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Volume 12, Issue 1: Anvil


Douglas Wilson

We are in this for the long haul, and as much as we would like to ignore the process, there it is, the fact remains.

Well, okay, we need a subject. The presidential race, that’s the subject. Bush and Gore have wrapped up their respective primary campaigns. Buchanan is still lurking on the periphery, waiting for the right moment to paint himself blue and run screaming into their midst. At least it might get a little interesting then.
Until that time, the question that must be plaguing Credenda subscribers by the two’s is, why not Al Gore? Just in case those folks can read, we’ll go over the basic arguments again.
Well, for starters the Constitution requires that a president must be a native-born American, and Al Gore was manufactured at an android plant west of Detroit.
Secondly, his policies make it difficult to support him. For example, on environmental issues, he thinks that earth is in the balance. Actually, judging from published authors, like Al Gore, all the available data indicate that earth is populated by the imbalanced. He also wants the government to make my health care better, which is like trying to suck water out of a hot coal.
Then there is the whole ethical fundraising gooey mess, the Buddhist monks thing. While he does have a defense, Gore has inexplicably failed to use it. They were actually Buddhist wonks; the Temple was a new policy training center for zen IRS agents, trying to make the agency more consumer friendly. What is the sound of taxes going up? The light comes over the lake by the mountain and the earned income credit walks silently with the elk.
And of course his failure to avail himself of this defense calls his intelligence into question. Does he have what it takes upstairs? The standard was set ably a number of years ago by the fellow who said that being president was like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game and dumb enough to think it’s important. At this point he might be qualified, but he has to do better in presenting that case to the American people.
You know, the American people—the good folks who brought you Elvis on crushed velvet, Cheetos, wine in cardboard boxes, that best-selling Hardy Boys in the Apocalypse series all the rage these days in Jesus junk stores, tongue rings, alpha males, feminist pencil necks teaching gender studies for actual credit, and a booming market for the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. You know, the American people, whose predelictions, when you come to think about it, explain a lot about contemporary politics.
And this leads to the next point. His rhetorical skills need help as well. Arm chop, arm chop, head swivel, wanna fight for you! We hardly need an orator with Dutch elm disease.
So there ya go. The trenchant case against Al Gore, not that we couldn’t say more.


Taking Down That Flag

By Douglas Jones

The railing against flying the Confederate flag anywhere won’t die down even with recent turns. And Southern-heritage sorts have called for more counter-boycotts and marches.

Pretend for a moment that issues of race aren’t at play here. A question that no one seems to be asking is whether the defenders of the Confederate flag are worthy of what they see as its symbolism? Or aren’t they more like modernist churches with crosses?
After the disaster at Gettysburg, Robert E. Lee declared to his men: “Soldiers! We have sinned against Almighty God. We have forgotten His signal mercies and have cultivated a revengeful, haughty, and boastful spirit.... We have relied too much on our own arms.”
No southern state cares about purity in this way. True followers of Lee should be appalled at the thought of seeing secular conservatives give hypocritical lipservice to some “biblical heritage.”
The fact is that God brought judgment on the South for a reason. But repentance is never the lead cry of the loudest Southern patriot sorts (with some exceptions). Instead they boast of the rights of their “proud legacy” and dwell on the sins of their accusers.
They refuse to acknowledge that the biggest scar on this legacy is God’s own judgment. The Confederate flag may not be a symbol of slavery, but it’s certainly a symbol of divine wrath. To wave it should be a call to remember that judgment and repent. To wave it in pride or as some cute rebellion would be like Judah thumbing its nose at the exile. One doesn’t lift divine judgment by Pelagian politics. One lifts it by bowing the head and doing the works of repentance—“relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow” (Is. 1:17).
Moses’ bronze serpent ceased being a godly symbol when the people trusted in their own heritage. Hezekiah was righteous in smashing it, though it surely upset the Bronze Serpent Heritage Society. Instead of taking pride in God’s disfavor, perhaps it’s time for faithful southerners to burn their serpent and wear the ashes.

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