Communication Can Be Hard

Let Us Speak of Hearth and Home

God of Hearth and Home: Where should I begin? First, I would like to say that my breakfast this morning was excellent, a warm sausage-and-egg sandwich with coffee done just right. I do like a good brew in the morning . . . wakes me right up and sets the day straight. But what I mean is this: the family should be eating breakfast with me, not still sleeping in their beds, but I find this arrangement suspiciously impossible, given that I must be off to work at the ungodly hour of 5:00 am, when the others are just barely opening their eyes. School doesn’t start for another 3 hours, you see. But what do I mean by “ungodly,” you ask? Is there such a time of day that could—or should—be classified thus? Does God create an hour that is not good? Well, I suggest that He created the sun to shine and demarcate the day, thus giving us a pretty good indication of when we should be rising and sleeping. At least for those in the temperate zones. My alarm should not be ringing in my ears at 4:00am, that’s all I’m saying. Lest you be confused, I do not suggest that temperate zones are in any way hotbeds for tee-totalers. Felt I should set the record straight there. Beer is good, for as the wise poet once said: “Rain makes corn. Corn makes whiskey. Whiskey makes my baby feel a little frisky. Rain is a good thing.” But I think he probably should have spelled that final word “thang,” given how he pronounced it to rhyme with “rain.” So, where I was going with this? Ah, yes, I had a question re: your recent essay, entitled God of Hearth and Home. Several questions, actually, but I suppose with a little work I could melt them all down and distill them into a single point of inquiry. Namely . . . “What?”

Malachi

Malachi, I am happy to respond, and I respond with a question of my own. Huh?


THANK YOU! In a side road sort of way, you have once again helped me nail some things down in understanding God and myself. One of the concepts that have been prominent in my theological understanding is the idea of “idolatry” and because of your recommendation of GK Beale’s book, We Become What We Worship, I did see that idolatry is a very big deal all the way through Genesis to Revelation. But then I noticed in my gospel-only readings that this concept came up all the time. Everything was becoming an idol. I was having difficulty making distinctions between idols that are clearly sin and the potential idols that can be made out of anything, including things that I know deep down are good “things of the earth” (Joe Rigney reference). Your conversation with John Piper moderated by Joe Rigney has been foundational in helping me understanding and fighting idols. (I listen to this at least once a year, it is like a classic novel, every time I listen to this I learn something new and helpful) and your article today is another important step. This distinction is huge for me. “With heart idolatry, the thing that is worshiped in place of God must not go.” YES!— thank you! This is so helpful on so many levels. It doesn’t make the battle any easier but it does help me better understand the sin in my heart and the greatness and power of the grace of God. (Titus 2:11-14) And like you say on the plodcast, we need to study sin like we study landmines. So, we can figure out how to maneuver around them. Soli Deo Gloria!

PJ

PJ, thanks so much.


Thanks for these helpful words. I wouldn’t disagree with anything you have said here, as I usually don’t. How would you advise a husband whose wife has made an idol out of her vocational pursuits at the expense of family (specifically, her duties at home, bearing of more children [no good medical reasons involved], and freeing up the husband’s time to work)? Asking for a friend. Or maybe not. Ha ha. We are members of a solid church and counseling is available, but for some mysterious reason her work schedule keeps getting in the way.

Long Time Reader

LTR, very sorry. I obviously don’t know the whole situation, and we haven’t heard her perspective, and I haven’t even heard your perspective. And these things can be complicated. But let me hazard something at a venture here. Take care that you don’t try to manage a situation like this one through hints or dark sayings. If you think that that her priorities have become skewed then you need to say this out loud, and clearly, with love and affection. If you are clear, then perhaps you might find yourself in counseling sooner than you thought possible.


The  Wokeness of Eric Mason

Best part of Woke, Not Woke: “Radical Christian faith is not a defense of the old pagan order, or a striving for a new secular order. Radical Christian faith intends to see the world discipled and brought into submission to Jesus Christ. This will not happen in the next two weeks, but it will happen.” I can see clearly now. Thank you.

Christy

Christy, you’re welcome.  And thank you for paying attention.


RE: Woke, Not Woke After reading Eric’s quotes and the last ~dozen paragraphs of your Philemon exegesis, I’m just excited and relieved that both sides agree on what the Bible actually teaches! So that means the less alert, more drowsy, less cool and relevant among us are at least seeing God and His teaching correctly, even if we’re sleeping in next to our awokened brethren. We can always welcome them to slap us awoke fully when we reach the Kingdom together, right after they finish slapping Philemon awoke and giving his Marriage Supper of the Lamb portion to Onesimus. After that eternity in fellowship awaits, so at this stage come on guys, what could go wrong? Love the aslope the same as you love the woke!

Patrick

Patrick, that’s the spirit!


 A comment and question. Comment: I think you will find that Pastor Mason is very good at expositing Scripture. Our church did a study on Jonah from him and it was quite solid. The church enjoyed the study and we were greatly blessed by it. I find it curious that he and Thabiti, who both had much good in their ministry, have suddenly jumped on this social justice train. I guess I don’t understand the social pressure that big name preachers have to conform to cultural winds, but I am finding that even solid Bible teachers are susceptible to this phenomenon in a big way. Question: The pattern that both you and Pastor Mason cite in regards to slavery and the gospel undermining it has been my understanding for as long as I can remember. But I was caught off guard when a member of my denomination (EPC) used it to argue against complementarianism in the home. In the same way that the gospel undermines the unequal relationship between master and slave, the gospel brings about equality between husband and wife. It of course assumes that male headship is a result of the Fall. I know my response. I was curious what your response would be.

BJ

BJ, the answer to this is exegetical. An egalitarian argument can be constructed that makes a parallel between master/slave and husband/wife, where all that is to be overhauled. The problem for this view is that the apostle Paul grounds the relationship of husband and wife to the creation order, and not as a consequence of the fall.


When we airbrush folks out of the hallway photos, what we are really doing is stripping the next generation of wisdom. Eric Mason can exegete and apply the book of Philemon because we have a book of Philemon, instead of a retraction with an asterisk. Re-writing history may feel good now, but our progeny will be left without necessary tools of survival.

Kyle

Kyle, exactly right.


Your post was fine. But the post from 2013 was eternally sublime. I like to see His work in history in broad view as a postmill believer. But you caused me to see that His governance is a lot more than turning points in history, but also many events that He uses to bring people together, to cause that “inexorable” progress of the Kingdom. The leaven was a perfect example.

Paul

Paul, thank you. And what God is doing in history really is glorious.


On Incrementalism | On slavery, I get the gradual move to eliminate that particular institution biblically because nowhere in Scripture does it order the immediate elimination of slavery, God even allows for it. And you’re one of the few pastors that I’ve come across willing to look at all the appropriate texts regarding slavery and believe the beauty and truth of biblical incrementalism. What would you say, or better yet, what does Scripture say about man-stealing/slave-trading? Should it be eliminated incrementally or does it require a more immediatist approach? If slave-trading/man-stealing requires a more immediate abolition, and the Bible also requires the death penalty for murder, couldn’t there be a biblical argument for a more immediate abolition of abortion? Also, when are you going to try to do a conversation with Apologia Radio over the abolitionism versus incrementalism debate?

Trey

Trey, when Scripture identifies something as a crime (e.g. abortion, manstealing), then every Christian should be supportive of its abolition. But incrementalism here means making a distinction between what is morally right and what is tactically possible. With regard to tactics, we should accept and rejoice in every small victory while at the same time remaining unsatisfied with the small victories.


