Thursday, 1/14/16

  1. Old commonplace, new bigotry
  2. Integrity notably absent
  3. “Same God” kerfuffle
  4. Church of What’s Happenin’ Now weighs in on Bowie
  5. Wish I’d written this

1

Indiana’s proposed sexual orientation and gender identity laws, SB 100 and SB 344, are bad policy for reasons I’ve rehearsed before, but I overlooked something even more fundamental. Especially when “gender identity” is added, they treat as irrational bigots those who believe that we are created male and female, and that male and female are objective biological categories. Yes, if you insist that the person before you is male or female rather than some self-imagined ineffable precious snowflake gender, you’re an irrational bigot. Got that? If he wants to be called, say, Caitlyn, you are a thoughtcriminal to call him Bruce. (Yes, “criminal” is hyperbole.)

Thanks to the indefatigable Robert P. George and Ryan Anderson for that most basic observation. If you live in Indiana, you really need to read the whole article.

[J]ust pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted — and you create a nation of lawbreakers — and then you cash in on guilt.

(Ayn Rand)

But I cannot endorse the First Amendment Defense Act at the Federal level. I fully understand that those who hold traditional beliefs about marriage are the ones with targets on their backs now, but FADA on its face is viewpoint-discriminatory. It will be challenged, enjoined, and then overturned. In the process, those who believe the traditional view of marriage will once again be discredited by their haste to find a legislative cure, any legislative cure, for the threats they face.

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it until George or Anderson or somebody deigns to explain how FADA isn’t an unconstitutional stunt. I said that, in essence, four months ago but the argument continues to be “support it because smart people like Ryan T. Anderson support it,” with no acknowledgement, let alone refutation, of points like mine.

I’ve now contacted Anderson via the Heritage Foundation website asking him to address the point.

2

As long as I’m venting my spleen, here’s some people about whose kind C.S. Lewis has some choice words.

The words were, in essence, “you can lose your faith honestly but you cannot honestly continue in Christian ministry after losing your Christian faith.”

Note that these are not freelancers, founders “First Atheist Church of _____.” I’d feel less unkindly if they were. No: they think they’re entitled to continue until they collect their denominational pensions.

Assuming they’ve lost their faith honestly, they’re in a tough position. But isn’t it the same position, substantively, as Protestant pastors who’ve lost their Protestant faith, becoming convinced of Orthodoxy (or Roman Catholicism, for that matter)? Or does the hope that God will provide for them if they act with integrity give those recovering Protestants an edge over the lapsed Protestant?

3

Alan Jacobs, formerly of Wheaton College, gives some worthy thought to the Larycia Hawkins “same God” kerfuffle.

I am rooting for the arrest, conviction and humiliation of the evil person who created a fake “Islamic Center of Wheaton” website filled with fake calls to violent Jihad.

4

[N]ews of the death of David Bowie was the first time I knew that he had been alive. If you find that hard to believe, you must remember that my instinctive taste for “pop music” is encoded by Gilbert and Sullivan and eclipsed by John Phillip Souza. What did surprise me was that the Vatican, just wiping up from its Climate Change light show on the façade of the Basilica of St. Peter’s, plunged into mourning for this man. At least the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi, issued a statement quoting from some lyrics of Mr. Bowie: “Ground Control to Major Tom / Commencing countdown, engines on / Check ignition and may God’s love be with you.” What I found most intimidating, and indeed frightening, was the assumption that others would recognize the reference.

[T]hree years ago Bowie produced an adult-rated video impersonating Jesus in pornographic positions. A statement of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Righteous said: “The switch-hitting, bisexual, senior citizen from London has resurfaced, this time playing a Jesus-like character who hangs out in a nightclub dump frequented by priests, cardinals and half-naked women.” But when Bowie died, L’Osservatore Romano, aching to be the Church of What’s Happening Now, eulogized the genius of Bowie, excusing his “ambiguous image” as one of his “excesses” but then remarking his “personal sobriety, even in his dry, almost thread-like body.”

Young people are embarrassed when their mothers try to be “cool.” These youths may tread wrong paths unadvisedly on occasion, for such is the indiscretion of nascent years, but they want their mothers to be mature and not adolescent. Mother Church appears ridiculous as Adolescent Church, as in the case of the Holy See lamenting David Bowie. The insatiable desire for approval by pop culture is beneath the dignity of the Church as the Mother of Nations.

(Fr. George W. Rutler) For somebody who didn’t know Bowie was alive until he wasn’t any more, Fr. Rutler, a priest apparently not of the Church of What’s Happening Now, got up to speed suspiciously quickly.

5

I wish I’d written this.

(H/T Rod Dreher) Heck, I wish I knew French well enough even to sing it.

* * * * *

“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.