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I am a traditionalist and I seem to find myself in a tiny minority. Sometimes it feels like a minority of one, though I know that there must be a few others who share my views.
There has been a tremendous Leftward shift in many public attitudes over the past 20 years or so, with homosexuality being one of the most notable changes. I have been shocked and mystified by this shift. Within my adult lifetime, we’ve gone from widespread condemnation of homosexuality itself to widespread condemnation of opposition to homosexuality. This seems to have happened even on the political Right, among people who consider themselves conservatives, including many of you, dear readers.
This shift in attitude has coincided with a widespread campaign of propaganda, misrepresentations, vilification, and slander. The campaign has been carried out by the Wokeist methods of “cancel” culture, which so many of you appear to condemn. Yet many of you seem to have accepted the radical Leftist conclusion on this issue. And, strangely, you still seem to consider yourselves conservatives. What, precisely, do you think that you are conserving? Low capital gains tax rates?
My first complaint, frankly, is about the public discussion on this issue. This is supposed to be a “center-right” website. I listen to a great many of the podcasts. Perhaps I am forgetting someone, but I cannot think of one single podcast at this website that advocates the traditional moral view of homosexuality. You know, that it’s a bad thing, and should not be supported in the law in any way, and certainly not elevated to a status equal with the traditional family: one man, one woman. Can you name any single Ricochet podcast host who takes this position?
Even if you can think of one, or a handful, isn’t it strange that the consensus position on this issue is so entirely one-sided?
In my case, I thought homosexuality was a bad thing even back when I was an atheist. Now, as a follower of Jesus, I have His clear teaching on this point, particularly as applied to marriage:
Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” [Matthew 19:3-6.]
In this statement, by the way, Jesus was quoting Genesis, so this is the Jewish teaching as well. Recognition of homosexuality as a bad thing has been the near-universal teaching of Christianity for 2,000 years, and of Judaism for around 3,500 years and I understand that Muslims agree about this point, as well.
I realize that not everyone shares my Christian faith, but doesn’t it strike you as strange that, at a supposedly conservative website, I can’t think of one single podcaster or one single contributor who holds to this traditional view?
Eric Weinstein has two interesting ideas applicable here. He posits the existence of the DISC (Distributed Information Suppression Complex) and the GIN (Gated Institutional Narrative). He describes the DISC as a loosely coupled emergent structure, not under central control, that suppresses ideas and protects institutions from individuals who have valid and reasonable points. (Further explanation here.) The GIN is a sociological method whereby the media and political classes misrepresents or, perhaps more often, omits stories and viewpoints that do not fit the preferred narrative. (Further explanation here.)
Many of you may not know Eric Weinstein or his brother, Bret Weinstein, they’re certainly no conservatives. If you think that I am some closed-minded troglodyte, you should realize that I listen to them quite regularly, along with other non-traditional and even Left-leaning thinkers (among them Douglas Murray, Jordan Peterson, and Jonathan Haidt; and if you think that any of them are conservatives, then maybe you’re not actually very conservative).
Back to my main point: I get the impression that traditional Protestant conservatives are almost nowhere to be found, here at a supposedly conservative website. According to the 2016 exit polls (here), Protestants were the largest single religious group — 52% of the electorate — and they voted for Trump over Clinton 56% to 39%. Breaking it down further, the biggest religious sub-group was “white born-again or evangelical Christians,” 26% of the electorate, supporting Trump 80%-16%. Catholics were the next largest group, 23% of the electorate, narrowly supporting Trump (50%-46%).
If you do the math, votes for Trump from white evangelicals, people like me, were 21% of all votes cast. Protestant votes for Trump were about 30% of all votes cast. The President carried about 46% of the popular vote; so about 2/3 of his support was from Protestants, and almost half of his support was from white evangelicals.
This wasn’t a Trump thing, by the way. According to the 2012 exit polls (here), white evangelicals were 26% of the electorate in 2012 as well, and supported Romney 78%-21%.
