Crime in a World Without Crimes

“Thou shalt not follow the multitude to do evil” (Ex. 23:2).

In an earlier post, I said that consistency was necessary in any worldview seeking to build a civilization. It is not necessary if the point is to tear a civilization down. If that is the goal, then radical swerves and changes help to achieve the goal.

Think of a small child, flipping out in the restaurant because the entree was not to his liking. He is lying on the floor, drumming his heels, screeching. If the hapless parents cave, and give him what he wants, and he suddenly changes his mind and flips out over that, the inconsistency helps him because the foundational consistency remains — and that fundamental consistency is that he and his sentiments of the moment must always be in charge.

The argument need not be consistent. All that needs to be consistent is the commitment to emotional blackmail.

And remember, in our day, in this culture, the point of the emotional blackmail is the relentless drive to any and every form of sexual expression, with the exception of biblically-based, monogamous and faithful heterosexual marriage. People can still do that, for now, but they can no longer call it normal, or even think in terms of normativity at all.

This relates to the strangely fierce attitude toward pedophilia on the part of those who, you would think, would have a soft spot in their hearts toward pederasty. And they do, but just wait for a bit.

The point of making pedophilia a high crime (in a worldview without crimes) was to undermine the moral authority of the establishment because of establishment hypocrites. Think of the scandals in the Catholic Church, or heterosexual fathers abusing their daughters, and so on. With all the emotional precision of a kid pitching a fit, the terrible offenses of priests and bishops are used to reject the teaching of the Church on sexual norms at all. The fathers who abandon the sacred trust of protecting their daughters from men, in order to become the man she needs to be protected from, is used by the sexual anarchists as a reason for removing godly fathers from the position of being able to protect anyone.

Bundle Up, Girls!

Last year, when I debated Andrew Sullivan over same sex mirage — he claiming to see it, and me claiming not to, for is it not a mirage? — one of the arguments that I advanced was this one: Given the premises and arguments of same sexery, we have absolutely no reason to limit marriage to two persons only. Andrew wanted to say no, no, no, and that two persons only was traditional and sacrosanct — like anybody cares about that these days. But that was his position anyhow.

In the aftermath of the debate, one of the questions raised to me (from friendly quarters) was whether I was treating same sex mirage as the slippery part of the slope, and polygamy as the bottom of the slope. But Abraham and David were polygamists, and so why would polygamy — a deficient form of marriage, to be sure, but still recognizably marriage — be treated as the reductio ad depravationem of another practice that the Scriptures universally treat as detestable. Is this not backwards somehow?

Point taken, but there are still several ways to defend this argument o’ mine — and it should be defended. The first is this. The point is not that plural marriage in itself is worse than same sex mirage, but rather that the defenders of same sex mirage like to draw arbitrary and capricious lines whenever it comes to the definition of marriage, and they have absolutely no coherent reason for doing so. When an opponent of same sex mirage is asked to defend his position, he says sure. God made the human body, He created us male and female, the two complement one another in exquisite ways, and together they carry the image of God (Gen. 1:27). When a homosexual activist is asked to defend his opposition to plural marriage, he will say sure. Because math and hate.
Whatever standards for marriage the advocates of same sex mirage still arbitarily have (for whatever reason) they should be made to defend. The point is to make it evident that they have no defense. If they say there should only be two people, make them say it, and them make them say why. If they say the age of consent should be eighteen, make them explain why it shouldn’t be seventeen. Their trajectory is evil, but this point is simpler. Their trajectory is capricious and ad hoc.

The Gaylag Archipelago

So a marginal football player got drafted into the NFL, kissed his boyfriend smack on the lips, and then another football player tweeted something that expressed the sentiment ick gross, and so the second player was hustled into sensitivity training. Got that?

As the revolution is established, there will be no heckling. Kirsten Powers got it right. I have as much of an expectation of broad-minded tolerance from the left these days as I do of somebody hoisting up a John 3:16 sign at a North Korean missile parade. These people are coercion junkies.

