A Nation of Bastards

BastardFriendsby Glenn Fairman   2/16/14
“Unwed fathers, they can’t be bothered, they run like water, through a mountain stream.” — John Prine  •  Of all the suffocating maladies that America has suffered under the past 50 years, none even comes close to inspiring a sense of cultural dread as the quantitative explosion of single parent families in this country. Indeed, no other institutional bellwether has the capacity to cut across the demographic stratifications of race, class, party affiliation, or economic viability in its ability to inflict such a vast array of cultural pathologies for our collective futures. As evidence of this claim, I point to CDC research:

According to 2009 data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 41 percent of all births were to unmarried women. The percentage has risen steadily since at least 1980, the earliest year for which data was provided in the CDC report. In 1980, it stood at 18.4 percent. By 1990, it was 28.0 percent. And by 2000 it was 33.2 percent. In 2009, 17 percent of births to Asian-Pacific Islanders were out of wedlock, with non-Hispanic whites at 29 percent, 53 percent for Hispanics, 65 percent for American Indians and Native Alaskans and 73 percent for non-Hispanic blacks.

These stark numbers reveal far more about the rapid state of decay within a society than GDP or employment data. In effect, they tell us of the disintegration in the moral vision of a people who have tossed aside the old restraints: eschewing the traditional moral appeals of praise and blame while losing faith in an institution that has been the wellspring of American virtue par excellence. Strong intact families, all things being equal, have generally provided the foundation for nurturing opportunities that translate ultimately into individual success, as well as fostering the generational continuity of a salutary institution that is fundamentally anchored in divine revelation by virtue of natural design. In contradistinction, it is the mélange of liberalism’s ill-conceived policies that have provided perverse incentives through both the subsidization and cultivation of fragmented homes, and in the noxious process, foolishly depreciated the primordial bond between man and woman – an action akin to throwing gasoline on the white hot embers of our passions. Through policies that lead to the effectual trumping of this natural institution, the progressive regime has set its house aflame by short-circuiting civilization’s most sacred bond. Moreover, this wicked act of offering alms for the “intended” corruption of America’s cradle of strength has wildly succeeded in the institutionalizing of poverty and dependency, while rendering the final moral predicament of men, women, and children exponentially inferior to that of their former estates.

In light of this erosion, we should not be greatly surprised when women with dependent children embrace cynical political parties who provide just enough empty hope to ensnare them in a perpetual marriage of convenience to the state, but too little to significantly effect an economic change of circumstance. American culture, via the liberal regime, to say nothing of Western Civilization, is fundamentally altering the natural and mutual obligations of the marriage bond, creating an artificial vacuum that the expansive state opportunistically leaps into, consequentially nurturing a synthetic incubator spiritually detrimental to the rearing of healthy children.

In a country where divorce is almost as easy to get as a tattoo, the fact that over four in ten children are raised out of wedlock may seem to be a belabored point. However, children raised in households where no binding commitment exists between couples who engage in serial monogamy or who must wrestle with the ghost of a transient or absent father, bear the full brunt of our degraded choices. The casual or invisible parent wreaks havoc on the tender psychological maturation of young people who are trained early on that men are merely capricious pollinators and that a woman’s bad choices can be shrugged off, subsidized, or aborted. Young men, in these environments, often master the lie that women are flies of a season to indulge one’s appetites with; while girls, raised without a father who cared enough to marry their mothers or stay in the home, often cynically conclude that men are by nature predatory and unworthy of trust. In fact, boys and girls raised in illegitimate unions are less likely to trust or honor their commitments because the virtuous expectations of such a behavior have been excised forever from their cultural vocabularies.

In the Judeo-Christian worldview, the book of Genesis grounds marriage as a union designed as a categorical good for mankind—not only because it recognizes and sanctions our tempestuous passions, but because the intricate architecture of civilization and the cultivation of the soul begins in the family where children are to be ideally nurtured in the reverence of life, love and endurance: a salutary foundation which appeals to the angels of our better natures. If they are held to a standard higher than that of clever wolves, boys will then look to the image of their married mother as a template in deciding upon the quality of their own future mates, while girls pattern likewise from the pattern set by their wed fathers. What happens to a civilization where the ties to tradition and historical continuity within the web of our generations has unraveled; and the regime, with its perverse evolving moral imagination of homogeneity, gender neutrality and casual hedonism, chooses the spurious over the connatural? Under these ill-considered conditions, where the sexes and their progeny are deconstructed along the lines of individual fiat and utopian social engineering, what effect will the erosion of security and stability be to the fragile psyches of our youth who languish in the knowledge that they and their brethren are little more than metaphorical whelps of a common litter: mere cogs in a depraved scheme of desacrilized being.

Even now, I can sense the indignation bubbling up in response to these statements which some feel are predicated on the “illusory” Judeo-Christian moral ideal. But all societies embrace marriage in some form – even if only to insure that the children that a man supports are indeed theoretically his own. The Post-Modern artificial world, with its ever-shifting foundations and creaking support beams, is venturing into largely uncharted waters in its re-definition of what constitutes the familial ideal; and if what we are experiencing now is a preview of our statist-dominated future that conjoins woman with Leviathan in a tango of necessity and patronage: then we are undone. The world has seen scant success with matriarchies, with the possible exceptions lying in pre-historical pagan antiquity. And these, if we can trust the arcane mythology of politically self-interested feminists, created no civilization that contributed anything other than the stagnant rot of sensual effeminacy. In truth, we can readily see the matriarchal phenomena as it plays out today in America’s urban and suburban female-dominated homes. For the most part, the harried female, who is at best struggling to keep her head above water by fulfilling the dual roles of nature, is ill-equipped to wrangle the energies of her testosterone-oozing male children. Without a steady and visible virtuous male in which to tame and model what it morally and physically means to be a man in the most enlightened terms, how difficult it is to resist the barbarisms of a perverse culture wherein strength, guile, and predation broadcast their self-serving messages to the fallow consciences of wide-eyed boys.

