Zealots vs. the Zealous

 

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Caring deeply, and advocating strongly, for a cause can be admirable or disreputable. “Zealot” has a predominantly negative connotation, with synonyms like: fanatic, extremist, and militant. “Zealous,” on the other hand, is more positive than negative, with synonyms like: ardent, avid, dedicated, and earnest, overbalancing words like fanatical, and rabid. Why is this? We recognize that moral and factual context matters.

Not every cause is noble, and the more marginal the moral valuation, the less admirable is strong advocacy for that cause. Believers in unrestricted abortion rights cheer on the Senate Democrats, and excuse “Destroying a Man’s Life,” as zealous defense of a woman’s right to choose. Dr. Kermit Gosnell believes, to this day, in abortion through the point of infanticide. Read about him, or watch his portrayal on screen, and you see an abortion zealot. Think through the political, cultural, and media efforts to protect Roe v. Wade against any chance of limitation, let alone being overturned. Are they zealots or zealous defenders?

Turn it around. Consider Senator Lindsey Graham’s sudden passion in defense of Judge Kavanaugh, and Graham’s outrage at the Democrats’ conduct. Think about him calling out any Republican, who fails to vote to confirm Kavanaugh, as complicit in the smear. Watch as he seeks every angle to achieve his desired results, including advocating the immediate re-nomination of Kavanaugh, should he lose this week, and making the midterms a campaign to vindicate Kavanaugh.

Has Senator Lindsey Graham become a zealot, or is he zealous for a noble cause? Note that Senator Heitkamp went from 4 to 10 points behind her Republican opponent, after Democrats launched their smear campaign against Judge Kavanaugh. Is Senator Jeff Flake right in his moral moderation, equivalency, and claims that there is too much heat, too much incivility, too many zealots, in our politics? Or is he lukewarm, bloodless, lacking in moral clarity that would lead to zealous advocacy of just causes and vigorous opposition to bad policy and tactics?

Jeff Flake used the Goldwater Institute, in Arizona, as his launch pad for his political career. Was Senator Barry Goldwater a zealot, or a zealous advocate for liberty?

Anyone who joins us in all sincerity, we welcome. Those who do not care for our cause, we don’t expect to enter our ranks in any case. And let our Republicanism, so focused and so dedicated, not be made fuzzy and futile by unthinking and stupid labels.

I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

Compare this to Jeff Flake’s pronouncement on 2 October 2018:

During a joint appearance with friend and colleague Chris Coons (D-DE) at The Atlantic Festival in Washington, D.C., Flake said he was “very troubled” by the tone of Kavanaugh’s lengthy, outraged opening statement.

“I hope I would sound that indignant if I was unjustly maligned,” he said, “but then it went on.”

“And the interaction with the members was sharp and partisan and that concerns me,” Flake continued.

While he was willing to give Kavanaugh “a little leeway” based on “what he’s been through,” he said, “on the other hand, we can’t have this on the court, we simply can’t.”

Is this real moderation, or militant moderation? Is it zealousness for civility, or the workings of a special sort of zealot? We may be able to render an informed judgment, by the end of the current week, as the Senate Majority leadership slammed the door on further delay. Apparently, they now see voters supporting Kavanaugh’s confirmation with sufficient zeal to counteract the zealotry of the #Resistance.

Exit question: This is not the first, nor the second post in which I have engaged the topics of Kavanaugh and Flake, so, am I . . .

Zealot or zealous?

There are 35 comments.

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  1. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Zealous for Truth and Justice

    • #1
  2. Mim526 Member
    Mim526
    @Mim526

    Clifford A. Brown:

    Exit question: This is not the first, nor the second post in which I have engaged the topics of Kavanaugh and Flake, so, am I . . .

    Zealot or zealous?

    Well if you are a zealot, that makes two of us.  When you write a post entitled “Benedict Flake” like I did recently there’s not much room for flowery prose :-)

    I’ll allow a touch militant for myself, but steer clear of fanatic or extremist, so we’ll go with zealous and call it good.  Flake insisting it’s a partisan problem is like he wants us all to meet for high tea and make nice while seemingly oblivious that Dems and their media allies have strafed the nomination tea cart, are lobbing grenades at every non-Leftist in the room brave enough to object, and have a bead locked onto the Constitution.

    Umm, with that much ordnance in a paragraph maybe I better make that more than a touch militant.

