The Thinking 


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Brett Stevens on the Economic Value of Chastity

February 18, 2011


BRETT STEVENS, at the website Amerika, argues that the loss of chastity as a social ideal is part of a larger denigration of hierarchy. As such, it is connected to economic decline of the middle class. He writes:

Do we want each sexual act to have meaning, or should we remove context? Do we want a nation of equally impoverished middle classes, or a hierarchy? These questions are eternal because they are mathematical, not human, in origin.


Falling in Love with Me

January 26, 2011


PATRICK writes:

Attached is an article in which the author recounts her decision to terminate her marriage.

It is so familiar, so tired.  It is narcissistic and at points even solipsistic.  There is no thought given to duty or morality.   She infrequently refers to her husband’s feelings, and such references seem hollow.  I think her and her fellow travelers simply live in a separate moral universe than traditionalists – and I despair. Read More »


Beatrice and Sidney Webb, Part II

January 20, 2011



I have become a Socialist not because I believe it would ameliorate the conditions of the masses (though I think it would do so) but because I believe that only under communal ownership of the means of production can you arrive at the most perfect form of individual development – at the greatest stimulus to individual effort; in other words complete Socialism is only consistent with absolute individualism. As such, some day, I will stand on a barrel and preach it.

Beatrice Potter, the British heiress who ventured into London slums and dockyards, wrote these words in her diary in 1890. She was born to socialism on her first meeting with Sidney Webb, then civil servant and Fabian socialist. Or rather, as she put it in her diary, she realized then that she had been a socialist all along. There was an element of predestination in her understanding of the phenomenon: the elect were chosen from birth.

Beatrice’s two published diaries, My Apprenticeship and Our Partnership, provide insights into the psychology of a nineteenth-century Anglican collectivist. Reading her recollections, one can’t help but conclude that her illusions about the salutary effects of socialism had a lot to do with her illusions about herself. There is a running conflict with her own womanliness. She wants to commit herself to this bold project of reforming society. On the other hand, she realizes she is not cut out for it, and has painful memories of Joseph Chamberlain, “a sacrament of pain fitting me for a life of loneliness and work.” She seems embarrassed and disappointed in herself for having fallen in love.

Sidney Webb, as it turned out, would dispel this conflict. Before he could do this, she had to overcome her dislike of him. She wrote in her diary:

His tiny tadpole body, unhealthy skin, lack of manner, cockney pronunciation, poverty are all against him. This self-complacent egotism, this disproportionate view of his own position is at once repulsive and ludicrous.  Read More »


Famous Couples: Beatrice and Sidney Webb

January 18, 2011





Sidney Webb the socialist dined here to meet the Booths. A remarkable little man with a huge head on a very tiny body … somewhat unkempt, spectacles and a bourgeois black coat shiny with wear; somewhat between a London card and a German professor. His pronunciation is cockney, his H’s are shaky, his attitudes by no means elegant — with his thumbs fixed pugnaciously in a far from immaculate waistcoat, with is bulky head thrown back and his little body forward, he struts even when he stands, delivering himself with an extraordinary rapidity of thought and utterance and with an expression of inexhaustible self-complacency.

BEATRICE POTTER wrote these words in her diary the day of her first extended meeting with Sidney Webb in February, 1890 over dinner with others at the Devonshire House Hotel in London. The wealthy heiress, already considered a spinster at 32, was not entirely repulsed by this déclassé figure, the son of a Leicester hairdresser. She added to the above: “But I like the man. There is a directness of speech – an open-mindedness and imaginative warm-heartedness – which should carry him far.”

Two years later, after her repeated refusals and an almost constant exchange of letters, they married. 

This unlikely pair became an influential force in British politics and culture. Founders of the London School of Economics and the weekly journal The New Statesman, they were the foremost proponents of Fabianism, the idealistic strain of socialism which shaped the modern Nanny state. 

They were “two second-rate minds,” as Beatrice put it, a judgment that has been amply confirmed by posterity, especially in light of their later enthusiasm for Stalinism and their support for eugenics. Nevertheless, these architects of modern collectivism, with its bureaucratic governance by experts and gradual permeation of all institutions, were intelligent and enterprising. Their romance and marriage was a strange melding of Victorian refinement and quasi-religious political fervor. Read More »


The French Family Dissolves

May 26, 2010



There is a movement in the United States to bring about civil unions not just for homosexuals but for heterosexual couples too. It’s interesting to observe how this idea has been instituted in France and its effect on French society. France has not abolished marriage but it has done the next best thing, given couples the option of forming their own contractual relationships according to their own terms. France has created a legal relationship form called the “Civil Pact of Solidarity” in English, or PACS using the French acronym. Read More »


Illegitimacy, Class and an Anti-Child Culture

April 23, 2010


IN THIS PREVIOUS ENTRY, Jesse Powell and I discussed the differences in illegitimacy rates and family stability along class lines, looking at the widely held view that because the college-educated and affluent suffer relatively low rates of out-of-wedlock births, they are not seeing serious levels of family breakdown. We continue our discussion here. Read More »


Births to Unmarried Mothers Exceed 40 Percent; White Fertility Low

April 6, 2010



The federal government has released the preliminary birth data for 2008. For the first time the out-of-wedlock birth ratio is over 40 percent in the United States, at 40.6. For non-Hispanic whites the ratio is at 28.6 percent; for Hispanics (who may be of any race) it is 52.5 percent. For non-Hispanic blacks it is at 72.3 percent.

