Print Story What is the Secular Right?
Politics
By wiredog (Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 02:10:11 PM EST) (all tags)
Secular Right is a blog run by a group of somewhat very conservative bloggers who also post at places like National Review.

What distinguishes them from other USian conservatives is that they are non-religious.



But still conservative.
The Christmas decorations are customary. Christians may take them as Christian; the rest of us take them as a cheery sign that an agreeable public holiday is coming up, trailing all sorts of happy connotations, childhood memories, permitted gluttony and tipsiness, auld acquaintance, etc., etc. Whatever, they are customary. I don’t like fooling around with customary stuff. I don’t much care for menorahs being included, for the same reason. I suppose the menorahs are half-way to being customary, too, by now; but if I could have nipped that in the bud, I would have. Not every decorative feature of a public place is there for someone to make a point about it. Some things are there because we’ve always put them there, and we like the continuity and stability of seeing them there year after year.

More on Christmas.

This is, of course, a reaction to the pounding the Right got in the elections last month.


Another reaction from P.J. O'Rourke . One of the best bits, but read it all:

In how many ways did we fail conservatism? And who can count that high? Take just one example of our unconserved tendency to poke our noses into other people's business: abortion. Democracy--be it howsoever conservative--is a manifestation of the will of the people. We may argue with the people as a man may argue with his wife, but in the end we must submit to the fact of being married. Get a pro-life friend drunk to the truth-telling stage and ask him what happens if his 14-year-old gets knocked up. What if it's rape? Some people truly have the courage of their convictions. I don't know if I'm one of them. I might kill the baby. I will kill the boy.
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What is the Secular Right? | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Feh. by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 3) #1 Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 04:33:00 PM EST
"customary"? Yes, by all means, let's discard the heart of something, but keep the outward appearance because it makes us feel sentimental. Oh, and ban Jewish stuff because it isn't customary enough.

I'm sorry, but that sounds like a profoundly American idea - focus on appearances, because those are what's important.

Bah. Humbug. If you aren't interested in Christ-mas then, by all means, go celebrate Festivus. Personally, I like the idea of people opposing speech - or festivals - they don't like with more speech instead of restrictions on the same. By all means, put a manger on one corner, a menorah on the next and stuff for whatever-that-eight-day-festival-thought-up-by-the-civil-rights-crowd-in-the-60s-is-called on a third. Play the occasional Ramadan carol in the mall if you like. Wish people a happy solstice, if that's your bent.

But don't whine that you want Christmas to be just like it was when you were a kid, when you explicitly reject the reason we celebrate it in the first place.



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The author of that bit is UKian. by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #2 Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 04:48:01 PM EST
Well, originally. Been in the US for awhile. I think that keeping the outward appearance regardless of whether we hold to the original reason at the heart of it is a very conservative thing. An idea that change should, generally, be slow and incremental.

Now sometimes you do need a revolution. But those should be rare.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
I can see that. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #13 Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 05:28:09 AM EST
I've even seen it argued that you can be an atheist and a good jew - because Judaism is defined as adherence to a set of rules. I could almost argue that Catholicism is similar, but for that darn Creed you're supposed to recite.

Most forms of Protestantism, on the other hand, insist that you have a personal relationship with God - you'd have to be pretty flexible with your rationalizations to be able to honestly say you have a personal relationship with someone you don't believe exists.



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[ Parent ]
I know an atheist who regularly attends church by lm (2.00 / 0) #4 Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 03:17:39 AM EST
He does so because he thinks the outer form of the custom of religion has tremendous social value even if he thinks the inner form of religion is devoid of truth.

I can't see that is very much different than the position over X-mas decorations. Both seem fairly reasonable to me.

Although I'll concede that I find the bit about being exclusionary over the winter holidays to be untoward.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
My Dad is an atheist. And is in the church choir. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #6 Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 06:22:50 AM EST
Also a local production of the Messiah.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
And more... by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #7 Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 06:24:14 AM EST
Last night I went to a friend's apartment to help her decorate her tree. Several of us were there, I don't think any of us could be considered "Christian", not that the Tree custom is, either. But we enjoy Christmas customs despite that.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Customary by duxup (2.00 / 0) #3 Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 09:49:45 PM EST
Customary seems like just another cop out for "I don't like it because it is different, make it go away".   It isn't 1950s America anymore where we keep the minorities on TV to a minimum because it was "customary".


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Not neccessarily by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #8 Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 06:26:17 AM EST
Some customs need replacing, but some don't. A conservative view is that, in general, customs should be kept unless (as in racism) they can be shown to be damaging.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Some customs need replacing, but some don't by duxup (2.00 / 0) #9 Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 06:29:18 AM EST
because....

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[ Parent ]
Consider the custom of marriage by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #10 Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 06:33:54 AM EST
Expand it to include gays and lesbians, but keep marriage. A Pat Moynihan noted, marriage is better for the children than single parenting. So the custom of marriage is a good one that should be kept.

Most customs evolved for a good reason.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
No the other end by duxup (2.00 / 0) #11 Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 07:07:57 AM EST
The article complains that things changed.  I noted what I felt the crux of that argument was.  You seemed to disagree and note that you feel some customs don't need to change.  That doesn't seem address the why they shouldn't change in this case.

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[ Parent ]
tradition..... tradition! by garlic (4.00 / 1) #14 Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 09:33:17 PM EST


[ Parent ]
I wish I knew by duxup (2.00 / 0) #15 Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 09:55:10 PM EST
I'm totally not familiar with whatever you're referencing although I've seen people reference it a great deal recently.  It seems like it is the opening to some song.

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[ Parent ]
fiddler on the roof by garlic (2.00 / 0) #16 Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 04:50:24 AM EST


[ Parent ]
Christmas is not a Christian festival. by dmg (4.00 / 2) #5 Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 03:36:28 AM EST
It's Pagan or Satanic. The secret rulers of our world (reptilian entities from the lower 4th dimension) gain power over us by having us unknowingly perform rituals that we do not understand.
--
dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.
Addressed here: by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #12 Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 08:10:15 AM EST
The Season Needs No Reason

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
What is the Secular Right? | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback