|The First Lady Is Our Queen||Fighting Purity on Valentine's Day|
by Christopher Chantrill
February 07, 2004 at 7:00 pm
DO WHATEVER you want, advised the Edwardian actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell to the apprentice libertine, But dont frighten the horses in the street. Perhaps the gay marriage ukase of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the Super Reveal will make placid conservative horses finally rear up in horror. And get into harness to help bring home victory in the culture war.
Victory in the culture war would be a very small thing. All we ask is for our American elite to extend a genuine tolerance to the middle class and its values. It would stop persecuting ordinary people who go to work, pay their taxes, belong to a church, follow the rules, and obey the law. It would not stigmatize such people as stupid, or easily led, or as religious bigots.
It would recoil in horror from those who would chase Christian rituals and symbols out of the public square. It would no longer celebrate an arts community that challenged society by attacking the cultural symbols of the middle class: marriage, children, God, fidelity, modesty, and manners. And it would not allow a determined minority to redefine the meaning of marriage. Is that so much to ask?
Fortunately, we know where our tormentors live: in the political party that has become the home of single people, cultural relativists, and secularists: the Democratic party. It is shocking, for instance, to realize just how anti-religious the Democrats have become. At the Democratic convention of 1992, Bolce and De Maio reported in The Public Interest, over half the delegates rated Christian fundamentalists on a feeling thermometer graduated from 0 to 100at an ice cold zero.
How, one wonders, do they feel about ax murderers and rapists?
By comparison, the average 1992 Republican delegate rated their ideological foesfeminists, environmentalists, and prochoice groupsat 27 degrees, over half way from ice cold zero to room temperature 50.
But why should anyone be surprised? The mainstream media jumps down the throat of anyone that cocks a snook at left-wing activist, but maintains a shameful silence when religious people are attacked. According to Bolce and De Maio, that the more attention a person pays to the national political news media, and especially to television news, the more likely is that individual to believe that Christian fundamentalists are ideologically extreme and politically militant. Does that mean that bigots naturally gravitate to the national news media, or that the media actually teaches them to hate?
Liberals demand that we be tolerant of gays, lesbians, transgressive artists, secularists, and moral relativists, but ignore intolerance towards people of faith.
The culture war must be won be turning the tables on these chancers and chasing their liberal tolerance out of the public square. The good news is that conservatives are finding effective ways to fight back.
Conservatives are challenging liberals in the public square to demonstrate their tolerance for the conservative otherthrough the street theater of affirmative action bake sales and conservative coming out days on campus. Conservatives are challenging liberals to give college students full value for money and teach both sides of the story. Appropriately, it is a former leftist, David Horowitz, who has taught conservatives how to play this game.
And when liberal judges legislate a new definition of marriage from the bench, or remove under God from the Pledge of Allegiance and rip the Ten Commandments out of the halls of justice, they reveal more about themselves than Janet Jackson could ever do.
So conservatives are going on offense, shaming the liberals as intolerant hypocrites and exposing them to the world as extremists and anti-religious bigots that want to drive religion out of American life. Will there ever come a time when Washington Post reporters would be ashamed to write that Christians are poor, uneducated, and easily led? Dream on!
But as we drive back the liberals with a politics of shame, let us never forget our larger quest. For all our focus on the culture war, we want to build a political home for all Americans, from the frightened immigrant, to the stolid homeowner, to the creative entrepreneur or artist, to the compassionate communitarian. We want to build an America that provides tribal solidarity to the fearful, rules and roles for the purposeful, an open frontier for the enterprising, and a universal community for the caring.
From shabby liberal neglect we can restore the shining city on a hill to incandescent glory, and we will.
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America