June 20, 2010 - June 13, 2010
. It's Holy Week and therefore Open Season on
Christians in the mass media. (Is it ever Open Season on muslims during
Ramadan?) We've had a provocative cover story about the "Death of Christian America"
in Newsweek, followed by a hasty clarification from that
article's anxious author. HotAir's Allahpundit chose Good Friday itself
for a link to this jackassery,
which reinforces his customary snarky atheism. And we've already noted
at this site the embarrassing
bankruptcy of the Episcopal/Anglican Church that underscores the
media's delighted focus on this
Ordinarily, we at InstaPunk address such phenomena in a scattershot, ad-hoc, and frequently satirical fashion, in response to current events rather than specific dates, but today is Good Friday, and I've decided to respond more seriously than usual. (Feel free to run away...) Fortunately, there is one recent event that provides a basis for focused discussion. It was a debate about atheism between Christopher Hitchens and Dr. William Lane Craig, described in this article as "an 'evidentialist' in that he argues for the existence of God based on evidence not presupposition." I'll give you three excerpts from the account of the debate and then address some of the arguments on both sides. Sound fair? Excerpt One:
I think this is an excellent preface to thoughtful discussion. It
illustrates the disconnect between the theological position and the
secular position. The theologians want to talk about existence itself
and its meaning or lack of it, and the secularists want to contrast the
primitive mind which "invented" God with the rational mind that has
come to perceive a vast gulf between mythology and hard science, and
between naive faith and brutal facts.The theologians are asking, "How
could we be here at all if there weren't some supreme power behind the
universe beyond our ability to fully comprehend?," while the
secularists are declaring, "If there is
a God, he has a hell of a lot to answer for: Nature is vicious, men are
vicious, all so-called scriptures are ignorant "Just So" stories, and
at least the "Just So" stories of science are backed by objective
observation, measurements not conceived of in Biblical times, hard
data, and a far less anthropomorphic perspective. If there is a God, he
can't be anything like your
conception of him."
If I've stated the terms of disagreement fairly, everyone should be nodding their heads about now. I'm going to take an additional step toward fairness here. You'll note I used the term 'secularist' rather than 'atheist' in my initial description of the conflict. That's because I believe most self-professed atheists are not really taking a cosmological position but a cultural position. They're not presuming they know where the universe came from but rather asserting that all organized religions date from a time when we knew less about everything, particularly matters scientific, and are therefore evidently uninformed. They believe that all important matters -- social, moral, and political -- should be decided rationally and scientifically rather than in terms of what ignoramuses past projected onto a dimly understood and largely unexplored world. To me, the term that best describes this position is "secularist," not "atheist" or even "agnostic." The existence or nonexistence of some supreme power, however defined, is simply irrelevant to the decisions we make in our lives. Is that fair? I believe so.
Now then. I still propose to take the position that the secularists are demonstrably wrong and that the evidence favors the Christian perspective more than it does the secular perspective. Some of my arguments are old, and some are, well, new. But how can I dare to make such an argument in the first place? Because when it's impossible to find some external point of comparison to use as a control (i.e., some other example of intelligent life that grappled with matters of divinity and meaning), we are compelled to look inward and learn from the recurring or exceptional patterns of our own experience at every level of scale. All our evidence about existence and its meaning or lack of it comes from the sum total of human knowledge and experience to date. If we can't find external points of comparison, we must resort to internal points of comparison, of which, it turns out, there are virtually infinite examples. If these consistently resonate with one another, we can begin to extrapolate some universality, even about dimensions of existence beyond or below ourselves we know little about.
For example, let's consider one of the prime axioms of science. If there is a large measurable effect, there must be a powerful cause. A dropped brick falls to the earth. The moon orbits the earth without wandering away. Related effects across a range of scales. There must be a cause. The more universal and consistent the effect, the more powerful the cause. Gravity. One of the four known forces of the universe that explain its operation. At one extreme lies black holes, where gravity is so powerful it sucks in everything that comes within its remotest influence. At the other extreme lies what? A sparrow, a butterfly, a mosquito, a gnat that falls to earth when it dies. No one has ever seen gravity itself, only its effects. The secularists have exactly the same problem with Jesus Christ.
