The Witch Hunters

One of the themes here is that the American Left is a different thing from the European Left in that it was not born out of the French Revolution. It was born out of the English Civil War and the religious radicalism of the prior century. American Progressives are the spiritual children of the Puritans and Public Protestantism. Their primary motivation is communal salvation. To that end, their focus is on rooting out sin and naming the sinner, rather than the material egalitarianism we associate with the European Left.

American liberals, even though they don’t always articulate it, operate from the assumption that the community is judged as a whole. It is why they obsessively use the word “community” whenever they are talking about public issues. For the Prog, the ideal for man is the community where members are in harmony, living fulfilled lives. It’s why they are endlessly going on about “building communities.” The community has agency and the members work together toward a common goal, that goal being a state of grace.

This spiritual longing for a community is behind the efforts of social media platforms like Facebook to enforce community guidelines. Their executives obsess over their rules as if there can be such a thing as an agreed upon culture for a “community”  that includes a billion people from different parts of the world. That never occurs to them as they assume the community is the default. It is also why they are fanatically evicting bad thinkers from their “community”, even when it is hilariously illogical. So much for their AI, I guess.

The American Left is, essentially, a theocratic movement. They seek to have the church control the state in order to enforce “community standards” and root out “hate and extremism.” The “church” in this sense is the secular religion we call Progressivism. In Europe, the Left has always sought to control the state in order to prevent the Church from making claims on the people’s morality and loyalty. Europe has always been blood and soil, while America was founded, in part, as a spiritual commune.

The quest for spiritual egalitarianism in America is a very different thing than the material egalitarianism of Europe. A Jeremy Corbyn has to kit himself out in the garb of the working man in order to be authentically Left. In America, a rich white woman like Elizabeth Warren can lecture us about the poor, from the steps of her mansion, as she is decked out in a designer outfit. The reason is she cares more for the spiritual well-being of the poor than their material condition. She fears the poor are being excluded.

You see, that’s where the obsession with community fits into their morality. In the mind of the American Prog, the worst thing to happen to someone is for them to be excluded from the community of the righteous. This is almost always caused by the sinners who preach hate or extremism, so the logical way to address this “inequality” is to root out the sinners and hate thinkers. The poor will still be shopping at Walmart and struggling to keep it together, but they will be included in the community and the community will be saved.

This impulse to hunt for sinners in order to save society may feel like a new thing, but it is a permanent and integral part of the Prog theology. It does not always manifest itself in the political and social arena. For example, in the 1980’s, the Progs were sure that the infernal one was causing daycare workers to engage in unspeakable, and implausible, acts with the children in their care. The result was a national panic about daycare centers and a spasm of wild accusations, leading to bizarre show trials reminiscent of Salem.

One of the more egregious examples was in Massachusetts, unsurprisingly. The Amirault family had run a daycare center for decades and there was never any evidence of problems. Then, the fever hit and the Progs were sure it was a den of molestation. The DA at the time had his assistant, Martha Coakley, build a case based on manipulating children into saying things that were not only false, but in many cases physically impossible. The family was destroyed and sent to prison by the witch hunters.

Another example is the Satanic Panic that ruined the lives of a Texas couple. They were accused of being Satan worshipers and doing horrible things to children. Like all of these cases, the evidence ranged from totally fabricated to outlandishly absurd. That did not prevent the state from destroying their lives. Like the Amirault case, the truth was finally revealed and the accused were exonerated, but the damage can never be undone. That’s the thing about witch trials. Even when there is no witch, they still have the trial.

The thing you always see with these spasms of witch hunting, is that the witch hunters never pay a price for their misdeeds. In the Amirault case, Martha Coakley went onto a long political career. In the Texas case, the DA never faced discipline. Today, of course, the wave of hate hoaxes like what went on in Virginia never result in the perpetrators facing punishment. It’s just assumed they had good intentions because they were defending the community against hate and extremism. Who can fault them for that?

The point of all this is to remember that the other side, the people in the Cult of Modern Liberalism, are motivated by the same forces that motivated Cotton Mather. Although he was scientifically inclined, he enthusiastically supported the witch trials. It is an example of how even the most rational mind can be possessed of such fervent conviction that it leads to the embrace of homicidal lunacy. Then, as now, these are not people with whom you can reason. The Prog is a crusader whose thirst for social justice cannot be sated.