    Confirm Kavanaugh, full stop.  #KavanaughStrong

    • #2
  3. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    I don’t think Trump should re-nominate Kavanaugh.  I would suggest Ann Coulter.

    “Didn’t like my last nominee?  Here, hold my beer.”

    • #3
  4. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Clifford A. Brown:

    Exit question: This is not the first, nor the second post in which I have engaged the topics of Kavanaugh and Flake, so, am I . . .

    Zealot or zealous?

    Zealous, and Cod bless you for it.


    This conversation is an entry in our Group Writing Series under October’s theme of Zeal. If you are zealous, or even a zealot, about a subject, why not tell us about it? This is your chance to bring up topics seldom covered on Ricochet. Or to rehash a topic one more time. Let your enthusiasms run away with you and sign up today.

    • #4
  5. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    I don’t think Trump should re-nominate Kavanaugh. I would suggest Ann Coulter.

    “Didn’t like my last nominee? Here, hold my beer.”

    I get the sentiment. I was talking a week ago about re-nomination, and commitment to an immediate YES vote, as a screening criterion President Trump should apply at every Senate campaign rally. Thrilled to see a serious Senator put this in play.

    It is the only way to cleanse the honor of the Senate, and redeem the Kavanaugh family name, if Jeff! succeeded in torpedoing the current nomination. Imagine the horror infusing the other Republican senator(s) who would have had to join in the betrayal, watching their career effectively end Election night.

    • #5
  6. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown:

    Exit question: This is not the first, nor the second post in which I have engaged the topics of Kavanaugh and Flake, so, am I . . .

    Zealot or zealous?

    Zealous, and Cod bless you for it.


    This conversation is an entry in our Group Writing Series under October’s theme of Zeal. If you are zealous, or even a zealot, about a subject, why not tell us about it? This is your chance to bring up topics seldom covered on Ricochet. Or to rehash a topic one more time. Let your enthusiasms run away with you and sign up today.

    Cod? Holy Mackerel!

    • #6
  7. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    Cod? Holy Mackerel!

    Indeed.

    • #7
  8. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    “We recognize that moral and factual context matters.”

    Indeed. The proper answer lies in the nobleness of the cause. If a cause is noble …

    “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

    This cause is noble. It is about so much more than one man. It is about the Constitution and Country.

    The dems are complete, lying hypocritical frauds and any enabler of that is complicit. #ConfirmJusticeKavanaugh

    • #8
  9. She Member
    She
    @She

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown:

    Exit question: This is not the first, nor the second post in which I have engaged the topics of Kavanaugh and Flake, so, am I . . .

    Zealot or zealous?

    Zealous, and Cod bless you for it.


    This conversation is an entry in our Group Writing Series under October’s theme of Zeal. If you are zealous, or even a zealot, about a subject, why not tell us about it? This is your chance to bring up topics seldom covered on Ricochet. Or to rehash a topic one more time. Let your enthusiasms run away with you and sign up today.

    Cod? Holy Mackerel!

    He’s just trying to Skate under the radar.  Because he doesn’t want to be accused of Bass motivations.  As for your question regarding “zealot” or “zealous”  (I suppose we might start by embracing the power of “and”),  I’m not sure it matters.  We should probably not Flounder around any more, we should Mullet over, we should Drum up some support, no longer Perch with one foot in either camp, stop apologizing for White Grunts, quit Carp-ing, move on from one Crappie excuse after another, call for some heads on a Pike, and just get on with it.  Wahoo!

    • #9
  10. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    She (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown:

    Exit question: This is not the first, nor the second post in which I have engaged the topics of Kavanaugh and Flake, so, am I . . .

    Zealot or zealous?

    Zealous, and Cod bless you for it.


    This conversation is an entry in our Group Writing Series under October’s theme of Zeal. If you are zealous, or even a zealot, about a subject, why not tell us about it? This is your chance to bring up topics seldom covered on Ricochet. Or to rehash a topic one more time. Let your enthusiasms run away with you and sign up today.

    Cod? Holy Mackerel!

    He’s just trying to Skate under the radar. Because he doesn’t want to be accused of Bass motivations. As for your question regarding “zealot” or “zealous” (I suppose we might start by embracing the power of “and”), I’m not sure it matters. We should probably not Flounder around any more, we should Mullet over, we should Drum up some support, no longer Perch with one foot in either camp, stop apologizing for White Grunts, quit Carp-ing, move on from one Crappie excuse after another, call for some heads on a Pike, and just get on with it. Wahoo!

