Stronger Together (for now), or: Make Weddings Great Again

I’ve been listening to more of Bill Kristol’s Conversations; especially those with Harvey Mansfield. The first effect of which has been to expand my list of classics; Tocqueville, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, J.S.Mills, Strauss, Mansfield himself…

Since those books yet remain for me in that classical state, I can only comment on what he briefly explains. There are over 12 hours of Mansfield speaking though, and he returns to the same topics over and again. So I have probably learned a few things which I will test as I remove titles from  my personal list of classics.

  • Zippy is right: I have been a right-liberal. I previously admitted to be a right-liberal before, but limited it to an accordance with his interpretation of things, i.e., “on his blog”. That was wrong. Modernity (a whole ‘nother thing which I’m only now seeing from outside) is what we live in, and it taught me that its (modernity’s) notions of right and left were true. They’re not. It turns out that there is a very long conversation about politics and the dichotomy was established a long time ago. The character, or spirit, of each side is probably beyond dispute: Democracy (Liberalism/Left) or Aristocracy (Authoritarianism/Right). There are several/many forms of each, but there are only two real philosophies (or principles). Every mixture of the two requires some kind of mental investment in a paradox. That’s in the best case. In the worst mixtures one requires doublethink. I like the former and hate the latter. My problem, and not just mine, is that the unstoppable force of democracy is crashing full-speed into the immovable object of reality. Unfortunately I’m between them, and quite squishable. Paradoxes are a kind of crash-cage protection, but fear causes one to grasp at doublethinks as a kind of insulation…but at some point enough pillows will smother you.
  • All these old guys (Kristol, Mansfield, Larry Summers, Charles Murray, etc.) are hesitant to say that men do good things too, and often at times and in ways that women can’t, and they take pains to say that women might do it, too. They really put men down. Mansfield at least makes the case that this is a problem (even as he does it) and makes snide comments that the powers-that-be are who muzzle us.
  • There’s this argument called the fact value distinction of which I did not know that I had picked a side (value). In modernity–because of modernity–democracy has elected fact. I am at odds again with the majority; though I confess that my preference was instinctual, subconscious, or in some other way less-than-consciously-reasoned. Irrational, but correct. A great deal of Right thought is irrational. It (knowledge or wisdom) can’t always be logically deduced, or logically consistent. I’m good with that, but then we get into accepting paradoxes, and also threatened by doublethinks.
  • One thing that I extracted from the spaces between Mansfield’s words is that No-Fault Divorce was probably an inevitable “innovation” of democracy. Democracy’s spirit is not just consent, but retractable consent, or arguable consent; a consent that is always up for debate. Here we get to one of those doublethinks because consent that is debatable is not really consent. If it is debatable, then it’s not real. So when some feminist (who is a kind of democrat/liberal/leftist) argues that she didn’t really consent to marriage, or sex, or whathaveyou: She is correct in the sense that she is more in-line with the spirit of liberalism. Her correctness matters and resonates because our society just is ruled by Liberalism. According to that spirit, No-Fault Divorce corrects an oversight of our forebears: The right of a wife (theoretically any spouse but effectually a wife) to hold a new election for Husband. A democracy with only one binding election does not keep with the spirit of democracy/liberalism. Binding isn’t what liberty does. No-Fault Divorce is a call to stand for election to office.

So, as I was saying, I was a right-liberal…I do not think I will stand for election again.

Something You Need to Know

I am watching/listening to a video of Conversations with Bill Kristol in which he interviews Newt Gingrich about the “Republican Revolution” of 1994. In it, Gingrich quotes a French general. (Named something like “Arnaud Depizza”; who I can neither spell nor source wtih my Google-Fu. Any help would be appreciated.) He says:

If four strangers meet a lion, they will run. If four friends meet a lion they will kill it.

EDIT: You can hear the quote in the segment which begins at 1:03:03

My Impetus for The WAN Group: The Gideons and David Suchet

I’m a sucker for British murder mysteries. In fact I will put up with a lot of dreck to get to the end and watch a detective give a fifteen minute explanation of how he solved the crime before arresting the criminal; who almost always goes into custody without a struggle, cuffs, or even argument. Streaming video allows one to binge-watch and therefore follow a show’s descent into PC/SJW madness–the dreck I mentioned.

One show which somewhat bucked that trend was Poirot. While every other British program was scrubbing Christianity from its scripts, Poirot pushed forward its title character’s Roman Catholicism. It turns out that in 1986 David Suchet, in a a hotel room, read St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans; probably from a Bible put there by The Gideons.[1] He started to become a Christian, and in 2007 was finally confirmed into the Church of England. Suchet so assumed the role of Poirot in the minds of its audience that its producers felt him indispensable. He used that leverage to have the writers include scenes such as Poirot reciting the Rosary, and arguing with himself about his personal judgments versus the pronouncements of the Roman Catholic Church.

We need more of that. We need men with a plan to sow improbable seeds, such as The Gideons. We need men with the nerve to use whatever power they have, in whatever sphere they inhabit, to bring Christ into the scene.

A lesser, but also important, point: I put it to you that this is more difficult for those who are conservative than for those not. Those depictions of Poirot practicing his faith aren’t in the books. Portraying them isn’t the traditional thing to do, and those who hate Christ and faith and hope and love are quick to use the conservative’s unease at bucking tradition, and convince them to surrender the high ground.


[1] Most reports say it was a Gideon’s Bible. One article I read wrote that Suchet had to call a store to get a Bible; like ordering porn. I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised if an actor falls prey to embellishment now and again. But even in that telling Suchet said he went looking for a Gideon’s Bible before making a call. 

