I EXPERIENCED THE DREADED PERFUNCTORY of the church pew as a child, acolyte, and later, more formally as a wandering pilgrim seeking the truth and the promise of the gospel with a sincere questioning of those men of profession and through books both great and small. My heart was repeatedly clipped and scarred when I heard many a perfumed Christian surreptitiously bashing each other over the most mundane things, and later, as I challenged own my mind in focus while crossing the picket line from those cocksure doubters back into fold of the sacred believers, I eventually learned to keep my distance. When taking the pulse of the provisioners where steeple and word hold just enough sway to fool the weak and the innocent, I learned to dismiss “faithful” weapons of others more inclined to lord over than raise up those few who seek the kingdom in real terms, psychological and territorial, and who are naturally inclined to give more of themselves than they the old taskmasters are wont to perceive.
In other words, persons of the cloth and their sheep are no less naked than the rest of us, but I also learned I was in no position to judge them against the grain, either. Yet, I did move along in my studies. The church would take care of itself, or not, I surmized. One flaw among intelligent people is that too often one assumes, wrongly, that most other people are equally perceptive and cogent, and one might say the same of those who argue in good faith expecting a fair and reasoned response, and so forth. Surely, I thought, I was better suited for, and had other worlds to investigate.
As for the mindset of progressive liberals, it mimics a mental illness that Melanie Phillips says is “impervious” to the facts or truth. A pseudo detachment from reality is due to the clutching of a cause or ideology celebre. The sufferers of this mental disorder all use the same tactics: blame, lies, excuse making, name calling, labeling, condemnation, and hatred. They don’t want to know the meaning of personal responsibility. They will do anything to avoid the facts, which will be muddled and then reduced to mere opinion. Facts aren’t facts but simply opinions which they don’t even bother trying to refute. It’s absolutely frightening and futile to conduct a definitive discussion with these marked people if one is not aware of how they operate, because there is absolutely no reasoning in them.
They have been thoroughly indoctrinated in the liberal education system (another reason why tenure should be terminated). I believe the only answer is for them, like all addicts, to hit their own personal bottom and work their way back up out of it. May they all find the bottom before it’s too late.
And Son of Walker opines in good haste:
I’ve been writing here for something like six years, and in all that time I think I am the only reader here I have convinced of anything other than that I have a bad temper. No amount of counter-proposal will improve my temper, and it won’t even make me feel badly. Imagine, then, how hopeless a task it is to wean away a vicious and determined ideologue from his hatreds. It is pointless to try, and it is harmful to us generally: that if by sad chance someone with Robert Spencer posters on his wall commits a crime, that the very ideologues of the Left will attempt to lay blame for that on Spencer. This tack is seemingly effective in a campaign against Sarah Palin, and for no reason other than that we, i.e. non-Leftists, allow it to be. Personally, I have no problem with being offensive, so long as I am aiming at it and not missing my point. There is a legitimate place for ire, for rage, and for simply walking away from a deceitful ideologue ranting, as we see in the Left generally. We gain nothing by allowing them credibility in acknowledging that they might have a point we must address. If they have no point, do not argue but carry on regardless. Rhetoric is the art of persuasion, as Roland has pointed out a number of times; and let me offer that persuasion is not limited to being pleasant, it is limited to effectiveness. Persuade, but do not assume this means being polite or pleasant. Evil people do not deserve civility or good faith. Attack them. Defeat them. And if that requires some sophisticated manipulation of ones persona as a “nice” person, then keep in mind it must be persona only. We are here to win, not to be popular among idiots.
Many of our opponents are clearly evil. If we don’t understand that, we will be forever defending the good as if it were as evil as evil itself. Be confident in your own goodness, assuming it is so, and be confident in the evil of evil people, even if you would rather not see such things in others. I repeat that I do not care what Walter Duranty has to say about the Stalinist years, as an example. Why should any of us care? Liars lie. There comes a point it’s just not worth the effort to refute each lie piecemeal. They will never change, and one loses in the attempt at making them better people. See them as they are, and act accordingly.
Jumping ahead to our topic at hand, which is to find understanding lurking within certain unfathomable positions, ordinarily dismissed as finger pointing or hypocrisy. In a dogma dogfight, there are simply certain Christians who see brothers in godly arms everywhere lined up against the greatest and the least of sinners. Witness Jerry Falwell who announced on the day of 9/11 that it was everyone’s fault (Wiccans, pagans, feminists, evolutionary biologists, feminists, abortion doctors, etc) EXCEPT the Muslims’ or the fomenting brothers of the cross.
Why? We surmise this so because since the Muslims believe in a single God that likes to nose into people’s business, he believed the hijackers to be nothing more than a manifestation of Divine Will against the US (and the West) for allowing things like homosexuals to be themselves, et cetera.
Life was bad enough with his type around; why did we have to import the Islamic stripe of it?
In defense of the late Jerry Falwell, he represents a very old tradition in Hebraic Religion (which includes Christianity).
I doubt that Falwell saw Muslims as “allies” against the “sinners”. He was probably thinking in terms of Isaiah 10:5ff., which sees the ungodly, vicious, utterly dangerous Assyrians as the “rod of God’s anger” against a people who ought to know and act better. The same mindset can be found in Jeremiah, through whom God speaks of “Nebuchadnezzar, my servant”. It is the same spirit in which Jesus himself spoke when he foresaw the events of 70 A.D. in Matthew 24 and 25. it isn’t that Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Jesus saw Assyria, Babylonia, and Rome as exemplars of righteousness—far from it. These heathen powers were instruments of chastisement against a people whom the prophets and Messiah loved with all their hearts. Never forget that Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Jesus wept over the attitude of their countrymen—and I do not doubt that Jerry Falwell wept over the attitude of his, too (even if he was steeped in Arminian and Dispensationalist error).
Bible prophecy also mentions the doom of these nations. Rome itself is portrayed in Revelation (a vision given by the risen and glorified Jesus to John, his beloved disciple) as a harlot “drunk with the blood of the saints” (Rev. 15). And I’ll go on record that only those who badly misread the New Testament can say it “whitewashes” pagan Rome.
Those who suspect an element of divine chastisement in the current Islamic fury most emphatically DO NOT see Islam as an ally against sexual immorality, New Ageism, etc. We have no illusions that the religion of the pedophile pseudo-prophet, whose followers are notorious for the practice of sodomy, can help usher in a new age of sobriety and piety; or that a pseudo-prophet who swore by the stars can represent the GOD WHO IS ONE.
But we do fear that a culture that loves recasting God Incarnate and Messiah into its own image, sanctifies grotesque sexual perversions, and loves ideological struggle even as it cripples its own governments lest they wage legitimate defensive international wars might not be given over to a rival that also embodies the same sins.
This being said, there is forgiveness and blessing to be found via Jesus Christ. And I, for one, dare to hope that this current crisis may be one that forces the blithe trumpeters of moral equivalency, scoffers, and scorners who have become too common in Christendom to turn around.
Thanks to Dalaran and Kepha.