If our generation got any fruitier, it would have to be acknowledged from every quarter that somebody had put way too many mangoes in the fruit salad.
This judgment of judicial fruitiness is a judgment that has fallen on the entire nation, and not just on parts of it. This includes millions of ostensible conservatives, whose opposition to this tsunami of crazy has to date been feeble, frail, sickly, enervated, insufficient, sapless, and just plain out of gas.
When a bunch of people suddenly go nuts, we can certainly give an accounting for that. There is such a thing as mass hysteria. There have been stampedes of various sorts down through history, and our 21st century street-smart sheeple have proven themselves to be no exception. There is a category for this kind of crazy, as the human race has known for centuries. If you want a vivid picture of this kind of mindless conformity, try to imagine a guy on a bicycle, with the requisite bedhead, wearing a Rage Against the Machine t-shirt, riding down a bike path on a sunny day, out in the country, with two masks on. That just about says it all.
But what are we to make of the sane people, who know how bogus just about everything is, and who yet go along with it? As one wit once observed, it is all professional wrestling, everywhere. Climate change is André the Giant, the great reset is Hulk Hogan, and the war on COVID-19 is Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. And too many Christians tune in to their favorite news program every night to see how the match is going. Too many Christians are inclined to think that when the big Vegas investor (who owns the arena) comes out of the stands to hit one of the wrestlers with a folding chair, he is there to “make a difference.” A champion has arisen to reform the sport! But he’s not there to make a difference. He is part of the show.
Decoding My Title
Let us begin by decoding the title of this iteration of my November installments. What exactly is meant by (L)et’s (G)o (B)randon—(t)o (Q)Anon +? or LGBTQ+ for short? Interpreted, it means that the increasing callousness of our public discourse is going to do nothing but coarsen our nerve endings until certain QAnon ravings—up to and including that Kennedy redivivus business—start to seem almost reasonable by comparison. The comparison would be, of course, to whatever that ominous + sign is hovering over, which likely includes $25 contributions to the Democratic National Committee, and other activities usually restricted to fever dreams, but only when the fever is over 103 degrees. Talk about crazy.
The idea that JFK Jr. is going to come back again is, of course, nuttier than squirrel poo. But it is a nuttiness that is consigned to the margins, as opposed to the nuttiness that is assigned to the center. Convictions that are considered mainstream are dubbed Science, and the fellow who questions it is clubbed as a science denier.
There is no fixed or ultimate standard for what constitutes nutty, which is a point I am going to get to shortly, after I get going good.
The “Let’s Go Brandon” meme of course began as a downstream result of an interview after a race at Talladega, where the fans in the background were chanting the full text of Eff Joe Biden, a ritual which had been erupting at sporting events all over the country. The sportscaster was interviewing the winner of the race, an immortal fellow now, going by the name of Brandon. She gamely suggested to her viewing audience that the obscene chant in the background, clearly audible, was actually a bunch of exuberant fans yelling “Let’s Go, Brandon,” and instanter a viral meme was born.
Not only was the moment perfect for it, but this was a sly way of acknowledging the origin of the chant without descending into the kind of language your average evangelical mother would have swatted you for. And it is not the issue of the language only. There is also the scriptural requirement that we honor the king (1 Pet. 2:17), and although I haven’t chased down all the Greek on this issue, I am pretty sure that eff Joe Biden doesn’t qualify. And so if you are at a sporting event, and let us say that there has been some blue collar drinking in your section such that the unexpurgated chant breaks out, you should rather be dead in a ditch than to join in with it.
But at the same time, if you don’t think let’s go, Brandon is funny, then I am afraid you have a heart of stone, and are probably not a Christian.
And then, when it appeared that the initials of Let’s Go Brandon were the first three letters of the LGBTQ+ incoherence, why . . . it was almost as though a higher power was at work. Your move, atheists! All that remained was to assign a pellucid meaning to the TQ+ part, and presto, I had myself a November entry.
As it happened, at just around the same time that Biden’s 80 million vote juggernaut was evaporating into an obscene chant, the QAnon folks, here to save the Republic, somehow decided to do this by assembling at Dealey Plaza in Dallas to await the arrival of JFK Jr. who died in a plane crash a couple of decades ago. So clearly we are at the top of White Bird Grade just south of Grangeville, and the brakes are out on this cultural car of ours, and that is why we had to add an “and beyond.” That is what the + sign is for.
