Monday, 23 December 2013

Christianity is not tolerated


This year the ?premier living US Science fiction writer - Orson Scott Card  -  was subjected to a hostile (and lying) international campaign for expressing plain Christian teachings (Card is a Mormon - demonized for expressing standard Christian doctrine).

Now Duck Dynasty, apparently the highest-rated non-fiction cable TV show ever, has been ended because its main protagonist expressed traditional Christian ideas (despite that the show is about the fact that the participants are devout Christians).

(There are other examples of the same thing from the USA, UK and Western Europe - but these two are the most famous.)


Two observations.

First, both OSC and Phil Robertson were treated as if the expressed views were 'their' views'; but they are simply expressing the official views of devout adherents of their religion.

Therefore it is the religion - Christianity - which is being persecuted; not the specific people.

This means that Christianity is not tolerated anymore. Christian persons or groups are not allowed to practice, defend or proselytize their religion. And this rule is only enforced against Christianity; but not enforced against other world religions.

It is therefore a fact that the USA, UK and Western Europe are now, not merely secular societies, but specifically anti-Christian societies.


Secondly, although the plainly-stated, explicit, un-exaggerated 'officially validated' views of OSC and PR are in and of themselves offensive to the Politically Correct Thought Police - in actual fact the views attributed to OSC in the Mas media were vile lies and inventions.

This shows that the Leftists of the Mass Media are gratuitously evil - they lie without even the excuse of need, they revel in hatred and in generating hatred.

We are dealing here, in the phenomenon of current Political Correctness, with a very advanced form of evil - a point when the corruption of the individual people of the Mass Media has led them to abandon their rationale and wallow in their own ability to get away with their own wilful wickedness without regard for consequences.

The situation has, in other words, become very unstable and dangerous; since the behaviour of the Western ruling elites is getting ever-more destructive and less prudent.


Our world has become dominated by Leftist politics to such an extent that nothing else matters.

No matter how much profit you make for your bosses, no matter how famous and well-liked you may be, if you are a Christian then you are a marked man and living under a sword of Damocles.

At any moment, almost anyone in the Mass Media can expose your Christian views if for any reason they wish to; and generate a wild hate campaign against you - fuelled by whatever lies they choose to make-up-and-tell.

And the population at large is by now so depraved by their media addiction that they cannot or will not take one minute to check whether the hateful lies of journalists and pressure group hacks are true: the masses want to believe hateful anti-Christian lies, and they make darned sure they are not going to be made to reject them by mere facts.


So, unfortunately, the depiction of society in my book Thought Prison

proves to be accurate, and is continuing to unroll exactly as expected.

Let us hope and pray I will turn-out to be wrong about what happens next.



Christian in Hollyweird said...

The only thing to do is expose one's Christian viewpoints publicly and forcefully. It's time to take a massive collective stand. Whats the worst that can happen? The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.

Bruce Charlton said...

@CiH - Well, yes - that is what must happen; or else nothing will change. But I notice you comment under a pseudonym...

Scooter Downey/Christian in Hollyweird said...

Good point, Bruce.

Bruce Charlton said...

@SD - Thanks for taking the jibe with good temper!

Anonymous said...

I haven't followed the news lately, but I did catch a couple of episodes of "Duck Dynasty." My impression was that every part of that show is relentlessly fake except for the old man (Phil Robertson?), who gave the show its heart.

I imagine that some large part of this controversy is fake, but I'm sorry that I can't be bothered to make a thorough investigation of the various journalism on the subject.

I have been studying Romans closely, and in light of the public discussion on the subject, have been trying to understand exactly where Paul's criticism of homosexuality came from. I think that he saw something in the Roman world that he recoiled from, and that he felt Christians where almost defined as recoiling from. At the same time, his epistle was espousing his doctrine of faith over works of the law, and it is difficult to work out where he thought that fit into the doctrine of faith.

It is far easier to believe good and true things than it is to know why one believes them. That is the whole nature of sophistry: it's peculiarly easy to reason a man out of his wisdom built by generations of experience, so long as he agrees to hold the discussion on the battlefield of rhetoric. So if we wish to be Christians (and believe true things about sexuality), and also to engage in discussion with the world, we are going to need to take up the very hard task of knowing why we believe such things.

So, why exactly did Paul condemn Roman sexuality, including homosexuality?


Bruce Charlton said...

@Joel - You will get different answers from different Christian traditions.

It seem's like you are looking for a Protestant answer and a specific prohibition based on a Biblical text; but there are also Catholic 'Natural Law' answers, and Thomistic answers about intrinsic functionality; and Orthodox answers perhaps based on the traditions of early Christians and Church Fathers, presumed to be derived by oral transmission from the Apostles.

My own answer derives from the principle that legitimate sexuality is only within marriage.

I also believe in the Mormon revelations that marriage is necessarily between man and woman because sexuality is intrinsic and eternal - we are either male or female souls.

