The American Christian Church. Merchandising the Gospel into Irrelevance .

Evangelical Mercerism

That said, I have not counted myself as a Catholic for a very long time and I’m not much of a believer. I think the Catholic mass is the most beautiful of the Christian services, followed closely by the Anglicans, the latter having much better music. The CoE also does a first rate job designing churches. Those big red doors are striking.

Black churches are the most entertaining and have the best food. It’s not even close on the food side of things. The mail order theologians I see on TV like Joel Osteen strike me as creepy and weird. I suspect they are just con-men without a lick of faith, but I have no proof of that. I could be completely wrong, but that’s my hunch.

Having said all that, I wish you nothing but the best if you find peace of comfort watching Joel Osteen or attending a non-denominational quasi-Christian service down at the motor lodge. A world run by the followers of Joel Olsteen would be a better world than one run by Progressives. In the former you get to say “no thank you” and close the door when they knock. In the latter you better open the door and do what they say – or else.

That buildup is a lead in to some comments regarding this post Rod Dreher linked to the other day.

One of the great Evangelical leaders of the twentieth century, Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ (now called Cru) and signatory of Evangelicals and Catholics Together, published a small booklet in 1952 entitled Four Spiritual Laws. It was used for over six decades as an evangelistic tool by literally millions of Christians worldwide. And it had – indeed, continues to have – a profound and lasting impact on Evangelicalism and the way in which that movement presents the Gospel to unbelievers and those who have strayed from their faith.

Even though I count myself among those whose spiritual journey was shaped by Bright’s vision and his call to share the good news of Jesus with family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues, I have come to believe that Bright’s first spiritual law – “God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life” – presents a misleading depiction of what it means to follow Jesus.

I’ve known a great many Evangelicals and I have attended their services and even some of their Bible classes. This passive, feminine view of Christianity has always struck me as anti-Christian. It is occassionalism, the antithesis of Christianity, to believe man does not play a defining part of his destiny.

Logically, it is even nuttier simply because God’s plan could be that you have to figure it out on your own. Put another way, His plan may be for you to create your own plan. Simply blaming things on God and his plan for you sounds like an excuse to me. It also sounds like paganism, where the fates determine the course of your life.

But the decades long near-absence of the truth of the cross and the Gospel of suffering and transformation – that following Jesus is as much about getting heaven into you as you getting into heaven – resulted in generations of American Christians who spend half their Sunday services singing “hymns” to a Jesus that sounds more like their boyfriend than their Lord.

For this reason, as the hostility to Christian faith continues to mount in the United States – especially on issues that will require government coercion in matters of religious conscience –many of our fellow believers, unwilling to entertain the possibility that they must suffer as Christ suffered, will continue to acquiesce to the spirit of the age and construct a Jesus that conforms to that spirit. This Lord will wind up agreeing – or at least, not disputing – any of the pieties of the secular intelligentsia.

The economic, social, and familial pressures will seem so unbearable – so inconsistent with that “wonderful plan for your life” – they will quickly and enthusiastically distance themselves from those brethren who choose to pick up the cross and not check the “like” button. Whatever it is that hangs in the balance – professional honor, academic respectability, securing a lucrative business contract, or thirty pieces of silver – it will surely be described as the place to which “the Lord is leading us.”

Although they will claim to be devout “Evangelicals” or “Catholics,” they will nevertheless embody the beliefs that H. Richard Niebuhr once attributed to what was at the time the most dominant religious force in America, Liberal Protestantism: “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.”

This is already on display as many Evangelicals adopt the pagan beliefs of environmentalism. You can be sure that they will quickly buckle to pressure on gay marriage. There are already many out celebrating the love that won’t shut the hell up. How long before Joel Osteen is sporting a rainbow tunic and pointing out passages in the Bible he say are in support of sodomy?

It’s why I say Christianity in the West is in permanent retreat. Sure, there will always be people kicking around calling themselves Christian. There will be churches with decent crowds on Sunday. But, in the face of the Fosterite Cult of Modern Liberalism, it will be nothing more than Mercerism, a harmless pastime at best. A tool of social control at worst.

From Z Blog: http://thezman.com/wordpress/

For America, This time is Now. Lukewarm Christianity is Over.

Luke 21  (ESV)

Jesus Foretells Wars and Persecution

10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. 13 This will be your opportunity to bear witness. 14 Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers[c] and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. 17 You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.

 

The Coming of the Son of Man

25 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

29 And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Watch Yourselves

34 “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

 

The Whirlwind is Coming

Hosea 8:7

For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk; the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.

Nahum 1:3

The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

Jeremiah 30:23

Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked.

Jeremiah 23:19

Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.

 

Romans Chapter 1 (KJV)

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

2 Timothy 3 King James Version (KJV)

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

The Bible is Very Clear That These Things Will and Must Happen in the Last Days

Orthodox Christians Must Now Learn To Live as Exiles in Our Own Country

By Rod Dreher who is a senior editor and blogger at The American Conservative.

Voting Republican and other failed culture war strategies are not going to save us now

No, the sky is not falling — not yet, anyway — but with the Supreme Court ruling constitutionalizing same-sex marriage, the ground under our feet has shifted tectonically.

It is hard to overstate the significance of the Obergefell decision — and the seriousness of the challenges it presents to orthodox Christians and other social conservatives. Voting Republican and other failed culture war strategies are not going to save us now.

Discerning the meaning of the present moment requires sobriety, precisely because its radicalism requires of conservatives a realistic sense of how weak our position is in post-Christian America.

The alarm that the four dissenting justices sounded in their minority opinions is chilling. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia were particularly scathing in pointing out the philosophical and historical groundlessness of the majority’s opinion. Justice Scalia even called the decision “a threat to democracy,” and denounced it, shockingly, in the language of revolution.

It is now clear that for this Court, extremism in the pursuit of the Sexual Revolution’s goals is no vice. True, the majority opinion nodded and smiled in the direction of the First Amendment, in an attempt to calm the fears of those worried about religious liberty. But when a Supreme Court majority is willing to invent rights out of nothing, it is impossible to have faith that the First Amendment will offer any but the barest protection to religious dissenters from gay rights orthodoxy.

Indeed, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito explicitly warned religious traditionalists that this decision leaves them vulnerable. Alito warns that Obergefell “will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy,” and will be used to oppress the faithful “by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.”

The warning to conservatives from the four dissenters could hardly be clearer or stronger. So where does that leave us?

For one, we have to accept that we really are living in a culturally post-Christian nation. The fundamental norms Christians have long been able to depend on no longer exist. To be frank, the court majority may impose on the rest of the nation a view widely shared by elites, but it is also a view shared by a majority of Americans. There will be no widespread popular resistance to Obergefell. This is the new normal.

For another, LGBT activists and their fellow travelers really will be coming after social conservatives. The Supreme Court has now, in constitutional doctrine, said that homosexuality is equivalent to race. The next goal of activists will be a long-term campaign to remove tax-exempt status from dissenting religious institutions. The more immediate goal will be the shunning and persecution of dissenters within civil society. After today, all religious conservatives are Brendan Eich, the former CEO of Mozilla who was chased out of that company for supporting California’s Proposition 8.

Third, the Court majority wrote that gays and lesbians do not want to change the institution of marriage, but rather want to benefit from it. This is hard to believe, given more recent writing from gay activists like Dan Savage expressing a desire to loosen the strictures of monogamy in all marriages. Besides, if marriage can be redefined according to what we desire — that is, if there is no essential nature to marriage, or to gender — then there are no boundaries on marriage. Marriage inevitably loses its power.

In that sense, social and religious conservatives must recognize that the Obergefell decision did not come from nowhere. It is the logical result of the Sexual Revolution, which valorized erotic liberty. It has been widely and correctly observed that heterosexuals began to devalue marriage long before same-sex marriage became an issue. The individualism at the heart of contemporary American culture is at the core of Obergefell — and at the core of modern American life.

This is profoundly incompatible with orthodox Christianity. But this is the world we live in today.

One can certainly understand the joy that LGBT Americans and their supporters feel today. But orthodox Christians must understand that things are going to get much more difficult for us. We are going to have to learn how to live as exiles in our own country. We are going to have to learn how to live with at least a mild form of persecution. And we are going to have to change the way we practice our faith and teach it to our children, to build resilient communities.

It is time for what I call the Benedict Option. In his 1982 book After Virtue, the eminent philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre likened the current age to the fall of ancient Rome. He pointed to Benedict of Nursia, a pious young Christian who left the chaos of Rome to go to the woods to pray, as an example for us. We who want to live by the traditional virtues, MacIntyre said, have to pioneer new ways of doing so in community. We await, he said “a new — and doubtless very different — St. Benedict.”

Throughout the early Middle Ages, Benedict’s communities formed monasteries, and kept the light of faith burning through the surrounding cultural darkness. Eventually, the Benedictine monks helped refound civilization.

I believe that orthodox Christians today are called to be those new and very different St. Benedicts. How do we take the Benedict Option, and build resilient communities within our condition of internal exile, and under increasingly hostile conditions? I don’t know. But we had better figure this out together, and soon, while there is time.

Last fall, I spoke with the prior of the Benedictine monastery in Nursia, and told him about the Benedict Option. So many Christians, he told me, have no clue how far things have decayed in our aggressively secularizing world. The future for Christians will be within the Benedict Option, the monk said, or it won’t be at all.

Obergefell is a sign of the times, for those with eyes to see. This isn’t the view of wild-eyed prophets wearing animal skins and shouting in the desert. It is the view of four Supreme Court justices, in effect declaring from the bench the decline and fall of the traditional American social, political, and legal order.

We live in interesting times.

From: http://time.com/3938050/orthodox-christians-must-now-learn-to-live-as-exiles-in-our-own-country/

SCOTUS Obergefell decision Has Opened Pandora’s Box and Christian Persecution is about to Escalate

Loserville

Anyone who has played sports knows that strange feeling where you look up and see you’re not just losing but getting clobbered, despite feeling like you were doing well. Maybe the last time you looked up it was close and now it is a blowout. Perhaps you feel like you’re competing, but the other side just keeps pulling away. When you’re in the heat of the battle, it is easy to not only lose sight of the bigger picture, but get a wildly incorrect view of that bigger picture.

Reading conservative sites the last week, I’m getting that vibe from both the chattering skulls and their readers who show up in the comments. There’s a state of shock at what has transpired over the two weeks.Their preferred party sold them out to please global finance. The court untethered itself from the English language and made itself the enforcer for the Cult of Modern Liberalism. Not only was the Right not winning, they were blown off the field.

As I pointed out the other day, the gay marriage ruling is the biggest assault on religious liberty in the history of the nation. One cannot read the majority opinion without wondering how long before the courts declare Christianity illegal.

The ObamaCare decision is the most radical in the history of the court. Judge Roberts literally declared that the English language is no longer a constraint on the court, which means they no longer have to read the relevant laws in future cases.

Most of the Right is in shock, unable to muster more than the old complaints that sound rather silly given what has just transpired. Surprisingly, Rod Dreher gets it, as far where things stand for people of his faith. That’s a well written essay displaying the right amount of sadness for what he and his coreligionists face in the coming years.

No, the sky is not falling — not yet, anyway — but with the Supreme Court ruling constitutionalizing same-sex marriage, the ground under our feet has shifted tectonically.

It is hard to overstate the significance of the Obergefell decision — and the seriousness of the challenges it presents to orthodox Christians and other social conservatives. Voting Republican and other failed culture war strategies are not going to save us now.

Discerning the meaning of the present moment requires sobriety, precisely because its radicalism requires of conservatives a realistic sense of how weak our position is in post-Christian America.

What Rod and others got wrong is they thought they were in the fight. They truly thought they were giving the other side a battle over who will control society. The fact is, they never had a chance. They were getting their butt kicked for decades. The last week is just the part where the other team does the outrageous celebration on the loser’s team logo.

Last week was part of the mopping up phase of the culture war. The major institutions of the West have all been converted to the Cult of Modern Liberalism. There are no cultural institutions that stand in opposition to any of this stuff.

Their breathless support is seen in the speed with which retailers banished the rebel flag. A white guy shoots up a black church and the Cult demands a sacrifice in return. Hours after the gay marriage ruling major companies were celebrating it in TV commercials. You would not be cynical to think that maybe this has all been coordinated.

It’s tempting to think that normal people will resist, but history says otherwise. The Catholic Church is maneuvering to join the Cult on global warming. The Pope has already made noises about embracing the homosexual agenda. Everyone with something to lose is figuring out that it is time to join the winning side. You can be sure that the rest of the Christian sects will follow the Catholics into the abyss.

I received an e-mail from Paul Gottfried a while back, in response to one I sent him. I don’t know Professor Gottfried and he does not know me. I doubt he knows of this blog. Today, no one thinks twice about firing off an e-mail to a stranger and I’m no different. I sent off my query after reading this column.

It occurred to me that we are losing a lot of important knowledge as the geezers of the Old Right die off. They are the last ones to remember the old fights and why we find ourselves where we are. Professor Gottfried would do us all a great service by putting together a list of writers and books that the next generation could use in the resistance.

He was not interested and sounded a bitter tone in his response. Professor Gottfried, like many on the Old Right, has been shunned and forced to live on the fringes. The fringes of the public intellectual space, that is. Almost all of these guys used to write for mainstream publications and conservative publications with wide circulations. One by one they were proscribed starting in the 1980’s.

I really don’t blame these guys for being bitter, assuming they are bitter. They were right from the start. In the 80’s, when being Right was suddenly cool, all sorts of faddish sorts jumped on board, but few possessed the social core required to carry the fight to the Progressives. Instead they went in for whatever was fashionable to sell books, radio shows and ugly ties. Instead of building a movement that could displace the Left, they sucked it dry. The so-called paleo-cons predicted this result.

That’s all water under the bridge now. There’s value in learning from past defeats, but the time for that has passed as well. The only job left is to pack up the old books and articles in the hope that some future generation, looking for a way out, discovers them and find some inspiration.

From Z Blog: http://thezman.com/wordpress/

Think the SCOTUS decision on Gay Marriage is about “Gay Marriage?” Better think again.

 

After The Supreme Cultural Revolutionary Council declared marriage, as we have known it for 10,000 years, to be null and void, most of the chattering skulls on what passes for the Right these days went into predictable hysterics. Progressive lunatics decorated themselves in rainbows, celebrating without fully understanding what it is they are celebrating. They just like gloating.

So far the only chattering skull to sort of get what’s happening is David French at National Review.

The most striking aspect of Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, which created a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, was its deep emotion. This was no mere legal opinion. Indeed, the law and Constitution had little to do with it. (To Justice Kennedy, the most persuasive legal precedents were his own prior opinions protecting gay rights.) This was a statement of belief, written with the passion of a preacher, meant to inspire.

Consider the already much-quoted closing: As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

Or this:

“Marriage responds to the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there.”

This isn’t constitutional law, it’s theology — a secular theology of self-actualization — crafted in such a way that its adherents will no doubt ask, “What decent person can disagree?” This is about love, and the law can’t fight love. Justice Kennedy’s opinion was nine parts romantic poetry and one part legal analysis (if that).

It has always been theology. The striking thing about the century long battle between the Cult of Modern Liberalism and the American Right is how uneven the fight has been. One side is focused, never losing sight of the bigger goals. The other side is composed of blithering idiots convinced they can talk their opponents out of destroying them.

And destruction is the only end possible. The Cult never loses sight of their main targets. The health care bill was mostly changes in the law to interfere with the free exercise of religion. Forcing some Christians to pay for abortions, for example, is forcing them to violate their faith. Do that enough and even the faithful give up. History is clear. Conversion is always compulsory.

This piece in America’s Newspaper of Record shines the light on what comes next.

On Friday, in a momentous decision, the Supreme Court allowed same-sex marriages nationwide. But the fight over how those weddings are accommodated or recognized, particularly by religious organizations, is far from over.

Chief Justice John Roberts’ dissent noted the many outstanding issues, which is why he would have preferred states passing laws allowing gay marriage, rather than judicial fiat. For Roberts, only legislation or voter initiatives signal “true acceptance.” Also, “respect for sincere religious conviction” led to “accommodations for religious practice” in every jurisdiction to democratically adopt it.

Those religious-liberty protections make clear that pre-existing bans on sexual-orientation discrimination — which provide sorely needed protections to LGBT individuals in housing, hiring and public accommodations — do not inadvertently spill over to a religious sacrament like marriage.

For example, in DC, Maryland, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Washington, marriage counseling provided by churches could continue to cater exclusively to heterosexual couples. After extensive hearings, legislatures in four states expressly provided that religious social-services agencies could continue to place children exclusively with heterosexual married couples, although in three states, such placements may occur only if the program receives no public money.

The First Amendment, courts agree, means churches can refuse to conduct religious ceremonies for same-sex partners if it conflicts with their belief. But what if, say, a couple wants to hold a reception in a church basement? Can they be refused?

The dissenters skewered Justice Anthony Kennedy for trivializing the impact on religious believers. Kennedy says, “The First Amendment ensures that religions, those who adhere to religious doctrines, and others have protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths.”

Clarence Thomas countered that “individuals and churches [will be] confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples,” an “inevitability” that the majority’s “weak gesture toward religious liberty in a single paragraph” is wholly insufficient to address. Samuel Alito worried that “those who cling to old beliefs . . . risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.”

At oral argument, Alito asked Solicitor General Donald Verrilli the question nagging many religiously affiliated educational institutions — the fact that Bob Jones University lost its tax-exempt status in the 1980s because it opposed interracial marriage. “So, would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same­-sex marriage?”

Verrilli conceded that tax exemption is “certainly going to be an issue.”

Of course it is going to be an issue. It has always been the issue. The whole point of gay marriage, after all, is to further bust up the traditional family and to marginalize Christian churches. A central tenet of the Cult of Modern Liberalism is the first and only loyalty of the people is to the state. The state is not just a government but the entirety of life. Nothing is outside the state, including God. This reads like it was written yesterday by Barak Obama for a reason.

What will happen from here is a wave of lawsuits against anyone and everyone holding out against the Homintern. This will include churches. Initially the courts will try to beat back this assault on the First Amendment, but in a decade the cost of not embracing the sodomite banner will break the remaining holdouts. Churches that refuse to perform gay weddings will lose their tax exempt status. Many will close. Being a Christian will be equated with being in the Klan.

From The Z Blog: http://thezman.com/wordpress/

Today, the Confederate Flag, Tomorrow, Who Knows Where the Hysteria will Lead…

Don’t Let Dylann Roof and the SPLC Define the Confederate Flag

I am going to go against what seems to be the wave of public opinion, including that of prominent Republicans, by urging South Carolina to keep the Confederate flag.  I also encourage people to circumvent Amazon.com’s and eBay’s bans on Confederate flag merchandise by looking for alternate distribution channels.  Let somebody other than Amazon and eBay collect the commissions on the sales.

The reason is simple: if we go along with repudiation of the Confederate flag, then (alleged until proven guilty) murderer Dylann Roof wins.  We will have allowed him and the Ku Klux Klan on one side, and race hustlers like the Southern Poverty Law Center and Al Sharpton on the other, to hand the Confederate flag over to white supremacists to use as their symbol.  There is even conversation about removing the names of Confederate generals such as Robert E. Lee from Army bases.  Al Sharpton, of course, supports this agenda, even though he, unlike General Lee, was at least partially responsible for two incidents of racist violence (Crown Heights and Freddy’s Fashion Mart).

Robert E. Lee never participated in, much less led, a KKK rally around a black-owned store in a Caucasian neighborhood.  He therefore compares very favorably to Al Sharpton, who personally called the owner of Freddy’s Fashion Mart a “white interloper” while his followers threatened to set fire to the store, and one finally did.  Come to think of it, it would be instructive to determine whether Lee ever used the N-word (even when it was socially acceptable) in contrast to Al Sharpton, who applied it to New York mayor David Dinkins.  Sharpton has also often used colorful language for white people in general and Jews in particular.

General Lee’s distaste for slavery was meanwhile comparable to Abraham Lincoln’s.  “There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil.”  Lee, however, became a role model for character and integrity when he declined command of the Union Army to serve in an initially subordinate position in the Confederate Army.

The Confederate Flag Is Not about Slavery

I don’t know how many thousands of slaves were imported under the Stars and Stripes, but the number imported under the Stars and Bars comes to roughly zero.  Prior to the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, the Baltimore (as in Yankee rather than Confederate) clipper ship played a major role in slave transportation.  Even as late as 1849, Baltimore-built clippers played an active role in the slave trade under foreign flags.  “In 1849 reports surfaced indicating that a Baltimore clipper had cleared $400,000 from eleven slave-trading voyages over a four-year period.”

This little piece of history, by the way, proves the blatant double standards of those agitating for removal of the Confederate flag.  “Baltimore Clippers” was the name of a hockey team and a basketball team in Baltimore, a solid blue (Obama Democrat) municipality. A reasonable person would acknowledge this as a symbol of pride in the city’s shipbuilding history, but it could also be construed as glorification of the city’s role in the slave trade.

Don’t Revise History

If we allow Dylann Roof, the KKK, Al Sharpton, and the SPLC to define the Confederate flag as a racist hate symbol, we are also tolerating revisionist history to the effect that the Civil War was about slavery.  While the issue of slavery was certainly divisive, the war’s primary cause was economic.  Men who had to march barefoot because they could not afford boots did not own slaves, and they were far more likely kept out of paying work by the institution of slavery.  They would have no more fought to defend the right of a few percent of the South’s population to own slaves than today’s working class would fight to defend the right of corporations to ship jobs offshore for cheap labor.

In addition, the Underground Railroad could have never operated without complicity by Southerners who were willing to look the other way while slaves escaped.  Many Northern workers meanwhile supported slavery because they were afraid that emancipated blacks would take their jobs.  There was plenty of right and wrong on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line.

The industrialized North could abolish slavery for the same reason the United Kingdom abolished it.  Mechanization and productivity make slavery uneconomical, just as Henry Ford proved later that mechanization and productivity make low-wage labor uneconomical.  Northern factory owners, however, agitated for tariffs on the goods that the South imported from the United Kingdom in exchange for cotton.  This was simply another version of a major cause of the War of Independence; the United Kingdom would not let its colonies manufacture anything, and forced them instead to trade raw materials for finished goods.  If we look at the principal and immediate cause of the Civil War from the perspective of the Founding Fathers, therefore, the Confederacy was in the right.  The Confederacy was of course wrong about slavery, but slavery persisted the longest in the states that remained loyal to the Union.

Only after the war began did Abraham Lincoln issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which British cartoonist John Tenniel dismissed as a political ploy in which Abraham Lincoln plays an “Ace of Spades” against Jefferson Davis.  The Emancipation Proclamation must therefore be viewed as doing the right thing (abolishing slavery) for the wrong reason (as a weapon against the South rather than against the inherent wrongness of slavery).  It meanwhile exempted every single slave-owning state such as Maryland (the home of the Baltimore slave ship), Delaware, and West Virginia.  Slavery remained legal in those jurisdictions until 1865.

This brings us to the next issue.

If the Confederate Flag Is a Hate Symbol, so Are the Penny and Five-Dollar Bill

History quiz #3: “I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races; that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say, in addition to this, that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live while they do remain together, there must be the position of superior and inferior. I am as much as any other man in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”  Who said it?

  • Nathan Bedford Forrest (founder of the Ku Klux Klan)
  • Simon Legree (in Uncle Tom’s Cabin)
  • Jefferson Davis
  • Abraham Lincoln (Lincoln-Douglas debate)
  • Robert E. Lee
  • Stonewall Jackson
  • David Duke (Ku Klux Klan)

The quote is straight from the Great Emancipator, whose name is on many public schools in black neighborhoods.  Lincoln was admittedly ahead of his time because he did not believe that the “white race’s” purported superiority over black people went so far as to entitle white people to own black people, but he was not ahead of his anti-slavery contemporaries like Robert E. Lee.  Should we therefore remove Lincoln’s portrait from the penny and the five-dollar bill?

Let’s first consider, though, the proposition that somebody’s use of anything as a hate symbol makes it a hate symbol.

What Is a Hate Symbol?

The Ku Klux Klan often marches with the Confederate flag.  A group of Confederate reenactors once turned up at such an event with their own Confederate flag and, as soon as the Klansmen got close enough, turned as a single man to show the Kluxers their backs.  The Confederate flag obviously has a very different meaning to each of the two groups.

The fact that the Phelps family and Jeremiah Wright (Barack Obama’s pastor) preach hatred from behind the Christian cross, and the fact that the Klan burns crosses, does not mean that the cross represents hate.  If the person burning the cross is wearing a kilt rather than a sheet and hood, in fact, he probably has nothing against black people, although, in the bad old days, he might have had something against a rival clan (that’s clan with a c and not a k).

Are sheets and hoods hate symbols?  It depends again on the context in which they are displayed.  These Spanish Penitentes (Holy Week penitents) hide their faces not because they have any intention of threatening or harming black people, but because they believe that public religious devotion should be anonymous.