It is true that no one can prove Jesus Christ ever existed, let alone prove that he was a superposition of human and divine identities who died for all of us and rose again from the dead, offering eternal life after death and eternal redemption from something called sin. But the effects of this invisible cause, whatever it was, are far too huge to ignore. Indeed, the effects are so stupendously enormous across all scales of human experience that it is laughable to credit objections based on sharpshooting the verifiable historicity or lack of it of the Bible. Note, expressly, that I am not postulating the accuracy of the four gospels when I use the word laughable in the context of Biblical criticism. What I'm saying is that secularists are faced with an incredibly intimidating Christian mystery of their own -- if Christ didn't exist and wasn't who he said he was, how do you explain what happened afterwards?
And let's not make any mistake about what happened afterwards. The cultural changes wrought by Christianity on our earth are the single biggest ongoing act of creation that we know of since the origin of life and the still theoretical Big Bang. This invisible cause, whatever it consisted of, redefined human consciousness to such a degree that it led to everything we now take for granted about ourselves -- our sense of ourselves as individuals, the proliferation of competing interpretations of the originating events in the form of hundreds of variant denominations of "the faith" that continue blooming to this day, the egoistic impulse toward liberty across lines of class and in defiance of authoritarian aristocratic governments, and the curiosity that spawned modern science in the first place, including cosmology, medicine, chemistry, biology, zoology, anthropology, evolution, psychology, and even economics. Without that invisible, unverifiable cause, all but a few of Christianity's fiercest critics wouldn't exist at all.
The messiah who wasn't somehow also fathered atheism, marxism, existentialism, absurdism, and the Matrix. Not to put too fine a point on it, the Hitchens who mocks Christianity wouldn't even exist without it. The mind that he applies to the argument, the self who experiences such a volatile antipathy to what he perceives as the tyranny of misbegotten myth, would be empty, undifferentiated, and mute. Indeed, his is the greater solipsism by far than any he imputes to Christians. For he, like most secularists, imagines that somehow he could still be who he is in all his rancorous ridicule, without the 2,000 year intellectual, artistic, philosophical, and political tradition that produced him, which is overwhelmingly Christian.
Which is to say that he wishes to bask and preen in the effects of the Christian tradition even as he presumes to subtract from that tradition the cause his scientific allegiance demands must exist.
Christopher Hitchens is himself a kind of proof of the Christ.
Is there a muslim Hitchens? No. If there were, he'd have been dead long before this. We'd never have have been allowed to hear of him of him, let alone listen to him. Which is a point of contact with the real miracle of Christianity that distinguishes it from all other major religions. And a point of contact with the fallacy of secularist objections to Christianity that demonstrates just how shallow those objections are.
First things first. There's a notion abroad these days that Islam is some kind of serious rival to Christianity as a religion in terms of its scope and power. It isn't. They are not rivals but opposites. Only the enemies of Christianity commit the fraud of comparing them as if they were somehow equivalent.
If we're keeping track of some hierarchy of scripture and its relation to what we think we know now about human nature and morality, here's the ranking in terms of Most Advanced (1) to Most Barbaric (3):
1) New Testament
2) Old Testament
Let's compare 2) and 3) to begin. The Hitchens (and Allahpundits) of this world love to deride the most arbitarily judgmental sections of the Old Testament. In its pages, they claim to see a God who is vengeful, violent, and even psychotic. What they never see is that the OT is also a record of the people who worshipped that God. That as the Israelites became more civilized, Yahweh (wonder of wonders) also became more forgiving (suggesting that God changes his aspect to man as man becomes more able to interact intelligently). That Psalms is more wise than Leviticus. That Isaiah is more individuated and interesting than Amos. That Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are more wise than Hemingway. That what we're seeing in the Old Testament is the transition from early proto-consciousness to modern consciousness. The god of three-year-olds is likely to be less nuanced than the god of twelve-year-olds. The Old Testament does establish itself reliably as part of a continuum to the New Testament. The variable is not God, but men. The Bible is the story of the raising of men from childhood to adulthood.