Battle Hymn

I am writing to inquire about your opinion of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Someone on Reformed Forum’s podcast Christ the Center recently stated that that hymn should never be sung in church. Given all the background issues, what is opinion of churches singing that hymn in a worship service?

Grant

Grant, I would agree that it ought not be sung. But it is not so much “background issues” as it would be the worldview and intention of the writer.


Getting Up to Speed

My mind tries to grasp what you are saying in this blog  . . . the vocabulary that you use is beyond my comprehension, and I feel that this is a failure in my education. As I try to extend my vocabulary of my first language, and attempt to understand some of your more difficult blogs, I want my children to not have this difficulty. I am in the military, and abroad. My wife and I are considering Classical Christian Education, but at times this seems daunting. We don’t seem to have the resources, and the reality of our situation, moving every two to three years, makes it seem that it will be up to me and my wife to develop a syllabus for our children. Where do I start? How can I listen to Christ Church pastors who seem to be so educated in the Word, history, Latin, etc., and come up with an education, most likely homeschooled, that is thorough, biblical, and good?

Ian

Ian, one of the characteristics of the classical Christian school movement is that we are trying to provide an education to our children that none of us received. Fortunately, with the growth of CCE many online resources have been developed, and seem ideally suited to someone in your position. I would recommend that you check out Logos Online, and start from there.


Quote the Whole Thang

Doug! Don’t be cuttin’ off the rest of that classic Lenny Skinny bar, originally written from the perspective of someone who VOTED FOR the beloved Governor, modified slightly from its original ‘70s context.

Now Roe-v-Wade does not bother me*
Does your conscience bother you?
Tell the Truth.

*Up here in Elizabeth Warren land, where folks used to sing their own sanctimonious tune after the ’72 election (“Don’t blame me, I’m from Massachusetts”) my conscience would both me, IF I’d voted for her. But, having written her office a letter proposing something much like what Alabammy just did, and having received an unsurprisingly head-patting form-letter response (steady-as-she-goes with dumping those babies overboard and getting y’all to pay for it), my conscience bothers me less than reflecting on when I was on the other side, years ago, before my conversion to Christ.

Art

Art, so the takeaway here is to always quote more Lynyrd, and not less Lynyrd?


Or just stop acknowledging or submitting to Roe at all. Roe is not law, it is the unconstitutional, unjust decision of seven unelected judges that is 46 years old and hasn’t aged well.

CS

CS, yes. Roe simply needs to go.


What Could Go Wrong?

Pastor Doug, Have you seen this yet? Link. The federal gov teaching parenting . . . what could possibly go wrong?

Garrett

Garrett, I think I have to say that your suspicions are not entirely ungrounded.


Keep it Simple

How would you respond to people telling you to put down theological books and focus more on “simpler things.” I have many friends who don’t see the value in studying eschatology, or ecclesiology, or even soteriology. They see secondary issues as unimportant. I understand being humble in understanding, and gleaning application from theological studies; but what do you think is at the heart of “focusing on simpler things?” Thanks,

Isaiah

Isaiah, many times simpler Christians are nervous because they have had genuine concerns about Christians who are just eggheads. In other words, there are many times when they have a point. And so if we want to showcase the value of learning, we should want to make it plain—through our lives, through rolled-up shirt sleeves and dirt on our hands—that our learning is what has equipped us to be so practical.


Suggestion Box

I’ve read your Future Men and to me, it ranks among your most valuable writings. Would you consider expanding on that legacy by blogging Letters to All Kinds of Fathers? Letters to a Pushover Dad, Letters to a Command Man Dad, etc. In my case, I can’t seem to gain the sort of authority a man should have in his home. I’m not a pushover and know how to feed my kids on God’s Word, rich books, etc. But I sense I’m not respected in my home. Liked, but not respected. I’ve long sought an example to look up to, but when I hunt for examples of dads who’ve gained respect, I find only dull men with unexamined opinions and a depressed looking wife and kids, whose method of keeping authority is to run their families ragged through streams of unnecessary commands. I don’t want that kind of wooden respect that comes from constantly keeping people on their toes. Or is that part of the strategy? All that to say, a series of Letters to Hapless Dads would be fun to read and helpful too.

Douglas

Douglas, thanks for the suggestion. I will throw that in the hopper.


Try a Little Tenderness

Re: Husbandly Encouragement A while ago you recommended to a man that he encourage his wife on a regular basis, as she was snowed under with many kids and struggling.. My wife and I have just one kid, who is 4 weeks old, and I am surprised at just how effective husbandly encouragement is and how often it flows back as wifely encouragement. Thank you for your wise advice!

Ben

Ben, thanks, and good to hear.

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Jonathan
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Jonathan

Do you really believe your exegesis of Philemon is the source of the accusations of racism? Race isn’t even mentioned in Philemon. People have an issue with you on race because of how you deal with race. Claiming that slavery should not be ended by war is entirely different from claiming that Black people’s best lives were when they were enslaved under White Confederates. When you cohost events with the League of the South and cowrite books with their leader, that creates at the very least a problem of perception. When you say that slavery was “so pleasant an experience… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Hey Jonathan, One problem that always arises in these conversations (at the ones that I have had recently) is that folk are operating on two different definitions of racism. The normal use of the word is that one person has a dislike or hatred of someone else on the basis of their skin color. If that is what you mean, then we could have discussion. But oftentimes, folk who are lobbing these accusations mean that a person is guilty of racism, because they benefit from this nefarious system of oppression called “whiteness.” The problem with this approach is that a… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’m White, BJ, the descendant of slaveowners, Confederate soldiers, and defenders of the Alamo. Yet I can see how a great number of people have an issue with what Pastor Wilson says quite apart from his Whiteness. You’ll note that of the many substantial things I listed, “you’re considered racist cause you’re white” was not among them.

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

You’re absolutely correct. I was merely making a comment about the broader discussion. If you hope to have a fruitful discussion, then I was suggesting avoiding that angle.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You would have no worry of that from me. I simply don’t do such things. I should also point out that this isn’t “evidences for why Pastor Wilson is racist.” As I was explicit from the beginning and meant honestly, it is evidences for how Pastor Wilson has been culpable in some people coming to think he is racist. Pastor Wilson’s claim was that his exegesis of Philemon gets him called a racist. My response is that that’s not an accurate or honest claim, but that it is clearly his controversial statements on race that has drawn people’s ire. I… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan,

In light of your general beliefs, you might find the following article by Alastair Roberts to be of interest:

True Hospitality and the Immigration Debate

Note: Although I have some interest in your opinion of it (if it is kept brief), I have no desire to discuss it with you or anyone else. Perhaps there are others on-line somewhere who are discussing it.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I speed-read it quite quickly, but I think I can generally affirm all of his major points. I’m not sure if you saw my discussion with Demo, but I certainly think that working to avoid the need for mass migration is a far more important and valuable goal than arguments about the specifics of immigration. I agree with most of his sub-points about community and hospitality, though I think he over-exaggerates the threat of multiculturalism. I think that highly mobile populations and shifting neighbors are the issue, not the original culture/race of the neighbors, and multicultural mixes tend to do… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

A more extensive list of the reasons people get upset with you on racial issues. You co-hosted events with the League of the South, maintained a close, long-term association with the cofounder of the League of the South that included writing a book together that whitewashed Southern Slavery, and you have refused to condemn the racism of the League of the South even into recent years after your friend left the organization. You refer to yourself as a PaleoConfederate and repeatedly praise Confederate society. You “take it as a given that the South was right on all the essential constitutional… Read more »

Clay Crouch
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Clay Crouch

I thorough indictment. There will be no response, substantive or otherwise.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Thank you Clay. It is what concerns me. The many incidents I list could be summarized into 5-6 major points, all of which I’ve made to Pastor Wilson before over the last 15 years. Yet neither he nor any of his defenders has even begun to attempt an answer to any of those points. He says he wants a mature dialogue on race, yet he doesn’t demonstrate it in his engagement at all.

