by Brad Nelson 7/7/15
Mark Tooley has been gracious enough to allow us to post several of his articles here. I thank him for that.
But I have to disagree with the general content of his latest article which I found over art NRO: Should Christians Still Celebrate July 4?
Yes, in general agreement, I don’t know that this has ever been an essentially and thoroughly Christian nation. Yes, we’ve had horrible Supreme Court decisions before. But here’s the main area of disagreement:
Should they consider retreating into a separatist mode in which they are merely resident aliens in a strange, lost land?
I get a hint of a bit of Establishment Republicanism from Mark, the general attitude that says, “It’s better to deny the current reality around you if you can’t change it.” Others here may disagree, and I welcome a robust (even insulting is okay) bit of give-and-take on this subject. I may be wrong. But I think there is little left to do in America but try to insulate yourself and your family from the excrement this is coming down nearly every day now.
Things are so bad, I think it is now appropriate to write a sort of survival guide. The main bullet points are:
+ If you love your children, home school them or put them in a private school if you can afford to do so.
+ Turn off the TV. The average American (who now is becoming increasingly vulgar, dumbed-down, and immoral) watches, on average, five hours per day.
+ Read a book. In fact, make reading a regular habit.
+ Stop bitching — unless you’re standing in front of the city council or some other group and airing your thoughts in a forum that has at least a tangential chance of changing hearts and minds for the better. Otherwise, do as Paul suggested and “shake the dust off your feet.” Don’t baste in negativism, resentment, or dissatisfaction. The best revenge continues to be living well.
+ Develop a network of like-minded and reasonably moral people (nobody’s perfect). Do business with each other if at all possible. Yeah, everything is pretty much made in China these days, but every bit helps.
+ Give yourself permission to “go along to get along” when there is very little alternative. Everyone will have to eat some excrement sandwiches here and there. Maybe your new job will require you to attend a “diversity training” orientation workshop or something like that. Choose your battles wisely. Consider, as I do, that the culture is mad and you can’t change everything all at once. You certainly couldn’t cure a mad cow just by pointing out to it that it was mad.
+ While sometimes necessarily “going along to get along” be ever aware that you are operating under cover. There’s no need to actually believe the baloney. Don’t let “getting along” turn into morphing, however gradually, into a “true believer.”
+ Anchor to something that is meaningful to you so that, for instance, you’re not tempted to paint yourself head-to-toe in silly and kitschy tattoos. Remember what your father always said: “If your friend jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?” It is very difficult to resist the pull of culture. You’ll likely find yourself wanting to go on vacation to “Cabo” (or wherever is currently fashionable) just because everyone else is doing it. Deep down you may have no desire but to just sit on the local beach and read a book. Or do a bit of gardening. Or visit a friend in another city. But the “do the Cabo” pull can be strong. I know some friends who lost their house recently (blaming it, of course, on the mortgage meltdown which happened years ago). They couldn’t make their mortgage payment but somehow they found time to regularly go on expensive vacations to Mexico.
+ Watch old movies once in a while….from the 50’s or earlier. It helps to remind yourself that there once was an American culture that was not so vulgar, not so vapidly stupid, and that had a sense of true elegance and adventure. A little Sinatra can go a long way.
I’m sure you can think of more. This is just a topic-starter.
Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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