The Koran contains no such story of growth, It is all variations on Leviticus. Full of laws not to be broken, ever, and hatreds galore. To read the Koran against the Old Testament is to uncover a vicious imitative hoax against the original it's copied from. The Old Testament is about maturation. The Koran is about control. The histories of the peoples who followed these scriptures are the evidence. The Jews were both victimized and enlightened by the effects of the follow-on to their scripture called the New Testament. Their resistance to its status as divine revelation cost them blame and persecution, but they absorbed every lesson it offered about individual mentality. They flourished in every new discipline made possible by Christianity's devotion to the spark of divinity in aspiring minds. Both testaments are needed to explain the contributions of Einstein, Schopenhauer, Mahler, and Freud. They loved God but abjured hope. That's their curse. Despite their obsession with the artistic imagery of Christianity, they could never bring themselves to believe or wholly embrace it. Having precipitated the greatest leap forward in human consciousness ever, they insisted on remaining obstinately outside its implications, which almost cost them their existence.
But they knew those implications nevertheless. (Today's Jews are Christians minus the belief in Christ as Son of God.) The New Testament is the single greatest work of scripture in the history of life on earth. Why? Because it is endlessly productive and provocative at every scale. It is too internally contradictory to be read successfully as didactic. And while it speaks directly to matters of right and wrong and other spiritual matters, its centerpiece is not a list of rules but the most creatively open-ended symbol ever promulgated in religious terms.
The cross is the "X" that marks the spot of human existence in so many ways that it can never run out of ways to be ingeniously reinterpreted, almost always in ways that are positive for the human spirit. (That's the reason for the unending establishment of new Christian denominations, some of which are despised orphans but all of which are part of the endless flowering of the story.) The story that goes with that cross is also endlessly creative and consistent with both human and divine stories before and after its putative place in time. The story is local, universal, philosophical, psychological, mythological, historical, human, archetypal, personal, passionate, abstract, symbolical, dramatic, sensual, ambiguous, allegorical, literal, literary, architectural, and, in its impossible aggregate of all these, clearly transcendent. The men who existed before this time were not so much damned as insufficiently developed to be conscious of an afterlife, Socrates and a few others excluded.
One simple story that knits together every conceivable story ever told about the human condition. Unfolding in a (relatively) few pages of an archaic document in an obsolete language. The word "metaphor" is to the gospels what the word "big" is to the cosmological definition of infinity.
I've never heard any secularist (or atheist) who can explain away this mountain of mystery. Our own times have produced masses of conspiracy theories, hoaxes, compelling fictions. The desire to believe on behalf of a greater meaning can perpetuate compelling fictions, or else we wouldn't have had fifty-plus years of Kennedy assassination literature, but truth tends to weigh in at the end like a ten ton weight. Oswald owned the rifle that killed Kennedy. The shot that killed Kennedy was fired from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Oswald was there at the time. He killed a police officer while he was running away from the scene of the crime. Only 40-some years into this mesmerizing mysteryon, we can already foresee eventually accepting that Oswald was a lone, meaningless assassin. If you reject any of these conclusions, ask what you are willing to pay for your beliefs. Are you willing to die, 100 years after the fact, because you personally knew the identity of the people who killed a nonfictional character named John F. Kennedy? You might feel emotionally and intellectually that you possess the truth, but are you so sure that you would die a horrible death for your belief? Torn apart by lions in the coliseum?
Really? But people were stupid back then, right? They were willing to be tortured horribly to death on account of someone who never existed, just because he said stuff that couldn't possibly help them live easier lives in the current political regime. Until their beliefs forced an authoritarian empire to agree. Fine. Now explain to me the process by which the United States and Europe suddenly agree to accept Scientology as a state religion. Are you you starting to grasp the dimensions of the mystery?