And that humans are intrinsically incomplete as just a man or woman - completeness is a union of man and woman.

Several answers for the same doctrine - but not all compatible.

Bookslinger said...

Evidence in support of the OP's thesis:

I generally don't watch TV news, so I wonder if anyone who does saw this covered by any major media.

Samson J. said...

My impression was that every part of that show is relentlessly fake except for the old man (Phil Robertson?), who gave the show its heart.

I imagine that some large part of this controversy is fake

Where are you getting this icy cynicism from? Very little is "fake" about DD, except that episodes are sometimes gently scripted (which is freely acknowledged) in the sense that the cast are told, "Hey, you guys should do X today, and we'll film it." But if you want to see the true warmth of the family, look at some of the interviews floating around on Youtube. Completely genuine.

I would consider this sort of cold, unwarranted suspicion to be a sign of a damaged heart, which unchecked may lead to Sarumanism.

First, both OSC and Phil Robertson were treated as if the expressed views were 'their' views'; but they are simply expressing the official views of devout adherents of their religion.

I was immediately struck by this as well. Of course, as you say, it's probably a sign of malicious intent towards Christianity in general, but nevertheless I would also not be surpised if, in this day and age, folks really didn't know.

The only thing I have to add to your post, as a Duck Dynasty fan myself, is that as a Brit living a decidedly non-redneck, somewhat rarefied lifestyle, you may still not grasp just how popular this show, and the family in particular, are among a large subset of the American population. Think about the two subcultures Charles Murray described in Coming Apart - a very large percentage of one those subcultures really, really, really love the Robertson family. You had a recent post about folk heroes - well, I don't believe I am exaggerating when I say that Phil Robertson literally has potential to become a true-blue folk hero, A Robin Hood of the modern era. He's that popular. I am not - NOT - a purveyor of "collapse pornography", but I do believe that if Phil appeared on national TV today and said,"America, it's time to take this country back", it would begin.

As I said at Mangan's, I think this is going to be a big deal and a misstep for the Left.

Al said...

You might be interested in this piece, which makes some similar points to the ones you make.

In response to Joel's comments, Paul sees homosexual practice as a breaking down of created difference. The most fundamental difference that is rejected is the difference between Creator and creation. Once that difference has been eroded through idolatry the true image of God will also be debased. One of the chief ways that this occurs is through homosexual acts, which undermine the male-female difference which is at the heart of the Genesis account of creation.

Homosexual relations are viewed as a sort of crime against human nature for Paul, similar to the way that we might regard human cloning or a human-animal hybrid, something which strikes at the dignity of the human being and nature and hurts all of us as a result. It is not a victimless crime.

In this view of homosexual relations, Paul is really taking his cues from Old Testament treatments of the subject.

Titus Didius Tacitus said...

Merry Christmas!

George Goerlich said...

Well, reality exists so that men and woman are necessary for reproduction. This is best formed in marriage. The default, natural state, is marriage.

Deviancy must be indoctrinated/propagandized each generation. If a failure occurs in the active promotion of evil at some point in the future, the default will reemerge.

The left fears not only a return to tradition, but simply a slowing down of progressive evil in temporal space, whereas God is eternal and becomes clear and visible once the active choice of evil subsides.

jgress said...

Yes, in the Orthodox tradition the sinfulness of homosexuality (and of any deviant sexual behavior, whether committed between men and men or men and women) lies in the offense against nature. This predates the more systematic understanding of 'natural law' that you get in the Thomistic tradition, but Orthodoxy definitely has some kind of concept of natural law, precisely because unnatural sexuality is defined with reference to it.

So this is the reason we oppose homosexuality. I think the main problem is that to someone who is not brought up to feel the appropriate revulsion towards homosexuality and other offenses against human nature, like cloning or abortion, the argument can seem rather abstract. Secularists these days are operating under the aphorism 'if it doesn't harm anyone, do what you feel like doing'. They don't understand what's immoral about a behavior that feels right to oneself and doesn't obviously harm anyone else (meaning doesn't make anyone else feel bad). In fact it's a privileging of emotion over reason, since the idea of an objective natural order that must be respected has been completely lost, so all we have left are feelings.

The thing is that it's not hard to describe the natural order for those willing to hear it. It's hardly controversial to explain that the function and purpose of sexuality is reproduction, and that our sexual natures are designed to carry out these reproductive functions in a particular way.

Oh and Merry Christmas to those celebrating on the Gregorian calendar! My Christmas isn't taking place for another two weeks, but God bless all of you.

George said...

I agree that any sexual behavior that does not contribute to the creation of life is deviant. It is embracing destruction over creation for the benefit of hedonistic pleasure.

So to logically object to homosexuality, one would also need to object to unproductive/unhealthy sexual behavior even within a heterosexual marriage (and outside it, in the form of adultery and pre-marital sex).

