Mainstreaming as usual
thick and fast: Maryland state board of education proposes
treating homosexuality as “cultural group”
in multicultural programs, and Nickelodeon to present “issue” program on homosexuality
so 8-13 year-olds, with the aid of Rosie O’Donnell and Linda Ellerbe, “can have some information and make up their own minds.” Even an 8-year-old, it seems, is a detached liberal ego accumulating information and making decisions on all subjects whatever in accordance with its own self-posited values. Or at least that’s the line taken when the issues and information are “appropriately” presented.
Posted by Jim Kalb at June 09, 2002 09:14 AM | Send
That captures the feeling of these things just right, that they’re “coming thick and fast.” As I read the linked article about the proposed curriculum change in Maryland, it occurred to me that there’s a need for new invention for our times, a “jaw elevator” that elevates one’s lower jaw when it keeps dropping wide open in disbelief and astonishment at each new “cultural” development that one has to read about. Yet at the same time, we need to understand that all these horrors must come, have to come, that they’re an inevitable and predictable working out of well-established liberal understandings. I don’t think we will be free of liberalism until all its nihilistic and evil potentialities have been unfolded.
“I don’t think we will be free of liberalism until all its nihilistic and evil potentialities have been unfolded.”
Will that be before or after it kills us all? :(
Good question. If liberalism is a parasite consuming its host which is Western civilization, then liberalism won’t be destroyed until it has destroyed Western civilization and us with it. But there is another scenario: that there is a core of Western civilization that remains free of liberalism because it recognizes its utter falsity and evil and so is not affected by them—and so survives the general destruction of the West and of its attendant liberalism. This opens the possibility of a post-liberal rebirth of the West. That’s what we should hope and work for.
1.) Liberalism seems only to exist as a Western entity. Vast swatches of the planet could care less about it (China, Japan. Arabia) and other nations manipulate it for their own ends (Pakistan, India, Turkey).
2.) What truly scares liberalism is Christianity. The faith is often polluted so that the only version you see is a wimpy Unitarian civil religion that either 1.) helps you get through your personal problems or 2.) convinces you to support “justice,” which means more liberalism.
Liberals HATE any non-housebroken expression of Christian faith. And the neocons seem only to care about a “sacred canopy” that baptizes their agenda.
Gideons passing out Bibles at schools and kids praying at football games are sent into court. A judge can’t dare display the Ten Commandments. Thee are small things, but all these infractions imply a higher law beyond the civil code.
So can’t we assume that one aspect of liberalism is the outpouring result of the rejection of Christianity? Perhaps we need to invoke the third section of the Paleo triangle: Paleo-orthodoxy. This means people return to the creeds and liturgies that date back before the Enlightenment: prayer books, chorales, psalters, chants, the whole nine yards. The original paleo-orthodox was Augustine, who was careful to remind people that the fall of Rome did not mean that the gates of Hell had prevailed against Christ and the kingdom of God.
Liberalism comes out of Christianity through elimination of transcendental elements. It’s like modern natural science in that respect. Like science it also claims self-sufficiency and independence of cultural background. Liberalism and science can be transplanted to some extent - the South African constitution is PC, almost all countries have formally liberal political institutions, Pakistan has the Bomb. Still, it seems doubtful that an outlook that appeals to universal reason can survive in a non-Christian world that doesn’t believe in the Word - universal reason - as the cause of all things.
If it can’t, then the attempt to surpass Christianity fails and Christianity wins. So I’d agree that the basic struggle is between Christianity and liberalism, and the aspects of Christianity that are most relevant are the transcendent elements expressed most clearly in symbol, ritual and creedal formulas. So as you suggest pre-modern creeds and liturgies are likely to be key to any effective response to liberalism.