Merry Christmas

God bless you and your families!

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I’m Interested in the True, not Alternatives

Several people have tried to convince me that authoritarianism is not the right word to describe a form of government (whether in the home or over a country) in which the head creates a real obligation of submission for his body when he gives a command. My reading on the etymology of authoritarian is that it used to mean someone is in charge, and those under him are obliged to obey him, but that Communists (somewhat ironically) habitually used the word authoritarian as a synonym for totalitarian; which is a different thing.

Gee, I am so surprised to find that Communists told lies to subvert common knowledge…

Nevertheless, leave your suggestions in the comments.

The Big One of 1968

At the end of October I wrote that it’s not too late to stay frosty in response to a Pat Buchanan article stating that 2018 is not as violent as 1968:

According to Bryan Burrough, author of “Days of Rage, America’s Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence,” “During an 18-month period in 1971 and 1972, the FBI reported more than 2,500 bombings on U.S. soil, nearly 5 a day.”

No, 2018 is not 1968, at least not yet.

But Victor Davis Hanson has an admonishment:[1]

But maybe the ’60s, not the silent majority, won out after all. The world a half-century later looks a lot more like 1968 and what followed than what preceded it.

Most of the political and cultural agenda from that turbulent period — both the advances and the regressions — has long been institutionalized. The military draft, for good or bad, has remained defunct. There is greater transparency in politics, fewer smoke-filled rooms. Disabled children, once ostracized and/or dismissively labeled “retarded,” are now far better integrated into society and treated more ethically as special-needs kids. The rights of women, minorities and the LGBT community are now widely accepted.

Yet lifestyles have been radically altered — and often not for the good. Before the late ’60s, most Americans married before having children; afterward, not so much. One-parent households are now far more common.

Other legacies of the ’60s include couples marrying later and having fewer children. A half-century later, these social inheritances often mean prolonged adolescence, older parents, delayed or nonexistent homeownership, and more emphasis on leisure time than on household chores.

It’s a viewpoint against which it is hard to argue. I think they’re both correct and perhaps from the future’s long view 2018s troubles will be recognized as aftershocks from The Big One of 1968.

There are, I’m sure, some lessons to be drawn from examining the 1960s.

One might be that the path to political victory MUST be via one of the two parties; that–because of the gendered nature of our political system–all third party efforts are made with as much vanity and nonsense as the so-called “non-binary genders” of transsexual activists. The Hard Left took over politics not with a Socialist Party, nor by routing Republicans, but by taking over the Democratic party.

Another more important is less a lesson than an observable truth: The so-called Right in America actually stands for nothing but Liberalism. It must stand for something. Larry Kummer writes in, The Left Pushes America down a slippery slope:

The Left drives America down a slippery slow to an unknown future. Radical social changes are coming ever faster, experiments powered by government power, done without our consent. We can still get off this path.

How? We might wonder. LK gives his prescription in his comments:

Hence awakening a desire for liberty and for self-government is necessary.

Yeah, that makes sense: What the Right needs to do is to be better Leftists. Then we will stop the Left…

Larry Kummer is not alone in his thinking. I was right there with him until I got smacked around by the writings of Zippy Catholic. I trust everyone sees the problem, but just in case: To be Right–and not Left–is to be overtly for authority; to take joy in being yoked together, each under the other–in, into, and of–a powerful structure. That is what has been capitulated.

Please leave your own suggested lessons in the comments.


[1] HT: Nathan Rinne

(Edited to add the link Dalrock’s post, which I had intended from the start of this post.)

Taking Electrons Captive in Babylon

(CC: I meant to publish this tomorrow, but–what the heck–it’s out there now.)

A month ago Moose Norseman and I had a brief back and forth in the comments of his post It’s Less Difficult Than You Think on the merits of YouTube and other recent technological innovations. I wrote, “YouTube is the best education platform ever invented after the television. It can and is misused, but it really is phenomenal.” I think this is undeniable. Like all tools: It is good when used for good and bad when used for evil[1].

It would be good if we all had around us in the flesh Christian mentors on every topic from automotive repair to Zoroastrianism’s influence on early Christianity. But we don’t. By all means, I encourage everyone and myself to build those relationships, but in the meantime God has blessed us with an incredibly fertile landscape of powerful education technology. We Christians should husband it into gardens of Christ’s glory and put it and ourselves to service for others.

“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.


[1]Which is not the same thing as being neutral. Nothing is neutral. Everything evil is a corruption of something that should be good.

 

 

Sin Named Among Us, or, Sin Without Borders

Lexet writes:

Good point on authority. I have not found an answer as to why Christians should, in this age, file civil marriage certificates

Christians should file civil marriage certificates for many reasons. For one thing it is the law and we are bound as Christians to be obedient to civil authorities unless it is against the commandments of God. There is nothing against marriage licenses in the Bible.

Romans 13

1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Second, it is the God-appointed duty of the civil government to punish evil and approve good, and when done lawfully marriage is a good; about as good as anything on Earth gets. When a marriage is unlawful–such as in a case of bigamy or incest–then the practitioners are duly punished. The churches don’t do that. We may want churches to do that and we may even think they should, but they don’t. They cannot verify to us that Susan and Bob aren’t close relations. They don’t know whether Bob is already married. They cannot even verify that Susan is who she says she is. Nor do they want to.

Some will be tempted to bring up in the comments some failures of civil government such as so-called “homosexual marriage”, or the institution of no-fault divorce. Those are failures, to be sure. The trouble for would-be defenders of the churches is that these points of failure are not points of success for churches. They don’t claim authority over these abominations either. A pastor or priest might mouth something against these sins, but they let them in the doors all the same; even though we are instructed:

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”