Just yesterday, I had pointed out that “The SJWs are coming for their beloved churches, their Jesus, and their precious Bible, which will also be condemned as “haet” and homophobia, just as certainly as they are trying to outlaw our Confederate flags and bulldoze our Confederate monuments and memorials.” I added that “within days, their target is going to shift to Christianity.”
Just as I predicted, the Supreme Court rulings on “gay marriage” and Obamacare have overshadowed Dylann Roof’s massacre in Charleston. The reaction to the legalization of “gay marriage” in all 50 states and the emergence of the Christian version of “massive resistance” took the wind out of the sails of the SJW campaign against the Confederate Battle Flag which quickly descended into self parody with demands to ban offensive items like Uncle Ben’s rice, Aunt Jemima’s syrup, Gone With The Wind and even the General Lee. Christianity is a much bigger target.
In the words of Justice Alito:
“Today’s decision usurps the constitutional right of the people to decide whether to keep or alter the traditional understanding of marriage. The decision will also have other important consequences. It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.”
“I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.”
In other words, Christians like Rod Dreher have just been tossed out of the “mainstream” and instructed to take their seats next to us at the back of the Bigot Bus. A Christian school now has the same moral status as a White school in the Jim Crow South. Christians who opposed gay marriage are now the equivalent of Bull Connor and Gov. George Wallace. In the American mainstream, the sin of “homophobia” is now considered just as immoral as “racism” was a few years ago.
In the Soviet Union, dissidents were labeled “anti-Soviet,” were pushed to the fringes of society, and were prosecuted as criminals and thrown in mental hospitals for various “deviations” from communist orthodoxy. Those who were less fortunate were labeled “enemies of the people” and ended up in the Gulag. Usually, an “enemy of the people” was someone who was guilty on account of their social background, not unlike those who are said to benefit from “white privilege” in the United States.
In his Time article, Dreher sounds off on a number of familiar themes, points which all social conservatives would agree, before veering off into self promotion:
“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.”
Dreher is writing a book on the “Benedict Option” – a concept which for months now he has been unable to explain. The “Benedict Option” is taken from a line at the end of Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue about a new St. Benedict who preserves the remnants of Christian civilization in the approaching Dark Ages. In Dreher’s mind, everything bad that happens to Christianity in America summons forth MacIntyre’s “Benedict Option,” but the substance of this “Option” is a blank page.
Dreher is also promoting the “Benedict Option” over at First Things:
“Earlier this year, First Things published an essay of mine calling for the “Benedict Option,” my term for a radical rethinking of the place of small-o orthodox Christians in the public square. My belief, in a nutshell, is that the common culture—insofar as we have one—is so far gone into decadence and individualism that the only sensible thing for us to do is to strategically retreat from the mainstream to strengthen our Christian commitments, and our church communities. The Obergefell ruling, I think, only makes the necessity of the Benedict Option more urgent. …”
Insofar as the “Benedict Option” involves repudiating Americanism, assimilation, and the Republican Party, and focusing instead on nurturing a stronger Christian culture and identity, then it sounds like a very sensible approach in post-Christian America. In fact, I would even go so far as to recommend a similar program for White Nationalists, who shouldn’t be squandering their time and money on the Republican Party or desperate attempts to present themselves as mainstream Americans, but who should be focusing on building a stronger sense of White identity.
Dreher, however, unbelievably denounces the Confederacy as the real problem:
“But taking it down is still the right thing to do. There is no getting around the fact that the armies that went to battle under that flag fought for a nation and a political and social order built on enslaving Africans. And there is no getting around the fact that the same flag was resurrected in the 1950s by Klansmen and other white supremacists, and wielded as a symbol of resistance to equality for black Americans.
The Confederate flag is largely invisible to me, in a way that it is not invisible to black Americans. I can, and do, ignore it as an example of badly dated nostalgia, but Dylann Roof made it very, very clear that for some white people, the flag remains a potent expression of racial hatred. He forced many of us whites who aren’t particularly fond of the Confederate flag, but who don’t think about it much, to pay attention to that symbol, and to see it through the eyes of black Americans.
And so did the amazing grace of the people of Mother Emanuel AME church.”
This is a cartoon history of the Confederate cause.
The first generation of Southern Nationalists and the men who formed the Confederacy were the first to recognize, dwell upon, and finally confront the perils of Americanism. Although it is popular for polemicists on the Left to do so, it a mistake to conflate the Confederate cause with slavery and white supremacy. Even then, the Confederates were adamant that far more important issues were at stake than the fate of slavery, which was inherited from the Union.
