Pretty Sure It Is Not You

Flannery O’Conner wrote that everything that rises must converge, but this must also be said of everything that is circling the drain. The shared worldview of our chattering classes appears to me to be nothing more than a vast epistemic sinkhole. This is the kind of thing that could make Turretin exclaim, were he present with us, something like zut alors! which when translated means something like holy smokes. You know, a little inside term of art from one of the great scholars of the Reformation.

In order to be cast as a radical and/or a crazy these days all you need do is say something like “a man should be judged by the content of his character, and not by the color of his skin.” Total wingnuttery. If you insist on equal weights and measures, no thumb on the scale, whether that thumb be black like Al Sharpton’s or white like David Duke’s, or Daisy Duke’s for that matter, if you maintain something along the lines of “all thumbs matter,” as in, keep any kind of thumb off the scale, you will be written off as a crackpot, or as the professionals would call it, a psycho-ceramic.

I mean, how dare you say that we should cultivate an official cultural color blindness? I know that it is ostensibly the stated goal and everything, but if anyone hazards to suggest that we actually give it a try, they will be grabbed where the pants hang loose and frog-marched to the curb.

I say all this because I tweeted something that hit a nerve, and I was kind of surprised by the nerve it hit. I know, I shouldn’t be surprised by anything anymore, but I kind of was.

I tweeted this:

“So a black guy shot some white people to start a race war. What flag do we have to take down that will fix it this time?”

What was that about? You should recall that after the Charleston shootings a few months ago, after what seemed like minutes, a hue and holler went up about how we needed to take down the Confederate flag from its place on the grounds of the South Carolina capital. A full court press was called, and there we were. Dylann Roof, who shot the people in that church, was a white punk who wanted to start a race war. It wasn’t long before pictures of him brandishing the Confederate flag appeared online, and see? See?

No, I don’t see. The problem is not race. The problem is godlessness. The problem is not that our society is racially divided. The problem is that we are divided from God, estranged from Him.

And now, in circumstances so close as to be almost a parody, a black man shoots a couple of white people on live television because he wanted to start a race war too. And since flags appear to be a necessary part of this kind of thing, a rainbow flag was found in Vester Flanagan’s apartment. The pretend solution to these horrific crimes is to go in big for empty gestures, and so let us call for even-handedness in our distribution of empty gestures. What flag do have to take down now that will fix everything. Flanagan was homosexual, and he had a culprit flag in his apartment . . .

But lo, my observation caused sadness on the Internet. No, not the kind of sadness that Frodo had while going to the Grey Havens, or the kind that Treebeard had while marching on Isengard. He was, as you recall, “sad, but not unhappy” (p. 90). No, I made some people both sad and unhappy.

@douglaswils lost of respect for you I expected more.
@douglaswils What a personally irresponsible and pastorally inept thing to say. Highly inappropriate.
@douglaswils I’m really sorry a flag is such a big issue for you, Doug. Would you like to talk about it?
@douglaswils what did Paul say? Something about “not all tweets beneficial?” Seems appropriate here.
@douglaswils What a ridiculous thing to say, Doug. You know it’s bigger than that. Why say something so incendiary?

Of course it is bigger than that. Double standards always are. Hypocrisy is always much bigger than the sin it pretends not to be committing. Liars hate being caught. It throws them off their rhythm.

Look. We live in a generation when Democratic candidates can be hounded off a stage simply for saying “all lives matter,” which is apparently a racist dog whistle to the incoherent and jumbled jive-mongers, who demand that “black lives matter” be the only official chant, and these pasty white politicians cannot even defend themselves by pointing out their own obvious hypocrisies. “No, no, please don’t run me off stage. I clearly don’t believe it. I am still in favor of selling black baby parts to white researchers. And I promise to adhere to the ‘black lives matter’ shibboleth simultaneously, while simpering and groveling throughout, all while voting for continued millions to subsidize the merchandising of a disproportionate number of black baby organs. We have to keep the sale of dead black babies affordable for the important white researchers. Otherwise because racism!”

If you cannot make any sense out of the standards at play in the previous paragraph, I think you can relax because I don’t think it is you.

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Dan Phillips
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Dan Phillips

That Tweet was brilliant. For people to misunderstand it so badly… and find a way to claim offense? Do they teach classes in that sort of obvious-point-missing?

