The End of the Road

Published December 10, 2012 by Elspeth

When I decided to abandon this blog, I thought I’d experience a sudden desire to feverishly write all the posts I’d never gotten around to writing over the past 6 years.  There were topics I deliberately avoided, such as why I believe Catholics are part of Christ’s body when so many Protestants do not. I didn’t avoid these topics out of fear, but rather because some issues are so charged that reasoned, constructive dialogue often proves nigh impossible. Besides, I decided long ago that there are some things above my pay grade and I don’t want to fight about them.

I no longer want to debate strangers online. I have an online community of believing sisters with which I have vigorous debates, but with more transparency and the resulting higher level of discourse. It satisfies that desire to share my crazy patriarchal ideals with people without having to duel random strangers who happen to click by on their way to find something else online.

The only other topic that has really interested me of late is the yearly absurdity of conservative Americans’ insisting that there is a “war on Christmas” when it seems that the true meaning and origins of Christmas has been a subject of intense debate among Christians in recent years. Brenda was just the latest person among many I’ve encountered who expressed wariness about whether Christmas is a Christian holiday at all. Longtime readers will recall that several years ago I shared an encounter I experienced with a real life acquaintance concerning whether Christmas is kosher, :) . This year, same as last, we are celebrating Advent, so you know where my husband stands on the matter. My desire to write anything more extensive has waned, but if I do decide to write it, you know where you can find it.

I said all of that to say I guess this is it. It’s been a lot of fun, and I have plans to send a personal note to some of you before years’ end, but our ongoing mass roundtable conversation is wrapping up today. The delicious links tab will remain and I’ll still be bookmarking things of interest to me. If you want to know about any interesting links I’ve read, subscribing to that might be an option.

Two of the things I plan to divert my time to in the new year are reading more books, and learning to sew something that doesn’t shape like a rectangle. You’ll be able to find the occasional book review over on TC as well when I read something that truly moves me or is just interesting. My eldest daughter is building a Pinterest page and when I accomplish anything of note as a seamstress, I’ll get her to post it. So if I don’t have your email address, make sure I get it if you just want to know what I’m up to as the New Year evolves.

I wish all of you the very best, and I pray God’s best and most gracious gifts for each and every person who reads or has read this blog since 2007. Be well.

By the way,  if you’ve never commented here before, say hello before I permanently close comments on New Years’ Eve. Please?

This Would NEVER Happen to a Birth Mother.

Published December 4, 2012 by Elspeth

Since there is mostly silence on this story throughout the blogosphere, I thought I’d shine a small spotlight on the plight of this married father who had his child stolen and given up for adoption without his consent. And even though the courts have ruled that the adoption should never have gone through, the adoptive parents are fighting, claiming that “God gave them this baby.”

Frankly, I’m too livid to offer any meaningful commentary, mainly because I know that this would never happen to a birth mother. Still, I thought this guy’s story needs to be read by as many Americans as possible:

In a 48-page ruling, Judge Darold McDade said the Adoption Center of Choice’s policy of refusing to disclose any information to Terry Achane once he learned what had happened to his baby is “utterly indefensible.”

Salt Lake City attorneys Mark and Scott Wiser, the father/son team that represented Achane, used even stronger language for what occurred.

“This is a case of human trafficking,” said Mark Wiser. “Children are being bought and sold. It is one thing what [adoption agencies] have been doing with unmarried biological fathers. It is in a new area when they are trying to take a child away from a married father who wants to have his child.”

Jared and Kristi Frei, the adoptive parents, declined to comment, as did Kasey Wright, their former attorney, and Larry Jenkins, newly hired to represent the couple. James Webb, executive director of the Adoption Center of Choice, based in Orem, did not return a call from The Salt Lake Tribune. The Tribune attempted to reach Tira Bland, the birth mother who is now divorced from Achane, but was unsuccessful.

On a blog about the case, where the Freis have raised more than $20,000 to help with legal bills, they vow to appeal McDade’s decision, describing the arrival of Achane’s daughter in their lives “a righteous desire blessed to fruition by God.”

The original story is several pages long, but these are the facts that matter:

  1. This man was married to the mother of his daughter at the time of the birth and had every expectation that immediately upon the birth, he would be reunited with his wife, stepchild, and newborn in another state where he’d taken a position as a drill instructor.
  2.  The adoption agency and the adoptive parents knew full well that he hadn’t consented to the adoption and went through with it anyway
  3. The wife, and I use the word loosely, put her husband through this hellish ordeal because she was unhappy in the marriage.

