Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Clutching at our pearls of great price

This lengthy piece by Rod Dreher is making the rounds:
I spent a long time on the phone last night with a law professor at one of the country’s elite law schools. This professor is a practicing Christian, deeply closeted in the workplace; he is convinced that if his colleagues in academia knew of his faith, they would make it very hard for him. We made contact initially by e-mail — he is a reader of this blog — and last night, by phone. He agreed to speak with me about the Indiana situation on condition that I not identify him by name or by institution. I do know his identity, and when he tells me that he is “well-informed about the academy and the Supreme Court,” I assure you that from where he sits, and teaches, and from his CV, he is telling the truth.
I will call him Prof. Kingsfield, after the law professor in The Paper Chase. 
What prompted his reaching out to me? “I’m very worried,” he said, of events of the last week. “The constituency for religious liberty just isn’t there anymore.”
Like me, what unnerved Prof. Kingsfield is not so much the details of the Indiana law, but the way the overculture treated the law. “When a perfectly decent, pro-gay marriage religious liberty scholar like Doug Laycock, who is one of the best in the country — when what he says is distorted, you know how crazy it is.”
“Alasdair Macintyre is right,” he said. “It’s like a nuclear bomb went off, but in slow motion.” What he meant by this is that our culture has lost the ability to reason together, because too many of us want and believe radically incompatible things.
I'm reminded of Ulysses S. Grant. Shortly after assuming command of the Army of the Potomac, he was surrounded by jittery officers who worried endlessly about what Robert E. Lee was going to do. Eventually Grant snapped at them, "Stop worrying about what Bobby Lee is going to do and start making him worry about what you are going to do to him!"

To continue the martial metaphors, generals always start a new war by refighting the old war. Conservative opinion makers and politicians, and our own Catholic bishops, have resisted the lavender mafia through appeals to religious liberty. What they have failed to understand is that 1) the opposition doesn't care about it, and 2) they allow the opposition to reframe it in terms of, "You just want the freedom to discriminate!" Once our opponents throw out the dreaded "D" word, it plays out by the numbers: frantic back-pedaling and assurances that of course they offer a pinch of incense to the idols of diversity and multiculturalism, and it's you liberals who are the real intolerant ones (I can easily imagine the italic part coming out of Sean Hannity's mouth.)

If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my word, they will keep yours also. - John 15:18-20.
Focusing on the religious liberty angle to the exclusion of all else is a mistake. Instead, tell the world that sodomy is an abomination against the laws of God and nature and that you will not cooperate with evil. What is it our leaders are afraid of? That the world will hate us? It always has and always will. Are you afraid that people will ask you uncomfortable questions at your expensive fundraising cocktail parties? Are you afraid strangers on the internet are going to say mean things about you? Are you afraid of bloody persecution down the road? The Romans couldn't do it, the French Revolutionaries couldn't do it, the Nazis couldn't do it, and the communists couldn't do it. Frankly, the social justice crowd doesn't have the balls to go that route. Even if they some day decide that they have to break a few right-wing eggs to make their tolerant and diverse omelette, are you afraid of the coalition of the fringes?

Right now they target people through social media campaigns that ruin their livelihoods. That is something to worry about to be sure, particularly if you have young children to take care of. Remember this though: if there's a realistic chance that you will be fired for criticizing or failing to give approbation to the homo taliban, then you've already lost your job. If you feel strongly about it, it will come out eventually.

And what's the best response when they learn that you're a crimethinker? Laugh in their faces. Dare them to do something about it. Do not quit your job, no matter how unpleasant they make it for you. Make the bastards fire you and then tell people your story. What SJW's fail to realize is that religious liberty wasn't created to protect us, but to protect them. Christianity in the United States is riven with heresy, dissent, and immorality but enough people retain enough cultural memory of it that they'll eventually be pushed too far. Stop worrying about what the Godless heathens are going to do next and start making them worry about us.

4 comments:

  1. I agree with your general premise, but not with this part:

    What SJW's fail to realize is that religious liberty wasn't created to protect us, but to protect them. Christianity in the United States is riven with heresy, dissent, and immorality but enough people retain enough cultural memory of it that they'll eventually be pushed too far.

    I don't think that a general push-back by "Christians" is likely for a couple of reasons. First, the enemy is smart enough to not make it about Christianity in general but about "lone voices of hatred" and the like. They are doing their best to keep religion out of it, and I think most "Christians" will far for that. Second, The gap between orthodox Christianity and everything else is vaster than ever before. I can tell you that there is very little self-identification by "mainstream" Christians with those of an orthodox bent. If anything, they might be glad to see them punished, as they oft think that orthodox Christians give Christianity a bad name. Third, and not last, but I'll stop here, is that I think you overestimate the cultural memory in place. It really isn't there amongst the youngest generation. It just isn't.

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  2. This is a really excellent post. It was so apt, I have written my own expansion on the themes you raise here...

    http://citadelfoundations.blogspot.com/2015/04/reactionaries-say-what-conservatives.html

    What you propose is exactly the path Reaction should be taken, an unbridled embrace of the Traditional Ideal, not giving a damn what the enemy thinks.

    @donalgraeme - this would be the point of the Reactionary project, to ensure that the pushback does happen, when the opportunity for a Reactionary ascendancy arises. Nobody is writing for the soothing of their own soul. It's easy to lose all faith in young people, but remember, about 90% of the Reactosphere is written by people between the ages of 20 and 35. That's pretty shocking in itself.

    To change the course of history, you only need three things.

    1) A small group of intellectuals.
    2) A slightly larger group of actionable men.
    3) A crisis.

    The enemy is at his apex of power. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

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  3. @ Mark

    It's easy to lose all faith in young people, but remember, about 90% of the Reactosphere is written by people between the ages of 20 and 35. That's pretty shocking in itself.

    I will take your word for it, but if true that provide some hope. But on the other hand its also a very, very small group.

    Regarding your list, I think #1 is present. #3 is a given at some point (or more than one, more likely). The "problem" is #2. That is something worth expanding on in my own post later.

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  4. Mark is correct: the manosphere, the Traditionalists, the reactionaries, it's all overwhelmingly made up of young men. You'd be surprised at how sympathetic many people are to what we say here. Behind closed doors, after hours, more people than you think agree that diversity, multiculturalism, and all the progressive gods are false idols. The problem is they're reluctant to act as their livelihoods may depend on giving rip roaring approval to the lavender mafia. And some people are just plain reticent about joining with what they think is a losing side. But one of my points is that progressives and SJWs are, in most ways, mere paper tigers.

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