If you hadn’t heard, Brendan Eich, CEO of Mozilla, resigned after an uproar about a modest donation he made in support of an anti-gay marriage referendum (which passed!) six years ago in California. The ostensibly-right-wing response to this was as anemic and ineffective as it is to everything else; they objected that liberals were behaving illiberally, exhibiting intolerance, silencing free speech, etc. Libertarian useful idiot Nick Gillespie went so far as to generously qualify his “ambivalent” feelings about Eich’s resignation by adding that it was a clear case of the market responding to consumer signals (presumably he is either ignorant or lying about the fact that these “signals” are deliberately coordinated by the government).
Now, non-liberals accusing liberals of illiberalism for demanding the resignation of a “homophobe” strikes me as being rather like atheists berating Christians for being “un-Christian” on account of their not hugging half-naked gay men in public with sufficient enthusiasm. It’s worse than incorrect, it’s hubristic for the average non-liberal (which, yes, excludes present company) to imagine that he somehow intuits the demands of liberalism better than those who are psychologically and socially conformed to it. Most of them aren’t exactly free thinkers: if liberalism demanded differently of them, they’d do differently. But it doesn’t, so they don’t.
But don’t take my word for it. Listen, instead, to Joseph Shaw, who chimes in with an excellent four-part series (one, two, three, and four) on the futility of non-liberals trying to restrain leftist excesses while operating within the leftist consensus — a futility which arises from the non-liberals’ own failure to fully comprehend the monster they’re dealing with. He also has some useful conclusions: namely, quit acting as if liberalism is the only intellectual game in town.
Go check it out.
Evidently, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the annual gathering of America’s conservative activists, just finished its annual convention outside Washington, DC. James Kirkpatrick wrote two interesting articles for Vdare.com here and here. Given Vdare’s bailiwick, the two articles are mostly about immigration and, thus, about the ongoing treason by “movement conservatism” against its rank-and-file supporters.
The articles discuss two related changes over time at CPAC. First, the conference is increasingly overtly in service of its corporate sponsors. Second, the conference is evidently being gradually taken over by left-libertarian ideologues of what sounds like the Brink Lindsey type.
Clearly, these are not unrelated occurrences. Libertarianism is about the only coherent ideology which justifies what corporate America wants: free trade, high immigration, low taxes, and little regulation. Thus, to the extent that movement conservatism adopts the policy goals of its corporate masters and also wants to present itself as “principled,” it is going to be libertarian. Furthermore, given the impossibility of presenting oneself as racist, it has to be left rather than right libertarian. But this has serious knock-on costs for the GOP and for movement conservatism. Left libertarians are a quite unpopular and unattractive bunch of people:
The young libertarians who are taking over CPAC have open disdain [for] most older members of the “movement,” loudly sneering and hissing during speeches by Rick Santorum and rolling their eyes at the antics of Sarah Palin and the like. Continue reading
For the second time in a decade, the US foreign policy apparatus has conducted a successful coup against Viktor Yanukovych, the democratically elected president of Ukraine. According to Victoria Nuland, the State Department bureaucrat who appears to be in charge of this effort, we have spent $5 billion on this. Our goals, according to her, are to get Ukraine into Western Europe and away from Russia and to get her into debt with the IMF as quickly as possible. She calls this “democracy.”
An interesting thing about this second episode is the gross incompetence of its execution. As events have unfolded, it is apparent to anyone paying attention that Yanukovych and Putin hold the moral high ground—the moral high ground by the ostensible morality of the liberals, I mean. Yanukovych and Putin have steadily and throughout managed to side with democracy, the rule of law, and negotiated settlements, whereas the US has sided with a violent coup carried out by neo-Nazis, the abrogation of democratic elections, and the abrogation of the negotiated settlement of the rebellion. The brighter precincts of neocondom are aware of this problem and are beavering away manufacturing excuses. Continue reading
Recently, I mentioned fighting other Catholics over gay “marriage” and similar issues. What is especially maddening about them is their tendency to affirm the doctrinal question in a technically minimal way, but then to articulate a pastoral exception so broad that it devours the doctrinal rule. Yes, of course gay “marriage” is a grave moral evil and a mockery of divinely-ordained matrimony; but we mustn’t say so out loud! We might offend someone, and it’s hardly very Christian to do that, now is it? And meanwhile you shouldn’t order your life or act in any way as if you believe gay “marriage” is evil, because Christ calls us to love one another in a way higher than mere doctrinal correctness, and –
Well, you can see the problem. Are there any limits to the “pastoral exception”? None that are typically spoken of, certainly none that are evident to me. The result of this line of thinking is a world where gay “marriage” in the abstract is accepted to be a moral evil, even if no particular gay “marriage” can be said to be.
We are seeing this already in anticipation of the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on the Family, which certain elements in the Church (evidently with at least some sympathy on the part of the Holy Father) desire to make into an occasion to (very quietly) affirm the Church’s ancient teachings on the indissolubility of marriage while (very publicly and aggressively) relaxing the disciplines that support the lived reality of those teachings; in other words, to canonize the current arrangement of practical lawlessness in the administration of the Sacraments and to formalize the Church’s heretofore merely material complicity in adultery. It’s hard to say what direction the Synod will go in, of course, but the trend here is not encouraging. It is very possible that, by this time next year, the Church will have automated the American annulment factory and exported it to the entire world, and that divorce-for-any-reason-or-none-at-all will become, if not doctrinally acceptable, tolerated with a knowing wink and nudge.
Be ye followers of me, brethren, and observe them who walk so as you have our model. For many walk, of whom I have told you often (and now tell you weeping), that they are enemies of the cross of Christ; Whose end is destruction; whose God is their belly; and whose glory is in their shame; who mind earthly things.
