Winsome Words 10/29/2018

A decline in courage may be the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days. The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party, and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society.  Alexander Solzhenitsyn

The De-Platforming of GAB

I want to be clear that GAB is not a right-wing site. It is being used by some right-wing extremists because it does not censure posts except in rare cases. I am not even sure how present extremists are, but they are there. I ran across them. I have run across them on Twitter, too. No matter where you go, there is vile stuff out there. After all, Facebook has streamed real-time suicides, assaults, murders, etc.

It might be that GAB will be the only place you can go to follow people whose opinions have been shunned or the only place you can go to express your “out of favor” opinions and not be shadow banned, suspended, or deleted.

Right now GAB has been de-platformed by App Stores, multiple hosting providers, and several payment processors. They are shut down while they transition to a new hosting provider. I am very concerned about the power of businesses to gang up on an out-of-favor site and de-platform it. Paypal and others can simply not allow money through their system and strangle it financially. Of course, we all noticed they didn’t do this when Facebook allowed vile postings through or even postings from foreign countries posing as Americans. A double standard is at work.

People who are out of favor are going to have to work very hard to communicate their opinions and beliefs.

Nationalism and the Future of Western Freedom

If you want to talk nationalism, then this is your site to check out. This conversation comes out of Yoram Hazony’s new book, “The Virtue of Nationalism.” The MSM talks as if the very word is synonymous with white supremacy. This is just wrongheaded.

Hazony traces what he believes is a connection between Old Testament Israel, Protestant Christianity, the treaty of Westphalia, and the rise of the nation state. This is opposed, Hazony believes, to imperialism, globalism, and the rise of institutions above the nation state which have a different commitment than the preservation of traditions, cultures, and rational self-interest, a la Adam Smith.

Ordering the book, but in the meantime I am listening to Hazony on youtube.

Replacing the Evangelical Elite

Do the Evangelical elite know what it means to be a political activist? To choose a side and seek for that side to win seats, elect Governors, and choose a President? They seem to think it is ok to vote, as long as you take Tim Keller’s advice and make sure you vote for Democrats, too, in order to make sure that people know you love Jesus and he has your highest loyalty. (SMH)

But I don’t think they make a place for political activism. I find virtually nothing about it among the Evangelical elite. Conservative Evangelicals seem to intuitively know that partisan politics is a given, and they (we) are much more comfortable with it. The elite squirm, shift in their comfortable office chairs, and wouldn’t be caught dead standing out on street corner with a candidate sign, much less knocking on doors, lest they get knocked around in skirmishes. They might even be called bad names. This is not what they do.

I know Evangelicalism. I grew up in it, have known so many of its key players, virtually have its credentials tattooed on my forearm. The Evangelical masses used to have sufficient confidence in their elites to keep some semblance of unity. That day is long gone. On issue after issue they have seen the elite abandon them, hide when big moral issues come up or even take left of center positions when pressed. They seem all too sensitive to the opinions of others, even while the masses carry the weight of getting it done in a democratic republic.

I am not happy about the division. But Evangelical Pew Guy is searching around for new elites. This is a transition phase, and it isn’t clear yet where they will land. There has been damage done, but a field fire allows for fresh growth to come.

I Will Attend the January 18, 2019 March for Life

One of the highlights of my life was attending the January 2017 March for Life in Washington, DC. Needless to say, I had never been in a crowd of 650,000 before, much less a crowd filled with faith, hope, and love. I have never lost the feeling of that day. It has not faded and continues to overwhelm me at times, filling me with new energy and new love. Vast numbers of that crowd, perhaps even the majority were young people. Life was bubbling over.

VP Pence showed up to speak, along with Mia Love, Ben Watson, Eric Metaxas, Kellyanne Conway, and Rep. Christ Smith of NJ from the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus. It’s Mia Love’s address and that of Rep. Chris Smith that I remember the most.

This year BEN SHAPIRO will be the featured speaker. His recent pro-life monologue on Fox is now legendary. Never has it been said better. I am eternally indebted to Ben for this one of a kind defense of life.

January 18 is the date. As God wills it, I will be there.