Of special note, the black out-of-wedlock birth ratio stayed about the same for 10 whole years, from 1995 until 2005 at about 70 percent (in 1995 it was 69.9 and in 2005 it was 69.3.) One would have hoped that this ratio had hit some kind of natural ceiling and that it couldn’t go any higher. Perhaps that was the end point of family breakdown and human resiliency meant it couldn’t continue to climb. Sadly, that is not the case. The black out-of-wedlock birth ratio has risen steadily and quickly for three years in a row. In 2005, the non-Hispanic black out-of-wedlock birth ratio was 69.9. In 2006, it was 70.7. In 2007, it was 71.6 and in 2008, 72.3 percent.  Read More »


A World of Mister Wrongs

February 20, 2010



WOMEN HAVE reacted with outrage at the proliferation of books and Internet sites recommending Game and pickup strategies for men. At the same time, many women pursue their own reductionist romancing.

Lori Gottlieb, the author of the new book Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough, has made a big hit with her advice. Here is a venomous critique of the book at The Spearhead website. By the way, Gottlieb is the perfect modern authority on love: She dated for 25 years and finally conceived a child through artificial insemination. In the words of the writer Obsidian:

Gottlieb’s book no doubt will be viewed as “dating advice;” perhaps even as “self-help”-and in any event, such books are marketed in droves to Women, for years. All kinds of truly dehumanizing language and allusions are made to Men, such as the very title of the book we’re discussing; we’re rated and objectified, ranked and given the heave-ho for the slightest imperfection, infraction or just the misfortune of being human -a necessary evil all in the name of the Precious Ladies’ search for “Mr. Right”…

The sheer arrogance, hubris and out and out megalomania, that this Woman exudes is something the likes of which I’ve never set my eyes on before-and believe you me, I done seen a lot of stuff…

Read More »


One Father’s ‘Remorseless Interrogations’

February 10, 2010



SOMETIMES it seems the world has been emptied of fatherliness. You know, father, the big guy who lives with your mother. You know, the guy who says no. Maybe the world took Jean-Paul Sartre too seriously when he said, “There are no good fathers … It is not the men who are at fault but the paternal bond which is rotten.”

Still here and there, fathers, typically men who haven’t gotten the message that the paternal bond is rotten through and through, show up for duty. Here’s one.

James H. writes:

As the father of four girls, I’ve faced many “dates” and do not feel as though I’ve done my job unless I’ve managed to instill some fear and trepidation. Read More »


The Unfaithful Wife, cont.

December 13, 2009


Fitzgerald writes:

I was glancing through some of your older posts and found this entry on unfaithful women. I wanted to offer a few comments on the remark by a woman reader who said women have been forced to put up with male infidelity for eons.This is, sadly, very naive. While it may be true that men are more apt to cheat than women, it is not true that it’s the rare woman who cheats. This is a form of the same lie that says women don’t have sex drives, good girls don’t, women want commitment and use sex to get love… blah, blah, blah. Balderdash.bigstockphoto_Abstract_Pattern_2492330[1]


Read More »


When a Husband Fails as a Man

December 13, 2009


A reader takes strong exception to my advice to a woman who feels her husband is not manly. Laurence Butler, in his comments in the previous post, writes to the woman:

If the leadership role has been temporarily vacated, you had better step in lest your children grow up to imitate a stoic but sorrowful mother doting on an unimpressive father. I think it’s totally appropriate for you to tell him you are dissatisfied with his behavior, with his composure, and with his unwillingness to supply the manly presence you fell in love with and pledged to spend the rest of your life with. If he ‘wishes’ for you to leave him alone and let him keep his femininity, I think you have an obligation to the both of you to not respect that wish. This isn’t to recommend incessant nagging or anything, but woman in her highest role, the heroines in the great plays remembered throughout history, did not sit idly by and watch their lord’s mind, body, and manor decay from the foundation while she put up nice curtains. Too frequently now are the women who allowed this, or worse those who encouraged the emasculation of men/the masculation of women, being reenacted by posterity.



Married to a Wimp

December 12, 2009


Dear Thinking Housewife,

Men are not taught how to be men nowadays. What can I do about the fact that my husband is such a girl?

Regards,                                                                                   bigstockphoto_Ashberry_356525[1]

Anonymous (in an unspecified location)


Dear Anonymous,

I’m sorry, Anonymous, this question makes me mad. Not mad at you, but mad at this. In many ways, the debate over marriage is over, isn’t it? Women are already married to women. And, men are already married to men.

