Rod Dreher’s Battle Against “Portland Sharia” [Updated]

Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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201 Responses

  1. Rufus F. says:

    Some people worry about the Muslim legal code known as Sharia law, but all-too-few are aware of the truly horrifying Muslim metric system, the Shametric System.Report

  2. LeeEsq says:

    Social conservatives like Dreher have never stated that they want the market to decide things. The idea that government can and should enforce traditional notions of morality and social hierarchy through its police powers is one of the foundations of social conservative thought. What counts as traditional morality depends on the country or community but many social conservatives beleive that enforcing it is one of the responsibilities of government.Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to LeeEsq says:

      “The idea that government can and should enforce traditional notions of morality and social hierarchy through its police powers is one of the foundations of social conservative thought.”

      I think you overstate your position here; I won’t defend the schizophrenia of the modern conservative movement (and more specifically the Republican party)… but conservative thought does not this way trend. Patrick Deneen has a relevant post up today on just this theme.Report

      • zic in reply to Marchmaine says:

        The tone and logic of that piece is eerily similar to the Satan post Michelle linked to yesterday; here

      • Marchmaine in reply to Marchmaine says:


      • LeeEsq in reply to Marchmaine says:

        What the article reminds me of is the discussion we had on states and clans a few days back.Report

      • zic in reply to Marchmaine says:


        Both rely on the construct that government displaces family and community instead of being one among many ways that family and community are expressed in a society.

        It’s an assumption, and one that I don’t agree with.Report

      • Snarky McSnarkSnark in reply to Marchmaine says:

        Since libertarians have become part of the conservative electoral coalition, the authoritarian rhetoric has been toned down quite a bit. Nevertheless, authoritariansim is a significant strain in American conservatism.

        “Government meddling in peoples lives” seems to be important only when it’s economic in nature. But enforcing “Christian” social norms, forbidding “deviant” political organization, recognizing the rights of outliers and eccentrics–these have not ever been part of American conservatism.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Marchmaine says:

        @leeesq Yes, I could see that.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Marchmaine says:

        Enforcing “Christian” social norms has never been part of American conservatism? Really? A good chunk of American social policy for large parts of the 19th to mid-20th century involved enforcing Anglo-Protestant social norms. Reading from KJV of Bible in school, prohibition, Comstock’s war on smut, the witch hunts against Communists were all part of American conservatism.Report

      • Snarky McSnarkSnark in reply to Marchmaine says:

        @LeeEsq : What I wrote was actually exactly the opposite of what I meant to say: the last paragraph was enumerating positions that have always been part of American conservatism.

        I wish we had an update button….Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Marchmaine says:

        What I wrote was actually exactly the opposite of what I meant to say

        You’re out of practice. You need to comment more regularly.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Marchmaine says:

        What I wrote was actually exactly the opposite of what I meant to say

        Then you were being snarky?Report

  3. Saul DeGraw says:

    Dreher is perplexing to me. He is a very good writer. He can write about certain socio-economic issues and seemingly be very close to a liberal standard. He can express dismay at the Republican Party and their more Barnum-esque antics like he did during the last shutdown.

    And then he can equally and easily brush off his old culture warrior self and come up with columns like the one you are discussing.

    I think this is all part of the everyone needs a boogeyman problem.

    My questions for you are more about Portland.

    1. What percentage of Portland is Republican, conservative, or libertarian identifying within the city limits?

    2. How do you think Ms. Childs did not recognize that Portland was super-liberal and very-LGBT friendly?

    3. A friend of mine is LGBT and was looking at graduate school programs. Said friend decided against Portland because while Portland itself was progressive, friend felt that it got very conservative very quickly outside of the city limits. Would you say this is true? My friend feels like SF-Bay Area, Massachusetts/New England, the NYC-Metro area give more breathing room for LGBT people.Report

    • North in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

      2. I would submit that Ms. Childs didn’t really think about it much before posting her screed. Her offending post was, after all, put up on facebook and under another name no less so I suspect that she assumed that this was sufficient to shield her from any real world consequences of her expressing her opinions in the virtual world.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

      For two, your really over-estimating how many people really give a lot of thought to their actions. Ms. Childs probably knew that most people in Portland support LGBT rights and are pro-same sex marriage but thought that she could get away with posting her real opinions if she used a pseudonym rather than her name. Alternatively, she might think as many not that aware conservatives are wont to do that most people really see things the way she does and only voice pro-LGBT because of social pressure. Lots of people aren’t known for thinking that deeply about many things.Report

    • Michael M. in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

      @saul-degraw My take on your questions (live here too):

      1. Don’t have time to look up the party registration stats, but Portland’s population is overwhelmingly Democrat or non-affiliated. The more conservative part of Portland is the sprawling (but less densely populated, though that is changing), poorer, and generally more diverse East. It’s not very conservative, though. The “mainstream” (i.e., wealthier) Portland conservatives tend to be more liberal on social issues than mainstream conservatism elsewhere, except maybe New England. The Republican Party and the conservative movement is heavily influenced still by the legacy pillars of former senators Hatfield and Packwood (despite the scandals). The religious right doesn’t have much of a voice in Portland, which is one of the most secular cities in the U.S. according to how people identify and how many attend church. That said, there are a lot of people, including those who would identify as liberal or progressive, who seem heavily influenced in various ways by libertarian thinking, and that dynamic plays out in strange, not entirely predicable ways sometimes (i.e, the Great Fluoride Debate). Even in Portland, voters can’t be counted on to do exactly what the Democratic Party wants them to do.

      2. I tend to agree with @north , but don’t forget that Oregon’s constitution restricts the state to recognizing opposite-sex marriage only. Context matters — even if Portland is LGBT friendly, we are in a state that isn’t.

      3. Yes. See above. There are other places in the state I think of as more welcoming, like Eugene. But leave Portland — even in the next towns over east or west — and there is a lot more bigotry openly expressed. That’s not to say that there is a lot of open hostility outside Portland, but LGBT friendly wouldn’t be the overriding impression.Report

      • zic in reply to Michael M. says:


        That sounds remarkably like Portland’s doppelganger, Portland. Residents passed laws protecting LGTB folk long before the state.

        But the state got there. Thankfully.Report

      • Michael M. in reply to Michael M. says:

        @zic There are a lot of similarities, between the cities and the states. I never spent that much time in Portland ME but I did spend a fair amount of time Down East, mostly around Lubec-Whiting-Machias area. One of my first impressions was that it reminded me of Oregon 50 years ago, even though all of those are smaller towns than I ever had experience with here. I love that part of Maine, but I wish I had been able to spend more time in both Portland and Bangor.Report

    • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

      What percentage of Portland is Republican, conservative, or libertarian identifying within the city limits?

