To Whom Are Christians Accountable for Our Votes?

To whom are we Christians, as American citizens, accountable regarding our votes this and every November?

I raise the question because I’ve seen all sorts of contentions on the subject as November approaches. The legacy media is still desperately scrambling to hang onto their past influence–demanding that no one be elected whom they do not approve. The usual would-be prophets are still demanding our attendance on the “right” side of history. And I’ve see some pretty bonkers stuff, like claiming that whites need to justify themselves if they vote differently than blacks.

But who exactly do we need to justify ourselves to when we cast our votes? In other words, under whose authority do American citizens vote?  There are answers, but they aren’t the ones we usually hear about.

God

This one is, of course, a no-brainer, but the things we take for granted are the things we’re most likely to forget, so here it is. We have been given a certain measure of authority when we vote. But all authority comes from God, and all who wield it are accountable for whether they fulfill the responsibilities that come with it.

To be sure, God does not give us a particular party or candidate to vote for each election. Rather, he calls us to excercise good judgment in a fallen world in which there are no perfect governments. Our goals is to do our best to establish a just peace in our nation. Like any parent, God knows that honest mistakes in such an endeavor are part of the cost of granting agency.

All the same, we are still accountable to him for that judgment, for he has given us wisdom and reason. If you vote in facilitation of the murder of millions of unborn children, genital mutilation for gender-confused children, riots, anti-Christian prejudice, theft, and such… well, then you need to account for why it was worth it to your Heavenly Father. Likewise, if you vote for someone who is kind of mean, relatively boorish, and might possibly be “racist” in the way that national borders are “racist”, then you will need to account for that as well. One of those is going to be harder than the other.

And don’t think any of the usual worldly slogans or virtue-signaling will avail you before the Almighty. We have been called to make sound judgments, not to parrot what the world tells us.

Our Household Authority

Beneath God Himself, He has established another authority to which Christians may need to answer for their votes: the father of their household. This question came up a few times after my article on submission. Does submission mean that wives should vote the same way as their husbands? In general, the answer to that should be yes.

The entire reason we have government in the first place is to create an environment in which households thrive. We need someplace with relative peace, trust, and responsibility in which we aren’t constantly being robbed, murdered, raped, and swindled by one-another. The authority our governmental institutions wield is effectively household authority that has been delegated en masse.

Now, in America, voting is the method by which that delegation is carried out. So in the end, voting is an exercise of household authority and therefore is a household decision rather than a personal one. Accordingly, wives should vote alongside their husbands rather than in contradiction to them–at least as long as it’s in line with God’s explicit commands, for we all must obey God rather than man. But politics is usually not a matter of gross ungodliness, but rather a matter of judgement calls (though there can be issues of open and gross evil like abortion that are different.)

And no, this isn’t supposed to look like the husband issuing a proclamation from on high which his wife silently and thoughtlessly awaits. As with all submission, the ideal is for all parties to find a way for everyone to actually be on the same page and genuinely agree on how to vote. That is what we strive for–not by endless political arguments in which we attempt to badger one-another, but by seeking to understand one-another’s concerns for the family and working together to find the best way to meet all of those concerns.

Even so, ideals are what they are, and this may or may not be possible every election. When it is not, then we must submit to the one whom God has placed in authority over the household–and he will have to account to God for the way that he directs it.

And by the way, this applies to grown children who still live with their parents as well. If your parents are still responsible for feeding, clothing, and sheltering you, then you are still under their authority in that household even if you are of voting age. And really, it just makes sense: If your lifestyle depends on their wisdom, skill, and labor in fruitfully directing their household, how can you blithely undermine them as they carry out that responsibility? When you establish a household of your own, then you too will need to exercise the responsibility and authority that they have. Until you accept responsibility, you cannot claim authority.

Previous Generations of Americans

We usually get this backwards today. When people insist that we put ourselves on the right side of history, they’re speaking of an unknown future–a speculative fiction born from their own imaginations. There’s little point in accepting such a dubious authority.

Instead, when we consider history’s judgments, we should be looking to the past. After all, our vocations as citizens did not spring up out of the ground when we were born. We did not create them ex nihilo. They were passed down to us by those who came before. There is no authority we possess which was not granted to us by our forefathers.

Accordingly, we have a responsibility to care for what they’ve left to us. While we need not do everything exactly the way they would have, we do need to respect their values and purposes so that we are guided by them. So are you voting in a way that will “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”? Do you even define those words in much the same way as our founding fathers did? If we want to kludge some kind of re-purposing of the government they left to us, then we must beware.

Nations and their governments are organic rather than mechanical, so they will naturally change over time. This is all well and good. Nevertheless, pruning branches to make room for new growth or even removing diseased limbs is one thing.  Uprooting the entire tree to cast it into the fire is another. There may be times when such drastic steps become necessary for there are times when nations and government die. But when they die at our own hands, we are accountable for that choice.

If we deny and reject our past, then we also deny and reject the very authority we inherited. Take that away by trying to institute Year Zero and we cease to be citizens voting–instead becoming nothing more than beggars squabbling with each other over crusts of bread.

So Christians, as you prepare to go to the polls in two weeks, consider yourselves as ones under authority. Use your God-given wisdom to care for this nation and her people. Search for the best way to establish a just peace in America. Respect and care for our heritage, Submit yourselves to God and anyone He may have placed in authority over you.

But don’t give into the those who try to shame you into submitting to false authorities by throwing about meaningless labels and worldly indictments. There is no perfection in politics, but sometimes there is true evil. Don’t accept false equivalencies between the two. Remember the One you serve; and forsake the prince of this world from whom you have been freed. Pray to God that you would govern your families and this nation well.

Posted in Christian Nationalism, Ethics, Family, Politics | Leave a comment

St. George and the Art of Dragonslaying

About a year ago, I wrote about a very bad children’s book, The Sunflower Sword. It was a remarkably anti-masculine story, written to take little boys’ natural desire to pick up pretend swords & battle pretend dragons and neuter it before it can cause women problems.

Now, one of my sons is at that very age where every pillow hides a monster in need of a sound thrashing. And so it was time to find books that embraced the archetypal myths rather than subverting them. Thankfully, someone had recommended a beautifully illustrated retelling of Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges. And I have to say that it is marvelous in the way it takes that rough masculine desire to slay dragons and gives it a context which helps to shape that desire into virtue.