A final comparison on this Good Friday. Christianity has produced so many variations of its original story that there are those who have amputated themselves from their sources. As I've written previously here, I believe most of the fundamentalist and evangelical "Born Again" sects of Christianity have done exactly this. Their desire to read the Bible "literally" is a flat denial of where the Bible came from and the languages in which it was originally written. This denial has deservedly earned them scorn from rationalists and, yes, secularists. But here's what's decidedly odd. When the Hitchens of the world attack Christianity, do they attack the much greater and older population of Christians who see the Bible as an infinitely layered metaphor subject to many nuances of meaning, or do they snipe at the easy targets of those who claim their American 'revised standard version' is word for word true?
The answer is, of course, the latter. The secularists just love to beat up on the people who see the Bible as a strict roadmap to heaven. But I would argue that this is just one more instance of the dictum that you target the enemy who most resembles you (e.g., Nazi totalitarians in Germany hated Boshevik totalitarians in Russia). That is, the fundamentalists have made themselves targets because they are most like the secularists. They are mirrors of each other, narrow, preemptive, and intolerant.
Fundamentalists exist in an absurd bubble of false history. They reject the fact that the Bible they take so literally was constructed by a Roman Catholic Church they dismiss as heretical. They behave as if their Christianity were a spontaneous act of divination, achieved directly through a book whose origins their fragile theology would require them to disdain. Secularists also exist in an absurd bubble of false history. They reject the fact that the science they take so dogmatically was inspired by devout Christians (like Isaac Newton) they now dismiss as superstitious fools. They behave as if their (claimed) pristine objectivity were a self-generated manifestation of wisdom, achieved in spite of the book that gave rise to their own reactionary disciplines and derivative personal identities.
The ony inequity here is that the fundamentalists are scorned and transparent while the secularists are admired and ambiguous. Both are small subsets of the historical populations created by the Christian enlightenment. They're both sideshows. Educated Christians aren't much impressed by the quest to find Noah's Ark on some mountain that can be called be Ararat. Nor are they impressed by scientists who claim they fully understand the evolution of humankind when they can't begin to explain the origins of life.
It was the great physicist George Richard Feynman who said, "If I can't create it, I can't claim to understand it." (I used to call him George when we hung out together at NASCAR races. He never corrected me. My bad.)
That statement alone elucidates the difference between a real scientist and the kind of poseur we see in Richard Dawkins.
But in the interim, we'll have to put up with pretentious secularists jeering at contradictions in the Bible as if plot holes are all that's necessary to make up for the glaring hole where an explanation of the existence of the universe should be.
Today, though, I'm going to commit the irrational act of imagining the meaning of crucifixion and resurrection. As if I were a Christian. As stupid an exercise as that might be.
So I'll do the unthinkable. I'll visualize Christ on the cross, dying for me. And for you, too. With this in mind.
This fairness thing is a bitch. Okay. I have to warn you that this post
contains some deliberate holes, which are, in fact, traps set for the
unwary. If you come charging in through those holes, you WILL be
ambushed. Sorry. I know it's not Christian, but Scots have never been
more than half-Christian. And
I'm still more than a double-bogey away from Scottish par on that.
So. You Know. Be advised.
UPDATE. Thanks, Fred. For some technical reason I can't fathom, I can't even respond to a comment on my own post at this particular moment. But I'm humbled by what you said. Convey my best to your brother the priest.
UPDATE. Beckoning Chasm likes Palestrina. So do we.
If you respond by saying, well, some other enterprise will step in and fill that role, then the burden is on you to explain how such a business could be any more sustainable than the ones that are struggling mightily to be sustainable as we speak.
Sorry for the lengthy post. I'm just getting weary of seeing this flawed argument about the newspaper industry's decline (i.e., various versions of "they're too biased!"), and it's hard not to wax on about it.
. Redemption lurks in the oddest corners. Reliable sources
telling me that the current nostalgia craze is for the Eighties, and my
experience of the past weekend bears that out. My wife paid rapt
attention to a five-hour VH1 special devoted to one-hit wonders of that
decade, and I found myself enraptured, too, despite my reflexive
the much more serious sixties era of popular music. But constantly in
thrall to this site as I am, I also took skeptical note of the canned
intro that was repeated at the beginning of each one-hour segment --
declaration that the 1980s were a "simpler time" and that without the
music we all loved the decade would have "sucked."
