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Showing posts from February, 2017

Milo and Me

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Oh, forgoodness' sake!

I like Milo because he is Catholic, conservative, and trying to do good after spending his twenties living riotously and hurting more people than he should--or meant to.

I stood up for him this week and all along during his campus tour because he was doing something that nobody else in academia, including myself, would: bring out into the open the things that, in academia as in our culture at large, nobody has been willing to say lest they get shamed, shouted down, and told to shut up.

He talks about the things I care about: the problems with gender studies, the importance of Christian virtues, the value of Western civilization, the greatness of America as a country founded on ideals.

Yes, he made jokes at the expense of other people, particularly people whom the entire national media and all my liberal friends and colleagues say he shouldn't, but this is part of the point: unless you have been a conservative in academia for the past thirty years, you ha…

God's Fools

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Like Jesus, Francis of Assisi did some pretty outrageous things. Everybody knows how he went and preached to the birds, but not everybody knows why he did it.

It wasn't, as certain 1970s movies would have it, because he was a nature-loving hippie (although I do love Donavan's soundtrack, especially the theme song). It was because the human beings he was preaching to wouldn't listen.

He had wanted to preach the word of God in Rome, but when he arrived there, the people scorned him because he was dressed poorly, so they thought him an idiot. He tried for several days to gain their attention, but could not overcome their hardness of heart.

"I grieve deeply over your misfortune," he told them, "because you are not only spurning me as a servant of Christ, but you are also really despising Him in me, since I have been preaching to you the Gospel of the Redeemer of the world. And so I am now leaving Rome. And I call as witness of your desolation Him who is the faith…

The Milo Effect

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Milo, like everything he talks about, is polarizing.

"Are you the real, true face of the alt-Right? Because I thought the Nazis were in there. How did they take you on board?," former intel analyst Malcolm Nance asked Milo during the Overtime segment on Real Time with Bill Maher.

"No, they hate me," Milo responded. "The worst people on the very far Left and the very far Right all hate me. They all hate me."

"I think you are leaving a lot of people out," comedian Larry Wilmore quipped.

Guess what? Wilmore was right!

If Milo talks about third-wave feminists as being misandrist and vindictive and hurtful to both women and men, the liberal Left says he is insulting all women. The conservative Right can't stand that he uses colorful language like "cunts" and "pussies."

If Milo talks about Black Lives Matter as not attending to the real issues putting black lives at risk, the liberal Left says he is insulting all blacks. The con…

Jesus, Master Troll

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It's hard being a Christian. On the one hand, there is the image that everyone has from going to Sunday School, of Christians as goody-two-shoes. They dress nicely, eat bland cookies, don't swear, wait until marriage to have sex, always have a smile on their face, and are, basically, boring as Heaven.

On the other hand, there's Jesus. Jesus drank with sinners. Jesus ate with tax collectors. Jesus made friends with women of ill repute. Jesus wandered about the countryside gathering crowds and scaring the authorities.

Jesus was a troll.

Think about the day he announced himself to his village. He stood up and read the Scriptures for the day:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." And then he gave the book to the attendant, sat down, an…

Bully Culture

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Everybody hates a bully, or so we say. Yesterday, the national media bullied into silence a young man who had risen to fame speaking to audiences of young women and men about the lies that the grown-ups had told them for decades.

Lies about the relationship between women and men. That women don't need men. That all men are potential rapists. That women should aspire to something other than motherhood or they are wasting their lives. That women should like casual sex with strangers, hooking up just for the sake of the orgasm. That the children will be fine if their parents divorce. That abortion is morally good.

Everyone knows these are lies. The young woman who wakes up in the morning having lost her virginity to a man who isn't there and will not marry her. The young man who is tempted into exciting and transgressive sex with an older man and finds himself trapped by his desire in a lifestyle he cannot leave. The young woman who spends her most fertile years working in a care…

Mother and Son

"Already [her Son] was taken, already he was bound, already he was spat upon and struck, and it was said over him: 'He deserves death,' and it was shouted to the prefect: 'Crucify, crucify him.' These things were not hidden from the pious mother, who doubtless had come to Jerusalem at this time, whether for the festival of unleavened bread, or rather to see with pious eyes the agony of her Son, which had been specially revealed to her.

"And thereupon she heard from many: 'Don't you know, woman, what has happened to your son?' 'I knew,' she says, 'so be silent, and do not add to the pain of my wounds.' Thus however she was saying to herself: 'I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense. I will go and I will see his agony, and maternally I will die with him, because that prophecy which truth-telling Simeon said to me--His sword will pierce through your own soul--is to be fulfilled in this way. I will go, an…

“You Schoolgirls!"

My colleagues at the University of Chicago have spent the weekend talking about the article that I wrote about Milo published by Sightings on Thursday. The article was aggregated by Breitbart on Friday, where it has received 511 Facebook shares and 663 comments. Milo shared the article on his Facebook page, where it has received 6.4k Likes, 641 shares, and 261 comments.

Last night I posted this response to the listserve where some of this conversation has been going on. Full disclosure: my colleagues do not seem to have realized that I was privy to their discussion.
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You are all purposefully misunderstanding what I said in my "Sightings" article, although I appreciate you do not share my admiration for Milo as I have expressed it on my blog. I said two things in the "Sightings" piece which seem to be troubling people: 1) that it is considered a terrible breach of etiquette to argue as a Christian within the academy, and 2) that the universities were founded as …

Joking Matters

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Milo is dangerous, everyone agrees. Well, not quite everyone. (Me, for example.)

Certainly journalist Jeremy Scahill thinks he is. Invited to appear with Milo on Real Time with Bill Maher, Scahill refused, insisting, along with almost everyone else who has written about Milo except Tom Ciccotta and me that Milo incites violence. (He doesn't; the only person Milo has ever called for violence against is Dylann Roof, in the form of the death penalty). In Scahill's words: "Yiannopoulos has shown he will use his appearances to publicly attack and shame specific ordinary people by name, a practice which could lead to violence or even death."

Bill Maher would beg to differ. "You are so, let's say, helped, by the fact that liberals just always take the bait," he acknowledged in his interview with Milo last night. And then Maher cautioned his side: "Stop taking the bait, liberals! The fact that they all freaked out about this little, impish, British fag....…

Why Milo Scares Students, and Faculty Even More

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Fencing Bear takes off her mask...and reveals herself to be Professor Rachel Fulton Brown! My professional take on why what Milo is doing is so important for academia.


Read on...

Heresies of the Left: Unholy Trinity

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Evil does not exist except as a corruption of the Good. Every falsehood or lie contains something of Truth. The same is true of heresies. Every heresy is a corruption of some aspect of orthodox doctrine, which is why heresies are so hard for the orthodox to answer. The orthodox trip themselves up trying to negate the heresies directly, which they cannot do without denying the truth and goodness at their core.

This is why conservatives have so much trouble answering the Left (other than the fact that, as Milo rightly says, we are too often spineless cunts). Everything that the Left believes is grounded in a central claim of Western civilization, more often than not a central claim of Christianity or the Judeo-Christian tradition.

The Left, of course, denies this hotly, pointing for support for their doctrines to the "scientific teachings" of the prophet Marx or the "Enlightened" ideals of the prophet Robespierre. But the Left defend their beliefs with the vehemence …