Wednesday, November 30, 2011

THE ETERNAL VICTIM/BULLY. Timothy Dalrymple is concerned that you can't get young wingnuts to attack gay marriage as easily as you can get them to attack abortion. His concern is puzzling for a couple of reasons.

First, he thinks the abortion thing is all but won. In defense of this proposition he shows a stirring video (starring David French!) "touting the growing momentum in the pro-life movement amongst the young." Other than that, he's got nothing except the closeness of the national split on the issue, and his own unwillingness to imagine what might happen in this country if abortion were made illegal tomorrow. (He probably imagines a Great Awakening, but I assure him the folks who would be Awakened, and what they would be Awakening to, would not be quite what he imagines.)

If he thinks he can get the female majority of Americans to give up their rights so easily, why should he worry about getting the straight majority to persecute homosexuals again? Should be a piece of cake.

Second, he's got the same built-in excuse for the failure of the fag-hating movement as all conservatives have on all subjects where public compliance is not total. He does have to pretend to cogitate a bit before he gets to it, which exercise has it own delights:
It’s tough to construct an argument against gay marriage without appealing for justification to scripture. It’s not impossible. One can appeal to natural law...
Stop, yer killing me (and my unborn child). But after this flailing, he gets down to it:
There are other factors as well. (a) There have been, in movies and television in particular, relentless efforts to stigmatize anyone who disapproves of homosexual relationships... (c) the gay rights lobby has very successfully made the argument that equal treatment in matters of marriage is a matter of basic human rights, in line with the Civil Rights struggle...
We come to it at last, and inevitably: the anti-gay-marriage movement is being oppressed! By Hollyweird, and by the liberal conspiracy to convince ordinary Americans that the guys who, fifty years earlier, they all beat up for fun are actually some sort of victims. But wait, Dalrymple hasn't waded up to his nostrils yet:
Consider this little bit of anecdotal information. As an editor and director for a large religion website now, I can tell you: It’s substantially easier to find Christians and evangelicals to write on the abortion issue than it is to find ones who will write on same-sex marriage. Academics in particular are terrified that anything critical of homosexuality or same-sex marriage will come up before hiring or tenure committees. One of the first subjects we addressed in our “Public Square” at Patheos was the same-sex marriage debate, and nearly every person I approached to write on the topic had to ask himself or herself: “Am I willing to give up the next job, the next promotion, the next award, because of my views on this topic?”
Stop and think a minute. First, these are "Christians and evangelicals" we're talking about -- in other words, Jesus freaks. They live, indeed thrive, in a land of megachurches, child-raping priests, and wealthy preachers whose primary occupation is the exploitation of ancient prejudices and superstitions for financial and social gain.

And for them hard times are good times. They're recession-proof. The same sordid rackets that sustained them in the time of Mencken are still in operation and more profitable than ever. There's no need for these guys to worry about the next job, the next promotion, the next award. The Jesus industry churns them out by the buttload. Hell, Dalrymple's got an intellectual-type job; the standards obviously aren't high.

So it is hard to imagine why Dalrymple or anyone would cry and complain that the academy is prejudiced against them. Haven't they got their own Bible colleges and such like? In fact, more than once I've said that conservatives in general, who are always belly-aching about the pernicious influence of Harvard and Yale and what not, should turn from the Satanic influence of such book-l'arnin' institutions, and get after happily and busily building their new City of God at Liberty College and Bob Jones.

Sigh -- they ain't making Christians like they used to. The early ones suffered all kinds of martyrdoms; the current crop are martyrs only in the comically pejorative sense. As filled with the Holy Spirit, as convicted of salvation and the rightness of their causes as they claim to be, they still bitch and moan that some snobby school won't give them tenure, and that they have to run to some fundamentalist funder to keep up their lifestyle which, from what I've seen, doesn't include a vow of poverty.

Jesus was a forgiving sort, but if he laid eyes on this lot I suspect he'd at least be tempted to go money-changers-at-the-temple on their sorry asses.

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