The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Friday, October 25, 2013

Sin and Hypocrisy

Modern, progressive, thought is fundamentally and diametrically opposed to the doctrine of original sin. The most basic element of progressive thought is the idea that human evil and suffering is caused, not by a flaw in human nature, but by flaws in the organization of society, and that by correcting these flaws, man can build for himself Paradise upon earth. The doctrine of original sin, on the other hand, teaches that man is a fallen being, that the evils he commits and suffers arise out of his own flawed nature, and that he cannot break his own exile from Paradise but must trust in the grace and mercy of God. These two ideas are mutually incompatible and it is the latter, the doctrine of orthodox Christianity and an essential component of conservative thought, which most accurately describes man as he is in the world as it is.

The doctrine of original sin is predicated of man as a collective being. (1) It is the collective sin of our race, in which we each have an equal share. It is the same for any one person as it is for the next. Personal sin, on the other hand, refers to the sins which we each commit as individual persons. While one of the implications of original sin, is that each of us is guilty of personal sin, personal sin differs from person to person and is never exactly the same for any two individual people. Your personal sins are the sins which you have committed and for which you are accountable, whereas mine are the sins which I have committed and for which I am accountable.

If original sin is the realistic rain on the utopian parade of progressivism, personal sin is not exactly a popular concept with modern thought either. It is not that modern people think of themselves as perfect. That is far from being the case. “I’m not perfect” or “nobody’s perfect” are phrases that can be found on virtually everybody’s lips from time to time. Modern people do not like to think of their flaws and failings in terms of sin, however. In part this is because sin is a word with religious associations which seem antiquated to the modern secular mind. It is also because the word sin suggests the idea that one is responsible for one’s actions, and therefore guilty of one’s wrongdoing, for which one can and will be held accountable.

To be fair to modern man, these have never been popular ideas, at least when applied to one’s own self. Consider the words of Adam and Eve in response to God’s questioning in the Garden after the fall in the third chapter of Genesis. However one reads these chapters, literally or figuratively, the point is clearly there that passing the buck is as old as sin.

That having been said, sin is clearly one of those concepts that modern man considers himself too advanced to believe in anymore. Forty years ago a book was published that asked the question “Whatever Became of Sin?” (2) The author was Dr. Karl Menninger, a renowned psychiatrist and the co-founder with his father and brother, of the famous psychiatric clinic and foundation that bear their family name. According to Dr. Menninger, the concept of sin has been on the wane, first because as the modern state developed assuming much of the functions previously performed by the church, much socially undesirable behaviour was moved from the category of sin into the category of crime, and second because with the development of modern medical science, and particularly psychiatry, sinful behaviour has been further reclassified into the category of disease and its symptoms. Another factor he identified was the development of modern ways of regarding society as being collectively responsible for the erring actions of individuals.

Menninger did not see all of these developments as being entirely or even mostly negative – except perhaps the evolution of the modern state of which he wrote with an almost anarchist, individualist contempt. He nevertheless made the case that we still needed the concept of sin. Indeed, he wrote that it was “the only hopeful view.” (3) His reasoning was that since the world was still full of evil, we need the concept of sin, which allows responsibility for evil to be assigned but which also offers the possibilities of repentance, atonement, grace and forgiveness, to retain our sanity.

If the concept of sin has gone out of fashion as a way of thinking about and describing human behaviour that is undesirable and wrong, the same cannot be said of the concept of hypocrisy. The words hypocrisy and hypocrite are doing very well indeed, especially as terms of abuse for those who still hold to the old-fashioned ideas of sin and righteousness.

Hypocrisy is a charge which secular society and unbelievers like to throw against the Christian church and against Christian believers, perhaps without full comprehension of what it is that they are accusing Christians and the church. Often it seems as if those leveling the charge seem to think that the definition of a hypocrite is “a religious person who commits a sin.” This is not what the word means at all.

Hypocrisy was originally a Greek word. It was formed by adding the prefix hypo, which means under, to the verb krino, which means to separate, decide, distinguish or pass judgement. In the old Ionic dialect used by Homer, this compound originally meant to reply or to give an answer. In the later Attic dialect however, i.e., that spoken in Athens at the height of its classical civilization in the period before, during, and just after the Peloponnesian War, the word had been adopted as a technical term for use in the theatre. In this period, when Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides were writing their great tragedies for the Athenian stage, the word hypocrisis referred to the work of actors in performing these plays. This usage evolved from the original meaning of the word because it literally described what an actor was doing in the play’s dialogue – answering or replying to the other speakers.

In English, we do not speak of the performing of a role on stage as hypocrisy, nor do we speak of the performers as hypocrites. Instead we use the words acting and actor to describe these things. The meaning of our English word hypocrisy is a metaphorical extension of the idea of acting. An actor is someone who pretends to be someone he is not, the character he is assigned in the play in which he is performing. A hypocrite is also someone who plays a role. He is someone who pretends to be more righteous or virtuous than he actually is. This is what Jesus Christ meant when He denounced the scribes and Pharisees, calling them hypocrites. Christ may not have been the first to use the word in this way but it is through His use that it became the word’s primary meaning.

If hypocrisy is putting on an act of being more righteous than you actually are is secular society’s charge that the church is full of hypocrisy accurate?

Sadly, it often is. Individual Christians and the organized church are frequently guilty of hiding their sins and putting on a front of righteousness. That such would be the case is indirectly suggested by the words of Jesus Himself. He would hardly have gone to such lengths to warn His disciples against the leaven of the scribes and Pharisees if He did not think them susceptible to that leaven. Where the charge falls short of hitting its mark is in the unspoken assumption that there is less hypocrisy outside the church than there is inside it.

In my first semester at Providence College there was a class that if I remember correctly was mandatory for all freshmen that was kind of an introductory course to apologetics and evangelism. Part of the course dealt with common excuses given for rejecting the gospel. When our professor, Stan Hamm, asked us how we would respond to someone who says “the church is full of hypocrites”, I blurted out “there is always room for more!”

While I had obviously said that as a wiseass remark, it does actually answer the excuse in a way. Hypocrisy, the pretence of being a better person than one actually is, is a ubiquitous trait of humanity, not just of the religious and it is often best exemplified by those who use the hypocrisy of the church as an excuse to avoid believing the gospel themselves. Indeed, in using the hypocrisy of the church as an excuse for not joining it, one is implicitly claiming to be non-hypocritical, to be completely transparent, open, and honest, which is itself almost certainly a pretence, and therefore, arguably the ultimate form of hypocrisy, being a hypocrite about not being a hypocrite.

In fact, an argument can be made that there is far less hypocrisy within the church than there is outside it. Those who level accusations of hypocrisy against the church when Christians are caught in sin often seem to assume that Christians purport to be sinlessly perfect and demand that others be as well. Yet the very opposite is the case. By the terms of orthodox Christian doctrine, one cannot be a Christian without confessing oneself to be a sinner.

Think about it. A popular method of sharing the gospel, among North American evangelicals, presents the way of salvation as the ABCs of Christianity. While this is not a sterling example of Christian orthodoxy – it distorts the gospel by presenting it as a series of steps that you have to follow in order to obtain salvation rather than a message of good news about how God has given us salvation in Jesus Christ – the A, in the ABCs, always stands for admitting that you are a sinner. (4)

In more traditional Protestant theology, divine revelation is regarded as being divided into two messages, Law and Gospel. The Law tells us what God demands of us, the Gospel tells us what God in His grace has done for us in Jesus Christ. The practical function of the Law is to show us our need for the Gospel – to show us that we are sinners, who cannot meet God’s righteous demands, and must therefore trust in the salvation God has provided in Christ.

In liturgical churches, a general confession and absolution of sin is made every time the Mass is celebrated. In the traditional order of the Latin Mass this was the very first thing that was done after the asperges, before even the introit. In the Anglican Book of Common Prayer it is the first part of the eucharistic liturgy following the readings and the sermon. A general confession of sin is also made in the liturgy of the divine office and the private confession and absolution of specific sins is also encouraged by many churches, most obviously the Roman.

