And Then Swash Some More

In this battle with Planned Parenthood that just erupted, certain worried cautions against triumphalism really ought to wait until after the triumph. I would much rather encourage the troops to pour it on, they’re doing great.

And they have been doing great. The Center for Medical Progress has done a wonderful thing in and through these videos — and again I want to stop in order to suggest the Medal of Freedom for David Daleiden. But another wonderful thing has happened as well.

In the spirit of Rachel Dolezal's spray tan, and Bruce Jenner's lipstick, I propose this simple reversal of color as a way of moving forward . . .
In the spirit of Rachel Dolezal’s spray tan, and Bruce Jenner’s lipstick, I propose this simple reversal of color as a way of moving forward . . .

I think that those who are concerned about “triumphalism” are in fact noticing something that really is happening. That something should in fact be noticed, and — given how our worried evangelical leadership frequently works — defended. What I am talking about is all the pro-life exuberance and joy. The pursuit of Planned Barrenhood has been robust, pointed, widespread, funny, hard-hitting, massive, and driven by what can only be called battle joy. Speaking quite frankly, I have simply been proud of and grateful for the behavior of pro-life Christians. We are scaling the castle walls of Minas Sanger on these little rickety ladders, and so I don’t want to spend any energy tsking at those up ahead of me with a knife in their teeth about to reach the top. Not the time. Wouldn’t be appropriate.

But all this does of course provide an opening for those who are given to tut-tutting. They ask, “Is this really appropriate?” Of course, tutters will tut. They will say that our “joy” must mean that we are not really concerned with the morality of the war effort, and neither are we gripped by all the deep concerns that lie beneath that effort. We must not care about the human costs. This is like saying that the sailor kissing the girl in Times Square at the end of World War 2 must not have cared about his buddies who had died. It means that they don’t understand the nature of serious moral conflict at all.

C.S. Lewis says somewhere that if war is ever lawful for a Christian, and it is, then the martial spirit is also lawful. There are times when the spirit of war descends, and in a lawful cause there are few things more exhilarating.

Consider what an eventful few months we have had. On April 24, Bruce Jenner attained unto girlhood. On June 16, Rachel Dolezal grew into her spray tan. Then on June 17 we had the Charleston shooting and subsequent uproar over the Confederate battle flag — a symbol for sober heads of states’ rights. Then just a few days later, on June 26, the SCOTUS beclowned itself an egregious assault on those very same states rights, not to mention Biology 101. And then somewhere in there some enlightened brass in the military started talking about a transgendered fighting force, I mean, what could go wrong there? Then in early July the first eucatastrophic torpedo from CMP landed amidships at Planned Parenthood. Now none of this means that God wants us to stop fighting. But it very plainly means that He wants us to be happy.

Speaking of triumphalism, this is related to triumph. And in Scripture, it is bad when the wicked triumph, and it is good when the righteous do. “Lord, How long shall the wicked, How long shall the wicked triumph?” (Ps. 94:3). Good question, and we should pray that question more. “Moab is my washpot; Over Edom will I cast out my shoe; Over Philistia will I triumph” (Ps. 08:9). But isn’t saying that Moab is your washpot kind of trash-talking, kind of taunting? Isn’t it kind of like saying we are going to scale their city walls and then slap their mamas?

C.S. Lewis mentions that this spirit of battle joy is part of how Chesterton made a conquest of him.

“The sword glitters not because the swordsman set out to make it glitter but because he is fighting for his life and therefore moving it very quickly” (Surprised by Joy, p.191).

Winning, triumph, does present its spiritual challenges. We should consider them thoughtfully if and when we get there. But for the time being we have better things to do . . . like fighting. Like fighting all in. We must fight, and not like a grim-faced, moralistic thug either. We must fight like cavaliers. We must swash and we must buckle, and then we must swash some more.

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timothy
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timothy

Now none of this means that God wants us to stop fighting. But it very plainly means that He wants us to be happy.

Hee!

(:

AMA
Guest
AMA

Thanks for this post. This whole fight against Planned Barrenhood has been very encouraging to many wearied souls, including my own. As you said, the last few months have been grievous, but the camaraderie and “battle joy” amongst pro-lifers has reminded me that there are still thousands in Israel who have not bowed a knee to Baal.