There are many points worthy of note, but it is the fight against the dragon which comprises most of the book and which my son (and I) naturally found the most compelling. As it details that battle, it also teaches lessons that go beyond myth and instead tell us about the struggles of our own lives.

It is clear from both the text and the illustrations alike that the dragon isn’t simply a dangerous foe, but an impossible one. It dwarfs St. George to the point that it’s more a part of the landscape than an opponent with which the knight shares the field of battle. What’s more, St. George’s weapons are simply not up to the task. Spear and sword alike simply glance off of the beast’s scales rather than striking true. How does a man fight such a foe?

He does not enter the battle because of some secret inner power waiting to be unlocked which will turn the tide. He does not enter the battle because he has a clever and intricate plan that is sure to lead to victory. He does not bear a magical dragon-slaying sword. Indeed, he brings absolutely nothing to the table that can overcome the Dragon’s power. But he does battle all the same. Why? Because fighting that dragon is his vocation. He was called to this task by Providence, and so he bravely engages in it with all of his might–even though such might is clearly not enough.

And that is ultimately why St. George prevails–because he fights and continues to fight with everything he has while Providence supplies what he cannot.

In the beginning, his blows neither injure the dragon nor put it in any peril. Nevertheless, George drives the dragon to both rage and fear simply because he strikes it harder than it expected and it doesn’t want to be struck again. For all its power and ferocity, the dragon doesn’t like to feel pain. It is, in effect, offended simply by the act of a mere human contending against it.

Now, that doesn’t stop George from being on the worst end of their clashes. On the first encounter, the only real injury the knight inflicts is to damage the dragon’s wing just enough that it cannot fly away. But George loses both spear and horse alike before falling to the ground scorched and near death.

But each time he falls down unable to fight any longer, it is Providence which picks up St. George’s slack–not by felling the dragon for him or passing the task to another, but by enabling him to fight and enter the impossible struggle once again. At one point, a spring of water bubbles up from the ground where he falls to cool his burning armor and flesh. Later, an apple tree drops healing dew which repels the dragon and helps George recover. Along the way, Una, the princess who has led him to this battle, prays on his behalf and her prayers are answered.

So each time George falls, he also gets back up and returns to battle with a dragon increasingly irritated by his perseverance. Victory, of course, arrives only when things are at their worst. In the end, the dragon opens its maw to finally simply swallow its tiny foe whole. But it is by that very act that George’s sword strikes true through the dragon’s palette where there were no scales to get in the way.

If this story were the latest blockbuster being reviewed by modern sci-fi fans, these kinds of plot details would be nit-picked to death as mere contrivance and convenience. The dragon should have known better than to try and eat a guy with a sword! Why didn’t it burn down the apple true with its breath? Besides, springs and trees simply don’t work that way, and any magic they might possess was never established by the author beforehand!

But such deus ex machina is part of the genius of fairy tales like these. These stories do not take place in a materialistic world bereft of destiny and providence. They take place in a world in which it is the nature of good to triumph over evil. It is only the timing, the mechanisms, and the struggle involved which are in any true doubt.

We call that “unrealistic” today. We prefer dark and gritty stories in which goodness only prevails if it can find a good enough excuse and perishes otherwise. But this preference says more about our nihilism than it does about our realism.

After all, the world in which we live really is blessed with God’s providence and directed by his sovereignty. It is a world in which the victory of good over evil is assured because Christ has won the final victory already–we are all simply awaiting its final revelation. In that respect, the fairy tale actually conforms better to the real world than contemporary “realistic” settings.

We don’t know the twists and turns our stories will take until that Last Day. We don’t know how we will suffer or how we will prevail. But destiny is real: For those who love God, all things cannot help but work together for their good. Our victory is sealed, and it is only the moment-to-moment details which are in any doubt.

In the meantime, every one of us has vocations from God. He has set us to a variety of tasks–some very broad, others very specific. We may have very little insight into how we could possibly accomplish those tasks, but we nevertheless are called to throw ourselves into them at God’s command.

I, for example, am a father. I know that God has called me to that because he has given me two wonderful sons. I know it’s my job to raise them; to train & teach them; to love, care, provide for, and protect them. I also have very little idea how I’m going to actually accomplish all of that over the next two decades. But the truth is, I don’t need to know that today. I only need to know the next step–how to love them today and how to prepare myself to love them tomorrow. And through all the ups and downs and ignorance, God has always provided what is needful.

What’s more, we are not unopposed in these vocations. We are all called by God to many different tasks, but the constant among every last one of them is struggle. Doing God’s will means being thrown into combat against impossible enemies which we are simply incapable of overcoming: the Devil, this world of which he is the prince, and our own fallen nature which makes us susceptible to him. These are constantly trying to kill us, destroy our families, and lure us away from Christ. We cannot overcome the demons, we cannot bring the world to heel, and we can hardly overpower ourselves.

But we win nonetheless. Our victory has already been provided, even if we don’t get to experience that victory moment-to-moment. And so no matter how many times we fall battered to the ground, we win simply because we continue to fight; and we continue to fight simply because that’s what God has called us to do. And like St. George’s dragon, Satan shrieks and rages over nothing more than the fact that we presumptuously take the field against him in faith. He cannot stand being opposed because of the One who has overcome him.

Most of us don’t wear swords, aren’t sent on quests by faerie queens, don’t have literal dragons to fight, and aren’t offered crowns and princesses for our troubles. Nevertheless, dragonslaying is still a relevant skill. For Christian men, conflict against evil is an inevitable part of our lives–and so is victory.

Because of that, Christian boys still need to hear stories like this. As C.S. Lewis put it, “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

Posted in Christian Youth, Culture, Family, Tradition | Leave a comment

Judges, Submit to Your Husbands?

I checked yesterday to see whether “wives submit to your husbands” was still the most hated Bible verse in America. It is. The feedback was mostly like vampires reacting to a cross.

I write on some pretty controversial topics on a regular basis, but nothing has brought out even a 10th of yesterday’s vitriol–not immigration, not religious freedom, not rape culture, not even Christian nationalism. No, a straightforward reading of Ephesians 5 is what did it. If you can gauge your distance to the target by how much flak you’re receiving, then Satan’s most well-defended redoubt is the hold feminism gives him on the American family. It shouldn’t be too surprising;  he has his own design for family, and he cannot endure what God ordained.

But amidst all that, there was actually one valid objection that I’ll cover briefly and one interesting question that I’ll cover at length.