When I was a younger man, the term “bastard” or the fact that a child was born in a state of illegitimacy, was still able to hush conversations or raise eyebrows. Today, the epithet’s sting has softened and genteel company think nothing of it– at least relative to the rudderless moral abandon of the greater popular culture. I cannot express what a terrible thing this is in moral terms. Nevertheless, it is in the child’s own self-conception that this reality firmly takes hold: not as a curse, but as a lonely burden that must be borne in the tragic search for identity. What does it say about us when we eschew wedlock through our own careless volitional convenience to the detriment of children who will never fully feel the secure freedom of belonging to something abiding and whole; and how will they be able to re-create for their offspring a legacy filled with missing branches on a tree that lies withering from a pandemic of thoughtless neglect?

It is said that there are no illegitimate children, just illegitimate parents. But in brushing aside that sterile bromide, how will these self-same children, whom we claim to cherish with cunning lip service, spin their prospective destinies out of empty air? How thin is that meager inheritance which a self-obsessed America endows her generations, once marriage as we know it is at last an antiquated tale reserved for a dusty and forgotten shelf?
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Glenn Fairman writes from Highland, Ca. He can be reached at arete5000@dslextreme.com. • (5719 views)

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47 Responses to A Nation of Bastards

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Luckily I do not consider Glenn a friend so therefore I can sidestep that label implied in the t-shirt he wears. 😀 But another great article.

    One of the fellows (Dyfydd) at American Thinker got to one of the root causes that is rarely mentioned:

    When the social and financial cost of infidelity was removed, infidelity and adultery became more frequent, which shouldn’t come as a surprise.

    We tend to associate socialism with entitlements and state control of industry. But another huge aspect of it is state control (or coercion) of personal social life. And it does this in a way that is similar to what happens when the state bales out some huge corporation (the hallmark of crony capitalism or a central aspect of dictionary-definition fascism): the profits are privatized but the costs are made public.

    And however one feels about gay marriage and homosexual conduct, feminism, single parents, and bastards, at the end of the day, the costs of these things (and all things have costs) are socialized — which means in the minds of most people that these costs don’t exist.

    But as Thomas Sowell notes, those costs are simply hidden or easier to ignore (surely wantonly ignored by adherents of this Brave New World).

    The reason it is so difficult to get any traction or blow-back to all this stuff is that our society’s god is now the god of personal fulfillment. As one particularly astute fellow (Hack2ey) at American Thinker said:

    I agree that leftists, progressives, statists – whatever one wishes to call these destroyers – have intentionally and purposefully deconstructed society by blowing up its elemental building block, but i don’t think the blame can be laid entirely at their doorstep. They’ve had lots of help along the way from “conservative” politicians who weren’t, really, and from us – Christians in name only who make Jesus noises but who never really allow their faith to move them into action.

    People with this attitude of personal fulfillment as their true god — who put little or no value on sacrifice, commitment, honor, duty, integrity, or the inherent nature of mankind which requires the endurance of at least a little suffering — have poisoned the well deeply. And the reason this poison is so deep is because this poison is called “compassion.”

    Christianity has been corrupted by this “social justice” malarky. Many Christians, and perhaps most Jews, have played the role of Useful Idiot to the hardcore Leftists who really do hate men (at least white men), hate America, and hate capitalism and relate to Western Civilization as a graffiti artist does to a wall.

    Once we envision life as nothing but a function of personal fulfillment, we not only have little tolerance for normal inconveniences, duties, and hardships, but we can deny no one else whatever it is they want (which is the essence behind most people’s inability to stand against the plunder of illegal immigration, for example…they delude themselves that by approving of it they are being “nice”).

    Glenn has provided an apt description of this situation. But what is the prescription? What laws, if any, do we overturn or propose? For one, I was shocked when I read (from one of the commentors at AT) that men are financially responsible for children that are not theirs in those cases where the wife cheats on them. That’s a law that could be changed. And surely we see in this plague of bastards more of the poison of feminism and the marginalization of men.

    But that is the trade-off women made when they hitched their wagons to feminism in the search for “fulfillment” via man-like careers. Men had to be reduced in stature if not made outright expendable (necessitating the state as surrogate husband and father). That is what was required if women were to act like men and achieve like men, including in the area of sexual promiscuity.