How will they stop the heckling? Vee haff vays. Notice that I did that obliquely because I didn’t want to violate Godwin’s Law — the first person in a debate to invoke Nazi parallels loses. This is because it is a well known principle of political science that political coercion and tyranny was only possible in the 1940s. All claims about oppressive coercion in our day are therefore bogus by definition, and one begins to suspect that the person who won’t stop expressing his views when the establishment wishes for him to express theirs is cruising for a sensitivity seminar. I also brought up Godwin’s Law because Nazi analogies are not the only negative examples that we should take into account.

Look. If you use language in ways they disapprove of, they will show the world what thorough-going malice looks like. That is why I make a point of doing it. They will send you off to the Gaylag Archipelago — there’s an example of what I do — where they will upbraid you for your intolerance until you come to realize that love is the answer. Love is all you need. Love is the best. Love is what Big Br . . . love is a good thing. Who could be against love except for the haters?

The Suitor and His Porn

In these times of ubiquitous porn, one of the unfortunate results is that young women and their parents have to sort out what it all means. In raising this question, I do not mean to imply that young women can’t have a porn problem — some do, but it is not as common, and usually represents a different set of challenges. More on that another time. But suppose a young woman’s father asks the kind of questions he ought to, and the results come back positive. The young man in question has struggled with porn — but what does that mean? It means different things, and so the first thing it means is that the father should follow things up with more questions — not questions about the porn itself, but about other character issues that might be related to it.

This is because the porn use might be a symptom of disqualification or, on the other hand, it might be the chief sign of his qualification for marriage. In the former instance, marriage won’t fix anything for him, and will likely just make things worse. In the latter instance, the young man’s sexual temptations are largely going to be resolved in a very old-fashioned way.

Nature By Grace

All right. Now it is time to bring a number of threads together.

The great American classicist Basil Gildersleeve once said that the American Civil War was fought over a point of grammar. He said that it was over whether we should say “the United States is” or “the United States are.” Other great and complicated issues can be reduced to a simple question as well. When it comes to culture wars, same sex mirage, natural law, and so on, we are really asking this: “What is the universe actually like?”

There are two basic options confronting us today. Either the cosmos was created, made, fashioned . . . or it was not. Either God spoke everything into existence from nothing, or there is no God. Eternality is an attribute of something — either the living God, or time and chance acting on matter and energy. If the former, we must do what He says. If the latter, we may do what we want.

But as it is, we are a rebellious house, and want to do what we want to do. We are a conclusion in search of a premise, and so it turns out that all respectable science testifies that Genesis is not a textbook of science, anything but that. The materialists say that Genesis is bogus, and the Christian abandoners of Genesis say that the book is crammed full of spiritual truths for your faith to believe, but you have to take care what you believe. You can’t believe everything you read. But the whole thing is a power play, seeking to drive from the field the only real alternative to their hellish vision for mankind.

Following Foucault, what these men want to do is hump the world, and they want the authority to make anything they want into an object for their lust. The first questions in their sexual catechism always have to do with sodomy, and this is why America now finds herself fiddling “with the lock on this cage of demons” (Swanson, Apostate, p. 24). Sodomy is simply perversion for beginners — anyone who thinks that we are anywhere close to being done with this foolishness is trying to make his peace with the foolishness himself. “Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man” (Prov. 27:20, ESV).

And Little Wool

I really should say something about outrage-fest that has mostly concluded over in the NBA and its environs. Clippers owner Donald Sterling got himself banned from NBA games and practices for life, and was fined 2.5 million dollars, because he managed to insinuate himself onto some audio, the playing of which audio proved to the world that he was in fact a racist jerk, not to mention a bounder and cad. It is difficult to summon up any sympathy for that kind of guy, and so why bother? No sympathy at all, at least not from this quarter. The fact that he is a big donor Democrat just made the whole thing a little bit too delicious.

