Here We Stand: My Response

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I’m nobody special, no books with my name on the spine line your shelves. I’ve no swanky office in a well-funded think tank, in fact my desk is a re-painted dumpster-salvaged kitchen table. In spite of that disadvantage, here is my response to the Here We Stand statement.

Contra ERLC, outrage is a singularly appropriate response. Rather than hide behind a gospel of nicenessssss, we should be talking about how to use our outrage. We’re mad as hell, so what do we do now? As the popular meme reminds us, overturning tables and using whips have their precedent. 

The statement is weak and vulnerable to just criticism as Dr. Robert Gagnon has shown, Here highlighted by my brother in the faith, Tim Bayly. Unfortunately, the ERLC has chosen to effectively deny the possibility of iron sharpening iron and responded like a mean girl. 

Dr. Gagnon is right about some of the weaknesses in the statement, but I might go even further and say the court decision is not merely in error (more weaksauce, anyone?) as the statement has it, but brazenly flouts not only our constitution but the practice of every culture known to history and anthropology. The Imperial Court, formerly known as SCOTUS, has imposed what no culture has ever encountenanced. In addition to the weaknesses there is what I thought the glaring omission of any call to civil disobedience. Cardinal George may have believed his successor will die in jail, it doesn’t look like any of the men of ERLC will join him there if this is their response. 

Most egregiously, though, the statement neglects to mention the consequences of this decision other than those pertaining to religious liberty. My own first response was not to worry about religious liberty (it’s dying anyway) but to sorrow for the women and children who will be exploited, discarded and murdered as a result. “Marriage Equality” is already leading to calls for family equality before the ink is dry on the decision. We’ve already endured the popular press drooling over Elton John’s and David Furnish’s purchased children with Newspeak birth certificates listing the male Furnish as “mother”. After all, if two men can be married, why can’t one of them be the mother?

The abusive practice of third party reproduction with exploitation of women as breeders and product/children destroyed if they don’t meet “quality standards” will increase and become normalized. The practice treats women’s bodies as egg farms in the life and health threatening practice of egg “donation”. Next, it treats women as chattel slaves, often incarcerating them in houses with dormitory style bedrooms that make the average coed’s domicile look like the Ritz Carlton. And the children? Contracts will be written requiring the children be destroyed in utero for any number of causes. And if the contracting “parent” changes their mind? Well, good luck enforcing that contract in the courts. But it won’t stop there. Does anyone doubt that “notorious RBG”, who finds a right to government funded abortion hidden in those mysterious penumbras and emanations will also find a right to government funded third party reproduction?

No, Dr. Moore, outrage is the correct response, the righteous response. Why? Because sooner than any of us can imagine, we will have come full circle.

Welcome back, Dred Scott. 

Our Lawless Supremes, Our Lawless Selves

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With today’s decision in the Glossip v. Gross death penalty by lethal injection case, the nation’s top court has shown a complete disregard for human life and dignity. Our children may be slaughtered at will, for the time being at least, before they draw their first breath of air – check. Marriage has no meaning our purpose beyond adult desires and any two, for now, consenting adults may engage in the legal fiction of marriage provided, for now, they aren’t too closely related – check. And now, we may execute our convicted criminals in cruel and unusual ways – check. It’s a trifecta of sorts. 

There will be consequences, many of them have already popped up over the horizon. The combination of abortion and a medicalized death penalty will bring increasing pressure to normalize euthanasia. At first, it will be argued that we are only relieving suffering of our grandmas and grandpas at the end of their lives. But Europe has shown us the way, the practice will soon encompass the depressed, disabled folks and children. Euthanasia of babies born with disabilities or defects will become routine. 

The majority has unwittingly paved the way for a good deal of this devaluation of life and human dignity with our enthusiastic embrace of carcinogenic chemicals that prevent our bodies from functioning in a healthy manner. But only for us women, mind you, so we can engage in the baby-making act without actually making babies because it is we who bear the responsibility of bearing new life. As we embraced these life-denying drugs, we also embraced the dignity-destroying practice of no-fault divorce, often followed by a second union which is itself again followed by a no-fault divorce so that the late Elizabeth Taylor is no longer a joke but a measure of “normality”. 