Okay, I’m done.

No, wait. He still hasn’t gotten his daughter back, and she’s 21 months old at this point.

Now I’m done.

Why I *Heart* Skirts and Other Thoughts on Style

Published November 30, 2012 by Elspeth

I often find myself observing the sense of style (or lack thereof) among Americans. For the record, I’m not one of those people who thinks we need to return to the days when women wore heels and pearls daily and men wore coats and hats to the ball game. There’s a place for jeans, comfort, and addressing the climate when getting dressed.

That said, I think we have taken the comfort clause to an absurd extreme in this country, and no where is it worse than in suburbia, where I happen to live. I can go days and never see a skirt unless I’m looking in my mirror. I have grown to prefer wearing a dress or a skirt more than anything else, and 5 years ago I couldn’t imagine that I’d say that.

For the record, I do own jeans. Two pair, in fact. I do not wear dresses on the basis of any religious conviction.  I wear jeans once or twice a week because my husband likes to see me in them occasionally, though he also likes the feminine presentation of a dress or a skirt. The increasingly androgynous society in which we live disturbs us both. A dress is one of the few pieces of clothing left that is uniquely feminine, so I wear them as often as possible.

I also find dresses and skirts far more forgiving and flattering to almost every female body type. As one of my virtual friends (a feminist no less) once noted, pants have to fit well in so many places it’s a wonder why women bother to wear them at all! It is also much easier to look slovenly in pants than it is to do so in a dress. When I wear jeans, I try and balance that with a more feminine blouse, hair down, redder lips. A dress is feminine enough all on its own.

Now I know a good many women have wardrobes full of slacks, jeans, and capris. They wear them every day and no one would ever mistake them for a man. What’s more, they are married to men far less concerned about these types of things than my husband is. However, I couldn’t help but think about this after reading Alte’s post, where she outlined things believers can do to mark ourselves as distinct from the surrounding culture:

1) Wear distinctive clothing.

This is something orthodox Christians can easily adopt. Around here, it’s enough for the women to just wear long skirts or dresses, grow their hair out or cover it, and wear a cross or crucifix around their neck. It doesn’t matter as much for men, as they’re usually at work or with their families, so they’re identifiable by proxy.

She has a point, and a woman in a dress does indeed stand out, particularly if she’s modestly dressed. I noted the other day when a gentleman with an accent I couldn’t quite place stepped aside for me and said, “After you young lady.” After my jaw dropped at the word “young”, I realized that it was probably my clothes and shoes that made me stand out. After all, it wasn’t the first time I’d experienced such deference in this city, where people aren’t particularly polite.

I do wish more women would wear dresses and skirts. I know it’s insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I know this isn’t a particularly Christian issue nor is it germane to the depth of our faith. I just happen to appreciate beauty is all and a feminine woman is beautiful. So sue me.

Random Snippets from the Scenes of My Life: Henpecked and Proud?

Published November 28, 2012 by Elspeth

Yesterday after a family trip to the park, we all (all 7 of us) stopped by the grocery store. We rarely go shopping as a gang anymore but almost every time that we do my husband hears little unfunny jokes about being under siege by all of these women, drowning in estrogen etc. Every husband we know who has lots of daughters is familiar with the spiel.

Anyway, as this guy struck up a conversation with my husband, he went on about how he has just 3 daughters and that he learned early that the key to survival is “Yes Dear”. He went on for a few minutes. Finally he said something to the effect of, “I’m sure you figured out a long time ago that she’s the boss.” My eyes got wide and I waited. My husband smiled and said, “I don’t think so. We both know who wears the pants in my house, and as you see, she’s in a skirt.”

This man, clearly shocked looked at me, waiting for some sign of disapproval and I just smiled and said, “It was nice talking to you” and walked on to the produce aisle. Normally my husband would just smile politely at those kind of comments but this guy was over the top.

Is this what it has come to? Do most men really subscribe to the ‘she’s the boss’ mentality to the point that they’re not even embarrassed to admit that they’re henpecked?

Good grief.