InfoGalactic Improves Your Digestive Mental Health!

If you’re not using InfoGalactic, you should be.

I’ve been using it. It seems that the way IG generates pages is by the search. You search IG, it looks internally for an article. If it can’t find an article, IG generates a new page and then populates it with the text from the Wikipedia entry. At some point, as time and interest allows, someone goes back and makes improvements to the IG page. It can take a few moments for new pages to load, so give it a second.[1]

That is a small price to pay to eat Wikipedia, digest the nutrients, and then crap out the waste.

Update: Apparently IG simply has a full copy of the English Wikipedia and entries are edited as needed. The delay in loading particular pages is due to them not being cached. Funny story: I discovered the speed difference while performing my own search. The Punisher (comic book character) was cached and edited, but Anno Domini was neither.


[1] It’s going to space. 

WAN Manual Discussion 4: Defining the Spheres of Conflict

In the years of our Lord, Who rules and Who we obey, there are two institutions which most concern the Christian man, according to His word: The family, and the church. Everything else is secondary at best. This hasn’t been stated clearly enough on my blog, but it informs every post. That doesn’t mean we ignore politics and business and other things. It means we order them accordingly, and we understand that those secondary things must be in service to the family and the church. Anyone who wishes to work for a healthy nation must follow the Lord’s way, and His way goes through the family and the church.

Christianity Inside the Ring

One way to understand why Christians are decimated each successive generation is to compare sport to combat.

The historical dominance of Christianity in the West has led to a state where conflicts are between different schools of Christianity, and so the nature of the conflicts between these schools became more sporting and less lethal. It’s a similar pattern as can be seen in the martial arts. In their beginnings martial arts were meant to be used for actual combat.

Over the years martial arts became focused on non-lethal conflict and show. Forms and scrimmages were the highest expressions; rather than success in actual combat. Instead of victory by the real result of standing over a foe, victory was declared by spectators and according to rules which are actually meant to frustrate true victory.

If you’re a Christian man in conflict with his church you should be aware of this. For everyone except you the conflict is a sporting event. The chances are that the priest/pastor/deacons/board of elders has superior kata (forms) and more experience in playing to the audience. And if you go for a lethal strike you will lose even if you win, just as surely as a rabbit punch disqualifies one in a boxing match to the chorus of boos and hisses…

That is, you will lose if your goal is to be declared the winner. So first: Get that idea out of your head. Victory is found in Christ; who humbles all. He will repay.

Second: Understand how the environment (where and when and among whom) determines the nature of the conflict; whether it is combat or sport. Don’t show up in a boxing ring expecting to engage in combat. Aside from being publicly disqualified, you can be lulled into the sporting frame of mind by their opening jabs, which are not killing blows, only to get knocked out moments later.

Third: If you must step into the ring then have fans in the audience. It is much harder to win over the crowd if you have to win over everyone. Two or three vocal fans can demoralize the opposition and his crowd.

WAN Manual Discussion 3

Don Quixote wrote:

I was in a Sunday morning service a couple of years ago and the pastor made a joke about setting up an online database similar to trivago.com or tripadvisor.com but for churches. Members and visitors could log on and post their criticisms or accolades about the churches they had attended.
He was joking but I left that service and thought what a good idea, and I wanted to get started on such a thing. But its always the criteria that makes it very difficult, almost impossible. In fact the reason there are so many different protestant denominations is because of the splits over doctrines.

Perhaps. One thing that will help is that I have no interest in promoting non-denominational churches, or even cataloging them according to a doctrine. Those churches make up the largest chunk of problem cases when it comes to categorization. However; I will gladly put them on the bad list if they are found to support divorce, separation of children from a father for no reason, etc.

As for those churches in the denominations: It shouldn’t be too difficult to hold them to their own standards as documented in their own official literature; confessions, etc. There is one exception (of which I know) to this and that is the Roman Catholic Church; for reasons fit for another post. I am open to cataloging activities and discrete teaching of various RC churches, but…that will be a slog. More later.

Regardless of all those things: There are enough signs for us to concern ourselves with that the database needn’t get into theology. The focus will be on the facts. Does, or does not, First Baptist Nowhere encourage head coverings for women as they pray? Does, or does not, Second Street Lutheran Church allow its members to remarry and continue in fellowship? Does, or does not, Everywhere Presbyterian Church have a pastor or deacons with unruly children?[1]


[1] You can see already the quandry posed by the RCC. 1 Timothy 3 is clear that the main sign to know if a man is fit to lead a church is how he has led his family.

He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?

It’s true that there are unmarried bishops, pastors, and deacons in the Early Church, and in the Bible. It is not true that the best solution to the problem of sinful men in positions of authority is to avoid the test altogether by making exceptions the rule.

A Nice Quiet Apology

I spend a significant amount of time with college kids; many of them professed Christians. They cannot accept that there is such a thing as good and evil in the world for more than one debate at a time, and for no longer than five minutes. They believe God and Heaven are good, and Satan and Hell are evil, but they think every thing and every action actually in the world are only relatively good or evil and even then only predicated on one’s opinion. It is enough to make me want to weep.

The churches, from whom one might want to recruit, are either half-filled with timid Christians, scared and scarred by the undead assault, or (worse) full of the husks of Christians. So I’ve been listening and reading pastors and bloggers in search of encouragement and resistance, but I have not much found it. The advice from the pulpits and keyboards is “More Apologetics!” or “More Revival!” I must assume that these men are not really seeing the sad state of the potentially revived apologists in the pews. Sufficiently inquisitive and bright and passionate men are not in great supply. So the apologetics produced are for niceness, and the revival is for passivity.