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09/10/2012

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Funny that you should mention Imagine in connection with the anti-Christian society. In Lord of the World the Anti-Christ has the same first name as Lennon's son.

AMDG

Not A Coincidence, I'm sure.

Thanks for the post. History has shown us that those movements and factions which attempt to create a heaven on earth; or tout the advancement of their goals as a solution to mankind's problems, more often end up with something which more closely resembles the outskirts of hell.

Sometimes it looks like we're on the interstate bypass, slowing down, looking for an off-ramp into town.

I suppose this is known to you: http://www.newmanreader.org/works/arguments/antichrist/lecture1.html

Only a quote or two that I read somewhere or other. Thanks much. I'm at work now but I'll try to find time to read it tonight.

I have lately come to think of left wing parties as being possessed by the Devil. I will soon take it as being axiomatic.

I loved your point about the limitation of politics. My own current involvement, by lobbying our state politicians, is about trying to curb the serious evil they want to inflict on our state.

I prefer to say they're rather too open to his influence than that they're possessed.:-) The thing that distinguishes them from the right is not that they're evil and the right is good, or that individual lefties are bad people--the majority of the ones I know are personally very decent--but the zeal of the party as a whole for attacking such fundamental things, to the point you can say that they are attacking reality itself. I'm thinking there of the insistence that marriage has nothing to do with gender. That's so irrational that it seems pointless to argue against it. Yet I know any number of perfectly intelligent people who have just accepted it as the logical next step in progress.

Yes, as avarice-driven as the GOP tends to be, they haven't ever come out and said directly that "greed is good." They may be the party of Mises, but they're not yet the party of Rand.

Another thing about the right is that I've never heard anyone who is conservative say that person who disagrees with them should not be allowed to voice his opinion, or "If you disagree with me, you hate me." This is one thing that really scares me about the left.

AMDG

That's true, Rob. But if they became the party of Rand, that wouldn't make me think specifically of anti-Christ, as opposed to just regular old evil, because it wouldn't fool Christians to the degree that promises of peace can.

True, Janet. That goes back to Marcuse in the the 60's -- "tolerance need not be extended to those ideas coming from the Right," or something like that. I forget the exact quote. The tendency is there to attempt to shut one's opponents up rather than engage them.

The thing that disturbs me most about the "hate" tactic, even more than the attempt to silence the alleged hater, is the amount of hate behind it. You can't keep ginning up that level of animosity without all sorts of unpleasant consequences.

Thought you might find this interesting if you haven't already read it Mac:
http://www.dominicanablog.com/2012/09/12/mobilize-the-base/

No, I wasn't aware of that blog. Thanks. "fanaticism unites"--indeed, and that makes me think of Yeats's famous line about the worst being full of passionate intensity.

"The anesthetic of progressive benevolence always dulls the senses."

(I've quoted Ann Coulter here before, and now, alas, I'm quoting one of the other belligerent right-wing partisan pundit women--Michelle Malkin. ;-) )

Anyway, considering that phenomenon (the quote), and for more than a few other reasons, I find the argument you've touched on compelling.

I don't know to what extent the anesthetic effect is impacting my judgement of Obama, and/or my lack of conviction vis-a-vis "anyone but him", but I know it has some effect. For instance, I was pretty mesmerized by him during his DNC speech, and literally stopped listening to the content of what he was saying a couple minutes into it. Maybe it's just that somewhat elusive charisma thing, but there's a good amount of evidence that it could be, as you suggested, something more sinister. (A primary indicator of this possibility being, of course, his very extreme position vis-a-vis abortion, among other things.)

The question of which party is "worse", as they stand in their current incarnations, is still somewhat of an open question for me.
I just about equally hate both platforms at the moment. (just about)

I've been thoroughly turned off, to say the least, by the GOP campaign so far (*especially* after the RNC, which I found literally impossible to sit through, aside from Ann Romney), and at this moment am leaning more toward not voting at all...but, again, the logic you put forward is compelling.

Is the Right's deleterious effect on Christianity *relatively* benign, as compared with the potential effect that progressivism (and specifically Obama's progressivism) has? Does the Left have a greater ability to lure Christians (and others) away from their faith?

I'm leaning more toward an affirmative on these questions I guess, but as for voting...maybe the debates will help me decide. ? I'm definitely not voting for Obama, but the GOP has made it pretty damn difficult for me to go with their guy. We'll see.