John Stoos
Member

We should certainly rejoice and celebrate in the midst of the battle, but must always remember that the victory belongs to God which is why I think he gives us one of the toughest bits of wisdom that we find in the Proverbs here: Proverbs 24: ” 17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; 18 Lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him, And He turn away His wrath from him”

Benjamin Ledford
Guest
Benjamin Ledford

Eh… I think that’s referring to personal misfortune, not the battle for righteousness and justice.

John Stoos
Member

The text does say “enemies.” If it was personal we would be called upon to love them, would we not?

jho
Guest
jho

Our current battle is not personal, against the people trapped in the morass of evil that is the abortion industry or the cultural sludge that is the homosexual marriage issue. Our enemies are spiritual. We ought not rejoice because our lesbian friend has been trapped by lies or rejoice if an abortionist gets suckered in by the lies of the academy or a clinician falls for the lie that those little baby livers and hearts will actually benefit somebody and shouldn’t be wasted. All of these people are victims of our real enemy.

Elisabeth
Member

Such times as these, isn’t God pleased and yes, we as his children go on pleasing Him, for fear of displeasing him. The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever…We swash our way to heaven. …as the church militant. Thank you …..God bless you all.

Kirsten Miller
Guest
Kirsten Miller

I’ve noticed that when this type of opportunity arises, I really like a good fight. It’s good to have a name for it. It’s exhilarating to launch a good one at the bad guys, and pile on when they’re down like this. They so richly deserve it. There is also the loyalty and love you feel for the people who are fighting the same enemy. David Daleiden and the others from Center for Medical Progress had a great plan and it’s a privilege to follow them through the breach and it would be shameful to draw back in the battle… Read more »

valerieab
Member

I’m reminded of this attempted morale-murderer: “Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, ‘Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle'” (1 Samuel 17:28)

weisjohn
Guest
weisjohn

> There are times when the spirit of war descends…

I choked up with joy when I read that. That phrase captures so much of how I’ve been relating to this recent renewal of the importance of the doctrine of God’s righteous wrath.

Ben
Guest
Ben

We all of course know that the videos and the current calls for defunding, prosecution, etc. aren’t going to stop PP from doing what it does. In five years they’ll still be killing babies, and in five years no one at PP will be in jail. However, I think I’m coming around to the idea of at least taking pleasure in watching the Powers That Be momentarily squirm and fumble around for explanations, rationalizations, etc. The White House statement that this was just extremist right-wing propaganda was rich. Perhaps the lesson to learn here is that, since we have no… Read more »

Kirsten Miller
Guest
Kirsten Miller

“With respect to the public faces of the PTB (the presidential candidates for example), find some imperfection, some verbal tick, some physical flaw, and just mercilessly attack it.” Ben, are you serious, or is that an attempt to make a point?

Ben
Guest
Ben

If we can make fun of Hitler (as youtube has so richly demonstrated), then I don’t see why it’s different to make fun of our own ruler thugs.

Unless, of course, you believe that they aren’t violent and evil like Hitler was, in which case the burden of proof is on you, in my opinion.

Kirsten Miller
Guest
Kirsten Miller

Okay, Ben. I see you’re serious. Very, very serious. Frankly, you’re sucking the Chestertonian joy right out of the room.

Ben
Guest
Ben

Are you saying you don’t enjoy making fun of comically deranged, evil thugs in power? Is it a sin to find this video funny? (warning: some strong language)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWC8D156VO0

Kirsten Miller
Guest
Kirsten Miller

Here’s your problem: “We all of course know that the videos and the current calls for defunding, prosecution, etc. aren’t going to stop PP from doing what it does. In five years they’ll still be killing babies, and in five years no one at PP will be in jail.” You think there are giants in the land and the Lord can’t give it to us? Joshua and Caleb saw the situation correctly and God blessed them. And that video was potty-mouthed without being very clever or interesting.

