John C. Wright (johncwright) wrote,
John C. Wright
johncwright

What I am afriad of

Someone asked me why I offered an apologetic olive branch to my enemies if I still thought I was in the right. Good question. I think it deserves a clear answer. It is also a long answer, so bear with me.

First let us clarify who the enemy is. It is not the homosexuals. The enemy is the homosexual lobby (who for the most part are happily married heterosexuals) that are devoted to a Leftwing antinomian agenda, and willing and eager to use pressure tactics to enforce the doctrinal conformity so near and dear to the heart of the Left.

But I cannot complain about the homosexual lobby without offending the homosexuals, who (as far as I can tell) are the victims in all this, not the aggressors. The homosexuals who listen to the homosexual lobby are like alcoholics being offered another drink.

If homosexuality is a sin (and I take it on good authority that it is) and if it is something difficult or impossible to fight (my own humiliating experience with fighting temptation warns me that human beings are not made of stern stuff) then the life of the child of God afflicted with this disordered appetite is truly wretched, and the culture does them a disservice by making their lives any harder: that includes me. (Of course, in another way, the counter-culture does not do them any favors by encouraging their sins either.)

But if I write a scathing article denouncing the spinelessness of the Sci-Fi channel for caving into the forces of Political Correctness, I cannot do so without offending, not merely the Homosexual Lobby (who deserve to be offended) but the people who suffer the moral disorder of homosexuality. I am not saying my article is wrong. I am saying the scathing is rude. I offended against charity.

The enemy is also not people who wrote intelligent and reasoned responses disagreeing with me. Heck, those people are my best friends, as far as I am concerned, even if they despise me, because I am so grateful for being granted the dignity of honest disagreement. They were not simply beating up a strawman dressed in my hat and coat, or pretending to despise me merely because they wanted an excuse for their own self-congratulation. (I say "pretending" because while the despite was real, the object was not. You cannot hate someone you know nothing about. You cannot even hate a word or sentence you have not read. When Narcissus bends over his pond and gazes with adoration at the comely image in the waters, he is not looking at any enemies, no matter what seems to come out of his mouth.) Those cool and collected people are my allies in the eternal war of rational men against hysterical yammerheads, even if they are my rivals and honorable opposition in this struggle, even if they hate me. Them, I would not mind losing to.

Let us notice one other thing. The Left has successfully created a nation of whiners. People these days are thin-skinned, and cannot stand to hear a spade called a spade. If you use a perfectly normal English word like "pervert" of "sodomite" to refer to, well, perverted sodomites, the people hearing those words will actually be wounded.

Now, in all bluntness, this is because they are weak-minded. They have a duty to learn the English language and to take words as they are meant, and not to be so thin skinned. But, be that as it may, the wound is still real.

Modern people have no opportunity to develop the normal callouses developed when dealing with the opinions and language of others. When would they? At school? From the television? In the robust and polite debate on the Internet? Don't make me laugh.

I was raised to believe that if you take offense with someone, the fault is yours. It is emotional. It is weak. Taking offense is like taking a drink: you cannot get drunk unless you down it yourself.

Again, I was always raised to believe that courtesy is reciprocal: I have no duty to be polite to those who are perpetually offended because their offense is an act, a sham, and they are implacable in any case.

There are two problems with the way I was raised. First, this is not what Christ teaches. Second, it is not what the modern world teaches.

Suppose the way I was raised is right. Suppose every man is under a duty to be stoical. But -- here is the rub -- where would a modern man learn this lesson? Suppose (as I was raised to believe) we are all under a positive duty not to react emotionally when someone offends us. Suppose it were so. How in the world could a modern boy learn of this duty, or be trained to fulfill it?

We are dealing with smugly adolescent moral codes occupying the minds of untrained and undisciplined bratty children inside the bodies of adults. Nothing and no one in the life of the average baby boomer could teach him to be callous and courteous. Nothing and no one can teach him about honor. The thing is not only not taught in school, at home, at church, it is not even discussed. The only place I can think of where people still talk this way is Boot Camp. Not many Boomers go there. (Those that do would not really be Boomers at that point.)

And, for most of the Boomers, it is too late to learn any such lesson. They are like the Boy in the Bubble, not exposed to childhood disease, and now lacking the strength to deal with the normal infections of daily life.

So I should not cough on them.

See the problem? Just because they have a duty to be callous when it comes to plain speaking, does not mean they have the ability to carry out that duty. The Left has shaped them to their ends, and the nation of crybabies simply does not have the power (whether they have the duty or not) to stop crying.

So much for what the world teaches. What does Christ teach?

Something about not breaking a bruised reed, was there not?

These people I am dealing with, for the most part, are not exactly the cedars of Lebanon. While most of them were just screeching nonsense for the sake of the two minute hate, there was at least one guy in the crowd I actually offended, and he was right to be offended with me. Just because everyone else was playing a word-game with me, does not give me the right to wound that guy's feelings. What defense does he have?

Another guy called me a coward for shutting off the troll sewer. No doubt it is cowardly to close my window because of the noise of the drunks in the street shouting at my house.

I wish I were more of a coward. Let me tell you what I fear. Let me tell you what I wished I feared more.

What if the time comes and I stand before the Judgment Seat, and the Lord says He approves of the roaring leftwing homosexual lobby after all. He fashioned homosexuals for a specific reason, and put them on Earth, and the Left turn out to be righteous when they pressure the Sci-Fi channel to have more GLBT balance in their shows. It turns out to be Part of the Divine Plan.

Just suppose. What am I to say then? "Lord, I was trying to do Thy will!"?

He might very well say back to me: "Depart from me. I never knew you."

So I had damn well better offer these people, enemies or not, the olive branch, and quickly. They will not accept it, if I am any judge of character: indeed, they will take it as a sign of weakness and redouble their efforts. But that is not my concern and not the orders I was given.

Fortunately, I was given written orders. Let me see if I can find the writing.

"Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."

It does not say I have to change my mind or adopt their freakish PC mode of speaking. It does not say I have to apologize when I am not at fault. It says if my brethren has aught against me -- and these trolls clearly do, and they are clearly my brothers -- I have to seek reconciliation, and immediately.

How does one reconcile oneself with a flash crowd of insincere and malign trolls? That I do not know. I can publicly make the offer.

* * *

Just yesterday someone was telling me my religion is based on wish fulfillment. Would that it were. It is not my wish that my pride and arrogance be broken in public, so that I can begin to assume the meekness needed for civilized life, not to mention Christian life.

Just today someone was telling me he hoped I would soon "get over" my faith, because of the deleterious effects of its "memes." Those of you know in the service know what it is like to be under orders, subject to authority, and given boring or annoying duties. There may be good reason for it, but it's not something you do because you have not yet "gotten over " a "meme."

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