It is granted all round that this kind of QAnon stuff is dumber than dirt. But it is being that way out on the margins, where these people were assigned to stand. There are other things going on in our nation that are every bit as dumb, but which will get you awards and medallions at the Kennedy Center. I am more confident that little girls ought not to be given hormone blockers than I am that JFK Jr. died in a plane crash.
When there is no arche, no point of integration, everything unravels. It unravels at the edges, where it is easily recognized, and it unravels at the center, where you put your career in jeopardy if you dare to recognize it. But the moment will come when all will be plain, and you should want to be standing in a better place than you currently are when that moment comes. If I may be permitted a literary allusion, I would simply want to refer to the immortal words of Horace Jules.
In That Hideous Strength, there is a tremendously satisfying scene as the novel crescendos, the scene when the confusion of tongues descends upon Belbury. When Jules gets up to address the banquet and says, “Eh? Blotcher bulldoo?” there are a number of things this means, but one of them is that the story is almost over.The present writer, a decade ago
Conservatism that Has Conserved Nothing
In the meantime, what have our conservative leaders been conserving? Not very much, as it turns out.
Conservatism is like a body, and principled, informed, well-read conservative leaders should be the immune system of that body. A vigorous healthy body can die in any number of ways—a bullet, poison, disease, and so on. Someone can be the very picture of health, and something can happen that takes him out. And one of those things could be that his immune system collapses. The body of conservatism would be made up of average guys with jobs and a families, along with certain conservative instincts—but without the time or leisure to read deeply in a way that informs those instincts. Such men simply have a desire to bring up their families in a world where the leaders have not all lost their minds.
This body of conservatism is what the parasite of progressivism feeds on. The immune system was supposed to consist of the leaders of the conservative movement, the people who read and write books for a living, and who were supposed to be fighting the progressive parasites instead of going to Georgetown cocktail parties with them. But alas.
In the meantime, this populist and inchoate red-pilled revolt is not really well-informed. All they know is that they don’t like being devoured, and they don’t like wasting away. Their conservatism, their make-shift immune system, is made up of aphorisms they got off plaques sold at Cracker Barrel, and it turns out this Southern sentimentality is insufficient for this task. It is also the case that big box evangelicalism, busy inculcating that niceness vibe, has been refusing to teach the people in any way that might even remotely equip them for what they are now facing. The symbols of our heritage, the statues and memorials and calendar observances and mascots for sports teams, have all been challenged and toppled, and the most we have been able to mount is some respectable grumbling about it.
So the immune system has not been working at all, but has managed to recollect that it is supposed to be fighting off something, and so has turned on the people it was supposed to be protecting. Our about-to-be-irrelevant immune system has become fiercely critical of those they abandoned, those who are trying to fight off this leviathan of madness with entirely inadequate numbers of antibodies.
Change the metaphor. We had our trained, elite units. They had well-stocked armories, state-of-the-art weaponry, monetary backing, and more. And after they (inexplicably) quit the field, a rag tag multitude showed up instead, with wooden swords and trash can lids for shields. They had no choice—somebody had to take on the Great Reset Dragon. And as soon as these deplorables took the field, so recently abandoned by our elite units, they found themselves attacked by those elite units. But enough about David French.
So Southern sentimentality is not enough? I grant it. Evangelical niceness is not enough? I grant it. Red pill anger is not enough? I grant it. Apple pie conservatism is not enough? I grant it. Patriotism, apple pie, and Mother’s Day conservatism is not enough. I grant it. Scratch n’ sniff Reformed confessionalism is not enough? I grant it. All of this is true.
Unless we reject secularism as the idolatrous foundation of our liberal order, and turn back to Jesus Christ as the only possible foundation for a true liberal order, we are lost. There is such a thing as Christian secularism, and a Christian liberal order, and we must find our way back to that—because the alternative, as we are discovering to our horror, is a totalitarian secularism.