But wait . . . there are some lessons.

There are still at least two observations to be made about the whole affair. Let us leave Sterling, whose character isn’t, out of it for a minute. The first point is what Mark Cuban noted — that this in fact is a very slippery slope. Suppose, in a grand thought experiment, we substitute somebody else in for Sterling. Let’s make it an evangelical family man, true blue to his wife, faithful church attender, and a man who donated $10,000 toward the passage of Prop 8 a few years ago, the anti same-sex mirage measure. Can anyone around here envisage a scenario (within a year or two, at our current pace) where the same thing could happen? The only ingredient necessary, it seems, is a requisite level of public outrage, which the media can always arrange for us. Bringing it back to Sterling, I will only observe that lynch mobs sometimes hang guilty people, but that this is not a good argument for the protection of public manners being turned over to lynch mobs.

Seven Theses on Submission

Part of the fallout from the Vision Forum mess has been the attempted discrediting of “patriarchy.” Since Doug Phillips definitely taught headship and submission in marriage, and since he sinned in the way he did, it is thought that the whole project should be abandoned in favor of something friendlier to women, like, say, abandoning them and aborting their children.

Since the controversy erupted, a great deal of nonsense has been written about what the Bible teaches, and about what those who believe the Bible teach on this subject. So I thought I should briefly summarize.

1. Bible plainly teaches the submission of wives to their own husbands. At the end of the day, our generation has a quarrel with the apostles of Jesus Christ. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord” (Eph. 5:22). “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord” (Col. 3:18). “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Tit. 2:4–5). There are certainly difficulties of application that will arise in a sinful world, about which more below, but if we swear off any hermeneutical horsing around, there is no difficulty in understanding the basic standard that is to be applied.

Just Getting a Drink

A recent jag in the feminist jihad has to do with what they are pleased to call microaggressions — what Jonah Goldberg recently worried might become nanoaggressions. So let’s talk about all that for a microbit.

Conservatives will frequently make merry about this kind of fevered brow behavior, assuming that these women’s-study-center-people have utterly lost it. Those who talk about microaggressions all the time must be doing so because of their microminds. But this goes wide of the mark by a good distance. What these people are doing to us is intelligent, rule-guided behavior. They are doing it because they are getting something important they want from it. Let me tell you a parable:

Once there was a game of pick-up basketball, and there were two teams — red shirts and blue shirts. The red shirts were from red states and the blue shirts were from blue states. With me so far?

Beyond the basic rules of the game, the blue shirts had only two requirements. The first was that they needed to be allowed to ref the game as well as play it, and the second requirement was that if anybody on the red team questioned any call, it was an automatic technical, and they had to go sit on the racist bench, or on the misogynist bench, depending on which eyebrow they had raised in protest.

At first the game looked kind of normal. But as time went on, the calls started getting more and more outlandish. First the blue players would flop when there was just slight contact, then when there was no contact at all, and finally they commenced to flopping whenever a red player came within three feet of them. Bam. Right on the back, and one of the others would always call it. Charging! Of course, there were some protests, and thus it was that the red state bench started accumulating a bad reputation for racism and misogyny. I mean, look at all of them sitting there. Such a poor testimony.

As I said earlier, some of the guys on the red player bench started joking amongst themselves about how stupid it all was. But then they started getting charged for micro-charging from the bench, and were made to sit on another bench behind the first one.
Pretty soon everybody was used to this system, and when a hot-headed player started to argue, or even looked like he was thinking about arguing a call, all the evangelicals in the bleachers behind him would start hissing at him. “Tesssstimony! Tessssssstimony! Sssssit down!” Most of the time he would.

In the off-season, lots of evangelicals from the bleachers would attend conferences dedicated to the question of why we were losing so many basketball games. They could actually fill arenas for such conferences, with about ten times more attendees than would show up for the basketball games themselves, and the registrations cost about five times more than the basketball tickets did.