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan,

He says he wants a mature dialogue on race, yet he doesn’t demonstrate it in his engagement at all.

Pot, meet Kettle.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You are free to believe that. You are also free to dialogue. I have always engaged, I explain my own views honestly and completely, I respond directly to questions and I don’t shut any honest debate partners down. If you have a specific and helpful critique of something I’ve actually said, feel free to share.

Justin Parris
Member

Consistently responding is not the only metric with which one measures a desire for mature dialog. If one were to say….. drop a phone book worth of text on someone and imply that they are somehow incorrect, dishonest, or cowardly if they don’t stop their lives and write a small essay’s worth of text in response, one might interpret that as a lack of serious desire for conversation. Changing the topic mid conversation to one easier to defend, putting words in the others’ mouth, drawing large and dramatically negative inferences from small amounts of text, there are many ways in… Read more »

Clay Crouch
Guest
Clay Crouch

Jonathan,

I give up. Attempting to have a back and forth with Mr. Wilson’s followers is akin to walking in fun house of mirrors, minus the fun. They seem to be incapable of staying on point or making a cogent argument. It’s a good thing for Mr. Wilson that they are not his official apologists.

Good luck and God bless you.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Yup. Apparently the way to prove that Pastor Wilson is in the right on this subject is to ignore everything being said in order to bring up a completely unrelated discussion from a month ago. By doing some they claim they will be able to prove….my propensity to change the topic.

How does one not see the irony.

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan and Clay Crouch,

Since you believe that few, if any, here are capable of “staying on point or making a cogent argument”, I would think the logical conclusion would be to cease your efforts here. Are you wasting your time and effort here, or do you have some sound reason to continue to comment here?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I tend to assume there is a silent lurking contingent of fair-minded people who benefit from the information.

I have received emails in the past expressing affinity for my statements when said person did not reply in the thread. Actually, I’ve sent such emails too.

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan,

I don’t know how anyone can send an email here. If it’s that easy, go ahead and send me one.

Jill Smith
Member

OKR, some of us exchanged contact information when it looked as if the comment section was being discontinued.

Clay Crouch
Guest
Clay Crouch

OKR,

Probably. But it’s like a train wreck and I just can’t help looking.

OKRickety
Member

Clay Crouch,

That would be understandable, but when your comments cause the so-called “train wreck”, ….

farinata
Guest
farinata

Jonathan, there is no measure or charity in your assessment. This is the equivalent of a spaghetti-bowl of accusations, meaning a list of whatever you can think of that might sound prejudicial, intended to daunt by simple mass. It doesn’t work, because instead of provoking the reader to consider your evidence, you merely provoke us to regard you as a partisan flinging mud. This is not because everyone is unwilling to see the truth. Many here do not agree with Wilson on every particular. But this,for want of a better word… manifesto… is clearly not a serious attempt at dialogue.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

A required starting point for any dialogue is honesty. Pastor Wilson suggested that people call him a racist because of his interpretation of Philemon. I have trouble seeing how anyone could find that honest or accurate. Whether or not Pastor Wilson speaks in a racist manner, he gets called a racist die to how he speaks about black people in general, Confederates and segregationists in general, and the specifics of Southern slavery in particular. Until he admits that, and addresses several major issues within that, there’s nowhere for the discussion to go forward. I could compose a short list of… Read more »

Clay Crouch
Guest
Clay Crouch

Farinata, in his original piece Mr. Wilson seemed befuddled as to why not a small number of folks think that his positions on race are found wanting. Here is what Mr. Wilson wrote, “The only possible conclusion for the fair-minded is that I am being kept at arm’s length, not because the cool kids want to distance themselves from racism, but rather because they don’t want to distance themselves from their own form of politics.” That’s not a reasoned response on several levels. Jonathan gave a comprehensive response by way of a list detailing Mr. Wilson’s well documented stances on… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Clay, you said:

Why don’t you take a swing some the indictments made in Jonathan’s comment? Pick one or two.

Been there. Done that. It only intensifies Jonathan’s shrieking.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Link us then. I’ll be waiting.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Gotta get my earplugs first…

Clay Crouch
Guest
Clay Crouch

What you read as shrieking, others read as a point by point response to Mr. Wilson’s apparent confusion regarding black and white folks reticence to embrace him and his avowed beliefs on racial issues.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Notice how he still hasn’t linked any evidence to his claim that he has responded to these points before. His entire contribution to this thread has been three insults and then a quixotic comment where he points out that some Black people supported George Wallace after he repented of his racism.

farinata
Guest
farinata

Okay, fine. Here’s one by way of example. Jonathan said “When you say that slavery was “so pleasant an experience for the majority” or “a life of plenty and simple pleasures”, and then disparage all that Black people did before and since, people have a right to be upset.” First, these are decontexualized quotes that ignore what Wilson has actually said about slavery, many times: that it was evil practiced by a culture that should have known better. Second, Wilson has not disparaged all that Black people did before and since. That is simply false, or at best a wild… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

farinata,

Surely you realize that attempts to directly address Jonathan’s statements will be met with more of the same, seemingly ad infinitum. That has certainly been my experience and, it appears to me, that of others.

Clay Crouch
Guest
Clay Crouch

OKR,

It’s not becoming of you to disparage Jonathan simply because he has constructed an argument in this thread when you haven’t. Potshots are cheap shots.

OKRickety
Member

Clay Crouch, I said nothing about the value of Jonathan or his comments. My point is, and continues to be, that disagreement with Jonathan will lead to continued argument. There is no value in anyone taking an opposite position, because Jonathan is absolutely certain that he is right and most likely any respondent has the same certainty that they are instead correct. That is based on my own experience in doing so (and based on farinata’s comment below, you are behaving similarly). I am not going to waste my time in such a fashion. I desire to encourage farinata (and… Read more »

Clay Crouch
Guest
Clay Crouch

Could you cite, in context, what Mr. Wilson has actually written about slavery that refutes Jonathan’s assertions? It would make your’s more credible. Do you deny that Mr. Wilson has defended, in writing, southern chattel slavery? I’m sure there are such people (I’ve met them) and they are both black and white. Do you deny that? So why single out black folk as the ones who play the perpetual victim? Do you deny that chattel slavery, the rise of the KKK in the post civil war south, thousands of lynchings, segregation, and black voter suppression through Jim Crow laws had… Read more »

farinata
Guest
farinata

See, this is what I mean. Among many ludicrous assertions, Jonathan objected to a claim that affirmative action, by providing an incentive for victimhood, encourages people to who are not real victims to fake it. But the fact is obvious, effectively beyond discussion. Jonathan’s objection is absurd. You asked for examples of problems with his list, and I point this out. You respond with a list of non-sequiturs. “Has Wilson defended southern chattel slavery in writing?” “Are there not white people whom Wilson could have attacked as well?” I am not going to answer your further challenges, because I already… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Among many ludicrous assertions, Jonathan objected to a claim that affirmative action, by providing an incentive for victimhood, encourages people to who are not real victims to fake it.

