Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Actually, modern Christians do not need to self-identify

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A while ago I wrote a post advocating that modern Christians should self-identify by wearing a cross or something similar.

But today I realized that this is, or soon will be, unneccesary.

Because the degree of self-identification among non- or anti-Christians is becoming so clear and obvious that Christians will soon be identifiable merely by exclusion.

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Devout adherents of other religions have often self-identified in the West - ultra-Othodox Jews, Moslems, Sikhs, Hundus and so on.

So that is easy.

But it is characteristic of the late stage of secular cultural Leftism that anti-Christians are increasingly marking and labelling themselves as such: typically by their inversion of the transcendental Goods of Truth, Beauty and Virtue.

(The transcendental Goods of Truth, Beauty and Virtue are not - of course - distinctively Christian; but they are intrinsically Christian. Therefore any deliberate, proud, public flouting of any of them is with a high probability self-labelling as anti-Christian - in the absence of self-labelling of being a member of another religion. )

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Anti-truth is proudly displayed in the use of plastic surgery and bodybuilding drugs - to project lies about a person's age and aptitudes.

To the extent that a person advertizes their enthrallment to fashion they display their inauthenticity, their subordination to prevailing dishonesty above timeless truth; their willingness to mould themselves in accordance with worldly norms.

Anyone who deliberately deploys technology (make-up, hair dye, clothing) and ingenuity (to assemble these) such as to display an image that is (say) fifteen years younger than their true age, is very probably not Christian.

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Anti-beauty is projected by the proud advertisment of self-mutilations of various types - tattoos, piercings, deliberate uglification with make-up or dye, drunkenness, intoxicating drug usage...

(Of course, a person may mutilate himself and repent to become a real Christian. And they may have been multilated by others - perhaps when young. It is never too late to repent. But Natural Law (as a component part of Christianity) is incompatible with the un-repentance involved in the proud and deliberate display of self-mutilations.)

(And of course being ugly is normal for humans, since beauty is rare and evanescent. It is deliberate uglification, purposive desecration of beuaty, which is sinful, hence anti-Christian.)

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Anti-virtue is typically (although not excusively) displayed in terns of public, proud, displays of allegiance to any of the tenets of the sexual revolution - whether specific, or a general and indiscriminate sexualization of appearance or behaviour.

Furthermore, anti-Virtue nowadays includes public displays of Leftist markers; since we now realize that Leftism is inrinsically anti-Christian.

(This was not always the case, and in the past there were real Christians who were socialists, for instance - but for the past several decades (at least) Leftism has evolved to exclude Christianity.)

So all manner of Leftist causes may be marked and proudly displayed - whether banners, posters, books, badges, dress styles, or whatever - and these can be used as indicators that the user has a very low probability of being Christian.

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In conclusion, the small minority of Christians will - before much longer - be able to recognize each other by a double negative: simply as being the only ones who are not clearly self-labelled as not-Christians.

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24 comments:

  1. We sometimes attend a conservative, confessional Lutheran Church that practices closed communion. There’s a lady there with her arms completely tattooed from top to bottom that wears sleeveless shirts each Sunday as she takes communion.

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  2. @B - Far be it for me to judge, but...

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  3. I go to a church aimed in large part at urban hipsters and you see a few people with tattoos and piercings. I think most of those people got them before they started coming to this church though.

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  4. @dc - if repented they would be removed or concealed - or if this is not possible explained; but *never* proudly displayed.

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  5. I am female, and I don't understand the injunctions against make-up, piercings, hair-dye, and fashion.

    Are you saying women can make themselves beautiful as they can, but that they should not wear make-up or earrings or dye their hair a prettier color? That it is dishonest to do so?

    And that they should wear whatever was fashionable when they came of age? Or wear whatever fashions are appropriate to their age? Or that they should not read fashion magazines?



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  6. I agree with this:

    Because the degree of self-identification among non- or anti-Christians is becoming so clear and obvious that Christians will soon be identifiable merely by exclusion.

    I thought so ever since you initially argued that we should self-identify. I remember, oh, eight or nine years ago, I guess, a co-worker - with whom I had not had any religious discussions - asked me, out of the blue, whether I was a Mormon! At the time (I was young) I was nonplussed, but now, looking back on it, I guess it was quite a compliment (although perhaps reflecting badly on Evangelical Christianity, that someone would assume a strait-laced young man is a Mormon rather than a mainstream Christian...).

    But I would be careful not to get carried away with this:

    Anyone who deliberately deploys technology (make-up, hair dye, clothing) and ingenuity (to assemble these) such as to display an image that is (say) fifteen years younger than their true age, is very probably not Christian.