      How many decimal points are you willing to pay for?Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

      And why does Zic keep writing as if Portland were anywhere near Maine?Report

    • Tod Kelly in reply to Saul DeGraw says:


      1. I don’t actually know the percentages of Portland. I even tried googling for a bit, but couldn’t find it. (FWIW, the dem/gop/lib split for Oregon is about 40/30/<1.)

      Whatever it is, it's VERY skewed democrat, with most Republicans being pretty socially liberal. (A post for another day: Oregon's rural, tea partier Rs refused to go to this year's annual GOP conference because the GOP here is getting ready to back SSM.) It gets a little bit more conservative in the suburban areas, but PDX is very Blue.

      2. There's only two explanations I can think of. One is that she knew and just wasn't thinking. (People here are noting that she had a fake FB name, but she also blogged a lot of the same type of stuff under her own name.)

      The other very real possibility is that even though PDX hardcore so-cons are a tiny minority, a lot of them live in a pretty air tight bubble of their own making. A regional talk radio guy is based out of here (Lars Larson), and if you listen to his show he makes it seem that his listeners are the vast, silent majority that are being betrayed by the Elites. His callers definitely buy into this. I've met more than a few people here who are seriously clueless about the political leanings of their town, despite all the data to the contrary. ("No, Portland is tired of Obama -- they hate him! They're going to go Romney... probably low 90%, but I'll be conservative and say 80-85%.")

      3. Not having lived in any of those places (and being a cis male myself), it's hard for me to say. That being said...

      I'm very much hoping @veronica-dire will jump in if I'm getting the nomenclature wrong here, but my guess is that while Portland has a pretty large gay and lesbian population, that population isn't one that self-identifies as Queer. There are a a bunch of gay and lesbian bars, or course, but even then we don't have what a gay friend of mine from San Fran calls "fist bars." And though about 20 years ago there used to be what might have been considered a gay district downtown, now those bars are mostly peppered around town. For the most part, gays and lesbians in PDX are pretty integrated, at least compared to other metropolitan cities I have visited.Report

      • veronica dire in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        On “queer,” it’s not as if anyone owns the word. But it tends to get used by younger folks with a certain kind of leftwing bent. You know, the sort who take gender theory classes and hang out on Tumblr. (Basically, my people.)

        Queers tend to be skeptical of rigid gender definitions, which separates them from the classic gay/lesbian culture, and they’re more accepting of trans folks (yay!), more third-wavish, and more likely to experiment with bi/pan-sexuality. That said, these are tendencies and not rigid definitions (which is kinda the point).

        For me, I’m rather more tolerant of gender definitions, since I worked so hard to get mine. Which is to say, I believe we should be flexible about these things and leave room for diversity, but in some queer spaces there is an actual hostility to “reinforcing the binary” (as I saunter along in my heels and a skirt).

        Still, there are plenty of gays and lesbians in queer spaces, although queer lesbians are more likely to self-identify with the “dyke” label. (I identify as a dyke, despite the fact I’m kinda a little bit bisexual. My preferences are sufficiently gynophillic that I use the term.)

        Sometime I use the term “queer” when I should really say LGBT. I doubt this causes much harm.

        (I don’t like saying LGBTQ-etc. I don’t have a good reason why.)Report

      • Michael M. in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        I have a different impression, probably because I know or interact with a lot of younger folks who identify as queer. And as @veronica-dire says, they also tend to the left and think of themselves as fairly radical. Probably for generational reasons, I’m not someone who embraces the term myself and prefer to identify as gay, but I don’t have a problem respecting how others want to identify themselves.

        There must be other cities with reasonably sized LGBT communities that don’t really have a “gay neighborhood,” but Portland is the only one I’ve lived in. There’s no equivalent of NYC’s Chelsea, SF’s Castro, San Diego’s Hillside, LA’s West Hollywood, etc. Even the small cluster of gay bars that existed in the triangle near SW Stark & Burnside has dispersed, but when it existed it wasn’t really a neighborhood. About 40 years ago before I moved away I remember hearing often that inner SE Hawthorne (this was back when it was gentrifying, which it long since has) was “very popular with lesbians,” but I don’t hear than anymore and haven’t since I moved back. And anyway, even at the time people didn’t start referring to it as a gay or lesbian neighborhood.Report

      • Tod Kelly in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        @michael-m Thanks for this.

        @saul-degraw — Since I can’t fathom that my observations in this matter would be more on target that Michael M’s, you should defer to his answer.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        San Diego’s Hillside


        This invalidates your entire comment.Report

      • Zane in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        I like “queer”, and I’m moving into fogey range age-wise. It’s a nice reclaiming of a word that did not always have only negative connotations.

        “Faggot,” on the other hand, is not a word I can use for myself. I cringe when I hear people describe themselves with it.Report

      • Michael M. in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        @brandon-berg I always do that!Report

      • veronica dire in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        By the way, my analysis on “queer” is entirely East Coast, mostly Boston/Cambridge/Somerville, with hints of NYC. My West Coast knowledge is less than nothing.

        On “faggot,” funny thing is, I get called “faggot” a lot, but I still don’t feel like I could ever reclaim it. I’m not a gay man, ain’t my word to claim.

        Now according to the powers that be, I’m supposed to hate the word “tranny,” since that is what the trans-woman community has collectively decided is our big-horrible slur. Myself, I love the word and rather hope it gets reclaimed.

        I’m a big old tranny dyke and I enjoy saying so.

        But that ain’t my choice to make. (Short version: don’t use the term “tranny” unless you are a trans woman.)

        “Shemale” makes me cringe. God I hate that term.

        (And RuPaul should seriously unfuck himself. Just saying.)Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        my analysis on “queer” is entirely East Coast, …My West Coast knowledge is less than nothing.

        We thought the East Coast/West Coast rap wars were rough, but the East Coast/West Coast queer wars terrified the whole nation. 😉Report

      • North in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        @ Michael M and @veronica dire You should check out Minneapolis. The gay neighborhoods are the entire bloody city.Report

      • Zane in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        @jm3z-aitch , North Coast rulez!!1!!!11!Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        Aren’t you familiar with the Middle Coast?Report

      • Zane in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        @jm3z-aitch , That Jim Davis bit was truly inspired!