That doesn’t make any sense. That’s neither what Pastor Wilson said, nor what I objected to, nor how affirmative action works at all.

farinata
Guest
farinata

You said “You mock the ongoing racism that Black people face, claiming that there are Black people who, “play the perpetual victim even though they have never experienced anything worse than a two-day delay in their most recent affirmative action promotion.”’ Here you say it is wrong and insulting to imagine 1) a black person 2) pretending that he is a victim when he is not, 3) and has been led to do so by the existence of programs and an ideology that caters and nurtures that idea. That’s how I summarized your claim. I don’t want to misquote you.… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Pastor Wilson’s actual claim was: 1. Said person has never been victimized by racism in their entire experience 2. Said person is not just claiming victimhood this one time, but does it perpetually, even though they never experienced it 3. Suggests that this isn’t any isolated incident but a common thing that describes a number of Black people In terms of your c point, I didn’t interpret that from Pastor Wilson’s writing. I take him mentioning Affirmative Action just to mock the Black person in question as they were actually advantaged rather than being discriminated against. I didn’t see where… Read more »

farinata
Guest
farinata

Jonathan, your restatement doesn’t seem very far from mine. You are strawmanning a little bit by stating things absolute terms – never ever ever been victimized, perpetually, et cetera. But if you leave aside hyperbole, it seems eminently reasonable to concede that since “gaming the system” is a thing people are naturally inclined to do, and since the current discourse around racism offers tremendous rewards to black people on the basis of their self-diagnosed victimhood, we should naturally expect some non-trivial quantity of black people to exaggerate their experience of racism, or attribute misfortune (or their own bad behavior) to… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I agree that there is a ton of leeway in the term “perpetually”. I was considering that earlier and there is obviously no way of coming to agreement on what it should mean. I don’t know any Black person who I feel lives that way, but it could be taken to mean a lot of different things. However, there is far less leeway in Pastor Wilson’s other accusation. He is clearly stating that the Black people he is referring to have never faced any sort of real discrimination in their lives. He is clearly saying that they have no right… Read more »

farinata
Guest
farinata

Jonathan, you said that “the surface meaning of his statement was that many Black people have never faced any real discrimination and yet act like perpetual victims anyway. That is clearly what he is saying in a straightforward manner, and that is what I took issue with.” More or less, yes. I would say “act like victims disproportionate to their actual sufferings”, because who among us has not suffered unfairness or hardship? The point is that racialized categories reward a certain category of victimhood. And without quibbling about numbers, I am saying that his statement is clearly true. One can… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’ve only read a few of Coates’s essays here and there, but I struggle to imagine how you can possibly call him a “perpetual victim”. He speaks positively about his upbringing. I’ve seen him say great things about the college he attended and the opportunities he’s gotten in his career. I haven’t read any of his books, but you seem to be saying that even in his memoir he doesn’t “exaggerate his experiences of racism” or “fake it”, as you claimed Black people would do in this system. I don’t know a ton about him (I haven’t read any of… Read more »

farinata
Guest
farinata

You think TNC got a Genius Award and was asked to write Black Panther simply based on talent?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Coates likely got a MacArthur Grant because the year before he wrote literally the most widely read and widely discussed article in The Atlantic’s 160-year history. You can’t fake readership. When The Case for Reparations was published, more people read it that day than had ever read anything on The Atlantic. You can disagree with him but you can’t deny that it was objective a public sensation. And the bar for a MacArthur Grant isn’t amazingly high – the other writers who got them in the last five years were Donald Antrim, Annie Baker, Maggie Nelson, Laruren Redniss, Ben Lerner,… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan, Coates likely got a MacArthur Grant because the year before he wrote literally the most widely read and widely discussed article in The Atlantic’s 160-year history. You can’t fake readership. I don’t know how one can accurately determine the degree to which a “magazine” article has been read and discussed today, much less an article one hundred years ago. Thus, your claim that Coates’ article is “literally the most …” is unprovable. This is an example of your modus operandum, one which I especially associate with “the Left”, specifically making questionable statements as if they are proven facts. A… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

The amount of straining farinata was already doing in order to cast aspersions on a successful Black man’s accomplishments defied credulity, but OKR, what is your agenda here? You didn’t have any problem with farinata’s unproven and mean-spirited claims about Coates. But I make an accurate statement about the readership of an article and you go into attack mode. This is especially obnoxious because people invariably complain whenever I write a long, detailed comment with strong supporting evidence. You yourself suggested that it’s a waste of time. Yet if I save time and write a concise comment assuming that public… Read more »

Clay Crouch
Guest
Clay Crouch

These guys exhibit little interest in pursuing the truth if it doesn’t line up with their already arrived at positions. Read a 15,000 word article about race in America, especially a black man’s? Not going to happen.

Still waiting on Mr. Wilson’s response.

OKRickety
Member

Clay Crouch,

I read Coates’ article at least once. I expressed my problems with it and discussed it with Jonathan at length. In my opinion, Jonathan showed his “already arrived at positions”. Ergo, I consider discussion with Jonathan to be generally pointless.

I think you’re stupendously ignorant if you truly expect any further response from Wilson.

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan, But I make an accurate statement about the readership of an article and you go into attack mode. This is especially obnoxious because people invariably complain whenever I write a long, detailed comment with strong supporting evidence. My agenda is to get you to recognize that your “strong supporting evidence” and “accurate statement” are, in fact, not necessarily as strong or accurate as you think. I also would like you to recognize that your writing style is prone to hyperbole. As before, I see no evidence that you might even consider those possibilities. Consequently, this comment will be brief.… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Let’s remember that the main statement that is being defended in this conversation is the claim that there are Black people who, “play the perpetual victim even though they have never experienced anything worse than a two-day delay in their most recent affirmative action promotion.”’ Then you complain that my writing is what is full of hyperbole. Those issues run up and down this conversation. I complain about a statement of Wilson’s, and someone says, “no, that statement is totally accurate, just with some hyperbole.” I make an accurate claim in response to said statement, and now it’s, “I’m not… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan, I’ve noted this from you before, that you critique me with a one-sidedness that not only smacks of hypocrisy, but which pretty much makes any conversation impossible to maintain. As I think I’ve stated multiple times, I am seldom interested in what you call conversation. I am reminded that some say Liberals are in favor of free speech … as long as what you say agrees with them. And when, pray tell, did I reach my “already arrived at positions” in regards to Coates’s essay? It affected my thinking and understanding of the topic dramatically. Whether you reached them… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You say you’re surprised that Coates affected my thinking. Yet I already demonstrated to you that David Brooks, a widely read conservative author who has obviously put a ton of thought into these issues already, himself had his position dramatically changed due to Coates’s writing. In fact, Coates’s writing shifted the entire discussion of the issue, as several of the articles I cited pointed out. Why don’t any of those citations affect how you view the power of what he wrote? So far as your ongoing critique of me goes, do you believe that you yourself have demonstrated willingness to… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan, You may not believe it and I have no example, but I have moved slightly toward more sympathy and compassion for African Americans. As to your comments, some may have helped in that regard, but the net effect has probably been in the other direction. No, I don’t believe Wilson or other commenters here have shown change in position. I consider reasoned adherence to one’s position to be a positive characteristic. But it is negative to decide on one’s position from poor premises and ignorance of actual data, which I believe is far more true of “the Left” than… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I believe there is no likelihood of worthwhile discussion of the issues at hand when there is a failure to recognize the possibility of one’s own bias or incorrect beliefs. But the supposed “bias or incorrect belief” was that Ta-Nahisi Coates wrote an incredibly popular, influential article in 2014 that attracted him an enormous deal of attention. So much so that it was the most-read online article ever for The Atlantic, which quite obviously would make it the most read article overall considering that the magazine’s online circulation is orders of magnitude higher than its print circulation. None of that… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan, My statement about the possibility of one’s own bias or incorrect beliefs was in regards to your general behavior here, not to the specific question of Coates’ grant. As to why he got the grant, I don’t care. I read Coates’ essay because you brought it up as highly influential to you and you believed it strongly supported your argument of the time. I find the fact that it was so well-received, especially by those of influence, to be an indictment of our society. I should never bother to point out anything questionable in your comments. It leads to… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan, For what it’s worth, David Brooks, who you describe as “a widely read conservative author”, instead describes himself as a moderate in the article A hesitant radical in the age of Trump: David Brooks and the search for moderation. To be a Burkean, in America these days, is to be a moderate, which is what I think I’ve become. And according to Wikipedia (but I cannot find the original source): Brooks describes himself as having originally been a liberal before, as he put it, “coming to my senses.” I consider this to greatly reduce the significance of Brooks having… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