That aside, if you’re anything like me, it’s noise like that which tempts one to give up on the whole mass-communication project.

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

Good humor is funny because it’s true. This is “bad” because it’s true. Brevity & wit & stuff.

Nick E
Guest
Nick E

Thanks for standing up in this crazy crappy maelstrom. The amount of cognitive dissonance going on these days has started to get to me.

Thomas Achord
Guest
Thomas Achord

A white guy shoots black people to start a race war. The crowds riot against his flag and cosmic justice.

A black guy shoots white people to start a race war. The crowds are calm like weaned children.

It is also saddening that this seems to be the same with the Christian community – our emotions and thoughts mimic those of the mainstream of culture. If they’re angry, we’re angry. If they’re quiet, we’re quiet.

Kevin Bratcher
Guest

It seems that to many in the Progressive school of thought, equality is only achieved by committing an equal number of injustices against the other side.

Ramon E
Guest
Ramon E

You are exactly right. Even the churches that are supposedly conservative/evangelical are like an auxiliary to the secular elites.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Everyone awaiting instructions from the media. Facebook theology

Brandon Klassen
Guest
Brandon Klassen

I don’t know if others have noticed this, but Doug’s particular skill in stating things in such an Ezekiel way not only cuts through the crap that seeks to obfuscate the true issues, but it also has the added benefit of drawing the cockroaches out into the light (however briefly) to reveal themselves for who they are. I, for one, am paying very close attention to professing Christians who make it a habit to miss the point(s) that Doug continually raises regarding the culture in which we sojourn. It’s good to know those who won’t hesitate to abandon the front… Read more »

wtrsims
Member

It’s apparent that your racially-charged, hate-mongering tweet was venomously targeting straight white males, Doug.

Joseph Hession
Member

The selling of baby black ribs is the more important issue.

doug sayers
Guest

Thanks Doug. Godlessness is always the real problem. I have often wondered if Dr King’s remarks about wanting his daughters to be judged on the content of their character have been stricken from the record.

Would it help if everyone who has routinely cordial and respectful relations with people of other ethnic groups was covered on the daily news and social media?

We could use another Paul Harvey…Good Day.

Jerry Patterson
Guest
Jerry Patterson

It is the record of the false prophet, Martin Luther King, Jr. that was sealed to keep the people from knowing his wickedness.

Webster
Guest
Webster

I don’t think MLK ever claimed to be a prophet.

Jerry Patterson
Guest
Jerry Patterson

I use this in the sense it is used in Acts 13. If you want to substitute apostate preacher for false prophet, I have no quarrel with that.

Webster
Guest
Webster

Ah, ok. So, then, what does that have to do with the post to which you were replying? A very brief reference was made to his most famous line in a speech delivered as a civil rights leader, not a sermon or theological treatise. As the man himself died nearly fifty years ago, the point of bringing it up is clearly commentary on how today’s leaders in the African-American community are (mis)handling race relations, in comparison to the lofty ideals proclaimed back then. He made no comment for or against King’s theology. But since you’ve brought the matter up, I’m… Read more »

Nathan S
Guest
Nathan S

Erm… I feel you’re missing the most obvious difference. The Confederate flag was used by an army dedicated to winning a war designed to keep slavery intact. The rainbow flag has not had that distinction, and is not flown atop state capitals or in their legislatures. And the fact is, if I’m flying a flag that represents an army that was put in the field to defend the institution of slavery, it’s not a huge leap of the imagination to claim that I’m defending slavery. Even if I’m not. Whatever you may think of the Confederate flag, any comparison between… Read more »

Timothy Wood
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Timothy Wood

The point has very little to do with the flags. The point is the drastic difference in response to two otherwise similar events. Taking down the Confederate flag as a symbol of slavery might be a real issue. But it should not have been connected to the Charleston shooting in the first place, nor did it do anything to address the real issues associated with that tragedy. Likewise, the news shooting is a real tragedy, but it has not seen the same response in anyway. Whether this is because the people involved do not fit the prescribed narrative, or its… Read more »

Nathan S
Guest
Nathan S

I would agree, if there were a history of LGBT attacks on straight men and women, or had Flanagan posed with his flag in the same manner that Roof did. He did not. Roof made the connection between the Confederate flag and his shooting himself; the connection between the pride flag and Flanagan’s shooting is being made by Wilson. The different public reactions are a result of the connections being made by the shooters themselves, and that is the reason for the disparity in outcries.

wtrsims
Member

What if he (Flanagan) stated that it was BECAUSE he was gay, or at least perceived that he was somehow persecuted for being such, that he murdered them?

