Tag Archives: Liberalism

Privilege and Character

Someone on CNN accused a conservative of white privilege yesterday. She was soon stunned into silence as he revealed that he was black.

The concept of privilege offers a glimpse into the minds of progressives. In it, we can see that envy is a guiding principle in Leftist philosophy. That’s because privilege is simply a way of casting good character in a negative light.

There’s a grain of truth in the leftist lie, as there is in many lies. The truth is that some people are more likely to succeed than others because of their pasts. A middle-aged man who has worked hard for two decades is privileged over a man who has never held a job and his lived on government welfare since he dropped out of high school. A child who has a married mother and father is more likely to succeed in school, marriage, and a career than the child of a single mother.

Historically, those who had strong character were admired. It was a good thing to make good, tough decisions that required sacrifice. It was good to work hard to privilege one’s children instead of squandering their inheritance. It was good to emulate men of honor and character.

Progressives have a different commitment, though. When someone is successful, progressives look on them with envy and suspicion. A man who succeeds must have done something wrong and crooked to get where he is. He must have stolen from someone or cheated someone or hurt someone.

The Left has classified the world in postmodern oppressor/oppressed categories, such that the more “oppressor” categories a person finds themselves in, the more suspicious we should be about any of their success. Where historically the important question was “how can we succeed?”, the Leftist asks “how can we tear someone down because of their skin color, sex, and beliefs?” The Left doesn’t build on the work of the past, but makes sure to destroy everything to preserve a flat wasteland of mediocrity and failure.

This is more insidious than presuming a man must have had his success by virtue of being white when he is actually black. The Leftist model actually encourages people they deem “oppressed” into behaviors which keep them poor, dependent, broken, and flailing. Instead of urging people in these groups to strive for the kind of character which leads to success, the Left encourages envy and hate. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy where the Left encourages the very behaviors that lead to the very situations they claim to champion against.

It also reveals some inherent racism on the Left. When a white man succeeds, its his “privilege” that does it. He comes naturally equipped for success. When a white man fails, it’s in spite of his “privilege”. The opposite is true of black men. They succeed in spite of their disadvantage of being black. And failure isn’t a big deal; it’s expected. After all, they are black. This explains why progressives are far, far more likely to talk down to minorities, even to the point of treating them like children.

I see this attitude even among lefty “conservative” women on subtly different topics. For example, I’ve made the strongly evidenced claim that women should marry before having children and stay married if they want the best possible outcome for their children. “Conservative” women were very quick to tell me how mean-spirited and cruel my suggestion was. Even though this is extremely good advice for young women, we can’t have it spoken aloud, lest the women who have already made mistakes feel bad. I have another post in mind for the topic of sympathy-as-hatred, but this example also fits here.

Calls to good character are condemned – by the Left as privilege and by some “conservatives” because it might make people feel bad. The real victims, though, are the people who could live much better lives by being encouraged to make good decisions who are instead told that the consequences of their actions are someone else’s fault.

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Character Requires Moral Absolutes

MTV, a former music video channel, recently posted a video of “White Guy Resolutions 2017”. Condescension, racism, sexism, virtue signalling, and the rest of the garbage it contained aside, there was a single line which struck me as being written with so little self-awareness that I can’t help but think the writers and actors spoke the words without having them enter their minds.

“Be better!” is spoken several times throughout the video. This is ironic, because the people speaking it are presumably moral relativists. That seems to be the rigidly enforced moral framework of the “progressive” left. But how can one “be better” in a morally relativistic system?

The cultivation of character is a lifelong process. A man or woman must spend time fighting urges to do evil and lazily avoiding what is good. But if morality is relative and we should just “be ourselves”, as the progressive left is fond of telling those who have objectively disordered attractions to the same sex (for instance), then there can be no cultivation of character. Everyone has already arrived at moral perfection; everyone is already good just the way that they are.

Moral relativity is unlivable, so it makes sense that MTV’s paid actors would say “be better!” in reference to those things they think are actual moral evils. What’s fascinating is that these same people never question their lists of vices or apply their own criticisms inward. But maybe that’s asking too much. Who would MTV hire if not hypocrites?

Jesus and His Conditional Friendship

I had the unfortunate experience of coming across a blog post that articulated, in the most liberal terms conceivable, the concept of Jesus as a friend of sinners. I suppose the most unfortunate part of the experience was catching a whiff of the poison dripping from the words directed at Christians who find the concept of “hanging out with sinners” as they indulge in sin a little too ungodly for God.

God loves all of us individually. There’s little doubt about that from Scripture. But that doesn’t mean that God stands idly by as people do evil, deflecting truthful accusations of those evil acts as judgmental. On the contrary.

The primary aim of the blog post was to demonstrate that Jesus really is, in the most intuitive sense of the phrase, a friend of sinners. To this end, the only verse in Scripture that deals with Jesus describing who gets to be friends with Him was summarily excluded. Had it been examined, it would have destroyed the thesis that Jesus would gladly hang out with drunkards at bars, probably buying a few rounds Himself.

From the Gospel of John:

John 15:14-15 – You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Jesus loves us unconditionally, but His standard for friendship is much higher. He requires our obedience. This is an especially important lesson given how loathe we are to obey anything but our own desires. It is no wonder that those of a more liberal persuasion would want to reduce the friendship of Christ to the least demanding form one could imagine, but that would be something entirely different than what Jesus Himself declares.

And when it comes to determining what it takes to be Jesus’ friend, I’d much rather take Jesus at His word, than the empty rhetoric of someone else.