Our cultural cold war is about to boil into open conflict, thanks to last week’s Supreme Court decisions. Some of us think we’re ready, but we’re not.
I’m not saying we’re going to be shooting each other by next Tuesday or even next year. Just that the last remaining bridge between the old culture of America and the new culture of elite America got blown to smithereens. Last week was a point of no return with the Supreme Court’s Obamacare (“the Constitution is whatever we want it to be”) decision and gay marriage decision.
As Joel said so well, the victors in the gay-rights Obergefell decision immediately and stupidly made their intentions clear: we’ve won, we’re on top, so to hell with you. We’re not even going to try to be conciliatory and gracious in victory. We’re just going to keep pressing our attack.
And the first to go under attack are conservative Christians.
Like a lot of people hereabouts, I’m a gay-rights supporter and I think consenting adults ought to be able to marry whomever they wish. But I also think personal relationships aren’t any of the government’s business. Marriage and other relationships got along just fine without the government until the late 19th century and it’s ridiculous to believe that asking government’s permission now is some sign of freedom. Still, I’m for gay rights — and polyandry and polygyny and most any other forms of -amory individuals desire — as long as all parties are consenting adult humans.
But in the cultural war of “progressive” (including gay) activists against churches (again, like many here), I naturally fall on the side of conservative Christians despite my lack of religion. Or, that is, I stand firmly on the side of those who believe that America should be about the individual freedom to believe our own beliefs, create our own associations, and pursue our own interests apart from political demands. I stand with those who tell the government: “Freedom means YOU butt the hell out!” So yes, I stand with conservative Christians whose dogmas I don’t in any way share.
However a Christian friend just reminded me — quite inadvertently — that millions of Christians don’t accept non-theists as allies. Those particular millions see us as part of the problem, part of the decadence, part of the evil that’s trying to oppress them and ruin the country. Because, after all (as so many view it), without God there can be no morality. So all non-theists are part of the very same morally relativistic — therefore immoral — crowd threatening traditional American values.
My dear friend didn’t mean to imply any of this. But there it was. It was quite hurtful, but a good reality check.
Obviously millions of other Christians are fine with non-theists (several are my most steadfast supporters, in fact). But millions more at the very best would rather knock us than ally with us.
Their prerogative, of course. But both sad and dangerous. Especially given the power, unscrupulousness, and fascistic thinking of those “progressives” who are so ruthlessly bent on imposing their values on everyone else that they won’t even admit any side of any argument exists except their own.
Very soon, a lot of people are going to need to realize that the enemy of your enemy may not be your coziest social friend, but is also not your enemy. Or as the old saying of the sixties put it: “If it oinks, it is your enemy. If it doesn’t oink, it may not be your best friend, but it’s not your enemy.”
After I write this, I’m going to go and delete the rest of my collected links about the sudden mass hysteria against the Confederate flag. I’ve been trying to compose thoughts about the hysteria but everything that needs to be said about the anti-flag witchhunt has been said.
Except one thing.
How sudden it was. How a whole nation went from sane to insane in 60 seconds flat.
Oh, of course there’s been smoldering resentment against and contempt for the South since the War Between the States. But it’s pretty safe to say that had abated in the last decades to nearly nothing. Then one creepy little white supremacist kills black innocents — and is depicted with a) a Rhodesian flag, b) an apartheid-era South African flag, and c) a Confederate flag — and all of a sudden it’s cultural genocide time. Against the entire south. Against history itself. Against a fer cryin’ out loud piece of cloth. Only one of the three the creep displayed. Picked apparently at random.
Abruptly, Walmart won’t bake a stars-and-bars cake but will happily celebrate ISIS. The dean of the National Cathedral wants to rip out politically incorrect stained-glass windows, and even a Civil War game is no longer “allowed” to to display historically accurate flags. Even at the Gettysburg historic battlefield, the Unionists are so ungracious they not only have to revel in their victory, but pretend their opponents never existed.
Let’s dig up dead generals! Tear down monuments! Erase names like Robert E. Lee and Thomas Jefferson from history!
Never mind that Apple quickly backtracked on the stupid game decision or that Walmart obsequiously apologized for the ISIS cake. Once a cultural hysteria like this takes over, thinking stops for the duration. Whatever the duration may be. Days? Weeks? Months? Years?
Then of course, everybody is just as suddenly terribly, terribly sorry.
It’s all very well to say oopsie and so sorry after you’ve killed 20 non-witches. But it doesn’t erase the witchhunt or undo the damage.
Nor does the sane aftermath of a witchhunt ever seem to induce enough awareness in the minds of the hysterics to ensure that they’ll use a little more sense next time. Nope. Next time they’ll be just as self-righteous and just as viciously nutty about some other offending thing yet to be discovered.
Frankly when the flag hysteria first got going, I was slightly relieved because as long as the hysterics were blaming the long-extinct Confederacy, they weren’t blaming guns.
But watching this insane blamefest, this overnight attempt to shove an entire culture down a memory hole, I find myself wishing the hysterics were just blaming guns and ranting as usual about the small body parts of gun owners.
And I find myself wanting to warn my friends: If you’re a member of any even vaguely unpopular group, beware and prepare. Jews? Gun owners? Southerners? Conservative Christians? Atheists? Tea Party members? Anarchists? Preppers? For all I know redheads, SCA members, or people who own sharp knives.
Mob hysteria could turn on you. And turn so fast you won’t see it coming.
And when that happens, you’d best be sure you aren’t in the habit of looking down your nose at potential allies just because they aren’t exactly like you.