80 thoughts on “The Witch Hunters

  1. The Amirault family had run a daycare center for decades and there was never any evidence of problems. Then, the fever hit and the Progs were sure it was a den of molestation. The DA at the time had his assistant, Martha Coakley, build a case based on manipulating children into saying things that were not only false, but in many cases physically impossible.

    According to the Wiki on Martha Coakley, this is not accurate. “She joined the DA’s office in 1986 as an Assistant District Attorney in the Lowell, Massachusetts District Court office. A year later, she was invited by the U.S. Justice Department to join its Boston Organized Crime Strike Force as a Special Attorney. Coakley returned to the District Attorney’s Office in 1989 and was appointed the Chief of the Child Abuse Prosecution Unit two years later.

    In 1997, while serving under Middlesex County, Massachusetts District Attorney Tom Reilly, she and Gerry Leone led the courtroom prosecution of then 19-year-old English au pair Louise Woodward who was later convicted in the shaking death of eight-month-old Matthew Eappen of Newton, Massachusetts.[4]

    The Amirault/Fells Acres case took place from 1984-86 in Middlesex County, when Martha Coakley was in law school. Coakley DID get involved years later in the Amirault case- but to deny him clemency. From Wiki:
    In December 1997, Coakley resigned her position, in order to campaign for District Attorney in Middlesex County.

    In 2001, Coakley successfully lobbied Acting Gov. Jane Swift to deny clemency to Gerald Amirault, a defendant in the Fells Acres Day Care Center preschool trial, whom many regarded as a victim of day care sex abuse hysteria. Prior to this, clemency for Amirault had been recommended unanimously by the Massachusetts Parole Board,.[7] Amirault’s co-accused mother and sister had already been released from custody.[8] Wall Street Journal editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz cites Coakley’s pursuit of the case despite lack of corroborating evidence as an example of questionable judgment on Coakley’s part.[8]

    Coakely was involved in the Amirault/Fells Acres case, but NOT in the initial prosecution. She was involved over a decade after Amirault’s conviction, where she denied him clemency.

  2. Here’s a letter to the editor about the Amirault case.

    Other cases that are tied in with child abuse and day care centers are not cut and dry. There was the same sort of allegations at the Presido military base day care.

    FBI Investigates Presidio Child Molestation Report(This was called hysteria but some of the children had sexually transmitted diseases)

    Another was the McMartin preschool. It was said to be hysteria but parents got an archeologist to dig up the ground at the site where kids said there were tunnels and he found tunnels. Wikipedia is more skeptical.

    The people who were on TV claiming that it was all nonsense, the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, appear to all be employees of institutes that have heavy CIA funding.

    Maybe what the FMSF say is true but I don’t believe them just because they put them on TV.

    I think it just as likely that a bunch of perverts work in weird mind control experiments that are funded by the CIA. That they used Satanism as a ruse so that no one would be believed. We know for an absolute fact the CIA drugged kids and gave them electroshocks to try and brainwash them from Mk Ultra files. This isn’t made up it is documented and most of the files were destroyed so this is only a little part of the story.

  3. Z Man, ever read Michael Walzer’s The Revolution of the Saints? He makes a lot of these points. It’s specialist history — some of it is over my head, as I’m not an early modernist — but worth checking out if you haven’t.

  4. I think of guys like Lawrence Walsh and Robert Mueller as our super witch hunters. You know they are closing in on a witch when the “obstruction of justice” charges start to fly. That’s their signature move.

    When investigating the Anthrax mailing murders, Mueller’s witch detector went off on a Virologist even though Anthrax is a bacterium. That didn’t stop Robert and his buddy James from burning that particular witch at the stake.

  5. I rarely disagree with you, Z-man, but on this I could not disagree with you more. Witch hunting didn’t start or end in Salem Village. It began in RC Europe years before Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg door. What happened in Everett in the 1980s was perpetrated by RCs against RCs in an RC city. Late 19th/early 20th century mass immigration overwhelmed the old WASP meritocracy and ushered in the pay-the-bagman, get-the-job culture that’s bankrupting the commonwealth.

      • @ AFDN It’s spelled “Ja” not “Jah”. 🙂 Are you talking about the town of Idstein, north of Wiesbaden?

        • I would think at this point, regular visitors to this blog should be able to use and spell a few simple German words like “Ja” and “Nein” and “Uber” correctly and without too much difficulty.

          Don’t worry, I don’t expect you to know or spell words like “Rindfleischetikettierungsueberwachungsaufgabenuebertragungsgesetz.” Yes, it’s really a word.