So why can I not think of one single podcaster or contributor at Ricochet in this demographic? I mean, how can folks like me simultaneously be the largest group in the Republican electorate and an apparently endangered species?
OK, I know, David French…. but give me a break. He was on the pro-SSM side, for crying out loud.
Back to homosexuality. I reject the idea that the debate is over. Peter Hitchens, the public intellectual who is probably most closely aligned with my own views, called the SSM debate a “pointless Stalingrad.” His attitude is that the battle for Christian civilization was lost with no-fault divorce. But he’s a Brit, and I’m an American. I have not yet begun to fight.
While I’m not terribly fond of an analogy that places me in the position of the Red Army, I note that Stalingrad was not pointless. Stalingrad was the turning point. There could be no Kursk, no driving the Nazis out of the Motherland, no fall of Berlin unless the enemy was stopped at Stalingrad. You have to fight on the ground on which you find your enemy.
It is utterly bizarre to me that I seem to be almost alone in this position. This has been the official Republican Party platform since at least 1992. A review is in order.
1992 Republican Party Platform (here):
The culture of our Nation has traditionally supported those pillars on which civilized society is built: personal responsibility, morality, and the family. Today, however, these pillars are under assault. Elements within the media, the entertainment industry, academia, and the Democrat Party are waging a guerrilla war against American values. They deny personal responsibility, disparage traditional morality, denigrate religion, and promote hostility toward the family’s way of life. Children, the members of our society most vulnerable to cultural influences, are barraged with violence and promiscuity, encouraging reckless and irresponsible behavior.
. . .
We also stand united with those private organizations, such as the Boy Scouts of America, who are defending decency in fulfillment of their own moral responsibilities. We reject the irresponsible position of those corporations that have cut off contributions to such organizations because of their courageous stand for family values. Moreover, we oppose efforts by the Democrat Party to include sexual preference as a protected minority receiving preferential status under civil rights statutes at the federal, State, and local level.
1996 Republican Party Platform (here):
We are the party of the American family, educating children, caring for the sick, learning from the elderly, and helping the less fortunate. We believe that strengthening family life is the best way to improve the quality of life for everyone.
Families foster the virtues that make a free society strong. We rely on the home and its supportive institutions to instill honesty, self-discipline, mutual respect and the other virtues that sustain democracy. . . .
This is the clearest distinction between Republicans and Clinton Democrats: We believe the family is the core institution of our society. Bill Clinton thinks government should hold that place.
. . .
Our agenda for more secure families runs throughout this platform. Here we take special notice of the way congressional Republicans have advanced adoption assistance, promoted foster care reform, and fought the marriage penalty in the tax code. . . . They passed the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines “marriage” for purposes of federal law as the legal union of one man and one woman and prevents federal judges and bureaucrats from forcing states to recognize other living arrangements as “marriages.”
2000 Republican Party Platform (here):
We support the traditional definition of “marriage” as the legal union of one man and one woman, and we believe that federal judges and bureaucrats should not force states to recognize other living arrangements as marriages. We rely on the home, as did the founders of the American Republic, to instill the virtues that sustain democracy itself. That belief led Congress to enact the Defense of Marriage Act, which a Republican Department of Justice will energetically defend in the courts. For the same reason, we do not believe sexual preference should be given special legal protection or standing in law.
2004 Republican Party Platform (here):
We strongly support President Bush’s call for a Constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage, and we believe that neither federal nor state judges nor bureaucrats should force states to recognize other living arrangements as equivalent to marriage. We believe, and the social science confirms, that the well-being of children is best accomplished in the environment of the home, nurtured by their mother and father anchored by the bonds of marriage. We further believe that legal recognition and the accompanying benefits afforded couples should be preserved for that unique and special union of one man and one woman which has historically been called marriage.