Christianity, in other words, is all about acknowledging one’s sins and trusting in God’s forgiveness. To the extent, therefore, that a person believes in and practices this religion of confession of sin and reception of divine forgiveness through faith, he is likely to be less of hypocrite rather than more of one.

Hypocrisy, let me reiterate, is more than just falling short of the moral standards one believes in or which are taught by the religion to which one belongs. The word that best describes that is actually the word with the discussion of which we began this essay, i.e., sin. (5) That confession of sin is one of the most fundamental elements of Christianity is the best answer to the charge that the Christian church is uniquely hypocritical, for hypocrisy is pretending to a righteousness one does not possess, a universal human trait that is lessened, somewhat, by Christianity’s requirement that one confess one’s sins.

To be fair, those to whom hypocrisy is the first thing that comes to mind when the church is mentioned could respond to the preceding argument by saying that it is the preachy attitude of the church combined with the sins of its members that they consider to be hypocritical. A response like this could be a legitimate complaint about the manner in which Christian moral truths are sometimes presented. It could also be a complaint that would be made regardless of the manner in which the message is presented because of a notion that as long as the church and its members are themselves imperfect people they have no right to proclaim moral truths.

If, however, imperfect people and institutions are disqualified from preaching moral truths, then nobody is left to preach them. Imperfect preachers are the only kind available. About twenty years ago I read a book, lent to me by my pastor at the time, in which the author made this point in a way that I have never forgotten. The author, Dr. R. C. Sproul of Ligonier Ministries, wrote:

No minister is worthy of his calling. Every preacher is vulnerable to the charge of hypocrisy. In fact, the more faithful a preacher is to the Word of God in his preaching, the more liable he is to the charge of hypocrisy. Why? Because the more faithful a man is to the Word of God, the higher the message is that he will preach. The higher the message, the further he will be from obeying it himself. (6)

Dr. Sproul is a well-known Reformed theologian, that is, a Calvinist. Calvinism, like all human attempts at understanding God, has its strengths and weaknesses. The holiness of God, that which sets Him above and apart from sinful man, which makes His grace amazing indeed, is one of the areas in which Calvinism tends to be strong and this was the subject of the book. This paragraph about the imperfection of preachers, and how the better they are at doing their job, the further they themselves are from that which they preach, comes at the end of a chapter based upon the propher Isaiah’s experience in the sixth chapter of the book bearing his name. Summoned into the presence of God, He declared God to be thrice holy, and himself to be undone. Yet, when God asked who would go and speak His message, the man of “unclean lips” volunteered and God accepted his service.

A few years ago I ran across another book whose author tackled the question of which is preferable, an imperfect testimony to moral truth or no testimony at all, and argued for the former. Among the points Jeremy Lott made in the provocatively titled In Defense of Hypocrisy, were that accusations of hypocrisy are often also examples of it, that many things that we would probably classify as examples of hypocrisy don’t actually meet the criteria for inclusion in that category, and that other things which are hypocrisies we are actually better off with than without. Examples of the latter would be the variations on “looking the other way” that are necessary for unwritten rules to work. In his sixth chapter, he made a compelling case for the idea that society is far more tolerable when unwritten rules – which often contradict the written rules, hence the need for the hypocrisy – are in operation, than when everything is done strictly by the book.

What I found to be the most interesting argument in the book, however, was an argument in the fourth chapter about religious hypocrisy, in which Lott traced the antihypocrisy movement back to its Founder, Who was, of course, also the Founder of the institution most often accused of hypocrisy. If the church has often been guilty of distorting Christ’s message and failing abysmally to follow His teachings – and, being composed of sinful human beings, of course, it has – the antihypocrisy movement has not done any better. Indeed, it has inverted His condemnation of hypocrisy. Whereas Jesus condemned the Pharisees for not living up to the standards of the Mosaic Law they preached, contemporary antihypocrites condemn the preaching of moral standards that one cannot live up to. Or as Lott put it “the bone that he couldn’t swallow was that they were far too self-serving in their reading, not necessarily that they were too demanding”. (7)

To make his point, he asked a fascinating “what if” question:

If the teachers of the law had ceased to teach and the priests had locked up the temple, would the preacher from Nazareth have said, Well, at least they aren’t being hypocrites? Not unless he suddenly decided to depart from the tone and tenor of everything he’d ever said in public. The Jesus of the Gospels would have raged against them twice as hard for abandoning even the trappings of religion. (8)

This reasoning seems iron-clad to me, especially when one considers that Jesus, while condemning the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, told His listeners they still had to respect their authority and obey the Law they taught (Matthew 23:2-3).

The contemporary antihypocrites, whose objection is to the preaching of moral standards rather than the failing to live up to them, would presumably not look askance at the disappearance of the concept of sin. If, however, Dr. Menninger was correct in regarding the concept of sin as the only way of thinking about evil in the world that provides us with hope, and if Jeremy Lott is correct in arguing that some kinds of hypocrisy actually make society more tolerable, we have good reason to regard the moral thinking of today as being greatly inferior to that of about seventy years ago. Perhaps it is time we turn back the clock.


(2) Karl Menninger, M.D., Whatever Became Of Sin? (New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1973).

(3) Ibid., p. 188.

(4) The B is for believe, but the C varies, in some versions being call upon the Lord, in others confess Christ, in yet others commit yourself to Christ.

(5) The technical term for the study of the concept of sin is hamartiology. This comes from the most basic Greek word for sin, hamartia. Its verbal cognate, hamartano was the word the Greeks used for falling short of your target when throwing a spear, and thus by extension, failing to meet your goals.

(6) R. C. Sproul, The Holiness of God (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 1985, 1993), p. 50.

(7) Jeremy Lott, In Defense of Hypocrisy: Picking Sides in the War on Virtue (Nashville: Nelson Current, 2006) p. 108.

(8) Ibid. Bold indicates italics in original.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Lucy’s Day in Court – A Short Story

Justice Bob Baddecision of the Ontario Inferior Court, was having a good day. Upon his arrival at the courthouse that morning, the first case he had heard had been one of disputed possession. Old Bill Fussbudget had filed a complaint that his neighbour, Jimmy Jackanapes had been stealing fruit from his apple tree. Last year it had been Jimmy who had laid the exact same complaint, regarding the exact same tree, against Bill. This had been going on, back and forth, for years. The tree lay right on the line between their adjacent properties and while inspectors had been sent out to assess the matter more times than either man could count, none had been able to come to a definitive decision as to which party held the legitimate title to the tree, which bore fruit that could rival the juiciest and tastiest of any grown commercially in the Niagra region.

Enter Justice Baddecision. In a decision, that he felt certain would go down in the annals of jurisprudence as the greatest display of wisdom since the days of King Solomon, he issued an order that the tree be cut down and chopped into firewood, half of which was to be given to one man and the other half to the other. When this ruling was announced, at first the courtroom fell silent, undoubtedly out of awe and admiration at the judicious manner in which a bitter dispute that had vexed the community for years had been resolved. When, after a few moments of this silence, the plaintiff recovered his voice sufficiently to ask what was to become of the current crop of apples, the last that the tree would ever bear, he was told that the apples were being taken into custody by the court.

On an entirely unrelated note, allow me to mention that Justice Baddecision and his wife were famous for their homemade apple cider, which had won numerous awards at municipal and provincial fairs. Later that year – and again, I must stress that this is told merely as a point of interest – they would finally win the coveted national award upon which they had set their sights for so very long.

Having started the day so well, the worthy judge awarded himself an early lunch from which he returned to the courthouse at a leisurely pace, to hear the case of John J. Moneygrubber versus Mrs. Poorwidow. The plaintiff, as it turns out, had become the owner of a house in which Mrs. Poorwidow and her family had formerly been tenants, when he bought the mortgage from a bank that was selling off its bad loans. Mrs. Poorwidow had been unable to make her mortgage payments ever since her husband died in Afghanistan. The small amount of money she was able to make in her part-time job went to feeding and clothing her eighteen children. Mr. Moneygrubber had foreclosed on the mortgage almost immediately upon buying it, but the defendant had resisted leaving, as she and her children had no other place to go. Now Mr. Moneygrubber was asking for an injunction ordering the lady and her brood to vacate the premises immediately.