          @ AFDN – there will be a test next week, and no multiple choice for you my friend! 🙂

          • Will there be Bier involved_? Bier always improved my Deutsch, or at least I thought so back in the day.

        • Karl;
          I know: At least In Hochdeutsch. But I was using the ‘standard’ upper US Midwest dialect 😉

          The town ist im umgebeit Kassal, other side of the Rhein, about an hour N by train of the then RheinMain military complex. State of Hesse. Really a lovely little place on a tributary of the Eder, IIRC. It surprised me to discover that the terrain thereabouts had never been glaciated flat, unlike everything hereabouts. It even looked like there were a number of small, long-extinct volcanos out in the fields. Sadly, no vineyards. Happened during the summer right after the surprise end of the Cold War: Good Times.

          • @ AFDN – Glad you enjoyed your stay here! You must come back for another visit. Much has changed since the 80-90’s. Actually the area west of Koblenz known as the Eifel is volcanic, luckily we don’t suffer from earthquakes like our southern neighbors.

            If you want to see a very unusual town, read about Nördlingen which is actually built in a meteor crater.

          • The spellchecker is proof that demons exist. Never works when you need it, either. Definitely malevolent.

  6. The funny thing is that we do have innumerable witches nowadays but they are the ones conducting the trials. Nice witch trick.

  7. They have so thoroughly embarrassed and humiliated themselves in their Trump witch-hunt, that I think mockery is working very well now. True, most Progs display a shockingly low level of shame in most situations, but I think between Comey’s testimony (Trump was being truthful) and CNN’s bonkers coverage of the Trump Administration, as well as the maniacal protests, that this latest witch hunting phase is drawing to a close. They’re going to need something new to witch hunt.

    Not saying they’re going to stop. It’s in their nature. But I do think the more people mock it and see it for what it is, the easier it is to marginalize the Progs. In many ways, from lying about Obamacare, to the poor economic recovery, to the job losses, to the terrorist attacks, to calling literally EVERYONE who disagrees with them a racist, they’ve marginalized themselves pretty effectively.

    Also, something I’ve said since the early days of Trump’s candidacy: he sort of “blows up” many of the established political lanes of the last 25-30 years. Blacks don’t hate him. Hispanics don’t hate him (and many also resent lawless immigration). Women don’t hate him (he won the white women vote).

    The only people who DO hate him? Government Party people (Dem and Repub politicians, DC establishment types, Conservative Inc., Federal Employees – particularly Unionized government employees, and the Media).

    Nobody likes those people anyway.

  8. As pointed out just above by Alice and others, belief in witches of one sort or another that precipitated witch hunts is not confined to Colonial MA or Puritans or Progs of our own time. It seems they are a feature of our fallen humanity. For example, witch doctors are a feature of third world countries today, some in our own hemisphere (e.g. Voodoo). If you are wiling to pay a witch doctor you must believe that there are witches that you need doctoring from.

    Europe was rife with this in the middle ages and even later. As direct personal evidence, I recall asking in ca. 1990 about a feature in the yet-standing fortification wall of a charming old central German town that was spared destruction during the war due to its being small and not industrialized. I was told that it was the ‘Hexenturm’, meaning ‘witches tower/prison’. I asked if it was unique and was assured that it was not, just that the others elsewhere had been taken apart due to the usual causes; war, rot, urban development, etc. I asked when it was last used and my local guide (a distant relative) guessed that it was probably in the late 1700’s.

    Q: What stopped its use_? A: The French during the revolution. IOW, witch hunts, imprisonment, trials and likely executions were being held in Central Europe nearer our own time than the Salem trials.

  9. It’s always helpful to look back on the satanic panic and to see how this type of thinking and behavior manifests today. Different issues but the same crazy train. Its not necessarily a left/right thing, just a human thing. Remembering this keeps one more honest about oneself and others. I hope to never lose that youthful perspective and remembrance of watching the adults and authorities around me obsess and lose their damn minds. Gen x really got to watch that play out without the adults legally drugging us into compliance with their obsessions and forcing us to join their crazy train. Many millenials and gen Z haven’t had that privilege unfortunately. They have been forced onto the crazy train.

    • They are not forced. But they willingly join because something of value is held out to them in exchange for their getting on board. There was no vested interest in getting on board the satanic panic, it was obviously best observed from a wide distance.

