In 2020, Gender Queer was given two awards by the American Library Association (ALA): a Stonewall Honor, and an Alex Award, which recognizes books published for adults that hold crossover appeal for readers “aged 12 to 18.” We headed into a second printing, then a third, then a fourth. By the time covid shut down my comic convention touring, the book had been out for long enough that it was starting to get assigned in college classes. I spent much of 2020 and 2021 speaking via zoom to literature classes, gender studies classes, comic classes, and once a class on graphic medicine, a study of narratives of health and illness in comic form. I settled into the business of writing my second book, happy that my first one had been so well received.
And then, fall of 2021. A video of a parent railing against Gender Queer in a school board meeting in Fairfax, Virginia went viral and sparked an immediate series of copy-cat challenges elsewhere. Sometimes the challenges were overturned, and the book was returned to the library shelves. Other times the book was banned and removed. Several conservative politicians made book banning a major talking point of their campaigns. There were so many challenges in such quick succession before the end of the year that I literally could not keep track of them all. I was getting so many interview requests that I could easily have turned into a full-time public speaker with no time to write.
You see how this goes: Honored Queer Book That Makes Everybody Feel Good Is Pounced On By Conservative Haters. The clear implication is that conservatives hate queer people, end of story.
Kobabe is entitled to her opinion, but NPR running it like this is propaganda, for exactly the reason Marcus said. Here, in these images from the book, is why parents were, and are, outraged that this book is on school library shelves. I apologize for posting this stuff, even in slightly censored form, but if you are going to understand why NPR (and other major media) are lying to you about what’s in these books, you need to see this:
Why do media outlets like NPR mislead listeners (viewers, readers) about what’s in these challenged books? Because they are part of a cultural elite that believe they have the right to deceive parents for the sake of Progress. The contempt they have for normal people and their concerns is breathtaking. For example:
SCOOP: NYC middle school principal confirms in an email that the school offers the pornographic book “This Book is Gay” and have no plans of removing it.
The book teaches kids about gay sex and encourages the use of sex apps.
Here’s a more readable version of that letter from a middle school principal to a parent who had written to complain about the book:
The parent had been complaining that the book — which, among other things, teaches middle-school kids how to use apps on their phone to meet gay men for anonymous sex — was inappropriate for children. I’m not making this up. From the book:
It is hard to fathom that this is the kind of information that middle schools give to kids now in the United States. But it is. And if you object to it, you’re a hate-filled censor. I know because I read about it on NPR’s website.
David Marcus quote:
Parents are furious and they should be. It is not the job of the state to teach our young children the proper way to suck a penis, frankly I can’t believe that this sentence has to be written. It also certainly not the job of taxpayers to fund propaganda in furtherance of this behavior.
At some point, the public is going to have to start throwing stuff. Meaning voters are going to have to use the only tool they have — pressuring elected politicians to change the way they spend the public’s own money — to fight back against the cultural elites who despise them, and who are corrupting our kids with this filth. The backlash is long overdue.
In the end, like all allegations, you need to get the actual books in question into the hands of the public.
The advent of June means annual Gay Pride Season is here, that one month of the year (apart from the other eleven) when homosexuality is officially promoted by the State all across the Western world. You can’t move for LGBTQ rainbow flags of one sort or another out in public these days, the symbol’s new-found all-pervasiveness leading some sceptics to compare it to a Nazi swastika.
During last year’s Pride Month, UK actor turned politician Laurence Fox, leader of the small anti-woke Reclaim Party and former candidate for London Mayor, marked the occasion by posting the mocking refrain “Oh blessed and most holy month!” together with the following doctored image of Pride flags to his 300,000-plus followers on Twitter:
Fox was speedily criticised by Jewish and Holocaust Memorial groups, as well as being temporarily Twitter-banned for causing offence. But, as Fox argued, the freedom to cause offence is just one aspect of freedom of speech. Furthermore, by suspending him, the pre-Elon Musk social media giant was demonstrating clear double-standards, as “You can openly call the [Union Jack] a symbol of fascism and totalitarianism” on the site but “You cannot criticise the holy flags” of Gay Pride.
As if to prove this, Fox’s then-Deputy Leader in the Reclaim Party, Martin Daubney, posted the following tweet, recasting Britain’s flag as a mashed-up Nazi swastika too:
“So, is this worthy of a ban?” he asked. As far as I am aware, the answer was “no”, and so Daubney kept his account. Unlike gays, patriots can be compared to fascists with total impunity.
Fox’s Book of Martyrs
Pride 2022 came not long after the Platinum Jubilee celebrations marking 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, an occasion marked both by an outbreak of mass Union Jack flag-waving amongst the patriotic general public, and an equal outbreak of flag-hating amongst the ostentatiously unpatriotic hard-left.
Again hoping to illustrate his opponents’ double-standards here, Fox retweeted the following contribution from conservative-leaning political commentator Dominique Samuels, showing Pride flags arrayed all down what was actually central London, but looked rather more like some hypothetical gay Nuremberg:
Some people may find the Nazi comparison overblown. Yet it is not that Fox or his allies were literally claiming that Gay Pride Month is as bad as actual Nazism here, as some critics chose to misinterpret matters, more that the Pride flag and the swastika were similar in a generic sense, i.e., as very visible symbols of enforced ideological conformity. Fox could have digitally added the Communist hammer and sickle to the flag instead and made his point equally as well.
As Fox said, public “acceptance and celebration” of the flag were now ruthlessly “enforced with a sense of hectoring authoritarianism.” It was not as if Queer Quislings were about to start another Holocaust or invade Poland, but they might well try and get you sacked, cancelled or even imprisoned.
As if to prove this, one of Fox’s rival metropolitan politicians, Green Party London Assembly Member Caroline Russell, used her position of political influence to plead with the police to arrest the brazen thought-criminal, an appeal Fox quickly responded to:
The Fascistic Mr Fox?
Fox may not have been arrested by the thought-police himself, but a private citizen with a much less awkwardly prominent national media profile soon was. Darren Brady, a 51-year-old British Army veteran from Aldershot, retweeted Laurence’s original rainbow swastika meme, then found himself placed in handcuffs by Hampshire Police on the grounds his action had “caused anxiety” to some unnamed complainant.
Hampshire Police had offered to downgrade Brady’s “offence” from a full-blown criminal incident to a mere “non-crime” (which it already was anyway), if he had only agreed to remove his post and pay them £80 to attend an in-house Maoist gay re-education course. Brady bravely refused, instead informing Laurence Fox directly about what was going on.
Fox then turned up at Brady’s home together with ex-policeman Harry Miller of the Bad Law Project campaign group, who was then himself also arrested for obstructing the police in their duties. Fox captured all this on film, accusing the cops of acting “like the Gestapo”, no doubt prompting more complaints from left-wingers angry about precisely the wrong thing here.
Britain is hardly alone in its increasing public replacement of the national flag with the rainbow one. During the 2022 FIFA World Cup held over in Qatar, the US soccer team made headlines after redesigning their badge so the usual red and white of the Stars and Stripes was replaced with garish gay rainbow colours instead, on the walls of their training-base and media branding.
Objecting to their Qatari hosts’ highly negative legal attitudes towards homosexuality, “Be The Change” now became the US team’s main slogan rather than, say, “Kick The Ball”, which is what they’re supposed to be paid to do, pure and simple, nothing else. “ONE NATION”, reads the US rainbow badge’s accompanying slogan. No: TWO NATIONS, by specific design.