On Forgiveness

Published November 26, 2012 by Elspeth

Forgiveness is a hard thing. I used to think I had a monopoly on the struggle to forgive because some of the hurts from my past were so deep and damaging. I’ve since learned that people hate other people for years over something as minor as a failure to repay a $20 loan. I always scoffed at that kind of thing because, well, I know what it is to be truly hurt. I do tend to let minor offenses go pretty easily.

Unfortunately God doesn’t offer free passes to those of us who have been “really hurt.” We are commanded to forgive. And it is hard. I had a light bulb moment a few years ago that helps me when I am tempted to nurse my hurts or slight those I believe have hurt me. I’m going to share it with you now because I realized recently that the holiday season, which often forces us together with extended family we purposefully avoid the rest of the year, provide the perfect opening for us to nurse old wounds and hurts. Are you ready? Okay, here it is:

No matter how badly I have been hurt, there is no way the person who hurt me can fully comprehend my pain, because it’s mine. I have to deal with it. Even if they wanted to take back what they did, they can’t. Even if they want to give back what was stolen, they can’t. I have done and said things I wish I could take back and can’t. The reality of that grieves me, and it probably grieves my offenders too. But if it doesn’t, what’s done is done. I have to let it go. The anger, that is, if I want God to extend His grace to me.

 

Hope you enjoyed your family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday.

 

 

Fat Acceptance Movement Misses the Bigger Picture

Published November 19, 2012 by Elspeth

I’ve been contemplating a post on this subject for quite a while. Ever since I ran across yet another article pushing the idea of fat acceptance. this post has been dangling in my subconscious, begging me to say something about it  at least one more time before I abandon this virtual space.

I’ve started, stopped, and deleted several posts because the times I dared broach the subject here it  invoked the ire of my female readership.  We women don’t like being told that we need to try and stay in shape. Since however, we are embarking on the American season of eating indiscriminately followed by the resolve to finally get fit after the binge, I’m gonna go there. Karl Denninger has graciously provided the impetus I needed to be bold enough to do it with his post, Go Ahead, Stay Fat. You’re Going to Die:

As I pointed out in my speech at the Ft. Walton Tea Party, if you’re overweight fix that now.

Not tomorrow.

Now.

This is not just about money, it is about survival.  Today we can treat a number of diseases that otherwise would kill, but at enormous cost. Diabetes is one of these diseases.  Metformin, the “original” Type II diabetes medication that has been around for decades is now off patent, but it stops working over time.

Our new “wonderdrugs” are damned expensive and uncontrolled diabetes causes blindness and neural damage in the extremities (among other really bad effects), eventually culminating in the amputation of your feet (if it doesn’t kill you outright first.)

Most Type II diabetics can have their blood sugar control greatly enhanced and in some cases it can be returned to normal levels entirely by returning to a healthy weight especially if you get the crap foods out of your diet at the same time.

Yes, I know that we’re all going to die of something. Yes, I know that there are no guarantees in life, that diseases can strike despite our best efforts. That’s still no excuse to treat our bodies like garbage dumps. It has never been my desire to be unsympathetic to the struggle to maintain a healthy weight. I work very hard to stay healthy and I am no where near what you would call rail thin. I never have been, and with each successive year it takes increased diligence and discipline to keep the weight at bay. It has required even more labor and attention after the birth of our two youngest children in my mid- and late- thirties.

With young children to raise and a husband to attend to, I can’t afford to be unhealthy. I can’t afford to let myself go. I need to have strength, endurance and energy. I need to live on sensible budget as well, which is easier to do when I’m not spending crazy amounts of money on crap food that just makes it harder to stay healthy. The economic tipping point will come in this country and being unhealthy by choice will turn out to be one of the worst decisions we could make. Our families deserve better than what we’re giving them. The dismissal of health concerns was one of the reasons why the fat acceptance article was so irritating to me.

But you know what? I also think it’s important that we do everything in our power to remain attractive and sexually appealing to our husbands if we’re married. I’m not insisting that every woman needs to look like Twiggy. I don’t, and my husband would hate it if I did. I know that because the one time I managed to starve and exercise myself down to someone else’s ideal, he said I looked sick and needed to eat.

Shave about 10 pounds off the woman on the far right in this photo, dip her in caramel colored paint, and you get a pretty good of what I look like. I don’t know if she is as tall as I am (5’9″), but I suspect she might be since she’s clearly a model. Keep in mind that this is my husband’s ideal of feminine beauty. Your husband may prefer something else. Strive for it to the best of your ability. Loving husbands don’t expect unrealistic standards of perfection, but they appreciate effort much in the same way I appreciate my husband’s hard work and provision even though we’re not rich.