Ben
Guest
Ben

I never said I thought the Lord couldn’t take out PP. It’s not a question of can he do it, but will he, and more specifically, will he do it through “hashtag activism?” Another problem with your comparison is that the Lord had promised the Israelites that the land was theirs. He has made no such promise to us regarding the U.S. in its current form. If anything, we can be pretty sure that the land will NOT be ours, and that we will be persecuted more and more. That is why we shouldn’t get our hopes up. Speak the… Read more »

Kirsten Miller
Guest
Kirsten Miller

Do you spend a lot of time reading political blogs? Stuff like Lew Rockwell? Honest question.

Ben
Guest
Ben

Yes. This is why I’m informed enough not to get my hopes up. :)

Kirsten Miller
Guest
Kirsten Miller

It’s not good for you. You’re not getting informed, you’re getting shaped. You talk that talk. That’s how I knew you were into that stuff, after just reading a couple of your comments on a blog. It creates men who think they “see through” things, and do a lot of swaggering and cynical hard-guy talking and obsessing about conspiracy stuff and the “PTB,” as you put it. Stop filling your mind with that stuff, read your Bible more, and let the Word of God shape you.

Ben
Guest
Ben

OK, but what’s incorrect about anything I’ve said? I wagered $1,000 that PP would still be operating as usual 5 years from now, and I wagered $10,000 that no one from PP is going to jail. Do you want to make this bet? Are you brave enough? I’m not just blowing hot air, I’m actually putting my money where my mouth is. Do you have no respect for that? I’m basing my statements on facts. You, however, make assertions about me “not getting informed” and how people like me “obsess about conspiracy stuff,” but you provide no evidence. How do… Read more »

Kirsten Miller
Guest
Kirsten Miller

Ben, only you know what’s going on with you; your reading habits, how much you’re reading your Bible, etc. I don’t know you. But I contend that if you have an acronym for the powers that be, you’re probably talking about them too much, because you’re thinking about them too much. I’ve observed that people that read a lot of that Lew Rockwell-type stuff tend to become embittered and lose their perspective and their joy. It seems to be a bit addictive, and like a cuckoo in the nest, it can push out seeking biblical wisdom.

Ben
Guest
Ben

Have you actually observed this happen with anyone, say, in your personal life?

It actually keeps me from getting bitter. Bitterness comes from not having your expectations met. My only expectation is that thugs are gonna do what thugs are gonna do. When we treat them like something better than thugs, and when we beg them for little scraps of our lives back that they have stolen from us, we can’t help but become bitter. That’s why I don’t vote.

timothy
Guest
timothy

FYI: As for the land, Pastor Wilson had a post about Covenant Government.

The sketch of the argument is thus:

Once the covenant is made with God, then God will honor it.

That entails bringing us back into a right relationship with Him if/when we break it. (i.e. see Israel)

Since our Founders made our Republic under right relations with Him, He will act so as to preserve our land–in correct relationship–which, at this moment, implies judgement.

hth.

bethyada
Member

Over Philistia will I triumph (Ps. 108:9).

Josh
Guest
Josh

I like the flag color reversal. I live in SC. SC has had its share of shameful history, but there’s something brewing here. What was once the most backwards state in the union is now turning to be one of the most positively progressive states of the union. Almost as if God is picking the ugly kid to show His Grace through…

Ian Miller
Member

How so?

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

I second Ian Miller’s question.

Jack Bradley
Guest
Jack Bradley

“the Confederate battle flag–a symbol for sober heads of states’ rights.”

Okay. But you would also agree that it is a symbol for many, black and white, *primarily* of slavery and racial subjugation. I for one am very glad to see it come down the government flagpole of every state.

timothy
Guest
timothy

The Cross is an offensive symbol for many. Should Christians take down that symbol?