  10. This is what makes academic history so fun, BTW. There’s a whole branch called “labor history” that, in America, has spent the past 60 years noodling over the question, “why was there no viable socialist movement in America?” The answer, of course, is that American workers don’t think of themselves as “the workers;” only Euros, with 1000 years of feudalism under their belts, think like that. American workers think of themselves as “Lutherans,” or “Red Sox fans,” or what have you. But since St. Karl didn’t write anything about that, it can’t possibly exist.

    (It should’ve been obvious that European workers don’t think of themselves as “the workers” either — World War I proved that. But hey, if they could reason from evidence, they’d be neither liberals nor academics).

  11. Excellent essay. One of your very best.

    At least some portion of Jeremy Corbyn’s schtick is due to the doctrine of Nobless Oblige, which itself grew out of the European feudal system. America had no such feudal system. Hence, our prog elites like Warren need not feign any obligation to look after the material interests of their pets.

  12. I lived in Massachusetts during the trial of the Amirault family, the initial charge and run up to the trial didn’t immediately raise any flags but the trial was a eye-opener. “This is impossible” I thought.
    By the time the appeals started I expected the Amiraults to be cleared quickly.

    To this day when I see another story on the Amiraults I feel nothing but shame for my state. Every time Coakley runs for office I don’t just vote against her, I contribute to her opponent. That woman is a horror.

    • The witch trial was outrageous, but the cover-up long after was even more sickening. The state basically worked to thwart the exoneration of these people just to protect the career of the moron Coakley. It’s a good example of how Progs stick together to the bitter end. The Alt-Right/Alt-Lite could learn a few things from Mass Progs.

      The good news is Coakley never made it to the Senate. The bad news is Fake Indian got the seat.

        • Yes! For those of you not old enough/don’t remember/unfamiliar with any of these cases, including the Janet Reno “Country Walk,” case, please spend a bit of time digging into these. Pre-internet, lots of loose…crap, occurred, that I believed the internet media detectives would debunk and destroy, before they could get to the points of hysteria they did back in the day.

      • There was an otherwise despicable neo-con zionist woman at the WSJ who did excellent work on this travesty, can’t recall her name.

    • I used to live in the PRM, and long after I moved elsewhere, I had to do some research about the daycare madness of the ’80s and ’90s and looked into the Amirault case. I was so horrified at what had happened to Gerald Amirault that I wrote a letter of outrage to the governor. I got an email in response saying that it had been forwarded on to the parole board. The deal that finally got Amirault out of jail was made public just a few weeks later, so I joked to myself that my letter had tipped the balance.

      As for that Coakley woman the word “vile” hardly does justice to the evil of her role in that case. Living abroad nowadays, I have to vote in the last place I resided in the US, which is the PRM. It used to amuse me to vote against Ted Kennedy and Kerry (pretty much the rest of the ballot was just giving a Stalinist “yes” to the sole, Democrat candidate), but after a while I stopped bothering. But I did bother when I found out that that incarnation of evil Coakley was running for the senate and I took the trouble to vote for her opponent (Scott Brown, if memory serves).

      That the PRM is run by garden variety D’s can be attributed to mass delusion, but allowing that woman to hold any office is an unforgivable sin. Even Ted Kennedy seems palatable compared to her. May she burn in hell.

      • Ah, come on. Tell us what you really think!


        Sometimes I shake my head at myself, that I’m still living in this Progressive Hell. But I was born here, my ancestors and my wife are buried here, and if I leave the ‘Political IQ’ of this state will drop like a rock.
        But ask yourself this; if all the commonsense conservative citizens had remained in California and kept voting against the wave, if the economic refugees from said state had stayed and protested, then would California be the basket case it is today. And would the ‘California Disease’ have spread to other SW states?
        This country is the last hope for the world, we shouldn’t give up an inch of it.

        • I love everything about New England, except the political culture. The weird thing is it is not like California where most people are weird. In Mass, most people are fairly sensible. It’s just the moonbats own all the high ground. Every election is a moonbat versus a cuck, if the cucks bother to run anyone.

          • I would argue that California is like New England, except for the Bay Area. The weirdos own all the high ground, the political arena, and the publicity. The rest of us are a huge part of the state, and we lay low and live out our lives.

    • In Texas, the prosecution was supported by attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, who ran the Travis County Children’s Advocacy Center. She later moved up from Assistant DA to DA, until she was famously busted on tape for a highly abusive DUI arrest (at B.A.C. of 3x the limit), where she had to be strapped into a chair to be processed. Rick Perry, then governor, stripped her budgets out when she refused to step down after 3 weeks in jail.

