Readers of The Little Way Of Ruthie Leming might enjoy seeing this lovely photo of Ruthie’s family, taken today at Claire’s middle school graduation. Claire was her school’s Student Of The Year this year, and had perfect grades. Rebekah graduated from elementary school on Monday, and also had perfect grades.
Nothing stops these girls. Ruthie would be so proud. I know we all are.
Everybody read my TAC colleague Sam Goldman’s piece about why contemporary progressives don’t get the connection between economic inequality and social diversity. It’s not supposed to be that way, in their view, but it is — and was destined to be since social issues, not economic issues, began dominating American political life. Goldman:
In our time, the stories of greater social equality and economic inequality are far from “unrelated”. Rather, social inclusion has been used to legitimize economic inequality by means of familiar arguments about meritocracy. According to this view, it’s fine that the road from Harvard Yard to Wall Street is paved with gold, so long a few representatives of every religion, color, and sexual permutation manage to complete the journey. Superficial diversity at the top thus provides an moral alibi for the gap between the one percent and the rest.
Goldman says this was inevitable after the culture war within the Democratic Party resulted in labor’s defeat by the cultural left in 1972 (a defeat that later had a profound effect on the GOP; it created Reagan Democrats):
Over the next few decades, erstwhile radicals learned that they could get more of what they wanted by cooperating with business than by opposing it. The New Left got affirmative action, relaxed gender norms, and good coffee, while the corporations acquired a new justification for their profits. The libertarianism adopted by many Silicon Valley types is the most rigorous theory of this fusion of inclusiveness and capitalism. But the “social liberalism, fiscal conservatism” popular on Wall Street and at elite universities is a milder and therefore more palatable version of the same idea.
More generally, it is hard for a society characterized by ethnic and cultural pluralism to generate the solidarity required for the redistribution of wealth. People are willing, on the whole, to pay high taxes and forgo luxuries to support those they see as like themselves. They are often unwilling to do so for those who look, sound, or act very differently. In this respect, the affirmations of choice and diversity that now characterize American culture, tend to undermine appeals to collective action or shared responsibility. If we’re all equal in our right to live own lives, why should we do much to help each other?
This is “What’s The Matter With Kansas?” territory, of course. From a contemporary progressivist point of view, non-rich social conservatives who vote Republican do so out of false consciousness, or mindless bigotry. But how many liberals would vote for a politician who proposed to stick it to the banks and the oligarchs, and who endorsed a broadly progressive economic agenda, but who openly opposed gay marriage and abortion, and endorsed religious piety? (Basically, your pre-1970s Catholic Democrat). Very few, I would imagine.
The culture was is in some ways class war by another name. Whenever you see some middle or upper class person gabbing on about the importance of diversity, you shouldn’t expect that they mean actual diversity — because then they would be eager to include, say, white working-class Republican Pentecostals — but rather diversity as what Goldman calls a “moral alibi,” which entails one’s ability to conceal one’s own real motivations from oneself.
This is also “The Lost City” territory. Many of us, both liberals and conservatives, pine for the relative economic equality of the postwar era, but very few of us — not even among us conservatives — would be willing to accept the trade-offs in personal liberty that the era demanded. As Goldman indicates, a lot of the New Deal economic stuff depended on a culture that was far more unified than we are today.
David Brooks has a fantastic piece out today talking about a study of words in popular culture over the last 50 years, and how our language discloses the rise of individualist consciousness and the loss of the ability to think and talk in terms of moral judgment. It’s related to the phenomenon Goldman writes about. Here’s Brooks:
Conservatives sometimes argue that if we could just reduce government to the size it was back in, say, the 1950s, then America would be vibrant and free again. But the underlying sociology and moral culture is just not there anymore. Government could be smaller when the social fabric was more tightly knit, but small government will have different and more cataclysmic effects today when it is not.
Liberals sometimes argue that our main problems come from the top: a self-dealing elite, the oligarchic bankers. But the evidence suggests that individualism and demoralization are pervasive up and down society, and may be even more pervasive at the bottom. Liberals also sometimes talk as if our problems are fundamentally economic, and can be addressed politically, through redistribution. But maybe the root of the problem is also cultural. The social and moral trends swamp the proposed redistributive remedies.