Read More »


Marriage and Ideas

December 5, 2009


Marital compatibility is an inexact science. It goes without saying that like race and like culture are no guarantee of a good marriage. Leaving aside these larger cultural issues, there seem to be two general types of incompatibility: ideological and psychological. The first is far more serious than the second.

Two people can be entirely different personalities, one an extrovert and the other introverted, one energetic and the other passive, one fastidious and the other so messy he wears two different socks and throws his bath towels on the floor, and still it is possible to create lasting and harmonious matches. Many people even prefer to live with opposites.

But when two people share entirely different world views, this is a potential disaster. To have to spend one’s days with a person who sees the meaning of life in opposing terms is not impossible, but very hard. Since many people haven’t really formed a world view when they marry, a similar background and culture help to assure they move in the same direction.

But similar culture does not guarantee this kind of compatibility.

Before she married Charles Darwin, Emma Wedgewood, who was a Christian believer, was distressed by Charles’ skepticism. “My reason tells me that honest and conscientious doubts cannot be a sin, but I feel it would be a painful void between us,” she wrote to him in a letter.

She finally concluded in another letter that “though our opinions may not agree on all points of religion, we may sympathise a good deal in our feelings on the subject.” They were married for more than 40 years and had nine children. But the truth is her happiness depended on two things. First, her ignorance:  she did not understand the metaphysical nature of his work. Second, Darwin considered faith an acceptable flaw in a wife.


Read More »


Marriage and the Merging of Worlds

December 4, 2009


Sheila Coyne writes in regard to the recent discussion on intermarriage:

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this thread, and thought I’d add a comment. I was raised in a liberal, agnostic, culturally Jewish household and as a teenager spouted the usual liberal platitudes – what’s inside is what matters, love transcends all, etc. I remember arguing with an orthodox Jewish family I babysat for that felt Jews should only date other Jews. Since I wasn’t attracted in the least to Jewish guys, I argued against this – in college, too, when others suggested I join “Hillel” (college Jewish students’ group) I always responded that simply having parents of the same religion didn’t mean we had anything in common. When it came to religion, I practiced what I preached, and dated primarily Christian men (my dissatisfaction with Judaism and religious searching – I had already started on my long journey of faith toward Christianity – certainly had a lot to do with this).

Somehow, though, I balked at dating black men, despite being unable to pinpoint my unease or articulate my reasons – aside from lack of physical attraction. Even in England in the early 1980s, doing graduate work, I noticed kids of half British/half American parentage, and started to really consider how much nature and nurture had to do with culture. I began to assess what precisely made me American in my views, and whether or not it was important to me and my identity, and whether it was something I valued enough to pass on to my future children.

Now, at the ripe old age of 51 and the mother of two sons, I know where I stand on this issue and why. Regarding religious differences, of course, my stance is dictated by the Bible and my real-life experience. One should not be unequally yoked, period. If you and your spouse cannot agree on a worldview or religious beliefs, there will be discord and divisiveness throughout the relationship, and having children will only exacerbate this. How many cases of Jewish/Christian marriages have you seen or heard or read about – and the children are either raised with no faith whatsoever (the “let the kids decide for themselves” fallacy) or, very often, the Jewish parent suddenly realizes, after the birth of children, that he wants his children to be culturally Jewish – like most Jews, he doesn’t believe in God, but he damned well believes in being Jewish! There’s so much of this, and it’s echoed in cross-cultural relationships. All these women married to Greeks or Arabs, and once they have children (particularly daughters) the spouse’s culture/religion suddenly becomes vitally important and destroys the marriage (and often the foreign spouse absconds with the children). I’ve known of a Greek/French marriage destroyed by this issue, Greek-American girls years ago in public school who could not date anyone but other Greeks, nominal Christians married to Jews and after a few years with a Christmas tree, suddenly the children go off to Hebrew school. On the one hand, my patriotic American nature finds this balkanization deeply offensive – are these people American first, or not? On the other hand, I now have both an emotional and intellectual attachment to racial and religious and cultural separateness. My husband and I are of one accord on how we raise our children and the Christian and American beliefs we want instilled in them. A mixed marriage, of any sort, is merely the infamous camel’s nose into the tent, and leads not only to broken families and alienated and confused children, but also leads to racial and cultural suicide for white Americans.

There are exceptions to every rule, of course, and perhaps your correspondent married to the black soldier is one of them. Oviously, if both she and her spouse are committed Christians and patriotic Americans, they will be united on transmitting those values to their children. However, racial differences are far more dramatic than skin color and bone density and IQ (although those differences, despite constant popular hysteria, are real and documented). Just as you described loving gospel music but feeling out of place at the Black church, I know when any situation becomes too diverse for comfort. As I mentioned previously, my younger son is part of a majority-Black football team. His coaches are phenomenal, insisting on good sportsmanship, hard work, and respect toward teammates and coaches. I find no fault with them in their field of expertise, as it were. Culturally, however, I know our differences are deep and dramatic, and we do not socialize outside of the football season. I have no desire to walk on eggshells about realistic racial differences, crime statistics, politics, or anything else. Polite disagreement is one thing, but bone-deep worldview differences make any sort of genuine friendship an impossibility. And quite honestly, at this point in my life and with my country’s fate in the balance (I lean toward the too late already theory), I don’t even want to spend time with people I have “mere” political disagreements with. My religious and cultural values, and my love for my country, are just too important to me and my opinion is non-negotiable.