    Welcome to this Brave New World. How we ever can roll it back, I haven’t a clue.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Another fellow at American Thinker (Barry Bozz) has his hands on the pulse of the situation:

    A finely wrought essay, Mr Fairman, that amazes me in style and content. I would add a couple of notes that were not the main points in your essay, that is, the historical events that have lead to our culture’s sad degradation .I mean, the seismic shift that took place in our collective understanding of the nature of the marital act when artificial birth control was made widely available and accepted in the late 50’s and early sixties. Although used for centuries, and condemned by both Protestant and Catholic Churches, the Anglican Council of Lambeth (1930) opened the tent for the camel’s nose for the acceptance that sex was recreational first and procreative second. By 1962, most Protestants welcomed the change, and many Catholics began to capitulate. Humae Vitae predicted all the consequences and evil that would follow , in what was seemingly no larger than “a shadow of a man’s hand”. If Macbeth’s evil murders sleep, then artificial birth control, sundered from the procreative nature of the marital act, thereby, kills the meaning of marriage as it became severed from love and the life long commitment of lovers to each other, and thus, by backward order, murder the child conceived in recreation.

    In other words, when personal fulfillment became the one and only standard, all hell broke loose.

    Perhaps the primary reason the Left (perhaps including libertarians) hate conservatives and Christians so much is that both uphold the idea that life requires a deeper focus for an individual than just the pursuit of orgasms (aka, an orientation other than narcissism).

    The greatest “sin” a person can commit today is denying someone else whatever pleasure it is they seek. For now this does not apply to pedophilia, arson, rape, and a few other things. But even boundaries against these are falling. Remember Oprah’s idiotic comment about something not being “rape rape”? And I think it was Timothy who mentioned how Nancy Pelosi regularly makes an appearance at NAMBLA parades.

    And I guess if you consider that Barack Obama is a protege and friend of domestic terrorist, Bill Ayers — who literally was an arsonist (and still is, figuratively, speaking, of our society) — even the constraints against this kind of violence are slacking.

  3. Timothy Lane says:

    A steady rise in illegitimacy is a natural result when many women find it easier to marry the State than a husband. But we should be careful about trying to place the stigma of illegitimacy on the bastard children (like King Barackula, whose father was already married in Kenya when he hooked up with the mother in Hawaii), since they weren’t the guilty parties (which is also the argument against allowing abortion for cases of rape and incest). Interestingly, Ann Rule mentioned in The Stranger Beside Me the possibility that Ted Bundy’s murderous career may have been sparked by his discovery of his illegitimate birth.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      But we should be careful about trying to place the stigma of illegitimacy on the bastard children (like King Barackula, whose father was already married in Kenya when he hooked up with the mother in Hawaii), since they weren’t the guilty parties (which is also the argument against allowing abortion for cases of rape and incest).

      Well, that’s sort of the mojo behind the death spiral we’re on now, Timothy. It’s the idea that no one should ever have to pay a price for bad behavior.

      A price is paid for everything in this world. What we don’t have enough of is stigma. Stigma can be a very good thing. It really ought to be something libertarians, in particular, should be on board with, for stigma — instead of writing ever more laws to try to curb bad behavior — nips most of this social dysfunction in the bud.

      And it is dysfunctional for women and men to have children out of wedlock, leaving strings of bastards behind them. There is a sense that we don’t blame the bastards for this. That’s understandable. But someone must pay a price. Part of de-stigmatizing bastardhood (whether the motivation is to not “blame the victim” or something else) is that it results in more bastards. There is no free lunch. Which is the worse price to pay, a few hurt feelings (although Alexander Hamilton seemed to do okay) or the breakdown of marriage and responsibility itself?

      These are the adult conversations that we need to have as a society. We can’t have everything. And sometimes the bad actions of adults harm children and others. This is why many stigmas rightfully exist in the first place. It’s better than the alternative. There is no utopia.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I’m just saying that the stigma should fall on the bastard-creators, not the bastards. Stigmatizing the latter doesn’t discourage the former.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Well, there you go. Immediate compassion trumps strategic compassion once again. This is the essence of defining deviancy down or, as Dennis Prager states, when feelings replace standards.

          There is little or no incentive for parents to avoid creating bastards if there is no stigma attached to their offspring. There was wisdom in calling such children “illegitimate.” To cast a child adrift on the harsh sea of life without the lifeboat of a family is cold and cruel.

          So I’ll make you a friendly deal: You own all the misery and suffering that comes from the social dysfunction of bastards, broken marriages, and unwed mothers and I’ll own the suffering and harms caused by stigmatizing bastards. Let’s see who comes out ahead.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            I’m just saying, stigmatize the mothers (and fathers), not the children. How many of the mothers would care about their children being stigmatized? Then, too, in justice the child is NOT the person at fault, and therefore shouldn’t be the one primarily blamed.

  4. Glenn Fairman says:

    From the AT comments:

    Described so starkly, terrible as the cumulative accusations are, the truth is inescapable: We hate our children. The evidence is overwhelming. We mortgage their futures incurring record debt to maintain our lifestyles and flickering prestige (not to mention ideological imperatives); we allow their murder in the womb for our convenience, at their most vulnerable; we release them to change agents sporting education degrees, whose learned philosophical assumptions (inherit in postmodern pedagogic theory and training) render the nascent tabula rosa accidental stardust, burdens upon sustainability who ponder nothing but their passions and are useful only as consumers/workers, if properly trained. We allow them the poisons of a thousand sorcerers who broadcast the dark and mysterious arts of sex and death (the only transcendence allowed or “rational” in the alchemy of fated despair) ; We abandon them at the stroke of a stranger’s pen to the whims of the wolves howling from every corner and every strange cavern, removing the hero which stands between them and the predator’s fangs, reducing their champion to a part-time visitor bearing bank notes in exchange for their company in a transaction which they cannot affect for themselves, rewarding their matriarchs for services rendered and “quality time.” They must come to resent this mandated prostitution of their loyalties and emotions the most of all, not to mention having their own desires rendered irrelevant by their betrayers, fostering rebellion against any and all authority, and finally subservience to the inevitable collective master who will fill nature’s void–be it a gang or a State. They must be terrified and wrestling with rage.

