Deconstruction for Me but Not for Thee

I recently dragged the concept of “homonationalism” into the Orthosphere, feeling rather like a cat that proudly deposits a mangled meadow vole or titmouse on the hearthrug of its owner. Homonationalism, you will recall, is the proposition that Western societies are nice to homosexuals because this allows them to be nasty to Muslims. It was the theme of a conference hosted by the philosophy department at my university (and as no counter-conference was staged in the football stadium, we must suppose that homonationalism is a proposition with which the university administration substantially concurs). Continue reading

Thugs in the Banyan Groves of Academe

As everyone knows, the original Thugs were members of a murderous Hindu cult that was devoted to the goddess Kali, and that preyed upon parties of travelers whom they would at first befriend, and then betray in some lonely spot by the brutal rite of thuggee.  It appears that some similar scourge is now haunting the banyan groves of academe, if the Thug Warnings recently issued by our panjandrums are to be taken seriously.  Continue reading

Not a Snowflake, but a Hero

A sensible reactionary is forever on guard against the hazard of becoming merely reactionary, by which I mean ordering his loyalties and affections simply as the mirror opposite of the loyalties and affections of the stereotypical progressive Leftist.  We see such mere reaction at work in the man who drives a gas-guzzling monster truck because progressive leftists extoll tiny hybrids and scooters.  We see it at work in the man who eats monterey jack cheese because he has heard that progressive Leftists delight in stilton and brie. Continue reading

Dirty Homonationalists

Beginning tomorrow, the Philosophy Department at this university will be sponsoring the Twenty-third annual “Philosophy Born of Struggle Conference,” at which the keynote speaker will be Dr. Lisa Corrigan, an associate professor of Communication at the University of Arkansas.  Up there in the heart of the Ozarks, Dr. Corrigan also serves as Director of Gender Studies and is affiliated with both African and African-American, and Latin American, Studies.  Continue reading

Children of Clovis, Where Art Thou?

The code of chivalry fused Christianity and the ethos of the German warrior (1). This is evident in the two rituals by which a man was ordained a knight: the German dubbing, by which his sword was placed in the service of his king, and the Christian vigil, by which it was placed in the service of his God. We must not, of course, mistake the code for the actual conduct of knights, since many of those who rode out cased in iron were simple barbarians. But neither should we dismiss the code as a mere fancy wrought in minstrels’ dreams. Continue reading

Let Us Dispel This Estrogenic Cloud!

I read that some priggish Evangelicals are abandoning Trump after hearing the recording in which he talked about women with an abandon that was calculated to scandalize Sunday-school teachers and women’s studies majors (between whom it is often hard to distinguish).  These bloodless ingénues (of both sexes) need to get out more.  When Henry Kissinger said that, “power is the greatest aphrodisiac,” he was not speaking primarily about the effect that power has on powerful men.  Power also works its titillating magic on not-so-powerful women, and although they do not always yield to its charm, neither do they always resist. Continue reading

The Uses of Privacy

A cantankerous quarrel has been roiling the philosophic guild in the aftermath of Richard Swinburne’s address to the Society of Christian Philosophers. As I explained a few days ago, one side of the quarrel is outraged because Swinburne committed sacrilege with his irreverent handling of the holy object of homosexuality. Since I made this trenchant (albeit ignored) observation, the quarrel has evolved. The anti-Swinburne faction is now howling against the plucky website Rightly Considered, which has published screenshots of some of their salty philippics against traditional Christians, and by so doing has allegedly violated their right to privacy. Continue reading

Nothing Sacred

There has been a dustup in the Society of Christian Philosophers (SCP) over a keynote address recently delivered by the great Christian philosopher Richard Swinburne.  Apparently many not-so-great Christian philosophers were triggered, traumatized and terrorized by his remarks, and the SCP president consequently felt himself constrained to issue what may or may not be an official apology.  Swinburne reportedly had the cheek to publically agree with the two thousand year Christian tradition that homosexual behavior is very hard to reconcile with scripture, the magisterium, and natural law.  This was too much for New Light Christian Philosophers, who apparently have some clout in the SCP, the result being the aforementioned apology and dustup.  Continue reading

Liberty or Death

I was just reading an interesting post by William Briggs, in which he questions the future of religious liberty under an administration of vindictive social justice warriors.  He quotes some splenetic government reptile to the effect that this future is not sunny.  This prompts me to make a simple point that cannot be too often asseverated.  The government does not give you this right, it only guarantees it.  In exactly the same way, the government does not give you a right to your property or to fulfillment of contracts you have signed; it only guarantees that these rights will be honored.  And in all cases it does this because to do so is more orderly than it would be if it were left to you to ensure that these rights be honored.

If you were to ensure that these rights be honored, you would have to say that, in the event of anyone trying to take them from me, one of us must yield or die.  In other words, the old cry of “liberty or death.”  Religious liberty is something you claim, not something you are given.  When you claim it, you say that this is mine, and if someone tries to take it from me, one of us is going to die.  All that the government can do is recognize this claim, and, to the end of public tranquility, guarantee this right. If the government declines to do this, it does not destroy the right, only the tranquility.

Public tranquility is a very fine thing, but it is by no means the finest thing there is.  Any man who can imagine no condition under which he would be prepared to disrupt that tranquility, and suffer the consequences of disrupting that tranquility, is only nominally a man.  When you speak of a right to religious liberty, therefore, you should certainly hope that this will be guaranteed within the tranquil order of positive law, but you must also mean that, in the absence of such a guarantee, you will personally insist upon this right.  And to personally insist upon a right is ultimately to say, if you try to take this from me, one of us going to die.