Scott Yenor #wingnut #sexist #homophobia #transphobia #fundie firstthings.com

First, the institution of marriage is collapsing among those without college degrees, contributing to degeneracy and despair among our fellow citizens, which in turn erodes middle-class life. Our new sexual constitution actively dishonors marriage, accelerating this erosion. We must be forceful and unrelenting in our promotion of marriage and heterosexual responsibility. Legislators should propose laws that make divorce more difficult to obtain. Immediate measures, such as making fathers the default parents in custody battles, would encourage women into sobering second thoughts about filing for divorce. Perhaps legislators should impose a “sin tax” on divorce, just as we tax other socially harmful behaviors. The churches need to lead the way by reinvigorating taboos against divorce and cohabitation.

Second, the connections between sex, pro­creation, marriage, and parental responsibility need to be rebuilt. Prohibiting abortion is an important step in this direction. Renewing cultural stigmas concerning contraception is another step. As feminists recognize, abortion and contraception guarantee freedom for the independent woman because they sever the tie between sex and procreation. In social policy, we need to stop funding pre-K and other surrogates for family life. Parents must be encouraged to accept primary responsibility for their children. Financial support should be provided through government payments made directly to parents, not to programs that function as parental surrogates.

Third, we need a new gender ideology, one that restores a workable patriarchy. We cannot go back in time to the old constitution, but family life and marriage can be recovered on new grounds. Many sense the damage done by the new sexual constitution but are anxious not to seem judgmental. They shy away from enforcing the sexual taboos arising from the Old Wisdom. This needs to stop. We must wage an open counterrevolution, a way of life that dares to speak its name.

Alexi Sargeant #fundie firstthings.com

Jesus is not an undead monster

t’s a cliché of irreverent internet humor: atheists celebrating the Easter season by wishing their Christian countrymen a “Happy Jewish Zombie Day.” The joke is easy to dismiss—but perhaps there’s something to be gained from taking it seriously, more seriously than the jokers intend. How correct is it to compare the resurrected Jesus to depictions of the undead in popular culture?

Zombies, as popularized by George Romero in Night of the Living Dead and currently depicted on The Walking Dead, are mindless, rotting, infected corpses that hunger for human flesh. The classic zombie’s movement is invariably described as “shambling.” Jesus, by contrast, is trampling down death by death, as the Orthodox Paschal troparion puts it.

The accounts in the Gospels of Jesus’s post-Resurrection appearances suggest that his body is not decaying and necrotic but glorious, albeit with a sometimes veiled glory. First Mary Magdalene, then the disciples on the road to Emmaus, do not immediately recognize Jesus. Only when he wills it are their eyes opened to recognize their risen Lord. Then they worship him. Many disciples, seeing the risen Jesus, embrace his feet and do him homage. His feet are not the decomposing and discolored feet of a Romero ghoul—and yet they are wounded. The resurrected Jesus bears scars from his crucifixion and shows them to his doubting apostles, even inviting Thomas to probe his side. This may have been a frightening moment for Thomas, but the fright is more akin to abashed awe than appalled horror. His response, after all, is “My Lord and My God” (still the humble disciple’s prayer upon seeing the Body of our Lord in the Sacrament of the altar).

what of mummies? The climate of the Middle East, after all, is more conducive to mummies than to zombies. And Lazarus, resurrected by Jesus, lurched out of the grave in his burial cloths. Alas for the mummy fans, Jesus laid aside his burial cloths in the tomb, as both Luke and John attest. And his body was not anointed after death, as was customary (and requisite for Egyptian mummies), because he rose again, leaving the women who came to anoint his body the joyful mystery of the empty tomb. Stories of mummies often involve ancient curses elicited by trespassers from thousand-year-old gravesites. The grave could not contain Jesus for half a week. And as far as ancient curses go, Jesus’s death and Resurrection defeated the most ancient curse of all, that of sin. For everything a mummy might represent, Jesus represents that thing’s defeat.
There is one undead being often depicted as, if not quite glorious, at least glamorous: the vampire. Vampires tend to be physically attractive (if pale) and supernaturally powerful. Yet they are driven by a homicidal thirst for blood—rather the reverse of Jesus’s offering up his own blood for his Church, which we believe to be a sacrifice he makes daily at Mass. Vampires, whose legend originated in early eighteenth-century Europe, may well be a perversion of this very sacrament, their unslakable thirst a demonic parody of Jesus’s ever-flowing blood given freely for all. One popular tradition holds that vampires cannot enter a house unless invited by the inhabitant. Jesus in his post-Resurrection appearances freely comes and goes, sometimes dropping in on his frightened disciples unannounced in the upper room.