      For this, he was indicted by a political ally of the DA for abuse of office, but shortly thereafter was cleared of that malarky. Thankfully this piece of ‘work’ is no longer ‘serving’ us, but her antics make for a great ‘only in Texas’ story. As noted, the case against the Kellers was reopened some time ago thanks to a journalists’ diligence, and after 21 years in jaill. But it was only a week ago they were completely exonerated officially by an official dismissal of the case.

  13. I think I’ve finally found a way to categorize this excellent blog: “Field Guide to the American Progressive”

  14. Women progs like Warren and Hilary are leading the way, and the prog men are scared to death of them. The first Salem “witch”, Bridget Bishop, was accused of witchcraft by three lunatic woman. Bridget was hanged. Thus it began.

    • The American Progressive movement is driven by women Mainline Protestants. In the last 50 years, religious participation in the US has stayed steady at roughly 20% Catholic, 20% Evangelical Christian, 10% Black Christian, 10% other than Christian. But in the last 50 years, Mainline Protestantism has gone from 30% to 10%, and “no religious affiliation” has gone from 10% to 30%. The Mainline Protestants in the US have been driven into the ground by the women Progressives at the helm. Nice going, ladies.

      • @ Dutch – I’m not convinced progressive women are to blame for all the religion issue in America or anywhere else.

        I think it probably has more to do with giant “Warehouse Churches” and people like Jim Baker, Robert Tilton and Joel Olsteen who seem more interested in filling their pews and bank accounts than following Jesus’ teachings about serving their flock and leading people to Christ.

        Then there’s the group who, after a church service, can have Sunday lunch at the local Hooter’s without even blinking. The hypocrisy of church-goers (I use that term rather than Christians) is not missed by the public. And when those same church-goers start ranting about why people are going to hell if they don’t get right with God, people tend to question a “Christian lifestyle” simply from what they observe.

        Here in Europe, churches of all faiths have been loosing popularity for decades. And since Europe has been historically divided more by religion than race, it’s really nothing new to us. You don’t have to read about the history of the 30-year war, just travel to the border towns of Ireland and Northern Ireland to see it for yourself.

        Today, the Catholic church has embraced modern culture and values, rather than being separate from it. They openly appoint gay priests and women priests, while at the same time shielding child molesters. As in the States, the hypocrisy of the Church is not missed and once again the church becomes its own worst enemy.

        One bright note in all this, we have seen a rise in Christianity here in Europe. Not from our own, but from many of the refugees who left Muslim oppression in Syria, Iran, or Iraq and can now practice Christianity openly, without fear of being killed for their beliefs.

        • The “warehouse churches” are not Mainline Protestant. I am talking about the Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians and so on. They were a primary driver of the American culture after WW2; they had all the money, the property, and the weekly attendance. They have squandered it all. Though Christianity is in decline in the US, only a specific subset of that Christianity is faltering. Unrecognized by Europeans (and a lot of Americans), American Christianity is a diverse bunch. The evangelicals and non-denominationals (the “warehouse Christians” often fit both) have held in there very well, despite the high-profile scandals, as have the Catholics. The black Christian churches (a huge bastion of self-segregation) remain very strong. The American Catholic Church is still mostly patriarchical, for better or worse, as are almost all the others, with the sole exception of the Mainline Protestant denominations, who have gone wholly matriarchical for a long time now. And that is where the losses are being suffered. The fiction is that it is American Christianity in general that is in decline, but the fact is that the Mainline Protestant denominations are in a secular and spiritual crisis, and don’t know whether to crap or go blind. They covet the participation and enthusiasm they see at the warehouse churches and from the evangelicals. They envy the continuing commitment of the Catholics. They can’t fathom why the Mormons are so strong, because, in their eyes, the LDS is just weird. They look for clues in the black churches, which are much more involved in the lives of their congregants, but in a constructive way that adds discipline and resources to a poor and chaotic community, and not as scolds and guilt-givers. In short, the Mainline Protestants are the harpies and scolds of the American Christian community, and people aren’t very interested in that.

          As to the Jim Bakers of the world, people are attracted to scoundrels. Trump is a scoundrel of sorts, and he does not scare a lot of people off. Merkel is a bit of a scold, and wouldn’t fly here in the US, IMO, for whatever that is worth.

          • @ Dutch – Thanks for the explanation of American religion, very interesting. I attended a very small church in Menlo Park when I lived in the Bay area. A far cry from the “warehouse churches” like the Crystal Cathedral down in Los Angeles.

            I laughed out loud at your “…don’t know whether to crap or go blind” comment. Is that a local term from your area of the US? It’s great! I’ll make a point to use that at my next staff meeting if someone can’t make a decision. It’s perfect. I’ve heard the expression “…either crap or get off the pot” but I like yours better. 🙂

          • The proper term for “crap”, in my statement, is “scheiss” in German. If you want to get the full flavor of the saying. Just trying to keep it a little bit clean around here.

          • Jimmy Carter was a scold and a faithful man who practiced what he preached

            His presidency was reviled and he got one term.

            That part of our culture hasn’t really changed that much.

          • A lot of rough stuff came through during Jimmy Carter’s presidency. He should have owned up to a lot of it, but he didn’t, instead moping around and blaming the public for their problems, and he frittered away most of the goodwill he had with voters.

  15. Yes. Excellent. Read Hooker’s account of the Puritans for a chillingly familiar proclamation of political entitlement. (A good excerpt is found in Voegelin’s New Science of Politics.)

  16. In a similar theme to the public “community”, corporate America likes to use the word “team” to describe and manage their workforce.

    In my dealings with my American counterparts, we often discussed how “team members” have to comply with the will of corporate leadership – often under the direction (fear) of whatever HR’s “-ism of the week” happens to be.

  17. It’s true that the Left in the UK have to conceal their wealth while weeping crocodile tears for the poor, whereas in the US they don’t even bother. France is a curious mix of the two, where multi-millionaire socialists express concerns about material inequality in society.

  18. No. I mean your examples are great and your argument works, but your thesis is completely backwards.

    Liberals (there is only one variety, and the origins predate the French Revolution) believe in relative salvation, not communal. It’s interesting that you get the Protestant angle correct.

    Liberals believe they are saved/justified/valued in comparison with others. This is true of left-liberals and right-liberals. They don’t believe that the community is saved. They believe community is central to salvation because there must be an external (some portion of the community) that is not saved so that their chosen Inner Circle may be saved in comparison. It’s not the health of the community which is their goal, but the division.

    This is why they talk about “building communities”. Communities aren’t built, they are lived in. “Building” a community is an exercise in sabotaging those who are already living in a community.

    Liberals are Vogons, building intergalactic superhighways to “connect” on top of locals who just want to enjoy a beer together.

    • Z Man’s key insight and the main point to keep in mind that they are all Christian heresies, the more invidious because they pretend not be religions. So no reason to waste overmuch time on classification of their beliefs: They’re all dangerously wrong.

      At first I was skeptical of Z Man’s tracing current Progs to NE Puritans. But then I remembered that the actual historical sequence was NE Puritans > NE & MW Congregationalists > NE (mostly) & MW Unitarians > 1890’s Progs & their Mainline Protestant allies > Liberal ‘Atheists’ > Current Multiculti Feminist Progs. IOW, there are at lest 3 – 4 heretical degrees of separation from the original Puritans, who, despite their human faults, aspired to small O orthodox Christian belief and practice. The Puritans, of course, are long gone.

      Their other spinoffs have been more or less fully ‘converged’, indicating a directed process. IOW, if it were a random evolutionary process we could expect to see relic populations of the intermediate forms in backwater environments, like marsupials in Australia. You cannot find a Unitarian congregation that is not fully multi-culti fem Prog.

      • The gender thing is very important, IMO. Catholic Latin women understand their role in the Catholic Church. Black women understand their important presence in the black Christian churches. And the also accept that the congregations are usually led by strong males, and the male congregants are fully involved as well, as it should be. The path you trace through the Congregationalists, Unitarians, and do on, lists the places where man-hating upper middle class white women can land, and not need to deal with a patriarchical congregation led by a strong male. So they land there, and take over, and drive all the normal people away. One can usually tell when the last well-heeled old person in any long standing Prog congregation has died off and completed his customary generosity to his church. Only then does the mask come off and the pride flags fly. The takeover is complete and the attendance slips and the bills do not get paid. Sort of a microcosm of the big cities.

        • Dutch;
          Agree with your chronology but not necessarily your causality. Seems to me you are talking about the necessity of maintaining standards to keep these elite feminist vampire squids out. Denied affirmation a few times, they will go looking for another opportunity to converge another organization. Otherwise the process you describe has the result we both describe.

          So, how to hold the line_? I’d say that unless the men of the church have the confidence derived from actually taking God’s Word seriously and the knowledge derived from careful study, they’ll be tempted to temporize of the sake of unity/comity/inclusion and so it goes.

