Thursday, December 13, 2018

The long view of societal disruption

While most of us comfortably tell ourselves that the Socialist Party movement and identity politics that are inflaming our country are just minor antics of the fringe, there has been a long term and steady, slow but effective, decades-long push toward vilifying conservative thought and removing traditional values such as God and family from their esteemed positions.

As only one example from the numerous assorted progressive groups, how many of you out there know about the following quotes from the radical feminist contingent:

“Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is clear that the women’s movement must concentrate on attacking this institution. Freedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage.”  --radical feminist leader Sheila Cronan

“Marriage has existed for the benefit of men; and has been a legally sanctioned method of control over women… We must work to destroy it. The end of the institution of marriage is a necessary condition for the liberation of women. Therefore it is important for us to encourage women to leave their husbands and not to live individually with men… All of history must be re-written in terms of oppression of women. We must go back to ancient female religions like witchcraft.” --from “The Declaration of Feminism,” November 1971

“Being a housewife is an illegitimate profession… The choice to serve and be protected and plan towards being a family-maker is a choice that shouldn’t be. The heart of radical feminism is to change that.” --Vivian Gornick, feminist author, University of Illinois, “The Daily Illini,” April 25, 1981

“The simple fact is that every woman must be willing to be identified as a lesbian to be fully feminist.” --National NOW Times, Jan.1988

“Overthrowing capitalism is too small for us. We must overthrow the whole #@*! patriarch!” --Gloria Steinem, radical feminist leader, editor of ‘MS’ magazine

“Let’s forget about the mythical Jesus and look for encouragement, solace and inspiration from real women… Two thousand years of patriarchal rule under the shadow of the cross ought to be enough to turn women toward the feminist ‘salvation’ of this world.” --Annie Laurie Gaylor, “Feminist Salvation,” “The Humanist”, July/August 1988, p.37

“In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from families and communally raise them.” --Dr. Mary Jo Bane, feminist and assistant professor of education at Wellesley College and associate director of the school’s Center for Research on Women

“By the year 2000 we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in human potential, not God.” --Gloria Steinem

“I consider the Chinese government’s policy among the most intelligent in the world.” --Molly Yard, feminist activist and NOW's eighth president, when she was asked about China’s policy of compulsory abortion after the first child

“The most merciful thing a large family can do to one of its infant members is to kill it.” --Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, in “Women and the New Rage,” p.67

The same Margaret Sanger, by the way, who is a personal hero of Hillary Clinton.


Do all women agree with these quotes? Of course not. In terms of some of them, very few women agree. Most of these comments are from the extreme Left, and they (as yet) do not fully describe our reality.

The true danger lies in the effect of desensitization. The reason why our political and social landscape is so drastically different from the first half of the twentieth century isn't because we're evolving naturally, but because within every society, there will be those who, as the Edgar Allan Poe essay suggests, inexplicably seek to deconstruct the foundations of society by provocative actions or words, simply because they want to see it all burn.

This isn't conspiracy theory, it's a human element forever present all throughout history. Even someone as marginalized as Theodore Kaczynski was able to accurately capture the Left's identity politics and victim zeitgeist in his short story, "Ship Of Fools," although Kaczynski's focus was on the dangers of technology, not just the manifestations of societal disruption.

Which place do you wish to live? One where any angry group can, via legal threats and social media mob pressure, generate legislation that you are forced to obey in violation of your constitutional rights or moral compass? Or would you rather live in a truly democratic republic where the majority's will is respected in the interest of succeeding as a unified whole?

"Silence is equal to consent" is anathema to the #MeToo creed, but it still rings true regarding those who decline to fight the wave of political absurdities that one day may drown us all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Tom Green just doesn't get it

Tom Green just can't help himself. Like the hapless, would-be Lothario who has spinach stuck on his front teeth and just can't seem to remove it, Green endlessly chases a video around the Internet and demands to have it taken down.

Poor Tom Green, he's witnessing the manifestation of parental warnings for decades: be careful, because digital is forever.

The incident in question is initially described here, and then followed up here, and now of course, with this blog entry. In a nutshell, Jesse James Dupree did his chainsaw shtick on Green's wooden desk, and Green couldn't hold back his mean streak in response.