David Brooks is generally referred to as a conservative, as even your link where he self-claims moderate says. And the same wikipedia article you quoted says that David Brooks has worked for the National Review, the Hoover Institute, the Wall Street Journal, and as the editor of a book called The New Conservative Writing. He’s been known as a conservative his entire career, albeit certainly a moderate one. The quote where you refer to him being a liberal before “coming to his senses” refers to when he was a TEENAGER, he then went on to work for Buckley (on Buckley’s… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan, Based on positions Brooks holds on many issues, I do not consider him conservative but moderate at best, but I have no doubt that most of “the Left” consider him quite conservative. This is a good example of how such descriptions are relative, and this should be kept in mind in these discussions. More importantly, even if I had heard of Brooks before, I did not (and still do not) consider him to be a leader of conservative thought. Thus your use of him as an example of the impact of Coates’ essay is effectively meaningless to me and,… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I doubt it has gained any traction (I don’t really follow closely) for the obvious reason that working towards solutions for the more impoverished subset of Americans is virtually never a legislative priority for either party in this country. Both parties tend to serve the interests of their most well-heeled contingents, and will only work on “justice issues for the poor” or whatever you wish to call them when their wealthier supporters also demand it. Coates essay has been part of a movement that has pulled the idea from something not even imaginable on the table, something with not even… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan,

“… working towards solutions for the more impoverished subset of Americans is virtually never a legislative priority …”

One more reason to drain the swamp.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Agreed, but I don’t see any way in the current political climate that they won’t be replaced with more swamp creatures. Under current campaign finance law and lobbying rules, it’s just gonna be a revolving door. There are a few relatively “noble” members of each party who manage to squeak out an election in the right district or state, but that’s not the norm.

One more reason that I believe all the real solutions are going to come down to a an individual/community/church level, not via the federal or state governments.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

First, these are decontexualized quotes that ignore what Wilson has actually said about slavery, many times: that it was evil practiced by a culture that should have known better. farinata, I was not attempting to write out everything that Pastor Wilson has said about all these different subjects. I was focusing on the specifically problematic things that he had said. Those statements he made were false and it was irresponsible for him to make them regardless of what other things he also happens to have said. Second, Wilson has not disparaged all that Black people did before and since. He… Read more »

farinata
Guest
farinata

So you’re going to stand behind your claim that affirmative action does not encourage victimhood over ever-more-trifling offenses? That it does not incentivize Black people to regard themselves as victims instead of taking responsibility for their own lives and circumstances? That, these incentives being obviously present in the system, no Black folks take advantage of them? Sauce for the goose – if you point out I don’t know anybody’s motives, I counter that neither do you. But people are, in the main, sinful, and prone to take advantage where they can can. I find altogether baffling your insistence that this… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

While that wasn’t my claim, I’m fine with making it. I don’t think affirmative action has ever been that important a driver of people’s inner lives at all. What do you think affirmative action is? When do you think it started, and do you believe there’s been a dramatic change in the inner and outer lives of Black people in that quite concrete time? Also, since you think that affirmative action is such an overwhelming psychological force, when there was far, far strongly affirmative action for White people (let’s say from 1865 to 1965 at the very least), how do… Read more »

farinata
Guest
farinata

It was your claim. You said (of Wilson) “You mock the ongoing racism that Black people face, claiming that there are Black people who, “play the perpetual victim even though they have never experienced anything worse than a two-day delay in their most recent affirmative action promotion.”’ My point is that such people can be expected to exist in any system of preferences, and in fact do exist in the system of racial preferences called “affirmative action.” Your objection is groundless. But rather than retracting the claim, you now want to change the subject to white people. And frankly, I… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Like I said above, I think you’re making Wilson’s mention of affirmative action at the end of the statement carry far too much water. You’ve turned it into the driving point of the entire statement when there’s no evidence Wilson intended it as such. So far as your claims that I’m changing the subject, you made what you claimed to be a universal principle and I’m pointing out that that’s hogwash. You suggested that a tiny preference like Affirmative Action, which only affects a small minority of Black people, by basic principle would “incentivize Black people to regard themselves as… Read more »

Justin Parris
Member

“You’ve turned it into the driving point of the entire statement when there’s no evidence Wilson intended it as such.” No, he’s turned it into the driving point of his objection. “You’ve turned it into the driving point of the entire statement when there’s no evidence Wilson intended it as such.” You literally changed the subject the exact sentence before this one. It’s an extremely consistent debate tactic. When someone takes a position that puts you at a disadvantage, you retroactively behave as though the previous sentence was about something it wasn’t. Recently, as an example, we were having a… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

No, he’s turned it into the driving point of his objection. His objection to what though? I was listing statements from Pastor Wilson that I find problematic. As I said directly, I felt that that statement mocked the ongoing racism that people face as Pastor Wilson was attacking Black people who he claimed had never had the slightest experience of discrimination, but only advantages. He wants to ignore my objection, and keeps trying to make the statement about something else entirely. Do you not see how he has ignored the initial objection? Recently, as an example, we were having a… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Just in that same conversation, I had simply asked to what immigration policies you were referring to, and you dumped an afternoon’s worth of work on my lap and were offended that I didn’t immediately set to disproving them to defend the position you’d imagined I’d taken. You asked which positions I was referring to, and I listed 22 of them. When you claimed that conservatives objected to nearly all of them but offered no examples whatsoever, I chose the 5 I felt most important and asked you to provide evidence supporting the claim that conservatives were against any of… Read more »

farinata
Guest
farinata

The universal principle I have in view is that people follow incentives. It’s nearly a tautology. If your social structure rewards something, you get more of it. So if you arrange the social carrots and sticks such that victimhood is valuable, you will see a lot of marginal cases deciding that yes, his really was victimized by racism that time a white lady stepped on his foot. If you disagree with that principle, I am not sure that we have anything further to discuss. I have never represented that white slaveholding – or any slaveholding – was good for anyone.… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

