Wednesday 8/31/16

  1. Reno’s cunning translations
  2. The other persecutors
  3. Michael Tracey’s cunning distillation
  4. Dolchstoßlegende
  5. The Great Pander
  6. The dysphoric trans tweens of yore
  7. Our coming Public Accommodation?
  8. Would I stand for the Anthem if …?

1

I’ve noted in the past few days that Trump’s “positions,” such as they are, sound much, much better as translated from Barbarian to English by First Things’ R.R. Reno (who styles himself “anti anti-Trump” rather than “pro-Trump”). Listen here (segment 2). I’ve got to wonder, though, how much is translation and how much is eisegesis.

I have to agree with Reno’s distillation of many people’s rationale for a Trump vote: he doesn’t care about us, whereas Hillary has a long-held grudge against the vast right-wing conspiracy and will be worse than Obama on punishing us (on that, she’s almost as obsessive as The Donald can be). I have to “agree” as in “yes, that seems to be how many are thinking.”

Although Hillary will feed us to the lions for the entertainment of a subset of her supporters, I’m not sure that metaphoric spectacle is sufficient grounds to vote for Trump.

2

Neither is Rod Dreher:

Here’s a new inflection point. This past weekend, I spent time in Nashville at the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s annual meeting. I’m telling you, the Southern Baptists are leading the entire American church in anticipating and responding to the many mounting threats to religious liberty. I sat in a lengthy private session mostly attended by Southern Baptist academics (professors, college administrators). I can’t quote what was said there, but what startled me was how fast orthodox academic institutions are being marginalized and punished without the involvement of the state. On the LGBT issue, there are all kinds of things happening now that don’t involve state coercion, but that stand to have a devastating impact on dissenting Christian colleges and universities. I’m talking about aggressive cultural change, and the private-sector demonizing of dissent on this issue.

It was a good reminder that while it really does matter who holds political power in this country, it is by no means as decisive as we’d like to think it is. Whether or not Trump or Hillary is elected this November, these cultural trends are not going to abate. A Trump presidency might — might — slow things down, but that’s a big, big risk to take.

I quote that not for doom and gloom, but to note the limits of politics and the power of culture. And that’s a power that won’t be counteracted by sending forth legions of unimaginative Christianish culture workers to produce cultural icons that will come across as the propaganda they are.

Have I mentioned lately that corporate America is an enemy of freedom?

3

It is tragic that Donald Trump is pandering to the vile conspiracy-mongering trolls called alt-right. And did I mention that Donald Trump is Vladimir Putin’s Boy Toy and utterly subservient to him?

(Loose paraphrase of Michael Tracey’s critical reading of Hillary)

4

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry has an interesting take on GOP Establishment Trump-supporters.

Dolchstoßlegende. Translated, the word means “stabbed-in-the-back narrative.” It refers to a myth that circulated in 1920s Germany suggesting that Germany would have won World War I militarily, but it was sold out by its politicians.

How does this apply in the context of the 2016 election? While Trump is an unpopular politician, he has a base of adoring fans. Maybe after 2016 his fans will just melt away into the shadows once their orange sun-god has been eclipsed. Or maybe they will solidify into a movement, one that can keep wreaking havoc on the Republican Party — further tarnishing its brand, destroying candidates, and alienating voters for many years to come. And what better weapon to do that with than a “stabbed-in-the-back narrative” that claims Trump’s loss is the result of the back-stabbing Republican machine that refused to give him its support?

The stabbed-in-the-back narrative has become a bit of a meme in Republican circles, as anti-Trump conservative pundit Ben Shapiro notes. And it seems to help explain why figures like Reince Priebus or Paul Ryan, who privately loathe Trump, still support him publicly.

But establishment Republicans who dislike Trump don’t need to pretend anymore.

People will push a stabbed-in-the-back narrative whatever happens …

The stabbed-in-the-back narrative will be employed no matter what. And if something is going to happen no matter what, there’s no use expending energy trying to avoid it …

This is what it boils down to. The fear of the “stabbed-in-the-back narrative” is very strong among establishment Republicans. And yet, there’s no reason to fear it. So Republicans should, well, er, stab Trump in the back (even as he stabs himself repeatedly in the front).

