Mayor Pete Buttigieg, in a fiery recent speech, said “The struggle is not over when transgender troops, ready to put their lives on the line for this country, have their careers threatened with ruin one tweet at a time by a commander in chief who himself pretended to be disabled to get out of serving when it was his turn.”
In the comments aimed at the LGBT community, he railed against U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, a prime target if there was one.
"...if you have a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator." – Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
“That’s the thing that I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand,” he thundered, “That if you have a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”
A tad perplexing given that Pence has never given any indication of having a problem with Mayor Pete.
In fact, in June 2015, then Indiana Governor Mike Pence was asked about Buttigieg’s sexual orientation. He responded: "I hold Mayor Buttigieg in the highest personal regard. We have a great working relationship, and I see him as a dedicated public servant and a patriot."
Likewise, in March of the same year, the then Governor tweeted that if he finds any restaurant discriminating against anyone on the basis of sexuality, he would personally be opposed to it.
It defies logic that the party of Harvey Weinstein would complain about Mike Pence bringing about The Handmaid’s Tale; a man who believes in 1950s style chivalry. But it is for that 1950s chivalry itself, Pence and his family has been repeatedly targeted by activists as well as the media.
These paradoxical attacks on Pence are the culmination of the forces we have observed in the past few years. In order to understand that, one needs to understand the liberal crusaders.
Modern liberalism, for lack of a better word, is a religion.
Modern liberalism, for lack of a better word, is a religion.
It may sound counterintuitive for an idea superficially claiming to be emancipatory being as rigid as a religion, however especially post-2016, liberalism turned into a religion scorned, beaten back, and is now taking a crusading turn.
Look to Stephen Pinker, one of the grinning saints of modern providential liberalism.
You can find a detailed review of his new book Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, here. Basically, Pinker doesn’t understand what “enlightenment” is.
He considers everything that happened since 1590 to be good. He doesn’t consider the Judeo-Christian values and cultural forces, the reactionary movements, Bernini, Bach, Beethoven, to be of any influence on the enlightenment, and never answers why the Renaissance happened only in Europe, not elsewhere. Pinker also cherry-picks data to suit his findings on declining violence. The reaction to my review was hysterical. Saints must not be critiqued.
[caption id="attachment_177287" align="alignnone" width="3669"] Lorie Shaull, Flickr,[/caption]
While the theory of liberalism as a philosophy arose as an emancipatory idea against faith, family, and flag conservatism in Europe, it slowly morphed into a quasi-religious force of its own, and mostly due to its own inherent contradictions.
Like Marxism, another philosophical theory determined to “free” people from the bonds of bourgeoisie family and morality and religion, ultimately turned religious, liberalism has followed the same path.
Every global Abrahamic religion had a peaceful rise, until it faced organized or mass opposition. Christianity rose peacefully till it came into conflict with the pagan religions in Greece and Rome, and then again, during the Crusades against Islam.
Islam had a whole period of invasion when it destroyed the pagan religions in Persia and the Levant, as well as coming into conflict with Christianity.
Liberalism, which was a theory of individual rights, now faces its own crusading moment.
...liberalism has a crusading zeal, a universalist aspect at odds with its own inherent individualism. And that is where all the problems lie.
During the 1960s liberalism came into conflict with the idea of faith, family, and flag conservatism across the West. The idea was to destroy the bonds of conservative morality, in favor of radical emancipatory individualism. But it took a crusading turn during the post 1990s Soviet collapse. Liberalism contained within itself a providential sense of history as an arc, that is destined to have a glorious end, much like all major Abrahamic religions awaiting God’s kingdom. Liberalism also has the concept of “original sin”, in this case, known as “privilege”, from which you can never be truly free, regardless of your financial or social position. And finally, liberalism has a crusading zeal, a universalist aspect at odds with its own inherent individualism. And that is where all the problems lie.
Superficially, individual rights should be all good. But individualism is contradictory, and some people’s right to religion clashes with some other people’s right to sexuality. Both might co-exist without coming into conflict, but liberalism's crusade sees it wishing to eradicate any rival religion and spread its liberal values, norms, rules and mores.
[caption id="attachment_177288" align="alignnone" width="3759"] Ted Eytan, Flickr CC[/caption]
Coexistence is impossible with such an expansionist, pervasive force. When you see a push for transgender troops or female infantry even at the risk of efficiency and cohesion in the armed forces, this is a refusal to co-exist.
When LGBT rights clash with a Christian baker’s faith, even when there are hundreds of other cake shops available, or when drag shows that openly exploit children come into conflict with parental rights, this is a refusal to co-exist.
The same idea leads to foreign interventions and wars with culturally alien countries.
Opposing history’s arc makes you a heretic against the one true faith, not to be won over with an idea, but to be vanquished.
That crusading zeal is universal and it won’t end anytime soon. History needs to have its liberal kingdom of heaven in the future, and any rival religious force that stands in the way needs to be eradicated. Opposing history’s arc makes you a heretic against the one true faith, not to be won over with an idea, but to be vanquished.
In that light, it is understandable why the reaction post-2016 was so severe.
A religion which is destined to be the future cannot be thwarted.
In Western societies, as organized Judeo-Christian values continue to recede (compared to non-Western societies, like Eastern Europe, India, or the Middle East, where strong cultural and religious values are ascendant), liberalism is supposed to fill the void.
[caption id="attachment_177289" align="alignnone" width="5472"] For the liberal crusaders, 2016 was the last straw // Marco Verch, Flickr, CC[/caption]
But in 2016 it was rejected by almost half of the electorate. And the crusade began.
Up until 1990, liberals were happy to accept defeat and understand that power changes and is cyclical. That has changed. No election, no result, nothing will be considered valid anymore, unless there’s absolute submission to liberal faith.
It didn’t take long for Mayor Pete to be pilloried for being insufficiently pure by his own side.
There is a reason crusading, fanatical religions mellow down with time. Any and all fanaticism contains within itself the seeds of self-destruction. Fanaticism alienates normal people, purifying fire and hypocrisy, and fanatical liberalism is no exception.
There’s a reason why Mike Pence is never charged with #MeToo offenses, but a lot of liberals have been. There’s a reason why there’s a growing backlash against unethical Trans lobby groups and experiments on children across the Atlantic.
Unless liberals learn to co-exist and follow the principle of live and let live, they will be the prime driver to the backlash against themselves.
Conservatives also need to realize that one cannot simply be a passive observer against fanaticism, hoping the time just passes. It won’t stop with a Christian baker, or even with Mike Pence.
The rights of one’s faith will continue to be eroded, as the march of liberalism continues.