        But unlike Munsonians, we Clevelanders do have a shoreline, beaches, yacht clubs–really, at least 8 of the whole 9 yards. Watch for the algae blooms!Report

  4. DRS says:

    I’m going into a meeting now and will respond in more detail later, but I do look forward to Dreher’s response and finding out what he’s going to call Tod.Report

  5. North says:

    An excellent repost my Todd but I suspect that the Portland Sharia is a riff off of Portlandia, the show, rather than something culturally conservative excuse to bash Muslims.

    Other than that quibble I agree with every word here.Report

    • greginak in reply to North says:

      Great post.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to North says:

      I’m going to disagree. We have no evidence that Rod Dreher even knows what Portlandia is. Its a relatively obscure show, especially in Dreher’s neck of the woods. In these days of fragmented media consumption, it can’t assume these things.

      It doesn’t even make any sense on rift of Portlandia. Referring to Portland Sharia does make sense in the cosmology of certain conservatives though. There are a small number of conservatives that have used Muslims and Islam after 9/11 the same way that they used communists and communism during the Cold War, as the bogeyman that they can rally against. Islam and anything associated with it stands for what they hate. They conflated liberalism and communism during the Cold War for this reason. Think of J. Edgar Hoover’s belief that the civil rights movement was a communist plot. At the present, they link liberalism and islamism for similar reasons even though it doesn’t make a lick of sense.Report

      • North in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Well Lee, he uses pictures from Portlandia in some of the posts in question so I think it’s safe to say that he’s aware of the show.

        I just think that it’s an unnecessary assumption/distraction from the primary thrust of Todd’s post which is absolutely on target.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq says:

        That just proves that the people who helped Dreher put the article online are aware of the show.Report

      • North in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I wasn’t aware that his blog had that much non-Dreher input. Either way I think it’s an assumption too far though to be sure it’s not anything grievous on Todd’s part.Report

      • Glyph in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Eh, count me with North. It ain’t that obscure a show, and the term certainly has become shorthand for a perceived gestalt worldview.Report

      • zic in reply to LeeEsq says:

        @glyph, I’ve heard and read Republicans (and presumed Republicans) bemoan the threat of Sharia Law; there have been laws put forward to ban Sharia Laws.

        Were those discussion, too, using Portlandia symbology?

        (I’ve never seen the show, it’s on my list.)Report

      • Glyph in reply to LeeEsq says:

        You guys are making me read this drivel when I could be doing other things. From the first piece, which is topped by a pic from the show:

        This comments thread started when a stay-at-home dad in that neighborhood posted a seven-minute video (now taken down) expressing angst and hostility toward the as-yet-unopened food store. One thing he said: What about the children who have to walk past that store every day, knowing that it is owned by a woman who doesn’t support gay marriage?

        Yes, he said that. Portlandia!

        (emphasis mine).

        Look, it’s a clumsy argument, but it has little to do with Muslims, except via a goofy play on words attempting to evoke a scenario where all behavior and opinions are policed by a particular “religion” (=in this case, Portland liberalism).Report

      • zic in reply to LeeEsq says:


        Ha. But I thought the argument was support freedom of expression for religion. Does liberalism have to be religion to earn that right in the eyes of conservatives like Dreher?

        (And I’ve got my smelling salts to my nose for the things we do for the children. Think of the poor children.)Report

  6. zic says:

    Standing O.Report

  7. j r says:

    To carry over the conversation from the other thread about whether Dreher is a bigot or not, I would just point out that he regularly does two things that bigots do.

    One, he splits the world into in groups and out groups and is more than willing to make broad negative assertions about the out groups based on little more than stereotype and broad assumption.

    And two, he demands that the out group be perpetually understanding and charitable in defending themselves in ways that he would never expect of the in group.

    By the way, I say all of this as someone who has stated numerous times that I’m not a big fan of politically correct witch hunts. The thing is, my concern is never that bigots are going to get a raw deal. My concern is that people who don’t deserve to be targeted will eventually be targeted and that the process of hunting witches has deleterious effects all around. Dreher wants to turn this into an oppression story while continuously ignoring the fact that his side has been responsible for infinitely more oppression. As I said earlier, it is concern trolling.Report

    • zic in reply to j r says:


      Although I do admit that part of the thrill of it all is that he’s an entertaining writer. It’s best to ignore trolls, and he’s hard to ignore because he’s entertaining. A heady brew that wafts Limbaugh back in the day when Hillary was First Lady instead of potential potus.Report

    • Zane in reply to j r says:

      That’s a great comment, and helpful for those of us less familiar with his writing, @j-r .Report

    • Michelle in reply to j r says:

      Yes, JR. He wants conservatives to be seen as a diverse group, but often lumps all liberals under the same stereotype. In this case and that of Brendan Eich, it’s clear that not all liberals agree and that many have taken a different tact.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to j r says:

      Dreher wants to turn this into an oppression story while continuously ignoring the fact that his side has been responsible for infinitely more oppression. As I said earlier, it is concern trolling.

      Exactly. He concluded his Portland Sharia post by directing a question to the anti-anti-gay protestors, apparently without any intended irony: “Where does the hate and intolerance stop?” What’s the yiddish word for that? Chutzpah?Report

      • greginak in reply to Stillwater says:

        Who else would fear the wrath of the oppressed more than the oppressors? Who else would fear being put it in a repressive closet with no rights more than those pushing others into closets?Report

    • Road Scholar in reply to j r says:

      Probably the best comment here. Kudos, J.R.Report

  8. zic says:

    In the world according to Dreher, we’re all going to hell because we have sex, and this makes us incapable of being religious. Based on his blog this morning,

    We want to let people of the same sex marry.

    We watch porn.

    We have more than three sexual partners.

    These things make us stop going to church because we know our spiritual leaders and elders don’t approve.

    We’re doomed, I say.

    Because we like sex. We like it a lot. I’m so proud we want to make sure that all the ladies can freely participate in sex now, thanks to the contraceptive mandate. To the ladies’ good health! The men’s, too.Report

    • Chris in reply to zic says:

      Is church like the dentist, where the more I do what I’m not supposed to do, the less I want to go? That suggests to me that church needs to work on its image.Report

      • zic in reply to Chris says:

        Like school, too, when you haven’t read the book and written the paper.

        Maybe a little bit like cleaning the bathroom or refrigerator, once they’ve turned into science experiments.Report

    • J@m3z Aitch in reply to zic says:

      Portland is one of the country’s most un-churched cities, so I suppose it’s that as much as the liberalism itself that gets Rod’s goat.