    I find your whole argument fishy.

    • #10
  11. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown:

    Exit question: This is not the first, nor the second post in which I have engaged the topics of Kavanaugh and Flake, so, am I . . .

    Zealot or zealous?

    Zealous, and Cod bless you for it.


    This conversation is an entry in our Group Writing Series under October’s theme of Zeal. If you are zealous, or even a zealot, about a subject, why not tell us about it? This is your chance to bring up topics seldom covered on Ricochet. Or to rehash a topic one more time. Let your enthusiasms run away with you and sign up today.

    Cod? Holy Mackerel!

    He’s just trying to Skate under the radar. Because he doesn’t want to be accused of Bass motivations. As for your question regarding “zealot” or “zealous” (I suppose we might start by embracing the power of “and”), I’m not sure it matters. We should probably not Flounder around any more, we should Mullet over, we should Drum up some support, no longer Perch with one foot in either camp, stop apologizing for White Grunts, quit Carp-ing, move on from one Crappie excuse after another, call for some heads on a Pike, and just get on with it. Wahoo!

    I find your whole argument fishy.

     

    • #11
  12. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    I don’t think Trump should re-nominate Kavanaugh. I would suggest Ann Coulter.

    “Didn’t like my last nominee? Here, hold my beer.”

    I couldn’t stop the vision of your proposal passing through my mind.  I don’t agree, but boy, would that be fun!

    • #12
  13. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    Cod? Holy Mackerel!

    That’d be Sacred Cod.

    • #13
  14. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    I don’t think Trump should re-nominate Kavanaugh. I would suggest Ann Coulter.

    “Didn’t like my last nominee? Here, hold my beer.”

    I couldn’t stop the vision of your proposal passing through my mind. I don’t agree, but boy, would that be fun!

    Wait’ll Grassley announces they won’t be bothering with any hearings because all the Democrats publicly stated their opposition the same day she was announced.

    • #14
  15. She Member
    She
    @She

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Cod? Holy Mackerel!

    He’s just trying to Skate under the radar. Because he doesn’t want to be accused of Bass motivations. As for your question regarding “zealot” or “zealous” (I suppose we might start by embracing the power of “and”), I’m not sure it matters. We should probably not Flounder around any more, we should Mullet over, we should Drum up some support, no longer Perch with one foot in either camp, stop apologizing for White Grunts, quit Carp-ing, move on from one Crappie excuse after another, call for some heads on a Pike, and just get on with it. Wahoo!

    I find your whole argument fishy.

    I’ve specialized in such, almost all my life:

    • #15
  16. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Jeff Flake (D-Zimbabwe):

    “I hope I would sound that indignant if I was unjustly maligned,” he said, “but then it went on.”

    “And the interaction with the members was sharp and partisan and that concerns me,” Flake continued.

    I missed this statement from Flake. This is the Dem narrative now. After realizing their accusations of sexual assault simply don’t have any basis in reality, they’ve switched to tone policing. “My goodness! We can’t have someone angry on the Supreme Court?!”

    One would be excused for thinking that the false accusation was bait to get Judge Kavanaugh to respond angrily so that they could now reject him on being “too emotional” or something.

     

    • #16
  17. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    It turns out that Jeff Flake’s new BFF, Senator Coons, has violated the duo’s supposed principles, moderation, or whatever. Senator Grassley brings the pain:

    The purpose of this allegations is plain: to smear Judge Kavanaugh’s name by associating him with this party’s hosts. This guilt-by-association tactic is the basest form of political attack and deserves unqualified condemnation.

    • #17
  18. Chuckles Thatcher
    Chuckles
    @Chuckles

    I can’t imagine anybody with any knowledge of political history being surprised by current Dem behavior.

    The OP highlighted Goldwater’s “extremism in the defense of liberty” statement:  I well remember how he was absolutely pilloried at the time for such a statement.  It helped defeat him in his Presidential campaign, because after all he’s a zealot.

    Indeed, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

    • #18
  19. Chuckles Thatcher
    Chuckles
    @Chuckles

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    I don’t think Trump should re-nominate Kavanaugh. I would suggest Ann Coulter.