Evidence from crude data sets like these are prone to confirmation bias. People see patterns they already believe in. Maybe I’ve done that here. But these gradual shifts in language reflect tectonic shifts in culture. We write less about community bonds and obligations because they’re less central to our lives.
They call themselves Catholic Whistleblowers, a newly formed cadre of priests and nuns who say the Roman Catholic Church is still protecting sexual predators.
Although they know they could face repercussions, they have banded together to push the new pope to clean house and the American bishops to enforce the zero-tolerance policies they adopted more than a decade ago.
The group began organizing quietly nine months ago without the knowledge of their superiors or their peers, and plan to make their campaign public this week. Most in the steering group of 12 have blown the whistle on abusers in the past, and three are canon lawyers who once handled abuse cases on the church’s behalf. Four say they were sexually abused as children.
Their aim, they say, is to support both victims and fellow whistle-blowers, and identify shortcomings in church policies. They hope to help not just minors, but also adults who fall prey to clergy who exploit their power for sex. They say that their motivation is to make the church better and safer, and to show the world that there are good priests and nuns in the church.
“We’ve dedicated our lives to the church,” the Rev. John Bambrick, a priest in the Diocese of Trenton, said at a meeting of the group last week in New York. “Having sex offenders in ministry is damaging to our ministry.”
I find this incredibly heartening. Can’t tell you the number of conversations I had years ago, at the beginning of the scandal, with good Catholic priests who were disgusted by the cover-ups and the corruption, and who were themselves suffering for the sins of their abusive brother priests and — most notably — the bishops who covered up for them and made excuses. But it was extremely rare that these men would speak out. Extremely. If they had, they might have done some good. But they were afraid, or they were compromised personally, or … something. It’s hard to imagine who would have had more credibility in these matters than priests themselves — and how much good they might have done to restore the laity’s faith in the institutional church, simply by standing up and demanding that the bishops do the right thing.
By the way, it’s not like priests bore no risk by speaking out. From the story:
The whistle-blowers’ group plans to hold its first news conference this week in New York, and some members are bracing for the reaction. They said they know priests who spoke up and were removed from their parishes, hustled into retirement or declared “unstable” and sent to treatment centers for clergy with substance-abuse problems or sexual addictions.
Why is this new group necessary?
The Catholic Church in the United States put in place a zero-tolerance policy and a host of prevention programs after the abuse scandal peaked in 2002. Each year the bishops commission an audit of abuse cases, and this year’s survey, released May 9, found the fewest allegations and victims since the audits began in 2004.
But the whistle-blowers’ group contends that vigilance is necessary because some bishops are violating the zero-tolerance policies, and abusive clergy (who now number 6,275, according to the bishops’ count of those accusations that they deem credible) still have access to children. They point to the revelations in the last month that a priest in Newark who was a convicted sex offender restricted by a court order from working with children had been ministering in a Catholic parish in Trenton, taking confessions from children and going on weekend youth retreats.
Anyway, good on these priests. May their tribe multiply — and in other churches too. Evil hates the light.
I’m working on an essay for TAC about storytelling and conservatism. I want to make a case that conservatives have lost the art of storytelling and its importance, and that its recovery is vital to a renascence of a vital conservatism — which is not the same thing as Republican Party victories! — which cannot be seeded through position papers, policy analysis, op-eds, and talk shows.
Anybody in this room have anything to say about it?
What about you? Which stories in your life have informed your conservatism — or effectively challenged it? What is the role of imagination in informing one’s principles? What about counternarratives?
Five years ago, Conor Friedersdorf wrote a good piece about why conservatives operate at such a deficit when it comes to fleshing out their principles with narrative. Yet narrative is so vital to sustaining any worldview, because it informs our imagination. I think about how all my theorizing and intellectualizing about place, rootlessness, and limits amounted to nothing until I saw those principles lived out in the lives of my dying sister and her community. It was only seeing what the incarnation of those principles meant that changed my heart, and moved me to action.