      For my part, I say fuck Dreher. He’s welcome to go to church as much as he wants, but I’m tired of Christers insisting that social collapse is imminent if I don’t join them. The Netherlands and Chinas–two very different countries–both seem to be doing just fine with most of their population catching an extra 40 winks on Sunday.Report

      • zic in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        I’m sorta tired of constantly hearing that I’m a bad woman if I think sex (outside a few narrowly-defined ways) is evil. Some days, it makes me want to jump on on the table,clutch my skirts and yell, “Ladies have orgasms. Sometimes, they have lots of them. It’s a wonderful thing, they should feel free to do it more often and not get yelled at for it.”

        But most of the time, I’m ladylike and remain respectful and silent.Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        “Ladies have orgasms.

        I read that first as encouragement, rather than description. Either way, I’m down with it.Report

      • zic in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        /didn’t mean to be rude or forward, but it is exasperating that so much of the conversations treat this side of things as an unmentionable. It’s a god-given right.Report

      • Saul DeGraw in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:


        How do you prove whether a city is churchgoing or not?

        I sometimes wonder how much secret religious worship goes on in super-liberal and super-hipster areas. I only have anecdotal evidence for this but:

        1. I have a writer acquaitance from grad school who grew up in the South but now lives in LA. Most of her facebook posts are very secular and often hipster. She talks about how much she loves the park in her hipster neighborhood on 4/20 and other hipster-secular things. Every now and then there will be something about believing in Jesus and it is startling to me for some reason.

        2. I’ve walked by churches in SF with their doors open and hipsters in full on praise Jesus mode.

        3. #2 has also been seen in Seattle.Report

      • Zane in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        @zic Maybe I misunderstood, but you wrote “I’m sorta tired of constantly hearing that I’m a bad woman if I think sex (outside a few narrowly-defined ways) is evil.” Given what follows, I’m wondering if you meant “…if I think sex (outside a few narrowly-defined ways) isn’t evil.”Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        Its very easy to prove how church going a city is. If there are enough church pews for people to go to and those churches are for the most part filled on any given Sunday than its a church going city.Report

      • Chris in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        zic, you should listen to a couple of the songs on today’s music post ;).Report

      • zic in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        @zane totally awesome lysdexic double-negative catch. I’m much obliged.

        Thankfully, due to the mystical magic of double-negatives, folk gathered my meaning.Report

      • zic in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        Just an update,

        It really is the case that the government is taking sides here, and it’s taking sides against cultural conservatives, Christian and otherwise.

        It s a war on Christians. By the government.

        What I question, and question strongly, is the politicization of the classroom, and the cultural left’s — in particular, GLSEN’s — turning classrooms into culture-war battlefields.

        Think about the children.Report

      • veronica dire in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        Funny thing, I was hanging out last night at a queer dance club with a room full of lovely queers, and a lovely queer man, nice guy, enjoy running into him, who is a gay congregationalist minister, and who hides this not at all. Nor does anyone seem to hold this against him, not slightly. And I often speak of my father, a liberal, gay-supporting Lutheran minister, and each person I’ve mentioned him to has been, “Ooo! Cool, neat, awesome.” I have never heard anything resembling, “Eww, gross, a Christian.”

        Just, that doesn’t happen.

        There may not be a lot of Christians in these sorts of places, my little queer paradise. Sure. Fine. But the idea that such places are hostile to Christians is simply false.

        You love Jesus? Cool by me. Come on down. We can together dance the night away.

        Don’t be a bigot.Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        National polling data. Mostly the National Election Study and the General Social Survey.

        We can also look at number of churches divided by the population, although size of congregations can muck with that a bit.Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:


        Would I be right in assuming ELCA?

        Surely not Missouri Synod?Report

      • veronica dire in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        @jm3z-aitch — Yep.

        But even there things are not heaven on Earth. He lost a job once, resigned under pressure, because he insisted on teaching a human sexuality class that was tolerant of gays. (Plus word got out he had performed a gay commitment ceremony.) Anyway, he found another job with another congregation. So, no big.

        On the other hand, he took a stand, made a sacrifice, for me and mine. (And actually at the time he had no idea I was queer. He was doing this according to his values alone.)

        I love my dad.Report

      • zic in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        There’s the Pew study, but it doesn’t seem to go into city/county-level detail; just by state. Even thusly zoomed out, Oregon is well below median.

        And census data here:

      • zic in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        Moderation for two links. I’m a bad woman. Is there a savior around? (And is her name Emma?)Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        Zic–Done (what I won’t do for a bad woman!)

        Veronica–It’s awesome you have supportive parents. I think I’d like your dad.Report

      • veronica dire in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        @jm3z-aitch 🙂Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        I know an older gay man, meaning he is in his 60s and as far as I can tell never pretended to be straight, who is both very active in LGBT organization and a life-long devote Roman Catholic. He doesn’t seem conflicted about this at all. Some people are just good at handling mutual contradictory things in their life without any problem.Report

      • @leeesq , I know you mean well (from my perspective), and Lord knows I’m no defender of the Catholic church, but it’s just wrong to say that being gay and Catholicism are “mutually exclusive.” The Catholic church is to be condemned for its treatment of gays (and women, and come to think if it, children for that matter), but it’s in no way conceptually contradictory for a gay man to choose to be Catholic and believe very fervently all the things one needs to believe in order to fully be a Catholic from an intellectual perspective. We may wonder how that is an emotionally sustainable combination for anyone, but the fact is that thousands of people do it. Even that isn’t proof positive that there aren’t mutually exclusive concepts at work, but what is proof positive is that, if you look at the belifs and creeds and concepts involved, it’s just simply not contradictory as an intellectual matter.