Justice Baddecision, fair-minded and conscientious fellow that he was, carefully listened to the cases presented by both sides. He heard Mr. Moneygrubber argue that Mrs. Poorwidow was maliciously preventing him from tearing down her house and paving over the lot to provide extra parking for his building next door. He heard Mrs. Poorwidow explain how she had fallen through the cracks of Canada’s generous social safety net, having been told by social assistance workers time and again that she did not qualify since she had a job and was not a member of a visible minority, and that if evicted she and her children would be literally living on the streets. Then he made his decision.

He issued the injunction evicting Mrs. Poorwidow from her home, and awarded Mr. Moneygrubber $50, 000 in damages to boot, even though that had not been asked for, because he felt the remark about visible minorities to be a racist one which offended his progressive, liberal, sensibilities. Besides, he knew that section of town and its dreadful lack of adequate parking well, and who was this Mrs. Poorwidow to stand in the way of progress, anyway. Especially when it caused so much grief for his friend Mr. Moneygrubber, a member of his club, whom he golfed with frequently, and with whom he had enjoyed lunch just the other day.

Yes, the justice was having a very good day indeed. Full of self-satisfaction over the masterful way he had handled these two cases, he leaned back in his chair. He imagined he heard angels, chanting in Latin, singing the praises of his wisdom and justice.

Wait a minute.

The justice leaned forward. He had not imagined it. That was Latin he was hearing. Well, Latin of a sort. What he was hearing was being sung backwards. Not backwards in the sense of the fake, pig-Latin of schoolchildren, but real Latin sung backwards.

Was that the Mass being sung in reverse?

What the devil was going on here?

The justice looked around for a possible source of this peculiar chant but at the moment, with the sole exception of himself, the courtroom appeared to be empty. Could it be coming from outside the building?

Then, it seemed like the courthouse was hit by an earthquake. The room began to shake, the lights went on and off several times, and then a huge crack opened up in the floor. Out of the crevice flames burst forth, giving off a pungent odour, like unto that of rotten eggs.

Someone must have caused an explosion in the basement, Baddecision thought, forgetting for the moment the weird backwards Latin. Then he saw something that nearly stopped his heart.

From the weird, sulfuric flames, which oddly seemed to be casting off darkness instead of light, arose a being. A monstrous being, it was at least five times the size of a human being, with the torso and arms of a man, but the head and legs of a goat, with huge reptilian wings, and a pointed tail. Around its huge, curved horns, a nimbus of darkness hung. Around its neck was a necklace of human skulls. It opened its hideous mouth and out came the most horrible sound you could ever imagine, as if a choir of hissing serpents and howling jackals had teamed up with an orchestra of fingernails against chalkboards, screeching brakes and tires, and rusty hammers falling angrily against anvils to perform Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire while every human soul the beast had ever swallowed screamed out in agony. The creature radiated pure, malevolent evil that struck the judge with a sense of oppression, horror, disgust, and terror all at once.

Then the creature underwent a metamorphosis. Before the judge's eyes it shrunk in stature to the size of an ordinary man. Its non-human features began to disappear, leaving only cloven hooves and horn stumps to indicate the true identify of a distinguished looking man, with long dark hair tied in a ponytail, a goatee, wearing a very expensive, designer suit. The dark halo vanished and an aura of light, albeit a light that looked wrong somehow, as if it had been broken eons ago, began to surround the man.

The judge, horrified at the evidence of his own eyes that the ministers in the United Church he had attended since a boy, who had all assured him that the fiend that stood before him now could not possibly exist and was a superstitious invention of primitive peoples that we all know better than to take seriously these days, were rather ill informed, and, to be quite blunt about the matter, wrong, shook in fear.

“Relax, Your Honour”, the Prince of Darkness began, “I am…”

“I know who you are,” the quivering justice sputtered, “you are the…”

“The devil, Satan, Beelzebub, Mephistopheles, etc. ad naseum”, the fiend finished. “Yes, I have been called by many names. Since we are in a court of law I will go by my original name, Lucifer. You can call me Lucy for short as that is what I prefer”.

“ Lucy? That’s a girl’s name!” the judge, who was beginning to regain his composure, said with a sneer.

All of a sudden a trident appeared in the devil’s hand, and, as he pointed it at the justice, menacing looking lightning jumped from tine to tine.

Judge Baddecision straighted up completely and said “Who do you think you’re trying to scare with that pitchfork of yours.”

Putting the trident down, Lucy responded “That’s odd. It works most of the time.”

“You obviously haven’t met my mother-in-law”, Baddecision retorted. “After being subjected to her tongue for twenty minutes you will fear no other sharp object ever again.”

“Don’t get me started on mothers-in-law.”

“What do you know about it?”

“I had a mother-in-law once. Thousands of years ago, back before the Flood. I met this chick, a real sweet little thing, and drop-dead gorgeous. I married her and her mother never gave me a minute’s peace. I was just not good enough for her little girl.”

“I can’t imagine why she would have thought that.”

“Oh shut up. It was the same thing day after day. Why did you marry him? He’ll never amount to anything. He got himself kicked out of heaven didn’t he? What kind of a future is he going to provide for you in hell? And how on earth are you going to be able to afford to raise my grandchildren? Nephilim eat ten times more than regular size children?”

“What happened to her?”

“She drowned in the Flood. I guess I ought to thank God for that one.”

“Well, she sounds bad, but I still don’t think she could hold a candle to mine.”

“I will have to make her acquaintance. She sounds like she could be of much use to me in the torture chambers of hell”.

“You can have her. Now what in blazes are you doing in my court”.

“Don’t you know? I’m the plaintiff in your next case.”


The judge turned to his desk to pick up his file on the next case when he noticed, for the first time, something unusual about it. It was a scroll, made out of a kind of suspicious parchment. Baddecision instinctively knew that he did not want to know what kind of skin had gone into making that scroll. The ink was clearly human blood but it was written entirely in a sort of hieroglyphic writing that used nothing but images of torture, suffering, and death.

“How am I supposed to read this?”

“My bad”, the devil said. “You should have been given the English translation.”

He snapped his fingers, manicured but with each nail filed to a sharp point, and the scroll vanished to be replaced with a more ordinary looking legal document in English.

“Lucifer versus Everett Body,” the judge read. Looking up he asked “Who is this Everett Body? Shouldn’t he be here if you are suing him?”

“What are you talking about?” Lucy said, grabbing the brief. “Curse those idiots in the secretary pool down in legal. They never seem to be able to get anything right. That is a typo. It is supposed to be Everybody.”


“Everybody. As in every single person on Earth.”

“What kind of complaint could you possibly have against everybody?”

“It is a defamation suit. I am sick and tired, after thousands of years, of everybody on this little mudball you call a planet, defaming my character”.

“There are two kinds of defamation, libel which covers written material and slander which covers speech. This is…”

“Both. I have been libeled in writing and slandered by word of mouth throughout the ages.”

“But you’re the devil! How can anything anybody ever said possibly defame you?”

“Everything everybody has ever said about me has defamed me. It is all negative. I have the worst reputation of anyone in history.”

“Aren’t the things said about you true?”

“No. Well, not all of them. People blame me for their own bad decisions all the time. How many times have you heard someone say ‘the devil made me do it’? I didn’t make a single one of those people do the things they blamed me for.”

“Weren’t you the one who tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, leading to the fall of mankind?”

“Yes, but I didn’t make Adam and Eve eat that fruit. I tempted them to do so, but they chose the fruit of their own free will. It was easy. My job was half-done for me. You should have seen how luscious that fruit was. You would understand, having a soft spot for apples yourself.”