The objection is that I’m not actually representing Judge Barrett’s views on submission or those of her faith group. This is absolutely true, and I never intended to suggest otherwise. I presented the straightforward Biblical instruction in Ephesians 5, which may or may not align with Judge Barrett’s personal views. As I wrote, the issue of how Americans react to submission is far bigger than Judge Barrett. To be perfectly frank, she was the occasion for writing because she’s part of the current news cycle–she wasn’t really the subject I was writing about.

So with that clarified, let’s move on to the question: If Judge Barrett must submit to her husband as to Christ, then would said husband be the de facto Supreme Court Justice if she were confirmed? I have actually answered that one before, but after nine years it’s probably worth revisiting.

If you want to understand Christian ethics on questions that involve temporal authority, then you have to understand vocation. God has called each of us to certain offices in this life–each of which comes with 1) certain responsibilities and 2) the authority to carry them out. The authority doesn’t proceed from us as individuals, but from the vocations God has given us.

What’s more, each one of us has multiple vocations. The same man could be a husband, a father, an employee, a manager, a friend, a neighbor, a citizen, and more simultaneously. We have to delineate these responsibilities so that we don’t end up treating our employees like our children, our friends like strangers, and so forth.

When we mix our vocations up, we end up abusing our authorities. For example, when a man is both a middle-manager at someone else’s company and a father, he needs to understand that it’s an abuse of his authority to hire his son for a job for which he is in no way qualified. He has to fulfill both sets of responsibilities without co-opting one authority for the sake of the other.  This is precisely why people in positions of authority recuse themselves when there’s a clear conflict of interest between their vocations.

Accordingly, it’s not really a matter of which person is in submission to whom, but of which office is in submission to which other office. For example, consider a man who is both an employee and a father. He is under his boss’s authority, but only with respect to being his employee. His boss has absolutely no business telling him how to raise his children or manage his household, and he is under no obligation to obey such instructions. In the same way, Judge Barrett is under her husband’s authority, but only with respect to being his wife and the mother of their children. He has no business telling her how to weigh in on her cases and she has no obligation to obey him in that respect.

It would be nice to leave the issue there where it’s comfortable: saying she could just ignore him when it comes to her job as a judge. But that’s not quite the end of the story. The distinction between the offices isn’t as airtight as we might like it to be. While the offices of wife and judge aren’t related in themselves, they are related because they are held by the same person, Amy Barrett. And this person is under her husband’s authority.

So what does that mean in practice? Let’s return to our example of the father/employee and his boss. As we said, the boss has no business telling his employee how to run his household. However, he does have some measure of influence over that very thing. If we’re speaking of legitimate exercises of authority, he could tell his employee that he needs to work late to finish a project. That kind of thing most certainly affects his employee’s family life.

There’s also the potential abuse of authority to consider. The boss could misuse his influence over the man’s job to coerce him into running his household a certain way. This would put the employee in a tight spot. He may be able to correct the abuse in different ways: He could quit his job or appeal to a higher authority at the company who might discipline his boss. But if he cannot find such recourse, he would remain in a tight spot and his family life could be affected. This would absolutely be evil of his boss, but the mere fact that it’s evil wouldn’t solve the issue.

So are circumstances like these a meaningful liability for Judge Barrett? Does submission mean that her husband could rule on cases by proxy? It may have taken us awhile to get there, but the answer is actually quite simple: Only if he were an immoral and abusive micro-manager. If that were truly the case, she would be well advised not to seek high office.

But is that possibility something Americans need to be especially concerned about? Not at all. The idea of submission may be strange and alien to us, but Judge Barrett and her husband are not.  She has a public record of service while she has been married. It is the same record of service according to which she is being evaluated for the higher position. If any such shenanigans by her husband were an issue now, they would have been an issue all along, and they would be apparent in her work.

So in the end, submission has absolutely no bearing on whether she is fit for the Supreme Court or on how she is evaluated for it. If she’s submissive to her husband, she should be evaluated based on her record. If she’s not submissive, she should be evaluated based on her record. And really, on the family side of things, they seem to be immensely successful, so they’ve no doubt worked out proper boundaries long ago.

The only difference submission makes is how bigoted most Americans are on the subject.

Posted in Ethics, Family, Feminism | 20 Comments

It’s Time For Americans to Get Over Their Phobia of Feminine Submission

Consider what feminine equality has offered to American couples: series of empty and short relationships comprised of hookups; marriages typified by divorce over even trivial conflicts; a war between the sexes which is becoming more savage and hurtful all the time; and men simply giving up to go their own way. In the face of all this, is the reflexive hate and terror we experience when we hear those dreaded words, “submit to your husbands” really justified? Or is it time to consider that we may have taken a wrong turn and begin looking to God’s design for a better way?

From my latest at The Federalist:

This controversy is about something bigger than the People of Praise or Barrett . Rather, it requires us to defend the most hated Bible verses in America — the very ones that trigger so many of us who grew up indoctrinated with an irrational fear of masculine authority:

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. (Eph. 5:22-24)

Contrary to the way some Christians try to dissemble, these verses mean exactly what they say. They are not controversial because they are difficult to understand, but because they are simple. The key is Paul’s comparison to the church’s submission to Christ — a comparison so important that he makes it three distinct times in three sentences.

How then do Christians submit to Christ? Not as mindless automatons, but as people with agency and intellect who align ourselves with our Lord’s purpose. We do not bury our talents, but creatively devote them to his Kingdom, according to his instruction, and with the gifts with which God has equipped us. That is precisely how wives are to submit to husbands.

That profoundly transgresses America’s feminist inclinations, but it’s nothing to be afraid of. These words from God — repeated by Paul in his letter to the Colossians and by Peter in his first epistle — are meant for the good of women and men alike. Controversial or not, the common objections against submission are less compelling than we might think — at least once we pause to consider them instead of reflexively protesting.

Read the whole thing.

 

Posted in Culture, Family, Feminism | 35 Comments

The Insidious Defense of Cuties

The Federalist doesn’t have a comments section anymore, so I probably won’t be doing my usual followup to criticism of my latest piece on the Cuties travesty.  Nevertheless, Nathan Rinne alerted me to a Quillete article by Allan Stratton defending the film that I wanted to quickly address.