Here is the latest location for Green and his Damage Control Task Force to censor:

This one unfortunately doesn't show the entire video, and also leaves out the commercial break return where Tom breaks Dupree's CD in a childish attempt to belittle Dupree's accomplishments.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

First Reformed succeeds where Mother! completely failed

Once again, just like in "Mother!", some of the critics who are paid to review movies didn't quite get the gist. However, where "First Reformed" is definitely not like Mother!, is in its ultimately uplifting transcendent message. Mother! missed that boat in favor of self-indulgent humanity-bashing.

The top negative and positive viewer reviews on Amazon for First Reformed also fell short. The negative ones talked about the movie being boring with a terrible ending, and the positive reviews talked about how the movie was so "relevant" and "important" regarding current issues, those being climate change, pollution, and other man-based ravages of the planet.

First Reformed is actually a dark and brooding slow burn that at the last moment reveals the power of love. Far from boring, the writing contains profundity within nearly every scene. The cinematography and direction, in particular, were perfect for the subject matter. The acting was also commendable for the task of such a monumental statement about spiritual crisis.

This film was ultimately about how only love can save the world, which everyone who has ever read the Bible from cover to cover can confirm. If you watch to the end (no spoilers here, I promise) you will notice something Toller does that is a last minute epiphany regarding the horribly misguided and wrongheaded path he had taken.

Despair can come in many different forms, and clearly Toller was a tortured soul from the moment his son died, and in his desperate search for meaning, he mistakenly took on an evil quest that was contrary to his own personal beliefs.

First Reformed is aptly named. Toller's grace arrived not by making a radical statement, but in taking an outstretched hand... and that is always the first step toward redemption. Even the song being sung during the final scene underscores this message.

There are many hints in the film that my interpretation is appropriate, such as the young pregnant widow named Mary, the friend named Esther who attempts to foil the tragedy of Toller's self-neglect, and the child that the biological father thought was going to be a daughter turned out to be a son instead. I get the feeling after one viewing that there were a lot more allegories involved than I happened to notice.

In a limited sense, Toller is comparable to Job, as his apparent suffering and outcome is similar in what he lost compared to what he gained. This was God once again working in mysterious ways, and the glory of the transition is easy to miss if one gets too wrapped up in the dark and controversial aspects of the story.

Some choleric environmentalists may prefer to interpret this movie as a testimony to mankind's destruction of the planet, but in fact that detail is merely a convenient plot device. There are more important things in life than deciding to believe that the world will be in shambles by the year 2050.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The silence of the humble

The older I get, the more of life I witness, the more experience I gather, one common theme seems to repeat over and over:

I am not good.

I've had many conversations with others about 'big picture' or 'deep' subjects. I've read many books on these subjects. I've watched many YouTube videos made by various people with various positions on these subjects.

What does that say about me? If it were mere curiosity, it would manifest itself in personal wisdom that I may or may not share with others. But instead, too many times I have found myself in a spirit of contention based on what I felt was my correct perception about what God wants or God approves of, etc.

Even in concerted attempts to exercise humility, I have found myself making personal judgments and interpretations regarding the mysteries of God. A pastor I listened to recently reminded me of one of my favorite passages, in a way that hit home:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."--Isaiah 55:8-9

Even the most sincere attempts to understand the mind of God are not going to be reliable. God is at a level of understanding that, despite how bruising it is to the human ego, is so far beyond us that when we make assumptions about what true justice is, or fairness, or some such concept, we're like toddlers dealing with calculus.

This isn't to say that we can't understand the basic principles. That's likely the purpose of the Ten Commandments. A short, direct list from God that gives us what we need to know in order to live in a way that pleases our Creator.

I can think of no one, including Richard Dawkins et al, who can honestly claim that any of the Ten Commandments could result in anything negative for humanity. They may disagree with the concept for multiple reasons, but the actual commandments themselves would produce nothing more than positive results if practiced consistently.

But back to the point.

There's a reason why at the end of Ecclesiastes  the following admonishment is made:

"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." --Ecclesiastes 12:13.

We can all belabor the deep subjects with all sorts of personal interpretation. But at the end of the day, what does any of my personal philosophy matter if I'm yelling at my wife or my son?

As I said, I am not good. I'm not entirely evil either, of course, but most human beings realize that life does not rest in a binary slot.

Sure, I've done many good things, in public and in secret. But these things alone do not completely define me, as they don't define others. We'd all like to think we're doing great spiritually, or at least that our characters are strong and virtuous. But the ugly truth is, we all have difficulty being that person we know we should be.

In conclusion of this somewhat ambiguous essay, let me say this:

I understand why the wisest people I know tend to talk the least.