Back to miscegenation, however. Racial differences are real, as I’ve said, and even if raised as culturally “white” or as patriotic Americans, biracial children will be visibly different at all times. If, as usual, they are clearly of mixed race, many whites will not find them to be potential spouses. Blacks will wonder if they’re authentically black enough, particularly if they speak standard English. They will be forced to declare themselves one way or the other, and this is not racism or prejudice, it’s just reality. The races are DIFFERENT genetically, and culture/nurture can only ameliorate this, but cannot erase it. This is documented historically and geographically in a book by Thomas Sowell (I don’t remember the title – and he is a prime example of an exception to the rule both as to cultural practices/beliefs and intelligence factor). Also, as I’ve stressed to my teenage son, when you marry someone you also marry their family. Perhaps a survey of all the white men married to Asian women would reveal this, if they were to admit the truth. Again, culture is transmitted through family, and if family is dramatically different, so is culture. Do Grandma and Grandpa speak English, or Chinese at home? Do you have the ubiquitous red front door for good luck/fung shui? If Mom is raising the children (and despite feminism, most children are still primarily raised by the mother) she will transmit HER culture and her values. Has your correspondent considered this? Her children may seem merely “American” to her because she is a White, Christian American. I have lived and traveled overseas extensively, and speak from experience. My son (a teenage libertarian) cites friends who are Indian by race (dot not feather) who despise Indian food and music and behave, as he insists, as American as he. I tell him to wait ten years or so, and see who they marry, and how they choose to raise their children. Values that a rebellious teenager often rejects become far more important when it comes to what to transmit to the next generation.

I’ve also told him, flat out, that if he chooses to marry someone of another race, they will not be welcome in my home. Yes, I know it sounds terribly harsh, but I’ve come full circle, in a way, and I now understand what that orthodox Jewish family was saying. Their faith and way of life were of prime importance to them, essentially DEFINED them, and they wanted grandchildren who were not alien to their values and lifestyle. This is a natural human desire, to socialize with and marry someone like oneself. While my son has been raised as a Christian and a patriotic American, I decided this was too important not to articulate clearly and unambiguously. Physical attraction, however important it seems at 18, doesn’t have the same pull at 45 (or as the saying goes, beauty is fleeting, dumb is forever). While values may change, I believe someone like myself who has made a total and dramatic transformation is far more rare. For example, I am not a “Hebrew Christian” or “Jew for Jesus.” I find these labels laughable and contradictory. I am a Christian, period, and believe in the new covenant between Jesus and mankind, which has transcended the old. My family’s business and church and school associations are primarily with other white Christians, and this has also shaped my personal journey. This was brought home to me about ten years ago, when I took my older son, then a preschooler, to a children’s concert by Joannie Bartel held at a local synagogue. I was appalled (as was another Christian family I knew and bumped into there) by the rudeness, the noise, the disorganization, the parents pushing their children to go onstage when Bartels begged them to stop for reasons of space and safety. Nothing mattered but that they get their way and their place in the sun. I would argue this is very much a cultural Jewish trait (I was raised in this milieu, remember) and I reject it. I don’t practice it, I don’t preach it, and my children do not associate with it.

I’ve gone on far too long, already, but must add one other point. These differences matter not only in marriage, but in adoption as well. I know you are aware of the numerous studies of Asian children adopted by American families. If raised as Americans, they often find as adults that they are perceived purely as Asian, and other Asians reject them. If raised to be artificially proud of their “native” culture, they often reject their adoptive parents and fully identify wiith Korea, or China, or whatever. And when the mix is even more toxic, such as so many Jews marrying Asians and adopting Chinese chidren, the result is a total mess. God created our differences, and I believe he intended these differences to remain (Tower of Babel) despite our being “one people” in our faith in Jesus Christ. If religious belief alone were transcendant, surely the Chinese and Koreans and Taiwanese would not each need their own churches, such as I see all over my suburb. Culture matters. Race matters. Marry wisely.

                                                                                                                     —— Comments —–

Ron P. writes:

There’s been a lot in this discussion lately along the lines of this:

Miscegenation is an unnatural behaviour which destroys races and creates a deracinated population.

Well, great. But what of the growing number of us who are already “interracial” to start with? I’ve got more races than a track meet, as do a rather large fraction of the people I meet and interact with (across socioeconomic boundaries). In short: What do people like me do? If I were to answer this clarion call to “avoid miscegenation”, I’d be left with a choice from probably about twenty people in the entire country who share my exact proportion of ethnic backgrounds.