    Chesterton, in likening his reasons for trusting the Church to his reasons for trusting his own father and mother, equated them with the fact that both (or all 3) of these entities were living fountains of truth. His father told him in the terrible garden that bees sting, and they did. His father described the odd and mystical shape of the thing called “rake” and then had told his son that the usage of such implements resulted in wonders like grass and flowers, and it did. His parents not only told him the truth when it was as obvious as a bee sting, but when it was not so obvious, like a rake. They were “truth-telling things.”

    In the absence of such “truth-telling things”, our children will seek answers somewhere beyond the walls of our untended gardens. And the wolves of the State, the street corner and the ubiquitous popular culture lie in wait for the young and the weak. who have wondered away from the broken hedges, the vulnerable gates and borders while no one was keeping watch. The snakes slither into the garden, tempting with their craft—“hath your parents truly promised? They lie.”

    A toddler of two will wail in the glaring absence of her doll and will broker no bargain until she is safely returned. Even a child knows that any love worthy of its name does not expose its own to such dangers without consequences.

    They are justifiably terrified.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      They must come to resent this mandated prostitution of their loyalties and emotions the most of all, not to mention having their own desires rendered irrelevant by their betrayers, fostering rebellion against any and all authority, and finally subservience to the inevitable collective master who will fill nature’s void–be it a gang or a State.

      I think I finally understand Paulbots (who choose the gang rather than the state). But, seriously, it’s been a nascent theory of mine that the emotional wreckage caused by feminism and the breakup of the family, along with the emasculation and marginalization of men, will create an unintended backlash.

      I’m not saying that Paulbots are necessarily anti-women. But there are aspects of Paulbotism that reminds me of yutes who have joined a kind of gang mentality because they have had no father (or operational masculine figure….some children have fathers who are testicleless) in their lives.

      Clearly — particularly with Theodore Dalrymple’s descriptions of the violent, roundly misogynist, underclass in Britain created by socialism where gang-like behavior rules — one should expect that if men, in particular, do not have the guiding influence of a strong father, they will remain just violent and/or unstructured boys conducive to really stupid ideas.

      The reigning idea in our society is that “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” The “liberation” of women inherently means denigrating and emasculating men. And men who grow up in this anti-male atmosphere (particularly as promoted by females) are part of a recipe for disaster. It could cause the kind of break between men and women that is inherent in Islam where men are openly misogynist and this misogyny is fueled by the women who are then emotionally brutal to their sons as they raise them as payback.

      The real “war on women” is inherent in feminism which makes war on both women and men who will not fit in the feminist’s narrow paradigm of what they demand both should be.

      Maybe the Useful Idiots out there will wake up. That latest Prager U video with Tammy Bruce suggests that it is at least possible.

  5. As Brad said, “Stigma is a very good thing,” and we have twisted the “Judge not and ye be not judged” into refusing the responsibility of chastising each other when we get out of line. The Scarlet Letter, as we can now see, was a more positive social artifact than we’ve previously suspected. At the high school where I used to teach we had a program for unwed mothers designed to provide the support necessary for these girls to finish their educations. All well and good.

    Maybe. But I’ll never forget the day I found two freshman girls in the hall, pushing and shoving each other around, giggling and having a rough-housing good time all while one was holding her month-old baby, utterly unaware of her own responsibility to protect that child, unaware that it was a child. Yet she was being supported in her efforts to have her cake and eat it too, to both be a baby and have one. We have done all of us a disservice in misunderstanding where niceness ends and moral rectitude begins.

  6. steve lancaster says:

    In the America I grew up in and I suspect most of you did also, there was an expectation on the part of our parents that we would grow up in better circumstances then our parents. My father constantly reminded me that success in America was what you made of it, but there were three hard rules that were life changing.

    1. Get all the education possible
    2. Work, it doesn’t matter the job, but work to support yourself without the govt. dole.
    3. Remain married to the parent of your children.

    Break any one of these rules and your life will change, generally for the worse. Live up to these rules and you may not become rich and famous, but you will, within reason have a satisfying life.

    In today’s world it seems that the relevance of “dad’s rules” have faded. More kids drop out of government schools yearly. Some of them because the curriculum is mind numbing, many of them will make a good life without even a high school diploma. However, an even larger number will with some logic decide that since the government will pay them to exist, then spending years stoned is a better alternative.

    Since they have so much free time they will breed with any willing opposite and create generations of children who are taught by their one parent, generally the mother, to expect support from the government, and the cycle continues.
    No education
    No job
    No family

    No future of the American dream.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      1. Get all the education possible
      2. Work, it doesn’t matter the job, but work to support yourself without the govt. dole.
      3. Remain married to the parent of your children.

      Great points, Steve. I’ll add one other:

      4. I am not a victim.

  7. Glenn Fairman says:

    I wish we had a like for some of these comments.

    25 years ago when I started substitute teaching, the district had a firm policy that pregnant females be segregated from the general school population. Not as a scarlett letter of shame, but because they found that those pregnant girls were like pied pipers who evangelized the attention and drama of teen motherhood. When they walked among the general population, they were like Typhoid Marys.