        You can be gay and be a Catholic: there’s not any mutual exclusivity. there’s just a presumably really emotionally and spiritually uncomfortable coexistence. But even that’s a presumption against some evidence in many cases, as many people choose to maintain exactly that coexistence for years and years at a time. (To be clear, I actually do presume that it’s uncomfortable even in those cases because i don’t see how it can’t be, but I’m aware I’m making a presumption.)Report

      • …Sorry, “mutually contradictory,” not “mutually exclusive.”Report

      • Saul DeGraw in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:


        I think my brother’s point is that some people are better at compartmentalizing than others. Catholics seem to be the masters of this. Look at Andrew Sullivan.Report

      • @saul-degraw

        I understand that his point wasn’t really quite to say what he said about a contradiction. I tried to acknowledge that. I still thought it was important to point out that what he did end up writing isn’t really supportable. Andrew Sullivan is one good example.Report

      • Dreher’s the one who left the Roman Catholic church because they weren’t sufficiently anti-gay for him, right?Report

      • Saul DeGraw in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:


        Dreher did become Orthodox. Not sure of the reasoning. I don’t read him very often.Report

      • Tod Kelly in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        No, Dreher left because of the way the church handled the child abuse scandals.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        @michael-drew, I just meant what Saul wrote. Some people are very good and compartmentalizing different aspects of their life that would seem mutually contradictory.Report

      • @leeesq ,


      • zic in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:


        One of the reasons Dreher’s post so bothered is that there may be some truth in it; I’ve known several deeply-closeted people who, upon coming out, simply walked away from their previous lives for some amount of time, often in a financially-irresponsible fashion. (I saw this more in the early 1980’s, so I don’t know if there’s some change, and what I saw was totally anecdotal.)

        Given that I may or may not have observed a common behavior upon coming out, there is some reason to examine the reason why someone has to run away and deny their previous existence, purchase themselves some room to reinvent their lives, and often at other’s expense. And I stress If this a common thing, I do not know.

        To lay it all on moral shortcoming, as Dreher does, and not put it in context of the moral shortcomings from being forced to live a lie for most of one’s life seems pretty offensive.Report

      • zic in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        And that last comment was meant as a reply to @tod-kelly here

        I’m a bad woman.Report

      • Tod Kelly in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        But you’re so good when your bad.Report

      • zic in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        And the second installment of today’s featured soap-opera, “The World According to Dreher,” is a gracious act of concern trolling, gracious because it acknowledges a progressive win in the culture-war that is same-sex marriage. We’ll get to the concern trolling in just a moment.

        Dreher sort-of goes where I’d hoped @tod-kelly would go with his now-cancelled series, and for that, I offer all respect, (and also ask Tod to please reconsider the topic — it’s a very good one, and perhaps you didn’t have the contours of it settled yet):

        When Ezra Klein launched Vox, his new journalistic enterprise, he came under fire for a dearth of diversity among his hires. Later, the hiring of one reporter, Brandon Ambrosino, drew fire for being the wrong kind of diverse. Ambrino’s heterodox takes on gay controversies (including friendly words for Jerry Fallwell) were harshly criticized by former colleagues of Klein and his Vox compatriots. Their roots in progressive journalism caused their former allies to view Vox as an in-group enterprise, and to read any divergence as betrayal. They saw Vox as “one of us” more than Klein himself did.

        Nate Silver’s new media venture FiveThirtyEight saw its own share of controversy in its opening days, when it ran an article contesting that criticism of the often-cited claim that the historic increase in the rising cost of natural disasters is due to climate change. Environmentalism is another in-group marker for liberal circles, and, predictably. the climate change draws particular focus and attention. The piece drew its own internet firestorm, including from outlets like Slate, ThinkProgress, and Huffington Post, leading Silver to commission his own rebuttal of the original piece.

        But I don’t get a sense that this is out of actual concern for factual information so much as opportunity to throw stuff, and that’s the concern trolling:

        In fact, progressives need only look as far as their newly “vanquished” opponents to realize how quickly seemingly inevitable victory can escape. The political alliance Jerry Falwell and other religious conservatives forged with the GOP seemed to bear full fruit with the election of George W. Bush, and his 2004 re-election (with the popular vote, this time) seemed to seal the advent of what many progressives feared, and conservatives hoped, was a new age of resurgent public religion ready to consolidate its own grip on the nation.

        The world according to Dreher, “Nice place you’ve got there, Progressives. Hate to see you GWB all over it.”

        Note: Actual post seems to hang on a Game of Thrones hook was is entirely not needed; I thought it a type of gratuitous grasping for pop-culture relevance that I refuse to participate in due to lack of a cable connection.Report

      • Michelle Togut in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        The world according to Dreher, “Nice place you’ve got there, Progressives. Hate to see you GWB all over it.”

        @zic: The thing is I don’t think Progressives have triumphed, certainly not in any meaningful sense in the political universe. Think back to Richard Nixon, who imposed wage and price controls to get inflation under control, and who issued the executive order that put affirmative action into place. We’ve moved pretty far to the right since those days.

        Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. You think Congress could stop fighting each other to pass anything equally significant today?

        So yeah–things have gotten easier for gays and lesbians than they were even a decade ago and, while this is important, it’s hardly the huge victory for progressives Dreher and lots of right wingers seem to think it is. And any gains that have been made are hardly assured. Look at the way Republicans have been able to chip away at abortion and voting rights over the past few years. Meanwhile, our government is increasingly bought and sold to the highest bidder, while the middle class languishes and the working class gets royally screwed. The culture wars obfuscate some very real economic and political realities.Report

      • zic in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:



        My little soap opera is comedy. Traditional tragic comedy.Report

      • veronica dire in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        We’ve won? Google “transgender teacher fired.”

        And, yes, this woman may win in the courts. Fine. How many of you had to sue to keep your job?


        Yep. What I thought.

        Life is hard enough. Imagine if it were harder for no other reason than shitty, ignorant people who hate you.

        No, really, try to imagine. Empathy — turn it on.

        And on anti-discrimination laws, we have this:

        But most places don’t have these laws and most trans women would flap in the breeze.

        And people keep asking why we fight for these laws.

        So anyway, I’m so looking forward to the day we finally win.

        (Today I had a job interview with a company that is widely regarded as the most trans-positive in my field. And this is a very big deal. Wish me luck. I need it so much right now.)

        (Seriously, I’m in a very bad place. I need this.)Report

      • zic in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:


        (You know that’s dreher, not me, right?)

        And GOOD LUCK. I wish for you bounty and peace and acceptance and warmth, a glow that matches that matches your heart’s fire.

        And that’s hedge-witch wishing; naked-moonlight dancing optional.Report

      • veronica dire in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        Thanks @zic, I’ll take your hedge witch blessing.

        I’ll have to skip the naked dancing, since (warning: TMI) I can’t really do the whole naked in front of others thing.

        You know, for reasons.

        (But seriously, thanks for your kind words. I really need them now.)Report

      • zic in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        @veronica-dire Yes. But it would be welcomed in my outdoor church of moonlight. Welcomed. I prefer the clothing option myself, I’m over 50, and it makes the younger women feel bad. (The trick question is why, of course.)