Most of it is what we’re already used to. Stratton tries to tie it to QAnon, as though that’s some kind of prerequisite for opposing pedophilia (and if it is, then sign me right up.) He also uses the “just” obfuscation I mentioned, going so far as to describe it as merely a “film about four 11-year-old girls trying to win a dance competition.” In addition, there’s a fair amount of “in for a penny, in for a pound” nonsense as he passes this off as something that’s already happening everywhere. And while I’m sure it happens more than we think, if it were really so normal already, the film wouldn’t be remarkable for its content.

But the most poisonous part of his argument is the part most commonly heard: it’s actually a great movie that’s against the sexualization of children. I mentioned this angle at The Federalist, but didn’t really do it justice.

For the sake of argument, let’s go ahead and assume for the moment that this film is essentially Citizen Kane in its craftsmanship. (I’m not going to watch the thing because I don’t have to submit to being groomed in order to criticize grooming.) Now consider two of the things the very production and distribution of the film objectively does:

Cuties sexually exploits real children

The actors involved were actually induced to be filmed doing the disgusting things over which everyone is up at arms. Stratton incoherently argues that this is not the case because “They’re doing no more onscreen than girls their age do offscreen.” Of course, in contending for the film’s message, he also says that what “girls their age” are doing is condemned under the “wide consensus that the normalization of sexualized kids is wrong” which the film shares. So that argument commits suicide within two paragraphs.  No matter how much Stratton talks out of both sides of his mouth on that point (as we shall see), such behavior is either condemned or its not. If its condemned out in the wild, then its condemned in the film as well.

Stratton also makes an appeal to authority here and mentions what great care was taken during filming. He says parents, psychologists, and a even a female director(!) were on hand as they were being exploited–as though that’s supposed to demonstrate anything more than Milgram experiment psychology at work. Let’s face it: We all know precisely the way Hollywood likes to care for child actors.

Cuties normalizes the sexual exploitation of children

Stratton both inadvertently proves and deliberately participates in this one. He goes on and on about how common this kind of behavior already is and how the film is just a reflection of real life as he writes its defense. Despite acknowledging the social “consensus” that this behavior is wrong, he also contends against that consensus.

His question is essentially this:  How can something so common outrage anyone who isn’t completely naive? (This is, by the way, the same technique that the bully on the playground uses to normalize the behavior he wants. “What are you a baby? Everyone is doing it!”) But the line between a common vice and a normal vice is very subtle, and it is drawn almost entirely with public shaming and outrage. Something common becomes normal when people begin to accept it as a foregone conclusion and so they don’t bother expressing any distaste over it anymore.

This is precisely what Stratton and others are attempting to achieve, for they are targeting that same public outrage over what the film does in an attempt to expunge it. He desperately tries to pass it off as something only those people are upset over rather than what any normal person would be upset over. “What are you, a baby? Everyone is doing it!” After all, if it’s just a reflection of normal life, then normal people aren’t upset by that.

Art imitating life imitating art isn’t so much a chicken/egg paradox as it is a vicious cycle driven in part by this very film and its supporters. But it’s all an illusion because again, if it the sexual exploitation of children were really normalized already, the film wouldn’t be provoking outrage in the first place.

So even if we accept that it’s a well-made film whose intention is to make a statement against child sexualization, we must contend with the fact the film actually does both these things in service of that intention–exploiting children itself and leading to the exploitation of more by normalizing it. I mentioned at The Federalist how nonsensical this is–sexualizing children to oppose the sexualization of children. I also implied how unnecessary it is. After all, most of the art of filmmaking is a matter making it appear as though something happened when it did not. Surely any so-called creative visionary worthy of prestigious awards could find an interesting way to make their point without actually sexually exploiting children.

But it’s actually worse than this. Defending Cuties because it opposes the sexualization of children is essentially arguing that it’s ok to sexualize children so long as it’s a good movie with a noble message. In other words, exploiting children is bad, but not really bad as long as it’s done artistically and for a good cause.

That is the quintessence of good intentions paving the road to hell. Once you accept this argument, it naturally raises the question:  What else is worth sexually exploiting children? Once you agree in principle to the sale of your soul, the only remaining detail is haggling over the price. From there, discounts are only a matter of time. It won’t be long before hordes of SJW’s are telling us its ok for children to be sexually exploited for the sake of things like equality, diversity, love, and so forth. Next we’ll be called bigots for refusing to countenance it.

The slippery slope is not a fallacy; it is the bread & butter of the PLGBT movement.

Posted in Culture, Ethics, Paganism | Leave a comment

Cuties Reminds Us Why Society Needs a Well-Trained Sense of Disgust

I have a new piece up at the Federalist today on that Cuties abomination and the nature of disgust:

It’s only natural to react to this with exactly the kind of outrage that Netflix is currently reaping. Sexually exploiting children is so revolting that anyone would recoil in disgust when presented with the kind of material in “Cuties.”

Except not everyone is disgusted. The film made it through layers upon layers of writers, actors, producers, and marketers who thought it was a great idea—even to the point of giving it awards.

Of course, leftist degenerates are now rushing to defend the movie. Rather than being disgusted, their claim is that any failure to appreciate “Cuties” is either prudish, unsophisticated, or — even worse — conservative. It’s a French film, after all, so it must be artistic and sophisticated.

In more normal times, disgust serves as an incredibly useful feature of our natural emotional life that helps prevent our circumstances from devolving into all manner of wretchedness. Ultimately, however, it’s a feature that we must train. As with our sense of shame, our sense of disgust is something that needs to be cultivated as we mature. A well-formed person ought to be disgusted by disgusting things, but not disgusted by benign or positive things.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Look no farther than how so many now sneer at motherhood, fatherhood, and children in the West to see that we can be trained to be disgusted when we should not.  And as we can see from the “Cuties” scenario, we can also be trained to become used to something that should be utterly revolting.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in Culture, Family, Tradition | 2 Comments

When Resisting Government is our Vocation

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
-Romans 13:1-7

Given the growing level of civil unrest in the United States, it’s unsurprising that American Christians are increasingly talking about Paul’s instructions in Roman’s 13. These verses are usually summarized in a single imperative: Christians must obey the government. And I don’t think that’s an entirely unfair way to summarize Paul’s point. The Church has not been given the mission of overthrowing the civil authorities. Civil government is a gift of God for the sake of retraining our sinfulness. As sinners, Christians should support that gift by respecting it’s God-given authority, by obeying its laws, and by participating in its requirements (e.g. paying taxes and so forth.) In most circumstances, “obey the government” describes all this adequately.