Divorce has inured us to the practice of routinely denying our children, not only the benefit of growing up in an intact household, but even knowing the presence of both their parents in their lives and learning as they grow and mature, what fathers teach, what mothers teach, and how men and women differ. Now that we’ve accomplished this, enter the marvels of medical innovation and, poof! Elton John is a father and his lover David Furnish is a mother. 

Children manufactured and murdered at will: this is our terrifying future. Same sex “marriage” will force the issue in new ways, for if there is a “right to marry” based on nothing more than emotion, how will we deny these pairings (pairings only, for now) the natural end of marriage, children? For no matter how we try to re-write metaphysics, the truth will out. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby. In our brave new world, a right to manufacture children inevitably follows the right to marry. Coercive egg “donation” campaigns and human trafficking/slavery in baby factories already does and will increasingly target women from the campuses of Stanford and Harvard to the slums of Mumbai.

And what of lethal injection executions using drugs that can fail and cause excruciatingly lengthy and painful deaths? Is anyone even left to care about how we execute convicted criminals given these other assaults on human life and dignity?

Paul R. McHugh

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Every once in a while you have the privilege of watching or reading about someone doing the very thing they were put on this earth to do. I think Paul McHugh is one such person and he is becoming one of my great heroes. Reading his book, I am convinced he must be a gifted teacher and mentor.

He is perhaps best known these days for his wise stand against sex re-assignment surgery.  He is also known for his courageous battle against recovered memory therapy and the multiple personality syndrome industry. I hope to write more about that in the future, for now I want to encourage anyone who cares about someone affected by memories of abuse recovered in therapy or what used to be called “Multiple Personality Syndrome” to get this book and read it carefully. Draw courage from his wisdom, and help from the resources he mentions:

  

Friday Flannery

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This is one of my favorite Flannery quotes. Here I give it a bit fuller context than is usually seen.  It’s a pity that I think we’ve sailed past the stage where shouting is sufficient. I think our shouting must become something a bit more clever.

The novelist with Christian concerns will find in modern life distortions which are repugnant to him, and his problem will be to make these appear as distortions to an audience which is used to seeing them as natural; and he may well be forced to take ever more violent means to get his vision across to this hostile audience. When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax a little and use more normal means of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock; to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures.

— Flannery O’Connor, The Fiction Writer and His Country

Throwback Thursday: Victims of Communism

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This is a different sort of Throwback Thursday. Eight years ago, President George H. Bush dedicated the world’s first, and still only, memorial to all of the Victims of Communism:


“We have an obligation to future generations to record the crimes of the 20th century and make sure they’re never repeated. In this hallowed place we recall the lessons of the Cold War: that freedom is precious and cannot be taken for granted.”

 

This past week, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation held its 8th annual, Rollcall of Nations when wreaths are laid and honorees speak and, most importantly, the over 100 million victims of communism, those who have survived the regimes of the past, and those who are still living under communism are not forgotten. 

Please consider supporting the work of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation  

 

Hell Dog or She Guardian?: London’s new Uber-appropriate monument to Feminism

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Set near Marble Arch, London has a new monument to Feminism. It seems the, ahem, artist is upset that homeless migrants have set up camp around the statue’s base because of the shade it provides. Me? I’d be afraid to get too close. I’d rather risk heat stroke, thank you very much.

Of the various descriptions, none have mentioned the first one that sprang to my mind: Servant of Molech and Deliverer of sacrifices. This thing makes the Wizard of Oz’s Flying Monkeys look like cuddly pets. Honestly, what were the good men and women of whatever body is responsible for this vision of hell drinking? Or smoking? Chanting? When they approved the design.

  
It is easy to make jokes about the statue as articles and commenters at Time Out London, iHorror, and Brietbart, have done. But it requires a serious response as well. Feminism is a seriously destructive enterprise which absolutely requires worship at the altar of  Molech, that pagan deity to which children were sacrificed. 

This is no She Guardian, caring for the young. This is a Hell Dog, destroyer of young lives and the souls of women. Our last reaction to this should be one of shock or surprise. Rather, we should be thankful for this reminder of the true character of feminism.

Let this honesty help us turn from the destruction of feminism to embrace a good and holy woman who guarded, for nine months in her womb, God Incarnate. The Woman of whom her Son, as he hung battered, bloody and near death, said: Behold, your mother.

