege” may happen to be–that’s of secondary importance and probably always has been more variable and ambiguous than you might want to admit ).

    Now the wife who views herself as “ballsy” or functionally equal instead of just “equal under the law” will, if she cannot actually be the dominant figure and protector–and law-giver—-in the household thinks nothing of invoking the uber-head-of-household and calling in the nanny-state reinforcements.

    And at that point you can count on the fact that the Lord of the Castle is spending at least that night in jail as a “cooldown” and for that period of time the weaker less-dominant members get their first big dose of the Uniformed Nanny-thug as their true head-of-household and ultimate protector/best-good-buddy/”baby-daddy” or whatever other euphemism you want to use.

    And since you wanted to bring up abortion fine. Let’s “go there”. If the state imposes regulations on abortion then it can mean nothing less than that every individual owes his or her very existence to the state, no longer to the *voluntary* egalitarian act of self-sacrifice on his or her behalf of one of the first and most powerful role models in the young developing life. To institute laws against abortion is the very essence and tap-root of the formation of a nanny state.

    Further it is the most pernicious form of fascism. Not satisfied only to gather all power, including the means of production of mere worldly goods unto itself, in this form of fascism the government reserves unto itself the total power over the very means of production of human beings.

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    When an ovum is fertilized it begins to exude substances which inhibit it’s host-mother’s normal immunological response to foreign tissue. And I don’t think I’ll have any trouble getting you to accede to the point that the fetus is genetically distinct tissue from it’s mother, an individual.

    If it were not for this chemical/biological assault the fertilized egg/zygote/fetus/baby/saint/whatever mounts on it’s host mother, a ends-justifies-the-means assault, far more than the naturally-occurring oft-observed 50% of fertilized ovum would wind up as spontaneous abortions.

    For anyone who does not view this particular cigar as the cigar it is–the taking of a human life in justifiable self-defense—I want you to go out and perform an experiment.

    Get yourself a hypodermic syringe and fill it with red food coloring. Then I want you to approach an armed police officer. Tell the nice officer “Officer! A psychopath inserted a small explosive charge up my ‘Biden’-hole connected to a cell phone! He’s threatening to dial the cell phone and detonate the explosive charge lodged in my ‘Biden’-hole and kill me if I don’t walk up to you and inject these HIV-contaminated whole blood products into your body! I need to damage your immune system to save my life!”.

    Once the officer orders you to place the syringe on the ground, get on the ground face down and place your hands behind your back then I want you to persist in approaching him and keep reminding him that you are TOTALLY INNOCENT, you are a PERSON and that you need to damage his immune system in order to preserve the dignity of your human life.

    I promise I’ll send flowers to your funeral.

    Then you’ll see that even though people who are HIV positive nowadays may enjoy long and productive lives similar in duration and quality to non-HIV+ people ( similarly to how women in civilized societies with modern obstetrical services seldom die in childbirth as do those in unimproved backward areas of the world ) and even though you were a unique and distinct human being with undeniable status as a “person” and even though you were only asking for your Right to Life, you will have been justifiably killed and the officer who did it will not be fired, fined, docked or otherwise punished for cracking a cap in you.

    And neither should any woman who seeks protection from the self-centered any-means-necessary attack of a vicious human fetus, even if it *is* “innocent”.

    To take this decision out of the hands of those being expected to make the sacrifices involved in gestation and partuition is exactly similar to taking many decisions about how things will go in a household away from the head-of-household and also putting them in the tender hands of the same people who make law—with the same gentleness and eye to human sensibilities as those who make sausage.

    This is the ultimate expression of a fascist nanny state. No matter how many sympathetic *feelings* you may feel towards the defenseless fetus they do not trump the facts regarding the effects of having all citizens feel that government, not their families and themselves, are their ultimate protectors within the special confines of civil society. Of course only government can protect us from the vicious dangers posed to our rights and security by other governments.

    We already have a nation heavily affected by people viewing government as it’s protector against such self-destructive follies as gambling away the kids’ college funds, injecting unscrupulous-drug-dealer-adulterated narcotics into our veins, smoking cigarettes poisoned beyond the already-considerably-toxic nature of the tobacco by unscrupulous tobacco companies and ( now ) the perils of “trans fat”. To “cut to the chase” and make every human being feel that the state is literally their “daddy”, who if it didn’t impregnate their mother may as well have in taking the abortion-prohibitive-power into their won’t-stand-the-light-of-day hands is not going to make this current sociological situation any better, I can assure you of that. But if you don’t believe it just consult with anyone who lived under the tyranny of Nicholae Ceaucescu. In case you’ve forgotten that was a Romanian commie tyrant whose regime was rabidly anti-abortion and for exactly the same reasons as you ascribe to the motivations of the abortion-rights activists–economic expedience.

    I am privileged to view myself as owing my existence to the charitable act of another human being, a good role-model for me to which to “look up” all my life. This was an act of personal choice embarked upon for egalitarian and personal reasons both. Those are good voluntarily-entered-into behaviors to emulate in later life. Though abortion was probably ( technically) illegal at the time I was conceived in the state in which I was conceived and born, I can assure you my father made sufficient money that he could have, if they had decided to do so, had my mother flown to some location in which abortion would have been if not legal, easily available with little risk to his dearly-beloved. I know who my “daddy” was. It wasn’t Uncle Shem. As an outspoken advocate of both the 2nd Amendment and also the self-evident Right of Man to act to protect our own life from unjustified attack, I would prefer not to owe my very existence to a law which would disrespect an individual’s right to act to preserve themselves against an attack by another human being which, in it’s natural worst-case form, can be quite a dire and dangerous experience.

    It’s just wrong. Further, it’s easily demonstrable it’s injurious to the preservation of a society in which the “nuclear family” is the basic unit of power from which is derived all other power.

    The spectre of the nanny-state is upon us.

    Comment by James Stenzel — June 2, 2014 @ 9:52 am

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About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at







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