But even a fair summary is still just a summary. It has limitations. In particular, we must avoid taking a summary and lazily turning it into it’s own moral absolute. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what I’m seeing some Christians do in their own exhortations and deliberations. Scripture does not allow us to do that, for the Bible makes it clear that there are legitimate exceptions to submitting to government.

The first exception, of course, is the one that most Christians will readily acknowledge: “We must obey God rather than man.” The Apostles–the writer of Romans 13 included–weren’t at all shy about disobeying their governments when it came to proclaiming the Gospel. Neither was the early Church, which is why so many of them were martyred by the governing authorities. When government commands what God forbids or forbids what God commands, we obey the higher Authority and reject those dictates of the government. We may argue quite passionately about exactly what God has commanded in specific circumstances, but we all agree that His Word trumps civil government’s.

There is, however, another nuance that we don’t talk about very much even though it’s right there in Romans 13:  obedience during transitional periods.

It’s a brute fact of history that governments transition from time to time. One set of governing authorities loses it’s authority while another gains it. This can happen in any number of ways. Sometimes it happens during routine transitions of power when one individual in authority is succeeded by another according to the laws and customs of that nation (by inheritance, by election, etc.) Since they are routine, these transitions pose little difficulty to Christians trying to follow Romans 13.

There are other transitions, however, which pose a greater ethical difficulty. Sometimes one governing authority is overthrown by another–often violently–apart from the laws and customs of that nation. This can happen through conquest, through revolution, through secession, through civil war, through collapse, and so forth. All of these involve competing and/or disappearing claims to the authority in question. These transitions can be trickier for the Christian to navigate because although they are very common throughout human history, we don’t typically spend most of our lives in the midst of them. Your mileage on that may vary on that depending on where and when you’ve lived, but such circumstances are fairly alien to the typical American Christian discussing the subject today. In such times, the Christian may have some degree of difficulty answering the question: Who is my governing authority?

As I said, this difficulty is right there in Romans 13 when Paul writes, “There is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” And yet, many of those that exist have come about through the messy kind of transitions–including the Roman government under which Paul wrote. American Christians themselves live in one of them, for the United States government is a result of a revolution in which we declared independence from a former governing authority instituted by God and did violence against it to make that declaration a reality. And yet, this authority that now exists is also instituted by God. It presents us with a rather interesting paradox. What, then, does obedience to the governing authorities require in those kinds of situation?

I would contend that these situations present Christians with same exception as the first one that we all acknowledge: When there is a conflict between authorities, we obey the higher authority.

The higher authority isn’t the one with the biggest stick, for history has seen many upsets when the weak overpower the strong and are instituted as the governing authority. Likewise, the higher authority isn’t the one making the biggest claims, for anyone could claim to be king of the world, and we would all rightly ignore it. Odd as it may sound, the higher authority isn’t the one with the greatest moral authority either. Not only are there many righteous causes which ultimately fail, there are instances in the Old Testament in which God subjects His own people to far worse authorities as a way of disciplining them. That same fact carries with it another odd conclusion: when it comes to our deliberations over which authority to choose, we can’t simply “obey God rather than man” because much of the time, we may not actually know which “side” God is on (or if He is on any side at all, or on both.) As Luther put it, God often uses one knave to punish another.

So how can we solve this puzzle? As usual, most of a Christian’s ethical questions can be resolved by a proper understanding of vocation.

Even in times of chaotic transition, there is always a higher authority which we can be absolutely certain is there: the father’s authority over his household. We know it’s there because it’s explicitly established by God in the 4th Commandment. As I’ve pointed out before:

In Luther’s analysis of the Fourth Commandment, all temporal authority penultimately proceeds from parents by way of God’s explicit command to honor our fathers and mothers. And, of course, though we loathe to think of it in our feminist culture, that parental authority is most properly paternal authority—for God has explicitly established the husband as head of the wife and instructs the wife to be submissive to her husband. So in sum, whatever governing institutions we may be under, they exist because somewhere along the line, our forefathers delegated their own authority over their households to others in order to assist them with specific tasks.

Fathers have a responsibility to care for their wives and children in every way. Other members of that household take on roles within the scope of that responsibility to assist in that task. This responsibility gives rise to authority. As different families cooperate with one another, they naturally create institutions to whom they delegate some measure of that authority. When those institutions fail–as all earthly institutions do eventually–the authority does not disappear, but returns to the fathers who delegated it in the first place. When fathers reassert that authority over and against failed institutions, it is not a violation of Roman’s 13, but a fulfillment of it. It is part of their vocation through which God establishes governing authorities in the first place.

In addition to the authority of fathers (which is universal across cultures,) there are places where citizens are actually authorized to offer some measure of resistance by the governing institutions themselves. This is can happen on a small scale, as is often the case with self-defense. In America, however, this was done on a larger scale (unsurprisingly as our founders were revolutionaries themselves.)  The First and Second Amendments to our Constitution were both provided so that citizens themselves would be able to serve as a check against failed government. The First allows us to oppose government with words, while the Second was intended in large part as a failsafe that facilitates an organized armed resistance. We must not forget the way America’s highest civil authority, the Constitution, empowers Americans in relatively unique ways.

So when the governing authorities recede and abandon their responsibility and authority to punish wrongdoers and commend right-doers, it falls to fathers and sometimes citizens to pick up the slack for the sake of their families and neighbors. Likewise, when different governing authorities are in conflict, it falls to fathers to choose which of them (if any) to support for the sake of their families. In some extreme cases, it may ever fall to fathers to forcibly reclaim their authority from institutions that are abusing it. None of these are to be the norm for Christians, as such times are the exceptions rather than the rule. But in exceptional times, Christians need more than just the summary of Romans 13. We need the whole of it.

So are we living in one of those transitional periods? If Americans are not now, then we probably will be soon.

In many of our cities, the local authorities have currently chosen to relinquish their authority and give rioters free reign. Is this a temporary lapse in judgment or a failure of the institutions? That’s a judgment call which I cannot make; I don’t even live in such a city. But as the chaos increases, I’m in no way inclined to condemn those who do live in such a situation if they come to believe their families need them to step up. Romans 13 does not require Christian men to cower inertly and hope it all passes by just because that’s the course chosen by the governing authorities. On the contrary, their vocations require them to find the best way they can to protect their households and livelihoods. It’s entirely possible that picking up your rifle to defend your neighborhood may be the right call sometimes.