So I think for many, this is a stickler. It is easy enough to agree homosexuality is unhealthy when you're heterosexual, but conservatives would also need to recognize all their own acts of unproductive sexual behavior outside a marriage are wrong. They need to be objected to on the same grounds.

One step further: all purposefully unproductive sexual behavior is sinful, even within a heterosexual marriage. The traditional Catholic position, but very hard even for conservatives to accept.

While the last point is hard, it should be noticed the first attacks, before wide expectancy of "Homosexual marriage" were on traditional family morality, like "boring" sex. Then on sex-within-a-marriage - like 60's "free" love, etc.

Bruce Charlton said...

@G - You have to be careful about what seems like a 'logical' extension of what you think has been identified as a principle.

All these things are much less secure than may be supposed. Every statement is incomplete, every step in logic is prone to error.

I personally think that the RC ideas on this topic are a reductio ad absurdum, in other words the conclusions are so absurd as to refute the principles and logic which led to them.

I think marriage is too important, too sacred, too big a thing to be reasoned about so reductively.

jgress said...

I see what you're saying, Bruce. In Orthodoxy, for example, the real "purpose" of sex in marriage is actual the symbolism of the union, the fact that it is an image of the marriage of Christ and the Church.

You could also say the "natural" purpose of marriage is procreation, and in some sense that is correct. But we do have to watch our reasoning and where it leads us. Marriage is a sacrament, so its significance is ultimately spiritual, not carnal.

Bookslinger said...

About whether "suspending" Phil Robertson is a PR stunt.

As one reporter wrote, A&E is putting Phil on hiatus during the show's hiatus. Also according to several reports, there are already 10 episodes of the show, featuring Phil, "in the can" or already recorded, ready for broadcast when the new/next season starts.

In other words, when it comes time for them to record another episode, the "suspension" will be over.

Also, look at the result. Duck Dynasty merchandise is flying off the shelves as a show of "support" for Phil. And all this "buzz" is getting millions of more people asking "What's Duck Dynasty?" and "Who is this guy?" or in other words, prodding even more people to tune in to the show out of curiosity.

Yes, Phil is a religious man. I pretty much agree with his religious views. I think he is sincere in his faith.

And all of this is a win-win for both Phil (and his family/company) and for A&E. Phil gets his views (again, which I agree with) aired/promulgated to MILLIONS of people who've never heard him before, he makes more money through the sales of more merchandise, don't forget that A&E has a substantial cut of all DD merchandise too, and A&E gets tons of free publicity and "buzz" for its hottest property.

So yeah, all the "anti-Phil" wailing and gnashing of teeth is an excellent example of where our society is headed. But in both the short run and long run, hey, it's a good thing. Conservative/religious views are being aired, and the Robertsons are making a boat-load of money.

And yeah, A&E is "shocked; shocked, I tell you!"

Anonymous said...

> Sword of Damocles

sword of Diocletian

perhaps, after the sacrifice of Saint George, Constantine will be raised by Alexandra to be tolerant of Christianity.

Bruce Charlton said...

@BSl - I think that's nonsense.

The Crow said...

Bruce and BSl...
Haha :)
Finally, a conspiracy theory whose plot I can actually follow!

Jables said...

Phil Robertson is back on Duck Dynasty.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Jables - Sounds like good news. I wonder what will happen next? I have always said that when the tide really turns there will be no missing it, because the Left will scream to high heaven and not stop screaming until they go under. If the Left don't make this into a huge deal, then it will not have been anything significant - and they will just continue their incremental subversion in other areas until - sooner or later - they get their way on this issue as a side effect.

Philip Neal said...

I doubt if Christianity as such is the target here. Think back to the sacking of Glen Hoddle as England football manager for saying that mental disability is a consequence of karma and reincarnation. What the Thought Police don't like is thought of any kind. They like 'issues', as grievances are now called: women's issues, youth issues, disabled issues, gay issues, black issues, green issues. They like demographics: age groups, ethnic groups, regions, genders, sexualities, disabilities, in short any way of classifying people which does not refer to the opinions they hold. They like sports shows, game shows, talent shows and reality shows, anything which confers celebrity on people whose opinions are not worth having.

I had never heard of Duck Dynasty until about a week ago, but this case seems to be something of an exception to the rule. Television of this kind normally features mediocrities who have never heard of Portugal and cannot read a clock, but it seems that the Robertsons are articulate, achieving people pretending to be hicks. Was their real crime to let slip that conservatives are not stupid?

Bruce Charlton said...

@PN - It seems strange to quibble over whether Christianity is the target when we are in the midst of a truly vast and sustained international suppression/ persecution/ ethnic cleansing/ murder and extermination of Christians from which few places are exempt but which are most extreme in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. The reason that there is barely a flicker of interest in this topic in The West is that much of the causal havoc was created, and the persecution directly or indirectly funded, by the US, UK and Western European governments (especially in the Middle East) - in other words it is (at some deep strategic level) deliberate and unrepented - which is why it is concealed and misrepresented.