By transforming their badge into blatant ideological propaganda, US Soccer recklessly subverted the formerly largely neutral and uniting image of the national flag and replaced it with the contentious, fragmenting political emblem of an agenda which is clearly not agreed upon by all. The message is as clear as it is queer: unless you, too, support the specific partisan line being pushed here, then you’re not truly an American, and your support is just not wanted. And yet, despite this, “We are a group that believes in inclusivity,” the team’s Newspeak-fluent goalkeeper Sean Johnson claimed.
Apart from all those who disagree with your agenda, of course, Sean: they are not true Americans at all, just worthless Far-Right bigots. They must be excluded, not included. Homosexuals were perfectly free to support national sports teams before their players all suddenly became swathed in rainbows for no good reason, you know: persons of any sexuality could, it was a complete and utter irrelevancy to all concerned. But no longer, it would appear.
The US soccer team “isn’t representing America” any more, one irritated fan accurately complained online. “America’s colors aren’t rainbow.” Indeed not, but that is the whole point.
Flags of convenience
Liberals of today wish to dismantle their countries’ national flags as a proxy for dismantling their nations themselves, in a much wider sense. The flag, as microcosmic symbol of a macrocosmic nation state, embodies a real, particular, settled physical community with borders, based upon timeless things such as a shared language, culture, traditions, religions and ethnicity.
Contemporary Western liberals – both progressive, transnationalism-loving left-wing social ones and GDP-worshipping right-wing economic ones alike – would much prefer to replace this very concrete and limited concept with something much more abstract and limitless instead, a more homogenised, borderless, truly global society based on allegiance to supposedly “universal” human values, not traditional particularist ones – like Gay Pride, for example.
The rainbow flag stands as a proxy for this impossible dream. It is a flag not of any actual existing nation, but of the desired imaginary, non-existent, progressive, universalist non-nation of tomorrow: that is, the flag of Utopia. And the word “utopia”, etymologically speaking, means, quite literally, “no-place”. That is what you are really being forced to salute when paying enforced obeisance to the gaybow flag – the intended (but never actually to be achieved) perpetual liberal-enforced global moral dictatorship or New Jerusalem of tomorrow.
In the disingenuous name of freedom, all soon-to-be non-nations must be forced to kneel to this flag: even non-Western ones which do not belong to us, like the Muslim nations of the Middle East, the majority of whose populations and rulers simply do not share our own present rulers’ supposedly “universal” values at all. Under other, non-gay-related circumstances, this process would surely be labelled pejoratively as “colonialism”, would it not?
One nation under God
Another flag-related controversy to hit during the 2022 World Cup came when US Soccer, advertising an upcoming match between USA and Iran, posted an image of the Iranian national flag which had been doctored to remove the large red emblem which normally sits in its centre.
Significantly, the emblem in question is actually a written word: “Allah”, the holy Muslim name for God. US Soccer said they had erased God’s name to show solidarity with the women of Iran who were then being persecuted by the ruling extremist clerics simply for, as US Soccer put it, “fighting for [their] basic human rights”. I have some personal sympathy for the oppressed females of Iran myself, but the unspoken symbolism of this act was very telling.
Here is a particularist local or national value – belief in the Muslim God – being erased in favour of a transnational globalist abstraction – human rights. However, human rights are not universal, because, whatever progressives might say to the contrary, many human values are not universal either. Most people over here in the West might think it awful the women of Iran don’t have full political rights and freedoms; but, likewise, most people over there in Iran might think it equally appalling women in the West have the freedom and right to marry one another and raise children.
Like alchemy in reverse
No culture’s values are entirely universal. Each particular set of human values is particular to each particular nation, empire, culture or civilisation. Ironically, those traditions and values which do seem closest to being genuinely near-universal in nature – ones relating to core things like family structure, sexuality, gender binaries, crime and punishment, in-group ethnic allegiance, and so forth – are precisely the ones our own utopian universalists are currently doing their very best to try and dissolve along with our traditional flags.
There is a saying of the alchemists of old: “solve et coagula”, or “dissolve and then coagulate”, used to describe the melting down of separate chemical substances and then re-amalgamation of them all together into one large, undifferentiated mass within the furnaces and alembics of their demon-haunted laboratories, in impossible pursuit of making gold.
When the flags of all nations, with their multifarious separate colours and patterns, begin to be melted down by globalists and then reconstituted anew into more generic multicoloured rainbow ones intended to be flown in every nation under the sun instead, even those that don’t want to, like Iran and Qatar, forging all that was once separate and different into one generic and eye-offending lumpen mass, then an analogously similar process is at work.
Coincidentally, the classic alchemical process was said to have several distinct separate stages to it, each bearing a different colour, like green, yellow or red: the colours, in fact, of the rainbow. (And, in terms of the common alchemical stages of whiteness, blackness, etc, those of the new extended Progress Pride flag so easily transformed into a swastika by parodists online.)
Yet literal-minded alchemists, both then and now, have always proved themselves sadly deluded. What results from today’s process of enforced political alchemy will surely not be a utopian world of purest gold. Instead, it is more likely to be a dystopian dictatorial realm of basest lead. A world, for instance, in which innocent military veterans can be arrested for posting harmless, but politically incorrect, joke images online.
Instead of doctoring his rainbow flags into swastikas last year, perhaps Laurence Fox should actually have defaced them all with hermetic occult sigils of the Philosophers’ Stone instead.
Interestingly, rainbow flags are being used to cause division within nations, in support of a pointedly humanist viewpoint.
There are expected consequences, and unexpected consequences. Those elite sponsored divisions within nations will only grow from now on.
The next stage kicks in with government bankruptcy.
It can’t happen before the Great Default.
But it can be prepared for, before the Great Default.
Get off the government payroll. Earn your own bread. Build your community, family and religious. Help each other out, love each other.
Do so now, and there will be divine rewards, whether the default kicks in five years from now, or 50 years. Or even tomorrow.
1. If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
2. And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
3. Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
5. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
6. If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
7. Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
9. But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
10. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
11. And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you. (Deuteronomy 13:1-11)
No society can tolerate the public challenge of its central principles.
We hold to the supremacy of Christ the King, the Source of the Law.
Other cultures have different core principles: be it deviant sexual practices, the rule of the Party, the word of the Leader, the dominance of the State, Methodological Naturalism, or the commands of a Priesthood OR Prophet… every culture has its central focus, a core principle.
And challenging that principle will not be tolerated.
Dead Central Principles
Oddly, for a culture that likes to shout about democracy and liberty, the West is deeply uninterested in those concepts, preferring the supremacy of the courts and the administrative laws of the bureaucracy as well as an ever-expanding network of restrictions of speech, action, ownership, and privacy.
The old Enlightenment songs and chants are rapidly growing threadbare. You can be sure that youths that retain their independent of though — after being driven through the government schools — will dismiss the old 18th century magic words, “democracy” and “liberty” as the hollow gongs they have become.
I wonder how long it will take, before they are equally dismissive of “racism” and “bigotry”.
Interesting times are coming, but I don’t know how many decades it will take until they arrive. Probably a few years after the government checks stop, or buy very little.
This is a very important and much misinterpreted text. It is also regarded as an ugly requirement. The emotional reaction prevents an understanding of its meaning. The concern here is with treason and cowardice. The subject is subversion. The text presupposes a covenant people and unbelievers living side by side. No punishment is given by this law for the pagans who quietly continued the practice of their old faith. The penalties are for those in the covenant people who attempted to subvert the faith, promote syncretism, or practice a sub-rosa apostasy. Cowardice, or fearfulness, is equated by Scripture with a lack of faith. According to Revelation 21:8,
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
The apostates dealt with in our text are not open unbelievers. At any time, an Israelite could have left Israel to become an Edomite, Moabite, or Philistine. It is possible that some or many did. We are told nothing, but we know that foreigners became Israelites, and there is no reason to doubt that the reverse was true. Such an action would be open and honest. What we have here is an apostate remaining in his covenant place while trying to subvert others. What is described is secret subversion, attempts to subvert others, often close relatives, in a cowardly manner.