The thing is, stories — true stories — usually don’t offer us a neat moral or prescriptive plan of action. The story I told in The Little Way Of Ruthie Leming, the book I wrote about my epiphany, is clear about that in my own story. Similarly, the other day in this space, a Texas reader wrote about the death of his Panhandle town, offering a tale that was politically ambiguous, in the sense that it tells a story about how federal policies, promoted by both the New Deal left and the Reaganite right, played a role in the doom of his town. What I loved about that story was how the facts failed to conform to ideology. It’s possible to have read that story and come away with different political and policy conclusions. The reason the story meant so much to me is that it incarnated policy debate in the lives of real people, people who suffered greatly in large part because of policy decisions made in Washington. You read things like that and something as dry as policy becomes real, and our ideological abstractions (of the left and the right) seem incapable of describing the world as it is.
I think this is the main reason why same-sex marriage has won in this country: the power of narrative, and the control of narrative boundaries by the mainstream media. I say this not to complain, necessarily, but to understand how one of the most consequential social and political movements of our era succeeded. I’ll say no more here; saving it for the essay.
Anyway, what I’d like from you readers are some reflections on the power of story to inform one’s worldview, and to move one to action. What role should imagination play in informing our politics, and our cultural politics? Why are liberals so much better at this than conservatives — and is there anything about our culture today that makes narrative matter so much?
Please feel free to talk about the negative power of story, too — how stories can win our sympathy but lead us to embrace unwise courses of action. The power of story is ambiguous.
If you prefer to write to me privately on this, please do so at rod (at) amconmag.com. Unless you specifically say otherwise, assume that anything you send me might be used in my magazine piece.
You absolutely have to watch this interview with a stout-hearted old Oklahoma woman who survived the tornado that destroyed her home all around her. Hold on till around the two-minute mark. “Thank you, God,” she whispers.
UPDATE: Lasorda writes in the comments thread:
I’ve watched this video a few times this morning. I keep focusing on that moment, too. Watching her look up and thank God has humbled me profoundly. This woman understands that not all prayers are answered in the way you want them answered. She has experienced hardship. Yet here, her prayers were answered. As a mature believer her absolute first response was to thank a merciful and loving God. This woman truly knows God. She has a relationship with Jesus Christ. Holy moly. This woman has given us a model of gratitude for the ages.
Thank you for saying this. It made me think that this great woman’s response was my sister’s response to the “tornado” — cancer — that destroyed her life. She didn’t pity herself; she was simply grateful to God for all the good things that came her way in spite of her circumstances. I wish I had that kind of faith. I pray I will someday.
I was speaking the other day to my friend N. about the story everybody’s talking about around here: the beating of the local family in a gas station, apparently because they were white, and in the “wrong neighborhood” (according to the alleged chief assailant). N. told me that he used to volunteer as a mentor in a tough high school. He worked with black male teenagers. N. is a Christian, and one of the kindest men I know. He used to attend a black inner-city church, and had a heart for these lost boys.
He said, though, that no matter what he tried, he couldn’t get through to the boys he was trying to help. There was a hardness there that would not be penetrated. He said he ended his time with that program in despair, because he felt that nothing he did could reach those boys, locked away in their own anger and fear. He said that the thing he noticed more than anything else was the absence of a father in their lives. The boys had no idea how to relate to male authority, because there had been so little mature male authority in their lives, only the malevolent cartoon version of it, e.g., guns, fighting, sexual conquest. Talking to him, I got the sense that the lack of a father in those kids’ lives wasn’t the only problem they faced, but it was the main one.
I recalled that conversation this morning when I read Ethan Epstein’s City Journal profile of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who is black. This passage, in particular:
In the hot summer of 2011, Philadelphia was beset by “flash mobs.” Dozens of teenagers, mostly black, would gather suddenly and riot through popular tourist neighborhoods, assaulting pedestrians and robbing stores and people. Other cities experienced flash mobs in 2011, but they presented a particular problem for tourist-dependent Philadelphia, where millions of visitors come every year to see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and Franklin Court—not to mention the famous corner of Ninth Street and Passyunk Avenue, where Pat’s and Geno’s vie for cheesesteak supremacy.
Mayor Michael Nutter, a black Democrat who had governed the city since 2008, was not pleased. And so, one Sunday that August, he took to the pulpit at Mount Carmel Baptist Church in West Philadelphia and launched into an impassioned, 25-minute speech, punctuated by cheers and applause from the pews. “This nonsense must stop,” he said, his voice rising. “If you want to act like a butthead, your butt is going to get locked up. And if you want to act like an idiot, move. Move out of this city. We don’t want you here any more.” Nutter grew increasingly heated as he blasted the city’s absentee fathers—who, he implied, were responsible for the crimes that their children committed. And he wound up his speech by telling the flash mobbers: “You’ve damaged your own race.”