The devil gave Judge Baddecision a knowing wink.

“How do you know about that?”

“Oh please, consider who you are talking to. At any rate, my point is that the things that everybody says about me have sullied my character, tarnished my reputation, and caused me a great deal of emotional pain.”

These words were spoken with a great amount of emotion and at the end, Lucy began to sob violently. Tears fell upon the judge’s desk which burned through it as if they were made of acid. Quickly grabbing a box of tissue, the judge handed it to the devil who wiped his eyes and loudly blew his nose.

“Shouldn’t I be hearing a violin right about now?” the judge sarcastically asked.

“No, I had to give my fiddle away to a little twerp named Johnny down in Georgia a few years back and I haven’t got around to replacing it yet. That’s part of the reason for this lawsuit. I need money. Fiddles of gold aren’t cheap and boy with the way the price of brimstone has been going these days it is likely to be a cold day in hell very soon unless I can get my claws on some moolah.”

“Why don’t you go talk to Mick and Keith? They are rolling in the cash and aren’t they supposed to have sympathy for you or something like that?”

“Yeah, well talk is cheap. They can sing about their sympathy all they want, I have yet to see a dime from either of them, no matter how many times I’ve hit them up for money over the years. Besides, ever since Mick was knighted he has no time for me anymore, like he’s too cool for me now. I invented cool!”

The devil began to blub and sob even louder than before. As more of his desk was disintegrated, the judge was at a loss for what to do.

“Mick doesn’t love me anymore!”

Judge Baddecision, awkwardly threw his arms around Lucy and began to pat him on the back.

“There, there. I’m sure that’s not true. Mick still loves you.”

“Then why doesn’t he return any of my phone calls? Or respond to my friend requests on Facebook?”

“He’s a busy and important man.”

“Its all because of what people say about me. It’s turned Mick against me. Its destroying my self-esteem!”

“Yes, well, I’m very sorry for you and all that, but I still don’t see how you think you have a case here.”

“I understand that according to your defamation laws, once a complaint has been made there is a presumption of guilt against the defendant until he proves himself innocent.”

At this point the judge began to feel rather uncomfortable but he answered “Yes, that is correct”.

“Well, I have made my complaint. I charge everyone in the world with defaming me, in print or by word of mouth. Everything that has ever been said about me has damaged my reputation, hurt my self-esteem, and caused me emotional trauma from which my doctor says I will never recover.”

Here, Lucy handed the judge an affidavit from his therapist stating, that indeed it was his professional opinion that the devil was irreparably psychologically damaged and would never recover.

“The burden of proof is now upon the defence.”

“Where is the advocate for the defendants?”

“I don’t know. That’s not my problem. This is a civil case. Defendants are responsible for providing their own defence.”

“Well what do you say to the truth defence? Perhaps you didn’t make everybody do what they have said you made them do, but surely much of the bad press you have received is accurate?”

“Accurate yes, but it has still impacted me emotionally and harmed my reputation. My understanding is that under your law truth can be offered as a justification of defamatory speech but it is not an absolute defence.”

“Well”, Baddecision hemmed and hawed, “That is true. But come on now, you are the source of all evil in the universe. Surely you cannot expect people to be going around singing your praises and tossing you bouquets all day long? You must admit that you have deserved your negative image?”

Here Lucy gasped in shock.

“Well, I never. I am the victim here, and you, a forward thinking, progressive judge, are blaming the victim!”

“I didn’t mean it like…”

“I imagine that next you are going to say that I deserve it because I am a demon. When will the prejudice and stereotyping of my race ever end?”

“Hey! I didn’t say anything like that. Some of my best friends are demons!”

“Yeah, like I haven’t heard that one a billion times. I think maybe I had better report your remarks to the Ontario and Canadian Human Rights Commissions”.

The judge’s face began to change colour, alternating between various shades of green and grey. His knees began to knock and his legs began to wobble. He shook all over. He suddenly found breathing to be difficult and could see stars swimming around his head, as he contemplated with horror, the thought of being hauled up on a human rights charge.

“No, no, no. I rule in your favour. Everybody is guilty of defaming you. I’ll give you everything you want, damages, costs, you name it. I hearby issue a cease-and-desist order forbidding anybody on this planet from every saying anything negative against you again. Just don’t involve the Human Rights Commissions.”

“Thank you, Your Honour, you have been most reasonable. We must do lunch one of these days”.

As Lucy began to sink back down into the Stygian depths, the judge returned to his seat, and wiped his brow.

“Damn you to hell” he whispered.

“You’re too late to pass that sentence. That happened a long time ago”, a sinister voice muttered, coming up from out of the crack that still was smoking in the floor of the courtroom.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Antiracism is Worse than Racism

While some maintain that there is no gradation of evil, that “sin is sin” and that it is all the same there is little basis for thinking this to be the case. If we did not distinguish between greater and lesser evils there would be no basis for passing laws against certain bad acts while allowing if morally disapproving others. To be consistent we would have to either criminalize everything we considered to be bad or give up the rule and protection of law. Either option would make human existence unbearable. Out of practical necessity, at the very least, we need a hierarchy of goods and evils. Some might qualify the claim that all sin is the same by saying that while we as humans distinguish between greater and lesser evils, in God’s eyes, all sin is sin. This is not the doctrine of orthodox Christianity, however. All that the Scriptures affirm on the matter is that God does not judge as man does. This means that His criteria, for distinguishing between greater and lesser evil, is not necessarily the same as ours, not that He regards all sins as being equal. The Scriptures very much affirm the idea of a hierarchy of goods and evils. If there were no hierarchy of good and evil, statements like “this is the first and greatest of the commandments and the second is like unto it” and “these shall receive the greater condemnation” would be nonsensical.

The grounds for thinking that all sin is equal are at their best, very weak. The grounds for thinking otherwise are much stronger and so we can safely accept the proposition that there is a hierarchy in which some goods are better than others and some evils are worse than others. We will take this proposition as being established, therefore, in making our argument that antiracism is a greater evil than racism.

“Now wait a minute,” some of you might be saying “by saying that antiracism is worse than racism aren’t you saying that a good is worse than an evil?”

That racism is always an evil, and antiracism, which by definition is opposition to racism, is always good, is certainly the conventional opinion these days. The conventional opinion, however, is seldom a good guide to what is true. Conventional means that which is generally agreed upon. Like the words convene and convention, which it is closely related to, it comes from the Latin for “to come together” and suggests the idea of people getting together and coming to an agreement. However effective that process might be in helping people live together peacefully it is not how truth is arrived at.

Tradition is a much sounder guide to truth than convention. Tradition, from the Latin for “to hand over or pass on”, is that which has been passed down to us through time. Convention and tradition are both forms of established thought. Convention is that which is established because of its acceptance by the majority in the present. Tradition is that which is established because it has endured the test of time. While tradition doesn’t generate truth any more than convention does it has a much better perception of truth and is thus a better guide to truth.

Let us take a closer look then at this particular conventional opinion, considering its two parts separately. First there is the assertion that racism is always evil. Is this assertion true? The answer to that depends upon what we mean by racism.

Racism is a word that is used and overused everywhere in society today. One would think that due to this ubiquity there would be a universal consensus as to the meaning of the word. That such is not the case was recently illustrated for us here in Manitoba. Last fall a Winnipeg lingerie shop put on a burlesque show to raise funds for Osborne House, a shelter for battered women. Through e-mail, Eric Robinson, Deputy Premier and Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs in Manitoba’s provincial government and Nahanni Fontaine, an advisor to the government, discussed how they felt this was inappropriate and in poor taste. In the course of this discussion, Robinson said that it was an example of “the ignorance of do-good white people.” This summer, the content of these e-mails was leaked to Barbara Judt, CEO of Osborne House, who condemned the comment as hateful and racist and filed a complaint with the provincial human rights commission against Robinson.

This generated an ongoing public discussion and in the course of that discussion it became apparent that there was a great deal of disagreement over what constitutes racism. Robinson is of Cree descent and his comment, if racist, was racist towards white people. Some took the position that racism can only be committed by a more powerful group against a less powerful group and that because Robinson belongs to a less powerful group, historically oppressed by the group his comment was about, his words could not therefore be racist. Tim Sale, for example, took this position in an article that appeared in the August 31st issue of the Winnipeg Free Press (1) and it was echoed by several people whose letters were published in the weeks following.

Others, whose letters were also published, found this position to be absurd and offensive. They took the position that racism consists of negative thoughts about and actions toward people of other races and that racism is racism regardless of who is on the giving and receiving ends of it.

The second group probably represents the views of the majority of Canadians. Their understanding of racism is certainly more in line with the definitions found in most standard dictionaries. Where then, do Sale and the other members of the first group get off saying that racism is a one way street, going from powerful to less powerful, from white to non-white, and never the other way around?

After the triumph of the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1960’s, progressive academics rethought their concept of racism. The left had just won everything they said they wanted: the Supreme Court of the United States had overturned the legality of the “separate but equal” concept in Brown v. Board, the President had ordered the National Guard to enforce the integration of institutions of higher education in the deep South, de jure segregation was now illegal, and the Civil Rights bill had passed, outlawing various sorts of private discrimination, paving the way for the legal shakedown industry and the reverse discrimination of affirmative action quotas. Their total victory, however, threatened to rob progressive academics of one of their favourite pastimes, i.e., complaining about how deeply and horribly unfair and racist their society is. They therefore came up with a new concept of “institutional” or “structural” racism, racism that does not consist of conscious and overt negative thoughts and acts towards others, but which is built into the very structure of society, supposedly generating special privilege and power for white people while keeping others down. The progressives redirected their energies towards attacking this kind of beneath-the-surface “racism”, thus allowing them to maintain their image of themselves as public tribunes, fighting for the downtrodden against an unjust system, even though that system had given them everything they had demanded.

There is therefore now a vast difference between what progressive intellectuals mean by the word “racism” and how ordinary people understand the word. Most people think that racism means hating or disliking other people either because they are of a different race than you or because they are of a particular race that is the object of such hatred. Most people think of racist behaviour as ranging from mild forms, such as the use of racial slurs and insults, to extreme forms such as lynching and ethnic cleansing. Progressive intellectuals, however, tend to think that white people who do not behave like that and do not dislike people of other races are nevertheless guilty of racism for being unconscious of their “white privilege” and thus “indifferent” to the racism built into their society. Moreover, progressive intellectuals tend to see explicit statements of racial hatred towards white people and racially motivated acts of criminality and violence towards white people as not being racist but rather being understandable, if undesirable, responses on the part of the oppressed to the unfairness of society. Ordinary people, when they learn how the progressive intellectual views things, tend to think he is crazy, if not from another planet altogether.

If asked whether racism is always bad, most people would probably say yes at first, but if pressed on the subject, many would begin to quibble. Ethnic jokes might hurt someone’s feelings, they may say, but they are not on the level of genocide. If the same question were put to progressive intellectuals they would firmly insist that all racism is bad, but if pressed about verbal and behavioural expressions of racial hatred towards whites on the part of members of groups that have been historically oppressed, they would probably offer arguments why this isn’t really racism. Both ordinary people and progressives, in other words, hold to the position in theory that all racism is bad, but neither group is willing to take this position to its logical conclusion.

How is racism defined in the dictionary? Perhaps that will help us decide whether racism is always bad or not.

If we turn to the online version of the Merriam-Webster dictionary, we find that it offers us two short definitions and a full definition with two parts. Here is the first of the two short definitions:

poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race (2)

If we accept this as our operating definition, then I would say that all forms of racism are bad and I suspect most people would agree with me. I would add the clarification however, that if racism is “poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race”, it is always wrong, because it is always wrong to treat people poorly and not because this particular form of poor treatment is motivated by race.

This raises the question of what constitutes poor treatment. Sometimes this is an easy question to answer. To assault or murder someone, to steal or damage his property, to have an affair with his wife, to go around town spreading malicious gossip about him – each of these things falls under the category of treating people poorly. It is wrong to treat anyone this way, regardless of his race. Sometimes, however, it is more difficult than that.

The progressive left has complicated matters by declaring equality to be the ideal standard to be striven for. If we accept equality as an ideal, then by our standards to treat people as if they were not equal is to treat at least one of them poorly. Much discussion of racism is based upon the idea that all races are equal and deserve to be treated equally and that racism is deviation from that ideal.

As I have argued elsewhere, however, equality is more of an idol than an ideal. (3) The problem with making equality into the ideal is that it clashes with justice. Sometimes it is right to treat people equally. Other times it is wrong to do so. It is as wrong to steal one man’s property as it is to steal another’s. Therefore, we should treat both men equally in refraining from taking what is theirs. Sometimes, family relationships, friendships, and other ties, place duties upon us which require us to act towards specific people in ways we are not required to act towards others. In this case it would be wrong to insist upon treating everybody equally. In theory, equality might be thought of as a form of virtuous generosity, treating a perfect stranger as if he were your best friend. In practice and in reality it is more likely to mean treating your best friend as if he were a perfect stranger.

If we accept the progressive idea that equality is the standard and that it is wrong to treat people differently this greatly changes the meaning of “poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race”. Here we see how the conventional idea of racism, so defined, under egalitarian presuppositions, runs up against traditional ideas of virtue and vice.

Ever since ancient times, that which the Romans called pietas has been considered to be one of the chief virtues. Pietas was an attitude of faithful duty towards one’s parents and kin, one’s country, and the gods. We will use the Latin word for it, because its English equivalent and derivative, piety, has lost much of its meaning. Pietas was piety, both filial and religious, and patriotism all rolled into one. It is the subject of Plato’s Euthyphro. (4) Marcus Tullius Cicero, believed it to be implanted in us by instinct as the law of nature. (5) Virgil made it the chief virtue of Aeneas, the last survivor of Troy and the ancestor of the Romans, in his Aeneid.

Lest it be thought to be merely a pagan virtue, note that the Ten Commandments given to Israel by God at Mt. Sinai start with duties to God and end with duties to man. The commandment to honour one’s father and mother falls between these duties and if the commandments were divided equally between the two sets of duties, would have to fall under duties to God. Note that when Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for using human tradition to nullify the commandment of God, this is the commandment to which He made specific reference. That was hardly a coincidence. St. Thomas Aquinas distinguished between a pietas towards our earthly parents, which was a mere human virtue, and a pietas towards God that was a gift of the Holy Spirit, but maintained that it was appropriate to use the same word for both because the latter is directed towards God as Father. (6)

Do you see where the conflict exists between the egalitarian and conventional understanding of racism and the classical and Christian traditional view of pietas? The former teaches that we are to treat all people equally and that it is wrong to treat people differently because of their race. The latter teaches that we owe special duties first to our parents, then to our kin as a whole, and finally to our country and that the same virtue of pietas is involved in faithfully and lovingly fulfilling these duties as in fulfilling our duty to love and worship God. Since the idea of having special duties to our parents, kin, and country is not compatible with the idea that we should treat all people equally, i.e., the same, progressive egalitarianism would seem to condemn pietas as a form of racism.

This is not just speculation about where progressive teachings might lead. Antiracism promotes impious thoughts and attitudes in practice.

This leads us to the second part of the conventional opinion about racism and antiracism, the assertion that antiracism is always good. This assertion is a conclusion drawn from the first assertion, that racism is always bad. If racism is always bad, then surely antiracism, which is by definition opposition to racism, must be good.

Well, we have just seen that pietas, which was considered a virtue by pre-modern, traditional civilizations, which was considered to be the chief virtue of ancient Rome, was commanded in the Ten Commandments and considered to be a spiritual gift by St. Thomas Aquinas, would fall under the category of “racism” if we accept the egalitarian standards of progressivism, the parent ideology of antiracism. Therefore, either Moses, Jesus Christ, and all Western philosophers until very recently were wrong in insisting that we have special obligations to our parents, family, and country or the assertion that racism is always bad is simply not true. If it is not true, then the conclusion that antiracism is always good, which depends upon racism always being bad, cannot be true either.