Although the phrase “It’s not the 1950’s anymore” is normally used to further insidious social engineering, this is one of the few instances in which it is absolutely appropriate.

Rather than “avoid miscegenation”, the better advice would be “look beyond the superficial, and avoid people with whom you’re fundamentally incompatible on that deeper level.”

Granted, that advice will probably overlap, significantly, with “avoid miscegenation” (since the differences between ethnic cultures are real). But that latter advice is, to single-race people, demeaning (since it assumes a fundamental inability to determine a partner’s core values, substituting race as a proxy) and, to mixed-race people, just plain impossible.

Laura Wood writes:

No one has suggested that race is the sole factor in choosing compatible mates. We exist in a world that tells us it is not important at all and this is the view Sheila and others have argued against. That’s not the same as saying, “Go out and choose anyone who is the same race. All else will be fine.”

Most mixed race individuals consciously choose to be part of white, black, Hispanic or Asian communities by the time they seek mates and have children, if not long before.  As Sheila noted, it is when a person goes to form his own family that he becomes more aware of a cultural and racial identity. Some do lead lives relatively stripped of tradition, especially in cities, but a rebellion against this is inevitable at some point in a family line because it is unnatural and it is very difficult to raise children in such an artificial world.  Life in America is largely lived along racial lines (that’s not the same as along ethnic lines.) A choice is inevitable.

Those who live in ostensibly multiracial neighborhoods usually participate in the open glorification of non-Western culture and the denigration of historic white culture. This milieu is itself a culture, one that is bent on the gradual erasure of the West. Here’s the most important point: Everyone who is in the least bit reflective must have some stance toward the historic traditions of the West and will tend to feel some racial allegiance. A mixed race person inevitably chooses. He can be part of the historic culture of the West by supporting and promoting its health, by emphasizing his own personal share in it and by cultivating loyalty to it. The fact that large numbers of these individuals exist does not make the desire for, or the inevitability of, some degree of racial and cultural connection disappear.

Sheila made an important point when she noted that if Christianity could replace this sense of connection there would be no Asian churches or black African churches. All would be one.

Karen Wilson writes:

This subject, along with transracial adoption, is proving to be a hot topic with lots of interesting and stimulating comments. Sheila’s comments and insights are excellent.

Sheila writes: “A mixed marriage, of any sort, is merely the infamous camel’s nose into the tent, and leads not only to broken families and alienated and confused children, but also leads to racial and cultural suicide for white Americans.”

 Well put! This sums it up entirely. [Laura Wood writes: Sheila also wrote in reference to Laura H. that there are exceptions to this statement.]

“… when you marry someone you also marry their family.”

 Another vital truth! This is well known to Jews and Asians but many of the white gentile population either disregard it or, more commonly, don’t understand it and it is vital to the preservation of white culture that this is understood.

“Perhaps a survey of all the white men married to Asian women would reveal this, if they were to admit the truth. Again, culture is transmitted through family, and if family is dramatically different, so is culture. Do Grandma and Grandpa speak English, or Chinese at home? Do you have the ubiquitous red front door for good luck/fung shui? If Mom is raising the children (and despite feminism, most children are still primarily raised by the mother) she will transmit HER culture and her values.”

 As above, this must be stressed to more people.

“God created our differences, and I believe he intended these differences to remain (Tower of Babel) despite our being “one people” in our faith in Jesus Christ. If religious belief alone were transcendant, surely the Chinese and Koreans and Taiwanese would not each need their own churches, such as I see all over my suburb. Culture matters. Race matters. Marry wisely.”

Religion is practiced by imperfect humans who add their own cultural adaptations and so Chinese Christianity will never be exactly the same as African or American or Indian Christianity. Each culture emphasizes different elements of the worship and creates its own variation of Christianity. Religion is not the same as race and does not transcend race. Van Wijk’s comment sums it up! Christianity is being perverted by ideologues.

Laura H. writes:

On the topics of race and culture; do the posters here consider black Americans to be part of Western culture? Is it being postulated that fact of being black eliminates any real Western feeling? If yes, what non-Western association is the black American believed to hold more strongly than the one in which he was raised?

Laura Wood writes:

Of course blacks are part of Western culture, specifically American culture. Western culture was shaped by whites, but blacks have made their own contribution and American culture in particular would have been different without this contribution. Many blacks, however, believe that Western culture is essentially guilty and irrevocably tarnished by the treatment of blacks by whites. They do not possess pride in the West  or white culture, indeed they often appear to possess an active hostility toward these, and trumpet the moral superiority of Africa and of their African roots. There are definite exceptions to this. There are blacks who do not feel this way. But blacks generally do not rejoice over the achievements of whites in the same way whites rejoice over the achievements of blacks. Their support for Obama, who campaigned on the idea that blacks continue to be deliberately held down, is one bit of evidence for this. Obama still holds the support of 90 percent of the black population of America.