Leftist critics quickly lit into the mayor. Columbia University political scientist Frederick Harris even used the R-word: “If this discourse was led by Ronald Reagan, for instance, people would call him on his racism, but now that you have a black face to these explanations it gives it legitimacy.”
But Nutter didn’t stop at rhetoric; he threw the weight of the Philadelphia Police Department against the rioters. In mob-afflicted areas, he ramped up police patrols and imposed a weekend curfew of 9 PM for minors. Backing up his tough talk on absentee parents, he increased fines on the parents of kids repeatedly caught breaking curfew, from $300 to $500. Local judges pitched in, sentencing flash mobbers to hefty service terms instead of slapping them on the wrist. Ten first-time offenders who had raided a Macy’s, for example, had to work there for eight weeks, dressing mannequins and greeting shoppers.
It seems to have worked. In the summer of 2012, there were no flash mobs in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Inquirer applauded the city’s “amazing progress,” noting correctly that “sometimes news is what doesn’t happen.” But it isn’t the only news that Michael Nutter has made in Philadelphia. On many counts, he has racked up an impressive record governing America’s fifth-largest city, showing a way forward at a time when so many Democratic-run cities seem resigned to deterioration.
Good for him. But no politician can change a culture in which fathers are absent and marginalized, and in which there is no pressure from within for them to take up the burdens of fatherhood, which include responsibility for the support, care, and raising of the children they father, and the women who bear their children. Ideas have consequences, and the idea that fathers are unnecessary is a particularly destructive one.
UPDATE: Elvisd writes:
I have posted a few times recently on the disfunction that I have seen in twenty years of teaching, mostly in rural, majority black schools and mixed urban schools.
I’ve seen it all, every nightmarish behavior that one can care to mention. I could add to the list some incidents that were frightening, life threatening, or even sickly comical, but will refrain.
I long ago grew cynical about the prognoses and remedies uttered by policy wonks in papers and seminars.
I learned to anticipate the chaotic leadership of incompetent principals and front load the damage control, for the sake of the class.
But nothing was an eye opener as the first day that I had on the job of my first school, the school that would turn out to be as violent as some jails. Class had not begun. We were at the beginning of the typical week of professional development. The opening speaker was a stereotypical Mad Black Woman, who went on a forty minute harangue, complete with pauses for hoots from the pulpit, on the theme of what we need to do for “Bay Bay’s Kids” when they arrive in our classrooms next Monday. She had been sent to us by the state. She kept getting angrier and louder, until her crescendo that brought down the house with a roomful of cheers from the mostly female audience: “…And you better stop telling me this idea that a child needs to have a daddy in his life to turn out right!” That, right there, summed up what I would experience for the next several years, and that is why my home region will not get better any time soon.
From the Book of Acts, Chapter 16:
16 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” 18 And this she did for many days.
But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour. 19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities.
20 And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; 21 and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe.”22 Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. 23 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threwthem into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. 24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
So, St. Paul cast a demon out of a slave girl, freeing her from her masters, and was beaten badly for his trouble … and today, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori says Paul had it coming for not recognizing the slave girl’s alternative spirituality. From her sermon:
For many people, it can be difficult to see God at work in the world around us, particularly if God is doing something unexpected.
There are some remarkable examples of that kind of blindness in the readings we heard this morning, and slavery is wrapped up in a lot of it. Paul is annoyed at the slave girl who keeps pursuing him, telling the world that he and his companions are slaves of God. She is quite right. She’s telling the same truth Paul and others claim for themselves. But Paul is annoyed, perhaps for being put in his place, and he responds by depriving her of her gift of spiritual awareness. Paul can’t abide something he won’t see as beautiful or holy, so he tries to destroy it. It gets him thrown in prison. That’s pretty much where he’s put himself by his own refusal to recognize that she, too, shares in God’s nature, just as much as he does – maybe more so!
From a putatively Christian cleric, this is simply deranged. Would that she would meet St. Paul on the street. Some of that authentically Christian apostolic voodoo might set the PB free.