Tom
Guest
Tom

Difference: The cross was where a man died to save souls.
The Confederate battle flag was flown by an army of a polity that was created because a man who stated that he would not allow the expansion of slavery was elected President.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

I second Tom’s distinction.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Taking the “happy six-colored rainbow” position, the Cross condemns what is perfectly natural animal behavior and is offensive to reason and science and non-christian cultures and personal liberty. There is no place for such an offensive symbol in our diverse and welcoming culture of tolerant inclusiveness . Since the standard you have raised is “symbol for many” then you are either (A) in contradiction of your principles, (B) have not thought them through (C) a knowing hypocrite arguing from bad-faith. I think (B) you have not thought them through. I also think that Doug Wilson’s intransigence on this issue is… Read more »

Tom
Guest
Tom

I’m not sure where you got the idea that I was making the “symbol for many” argument. The fact of the matter is that I have no doubt that to many people, the Confederate Battle Flag represents states’ rights and resistance to an overweening central government, just as I have no doubt that to many people the Cross of Christ is the symbol of those they see as persecutors.
These, however, are not what either of them truly are.

Jack Bradley
Guest
Jack Bradley

Timothy, your reductio is absurd. Equating the offense of the Cross with the offense of the Confederate flag?

timothy
Guest
timothy

Jack, my opening is …..Taking the “happy six-colored rainbow” position…

If I am a gay black multi-gendered womyn then both the Cross and Stars-n-Bars are antithetical to my feelings.

You tell me why they are distinct cases? Both are oppressive to me. There is no place for either the offensive Stars-n-Bars or the Cross in our diverse and welcoming culture of tolerant inclusiveness .

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

So never mind the happy six colored rainbow position if you want to understand the actual position some people are taking in this conversation. Never mind the obvious hypocrisy of thin skinned diversity fetishists – which I take it is your point, and the point of Doug Wilsons reverse stars and bars too? Among other things I would tell you, et al, is don’t be a State’s Rights fetishist either. But mostly, don’t in any way equate the cross with the Confederate battle flag or any other flag. Stop, and maybe this is aimed at Doug Wilson more than you,… Read more »

Tom©
Guest
Tom©

Of course “the offense of the cross” has a deeper meaning, but those who went after the Confederate flag going after the Christian flag citing the Crusades or some such nonsense would not suprise me in the least.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Yes, they will.

Why will they do it?

The “why” of it is what I am trying to get JohnM and Jack and you to recognize and state clearly.

Tom©
Guest
Tom©

*Why? Because we are a nation run by depraved perverts. That’s why.

*Doug Wilson

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

The thing is, even if you think the same animus is behind opposition to the Confederate battle flag as is behind support for the rainbow flag, at best you find yourself, and let me borrow here from Pastor Wilson, picking a swamp to defend instead of a hill. At best.
At worst, and for full disclosure my own view, you find yourself agitated and agitating on behalf of something foolish that never should have been in the first place. There may be wrong reasons to oppose it, but that doesn’t mean there are right reasons to support it.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Hi JohnM. but that doesn’t mean there are right reasons to support it. Are you sure about that? What if Wilson is on the high ground and his detractors are in the swamp ? What if Wilson is right? Does it make sense to abandon the truth? Is conceding to the heckler’s veto of a baying mob the right thing to do just because it is loud and the mob large? No, no and no are my answers. I see your argument: 1. The flag represents slavery. 2. Brothers and sisters in Christ are deeply offended by it. 3. The… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Timothy, That was coherent enough, and a long reply, which is okay since not everything fits in a nutshell, but I don’t know if I will manage to respond to every part of it. Also I haven’t figured out paragraph breaks here. But anyway… 1. The flag represents slavery. A. Not exactly. Not primarily. First, the flag represents a repudiation of democracy. It represents rejection of the results of a free election held in our republic. It represents not merely civil disobedience but refusal to acknowledge even in principle the authority of that republic’s government – which I deny citizens,… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

Hi JohnM, I have a full day of labor ahead, so I will be away for a bit. Just a quick note or two… I find the counter-case to 1.A the stronger case. I believe we are seeing the fruition of that error today and the fruits are evil. The case for the several states over the centralized state was the founding and it was the better design. I will leave that discussion to the history guys; I bring it up only to note that your item is not enough to make me change my position. Now, as to the… Read more »

drewnchick
Member

I disagree with your assertion that the Confederacy was something “foolish that never should have been in the first place.” (Correct me if I misinterpreted.) The Confederacy absolutely should have existed and for all the reasons it did. But as R.L. Dabney correctly pointed out, the CSA was judged for their sins related to slavery, just as the North was also judged for those same sins. Both sides believed and behaved sinfully toward their fellow man who just so happened to possess very dark skin. But that divine judgment was not an indictment on the formation of the CSA per… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

Many of us keep it around precisely because it offends people like you.