– Philippians 3:17-19
Surely you’ve heard the news of a few legislative attempts to prevent entrepreneurs from being legally harrased into material complicity with evil by servicing gay “weddings” — gay “weddings” which, mind you, are not even legally recognized in many of those states (yet).
That’s not especially alarming, or new, anyway; the free and equal new man cannot tolerate any restrictions on his liberty, even those imposed by the mere existence of the reactionary untermenschen who periodically crawl out of the sewer to contradict him. What alarms me is the extent to which Christians have thrown in with this particular anti-Crusade. In the last three days I have personally dealt with the libels of no less than three Christians, at least one of them an ostensibly “good” Catholic, daring to claim that a Christian baker refusing on principle to bake a cake for a gay “wedding” is morally deficient and contrary to Christian love; and my girlfriend (at least as fierce as me, but nowhere near as accustomed to leftist vitriol) has had to deal with several more, to her great distress. (Get it? You can’t “judge” — i.e., not be 100% on board with — sodomites for what they publicly and repeatedly say and do, but you can surely read and know the hearts of far-away small-business bakery owners on the basis of third-hand reports of their conversations.)
Let us be clear; if your position is that the “love” which we mean when we say “God is love” or “God so loved the world that He sent His only-begotten Son” obliges you to sell needles to heroin addicts or to let children eat sugary cereal for every meal, then you are setting yourself against the plain letter of Scripture, the unanimous witness of Christian history, and the dictates of basic human reason. If your position requires you to view faithful Christians as crucifying Pharisees and aggressive, unrepentant sodomites as the hapless sinners who dined with Christ, then you have got absolutely everything backwards. If your position is that the Constitutional-rendering-of-the-moment has higher Magisterial status than the unbroken opinion of all saintly Christians for all of time everywhere, then maybe you should replace that little metal cross hanging around your neck with a stylized hammer and nails.
A guest post by commenter JMSmith:
In an interesting post, Foseti returns to the Puritan Question, and affirms that “one key tenet” of Neoreaction is that Progressivism is a “nontheistic Christian sect.” No doubt there is much to be gained by understanding Progressivism as a messianic movement, and much to be regretted in the fact that Progressive chiliasts were so long cosseted in the cradle of Christian culture, but Progressivism is not a nontheistic Christian sect. It is that old skin-changer Gnosticism, now divested of Christian symbols, acting under a new guise suited to the sensibilities of nontheistic men and women.
I suggest that the real Puritan Question is, what exactly is Puritanism? To frame the question in Aristotelian terms, we should ask, which attributes are essential to Puritanism, and which are accidental? And then, more specifically, we should ask, whether Christianity (however loosely defined) is one of these essential attributes, or whether it was only accidentally, contingently, and temporarily associated with this essentially alien spiritual tendency?
My answer is, obviously, that the association was accidental.
Here’s the headline version of the relevant story: a Catholic high school hires a vice-principal who is (whether known or not to the school) a practicing homosexual. As part of the terms of his employment, he signs a contract obligating him to publicly abide by the teachings of the Church. At some point later on, he “marries” his boyfriend, a public repudiation of those teachings that earn him the termination of his employment — whereupon the Catholic students at the school rebel.
Suppose you were the pastor, or even the bishop. What would this tell you about the state of affairs in the local church, or in the Church in America more broadly, or the Church in general?
Anyone who has for very long been a conservative – let alone a reactionary – will have found himself from time to time buffeted about by some acquaintance who is in the grip of a physiological syndrome endemic among liberals:
Rebellion → dysfunction → weakness → fear → anger → hate → dysfunction …
As it happens, my family and I have over the last few days been weathering a barrage of slings and arrows hurled by a few outraged liberals, on account of our extremely mild but public utterances of ritually impure ruminations on the latest waves of innovation in public policy. It’s painful, and above all tiresome. But one grows accustomed to it, over time. Until the Great Awakening, there will be no alternative.
From The New York Post:
Colorado has launched a new ad campaign that attempts to entice young women to sign up for the new national health-care program with the promise of free contraceptives and carefree sex.
In one of the print ads, a flirty young woman holding a package of birth-control pills and leaning against a young man says: “OMG, he’s hot! Let’s hope he’s as easy to get as this birth control.”
She continues her steamy monologue: “My health insurance covers the pill, which means all I have to worry about is getting him between the covers.”
“I got insurance. Now you can too,” she says. “Thanks ObamaCare!”
The ad, which is dripping with lusty sexuality, dubs the young couple “Susie and Nate … Hot to Trot.”
To be on the safe side, there’s an added warning: “The pill doesn’t protect you from STDs; condoms and common sense do that.”
The ad is part of the “thanks obamacare!” campaign targeting young Coloradans — and underscores how the law’s backers will say just about anything to lure young people to sign up for the new mandatory health coverage, an outcome that is critical to ObamaCare working as planned.
The leftist often says that we who disapprove of contraception are free to choose not to avail ourselves of it. True enough; the problem is that we aren’t free to choose not to live in a society that’s been vulgarized by it.
This won’t be the last turn of the worm, to be sure; but it is hard to see how he could twist himself up any further than this, without brasting all to flinders.
My wife and I were exploring Sonoma County this last weekend. It is a beautiful, hilly, forested redoubt, a difficult hour and a half north of San Francisco, and so spared the downside of American urban life, while at the same time blessed with abundant good cheeses, markets, restaurants, chocolates, beer, and the like – wines, too, of course, with gorgeous world-class vinyards on every side – and most importantly for yours truly, good coffee. We stopped at my favorite chain, Peets Coffee of Berkeley (Alfred Peet is the fellow who started the North American coffee craze with a little store in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto, about forty years ago), with their glorious oaky smoky dark roasts, as dense and roborative as beef. My wife stopped in to the restroom, and returned with this photo: