Have at Them

I was raised in the Southern Baptist tradition. Despite my departure from them back in the mid-90s, I still have affection for them. They are how and why I, as a child, became a Texan, and I recall my father’s discussions with other men about the conservative pushback against the liberal SWBTS president Dilday; Dad being with the conservatives. So, as a literal child of the conservative takeover of the SBC, I was interested in the horrific character assassination of now-former SWBTS president Paige Patterson.

I can find reasons to dislike Patterson. He, along with many others, own the mess created by the extra-Biblical idea of Complementarianism. [1] But the fact is he was taken out because–even in his Complementarian error–he chose to skew closer to Biblical, traditional, and observably true judgments of men and women.

Anyway, that’s about all I have to say about Patterson the man. This post is about the 3,365 Southern Baptists who signed an open letter which rebuked Patterson for being reasonable and Godly in his teaching; even if his specific examples in those teachings were sometimes less than verifiable. I would want to know if the sort of person who would sign such a letter was teaching my kids, or influencing my wife. In fact, I’d want to talk to them about their Godless, views. I’d want my friends to know.

17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites,[f] and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. 19 For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

So I have copied the names into a spreadsheet and sorted them by state, city, and church. The data isn’t perfectly massaged, but it is easily searchable. The first tab has the whole list of signers. The rest of the tabs are a breakdown by state, provided the state had enough signers to warrant their own tab. Rhode Island info is only on the All States tab, for example. View the spreadsheet here.

[1] Even the word itself sounds weak. 

 

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Or, How I Learned to Love the Boss

This is a dashed-off list of the main 10 thoughts that led me to recognize the sweet, sentimental affection for freedom I have inside me, reach deep down in there, and start choking that bitch out.

  • Zippy Catholic, in particular his idea of the “unprincipled exception”: rules and ruling that do not proceed from the principle of liberty, but from something else, like “good”, or “just”. As well as being repeatedly confronted with the idea that I find it preferable to have a “free government” over a “good government”. That is just dumb.

 

  • Thinking about the Men’s Sphere complaint of the conservative formulation of familial headship–authority is responsibility but no command–is not true authority.

 

  • The interchangeability of the words: power, liberty, command, freedom, etc. We play subtle but corrosive games with these words. We think we understand each other, but I doubt it.

 

  • Taking stock of what few freedoms I actually have (in contrast to the things that are restricted from me), and how I’m mostly ok with that. My problem isn’t a lack of freedom. My problem is that I can’t count on my authorities to uphold me in justice when I make a good decision.

 

  • Martial Law. When things get bad, real bad, so bad that we have to resort to violence, we enact martial law. That is, we become overtly authoritarian. Obviously then we think that is the best, must-have form of government. And that means that everything else is half-ass measures. We’re playing shadow games here with liberalism.

 

  • The Kingdom of God. I must admit that the government the Lord chooses is the best, wisest, and most just kind of government.

 

  • Contemplating “Alt-Right”. As a lifelong member of GenX, Alt-Right is a gay term. It reminds me of Third Eye Blind’s “pierced queer teens in cyberspace”. I don’t want an alternative right. I want the good right. I want the just right. And I want a legitimate place in it, with authority over my own domain. I don’t want to be free to own a weapon. I want to be authorized–expected–to be armed.

 

  • Recognition that love for authority doesn’t mean all authorities are to be loved. Some kings need to be fought, abandoned, or killed…but they should be replaced with good ones.

 

  • Recognition that authoritarianism isn’t a synonym for, tyranny, despotism, etc. As well as recognition that authoritarianism doesn’t necessarily mean monarchy, inherited aristocracy, etc. (As well as some recalculations of whether those are good or bad, and how.) Authoritarianism just means liberties and responsibilities descend from authority, for real.

 

  • Respect is impossible to derive from freedom itself. If we’re all merely free to do or say this or that, then from whence can respect come? It’s just, like, your opinion, man. This is a big one.

Liberty on the Fringes of Jane’s Books

Oscar writes:

Freedom – more correctly, liberty – is not the ability to do whatever one wants, which is what most people today think it is.

The ability to do whatever one wants is not liberty, it’s hedonism. Hedonism is what “liberals” want. They don’t actually want liberty.

Liberty is the ability to govern oneself. The implication being that one who does not govern himself must be governed by others.

To paraphrase Federalist 55, when men possess insufficient virtue to govern themselves, nothing short of the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.

Questions:

  1. Who decides what is virtue? Who really decides–leaving some alone but punishing others–whether or not a man governs himself? Whoever that person is, he is the authority under which the others live. Christians should not believe that the answer is only “God”. Our scriptures tell us that we are to obey not only God, but several authorities who He has given the mission to rule.
  2. What does the author of Federalist 55 mean by govern except to be under control; under authority? Does he think destroyers and devourers are not making their own choices?

What Oscar calls Liberty just is Authority; the permission to act within certain boundaries of responsibility. Liberty is the bit within the boundaries. Most of the world is outside those boundaries.

We can test this. Pick up one copy of each of the 77 Jane’s Information Group books. (Here is a list.) Separate them into two piles: one pile with the things an adult American citizen with no criminal history but without special licenses is allowed to own and use. Put the rest in another pile of the those which are forbidden him without special license. Those piles will contain 0 books, and 77 books, respectively.

Ok, now take those books, and tear out the pages. (This will take some time. There will be a lot of them.) Separate those pages into piles according to the same criteria. This will now put some pages in the Allowed pile, but the vast majority will be in the Forbidden pile.

Those piles constitute what is meant by: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” 

When I point out that what we want is Authoritarianism, there’s no reason for clear observers and thinkers to be scared. It’s what we have right now. We lie about it because we have been taught by Liberals to be afraid of it. But lying is utterly corrosive, and not at all manly or godly.

It gets even better: Liberals are afraid of it! Things that Liberals are afraid of should be go-to weapons.

CoE IV: Leave

For a long time I maintained that men should continue to go to church. I still believe that for men in churches that aren’t hostile to men, who support and encourage him to take authority over his family, and who encourage wives and children to obey their husbands and fathers. Churches and pastors are bound to do and say silly things now and then. They will say things that you won’t like, or give different interpretations to Biblical text than you see.

But undermining a father’s authority–his right and responsibility to lead–by deed (example) and by voice (command)–is destructive of the whole organization.

You can’t fight the leadership of an organization. Even if you win, the organization will probably die when its leaders are gone. You see this in families. After a divorce families altogether fall apart. That’s why so many parents tell the lie to their kids that “The divorce isn’t about them (the children), and that Mommy and Daddy both still love them very much.” Children discover the lie when Mommy and/or Daddy remarry and have new children with their new spouse. The children of the new marriage are loved more. There’s simply more love to give because that fountain still flows. Or when the new couple go off to have fun together without the children from the old marriage. Or when unknown and untrusted adults are brought into the home of children to go off and make strange noises in the parent’s bedroom, and later sit, frighteningly, at the breakfast table. That is, if they don’t come and go in the night like a thief.

It can be a good thing for an organization to die, but you don’t want to be in it when it happens. And you don’t want to be a traitor. Treason hurts the traitor as much or more than the betrayed in the long run. No one should trust a traitor even if he claims to have acted for the right cause. It’s a worse thing to act in bad faith than it is make a wrong choice. That is disrespect and contempt for yourself, those around you, and those above you; for everyone. Those who make bad decisions can be convinced and even repent. They can change their minds and heal their souls. Those who act in bad faith lose both.

So if you find yourself at odds with the leadership, and they undermine your authority, and they don’t defend you as you carry out your God-appointed duty to have charge over your family: Leave.

[Edit: Edited to fix an editing error. Edit.]

You Can Drive When I’m Dead

Driving Miss Crazy demonstrates (I hope) the unfairness of our situation. A woman does sometimes try to grab the wheel of the car we’re to drive; yet it is his car, and he is in the driver’s seat. When that happens, the only wise thing to do is stop the car, right then, and tell her that his car goes where he wants and it is literally in his hands. She is welcome to come along. She is encouraged to come along. But she should never try to steer the car.

Sometimes he might ask her to hold the wheel on course for moment while he digs something out of his pocket, but that it will never happen while he needs to make a change in direction.

A wise man won’t give up the wheel too often because his wife will being to wonder who is driving this thing? And if she can do it well this far, maybe better progress will be made. Why, if she’s competent to steer with one hand for a moment, how much better could the trip go if she used both as much as she wanted?

If that happens: Stop the car. Don’t wrestle over control. Don’t try to fight her. Don’t wait until the car crashes to prove you were right. Stop the damn car. You go no further until she agrees to keep her hands off the wheel.

What do I mean by “stop the car”? It means nothing else gets done before the steering conflict is resolved. It means don’t talk about anything else until the conflict is resolved: No bills, no budget, no extra-curricular activities, no lawn, no trash, no in-laws, no Daddy Time with the kids. All those things are “driving the car” of a father’s life, and none of them are safe while the wrong person thinks she’s driving the car.

She may get out. Tell her she should get back in. Do not start driving until she agrees to keep her hands off the wheel.

She may not get back in. Roll on, slowly at first, but after a time she either will or won’t and you have to keep moving.

If she grabs the wheel again, stop the damn car again. Never allow the car to go while she fights for control of the car. After you die, then she can drive.

CoE III: The Opposite of Liberal was a Dirty Word to Me

Conservative is what I used to call myself, and then again later. But conservative isn’t the opposite of liberal. It’s just a descriptor of the kind of liberal who is sentimental and unprincipled.

Between those times “Libertarian” seemed like a good thing. It wasn’t. Potheads, usurers, sodomites, and a boatload of layabouts make terrible company, and worse government. For awhile now I’ve politically been ____________. “Something the opposite of Liberal.”

I’m not the only one. Do you ever wonder why many who are against Post-Modernism, Feminism, Cultural Marxism, Progressivism, Perversion, etc. call themselves and others who defiantly speak the truth: Conservatives, Traditionalists, Reactionaries, Revolutionaries, Barbarians, Deplorables, and even Shitlords?

Ever wonder why, at just the moment they should coalesce into a group, they instead disperse into atomized bits of powerless snark?

Because they hate the opposite of Liberal, the word itself. That word is authoritarian. Nasty thing! We hates it, my precccccioussss!

Well, Cane: Get over it, cupcake.

Sure, Codpieces are Over the Top

Oscar wrote:

The more backwards and uncivilized the culture, the more peacockish the men.

I don’t know if causation exists between the two, but the correlation is too strong for me to ignore.
[…]
I’m not in favor of men dressing more flamboyantly. The cultures where men do are not cultures I want to emulate.

I see his point and it is very close to what I thought for a long time. However; it’s not as simple as that. For starters, there are a lot of pre-suppositions and contexts which are bundled up in those thoughts. One of which is the near total domination of world fashion by The West. For 200 years, any country or its leaders who wanted to be civilized, or seen as civilized, has followed our patterns. That (what we mean by civilization) is a huge topic, and The West has won a huge bias for a long time. Instead of arguing all that, I think it would be more productive to give some examples.

While I was writing that post, I had two specific social groups in mind as exemplars of men’s fashion; both of whom I chose to leave out for others to bring up. Dalrock claimed one of them, men’s western wear. Here are some examples. Notice the bright colored and patterned shirts, big hats, exaggerated footwear, exotic materials, and shiny accessories (buckles, buttons, etc.)

The second was military officers; specifically in their dress blues. There is no other reason for the shiny brass buttons, big white hat, white gloves, medals, and ribbons, braids, and a saber except to “peacock”. The effect is awesome; as it is intended to be. It’s tempting to dismiss this and say, “Well, yeah, but that is uniform, and everyone is doing it together. It’s no big deal.” That misses the point. The dress blues uniform is at its most iconic, striking, and militaristic when among civilians.

Hayley Geftman-Gold, a a liberal feminist Jewish journalist from New York, obviously thinks consumers of western wear are uncivilized and should be dead, but my experience (and I would bet Oscar’s) of life in the US is that Southerners and other country folk are more polite and better mannered than a great majority of those who are not. Likewise, all of the military officers I can recall to have met are nearly impeccable in their manners and similar measures of civilization.

I Should Dress Like Cyrus Paice

Caspar wrote:

Oh, and rock music. Rock musicians are effeminate (long hair, high voices, prancing and mincing on stage in flamboyant costumes or skinny jeans, singing love songs, stroking their phallic guitars), all designed to stoke women into a sexual frenzy.

This reminded me of a post I never got around to writing. One of the many things I’ve learned from The History of England Podcast was about a societal change called The Great Male Renunciation:

The Great Male Renunciation is the historical phenomenon at the end of the 18th century for menswear to stop using brilliant or refined forms, which were left to women’s clothing. Coined by psychoanalyst John Flügel in 1930, it is considered a major turning point in the history of clothing in which the men relinquish their claim to adornment and beauty. The Great Renunciation encouraged the establishment of the suit’s monopoly on male dress codes at the beginning of 19th century.

That’s it; That’s the whole article about one of the greatest shifts–if not the greatest shift–in the history of clothing culture in Western Civilization. Before the Great Male Renunciation: Men wear furs, patterns, embroidery, various hats, and all sorts of garments which are now called (or derided) as “peacocking”. Afterwards: Every man wears nothing but what is efficient and expedient.

When I talked to Mrs. Caldo about this post she said it reminded her of a scene from the PBS show Victoria. She told me (from memory, not verbatim) of a scene where the troops are parading or being inspected and Prince Albert says that the plumes on the uniforms aren’t practical. Victoria replies that may be, but they sure are magnificent.

All that was left for men to display was efficiency and competence in work; both of which are difficult to display sexually, and neither of which are terribly attractive to women of themselves. I don’t mean they are ugly traits: I mean they don’t make women weak in the knees. Women are enamored of beauty and adornment. They are drawn to it because it is part of their nature. That’s not a bad thing.

It was stupid of us to go down this road. The result is that today straight men wear baggy shirts, shorts, and flip-flops, while the women wander around in sweatpants, spandex and ponytails. Only homosexuals and pop stars take men’s beauty seriously. That’s a mistake.

From a tactile perspective, men: Nobody has a desire to feel wool, but velvet is one of those materials you just want to touch.

Driving Miss Crazy

A man is driving a car with a woman beside him when suddenly she grabs the wheel and tells him it’s dangerous for a passenger to drive at such high speed. A short time later she curses him for a weak right foot while she steers; the jerk was on the gas when his hands were on the wheel!

Who should be held responsible for the safe operation of the car?

Catalog of Errors I: Bring Bastards Back

I’ve decided to keep a record of some of the things which I have previously got wrong. Not everything; just those things that pertain to marriage and family which I have propounded here, or in comments elsewhere. I expect these posts will be short. I do not expect any of them to be world-shattering. It’s about decluttering, not Richter events.

The plan is to have a linked page at the top which puts links to these in an easy to browse format, and that perhaps my reconsiderations will be beneficial to others.


I’m not sure when it was abandoned (let’s say well before the mid-20th Century [corrections appreciated in the comments]), but the term bastard fell out of cultural favor, and it ceased to be an social impediment as it previously had been. Until recently I have been in favor of this change because it seemed unfair to me that a child should suffer for his parents’ sins. Well, that’s feelings for you. They get in the way of observing and proclaiming reality.

First, it just is reality that a child born out of wedlock suffers. His situation is not improved by ignoring the grisly truth that our sins can and do affect others in profound ways and with lasting consequences.

Second, I no longer believe that protection of the child was the goal when bastard was trashed. It was to protect the ears, reputations, and incomes of the women who bore them. Once bastard was tossed, then the way was cleared for whore pensions to replace marriage as a family’s foundation. The consequence of which has been to further tempt women to be brazen whores, and to create more bastards.

Third–and this is really important and what wholly threw me over to the other side–, bastard status is not immutable. A bastard can be legitimized by his father, and the stigma of bastardy significantly reduced, if not eradicated altogether.

Bringing back bastardy and the power of legitimization does at least a three things:

  1. It causes the power of family formation to be clawed back from courts into the hands of fathers, as God intended, as makes civilization possible, and as can be no other way no matter how bureaucrats try to hide reality with lies.
  2. Mothers of bastards are incentivized to make peace with the fathers. Currently, bastard mothers are incentivized to be at war with the father, and to threaten him with no access to his child. She is incentivized to recruit the power of the courts against him because it is her best bet financially; even though it is the worst bet for the bastard’s spiritual, mental, and emotional good. “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
  3. It makes people see truth. It makes them think and examine the consequences of their actions. This one is last, but it is far from least. Right now everything is muddled. All actions and consequences are gauzed with plausible deniability. It would be helpful to know how many bastards your church produced. It would say something about your congregation, and show where repentance is needed.