Reminds me of the seminaries.
Or the old-school apostates, pelagians, Freemasons, Illuminati, and other secret societies that had to work without a centralized control tool, like the universities and media control networks.
But seminaries are the best for their work. The enemies of God, being Properly Certified Religious Professionals, get to geld, corrupt, and filter of the future leadership of the Faith… and get paid by the faithful to do so.
The faster the seminary system is rooted up and tossed to the fire, the better. Note that the apprenticeship system is actually modelled and taught in the Bible… and there is no legitimate place for any above-the-commoner-trash religious guild in Christianity today.
Such an action was not only cowardly, it was also treasonable. To be a member of the covenant meant a requirement to faithfulness. Treason to that covenant carried a penalty of death, as treason always has.
Not anymore, not since the 1940s, when West Germany – in its distaste of giving the death penalty to various Nazi officials – tried to insure that various government-backed torturers, killers and rapists would escape the justice they deserve.
The Allies stayed the course, but the desire to keep those who break the laws of the State in the prisons (hells) run by the State — instead of sending them to face the hell that God manages, for breaking His laws — spread to dominate the Western legal system.
[Note that the Allies United Nations in 1945 had no legal basis for punishing German officials for their atrocities, since they were obeying State Laws – and no secularist would recognize any laws above that of the State. So the legal construct of “Crimes Against Humanity” was generated on the spot by the victors… and, ever since then, it was applied to the losers of minor wars, when the West – especially NATO – was involved.]
Some traitors are killed, especially outside of the West (See Russia, China, Iran, etc.) But traitors within the West are imprisoned for years, perhaps for life.
Our text cites several forms of this treason. Verses 1–5 deal with the arising of a false prophet, one possessing obviously supernatural powers. His ostensible miracles seem to indicate divine powers. His appeal can be very great, and v. 3 tells us that at times God proves or tests us, to see whether we love Him or are more attached to marvels (v. 3). Because God’s covenant is an everlasting covenant, no man can offer anything to improve on God and His purposes. The prophet who in the name of the Lord prophesied falsely was to be rejected. God had sent him as a test of His people’s faithfulness. The false prophet’s accuracy on a particular point did not establish his character. The critical point is faithfulness to the Lord as against apostasy and rebellion.
The accuracy of a prediction does not, in and of itself, legitimizes a prophet.
After all, Jonah predicted the destruction of Nineveh – “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” — but the people of Nineveh repented, and the punishment never struck.
Faced with such a false prophet, Moses declares, first, “Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet.” An accurate prediction cannot outweigh a lack of faithfulness to God. Second, they should continue to obey God: “Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.” This is an emphatic statement: obedience to God takes total priority over anything else. Then, third, the false prophet must be executed as a traitor. Because he speaks falsely in the name of the Lord, he is a traitor. What he does is cowardly and subversive. He does not declare himself openly. He appears as a prophet, and yet in the name of God, he says, “Let us go after other gods.” His message is syncretistic; he tries to unite things which cannot be united.
There are lots of false prophets in Christian garb, today.
The only instance we have of false prophets being killed is in 1 Kings 18:40, by Elijah. False prophets are frequently mentioned in the Bible, but only this once killed.
An interesting point. And Elijah was not a king, or a soldier of a king, or even a guard of the Temple.
As excommunication from Christian fellowship is an indication of damnation – and the Church does not have the power of the sword (except in the sense everyone has, to protect innocent life and personal property), it is sufficient for a false prophet be cast out of the faith.
You can wait a lifetime for that to happen, though.
Verses 6-11 deal with seduction into false faiths by a family member. Such a person was to be charged and then executed by the relative first approached, together with the whole family.
Biblical law gives priority on the human scene to the family, but nothing can have priority over God. All loyalties other than to God are limited loyalties. The family comes into its own only under God. Anything which puts family or clan, or national, loyalty over our faithfulness to God becomes thereby wrong. No more than we can say rightly, My Country, right or wrong, can we say, My family, right or wrong.
Note that Biblical treason — and the death penalty — is tied to the family (a son striking his father or mother) or treason against God and His Law-Word.
The Bible says nothing about treason against the state, or the king… or a corporation, for that matter. There is no such thing in the Bible.
I suggest that there is no such thing as treason against a religious institution. Christ would not speak against the ruler of the Sanhedrin, but cursed the Pharisees many times, and — accurately! — predicted the destruction of the Temple too.
We live in an era where lawless deaths have become commonplace. Street violence is a grim and constant fact. In some areas, parents no longer allow their children to play outside the house or yard. We are deluged with violence and deaths.
“But OUR murders aren’t ugly affairs done on the public roads. Or hidden away in the camps, like the Soviets, the Fascists, and the Nazi prefer. WE do OUR killings in hospitals and clinics and funeral parlours, from the unborn to the euthanasia of the poor.”
Certainly, this will be judged in Heaven.1
But… the consequences will eventually seep into Earth, too. Innocent blood will be paid for, just as slavery was eventually paid for.
At the same time, civil and military violence is common all over the world. It is said that a thousand soldiers die daily, and many civilians. We regard killing on United Nations’ “peace-keeping-missions” as “necessary” and to be accepted as a fact of life.
At the same time, our murderous century views with horror God’s law. God has no right, they hold, to require judgment. Modern theology believes God should represent love and “niceness,” never justice and judgment. Humanistic sentiment wants evil-doers to be dealt with gently. As a result, we have a culture which tolerates criminals, hoodlums, and exploiters of welfare who believe that they have a “right” to pursue their evil ways. Men are intolerant towards the claims of God and tolerant towards evil.
That’s the money quote for today.
Or, even more to the point:
When we grow up and change, the world changes.
Until then, the beatings continue, and justice is denied on this world.
In contemporary culture, toleration is extended downward to include all classes of evil. Toleration is not extended upward to include the middle class, capitalists, Christians, or anyone who has been a productive or godly member of society.
Least of all is their toleration for Christianity. Because the Bible sets forth God’s law, and because God’s law is not only the way of justice but a war against sin and evil, it is hated. Toleration has become essentially an anti-law faith, and too often it means simply, Thou shalt not condemn nor punish the evil-doers.
No Deity, no Lord, will tolerate competition in its zone of authority.
Not Caesar, not the Party, not the Courts, not anyone.
There can only be one Lord, after all. One Source of the Law.
On the other hand… as the corporations, capitalists, and the middle-class gets onboard with an open and systematic contempt for Christ and His Commandments, the Elite sees them more as useful clients than dangerous foes.
That leaves Christians, and only Christians, to be dealt with by Our Betters.
(Well, until the government bribes dry up.)
To take seriously texts such as this is seen as evidence of being a hatemonger, judgmental, and an enemy of man. Such persons, however, being at war with God, will naturally be at war with God’s people.
Every society has its idea of what constitutes treason. The Marquis de Sade believed that Christianity is evil and treasonable to man because it insists on the fact that natural man is evil and fallen, and we need to become in Christ supernatural men. This is the heart of the problem.
After all this, the great danger is not so much from our evil enemies, regardless of their wealth and political/social power. By their actions, they have already eliminated their future.
The great danger is our own deep, internal loathing and hatred of God, His laws, His testing of us, and His punishment of disobedient children and servants.
They don’t matter, regardless of what they say or do.
We matter, and our faithfulness – or our treason – is the deciding factor.
1 It can be lawfully said that the extermination of the poor – also noted in Answers in Genesis – is also a form of treason, as God so strongly identifies with the poor.
There is no possibility that any Marxist group will stand against this. After all, pious poses about equality aside, the Marxist by their actions demonstrate their overwhelming hatred of the poor and their contempt for the working class and their culture.