There’s also a strong possibility that we’ll find ourselves facing a revolution in which different governing authorities will be openly and violently contend against one another at the highest levels. Progressives never really accepted the 2016 election as a way of resolving our differences for the subsequent 4 years. In other words, a huge swath of America is already rejecting the laws and customs under which government transitions peacefully. This time around, they’re openly floating the idea of a violent coup when President Trump wins the election. If that happens, American Christians must not be under the impression that Romans 13 requires them to sit by and do nothing. On the contrary, we all have a responsibility to contend for our families according to our best judgment–even if that requires us to take up arms one set of governing authorities.

To be clear, this is not a call to intemperance, to violence, or to revolution. Replacing a governing authority is costly in a way that’s beyond the comprehension of most of us. It’s not usually the best way of caring for one’s family–especially if you have no plan with a reasonable chance of success. And let’s face it, those of us who loathe what’s happening to our nation have no real plan or organization. Nevertheless, there is a cost to keeping a failed government as well, and I don’t think we truly grasp what we are in for should we do nothing.

Christians living in exceptional times must not labor under the delusion that they’re being godly by refusing to contend for their family in such circumstances. Romans 13 must not become the excuse of the timid for their inaction. We must all regard God’s thou-shalt-not’s, but we must do so without dismissing His thou-shalt’s. The servant who buried his talent out of fear was not commended by his Lord.

American Christians: Be wise. Be vigilant. Be prepared. Pray for God’s guidance. Remember the ones for whom you are responsible. The time will come when you’ll need to make a hard choice. Make the best choice you can according to the wisdom given to you, and lean on Christ’s forgiveness for the rest.

Posted in Christian Nationalism, Ethics, Politics, Theology | 4 Comments

The Next Police?

Murder and mayhem may only be 10% of what Antifa and BLM protesters do, but perhaps they’re starting to be held accountable for some of it. Michael Reinoehl, the Antifa terrorist who murdered a Trump supporter in Portland was shot to death by federal marshals last week–finally doing the job Portland police wouldn’t do.

Oh, I’m sorry… Did I say “Antifa terrorist”? I meant to say he “provided security” for a “loose collection of activists who have mobilized to oppose groups they see as fascist or racist.”

At least that’s how the NYT described Reinoehl and Antifa in a recent article. They go on to say:

As part of the protesters’ security team during the demonstrations, Mr. Reinoehl’s role included intercepting potential agitators and helping calm conflicts, fellow protesters said.

“Nightly, he would break up fights,” said Randal McCorkle, a regular at the demonstrations who said he became close friends with Mr. Reinoehl as they wore on.

“He wanted change so badly,” he said. His death, he said, would likely inspire others to continue the movement for police reform. “I was going to say radicalize, but galvanize is a better word,” he said. “Honestly, I’m going to try to step into his shoes.”

Reese Monson, a leader in the local protest movement who also helps organize security, said all the people who helped with security in Portland, including Mr. Reinoehl, were trained on de-escalation.

“He was excellent at that,” Mr. Monson said.

Mr. Monson said the security designees have been trained to approach potential agitators and politely ask them to leave. They have also been trained on how to conduct physical removals but are cautioned to try to avoid such measures because they can cause situations to escalate. Mr. Monson said Mr. Reinoehl would often come over to discuss how to handle potential agitators appropriately.

“He was literally a guardian angel,” said Teal Lindseth, one of the main organizers of the Portland protests. “He would protect you no matter what.”

Pretty glowing praise for a terrorist, but then, it’s the NYT.

That’s why the point here is not “Look how ridiculous the leftist media is!” Everybody already knows that. The only purpose of reading these things is to understand how progressives are thinking at the moment, and that’s where I want to direct your attention.

Consider how the murderer is being described. He’s part of a security team. He intercepts agitators, calms conflicts, and breaks up fights every night. The team is well-trained in de-escalation. They know how to physically restrain wrong-doers, but prefer to politely send them on their way. And, of course, it’s all wrapped up with a neat bow–they’re literal guardian angels who will protect you no matter what. Once you manage to set aside the irony of all that for a moment, it becomes rather revealing.

The big question that’s always surrounded the current calls to de-fund/disband the police has been “What will you replace them with?” I think the NYT is essentially answering that question here. After all, these glowing accolades are very similar to what one would want from law enforcement.

I suspect the end goal of all this is to replace police with something akin to Antifa. Instead of police who restrain wicked deeds, they want police who will restrain what they see as the wicked thoughts which cause wicked deeds. Instead of police who uphold abstract laws, they want police who will be agile enough to root out what they see as concrete evil without being inhibited by laws. In short, they want to officially authorize the mob and replace the rule of law with the rule of narrative.

Will we let them?

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Marxism is the Demonic Inverse of Family

Unlike God, Satan cannot actually create.  Rather, the devil must always depend on the very One against whom he rebels even for his rebellion.  His every scheme rests on taking a good thing that God created and then removing it from the context for which it was designed.  Then, absent from the place it would accomplish good, he injects it wherever it might do the most harm in a decrepit parody of God’s original work.

It’s the same old pattern for anything from the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden, to simple bread.  In a way, it’s the only trick the devil actually knows.  But I wanted to highlight one specific place where you can see this dynamic at work today:  In Marx’s famous dictum, “From each according to his ability; to each according to his needs.”  The idea is so compelling to people that hundreds of millions of lives have been sacrificed in its pursuit.  And despite it’s blatantly obvious track record, there are still hordes of Social Justice Warriors actively burning down civilization just for another chance to spectacularly fail.

That’s some powerful appeal.  But its source cannot be found in anything invented by man or demon, but something created by God.  And it is a particularly ironic source at that.  The idea draws its natural appeal from the family, for it precisely there that Marx’s dictum actually makes sense. In a household bound together in the love for which it was ordained by God, each individual indeed gives to the rest of the family whatever he can, while he himself is cared for by them according to his own needs.

The infant is fully and urgently provided with food, clothing, comfort in distress, and whatever else he may need.  Nothing at all is expected in return because infants are fundamentally helpless, but parents and siblings nevertheless rejoice when the baby smiles at toys he did not buy and snuggles contentedly into a blanket he did not weave with a belly full of food he did not earn.