    • steve lancaster says:

      Glenn,
      San Bernardino is a vastly different city than it was 25 years ago and even more so than the city I remember in the 50’s. The groves are for the most part gone and so is the freedom that kids had then. In the summers my friends and I used to spend hours walking through the groves from Highland Ave. to Baseline and back. If we got hungry we would pick fruit from the trees.

      We used to climb the hills around Highlands, one day we were well on our way to Big Bear and ran out of time. I had to call my dad to come and get us. But, in general we had free range from sun up to sun down. I left in 1960 to move to Arkansas and never regretted it; for to me the groves are still there, the kids picking fruit and chasing lizards still exist, perhaps never to exist again.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      And, to link to one of our common themes here, I wonder how many people today have heard of Typhoid Mary, much less know that she was a real person (Mary Mallon) who kept working in food preparation and thereby infecting more people with typhoid fever. For that matter, I don’t know that I ever heard of her until she was mentioned briefly in the Star Trek episode “The Way to Eden”, and know about her mainly from a trivia collection by Asimov.

      And I believe San Bernardino was one of those California cities filing for bankruptcy in 2012 due to government employee union pension funds, was it not?

  8. Glenn Fairman says:

    Steve: those groves have pretty much disappeared in Highland, and only in the Redlands/Mentone area are hey still prominent. In their place we have East Highlands Ranch, a massive sub division that can be called a suburban city on the far east. WE have a huge Hispanic population in SB and this is made worse by an absentee landlord disaster. I live up in the hills close by on that road to Big Bear and it is still pretty, but I am only biding my time till my daughter gets married and hopefully I can beat this rat trap for Az.

    Keep those memories. They are as mine were.

  9. steve lancaster says:

    Glenn,
    I suggest that you consider moving further east than the wilds of AZ. Come to Arkansas. We have a temperate climate, low taxes and retirement income is barely taxed at all and a thoughtful considerate people who appreciate conservative values. One small town just south of me has 300 people and 11 different churches. On Sunday each church is full. If you live in the NW corner you have access to a world class university and residents over 60 can attend tuition free.

    Contrary to the notions of Yankees we are not a state of knuckle dragging Neanderthals. In Arkansas you will find the corporate homes of Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods, J. B. Hunt trucking and by law, the state budget always is balanced and stable government is the standard rather than the exception. No city bankruptcy in AR.

    The next governor will be a moderately conservative republican. The state legislature is conservative controlled, all four house seats are and likely will remain republican as for both senate seats, Mark Pryor is going down in flames in Nov.

    I have been in and lived in a lot of places in 66 years, Arkansas is by far the most comfortable for conservatives, libertarians of a conservative bent and those who would be free to make their own decisions without nanny review.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      We tend not to buy Tyson chicken because of their connection to the Clintons. For that matter, we rarely go to Walmart (though some friends go there frequently). But my housemate has family connections to Arkansas (in fact, she voted for Clinton in 1992 because she knew his pastor, who mistakenly vouched for him) and would undoubtedly second your paean to the state.

      • steve lancaster says:

        Tim,
        Slick Willie, AKA Bill Clinton, is generally welcome in Arkansas, although we would never elect him to anything and no one would lend him their lawnmower or wife. Hillary is a loathsome creature that is despised by all but the cool aid drinkers. She belongs in NY or Chicago and she can stay there.

        The Tyson family has gone a long way to distance themselves and their company from progressives since John died; as for Wal-Mart you can dis them all you like, but I suggest you consider a world without it.

  10. Glenn Fairman says:

    First of all San Bernardino is bankrupt in more way s than one, but the current state of their travail is still being wrangled amongst the lawyers and thieves.

    As Far as Arkansas, my wife would love to move there since her family lives in that region. However, the humidity would probably kill me due to a condition I have that is made worse by that climate.

    Years ago I purchased property close to the Grand Canyon and on the Colorado River with the idea of moving back and forth when it got too hot or cold in either spot. This may have been a pipe dream but the kids were given a chance to grow up boating and water skiing. Since they have gone to achieve their own lives, those places may comprise my patrimony to them. We shall see what the Lord may yet bring.

  11. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Glenn mentioned over in the AT comments that …

    One can never discount hypocrisy, at any rate.

    …in reply to this great comment from Hack2ey

    They’ve had lots of help along the way from “conservative” politicians who weren’t, really, and from us – Christians in name only who make Jesus noises but who never really allow their faith to move them into action.

    A. W. Tozer, I believe, said something like: The vast majority of people who call themselves Christians arrange their lives in such a way that true, daring faith and utter reliance upon Almighty God never, NEVER enter the picture.

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever called a Christian a hypocrite on this site. I may have. I’d have to do a search. And surely some Christians are hypocrites.

    But while reading this obsequious article by Kathryn Lopez over at NRO, it crystalized in my mind that I don’t dislike Christians. My job isn’t to go around pointing out when they are hypocrites (although some are, as Glenn noted). God knows there will always be those types. We all fall short of our standards. And as Dennis Prager wisely notes, at least we have standards. It is not a flaw in our character that we have good standards. Let us not let the devious Left use our rules against us which is an Alinsky tactic.

    But is Christianity now like the rest of the culture? The only point is self-praise, feel-goodism, and no one every having to say that they’re sorry? Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against praise, love, respect, joy, forgiveness, etc. But today’s society has forgotten the entire other side of the ledger. We also need criticism, penalties for bad conduct, standards (instead of fleeting emotions), and the love of more than just superficial, warm-fuzzy self-satisfied emotions.