  

Elisabeth Eliot, Requiescat en Pace

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Elisabeth Eliot was a unique treasure. In an age of Evangelical compromises with feminism, she stood alone in the manner in which she defended the dignity and privilege of being a woman. In that, she reminds me of Alice von Hildebrand, which is high praise in my book.

But she has left us now. She began to leave us some years ago as she slowly succumbed to advancing dementia. She recently suffered a series of strokes and died in her sleep this morning.

Her gain, our loss.

Here is World’s obituary.

Showdown? Oh Honey, that happened 30 years ago

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[Many thanks to David Mills for the excellently evocative phrase, exegetical solvent, which he used in correspondence about his own post on Matthew Vines. That’s really the only tool the religious progressive needs, isn’t it?]

In his otherwise excellent review of Matthew Vines’ “God and the Gay Christian”, Albert Mohler quotes Terry Mattingly:

“There is no way to avoid the showdown that is coming.”

Which is not exactly inaccurate, but it misses the set up.  There has already been a showdown, about 30 years ago, which Evangelicals lost. Untethered from the Great Tradition by the Reformation battle-cry of Sola Scriptura!, Evangelicalism proved itself unable to slay the revisionist beast of Feminism. 

Instead, Evangelicalism split into two collegial camps, neither willing to do what needed to be done to vanquish the other. The more tradition-minded Evangelicals formed their new group with their new explanation and their new word* (which, 30 years later, people still can’t spell) because they feared overtly embracing the traditional, historic, orthodox and proper term more than they feared the enemy. Complementarianism was born because they weren’t willing to actually put feminism to death (at least theologically speaking). The fear of openly embracing Patriarchy was greater than the fear of feminism. They prized collegiality more than orthodoxy.  And the feminists had no need of any sort of obviously ultimate vanquishing of the Patriarchal foe because, simply by getting their nose under the edge of the tent, they had already won. It was easily done, being aided in great part by their own newspeak term, Egalitarianism. After all, who wants to oppose “equality”?

What we’re seeing now is the clean up operation. Young Mr. Vines would not be having his secret meetings and he would not be seeking out the silent supporters if the feminists had not first softened the ground. This is the second great challenge to Evangicalism. But it is less of a genuine challenge than a revealing of the softness of Evangelicalism’s defences. 

The good news about this, I believe, is that more will end up where I did. Seeking ways to adequately respond to the current challenge, they will discover Rome already has them. Discovering, further, that the Church not only has answers but that they are rich and deep, our seekers will realise they haven’t been fair to Rome, and they should be. 

They’ll eventually realise that Mr. Chesterton was right, the decision to be fair to the Church is often the first step to conversion.

*Complementarianism was their new word, which they actually “stole” from Gordon Fee, and others, who had been using it to describe their early version of Egalitarianism (religious feminism). Thanks to Scot McKnight for that bit of hidden history. 

Staying? Of course I’m staying. I just got here!

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It began quietly, probably more years ago than I realize but the momentum changed noticeably when I got in touch with a childhood who I hadn’t seen for many years. We had dinner and, I think from that moment, all hope of keeping my feet planted firmly on the other side of the Tiber vanished. I battled valiantly for about five years but finally admitted defeat.

After I met with my priest for my first confession (a fate I really wanted to avoid), I walked into our new church, sat in a pew, and let out a long sigh as I felt the release of burdens long carried.

Home.

That was the word that came to me as I sat there in the cool, quiet of an empty church. But it wasn’t empty. Christ was there with me as were the prayers of the saints. It was a quiet murmur, something I’ve found has been a companion in my prayer life ever since. When you have the company of the saints in prayer, it’s never really quiet. But it’s always peaceful.

I had never considered there was a deep truth to the sense of “Coming Home” so often mentioned by converts. But there it was, unlooked for. Not asked for. It was just there.

But in those few moments of quiet, I knew it all down deep in my bones. Prayer comes to me more easily than I ever thought it would. Confession, though I still sometimes avoid it out of my own sense of failure, is a greater blessing than I could have imagined. 

There is only one Church. We have all failed Christ and his Bride. From you, to the parishioner in the pew in front of you to the priest saying mass. We are all sinners. I have no doubt there are hard times ahead, no doubt at all. But how could I even think of facing those times without the Church that has lasted through all the hard times before?

Still she stands.

I will never leave. I will stay and defend her. This is my home.