Though Not Always

"If you stick your head through the hole in the canvas at the county fair, you have no right to be shocked and dismayed when people throw wet sponges at it. Fortunately, given the state of criticism these days, lots of people miss -- especially the feminists, who usually throw like a girl" (Rules for Reformers, p. 191). … [Read more...]

The Conservative Upper Hand

"The real reformer has a real advantage, but one which he rarely recognizes himself as having. Living in the world that actually exists is an enormous advantage. There are times when it almost seems to me like cheating or something. In the long run, we need not worry. In the long run, blind stupidity never works. The revolutionary alternates between throwing rocks at the moon and barking at it" (Rules for Reformers, p. 176). … [Read more...]

Well Conditioned

"Ten million see a particular sitcom, and they are all cool-shamed into cringing when that unsympathetic and very greasy character makes that homo-joke. Do you doubt what I say? Did you just cringe when I used the word homo-joke? You may be a very conservative Christian, and you are with me on the merits, but you still do whatever their laugh track tells you to" (Rules for Reformers, p. 167) … [Read more...]

We Don’t Need More of the Same

"We don't need sophisticated economics. We need people who understand the difference between bigger numbers and smaller numbers. We don't need nuance in race relations. We need to judge people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. We don't need wise men who manage an endless series of nation-building wars. We need our wars to be purposive, rare, and short.  We don't need a candidate who wins the grudging respect of the professional left. We need a candidate who has an uncanny ability to set them all off as barking mad" (Rules for Reformers, pp. 164-165). … [Read more...]

Because You Never Want the Truth to Turn Around and Apologize for You

"The rule is never to apologize for the truth. Never. When Scripture requires us to seek forgiveness or put something right, what we are putting right is our complicity in some lie or other. Lies must always be repudiated, and while it is certainly humbling, it is never strategically stupid. We are servants of the truth -- how can it hurt us to get rid of another lie? Armies are not weakened by finding and hanging another spy in their ranks" (Rules for Reformers, p. 155). … [Read more...]

Because Both Sides Are in the Story

"Narrative theology is important -- crucial in fact. But when it becomes apparent that it is important in this world of war, both sides will attempt to seize it, and will use it to their own ends. This is why it is as silly to assume that someone is a postmodernist because he emphasizes story as it would be to assume that someone was a Union solder because [he] was on the field at Gettysburg, and had a gun. Right, he did, but which way was it pointed?" (Rules for Reformers, p. 153). … [Read more...]