But Affirmative Action doesn’t incentivize individuals to claim personal victimhood. It’s simply not how the program works – it is not based on one’s personal experience of victimhood. I keep repeating that and it feels like I’m talking to a brick wall. And whether or not you have that principle in view, it speaks nothing to the question of whether Black persons in American society will have experiences of discrimination or not. And I agree with what you say of slaveholding encouraging tyranny. One of many reasons why I think Pastor Wilson’s claims of the great positives of Southern slaveholding… Read more »

farinata
Guest
farinata

Briefly: “Affirmative Action doesn’t incentivize individuals to claim personal victimhood.” Yes, it clearly does. It’s an entire structure dedicated to the proposition that nothing is fair for black people. That they cannot study as well as the white kids, that they cannot prepare for tests or write or speak in an organized, coherent fashion, and that these discrepancies are the fault of white society at large, which therefore owes them (in the example with which I am most familiar) admission to college on an easier basis. Are you really trying to say that this system doesn’t encourage anyone to feel… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Once again, Affirmative Action did not even exist until Nixon, affects a relatively small number of people and is a relatively minor part of most of their lives. The actual historical experiences of slavery, segregation, discrimination, poverty, poor schools, etc. are far more consequential in affecting how Black people feel about their experience and opportunities than any program. You’re suggesting, for example, that the vast majority of Black people can be stuck in terrible schools, schools so bad that according to Pastor Wilson they should all be shut down, but that being stuck in a horrific school won’t affect how… Read more »

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

I like your succinct and concise list.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Jonathan, you must be a real hoot at parties.

JP Stewart
Member

This place is going downhill fast. I’m expecting MeMe and RandMan to make unsolicited cameos next.

Clay Crouch
Guest
Clay Crouch

Actually, JP Stewart, our comments and responses have been graciously solicited by none other than the proprietor of this site. You certainly don’t have to like them, but that’s just the way it is.

Justin Parris
Member

I miss MeMe. At least when I relayed the stories of conversations with MeMe to my wife, it didn’t require three books worth of explanation just to get to the completely absurd thing that she said.

OKRickety
Member

Well, I don’t miss MeMe. I think primarily because she is capable of being absurd while maintaining that she is intelligent and logical.

Jane
Member

And had a habit of accusing people of saying things they never said, in very nasty terms.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Looking through these, other than South Africa which is a favorite whipping boy of the right, the overwhelming sense I’m getting is that Wilson just wants to exonerate the south. He doesn’t even care about “white people” in general; he’ll happily bash the north for racism, the slave trade, etc. He’ll only back off the north when the south was doing the same thing or a worse version of it. I do find “You claimed that affirmative action casts a “cloud of suspicion over every genuine black accomplishment”” interesting. By the same reasoning, shouldn’t this cast a cloud of suspicion… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Jonathan, I think Wilson is tone-deaf on race, and holds plenty of views that could use challenging, but I don’t think racist is the proper term, unless you want to apply it to basically every white person over a certain age. His remark on Philemon could easily be seen as one example of a time he has been accused of racism, rather than an attempt to say the only reason people have accused him of racism is due to that view. Matt pointed to a stronger influence which is Doug’s reflexive support for the old south, which certainiy smuggles in… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I already said something up above but I should clarify down here too – I was not accusing Pastor Wilson of being a racist. I was pointing out that it is the inaccurate and inappropriate things about race that get him called a racist, not the Philemon exegesis. As Pastor Wilson himself points out, his exegesis of Philemon is neither novel nor particularly controversial. He points out that even a “Woke Church” author can put it forth, I recently read a similarly SJW-friendly (though forgettable) book called “Setting the Captives Free” which gave roughly the same interpretation, and I have… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

Demo, that article is very, very good. “I would recommend you stop calling Trump voters racist – not because none of them are, but because as soon as you give yourself that opportunity, it’s a slippery slope down to “anyone who disagrees with me on anything does so entirely out of raw seething hatred, and my entire outgroup is secret members of the KKK and so I am justified in considering them worthless human trash”. That is a painfully accurate diagnosis from a left of center psychiatrist!

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Jill, It may be a painfully accurate diagnosis, but those who do it do so for rhetorical reasons. The problem with this conversation is that the Left is not trying to find truth and provide solutions. They are trying to rhetorically bully people into being quiet. I was having a discussion about this the other with a member of my church, and after critiquing a point from them, the response I got was: “Well, that is exactly what you think, because you are white and privileged.” This is a logical fallacy of the highest proportions, but what it does it… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

BJ, my own default in that situation is “You’ll have to make allowances for my being an old lady.” Because engagement is, indeed, futile. It is true that many on the left engage in ideological bullying, but what I thought particularly good about Alexander’s essay is that some of us are prone to that kind of thinking not out of malice but because we live in echo chambers where it is never challenged. I know people who are neither stupid nor malicious, but who honestly can’t imagine what, other than racism of the deepest dye, would have persuaded anyone to… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jonathan,

I think it highly unlikely that your tirade is going to effect change in Wilson’s views (or any of the readers here). Thus I still believe you should use your time and energy elsewhere, most especially in pursuit of efforts that directly aid those you wish to help in your personal ministry.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Thanks for the attempt to help, and for the suggestion.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I just realized I had missed an entire category in the list. Equated “Christian Whites” participating in the KKK with “Christian Blacks” participating in Black Lives Matter. Equated Black Lives Matter with White Supremacy, explicitly stating that the SBC shouldn’t have singled out White Supremacy for condemnation unless they were willing to condemn Black Lives Matter with identical language. Attacked anyone who would “offer some sort of mitigating explanation” for Black Lives Matter. Claimed that anyone who “carries water” for Black Lives matter denies the gospel. Called Black Lives Matter “nothing more than Black Lynch Mobs” and claimed that the… Read more »

Long Time Reader
Guest
Long Time Reader

Given our very detailed discussions on this matter so far, possibly the only way she will take me seriously is if I move to another state without her. But, I wanted to thank you for the response.

Sheri
Guest
Sheri

To Ian,

More options for CCE is to find a Classical Conversations group in your area. This would give your wife some support. There are also classical Christian homeschool websites like Circe Institute and Veritas Press.

Best wishes,
Sheri

Andrew Lohr
Member

Letter to hapless dads sounds good.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

In the essay “Sweet Home,” you omitted the crucial lyric. The actual words to the song are, “in Birmingham they love the governor, Boo Boo Boo, we all did what we could do.” The line was meant as a condemnation of Governor George Wallace, who could run on openly segregationist and racist rhetoric, who could personally stand in the way blocking Black men from attending the University of Alabama and blocking Black girls from attending preschool, yet who still won 96% of the Alabama vote. (Black people were basically barred from voting in Alabama at the time.) It’s one of… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Who do you suppose a third of those blacks voted for once they were “basically unbarred” from the vote in Alabama?

Yup. You guessed it.

George Wallace.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make. In-between those events George Wallace declared he had become a born-again Christian and dramatically and frequently repented of his previous racist stance, (Which makes you wonder what his voters’ excuse is.) Shirley Chisholm was one of the first to visit him in the hospital after he was shot too. I guess it only goes to show that at least some Black people can be especially forgiving/kind even to the most virulent racists. And why is “basically unbarred” in quotes when you seem to acknowledge the fact that Black persons really were… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

I guess it only goes to show that at least some Black people can be especially forgiving/kind even to the most virulent racists.