On the other hand, killing a man – especially a weak man – shows their malice for the God that identifies with those who carry His image.
Win-win, in Marxist eyes.
Bonus point: the ability to kill those who did no evil shows yoursuperiority over the subhuman Inferiors. All that meaningless pap about equality notwithstanding.
And the secularist-deviant schools are doing a piss-poor job of getting it done.
From Devin’s Angle, March 2008. (Backed-up link here)
This month’s column is devoted to an article called A Mathematician’s Lament, written by Paul Lockhart in 2002. Paul is a mathematics teacher at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, New York. His article has been circulating through parts of the mathematics and math ed communities ever since, but he never published it. I came across it by accident a few months ago, and decided at once I wanted to give it wider exposure. I contacted Paul, and he agreed to have me publish his “lament” on MAA Online. It is, quite frankly, one of the best critiques of current K-12 mathematics education I have ever seen. Written by a first-class research mathematician who elected to devote his teaching career to K-!2 education.
Paul became interested in mathematics when he was about 14 (outside of the school math class, he points out) and read voraciously, becoming especially interested in analytic number theory. He dropped out of college after one semester to devote himself to math, supporting himself by working as a computer programmer and as an elementary school teacher. Eventually he started working with Ernst Strauss at UCLA, and the two published a few papers together. Strauss introduced him to Paul Erdos, and they somehow arranged it so that he became a graduate student there. He ended up getting a Ph.D. from Columbia in 1990, and went on to be a fellow at MSRI and an assistant professor at Brown. He also taught at UC Santa Cruz. His main research interests were, and are, automorphic forms and Diophantine geometry.
After several years teaching university mathematics, Paul eventually tired of it and decided he wanted to get back to teaching children. He secured a position at Saint Ann’s School, where he says “I have happily been subversively teaching mathematics (the real thing) since 2000.”
He teaches all grade levels at Saint Ann’s (K-12), and says he is especially interested in bringing a mathematician’s point of view to very young children. “I want them to understand that there is a playground in their minds and that that is where mathematics happens. So far I have met with tremendous enthusiasm among the parents and kids, less so among the mid-level administrators,” he wrote in an email to me. Now where have I heard that kind of thing before? But enough of my words. Read Paul’s dynamite essay. It’s a 25-page PDF file.
The world hasn’t just become wicked…it’s always been wicked.
The prize doesn’t always go to the most deserving.
Her name is Irena Sendler
She Died 12 May 2008 (aged 98) in Warsaw, Poland
During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto, as a plumbing/sewer specialist.
She had an ‘ulterior motive’.
She KNEW what the Nazi’s plans were for the Jews (being German).
Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried and she carried in the back of her truck a burlap sack, (for larger children).
She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto.
The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the infants’ noises.
During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 children/infants.
She was caught, and the Nazi’s broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely.
Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard.
After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it and reunited the family.
Most had been gassed. Those children she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.
Last year Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize.
She was not selected.
President Obama won one year before becoming President for his work as a community organizer for ACORN
Al Gore won also — for a slide show on Global Warming.
In MEMORIAM – 63 YEARS LATER
We’re doing our small part by posting this message.
I hope you’ll consider doing the same…
It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended.
This posting stands as a memorial chain, in memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated!
Our Betters love status far more than truth.
And sometimes, they get their way, on this world.
But that’s not how it goes in the heavenly courts.
And Christians are to represent the Court of Heaven. Not whatever pack of self-serving, filthy lies the Establishment is pushing on earth.
Indeed… you know the prayer…
Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
-- Matthew 6:9-10, ESV
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
-- Matthew 16:15-19, ESV
The self-servers will not crowd out the righteous before the Court of Heaven, of which Christians are supposed to represent… and, indeed, share in the government of, even before our sinful flesh falls away.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
-- Ephesians 2:4-7, ESV
We remain sinners for now, so we are far from the authority that Christ has today.
But the closer we draw close to Christ in obedience and faith, the more holy power our words and actions have, on this earth.
Far more than can be accounted for by money, political pull, and social status.
And if we stay with Christ, Christ will stay with us: after we die, we will be fully purged from sin, and rule over this earth with Christ, under His wise and powerful tutelage.
And one day, we will regain our perfect, physically resurrected bodies.
Just as Christ has His holy, physically resurrected body, even right now, in heaven.
I am confident that a faithful and biblicist “Christian anarchy” would be more humane, less violent, and more prosperous than Somalia.
Christianity has better respect for property, and less support for envy and theft, then Islam. A strict reading of Mosaic law is also more compassionate to foreigners than the Sharia. And the entire gist of the Mosaic Law is to change and grow, rather than retreat and stay the same as in Islam.
Also, Christianity — while compatible with family and clan societies (after all, the Land of Israel was divided among twelve clans) — tends to work to place the clan in a position subordinate to God.
The Christian society is primarily a creedal society. Not a clan society.
(And not a society run by Better-Than-You priests and clergy, either. ALL believers are priests, and ALL believers are kings of their families, and willing supporters and followers.
We are neither Marxists or Muslims: power comes from right, not by might.)
If the church fails in its duty, the temporal lords may rightly and lawfully deprive it of its temporal possessions; the judgment of such failure lying not with the theologian but with the civil politician.
Imagine a nation where such is the fundamental presupposition for all church-state relations: The civil government officials keep the churches under scrutiny and judge if a church is doing its job or not, and based on that judgment confiscate church property in favor of the state. What would you call such a nation? Communist, probably, or socialist, or Nazi. What would a Reformed Christian, who knows his Covenant Theology, say about such a practice? He’ll say that this statement gives more power to the state than what God has ordained, and that the state has no business judging the church. A society where the state judges the spiritual health of the church is a dangerous society to live in.
The above words were written by the “morning star of the Reformation,” John Wyclif, in his treatise On Civil Dominion, written in 1376. Yes, the same Wyclif who believed in the ultimate authority of the Bible and wanted to make the Bible available to all, in the language of the common people. That same Wyclif not only believed that the civil government could evaluate the spirituality of the church and confiscate church’s property on that basis, but that it could evaluate the righteousness of individuals and confiscate the property of those individuals who were deemed unrighteous by the King’s officials. To add insult to injury, he also believed that the property of righteous individuals could be confiscated too, for the purposes of the state, whenever the King decides; thus presaging the modern concept of eminent domain, so dear to all governments today.
Not that he didn’t know better. The concept of the sanctity of private property was known to the Western Christianity since the time of Bishop Ambrose and his harsh rebuke of Emperor Theodosius when the latter threatened that he would come and seize his church:
It is not lawful for me to surrender it nor good for you, Emperor, to receive it. By no right can you violate the house of a private person. Do you think that a house of God can be taken away from Him? . . . If you hope for a long reign, submit yourself to God.
Wyclif knew very well that confiscation of property by the state amounts to theft and falls under the Eighth Commandment. He knew the story of Ahab and Naboth in 1 Kings 21. And he knew the principles transferred down by the Magna Carta, a Christian document which laid the foundation for the English liberties; and especially Article 1 of that charter.
So, then, what made this righteous man, learned theologian, courageous Reformer, entertain such totalitarian views so contrary to his better knowledge of Scripture and of Christian theology?
He overreacted because of overzealousness.
His reaction was against the Church as an institution, as fallen and as rotten as it could be at the end of the 14th century. So mad was he, he would call for another institution – the state – to overstep its boundaries and impose a tyrannical rule over the church. Which, of course, is the old pagan concept of the state as a priestly organization, and of the ruler as a pontifex. If the Reformation had started with Wyclif, we may have ended up with totalitarianism in the name of Christ much earlier than totalitarianism in the name of Marx. There was a reason why God postponed the Reformation for another 150 years. It is possible that by the time of Wyclif the historical memory of the evils of statism had faded enough for him to not worry about going to an extreme position in favor of it. In any case, Wyclif was advocating one un-Biblical social and cultural practice as an antidote to another un-Biblical social and cultural practice.
In our day in America, the danger of statism is obvious to all Christians, and the historical memory of a church that overstepped its boundaries is quite fresh. What is lost is the historical memory of the pagan character of the family/folk culture, which the early church had to battle and vanquish, in order to build a Christian culture. If Wyclif lived today, with his temperament, he would have probably swung the pendulum far to the side of the family, advocating family/folk culture as the solution to the social evils of our day.
And he would have been disastrously wrong, just as he was disastrously wrong more than 600 years ago.
But we don’t need Wyclif today to give us an example of overreacting due to overzealousness. We have Christians in our own time who look to the family as the institution which, if emphasized as the foundation and the center of our culture, will help us restore the cultural values we have lost in the last two centuries. The extended family, that is, as it is imagined to have existed before the Industrial Revolution took its toll on it.
One of these Christians is Israel Wayne. His views on the importance of the family/folk culture as the supposed “Biblical” alternative to the modern popular culture can be found in his article, “Family Culture vs. Pop Culture.” I hate to have to criticize Israel, for I know he is a crystal pure character compared to me, a much better Christian in all respects, and a man I would be glad to give my life for. Unlike some other Christian authors I criticize, I can safely vouch for Israel that he is honest and sincere. But Israel is wrong in this article, his theology is going in the wrong direction, and I have the obligation to correct him as a brother, for his theology, if developed, will create monsters, just as Wyclif’s theology would have created monsters if God allowed it to develop. And unfortunately, Israel is not alone. Many more Christians have bought into the cult of the patriarchal family culture, mistaking it for a Christian culture. A Christian culture it surely isn’t; to the contrary, its origins are decidedly pagan. And in order to build a Christian culture, we need to understand the true nature of the family/folk culture, and understand how it differs from the Christian culture.
Israel deplores the moral state of our time, he observes that we have lost that old extended family environment where all uncles, aunts, granpaws and granmaws, cuzns and nephews and nieces and little Johnnies lived together in an idyllic serenity and peace, in the same geographic place, and everything was just dandy until the Industrial Revolution came around and men left for the cities to “join the workforce,” and thus the old social model which was so family-friendly was lost. Now we have the machines, the factories, and the father doesn’t stay home all the time with his family because he has to go to work. In the old days, if the family wanted to play music, they made their own instruments, and played together, and there were no long-distance instant communications to break to pieces this dream way of living. But we now have our pop culture which has nothing to do with “accountability, community, resourcefulness and creativity,” as the old family culture. This new pop culture is all about “liberation, autonomy, spending aimlessly, and consumerism.”
Before I get to the theological analysis of that view, a few logical and factological problems with Israel’s article must be pointed out.
First, of course, he typed his article on a keyboard, and published it on an Internet site. He didn’t scratch it on birch bark to read it to his uncles and aunts and gramps and nieces. This should be enough to show how much he values that old lifestyle.
Second, he admits that this new “pop culture” has given us a lot of good economic “time-saving” resources which the old family culture couldn’t produce. One wonders how is it that “accountability, resourcefulness, and creativity” failed to produce such good things, while “spending aimlessly and consumerism” could produce them. I mean, he may be right about the imagined values of the old culture but what exactly did those values produce, so that we know that they indeed existed in the old family culture?
Third, Israel needs to learn some history. The breakdown of that old clannish culture happened much earlier than the Industrial Revolution or the War Between the States. It happened as early as the 1500s in Calvinist Netherlands, and then in Calvinist Scotland, and in Protestant England, and in Puritan New England, when those men, armed with the new doctrines of Calvin, went out to the ships to traverse the oceans and trade extensively in order to increase their own wealth and the wealth of others, as all Reformed confessions and catechisms required. The same impulse of leaving your extended family to follow the call of God was present in 1620 among those settlers who landed in Massachusetts from Mayflower. The breakdown was under way when the sons of these first settlers refused to abide by the rules of the old towns, took their brides and moved west to settle new lands. It was happening between 1680 and 1870 when millions of young men – Christian men, not pop culture deadheads – led their Conestoga wagons through the Cumberland Gap, across the Plains, and all the way to Columbia River. That breakdown was in action when the original 300 families of Texas left the security of the valleys in the East and challenged the scorching Texas sun, the Comanches, and the Mexican government. It was the wilderness in the West, not the factories in the East, that destroyed Israel’s idyllic world. The Western Frontier broke extended families much faster and more effectively than anything the Eastern industry could offer.
Fourth, Israel should keep in mind that the claim that the Industrial Revolution broke families is monstrously fallacious. Rural England remained demographically stagnant for centuries; it was the Industrial Revolution that created an unprecedented population boom, and that boom was in the cities, not in the countryside! Contrary to the modern perceptions, it was the British industrial workers who valued family more than anything else and married young and had many children. It was the British industrial workers who were the largest audience of preachers like Charles Spurgeon, leading Friedrich Engels to admit that of all men it was Spurgeon he hated the most. The countryside was lagging behind the cities, both in weddings and in procreation. Israel needs to learn his history before he makes his claims. Not only didn’t the Industrial Revolution destroy the Christian family, to the contrary, it gave it a boost stronger than any other social factor since the 1st century AD.
And fifth, Israel’s description of the “women’s liberation” movement is rather shallow, and it doesn’t even touch the true nature and reasons of feminism. The truth is, feminism wasn’t a reaction against the Christian order for the family, and its goal wasn’t to get the woman to the job market. Feminism was a reaction against the quasi-patriarchal order established on the ideas of the Enlightenment. Yes, you read that correct: The Enlightenment created a patriarchal order which kept the woman in the home and deprived her of the ability to apply her gifts and skills in the society. The women’s liberation movement was a reaction against this patriarchal order; and the reason it went in the wrong direction was that the Christians weren’t there to lead the charge against that patriarchal order. R.J. Rushdoony explains the problem in his Institutes, Chapter 7, pp. 349-353.
But let’s get to the theological problems in Israel’s thinking.
To start with, Israel seems to have problems understanding the Biblical view of culture. His view of culture is tribal; he says that culture is “the accumulative sum of the beliefs and values of a people-group.” The central point here is the “people-group,” and that’s why Israel can speak of a “folk culture,” a culture that has something to do with the genetic proximity of people. The beliefs and values are secondary, since he talks about the “accumulative sum,” without really stopping to think that one can not “accumulate” just any kinds of beliefs and values. Such definition of culture is essentially materialistic for it defines culture by material factors (people-group, folk) while the spiritual factors (beliefs and values) are simply lumped together into an amorphous mass called “culture.”
This view is absolutely contrary to the Reformed view of culture. The Reformed view was summarized beautifully by Henry Van Til in his book, The Calvinistic Concept of Culture: “Culture is religion externalized.” From beginning to end, culture is the product of a faith statement. We all act according to ultimate beliefs, no matter what our family connections are, and no matter what our genetics is. The culture we build comes not from our “folk” or our “people-group” but from our fundamental beliefs about God. Different religions means different cultures, even if the people come from the same “folk.” That’s why in Israel a family-member was divorced or disinherited and turned over to the authorities in case of idolatry; he was of a different culture now. The same religion means the same culture, even if the family origin is different. That’s why Salmon could marry a Canaanite, and Boaz could marry a Moabite: By placing their faith in God, Rahab and Ruth were now of the Hebrew culture.