There was an article in the New York Times last week that stated that black college graduates are being discriminated against in their job searches. There was not a shred of evidence in the article for this other than the feeling by the black applicants that their difficulties were due to race. Articles like this are a dime-a-dozen, the point being that whites are actively holding blacks back out of sheer racial hostility. Meanwhile, every day of the week, whites are the victims of black robberies, rapes, and violent assaults. There are no articles saying that whites are being discriminated against by blacks or collectively mistreated. Why is this? Because blacks are viewed as morally superior to whites and excused from culpability as a group because of slavery. If blacks are intrinsically morally superior to whites, then all of  Western culture is evil and a sham because it can never be denied that it was formed by whites. So in answer to Laura H.’s question, I ask this: How can blacks now be part of Western culture when they are at the same time actively hostile to that culture?

 Laura H. writes:

Thank you for your reply to my question. It does clarify my understanding of what is being said here. I agree, people who are openly hostile to a culture cannot expect to be accepted into that culture or have their contributions to it embraced by those around them.

James M. writes:

Can this whole issue be simplified by saying, “Follow the Fourth Commandment”?

Miscegenation in many cases creates descendant lines in which the heritage and memory of half the original couple is actively forgotten. When you engage in a relationship that will one day result in grandchildren who actively try to forget about you and your mother and father, well, aren’t you violating the Fourth Commandment’s edict to honor one’s parents? How much time do you think the Obama children spend looking at or even thinking about the white fourth of their family tree? Furthermore, miscegenation not only frequently dishonors parents and ancestors, but it can put children in a difficult position in which they find it nearly impossible to properly follow the Fourth Commandment even if they really want to. As Van Wijk says, many of their decisions have already been made for them.

Laura Wood writes:

The Fourth Commandment? No society has, on so many levels, more enthusiastically engaged in the conscious and continual dishonoring of its ancestors than our own.

I think Laura H. would say that this does not have to be the case with regard to a mixed marriage, however much that might be the reality in most cases.

Laura Wood writes to Sheila:

You said that you told your son that you would not welcome a spouse of a different race. I’m curious, have you said you would also not welcome a non-Christian?

Sheila responds:

Yes, I have also told my son that a non-Christian will not be welcome. I’ve tried to avoid the pitfall of absolutely forbidding him to see any particular person (particularly since I can’t enforce this outside of the home and don’t want to make the forbidden more appealing), but I’ve told him very specifically when I’m uncomfortable with someone he’s seeing, and why, and mentioned particular issues he may not have considered. My husband has backed me up in this quite solidly, and has been able to add his personal experience of a failed, foolish, brief youthful marriage (no children, thank heavens) and the mistakes he made that could have destroyed his future. I don’t think I’ll fully exhale in this regard for another 5-10 years (my son is not quite 18, genius IQ but somewhat ADD and headstrong and impulsive and all that goes with being a male and a teenager). He has had the example, however, of a stable, intact nuclear family (albeit normal marital disagreements that tend to arise) and a solid Christian education. I would like to think we’ve done the best we could, as imperfect humans and imperfect Christians, and my son’s future is in his own hands via his gift of free will from God. What he makes of what his Creator endowed him with, and what his parents added to it, is up to him.

Nurse Bee writes:

I come from a different angle being the grandchild of an interracial marriage (of white and a Middle Eastern group), married to biracial man (Latino and white) and we have one child so far. We are both graduates of public schools and both Christians. Perhaps it is being a generation or two removed, perhaps it is living in a culturally diverse area, or the fact that our multiculturism is not necessarily visible to the naked eye, but neither of us has experienced any real difficulties related to being interracial or in an interracial marriage, although I know some people do. We have not suffered from any sort of identity crisis related to our ethnic backgrounds, The fact that we have particular cultures to draw traditions from makes life more interesting and colorful (and the food perhaps more tasty!). And in truth I would be thrilled if my children someday turned around and married people from even different backgrounds (although I hope and pray my child(ren) grow up to be Christians and marry Christians in return). Just a perspective from experience.

Van Wijk writes:

Laura H. wrote: “On the topics of race and culture; do the posters here consider black Americans to be part of Western culture? Is it being postulated that fact of being black eliminates any real Western feeling? If yes, what non-Western association is the black American believed to hold more strongly than the one in which he was raised?”

Blacks do have their own place within the sweep of Western history. Like the military, they also have their own culture, which is within Western culture but is, in many ways, antithetical to it. It is no great secret that many blacks, probably the majority, are virulently anti-white. This is a racial attitude that is seen across all classes and religions, from Henry Gates to Maurice Clemmons. Since the American nation was created by Europeans, and since an integral part of black American culture is the active hatred of whites and their good works (all of which are seen as having been accomplished on the backs of African slaves), it can be postulated that black American culture is anti-Western.