Nathan S
Guest
Nathan S

…I was under the impression that he said exactly that, along with a litany of other perceived injustices. But that’s still neither here nor there as far as the flag is concerned, unless the flag itself has a martial history, and is being purposely used by the shooter to display his intentions.

wtrsims
Member

Well yes, that’s my point. Roof associated his racism to his crime, and because anyone and everyone who has a rebel flag is necessarily a racist, the rebel flag is torn down. Flanagan associated his ethnicity and sexual preferences with his crime…. But, I have to push back on your premise: Did Roof *actually* tie the rebel flag to his crime, or did he just take silly pictures with it in a pair of jorts? Did he wear it while committing his crime? If he did, then my argument is refuted at least at that one particular point. But, if… Read more »

Nathan S
Guest
Nathan S

I confess, to answer your question about Roof, I don’t know. If he didn’t mean to associate the Conf. flag to his shooting, then I’m out of objections as far as that example goes. As far as public reaction, though, there’s no contest – the Confederate flag has a history of racism and violence behind it, even though it’s become a symbol of many other things for the south – and I’m from Texas, for the record. The pride flag has no such history. It’s far more natural to assume that Confederate flag in a racial shooting ties in far… Read more »

Jane Dunsworth
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Jane Dunsworth

The pride flag doesn’t have the same destructive history but it certainly has a destructive history. Why does the destructive history have to be the same destructive history in order for the analogy to work?

Timothy Wood
Guest
Timothy Wood

The fundamental flaw in your argument is assuming Wilson wants to ban the shame flag because of this event. That’s just it. It’s absurd to discredit the rainbow flag because of one mad man. The shame flag is a symbol of evil, but the shooting is a ridiculous place to make the point; hence the missed irony of this post. The Confederate flag also represents some evil things (though not as evil as sodomy, though now I’m afraid I’ve lost you), but demanding its removal from the state capitol *because* of the shooting is just as ridiculous. Also, did you… Read more »

Brandon Klassen
Guest
Brandon Klassen

Erm… I feel you’re missing the point…

Tim Paul
Guest
Tim Paul

Apparently Nathan is clueless about the hideous nature of the gay mafia and their ultimate intentions. The bastards firebombed McIlhenny’s family inside the OPC personage back in the late ’80’s in San Francisco.

Nathan S
Guest
Nathan S

And sent death threats, and disrupted services. But that still puts the score at two for the LGBT flag, and thousands for the Confederate flag. This is by no means an even contest, and it’s silly to pretend that it is.

Tim Paul
Guest
Tim Paul

The nature of the rainbow is pure evil and destruction to everyone that opposes it. Give it another 20 and then let’s check the body count.

Nathan S
Guest
Nathan S

Wow.

Tim Paul
Guest
Tim Paul

What is so ” wow” about the fact that the Rainbow flag / SJW Ilk, live to assassinate every character, reputation, fiscal livelyhood that opposes their religious/ political views? They have murder in their heart against all opposition. Given the Orwellian nature of our PC Brownshirt gov’t the Rainbow flag will dwarf the bodycount of the Confederate flag.

drewnchick
Member

Did you forget that our own White House was bathed in the LGBTXYZ battle flag? How can you even say such things??

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/30/obama-rainbow-white-house_n_7698194.html

Nathan S
Guest
Nathan S

…we were discussing whether the pride flag was associated with as much violence as the Confederate flag. What in the world does the White House’s display have to do with that?

Brandon Klassen
Guest
Brandon Klassen

If I may hazard a guess…

>>…and is not flown atop state capitals or in their legislatures…

Nathan S
Guest
Nathan S

Fair enough. I did type that… That’s not really relevant to my objection, though. Let me try again – suppose a large part of Germany had, since WWII, adopted the insignia of the Brandenburgers, one of the elite special forces units during the war. Then suppose the symbol has, since then, alternately been used as a rallying cry for anti-Semitism and also as a symbol of German strength and military might. Eventually, the German government decides to take down all Brandenburger insignia after several Jews are murdered by someone who posted his own affection for the insignia. You can’t fully… Read more »

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

No Christian? Surely you jest.

