We’re up against powerful cultural trends that threaten religious liberty. In the recent election Obama won a “values” campaign that felt it could ignore or even attack religious voters (“war on women”).Offered a choice between Pope Ratzinger and the womenfolk, the whoremongering American electorate chose the latter. But the next part is even better:
In our favor is a parallel trend toward libertarianism and the general view that we ought to let people do pretty much what they want. This is the “don’t tread on me” sentiment that tends to be solicitous toward claims of conscience and against political correctness. This is a dangerous ally, however, since it’s the “different strokes for different folks” sentiment that also supports gay marriage and sexual liberation in general. This libertarian sensibility may support tolerance, but it won’t encourage support for religion. On the contrary, the moralism one finds in all forms of traditional religion will be seen as a threat to our culture of expansive personal freedom.So the more freedom people have, they less likely they are to choose R.R. and his crew. A weaker vessel would have shrugged, "They no longer cower at the cross and mitre, but sneer and do anal; the jig's up, time to get a job." But not Reno, and not Rod Dreher, here to (as usual) make everything worse; Reno's essay has him predicting that "Christians will have to accept second-class status in the way Christians living in many Muslim countries do, under Islamic law and culture," at which fate Dreher shakes his tiny lambskin fist:
...it’s better to go down fighting than to meekly nod and conform, though it should also be said that only a fool would take every opportunity to be a martyr. These are going to be interesting times, ones that call for more wisdom than passion. It will be a time of testing, and of winnowing. This is not the first time this has happened in the history of the Church, nor will it be the last.Oh, keep your top on, Mary, you want to say, your Catherine Wheel's a pyrotechnic at Burning Man. But we should encourage Dreher, as his paranoia may turn out to be productive:
You know what book we need? One titled: American Dhimmitude: A Handbook For Resistance. It would be a sober, plainspoken analysis of the cultural conditions of our time, with respect to orthodox Christianity and its decline in postmodernity. It would also offer intelligent, historically well informed commentary about how great Christians of ages past responded to challenges in their own time, when they were the minority culture, and discern lessons for ourselves from their experience.Think of it -- an new illustrated book of martyrs, only instead of being stoned or broken on the wheel as in olden days, the new saints will have to change sinecures every so often. Can't wait to read the Kathryn J. Lopez chapter -- she served our Lord, and for that she was scourged with the wit of Alex Pareene!
UPDATE. In Dreher's comments, Erin Manning, whom Dreher sometimes employs to add extra crazy to his site, counsels American Christians to make common cause with another oppressed minority:
Right now in the public sphere people who own or use guns or are facing a culture that is increasingly hostile not only to gun ownership and use but to the very idea of weapons, such that some pretty extreme things have happened...
I bring this up to show how this kind of thing will play out in public schools when it is Christian thought, not gun ownership and/or approval of weapons, that has become doubleplus ungood expression.Armed Jesus freaks with a persecution complex -- sounds like a recipe for another Waco wienie roast.