Monday, September 10, 2018

Nike, Neil Armstrong, and Jonah Goldberg

It has become fashionable in post-conservative circles to poo-poo the notion of 'culture wars', or 'culture warriors.'  When those terms are used, they are typically meant to denote people who don't have their heads on right; sad little busy bodies who are likely bigots and idiots and don't care about the really big (read: progressive) issues that are out there.  They describe people or issues that are missing the point, are obsessed with trivial things, or are making mountains out of molehills.  So no doubt many are saying the whole Nike controversy is just a bunch of whinny 'Culture Warriors' bellyaching about nothing important rather than looking at what really matters.

Likewise, in this piece, Goldberg looks at the kerfuffle about the upcoming Neil Armstrong biopic in which we're told Mr. Armstrong was all about the human race, not so much this America stuff.  Goldberg rightly points out that the Left, as usual, only dismisses 'America's greatness' when it can't link America's accomplishments to Democratic presidents.  So obviously it isn't that liberals never think on American nationalistic pride as a good thing.  As usual, they do so when convenient to liberalism.

He admits there are bigger ramifications for this, but only after suggesting that it's likely one of those molehills that became a mountain.  Fact is, it is important.  Little things usually are.  In fact, it's the little things that typically become big things if you don't stop them in time.

So decades ago, largely to appease Jewish sensitivities, the ideas of not flaunting Jesus, saying Merry Christmas, and even adopting B.C.E./C.E. (that's Before Common Era/Common Era) for designating the roll of years were adopted by Christians in America in the name of sensitivity.  It came out in the 70s when a heightened awareness of the terrors of the Holocaust was coming into play alongside the renewed emphasis on America's history of racism and slavery and discrimination.

At first it was merely politeness on the part of American Christians, often of a more progressive or moderate bent.  I can remember hearing discussions in college by Christians at the time.  It wasn't shouted from the rooftops.  It was just done.  Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings will do.  We can always say Merry Christmas, or pray in Jesus name, when not in mixed company.

The problem?  By about the 1990s, we began to see it assumed that Christians would no longer publicly say things like Christmas, Jesus, Christ and other such monikers.  By the late 90s/early 00s, we actually began hearing stories about department stores forbidding the use of the term Merry Christmas.  That allowed outlets like FOX News to pounce.

As the Bush years trudged along, and the conservative movement fragmented, it became common for those who would distance themselves from conservatism and traditional ideals to mock and deride such silliness.  So what?  Boohoo.  It's not like Christians are dying in labor camps or anything.  Save your energies for the big fights.  This was true even of those, like Russell Moore, who once pounded the desk and insisted we must win the culture wars at all cost.

And yet, nothing ever works that way in the world.  No coach ever said 'don't worry about the little things, just show up on game day and play your heart out!'   No military training ever consisted of 'don't worry about the trivial things, let's just grab a gun and charge!'  The little things, accumulated, practiced, rehearsed and drilled, eventually come together to be the groundwork upon which the big things are built.  The same is true of history.

So in 2017, Bernie Sanders, a radical socialist, culture of death proponent, stated that Christians who believe that Jesus is necessary for salvation have no business holding high office in the United States.  CAIR, one of America's highest profile Islamic relations organizations, jumped up and agreed.  Go back to the 1960s, or heck, even the 1980s, and say there would be a time when Christians who believe that salvation is through Jesus alone would be told by politicians and Muslim activists to stay out of government positions.  We would have laughed our arses off.

But then, at the same time in the 1980s, when people suspected that gay marriage could lead to compromising the rights of religious individuals who wouldn't accept gay marriage, the same laughter occurred.  Gay rights advocates assured us that only homophobic bigots worry about such things.  Nobody would ever be punished over opposing gay marriage!

See how that works?  If you're just waiting around for the big battles, you'll loose the war every time. Goldberg rightly notes that there is something important in rewriting the history to eliminate the emphasis on America's greatness.  He also catches the obvious, and typical, hypocrisy among the Left.  But he seems to diminish the overall story as if it's merely another tempest in a teapot. It isn't.  Because it reflects an overarching design by the Left to essentially eliminate the nation in favor of a One World Government, one that will have no place for a traditional Gospel proclamation.  Likewise, Nike's choice makes clear it fully supports the Kaepernick protest of our racist, murderous, unjust nation (who doesn't seem the least interested in the biggest killer of black people in America).  Even when the stats belie the narrative.

Just as calls for understanding from Christians had Christians politely downplaying the public proclamation of Jesus, so downplaying the accomplishments of our very country will eventually lead to the same we witnessed from Bernie Sanders and CAIR last year.  In history, there are no 'trivial events.'  All of history is the result of all of history.

So next time a Leftist, or a post-conservative compromiser, invokes 'there are bigger issues to worry about', try this.  Respond by saying yes, there are bigger issues to worry about.  Across the Islamic world, minorities continue to be openly oppressed and persecuted.  Violence continues to take our brothers and sisters in Christ.  China continues to oppress.  In South Africa, white farmers are being tossed off their land, if not killed, out of retribution.  In America, youth are being raised who wish to abolish the Bill or Rights and free speech and religious liberty.  Human slavery continues to run amok in the world, feeding not just sweat shops, but the multi-billion dollar sex industries.  Chief Muslim organization CAIR supported Bernie Sanders' call for orthodox Christians who believe in salvation through Jesus to be excluded from holding high office.  AIDS continues to kill thousands in America alone, while other STDs are exploding across the spectrum.  Groups pushing the open and enthusiastic embrace of abortion, suicide and euthanasia are taking hold in Europe and America.  And every year, blacks continue to kill themselves disproportionately compared to virtually any other demographic in the US, contributing nightly to the gun violence stats every year.

They are right, there are bigger immediate issues.  But that doesn't mean we should ignore the small issues.  Only a fool says ignore the little things, since they never matter.  You'd have to have your head in the sand not to see where that has gotten us.  Or, quite frankly, you are happy because it has gotten us just where you want us to be.  In which case, your viewpoint and opinion are anathema to me, as you've revealed your true hand.


  1. This is something Jordan B Peterson goes on about often - that little things add up to big trouble. It applies to your personal life and to society at large. Nobody ever just decide one day, "let's throw people into gas chambers!" but it's a thousand little steps that end there.

    Further irony is that you'll sometimes see the Left agree to this argument - when things move against them ("not baking a cake is the first step towards executing gays!"). A lot on the Right are noticing that the Left fights tooth and nail over every tiny step that doesn't go their way and that's why many are adopting the same positioning and are starting to fight over everything - no matter how small.

    1. Granted, what qualifies as 'important' can be mighty subjective. I'm told that it's important we remove statues from certain public places. Personally, it's not that important. Once again, the strength of liberalism has been to seize the upper hand out of the gate and use such things to silence dissent one way or another. Criticize something liberals are advocating? Stop obsessing about trivial things. Say you think something is trivial, like telling a woman to smile more, and you're met with outrage and accusations. That ability to insist liberalism alone defines the rules has been its best tactic for some time.


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