Friday, January 18, 2019

Wokescold Gillette and the Misplaced Antithesis - BY DOUGLAS WILSON

Gillette has decided to join the ranks of all the wokescold corporations, and they did this by rolling out an ad campaign admonishing men to do better. Be better. C’mon, guys. And a few days before that, the American Psychological Association determined that traditional masculinity, on the whole, was a net minus, and that what the Hive needs is a lot more beta males. Bring up your boys correctly, in the ways of Gillette, and the age might eventually dawn when no boy needs to ever start using Gillette.
Until this Gillette ad came along, it was hard to envisage a line of guys barbecuing as incipient fascism. But now that the creepy point has been made we will not be allowed to forget it. We can’t be too careful apparently.
In the meantime, our erstwhile Christian presence in this country is for the most part tagging along behind this cavalcade of stupidity, trying to retain enough of a Christian vocabulary to deceive any remaining simpletons who have not yet joined the parade. This is all part of the same clown car review, all of it. So as the PCA “investigates” Revoice, keep an eye on what is actually going down. The evangelical establishment has its own version of the deep state, and they do know how to cover for their own.
That we live in oddball times really needs no explanation. Yes, we know. But why we live in such oddball times does need to be explained over and over again.
When our first parents sinned in the Garden, one of the central consequences—which was part of God’s redemptive promise and plan—was that He placed a permanent antithesis between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15
This is why the history of the world is filled with conflict. This is the central conflict. It is the driver of everything that happens. It is the reason for the long war. This is why Jesus had to die, and it is why the death of Jesus crushed the serpent’s head while bruising His heel.
But what if you don’t believe this gospel? What if you don’t believe in its first promise in Gen. 3:15 in its great fruition—the death and resurrection of Jesus—or in its final culmination when God crushes Satan beneath the Church’s feet (Rom.16:20 What if you don’t believe what God said about this antithesis?
You still have to give an account of all the conflict. You still have to explain what is going on out there in the world. And the response of unbelievers boils down to two logical possibilities. The unbeliever can either deny the antithesis or he can misplace the antithesis.
Denial of the antithesis says that mankind is basically good. All we need is a basic education for all, not to mention decent health care and affordable housing, and this will remove certain environmental obstacles to the global group hug and make the general consensus obvious. Not only so, but when we make the harmonious center come into its own, we can then turn our abundant resources to a compassionate treatment of the mental health issues that may be afflicting any remaining dissenters.
Misplacing the antithesis accepts the fact that human history is defined by and driven by a fundamental divide, separating the saints from the non-elect, but then assigns those categories to arbitrary groupings that are not biblically grounded at all—it starts with obvious divisions like our nation/their nations, or our ethnic groups/their ethnic groups, or our economic working class/rich pigs, etc. Communists, race baiters, fascists, etc. are all guilty of misplacing the antithesis.
Given the fact of sin, malice and enmity between such groups should not be a big surprise. It is wrong and sinful, but not surprising. What has been surprising to some is the downward spiral into identity politics that is proving itself to be extremely fissiparous. We now have people hoisting weird flags in an effort to rally people to a new particular cause, and when we get close we find that the rallying point is for “gender queer deaf alcoholics with a penchant for cis-boys.” Sing out, be proud. Genders multiply, identities grow like mushrooms, and at the ultimate end of that process the misplaced antithesis is between the atomistic ego and every form of objective reality. The biblical name for this is the outer darkness.
So it is possible to deny the antithesis, but only for a brief time and only under certain select conditions. In a culture that is largely homogeneous, such as America was shortly after World War II, when the liberal consensus reigned supreme, it was possible to say that “everyone agrees” on certain “core principles.” “We are all saying the same thing really.” There were marginal voices, far away from the microphones, who would say hurtful things like “no, we aren’t saying the same thing at all,” but when a particular culture’s center is still cohesive enough to hold, such voices can be dismissed and ignored. Everybody who matters can still act as though everybody agreed on all the essentials. We don’t need to account for the crackpots.
So denial of the antithesis is the stance of the liberal at peace. But such periods of peace, when there is a large, hegemonic consensus, are rare. What happens when the consensus starts to break down? What happens when some of those marginal voices gain access to microphones, and their contradiction of the grand harmony can be heard? This leads to the liberal at war, which is where the progressives spiral down into identity politics. Identity politics is an example of the misplaced antithesis.
The Gillette ad indicates that we are very close to the “four legs good, two legs bad” stage of all this. We are not fully there yet because alpha males are still being offered the “gospel” of becoming beta males. Repentance is still possible. But the day is coming when the claim will be made that traditional masculinity and toxic masculinity all lie too close to the bone. Nothing whatever can be done about it. Two legs bad.
Now in saying that this ad is part of a calculated campaign to blur everything that matters, I do not mean to say that I am in favor of bullying, or groping, or leering, or that I stand against Gillette’s desire to get men to stop being pigs. The difference has to do with the causes of the misbehavior. As the APA puts it, the causes lie in our desire to teach boys to be strong, to control their emotions. That’s the culprit.
The true antithesis runs down the middle of the entire human race, and there are men, women, boys and girls on one side of the line and men, women, boys and girls on the other side of it. The antithesis divides the human race, and there are blacks and whites on one side of the line and there are blacks and whites on the other side. There are righteous men, in other words, and unrighteous women. There are righteous whites, in other words, and unrighteous blacks. I state it this way because I am trying to affront and insult the current narrative, in which approved women are justified, no matter what, and approved blacks are justified, no matter what. These approved women are considered “true women.” These approved blacks are “true blacks.” Not like Clarence Thomas at all.
Like I said, I am leaning against a particular narrative. If someone were to come up to me and pluck and my elbow, and say something like, “Why didn’t you say there are unrighteous men and righteous women?” I would reply with something like of course that is true. But why did you feel the pressure to get that on the record? Who are you trying to propitiate?
This all ties in with the crucial subject of social justification, which I have written about before.
In that piece, I wrote this.
·         Biblical narrative > biblical justification > biblical justice
·         Social narrative > social justification > social justice
If you want that background, go ahead and read that post. But what I need to do here is expand it slightly.
·         Biblical narrative which includes protagonists and antagonists, defined by the biblical antithesis > biblical justification of the elect, as defined by that narrative > biblical justice
·         Social narrative which includes protagonists and antagonists, defined by an unbiblical “antithesis” > social justification of the “elect,” as defined by that narrative > social justice
And as I have said before, and will no doubt say many more times, it is not possible—oh ye leaders of our great Christian fogbank of confusion!—to graft biblical justice onto a social narrative constructed by infidels. You are only going to get what we are in the process of getting now. And you are going to get a lot of it.
In short, you are going to get PCA churches in St. Louis maintaining what no one has denied—which is that LGBT+ people are created in the image of God—and there will be no way on earth that you could get them to say the same thing and in the same way about Klansmen and editors of neo-Confederate newsletters. Their interest is therefore not the gospel. Their agenda points in another direction entirely.
When you graft the words of “biblical justice” onto an unbelieving social narrative, the nature of the root will still determine the taste of the fruit. And it is this compromise, this fatal compromise, this wicked and stupid compromise, that has our evangelical seminaries, publishing houses, magazines, and denominations, all making their accommodating peace with feminism, trannyism, socialism, critical theory, racialism, and more.
The compromises were all made some time ago, and so anyone who expects the pace of our evangelical capitulations to slow down any is someone who doesn’t get out very much.