Matt
Guest
Matt

How’s that working out for you?

ashv
Guest
ashv

Pretty good! This has been a good year for being despised by the despicable.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Slavery and racial subjugation had their problems but they’re a lot better than what we have now.

timothy
Guest
timothy

We have a Risen Christ now. Honestly, have you read Philemon?

ashv
Guest
ashv

I have. Being free is better than being a slave; but the great error of our society today is believing that getting rid of a slavemaster turns slaves into free men.

timothy
Guest
timothy

The decline of black culture in America is a post Great Society, not post-slave master ; prior to that, we had admirable men–on of my favorite is George Washington Carter–the scientist who asked God to let him understand the peanut.

Their culture was re-enslaved by the progressives; they are now slaves to sin.

The solution is the same for whomever* is a slave to sin; freedom in Christ.

*Whomever? whoever? whatever!

ashv
Guest
ashv

I agree that Black society was much more stable and productive in the pre-civil rights period. My main point is that we should judge the policies and mores of a society on the results, and today’s are looking especially bad.

drewnchick
Member

That the Confederate battle flag is “for many” a symbol primarily of slavery and racial subjugation is in a very real sense simply the result of emotive and/or vindictive people commandeering the symbol. To remove the flag, then, is capitulating to that subversion. The alphabet soup of sexual perverts has also commandeered a decidedly Christian symbol–the rainbow–for their own emotive and/or vindictive use, subverting it for their dastardly and nefarious purposes. Are we to abandon the rainbow as God’s symbol of promise because a bunch of LBGTUFOs co-opted it for their charades? Should we abandon the star as a Christian… Read more »

Jack Bradley
Guest
Jack Bradley

“have assigned the meaning of “racism” or “slavery” to it. That was NOT what it ever actually stood for; that is the meaning assigned to it by those who hate what it actually stood for.”

Malachi, You are missing the biggest E on the biggest eyechart. You can say the flag represented “states rights” – but it was preeminently the right to own slaves.

drewnchick
Member

If I missed that really big “E” it was because I was focused on the small line at the bottom of the chart…the line that a lot of people never get around to seeing because their vision blurs long before then. The Confederate battle flag was Virginia’s actual battle flag, and was later adopted as the symbol of the entire Confederacy. The flag did NOT represent slavery or racism; it represented the sovereign rights of the State of Virginia to self-governance. It quickly became a symbol for Southerners of all States, both white and black, of Southern independence, freedom from… Read more »

Jack Bradley
Guest
Jack Bradley

“Southerners are not racist and don’t want a return to slavery.”

I never said or even implied that they were or did.

Yes, a symbol of southern independency, et al. But it still, always, comes back to the big E.

Jack Bradley
Guest
Jack Bradley

And I have no problem with you flying that flag in nongovernment spaces to demonstrate your resistance to tyrannical government. I have a big problem when folks expect the rest of us to wrap ourselves in that flag in resistance to tyranny.

Bobby Phillips
Guest
Bobby Phillips
Tom
Guest
Tom

I doubt it.

Bobby Phillips
Guest
Bobby Phillips

Yeah… Well, while everyone acknowledges that he’s not the best writer, his books *are* pretty widely known, and–just a thought–it might not be the best idea to adopt the same flag as a fictionalized Confederate Hitler.

Tom
Guest
Tom

The first rule of anything: never assume someone else knows everything that you know. And Wilson doesn’t seem to be a big Alternate History reader.

Bobby Phillips
Guest
Bobby Phillips

I’m… not exactly sure how your first comment applies. Look, I realize not everyone reads alternate history, but all it takes is one bitter atheist who’s a Turtledove reader with a blog to spread the knowledge.

Tom
Guest
Tom

True, true.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Our real work is just beginning. But let’s certainly be emboldened by the light being shown on our enemies that shows just how fragile their power really is.

Kevin Bratcher
Guest

I came across this quote on Goodreads while looking for abolition quotes. It’s quite fitting: “I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the… Read more »