In fact, as we are about to see, antiracism is not good at all. Rather it is an evil that masquerades as a good, a vice that wears the mask of a virtue.

Our first charge against antiracism is that it promotes impiety. It has caused people to revile and dishonor their parents, their ancestors as a whole, and their country.

This was illustrated in the television cartoon Family Guy a few years ago. In the episode entitled “Chick Cancer”, the character Brian makes a comment that contains a racial stereotype of black men. Stewie, to whom he addressed the remark, responds with shock: “Whoa! What was that?” Brian’s reply is “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, that was my father talking” and is told by Stewie “You gotta work on that man”. (7)

Stewie’s response of antiracist shock to Brian’s racial slur provokes filial impiety from Brian as a self-defense. Granted this is a conversation between a talking cartoon baby and a talking cartoon dog but it mirrors reality in the sense that it reflects the kind of shame and disrespect towards one’s parents that antiracism provokes among young people.

Another form of impiety antiracism promotes is disloyalty to friends. Sometimes this is done explicitly, as in the song “Racist Friend” by Jerry Dammers, songwriter for the British ska group The Specials, which tells people: “If you have a racist friend/ Now is the time, now is the time/ For your friendship to end.” (8) More often it is done indirectly through guilt by association which a favourite tactic of antiracists.

The most obvious form of impiety promoted by antiracism, however, is that towards ancestors and country. It is quite common these days, on college and university campuses and even in high schools, to hear “socially conscious” students express deep shame for the actions of their ancestors or for their country’s past. In the vast majority, if not all, of these cases, it is the racism of their ancestors or country for which they are expressing shame.

The students who make these impious statements are almost always white students. This brings us to our second charge against antiracism. It is not just that antiracism is hypocritical and holds to a double standard. While that is included in the charge, it is much more serious than that. Antiracism is, ironically, itself a form of racism. It promotes impiety towards parents, friends, ancestors, and country among white people alone and promotes hatred towards white people on the part of other people.

Think back to the earlier part of our discussion where we discussed the current progressive view of racism, that it is embedded in the structures, institutions, and cultures of Western countries so as to give privilege and power to whites and withhold these from other people, so that whites are guilty of racism even if they have no conscious negative thoughts or feelings towards other people and other people are not guilty of racism, even if they express hatred towards whites or commit crimes against whites based upon that hatred, because these are expressions of frustration on the part of disempowered people against an unfair system. What other effect could this idea have than to encourage white people to disavow their ancestors and their countries and to encourage other people to hate white people? To be antiracist, in practice, means to be antiwhite.

Antiracism’s antiwhite racism is not the mild ethnic joke variety of racism either. In Europe, the United Kingdom, and Canada, antiracist progressives have passed hate speech laws which make it, in some cases a crime, in other cases actionable under civil law, to express views that might expose someone to hate because of that person’s race. Although these laws are written in race neutral language, they are ordinarily only ever enforced against white people. The complaint Barbara Judt made against Eric Robinson was newsworthy because it, very unusually, concerned a comment that was pejorative to white people. Even when Chief David Ahenakew, another rare non-white defendant in hate cases, was charged in Saskatchewan with promoting hatred ten years ago, it was not white people but Jewish people he was accused of hating. In the United States of America, where the Bill of Rights theoretically prevents the passing of hate speech laws, hate crimes laws have been passed which require stiffer sentences for crimes where racial prejudice is the motivation. As with hate speech laws in other countries, in practice hate crime laws are seldom invoked unless the criminal is white and his victim the member of another race. “Hate” laws, of either variety, clearly exist for no other purpose than as forms of legal harassment targeting white people.

At this point, let us introduce our third charge against antiracism, even though we are not quite done yet with the second. Our third charge against antiracism is that it makes mincemeat out of the truth.

Antiracists treat racism as if it were a sin that was the unique property of white people. This can be seen in the way “hate” laws are enforced, in progressive theories about why only white people can be racist, and in the way antiracist watchdog organizations keep tabs on the most insignificant activities of the most obscure white identity groups while all but ignoring racist groups from other races. Yet antiracism is itself evidence that the opposite is true – that white people are, if anything, the least racist people on the planet and always have been. Antiracism draws upon many source ideas including liberal individualism, humanism, and Marxism. Whatever the merits and demerits of these ideas may be, they all have this in common, that they are the product of Western, European, civilization. They are, to put it bluntly, white ideas. Most antiracists are themselves whites who have renounced any sense of identity with their own people. The only other people group that I can think of that has a problem with this kind of internal self-loathing is the Jewish people. Yet according to physical anthropologists and population geneticists Jews are part of the same race as Europeans.

Oops. My bad. I said race when I should have said population or genetic cluster or whatever current euphemism is being used by population geneticists to keep the antiracists off their back and allow them to do their research in peace.

This brings us to the other way in which antiracism makes mincemeat out of the truth. Antiracists, like progressives in general, tend to subscribe to the founding mythology of modernity, in which the Catholic Church is believed to have held Europe in superstition and darkness before the dawn of Renaissance humanism and the “Enlightenment”, in which man threw off the shackles of religion, left the darkness, and set his feet on the path to truth, by following the light of reason and science. While much of this is pure malarkey – the foundations for the expansion of science were in fact laid in the medieval times by Christian scholars (9)– in the last half century antiracist progressives themselves have acted the way they accuse the medieval Church of behaving.

When the late Dr. Arthur R. Jensen, professor of educational psychology at the University of California in Berkeley published a paper in the Harvard Educational Review, questioning how effective IQ boosting programs like Head Start actually were by offering evidence that much of human intelligence is due to a hereditary g-factor, progressive antiracists began protesting outside his office and disrupting his lectures. (10)

When the late Dr. J. Philippe Rushton, British born professor of psychology at the University of Western Ontario presented a paper to a general meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Fransisco in 1989, a police investigation was ordered in Ontario. (11) His “crime”? He had put forward the theory that racial difference could be explained by the r/K selection theory. (12)

Earlier in the 1970s, the co-author of that theory, Harvard University entomologist Dr. Edward O. Wilson had come under attack by antiracists for his book Sociobiology: The New Synthesis. (13) The antiracists even went so far as to physically assault Wilson, dousing him with water at a 1978 meeting of the AAAS. (14)

My point is not that the theories these men espoused were the truth. Their materialistic presuppositions, in my opinion, blinded them to the most important aspect or dimension of reality. (15) In this, however, they were no different from their antiracist opponents. My point is that the antiracists condemned these men as “scientific racists” because their theories, and the data upon which they based their theories, contradicted the antiracist idea that the only biological differences between the races are differences in appearance, and that any other differences are cultural and/or caused by the legacy of slavery, segregation, and racism in general. This idea, to which antiracists inflexibly adhere, did not arise out of scientific observation but is entirely political in origin. In 1963, Dr. Carleton S. Coon, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, resigned as president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists when the association voted to censure a book as racist and unscientific while admitting in a show of hands that the vast majority of them had not even read the book. If materialism kept both sides in this debate from the full truth, by blinding both to the spiritual aspect of reality, the antiracists willingly removed themselves a step further from the truth, by subjecting science to political dogma, in a manner worthy of Trofim Lysenko.

What is most apparent about antiracism, in this approach to truth, is just how ideological it is. For the purposes of this discussion, we will define an ideology as a rigid set of inflexible doctrines, lacking the internal self-correction mechanism of a tradition, that are believed to contain the technical blueprint for solving most if not all of the world’s problems. Antiracism is by its very nature an ideology. It is an inflexible belief in the equality of the races and the rigid conviction that racism is the root of all evil which if extirpated will bring justice, peace, and happiness to all.