          • I assume the males did throw in the towel at the Mainline denominations a long time ago. I do not know why. Perhaps some combination of sympathy with the plight of the women-folk, or maybe the whole Vietnam angst thing just blew their wheels off. The male leadership of the other branches of American Christianity seemed not to have gone through such a process. Could be that the weight of being the “religion of record” for post WW2 America was just too much, given all the social upheavals that took place. I am just throwing out idle speculations at this point, to see if any of them might stick. I have no real idea.

            From where I sit, there is no going back. The Mainlines are who they are, and so it shall play out for them from here. Any re-emergence of a strong traditional male presence will need institutional cooperation and encouragement from the existing power structure, largely made up of female Progressives, and I just don’t see that happening anytime soon.

      • The most effective of the modern day progs have not only the finger-wagging traditions and zeal of the early American separatist Christian sects, but the ability to direct money from the foundations endowed by their Robber Baron great-grandfathers, who took the meaning of the Protestant Work Ethic to heart.

  19. >American Progressives are the spiritual children of the Puritans and Public Protestantism. Their primary motivation is communal salvation.

    I think that is fair cop.
    It’s also completely ironic, as Nothing. Whatsoever. In. The. Gospel. pertains to “communal salvation”. The concept is pure human manufacture.

  20. You have to pay careful attention to the process of natural selection among the upper-class in the west. The trend previously was selecting for both iq and ability to wax provincial paternalistic while rent-seeking. The modern trend, beginning in the mid-20th century, was selecting for iq and the ability to be globally paternalistic. The latter strategy has the added benefit of expanding the scope of potential rent seeking. The Paris Climate Accords being, perhaps, the archetypal example.

    The Prog cohort can’t simply be viewed as a monolithic whole. It’s a hierarchy similar to any other globe-spanning consortium. At the top you have largely self-aware and cynical elites who measure their language in terms of the power dynamics afoot and the profit, material or influential, to be gained. At the middle you have a more true-believer-heavy group with a non-trivial number of lesser cynics who’ve found a niche to exploit for similar reasons to the top. And at the bottom you have largely true-believers or people so unintelligent that their thought process is immaterial.

    It is this cohort at the bottom middle and low end which you describe. They are violent, ruthless, largely blind ideologues who have neither passion nor joy outside of fulfilling the explicit order of their superiors. Like serfs, they on some level realize their lives are owed entirely to their membership. Therefor, they default to attacks on outsiders and virtue signal amplification to ensure they remain in good standing.

    Incidentally, one can scarcely escape this general pattern in any serious political movement. The cognitive and power elite can only be swayed to the camp of another such organization by promises of continuity, if not greater influence and resources. The middle cohort has to be cultivated as a holding area for both the superlative radical and the limbo of social climbers who would upset those at the top. The bottom, per all human social arrangements, must enforce ideological zeal and desire for continued membership lest defection become popular.

  21. Thank you. I thought I was the only one who saw Cotton Mather pulling the handles behind the Progressive curtain.

  22. As with all of the other tools in the progressive kit, the left think a charge of “witch-hunt” can only be leveled one way. What’s going on with searches for a link between Trump and Russia is obviously a witch-hunt, though, and has even been called a new form of McCarthyism by some on the right. Left unsaid, of course, is that if one engages with the primary sources, like the Venona Transcripts and the tapes in the possession of Edward J. Epstein, the truth is that Joseph McCarthy, Whittaker Chambers, and Herbert Hoover were far too lenient with the communists who were, in fact, trying to subvert the West. There was no “red scare” or anti-communist hysteria; there were only some men trying to do their jobs by stopping the Soviet subversion in its tracks. The left controls the discourse, though, so even when their demons get unmasked, we have to treat them like saints.

    Regarding the satanic panic in the 80s, I remember the State’s case fell apart when an attorney showed a child a lineup of men and asked him to point to the picture of the one who had molested him. The boy pointed at a picture of Chuck Norris.

    • Yeah, I remember something like that. In the end, the whole thing became too ridiculous even for the Left, and it put them on the same side as Fundie Christians (sort of), which they hated. But of course, they just moved on to something else. As I recall, it was Clarence Thomas…

  23. Agreed, but what unites the Left here and in Europe is to advocate for people “outside the system.” This started when the workers were outside the system in the 19th century. The point is that, for people outside the system, violence is the answer, and the Left has always been rich kids looking for an excuse for violence, er, peaceful protest.