The swastika is obviously a hate symbol, but only if one believes that pre-Columbian Native Americans as well as ancient Indo-Europeans were Nazis.  I saw a swastika petroglyph in Nevada, and I doubt that the people who drew it ever heiled anybody or anything but the Great Spirit.  ProSwastika.org argues quite persuasively, “By associating the swastika with the Nazis, we only give credit to the monstrosities of this horrible regime.”  In other words, the world allowed the Nazis to define the swastika at the expense of hundreds of millions of people around the world who used it long before anybody ever heard of a Nazi, and to whom its meaning is contrary to everything the Nazis represent.  Hitler, at least to the extent of stigmatizing Native American, Hindu, Buddhist, Greek, Tibetan, etc. swastikas in this manner, therefore won that part of the Second World War even though he lost the rest.


Nazi Native Americans?  Not in 1909.

The Confederate Flag and the Right of Self-Defense

The states of the former Confederacy, unlike many Union strongholds like New York, Maryland, and Massachusetts, believe that the Second Amendment means exactly what it says rather than what the likes of Andrew Cuomo and Barack Obama want it to mean.  It means that people of all races have an inherent right to possess weapons for defense of home, family, and country.  The fact that Roof allegedly used a weapon with a seven-round New York SAFE Act-compliant magazine saved none of his unarmed victims, as he was able to reload several times.

What would have saved them would have been a controlled pair to Roof’s thoracic cavity followed by another to his head if he was still standing with a weapon in his hand.  This is a solution that blacks who might be afraid to go to church because of racist threats, and Jews who might be afraid to go to a synagogue because of Islamist terrorists, ought to consider.

William A. Levinson is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology, as well as manufacturing productivity and quality.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/06/dont_let_dylann_roof_and_the_splc_define_the_confederate_flag.html#ixzz3eSFrxgv0

 

The Left’s determination to Destroy the History of the South

Purging the History of the South

Calmer heads know unity will not be achieved nor racism ended with the taking down of the so-called Confederate flag from South Carolina’s State House grounds.  While the debate currently is about one symbol seen as offensive by many, there is much more at stake than the elimination of a single flag.

Much more.

What is occurring even as this piece is being written is a modern version of the frenzied iconoclasm of the past.  Today’s leftists are much like the zealots who attacked cathedrals during the Reformation, knocking the heads off statues, destroying relics, breaking stained glass windows and even stripping paint from church walls.  The iconoclasts believed they were purifying the church from idolatry and heresy by so doing.

In like manner, the religion of the Left is seeking the destruction of symbols, statues and paintings representing what they believe to be an unmitigated racist world view diametrically opposed to the doctrines of the pure church of liberalism.

Consequently, what may be at stake is the distinct possibility of a panicky purge of the history of the American South.  A purge is to be achieved by eliminating anything that calls forth memory of the Confederacy.

An exaggeration?  Not at all.

The wheels of progressive revisionism, once they start rolling, could grind exceedingly small.  Every vestige of what the Left sees as the completely degraded past of the South might have to go.  Nothing, no matter how seemingly insignificant or innocuous, would escape revision because for the Leftist inhabitants of the Northeast and elsewhere, the South has been and is still suspected of being irredeemably racist.  It’s always and forever the world of Harper Lee.

Already calls for eliminating the Confederate flag from Maryland license plates and the renaming of Robert E. Lee Park in Baltimore have surfaced.  It was a matter of mere hours before the calls for eliminating road signs and schools named after Confederate generals begin.  Then there were those statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest, George Pickett, Stonewall Jackson and others to be dealt with.

According to the New York Times:

In Charleston, the board that governs the Citadel, the state’s 173-year-old military academy, voted, 9 to 3, to remove the Confederate Naval Jack from the campus chapel, saying that a Citadel graduate and the relatives of six employees were killed in the attack on the church.

In Tennessee, political leaders from both parties said a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and an early Ku Klux Klan leader, should be moved out of the State House. In Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, ordered that the Confederate flag no longer appear on license plates, and political leaders in Maryland, North Carolina and Tennessee vowed to do the same.

As the hysteria over emblems and symbols of the Confederacy accelerates, questions that would have seemed ridiculous only a few weeks or even days ago can legitimately be asked. Just how much is this hysteria over the Confederacy’s symbols going to encompass?

For example, will the legend of Scarlett and Rhett be expunged from the screen?  What about Civil War memorabilia sold on E-Bay?  E-Bay has already banned the sale of anything with the Confederate flag emblazoned on it.  What will be their policy concerning Civil War memorabilia?  Will the sale of Confederate uniforms, portraits of Confederate soldiers, oil paintings of battles Confederates won and weapons used by Confederates be banned from sale while memorabilia of the victorious and unsullied North remains saleable?

What about the re-enactments of Civil War battles so beloved in the South (and the North)?  Should they be forbidden?  Then there’s the matter of American history books?  Should the South’s entire history be reconsidered?

Of course, another question is how to deal with the people who stubbornly remain attached to the history of their culture, even though many attempt to include the good, the bad and the ugly of Southern history.  Perhaps Southern historians and professors could be “encouraged” to write and teach the history of the South differently, focusing strictly on the guilt of Southern slavery and the righteousness of the North.  Perhaps Sherman’s march through Georgia is more worthy of study than the brilliant victories of Robert E. Lee?  Should the military genius and sheer personal decency of Robert E. Lee not be mentioned while Ulysses S. Grant’s character is held up as the paramount standard for a Civil War general?  Should the portraits of confederate generals be taken down from their places in military academies and only portraits of Northern generals remain?

What about Southern ancestors?  Should heritages dating back to the Confederacy be a matter of shame rather than of pride?  Will the fact one of your ancestors owned slaves make you suspect as a potential if not an actual racist?

We have seen excesses of panicky and irrational historical revisionism and iconoclasm from time immemorial.

Whether it was Thutmose III’s desecration of Hatshepsut’s statues and the attempt to eliminate any memory of the woman pharaoh; or the attempt during France’s Reign of Terror to eliminate the aristocracy and the Church, including a plan to blow up Notre Dame; or Stalin’s attempt to remove all traces of the Romanoff dynasty, including the complete destruction of the Russian Orthodox Church; or Mao Tse Tung’s Red Guards, who attempted to eliminate Western, including Christian, influence from Chinese culture, as well as ancient Chinese culture itself — the motives have always the same: destroy any offensive symbols of historical events that indicating beliefs differing from the reigning cultural powers.  Only one viewpoint is to be permitted.  Only “pure” symbols reflecting the viewpoint of ideologues is to be taught.  Into the bonfire of vanities with fripperies that reflect heretical views.

In sum, the mentality of the ancient Edomites toward Jerusalem currently appears to be among those of the Left:  “Tear it down.  Tear it down to the foundations.”  No stone must be left untouched until the entire memory of a hated past is completely eliminated.

Then we can build the South again according to the doctrines of the Left.  What a great world it will be once those gun toting, bitter clingers to Christianity, the Republican Party and the Tea Party infesting the South are completely defeated and their idols are no more.

The reasoning behind a potential purge of Southern history by an iconoclastic Left appears to be the hope that by eliminating the symbols of racism, the actual sin of racism will be expurgated.  Racism can be eliminated by taking away the forms that give it substance.  It is a matter of eliminating statues and flags, not a matter of changing hearts.  Getting rid of an offensive flag or statue is a much easier thing to do than to rend one’s heart before almighty God.

Supposedly, by ridding the South of its icons, including the “Confederate flag,” the South will be cleansed of its past sins.  Those sins will linger on because harmful thoughts are evoked by the flag, thoughts that do not fade.  Therefore, the symbols and statues must go, for they evoke hateful memories and incite racist behavior. The Old South must be razed again and a new South rise from the ashes.

What is the solution to this complicated mess?

First, conservatives must cry out loudly, Halt! Stop the iconoclastic frenzy.

Next, let’s insist on telling history, including the history of the Civil War as it really happened in all its facets.  Tell the good, the bad and the ugly history of the South, the North, the East and the West.  Tell the truth. Tell it all — the whole miserable, glorious, mixed up, fascinating and complex mess.

Keep the flags.  Keep the statues.  Keep the portraits.

Teach about them.

Son, this is a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest.  He was brilliant and courageous in battle, but he was brutal.  This park named after Robert E. Lee?  Daughter, he was brave and a gentleman who was worshipped by his men, but it is said he was cruel to his slaves.  Grandchild, here is the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln, it is now acknowledged by most historians, was such a complex genius, scarcely anyone can fully understand the man or sum him up. This portrait of Jefferson Davis, whose statue Mitch McConnell now wants removed from the capitol of Kentucky? Davis, my dear girl, argued against secession, but believed each state had a right to secede from the Union.  A lot of people thought like Davis, and a lot of people didn’t.  So they fought.

A lot of honorable (and some very dishonorable) people on both sides of the Civil War, Confederates and Union soldiers, fought to the death over what they thought was right or wrong.  Each side had a story to tell, a story from which great lessons can be learned.

My child, all history is an admixture of glory and honor; cruelty and cowardice; righteousness and injustice; the beautiful and the horrible.

We’ll tell it all.  We’ll not even pretend that some of us are so righteous and pure we have the authority to decree the only stories that may be told are ours.  We will try not to be so self-righteous we think we’re the only honorable people in times of battle or peace.  We won’t attempt to take the mote out of our brother’s eye when we have a beam in our own.

We will not destroy, fail to acknowledge or refuse to learn other people’s histories.

Because if we do, we will never learn from it or them.

Fay Voshell is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and many other online publications.  She holds a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, which awarded her a prize for excellence in systematic theology. She at one time taught American history. She may be reached at fvoshell@yahoo.com

Calmer heads know unity will not be achieved nor racism ended with the taking down of the so-called Confederate flag from South Carolina’s State House grounds.  While the debate currently is about one symbol seen as offensive by many, there is much more at stake than the elimination of a single flag.

Much more.

What is occurring even as this piece is being written is a modern version of the frenzied iconoclasm of the past.  Today’s leftists are much like the zealots who attacked cathedrals during the Reformation, knocking the heads off statues, destroying relics, breaking stained glass windows and even stripping paint from church walls.  The iconoclasts believed they were purifying the church from idolatry and heresy by so doing.

In like manner, the religion of the Left is seeking the destruction of symbols, statues and paintings representing what they believe to be an unmitigated racist world view diametrically opposed to the doctrines of the pure church of liberalism.

Consequently, what may be at stake is the distinct possibility of a panicky purge of the history of the American South.  A purge is to be achieved by eliminating anything that calls forth memory of the Confederacy.

An exaggeration?  Not at all.

The wheels of progressive revisionism, once they start rolling, could grind exceedingly small.  Every vestige of what the Left sees as the completely degraded past of the South might have to go.  Nothing, no matter how seemingly insignificant or innocuous, would escape revision because for the Leftist inhabitants of the Northeast and elsewhere, the South has been and is still suspected of being irredeemably racist.  It’s always and forever the world of Harper Lee.

Already calls for eliminating the Confederate flag from Maryland license plates and the renaming of Robert E. Lee Park in Baltimore have surfaced.  It was a matter of mere hours before the calls for eliminating road signs and schools named after Confederate generals begin.  Then there were those statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest, George Pickett, Stonewall Jackson and others to be dealt with.

According to the New York Times:

In Charleston, the board that governs the Citadel, the state’s 173-year-old military academy, voted, 9 to 3, to remove the Confederate Naval Jack from the campus chapel, saying that a Citadel graduate and the relatives of six employees were killed in the attack on the church.

In Tennessee, political leaders from both parties said a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and an early Ku Klux Klan leader, should be moved out of the State House. In Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, ordered that the Confederate flag no longer appear on license plates, and political leaders in Maryland, North Carolina and Tennessee vowed to do the same.

As the hysteria over emblems and symbols of the Confederacy accelerates, questions that would have seemed ridiculous only a few weeks or even days ago can legitimately be asked. Just how much is this hysteria over the Confederacy’s symbols going to encompass?

For example, will the legend of Scarlett and Rhett be expunged from the screen?  What about Civil War memorabilia sold on E-Bay?  E-Bay has already banned the sale of anything with the Confederate flag emblazoned on it.  What will be their policy concerning Civil War memorabilia?  Will the sale of Confederate uniforms, portraits of Confederate soldiers, oil paintings of battles Confederates won and weapons used by Confederates be banned from sale while memorabilia of the victorious and unsullied North remains saleable?

What about the re-enactments of Civil War battles so beloved in the South (and the North)?  Should they be forbidden?  Then there’s the matter of American history books?  Should the South’s entire history be reconsidered?

Of course, another question is how to deal with the people who stubbornly remain attached to the history of their culture, even though many attempt to include the good, the bad and the ugly of Southern history.  Perhaps Southern historians and professors could be “encouraged” to write and teach the history of the South differently, focusing strictly on the guilt of Southern slavery and the righteousness of the North.  Perhaps Sherman’s march through Georgia is more worthy of study than the brilliant victories of Robert E. Lee?  Should the military genius and sheer personal decency of Robert E. Lee not be mentioned while Ulysses S. Grant’s character is held up as the paramount standard for a Civil War general?  Should the portraits of confederate generals be taken down from their places in military academies and only portraits of Northern generals remain?