They had to. It’s a prerequisite for switching their allegiance to the Democrat party.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Agreed. It would be impossible for a Black person to support either major party without extending a great deal of forgiveness. Sadly, many feel they are stuck with whichever party has done the least to overtly attract people who hate them recently.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Hate to burst your bubble, kiddo, but only one major party is responsible for slavery, Jim Crow, the KKK, Bull Connor, George Wallace (before he had his Come to Jesus moment), poll taxes, lynchings, white supremacy, The Birth of a Nation, Eugenics, Margaret Sanger, the racist “Black Lives Matter” group, Sarah Jeong, Detroit, identity politics, Louis Farrakhan, Linda Sarsour, and Ilhan Omar.

I’ll give you one guess as to which party that is. And I’ll even give you a hint: It isn’t the Republican party.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I think you forgot where you were posting. In Douglas Wilson’s worldview, the Confederate Democrats were the heroes who demonstrated true Christian morality, and the Republicans under Lincoln were tyrants and Republican abolitionists were the enemies of God. Pastor Wilson declares himself “unreconstructed” as a direct rebuke of the original Republican agenda. It appears you must agree with me in denouncing Pastor Wilson’s position? And with the George Wallace you denounce, 96% of White Alabama voters were backing his Democratic campaign in 1964. That’s when the Greatest Generation was voting, well within living memory. If Democrats were really as bad… Read more »

Clay Crouch
Guest
Clay Crouch

One wonders why quite a number of folks appear to have only a sketchy understanding of American history. I thought this was the classical education homeschooled crowd. But maybe therein lies the problem. Isn’t Rushdoony their patron saint of history. That would explain a lot.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

A poor understanding of history isn’t the greatest problem, as that can always be corrected easily. The deliberate warping of history to fit one’s agenda is a much more serious issue.

I have no doubt that FP is well-aware that racism has existed in both parties, and that the party operating as most attractive to white racists has shifted in living memory. I am only confused about whether he considers himself a Christian, and if so, with what intention he posts the things he does here.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Jonathan, you are forgetting what it is I’m responding to. I’m pretty sure Doug isn’t a Democrat. What little racism there is in the Republican party does not hold a candle to the racism of the Democrat party. Trying to argue otherwise is a denial of facts. The party most attractive to any racist, white or otherwise, has never changed. You said yourself: “The actual historical experiences of slavery, segregation, discrimination, poverty, poor schools, etc. are far more consequential in affecting how Black people feel about their experience and opportunities…” So, you really think you’re going to refute my list… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’m pretty sure Doug isn’t a Democrat. But he supports the Democrats of the 1800s and much of the 1900s and says it is they who had a better relationship with Black people. While you claim the party of racism has never changed. So clearly you are at significant odds there. What little racism there is in the Republican party does not hold a candle to the racism of the Democrat party. Trying to argue otherwise is a denial of facts. The party most attractive to any racist, white or otherwise, has never changed. That’s so incredibly at odds with… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

And to bring it back full circle in an aesthetically pleasing way… In Birmingham they love the Gov’nor, boo-boo-boo Now we all did what we could do That is of course Lynyrd Skynyrd speaking with disdain about segregationist George Wallace….in 1973….just months after those same racist White Birmingham residents (by your own accusation) had just voted overwhelmingly to reelect Richard Nixon. In Alabama, Wallace supporters and Nixon supporters were the exact same people at the exact same moment in time. There goes any prayer you had of even pretending you that believe the white racists who voted for Democrats in… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

That’s so incredibly at odds with reality that I have trouble believing that even you believe it. Reality is defined by facts on the ground, not your wishful thinking. But then again, you always had issues with believing the facts. You find George Wallace to be quite racist, and yet 96% of White Alabama voters went with him in 1962. Wallace dominated their vote again when he ran for president in 1968, and then again as governor in 1970. And then the vast majority of them voted for Nixon in 1972. So if you postulate that Wallace supporters were racist… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

We’ve been over this. Wallace was a Democrat. If you’d bother to delve further into your own quotes, you’d discover that the main point Atwater was making is that race is no longer a major issue in Southern elections. By the time 1968 rolled around, there were other, more pressing issues such as the Vietnam war and the related anti-war movement. Except that Wallace also won landslides in Alabama in 1968 and 1970 while running explicitly anti-Black ads, which I’ve already quoted. Of course, in your simple mind, racists will always be racist, are only white, and will never change.… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Except that you’re the one who said that racists always favor the Democrats and that never changes. Nope. What I said is, “The party most attractive to any racist, white or otherwise, has never changed.” How does this refute my point that Democrat racism far exceeds Republican racism? No, I believe the claim made by the GOP’s own most prominent strategists and chairmen from 1969 through 2011. Yup, all five of them: One of which is a turncoat (Phillips), one’s a has-been (Steele), one keeps getting misquoted and wrenched out of context by the left (Atwater), and the other two… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

At this point I’m wondering if you’re a parody account. Claiming that the actual RNC chairman at the time is a “has-been”, claiming that’s you don’t know who another prominent RNC chairman or Bush’s campaign chair are and therefore they don’t matter, and dismissing the things Phillips said about Republican strategy at the very moment he was leading that strategy just because 20 years later he went for the other party? And your list…you consider things like approving a Rosa Parks day or having a couple member states in a congressional caucus or having a judge support an integration decision… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

So your argument is now that the frontmen of Republican strategy in 1969, 1970, 1981, 2005, and 2010 are not relevant because either you haven’t heard of them, or because they started helping Democrats 20 years later, or because they’re a “has-been”. (I am still perplexed how the actual RNC chairman can be a has-been while he is in office as such, just one year from his initial election, but you never did argue honestly.) And I’m supposedly biased for agreeing with what Nixon’s head strategist, Bush’s campaign chair, and multiple in-office Republican National Committee chairmen explicitly confirmed publicly. As… Read more »

Clay Crouch
Guest
Clay Crouch

I think you’re beginning to win him over!

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

My, my, my: So your argument is now that the frontmen of Republican strategy in 1969, 1970, 1981, 2005, and 2010 are not relevant because either you haven’t heard of them, or because they started helping Democrats 20 years later, or because they’re a “has-been”. (I am still perplexed how the actual RNC chairman can be a has-been while he is in office as such, just one year from his initial election, but you never did argue honestly.) Nope. They’re not relevant because they are an appeal to authority, which is fallacious. And I’m supposedly biased for agreeing with what… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

When the person in charge of Republican strategy describes what that Republican strategy is, that’s not an appeal to authority, that’s witness testimony. And when four of the suspects confess to a crime, but there are a couple others involved who deny it or give excuses, which one are you likely to believe? Hmmm…. Where did you agree to that when you weren’t downplaying it? In my very first response to you bringing up racist Democrats, when I said, “Agreed. It would be impossible for a Black person to support either major party without extending a great deal of forgiveness.… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

