Archive for December, 2011

He Of The Forked Tongue On Modernism — Or The Hated "POMO"

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

“Pomo,” in Doug Wilsonspeak, means “postmodernism,” as distinct from “modernity,” as distinct from “modernism,” which he says only produces insolent teenagers with unsightly tattoos (who presumably don’t know how to sing hymns in four-part harmony, damn them). And, being Wilson, he’s also coined the term “pomosexuals,” which is just so clever, isn’t it?

All of this nifty wordsmithing somehow is in the service of an appeal to lay down our rights and love our neighbor, an example of which love he gives us by wrapping all of the concerns of all of the people who are feeling all of the pain and oppression all of the privileged, affluent men in the nation (government, business, church and home) have heaped on them by reducing their lives’ concerns to this — who they want to sleep with and how much they want to tax others.

This is brilliant, really.

Not as an analysis, certainly, but as an example of how talking about lofty concepts like laying down one’s life for the preservation of the rights of others can produce snarkisms that describe some of these “others” as nothing more than “insolent teenagers with unsightly tattoos,” all because their parents don’t go, I guess, to CREC, Wilson’s vanity denomination churches. Which, of course, all evince Christian agape perfectly, and, more important, are steeped in the Reformed tradition of four-part hymn singing, disdaining the lamentable use of things you find in other churches. Like guitars and overhead projectors.

And the use of which, evidently, judging from recent Blog and Mablog posts, is part of the whole ball of pomo wax. At this point, before your head and mine explodes, let’s just let the man speak for himself:

Excerpted from Douglas Wilson on Blog and Mablog, Dec. 3, 2011:

” . . . So when I defend free men and free markets, I am not doing so for the sake of “the individual.” We had no business departing from the biblical description. I do not believe in the rights of the individual. I believe in the rights of my neighbor. And I can hear the disciples of Jim Wallis now . . . but who is my neighbor?

“This is no trifle. The Bible tells us that we should measure our love for God against our love for those we can see, like our brother, our neighbor (1 John 4:20). I cannot see “the individual,” and neither can the postmodernist, which is why denial of the rights of the individual roll so easily off their deconstructing (and yet never deconstructed, how convenient), tongues.

Pursue this to the bottom line. If there is no thing as the “rights of the individual,” then it shouldn’t be a problem if I make off with his wife. If there is no such thing as the “rights of the individual,” then we can jack his tax rates up to the point where we can finally pay for this socialist paradise we have going here. We can reveal the pomo agenda pretty easily, actually. Who do they want to sleep with, and who do they want to tax . . .”

Please, sir, tell us where this socialist paradise we have going here. I have too many friends who’ve paid, but haven’t gotten their tickets, itinerary, or lodging yet.

Beyond that, an analysis of postmodernism that suggests that within it there is no such thing as “the rights of the individual” argues against Wilson’s own analysis elsewhere of what’s wrong with secular society. Pomos, as Wilson cheekily calls them, are those who, he’s preached before, blaze the trail of rampant individualism, lacking respect both for their heritage and the covenant community that birthed it. They are determined to make their own way, in their own way; their alliances, even, are, in Wilson’s World, predicated on rebellion against the community and its Church. They are their own secular and stubbornly individualistic Fellowship Of The Aggrieved. Presumably, we know who they are because they are insolent and sport tattoos not to Wilson’s liking.

Wilson doesn’t go much for, doesn’t believe in, “the rights of the individual,” but the rights of his “neighbor,” and yet condemns what he calls the obvious result
of . . . disregard of the rights of the individual. But only if it’s a “pomo” disregard thereof, and he’s qualified to decide which is which.

Wilson can’t have it both ways, in the world of reason and reality, but posts like this reinforce two things: One, loving your neighbor is complicated and can include the opt-out of disdaining others based on what criteria the Capo gives; two, the man’s arguments just aren’t that compelling — certainly not so compelling as to be distributed by other than his own blog and own press. I found that to be true in my July 2007 radio debate with him — there wasn’t much “there,” there — and I continually wonder how it is that more than about nineteen other people bother much with with what he has to say.

On Capitalism:

Monday, December 5th, 2011

“Constructive capitalism is where you share the profit with workers and the earth from which you made it.”

Dr. Bronner, legendary and eccentric organic soap maker, philosopher, and environmentalist.

Here’s my reply:

“Destructive capitalism is where you squeeze all you can from the workers you oppress and endanger, enjoy the fruit of their labor to obscene and indefensible lengths, strip the Earth of its bounty and in doing so degrade the gift the Creator gave us, and then, after tithing 3.2 percent of your wealth, proclaim your relationship with Christ Jesus.”

The Cain Campaign: An Addendum To My GOP Whoring Post …

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

This just in: Herman Cain concluded his suspension-of-campaign speech with a quote from a Pokemon movie. I think it wasn’t the same Pokemon quote he used a couple of weeks ago, but most eight-year-olds could probably tell you.