What about Southern ancestors?  Should heritages dating back to the Confederacy be a matter of shame rather than of pride?  Will the fact one of your ancestors owned slaves make you suspect as a potential if not an actual racist?

We have seen excesses of panicky and irrational historical revisionism and iconoclasm from time immemorial.

Whether it was Thutmose III’s desecration of Hatshepsut’s statues and the attempt to eliminate any memory of the woman pharaoh; or the attempt during France’s Reign of Terror to eliminate the aristocracy and the Church, including a plan to blow up Notre Dame; or Stalin’s attempt to remove all traces of the Romanoff dynasty, including the complete destruction of the Russian Orthodox Church; or Mao Tse Tung’s Red Guards, who attempted to eliminate Western, including Christian, influence from Chinese culture, as well as ancient Chinese culture itself — the motives have always the same: destroy any offensive symbols of historical events that indicating beliefs differing from the reigning cultural powers.  Only one viewpoint is to be permitted.  Only “pure” symbols reflecting the viewpoint of ideologues is to be taught.  Into the bonfire of vanities with fripperies that reflect heretical views.

In sum, the mentality of the ancient Edomites toward Jerusalem currently appears to be among those of the Left:  “Tear it down.  Tear it down to the foundations.”  No stone must be left untouched until the entire memory of a hated past is completely eliminated.

Then we can build the South again according to the doctrines of the Left.  What a great world it will be once those gun toting, bitter clingers to Christianity, the Republican Party and the Tea Party infesting the South are completely defeated and their idols are no more.

The reasoning behind a potential purge of Southern history by an iconoclastic Left appears to be the hope that by eliminating the symbols of racism, the actual sin of racism will be expurgated.  Racism can be eliminated by taking away the forms that give it substance.  It is a matter of eliminating statues and flags, not a matter of changing hearts.  Getting rid of an offensive flag or statue is a much easier thing to do than to rend one’s heart before almighty God.

Supposedly, by ridding the South of its icons, including the “Confederate flag,” the South will be cleansed of its past sins.  Those sins will linger on because harmful thoughts are evoked by the flag, thoughts that do not fade.  Therefore, the symbols and statues must go, for they evoke hateful memories and incite racist behavior. The Old South must be razed again and a new South rise from the ashes.

What is the solution to this complicated mess?

First, conservatives must cry out loudly, Halt! Stop the iconoclastic frenzy.

Next, let’s insist on telling history, including the history of the Civil War as it really happened in all its facets.  Tell the good, the bad and the ugly history of the South, the North, the East and the West.  Tell the truth. Tell it all — the whole miserable, glorious, mixed up, fascinating and complex mess.

Keep the flags.  Keep the statues.  Keep the portraits.

Teach about them.

Son, this is a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest.  He was brilliant and courageous in battle, but he was brutal.  This park named after Robert E. Lee?  Daughter, he was brave and a gentleman who was worshipped by his men, but it is said he was cruel to his slaves.  Grandchild, here is the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln, it is now acknowledged by most historians, was such a complex genius, scarcely anyone can fully understand the man or sum him up. This portrait of Jefferson Davis, whose statue Mitch McConnell now wants removed from the capitol of Kentucky? Davis, my dear girl, argued against secession, but believed each state had a right to secede from the Union.  A lot of people thought like Davis, and a lot of people didn’t.  So they fought.

A lot of honorable (and some very dishonorable) people on both sides of the Civil War, Confederates and Union soldiers, fought to the death over what they thought was right or wrong.  Each side had a story to tell, a story from which great lessons can be learned.

My child, all history is an admixture of glory and honor; cruelty and cowardice; righteousness and injustice; the beautiful and the horrible.

We’ll tell it all.  We’ll not even pretend that some of us are so righteous and pure we have the authority to decree the only stories that may be told are ours.  We will try not to be so self-righteous we think we’re the only honorable people in times of battle or peace.  We won’t attempt to take the mote out of our brother’s eye when we have a beam in our own.

We will not destroy, fail to acknowledge or refuse to learn other people’s histories.

Because if we do, we will never learn from it or them.

Fay Voshell is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and many other online publications.  She holds a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, which awarded her a prize for excellence in systematic theology. She at one time taught American history. She may be reached at fvoshell@yahoo.com

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/06/purging_the_history_of_the_south.html#ixzz3eSAqx2So

Something is glaringly left out of the gay marriage frenzy: Children.

What Life Is Like When Children of Gay Couples Don’t Matter

On March 27, 2015, five other children of gays (COGs) and I went to Washington, D.C. to deliver our amicus briefs to the Supreme Court of the United States.  The biographies of Heather Barwick, Katy Faust, BN Klein, Robert Oscar Lopez, Denise Shick, and Dawn Stefanowicz have already been narrated, perhaps excessively, in conservative publications, so I will not waste the reader’s time by recounting the specifics of each confessional.  What should have mattered – and what, as it turns out, didn’t matter – is our categorical identity.  We are the real-life faces of people with serious standing in the question of gay marriage.

Especially in light of Justice Kennedy’s sweeping inclusion of custody and birth certificates in his definition of gay adults’ Fourteenth Amendment “equal protection” rights, gay marriage has a much greater impact on children than it ever could have had on gay couples.  Whereas gay adults may get married, then get divorced, and even remarry to the opposite sex if they wish, children placed in mother-mother or father-father homes are irreparably estranged from half or all their heritage, and permanently denied a mother or denied a father.

Among the six of us, many including myself are former supporters of gay marriage.  Why?  Because we loved our guardians and did not want society to treat them as inferiors.  They were a big part of our lives, regardless of whatever imperfections we may have described in our memories of growing up.  They mattered to us.  By extension, gays and lesbians mattered to us.  We changed our mind and started opposing gay marriage when we realized we didn’t matter to gays and lesbians.  And the fact that we counted for so little in the eyes of the community asking for total power over people like us was not only emotionally hurtful, but also, and perhaps more importantly, politically terrifying.

A funny thing happened on the way to equality.  It started with tales of lesbians stuck in the hospital after car accidents, unable to receive their own lovers as visitors.  Who could oppose legal protections to prevent such tragedies from happening?  I bought into these anecdotes partly because I remember during my mother’s convalescence how important it was for her lover to be at her bedside.  And of course there were tales of teenage boys being bullied by mean kids after school.  As someone called a sissy and chased down by serious jerks, I was willing to endorse anything that might ease the suffering of people targeted by hate and intolerance.

Then there was a bait and switch.  Suddenly self-appointed leaders of the Gay and Lesbian Community, Inc., decided that receiving legal recognition was not enough.  They had to have the right to have children – and not just on the terms forced upon the vast majority of society, but solely on their terms.  They wanted to have legally recognized and government-subsidized relationships with the same sex.  They wanted to exclude adults of the opposite sex from their home, intimate lives, and property.  They wanted the bodies of children – to wit, loving and obedient children – in their homes, genetically connected to them if possible.  They wanted nobody in the home (including the kids), nobody in their neighborhood, nobody on TV, and eventually nobody in the entire world to make any passing reference purposeful or casual to the fact that this arrangement was strange, came with risks, and might be unfair to the very kids the couples expected to love them.

These demands are incredibly unreasonable and cruel, not only to the children, but to all the other parties whose kinship bonds must be mangled or who must be silenced in order to meet such a tall order.  My criticisms fell on hostile ears.  I have been deemed anti-gay, an ex-gay, a virulent homophobe, an exporter of hate, and a million other epithets.  At this point the accusations are so predictable and commonplace I rarely notice them.  My routine: “What is it, Tuesday today?  Oh, the Human Rights Campaign has linked me to people who drafted anti-gay laws in Uganda, a complete lie.  Whatever.  Time to get ready for my morning lecture on Whitman.”

But let’s set aside the meanness and irrational vitriol that have become a mainstay of gay internet trolling and look objectively at what gay leaders were demanding.  Is it reasonable to expect to have children without building a life with the children’s other parents?  Along with this demand goes the demand for silence and speech-policing on the parts of the outside world to keep such captive children from ever hearing anything that might trigger a liberating thought in their mind.  Forbidden are the thoughts that have sparked the movements of oppressed people to rise up in the past: I see what has been done to me.  I see injustice.  This is not fair.  I must speak truth and call this unfair, or I will suffer in silence.  I must call injustice by its name.

Let’s be real.  These are unreasonable things to ask for.  Regardless of how many cute photographs run on The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times, it isn’t fair to the children, and many of the children will eventually awaken to harm that’s been done to them.  You can run cereal ads about gay men adopting children for only so long before the fakeness and shallowness become painfully apparent.  Not only is it unreasonable, but such petulant expectations of society reflect serious character flaws.  People who scream that they want things that go far beyond what is rational to expect are – what do we call them? – petulant, selfish, inconsiderate, solipsistic, overly entitled, arrogant, spoiled.  These are adjectives that describe individuals and can also describe trends of entire social groups.  These are adjectives I would use to describe the gay activist community’s attitudes about children.  They want women’s eggs, women’s wombs, men’s sperm, given to them at dirt-cheap prices, and kids to populate their estates who won’t utter a peep of protest, especially in front of other people.

What begins as an unreasonable, skewed perception of one’s entitlements vis-à-vis the world quickly turns to cruelty.  The many COGs who have come forward with mixed reviews about gay parenting have gotten brutally attacked, not by homophobic Christians who hate their parents, but rather by gay parenting advocates who hate anybody proposing limits on their demands.  Many of us have gotten fired or been blacklisted professionally by gay professionals writing to employers or other authorities in our fields of work.  All of us have been threatened, bombarded with defamatory slurs, and slandered by gay people who raise children or who want to.

If there were any doubts about giving gay people children before, their reaction to COGs should really settle the matter.  Not a single lesbian mother or gay father came forward in the midst of all the attacks against us COGs to say, “I have a child at home and don’t want my child to be treated like this by our community.  Stop!”  Not one.  If there had been one, or two, or five, coming forward and saying something like this, I would not make a sweeping generalization.  But sometimes problems are generalized, and whole communities of people share collective responsibility.

The gay community is full of people who should not be trusted with children.  They don’t think as parents.  If they had the minds of parents, they would see dissident COGs being mistreated and see a mirror of the children they are raising or hope to raise.  Instead, they see dissident COGs and see people threatening their own petulant and irresponsible expectations declared in the name of their gay identity.  In other words, they think about themselves and don’t actually think about the children, except as a means to satisfy themselves.

Countless heterosexuals are awful parents, but the government does not make it a general policy to look past their awful behavior and promise them the love and obedience of other people’s children.  When people criticize their awful heterosexual parents, heterosexual parents listening to the criticism generally think in terms of how unfair things were to kids.

Awful heterosexual parents are structurally and existentially worlds apart from the awfulness of the gay community’s parenting practices.

The gay community told all of society, over 20 years ago, that they could be trusted with other people’s children.  When children emerged as the fulfillment of the demands this community made of society, many of them had stories that ran counter to what the gay community promised.  The gay community had nothing to say.  Pro-gay Americans had nothing to say.  Conservatives just wanted to talk about their own Christian principles being threatened by having to bake cakes for lesbian weddings.  Nobody had anything to say about the fact that a grand social experiment had been based on vows that an irrational, conceited community had made and broken, with no sense of repentance.

Justice Anthony Kennedy and the four conspirators in his willful ignorance – Kagan, Sotomayor, Breyer, and Ginsburg – were given ample opportunities to look past hashtags, propaganda, and the gay community’s temper tantrums.  They signed off on a decision in Obergefell, which essentially argued this: (1) Gay people have suffered in the past.  (2) The Fourteenth Amendment was passed to protect the liberty and due process of people who have suffered.  (3) Ergo, anything that gay people want is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.  If they want children and have the money to buy them, have at it.

But according to Justice Kennedy, the Fourteenth Amendment does not protect children whom gay people demand as an entitlement.  Children of gays are slaves.  Justice Kennedy made no reference whatsoever to the COGs who had submitted detailed amicus briefs to him.  The four dissenting justices made no reference to us, either.  In the eyes of the court, we do not exist.  Some COGs do exist: that is, children of gays who refrain from criticizing their loss of their heritage and who cheer for the gays who control them and keep them silent.  At least the latter “good” children get to exist.  But they don’t really matter any more than we do.  If they mattered, they would have the liberty to say the things we say, which they clearly don’t.

W.E.B. DuBois once mused on the question that crossed black men’s minds: what is it like to be a problem?  The question crosses my mind: what is it like when you don’t matter?

I inhabit a horrible world and am a citizen of a nation I increasingly fear and despise.  Having devoted my whole life to studying early American literature and celebrating our country’s cultural and political roots, I find it hard to be positive anymore.  My nation used me and people like me as toys for their little political games.  My country ruined my humanity and broke all its promises to me.