    So it’s not that I think that a large number of Christians are hypocrites. It’s that I don’t think they’ve ever been taught Christianity. All that they’re getting is this girlified version drawn more form feminism mixed with Cultural Marxism. But it seems to be the perfect religion for this pansified, narcissistic culture. But that religion isn’t Christianity.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      The problem of Christians making little or no effort to live up to their religious obligations is an old one. Naturally, those who don’t try to do so are going to be very forgiving of others in the same boat. Of course, you also find some (such as the Amish and the Pope) who do try to live up to their obligations but also reject judging others (which they see as pharisaism). I think there needs to be room for “hate the sin, love the sinner” in there somewhere.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I have long thought the trope, “don’t be judgemental” to be one of most wicked and at the same time most stupid statements in modern discourse.

        On the one hand, it is a phrase used by the Leftist wreckers who wish to destroy our culture. It implies there is no good or bad, better or worse, right or wrong.

        On the other hand, it is simply nonsense. We are all forced to make judgements every minute of our lives. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t last long on this earth.

        More dumbing down of the populace and rejection of the pursuit of excellence.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          And no one is more judgmental than those who preach not to be judgmental. But they judge people on beliefs rather than behavior (as I noted in an NRO posting today on Jim Geraghty’s short piece on John Fresno Kerry’s carbon footprint jetting around to preach about “climate change”).

  12. Mike says:

    In the early years of my adulthood finding a loving wife seemed impossible. Going back to the late 80s and early 90s the shift away from traditional mating seemed to be growing. Both men and women sought out sexual gradification with whom ever they pleased without ever of thinking of the long term issues associated with the act. There were plenty of women to date. Love making but no love and commitment seemed to be the new order. The idea that marriage was obsolete was brought about by radical feminist who believe men are not necessary when raising a family. An idea that has grown in the last 20 years to the point men no longer want to try to settle down.

    In 1989 I did meet and begin to court a young woman who believed in the same ideas of what love and marriage should be. My wife was 16 when she made her feeling for me present. I was very much shocked since I was 21. Her parents had known me since I was 5 and I recall seeing her in church every Sunday. They allowed me to date her and the more we saw each other the more our love grew. I respected my future In laws and beyond kissing and holding her we did not have actual sex. After courting her for three years we got engaged. When both of us were college grads we got married. Been so for 19 years. My darling wife had shown interest in me beginning when she was 15. She knew what kind of man I was, very much like her dad and mine. I was so taken when she told me later on because the women I met who were much older weren’t anything I was looking for in a wife.

    What has happened in the US is that religion with its lessons and laws are being replaced with headonism. People want to do what they like and having children out of wedlock is a example of that thinking. My own kids go to our church’s youth functions. My wife and I hope they can meet and find happiness with a mate who shares their ideas of traditional marriage like we did. If far more people did so, it would cut down on the divorce rate and percentage of children born from single women

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Mike, you make a ton of good points there, particularly about our hedonistic culture, or what I call “the culture of personal fulfillment,” or what others call the search for Utopia.

      There’s nothing wrong with the pursuit of pleasure, personal fulfillment, or (to use a five-dollar word) “self-actualization.” But if that’s the only or primary goal, it turns mankind into superficial animal (also called “the eternal juvenile”).

      Our society wants the gold star without having to earn it. And part of earning anything is that a good portion of one’s “pursuit of happiness” involves hard work, perseverance, sacrifice, making trade-offs, failure, pain, and other stuff not suited to would-be narcissists or hedonists.

      The truth is, if all one values is pleasure, one will not value much else. And what, in the long run, brings true and lasting pleasure requires all those other non-glamourous values.

      But everyone in our narcissistic ages just wants to skip to the head of the class without doing the work and without having to suffer what needs to be suffered. And it shows. We live in an age of generally silly, shallow, and narcissistic people. We elected one of these as the leader of the free world.

  13. Glenn Fairman says:

    A very warm story. Some children that flow from these casual unions are casually loved, but not all. What began in thoughtlessness oftimes awakens the spirit of men and women to accountability, but this seems itself to be on the wane. For now it seems that everything is permissible and nothing that creeps forth from our moral imaginations is to be withheld from us. What angers me exceedingly are the mercenary births that flow from calculation and the sordid bargain that has been entered into between immoral mother and regime. These are little more than litters of convenience where nature is overturned and the child, de facto, gathers (through government) sustenance for the parent. In an upended artificial world, this strikes me as the most loathsome.

  14. Timothy Lane says:

    This seems as good a place as any to mention an interesting item I saw tonight on Fox News. It seems that the militantly christophobic Freedom From Religion Foundation persuaded an Iowa university hotel to remove the traditional Gideon Bibles because (as a state institution) this would constitute “an establishment of religion”.

    That’s bad enough (I’ve noticed how rarely liberals in discussing freedom of religion issues actually quote the First Amendment), but worse was their argument that this is needed because otherwise their fellow atheists might encounter the Bibles, which would apparently be a traumatic experience. It occurred to me that they see (and I’m willing to believe them under the circumstances) atheists reacting to the Bible the way a vampire reacts to the cross. I find that very appropriate.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      That’s liberal fascism that you witnessed. It’s all around us now.