Southern Nationalists railed against the threat posed by a hostile Northern majority that would reduce the South to the status of a degraded internal colony. They warned in volume after volume that the Constitution was no shield for Southern Rights. They warned that an unshackled federal government would “consolidate” the states underneath the auspices of an all powerful, unaccountable, unrepresentative central government. They predicted that this government would fall under the sway of the “Money Power” based in Washington and New York City.
Above all else, Southern Nationalists identified the threat posed by “free society” to social cohesion, and explicitly warned of the sweeping implications:
“We warn the North, that every one of the leading Abolitionists is agitating the negro slavery-question merely as a means to attain ulterior ends, and those ends nearer home. They would not spend so much time and money for the mere sake of the negro or his master, about whom they care little. But they know that men once fairly committed to negro slavery agitation — once committed to the sweeping principle, “that man being a moral agent, accountable to God for his actions, should not have those actions controlled and directed by the will of another,” are, in effect, committed to Socialism and Communism, to the most ultra doctrines of Garrison, Goodell, Smith and Andrews — to no private property, no church, no law, no government, — to free love, free lands, free women and free churches.
There is no middle ground — not an inch of ground of any sort, between the doctrines which we hold and those which Mr. Garrison holds. If slavery, either white or black, be wrong in principle or practice, then is Mr. Garrison right — then is all human government wrong.
Socialism, not Abolition, is the real object of Black Republicanism. The North, not the South, the true battle-ground. … The Abolition school of Socialists like it because it is intolerable — because they consider it a transition state to a form of society without law or government. Miss Wright has the honesty to admit, that a transition has never taken place. No; and never will take place: because the expulsion of human nature is a pre-requisite to its occurrence.
But we solemnly warn the North, that what she calls a transition is what every leading Abolitionist is moving heaven and earth to attain. This is their real object — negro emancipation a mere gull-trap.
In the attempt to attain “transition” seas of gore may be shed, until military despotism comes in to restore peace and security.”
By the 1850s, George Fitzhugh had seen the slippery slope. He had fingered “the expulsion of human nature.”
“Further study, too, of Western European Society, which has been engaged in continual revolution for twenty years, has satisfied us that Free Society every where begets isms, and that isms soon beget bloody revolutions. Until our trip to the North, we did not justly appreciate the passage which we are about to quote from Mr. Carlyle’s “Latter-Day Pamphlets.” Now it seems to us as if Boston, New Haven, or Western New York, had set for the picture:
“To rectify the relation that exists between two men, is there no method, then, but that of ending it? The old relation has become unsuitable, obsolete, perhaps unjust; and the remedy is, abolish it; let there henceforth be no relation at all. From the ‘sacrament of marriage’ downwards, human beings used to be manifoldly related one to another, and each to all; and there was no relation among human beings, just or unjust, that had not its grievances and its difficulties, its necessities on both sides to bear and forbear. But henceforth, be it known, we have changed all that by favor of Heaven; the ‘voluntary principle’ has come up, which will itself do the business for us; and now let a new sacrament, that of Divorce, which we call emancipation, and spout of on our platforms, be universally the order of the day! Have men considered whither all this is tending, and what it certainly enough betokens? Cut every human relation that has any where grown uneasy sheer asunder; reduce whatsoever was compulsory to voluntary, whatsoever was permanent among us to the condition of the nomadic; in other words, LOOSEN BY ASSIDUOUS WEDGES, in every joint, the whole fabrice of social existence, stone from stone, till at last, all lie now quite loose enough, it can, as we already see in most countries, be overset by sudden outburst of revolutionary rage; and lying as mere mountains of anarchic rubbish, solicit you to sing Fraternity, &c. over it, and rejoice in the now remarkable era of human progress we have arrived at.”
Now we plant ourselves on this passage from Carlyle. We say that, as far as it goes, ’tis a faithful picture of the isms of the North. But the restraints of Law and Public Opinion are less at the North than in Europe. The isms on each side the Atlantic are equally busy with “assiduous wedges,” in “loosening in every joint the whole fabric of social existence;” but whilst they dare invoke Anarchy in Europe, they dare not inaugurate New York Free Love, and Oneida Incest, and Mormon Polygamy. The moral, religious, and social heresies of the North, are more monstrous than those of Europe. The pupil has surpassed the master, unaided by the stimulants of poverty, hunger and nakedness, which urge the master forward.”
Negro emancipation was “a mere gull trap.” The real object was a transition to “a form of society without law and government” in which the atomized individual has been liberated from all forms of social restraint. Fitzhugh looked ahead and saw the 21st century world of free love, no fault divorce, “free churches” and polygamy.
In our own times, “gay marriage” is a mere gull trap, and the real object of the Left is the demonization and destruction of the Church and the family unit, which is a stubborn barrier to the realization of the utopian society of no law and no government.
Note The Confederate Battle Flag symbolizes the quarter of Southern White men who died defending their homes so that this day would not happen.