Of the contributions that blacks currently make to the American nation, the ones that stand out the most are in sports and violent crime. Blacks account for around 15% of the total population of the United States, and 52% of violent felons. According to Department of Justice statistics, in 2005 black men targeted white women for rape or sexual assault 37,000 times, while white men targeted black women 0-10 times. This is why when blacks start moving into a neighborhood, whites start moving out. They don’t want their wives and daughters raped or their sons butchered (and, in some cases, also raped). Despite the deluge of utopian propaganda, whites do not want to live around blacks. And this is the way it will always be.

Separation of the races (not segregation, but separation) is an idea that is gaining traction among more and more people.


A Wedding in Prison

September 16, 2009


As marriage becomes more meaningless, weddings become more extravagant and bizarre. The wedding day is now a chance to display originality and defy tradition with ironic gestures and theatricality.

I thought I had heard it all until I read this about a couple who got married in a former prison. Eastern State Penitentiary was built in the early 19th century and is famous for its creepy architecture and its system of placing inmates in solitary confinement. It housed as many as 1,700 convicts at a time and was closed in 1971. It is now open for tours and an annual Halloween haunted house. The couple thought it would be neat to get married in the central rotunda overlooking crumbling cell blocks such as the one below.  “Kevin entered the rotunda to the theme from Shaft. Lori walked in to “Time” by Pink Floyd.”

They’re both 43. He’s divorced and has four children. They intend to live hundreds of miles apart until his youngest child graduates from high school. Judging from the description of the wedding, which involved decorating the prison with strips of celluloid film, this was a typical extravaganza in the range of $20,000 to $30,000. I think Anthony Esolen would call this a case of “pseudogamy.”   It would be wrong to think there was anything symbolic about this couple’s choice of a prison (even though the groom was a state trooper.) The point was originality and I think they succeeded. The problem with marriage is that inherited form, not novelty, is what keeps it going. 

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Soccer Moms and Same-Sex Marriage

August 20, 2009


This winter, the legal battle against California’s ban on same-sex marriage heads to federal court and may ultimately end up before the U.S. Supreme Court. The court may declare government-supported traditional marriage unconstitutional, setting the stage for civil upheaval and an inevitable battle over a federal amendment. The most radical of social experiments is closing in upon us. What do America’s soccer moms think? After all, they live in a world sustained by marriage.

The sad fact is, many support it. In fact, many grow teary when talking about it, especially at the mention of the homosexuals they know. Though their homosexual friends may live with little social disapproval, deed property to one another, and even raise children, they cannot have a wedding. Weddings are beautiful and everyone deserves one. Human identity is meaningless without marriage to whomever one pleases.  

The truth is if soccer moms could peer into the future, they would be very unhappy with the results of homosexual marriage. If they could see the boys raised by pederasts; the children conceived by anonymous sperm donors who care nothing about their existence; the lesbians who look wistfully on a life spent only with women; the increased suicide rate and health problems that are associated with widespread homosexuality even in societies that endorse it; and the greater disinclination by men to enter into an institution that joins together two guys, their feelings would be affronted. They would see that feeling and compassion are on the side of traditional marriage.

So soccer moms are not really guided by emotion after all. They are guided by ideas. The ideas are not of their own making. They are in the very air around them and the soccer mom lacks the time and inclination to see them for what they are. She is a traditionalist at heart. She is a traditionalist and yet does not want to seem too backward. Perhaps she can hide her devotion to stability and normalcy. Perhaps she can hide her devotion to these by supporting innovation in the lives of others. If she can sit in a television studio and calmly watch as a prostitute gives a tour of her work place, is there any level of social experimentation that the soccer mom won’t tolerate? Is there any limit to her radical compassion?

Soccer Mom, Know thyself.  This world you approve of does not approve of you.

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Men in Aprons

July 17, 2009


The egalitarian dream of companionate marriage in which men and women co-parent, co-dust, co-cook, and co-resent each other is explored in an article in Atlantic, a magazine that has matched our cultural decline with its own remorselessly juvenile articles on family decay. The author, Sandra Tsing Loh, bares her divorce for all the world to see. She and her middle-aged teeny-bopper girlfriends say their husbands do the cooking, but decline to have sex. When girls become guys and guys become girls, who feels like love? Animals in the zoo have the lowest reproduction rates on earth. They’re just not in the mood.

The article doesn’t simply stop at a voyeuristic view of one couple’s willful destruction of their childrens’ lives. It goes one step further and in the hallowed tradition of modern intellectuals pronounces the very institution of marriage defunct. This sort of aggression is what differentiates the Atlantic from harmless trash. Loh says:

  In any case, here’s my final piece of advice: avoid marriage—or you too may suffer the emotional pain, the humiliation, and the logistical difficulty, not to mention the expense, of breaking up a long-term union at midlife for something as demonstrably fleeting as love.

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Vanity Vows

July 13, 2009


Here is the story of one recent wedding ceremony. The details are not typical, but the effort at originality is. The couple not only penned their vows, but their English bulldog walked up the aisle in a collar that matched the best man’s vest. Each of their 125 guests went to the microphone and spoke. Weddings are now widely viewed as theater, occasions to display a couple’s production skills. 