      That, at least, describes it from a cultural or political point of view. These atheists are bullies. And I hate to besmirch atheism, per se, because it is at least theoretically possible to question the belief in God without becoming a butt-head.

      But butt-head and atheism now so commonly go together that we can rightly call “atheism” less of a philosophical position regarding the ground of all being and just another grievance group made up of lightweight, silly (put potentially very dangerous), narcissistic bullies.

      I do not like atheists. Now, that statement surely raises the hackles of all the milquetoast “Can’t we all just get along?” people who view holding to firm ideas as the root of all conflict. This weak and feeble ethic is promoted not only in “Progressivism” but now in much of Judaism and Christianity as well.

      But just because many people hold to stupid ideas does not mean I have to fool myself. In my experience, atheists are a distasteful grade of people who go around with a chip on their shoulder like a bunch of eternal-juvenile cry-babies. As much as I might question the existence of a benevolent God, never should a man give himself over to the cancerous hate, despair, and ingrained grievance of the atheist bully crowd.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        This is why I use the term christophobe. Most public atheists are christophobes, more interested in attacking Christianity than in opposing Islam (Christopher Hitchens was a rare exception), or for that matter other religions (they’d never object to Hindu or Buddhist or Aztec religious behavior the way they do Christian). Of course, this naturally reflects the leftist overdog/underdog syndrome that I’ve frequently pointed out. (It doesn’t matter if these religions are overdogs elsewhere; they aren’t here, which is the basis for leftist feelings.)

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          In my above comment, I said “That, at least, describes it from a cultural or political point of view.” But what if there is more to this Christophobia?

          Dennis Prager says that the Left doesn’t fight evil. Instead, it opposes those who do, thus they are “anti-anti-Communist,” for example. In practice, this means people actually become alienated from the good, regardless what their individual beliefs are about religion. The Good actually become viscerally repellant to them.

          Think of your typical “gay pride” parade, for example. Is that really pride on display? Would heterosexuals ever dress up in the interest of “straight pride” and act with such categorical vulgarity? No. And it’s because these “gay pride” people have aligned themselves on the side of the anti-good.

          This poison has been thoroughly infused into our system. It is why I never will call myself a “secularist” simply because those of those mindset (even those who more or less might support the conservative cause) are philosophically and morally befuddled to some extent. Perhaps one doesn’t believe in God, and that’s okay. But one must be very careful if one’s “secularism” doesn’t align oneself in reality with the anti-good people.

          But back to my original thought. What if atheism isn’t just a social or political movement? What if reality does come built-in with actual bona fide good and evil? If so, it’s certainly possible that some would align with evil simply as a political opportunity. This knee-jerk contrarianism is part and parcel of human nature. A path to power can always be found in denigrating, besmirching, and otherwise abusing whatever status quo exists, for any status quo is, in large part, the product of man who is fallible.

          But what if things other than political or social opportunities drive men to align with evil? Why if lies are being spread (as is the case with Obama) not just opportunistically but because they have actually (in their hearts, spirits and minds) aligned themselves with evil? It remains a distinct possibility.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Unfortunately, I don’t consider your concern a mere possibility, but rather a certainty. There undoubtedly is such a thing as evil regardless of whether there’s a specific figure who urges people to align with evil. And inevitably some people do align with evil, though I doubt they think of themselves that way (amorality is much likelier than deliberate evil). The fact that I refer to Barry Screwtape Obama and Harry Wormwood Reid should indicate some of the people I think have gone over to the side of evil (which, be it remembered, is also the side of falsehood).

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Ditto to what Glenn said.

              Tim, I was just talking to my older brother a moment ago. The subject was abortion because he just debuted to me a beta recording of an anti-abortion song he wrote. And he said, “Have you ever seen the faces of those who appear at pro-abortion rallies?” I said I had, and that is the very face of evil itself.

              At best, one might be reluctant about abortion, perhaps citing some of the difficult alternatives (such as a mother raising a baby born of incest or rape, for example). One can certainly nuance some difficult aspects of the realities of having babies. Often, if we admit it, there are not always perfect and painless solutions (as we keep repeating to ourselves, “There is no Utopia.”)

              But it is a a whole other thing to see the zealous and enraged pursuit of abortion as some sort of human right (Rush calls it a sacrament of the Left). There’s is definitely something more than just a moral sickness surrounding that.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Note that I’ve been calling the “pro-choice” crowd abortion-worshippers for years. It used to a bit of a joke, but now it increasingly is clear that they really do worship abortion (though it was Elizabeth who suggested that their god is Moloch). There are genuinely pro-choice libertarian-oriented types, but femocrat liberals celebrate abortion. I think it’s a hatred of childbirth and child-rearing that causes them to believe (and more or less to argue when they think it’s safe to do so), “Every child an aborted child.”

  15. Glenn Fairman says:

    The refusal to recognize the fundamental aspects of reality do not absolve us from the laws or authority that governs them, just as stepping off a ledge with the belief that one may not fall will prove catastrophic. Ignorance of the rules of the world can be plead by children, but in adults it is rank insanity.

    There are so many whose moral imagination denies any foundational substance. Encased in the insular will, they deny the ripples of decay that flow from error and absolve themselves with an appeal to a specious definition of freedom. This is moral solipsism of the garden variety, and the earth is paved with the graves of those tried to beat God and the Devil by closing their eyes and declaring “all is permitted me by the force of my existence.”