    “Didn’t like my last nominee? Here, hold my beer.”

    Huh.  Either way.  

    I have been asking myself if there was anybody Trump could possibly endorse that a fan of Justice Thomas might unreservedly endorse and the Democrats vote to confirm.  

    • #19
  20. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    “I don’t think Trump should re-nominate Kavanaugh. I would suggest Ann Coulter.”

    I agree with the sentiment but not quite the action.  I believe someone like Amy Barrett – a real conservative with great credentials who would also promote pro-choice sentiment on the court would be a more effective stick poked in the Dem’s eye.  But in any case, make them pay. 

    • #20
  21. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Unsk (View Comment):

    “I don’t think Trump should re-nominate Kavanaugh. I would suggest Ann Coulter.”

    I agree with the sentiment but not quite the action. I believe someone like Amy Barrett – a real conservative with great credentials who would also promote pro-choice sentiment on the court would be a more effective stick poked in the Dem’s eye. But in any case, make them pay.

    ACB has five(?) kids to protect. She’s going to get a heap of abuse for the “dogma” living strong within her. I wouldn’t blame her for withdrawing her name from consideration.

    Coulter, on the other hand… She’s already got the grenade between her teeth. She’s just waiting for the platform from which to launch it.

    • #21
  22. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Unsk (View Comment):

    “I don’t think Trump should re-nominate Kavanaugh. I would suggest Ann Coulter.”

    I agree with the sentiment but not quite the action. I believe someone like Amy Barrett – a real conservative with great credentials who would also promote pro-choice sentiment on the court would be a more effective stick poked in the Dem’s eye. But in any case, make them pay.

    ACB has five(?) kids to protect. She’s going to get a heap of abuse for the “dogma” living strong within her. I wouldn’t blame her for withdrawing her name from consideration.

    Coulter, on the other hand… She’s already got the grenade between her teeth. She’s just waiting for the platform from which to launch it.

    Coulter is not on the list. She is not on the list because she is a fine provocateur, but shows no evidence of serious constitutionalist judicial competence.

    • #22
  23. Arthur Beare Member
    Arthur Beare
    @ArthurBeare

    I thought this very serious post was about to be hijacked by fish jokes.  The Ricochet (mostly) friendly community is very nice, but …sheesh.   

    • #23
  24. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    Coulter is not on the list. She is not on the list because she is a fine provocateur, but shows no evidence of serious Constitutionalist judicial competence.

    True, but she’s what we deserve after letting things get the way they have.

    • #24
  25. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Arthur Beare (View Comment):

    I thought this very serious post was about to be hijacked by fish jokes. The Ricochet (mostly) friendly community is very nice, but …sheesh.

    Sometimes we do it just for the halibut.

    • #25
  26. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Arthur Beare (View Comment):

    I thought this very serious post was about to be hijacked by fish jokes. The Ricochet (mostly) friendly community is very nice, but …sheesh.

    Sometimes we do it just for the halibut.

    I’d say the comment thread has been constructive — net net. A bit of levity helps in the current political storm, so long as R> crew doesn’t go overboard in their zeal for puns.

    • #26
  27. Sweezle Member
    Sweezle
    @Sweezle

    Senator Lindsey Graham was a hero in my opinion. Flake is a fool.

    • #27
  28. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Arthur Beare (View Comment):

    I thought this very serious post was about to be hijacked by fish jokes. The Ricochet (mostly) friendly community is very nice, but …sheesh.

    Sometimes we do it just for the halibut.

    I’d say the comment thread has been constructive — net net. A bit of levity helps in the current political storm, so long as R> crew doesn’t go overboard in their zeal for puns.

    We always have a whale of a good time with the puns though.

    • #28
  29. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Sweezle (View Comment):

    Senator Lindsey Graham was a hero in my opinion. Flake is a fool.

    So, zealot, zealous, or neither?

    • #29
  30. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Arthur Beare (View Comment):

    I thought this very serious post was about to be hijacked by fish jokes. The Ricochet (mostly) friendly community is very nice, but …sheesh.

    Sometimes we do it just for the halibut.

    I’d say the comment thread has been constructive — net net. A bit of levity helps in the current political storm, so long as R> crew doesn’t go overboard in their zeal for puns.

    We always have a whale of a good time with the puns though.

    Drifting towards zealotry?

    • #30
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