When you don’t matter, you can’t trust anyone.  And I don’t.  Life is lonely and heartbreaking when you don’t matter.  With each day the Christian in me grows and the American in me withers: perhaps, I tell myself, God has dealt us these painful blows so that we realize that government is not religion, courts are not church, and judges like Anthony Kennedy are no gods.  A higher purpose exists – I know that now, better than I ever have.  That is the only positive thing about living life as someone who doesn’t matter.

Robert Oscar Lopez edited Jephthah’s Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family “Equality.”

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/06/what_life_is_like_when_children_of_gay_couples_dont_matter.html#ixzz3eS5oHkJ2

No Shame Anymore

Let’s Bring Back Guilt and Shame

Posted on | June 26, 2015

By Stacy McCain

“I was twelve when I discovered porn.”

So begins “How I Came Out: Part 2 – My Bisexual Awakening” by Kaitlyn, a 22-year-old graduate of Pacific Lutheran University.

Please stop laughing long enough to think about this. Remember when “coming out” meant someone was actually, y’know, gay?

What’s the point of “coming out” as bisexual?

If you are actually with somebody of the same sex — which is to say, you’re in a gay relationship — then this could cause a situation at the family Thanksgiving gathering. But if all you’re doing, in terms of your bisexuality, is occasionally hooking up with partners of either sex, do you need to “come out” about that? Why?

 

Politics, really. Adding another soldier to the LGBT Social Justice Army in their Grand March to abolish normality. So if you ever had an “incident” at Scout camp or engaged in some “Wow, I was so drunk last night” shenanigans at college, it is now Urgently Important that you must tell everybody on the Internet. This is what Tumblr blogs are for.

Thanks for sharing your adolescent porn habits with us, Kaitlyn.

“Dear Penthouse Forum . . .”

Excuse my habitual sarcasm, but it’s hard to avoid suspecting that perversion was more fun when everybody knew it was wrong.

Now that every college has an LGBT club and every major city has a “pride” parade, the abolition of sexual shame has also abolished the frisson of pursuing Forbidden Pleasure. If nothing is taboo anymore — a lesbian comedian is hosting a popular daytime TV show and a former Olympic star makes the cover of Vanity Fair as “transgender” — where can anyone find the thrill of Guilty Secrets? As weirdness becomes more and more normalized in society, it also inevitably becomes more boring.

Young people nowadays can be excused if they find themselves wondering what life was like in the Bad Old Days, when fornication was regarded as a sin and sodomy was an abomination. Kids may be nostalgic for a society that required us to repress our unruly teenage impulses, when guys felt guilty for trying to get to third base with their girlfriends.

Well, we were supposed to feel guilty, anyway.

She’s your adolescent dream,
Schoolboy stuff, a sticky sweet romance.
And she makes you want to scream,
Wishing you could get inside her pants.
So, you fantasize away.
And while you’re squeezing her,
You thought you heard her saying . . .

“Good girls don’t,
Good girls don’t,
Good girls don’t, but I do.”

The distinction between Good Girls and Bad Girls was, of course, both a cruel fiction and a vital bulwark of social morality. Perhaps unspeakable depravity lurked in the subconscious of all those Good Girls whose respectable boyfriends were afraid to try to even get past second base. Certainly I was not the only long-haired rock-and-roll outlaw who suspected that most Good Girls secretly wanted to be Bad Girls. Yet the forces of repression were still strong — I grew up deep in the Bible Belt, where the Sexual Revolution didn’t win a sudden and complete victory — and the innate capacity for wickedness was restrained, so it is likely that most Good Girls believed they actually were good.

So, you call her on the phone
To talk about the teachers that you hate.
And she says she’s all alone,
And her parents won’t be coming home til late.
There’s a ringing in your brain,
Cause you could’ve sworn
You thought you heard her saying . . .

“Good girls don’t,
Good girls don’t,
Good girls don’t, but I do.”

Sneaky teenage guilt is ancient history now. Nothing is repressed in 2015. Perverts are marching down Main Street beneath the Rainbow Flag, declaring their pride in being abnormal, and anyone who fails to applaud the parade is condemned as a hater. As I’ve said, “Until I started studying radical feminism, I never thought of ‘normal’ as an achievement.” Feminist gender theory — the social construction of the gender binary within the heterosexual matrix — tends toward the conclusion that it’s wrong to be normal. These weird ideas, promulgated in university Women’s Studies programs, have been diffused through our culture to such an extent we may imagine young people feeling ashamed to confess that they are heterosexual. In the 21st century, a teenage girl’s peers would treat her as an outcast and a misfit if she were to declare her ambition was to fall in love with a nice guy, marry him, have babies and live in a 3BR/2BA house in the suburbs.

THE SUPREME COURT TODAY ORDERED THAT ALL
STATES MUST ISSUE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LICENSES

Being normal is old-fashioned and old-fashioned is oppressive. Therefore, the Good Girl is now stigmatized for her virtue, because feminists tell her she should be “empowered” (Yes Means Yes!) to express her sexuality, while no one can condemn the Bad Girl, because that would be “slut-shaming.” Traditional morality having thus been totally inverted — calling to mind Nietzsche’s “transvaluation of all values” — the teenage girl finds herself thrown to the wolves and expected to perform her “empowered” sexuality with that most horrible and hideous beast, the teenage boy.

And it’s a teenage sadness
Everyone has got to taste.
An in-between age madness
That you know you can’t erase . . .

“Good Girls Don’t,” as Doug Feiger sang in 1979, and it’s astonishing how this “in-between age madness” has gotten even more out of control now than it was in the Seventies, when more or less everybody in high school was on drugs. Let it be noted that Fast Times at Ridgemont High was actually based on a true story, a 1981 book by Cameron Crowe:

As a freelance writer for Rolling Stone magazine, Crowe went undercover at Clairemont High School in San Diego, California, and wrote about his experiences.

If that now-classic teen movie exaggerated reality for comic effect, many of us who lived through that era — before the AIDS epidemic, before mandatory “safe sex” lessons in public schools — nonetheless recognize the reality behind the laughs. There were a lot of real-life human tragedies amid all that sex, drugs and rock-and-roll. Hearts were broken and lives were ruined, and the only thing that could possibly make sense of it all was the music on the radio.

You’re alone with her at last,
And you’re waiting til you think the time is right.
Cause you’ve heard she’s pretty fast.
And you’re hoping that she’ll give you some tonight.
So, you start to make your play,
Cause you could’ve sworn you
Thought you heard her saying . . .

“Good girls don’t,
Good girls don’t,
Good girls don’t, but I do.”

It’s a miracle any of us rock-and-roll kids survived that era. You might think we would have learned enough from our experience to prevent a revival of that deviant culture, but it seems that many so-called “grown-ups” learned all the wrong lessons from their decadent youth.

“Well, we managed to make it through all right,” these alleged adults seem to have concluded, “so let’s just let our kids figure it out for themselves.” Then one day you log onto the Internet and find a young Lutheran’s bisexual confession: “I was twelve when I discovered porn.”

Sex, Shame and the Dark Side

Kaitlyn’s kinky confession echoes “Belle Knox,” as the Duke University Women’s Studies major Miriam Weeks called herself in her video porn career. She appeared on The View in March 2014:

The 18-year-old . . . was raised a devout Catholic in a loving home in Spokane, Washington.
Miriam’s Catholic father Kevin and mother Harcharan, reportedly have been ‘floored’ by their daughter’s decision to turn to porn to fund her $60,000-a-year education at the elite school.
Miss Weeks said today that her parents were not aware of her decision to enter the porn industry but are now ‘absolutely supportive’ of her choice.
She added: ‘We tell our children through school and socialization that sexuality is bad’ before adding to the shock of the panelists that she had been watching online porn alone since the age of 12.

“Good Girls Don’t,” but good girls are a scarce commodity in a hypersexualized society where feminists adamantly insist that every girl has a right to be bad (Yes Means Yes!) while at the same time feminists denounce the bad girl’s male partners as sexual oppressors who are products of “rape culture.” Young people are understandably confused by this cacophony of demonic voices telling them they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t. It seems that many teen girls do, and then wish they hadn’t done it. Pressured into playing the Bad Girl, they find themselves overcome with inexplicable feelings of shame.

“Dubious claims about ‘rape culture’ are an attempt to create an all-purpose scapegoat for the emotional dark side of promiscuity,” Robert Tracinski wrote in February 2015:

College campuses have long since been taken over by a culture in which casual sex with acquaintances is considered normal and where slightly outré sexual experimentation is strongly encouraged, all of it spurred on by alcohol, which figures prominently in most of these cases. But it’s clear that some young women are not psychologically prepared for this. They have casual relationships and hookups, but then feel regret and emotional trauma when the experience ends up being emotionally unsatisfying or disturbing. Then they are encouraged, by the feminists and “rape culture” activists, to reinterpret the experience as all the fault of an evil man who must have coerced them.
It’s a system which systematically preys on and exploits the emotional vulnerability of young women in order to use them as publicity fodder for an ideological agenda.

As bad as this is for college students who are “not psychologically prepared” to deal with the emotional consequences of sexual hedonism, this is happening to even younger girls. Consider this story:

An x-rated video of Vine star Carter Reynolds leaked Sunday that purportedly shows him pressuring his ex-girlfriend for oral sex, raising issues of consent and spurring Internet backlash.
The video is filmed from Reynolds’ point of view, with his pants pulled down and his erect penis exposed. His ex-girlfriend, Instagram celeb Maggie Lindemann, tells him “I don’t think I can” and repeatedly stresses “I am really uncomfortable.” Reynolds tells her to “do it,” and “just pretend (the camera) isn’t there.” Lindemann eventually curls up and stops looking at the camera. It ends with Reynolds saying, “Oh my gosh, Maggie.”
The duo has had a tumultuous relationship, with several breakups, the most recent of which was in May. Lindemann is 16 years old, and Reynolds recently turned 19, leaving issues of consent and statutory rape on the table depending when and where the clip was filmed, as well as child pornography issues depending on how old Reynolds is in the video. . . .
Fans and fellow social media celebs have taken to social media in anger over Reynolds’ actions.

Who are these teenage Internet “celebrities”? How is it that a 19-year-old boy gains a sort of cult fame by uploading iPhone videos, and then finds a girlfriend who is herself a “social media celeb”?

 

This kind of do-it-yourself adolescent notoriety is altogether commonplace in the 21st century, and there is no adult supervision to the process whereby kids become “famous for being famous.” So it was that Carter Reynolds, while still a high school senior in North Carolina, got more than 1,600 retweets by declaring “school can suck it” in January 2014. We fast-forward to June 2015, when Reynolds has exploited his Internet fame to get himself a famous Internet girlfriend, and now she’s the one who is commanded to “suck it.” Meanwhile, who is Maggie Lindemann and why is she so famous? She’s a pretty brunette from Texas, but if she has any actual talent or intellectual ability, you wouldn’t know it from reading her Twitter account, where more than a quarter-million followers await such of her delphic utterances as, “the cutest” (June 15, 351 retweets) and  “I regret you” (June 16, 570 retweets). After the leaked video of Reynolds trying to coerce her into a video performance of oral sex made headlines, Lindemann tweeted:

I’m ok and have positive people with me. Trust that this is being handled and I’ve been told I cant comment on it at this time. Love you.

That message got more than 3,000 retweets and 12,000 likes.

Something has gone terribly wrong in our culture, you see. Fame has been cheapened to nothing, and sex is even cheaper. These shallow pseudo-celebrities are made by the Internet and then broken by the Internet before most people have ever even heard of them.

Kids log onto the Internet to worship at the digital altar of their idols, crude vulgarians who seem to have no qualifications beyond their narcissistic craving for admiration. When it is predictably revealed that Carter Reynolds is a selfish creep — really? who could have imagined this?we are subjected to pious lectures:

“Couples do stuff like that all time.”
That sentence just about sums up Vine star Carter Reynolds’ psuedo-apology on Twitter after footage of Reynolds pressuring his then 17-year-old girlfriend into sex leaked onto the Internet. . . .
Despite the widespread prevalence of intimate partner abuse, it’s one aspect of rape culture we tend to ignore, partially due to the widespread victim blaming that survivors experience.

Oh, give me a break! You’re telling me that no one had the slightest inkling that Carter “School Can Suck It” Reynolds might have profound antisocial tendencies? The parents of Maggie Lindemann had no reason to be concerned when their underage daughter hooked up with Reynolds via the 2014 “Magcon” tour? Why should we heed sermons about “rape culture” by the same “journalists” who otherwise act as publicity agents for the fame-junkie culture that turned a no-talent dimwit like Carter Reynolds into a celebrity? Whatever happened to shame? Whatever happened to making achievement and virtuous character the basis of respect? Stipulating that the rock-and-roll idols of yore were generally a bunch of sex-crazed drug addicts, at least they bothered learning to sing, play instruments and write songs. When did Carter Reynolds ever do anything that would cause anyone to think he was worthy of admiration? And did it not occur to any of his admirers that a famous idiot like Carter Reynolds might not have much respect for the idiots who admired him?

