Those Christian activists who are laboring — God bless them — for some kind of “equal time for Jesus” arrangement are not on a fool’s errand. It is worse than that. They are in a fool’s war.
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; That put darkness for light, and light for darkness; That put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Is. 5:20)
The governor of Californicate has just signed into law a provision that allows kids who self-identify as having been born into the wrong kind of body to use the rest rooms and locker rooms of the gender they would have been born into, had God not been such an incompetent. Those of us who have been sitting on the edge of our seats, waiting for that magic moment when common sense will kick in and the legislators of that formerly grand state will all be defenestrated, are going to be disappointed yet again. It appears that common sense has no salvific powers. Common sense is no savior — but rest assured that common sense can be forgiven and saved, along with the rest of us.
Incidentally, by appearing to urge the defenestration of that august body, I want to hasten to add that I want it done from the first floor only, on the side with the bouncy bushes. The last thing I want, for it would not fit into my schedule at present, is to find myself in some kind of mandatory sensitivity training for rodeo clowns.
In the passage from Isaiah, notice that it is not just that evil is called good, but also that good is called evil. Secular tolerance does not want evil to come alongside good, and be given an honored place alongside good on the shelf of ethical options. No, this is a binary world, and you cannot declare evil good without also declaring good evil. You cannot confound darkness and light without also confounding light and darkness. When you cannot distinguish bitter and sweet, then depend upon it, your taste buds are shot, and you cannot distinguish sweet and bitter.
You also will be unable to remember all the grand tolerance promises you made to us along the way. “All we want . . .” When the crackdown comes, and the haters are all rounded up or cowed into silence, a sweet amnesia will descend, and harmony will reign. Harmony will reign because different notes are now prohibited. Harmony will reign because chords are outlawed. A glorious concord will . . . shut up, you.
No, if it is not principled tolerance, explicitly grounded in the lordship of Jesus Christ, then it is a transitional and very temporary tolerance, a ruse to allay the concerns of those whose value system is in the process of being entirely replaced. Secular tolerance has no structure or framework that can bear the weight of our collective lusts. Any resemblance to the older forms of Christian tolerance (that early rounds of secular tolerance took parasitic credit for) will begin to fade, and when the last band kicks in, the lights will go down, and our orgiastic enlightenment will spiral down into darkness. Some people want to bonk the world, and they want anybody who thinks they perhaps oughtn’t do so shipped off with that rodeo clown. What we are facing is a humpfest masquerading as political theory.
But there is good news. Some might wonder how I can think this way, and remain cheerful. Oh, there are countless reasons for remaining cheerful. We live in the world God made, not the world they think they have re-imagined. In the long run, blind stupidity is never a good policy. The downside of blind stupidity is that it doesn’t work. Sooner or later, as Lady Thatcher put it, you run out of other people’s money. Then there is Herbert Stein’s Law, which is, “Trends that can’t continue, won’t.” And we can always cheer ourselves up by reflecting on how wet King Canute’s toes got.
How would I feel if Congress mandated that from henceforth all nuts must be threaded onto bolts with a counterclockwise motion, and that all products made with said nuts and bolts were mandated to stay together as firmly as they ever did in the olden days of hate. In addition, the manufacturers of said bolts were prohibited, upon pain of hefty fines, from adjusting in any way the way the threads ran. They further decreed that consumers be allowed, if they so chose, to assemble their purchased products entirely with bolts, or entirely with nuts. In California, nuts would be allowed to self-identify as bolts, and vice versa.
How would I feel? Always in the mood for a crash and a spectacle, positively giddy.