UPDATE: Excellent comment by Edward Hamilton:
What astonishes me most in this exegetical contortion is how it has to tap-dance around the economic exploitation of the slave girl, as though this is an irrelevant detail that distracts from the core message of religious pluralism. That’s not a smack-down of the religious right, that’s a betrayal of even her own theologically progressive heritage.
Here’s the bishop of a reliably liberal denomination, in a developing nation full of poverty and economic inequality. If there’s any element of liberal Western thought that should appeal to this audience, it’s the way in which being released from an evil spirit functions as a metaphor for economic liberation from oppressive hierarchical systems. This woman is being abused by her greedy masters. She’s the poster-child for a radical liberation theology!
And yet, so important is the imperative to discover feminist and pluralist interpretations of the Christian cultural mandate that the economic radicalism here — which ought to be waved around as a banner, to shock Ayn Rand-ish capitalist ideologues in the US evangelical world out of their own heresies — is instead something to be stuffed back into the closet. The PB is suppressing the most virtuous elements of the liberal/progressive theological tradition, in favor of fighting her own private culture war.
Liberating the poor just isn’t as important these days as putting rotten ol’ St Paul in his rightful place: jailed and tortured as the victim of mob violence. Serves him right! He belongs somewhere even lower along the spectrum of respect than the cynical slave-owners who are pimping this girl’s “spirituality” as a freak-show oddity for a few coins. Better to stand with the mob, the slavers, the torturers, and the perpetrators of economic injustice, than to set aside one jot or tittle of the higher law of cultural radicalism.
Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans says the firefighter, who has been identified as 28-year department veteran Stanley Wilson, radioed in shortly before 5:30 a.m. that he was trapped and lost, at which point his radio went dead. It’s believed he became trapped when one of the floors collapsed. Almost three hours later his body was recovered from the wreckage.
The body was draped in an American flag as it was removed from the wreckage. Firefighters lined the path from the wreckage and saluted as Wilson was carried into an ambulance to be taken to the medical examiner’s office.
Wilson, 51, is survived by his wife and two sons. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said Wilson was a 1980 graduate from Lake Highlands High School, a few miles away from the condo complex where he died.
“He’s a hero,” Rawlings said, “and as I told his boys, they should be very proud.”
We knew him. Or rather, my wife Julie did. Stan was a volunteer coach at the Lakewood Presbyterian School, the small, beloved neighborhood school where our two boys attended kindergarten. Stan coached Matthew, our oldest. Matthew was a special-needs kid, but we didn’t officially know that then. We just knew that he was having a desperate time of it with his motor skills. P.E. was the hardest thing for him.
“We would all would stay every Wednesday after school and eat lunch on the playground,” Julie remembers. “On Wednesday, if he was off from work, it would be all the moms, and Stan.”
“He was not just joyful, he was gleeful. He always looked like he was having a blast,” she continued. “He never got impatient with me. He could tell that I had my back against the wall, trying to figure out how to help my son, and that I could go no further. He was just like, ‘I love these people, and I’m going to keep on loving them.’ And his wife, Jenny — she just glowed. Such wonderful, wonderful people.”
This has weighed heavily on Julie’s mind since the terrible news came across Facebook. Out of the blue tonight, she said, “I bet his underwear is still on the floor where he left it last night. And now he’s gone. Poof, just like that.” Her voice trailed off.
It was a hard day for a lot of people in Dallas who loved that fallen firefighter, and even for people who left a piece of their heart in Dallas, in that sweet little school, and within its community, when they moved away. Pray for the Wilson family.
Are you watching TV now? An extremely powerful tornado (possibly an F5, the worst category) hit suburban Oklahoma City and flattened — I mean flattened — an elementary school. A second elementary school in the area may have also been hit. A reporter speaking on CNN from the scene has a very shaky voice; at least one of those schools was full of kids. The reporter said that eight-inch thick cinder block walls were completely obliterated.
Basically, the worst. Dear God. An elementary school full of children. Maybe two of them, we don’t know yet.
Honestly, dear readers living in Tornado Alley, I don’t know how you do it. I used to live there, in Dallas, and days like this absolutely terrified me. CNN reporting some spotters saying this tornado was two miles wide. There are no words.