As children mature and acquire ever greater ability, more is expected of them.  Parents still provide what children cannot gain for themselves, but they continually take on additional household chores of greater difficulty that require more diverse skills.  At each step, as the child learns and grows, the whole family once again rejoices together.  The children and parents alike are aglow with loving pride at what has been accomplished.  The parents are both happy to provide and happy to see their children beginning to flex their ability.  The children likewise are both grateful to receive what they need and proud at becoming providers like mom and dad.

When those children become adults themselves, their abilities will have finally become sufficient not only for providing their own needs, but also the needs of others.  Accordingly, they will do unto others as their parents did for them and begin to form families of their own.  As their own children are born, they will be able to participate in the same kind of joy their parents experienced–providing for their little ones and helping them to mature just as they themselves did.  And the joy of the new grandparents will mature along alongside the new parents, as the work they performed through all those years of raising children finally comes to fruition.

And last of all, as the grandparents themselves grow older, the children they raised will have the opportunity to repay a portion of the love they received.  Though death was never part of God’s design, its approach is nevertheless redeemed by providing a new opportunity for grown children:  It will be their turn to give from their own ability according to their parents’ needs.  And despite the shadow of death, that loving kindness will persist through the generations.  As the older generation learns humility amidst their accomplishments, the middle generation will explore the depths of gratitude, and the youngest will see their example of action as something to which they should aspire.

This is all an idealized description, of course.  In a fallen world, sinful children never mature quite so smoothly, nor do sinful parents provide quite so selflessly.  Gratitude can run cold, and authority can be abused. Nevertheless, virtually every family at least catches glimpses of this kind of love, most dwell in it sufficiently for their families to continue through the generations, and some absolutely thrive by embracing it.  From beginning to end, “From each according to his ability; to each according to his needs” is a reasonable summary of how familial love ought to be expressed in the household economy.

But what holds true in one context may not in another.

Familial love persists even in a fallen world not because the idea is so compelling to us, but because God’s creative work is too powerful to simply destroy itself at a whim.  It continues to work in the household economy precisely because of that familial context ordained by God.  Within the family, the interests of each member are aligned with those of the others because they all share the same flesh and blood.  Parents naturally love their children and want them to mature and to succeed because they are a part of themselves.  Children naturally look up to their parents and want to be like them for the same reason.  Authority and responsibility align with this design, as parents recognize their responsibility for their offspring and therefore exercise authority for their benefit.  Children likewise recognize this and understand on a visceral level that they ought to obey mom and dad, even if they do run astray to some extent, because mom and dad take care of them.

So within the family, Marx’s dictum has a telos:  the growth and maturity of generations of children.  That is a truly compelling blessing.  But outside such a context, that purpose is stripped away.  Upon departing the household economy for a local, national, or global economy made up of relative strangers who share no familial bond, the dictum becomes an end unto itself.  The goal of “to each according to his need” is no longer to reach greater heights of maturity, provision, and accomplishment, but simply to be taken care of without cost like a zoo animal.  Likewise, the goal of “from each according to his ability” ceases to be a loving kindness expressed through responsibility and authority for those in one’s care and instead becomes a matter slavery on behalf of those who cannot or will not produce. Without love, the dictum becomes wholly stagnant in both its clauses. It’s not a matter of bad luck that Marxism has always spectacularly failed; it’s an inevitable consequence of deliberately expelling the fundamental structures that would have made the idea work in another context.

This is also why Marxism inevitably leads to dictatorship.  Every entitlement creates a responsibility, and every responsibility requires sufficient authority to carry it out.  In a family, the father’s authority is anchored by the responsibility to care for his own children whom he loves. He knows they are entitled to his provision because he sired them in the first place.  But without familial love, entitlements become annoyances and responsibilities become burdens.  Accordingly, the authority that was meant to fulfill those entitlements becomes abusive. The more it is repelled by those under its purview, the less it tends to them and the more it tends to itself.

But as with all demonic inversions, the story doesn’t end there–with a broken adaptation which consistently fails to achieve what it promises.  No, Satan does not rest until his inversion devours that which inspired it in the first place:  the family. Marxists’ well-established abhorrence for the family is ironic, but not accidental.

To be sure, on a pragmatic level, it must destroy the family because in most cases, family already provides what Marxism merely advertises.  Our families are our natural economic safety net, our means of education, and our social support structure. The stronger our families, the less anybody wants a sterile bureaucracy to provide a parody of loving kindness to those in need.

Even on a theoretical level, however, it must destroy the family because it hinges on everybody treating strangers as though they were family.  Jesus recognized that it would be wrong to take the children’s bread and give it to the dogs.  Marxism, in contrast, depends on everybody being willing to do precisely that.  Rather than working hard to provide for the needs of your own flesh and blood, you must work hard to provide for the needs of strangers and trust that every other stranger is going to do the same for your own children.

This need for destruction is only heightened when false notions of a grim and mechanical human equality enter the fray.  After all, the family is organic and will therefore naturally create variation.  You can plant the same kind of seed in the same kind of soil, but each plant will nevertheless differ from each other.  One will be taller. Another will have more leaves. Another will bear more fruit.  Another will bear sweeter fruit.  Families are no different–some will have more children, others brighter children, others more educated children, others more skilled children, others wealthier children, and so forth.  What’s “worse,” many of those variations will persist as they are passed down from generation to generation.  Equality requires the encapsulation of human variation, and this can only be accomplished by eradicating the family distinctions through which we naturally, faithfully, and lovingly care for some people more than others–skimming off love’s excess before it can benefit a son or daughter.

But in that eradication is also the eventual collapse of Marxism itself.  After all, one cannot treat a stranger like family without knowing what it means to treat someone like family–something one is only equipped to do by a family.  Followed to its conclusion, Marxism creates a collection of strangers with no responsibility to one another rather than a universal familial responsibility to one another. Inasmuch as it is implemented, it creates people whose needs were never met and who were never equipped to meet the needs of others or even themselves.  It creates men without chests who cannot survive.  It is designed to fail.  Marxism imitates family love and attempts to replace it, but it also dies without it.

But that perpetual failure–the ever-present embarrassment of human Marxists for which they must invent excuse after excuse–is actually success for the Devil. His end is not an ideological one, but a murderous one.  As Jesus says, he was a murderer from the beginning.  For men, the mass murders, starvation, and degeneracy that accompany Marxism are a matter of foolishness, incompetence, and good intentions paving the way to Hell.  But for Satan, they’re the whole point.