Couples today don’t just worry about the dress, the tux, and the party. They often feel the need to write their own wedding vows too.  Unfortunately, a bride and groom usually succumb to vanity, romance and amateurism when they throw out traditional vows. Most prefer to do away with the whole “for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health” business. Who really wants to think about poverty and illness at one’s own wedding? It’s only the stern wisdom of convention that added this gloomy stuff to the festive day.

The truth is couples struggle to make weddings a good show. In an age of sexual license, weddings just aren’t exciting. They make for great parties, but the thrill is gone. Often, the marrying couple has been living together for years. Their daughter may be the flower girl or the bride may be pregnant. There’s an after-the-fact tone to the whole thing that no amount of novel staging can take away. As Anthony Esolen put it, “where there is not much to celebrate, we can only distract ourselves from the lack by throwing big parties, getting drunk, spending a lot of money, or, what is more likely, causing a lot of people to spend a lot of money whether they like it or not, and then pretending excitement as the bride in white is whisked off by the groom to spend the night in their apartment before heading off for the fifth time to their favorite honeymoon hideaway.”

When a man and woman who have never slept together stand before family and friends, pledging to spend their lives together, there’s sexual tension and excitement in the air. A wedding – and especially the wedding night – is the beginning of a new life. The crowd feels the adventure and risk. Weddings have long been occasions for spectacle and feasting, but people strain to make them a thrill when the couple will be embarking on nothing new. 

Kristor writes:

I have been repelled over the years at the vows I have heard at otherwise wonderful weddings. It is always a mistake to try to improve the old vows. Almost no one writes as well any more as even the worst writers of 300 years ago. The trouble started with that pesky stuff about honoring and obeying. No modern American wants to promise to obey anybody.

Then there’s the kitchen sink aspect. Couples don’t want the Apaches in the congregation to feel left out, so they throw in some Apache saying or custom. Ditto for the Chinese, the Jews, the atheists, on and on. Then, of course, they don’t want to offend any listeners by a too-froward denominationalism, so they remove most references to God and Jesus, cut any formulae that have been handed down over the centuries. Also, they want it over quick, so no one grows impatient, so they cut the “non-essentials.” The celebrant, if he be a clergyman, is thereby denatured, and with him the celebration.

None of these weddings thus patched together higgledy piggledy ever work. They destroy the philosophical, religious and moral integrity of the ritual, and gut it of all meaning, aside from the sentimental bathos of two people’s love for each other. All that is left is the love. Which is good, and important; but inadequate.

For love is not enough to build a marriage, just as freedom is not enough to build a society. You need structure; you need limits; you need duty-bound commitments to that structure and those limits. In short, you need that humble obedience from which you fled in the first instance when you decided to write your own vows. 

When my wife and I were wed, we selected the oldest liturgy we could, changed nothing, memorized our vows. We were married in church, with a choir. The only thing we chose was the music, and every bit of it aside from the opening pavane was liturgical. The effect was that, rather than everything about the ritual being pointed at us, instead it was pointed at God. This included our two lives and our life together as a couple, and then derivatively the lives of all our friends and family who were taken up as participants in our union: the effect of the old integral ritual was to orient everyone in attendance toward the Eternal. Everyone without exception told us it was the most powerful wedding they had ever witnessed. It was Holy Matrimony; so holy that the hairs pricked up at the back of my neck and I felt the room sway and open outward to forever, as is only proper on such occasions. The air was thick with it; so thick, that when we said our vows, we whispered. Everyone heard.

Laura writes:

These vanity vows are so revealing of the general crisis in marriage. The wedding day is the moment one bows to form and steps into the superstructure of love,  the house that holds past and future generations. These vows are a type of rebellion, a way of saying, “No, we will not participate in the institution. We are just two people innocently in love.”

Kristor is right, rejection of the word “obey” started the downward slide. After that one significant and necessary word was tossed out, the gates were opened for all kinds of improvisation, for Shakespearean sonnets and Buddhist prayers, for homemade poetry and confessional monologues. The rebellion is covered up with lots of pretty gestures and expensive accessories. These vows do not negate the meaning or beauty of all that is taking place. But, there’s an undisguisable emptiness.

Kristor says, “This included our two lives and our life together as a couple, and then derivatively the lives of all our friends and family who were taken up as participants in our union …”

In Ancient Greece, there was a beautiful wedding custom. After the ceremony and feast, the couple and all their guests formed a procession and walked to the couple’s home. The mother of the bride carried a torch that was lit at the family hearth. The torch was used to light the hearth in the newlyweds’ home. There it was to be kept burning continually, a symbol of the presence of invisible others – both living and dead – in the couple’s life. This was the sacred fire of nuptial love. No couple survives as a married union purely on their own or for themselves alone. Every marriage – and every divorce – is a communal event.


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