UPDATE: Watching CNN showing pictures of what looks like a building that … you can’t really tell what it was. A pile of wreckage and twisted metal. “This is an elementary school,” the anchor said.
Three cheers for Michael Kinsley, who not only favors same-sex marriage, but commissioned Andrew Sullivan’s landmark 1989 essay arguing for it, for telling SSM supporters to quit playing “the great game of umbrage” over the issue. He begins by talking about Dr. Ben Carson’s withdrawal from giving the commencement address this spring at Johns Hopkins after a controversy over his badly-stated opposition to SSM. Kinsley writes:
Carson may qualify as a homophobe by today’s standards. But then they don’t make homophobes like they used to. Carson denies hating gay people, while your classic homophobe revels in it. He has apologized publicly “if I offended anyone.” He supports civil unions that would include all or almost all of the legal rights of marriage. In other words, he has views on gay rights somewhat more progressive than those of the average Democratic senator ten years ago. But as a devout Seventh Day Adventist, he just won’t give up the word “marriage.” And he has some kind of weird thing going on about fruit.
But none of this matters. All you need to know is that Carson opposes same-sex marriage. Case closed. Carson was supposed to be the graduation speaker at Johns Hopkins Medical School. There was a fuss, and Carson decided to withdraw as speaker. The obviously relieved dean nevertheless criticized Carson for being “hurtful.” His analysis of the situation was that “the fundamental principle of freedom of expression has been placed in conflict with our core values of diversity, inclusion and respect.” My analysis is that, at a crucial moment, the dean failed to defend a real core value of the university: tolerance.
The university’s response was wrong for a variety of reasons. First, Carson isn’t just another gasbag. He is director of pediatric neurosurgery at Hopkins. Pediatric neurosurgery! He fixes children’s brains. How terrible can a person be who does that for a living? Yes, I know the flaw in this thinking: There is no necessary connection. As a character says in Mel Brooks’s movie The Producers: “der Führer vas a terrific dancer.” But Carson didn’t murder millions of people. All he did was say on television that he opposes same-sex marriage—an idea that even its biggest current supporters had never even heard of a couple of decades ago. Does that automatically make you a homophobe and cast you into the outer darkness? It shouldn’t. But in some American subcultures—Hollywood, academia, Democratic politics—it apparently does. You may favor raising taxes on the rich, increasing support for the poor, nurturing the planet, and repealing Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act, but if you don’t support gay marriage, you’re out of the club.
Hopkins, as a private institution, may not have been constitutionally required to let Carson speak. But it was wrong for the university, once the invitation had been extended, to make Carson feel unwanted to the point of withdrawing. (In fact, it was wrong of Carson to let Hopkins off the hook in this way.) Behind the First Amendment is the notion that good ideas have a natural buoyancy that bad ideas do not. In fact, the very short (as these things go) debate about marriage equality demonstrates this. Denying Carson the right to speak was not just unprincipled. It was unnecessary. The proponents of marriage equality have not just won. They have routed the opposition. It’s a moment to be gracious, not vindictive.
There are those who would have you think that gays and liberals are conducting some sort of jihad against organized Christianity and that gay marriage is one of the battlefields. That is a tremendous exaggeration. But it’s not a complete fantasy. And for every mouth that opens, a dozen stay clamped shut. In the state of Washington, a florist refused to do the wedding of a long-time customer “because of my relationship with Jesus Christ.” Note that “long-time customer.” This woman had been happily selling flowers to the groom. She just didn’t want to be associated with the wedding. Now she is being sued by the state attorney general. DC Comics dropped writer Orson Scott Card’s planned Superman book when thousands signed a petition demanding it because of his many homophobic remarks.
Thought experiment: If you were up for tenure at a top university, or up for a starring role in a big movie, or running for office in large swaths of the country, would it hurt your chances more to announce that you are gay or to announce that you’ve become head of an anti-gay organization? The answer seems obvious. So the good guys have won. Why do they now want to become the bad guys?
Because that’s how we do things in our culture. One’s opponents aren’t merely wrong; they are EVIL!
Can liberal readers of this blog manage to keep their knees from jerking and responding, “But conservatives do it too!” Yes, they do, far too often. And it stinks.