Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Political Correctness or the Gospel: No Middle Ground

How Social Policing Works

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America
Culture and Politics - Sex and Culture
Written by Douglas Wilson
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 8:20 am

The antithesis is foundational to any right understanding of social order. From the beginning of our history, God has placed antipathy between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent (Gen. 3:15). The human race is divided into two races, those who love holiness and those who do not. The former are those who are having their humanity restored in Jesus Christ, and the latter are those who are actively pursuing the gollumization of humanity. So the human race is divided, and it is divided by the grace of the gospel, and in accordance with the Bible's description of God's character. This description of His character is something that less squeamish generations of Christians used to call God's "law."

Those who love God recoil from the things that nonbelievers both do (Eph. 5:12) and applaud doing (Rom. 1:32). They despise even the garments that are stained by the flesh (Jude 23). But a Christian might protest -- "I don't agree with the way you are approaching this. I'm a Christian and I don't have that kind of detestation." But that argument would only have weight if you really were a Christian. That's where the argument falls down.

Now given this antithesis between two entirely distinct ways of being human, and given the fact that these two races have to live together until the Lord comes, how are we to conduct ourselves in the meantime?
We are to gird up the loins of our minds (1 Pet. 1:13), which is Peter's way of telling us to think. We are to live as obedient children, which means being disobedient to our former lusts (1 Pet. 1:14). We are called to be holy in everything we do -- but mark that holiness is not smarminess. Beware of false definitions of holiness. We are to be holy in all our lives because the one who calls us is holy (1 Pet. 1:15-16). Pass your time here as a resident alien, as a sojourner, as a pilgrim (1 Pet. 1:17). It took more than gold or jewels to redeem us from this pandering world (1 Pet. 1:18), and so we ought to place an appropriate value on what it took to get us out of that vain way of life.

So think. So gird up the loins of your mind. It will either be the case that one of these humanities will define what acceptable discourse is, with the other side keeping its head down, or it will go the other way. Either it will be acceptable to make jokes at the expense of the Jesus freak, or it will not be. Either the jokes (and with either kind of human  there will always be jokes) will reflect God's moral order, or they will be fighting it. There is not a third way of being human that we can put in charge of this whole thing in such a way as to allow the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent to get along in peace and harmony.

If you want a high school where the gay teenager gets affirming hugs from all his classmates, and in which the devout Christian is well-liked and hailed by all and sundry, then it is clear that your intellectual toga got all tangled up when you tried to gird up those loins. On these issues, most Christians are not girding up the loins so much as running through the curtains. That high school does not exist, not here, not now, not ever.
The ability to make jokes, which police the boundaries of every moral order, is the kindest way, the least onerous way, of maintaining those boundaries. If you ban them, you have not gotten rid of the issues at stake, but have actually just escalated the conflict. Back in the fifties, it was possible to observe that someone was a little light in the loafers, and that perhaps your son should avoid hanging out with him. Now it is not possible for Christian owners of a bed and breakfast to refuse to put up lesbian couple, stating their reasons, at least not without risking being sent off to sensitivity camp for a couple weeks, and it is open season on making jokes at the expense of those troglodytes, along with their bed and breakfast cave. Right? I can just hear Letterman now.

Well, better to be a faithful troglodyte than a troglodyke. And you see, things have gotten so bad that I type this joke in fear, waiting for the sound of jackboots on my front porch.

No comments: