Responsibility for the Whole Shebang


With a caveat about some objectionable language, William Lehman’s thoughts on school shootings are worth a read, mainly for their concision in expressing sentiments I’ve heard here and there around the Internet (and the real world, too):

Do I believe there is universal right and wrong? Yes.

Do I think it’s the government’s job to decide it or enforce it? NO.

It is societies job to decide that, to teach that, and yes, to enforce that. NOT the Government. My issue is that no one is deciding it, teaching it, or enforcing it. We have yet to recover from the destruction of the old society, and create new. While that condition exists, there will be barbarians, and they will burn s***, to watch the pretty light. They will kill people just to watch the light go out of their eyes. Nothing that you outlaw, will stop that. We need to make being a barbarian unacceptable, and those that don’t “get it” need to be destroyed as the rabid dogs that they are, as Napier suggested.

Click to help us keep the doors open.

I’d pick up one area of disagreement, though, because I think it will be important for people to consider as our society attempts to move forward:

Yes, I fear going too far right, just as much as going too far left.  A reactionary government, that requires you follow their faith, and prosecutes “sin” is just as bad, no matter whether it’s a sin from the Christian bible, or the sin of not parroting whatever the current leftist drivel is.

It’s important that Lehman acknowledged that progressives are essentially religious zealots, but it’s not sufficient.  This isn’t each side getting its turn.  As society changes, the same people — well, usually not the exact same people but the same sort of people filling the same roles — simply act on their desire for power using different rationalizations.  The innovation of the modern Left may have been to replace competing sources of order with a chaos that would drive people to beg for meaningless order, thus putting the modern Left in charge, but the fact that their personal aesthetics become the source of order (if that term can apply to something so fickle) doesn’t change the nature of the impulse… the dividing line between types of people:  Those who want to control and those who don’t.

In that regard, I think the totalitarian force is done with Christianity, at least for the next few cultural oscillations.  My religion was once so dominant in the West that those who wanted power had to manipulate society from within it.  We’ll have to take the long way around before that’s a possibility, again.  For the foreseeable future, adherents will remain much closer to the religion’s root message that we should be servants to each other, so that the individual can have a relationship with God, who has the control by attraction that we call “love.”

As Lehman writes, the Left “tore away all the mores and behaviors of the nation, and replaced it with a lack of mores and acceptable behaviors.”  The totalitarian force acts by manipulating a power base, and Western Christianity isn’t it, right now.  Moreover, if the pendulum were to swing that way, we’re still close enough to the lessons of history that we’d be able to resist the totalitarians for a while.

Whatever mask the totalitarians may put on when the progressives are spent (or defeated), the key distinction that me must make — the marker by which we’ll know friend and foe — is between those who believe that they can perfect humanity and impose the “correct” answer on every issue and those who believe that people have a right to be wrong and must, therefore, be persuaded.

That’s why, I think, Lehman emphasizes that our standards are society’s to decide and enforce.  Give people a mechanism by which to force people to do what they want, and they’ll use that mechanism, which is government.  Those who are squeamish about it will ultimately be overwhelmed by like-minded ideologues who aren’t.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    A few thoughts, perhaps only tangentially related. I believe the need for “religion” or a “higher power” is innate. In the West, as we have abandoned Christianity, we have sought replacements. Currently favored are Environmentalism/Global Warming. All behavior must be green. We see Cathedrals to Nature cordoned of, with viewings only available at regulated times i.e. Nature Walks. We are regularly presented with “martyrs”, polar bears on melting ice, millions of “missing” penguins, etc. Non-judgmentality has given rise to “all people are the same” that has become witless. “We are a nation of immigrants”, yes, we are a nation formed by European, Christian, immigrants. All objections are shouted down with “Diversity is our strength”. Where the rubber meets the road, what strengths are we talking about? Thai cuisine?

    I’m in real trouble here. Women. I follow a couple of local civic blogs. The contributors are largely women. Constantly repeated is the demand that Government “doing something”. The opioid crisis, school shootings, etc. What the government should do is rarely stated. It is just assumed that the government, somehow, has the power. I expect them to vote for more government. References to “safety” occur at about 10-15 times the rate I would expect in normal conversation. I shudder when I hear men part with “stay safe”. OK, back down the rabbit hole for me.