Monday, December 19, 2022

A Libertarian State is a Self-Inflicted Wound


In the Cold War, the West's great advantage was that our adversaries had crippled themselves with an authoritarian state.

Since the Cold War, our adversaries' great advantage is that we have crippled ourselves with a libertarian state.

Saturday, January 08, 2022

Russian Exports of Anti-Democratic Extremism, Then and Now


The Russians promoted left-wing violent rejection of democracy in the 1970s to disrupt the West.

The Russians promote right-wing violent rejection of democracy today for the same reason.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Gender Complementarianism vs Male Headship


Male headship is not the natural counterpart of gender complementarianism, but its antithesis.


Complementary and equal entails dual headship. We need both parts of a complementary pair to have a functional whole.


The marital couple are meant to exercise headship, together, over the children.

Friday, June 04, 2021



The opposite of Garbage In; Garbage Out:

 Cabbage In; Coleslaw Out.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

There is No Necessary Connection Between Conservatism and Profit

The conservative parties in all the developed world have become the great protectors of profit-making against all forms of regulation and compassionate limitation.

Yet there is nothing inherently conservative about profit seeking.  Quite the contrary - the profit motive is what makes capitalism so destructive of all traditional structures and relations, however creative that destruction might be.

The closest connection I see between conservatism and profit-seeking is the dour realism of (Calvinist-inflected) Adam Smith.  Smith knew that profit seeking is based on the vice of avarice.  He believed there was a way, though, to harness this individual vice into being a source of public good.  However, to keep profit seeking within safe bounds, the market needs to be constantly controlled by the state and tempered by the virtues produced in civil society.

Unfettered profit-seeking is not conservative; it is the enemy of conserving the known and the good.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Contrary to Rush Limbaugh, the Academy Does Not Teach That America is Irredeemable

There are a handful of academics who say America is irredeemable. There are a handful of fanatics on the other side who say America is a savior nation (as Limbaugh does) -- a position I, as a church elder, regard as open heresy. 

The vast majority of academics are engaged in the search for truth about their topic, whatever that topic is and wherever the search for truth takes them. As teachers, we necessarily have to address the simplistic ideas that students bring with them. Some things they believe are outright myths. Teaching them that American history contains bad things as well as good ones is an essential aspect of good teaching and good truth-seeking. Some students (and quite a few non-students, like Limbaugh) resist having their idols questioned. This leads some academics to use very forceful language to insist that the bad things really did happen. I still get students who were taught that the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery. There are still students who are taught that racism ended in the '60s. 

I know as a sociologist that is it very hard for most people to grasp the idea of social structures. We tend to reduce all social phenomena to individuals intending their individual action. This makes teaching challenging. But pointing out that bad things did happen, are still happening, and have left a structural residue which continues to have effects beyond what any individual intends, is not the same as teaching that America is irredeemable. 

Limbaugh, who makes his money from sensationalized fear mongering, probably does know better (he has admitted as much in his several divorce proceedings), but it would interfere with his business model to admit it to his "dittoheads."

[This was written in response to a friend asking about a specific Rush Limbaugh show from October 13, 2020, but repeats a theme he has expressed often.]

Saturday, October 03, 2020

To Have a Scientific Mind


To become a scientist, to have a scientific turn of mind, is to become the kind of person whose mind can be changed by facts.

Perhaps the only kind.