My Militance

One of the stockbook arguments that liberals use is that conservative militance is “offputting.” By “liberals” I am referring both to those who are openly so, as well as those who have that crisply moderate evangelical shell surrounding a gooey center.

A sure way to identify a liberal disposition is to listen for warnings about hypothetical offenses. But if this were as real a concern as it pretends to be, surely someone would have taken note of the fact that liberal denominations are hemorrhaging all over the floor, while those offputting religious groups are keeping their blood inside the skin, and are continuing to grow. What if the key to growth in the next generation is standing strong against same sex mirage?

Reaching out to new dialog partners . . .
Reaching out to new dialog partners . . .

Trying to anticipate all the people who might be offended sets up a demand for such people to start showing up, which they then do. If you build it, they will come. If you establish an infrastructure for catering to the Hurt Feelings of a particular class of duly appointed privileged underprivileged people, then do not be surprised when another kind of underdeveloped soul tries to get a piece of the action. And then their arrival, right on time, is taken as a justification for all the anticipatory nervousness, and the cycle continues. We decide to pay a thousand dollars of reparations to everyone who had ever been sexually harassed in a fast food joint, and are frankly astonished to find out how unsafe those places are, quite apart from the deep-fried stuff. Well, the cycle continues — until, in the immortal words of Tom Wolfe about the art world, the whole thing disappears up its own fundamental aperture.

This is what lies behind all the triggering nonsense. Some students at Colombia have complained that reading Ovid was “triggering.” But as Instapundit noted, people in such a condition are not mentally healthy enough for college. And there was a brouhaha over Christina Sommers speaking at Oberlin. She was tagged as a rape apologist for saying things like how women should address wage inequities by pursuing professions that pay more. When people are triggered by things like that, the only righteous thing to do is to trigger them some more.

So my militance — which is, admittedly, sometimes apparent to thoughtful observers — is not an across-the-board militance. I am not militant at dinner. I am not militant when joking around with the grandkids. I am not militant while mowing the lawn. I am only militant when tyrants and buffoons essay to run a great civilization when they have to date demonstrated no real competence in running anything larger than a sno-cone stand at Ocean City. In the off-season.

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Eric the Red
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Eric the Red

I find left-wing silliness just as silly as, well, right wing silliness, of which there is plenty on both sides. But I think what you’re seeing is that the vast majority of Americans reject both extreme left and extreme right. They think fulminations against Ovid are just as ridiculous as fulminations against same sex marriage. In other words, the moderates seem fully in control, which means that the left complains about conservatives having too much influence, and conservatives complain about liberals having too much influence. That, at least, is how it appears to me when I take off my advocacy… Read more »

Luke Pride
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Being militant against people does seem, er, to raise some red flags. But being militant against false ideas, distortions of truth, and soul ruining lies simply seems to echo the kind of wrestling not against flesh and blood Paul, or really Christ speaking through Paul (yes, nowadays I have to clarify that) says is our warfare. The false ideas of every society, whether a Western, medieveal, classical, Eastern, Midestern, Pagan, ANE, Modern or Post Modern are fueled by engines much more malevolent and just as real as the so called human leaders. The bad guys weapon has been lies from… Read more »

Lincoln Davis Wilson
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Lincoln Davis Wilson

How do you balance/reconcile this teaching with Paul’s injunction to “[i]f possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all”?

RFB
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RFB

I would say that in a certain respect, just like that same Paul says things like “If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed.” and “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”

katie
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katie

Maybe in the same way we “reconcile” the scenario in which we work out our salvation with fear and trembling and at the same time God works in us to will and to do according to his good pleasure. Both/and, not either/or? And as Scripture seems to teach us both/and (as RFB points out below), we can ask for wisdom to know how spiritual battle is actually an aspect of “living peaceably with all.”

katie
Guest
katie

Sorry, as RFB points out *above.

Justin Conder
Guest

It would seem being more militant and setting stricter rules is a good strategy for a robust, enduring religious membership. For further reference: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2138608 On the other hand, this may say more about how to construct lasting religious organiziations than whether or not such draconian rules are actually truly ordained from On High. From the fact that Scientology is militant and requires much sacrifice and resources from committed members, we may not derive that thetans exist. But it does do much to explain the decline in many mainline churches. Sometimes being a “crisply moderate” Christian complete with a “gooey center”… Read more »

Randy Greene
Guest

Reading this call to militancy, I can’t help but think of a poem on the matter.

http://sobecreation.com/2015/04/the-war-is-coming/

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

Preemptive surrender? Works great if you have nothing worth fighting for.

Jane Dunsworth
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Jane Dunsworth

There also seems to be a presumption that we’re looking for the fight — anticipating it and then seeing it’s upon us. Sort of overlooks the fact that it’s been going on for at least 6000 years.

Matilda
Guest
Matilda

I can’t get the first link to work.

Eric the Red
Guest
Eric the Red

I find left-wing silliness just as silly as, well, right wing silliness, of which there is plenty on both sides. But I think what you’re seeing is that the vast majority of Americans reject both extreme left and extreme right. They think fulminations against Ovid are just as ridiculous as fulminations against same sex marriage. In other words, the moderates seem fully in control, which means that the left complains about conservatives having too much influence, and conservatives complain about liberals having too much influence. That, at least, is how it appears to me when I take off my advocacy… Read more »

Katecho
Member

On the topic of militant behavior. Obama recently addressing a Catholic leadership summit: The top 25 hedge fund managers made more than all of the kindergarten teachers in the country. So, when I say that, I’m not saying that because I dislike hedge fund managers, or I think they are evil, I’m saying that you’re paying a lower [tax] rate than a lot of folks who are making $300,000 a year. You pretty much have more than you’ll ever be able to use in your family will ever be able to use. There’s a fairness issue involved here. And by… Read more »

RFB
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RFB

Very good katecho!

And since he is using scriptural qualification (‘I’m my brother’s keeper’) for his argument, he cannot (could not anyway, but this for even the fanboys) object to using all of God’s Word to refute his Marxist desires.

holmegm
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holmegm

“brother’s keeper” was just Cain’s absurd parody of the Lord’s commands anyway.

The Lord ignored it and kept the focus on Cain’s murder.

Andrew Dickson
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Andrew Dickson
David Henry
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David Henry

How do you integrate your militancy and serrated edge with your principle of “there is a greater right than being right?”

Steven Opp
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Steven Opp

David, I’ll tell you a theory I’ve been thinking about lately in regards to that question. I wonder if the best test, almost across the board, whether in politics or not, is the “dead baby test.” It goes back to Solomon and his experiment with the two prostitutes. Both prostitutes, mind you, both sinners, and both hurt people. So both would fall into the category of perhaps needing trigger alerts and extra sympathy. Before giving any sort of serrated edge, Solomon first uses an imaginary serrated edge. Let’s cut the baby in half! This of course divides the sheep from… Read more »

The Canberean
Guest

Wow you guys are way ahead over there. I hadn’t even heard of ‘triggering’ until I just read it here. Absolutely unbelievable!

The Canberean
Guest

I absolutely loved the George Will address that you linked to the other week too. Great stuff.

John E. Glaze
Guest

1 Thessalonians 4:10 But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, 11and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, 12so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.

timothy
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timothy

make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands

Like baking cakes.

holmegm
Guest
holmegm

Yep.

I don’t have much sympathy for cries of “stop hurting my hand with your cheek!”

timothy
Guest
timothy

Sorry, but it just dawned on me that the word “militant” was being used seriously do describe Pastor Wilson and that people do consider him to be militant

I find that amusing and sad at the same time.