So in something of a prescient move, in my last post I mentioned my widening circle of irrelevance—my particular brand of toxicity is now being increasingly opposed, and out of the blue, by various important voices, modulated voices, voices of sweet reason. The latest is from Elizabeth Bruenig, a columnist with The Washington Post, who tweeted about me just yesterday.
And speaking of modulated voices, here is what she had to say:
“This is such destructive, unscholarly, psychotic theology, and it turns churches into dens of iniquity. It makes me sick to see self-described Christians spreading this poison.”
We could have a contest here at Mablog . . . what passage from what book of mine is she talking about? I know there are those out there who would argue that it is really hard to say because they know the ubiquitous darkness of my puritanical heart. Or, in a more supportive and positive vein, they might argue that it is hard to say because they know the caliber of my literary critics. In other words, it might be possible that anything I write could set them off like this. In that regard, I am kind of like all-purpose catnip for progressives.
But the passage in question has actually been through all this before. There is liberalism for you—they recycle everything. They even recycle outrage, placing it carefully in their purple bin and setting it out by the curb. The passage in question caused something of a set-to a few years ago also, that one involving Rachel Held Evans. The toxicity under discussion is from Fidelity (pp. 86-87), and when I looked at Bruenig’s footnote at the bottom of her tweet I saw the book was published in 1999, and my initial reaction was perhaps not what Bruenig might have hoped for. Where I should have blanched pale white, gasped, and checked myself into rehab, instead I found myself wondering how I could have had that much sense almost twenty years ago. I was still in my forties. Those punks don’t know anything.
In the offending passage, I argued that sexual relations are not egalitarian, and that when this reality is ignored, a perverse form of that reality comes back at you in pathological forms. In other words, if you follow their sex ed training out to the end of the curriculum, and you graduate (with honors) into not knowing what a boy is and what a girl is, the end result is that you have no defined boundaries to restrain anything anymore.
Incidentally, this is like introducing a new geography curriculum, hot and fresh out of some teachers’ college, but which, at the end of the day, leaves the students not knowing where North America is. But leave that aside for the nonce.
Back to the point at issue. Because you have no notion of wholesome authority, you find yourself lusting after perverted forms of authority. And so it is that the graduates of a generation of whatever-wave-feminism-it-is-now are the ones who caused 50 Shades to sell in the millions. So you don’t like my thesis about where rape fantasies come from? Okay. You tell me where they came from then. You tell me, o enlightened generation, where mass-media rape fantasies come from. You tell me how important Hollywood people (that bastion of sexual health) managed to release the 50 Shades movie on Valentine’s Day without picking tar and feathers out of their hair for the following three months. Surely the phenomenon requires an explanation . . .
Not only do progressives not provide any explanations for the colossal failure of their sexual project, they wheel on the normals in an attempt to make them out to be the perverts.
In the meantime, while we wait for our explanation (which—because you can’t unpack anything from an empty box—will not be forthcoming), let us deconstruct this baby:
This is such destructive . . .
I should hope so. As long as we are destroying evil things, I think we should have at it. This is an inescapable concept; it is a fight to the finish. Either normal will be destroyed, or abnormal will be. God is not mocked, and it needs to be one or the other. Whatever else Lot was doing when he fled from the cities of the plain, he was not seeking the peace of the city.Whatever else Lot was doing when he fled from the cities of the plain, he was not seeking the peace of the city.
unscholarly . . .
Naturam expelles furca, tamen usque recurret! (Horace, Epistles i. x. 24)
psychotic theology . . .
Just when you think we have turned a corner, and believe that writers in the public square have finally learned not to use the names of medical conditions for vilifying their enemies, something like this happens. This sort of business is simply just hurtful. But at least she didn’t call me a retard.
and it turns churches into dens of iniquity . . .
But isn’t that the agenda? Wasn’t that the point? Didn’t you want us to become havens of acceptance? The old way was to keep iniquity at bay, as best you could anyway. The new way is to be welcoming communities. But if you open the doors wide, and nobody is watching them anymore, all kinds of critters can come in. And I mean the kind of unclean creatures that make dens.
It makes me sick . . .
With the state American health care is now in, I am sorry to hear that.
to see self-described Christians . . .
So I do self-identify that way. I heard that you could be anything you wanted to be. I want to be a Christian. The kind that believes the Bible. The kind that goes to Heaven. The kind that loves Jesus.
spreading this poison . . .
Again, major regression. If certain positions are rejected flat out, treated as poisonous, then that means relativism cannot be the case. But if relativism is not the case, then that means some form of ethical absolutism is the case. However, if we are now living under a new-fangled absolute code, one that overarches us all, and one that defines the beliefs of Christians over the course of millennia as toxic poison, then surely some apostle should stand up and tell us the name of their new god. What book did he give us? Why is he in charge of us? Did he create us? Does he love us? Did his son die for us? And how are we to know these things are true?
In short, ma’am, define poison please.
Look. If instead of holding to my destructive theology, I abandoned my post here in the opposition, told the world I was very sorry, and came out in favor of little boys having their penises cut off by money-hungry surgeons, would you be willing to stop calling me destructive then? Suppose I was desperate to be accepted as one who would never purvey poison, and consequently signed off on dismembering little children in the womb, and selling the pieces into the American economy? Could I stop being poisonous then? Imagine I acquired that progressive lust for flattery that characterizes so many, and insisted that not only should Planned Parenthood be allowed to keep their iniquitous profits, but that American taxpayers should continue to surrender their honest profits so that Planned Parenthood could continue to grow rich by trafficking in baby bits. Would you admit that I was nice then?
Anything to not be thought of as destructive. Anything to not be treated as psychotic. Pleeeeeease?