What if Jesus were a ghost? The disciples themselves feared this. But Jesus reassured them: “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” Jesus even eats a piece of baked fish in front of them—a playfully quotidian act that reassures them he is not a mere spirit but a body that can breathe and eat and be touched by the doubtful, like Thomas.

Carl R. Trueman #fundie firstthings.com

The case of Stefonknee Wolscht, the Canadian man who has decided that he is not simply a woman trapped in a man’s body but actually a six year old girl trapped in the same, has attracted some web attention. At first, I thought the story was a hoax but, no, it would appear that the lunatics have taken over the asylum and it is indeed true. Even if a sick joke, however, it would still offer insights into the inner logic of the politics of identity as currently played by the Left. Thus, for example, the U.K.'s Pink News reports that parts of the trans community are upset. Not, of course, at the harm done to Wolscht's wife and children, those symbols of bourgeois oppression who are thus just so much collateral damage in the Glorious Revolution of the Self(ish). No. They are upset because his claim to be a different age “discredits their cause.”

A moment’s reflection would indicate that this condition, whereby a person is really a small child incarcerated within a much older adult body, is increasingly prevalent in today's society. Recent events on the campuses of some of America’s top (sic) universities (sic) clearly show that the transageist community is rapidly growing in size, influence and belligerence. Still, as with all vanguard movements, some opposition is to be expected. The concerned reaction of sections of the transgender community is therefore understandable.

Or is it?

If everything else which shapes our identity can now be determined by mere personal preference, why single out age as an exception? After all, the way we measure time is a human invention. For example, we arbitrarily build our calendar around the earth’s orbit of the sun. I have always thought that this is a somewhat imperialist imposition of heliocentrism on our lives. We also assume that time moves forward, one moment following another, but that too is really a linguistic construct. “Time” is a floating signifier, a patriarchal myth. To coin a term, the old-fashioned idea of linear chronology now represents a somewhat heterotemporal approach to existence, methinks.

So when it comes to transgender people mewling and puking about how Wolscht is trivializing their cause, let me put this as simply and gently as I can: When you decide that categories of identity are merely psychological and that reality is constituted by language, you consequently have neither the right nor the ability to call a halt to the Promethean process which you have unleashed just because some of the results prove to be distasteful to you and unhelpful to your political cause. Indeed, whining like a bunch of, ahem, six year old girls is not going to help you at this point.

Al-Azhar University #fundie firstthings.com

On Thursday, August 27, 2015, the first part of Iran’s most expensive movie trilogy, “Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah,” opened nationwide in Iran. It took more than eighty months for this movie to be completed. Its primary goal, according to its director Majid Majidi, “is to reclaim the rightful image of Islam, which he said extremists have distorted.”

The Iranian state has partly funded the film, most likely in an attempt to promote a Shiite understanding of the narrative of Muhammad’s life. This, of course, triggered controversy among Sunni Muslims. Al-Azhar University demanded that “Iran refrain from releasing the movie, so that an undistorted image of the prophet can be preserved in the minds of Muslims.”

R.R. Reno #fundie firstthings.com

One angle for the casuist: When the Supreme Court issued its decree, American civil law ceased to define marriage and instead became a law of civil unions, with the word “marriage” now having no real meaning. With that sort of reasoning, I might be able to wiggle my way toward signing licenses that say “marriage” but really mean “civil union.”

Whatever we might think of the moral or legal substance of the matter, however, we cannot claim Davis has misunderstood her situation. One of her duties as county clerk now asks Davis to do what her conscience tells her she must not do. The way forward is clear: She must obey her conscience. She must act, as she puts it, “under God’s authority.” That’s exactly right.

Many modern people have the wrong impression that conscience is active, impelling us to do things contrary to the law. This is not the tenor of Davis’ stance in Morehead, Kentucky. She is not issuing counter-opinions to refute Obergefell. Nor is she campaigning to get other county clerks to join her. There have been no press releases, no assertive shrill spirit of protest on her part. That’s the progressive mentality, which tries to upgrade its political ambitions with appeals to conscience. Instead, Davis simply won’t do what her conscience tells her she cannot do. She’s not acting contrary to the law; She’s not acting at all.