To make it simpler, according to Israel, the boundaries of a culture coincide with the boundaries of a “folk,” and whatever beliefs and values are in that “folk,” are mixed in one “culture.” According to the Bible, the boundaries of a culture coincide with the boundaries of a religion, and whatever peoples, families, tribes are within that religion, are mixed in one people. This means, contrary to Israel’s idyllic view of the folk and of the family, that there can be many cultures within the same family, simply because there can be believers of different faiths within the same family. There is no way the extended family can preserve cultural identity or pass on cultural identity, simply because, first, the extended family is not a carrier nor an agent of such cultural identity, and second, within the same family there can be multiple cultural identities, depending on the faith of the individual members of that extended family.
I don’t know the personal circumstances of Israel’s life, but I would suppose that his idyllic view of the extended family is based on his personal experience as an American, in a nation where there is historical memory of a Christian culture, and therefore his extended family is at least nominally Christian, if not necessarily self-consciously, creedally Christian. From such cloistered perspective, of course, it is easy to idolize the extended family as a carrier of culture. The picture, I’d venture to propose, wasn’t that rosy for some other Wayne many generations ago who decided to break with the pagan faith – and therefore with the pagan culture – of his “folk” and to accept Christianity which was becoming the popular culture at the time. I’d like to see Israel explaining to that earlier Wayne how important it is to reject the popular culture and stick to the extended family and its family/folk culture. Or I want to see Israel go to those early Christians in the Roman Empire who were persecuted because “they didn’t adhere to the traditions of their own ancestors,” that is, they weren’t happy with their family/folk culture and had accepted that popular fad, Christianity, with its modern cultural ideas. Actually, there is no need for Israel to go back in time. He can go to the Balkans, or to Africa, or to Latin America, where the family/folk cultures are laden with paganism, occultism, and barbarity, and the popular culture is influenced by the West and by its nominally Christian worldview. And of course, even the modern family/folk culture in the US, while nominally Christian, is not necessarily truly Christian, and I would say, there isn’t necessarily much there that deserves to be preserved or cherished.
In any case, the family is not a culture in itself, and can not be trusted at all times to provide a healthy culture; Jesus emphasized it many times (Matt. 8:21-22; 10:36; Luke 8:21; 14:26). Our Christian culture is not a family culture, it is a creedal culture, and the family has only a limited jurisdiction in it, just as the church and the state have limited jurisdictions. The family – extended or nuclear – must itself be judged by the creedal standards of the Christian faith, and if it falls short of them, its “culture” is just as destructive as are the cultures of statism or of churchism, and that culture must be rejected. The family/folk culture has no intrinsic value in itself, and more often than not in history the family/folk culture was pagan culture, vehemently opposed to Christ. (Read Fustel de Coulanges’s The Ancient City to learn about the pagan origins of the familistic-patriarchal social order.)
The Biblical social order is not based on the extended family. Romanticized descriptions like the following are not to be found in the Bible:
Imagine with me, if you can, a culture where you are surrounded with people who know and love you. There are parents, uncles and aunts, cousins, grandparents and even on occasion great-grandparents. Living, working, playing and worshiping with these loved-ones creates a wonderful sense of security and stability. You know who you are, to a great extent, because of your relationships with those of your surrounding family. Family can serve as a fixed reference point, linking you to geography and to the past in a way that no other friendship or community can.
Absolutely not. The only fixed reference point is the faith in God. The extended family isn’t, and is never mentioned as such. The Biblical family is always the nuclear family. The only family romantics in the Bible is the relationship between a man and a woman. Read the Song of Solomon. There are no uncles, cousins, and gramps there. The Bible is full of heroes who – much like those American settlers of old – left their extended families to settle in another land, and looked for their purpose and place under God in self-sufficiency and independence from their extended family connections. Noah’s grandfather, Methuselah, and father, Lamech, were both alive when he started building the Ark, and nothing is mentioned about an idyllic picture of four generations (from Methuselah to Noah’s sons) working in harmony on the Ark. Abraham was commanded to leave his family. Jacob fled from his father and brother. Joseph fulfilled his life’s purpose by being sold away from his family. Moses learned to obey God and be a leader away from his folk. David, at an early age, spent long months away from his family, and thus learned to fight bears and lions. Rahab was blessed for betraying her folk, and Ruth was blessed for abandoning her family culture. Jesus, of course, is the prime example, both when, at 11 years of age, He stayed back in the Temple, and when later took up a ministry that had nothing to do with his extended family. None of these, of course, is to declare the family unnecessary or worthy of disdain. But all these examples must warn us against elevating family relationships above their proper place in the creedal culture of the Bible. The family is not a fixed reference point, contrary to what Israel claims in his article. Faith is. And in that Biblical faith, only the nuclear family has any covenantal significance. The extended family, even if it’s beneficial economically or relationally, has no covenantal significance, and therefore has no cultural significance. We love our grandparents and uncles and cousins; but as far as the Biblical culture is involved, their significance is only marginal. Faith is what matters ultimately; and as far as the institutional arrangement of that faith culture is involved, our spouses and our underage children are all we need. And the church. Clannish collectivism separates us from the Biblical culture just as much as churchist or statist collectivism does.
It may come as a surprise to some modern Christians, but not only the Bible is full of examples of people of faith leaving their extended families, the Law of God actually contains economic provisions for the break-up of the extended family. First, there is God’s promise to Israel to multiply them in the land (Deut. 30:5). Second, there is the system of inheritance which required that the land was divided between the covenant-keeping sons in a family (Deut. 21:15-17, see also R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law, p. 180; and Gary North, Inheritance and Dominion, Vol. 2, p. 592ff.). Third, there was the Jubilee regulation which prohibited the Israelites from selling permanently the family inheritance in the land; at the end of the 50-year period, the land had to return to the original owner (Lev. 25:13-17, 27:24). The combined economic effect of these three would mean that over time, the heirs of the original families would have grown in numbers to the point where the allotted land to each son would be insufficient to feed him and his wife and children. He couldn’t sell the land permanently but he could lease it out for up to 50 years to another person in the family, if that relative wanted to consolidate a few properties for efficient agricultural production. The owner, then, would have the funds to move with his family either to a city, where he could start a new career in a non-agricultural business (like Joseph, who was a carpenter), or buy land outside the borders of Israel where the Jubilee regulations didn’t reach, and the land could be permanently sold or bought. The economic pressure would force the nuclear families to leave the extended family (Joseph’s extended family was in Bethlehem but his business was far north, in Capernaum of Galilee) and to expand their area of dominion, either technologically or geographically. The Jewish Diaspora in the antiquity was the largest movement of nuclear families away from their extended families, and it was copied much later by the Phoenicians and the Greeks, who originally were patriarchal societies. (Not to mention being copied by the American settlers between 1620 and 1890.) Important to mention that the social and cultural result of the Diaspora was not new clans nor new extended families, but the synagogue.
Indeed, historically, family-and clan-centered societies have never exercised dominion. They have remained stagnant and have disappeared from history even if for a short time they have achieved military or technological successes. There isn’t much left of the old clan societies of Germans and Celts. The clannish-tribal structure of the Native American tribes not only made them powerless to oppose the Christendom’s nuclear families’s assault on the American West, it was also a source of constant internecine wars and acts of savageness and brutality of natives against natives that kept their population numbers and economic endeavors at very low levels. China, a stable civilization for several thousand years which made many of the technological discoveries that built the West, was exactly the same in 1911, socially and economically, as it had been 2,000 years before. Some clannish societies managed to survive for a longer period of time only because they gradually evolved into statist societies; for the natural evolution of a culture based on the extended family, see Fustel de Coulanges’s book, The Ancient City. Islam, after the initial conquests, also stagnated because it had nothing comparable to the Biblical Law but instead incorporated old tribal and patriarchal laws. The Ottoman Turks were able to continue their conquests only because their old tribal system evolved into a statist/collectivist system very early.