A simpler time? Hardly. Unlike many who have fallen vicariously in love (or at least 'like') with distant decades, I actually lived through the eighties, just as I lived through the seventies and sixties, and I can report that there was nothing "simple" about them. Of course, I fully understand why the people who keep track of popular music have to say what they say, because the Eighties were the decade of Ronald Reagan, the twilight of the Cold War, a time of prodigious global challenges, and the last time that Americans were unashamedly proud to be American. Uncomfortable realities in the Age of Obama. It was a time when time might very well have suddenly ended for us at any moment, but also a time when our nation was finally, after several diffident decades, standing up to those who threatened us. It began, quite propitiously, with the "miraculous" 1980 Olympic hockey victory against the Russians. (All right. I was going to be content with just a link to Miracle, but I can't. I want to be sure you watch it. So, my apologies for interrupting the flow of this paragraph...)
The decade ended with the total collapse of the Soviet Union,
engineered by a president whom the MSM hated so much it contrived to
give all the credit for sudden peace to the Soviet leader who had the
wit to fold an irretrievably bad hand.
Did the Eighties "suck"? No. Defiinitely no. After twenty years of economic stagnation and inflation, the Eighties were the beginning of a 30-year epoch of growth and prosperity. And oddly enough, prosperity also spurred a boom in the innovation and excitement of popular music. Within months of the inauguration of Ronald Reagan, MTV was born, and it became an international phenomenon. Are you starting to understand why the Eighties are the source of a current nostalgia craze? I have it on good authoriity that girls are suddenly wearing leg warmers again, just as they did in the aftermath of the movie Flashdance.
In fact, my own grown-up daughter -- she's 24 now -- tells me that the
Eighties, especially the music, are all the rage now. I asked her what
was so special about this era she's too young to remember. What one
word characterizes her fascination with a long expired decade?
"Electricity," she told me. "The Eighties were electric."
That's an odd term to be used by a contemporary generation that carries electricity in its pockets and purses in a far more literal way than any denizen of the Eighties could have. There were no cell phones then, no Gameboys, and barely any internet connections. But I know what she means. In my somewhat retro vocabulary, her description translates to vitality, passion, aspiration, life. Particularly at the beginning of that decade, there was an explosion of possibilities that infected everyone, but most of all young people, even if they didn't know or credit the source. For just a moment, everything you could possibly imagine was conceivable. Like all such moments, it ended, long before the anguished 2000s, but the buzz of it still resonates in 2009.
Music, as always, is the key, the thing which gives us the feel and rhythm of the time. It's part of a continuum obviously, which is why we can look to the Rolling Stones (as usual) for bookends of eighties pop music. They kicked it off with Start Me Up, which is a new beginning by any measure and concluded it with Mixed Emotions, a monument to the end of the long simmering and incredibly dangerous Cold War between Mick and Keith. In between, there was a long ton of great music. Thanks to MTV, there was a profusion of one-hit wonders, which provide an unsurpassed insight into just how competitive the music industry is. So much talent harnessed to produce one fleeting moment of fame. Do you remember these?
How much harder must it be to read the times well enough to dominate
them utterly? Here are the top ten
songs of the entire decade:
The lists never tell the whole story, though. Time for me to come
clean. Child of the sixties that I am, I still had a tape or two (or
three) that I played every morning before I launched myself into
corporate America in my expensive suit. And, yes, it was Eighties
stuff. Come into my parlor...
The first one was actually the last gasp of the seventies, but it's no secret I was once a punk. The rest are the music of my life in the business world, about which I was as fierce and passionate as I am here. These aren't all the songs I listened to. But they are the ones -- apart from the obligatory Stones fix -- I remember most intensely. Psychoanalyze me at your own peril. In case you don't know it yet, I bite.
What were the Eighties? A vivid
time. If you were there, you know what I mean. If you weren't, you
probably wish you were. Which is a good sign that you can trust your
gut. Nostalgia can be a kind
of redemption. If it sends you in productive directions. I have a
nostalgic decade or two that I look to as well. Maybe I'll tell you
about them sometime. If you prove yourselves worthy. Until then, study
this about me:
Eighties. Pure and (not so) simple. Just like me. Not to mention electric. After all, I am the undercurrent. Of everything.
. The Y-Gen website where I found this titled it
"Dumb.flv." But both the escalators in the shot are down escalators. We can think of
them as the two parties in our political system. If you're determined
to go up, what other choice
do you have? Even though the editor chose to cut before this young
woman made it to the top, it does look as if she's going to get there,
I've been searching, I admit it, for reasons, images, even excuses for hope in the face of the daily avalanche of catastrophic news. They've been few and far between. (btw I will personally eviscerate the next person who writes "far and few between," which is one of the latest viruses of illiteracy sweeping the internet, conservative websites included.) But I think I've found something. Not an item or two to cheer about but a pattern that provides a basis for cautious optimism. How to frame it? Simply. (I have a post in progress about the complex virtues of certain kinds of simple-mindedness, but you'll have to wait for that one; it's far from simple to write.) The Obamaniacs and their adoring lefties are overplaying their hand. Yes, Americans are patient and slow to anger, but they will eventually respond to the drip-drip-drip of liberal pessimism, insults, authoritarianism, and hysteria. In this context, many of the recent "bad news" occurrences are not really bad news but baby steps toward massive repudiation of a worldview most Americans will ultimately and forcefully reject.
Take the new Newsweek cover story celebrating the impending death of Christianity in America:
It's just flat overstated. Twenty years ago, 86 percent of Americans
described themselves as Christians. Today it's only 76 percent. That still sounds like an overwhelming majority to me. And
probably more realistic than the old number anyway. If current events
affect your religious affiliation, you weren't very spiritual to begin
with. And even if the figure declines to 60 percent a decade or so from
now, it will remain a large enough majority to 1) take punitive umbrage at cover
art that translates its faith's most sacred symbol into political
propaganda and 2) recoil in disgust at the image of an American
to a muslim plutocrat who's in the business of secretly subsidizing
terrororism against Jews and Christians. I have no doubt that Newsweek
editors yearn for the death of Christianity in America, but declaring
that it's imminent doesn't make it so. It merely exposes their own
prejudice in the matter. Drip-drip.
I've been wondering quietly about the lack of media coverage of the two journalists seized by North Korea. Two young women in the clutches of the most indisputably evil political regime on earth. It's not even clear that they were captured inside the North Korean border. Regardless of their professional stature or lack of it, these are media people. They work for Al Gore's television network for heaven's sake. How is it possible that this is not a day-after-day-after-day headline story in the nation's leading newspapers? No matter how left wing these girls are, even conservatives would raise hell to secure their safe return. But it's been only a rueful footnote in coverage of the "Hundred Days" of Obama. And the few leaks we've been permitted to date suggest they're facing ten years of imprisonment. Americans. Journalists. Women. Young women. Imprisoned in North Korea. Under who knows what godawful, abusive conditions.
Ironically, the only outrage I've heard expressed about their plight came from MSNBC's leftwing Gorgon Rachel Maddow. I was actually applauding to myself when I heard her say she was so mad about the situation she wanted to scream. That's how I feel too. But then.... BUT THEN she transitioned smoothly into video clips of Guantanamo and actually blamed the Bush administration for creating the precedent of institutional oppression that somehow enabled the North Koreans to justify their actions. American journalists are kidnapped and imprisoned under the Obama administration without the least sign that that administration is trying to secure their release and IT'S THE FAULT OF GEORGE W. BUSH??!! As if Kim Jong Il would be more reasonable if the United States were more tolerant of muslim terrorists... Yes, she said it with a perfectly straight face, but it's over the top. The unavoidable inference is that she doesn't care at all about the fate of her unfortunate media sisters. They're just convenient chips on the table in the game she's playing against the opposition party. Americans will subscribe to this bizarre interpretation of responsibility? No. Drip-drip-drip.