Let’s not be naïve about the habits of such people, OK? Don’t lecture me like I’m a fool in need of your enlightenment. We all know exactly what Carter Reynolds was doing when he tried to talk Maggie Lindemann into doing an amateur porn video. He was attempting to derive the maximum power from his unearned fame, to demonstrate to himself what a big deal he is, and to obtain actual proof of this, which he could then show off to his buddies: “Look, man, here’s Maggie doing it for me.”

How often must this lesson be repeated? Anytime a guy gets a naked picture or sex video of a girl, he’s going to show it to his buddies. Everybody knows this by now and, although many states have passed laws against “revenge porn,” such laws won’t stop a guy from showing his girlfriend’s nude selfies to his buddies. Therefore . . .?

Don’t do it, ladies, and don’t associate with guys who expect you to do it.

Let us not pretend, however, that guys are not also being damaged by the perverse sewer of our hypersexualized culture.

True story: A guy I used to know had a life nearly anyone would envy. Grew up in a fine family with a big suburban home, swimming pool in the backyard, everything. His folks were respectable Christian people, and my friend was intelligent and talented. By the time he was 30, he had established himself in a professional career, married and had a home of his own. My wife and I used to visit my buddy and his wife at their house and marvel at their good fortune. We lost touch with them after a while, but after about 15 years had elapsed, I looked up my old friend and was shocked to learn what had happened. He and his wife had gotten into “swinging,” he got involved in drugs, so his marriage ended in divorce and he lost his house and his job. He became addicted to both crack cocaine and Internet porn, had a complete nervous breakdown and, at the time I looked him up again, my buddy was quite literally living in his mother’s basement, trying to put his life back together.

Blame Satan or Blame the Patriarchy?

Nobody is bulletproof. Nobody is immune. Start ignoring the rules of normal life — those old-fashioned “oppressive” rules — and you never know what kind of evil you’ll find waiting to ruin your life, wreck your mind and destroy your soul.

People who deny the reality of supernatural evil in the world often pretend to believe that there are no consequences to their own selfishness, while simultaneously promoting ideologies that scapegoat other people collectively for everything wrong in the world. Instead of blaming evil on Satan, feminists blame it on the patriarchy, and do not realize how their non-falsifiable belief system turns man-hating into a religion. Why bother seeking any deeper explanation of Carter Reynolds’ thuggish behavior, when you can recite jargon about “intimate partner abuse,” “rape culture” and “victim blaming”? Everybody sings in unison from the Feminist Hymnal, including an 18-year-old Texas girl named Hayley, who recently explained on Twitter:

“I can’t hang with straight men because I’m too clumsy to be around things as fragile as their masculinity.”

See how obvious this is? Your masculinity is fragile, “straight men,” as any teenager in Texas could tell you.

This same young Texan posted her “coming out” notice on Tumblr:

I’m gay. This isn’t a joke. The past year I have really started trying to figure out my sexuality. I was always afraid of my feelings for girls because of seeing how my family and other people started treating and thinking of my lesbian sister. I was bullied and harassed severely in the 6th grade because of rumors of me being a lesbian, and that experience really damaged me and made me want to be the farthest thing from it, thus I repressed the feelings more and more. However, I started dating guys but in every single relationship I was in except for one, I found myself completely repulsed by almost anything sexual in nature . . . Even being romantic felt like I had to force it because I felt like it wasn’t fair for the partners who felt strongly towards me. I was just unaroused and attracted to it at all, and some of those relationships ended for the exact reason that I couldn’t give guys what they wanted . . . and it made me feel guilty and like something was wrong with me, and that’s what people told me, that something must be broken in me. For a while I thought and identified as asexual because of this lack of attraction, but because of the pressure of the environment and society I’m from, I tried to smother every romantic or sexual attraction I actually had, almost totally exclusive with women. And in college I hope to explore my heart’s desires at last. The past few months I have done a lot of introspection and realized it wasn’t sex and romance I was repulsed by — it was that I was put back by it with MEN. I’ve tried to convince myself I’m straight. I’ve tried to keep it all to myself. But I don’t think I will ever be happy until I can be true to myself . . . and the people around me. I know many people will think down on me because of this now. But I cannot keep sacrificing my own wellbeing to try and please others. . . . Thank you for listening, and I hope that you will try to understand.
This is the only social media I’ve come out to and it will probably stay that way for a while. I haven’t specifically come out with any of my friends either, only talked to a few how I was questioning. I’m mortified of coming out to my parents. After YEARS they’ve finally accepted my sister for being an open lesbian, but still see her as lesser as a person . . . I’m their “star child” and they care a lot about reputation. I can’t help but feel that I’ve failed them. It’s just . . . it’s hard.

Teenagers now publish their “coming out” stories on Tumblr even though they’re “mortified” their parents will find out. This suggests that (a) parents generally have no idea what their kids are doing on the Internet, and (b) the kids take this for granted. And we might further speculate that (c) what kids are doing on the Internet has a lot to do with the increasingly weird sex culture.

 

Think about it: Kaitlyn at Pacific Lutheran confesses she started watching Internet porn when she was 12, which was also the same age at which Miriam Weeks/”Belle Knox” started watching Internet porn. Maggie Lindemann hooks up with Internet celebrity Carter Reynolds and he’s trying to make her do a porn video. It’s possible to perceive a clear pattern here and, when I think of my old buddy whose life was wrecked by “swinging,” drugs and porn addiction, perhaps you can see why I’m intrigued by how young Hayley explains her lesbianism.

She “started dating guys,” but found herself “completely repulsed by almost anything sexual in nature” because she “couldn’t give guys what they wanted.” And what did these guys want? She doesn’t say, but might we suspect that what they wanted was for her to enact their porn-inspired fantasies, to be an insatiable love-slave who just can’t get enough?

“Oh, yeah, baby! Do me like that!”

Rather than being grateful, as any man should be, for the pleasure of a woman’s companionship, these guys become obsessed with sex as a performance and are inevitably frustrated that female human beings they meet in real life are nothing like the pornographic fantasy women they’ve been watching in Internet videos since they were 12 years old.

The War Between the Sexes has degenerated into utter savagery, as guys and girls alike are burdened with impossible expectations of themselves and each other. Would you be surprised to learn that Hayley from Texas, the “star child” whose parents “care a lot about reputation,” has a history of eating disorders and self-harm?

I can’t express to you the deep, passionate level of hatred I used to feel about every little piece of myself physically and mentally. You’re talking about a girl who felt so s***ty about herself that she’d obsessively weigh in, starve for days, purposely throw up food, and run 1.8 miles every day to rid herself of imperfection.

She went through “hospitalization following hospitalization,” she explained. “No matter how much weight she lost, she still managed to hate herself even more.” She got better and realized, “You can’t constantly call yourself names and dwell at yourself in the mirror and expect yourself to be happy with yourself.”

Why? What causes this “deep, passionate level” of self-hatred in young women? Feminist scholars, rather predictably, blame the patriarchy, throwing around terms like “objectification” and “trauma” to describe how girls learn to hate their looks so much:

Dr. Erchull and Dr. Liss, along with alumna Stephanie Lichiello, recently had a paper titled Extending the Negative Consequences of Media Internalization and Self-Objectification to Dissociation and Self-Harm published in the October online first edition of the journal Sex Roles. Their findings suggest that self-harm and dissociation, both outcomes associated with the literature on trauma, are related to self-objectification and media internalization. They suggest that objectification could be considered a form of insidious trauma or microaggression.

However, if the overwhelming power of “male supremacy” explains this, why is it that self-hatred is producing so much self-hatred in girls now, at a time when female students comprise 57% of college enrollment and there is more real sexual equality in Western societies than at any previous time in history? And why are some girls driven to these self-destructive behaviors while the vast majority are not? Did I mention Haylee also suffered from trichotillomania? This is a rare “disorder characterized by the compulsive urge to pull out one’s hair,” according to Wikipedia, and “may be triggered by depression or stress.”

Sibling Rivalry and Non-Random Coincidence

While the “star child” Hayley was dealing with these various problems, what was her older lesbian sister doing? You can read a 2012 online petition in which a lesbian in Missouri describes how she made “friends online with” Hayley’s older sister and the two lovebirds then spent two years “talking every single day, texting, chatting, and Skyping for hours on end.” Parental opposition stood in the way of their meeting in person:

In fact, we’ve tried multiple times to visit one another, including my 18th birthday, my high-school graduation and my senior prom. But every time, the only issue we’ve come across is Amy’s father, who has vehemently opposed her traveling up to see me.

The father was the bad guy, you see, for not letting his daughter (17 at the time) run off to Missouri to be with her lesbian beloved, and this was posted in a petition at Change.org! Is anyone surprised that, while the elder sister was engaged in this kind of behavior, Hayley was showing symptoms of extreme stress? Around the same time her older sister made her online lesbian love connection, Haylee says she “was bullied and harassed severely in the 6th grade because of rumors of me being a lesbian.” Yet while she has “done a lot of introspection” about her own sexuality, Haylee doesn’t seem puzzled by the remarkable coincidence that, while less than 3 percent of U.S. women are lesbian or bisexual, both she and her sister identify as lesbian. Haylee was “completely repulsed . . . unaroused and attracted” by males, and this is entirely their fault: “I can’t hang with straight men because I’m too clumsy to be around things as fragile as their masculinity.”

Maybe “straight men” in Hayley’s hometown have some particular problem with “fragile . . . masculinity,” but is it not also possible that there is something particularly “fragile” about Hayley and her sister? Given the pattern we have seen, wouldn’t it make sense to ask if early exposure to pornography might have had something to do with this? Go back to 2009, when Hayley was in sixth grade being “bullied,” while her older sister, 14 or 15 at the time, was evidently trawling the Internet in search of lesbian love. Then remember what Kaitlyn wrote in her bisexual “coming out” notice: “I was twelve when I discovered porn.”

Human behavior follows patterns, and those who subscribe to the “born that way” theory of homosexuality can speculate about genetic factors as explaining why two sisters in a small Texas town would both become lesbians. My own speculative theories, while certainly not denying the possible influence of hereditary traits that manifest themselves as tendencies, would seek the cause in family dynamics and disruptive factors in normal childhood development. The problem with trying to discover the etiology of homosexuality is that social science has declared such inquiries off-limits in recent decades. Everyone now must simply accept homosexuality, and never are we supposed to scrutinize too closely these “coming out” narratives in an attempt to identify non-random factors in the LGBT equation. We must all applaud the pride parade or else be condemned as haters.

Robert Stacy McCain @rsmccain

Everybody’s got a letter in that acronym except ‘N’ for NORMAL.

“Pride goeth before destruction,” the Bible says, but I wasn’t thinking that way in 1979. No, I was thinking about rock-and-roll.

From The Other McCain: http://theothermccain.com/

Stacy McCain discusses the Faggot Frenzy over the SCOTUS Decision

A Prelude to Social Destruction

Posted on | June 27, 2015

By Stacy McCain

“Politics is downstream from culture,” Andrew Breitbart often said. This was why I spent Thursday writing 4,000 words — “Let’s Bring Back Guilt and Shame” — in preparation for the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage which, as anyone who had been paying attention could have predicted, was a 5-4 decision with Justice Kennedy as the decisive vote. What we may discern from reading Justice Kennedy’s ruling is the same thing we discern from reading vulgar expressions of “gay pride” on Tumblr blogs. In both instances, we are confronted by irrational sentiment that not only refuses to recognize the potential for harmful social consequences, but which further insists that opponents are motivated by ignorance and prejudice. The Obergefell decision is not so much a legal argument as it is an accusation of bigotry against American society, an indictment of a nation that imposed a “demeaning” stigma on homosexuals. The decision declares that “marriage is a keystone of the Nation’s social order” (p. 4) before proceeding to declare that this social order must be destroyed because . . . well, why exactly?

There is no difference between same- and opposite-sex couples with respect to this principle . . .

(What principle? Never mind. Justice Kennedy’s on a roll now.)

. . . yet same-sex couples are denied the constellation of benefits that the States have linked to marriage . . .

(You see that, in Justice Kennedy’s enlightened mind, the “benefits” of marriage are supplied by government, rather than being intrinsic to the nature of marriage.)

. . . and are consigned to an instability many opposite-sex couples would find intolerable. . . .

(How dare you “consign” them to “instability,” you haters!)

It is demeaning to lock same-sex couples out of a central institution of the Nation’s society . . .

(They’re locked out of the institution — by haters!)

. . . for they too may aspire to the transcendent purposes of marriage.

(My wife has “transcendent purposes” for me to take out the garbage.)

The limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples may long have seemed natural and just, but its inconsistency with the central meaning of the fundamental right to marry is now manifest.

What can anyone say in reply to such a lecture, except to wonder how or why this alleged “inconsistency . . . is now manifest” in a way it was not manifest at the time the Fourteenth Amendment was drafted and ratified by legislators who never so much as hinted any intention to alter the definition of marriage? Quite obviously, what is at the heart of this specious reasoning is a determination that gay people must be granted access, via marriage, to that “constellation of benefits” of which Justice Kennedy spoke. That is to say, insofar as the Welfare State doles out taxpayer dollars to straight people because of marriage, gay people must also be cut in for their share of the government-provided loot, and who cares what the larger consequences may be? We may expect, for example, that this will hasten the bankruptcy of Social Security as gay “widows” qualify for survivors benefits, but it is clear that Justice Kennedy would never pay heed to any such practical concern.

“The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic. . . . The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.”
Justice Antonin Scalia, dissenting

Equality with a capital E and Progress with a capital P are the inspirational touchstones of Obergefell. The past is a museum full of obsolete prejudices, where ideas that “may long have seemed natural and just” are dismissed as inferior to the ideas of our Enlightened Arbiters of Social Justice, these robed judicial eminences who are authorized to lecture us about the central meaning of fundamental rights. We can read the Constitution the same as they can, but only they are endowed with the extraordinary insight necessary to find “manifest” there a “principle” which had hitherto escaped our feeble perception.

The quasi-religious devotion to Equality and Progress that animates Obergefell moved Justice Kennedy to a mood of poetic rapture that reaches its ecstatic climax in his conclusion:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

One imagines the pages being stained and stuck together after Justice Kennedy finished writing that paragraph. Then he smoked a cigarette, got dressed in a hurry, put a $100 bill on the night stand and left quietly, while the Constitution cried herself to sleep.

William Belcher @EdB_Ohio

@AceofSpadesHQ I’m amazed at the people swooning over the dreck as if they fully expect it in a SCOTUS opinion.

anthony kennedy writes opinions on gay sex like he was a Hallmark Card copywriter bucking for a raise @EdB_Ohio

 

View image on Twitter

About 20 years ago, when liberals began their push for gay marriage, it struck me as an absurd idea. I’m sure most other Americans felt the same way about it, and the social conservatives who took it seriously at the time seemed like hysterical alarmists. Certainly if anyone had told me, circa 1995, that we would reach this point so quickly, I would not have believed them, for I simply could not imagine that we would ever reach this point at all. Trusting in the basic common sense of the American people, I underestimated the persuasive power of the media and the entertainment industry, which have been playing the role of cheerleaders at the LGBT pep rally for so long. Also, I underestimated the extent to which the liberal gospel of Progress and Equality had taken root in the minds of people who, wishing to avoid serious thought about politics and social order, were content to go along with the crowd.

Conscientious people did not want to make themselves unpopular by resisting too loudly this lemming-herd stampede toward the cliff. If you do not wish gay people to be “condemned to live in loneliness” — note well Justice Kennedy’s accusatory implication that opponents are engaged in wanton cruelty — then you must Do Exactly What They Say and Give Them Exactly What They Demand. Thus we arrived at a 21st-century cultural Munich, where marriage was the Sudetenland.

Do you suspect that this will not be the totalitarians’ Final Demand? Well, you’re just a hateful homophobe, aren’t you?

What next? Ace of Spades ponders this briefly:

Now come the knock-on cases, where they ban federal funding of religious schools that don’t recognize gay marriage.

This is obvious enough, and there are many more equally obvious ramifications of Obergefell. The angry LGBT mob, full of destructive rage, will seize the whip they’ve been handed by the Supreme Court and employ it to inflict their sadistic revenge on America.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Robert Stacy McCain @rsmccain

Despite today’s Supreme Court ruling, heterosexuality is still legal, except on college campuses in California.

From The Other McCain: http://theothermccain.com/


Liberals Riot like it’s 1955. We are Entering the Blind Ages.

The Progressive Timeline

A topic of interest amongst many crime-thinkers, as well as some mainstream writers who secretly read crime-thinkers for column material, is why Progressives can never come to terms with the fact that they have been in charge of most of society for generations. It’s as if they have been asleep for the last fifty years or were taught an alternative history.

Detroit collapses in on itself and Progressive are out in the streets protesting as if the city was run by a secret cabal of Free Masons. They demand change and the implementation of their preferred solutions. Left out is the fact they were the ones in charge for fifty odd years and they had implemented all of their preferred polices, causing the collapse.

Race is the most obvious big social issue which has been totally controlled by Progressives. Since the 1950’s, the Left has had a free hand in trying tonmake the races get along. They even control the definition of “getting along.” Despite this, the last few years has been a non-stop campaign to “fix” race, as well as a cynical effort to cause a race war.

After the church shooting, every member of the Cult was out in the streets claiming nothing has changed since the last time a white guy killed a bunch of black people, which was fifty years ago. Normal people would look at the near total absence of white on black crime in the South, relative to the bad old days, as an amazing development. To the Left, this has not happened and it is still 1955.

My theory for why Progressives have a folded timeline is that their religion is synchronic versus diachronic and it is emotional. The Western tradition, informed by the Catholic scholarly traditions, is diachronic and dispassionate. History is a series of events, each influencing the other. The French Revolution, for example, led to Napoleon, the latter being the result of the former.

The Progressive sense of history is synchronic and emotional. The Civil Rights Movement has enormous emotional resonance with the left so it is of constant interest and talked about as if it happened yesterday. On the other hand, the near total domination of America urban centers by Progressive politicians has no emotional resonance so may as well have happened ten thousand years ago or not at all.

This jumps out when talking with millennials, who have been marinated in the New Religion throughout their schooling. Even those who ostensibly reject the one true faith have this emotional timeline baked into their thinking. They divide the past into two parts. There are those events that happened a long time ago before they were around and those events that happened in their time, which are all consuming.

For instance, I recently was talking with a millennial about mobile phones. He made the comment that life must have been rough before Steve Jobs invented the iPhone. He just assumed that this thing important to him, was a seminal moment in history. When I explained to him that I had a mobile phone in the 1980’s, I may as well have told him I lived in the age of dragons. He was incredulous.

I think this explains the current moral panic over the Confederate flag. In the Progressive timeline, the Civil War looms large, casting a shadow over everything. Their emotional response to the flag is the same as abolitionists felt in the 19th century. It’s why plagiarists like Doris Kearns Goodwin try so hard to make Lincoln into a Progressive Democrat.

It’s also why after half a century that we are still treated to JFK retrospectives around the anniversary of his death. Kennedy was an insignificant figure in American history, but he looms large in the Progressive imagination, even larger than FDR. The reason is he was “martyred” and then turned into a saint in the Cult of Modern Liberalism. The real JFK would have been revolted by modern liberalism, but the mythological one is the Brigham Young of the faith.

A strange little book I read a long time ago is The Man Who Folded Himself, by Star Trek writer David Gerrold. The premise is that the timeline can be folded on itself so that points separated by eons can appear to be moments apart. That’s the mind of the Progressive. Events of great emotional import are clustered together on their timeline in the near past. Everything else is scattered in the distant past, many beyond the event horizon.

The result of this folded timeline is a historical amnesia. It is, perhaps, a defense mechanism to deal with disconfirmations. When the prophesies do not come true, those events quickly recede into the distant past so the believer can maintain their faith. Think about how chronic gamblers never remember their loses, but remember every cent they won.

Those events that fit the narrative are always in their minds as if they just happened. Sometimes, they confuse the imaginary events like the Mathew Shepherd murder with real events. Just the other day a moonbat brought this case with me. When I pointed out that he was not, in fact, a victim of homophobia, the moonbat was incredulous. I had to provide proof and they were still insisting it could have happened.

Oddly, the Dark Ages are described as the period when the barbarians snuffed out the light of Rome. That’s not exactly true, but it is useful. What will we call the period when the fanatics turn out the lights on the past, disconnecting us from material reality? Maybe in  the future, our time will be known as the start of the Blind Ages.

US Military Massive Cargo Planes

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C-17 Globemaster IIIs wait to be deiced by maintainers from the 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Jan. 28 at McChord Air Force Base, Wash. Deicing prevents the reformation of ice prior to launch.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Abner Guzman)

C-17 Globemaster IIIs wait to be deiced by maintainers from the 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Jan. 28 at McChord Air Force Base, Wash. Deicing prevents the reformation of ice prior to launch. (U.S. Air Force photo/Abner Guzman)

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Making Le Creuset Cast Iron Cookware

A Visit to the Le Creuset Factory

By David Lebovitz

Le Creuset-30

I’m a random collector of Le Creuset. When rifling through a random box at a flea market in France, a hint of one of their trademark colors may catch my eye. I’ll pull out the pot, inspect it (never with too much excitement because if I plan to bargain for it, I need to keep my cards close to my chest), then either make an offer or put it back.

Le Creuset-3

Because space is always an issue, I evaluate it for a number of factors: If it’d be a good addition to my batterie de cuisine, if the price is right, and how much use it’s had. (That is, what condition it’s in.) I actually love seeing the well-used pieces at the flea markets in France, because many people have kept their Le Creuset pots and pans in their families, handing them down from generation to generation. Some I put back because they’re too far gone, others I haggle for – or just pay up because it’s too good to leave behind – and a few I regret not acting faster on, seeing them snapped up by others.

Le Creuset

Today, Le Creuset remains a popular brand, not just in France, but around the world, including across Europe, in the United States, and in Japan. (The last two are the largest buyers of their cookware in the world.) The original foundry was started in 1925 in the North of France, in Fresnoy-le-Grand, and is still making cookware today the same way they’ve been doing it for nearly a hundred years. The factory isn’t open to the public, because it’s an actual working foundry and isn’t set up for visitors.

Le Creuset-grill pans

But I’m always excited to go to a factory or workshop, whether it be KitchenAid, to a cheese-maker, or the workshop of a great chocolatier like Patrick Roger, because I like to see what goes into making things I use or eat everyday. And I was beyond thrilled to be invited.

I’m also especially interested in things that are culturally exclusive to France, which has taken a few knocks over the few years for not keeping up. In these days of globalization, it’s intriguing to see something that’s made in France that remains a worldwide icon, and hasn’t changed its philosophy nor the way it’s made, yet is still relevant. Unlike a luxury watch or Hermès handbag, a Le Creuset pot, pan, or gratin dish is something that you can buy and use every day. If you buy a Made in France Le Creuset enameled cast iron pot or pan, you’ll be owning one that can be handed down for generations, just like they are in France.

At the risk of sounding overly effusive, my invitation was strictly as a guest, not necessarily to write about it. And it may sound a little odd, but for the next few days, I was profoundly moved by the whole experience. It’s incredible to see people physically laboring over something, born of raw materials, then holding a beautiful piece of cookware that is the end result of their work.

Le Creuset factory

The word creuset translated to crucible and refers to a very sturdy cooking cauldron. One French-English dictionary translated to a “melting pot,” which seems very appropriate.

Le Creuset factory

Le Creuset-8

Le Creuset fonte cookware (fonte émaillée means “enameled cast iron”) begins in a dark, dusky building. Each piece is individually cast in a sand mold made specifically for that piece. This part of the factory is where it all starts, and it’s not exactly an elegant showroom.

Le Creuset pans

Le Creuset-4

Sometimes when I go into a place and take pictures, they come rushing over and say “Non, Non! C’est pas propre!” (“No, it’s not clean.”) But this is how the cookware starts, and it’s hard to be tidy when you’re dealing with sand, scrap metal, and molten metal. Watching the beginning of the process felt like stepping back into something vaguely medieval.

The company was started by two Belgian men – one was an enameling expert, the other, a metal caster. The signature flame (orange) color that’s my favorite was modeled after the intense orange glow that comes out of the cauldron that they use to melt the iron.

Le Creuset iron

I watched as old metal scraps, many parts of railroad tracks, got recycled and melted in the cauldron, which became a burning, intense fireball. I was invited to peer inside as they tilted it forward.

It was so hot that I could barely get closer than 10 feet (3 meters) to it. It was hotter than I could imagine and it was kind of scary at the same time. The inside was a bubbling, heaving mass of red-hot iron and I’d never seen anything like it. I read that iron melts at about 2795ºF (1535ºC) and boils at 5183ºF (2862ºC). I wasn’t getting close enough to stick a thermometer in there – I’ll take their word for it!

Le Creuset factory in France

Each batch of iron is tested to make sure it meets their particular standards and it was amazing to see what came out of that boiling cauldron a few minutes later, as we watched the pouring, setting, and release of each pan from its mold.