  16. Glenn Fairman says:

    Aristotle holds that men act from the pursuit of a good, but often this is a good sought by a wrong motive. A man may desire wealth, but it is the manner of his action in attaining his end that accords him the status of good or evil.

    I am sure that men who act from unabstracted evil exist. Men who actively know the good and who, like Satan in Paradise Lost, invert the moral universe from some poisonous root that they nourish. It is these men who are most certainly lost, since they act from the soul that has embraced evil and shunned the Light and its works. Milton writes in Book 3:

    “The first sort by their own suggestions fell,
    Self-tempted, self-depraved: man falls deceived
    By the other first: man therefore shall find grace,
    The other none.”

    Milton’s Satan has actively chosen rebellion over service in his pride, and has made his piece with the consequences flowing from his self- corruption. He has looked upon the face of God and has still turned his back, not from deception, but from a malevolence that will not abide anything short of full sovereignty– and if he cannot rule over his enemy’s Creation, then he will at least rule within himself.

    It is here that Milton’s Satan issues his famous quote:

    “The mind is its own place, and in itself
    Can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n.”

  17. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Note that I’ve been calling the “pro-choice” crowd abortion-worshippers for years. It used to a bit of a joke, but now it increasingly is clear that they really do worship abortion (though it was Elizabeth who suggested that their god is Moloch).

    Ha! Elizabeth and you sound like a very good matched set, Tim.

    From the example of secular/Leftist pro-abortion advocates — contrasted with, say, Mother Teresa — it’s clear that mankind at the very least is a moral creature for whom good morals aren’t necessarily automatic.

    That’s another way of saying that we need moral training. And I tip my cap to Dennis Prager who has gone on and on about the fact that the Left, at best, chases the little evils (cigarette smoking, for example) but gives a pass to the big evils. That is, Leftism, secularism, socialism, and whatever you hear on Oprah, are not the stuff of good moral training.

    And I’m certainly no goody-two-shoes. But one shouldn’t forget that this whole good/evil concern isn’t simply a pragmatic issue about wanting to live in a society that rises above Sodom or Gomorrah, although that is a worthy consideration as well.

    No, the deeper point is that we are called to union with Goodness — and not to make a show of our righteousness, not to make a show of condemning others, but because either this orientation (or complete nihilism, pessimism, and hedonism) is man’s destiny and purpose. Choose one or the other, I say to humanity at large, but be honest about it. Don’t prevaricate. Don’t dress up your evil or dark hole as some other nice-sounding thing. (And, I guess, if people could as a matter of course do that, we wouldn’t have Obama as president.)

  18. Mike says:

    America is plauged with the ultra militant feminist movement. Its they who with the help of the Obama administration are trying to enact laws for the protection of women against men. Protection laws which prevents men from finding wives and settling down. Who would have ever thought a college age man would be considered a pervert and guilty of sexual harassment by just looking at a woman. If you look at the media there are movies and shows of women beating up men. They also make men out to be stupid and ignorant. Their understanding of men is nil but when they must interact with us they find themselves unsure how to do so. Feminist have answered by keeping men out. More and more women will hire only another women in the work place. Just look at any elementary school. Few male teachers are present.

    Many of my young 20 something friends from work have told me they decided to opt out instead of bowing to this wave of feminism. That’s why people getting married is at an all time low. Women decided to have babies any way and will lie to a guy that she is on the pill. They trap men into paying for the child but refuse to marry us. The day a male birth control pill is on the market the day of the feminist is over. Men will have control over his reproductive rights. It will force women back to the center. She will have to compromise with a man or become barren and alone her entire life.

    • Pokey Possum says:

      Mike, There is a way to ensure that you will not impregnate a woman you are not married to. Ask a close, mature, male friend and I’m sure he can explain it to you. 🙂

      • Mike says:

        What are you talking about? Women have been lying for years about being on the pill to guys who are dumb enough to sleep with them. Since your name can not pin point your sex I imagine you’re gender confused,

      • Glenn Fairman says:

        a ripping good take down, PP.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Great comment, Mike. It will be interesting to see what happens the day that men have a birth control pill. There will be an aspect of it of “two wrongs don’t make a right.” But I suspect that what you say regarding the balance of power between men and women will change.

      As I like to quip (not completely unseriously), if one views a substantial component of homosexuality as behavioral/cultural rather than innate, then this uptick we see in pro-homosexuality could be, in some small way, man’s response to overbearing NAGS (National Association of Gals). After all, there were the Spartans.

      Also, I like to view the modern “social democracy” socialist state as somewhat the equivalent of a date-rape drug. Women are promised all sorts of wonderful things just to get in bed with the Democrats. But once the Dems get what they want, the women are (according to Dennis Prager) unhappier and more depressed than ever. And if one simply looks at the job market, women are suffering as much, if not more, than men due to all these policies that supposedly counter a “war on women.”

      It is quite true that a man can chat-up a woman in a bar, making empty promises, just to get to where he wants to go. And all the while this proverbial (but ubiquitous) woman will hear only his promises of security. There is a political equivalent to this as well. Someone needs to write a book, “Why Good Women Keep Choosing the Bad Boys.”

      • Timothy Lane says:

        And the ultimate Bad Boy was (and still is) Bill Clinton aka the Great Whore of Babylon (before whom the world’s leaders bow down).

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          You read about these people paying $10,000 per plate to hear the G.W.O.B. speak and you know there is something seriously out of whack with these people.

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