I should also add that the same government that claims to be fighting obesity also heavily subsidizes and promotes the kinds of food that make us fat. Ignore them. You need not be a nutritional expert to figure out the best way to eat. The closer the food is to the way God made it, the healthier it is.  The more it’s been processed, the more you should avoid it. A good little book with a common sense approach to eating is Food Rules by Michael Pollan. I read it in one night.

Oh, and once again: ignore these fat acceptance folks. They are not your friends, ladies. I repeat, they are not your friends. Friends don’t encourage friends to dig their own graves with a spoon and fork while turning their husbands off in the process. Be your best, and unless we’re making our best efforts, we don’t know if we are our best.

Our culture’s  inability to find a balanced approach to health and eating is ridiculous. We either insist that every one try and  look like a fitness guru, or flip common sense on its head and say that it doesn’t matter how fat we are.  “If you love me, you’ll love me like this.” That’s nonsense, especially if your husband didn’t find you “like this.”

This is the season of festivities, of eating, baking, and candy and parties. Like everyone else, I will indulge a bit. I won’t indulge nearly as much as I might have in years’ past. I’ve gotten tired of making excuses to be unhealthy because it’s a certain day on the calendar and everyone else is being unhealthy.

So before the holidays get into full swing, resolve now to do right by your temple and exercise moderation in all things.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Majors vs. Minors

Published November 17, 2012 by Elspeth

Karen Jones asked in response to my last post:

I wish someone would say exactly what the minor and major issues are…even the bible leaves me confused about it…

I think I know that the basics should be Jesus son of God…God come to earth to die on a cross for all our sins and be resurrected into eternal life that we all can freely have if we confess his name as our savior, the bible is God’s words to us ” an instruction book for earth living” then I do not compromise on any of that. But people are calling marriage or abortion and other things minor issues which I consider major issues. Yet I see people have formed different churches over things like length of hair , dress , etc. which I consider more minor issues.

This is a good question and if you’re like me, you find that the things you consider major change as you grow and change. Things that seemed monumental to me 5 years ago seem inconsequential to me now. I’ll use the marriage debate as an example since it is an issue that several Christians have disagreed with me about as well as issue raised by Karen in her comment.

When I wrote Why The Marriage Debate Fails to Move Me, most of the response was positive, but I did receive private correspondence from a few readers who thought I was way off base. They believe that this is a major issue, that the church needs to take a stand on it, and that my position is antithetical to the Christian mandate.

Five years ago, I felt the exact same way. I thought that the extension of marriage “rights” to homosexuals would signal the death knell of marriage as we know it. I thought that we needed to fight state sanctioned homosexual marriage. The validity of all marriages depended on it. While this was once a major issue to me, it no longer is. In fact, I have evolved even more as I have come to believe that the state should probably withdraw from the marriage business altogether, that the church should perform and record sacramental marriages among its own, and that the church should also impose harsh disciplinary and social penalties on those who divorce for any reasons not clearly outlined in Scripture. The state can do and honor whatever it wishes for those on the outside, and it should be of little concern to us.

Does this mean that I am in favor of homosexual marriage? Absolutely not. It is an abomination and there is nothing good or right about it. Is it a hill that the church should be willing to die on? In my opinion, it is not. Again, I haven’t always felt that way, but I do now. The fact that I don’t see it as major doesn’t mean that it isn’t a major issue for someone else. It has been a struggle for me to divorce the political from the spiritual.

Others who have not had that struggle may be perfectly free to fight this fight. It is not my fight. I am more concerned with the dismal state of marriage within the church and am thoroughly convinced that we should give more attention to that issue than we should whether or not the state gives gays access to civilly recognized unions under the umbrella of marriage, as if tacking the word marriage on to the word “gay” suddenly makes it a valid form of marriage. I don’t believe it does, so for me the issue is less exciting.

Ultimately, I believe there are some things that are major issued for us all and I’ll end this post in just a minute with what I believe those issues are. First however, I think we need to understand as believers that everyone has a story and a struggle for deliverance from certain vices, and what is a a genuine, eternal life or death major issue for one person may not rise to the same level for another.

