Totalitarian discourse

Charles Krauthammer gives the name for handling disagreements by silencing and punishing those who hold opposing ideas:

The left is entering a new phase of ideological agitation — no longer trying to win the debate but stopping debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition.The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. It declares certain controversies over and visits serious consequences — from social ostracism to vocational defenestration — upon those who refuse to be silenced. [Read more...]

Accept gay marriage or lose your job

You have probably heard about the CEO of Mozilla (makers of the open source Firefox browser) losing his job when it was learned that he had given some money to support that referendum in California a few years ago that would block gay marriage in that state.  Since the contribution records have been made public, lots of other people could conceivably lose their livelihoods in this new activist climate. Peter Wehner has some good observations about this whole mindset of punishing people for their beliefs. [Read more...]

Managers vs. leaders in the Secret Service

The country keeps getting embarrassed by Secret Service agents who have been caught cavorting with prostitutes, getting drunk, and passing out in hotel lobbies.  Former agent Dan Emmett says the main problem is bad leadership.  He tells about the Secret Service’s practice of promoting people who are “well-liked” to management positions, rather than those who demonstrate leadership ability.  His distinction between “managers” and “leaders” has applications  beyond the Secret Service. [Read more...]

“Coming out” as a Christian

In her memoir Dancing Through It, ballerina Jenifer Ringer tells about her Christian faith.  I was struck by this line from Washington Post reviewer Rebecca Ritzel:  “Coming out in a dance memoir as an evangelical Christian is nearly as rare as coming out as gay in the NFL.”

Back in 2012, we posted about the apotheosis of homosexuality and the demonization of Christians, asking whether Christians might someday become “the new gays.”  That is, whether being a Christian might be seen as socially shameful as homosexuality once was, that Christians would become “closeted,” keeping their faith secret from the public, except for those brave enough to “come out.”

Now we have a major media outlet using that kind of language for Christians.  Some will say, “That’s justice!  Now you Christians will know how it feels.”  Maybe so.  I can imagine the comments:  “They should not be allowed to get married!”  Certainly there is still stigma against homosexuality among the masses, if not in the media and elite circles.  I am not saying that Christians are treated worse than gays, which is obviously not true (nor am I saying those are  mutually exclusive categories), and I don’t want Christians to develop a persecution complex.  I am just wondering if we Christians are ready for the possibility of there someday being a severe  social stigma against our faith.  [Read more...]

Making religion as unacceptable as racism

What would it be like if religious belief were to become utterly socially unacceptable?  Imagine a time when believing in God would be as contemptible and as shameful as racism is today.  That’s what Irish actor Chris O’Dowd is calling for.  He says that he used to be tolerant around religion, but that he has become “less liberal.”  Now he thinks that religion should become as unacceptable as racism.  And that people shouldn’t be “allowed” to say religious words.

There are so many more religious people than atheists that this is unlikely for the foreseeable future.  But, still, note the trajectory.   Being unbigoted used to mean “not discriminating according to race, color, or creed.”  Then other categories were introduced:  sex, gender, sexual orientation, physical handicap, etc.  But there are attempts now to start excluding “creed.”   But hating people because of their religion and hating people because of their race are both bigotry. [Read more...]

“National Bolshevism”: Russia’s new ideology

Vladimir Putin’s speech annexing the Crimea echoes the language of a new political ideology being formulated in Russia, according to Canadian journalist Doug Sanders.  A melange of postmodernism, nationalism, and Russian Orthodox mysticism, it goes by the name of “Eurasianism” or “National Bolshevism” (cf. “National Socialism” ).

The ideology’s founder is Alexander Dugin, who calls his movement a “Fourth Way” between liberal democracy, fascism, and communism.  Though the big enemy is liberal democracy, so that he calls on an alliance between fascists, communists, Islamists, and other pre-modern forces to overthrow it.  He describes his ideology as “socialism without materialism, atheism, progressivism and modernism.”  Read about it after the jump, noting my highlights, and then read my reflections. [Read more...]

How Fred Phelps helped the gay-rights movement

The late Fred Phelps with his Westboro Baptist Church, who picketed funerals of soldiers killed in action and proclaimed “God hates fags,” created such a negative impression of Christians who disapprove of homosexuality that he actually played a major role in advancing the cause of gay rights.  So say a number of gay activists and other observers. [Read more...]

Millennials aren’t so liberal after all

Contrary to the conventional wisdom that paints the Millennial generation as being the new base of Democratic party liberalism, studies show that their political beliefs are much more complicated than that.  As Kirsten Power points out, Millennials are more likely to support gay marriage than other demographic groups, but they are less likely to support abortion.

Their main political characteristics are independence, changeability, pragmatism, and disdain for static ideologies.  That means Democrats can’t take them for granted and Republicans have a shot at their votes. [Read more...]

Attitudes of the Millennial generation

There is a new Pew Report on the attitudes of the Millennial generation–specifically, Americans aged 18-33.  It finds that they are less religious, less patriotic, less married, more liberal, and less trusting than other generations. [Read more...]

How to treat the losers in the marriage war

Advocates of gay marriage are evidently victorious, or soon will be.  So how will the defenders of traditional marriage be treated?  Ross Douthat says that one way would be to let religious people alone to have their own beliefs and practices about marriage.  The other is to tolerate no dissent, demonizing and punishing gay marriage opponents.  Mr. Douthat thinks the latter is becoming more likely. [Read more...]