Some might say that her refusal to sign marriage licenses disqualifies her from holding her position as county clerk. She should resign or be removed. People are certainly entitled to that opinion. But Davis does not think she must resign. The county clerks in Kentucky are elected, so she can’t be fired. She could be impeached, but that’s for the legislators of the State of Kentucky to decide. And the citizens of Rowan County can vote against her in the next election. Conscience, properly exercised in civil disobedience that otherwise respects the law, isn’t always easy to dislodge.

Peter J. Leithart #fundie firstthings.com

The problem was that the revolutions of the preceding century had robbed the king of the ability to do what the colonists wanted him to do: “the late eighteenth- century British monarchy was in no position to function as the ‘pervading' and ‘superintending' power of the empire. The constitutional settlement that followed the Glorious Revolution had definitively subjected the king to Parliament, drastically curtailing his prerogatives and recasting him as a pure ‘executive.' The powers of state that legally remained with the Crown were no longer in fact wielded by the person of the king, but rather by ministers who were required to command a parliamentary majority (and who themselves sat in one of the two houses).”

American patriots were conservatives, even reactionaries, who proposed “to turn back the clock on the English constitution by over a hundred years— to separate the king from his Parliament and his British ministers and to restore ancient prerogatives of the Crown that had been extinguished by the whig ascendancy. These theorists wanted more monarchy, not less. Their complaint, as summarized by Benjamin Franklin, was that the Lords and Commons ‘seem to have been long encroaching on the Rights of their and our Sovereign, assuming too much of his Authority, and betraying his Interests.'”

Nelson observes, “Defenders of the British administration during the revolutionary period did not accuse patriots of being crypto- epublicans, but rather of being de facto Jacobites and absolutists” (2). This wasn't accurate, but the fact that they made the charge is itself revealing.

William Doino Jr. #fundie firstthings.com

[Fundie warns of deadly danger of non-Catholic environmentalists.]

Catholic teaching on this subject is profoundly different from pagan-inspired environmentalism. Catholic environmentalism is Christ-centered, not earth-centered; the Church teaches that Christians are called to protect the environment because caring for creation is part of God’s plan for salvation. The pagan, in contrast, disregards Christian theology, and sees environmentalism as a way to exalt Mother Nature over everything else. And since pagans view children as mortal threats to the environment, they have tried to suppress their numbers through aggressive population control and abortion: Humanity must be sacrificed to pay heed to the pagan gods.

The Pope’s message is clear: Christians are the ones who should be taking the lead in environmental concerns; otherwise, the movement will be dominated by wayward “green” secularists. The Pope has made a similar point against Marxists, in their efforts to hijack and distort Christianity’s teachings about the poor.

Francis has repeatedly lashed out at paganism’s immoral efforts to thwart the will of God by pushing contraception, abortion, gay marriage, euthanasia and gender theory—comparing the latter to nuclear war, and even to Nazi efforts to corrupt the young through the Hitler Youth movement.

The danger of modern paganism is not an overblown fear by faithful Christians—historically, when it has been ignored, it has led to ruin and disaster. As Karla Poewe shows in her brilliant work, New Religions and the Nazis, it was precisely this evil conception of man which corrupted so many Christians into embracing the anti-Semitic Nazi creed, even as it had no connection to the Bible:

By blaming anti-Semitism on Christianity, scholars have badly misled their readers. In nineteenth and early twentieth century Germany it was not Christianity that was, nor Christians who were by virtue of their faith, anti-Semitic. Rather it was neo-pagans both within and without the Church, who had an intense dislike of Christianity precisely because it was Semitic.

Today, the menace of paganism is not as overt and extreme, but it is every bit as deadly to souls, in its subtle effort to appropriate and destroy Christian faith under the guise of helping the poor, the earth, or promoting sexual responsibility.

R.R. Reno #fundie firstthings.com

The problem is that our liberal culture encourages us to respond to these experiences of unhappiness by blaming the ever-so-slight remnants of the traditional “NO!” This makes things worse. The LGBTQ project is a good example of this. Nine times out of ten, a “transgendered” individual would be far happier if he or she were simply told, with effective authority—you’re a boy or girl.

Jake #fundie firstthings.com

[On a blog post about how scary Chick tracts are to kids]

Great News
I’m glad the track scared the hell out of you as a kid, The Bible declares “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of Wisdom” or Knowledge. I would to GOD all our Kids had the hell scared out them so that they would stop puting the rest of us through hell with their fearless murderings, steelings, fornications & body mutilatings.