For a recovered alcoholic, one glass of wine is a major. For another believer, it is a minor issue where total abstention is not required. To declare that the only way to walk is as a teetotaler is to impose an unbiblical standard on another believer’s liberty.

For the woman who has struggled with lust, promiscuity, or a desire to be desired, the modesty issue comes front and center in a way that it doesn’t for a woman who doesn’t have the same issues even though we are all Scripturally committed to modesty. Makeup or none, jeans or none, sleeveless or not, it will play out differently depending on the woman, her story, her husband. It’s not for me to decide whether or not it’s a major issue nor how she should walk it out.

There are major issues that all believers can unite around. As we strive to prayerfully live out the universal majors, we free others to master their personal major issues and we are free to do the same. Well, what are the major issues?

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Romans 10:9-10

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; [b]bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5: 22-23

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

There are of course, other bedrock doctrinal truths that I could list, but there isn’t the time. I could go on for days! You get the picture.

It is not my intent to ignore this most important question: How Then Shall We Live? I just happen to believe that the answer to that question comes into much better focus when we strive to build a firm foundation on the fundamentals.

Things I Won’t Miss, 1

Published November 16, 2012 by Elspeth

I recently heard this song by Chris August playing from my daughter’s laptop and appreciated the opening lyrics:

Everyone’s got their own opinions
There’s nothing they don’t know about
But in the end nobody’s winning
‘Cause nobody’s got it figured out

Oh the things we think we know
But honestly we really don’t
This side of heaven

Save the worry, stop the hate
It doesn’t matter anyway
This side of heaven

It was hard not to recognize myself in that. If we’re honest with ourselves, we all probably see a bit of ourselves in it. The tendency to major on the minors is even more pronounced online. I appreciate the challenge to support my arguments with facts and Scriptural truth rather than anecdotes and feelings. The past few years have given me a crash course in the ideal of iron sharpening iron.

There is a point however where it degenerates into something more sinister, less about finding truth and more about winning and being right. Perfect strangers become enemies over all but nothing. That is one thing I will not miss about the blogging dialogue.

I am trying to learn to turn my attention to the weightier matters. It is a constant prayer of mine. The more I focus on what’s truly important, the more I recognize the folly of forgetting that my life isn’t hindered by your choice to do things differently.

No matter how wrong you are.

Moving Forward…

Published November 14, 2012 by Elspeth

This is a wonderful post from Catholic columnist Elizabeth Scalia. I think you should take the time to read it. It’s time for us to accept that whatever the path we are on as a nation, that God is not wringing His hands, or wondering in speculation about what will happen next.

We are, like all the other people of the earth today and from ages past, subject to the reaping of what we have sown. By that I don’t mean reaping the consequences of making the wrong choice as an electorate. That would be superficial, short-sighted, and frankly stupid of me. I refer to something much deeper: reaping the harvest of our prideful idolatry, which has very little to do with who we do or don’t vote for:

I’ve been praying for it for a long time, and it seems to me we’re about to enter a season of penance that, like the old Israelites, we have partly earned through pride and idolatry, and partly comes to us because the princes of the world continue to do what they always do.

I know some say “America cannot end.” But that is the first illusion we must put away, because it is all about pride — all about idolatry. It says America is eternal, when nothing is but God. Some say “we just need the right message,” but who had the right-er message than Christ, and the crowd still called for Barabbas. Who was more blessed than the apostles and saints, but they still were set upon and slain. Who was given a greater commission than Moses? And what kept him from entering the Promised Land?

God’s blessing, if it is truly upon America, does not mean she survives forever, the Dudley Do-right of Nations. In fact, if she is truly blessed, it means she gets to suffer for the sake of clarity — to spend some time in the crucible, in order to be refined.

Perhaps part of that refinement means we must rid ourselves of the impurities of our own fascinations with all that is false, or fantastic or merely distracting. I have mostly divested myself of television and pop culture, which keeps all of us both attuned to and somewhat vulnerable to the movement of conventional wisdom (read: sentimentalism) that runs the mob.

Now, with this election over, and the writing on the wall, I believe it is time to divest myself of my too-enthralled-attention to politics, which just a glance at Drudge will tell you is all-illusions, and has been for a very long time. I’m done giving attention and credence to the princes of the air, and the daily theater. I’m setting my attention and my eyes where they must go to prepare for what is coming; what I am feeling called to at this point has nothing at all to do with politics and everything to do with helping to prepare and mature our spirits for what lies ahead.

