The French way with words

The local paper Tuesday picked up a Fort Wayne News Sentinel column that made an interesting point about the Culture Wars.

The author, a “conservative with strong libertarian leanings — or a libertarian with strong conservative underpinnings,” noted that despite the rumored moratorium on social issues, he’s not feeling the love as he sees movement on:

• Women in combat.
• Gays in the Boy Scouts.
• Gun control.
• Immigration reform.
• Guaranteed sports access for the handicapped.

That would not be my list. Others would be. But the the author’s point is valid:

But it annoys me no end that most of the commentariat on one side feel perfectly free to browbeat the other side about polluting the body politic with divisive wedge issues — shut up about abortion and traditional marriage! — to the point where even some conservatives cave.

Oh, yes, let’s have a moratorium on social issues, urged then-Gov. Mitch Daniels. At the same time, they go about merrily pursuing their own wedge issues. And they feel absolutely no shame about it. Why should they, when they hardly ever get called on it?

This takes me back to one of my favorite remarks on the bigotry of the bien pensants:

One suspects that the bashing of the religious right amounts to little more than that right-thinking people find the religious right distasteful.  The logic is “We are good, true and beautiful.  But we find you repulsive.  Therefore there must be something very wrong with you.”  The reasoning is impeccable given the first premise, but perhaps the first premise is false.    The French have a witticism: “Cet animal est tres mechant; quand on l’attaque, il se defend.”  (This animal is very wicked; when you attack it, it defends itself.)  The religious right did not start the fight.  For more than a quarter century, elite, privileged, sophisticated, and “right-thinking” Americans have exhibited contempt for some fundamental values, and have exhibited even greater contempt for the religious traditionalists who hold them.

David Carlin, Right Thinking About the Religious Right, First Things, November 1994.

1994. Note that. It reminds me of another French saying: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

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Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.

About readerjohn

I am a retired lawyer and an Orthodox Christian, living in a collapsing civilization, the modern West. There are things I'll miss when it's gone. There are others I won't. That it is collapsing is partly due to calculated subversion, summarized by the moniker "deathworks." This blog is now dedicated to exposing and warring against those deathwork - without ceasing to spread a little light.
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