The only cultures that were able to exercise long-term dominion – geographical, scientific, technological, literary, educational – were the Old Testament Judaism and modern Christianity (and especially Protestant Christianity). They followed the Biblical model: nuclear families, united not by the extended family but by the institutional church (or the synagogue), in a creedal culture where the only fixed reference point is faith. Our modern industrial capitalism and economic globalization, with its unprecedented technological and economic growth, is not a force that developed independently of Christianity, neither is it a force hostile to Christendom and the Christian culture. To the contrary, it came as a direct result of Christianity and of the Biblical worldview. Industrial capitalism and global trade and communications are the Christian economic and social model, and they stand or fall with Christianity, not war against Christianity, contrary to Israel’s assumptions.
There is a good reason for the historical success of the nuclear families and the stagnation and decay of clannish societies. The nuclear family is oriented toward the future; the extended family is oriented toward the past. When the family is defined as only a man and a woman and their underage children, the purpose of the family and the whole life of the family is naturally focused on bringing up these children and making them independent of their parents so that some day they fulfill Genesis 2:23-24:
The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
Since the Biblical culture requires nuclear families as over against extended families, we should expect it to be focused on parents teaching their young children for the future, not on grown up adults trying to conserve the past by hanging around with their relatives. Indeed, the Book of Proverbs is all about a father teaching his young son how to prosper righteously as an independent man. From the very beginning the book assumes that time is coming when the son will be independent and will be in an environment of sinners where he will have to make his own decisions (Prov. 1:10); the father, obviously, doesn’t share Israel Wayne’s affection for the extended family, and therefore doesn’t advise his son to remain back home on the porch where no enticement from sinners would come. The son’s independence and his leaving the family and going into a foreign, spiritually dangerous environment are taken for granted. In fact, without such assumption, the whole Book of Proverbs becomes meaningless for a young man. A young man today who follows the advice in Israel’s article would only read Proverbs as an intellectual exercise; it won’t have any practical significance to him – unless, of course, we assume that the extended family is full of sinners who are enticing their own relatives, in which case Israel’s thesis becomes absurd. This anticipation of that future time when the son will have to leave the home and face the spiritual challenges of life as an independent, self-sufficient man, places a heavy emphasis on preparing for the future. The past is only for learning, not for returning to it.
The extended family, on the other hand, by trying to stay together, is bound to only conserve the past. In fact, that was the motive of all clannish societies: extended families stayed together only because change was demonic, dangerous, and the future held all kinds of unspeakable horrors for man. The motive of preserving the past was dominant in all pagan societies; the future had to be fended off by any means. The idea of progress originated with Christianity; pagans had no such idea. And preserving the past was possible only by making everyone stay back home with their family; and, naturally, when the clan failed to preserve the past and to stop history, the state was charged with this role, and the Emperor/King proclaimed to be the Father of a greater clan, the state. The official reason of the Empire to persecute the early Christians was that they “had abandoned the beliefs of their own ancestors.” When a young man’s main concern is how to please his ancestors and find a fixed reference point in his extended family, the result is inevitably idolatry of the past, and neglect of the future. The patriarchal society is by nature and essence a stagnant society. Israel Wayne’s family/folk culture has been defeated in our modern times exactly because by its very nature, it is powerless to foresee or prepare for the future. It will die out naturally because it is not a Biblical culture.
The Biblical culture, instead, is one based on faith, instructed by the church, and driven by nuclear families who break out from the clan. This is the only culture that can exercise dominion successfully, and conquer the future. The past can teach us principles but we can’t return to it. As Joel McDurmon said in his article, “Freedom in Education: How to Get It Back,”
When we talk about restoring freedom, we have to be careful not to be too romantic about the past. It is one thing to survey how things used to be free, and lessons we learn there we can certainly apply to modern times; it is another thing, however, to think that the goal is to return everything to the state it was in back in 1776. We can’t return to that world, socially, technologically, culturally, geographically, demographically, economically. But there are certainly, as I said, many ideals we can take from then and restore for today. After all, ideals such as liberty and neighborliness do not change; the highest morals and ethics of Christianity do not change; the ideals of life, liberty, and property do not to change. The ideals don’t change: rather, it is how committed we are to the ideals that makes changes in society.
Don’t be romantic about the past. Paul said in 1 Cor. 3:21 that the present and the future belong to us. He missed one thing: the past. Let the dead bury their own dead (Matt. 8:22; Luke 9:60). You take your wife and your children, get out, and go find your own 160 acres to till, or your own carpentry shop to build. This is the Biblical standard. And as you go, train your children to be independent and self-sufficient to survive alone among wolves, for they will have to, if they are to obey Genesis 2:23-24. Staying with the extended family may seem fun and idyllic and safe, but it doesn’t conquer the world. It will only make you stagnant, and eventually you will be either wiped out from the map, or made a slave to the state as the biggest extended family.
In conclusion, I am sure that Israel Wayne is sincere in his desire to find solutions to the spiritual evils of our day. But his article is a good example of over-reaction to the evils of our pagan times by trying to swing the pendulum back to other, long-forgotten pagan times, when other pagan social structures dominated. The extended family was the norm in the old pagan societies – as it is the norm in many pagan societies today – and Christianity fought against this social structure because it was hostile to the faith. The nuclear family is the Biblical standard, and our modern industrial capitalism is not only not hostile to the Biblical culture, it is itself a product of that Biblical culture, and in itself encourages righteous dominion by faithful Christian nuclear families. There is no spiritual value in returning to the imaginary idyll of playing family music on the porch with family-made instruments. That idyll never really existed in the first place (otherwise young men wouldn’t leave their homes to settle new lands), and as an ideal, it is stagnant, unproductive, past-oriented, and ultimately self-defeating. The obsession with the past is essentially a product of a pagan worldview, not of a Biblical worldview. The Biblical Christian forgets what lies behind and reaches forward, taking from the past only the faith of his spiritual family, that is, the Church, and not the beliefs of his extended family, the clan.
This was the legacy of the Early Church, and this is our legacy from the Reformation.
If you don’t care for the official idol of the age —
— “Our Lord, Owner and Master… the Definer of Truth, Reality and Law… the Secular State!” —
— you need to consider the alternatives.
The best is the Jewish Commonwealth, a form of government that the Law of God actually ordained before the rise of the Jewish Kings – and, by turning to the rule of kings, turned their back to the rule of God.
But it pays to understand other non-state and minimal-state alternatives.
A concrete example of an anarchic order existed within Spain, on the current border between Spain and Portugal, in the kingdoms of Castilla and Galicia. By “anarchy” I mean the abolition of centralized power, not the abolition of authority as leftists conceive it to be. One such regime was called Coto Mixto. It was a small territory located in the basin of the Salas River. Coto Mixto’s residents avoided the control of Spain and Portugal from approximately 1143 to 1868. It measured thirty square kilometers and was part of the Orense diocese.
The one thousand inhabitants of Coto Mixto (according to the 1864 census) did not have a king or feudal lord and maintained historic privileges. Its social structures could be considered anarchic because the mayor, called the judge, was elected by one family head every three years in an assembly, and he was advised by three men of the different villages within the region. It worked similar to a contemporary neighborhood’s association, in which one member per house chooses one chairman every one or two years. Furthermore, laws were immemorial unwritten traditions and customs, not distant from the natural law.
