Sunday, October 29, 2017

No Family, No Country, Identity Politics

The Primal Scream of Identity Politics | The Weekly Standard:

This one is definitely worth the read -- it falls one "parent" short, GOD, but it hits the earthly target very well. I'd argue that killing "god" in the Nietzchean sense was definitely on the road to killing daddy, mommy, and family in general. A people that still honored God could not have legalized abortion, dishonored their parents, and abandoned their children in the name of earthly sexual pleasure and other "progress".

I'm about 1/3 of the way through "The Secular Age" by Charles Taylor. It tells the story of how the west went from a fully enchanted world at the time of the Reformation, to the nearly totally DISenchanted world we live in today. Everyone believed that the Cosmos was ordered with a sacred purpose that included each of us -- embedded in our family, church, community, nation, and yes, an ordered cosmos where everything included elements of the spiritual, the sacred.

Today, we are DISembedded and disenchanted --
The legalization of same-sex marriage, as observers both for and against the 2015 Obergefell decision came to agree, owed most to one factor: empathy for the moral claim that attraction to one’s own sex is like pigmentation or DNA, immutable and immune to change. Yet a split cultural second later, exactly the opposite case has come to be made for the intersex, transgendered, and other sexual minorities: that identity is fluid, indeterminate, perhaps even recalcitrant, rather than born that way
In this head-on collision of purported creation stories about sexual and gender identity that cannot possibly both be true, we see once more that the question Who am I? is the most fraught of our time. It has become like a second skin: something that can’t be sloughed off, or even scratched, without excruciating pain to the subject—reason and logic and the rest of persuasion-as-usual be damned.
As we have attempted to make "meaning" a material thing, it is not all that surprising that we would have completely incompatable "required views" on one of the most basic elements of our identity, our gender. Science says there are two genders, society says there are 50 some and more every day.

So why have we become "tribal"?
It’s not that “America Wasn’t Built for Humans,” as the title of Sullivan’s piece has it. It’s rather that America, like other civilizations, was built for humans who learned community not from roving bands of unrelated nomads, but from those around them—beginning in the small civilization of the family.
Our macro-politics have gone tribal because our micro-politics are no longer familial. This, above all, is what’s happened during the five decades in which identity politics went from being unheard of to ubiquitous.
Pretty much all of us understand this at some level. Our "families" almost all now involved 2nd, 3rd, etc marriages, and often many sorts of other relations. In the Bible we hear "who is my neighbor", today we hear "Who is my Daddy? my Mommy? my Sister? my Grandparent ... etc, etc". Clearly, lots of the people we know have decided that "what THEIR heart says" is what must be truth.

Jerimiah 17:9 says "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

Naturally, when God was supposedly killed, such ancient wisdom became foolish. Today we "follow our hearts", and attack those who fail to agree with our own godlike view of "truth".

When a mob of young men attack a 74-year-old man and a middle-aged woman, as happened at Middlebury College in March in the case of Charles Murray and Allison Stanger, something deeper is afoot than American individualism run amok. When debate after campus debate is preemptively shut down due to social media threats of violence, reasoned talk of a “Reagan Dispensation” doesn’t begin to capture the menace there. Berkeley spent $600,000 on “security” for a visit by the conservative author and pundit Ben Shapiro. Non-progressive speakers who have nothing to do with racism or supremacism are regularly harassed, threatened, disinvited, and shouted down on campuses across the country. To ascribe these transgressions to identitarian narcissism alone is to miss what’s truly novel about them. And most chilling.
Many of the 4500 and rising posts in this blog call out the horror that we have (mostly) unwittingly unleashed. I could link you to MANY, however, I think "Darwin's Cathedral" is key ... a short excerpt from that post, all from page 228 of that book.
" It is true that many religious beliefs are false as literal descriptions of the real world, but this merely forces us to recognize two forms of realism; a factual realism based on literal correspondence, and a practical realism based on behavioral adaptiveness."  
"Rationality is not the gold standard on which all other forms of thought are to be judged. Adaptation is the gold standard against which rationality must be judged, along with all other forms of thought."  
and then ... "... factual realists detached from practical reality were not among our ancestors. It is the person who elevates factual truth above practical truth who must be accused of mental weakness from an evolutionary perspective". 
We pretty much all actually operate on a practical realism based on adaptiveness ... and we pretty much all think that OUR tribe really operates on a factual realism based on literal correspondence, and the other tribe is a bunch of evil lying "progressives", or "deploreables" depending on which tribe we identify with. The core problem is that without any transcendent meaning in our lives, "pleasure" tends to cloud our judgement, and any perceived threat to our determination of "truth" becomes ever harder for us to face with maturity.

Maybe that cultural scream of “mine!” is issuing from souls who did have something taken from them—only something more elemental than the totemic objects now functioning as figurative blankies for lost and angry former children. As of today, less than 65 percent of American children live with both biological parents, even as other familial boughs have broken via external forces like the opioid crisis, criminality and incarceration, and globalization. Maybe depression and anxiety have been rising steadily among children and teenagers for a reason. Maybe the furor over “appropriation” unveils the true foundation of identity politics, which is pathos.
The columns closing paragraph is powerful, and WAY too true in the world I see around me. I'll be reading some of the links and I'll continue to howl at the despair of our broken modern world with the only thing which I believe can save us individually or collectively -- The Grace of Jesus Christ through Faith Alone! On this 500th year of the Reformation, revive us again Lord Jesus!
Anyone who’s ever heard a coyote in the desert, separated at night from the pack, knows the sound. Maybe the otherwise-unexplained hysteria of today’s identity politics is just that: the collective human howl of our time, sent up by inescapably communal creatures who can no longer identify their own.
'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment