So then first, what is this Overton Window? That window, named after Joseph “Wiki” Overton — who coined the phrase — refers to the range of ideas that are palatable, thinkable, acceptable, or otherwise within the pale, when it comes to public discourse. Outside the window, you’re just a hate-filled weirdo. In the area of the curtains, you’re an extremist but they will still deal with you.
Now we live in unstable times, which means that the window moves around. Some powerful forces want this to represent a drastic cultural remodel, an extreme makeover, and so they want to put the window clear on the other side of the house now. Think about it. Five years ago, how many people even knew what transgenderism was? And yet now we must be seething with hatred because we don’t want some disturbed guy in a Minnie Pearl hat peeing in the same room as our five-year-old daughter.
In order to get regular people to go along with this drastic renovation, the progressive element in our society has resorted to one of their standard persuasive techniques, one which is sometimes still known by its older name of “cudgeling.” Of course you are cudgeled if you object to the moving of the window. But — and here is how the window actually gets moved — they will also cudgel you if you know somebody who once said a nice thing about a fellow who spoke at a conference once with someone who objected to the moving of the window.
This last poor sap may not have been quite as hateful as the anti-remodeler himself, but he is part of a system that “legitimizes” such views. And — perhaps you may have anticipated this — such views must NEVER be legitimized. They are, much like Emmanuel Goldstein, doubleplusungood.
This is how Christian players and kinda players who care more about respectability (as determined by the current location of the window) than truth (as determined by Scripture) are persuaded to keep their distance from Christians who are putting up resistance that is actually effective. If you are looking for worldview stability, you will not find it there. This susceptible kind of Christian is as stalwart as a cat chasing a laser pointer. Their mewling quest for relevance has all the backbone of a wet napkin on the counter.
And this brings me to the subject — as much as it brings a blush to what can be seen above the beard of my maidenly cheeks — of moi. Now some might want to say, as a simple matter of word craft, that beard and maidenly cheeks don’t really go together. This simply shows how much work we have left to do, people. Have you ever seen such enmity, animosity, rancor, bile, meanness, malignity, spleen, mordacity, or venom? Well, no, but for myself, I identify with all those characteristics ONLY in a manner consistent with the fruit of the Spirit. If someone can be a gender bender, why can someone else not be a tender bender? Or perhaps a tender gender bender bender. I call this cis-bending.
I have been called “controversial.” Fine, but why? Some say it is because of alleged plagiarism, and others because I am a rapist-defender, and others because I am a paleo-Confederate, and others because they heard I deny sola fide, and yet others because they understand I am a racist who wants to bring back the slave trade. They pelt me with excrement and offal so they can accuse me of stinking. Yeah, well.
There is a particular play that is currently being run on us. Look what is sitting at the top of my Twitter feed at the moment.
“From here on out, take note of who still endorses or recommends @douglaswils, then mark and avoid.”
To point out that this is what people are trying to do is not “whining.” I do not find the existence of such tactics unusual or odd in the slightest. Welcome to earth, kid. But boil it all down. The reason I am controversial is that I fight. Not only so, but I show every indication that I will continue to fight in the future. I promise to fight, and I promise to fight all out, and if you don’t want to get any of those particular cooties on you, you will continue to have many other evangelical options. Such alternatives to fighting include throat-clearing, at-the-end-of-the-daying, on-the-other-handing, seminar-toodling, and panel-discussion-counterpointing. The only downside is that your men turn into pencil-necked wusses and your women into the kind of women who first make and then tolerate pencil-necked wusses.
A movie documenting precisely the kind of thing we are dealing with was made last fall and is now available on Amazon Prime. You can check it out here. If you want to know why I am controversial, you can find out here. If you want to know my demeanor in the midst of controversy, you can find out here. If you want to know the character of my enemies, you can find out here. If you want to know if I love them, you can find out here. And don’t assume you know what the flag background in that cross means.
I am in the midst of a great fight, and I intend to fight effectively. Ah, someone might retort, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Right, but as the joke continues, who wants to catch flies?
Some say that my polemical style is unbiblical, and they say this because they were taught in Sunday School that the law and prophets are summed up in the one word nice. Christ could have had a much more Christ-like ministry if he had just tamed it down a little in Matthew 23. To this I reply that it is at least an intelligible claim, and so we could have a Bible study on it. What does the Bible actually teach about this?
But because what the Bible teaches is not really their core interest, the objectors then retreat to the claim that such tactics are counterproductive — you turn people off, you chase them away, you provide a poor testimony, and also nobody likes you. And here is where I would do my best imitation of the Pauline you-are-making-me-talk-like-I-am-out-of-my-mind thing. According to this recent ranking of Christian blogs, Mablog is now in the Top 10 Christian blogs.
If Mablog is not creditable in the first place, why is so much time and energy being spent to discredit what goes on here? Nobody takes you seriously, said the chairman of the oppo-research team. We have hundreds of people working on what a clown you are.
Yes, but another rejoinder might be — your position on that list is not an indicator of truth, right, because you are #10 and Rachel Held Evans is #9. Well, sure. Of course. Ladies first.