Cast-iron fans, and hygiene folks, might want to scroll ahead, but I asked why they didn’t make a line of non-enameled cast iron skillets. They explained that cast iron works by absorbing the various fats and greases that are cooked in it into tiny pores in the metal, which helps create a sort-of nonstick surface (except to those of us who have tried to make fried rice in ours), and it’s not exactly hygienic. That’s not to say it’s particularly bad and I have one that I use. But I thought the point was interesting.

The next few steps, you can see the pots after the molds were filled with hot iron being released. (It was pretty dark in the foundry, and I tried to catch it for you to see. But it happens kind of abruptly.)

Le Creuset factory

Le Creuset factory

Le Creuset factory

After the pots are released, the sand gets cleaned and reused, and each piece is brushed partially clean and inspected for flaws. Duds get tossed back into that fiery inferno, melted down, and cast again.

Le Creuset factory

Le Creuset-13

When they come out of the molds, the pots and pans bear just a little resemblance to the finish product and are rough around the edges. Some are smoothed by hand. Others are left to a machine to do the work, like this oval baking dish.

One question that I had was about the rims on enameled cast iron, which I thought needed to be religiously hand-dried so they wouldn’t rust. They explained that each was actually coated, which you can’t see, but seals the metal so you don’t need to worry. Of course, if you have vintage pots like I do, you may want to continue to hand dry them as that finish may have worn off over time.

Le Creuset factory

At every step of the way, the cookware is inspected for flaws – a glaze skip, a ding in the metal, a dent in the handle, are all reasons to pull a piece off the line. Some with cosmetic flaws get sent to one of their factory stores, but anything that will affect the cooking quality of the pan doesn’t make it out of the factory.

Le Creuset factory in France

Each piece takes ten hours to make and fifteen people are involved in the making of each Dutch oven. Six hundred people work in this particular factory. They have other facilities around the world, including in China and the United States. They have also expanded their product line to include glassware, cutlery, tableware, and wine openers, because wine pairs well with food, which few know better than the French.

Le Creuset glaze

Above is a vat of enamel to finish some pots. It’s mixed up in batches from various pigments and the recipes are closely guarded secrets.

Le Creuset-21

The enameling process, which takes three hours, is especially top-secret, so I can’t show you quite how they do it, but the pots, pans and lids are individually set on a multi-pronged holder and sprayed with whatever color they are enameling that run with, that day.

Le Creuset-gratin dishes

The pots and pans that are graduated in color, that go from dark to light, have an extra-fine spray of darker colored enamel added at the end, with the spray brush moving away slowing from near the center of the pot or lid, to give it that signature burning flame-like finish.

Le Creuset colors

At any given time, they produce cookware in about 50 colors. Some are done because different countries have a tendency to favor certain colors. Black is popular in Japan and purple is popular in France: One pot they were testing in 3 various shades of purple, to be released next year in France. I like the orange, but also some of the green colors. They’re both timeless and contemporary, with a hit of vintage mixed in. Below are some of the pots that didn’t make the cut, for a variety of reasons, and are heading somewhere to meet their demise after they’re given a good once-over to find out what went wrong. In the color lab, the staff was huddled around a microscopic look at an enameled surface to study how the enamel is holding up, to make sure it was just right. Glaze can “craze” over time and they want to make sure that doesn’t happen with their cookware.

Le Creuset pots and pans

Some colors are made exclusively for stores, like Williams-Sonoma. Others are made for their outlet stores. Of course, colors go out of style and are discontinued, and new ones are introduced as tastes change.

Le Creuset test colors

In 1958, they asked industrial designer Raymond Loewy (who designed the Lucky Strike logo and the Studebaker) to design a series of pots and pans, and his Coquelle rectangular lidded pot became a hit back then, and is collectable today. I have five and used my vintage orange that is well-used if you look inside, which I love because whoever had it before me obviously wasn’t keeping it on a shelf, but using it for cooking. My others are in better shape, but a photographer who recently was in my kitchen was fascinated by the inside of my pot and even though it doesn’t look pristine, it’s the working pot of a cook. I like to have cookware in my kitchen that is still good decades later and can stand up to heavy use.

Le Creuset by Raymond Loewy

They did a limited edition re-release in France about a decade ago, and one last year in other countries, including in England, the United States, and South Korea. Some runs were only a hundred. I picked up a dozen of the re-released ones when they were having a final sale at a department store in Paris and they were discounting all cookware 50%, then came on the loudspeaker and announced that for the final 30 minutes, everything was an additional 40% off. There aren’t a lot of bargains in Paris, except wine, cheese, and the scenery, but I snagged all they had in stock. (Although I paid dearly trying to bring them all home from the store at once!)

One change Le Creuset made recently was replacing the classic phenolic knobs on some of the pots with knobs that are all-metal. The popular no-knead bread that gets baked in a Dutch oven, and the recipe calls for a very hot oven temperature. And because people were melting their knobs (there were reports that people were swiping knobs off new pots from stores, which they laughed when I asked them about that), Le Creuset modernized the knob to an all-metal design, which is also easier to lift, and they also sell replacement knobs, so bakers can keep their criminal records clean.

Le Creuset off the assembly line

Nearing the end of the factory visit, we saw them working on finishing up a specialty pot to commemorate their 90th anniversary, which will be released in September of 2015.

Le Creuset-making the 90th anniversary pot

Only 1925 pots will be made, which is the year that Le Creuset was founded, and I considered burnishing my clean criminal record with swiping one, but will just have to wait like everyone else.

Le Creuset-33

On the way out, I got to take a look at the Le Creuset archived models, in display in the showcases in their offices. Some pieces look similar to what they are making today. Others looks very different.

Le Creuset - vintage

Vintage Le Creuset

Of course, I considered a smash-‘n-run for several of them, but it was a few hours back to Paris and I didn’t think I’d make it, especially considering the heft of some of the pieces. (I remember lugging my pots home from that department store.) But I did take a trip through the factory store and came home with a handful of their silicone spatulas, which I had told them was one of my top 3 favorite, most-used, you’ll-have-to-remove-it-from-my-cold-dead-hands kitchen items. The slightly curved shape feels just right when mixing and folding, and the graceful curve is a nice angle so you can lift things like meringue you’re folding, or enough custard to take a taste of, without them slipping off the sides.

Rumors swirled that they were discontinuing them. And even though the two I’ve had for nearly fifteen years are still in fine shape, I’ve heard from Le Creuset collectors who get dismayed when a color is discontinued, and there aren’t any more. I was worried about losing my favorite spatula as I only have two left of the original design (in the front).

Le Creuset Spatulas

Fortunately, it seems like they only changed the handle – whew! And I picked up a few more (nine more, to be precise – which they gave me a special deal on), and brought those home. So I think I’m set for spatulas for the rest of my life, but will continue my hunt for vintage Le Creuset pieces, and will look at them a little differently each time I use them.

From David Lebovitz: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2015/06/a-visit-to-the-le-creuset-factory/

Z man Explains the Flag Uproar. It’s not About race but Class. Those “typical” White Crackers.

 

The Cult at War

A day will come when sacred Troy shall perish,
And Priam and his people shall be slain.

I’ve always found the Third Punic War to be a deeply instructive period of Roman history, one that helps us understand much of the modern world. What allowed the Romans to survive and then dominate their neighbors was their implacability. They never quit fighting even when they were beaten. The only ways to gain peace with Rome were surrender or defeat. No matter how many times you beat Rome in the field, they would keep coming back until they figured out how to win.

I think the reason for this is explained in the Punic Wars, particularly the final chapter that ended with the sack of Carthage. Rome was more than a place and a people. Rome was an idea, an animating force that defined the people of the city. Being Roman was more than just about lineage or location. It was a way of life, the way of life for righteous people. To accept defeat or compromise would be to reject the essence of being Roman.

It’s this nascent nationalism that drove the Romans to keep fighting. It is what drove them to sack Carthage and later Corinth. It was impossible to be Rome if these cities existed as anything other than subjugated provinces of Rome. This implacability is what carried Rome through the third century crisis period. Even when maintaining the empire made no military or economic sense, they did it anyway. It was who they were. Keep in mind that in the third century, Rome was led by men from the Balkans known then as Illyricum.

If you were an enemy of Rome, you knew there could only be two outcomes. You could surrender and hope for good terms or you could fight and eventually lose. Sure, you could win some battles and have a good run of success, but the Romans would never stop coming. Eventually, they would gain the advantage and win. Just as important, Rome did not just extract rents from conquered people. They Romanized them. Rome was the first iteration of The Borg.

This comes to mind now that we are in yet another Confederate flag debate. The first one of these I recall clearly was in the 90’s, but I seem to recall the Cult in a snit over the flag in the 70’s when Southern Rock started using it in their stage shows. Regardless, the Cult tried to stamp it out in the 90’s, the 2000’s and now again in this decade. Ever since that lunatic shot up the church in South Carolina, the Cult has been buzzing about that stupid flag.

As we saw with Obama’s birth certificate, the only people who care about this flag are liberals and lunatics, the distinction between the two is impossible without professional training. The rest of us, a group professional demographers call normal people, simply don’t care. But, we live in a country run by a quasi-religious cult and they do care, so the rest of us have to care – or else. That’s how it works in a theocracy.

What’s instructive here is we see the same implacability on display as I described with the Romans. In the 70’s and 80’s, I used to see Rebel flags on sale at convenience stores – even in Boston. Now, only outcasts display them and the occasional red neck. Most red necks have decided it is not worth the hassle. But, the Cult is still determined to sack any city that flies the flag in any way shape or form. The Cult never quits and never settles. They declare peace only when they have won completely and permanently.

Of course, the flag is not really the issue. That’s why normal people are caught off-guard whenever the Cult starts waving it around and ululating like lunatics. The real issue is the long War Between the Whites that started in the 19th century and continues to this day. We call this the Civil War and that’s a good label, but I prefer my label, as it is more precise. Civil War implies both sides were equal or the same or viewed one another in that way. They never did and they still don’t.

In the 19th century, northern whites of mostly English ancestry used slavery as an excuse to attack and kill as a many Southern whites as possible. Those southern whites were of mostly Scots-Irish ancestry. The northern whites were ready to join their European coevals in the industrial, global age and they did not want those backward agrarian crackers holding them back. Slavery had to go and the people responsible for it had to be punished.

Abolitionists cared more about punishing southern whites after the war than the welfare of the freed slaves. The squabbling between northern lunatics and more reasonable minds over how to go about the post-war reconstruction is largely responsible for the failure of reconstruction to resolve the issue of freed slaves. That was left to the South to figure out on its own.

Like those Romans 2,000 years ago, the Cult never quits or accepts defeat. For 150 years northern whites have been trying to finally eliminate their eternal enemy. Over the decades the Cult evolved from an English Protestant thing into a full blown post-industrial theodicy. They still have a special hatred for southern whites, but they have expanded their field of vision to include what Obama called “typical white people.”

That’s what was missed when he made that comment. Everyone thought race, when Obama was thinking class. This is a guy raised by elites in elite culture. His grandparents were low-class compared to his coevals in prep school. They were typical Americans, which the Cult identifies as middle-class, white and embarrassing. While normal people in the South have no emotions about the rebel flag, it means everything to the Cult as it has always been, in their imagination, the flag of their enemy – core Americans.

If you follow the logic, so to speak, it makes perfect sense for the Cult to go on jihad against the rebel flag after the white guy shot up the black church. The Cult’s idealized image of the enemy is white, male, southern and poor. His flag is the Confederate flag. Therefore, the logical response to this shooting, from the perspective of the Cult, is the same as the Romans when Carthaginian traders ripped off Roman merchants. That’s a policy of the extirpation.

From Z BLog: http://thezman.com/wordpress/

Confederate Flag is Bad. All other Offensive Stuff is Good. The Media Mob has Spoken.

 

 

Online Retailers Banned The Confederate Flag, But They Still Sell These 11 Outrageous Items

  24, 2015 By

History buffs must now look elsewhere for their Confederate flags and associated Civil War memorabilia. Under growing pressure from a mob of bloggers and writers, Internet retailers like Amazon, Ebay, and Etsy announced they would no longer sell Confederate memorabilia.

An eBay spokesperson said the flag was a “contemporary symbol of divisiveness.” Officials from Amazon and Etsy then followed suit, issuing similar statements.

But while you can’t order Old Dixie, these equally vile items remain for sale, highlighting the trend of selective news cycle-driven moral outrage.

Margaret Sanger Earings

Margaret Sanger Earrings on ETSY. How nice…

She said blacks were inferior and should be exterminated. But oh that terrible flag…

concentration cash

Concentration camp cash on E-Bay…Totally cool…

See all of these wonderful items available on the most popular websites. But don’t expect to see that terrible Confederate Flag.

Go to The Federalist to see them all: http://thefederalist.com/2015/06/24/online-retailers-banned-the-confederate-flag-but-they-still-sell-these-11-outrageous-items/