When the person in charge of Republican strategy describes what that Republican strategy is, that’s not an appeal to authority, that’s witness testimony. Witness testimony is when the witness can recount specific facts to support the accusation. Apparently, you need remedial English, since you can’t tell the difference between bald assertions and evidence. And when four of the suspects confess to a crime, but there are a couple others involved who deny it or give excuses, which one are you likely to believe? Hmmm…. So, about this “crime”: – Where’s the plan, the policies, how it was implemented, and whether… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You’re clearly not gonna budge anywhere, on this, so I’ll just end with: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy And I already proved to you that those Dixiecrats switched to Republican – Nixon’s three biggest wins in 1972 were in Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia – three of the same states that had voted for George Wallace in 1968. He got around 90% of the White vote in each of those states, and that happens to be just after his own campaign strategist Kevin Phillips said in a PUBLISHED BOOK in 1969 and in a PUBLIC INTERVIEW in 1970 that they were now planning to use… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

You’re clearly not gonna budge anywhere, on this, so I’ll just end with: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy You don’t listen. I told you three years ago that Wikipedia’s not good enough. You didn’t answer my questions then. Seems some things never change. And I already proved to you that those Dixiecrats switched to Republican…Of course the Dixiecrats went Republican, and most of them stayed there. No, you didn’t, and no, they didn’t. Again, three years ago I asked you for NAMES, Jonathan. I asked you for NAMES on this thread. You’re falling down on the job and making excuses for it. p.s. –… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Dudes with big rebel flag for a backdrop? Whatever. It’s all about the riff.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’m not sure what their feelings are about the Confederate flag, I doubt they have any big issue with it of course, but using it as a backdrop was famously their label’s idea, not theirs. On the meaning of the line, the band themselves has left no doubt. Van Zant (the songwriter): “Wallace and I have very little in common. I don’t like what he says about colored people.” Van Zant: “The lyrics about the governor of Alabama were misunderstood. The general public didn’t notice the words ‘Boo! Boo! Boo!’ after that particular line, and the media picked up only… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Now I know way more about the song than I ever cared.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

I mean, it is interesting, yes, and thanks, but not every comment merits a long serious kind of response, is what I’m saying.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I mean, I could just drop a one-line insult like several of our fellow commenters prefer, but heck, it only takes seconds to read a paragraph and it’s always nice to learn something.

adad0
Member

People are happy when they give a good answer. And there is nothing better than the right word at the right time.

Clay Crouch
Guest
Clay Crouch

JohnM, instead of complaining, you should be thanking Jonathan for the history lesson you never received in school.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

It wasn’t history when I was in school.

OKRickety
Member

Clay Crouch,

JohnM did say “thanks”. Is there some part of that you don’t understand? That seems rather akin to “incapable of staying on point or making a cogent argument.”

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

A “thanks” followed by the assertion that I should not have done what I was being thanked for is faint praise indeed.

OKRickety
Member

I don’t think it was intended as praise but simply a courteous acknowledgment. And his “assertion” was hardly an egregious complaint. It was but another iteration of the oft-noted tendency for your comments to be lengthy.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Because if I make any assertion at all in a comment, even assuming something obvious like, “online articles read by tens of millions have a higher readership than print-only articles with a circulation of just a few hundred thousand”, without providing copious proofs of every facet of the assertion, I’ll be called out for it.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Jonathan, no, you won’t be called out for failing to present *copious* proofs (or “proofs”) of *every facet* of the assertion. Is fear that you will be the reason you do it all the time? Certainly some people may demand evidence. Some people, as you know, will dismiss any evidence you offer, in which case piling it on won’t change anything. Sometimes people will reasonably dispute that what you present amounts to proof, in which case multiple links or quotes and lengthy argument in the same vein will not be any more convincing.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

JohnM, if you look above you will see that someone tried to claim that “the” example of Black people unfairly benefiting from Affirmative Action and narratives of personal victimization is that Ta-Nahisi Coates didn’t deserve to get picked to write a Black Panther comic book series or win a MacArthur grant. I pointed out that the year before he was chosen, Ta-Nahisi Coates has become famous by writing literally the most-read article ever for The Atlantic (as reported by multiple outlets), a 15,000 word article read by millions of people that created a great deal of discussion and influence, and… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

(I’ll also point out that in response I noted that The Atlantic’s online readership is orders of magnitude higher than its print circulation so it is beyond reasonable doubt that a print-only article will ever outperform the most-read online article ever. That the promotional video he cited only got 20,000 views, which couldn’t nearly explain the 4,000,000 people who read Coates’s article on the first day alone. And I posted numerous articles talking about the profound influence that Coates’s article had had, completely restarting the public discussion of reparations and changing the minds of even well-read conservative thinkers like David… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

My point had nothing to do with anything you claimed about Ta-Nahisi Coates, it was a general observation about what you generally do. For my part, I’ve never heard of Ta-Nahisi Coates, and do not care one way or another. Your claims, *which you tend to state at unnecessarily great length*, often have so many facets that it is unlikely anyone will “call you out” on all of them. When someone does challenge you on all aspects of a claim it may be because they find all aspects of the claim suspect. In that case, why should they not challenge… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

There is truth in there. As you can see above, I posted all those citations and it had no effect whatsoever to the person who accused me of making questionable assertions. There are a limited set of conversation partners (there used to be many more but most of them seem to have left) for whom I don’t really expect a meaningful dialogue at all. But when one of them makes a challenge, I’m always thinking of the uncommenting observers. Do they believe the challenge? Will it look like I’m untrustworthy, or that I spread false information? And so I do… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Wilson wrote: “And now we are in a position to get to the point. At last you say? Well, I don’t blame you. Here it is.”

That matches my own thoughts well, and readily explains why I commonly don’t read most of Wilson’s posts here.

Nathan James
Member

Did anyone else read Malachi’s letter gamely expecting it to have a point?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Pastor Wilson kinda has a tendency to print critical letters only if they are reasonably close to his own position or if they are comically bad.

Jane
Member

i’m curious as to how you’re privy to the content of letters, such that you know what he doesn’t print.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’ve submitted them.

adad0
Member

Well,……….at least some “comically bad” letters show up in the comments section! ????????

And those letters do reinforce the truth that
” brevity is the soul of wit”. ; – )

farinata
Guest
farinata

It totally had a point! It was an elegant critique of Wilson’s occasionally somewhat perambulatory, dilatory…

Why, look over there! A metaphor! Let’s go in, shall we? It’s even larger on the inside; isn’t this just lovely? Tea settings, and all in purple, too! Just like an emperor!…

prose.

Jill Smith
Member

I thought it was very funny despite its being a bit over the top as a parody of Doug’s occasionally discursive style. For someone with equal appreciation for a leisurely, discursive style and a wicked parody, it was two teaspoons of jam instead of just one.

OKRickety
Member

My thanks to farinata and Jill for leading me to the conclusion that Malachi’s letter was a parody of Wilson’s writing style. However, based on Wilson’s response (“Huh?”), I seriously question if he understood that. I certainly didn’t.

For the record, I disagree with the use of “occasionally” in their descriptions of Wilson’s style as “occasionally somewhat perambulatory, dilatory…” and “occasionally discursive style“. I consider it to be generally common, which is what I wanted to emphasize with my earlier comment on why I commonly don’t read most of Wilson’s posts.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Yep, I think there is a good chance they are right and I didn’t catch it either.

Nate Norris
Guest
Nate Norris

I own most of your books and have read most of them multiple times. Recently I started having my teen son start reading future men and write a summary of each chapter which we then discuss. I wish I had as good of a resource to go through with my daughter. I own “praise her in the gates” and “fruit of her hands” but I would put those on par w federal husband which is for men and not boys just starting into the process of becoming men. Any chance you’d consider writing (or encouraging Nancy to write) “future women”… Read more »