        I do hope the job works out.


    • Mike Schilling in reply to zic says:

      We have more than three sexual partners.

      No doubt about it, I need to buy a bigger bed.Report

    • Michelle in reply to zic says:

      Well, that is a basic premise of the religion he follows and he’s very consistent about it. His religion also keeps women from the priesthood. Not my cup of tea, which is why I’ll never be an Orthodox Christian. Or a Christian of any kind.Report

    • zic in reply to zic says:

      Continuing my little sub-thread soapopera on the World According to Dreher, today’s first installment in that once, he had a gay friend.

      The gay housemate I once had who cheated me out of hundreds of dollars, and left me hanging on by my fingernails when he ran out on our lease — this was a guy who had been friends with me for years, but who decided that since I was a Christian and therefore a member of the oppressor class, anything he did to cheat me was justified. He wasn’t a bad guy because he was gay. His full-on embrace of a gay identity enabled him to express the worst aspects of his personality without the common decency that held it in check. When he was just our friend, he saw himself as a person like all the rest of us. But then he became Gay, and he changed. This was a middle-class white guy who, to my knowledge, had never before been victimized. He was popular. And yet, for some reason, after he came out, he changed, and not for the better. Suddenly, he had an identity, with a prefabricated set of opinions that told him whom to hate and why hating them was a sign of virtue.

      Since every story has two sides, I’d so love to hear the other side here.Report

      • Zane in reply to zic says:

        @zic , I went to go read that.

        Wow. Bullying is human nature and gays do it too (and do it because they are gay!). Gays are no more victims than anyone else. Identifying as a member of an oppressed group allows people throw off social rules that would otherwise force them to act better.

        Christianity is good because it makes us recognize that we are all bad at heart but it also forces us act better despite the inescapable taint of evil.

        I can’t even critique this adequately. I don’t know what to say.Report

      • DRS in reply to zic says:

        He has mentioned this guy before and the stealing and the running out. Happened to me once too with a housemate that left me a voicemail message that she was moving out to Alberta with a boyfriend and could I please talk to the landlord about calling off the bailiff, please-please-please? Ever try to move out of a house in February at 2 a.m.? Not fun.

        So I’ll buy the incidents happened but I’m pretty sure there were underlying reasons that Dreher was completely unaware of. That’s just part of the post, though; going to be an interesting comments section today!Report

      • Zane in reply to zic says:

        Dreher says that the guy was a good person until he identified as big “G” Gay, @drs . That’s the cause of the bad behavior. If only he’d have been content to remain a little “g” gay, Dreher wouldn’t have been victimized.

        Any guesses as to the limits for acceptable behavior for a little “g” gay in Dreher’s eyes?Report

      • Michelle in reply to zic says:

        Orthodox Christian is an identity as well, which also comes along with a prefabricated or predefined set of viewpoints. And it’s a particularly communitarian identity. I was thinking to write a response to this post, once I stopped banging my head against the wall.Report

      • DRS in reply to zic says:

        Any guesses as to the limits for acceptable behavior for a little “g” gay in Dreher’s eyes?

        Being celibate and religious is pretty much it.Report

      • Tod Kelly in reply to zic says:

        It’s funny, but this reminds me of a conversation about gay people I had with a woman I worked with back in the 90s. She was really, really, down on them, saying that they shouldn’t be allowed to do X, Y or Z in society. We argued for a while, and then she gave me here “proof” that gays were inherently bad people:

        She had a good friend who was married to a man who, it turned out, was gay. He had an affair with a younger man, fell in love, and left her.

        That was it. That was the proof. Like Dreher in that anecdote you shared, it bizarrely never penetrated her thinking that people who are straight do the exact same thing.

        I pointed this out to my coworker, and she was genuinely taken aback. She seriously had never considered that straight men also sometimes have affairs and leave their wives.

        Didn’t change her opinion of gays, though.Report

      • Zane in reply to zic says:

        @zic “One of the reasons Dreher’s post so bothered is that there may be some truth in it; I’ve known several deeply-closeted people who, upon coming out, simply walked away from their previous lives for some amount of time, often in a financially-irresponsible fashion. (I saw this more in the early 1980?s, so I don’t know if there’s some change, and what I saw was totally anecdotal.)”

        And there’s a good chunk of the problem. For Dreher (and the woman that Tod speaks of), the anecdote is in fact evidence about a whole group of people. A Gay person he knew did something bad (I’m using his capitalization standard here). That Gay person did the bad thing because he became Gay. Therefore, being (or becoming, per Dreher) Gay makes/allows/encourages people to be bad in ways they would not were they not Gay.

        Were we to provide an anecdote about some Christian’s bad behavior as evidence of the evilness of Christians in general (replace “Christian” with any other group or identity that Dreher privileges), he would (rightly) be unhappy and say that was unfair.Report

      • North in reply to zic says:

        It’s especially rich for Dreher to harp on this kind of thing. Culture (especially my culture) caps these people’s identities like a plug on a thermal vent and when it finally gives was I am shocked, shocked that it does so violently and destructively.Report

  9. Nob Akimoto says:

    I have a hard time taking any praise of Dreher seriously. I think JR basically captures Dreher’s arguments in a nutshell. The way he demonizes and Others people not in his chosen clan is a wonder to behold, but not in a good way. It’s disgusting, tribalistic behavior.

    The last government where he might have felt at home would probably be Cromwell’s England.Report

    • North in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

      Give him his due. The man can write extremely well and he is not plugged into GOP groupthink. That makes him unusual*.

      *Which is a towering indictment of conservatism right now and a cautionary note for liberalism.Report

      • Nob Akimoto in reply to North says:

        He’s not plugged into the groupthink in that he’s got different sources of his persecution complex and bigotry and he takes a different path to address it.Report

      • Nob Akimoto in reply to North says:

        And Northy,I’m sure Nathaniel Bedford Forrest made a mean chili and could sing hymns with the best of them, and perhaps wasn’t plugged into groupthink, but well…he was still a bigot.Report

      • North in reply to North says:

        I did not claim he was not a bigot.Report

      • DRS in reply to North says:

        He does not write extremely well. He has to constantly re-explain himself in the comments section as to what he really means – especially in those posts where he’s quite emotional about the subject. When I first read him on I assumed he was a minister and gave him a break on writing skills but then found out he was a journalist and couldn’t believe it.Report

  10. Jesse Ewiak says:

    Rod’s a perfectly reasonable human being, until gay people or non-white people get involved. It’s not a surprise then that his comment sections are full of “human biodiversity” folks and people who believe that religiousness has fallen because of a lack of catechism, nor because football is more fun to watch on Sunday’s than Mass. Oh, and liberals like me.Report

  11. Michelle says:

    Great post, Tod. My main issue with much of what Rod has been posting about Eich and Childs is the conflation of what’s happening in a couple of the most liberal enclaves of the country with what’s happening everywhere; his signaling that we’re in for some new variety of McCarthyism where your stance on the gay marriage issue will now brand you forever as some kind of unemployable bigot undeserving of an opinion. Personally, despite the growing acceptance of SSM, for the LBGT population in a lot of the country, the new era of love and acceptance has yet to dawn.