During seven centuries, they kept historical rights recognized by the other kingdoms, such as free choice of citizenship, tax exemptions, and nonmandatory military service. No security forces had jurisprudence inside Coto Mixto, and any person could be arrested or deprived of his wealth, although locals gave people accused of murder to Spanish forces if the evidence was conclusive. They also had rights of asylum and farming freedom, so they could grow tobacco, which was—and to this day still is—a state-enforced monopoly in Spain. They could have practiced free trade thanks to the “Camiño Privilegiado,” a commercial route between Portugal and Spain in which no foreign authority could impose tariffs.
There is no evidence of higher criminality in the free society of Coto Mixto compared to Portugal or Spain, contrary to the statist claim that anarchic societies are insecure. Moreover, locals were devout Catholics, and they respected all traditions and cooperated for the common good; it appears, therefore, the idea that we need the state to enforce morality and virtues is another myth. Finally, this anarchist society was stable for seven centuries without any war and without any need of a state to keep peace, prosperity, and stability.
Having considered the virtues of this regime, we must then ask the question, Why did Coto Mixto disappear? The reason was that the liberal government (in Spain, we refer to this historical period as Jacobin liberalism) of Queen Isabella II saw in Coto Mixto one problem for their homogeneity and egalitarian goals.
Thus, they started a smear campaign against the mixtos in the name of national security, claiming that the hundreds of people benefiting from mixtos favored smuggling and crime. As we have seen, such claims are obvious slander, but it was enough for the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal to sign an agreement called the Treaty of Lisbon to partition off the territory of Coto Mixto in 1864. The locals finally surrendered in 1868.
There are a lot of questions about real anarchy. Could anarchy with order work? Sure, because it is the natural system of human organization based on natural law. Could this system last over time? Yes, but we should remember that Coto Mixto lasted for such a long time due to feudal rights and the passivity of the Spanish and Portuguese governments. As soon as these powers so desired, they did away with all the historical legal customs and liberties just because they had more powerful armies, similar to any modern government doing away with any constitutional limits to their power.
The idyllic solution of splitting Europe into hundreds of political units without any state being bigger than Liechtenstein or the small principalities of the Holy Roman Empire will be difficult if we do not look back to the past and consider feudal rights again, not as evil institutions but as a viable alternative to the increasing centralization of the state power of a few bureaucrats in Brussels, the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the European Union, and all the international bureaucratic institutions controlled by elites who want a world state. Secession can only be possible if citizens of close city-states never legitimize military attacks against their neighbors. Without a victory in the culture war, all secessionist and anarchist movements will be smashed with the disproportional use of force.
Coto Mixto is just one example in a long list of ordered forms of anarchic societies. For more examples, the reader can refer to the American West (nineteenth century), Celtic Ireland (650–1650), the Icelandic Commonwealth (930–1262), Rhode Island (1636–48), Albemarle (1640–63), Pennsylvania (1681–90), and Cospaia (1440–1826). Anarchy is not impossible.
Post-Great Default — and as the Great Depopulation gains steam — some form of anarchy is inevitable, not merely possible.
Our job is to insure that the Laws of God are still remembered and upheld by our neighbours and society, even with a weak or non-existent central government.
And as our government is in strident defiance to God, it’s judgement is sure. We need to make sure that we are not destroyed with the idol of the age.
Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”
I will tell of the decree:
The LORD said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
-- Psalm 2, ESV
Adopted by the Nazi Party in the 1930s, Hitler’s infamous “sieg heil” (meaning “hail victory”) salute was mandatory for all German citizens as a demonstration of loyalty to the Führer, his party, and his nation.
August Landmesser, the lone German refusing to raise a stiff right arm amid Hitler’s presence at a 1936 rally, had been a loyal Nazi.
Two years later, Landmesser fell madly in love with Irma Eckler, a Jewish woman, and proposed marriage to her in 1935.
Irma Eckler. Unknown
After his engagement to a Jewish woman was discovered, Landmesser was expelled from the Nazi Party.
Landmesser and Eckler decided to file a marriage application in Hamburg, but the union was denied under the newly enacted Nuremberg Laws.
The couple welcomed their first daughter, Ingrid, in October 1935.
And then on June 13, 1936, Landmesser gave a crossed-arm stance during Hitler’s christening of a new German navy vessel.
The act of defiance stands out amid the throng of Nazi salutes.
In 1937, fed up, Landmesser attempted to flee Nazi Germany to Denmark with his family. But he was detained at the border and charged with “dishonoring the race,” or “racial infamy,” under the Nuremberg Laws.
A year later, Landmesser was acquitted for a lack of evidence and was instructed to not have a relationship with Eckler.
Refusing to abandon his wife, Landmesser ignored Nazi wishes and was arrested again in 1938 and sentenced to nearly three years in a concentration camp.
He would never see the woman he loved or his child again.
The secret state police also arrested Eckler, who was several months pregnant with the couple’s second daughter.
She gave birth to Irene in prison and was sent to an all-women’s concentration camp soon after her delivery.
Eckler is believed to have been transferred to what the Nazi’s called a “euthanasia center” in 1942, where she was murdered with 14,000 others.
After his prison sentence, Landmesser worked a few jobs before he was drafted into war in 1944.
A few months later, he was declared missing in action in Croatia.
Note that Landmessier was a Nazi, who changed his mind on the foolishness of racial purity when he fell in love with a Jewish woman.
There are other reasons to dump a delusion, but on occasion it is our emotions that see reality, rather than our intellect or our (supernatural or natural) religion.
We need to stop robbing, punishing, or killing people for unlawful reasons.
(“Unlawful” as defined by God, and not by the State or the Leader.)
And God expects Christians to lead the way here, into public obedience to His will.
And if we don’t do our job, who will?
The secularist, right- or left-wing? The collectivists? The pagans?
It’s time for us to change things. For the better.
Even to protect inconsistent Nazis, unbelieving Jewish women, and little babies.
And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
-- Luke 5:30-32, ESV
We save the lives, liberty, and property of less-than-perfect people who want to do the right thing?
The number of Christians as a percentage of the global population is expected to increase over the next few decades, according to a report published Dec. 17 by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.
From 1900 to 2021, Christians as a percentage of the world population declined by 2.2% to 32.3%. The center expects this trend to begin reversing in the years ahead, with the percentage increasing slightly to 32.5% by 2025 and rising to 35% by 2050.
Since 2000, the most significant growth in Christian adherents has been in Africa, which has seen a 2.81% average annual increase. Asia has had the second fastest increase in Christians at 1.5%, followed by Latin America (1.14%) and Oceania (0.63%).
The slowest average annual growth rate during this time period was in Europe (including Russia) at 0.01%, with North America seeing a 0.27% average yearly increase in Christian adherents.
Pentecostal / Charismatic Christians have had the highest average percentage growth rate since 2000 at 1.89% with evangelicals increasing at 1.80% per year on average.
Independent Christians grew at an average rate of 1.6% during the past two decades, followed by Protestants (1.56%), Roman Catholics (0.95%), unaffiliated Christians (0.65%) and Orthodox (0.62%).
Our Betters deeply resent this news… but, while they have great wealth and political power, they are aging out. They can only censor and ban, and no longer have the creative power to build a genuine, attractive alternative to the Cross.
The glory days of humanism are long dead and gone: there remains only a fight for a shrinking and increasingly decrepit, fly-blown pie. And it will only get worse as the gangrene spreads, and rotting limbs, spreading senility and blinded eyes gradually shifts to a rotting corpse.
But before the bloat and explosion in maggots, comes the rigor mortis. Even so, the stink is already pervading throughout Western society.
Faithful and obedient Christians, as the ones who will inherit the future, need to strengthen and secure our hold of obedience to Christ – personal and congregational, public and private.
Christ is the source of meaning and eternal life. Faithful Christians need not enter the spiritual death that cultures and men that hate God pursue… and, eventually, secure for themselves.