The new six-dollar-a-carton cigarette tax to pay for S-CHIP went into effect this week. No matter how anyone wants to spin it, including the troglodyte conservative Neal Boortz, it's a huge and hugely regressive tax increase on exactly the people Obama promised to give tax relief. Nothing could demonstrate more convincingly that Obama doesn't care at all about the disadvantaged, underprivileged folk he promised to care for as his first priority. He isn't about happiness. He's about punishment. For all the sins against his own personal conception of right and wrong. Wherever Americans transgress his own own peculiar code of morality, he will be there with a stick and a slick self-justifying platitude. Drip-drip-drip-drip.
We're on the verge of the NFL draft, which is interesting in the wake of the AIG and other bonus scandals. Obama and the mass media may think they've successfully blitzed the question of how much talented Americans should make in a free (or controlled) market economy, but once again, they've overplayed their hand. How many people watched the Super Bowl? Precisely. You can whip them up to a fever pitch over the course of a few weeks of intense indoctrination, but at a level deeper than the NYT or White House press office can ever get to, they understand the market economy. When their NFL team selects the most talented quarterback in the draft this year, they'll be clamoring on sports talk radio for team ownership to make whatever compensation deal is necessary and then they'll stand in line to shake the hand of the brand new mega-millionaire they prayed would join their team. Contrary to all the wouldas and shouldas of the MSM and the libs, Americans do know that outstanding talent deserves -- and earns -- outstanding compensation. One or two news stories may temporarily stir their emotions in an opposing direction, but they still know what they know and in time they will remember it. Drip-drip-drip-drip-drip.
Meanwhile, President Obama stands up before an audiene in France and declares that Americans have been arrogant in their dealings with Europe. Excuse us? We've been arrogant? Whose side is this guy on? Is it somehow wrong to expect that a president of the United States of America should be on our side?
Which perfectly highlights and crystallizes the essentials of the mistake the Obamaniacs are making. They secured 53 percent of the vote in the presidential election. In popular terms that's not exactly a landslide. It's a decisive win but not a mandate equivalent to, uh, say, the 76 percent of Americans who still describe themselves as Christians. Chances are very good that a big chunk of the 53 percent who voted for Obama didn't think they were signing up for a regime that despises the country it's sworn an oath to protect and the religion that gave rise to that country.
It will take time. But within the next four years, a majority of Americans will come to understand the worldview of Obama and the people who back him most fervently. Drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip. And guess what. Even people who are dumb as rocks don't enjoy being insulted, derided as racists, arrogant imperialists, foolishly obsolete for their religious beliefs, and incapable of making decisions for themselves about their own lives. The media are cutting their own throats -- and Obama's. They just can't help their delirious impulse to parlay a modest electoral victory into a license to assert their own twisted vision of utopia as a fait accompli.
This is an act that will get old in a hurry. Maybe not tomorrow or next month. But soon -- and permanently. Here's the news that's NOT being reported during this disastrous Hundred Days. Americans have 300-plus years of experience at being Americans. Meaning that at some very deep level they do not accept being told what to do, how to live their lives, where and who to work for, what (and what not to) smoke and drink and eat and fuck, and especially how they should regard themselves and their own lives vis a vis the rest of the non-American world and the God who made us all.
The media do NOT have the power they think they have in such matters. Nor does the Obamessiah. When the people finally realize he is not one of them but something else, with an alternate agenda, they will turn on him with a vengeance and all the bad that has been done will be undone.
In the meatime, all you conservatives, keep working your way up the down escalator. It may seem like you're bucking the tide, but remember that they're going down because that's the way the escalator is going. Ever so slowly, they'll remember that down is the wrong way to go, and before you know it, they'll arrive en masse at the escalator switch box and reverse its direction.
Yeah. I know. Come on, all you gloom and doomers. Do your worst. I don't care. I'm an optimist. Because I'm...