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Volume 17, Issue 1: Meander

Stewed Hay

Douglas Wilson

Nothing to Do With It
Maya Marcel-Keyes, the teen-aged daughter of conservative spokesman Alan Keyes, recently came out of the closet as a lesbian. Adding to the family tragedy was Keyes' response to this, a response which shows that he does not understand the curse that is resting on our nation—one that affects conservatives as much as liberals. He said, "My daughter is an adult, and she is responsible for her own actions. What she chooses to do has nothing to do with my work or political activities."

The devil is smarter than we are, but we serve a God who is ultimate, infinite wisdom. The main thing we have to do is to make sure that the devil never gets to be the middleman. I have been thinking a good deal about my various postmodern adversaries (and where they came from), and want to urge us to remember that the ditch we are pointed toward is in some ways a greater threat than the ditch we are spinning our wheels to get out of. Unitarian liberalism (Deism, modernity, baby formula) is so yesterday. We have an opportunity to proclaim the glorious richness of the Trinitarian faith. But we need to be aware of the fact that, if there is an ear for what we are saying, the devil will be there ahead of us, selling his wares, and it will be a lot of inter-relational, perichoretic, postmodern, fornicating hoo-hah. Whenever there is a market for something, more than one vendor is likely to show up.

To come right to the point, I believe that the magazine editor of this august magazine, Nathan Wilson, has figured out how the Shroud of Turin was originally made, and has duplicated the feat on the roof of the New St. Andrews building (although, we confess, the building is not currently zoned for shroud duplications, or for making international news, for that matter).

He figured it out a number of years ago (2000), put his theory to the test in the fall of 2003, wrote up an article on the proceedings, and that article, to mix a metaphor, has now hit the fan. The article was published in Books and Culture, a publication which can be found at A web site dedicated to this issue is This web site includes photos, some spooky 3-D imagery, along with an explanation. For those not up to speed on the happenings of the Shroud World (and yes, there is one), this is a very big deal, with lots of people wound up tight and squeaking.

Evangelical Shills For Allah
I like President Bush. I like some of what he has done. I wish him well. We pray for him regularly at church, that he would come to govern in accordance with the Word of God. But because I like him, I wish that he would drop the theology of empire and listen to evangelical Christians who have not compromised.

Like Constantine, who had the peace of the empire in the forefront of his mind and could not fathom why all the ruckus about the deity of Jesus Christ was important, so President Bush does not understand that Allah and God the Father are not the same. I have said several times that, by every evangelical and Bible-believing standard, the president is a false teacher. He is using his position to promulgate doctrinal lies, and they are lies of the most fundamental nature. But he is not the main problem, because it is likely that he is doing what he is doing simply as a pragmatic politician. He doesn't want to rock the boat of empire, and that means flattering all the divergent faiths, and trying mightily to smush them into one basic faith. "Let's build a pantheon. Let's worship Tashlan." And the condition of the Church is such that this can be seriously proposed and advanced, and numerous Christian leaders offer their services in shilling for this.
So the real problem we face is with Christian elders, teachers, preachers, and theologians, all of whom know better, and yet who refuse to address the problem, or who, in varying degrees, defend it. But those Christian leaders who refuse to recognize the fact of this lie, or the abominable nature of it, or the importance of it, have disgraced their office. The pressures of syncretism are not absent from the so-called "conservative" evangelical Church. There is nothing new here—the pressure to compromise is always real pressure. And when the pressure is on, arguments crowd into the mind. "How would just a pinch of incense to Caesar hurt anything?"

The Arguments Are Getting Too Close
In a recent issue of National Review, John Derbyshire took off after the Intelligent Design movement. This was an odd place to encounter such confusion, and this on two counts. First, the magazine usually does not lurch like this (although, to be fair, they were kind of embarrassed about the whole thing), and second, Derbyshire usually makes very good sense. But here there was nothing more than some cavalier, handwaving dismissals. It was amazing.

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