Not sure I could’ve supported my argument below any better.

Cain’s words this morning are a good introduction to my analysis, so I’ll quote from it. “We have decided . . . It would be best to suspend this campaign. That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news. The pundits would like me to shut up, drop out, and go away. Well, (insert folksy allusion to his sweet grandmother), I am not going to be silenced and I am not going away. And therefore as of today, plan B.”

“I call it the Cain Solutions.com. There are three audiences out there that I have had to deal with. There’s the media class, the political class, there’s We The People. It is We The People that got us to this point. It is We The People that want change in Wash D.C. It’s We The People that’s responsible for the movement going through this country. I call it the Tea party movement, the conservative movement, the people’s movement. The people will show that they are still in charge of this country.”

Please, Lord, let it not be the people who’ve supported him, Perry, and Bachmann. Or those who believe the President was born in Kenya, or who think the Supreme Court “kicked God out of the public schools,” or who are convinced that Jewish homosexual socialists run the “lamestream media” that hates them because they’re Christians. Because there are millions of them, most of whom are Christians who’ve failed in the charge to love the Lord with their whole minds — that is, by seeking truth unfettered by political affiliation — but who, by God, hate a lot. Not necessarily “hate a lot of things,” but simply “hate a lot.” That, in Christendom today, is much more appealing than THINKING a lot and quite a bit less messy than, say, “loving a lot.”

It’s not their conservatism that makes them a frightening force. It’s their elevation of dumbness as a civic virtue. Never has that been more evident than in this year’s presidential campaign, with Cain’s providing a sterling example.

As we all were waiting with baited breath for Cain’s announcement regarding the continuation or termination of his presidential campaign, pundits from the right and the left — I was watching CNN — were busy chattering about his campaign thus far, specifically, the fairly evident lack of policy understanding he evinces and the cringeworthy bad judgment he’s demonstrated in response to the sexual misconduct charges engulfing him. Between his Libya-question disaster and revelations of his secret friendship with an attractive younger woman, commentators say, it’s been a rocky road for the now-former candidate.

Even the political questions themselves appear to have been beyond Cain’s grasp, and I don’t think it helps his cause to claim that “So you agreed with President Obama on Libya or not?” — literally, the question posed to him two weeks ago by the Milwaukee newspaper editor — is a terribly complex, deliberately tricky inquiry. Do we agree that it’s pretty straightforward, if somewhat grammatically awkward? I think I wouldn’t be comfortable arguing that Cain was so perturbed by the syntax that he couldn’t quite get the point of the question. I invite my classically-educated readers to do a quick Shirley-method sentence diagram to break down the essential elements of the question if they disagree with me.

Simple question, not designed to trip him up? OK. Let’s go on.

The pundits’ discussion of Cain’s difficulties, which I would call his ineptitude, lead, as it should, to a discussion of Rick Perry’s problems, especially his debate performances, which show, to be generous, a decidedly lightweight and incurious intellect not offset by his glowering manliness. Which, of course, introduces talk about Sarah Palin, and Christine O’Donnell, and Michelle Bachmann, all of whose canon of public political and social utterances indicate staggering heights of vapidity and shocking depths of ignorance. And while on-air journalists can’t really say so, we know that the regular buffoonery of Fox News anchors and pundits offers succor to the happily underinformed and a feast of food for thought for those whose minds are engaged.

Cain’s background and his campaign show that “you didn’t need a degree from Harvard to run for President. You didn’t need a political pedigree to run for President,” he said this morning, and he described himself as “a common man” who could lead this nation.

In this, he is partly right. You don’t need a degree from Harvard to run for president, nor do you need a political pedigree. You do, however, need to be smart. You ought to know what’s going on in the world, and you have to demonstrate a profound grasp of the issues you hope to represent and affect as the leader of the free world. You will be expected to know something about Libya, for example, other than the fact that if Barack Obama did something, you pretty much disagree with it just because it was Barack Obama who did it. It may please your supporters, but a foreign policy, it isn’t.

Bill Clinton rose from humble beginnings to become, administratively, one of the most intelligent, effective Presidents this country has ever had. No one would have thought that a chubby kid from a broken and violent home in Arkansas would become, more than a decade after his presidency, a statesman and humanitarian admired throughout the world for his razor-sharp intellect and a heart of gold, tarnished sexual moral compass notwithstanding. And the current President, a bi-racial kid raised by a single mom, a boy who only saw his father twice in his life, used his considerable mind and character to rise to power as a man whose intellect and grasp of issues is unquestioned, even when his policies are.

Clinton and Obama. Cain, Perry, Bachmann, et al.

It’s hard not to see the difference.