I think she’s on to something, don’t you?

Screwtape on Democracy

Published November 7, 2012 by Elspeth

C.S. Lewis said it better than I could ever hope to.

Democracy is the word with which you must lead them by the nose. The good work which our philological experts have already done in the corruption of human language makes it unnecessary to warn you that they should never be allowed to give this word a clear and definable meaning. They won’t. It will never occur to them that democracy is properly the name of a political system, even a system of voting, and that this has only the most remote and tenuous connection with what you are trying to sell them. Nor of course must they ever be allowed to raise Aristotle’s question: whether “democratic behaviour” means the behaviour that democracies like or the behaviour that will preserve a democracy. For if they did, it could hardly fail to occur to them that these need not be the same.

You are to use the word purely as an incantation; if you like, purely for its selling power. It is a name they venerate. And of course it is connected with the political ideal that men should be equally treated. You then make a stealthy transition in their minds from this political ideal to a factual belief that all men are equal. Especially the man you are working on. As a result you can use the word democracy to sanction in his thought the most degrading (and also the least enjoyable) of human feelings. You can get him to practise, not only without shame but with a positive glow of self-approval, conduct which, if undefended by the magic word, would be universally derided. The feeling I mean is of course that which prompts a man to say I’m as good as you.

The first and most obvious advantage is that you thus induce him to enthrone at the centre of his life a good, solid, resounding lie. I don’t mean merely that his statement is false in fact, that he is no more equal to everyone he meets in kindness, honesty, and good sense than in height or waist measurement. I mean that he does not believe it himself. No man who says I’m as good as you believes it. He would not say it if he did. The St. Bernard never says it to the toy dog, nor the scholar to the dunce, nor the employable to the bum, nor the pretty woman to the plain. The claim to equality, outside the strictly political field, is made only by those who feel themselves to be in some way inferior. What it expresses is precisely the itching, smarting, writhing awareness of an inferiority which the patient refuses to accept.

And therefore resents. Yes, and therefore resents every kind of superiority in others; denigrates it; wishes its annihilation. Presently he suspects every mere difference of being a claim to superiority. No one must be different from himself in voice, clothes, manners, recreations, choice of food: “Here is someone who speaks English rather more clearly and euphoniously than I — it must be a vile, upstage, la-di-da affectation. Here’s a fellow who says he doesn’t like hot dogs — thinks himself too good for them, no doubt. Here’s a man who hasn’t turned on the jukebox — he’s one of those goddamn highbrows and is doing it to show off. If they were honest-to-God all-right Joes they’d be like me. They’ve no business to be different. It’s undemocratic.

We, in Hell, would welcome the disappearance of democracy in the strict sense of that word, the political arrangement so called. Like all forms of government, it often works to our advantage, but on the whole less often than other forms. And what we must realize is that “democracy” in the diabolical sense (I’m as good as you, Being Like Folks, Togetherness) is the fittest instrument we could possibly have for extirpating political democracies from the face of the earth.

 

…”What I want to fix your attention on is the vast, overall movement towards the discrediting, and finally the elimination, of every kind of human excellence – moral, cultural, social, or intellectual. And is it not pretty to notice how “democracy” (in the incantatory sense) is now doing for us the work that was once done by the most ancient Dictatorships, and by the same methods? You remember how one of the Greek Dictators (they called them “tyrants” then) sent an envoy to another Dictator to ask his advice about the principles of government. The second Dictator led the envoy into a field of grain, and there he snicked off with his cane the top of every stalk that rose an inch or so above the general level. The moral was plain. Allow no preeminence among your subjects. Let no man live who is wiser or better or more famous or even handsomer than the mass. Cut them all down to a level: all slaves, all ciphers, all nobodies. All equals.* Thus Tyrants could practise, in a sense, “democracy.” But now “democracy” can do the same work without any tyranny other than her own. No one need now go through the field with a cane. The little stalks will now of themselves bite the tops off the big ones. The big ones are beginning to bite off their own in their desire to Be Like Stalks.”

For “democracy” or the “democratic spirit” (diabolical sense) leads to a nation without great men, a nation mainly of subliterates, full of the cocksureness which flattery breeds on ignorance, and quick to snarl or whimper at the first sign of criticism. And that is what Hell wishes every democratic people to be.

That is all.

Congratulations, America.

Next Step, Fiscal Cliffs.

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