(As a side note, I'm glad you mentioned "Imagine". My dislike, to put it mildly, of that abysmal song began after I finally actually listened closely to the lyrics a year or so ago. Wow. Unbelievably bad. And most of the Western world stands behind it. Not a good sign. Someone should ask Obama what he thinks of that song! The ultimate litmus test. ;-) )

After a good swim I've modified my position a bit. My previous comments are more than a bit incoherent.

Those questions I referred to are, duh, absolutely in the affirmative, when it comes to orthodox Christianity. The effect of the Right vs. the Left is definitely relatively benign.

The divorce of America (and the West in general), however, from (orthodox) Christianity, seems to me to be, at this point in time, kind of a done deal. Wouldn't going back (vis-a-vis a Mitt Romney) only prolong the agony? Like stopping the saw mid amputation? Or attempting to mend a marriage that has truly been broken. You keep going back, and every time you break up again it's worse than the last time... sort of thing.

If this were true, the question would be, is the appropriate term "anti-Christ", or "post-Christian"? It's definitely anti and post-Orthodox Christianity, but is it Anti-Christ per se? And/or how evil will the post-Christian world turn out to be? (the more evil, the more deserving of the term anti-Christ.)

I know this line of thinking isn't original, but I myself haven't given it enough thought. I'm going to stop here. I've been reading way too much lately and not praying enough, and need to mull this stuff over some more (before I put my foot deeper into my mouth than it already is.)

(Thanks for indulging me. I'll take more time before posting next time.)

I'm not nearly as concerned about the left luring people away from their faith as I am about their clamping down on the Church to the point where it has to go underground.

AMDG

No problem, the only reason I haven't responded is that I'm at work and very busy. I'll reply later.

Great post. I linked here from The Three Prayers. I usually use "nuanced" as a perjorative since it's seems to have become a euphemism for truth-skirting and/or -muddling, but this was wonderfully nuanced yet clear. The kind of great expository writing that leaves you feeling like you can now better articulate thoughts you'd been thinking already before your reading it. Thanks.

Thanks, Josh--that's very nice to hear.

Noah, I'll have to be brief, as I ended up having to work part of this evening as well. Just a couple of things:

In one way you could say that Christians are more easily seduced by the right. I mean, that's where you find more of them. But I think it isn't so much that they're seduced by the ideas as that the left has always been somewhat-to-extremely anti-Christian, which kind of pushed more-or-less-orthodox Christianity to the right. It's all bound up with the tragedy of official Christianity (both Protestant and Catholic) tending to get all mixed up with the ruling class. There were always some Christians, e.g. Dorothy Day, who were on the left politically, but they were sort of mavericks within both left politics and Christianity. You can really see that in the U.S. situation over the past 40 years. When the Democrats became dominated by cultural radicals, they drove Christians to the Republicans. And there's no doubt that a lot of Christians have gotten way too cozy with the Rs, and identifying the interest of the faith with the interest of the party, obviously a huge mistake. But it's really not a surprising development, under the circumstances. What Janet said about the left clamping down on the church is not paranoia--you can really see something coming, although I think it would be a long time before it got to the point of the Church having to go underground. It's like I've been saying for years: on the one hand an enemy, on the other an unreliable ally.

(Decided to break up what was going to be a very long comment)

"The divorce of America (and the West in general), however, from (orthodox) Christianity, seems to me to be, at this point in time, kind of a done deal. Wouldn't going back (vis-a-vis a Mitt Romney) only prolong the agony?"

I think that first sentence is pretty true, although Christianity still has a very strong cultural power. But I don't see the Christian-Republican alliance as an attempt to go back. I mean, the U.S. at any rate was never legally and official Christian the way the nations of Europe were. I see it as just a defensive move, to keep from being driven out of public life altogether, and to resist the left's current drive to pass laws intended to reduce the Christian presence and influence.

I'm clearly conflicted, and somewhat confused. I don't think I realized until today, tonight actually, the extent to which I'm turned off (repulsed really) by the Romney campaign, and/or how somewhat sympathetic toward Obama I am.

I have a lot of thinking and soul searching to do before November. Anyway, thanks for the reply. I'm pretty sure I see where you're coming from.

(I'll try not to think out loud here in the future as I did earlier. I do it sometimes on other blogs too. Not quite appropriate for this sort of forum.)

Don't worry, that's what blog comments are for.

I can't say I'm repulsed by either candidate. I'm repulsed and angered by what I call the cultural left, though. And by falsehoods wherever they come from.

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