5

Team Obama, continuing the Great Pander on matters sexual (since we who don’t go along are the moral equivalent of Bull Connor, it’s important for valorous Democrats to turn out election day and rebuke us), has gotten itself sued again by a coalition of religious healthcare providers, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (Pro Tip: Don’t bet against the Becket Fund), over a mandate that doctors and hospitals may not “deny or limit treatment” to those seeking sex reassignment procedures, even when these procedures run contrary to the provider’s religious beliefs and medical judgement.

These apparently are the allegations of the complaint. If the mandate overrides medical judgement, as alleged, that would truly be alarming, turning doctors and hospitals from professionals into high-tech burger slingers (“Would you like fries with your prosthetic penis?”).

This sort of thing remains a distressingly effective ploy, as even the Catholic Health Association is apparently willing to go along. The linked article recounts claims that sex-reassignment surgery is moral from a Catholic viewpoint together with (more sympathetically) rebuttals.

6

As pediatric-transition skeptics, we 4thWaveNow parents are routinely drenched with trans activist Kool-Aid. Distilled down to its most concentrated form, this toxic brew consists of the following ingredients:

  • Truly transgender children of all ages must be “affirmed” in their (innate) gender identities, and then helped along the road to eventual medical transition: hormones and surgeries, leading to irreversible physiological changes, including likely sterility.
  • Medical transition must be instigated as early in life as possible, so that the young person will “pass” better as the opposite sex.
  • The only alternative to strict adherence to this “affirmative” approach to parenting and psychological/medical care is: risk the suicide of our children. Parental support for gender “nonconformity” (aka gender defiance) without also endorsing the idea that a child can actually change their sex is inadequate–and tantamount to child abuse.

Because activists insist that there are “truly transgender” children whose gender identity is hard-wired at birth and impervious to change, it must follow that transgender children have always existed …

Throughout human history, there must, therefore, have been children/teens who would rather have died than to carry on living in the “wrong” body.  These children and their families would have thus urgently sought care to fundamentally transform their wrong bodies—else, suicide.

Trans activists must surely believe this; otherwise, they would be implicitly saying that trans children are a modern phenomenon—thus raising the question of whether it is the result of cultural or social factors. Such an admission would be anathema to most activists, who believe that “gender identity” is inborn and not subject to social and cultural influences.

So, if transgender children have existed since the dawn of humanity, and if the only cure (as activists and gender specialists insist) for intense childhood gender dysphoria is medical transition, then there can be no doubt that there would be historical records of such miserable transgender children. Right?

Let’s investigate, then, and go straight back to the ancients of Western civilization: the Greeks and Romans, who not only practiced medicine in a highly sophisticated and methodical manner; they also were painstaking historians, leaving behind meticulous written records of every aspect of their complex civilization ….

(Hippocrates rolls in his grave: In search of the dysphoric trans tweens of yore) I’ll spare you the spoiler alert; there’s plenty of foreshadowing.

7

Amnesty International has capitulated to the blandishments of “research” performed with financing from George Soros: it now supports decriminalization of almost all aspects of prostitution, and refers to prostitutes as “sex workers.”

Others say (and I agree) that this is bad for women, including prostitutes, but flowery rhetoric accompanying misogynist outcomes fit the progressive agenda all too well.

So: If we normalize “sex work,” will sex workers become public accommodations, obliged to take all comers (I almost misspelled that on purpose)? Anyone have a problem with that? Won’t it be “discrimination” if a sex worker declines to fulfill the fantasies of a [graphic and lurid description of a repulsive person wanting to perform extremely degrading acts omitted]?

8

What if the United States government, as well as American culture, began to oppress Christians in a serious, deliberate way? How would I feel about standing up for the National Anthem myself? I would be hard pressed to do so, precisely because the state would be violating the one thing I do hold sacred: the Sacred.

(Rod Dreher, trying to sort out his feeling about Colin Kaepernick, who during our 2-Minute Hate has displaced Tom Brady as America’s most-hated quarterback.

* * * * *

“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.