Curtis Dahlgren
The alpha-victim/super-offended to the rest of us: "The debates are all over!"
By Curtis Dahlgren
January 9, 2015

"Even more disturbing than its holding is the tone of the court's opinion. It bristles with hostility to all things religious in public life." – Chief Justice William Rehnquist (regarding prayer by high school football players, 2003)

HOSTILITY IN THE NAME OF "TOLERANCE": the college campus used to be for "winnowing and sifting"; now, the 'sifting' of normal debate can get a student censored, censured, expelled, and ruined (speech codes, you know). In the lower grades, a public school might suspend a kid for a simple "Bless you" after a sneeze (we mustn't take a chance on offending an atheist – even if there aren't any)! A Christian fireman can be forced to participate in a "gay pride" parade, like it or lump it. The Christian is expected to turn all four cheeks and then what, look for another one? Non-violent and verbal push-back, yes it's preferred, but too often the push-back is totally missing. The default position becomes, the Left's world view is "Reason" while the Right's is "hatred" and psychological bullying – if it makes one person feel "uncomfortable"!

Call me an old fogey, but I can still remember when people would say, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

That was first published in 1907 by Evelyn Beatrice Hall, but is commonly attributed to Voltaire (like some questionable Lincoln quotes, it just sounds like something he would have said). The concept goes back to olde English writers such as John Stuart Mill (1806-1873):

"We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavouring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still."

THE MODERN "SPEECH CODE" HAS TURNED THAT 180 DEGREES, UPSIDE DOWN. These days, the rule is "You can't say that! That's hate-speech!" AND WHO SEZ SO? Who died and made them God?

General Patton said, "If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking." George Orwell said:

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they don't want to hear . . . He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill."

"IRON SHARPENS IRON" is the way the Judeo-Christian Bible puts it.

Paraphrasing Thomas Jefferson, "We can tolerate error of opinion as long as Reason is free to combat it."

"Combat" is a fighting word on modern college campuses, something not to be "tolerated." BTW, you do understand (don't you?) that tolerate means "to put up with, as in putting up with your brother-in-law." Or son-in-law. These days, Archie Bunker isn't telling Edith "stifle yourself"; Meathead is telling Archie and the rest of us to put a cork in it. Emerson said that "every man is eloquent once in his life," and in "Massey-Harris 101" I said:

"When did freedom of conscience become a thing of the PAST? Tolerance is the new code-word for 'stifle yourself'!"

James Madison wouldn't be very popular in Madison, Wisconsin these days. His original draft of the First Amendment said:

"The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience, be in any manner, nor on any pretext, infringed."

What more could be plainer? Nevertheless, Congress has passed many laws infringing rights of conscience – the right to one's own thoughts. "Taint funny, McGhee" when any of the branches of government force people to violate their own religion (think paying for abortion drugs and abortion itself on penalty of "Law"). A religious college can't even make a contract with employees to be "good moral examples" to their students (that's "hate speech" again).

The Constitution not only gives us freedom of speech and freedom of religion but also the freedom to speak about religion. Newspeak/Groupspeak in effect outlaws evangelicalism because "spreading the Word" is a fundamental part of evangelical religions.

"Freedom From Religion" essentially outlaws the use of God's name in public (and where did Government get THAT power from?). Blame it on what the liberals call "Reason" – which can be a much bigger bully than religion ever was. A Darwinist wrote to a church publication:

"Only when religious extremists such as you are wiped from the face of the earth will mankind be free of the hatred, stupidity [etc, and] . . Thoughtful, rational people can only hope your kind will die off quickly, while there's still time for reason & sanity to save this planet from idiots like you."

[On his planet with the five moons, "diversity" now means "conformity" – total conformity of thought.]


One particular religious leader picked a bad week to come out fighting "global warming." It's been 10 below zero almost every morning this week. And I'm having furnace problems. I don't believe in man-made global warming (which globe are they talking about anyway?), and even if it existed, we have bigger problems than THAT to worry about! Think Paris. Think the North-South world war that may be beginning.

The President of the U.S. says that there is NOT a "clash of civilizations," or cultures. He says we are not a Christian nation. He also said that some people think that the world's a MESS, but that's only because they're watching the news too much! His ilk in Big Education also say that America was never "exceptional" (the exception to the rule). Maybe you had to be there at the beginning of America to appreciate her. Thomas Paine said:

"We have it in our power to begin the world over again. A situation, similar to the present, hath not happened since the days of Noah until now . . . So deeply rooted were all the governments of the old world, and so effectually had tyranny established itself over the mind, that no beginning could be made in Asia, Africa, or Europe, to reform the political condition of man. Freedom had been hunted around the globe; reason was considered rebellion, and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think [and] . . no sooner did American governments display themselves to the world, than despotism felt a shock, and men began to contemplate redress . . The insulted German and the enslaved Spaniard, the Russ and the Pole are beginning to THINK . . " [my emphasis]

P.S. Twenty-first century liberalism is going to be the death of both Freedom and Reason, judging by current events. The debate among Traditionalists is between the optimists and the pessimists.

The optimists admit that Freedom may be on thin ice.

The pessimists don't even see the ice anymore.

© Curtis Dahlgren


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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