After more than two centuries of American jurisprudence, and millennia of human experience, a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization, the union of a man and a woman in marriage. Attempts to redefine marriage in a single state or city could have serious consequences throughout the country, and anything less than a Constitutional amendment, passed by the Congress and ratified by the states, is vulnerable to being overturned by activist judges. On a matter of such importance, the voice of the people must be heard. The Constitutional amendment process guarantees that the final decision will rest with the American people and their elected representatives. President Bush will also vigorously defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which was supported by both parties and passed by 85 votes in the Senate. This common sense law reaffirms the right of states not to recognize same-sex marriages licensed in other states.
2008 Republican Party Platform (here):
Republicans recognize the importance of having in the home a father and a mother who are married. The two-parent family still provides the best environment of stability, discipline, responsibility, and character. Children in homes without fathers are more likely to commit a crime, drop out of school, become violent, become teen parents, use illegal drugs, become mired in poverty, or have emotional or behavioral problems. We support the courageous efforts of single-parent families to provide a stable home for their children. Children are our nation’s most precious resource. We also salute and support the efforts of foster and adoptive families.
Republicans have been at the forefront of protecting traditional marriage laws, both in the states and in Congress. A Republican Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act, affirming the right of states not to recognize same-sex “marriages” licensed in other states. Unbelievably, the Democratic Party has now pledged to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which would subject every state to the redefinition of marriage by a judge without ever allowing the people to vote on the matter. We also urge Congress to use its Article III, Section 2 power to prevent activist federal judges from imposing upon the rest of the nation the judicial activism in Massachusetts and California. We also encourage states to review their marriage and divorce laws in order to strengthen marriage.
2012 Republican Party Platform (here):
The institution of marriage is the foundation of civil society. Its success as an institution will determine our success as a nation. It has been proven by both experience and endless social science studies that traditional marriage is best for children. Children raised in intact married families are more likely to attend college, are physically and emotionally healthier, are less likely to use drugs or alcohol, engage in crime, or get pregnant outside of marriage. The success of marriage directly impacts the economic well-being of individuals. Furthermore, the future of marriage affects freedom. The lack of family formation not only leads to more government costs, but also to more government control over the lives of its citizens in all aspects. We recognize and honor the courageous efforts of those who bear the many burdens of parenting alone, even as we believe that marriage, the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage.
2016 Republican Party Platform (here):
Traditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society and has for millennia been entrusted with rearing children and instilling cultural values. We condemn the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor, which wrongly removed the ability of Congress to define marriage policy in federal law. We also condemn the Supreme Court’s lawless ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which in the words of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, was a “judicial Putsch” — full of “silly extravagances” — that reduced “the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Storey to the mystical aphorisms of a fortune cookie.” In Obergefell, five unelected lawyers robbed 320 million Americans of their legitimate constitutional authority to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The Court twisted the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment beyond recognition. To echo Scalia, we dissent.
I understand that the conservative movement and the Republican Party need to be a big tent, but for crying out loud, I’m the guy whose right foot is pinned under that big pole at the center of the tent. How can it be that I am pretty much alone, in the very middle of the crowd?
I’ll tell you why I think this is: I think that our side has been cowed by the slanderous vilification peddled by the radical Left. I think that it has been internalized by a great many people who think that they are conservatives. Some of them may actually believe it and many more may feel afraid to speak.
I don’t think that Ricochet actively tries to silence traditional conservative voices. It may be as simple as the fear of losing advertising revenue, and the advertisers may themselves react with fear to the Wokeist mob. It may be that the podcast lineup is drawn from people who have already gained prominence in the institutional media, and who have therefore already been filtered by the DISC (distributed information suppression complex) to ensure some degree of compliance with the GIN (gated institutional narrative).
So what to do about the mess that we are in?
I go back to the beginning. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. That’s Genesis 1.
Next, He created man, in His own image. It was not good for the man to be alone, so God created woman. That’s Genesis 2, affirmed by Jesus as quoted earlier, and affirmed again in our own Declaration of Independence.
“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24. That’s marriage. One man, one woman.
So it seems to me that these are the foundations. Faith in God. Marriage and family.
This is where I am going to take my stand. Alone if necessary. Let me know whether or not I am alone in this.
BLM delenda est.Published in