    Here in North Carolina, voters not too long ago passed one of the most repressive anti-gay marriage measures on the books, forbidding even domestic partnerships between gay and lesbian couples. Granted, the measure was placed on the ballot during a primary by the majority Republican legislature and liberals failed to get out to the polls, but we’re still likely stuck with the thing for a while unless it’s overturned by the courts. But support for gay marriage in the state is still relatively low, somewhere in the 25% range, with another 30% supporting civil unions.

    In short, Rod grants to the gay rights movement far more power than it actually has and furthers the error by conflating what the most vocal (and sometimes extreme) voices in that movement advocate. I think his TAC colleague Noah Millman is right–the culture wars benefit the elite by keeping groups that might otherwise come together over common economic interests divided.Report

    • Barry in reply to Michelle says:

      “Granted, the measure was placed on the ballot during a primary by the majority Republican legislature and liberals failed to get out to the polls,…”

      The fact that somebody stuck a knife in your back while you were not looking for an attack is not an excuse for the attacker.Report

  12. James says:

    The location she chose for her market is directly across the street from a New Seasons Market…

    Not true, sir! Not true by nearly a mile. The old Moreland theater and Limelight Bar/Cafe is across the street. And you say you’re familiar with the neighborhood?Report

    • Tod Kelly in reply to James says:

      I went to go prove you wrong, and ended up doing a total “D’Oh!

      Post has been updated. Thanks for the correction.Report

      • zic in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        So I wrote this piece once, a big investigative piece that I was getting pressure from the editor on, about our local water district and the logging they were doing in the steep watershed that provides our water. In the paper, the editor ran it with the tax maps showing the outlines of the property. The tax map outlines were wrong.

        They were logging it every year, violating the terms laid out for it in the deeds when the watershed was given to the town, and this had been going on for decades (serious, egregious violations, too). But of course, nothing else I wrote mattered, because I ran the town’s faulty tax maps and didn’t know that the outline the town had drawn on the maps included an adjacent property.

        About five years after I quit writing for the local paper (I later had an ethical falling out with the editor, he violated the confidence a source had put it my hands,) we had a killer storm. And the whole watershed collapsed. We had a drinking ban, emergency hook up to alternative sources and new sanitation equipment, and had to find a new water supply.

        Of course, conventional wisdom held that it wasn’t global warming, but a freak storm, a once in a thousand year event. Not logging practices (accessing it every year) which had been pinpointed as a problem in steep watersheds in an EPA report about best management practices done under the Clinton Amin., and which I cited in the original story I’d written. Under the now-president GWBush, the report and a whole lot of other stuff from the EPA, at the time of the collapse, none of this information was on-line or available without filing a FOIA.

        So when you get a detail like this wrong(particularly a geographical detail, because these are actual places people can go), it’s good to correct as soon as possible. But it does give people reason to discredit everything else, too.

        So my question, the reason for this long sob story, is one error used to disqualify the rest of an argument — a tu quoque? I’m struggling to comprehend, and I really feel for Sam.

        Because I wasn’t consistently correct, nothing I said was correct.Report

  13. Kazzy says:

    Only every so slightly related, but the neighborhood you describe is exactly the sort I want to live in. And if it really has “houses”, with some degree of space between them, then it would also work for Zazzy. Unfortunately, Portland does not work for either of us for geographic reasons. Does anyone know other neighborhoods/towns like that on the East Coast, preferably near NY or Boston?Report

  14. The signage in the picture says “Established 2009.” I find this weird, and since it seems like something so petty to fib about I can’t imagine it’s a clever ruse, but it does whet my curiosity. Does anyone in the hive mind know when one considers a business “established?”

    You said Childs operates a farm, correct? Is that the date she started the farm?Report

    • zic in reply to Pierre Corneille says:

      Huh, you made me go look; there’s no trace of the farm in the State’s Agriculture website that I can find. For the pantry, the only record seems to be the application for a business license, filed in Sept. Looks like the Childs totally shunned the state’s small-farm grants, assistance, and marketing help. So at least they seems to practice what she preaches.

      The pantry website is wonderfully vague, too; assertions of organic and gmo-free but no certifications are listed, other vendors and their certification are also missing, though this is sort of understandable given the newness of the venture; and there are a few vendor pictures in the photo gallery. Heavy emphasis on the GMO free; that seems to be the #1 concern and customer promise.Report

    • In my mind “established” means a) when the business began operations of some sort, or b) when the entity was created, or c) when the King starts appointing his own bishops and tells the Pope to go [touch] himself.Report

  15. Nob Akimoto says:

    Let’s remember Dreher is the guy who wrote this screed.

    Whatever his writing abilities, the dude’s a Grade A bigot.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

      What was she thinking, using a chainsaw dressed like that?Report

    • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

      How does that particular post establish him as a bigot?Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        Are you under the impression that “bigot” means something other than “someone who disagrees with me on a political issue?”Report

      • You’re right that that screed doesn’t establish him as a bigot, just as someone who is just condescendingly snide about people “getting what’s coming to them” for daring to oppose his corrupt institutional religion.

        And Brandon, if all he did was disagree on political issues instead of approvingly talking about the Steve Sailers of the world, while going on and on about moral decay and how he’s persecuted because he isn’t allowed to publicly condemn gay people, I’d be inclined to be more charitable.Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:


        For the record, I don’t read Dreher. The post Nob linked was the first.

        But Dreher notes that he doesn’t think Pussy Riot should have been punished if they’d demonstrated outside the church. Point Dreher.

        He thinks they got too long a orison sentence. Point Dreher.

        He seems to think some prison was ok, instead of just a fine. Strike Dreher.