  24. “In America, a rich white woman like Elizabeth Warren can lecture us about the poor, from the steps of her mansion, as she is decked out in a designer outfit.”

    Heh. The Progs always irk me with their crocodile tears and hand wringing for the poor and minorities–From the comfort of their mansions, limos, and private jets. They exercise long distance faux empathy and charity to the untouchables, while demanding others to perform the actual service, which the Progs will take full credit for. Today’s Progs reminds me of the Russian story about a rich woman who wept tears watching a tragic scene during a opera, while her coachman outside froze to death. I doubt a single college SJW who protest and riot have ever missed a meal in their life, or suffered any lack of material comfort short of being unable to purchase the latest Iphone. But hopefully some of them will gain valuable experience being poor as they are crushed under the weight of their student loans they squandered partying for four years and majoring in Liberal arts and social sciences.

    • The anti-hunger protests featuring hordes of morbidly obese women and their fat chirrun are just as bad.

  25. The progressive struggle sessions are all fun and games until Nancy Pelosi is the one with the plastic bag over her head.

    • Nazi Botoxi has had so much plastic surgery that (in the words of Dennis Miller) she looks like she’s perpetually witnessing the docking of the Hindenburg.

    • Yes, certainly, but as usual, they had no real influence. Fundies are still on about this but no one listens to them. As always, the “Crisis” started when Lefties decided it was a problem, and ended when they decided that it wasn’t. I mean, who cares what Fundies think of “Global Warming” today?

  26. In my dealings with such people, I have found them to be fundamentally miserable, with no capacity for feeling real joy. They are fearful, and the fear translates to hate, hate of whatever is the designated world-threatening bogeyman. It used to be the blacks, now it is Trump and the Right. There is no rationality there, only a knee-jerk reaction borne of their fear. They are so afraid, they would rather listen to obvious untruths if those untruths support the fear monster. They wallow in it.

    There is truly no hope for them, they will live their lives in fear and anger, and thrive wherever their caterwauling can gain some traction. It is not a choice for them, they were born with it. Don’t try to consider it any more complex or treatable than it is. And when you have a good day, and feel joyful, take a tiny personal victory lap knowing that you just enjoyed a feeling that many blessed people are incapable of experiencing.

    • Mark Steyn had a pretty good quip the other day. He said that for people on the right politics is a part of life, but for people on the left it’s life. If you’re conservative and you lose an election, you go back to life and work, and try again in two years or four years. If you’re on the left, you bitch about your loss for four years straight (or try to find some insane scapegoat for why you lost). Man needs religion because without it, something ugly will fill the hole where religion once existed. The left lost religion and thus politics is their religion. They need to get lives/hobbies.

      • Be that as it may, Steyn has the solution precisely backwards. One does not win a war by demanding their opponents disarm themselves or practice more honorable forms of combat. Arms races occur because they are mandatory once started, lest the non-participant become overwhelmed by superior firepower.

        FWIW, I don’t think he’s correct in estimating the the politics of the left are equivalent to the religion of the right. The left’s politics and religion are more closely aligned, two parts of a whole, but the politics of the right are largely lackadaisical and misinformed, or were until the alt-right gained some popularity.

        The right’s religion should inform their politics, or necessarily will inform their politics, but zeal can be replicated without turning the religious right into nihilists like the left. History is replete with examples of religiously tinged or inspired political movements that had all the characteristics of the modern left’s ferocity and resilience.

        The only problem for the right is that the “right,” establishment has largely put these zealous behaviors out of bounds. Whether that was because they were intended as humble opposition props or because they genuinely cultivated a natural loser mentality or moral grace in defeat, one can only speculate; however, it is certain that if the right does not continue to capitalize on their success – by any means their opponents would use – then they are doomed to ultimately fail once more.

        And this time around it seems abundantly clear that said failure would be permanent. So take the wisdom of the conservative clerics with a measure of salt. They’re typically on the mark when they critique the left, but they are seldom brave enough to draw a logical conclusion from such an observation.

  27. C.S. Lewis, the atheist-turned-believer, criticized well-intentioned but wrong-headed government intrusion into our personal lives. He said, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

  28. Just today on Breitbart:
    Mark Zuckerberg Compares Facebook To ‘Churches’ and ‘Community Support Groups’

    • Curious. In context doesn’t that comparison unmask Mark Zuckerberg as a bigot with an anti-Christian bias? Shouldn’t he have instead chosen synagogues?

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