Thursday, February 21, 2008

BIG-TIME NEGOTIATORS, FALSE HEALERS AND WOMAN-HATERS. A bride wants her wedding dress to reveal the tattoo on her back, and does not feel the need to appear virginal on her wedding day. So Rod Dreher calls her a slut.

It takes hours, and a visit from Ayaan Hirsi Ali, to make Dreher retract the slur, though he still accuses the bride of "cheap morals" and "bad manners," and calls her behavior "slutty." Big difference.

Dreher frequently reminds us that Christians don't riot, as some Muslims do, when they perceive their values to be mocked. But he never recalls that for many, many centuries, Christians backed by the power of states harassed, exiled, and burned men and women who didn't conform to their prejudices in comportment or anything else.

When we mock Dreher here, we are not always thinking solely of the little fellow in Dallas who shakes his impotent fist at our times and manners. Often we also have in mind the loathsome traditions he wants to bring back to the civilized world, even praising the "order," "unity," and "purpose" of barbarous Islamic societies as a means of attracting us to a Western version with Jesus on top. Imagine a country where men like Dreher have the power to order a stoning.

It took us nearly two millenia and oceans of blood to reduce these savages to a noisome rump. We can spare a little attention to remember why we did it.

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