When Democrats favor people from humble beginnings, it’s because the candidates have risen from their position and have demonstrated some degree of intellectual vigor and robust curiosity about the world they hope to lead. When Republicans fawn over someone lacking a political pedigree and a privileged beginning, they worship their “commonness” and elevate their simple-mindedness. Their perceived “common” man status requires a stunted intellect and a preference for the comfortable state of perpetual ignorant bliss. The “common man” — or woman — is applauded not for being of simple beginnings, but for being simpletons. Therein lies the difference between the conservative movement and the largely-informed electorate, therein lies the most essential truth of this presidential campaign, and therein lies the biggest tragedy of American politics.

The Softening Of Doug Wilson? Nah.

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Wouldn’t be manly.

And with yet another “You Gotta Be Macho For Jesus” conference planned — on the heels of September’s Marc Driscoll/Wilson Men Circle Hercules — it seems unlikely that the Paterfamilias of the Palouse is mellowing out in much of anything.

Still, I’ve noticed a slight change of tone regarding the Occupy Wall Street/99 Percent movement, for which, as a sentimental, silly gal, I’m grateful for. Initially, he called the protesters “pustules,” which seemed, ohhh, I don’t know — maybe less than charitable, given, especially, the focus of their efforts to help poor and middle class Americans. Then, a few days later, we had from Wilson a switch from the dermatological to the entomological; he referred to the protesters as some sort of horse-fly-lice thing.

Now, according to this week’s post on Blog and Mablog, they’re just “Occuhippies.”

Hand me a tissue. It appears our boy is growing up.

Knowing Your Enemy

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

I honestly think that the current GOP establishment, given as it is to whoring with Grover Norquist (he of the “no taxes, ever, no matter what” pledge requirement) and the Tea Party, is the most destructive force the United States has seen in the last 100 years. Yes, communists were bad — but they never occupied a significant chunk of anything other than old union meeting halls, not Congress, and they never fielded a presidential candidate whose nomination guarantees that he/she will be the only real challenger to the incumbent. Plus, the Reds never tried to cover their collective and collectivist rear ends with Christianity.

Better to be opposed, I think, than to pervert the faith with one’s hypocrisy.

Just A Quick Primer On Marital Integrity, Wishing, In Retrospect, That Herman Cain Had Thought Of It

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Herman Cain, embroiled now in the scandal surrounding an alleged 13-year affair with a woman who decided to tell her story publicly largely because she deplored his handling of previous allegations of sexual misconduct, is very likely not having nearly as enjoyable evening as you or I are.

Even if you’re currently undergoing a spinal tap, I’m pretty sure you’re having more fun than Herman Cain is right now.

It seems that one of the least-qualified men ever to have run for the Presidency, a man whose grasp of foreign policy extends only as far as not liking anything Barack Obama’s done, but not understanding why, has the intellect/libido ratio generally thought unwise for public figures. Gloria Cain probably didn’t marry her man for his scintillating intellect, likely didn’t grasp the fervor of his carnal appetites, and, it turns out, didn’t know anything at all, by Herman’s own admission, about his “friend” and recipient of off-hours phone calls and financial aid.

But now she does; the man running for the highest office in a highly complex world as both its military Commander in Chief and its moral face/nerve center has decided, three days after Ginger White broke her silence and provided cell phone records with a “Herman Cain” number he answered directly after a reporter texted it, that it’s time to tell his wife about others in his circle of acquaintance. Maybe especially the attractive female ones to whom he’s been giving of himself, and I’m guessing Gloria reminded him of it a couple of times.

“In retrospect,” Herman Cain says, he probably should have told her that he had a pretty, younger female friend accepting money from him. And if it turns out that he’s taken trips with her and visited her place at night, he’ll probably expand his moral retrospection to include not just fessing up to that, but to anything else that he and White have done together — which, I’m guessing, will then prove to be just as she says it was.

I can’t imagine the hurt, to put it mildly, that Gloria Cain is enduring. My prayers are with her and her family. But a hedge against infidelity would seem to start with an open agreement between spouses that one spouse knows, sees occasionally, and approves of any friends of the opposite sex the other spouse has. That hedge of marital protection is sealed with a commitment never to do anything in the course of one’s day, alone or with anyone else, that you’d feel the need to hide. If you can’t tell your spouse about it, don’t do it. Period.

Herman Cain clearly is a man sexually attracted to women, as I suspect has been the case with all but maybe one or two previous presidents. But if what these women, including Ginger White, say is true about him, he is not a man who likes women. “Liking women” is not the same thing as having a libidinous and aggressive hunger for them. If these allegations are true, then there’s a tragic irony at play: Gloria Cain, Ginger White, and at least four Herman Cain co-workers have all experienced the latter, which has less to do with appreciation of the female form than it does with contempt for women themselves.