There is absolutely no good reason why Christians, of all people, should go along with methodological atheism as a foundational principle of civics. Methodological atheism is where the solons, and lawgivers, and poobahs tell us that they are not claiming that God does not exist, but that they are going to make our laws without reference to Him. They are going to function as though He does not exist, which means that, if He exists, His existence is irrelevant to what we are doing here.
And then the average evangelical pastor says, “Hey! Where did these gulags come from?”
As I have said before, it is Christ or chaos. The choice is stark. Our leaders and manipulators have stuck their pinky into the bottle of chaos, and have dabbed the tip of your tongue with it. How do you like that acrid taste? If you don’t want more of that, then you had better gather up everything in your life, all the broken pieces, and bring them back to Christ. This includes your understanding of the ideal civil order. So, let me say once again, it is Christ or chaos.
Let me explain to you why this is necessarily true.
Dogs Fighting Over a Piece of Meat
If there is no transcendent ultimate authority that over arches all of us, then everything is lost in principle. Strict secularism is therefore the kiss of death for the rule of law, and this is because the rule of law is dependent on transcendent authority. Not a “transcendent” place-holder civic god, but rather a God with authority. I am talking about the living God, the triune God, the God of Abraham, the God who speaks, the God who is there. I am speaking about the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If there is no over arching authority, this reduces every political dispute to the same level as two dogs fighting over a piece of meat. They each have their interests, and because there are two dogs and only one piece of meat, this brings them naturally into conflict. The conflict is a necessary conflict, because everything reduces to that. If you try to engage is a species of hand-waving and say that democracy solves this problem, you have done nothing but zoom out a bit—but you are still looking at the same problem. Now it is a pack of dogs fighting with one dog over a piece of meat.
Postmodern social justice warriors get themselves into what looks like a warp spasm of moral indignation, but it is actually not moral indignation at all. There is no such thing as moral indignation unless there is an over arching moral standard to which all may appeal, and because these guys are atheists, there is no such transcendent basis for moral judgments of any kind. But they still get worked up, as though there were such a basis, and they do this because it still works to help them get what they want, which is power. White power structures create systems of oppression. So? What makes systems of oppression bad? There is no God. Deal with it. So according to the narrative, white people centuries ago did what these people are doing now, which is being merciless to their enemies, and there is no God. Seems like they got away with it, and the current crop of rampaging bolsheviks might get away with it. We shall see.
Now this is why, when the advocates of woke argue, they do not argue—they swarm. They bite and devour because they are acting in a manner that is consistent with their worldview. They have understood the ramifications of their rejection of a transcendent authority that applies to all of us. They know that aspect of their worldview, and they bank on it. They are acting the way they do because they think that they are the bigger dog. They believe they can get the meat they want, and so they are going for it.
This is why conservatives can have a good time pointing out their inconsistencies, and the memes are fun. We point to the fact that if they didn’t have double standards they would have no standards at all, but somehow it still availeth not. It doesn’t even slow them down. Conservatives somehow believe they are in a debate with people who at some level share a standard, but they are actually in a fight with people who are seeking to abandon all standards except for the standard of getting whatever it is they demand. That is their standard—ravenous demands. And at different times, they will make completely contradictory appeals if, at that moment, it will get them closer to the meat.
What do I mean? If there were an over-arching standard that applied to all of us, it would be possible to point to areas where that standard contradicted whatever it was they were currently doing. We could point that out, and then they would say, “Oh, that’s right. We need to fix that.” But nothing like that happens, not even remotely.
Let me give two examples, both of them having to do with ethnicity, although the same move is made in other areas as well.
I Just Promised Two Examples
Conservatives don’t realize that their opponents know themselves to be in a dog fight over a piece of meat. The conservatives don’t know this. So we are not just fighting over whatever “it” is, we are actually fighting over what kind of fights we are allowed to have.
In the meantime, the progressive left is willing use whatever works, and they don’t give a rat’s patootie about consistency. Conservatives keeping appealing to a standard above, and the leftists keep biting anyone who gets near whatever meat they are fighting for. Allow me to illustrate:
If we were being consistent, the iconoclasm of recent years would have included removing the name of Martin Luther King, Jr. from all those boulevards across our nation. And why? Because he was a living, breathing avatar of white supremacy. How so? He famously said that he longed for the day when his children would be judged by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin, and if that is not white supremacy, then I’m a Hottentot. Seriously. The commies are currently arguing that they are up against a multi-racial manifestations of white supremacy, and any statements that even resembled King’s are today rejected as premier examples of white supremacy.
