Friday, 6/26/15

  1. Is “rape culture” a myth?
  2. Laudato si? YMMV
  3. If I was a GOP partisan …
  4. Literary Giants put crackers in context
  5. Will the Law of Merited Impossibility surge today?


[Lauren] Southern sees feminists’ obsession with ‘rape culture’ as a languishing in female weakness. ‘I’ve always thought that the main feminist issue was empowering women, in real terms; telling women to go out there, get the job, do what you want, not run around screaming “trigger warning” and crying.’ Her assessment of contemporary feminism is astute. Following her visit to the rally in Vancouver, Southern received a barrage of messages from self-proclaimed radical feminists who told her ‘they were vomiting all night because they were so triggered’ by what she had done. That’s right, these women felt physically sick just because someone disagreed with them.

(Ella Whelan at Spiked)


Two apparently Protestant pieces at The Federalist against Laudato Si, respectively vitriolic or theologically tendentious, contrast with the respect afforded at Crisis (Catholic) and by Rod Dreher (Orthodox). I guess the eschaton is not yet immanent.

The tendentious one is an extended lament that the Pope isn’t a Calvinist. It’s always helpful to be reminded that the message “to be deep in history is to cease being Protestant” has not really gotten out yet.

But the vitriolic one is especially rich in irony as the author starts by tacitly accuses the Pope of subverting Christianity to the spirit of the age before defending unchecked CO2 emissions and trying to change the subject to ISIS.

As@Chateaubriand Tweeted, “I think they’re very troubled by the possibility some might realize right-liberalism isn’t actually conservative.”


If I was a Republican partisan, I’d be going nuts over the second dubious Supreme Court opinion upholding Obamacare against solid challenges.

As it is, I’m shaking my head wondering how these precedents (an unconstitutional penalty is a constitutional tax though the administration denies it’s a tax; an insurance exchange operated by the feds is operated by a state) will be applied in the future, and I’m a little irritated that the Left-liberal pundits who scoffed at the challenges by Right-liberals have been vindicated. All that’s solid melts into air.

If I was a Republican partisan, I’d also probably be going nuts over the GOP Presidential field so far – although I’d need to be a batshit-crazy warmonger to be a Republican partisan these day, which means I’d be happy as a clam (however happy that is) with this field except for Rand Paul. Hypotheticals are just too complicated.

The GOP field is so bad that even the recent Onion profiles are lame.

Sad to say, I accept all this with some degree of equanimity because I’m convinced that we’re simply, totally, screwed – caught between sincere libertines and insincere moralists who all love dehumanizing crony capitalism and are content to let Too Big To Fail be Too Big To Fail.

But count on G.K. Chesterton to brighten my day with a good aphorism for our dilemma: “man is only sad because he is not a beast, but a broken god.”


Other day-brighteners via Peter Leithart are two southern writers of 50 years ago, reflecting with unusual clarity, on the occasion of the Civil War Centennial, about the purported heirs of the noble lost cause:

Robert Penn Warren wrote that “any common lyncher becomes a defender of the southern tradition, and any rabble-rouser the gallant leader of a thin gray line of heroes.” Warren believed that (in [Charles Wilson] Reagan’s words) “the Confederates offered the lesson that human dignity and grandeur are possible, even amid human weakness and vice, but the actions of contemporary southern leaders were a debasement of the Southerner’s history, ‘with all that was noble, courageous, and justifying bleached out, drained away’” …

Walker Percy wrote of the similar degradation of the Southern heritage: “When Less and the Army of Northern Virginia laid down the Confederate flag in 1865, no flag had ever been defended by better men. But when the same flag is picked up by men like Ross Barnett and Jimmy Davis, nothing remains but to make panties and pillowcases with it” ….

Sounds about right. What fools we mortals be, trying to put on a persona in our striving for immortality.


The Supreme Court is widely expected to issue its ruling in the same-sex marriage case today, and nearly everybody expects the Court to have discovered a constitutional right to gay marriage hiding under a penumbra somewhere. You might think this decisive victory will settle a major battle in the culture war. You’re wrong. The revolution is just getting started.

For a few years now, I have used a concept I’ve dubbed the Law of Merited Impossibility to characterize the doublespeak many LGBT activists and their allies have used to advance the cause. Here’s the Law: It will never happen, and when it does, you bigots will deserve it.

The Law is about bait-and-switch rhetoric among LGBT activists and their allies. It has to do with assurances they give to anxious skeptics of this or that gay-rights claim, telling the fraidy cats to relax, the worst-case scenario will never happen. And then when the very thing the supposed paranoids happens, the activists say that haters had it coming.

(Rod Dreher)

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.