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Showing posts from January, 2017

Free Speech Fundamentals: Locke's Letter on Toleration

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Strap in. I am about to tell you something that may make you uncomfortable. 
"Toleration" as a political virtue is not about being nice.

It is a not a shorthand for the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" (Matthew 7:12).

It is not about not judging others lest you be judged, or about giving good things to others when they ask you for help.

It is not about multiculturalism or "diversity" or being open to other's perspectives.

Above all, it is not about refusing todefend your own religious and political traditions against those who would seek to replace them with theirs.

What it is is a uniquely Christian virtue predicated on specific pronouncements of the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. "My kingdom is not of the world" (John 18:36), meaning that there is no State of which Christ claims to be ruler.
2. "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:2…

God's Vagina

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Pop quiz: What do you see when you look at this image? If you were following the Women's March last Saturday, perhaps you see a woman empowered in her sexuality, resisting men who might feel the urge to grab her pussy. Perhaps if you talked with her, she might explain that she wants the right to be able to murder in the womb any babies that she might accidentally conceive, although how she expects to conceive them, if she does not allow men to grab her pussy, is a little unclear. Perhaps she makes exceptions for men that she likes (could there be men that she likes?) Perhaps she might also explain that she does not intend to conceive any babies because she wants the government, i.e. the taxpayers, i.e. you, to pay for the birth control to prevent the conception of those babies that she claims the right to kill in the womb if she ever happens to let a man grab her pussy and, well, you know, enter in. Or maybe I am reading too much into all of this. Maybe what she wants to do is dem…

Lies of the Left: “Gender Fluidity"

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I have to confess that I tend to have a hard time staying awake when colleagues in academia start talking about gender. There you are in a seminar talking about, I don't know, nationalism or the Ark of the Covenant or Milo's hair, and as sure as eggs is eggs, someone, not necessarily a woman, will clear her throat and intone: "I think what we really need to consider here is gender." At which point I fall asleep.

It is just so boring.

Gender (you have to say it with that special emphasis, as if pronouncing the Name of the Deity) has been the hot topic of analysis since I was in college thirty years ago. To give credit where credit is due, I might not have taken up the work that I have done on devotion to the Virgin Mary without the interest in gender of many of my teachers at the time. My dissertation advisor, Caroline Walker Bynum, is famous for making gender a category of analysis in the study of medieval Christianity. (It says so on her faculty page at the Institut…

Lies of the Left: “White Nationalism"

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I don't know if you've noticed, but the professional Left* loves thinking in terms of binaries: black and white, male and female, rich and poor, Left and Right.

For the media, it means easy headlines: find the Black Hats, and you've got your story. Likewise for Hollywood: drama depends on conflict, and what better conflict is there than that between the forces of Good and the forces of Evil? Academics tend to take a little more prodding before they will admit to thinking in such reductive terms, but get them talking about power and oppression and the categories will become clear. 
"We" (the speakers) are necessarily the Good Guys. "They" (those who think wrongly about sex, race, and gender) are the Bad Guys. All the Good Guys are on the side of the Oppressed (blacks, women, the poor); all the Bad Guys are on the side of the Powerful (whites, males, rich).
It does not matter that the categories make no historical sense, whether because they are recent in…

Inauguration Day

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Thanking Milo for standing up for freedom of speech,  even as protestors try to shut down his talk at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Free Speech Fundamentals: Building a Platform

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It is without a doubt one of the sillier complaints that protestors at Milo's talks have regularly made when they are trying to shut him up for having conservative political opinions about freedom of speech.

For example, at UC Davis, where the protestors effectively shut down Milo's event the night before with their violence, after which the next day one of them demanded of Milo as he was talking to the crowd gathered outside to hear him speak (see video at 4:01): "Where's my platform? Where is everyone else's platform?" Milo admonished him: "You had it last night, brother," but of course the young man was not satisfied. He thought that it was Milo's fault that nobody wanted to listen to him.

Trigglypuff at UMass Amherst had the same complaint, if imperfectly expressed (see video at 1:26): "But this is free speech! If you're so concerned about free speech..."--meaning presumably hers, as she clearly wanted to continue shouting, &q…