        He’s critical of someone cutting down a crucifix that’s not theirs. Well, yeah, of course.

        He advocates jail for her. Strike, probably. Fines are appropriate, imo, not jail, but in most places in the U.S. vandalism like that probably has a “jail and/or fine” clause in the law, so he’s overboard from my perspective, but in bounds from an American law perspective.

        That’s a fairly mixed bag. He may be what you say, but that’s not the post to support your claim.

        (And good lord, if someone’s going to chainsaw in the nude, learn how to handle the equipment! She very nearly sliced herself open swinging that thing around sp awkwardly. I had to quit watching, because she made me nervous.)Report

      • There’s his snippets where he likes to talk about how Steve Sailer gives him insights into human nature due to “biodiversity”: (ie pseudo-scientific racism)

        His tendency to minimize and even mock things he doesn’t understand very well as pseudoscholarship:

        Or how he focuses on the fact that a family in smalltown Texas was butchered in their sleep, but the important thing that he finds shocking is that one of them was bisexual! How awful!

        His comments about the “underclass” how they’re fueled by certain genetic disposisitions and how welfare should go to the “deserving poor”…etc etc.Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:


        Reading those, I’m not sure I can agree with you. There is a lot of claptrap in some disciplines, and while not everything in Black Studies programs is, as a whole there’s not a reputation for rigor there.

        As for his talk about Sailer, he doesn’t seem to really approve of Sailer, as much as say that Sailer helps remind him that science doesn’t answer all questions, and that while he–Dreher–believes in the moral and spiritual equality of every person (I wish he’d say legal and political equality), evolution doesn’t prove that type of equality. That, rather, we have to base that on something other than science.

        Yeah, it’s a bit thin, and he uses it as a bit of a prop for saying “therefore, religion,” and “liberals who like science aren’t really being scientific,” but I don’t see him actually advocating Sailer. If anything, he seems to use him as a negative example of how science claims get overstated (and then implies a false equivalence with liberal/scientific folks).

        If everybody believed that moral and spiritual equality was a fact, I would be more comfortable with the discussion of genetic differences and their effects on us. But you don’t have to go far in the HBD discussion to find some pretty nasty stuff. This does not, let me be clear, demonstrate that what the HBD people claim is false (though it may be, or parts may be); but it does demonstrate to my satisfaction that it is impossible for most people to talk about this stuff without using it to justify some nasty prejudices.

        That’s not highly favorable.

        Of course then he blows it by going on to say,

        You start out exploring the science of genetic differences, which is, or ought to be, a neutral thing, and before you know it you have the greatest scientific authorities in the world coming up with eugenic theories supporting the idea of “life unworthy of life,” and then you end with Auschwitz.
        Which is rather stupidly deterministic and overbroad. So I’m not trying to heap any praise on Dreher here. He’s obviously rather ignorant of what he’s talking about. But it’s not like he’s saying, “Hey, Sailer’s onto the real truth of why blacks are inferior!”Report

      • veronica dire in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        You know, there probably are genetic differences, and with sufficiently powerful statistical tests, you might be able to show them, some minor differences in the mean.

        But then, isolating all the causal factors — good luck.

        (Aside: has anyone else here read Judah Pearl’s stuff on Causality. I find it deeply insightful. Am I alone?)

        But even if you do all the hard work and find some minor difference — so what? What are you going to do with this?

        But more, what motivates you to search for this? What are you hoping to find?

        We get to ask that; we get to interrogate your motives, given the history of race. And we get to reach conclusions.

        Sorry, them’s the breaks in the big, tough world of racist bullshit.

        We might conclude something not-so-nice.

        There is a natural world that exist beyond our wishes. Science explores that world. But the process of science, the people doing it, are hardly objective. Some of them are horrible, shitty racists, and we should feel free to notice which people those are.

        (Regarding my stuff, gender, the twentieth century is a long, painful story of shitty transphobic cishet guys who turned their “scientific lens” on me and mine. Fortunately, we are moving past that stuff. Minds are opening. Our voices are being heard. But the damage has been incalculable. So many lives sunk into despair. If I think too much on it, I cannot deal.)Report

      • veronica dire in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        Correction: Judea Pearl. (And damn I hate getting a person’s name wrong.)Report

      • So I’m not trying to heap any praise on Dreher here. He’s obviously rather ignorant of what he’s talking about. But it’s not like he’s saying, “Hey, Sailer’s onto the real truth of why blacks are inferior!”

        I think the fact that he’s so amenable to Sailer’s pseudo-science and so quick to make cultural judgments about wide swaths of people of the “Underclass” as being incapable of making good decisions shows he has extremely dark foundations to his epistemic foundations.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        I’m giggling thinking about Dreher saying “Hey, Sailer!”.Report

  16. Barry says:

    Todd: “Imagine too that this same Portlander had a Facebook page and a blog where she often referred to Christians as dumb redneck hicks who were to stupid to see that Christianity was a lie. Imagine that the local paper and TV news caught wind and interviewed this Portlander, and when they did she not only doubled down, she said things that locals found even more offensive.”

    Actually, worse than that. It would be as if she implied that all Christians were just child molesters. And did so at a time when laws are still being passed targeting Christians for oppression, and when one party still happily has oppressing Christians as a core principle.Report

  17. Slightly off-topic, but I was raised to believe that all manner of things in society (He-Man toys, rock music, Walter Mondale, etc) were the literal work of Satan.

    Relating this experience to my friends later in life who were raised in different faith traditions, they found it nearly as difficult to fathom as if I had been taught that the earth was flat.Report

  18. Barry says:

    Veronica Dire: “Aside: has anyone else here read Judah Pearl’s stuff on Causality. I find it deeply insightful. Am I alone?”

    I’ve read his intro papers, where he summarizes it. Some professor once said that nobody had actually read his full book, and I believe it.Report

    • veronica dire in reply to Barry says:

      I’ve read a fair bit of it, but literally the full book, no. But then, I seldom read an entire technical book, just not enough time. And often the latter chapters are there to address specific points for specific applications. Often I need the core ideas more than the specific applications.

      Plus, if I never saw another book where chapter one re-introduced Set Theory…Report

  19. J@m3z Aitch says:

    inbred state


  20. zic says:

    Andrew Sprung has a lovely post about Wm. F. Buckley, and a piece he wrote in the ’50’s on the south,

    Just wanted to share it here, because Buckley’s arguments — superior mores — strikes me as very similar to Dreher’s Catholic/Orthodox arguments.Report