Brandon Klassen
Guest
Brandon Klassen

Personally, I’m less concerned about the history of something past and more concerned with the trajectory of where something may be headed in the future. It is the future that will affect you, me, and our posterity. And I think it fairly clear that what the “pride” flag is increasingly coming to represent looks a lot like 1984.

Luke Pride
Guest

I would never fly a confederate flag, but one could argue the confederate flag stood for many things besides the evil of slavery, things that were neutral or even good. The rainbow flag only represents things that are evil. The fact that many christians are not offended by it displays the depths of enculturation.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Slavery was not and is not evil.

Benjamin Bowman
Guest

Says who?

Job
Guest
Job

How many more innocents must be slaughtered under the rainbow banner before we, as a nation, wake up?

Frank Turk
Guest
Frank Turk

Thank God someone read this tweet:
http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sn9pro

timothy
Guest
timothy

All that salty seasoning has a zesty effect on your detractor’s blood-pressure.

Katecho
Member

Someone recently reminded me of the display of forgiveness from the family members of the Charleston church toward Dylann Roof. I think this is a very profound gesture, not because I think grieving families affected by a shooting have a civil role to pardon the convicted from receiving their just sentence, but because it stands in such stark contrast to the surrounding culture of identity politics. But here is the challenge: If black men and women in South Carolina can forgive the fresh crime of multiple murders at the hand of a white man, can they forgive the 150+ year… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

Slavery was not a crime or a sin. Kidnapping or manstealing certainly is, but who are you accusing of that?

Michael Burchfield
Guest
Michael Burchfield

The slave trade in the 18th and 19th centuries was founded upon kidnapping and man stealing, ashv. So, what point are you trying to make?

Katecho
Member

I agree, in general, that forced labor (slavery) for the purpose of making restitution is not sin (and is actually the righteous thing in many cases of debt). My comment above was clearly in the context of Southern slavery, which was racist and clearly had its origins in kidnapping blacks.

ashv
Guest
ashv

It’s not clear at all that slavery in the American South involved kidnapping. Plenty of African slave traders had criminals and prisoners of war for sale. Furthermore, there’s no such sin as “racism”.

Katecho
Member

I can’t find a way to salvage ashv’s comment here. I can’t make it fit with the recorded facts. It’s very well known that various African tribes would form raiding expeditions to capture other Africans specifically for the Atlantic, European and Muslim slave trade. (See the Slave Trade Debates of England, 1806) I don’t understand how ashv would not call this practice kidnapping. I’ve heard the idea that there can be no such thing as “racism” because races lack a definite boundary marker, but I’m not sure if that’s what ashv is going for. There is definitely a sin of… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

It’s certainly a sin to deny the image of God in other men on any basis. Doing so on the basis of ancestry doesn’t make it any worse or better. The problem is that “racism” is merely an attack word stretched to fit whatever the circumstances require, not a topic of meaningful discourse.

Katecho
Member

But people do often deny the image of God in others on the basis of superficial outward appearances, like skin color. The word for that is racism, and it is an appropriate word, even if others use it as an attack term. And racism is a sin.

ashv
Guest
ashv

It’s never been strictly used that way. It’s just as much about “discrimination” or “segregation” or “disparate impact” as about actual racial malice. An honest discussion among Christians doesn’t need the term.

Katecho
Member

The issue that is most relevant to the discussion here (regardless of which word we think is best to describe it), is that a large number of people in the South (and probably just as many in the North) were guilty of a view of the inferior dignity of blacks. It was widespread on both sides, and pretty well documented. Whites were not the objects of slavery. We should be able to call that what it was, namely sin. We shouldn’t try to make excuses for it. We can, however, point out the distinction between that illegitimate kind of slavery,… Read more »

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

ashv seems to want to say that because the word racism or a close synonym does not appear in the Bible in a list of identified sins, there’s necessarily something invidious in calling racism a sin.

Racism properly defined is one manifestation of a complex of unquestionably sinful behaviors involving hatred, pride, unbelief in what scripture says about the nature of man, and usually envy. Therefore, racism is sinful behavior, or, in an entirely legitimate shorthand, it’s a sin. That other things get called racism which are not, in no way detracts from this.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Please consider this author’s argument: https://bonald.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/theres-no-such-sin-as-racism/

Racial malice is sinful, because malice is sinful. But that is hardly what “racism” refers to in modern discourse.