This should give us pause not only as Americans, but also as Christians.  It is true that God does not prescribe any particular  political ideology to us.  His kingdom is not of this world.  Nevertheless, God does stand in judgment over all political ideologies, and only some of them can be appropriately labeled as demonic.  Marxism is unquestionably one of these.  Opposing it is therefore a responsibility for both kingdoms–civil government and the Church.  The form of that resistance must differ between them according to the vocations of each, but resist we must.

As the latest crop of Marxists burn our communities, we must know that the cost of Christians bending their knees is more than just an error in political judgment.  As Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and others dangle the coveted worldly label of “not-racist” before our eyes, too many Christians think submitting to attain it is merely an earthly matter.  We must beware, for such friendship with this world and it’s Prince is also enmity with God.

Posted in Christian Nationalism, Culture, Family, Politics | Leave a comment

Rabid Minds

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

It’s truly a fearsome thing, watching Romans 1 unfold in real-time. There is, unfortunately, no lack of minds in the West becoming rabid in this way–devolving into terror and delusion as they attack anything that approaches them. As Paul details in that first chapter of his epistle, it all begins with the deliberate denial of the most basic and essential truths–knowledge of God and of right & wrong.

We’re all becoming accustomed to these kinds of denials, surrounded as we are by people claiming that burning down cities isn’t violent, that men are actually women, and so forth. Those of us who confront such errors in writing have naturally alluded to the climax of George Orwell’s 1984–when the thought police torture Winston until he not only confesses but believes that 2 + 2 = 5. It is, after all, a profoundly true demonstration of what’s at stake in the denial of simple truths–one that I’ve used myself.

But it seems that the rabid-minded among us are getting sick of the allusion. James Lindasy recently threw some chum in the water with a meme poking fun at the woke–calling 2+2=4 a “perspective in white Western mathematics that marginalizes other values.”  As I result, I’ve been subjected to seeing collections of unironic contentions that Orwell’s equation is not nearly so certain as we once thought. “Ackchually, 2 + 2 can equal 5 for very large values of 2.” “Ackchually, 2 + 2 can equal 5 when ‘2’ is a variable.” “Ackchually 2 + 2 can equal 5 when it’s useful.”

I doubt I’m the only one who’s had “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore” moments after reading some of these. But the fact is, we have no alternative planet at present, so we have to deal with the mess on our own.

I have, of course, seen people dealing with it by argument–trying to convince the rabid that 2 + 2 really does equal 4. It’s gone about as well as you can expect.  To be sure, I’m all about argument in certain contexts. Nevertheless, there are limits to its usefulness when it comes to the deliberate denial of matters of self-evidence. I’ve already seen people claim that only people with PhD’s in mathematics can truly understand the deeper nuances of 2 + 2 = 4. Good luck arguing math with someone who thinks like that.

The key limitation of argument is this:  one can only argue with a rational mind. One cannot, say, argue with his car until it agrees to do what he wants. Unless you’re dealing with an Autobot, a car has no rational mind. But you can no more argue with the rabid-minded than you can with a car because rabid minds are no longer rational. These people are not genuinely confused about the value of 2, 4, or 5. They are, rather, deliberately lying to themselves and others about it.

They lie about this for the same reason anyone lies to anyone about anything:  they believe they have something to gain by doing so and lack any respect for themselves or their victim. And if they will not hesitate to lie even to themselves, neither will they hesitate to lie to anyone else. This makes argument a useless endeavor with the rabid-minded. There’s little incentive to argue when one believes he can simply lie any argument away–a small feat indeed for people who actually think they can lie reality away.

So the solution is not to argue with them–it’s to treat them as liars.

Now there is a vocational divergence here because how you treat a liar depends on your relationship with them. In your personal vocations–as father or brother or friend–you may have a certain responsibility to at least try and lead them out of their lies. In some cases that means you have a responsibility to discipline them–train them to restrain their worst impulses, as parents do for their little children. In other cases, the best you can do is to slowly learn their motivations and mechanisms for lying and look for ways to undermine them. But in all cases, you’ll want to make sure you never bend the knee to their lies. To humor a liar is simply to enable him.

In your public vocations, however–as a citizen, employer, officer, and so forth–treating a liar as a liar requires nothing more than utter contempt. You remove them from any position of trust because they cannot be trusted. You disregard what they have to say because it cannot be trusted. You avoid them whenever possible and help others to do the same because they cannot be trusted. You don’t hesitate to openly express your contempt when the need arises.  And when institutions prop up those liars, you treat them with the same manner of contempt (more on this one in another post.)  Most importantly, you respect yourself enough that you never allow anyone to guilt you into pretending the contemptible are anything other than contemptible–as with personal vocations, you must never bend your knee to the lies.

“But wait,” one might interject (as I recently observed on Facebook.) “That sounds dangerously like cancel culture!” Yes; yes it does. Likewise, when somebody is shooting at you, returning fire sounds dangerously like a gunfight, but war is sometimes our vocation. What conservatives have blatantly failed to understand is that we have been dragged into an existential struggle. When someone attacks you and yours like that, your responsibility as a citizen of civilization is to strike back in kind in order to protect what you’ve been entrusted with.

“But we cannot do evil simply because evil was done to us!” True. But civility is a social contract–not a moral absolute. Keeping up your end of a contract which the other party has broken has nothing to do with honor, with morality, with principle, or with being the bigger man. It’s merely a matter of being timid. You don’t want to experience the discomfort of conflict, and so you pretend true conflict doesn’t exist. In other words, you join in on the Lie.  Oh, you may not pretend that 2 + 2 = 5 the way those people do, but you do pretend that there is a nuanced conversation to be had on the subject in which men of good character may disagree. This does nothing but enable the lie–it is aiding and abetting the Enemy.

To be sure, arguments can be useful even on a point like this to bolster timid people who acknowledge that 2 + 2 = 4 but have been unbalanced by the brazen assertions of falsehood and have become too afraid to speak up.  But far more valuable is the willingness to stand up and to not only assert the truth, but also to call out the liars as what they are.

Conservatives have spent far too long treating the rabid-minded with courtesy, as though they were having a gentlemen’s disagreement. It is nothing of the kind. “Two plus two equals 5” is not a disagreement, but a lie–the goal of which is to recruit others to embrace the Lie little by little. After all, if Satan can make you believe that 2+2 may not always be 4, he can make you believe anything he wants.

This is not a debate. This is an assault on civilization. Treat it as such.

Posted in Culture, Ethics, Natural Law | Leave a comment