    Perhaps the distinction between acceptable and unacceptable here is in degree - maybe there's a difference between merely prettifying oneself vs. actually attempting to appear deceptively different than what one actually is. In any case, I don't agree that (moderate) usage of technologies to "fix" (for lack of a better word) the aging process is always evil, any more than it is evil to use medicine to correct medical problems.

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  7. @as - I don't think I made any 'injunctions'.

    I just pointed out that the things I mentioned were identifiably non-Christian behaviour.

    Surely this is not controversial?

    Of course Christians might in practice do one or more of these things, since we are all sinners and are subject to lapses; but Christians ought to acknowledge that they ought not be doing these things.

    A Christian might steal; but Christians should not boast about stealing, nor should they imply or state that stealing was OK merely because they themselves had stolen something at some time, or more than once.

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  8. Surely this is not controversial?

    Um, really? Are you in an ornery mood today or something? I think it is most certainly controversial to argue that using make-up, hair dye, etc., are "non-Christian" behaviours! Or are you saying something else...?

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  9. Oh come on SJ! - reed wot I rote.

    Surely you don't regard systematic and deliberate deception as Christian behaviour?

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  10. I can't be sure, since I can't see into their hearts, but it seems to me that there's a vast difference in motivation between the woman who dyes her hair and puts on makeup and the one who pierces her tongue or tattoos her backside.

    In the one case, it's an effort to recapture the genuine beauty of youth. Vain and bound to fail perhaps, but at least the goal is something that is True.

    On the other hand -- and despite what some will bleat about different standards of beauty -- the piercing and the tattoos often seem consciously intended to mar or deface whatever natural beauty she has. There's an element of defiance in it. As it was with the punks and their purple rooster-combs and spiky costumes, it isn't about trying to look more attractive (i.e., more pleasing to the eye), it's about asserting self-will and about daring others to object.

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  11. I just started reading this blog and have so far enjoyed it, but this post threw me for a loop. I've been cogitating on the comments here for a little while now and no, nobody should think that deliberately deceptive behavior is Christian. But putting on a little bit of mascara and lipstick of a morning is not deliberately deceptive. I mean, you do know that there is no cosmetic product readily available to the average woman that does make her look 15 years younger, right?

    If that's not the case, where does one draw the line?

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  12. @Corky - "woman who dyes her hair and puts on makeup and the one who pierces her tongue or tattoos her backside" you notice that one is in the section on truth/ dishonesty while the other is in the section on beauty/ uglification. Different sins against the Good.

    @sarahetc - what I am talking about is the many women who construct around themselves the *shell* of a much younger women (the shell consisting of surgically- and exercise-sculpted flesh, cunningly dyed hair, elaborate make-up, carefully selected clothing - inside which they dwell, and from which they peer forth upon the world).

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  13. "Different sins against the Good."

    Agreed.

    But I think the second is more indicative of the anti-Christian than the first.

    The deliberate, in-your-face uglification that seems to be the point of most tattoos and piercings is on the same level as foul, abusive, sneering language and the malevolent thump-thump-thumping of so much so-called music.

    But your main point is correct. In the midst of that deliberate ugliness, Christians will be as easily recognizable as hobbits surrounded by orcs.

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  14. what I am talking about is the many women who construct around themselves the *shell* of a much younger women (the shell consisting of surgically- and exercise-sculpted flesh, cunningly dyed hair, elaborate make-up, carefully selected clothing - inside which they dwell, and from which they peer forth upon the world).

    But you see that there's a difference between that and *all* makeup/nice clothing, right? There's a different between painted-on makeup and the "natural" look that subtly enhances your appearance - and honestly, I think many men don't quite realize this, and therefore think "all makeup = caked-on painted face." You might be surprised how many fresh-faced, natural-looking women are using a little bit of mascara and powder...

    I think keeping up a decent appearance shows respect to the people around you. I would happily lounge around in a dressing gown or sweat pants all day while I'm working, but putting on mascara and a nice skirt or whatever shows respect for my husband and whoever else meets me that day. It's "deceptive" in that in truth, I'd rather be lazy and not bother, and because my lashes aren't really quite that color. But then again you could argue that things like wearing a bra over not-so-nice-anymore breasts, and closing the door when you go to the bathroom, are "deceptive." :)

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  15. Well, I am sorry, Dr. C; I would never intentionally misrepresent you but I really don't find it terribly clear what you are saying. Anyway, I'll drop it.

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  16. What about young women who try to be pretty in order to get a husband?

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  17. @Corky,

    it's an effort to recapture the genuine beauty of youth. Vain and bound to fail perhaps, but at least the goal is something that is True.

    Since she is not young, when she tries to look young, her goal is not something that is true. Truth is the farthest thing from the minds of "mutton dressed as lamb" - they are trying to avoid it at all costs.

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  18. @JP

    What I had in mind was something like an artist who tries to capture Beauty in a painting, but who fails because his skills have waned (or were never up to the task in the first place.)

    That's why I said her goal was True, with a capital T.

    I agree with C.'s comment above. Sometimes she's just trying to look nice, and I don't see anything wrong with that.

    Even if she is foolishly trying to create the illusion of youth, like Gloria Swanson in that old movie where she played an aging starlet, I don't find that something to condemn so much as I find it somewhat sad and maybe even a bit endearing. She's not fooling anyone except herself, and that's a very *human* foible. I'm willing to let her indulge her fantasy, and am not going to urge her to accept the harsh reality because of some overzealous devotion to the truth (nb: small t).

    The situation with the willful defacers and destroyers is utterly different.

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  19. @Corky, C and as - I think you are all being a bit obtuse!

    Dishonesty is an evil, we can all agree on that.

    I think we can also agree that some uses of modern technology on appearance are dishonest: I mean dishonest in their *motivation*.

    I think we would all therefore agree that this particular type of dihonesty is - like other types of dishonesty - an evil.

    This is not difficult or controversial, surely?

    Of course, there are degrees and ranks of dishonesty - just as stealing a paperclip is usually a lesser evil than stealing a car - but that is another set of questions.

    It doesn't make dishonesty a good thing (although it may, under specific circumstances, when larger issues are at stake, excuse it).

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  20. An off-topic question: You use "inclusive" solecisms like "...a person may mutilate thenselves..."

    These maneuvers, like "he/she", "s/he", the incessant use of "men and women" even when describing men-only groups (if they've done something good) and so on, are entirely derived from feminism. These usages go against the grain or flow of the language, are often ugly or grating in sound, and are unneccessary in nearly every instance they are employed. In the above, you could have written "...a person may mutilate himself..." with no loss of intented meaning. But you didn't.

    I'm not trying to be confrontational, though some degree of confrontation is called for. I simply am puzzled as to why a traditionalist and reactionary like you would surrender to a leftist attempt at linguistic control so far as to comform your own writing on your own website to its editorial strictures.

    Perhaps you're not aware you're doing it. That is even more disturbing, since it would be a sign of how far leftism and feminism have succeeded in establishing control of the discourse of their reactionary opponents! It's like they've infected your brain with this PC editor, a kind of feminist toxiplasma gondii, and you may not even know it's there.

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  21. An off-topic question: You used "inclusive" solecisms like "...a person may mutilate thenselves..." in the post.

    These maneuvers, like "he/she", "s/he", the incessant use of "men and women", and so on, are entirely derived from feminism. They go against the grain or flow of the language, are often ugly or grating in sound, and are unneccessary in nearly every instance they are employed. In the above, you could have written "...a person may mutilate himself..." with no loss of intented meaning. But you didn't.

    I'm not trying to be confrontational, though some degree of confrontation is needed. I simply am puzzled as to why a traditionalist and reactionary like you would surrender to a leftist attempt at linguistic control so far as to comport your own writing on your own website to its strictures.

    Perhaps you're not aware you're doing it. That is even more disturbing, since it would be a sign of how far leftism and feminism have succeeded in infecting the brains of their opponents with an internalized editor, a kind of PC toxiplasma gondii.

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  22. @PH - "Perhaps you're not aware you're doing it. That is even more disturbing, since it would be a sign of how far leftism and feminism have succeeded in establishing control of the discourse of their reactionary opponents!"

    That's it, of course. You didn't imagine, did you, that it is a quick and simple matter to shed several decades of Leftist conditioning?

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  23. I'm becoming afraid that it is impossible. I catch myself doing it all the time. It may be too late to salvage the English language. The whole disturbing aspect wasn't its prevalence on mainstream culture venues, but its presence in the most self-consciously deliberate intentional dissent from that culture--the reactionary orthosphere.

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  24. Regarding the English language - I am extremely sensitive to the ugliness of the change from "he" to "their" and from "mankind" to "humankind." Happily, I have noticed over the past two or three years that these "in-your-face" usages have lessened. However, since I retired I no longer must read a great deal of social science drivel.

    With respect to tattoos, in New York the situation is horrible with more young people sporting them than those whose skin is unmutilated. It is so sad to see, almost as bad as hearing young women using vulgar language.

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