Saturday, 8/8/14

  1. A legend in his own mind
  2. Mild regrets for a Thursday omission
  3. Ratzinger on Objectivity
  4. Ronda Rousey: not just a pretty face
  5. Is this coalition dead?


Gay activists frighten each other telling stories about the monsters prowling about in the dark, waiting down lonely paths, behind bushes and trees, ready to pounce, to slay them and then to gnaw on their bones.

Chief among the midnight monsters they whisper about is a man named Scott Lively. You’ve never heard of Scott Lively …

(Austin Ruse) Well, actually, I have heard of Scott Lively. I thought he sounded pretty obsessive and unsavory, and although I thought the stories were probably exaggerated, I believed the core of them.

The more fool I. Ruse’s article is titled “Anatomy of a Mythical Boogeyman.” The mythmaker is, pretty much, Scott Lively himself, with his willing gay enablers and abetters, who live in a sort of guarded symbiosis:

The charge against Lively—and something he has abetted them in thinking—is that he practically single-handedly made the Russian people anti-gay and convinced Putin’s regime to make it illegal to be gay in Russia.

Scott Lively apparently is an ordained minister, like Al Sharpton, though, like Sharpton, it isn’t entirely clear whether he, in fact, pastors. But that is irrelevant when you’re going for the trifecta; anti-gay, Christian, pastor.

Blake writes that from 2002 through 2009 Lively made several trips to Uganda and lectured widely about the homosexual threat coming from the West …

It is odd to me that the gays make such a big deal about Lively because I have been active in international pro-family circles for going on twenty years and I had barely heard of him. I had never met him until he showed up at the Moscow planning meeting and I have never seen him since.

But, really it is not so odd.

The left desperately needs monsters on the right to keep the money flowing so they have found Lively and, with his happy cooperation, inflated him into a puppet-master able to bend whole countries to his will.

The reality on the ground is much more interesting than the cartoon they have written for Scott Lively. Take Uganda. The Ugandan people did not need Scott Lively to be hostile to homosexuality. They are a traditional people with among the strongest attachments to family in the world. Moreover, 84 percent of Ugandans are Christians with Catholics making up 41 percent. What’s more, every June 3 the universal Church celebrates a feast day for St. Charles Lwanga and companions. Lwanga and his friends were pages to the Ugandan King who demanded sex with them. The young men refused and were killed.

Gay activists are not really afraid of Scott Lively. They know he’s had little to no effect overseas. He is their invention, a vehicle to keep their base riled up and the direct mail checks flowing.

That pretty well flips the stories I read from February and June (when I encountered an older story) of last year. These were not from gay sources, but from their willing megaphones.

Don’t overlook the bit about Uganda’s lack of any need for Scott Lively, bearer of the White Man’s Burden (if only in his own mind), to enlighten them about appropriate and inappropriate uses of the place where the sun don’t shine.


Maybe I should have watched Thursday’s debate, because it took them a while to get to the bloodlust and chicken-hawkery I just simply could not bear.


Nothing alienates me more from the Republican Party than hearing Republicans talk about war and foreign policy.

(Rod Dreher, Liveblogging the August 6 GOP debate) Amen, Brother Rod! Preach it!

I would like to think that this rash talk is just a manifestation of Obama Derangement Syndrome and that it would go away if the blow-hard uttering it was actually elected.

On the other hand, I have trouble voting for someone showing signs of derangement in hopes that election will calm him down.

Dreher also had an interesting projection about Cruz:

I was startled by Cruz. I cannot abide the man as a politician, but I think he’s going to go far. When Trump blows up, his people are going to default to Cruz, I think.


Whatever else you may say about Cruz, the man is a true believer. He has little chance of winning the nomination, because he’s shown himself to be too reckless. But he’s going to drag the field far to the right, if they’re not careful.


We know today that in a physical experiment the observer himself enters into the experiment and only by doing so can arrive at a physical experience. This means that there is no such thing as pure objectivity even in physics, that even here the result of the experiment, nature’s answer, depends on the question put to it. In the answer there is always a bit of the question and a bit of the questioner himself; it reflects not only nature in itself, in its pure objectivity, but also gives back something of man, of what is characteristically ours, a bit of the human subject. This too, mutatis mutandis, is true of the question of God ….

(From Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger Introduction to Christianity via Ken Myers)


I’m not a fan of MMA, even though a member of my family excels at it. I’m less a fan of women’s MMA. But today’s star, Ronda Rousey, has more going for her than ring dominance:

There is …  another layer to this story.

Fallon Fox is a 38 transgendered fighter who once served in the Navy. As a man. Now (s)he fights as a woman and she wants a piece of Ronda Rousey. So far Rousey has declined, and her reasons mirror those she used in refusing to fight a man; albeit they are a bit more colorfully expressed:

 “She can try hormones, chop her pecker off, but it’s still the same bone structure a man has,” Rousey said. “It’s an advantage. I don’t think it’s fair.”

In other words, biology matters. A man does not become a woman simply by choosing to do so.

Which brings us to Caitlyn Jenner, winner of ESPN’s prestigious Arthur Ashe Award for Courage earlier this year …

Ronda Rousey and most of the rest of us know something that once seemed obvious to all: Hormone therapy, plastic surgery, new wardrobe, new mannerisms—these are all superficial. There are limits to what our wills can impose upon the structure of nature. We can seek to conform our will to the given limits of biology or we can attempt to assert our will in the face of obvious facts. That our society seems so anxious to celebrate and normalize what is so clearly a sad and painful life says far more about the unmoored state of our thinking than it does about Jenner’s attempt to find happiness on his own terms.

(Mark T. Mitchell)


It is widely recognized that the model of Christian engagement represented by the late Richard John Neuhaus, Chuck Colson, and their Evangelicals and Catholics Together circle — the only example of culturally and politically engaged religious conservatism I’ve ever known — is dead. But we don’t know what comes next. I could be wrong, but I think I saw what’s coming next. Russell Moore is the closest thing we have to a new Richard John Neuhaus, and a very different Chuck Colson.

(Rod Dreher) I’d like to be hopeful. Maybe I’ll come around. And I’m something of a fan of Russell Moore, though not quite so far into the tank as Rod seems to be. He is a change from Richard Land, who was (Ahem!) a member of a Board of Which I was Chairman. (Trivia question: What was the organization?)

But I don’t think I recognize that the Neuhaus/Colson/ECT model of Christian engagement is dead.

  • Falwell? Yes.
  • Moral Majority? Yes.
  • Pat Robertson? Maranatha!

But Neuhaus/Colson/ECT seemed to me to be the moderates, the ones who could sustain an argument and not just demagogue on things.

Dead? These? Say it ain’t so!

* * * * *

“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.