Picking on commentary from WND (formerly WorldNet Daily) is about the easiest job in all of blogging. There is always something egregiously awful to take apart there. You could spend your whole career pointing out and correcting the errors in column after column—which is exactly why most people who don’t buy into the WND perspective simply mock and move on.
But something about this piece by Linda Harvey caught my attention.. Lord knows it gives plenty of fuel to the “what the hell are they on about” fire. The piece—”Sodom, We Have a Problem”—is all over the place, from the decline of mainline Protestantism to same-sex marriage to acceptance of the transgender community to supposedly neo-pagan feminism and labyrinths in Christian churches, bisexuality and Rev. Debra Haffner, Planned Parenthood and the Boy Scouts and government debt and immigration and “race riots.”
Did I leave anything out?
Harvey probably intends this to be a comprehensive take on the spiritual depravity of liberal values, but it’s difficult not to read it as a laundry list of complaints from people who resent the loss of a privileged, traditional heterosexuality.
And here’s where it gets interesting: it would be easy to assume that these people are resentful because of this long list of outrages they feel they’ve suffered, but the truth is perhaps the other way around. They have compiled the list because they feel resentment. And what do they resent? I think it’s the loss of a social pecking order.
We are approaching a point in both demographics and culture where no one group can set social norms. It seems likely that Harvey’s brand of the politics of resentment will only increase—from all sides.
As America diversifies, the rhetoric of resentment might be the new normal, as different groups and coalitions slug it out. If nobody’s on top, everybody’s angry. And as religious institutions weaken, their traditional role of putting a damper on social conflict becomes less effective.
It seems simplistic to say that Harvey’s answer to this situation is a return to conservative straight white cultural hegemony, but that’s pretty much it. She concludes:
This is what liberals do. The writing on the wall spells out clear warnings: “Do not be a stupid idiot!” “Run for your lives!” But they don’t care. This is not progress. This is regress…Only delusional people rip their lives apart so completely and intentionally. The left is lost, even as they declare “victory.” May God help them – and all of us.
That’s pretty much her argument in a nutshell: that what the left defines as progress is exactly the opposite, and they’re insane to think otherwise.
You can say she’s wrong, and I do. But the more interesting question is if she’s unintentionally pointed to what everyone’s going to be fighting about in religious discourse for the next few decades.
May God help all of us, indeed.