Just Quit? No. We don’t panic.

Just Quit? No. We don’t panic. July 1, 2015

We are old, but we are feisty.
We are old, but we are feisty.

One of my all-time favorite television programs was Dad’s Army. This was the story of the aging home guard that was called up to defend Great Britain against a possible German invasion. The show, like Hogan’s Heroes, takes a mildly irreverent look at the good war. My favorite character, Corporal Lance-Corporal Jack Jones, a Victorian fighting a different war, is apt to say: “Don’t panic.”

He was often panicking when he said it, but forget that for a moment. He was right: “Don’t panic.”  I know most people who agree with me are “older than average” and that probably the very makers of this wonderful television show would repudiate me if they read this, but don’t panic.

Our values were the values that won World War II. Our values are the values that created civilization. We are experimenting with different values. It will not work, so don’t panic. Be patient and keep pressing the case. Time is on our side.

When gay marriage was very unpopular, and I pointed this out, I was told by proponents that it did not matter if they lost every vote. They would just keep making arguments and producing pop cultural products until they won. When state after state enacted bans on gay marriage in 2004, nobody that was for gay marriage even considered giving up.

Christians who supported gay marriage were not given gentle lectures that it was “over” by the media. Instead, they were encouraged to be brave and keep fighting.

When the elite of the culture favor a cause, losing is temporary, witness the vote in Scotland over independence. The Scots solidly voted to remain in the UK, but the minute the vote was over, the Scottish elite began banging the drum for next time. Many supporters of the UK were old (horrors!) and the youth would be with them. Demographics are destiny as if today’s youth will not become tomorrows old people against whom the young will rebel.

I will be very old when it happens, but I look forward to the day when those arguing against “gender binary” (really a tiny minority of today’s youth) will face children engaging in the New Victorianism. I will have the joy of opposing both the multiple letters of the alphabet vision of sexuality and the oppressive reaction that will certainly follow.

Here is the good news. Despite having few movie stars, no Facebook easy tags to show support, or any years of government school propaganda, over forty percent of the American public support marriage. One in five young adults support marriage and the number is almost surely higher as it is hard for a young adult to tell another young adult (the poll taker) something now so “bigoted:” I support Obama’s position when he was first elected

Meanwhile, we can press merely to be left alone as we have left the Amish alone all these centuries. Let us live our backwards lives, and teach our reactionary ideas, and see what happens. Let demographics rule. We will see.

Here is my bet: by the end of my life (I am 52), the problem will be extremists on the other side of the issue, not the libertine vision of sexuality. The future belongs to reaction, not to more decadence. Why? It is already wiping out the poor as they consume big-business generated pop culture, leave the churches, and eschew marriage. The danger is the demagogue who will seize on despair and “blame” the decadence of our time in a Putin-like reaction to moral decay.

This would be worse than the moral decay.

So Christians (still seventy-percent of the population) must consider what we will do. We cannot give up real marriage. We know the state will no longer support it and that is too bad. Ideally, the state supports virtue and is at least indifferent to vice when it is not worth penalizing it.

My advice? Keep trying to change the Court. I am told: “We have been doing that over abortion and nothing has happened.” This is not true, of course, we have managed to get some limits to the murder of unborn children in our efforts. The point of our political activity is not to “win,” but to persist to stand as a witness to the truth. Sex outside of marriage is a sin. It is not good for humankind and threatens our eternal souls.

We are told to move to other issues and that this will help people “hear us.” We should free slaves, feed the poor, stand against racism, and love the prisoner. The church is already doing all those things. I have worked and lived in the center of conservative Christian culture all my life. I have never seen political activity prevent groups like the Star of Hope from feeding the homeless. Christians can press for better government and feed the poor at the same time.

We have always done so.

I doubt we will defeat the sexual revolution before the end of my life, but then if you were born in 1918, you probably did not see the end of the Soviet revolution either. Be patient. Persist. Love your neighbor, including your gay neighbor. Teach God’s word and let the “arc of history” bend toward Jesus as it always does.

And when the tyrants come, the reactionaries, the Putin types, stand with the Republic in affirming liberty.

Don’t panic.

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