Racism, on the other hand, while it can be ideological, as it was in the case of National Socialism, more often than not is not. This is an important reason for considering antiracism to be the worse of the two evils. A racist might be a person who, for some reason or another, dislikes a particular racial group but who does not allow that dislike to overrule his sense of fairness and cause him to mistreat members of that group and who does not make his dislike of that group the most important thing in his life. While there are ideological racists, for whom race is the lens through which the world is to be viewed, who see life as a Darwinian struggle for existence between the races and build their entire life around this idea, most racists, at least in my experience, are of the former type.

Auberon Waugh had the right idea, I think, about ideological racism and antiracism when he wrote:

For myself, I see nothing to choose between the National Front and the Race Relations Board. Both are a collection of bores and busybodies and both are harmful to the extent they are taken seriously. (16)

Of course, the Race Relations Board, like its Canadian equivalent the Human Rights Commission, has the power to impose its ideas upon people. Everyone must therefore take it seriously, if they wish to avoid a great deal of unpleasantness, whereas the National Front has no such power, and is taken seriously only by its own members the Race Relations Board. Therefore the Race Relations Board is the more harmful by far.

Nor is it merely the Race Relations Board or the Canadian Human Rights Commission that ideological antiracism has at its disposal. The schools, universities, and churches as well as the news and entertainment media have become its propaganda arms. Government child protection agencies have used the racism of parents as an excuse to remove children from the home. (17) Its attempts to root out incipient racism and nip it in the bud at younger and younger ages might be comical (18) if it were not so Orwellian.

In this ideologically driven effort to mobilize the institutions of an entire society for the purpose of indoctrinating all of its members with a simplistic message and eradicating a chosen scapegoat, antiracism resembles nothing so much as the Nazism it believes it is protecting us from.

If you think that comparison is unfair, that antiracists are the white knights protecting society from a resurgent Nazism ready to break forth the moment they let their guard down (how mighty white of them) then consider what antiracism has actually looked like in practice. In Canada, the UK, Europe and Europe a system of thought control has been imposed, that punishes white people for expressing even the mildest of racist thoughts, with stiff fines, gag orders, expulsion from schools, the loss of jobs and/or careers, and occasionally jail time. The system encourages people to turn in their relatives and friends and goes without a large public outcry, in part because the news media are complicit in the process and refuse to report on it, and in part because antiracism has dulled people’s sense of outrage by convincing them that the victims are racists, and therefore deserve what is coming to them. Meanwhile, the system metes out punishment, not just to the accused racists, but to those who speak out against the system who are lumped with the accused racists.

In other countries, the effects of antiracism have been far more severe. Here we return to our second charge against antiracism, that it is a form of racism directed against white people, and that it is not the mild ethnic joke or stereotype variety of racism either. It was antiracism, that motivated the UK and other Western countries to oppose Ian Smith’s government in Rhodesia, leading to the rise of Robert Mugabe, the transformation of Rhodesia into the dysfunctional hellhole of Zimbabwe, and the murder of the white Rhodesians. (19) When South Africa gave in to the demands the world, again motivated by antiracism, was making on it, it led to the rise to power of the African National Congress, which has gradually been recreating what happened in the former Rhodesia. The murders of the white Afrikaner or Boer farmers, vastly underreported by the world press, have been classified as the start of a genocide. (20)

“Those are extreme examples.” “That sort of thing could never happen over here.”

Perhaps. It is interesting, however, that during the last several decades, as progressive antiracism has become the entrenched ideology in Western countries, white fertility rates have dropped below population replacement levels and remained low, as these countries have opened their borders to mass immigration from non-white countries, opting to replace rather than reproduce their populations. (21) The dates have already been projected for when whites will become minorities in the United States and Canada and those dates are not far off.

What do you suppose is going to happen to white people in these countries when they become minorities in countries where the official ideology, drummed into everyone from earliest childhood in schools, on television, and in popular music and film, all dissent from which is punished by social convention and/or hate laws, teaches that racism is the ultimate sin, that only white people are guilty of it, and that only non-whites are its victims?

The answer, if you have not already figured it out for yourself, can be found in Jean Raspail’s novel The Camp of the Saints, first published forty years ago. (22) Read it if you dare. (23)

(1) Tim Sale, “Eric Robinson may be rude, but he is not a racist”, Winnipeg Free Press, August 31, 2013, A17,



(4) In this dialogue Socrates, who is awaiting his trial on a false charge of impiety, encounters a young man who thinks he is pious but who embodies impiety, by seeking in the name of the gods to lay a capital charge against his father. The two enter into a discussion of the nature of piety. While most commentary on this dialogue focuses on the arguments, do not overlook the fact that in the end, Euthyphro is dissuaded from pursuing his impious suit.

(5) Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Inventione, 2:22.

(6) St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 121, Article One. See also Q. 101 on the virtue of pietas.

(7) “Chick Cancer”, Family Guy, Fox Broadcasting Company, original airdate November 26, 2006.

(8) Jerry Dammers, “Racist Friend”, recorded by The Special A.K.A. and released as a single in 1983 and on album In the Studio (2 Tone Records, 1984)

(9) James Hannam, God’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World Lay the Foundations of Modern Science, (London: Icon Books Ltd., 2010).



(12) The theory basically postulates that species fall upon a spectrum between r-selection, in which parents have a lot of offspring but invest little in each particular offspring and K-selection, in which parents have fewer offspring with a larger investment in each, and that certain combinations of traits can be associated with either end of the spectrum. Rushton applied the theory to differences between populations within the same species, i.e., mankind.

(13) This book, published by Harvard University Press in 1975, like Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene which came out a couple of years earlier was largely made possible by the research of W. D. Hamilton, particularly that found in his two part “The Genetical Evolution of Social Behaviour”, published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology in 1964. Hamilton proposed a theory that explained the paradox of how socially cooperative or even altruistic behaviour could improve the fitness of an individual organism’s genes. Wilson’s book was more ambitious than Dawkins’. He proposed a new discipline, a synthesis of ethology, anthropology, and other disciplines that concerned social behaviour among animals and humans. As the proposed name of the new discipline suggests, it is based on the idea that all social behaviour can be explained biologically.

(14) Wilson tells the story of the antiracist attack on him, led by his Harvard colleagues Richard C. Lewontin and Stephen Jay Gould, in his autobiography Naturalist (Washington D. C.,: Island Press, Shearwater Books, 1994). See also Ullica Segerstråle, Defenders of the Truth: The Battle for Science in the Sociobiology Debate and Beyond, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).

(15) For an excellent rebuttal of this materialistic worldview see Wendell Berry’s Life is a Miracle, (Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint, 2000).

(16) Auberon Waugh, “Che Guevara in the West Midlands”, originally printed in The Spectator, July 6, 1976, reprinted in Brideshead Benighted (Boston, Toronto: Little, Brown and Company, 1986), p. 155.


(18) Note the quotation from Lisa Scott about reducing or eliminating the biases.

(19) Ian Smith told the story in his memoirs Bitter Harvest: The Great Betrayal and the Dreadful Aftermath (London: Blake Publishing Ltd., 2001).


(21) My essay “The Suicide Cult” discusses how this policy, and the ideology behind it, is an ideology of racial and national suicide:

(22) Jean Raspail, The Camp of the Saints (Petoskey: The Social Contract Press: 1995) which is a reprint of the 1975 Scribner edition, translated by Norman Shapiro from the original French edition published in 1973.

(23) The text is available online here:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Grave Injustice

We are fallen beings, living in a fallen world. Created with free will in the image of God, we were given the choice of obedience and everlasting life on the one hand and sin and death on the other. We chose sin and death – and were exiled from Paradise. God, in His mercy and grace, promised to send a Redeemer Who would lift the curse of sin and death and restore us to Paradise. He gave us that Redeemer in Jesus Christ and one day, through Christ’s redemptive work, we will be restored to Paradise in the New Heaven and New Earth. Before that happens, men will be called upon to give account at the Final Judgement before the throne of God. There, they will find perfect, uncorrupted, justice, tempered, we hope and pray, by mercy and grace.

