Tuesday Tidbits

    1. Why the future never shocks us
    2. Sad, terrible, destructive – no biggie
    3. RSS eaters unite!
    4. What’s a BubbleBrowser?
    5. Joe Biden is an ignorant blowhard.


Those presenting … slippery-slope arguments also often forget that the future comes to us pre-packaged in a manufactured normalcy field. A society with established same-sex marriage won’t feel alien and strange. The future typically seems terrifying only when regarded prospectively: having actually arrived, it seems like mundane normality. Appeals to fears, then, will almost invariably appear ridiculous in retrospect. While those arguing in favour of same-sex marriage may believe that I am here granting that its institution will change little of significance, my point is rather that it is very hard to appreciate the magnitude, character, and gravity of the gains and losses that our society has incurred as we live through them. Our marriage culture has already been devastated in many respects, but few of us have a pronounced sense that we are living in the aftermath of a cataclysm. What makes us think that same-sex marriage will be any different?

(Alastair Roberts, Why Arguments Against Gay Marriage Are Usually Bad. H/T Robin Phillips on Facebook, who calls it “the best article about same-sex marriage from a Christian perspective that I have ever read.”) You might enjoy the linked article regarding “manufactured normalcy fields.” It’s an interesting, maybe even a powerful, observation, but I lacked time to read what appeared to be really long.

Roberts does not, in the linked article, advance his own argument against gay marriage. Rather, he does that separately here. But he has a bracing reminder of the inherent appeal of the case against SSM apart from both religion and social stigma:

If it really were the case that the created order were perfectly susceptible to any interpretation apart from theological appeals to the intentions of its author, the fact that human culture and history bears such a consistent testimony on the nature of marriage should be most remarkable to us: even in contexts where sexual relationships between members of the same sex bore no stigma, same-sex marriage would have been unthinkable or considered ridiculous.


One of the most devastating put-downs I’ve read in a long time:

Eric Dondero refuses to speak to his brother. Not on Thanksgiving. Not over the holiday season. Not now, not ever.
The reason?
Mr. Dondero’s brother, Alex, is a Democrat. As such, Mr. Dondero assumes he voted for President Obama.
“Everybody I know that voted for Obama is dead to me,” Mr. Dondero said. “I don’t want to talk to them again. I don’t want to see them again. I won’t even attend their funeral. The nation committed suicide on November 6.”

Now look: You have the right to be a jerk at Thanksgiving and you have a right to throw your heroes overboard because they believe in a flat tax and you have a right to institute a blacklist because they disagree with you on gay marriage. Nobody’s denying that you have the right to do any of these things.

All I’m suggesting is that, by doing these things, you are a sad, terrible person setting himself up for an empty life and destroying the very fabric of our society.

No biggie.

(Sonny Bunch in the Washington Free Beacon. H/T Rod Dreher)


Coincidentally, Alastair Roberts elsewhere laments the impending euthanizing of Google Reader. Leave it to him to draw out some larger significance, not dark and conspiratorial, but … wait a minute! I just felt nostalgia over a change in “the internet!”


If you run Evernote on a Mac, you really need to check out the new BubbleBrowser. Last version struck me as a gimmick, this one as a tool.


Courtesy of Randy Barnett.


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“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.