Thursday, April 16, 2015

Selective Timidity

It is gratifying that David French decided to flick Dreher and his Bunker Option* off like flies. Just a quick requote of a couple paragraphs from his piece:

I’m sorry, but I have a real problem — in an era when Christians are getting their heads sawed off in the Middle East — with the idea that, say, an American sociology professor feels to scared to proclaim his real beliefs on a liberal campus. I have a real problem — in an era when young Americans have been dying by the thousands in Afghanistan and Iraq in defense of liberty — with the idea that Americans on campus are too timid to even attempt to exercise those blood-bought freedoms. I have a problem with Christians — despite the example of Christ and the Apostles — who are too fearful to share the reason for their eternal hope. No one’s asking you to be a street preacher or some kind of unthinking loudmouth, but you should be ashamed of your timidity.

Every single person who is a Christian who stays “in the closet” — who’s timid about his or her faith — provides fuel to the PC fire, contributing to the notion that there really is something to be ashamed of, that what he believes is somehow wrong.

David French is correct to call Dreher's behavior timidity. The TIME piece was plaintively timid, first explaining that non-Christians should understand that Christians don't see not baking a cake as equal to lynching blacks in the Jim Crow south, then going on to use the analogy of racism himself and include lines like "It is understandably offensive to have a baker refuse on religious grounds to make their wedding cake." This is pure concession and surrender. It should not be offensive to them. That's the real point here. It is no wonder that liberal TIME magazine hand-picked Dreher to write this weak-tea, weak-kneed response in their gay issue.

But here's the thing about Rod Dreher's timidity. It is very, very selective. Dreher is all for "standing up" if he is "stand[ing] up to people like Governor [Scott] Walker." Being outraged that someone doesn't share your high value for a liberal arts education is fine. But let's stay in our bunker over religious issues. Being outraged at your family, dead sister and all, so much that you tell the story over and over again is fine because they didn't like you enough, and they didn't run anyone out on a rail when you got a couple wedgies on the field trip and wouldn't eat your French fish soup. No turning the other cheek for those atrocities. But if some gays are upset about a baker or a pizza place or who knows what other humiliation, well... that's understandable, everybody. After all, we heterosexuals wrecked marriage by getting divorced. (We did? Oh, yeah, some of us did. That's the "Royal We", sorry.) Let's be wiser in choosing our battles, people.

Rod Dreher has a history of showing no timidity when he "stands up" to people like Rush Limbaugh, Ted Cruz, Olympian Michael Phelps (no, really), etc. And of course those horrible Catholic Bishops.

He has always had a softer touch for cases like Andrew Sullivan, Brian Williams, Dan Rather, etc. And, of course, Russian Orthodox pedophiliacs.

Certainly it is almost impossible at this point not to be able to predict how Rod Dreher will react to any event based on a small number of factors. He will come out of his Bunker Option to shake his fist when he perceives that conservatives have behaved badly. He will go back into the Bunker Option to read his Bible where it won't offend gays and atheists. And he will come back out again to take food selfies until it's time to cut the grass and he is taken back to the Bunker Option on a stretcher.

What an unreliable moral guide. Only a Judith Regan would look at this guy and see a Virgil.

* - I refuse to take St. Benedict's name in vain on the Pope Emeritus's B-day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

At last: David French calls out self-dealing sellouts like Rod Dreher

At last.

David French at NRO says what I've been saying all along, in a higher profile venue with better credentials than I can muster.

Ever since the Battle of Indiana, Rod Dreher has been quoting anonymous e-mails and other conversations with conservatives in higher education. The message from each of them is roughly the same: It’s worse than you think, if our views were known, we’d have real trouble on campus, and the campus is closing to Christian thought — with even Christian campuses bowing to the PC gods.

And concludes:

Every single person who is a Christian who stays “in the closet” — who’s timid about his or her faith — provides fuel to the PC fire, contributing to the notion that there really is something to be ashamed of, that what he believes is somehow wrong.

In reality, the timid Christian has already lost. Without a single act of overt censorship, the forces of PC intolerance end debate, silence a thoughtful voice, and make other Christians feel more isolated than they should.

The courageous Christian (“courage” is a strong word when there’s no physical danger), however, not only calls their bluff, he or she finds allies, and also discovers that even individual Christians still have extraordinary legal and cultural power to impact their campuses (and the broader culture). In real war, it’s typically safer inside the foxhole — huddled outside the sight of the enemy. In the culture war, the foxhole is exactly where the other side wants you, while they roam free, unopposed, across the cultural landscape.

Timid Christians are the masters of self-fulfilling prophecy. Yes, things are getting worse. Partly because of you.

Like the native African brokers on the docks in Ghana singing "Sail Away" to their captive fellows as they ushered them aboard the cruise ships to their own Benedict Options, when someone is selling you out the way Dreher is, they're usually getting some kind of personal cut out of it for doing so.