Until that day, men look for justice upon earth. Such justice as they find will be impure - mixed with injustice and corruption. Often what they will find cannot be counted as justice at all.

We have just received a most unfortunate reminder of this fact. After several years of legal battles, the defamation lawsuit Richard Warman launched against Mark and Connie Fournier of Free Dominion and several members of the conservative message board identified as “John Does” because they posted under online screen names, came to trial a couple of weeks ago. After several days of deliberation, the jury found in favour of Warman, who was awarded $42, 000 in damages plus costs. He is also seeking an injunction from the judge against Free Dominion, which would mean instant jail time for the Fourniers if anything negative were ever posted about him there again.

This decision is a travesty of justice.

The complainant in this case, Richard Warman, is a serial complainant. He launched several complaints under Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Section 13 was the portion of the CHRA that declared it an act of discrimination to communicate electronically any words that are “likely to” expose a member of a group protected against discrimination by the CHRA to “hatred or contempt.” Section 13 was itself bad law. All laws against acts of private discrimination are bad laws for that matter, but Section 13 was particularly bad both because it forbade words and thoughts, and because it did so in such a way that virtually anything negative or critical of a protected group or its members might be considered to be grounds for a complaint. Warman is not himself, as far as I can tell, a member of any of the protected groups. Nevertheless, he launched the majority of the Section 13 complaints filed in the last ten to fifteen years before it was repealed.

He has also launched multiple defamation lawsuits. He sued British, New Age, conspiracy theorist David Icke for defamation over remarks the author made about him in his book Children of the Matrix. He sued Paul Fromm, director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression for libel, for remarks he had made about Warman on the internet. He was awarded $30,000 in damages, a ruling that was upheld in every appeal, with the Supreme Court refusing to even hear the case. When the National Post's Jonathan Kay reported on Warman v. Lemire, the last Section 13 case ever heard, Warman sued the newspaper and columnist for defamation. Named as co-defendents were conservative bloggers Kathy Shaidle, Kate McMillan and Ezra Levant, as well as the Fourniers and Free Dominion, all because they had reposted the assertion made in the original article about Warman, that he claimed was defamatory.

When the same person launches so many lawsuits against so many people surely it is appropriate to question whether or not he is acting in good faith. Indeed, to this writer and many others it seems obvious that he is not acting in good faith, that these are vexatious lawsuits initiated for the purpose of harassment and that they should have been tossed out of court ages ago.

Consider the merits of these suits. In his suit against the National Post and assorted co-defendants, the basis of the complaint was that the column in question had reported a claim, made by Bernard Klatt, an expert for the defence in Warman v. Lemire, that Richard Warman was himself the author of a post on Marc Lemire’s Freedomsite (not to be confused with the Fourniers’ FreeDominion) that referred to Senator Anne Cools using extremely derogatory, racist, and misogynistic language. This post – removed by Lemire from the site before anyone else ever saw it – was part of the complaint Warman filed against Lemire.

Warman denies being the author of this post. Whether he was or was not I do not profess to know. The allegation was originally made by an expert witness in a courtroom. Mr. Klatt offered reasons for why he thought the post had originated with Warman. Surely a better method for protecting his reputation, if that is truly Warman’s concern, would be to rebut Mr. Klatt’s reasoning rather than to sue everyone in sight who repeats the allegation.

Let us assume that Warman is telling the truth when he says that he is not the author of the post in question. For words to be defamatory they must have the effect of lowering a person’s reputation or esteem in the eyes of others. Would repeating the allegation that Warman is the author of the Cools post have that effect?

To answer that, let me put another question to you. If you had robbed the Bank of Montreal, Scotia Bank, and the Royal Bank of Canada, would a false accusation that you had also robbed Toronto Dominion lower your esteem in the eyes of others?

Warman has admitted to posing as a racist online under various assumed names. He posted under “axetogrind” at Vanguard News Network and under “Pogue Mahone” at Stormfront, for example. In an affidavit, quoted by Joseph Brean of the National Post, he wrote the following:

I signed up and posted to the neo-Nazi website forums and as another means of collecting intelligence about the neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements and information about the identities of individuals in Canada that it was my intention to file federal human rights complaints against. (1)

If he has admitted to posing as a racist at Vanguard and Stormfront, how can the allegation that he did the same thing at Freedomsite possibly damage his reputation?

Then there was his defamation suit against Paul Fromm. Here is how the decision in the case summarizes Warman’s complaint:

Mr. Warman pleads that the defendants are responsible for libelling him in nine posting on various Internet websites. These postings characterize him as, among other things, an enemy of free speech, a member of the thought police, a high priest of censorship, and an employee who abused his position at the CHRC in order to limit freedom of expression and pursue his own ideological agenda. (2)

So Warman’s complaint basically was that Mr. Fromm accused him of trying to censor or limit other people’s verbal expressions of their thoughts. His response to this accusation was to ask a court to force Mr. Fromm to retract this accusation and apologize for it (and pay a ridiculously large amount in “damages”)?

Do you see the absurdity in that?

Even if you don’t see the defamation suit as being itself a form of censorship or limitation of freedom of speech, think of the kind of behaviour that Mr. Fromm was commenting on. Warman had filed numerous complaints against people over remarks they made on the internet. How can describing that kind of behaviour as censorship possibly be defamatory?
Warman’s progressive defenders seem to reason that because Warman was acting in accordance with the law at the time, his actions should be above reproach, and criticism, condemnation, or ridicule of those actions should be considered defamation.

So in one defamation suit against multiple defendants, Warman complained that he was falsely accused of making a racist post on Freedomsite when he had acknowledged having posed as a neo-nazi on Vanguard News Network and Stormfront, and in another defamation suit he complained that he was accused of censorship for filing Section 13 complaints against people. These seem to be frivolous grounds for defamation suits. Yet Warman, a public figure who should surely be held to a higher standard of proof than an ordinary person in making defamation complaints, won his case against Mr. Fromm, and the National Post settled out of court. In the latter case, Warman obtained the legal copyright to the article he had complained about, and then filed a copyright infringement suit against the Fourniers! How can anyone in their right mind think that this is being done in good faith?

If the ruling against the Fourniers had been made by a judge it could be blamed on the abysmally low quality of the magistrates currently sitting on Canadian benches. It was a jury that rendered this verdict however. That speaks of an even greater problem.

The problem is that Warman is an anti-racist crusader and for decades now Canadians have been bombarded by left-wing anti-racist propaganda in the schools, from the pulpit, and in the new electronic media, both “news” and “entertainment”. In the classroom, year after year children have video footage of the Nazi concentration camps shoved down their throats. If an equivalent amount of time were spent teaching them about the GULAG and the horrors of officially egalitarian communism, perhaps a valuable lesson could be taught about how when man bows the knee to the idol of technology, he becomes like a machine himself, (3) and treats people accordingly. This is the appropriate lesson to be gleaned from the history of Twentieth Century totalitarianism in all its varieties. Instead the message attached to the Holocaust footage is “this is where racism leads to” – a message that obliterates the difference between the racial views of Sir Winston Churchill and those of Adolf Hitler and which makes the virtue of pietas – at least when practiced by white people – into a cardinal sin.

Mark and Connie Fournier are not racists. In their stand against Section 13, however, they took the position that racists should have freedom of speech like anyone else, and that a law that allows people to be sued and silenced merely because their words were deemed to be racist is a bad law. This conflicts with the antiracist programming, in which racism is the greatest of all evils, and everything done to stop racism is good. When confronted with evidence that injustice was being done in the name of fighting racism, and that those who stood up for the freedom of speech even of racists were being unfairly persecuted, some people appear to be simply unable to cope with this conflict between reality and what they have been programmed to think.

Only thus can the idiotic jury decision in this case be explained.

Mark and Connie, my prayers are with you.



(3) Psalm 135:18