Recently, BuzzFeed attempted to generate a fake scandal about a home improvement television show. (Which also happens to be my mom’s favorite show, which we will come back to later). Basically, Joanna and Chip Gaines are a couple who fix up crappy houses for clients. They are believing Christians and attend a church which does not support gay marriage. For the Cathedral, this is an outrageous spiritual sin against the progressive faith. It is conspicuous how often the new sins of the cathedral are so often completely inverted polar opposites of similar sins in Christianity. A sort of anti-Christianity. A grotesque reflection of the original in a circus mirror. Bloomberg ran a quite sane op-ed in response which I suggest you read. Its pretty short. But here are some important excerpts:
Over the last few years, as controversies have erupted over the rights of cake bakers and pizza places to refuse to cater gay weddings, the rights of nuns to refuse to provide insurance that covers birth control, the rights of Catholic hospitals to refuse to perform abortions, and the rights of Christian schools to teach (and require students and teachers to practice) traditional Christian morality, some Christians have begun to feel that their communities are under existential threat.
The response from the left has (mostly) been that this is so much whining, clinging to a victimhood belied by Christians’ social power and majority status. No one, they have been assured, wants to touch their freedom to worship, but when they enter the commercial realm, they have to abide by anti-discrimination laws, whatever their private beliefs.
The attacks on Christians in the last few years have been both obvious and egregious. Contrary to the public proclamations of progressives, this has very little to do with helping “disadvantaged” people and everything to do with forcing unprotected classes under their control. Even if you aren’t particularly religious, it would still be in your interest to side with Christians in these cases. The attacks on Christians are just one subset of a broader assault on freedom of association in all spheres of life. Forced integration of schools and government subsidized diversity in white towns are devastating attacks on freedom of association and a huge negative development for white communities. It also happens in video games where an almost exclusively male hobby is forced to pander to the erroneous preferences of women who don’t even play games. I am sure you can think of plenty of additional examples in any number of seemingly unrelated areas. No area of life seems to be off limits in our eternal current year. This is not just a problem for Christians, it is a problem for everyone.
“The government won’t actually shut your church down. But the left will use its positions of institutional power to try to hound anyone who attends that church from public life. You can believe whatever you want — but if we catch you, or if we even catch you in proximity to people who believe it, we will threaten your livelihood.”
They fear that the left is out to build a world where it will not be possible to hold any prominent job while holding onto their church’s beliefs about sexuality. Discussions I’ve had in recent days with nice, well-meaning progressives [editorial note: this description is somewhere between excessively generous and a complete fabrication] suggest that this is not a paranoid fantasy. An online publisher’s witch hunt against two television personalities — because of the church they attend — validates the fears of these Christians.
These sorts of things have happened quite a bit. Brendon Eich of Mozilla is probably the most famous example. It isn’t only done against Christians, either. Trumped up charges of being a secular racist or sexist can lose you your job just as rapidly as a Christian belief in the sanctity of marriage. If you accept their demands to keep your job, then you are forced to be surrounded by degenerates and incompetents which is a hard sell. So the left employs harsh punishments for non-compliance. The left would like any resisting non-conformist dead, but since that is illegal, they will work very hard to at least make them homeless and penniless. And if some mob of morons kills the unbeliever, all the better. The blood is spilled and the virtue signalers face no consequences for their important role. They will make up lies to make this happen. These people are evil and do not deserve mercy.
The Bloomberg article notes correctly that freedom of religion, a subset of freedom of association, was included in the constitution due to the tendency of religious fanatics (the ancestors of today’s progressives) to initiate a war for spiritual purity. Successful or not, eventually those who are tyrannized return the favor in kind with their own holy war against the virtue signalers. The result is cycle of blood as different factions get their revenge for past wrongs. The reformation was a recent memory for the original Americans and it was their goal to prevent a repetition. Though they didn’t really succeed all that well, the fanatics just adapted their strategies, it was at least a good idea and desire.
There’s a reason that our constitution was written to enshrine substantial religious liberty, an uncommon idea at the time of the Founding Fathers: We had many different groups who thought that their spiritual victory had already been foreordained, and allowing them to seek total annihilation of the errant losing side would end up in the same ugly politico-religious wars that had roiled Europe for centuries.
The authors of the U.S. Constitution had learned from that history that religious beliefs are a primal force, even harder to dislodge by the sword than by the sermon. Eventually both sides of those religious disputes noticed how fragile their victories were, how easily the swordpoint conversions were reversed when the fortunes of war shifted, and how devastating their own subsequent losses often were. They decided that it was better to live uneasily together than to try to stamp out the other side.
With America seemingly dividing into two countries, riven by intractable value differences, this is a lesson that culture warriors on both sides need to relearn. Really, what is the cost to society if two HGTV hosts are allowed to thrive without disavowing their pastor’s comments on same-sex marriage? The far greater risk comes from trying to compel them to do so, whether through hard government power or soft private coercion. We can tear windows into the souls of others only at the risk of others tearing holes into us.
Indeed, the rise of anti-progressivism in the last few years is a clear indication that the tyrannized fly-over region is getting ready to return the favor and return it good and hard. The risk of a neo-reformation and its attendant wars is as high as it has ever been.
When you think that you may shortly see your church’s schools and your religious hospitals closed, and your job or business threatened in the private sphere by the economic equivalent of “convert or die,” you will side with whoever does not seem to set its sights on your conservative beliefs.
And this captures the new zeitgeist exactly. There are many, many people who would love nothing better than to just live their lives in a state of complete myopia. Fixing their cars, playing their games, drinking with friends, whatever. There is no properly serious philosophical or spiritual pursuit in their lives and if left to their own devices this would not change. The progressives aren’t going to allow that state of affairs anymore. People are going to have to pick a side. Are you going to choose the side of control, lies, and anarcho-tyranny that is progressive political correctness or are you going to choose the side of truth, reality, and freedom of association? Many people are being forced to confront this choice as never before, and in many ways, this is a good thing. Gamergate was a perfect example of this. Confronted with progressive encroachment on their apolitical hobby, many young men were forced to polarize. Forced to take a side. Fortunately, most of them chose the side of reality and freedom. All of a sudden new and magnificent understanding of the world was made available to people after being broken free from their haze of self-absorption.
Many in my own family have only very shallow understanding of the ongoing culture war and prefer to ignore it if possible. However, when presented with an example of progressive social control that directly affects them they often also experience a positive transformation. So was this case with this home improvement show. It is my mom’s favorite and when she was made aware that it was under progressive attack, and might potentially be canceled as has happened in the past, she started red-pilling very quickly. I daresay she almost hates the prig-progs as much as I do now. Events like these are mana from heaven. These catalysts wake people up and gets them to actually understand the world beyond their little bubble. Make as much use out of them as you can.