Ian Miller
Member

Agreed. ashv and a few other commentators on the blog have brought up this point, and if it were just the point that racism is a term that’s become debased in meaning and used simply as a stick to hit people until they shut up, I might see their point. But they go from there to advocate something so similar to kinism as to make almost no difference. And since kinism is overwhelmingly embraced by those who also preach contempt upon others of different races, I have a great difficulty accepting the “racism isn’t a sin” argument.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Americans obtained slaves from slave traders which is one of several ways the Israelites obtained slaves.
Could you give me the Hebrew word for “human dignity”.

Katecho
Member

Regarding Israel, Barnabas didn’t provide any reference. He also didn’t indicate if these slaves were of the same tribes already given by God under judgment (owing God a moral debt requiring restitution).

Benjamin Bowman
Guest

Really disappointed that you didn’t name this post “God hates flags.”

Juan
Guest
Juan

I think this is different from a white guy massacring a black church, in the south, who is openly racist, carrying a flag that is associated with the losing side of our civil war, who partly fought for slavery. The weight of history and our narrow teaching of it in public schools obviously has molded America’s view on white and black relationship which contributes to the contrast of these two events. Now what happened here, a black guy murdering two white people. Sure lets grant he is a racist but there is not that massive weight of history to be… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

People are sensitive because they have been sensitized by those with power who benefit from it.

Tom©
Guest
Tom©

Flannery O’Conner did a good job of exposing liberal grandstanding, but nobody could do it like Mark Twain.

“Tom told me what his plan was, and I see in a minute it was worth fifteen of mine for style, and would make Jim just as free a man as mine would, and maybe get us all killed besides.”

Bill Hickman
Guest
Bill Hickman

The idea that the Confederate flag is as relevant to white on black murder as the gay pride flag is to black on white murder is pretty crazy. The pride flag is about as relevant to Flanagan’s motivations as, say, if he’d had a Michael Jordan or Tom Brady poster on his wall.

The bottom line is Doug’s still feeling butthurt about South Carolina’s decision to take down the Confederate flag. You’re emotional, Doug. Breathe and count to ten before you tweet next time.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Sorry, but you’re wrong, and your point about flags makes no sense. When you are full of resentment and bitterness, it’s probably best to just remain silent and not tweet anything. For once swallow your pride, accept some correction, and move on.

Susan Gail
Member
Susan Gail

If there was indeed something to be corrected, and someone had actually given correction, then you might have s point. But there wasn’t, and you don’t.

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

I don’t think he (Matt) is really sorry either.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Plenty of people corrected him. But Doug Wilson doesn’t admit error. Pride is one of the seven deadly sins for a reason, you know.

Nord357
Guest
Nord357

Saying “you’re wrong” is not offering correction.

A. James
Member

General thoughts on the post: I, too, kept a sharp eye out for what flag (or anything else) that would be the next sensationalistic pc outcry. This was in the midst of not always battling any news reporting so that it doesn’t numb or lessen my regret for the families and the rawness of the event. I figured the Rainbow Flag would get a pass…perhaps there will be a Feline Awareness Month instead. I did have a quizzical brow at the post and the tweeting summary mainly because I wondered about any basic expressions of grief for the family and… Read more »

A. James
Member

I got carried away with my other comment. That’s not why I came on this thread. But this is. I guess it fits…abortion and standards and such… After researching Trump’s deeper SCOTUS/Roe/PP/abortion views…and, among other things, learning of his sister (pro-abortion federal judge)…I’ve been waiting for a current article to emerge…and this is the first one I’ve seen…not from a “thinking Christian” site, of course. But thinkers nonetheless. http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/423196/trump-praises-his-sister-pro-abortion-extremist-judge-ramesh-ponnuru and, ah, this, too to consider: “Donald Trump is 100% pro-life. Except when it comes to the basis of Roe v. Wade which made abortion legal in the United States. That… Read more »

Gigi
Guest
Gigi

Go, Doug, Go! It’s not too far! THANK YOU! Yes, I’m screaming it. I am so thankful for your gift of cogent thought and confident writing. What a gift!