What makes you—these days—into a white supremacist? If you say something like “all lives matter,” if you say that you are color blind, if you want to place a man on trial as an individual instead of as a representative of his assigned tribe, if you refuse to judge someone by the color of their skin, but rather by the content of their character, then congratulations, you are a white supremacist. And also, if you propose taking down that big statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. because of his white supremacy, that also makes you a white supremacist. And instead of acting confused by this, it would be better if you simply recognized what is going on. What is going on is not a boxing match with Marquis of Queensbury rules. The only rule your opponent recognizes is the rule that he must win.
The same thing happened with the recent election of Winsome Sears as the lieutenant governor of Virginia. The previous Democratic governor of Virginia, he of Klan outfit and/or blackface fame, was a-okay according to these folks (because he was not blocking their path to the meat), and the election of Sears was an expression of the deeply ingrained racism of the Virginia voter—simply because she will be such an impediment.
I said earlier that we are fighting over what kind of fights we will have in the future. The reason this culture war is a war is precisely because of this. There is no shared standard that makes debate possible. That means you can have conflict, but not debate. And that makes it a cold war, whether or not the shooting has started yet.
The only way that a shooting war is going to be averted is if there is a massive reformation and revival. And that massive reformation and revival is only going to happen if our ordained preachers of the gospel, thousands of them, repent of their exegetical soft soap, homiletic lather, and warm tap water applications. But how will they hear without a preacher?
Jesus Christ has a two-edged sword coming out of His mouth (Rev. 1:16). This means that His messengers should stop preaching like a French maid using a feather duster on the antique armoire, and more like a blacksmith shaping white hot wrought iron on the anvil.
I Got 99 Problems
So I am a white American of Scottish descent, married to someone of the opposite sex for coming up on 46 years now. Now a lot of evangelical leaders are in the same circumstantial boat, but they don’t get into nearly the trouble that I do. This is in part because they are willing to act sheepish about their so-called sins, especially the ones related to the color of the back of their knees—and I don’t feel the slightest bit bad about any of that stuff.
God made the back of my knees, and the color He used there was apparently on purpose, believe it or not. So whenever I get accused of the good stuff God did, instead of the bad stuff I did (as defined by Scripture, and not these characters), I have no nervous tic developing in my left eye at all. I got 99 problems but a twitch ain’t one.
Now see? “Why do you do stuff like that?” Why do you quote rap lyrics, and substitute in a word that rhymes with bitch? That made us think untoward thoughts. Aren’t we supposed to have a good testimony? Isn’t that kind of like let’s go, Brandon? Kind of like shoot cussin’?
I will remind you that Jay-Z performed that much acclaimed song at the last official event of Barack Obama’s inauguration. And I will remind you that it would be a safe bet to assume that a bunch of angst-ridden white-guy pastors would be willing to praise that song as an authentic voice coming from the black experience in America. They don’t mind words that rhyme with itch or chigger, provided the barbaric yawp comes from someone who hates God, and who wants to tear down Western civilization.
Yeah, well, I don’t mind saying that I am an authentic voice also. It is not the voice of someone representing an America that is lost and gone already, but it does represents an America that will be lost soon enough if you evangelical pastors don’t stop screwing around.
Today’s NQN Giveaway
This November giveaway feature is proving popular. Last Wednesday was Canon’s gift of Ride, Sally, Ride, and they have given away over 3,000 copies. And last Monday’s giveaway was from right here at the Mablog Emporium, which ordinarily is a little putt putt operation compared to the Behemoth that Canon has become. But nevertheless, you all did what you all were supposed to do, and we were able to give away around 1900 copies of All the Condemnation in the World. That giveaway option is now closed, and A Parliament of Pots is now going for a dollar off the regular price, which is ordinarily $1, thus making it as free as Americans used to be.
A Parliament of Pots
This is collection of some of my more fanciful pieces — didactic parables, stream of consciousness rants, and so forth. The collection goes back many years, mostly into the Credenda years.