As anybody who still checks this blog knows, I haven't been posting lately because I was trying to move my blog to WordPress. I may still do that someday, because I haven't been overly happy with Blogger recently (or ever, as long-time readers know). Still there's that saying about "Better the devil you know..." etc. And that's where I am right now: too busy with other things to spend the time learning a whole new blogging platform when most of what bugs me about Blogger can be put into the "minor annoyance" basket and ignored.
And I miss blogging. Oh, sure, I've been averaging about three thousand words a day on my newest book during this year's NaNoWriMo, but it's not the same. I find myself thinking about policies and issues and matters of faith, and worse, using the time I normally spend daydreaming about fiction daydreaming about non-fiction instead. It's clearly time for me to get back to the blog.
To give you one example of the kind of thing I've been wasting time thinking about, it's the strange conflict between patriotism and outright contempt for our nation which I tend to feel these days. On the one hand, I'm proud of the veterans in my family, especially my husband and both his mom and his dad (Happy Veterans' Day!). On the other hand, I can't believe the state where I was born now insists that two men or two women equal a marriage and anybody who disagrees is a hateful bigot who should be marginalized and excluded from society. As I wrote elsewhere, when exactly did it become wrong, and dangerously wrong, for an American to say that marriage involves a man AND a woman, a husband AND a wife, a bride AND a groom? Is that really such a radical, nonsensical, hateful thing to believe?
To many modern people who think gender is a fluid social construct and who can write sentences about how some male persons can indeed give birth to babies once you realize that some male persons live in female bodies and have female reproductive organs, yes, it is. But to some of us, the people who write such things are so blatantly disconnected from reality, so incredibly distant from sanity, so far apart from reason that all we can really do is humor them (and hope to get to a safe distance before they really lose it). Unfortunately, it now appears that our government in this country both at the federal and state level is insisting on imposing the trendy new insanity on the rest of us, and they will use the full mechanisms of the rising police state to do it.
However, I have noticed two signs of hope lately.
The first is that more and more people who generally share my views about marriage, family, the intrinsic worth of human life from conception to natural death, and similarly important matters are pointing out that the new trendy insanity is essentially, inherently, fundamentally sterile. Barren. Incapable of reproducing itself, both on the personal physical level and the deeply philosophical level. Raise one generation to believe that concepts like truth, honor, wisdom--and even marriage--are subjective, that is, that they only mean whatever I want them to mean, and the next generation will, without fail, dwindle into a kind of opportunistic cynicism in which those words only mean what actually benefits me right now (and I'm not sure we're not already seeing that generation rise). On the other hand, the people who believe in eternal verities and transcendent values and who go to great lengths, including personal sacrifice, to witness to these things and to teach them to their children will have the reward of seeing those children take to themselves the safeguarding and the spreading of the light of that eternal flame.
The second is that in a real sense we have not yet begun to fight: "we" being middle-class faithful Christian Americans who have heard the alarms and seen the battles waged elsewhere, but not yet had to fight them in our midst. It may be that the most radical, most damaging, most effective tactic we can engage in is simply to disengage as much as possible from the rabid consumerism that defines our nation at this time. Rod Dreher has written before about what he calls the "Benedict Option," the option for Christians to pursue actively and purposefully a simpler, less "stuff-oriented," more communal way of living. How that would play out I don't pretend to know, but I do know that our increasingly totalitarian state cannot function if the middle class isn't willing to bear most of the burden of providing the tax dollars to pay for the breakdown of the traditional family and the rise of alternative "family" forms which are unstable and much more costly in terms of public funds. In fact, the state can only afford to impose homosexual "marriage" on our nation if the traditional family continues to absorb all of the costs of the Sexual Revolution--because sexual dysfunctions and depravities are expensive, whether we are talking about contraception for unchaste heterosexuals or prophylactics for unchaste homosexuals or STD treatments for both groups of people (and, in some cases, their innocent and chaste spouses), not to mention all the social services necessary for the children born and raised outside of marriage. But what happens when the responsible people say "no" to the rising demand to bear most or all of the costs of other people's depraved lifestyle choices? Who's going to pay for it all then? The one percent, in between busily recreating the ideal of the immoral oligarchy? Hardly.
One thing is certain: anyone who predicts that in another twenty or forty or eighty years Christianity will be more or less crushed is not a student of history. We may be in what Pitirim Sorokin would call the "late sensate age," but what happens next is not further "progress" toward some ideal of the godless secular materialistic state, with the few handfuls of believers locked up in asylums (as many of our contemporaries secretly wish would happen). In the cycle of history, the collapse of this present age will likely be followed by a much greater age of faith, and a much-diminished belief in the goodness of secular institutions. So there is still hope for America, even if the signs right now are gloomy.