Welcome to my weekly digest for May 13, 2022. For new subscribers, this contains a roundup of my recent writings and podcasts, as well as links to the best articles from around the web this week. You can control what emails you get from me by
I also feel the desire to comment on part of Wood's American Reformer post about
"At that time I couldn’t understand how a Christian could vote for someone like Donald Trump. This, I assumed, would do irreparable damage to the witness of the church."
This reminds me of one of John Piper's essays in the leadup to the 2020 presidential election, which essentially seemed to accept the same premise: Trump is uniquely evil among politicians. To me this has to be one of the most successful modern gaslighting operations. Remember the ire George W. Bush wrought for starting two unnecessary wars that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands? Remember his and Obama's vast expansions of the domestic spying apparatus? Remember Obama starting the precedent of killing Americans without trial? Et cetera. I don't want to belabor the point, but the scale of the atrocities regularly committed by the US government and how they're treated as completely normal until the news media convince people otherwise is astounding.
I can understand a Christian refusing to vote for Trump, but it seems only consistent if that applies to all potential presidential mass murderers. Treating him as a unique evil only shows the stranglehold that mainstream media have over the perceptions of so many, including Christians. Now, given that that perception is mainstreamed, the question of how support for Trump may affect Christian witness is a somewhat separate question, which I will save for another time.
David French is insufferable. His best argument against the positive, neutral, negative world concept is "As someone who attended law school in the early 1990s and lived in deep blue America for most of this alleged “neutral” period, the premise seems flawed. The world didn’t feel “neutral” to me when I was shouted down in class, or when I was told by classmates to “die” for my pro-life views." Yes, because he was in the extreme lefty environment of a law school during this period and it felt negative, the whole concept can be tossed out. It's simply amazing he has the lack of self-awareness to write "When fear and hatred dominates discourse, a commitment to justice and kindness and humility is precisely what the moment requires."
What I find hilarious, however, is how he sees the amount of opposition ("periodic gang-tackling, from both sides of the field") he receives in his inbox as evidence that he is "committed to biblical justice while also rejecting political partisanship." No, the only reason he has the platform he does (as in the pages of The Atlantic) is because lefties are totally ok with promoting a lefty Christian whose schtick is throwing mud at right-wingers, especially Christian ones. The left will never see him as one of their own despite his being an apologist for them, and obviously Christians who aren't leftists aren't crazy about him. But he thinks he's somehow mastered "the third way" and "non-partisanship" because no one likes him.