Lazy Sunday L: The Best of Lazy Sunday

It’s finally here—FIFTY WEEKS of Lazy Sunday.  I started this little feature with “APR Pieces” (the feature of last week’s TBT) one year ago, and today marks the fiftieth edition (that’s what the little “L” in the title means, for those not familiar with Roman numerals).

When I took the blog daily in 2019, I realized I needed at least one or two days of easier posts, as churning out seven totally original posts a week is tough (even writing five is challenging sometimes).  Thus, Lazy Sunday and TBT were born.  While TBT is a fun way to look back at past scribblings, Lazy Sunday is useful for grouping disparate posts thematically.

Naturally, Sunday is one of the slowest days for views, and I don’t often put a “read more” tag on Lazy Sunday posts, so they have pretty low views overall (I imagine many subscribers read the posts in their e-mails, then click-through to the linked pieces; my limited data from WordPress suggests as much).  So that’s all to say that the “Best” of Lazy Sunday is still way below my most-viewed posts.

Anyway, that’s enough sausage-making.  Here are some of the most-viewed Lazy Sunday installments:

  1. Lazy Sunday XIV: Gay Stuff” (36 views):  If ever I lose my job for something I’ve posted, this compilation would likely be “Exhibit A” in the Ministry of Truth and Diversity Reeducation’s case against me for wrongthink.  June is now Pride Month, as every television show and Internet advertisement flamboyantly reminds you.  And yet, they’re the oppressed ones.  When do we get Middle Class Straight White Guy with a Steady Job Pride Month?
  2. Lazy Sunday IV: Christianity” (33 views):  As much as my readers seem to enjoy reading about outrageous same-sex antics, they also seem to like posts about Christianity and Christian faith.  This one is probably due for a sequel, as I’ve written a lot more about the topic since last March.
  3. Lazy Sunday XXX: Trump, Part I” (33 views):  Speaking of Christianity, the flawed but awesome vessel God has appointed to defend religious liberty is tied for second place with the “Christianity” post.  GEOTUS Donaldus Magnus got two Lazy Sunday features, so I’ve really got to get a second one on “Christianity” done.
  4. Lazy Sunday – APR Pieces” (28 views):  The Lazy Sunday that started it all, featuring my pieces for the blogging portion of the online radio station American Patriot Radio.  Note, too, that for the first one I used a dash in the title, rather than a colon.  I’ve maintained the dash for the long list of Lazy Sunday features below, but titles since then use the colon.  Just a formatting note for you grammar and style folks.
  5. Lazy Sunday V: Progressivism, Part I” (26 views):  One of the frustrating elements of conservatism today is that we’re constantly defining ourselves against progressivism, rather than as our own, truly alternative worldview.  Part of that is because, in the Kirkean understanding of conservatism, it’s not an ideology, and certainly not universal in nature.  Progressivism, being an outgrowth of classical liberalism (as most modern conservatives consider themselves to be), is universal—and totalitarian in its universalism.  Regardless, here are a bunch of posts about the bad guys.
  6. Lazy Sunday XLVI: Man Time” (26 views):  The most recent Lazy Sunday to make the list, buoyed in part due to traffic from some popular manosphere sites.  It’s ironic that I published this post and my girlfriend dumped me that afternoon.  Well, it just goes to show you that the modern-day Sophists of the red-pill world aren’t always right.

There you have it!  Six beefy Lazy Sundays to reread and re-enjoy.  There are forty-nine other good ones, too!  Show them some love.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

The God Pill, Part III

I’ve written a couple of pieces (here and here) about the so-called “God Pill,” and specifically Roosh V‘s remarkable conversion to (Orthodox, it seems?) Christianity.  Roosh’s conversion, it seems, is quite sincere, and he’s put his money where his belief is by unpublishing many of his books dealing with “game,” the art of seduction.

Roosh wrote an essay about a month ago, “How I Turned To God,” in which he explains the events and influences that led to his conversion.  Roosh was the archetype of the atheist materialist:  an evolution-espousing microbiologist, who then began a successful—if only in the material sense—career as a professional Don Juan.

He literally had sex and wrote about it for a living.  As he writes, “How could a man who was so far from God come to have complete trust in Him practically overnight?”

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Weird Utah: Polygamy Passes State Senate Committee

More proof that Mormonism is not Christianity:  the Utah State Senate approved a bill in committee that will decriminalize polygamy, reducing it from a felony to an infraction.  The premise behind that bill is that it will encourage people (presumably women) in polygamous relationships to come forward when reporting other crimes, and that polygamists are tired of being treated like “second-class citizens.”

Well.  The My Faith Votes post on this bill makes a compelling point against the bill:  “decriminalizing polygamy will give more power to the abusers” and “the act of categorizing it as a mere infraction, with jail time only enforced for additional crimes such as fraud or abuse, sends the message (whether intended or not) that polygamy is a legitimate lifestyle as long as the adults are consenting.”  The latter, I suspect, is the real point.

Everyone knows of Mormonism’s controversial history with polygamy.  In an older, better America, polygamy was not just frowned upon—it was illegal.  Indeed, the young Republican Party was organized to fight slavery and polygamy, which its platform proclaimed “the twin relics of barbarism.”  In order for Utah to enter the Union, it had to do away with polygamy, which was accepted practice in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It finally did so in 1890.

But now we have an odd situation in which progressive dogma dovetails with a conservative religion.  Progressivism’s successful assaults on traditional, monogamous marriage opened a Pandora’s Box of sexual deviancy.  If gay marriage is acceptable, why not other forms of “marriage”?  At least polygamy has historical foundations, unlike gay marriage, but it’s still a destructive social arrangement.

To be clear, I am intentionally conflating politics in Utah with Mormonism.  The LDS faith dominates the State’s politics, and this bill has support from Republicans.  With the usual acknowledgment that there are always rare exceptions, my premise is that a Republican in Utah is incredibly likely to be a Mormon.

As such, it seems like this bill is old-school Mormonism making a comeback—they can finally undo the indignity (as I suspect some of them see it) the United States forced upon them in 1890, and they can revive their original acceptance of polygamous relationships.

Polygamy is a dangerous institution.  Indeed, the United States today essentially practices informal polygamy in the form of modern dating:  alpha chads dominate the sexual marketplace, while normal guys struggle.  Such is the outcome of polygamy:  wealthy, successful men in traditional polygamous societies kept multiple wives, but most men never had the opportunity to enjoy marriage.

That’s a recipe for disaster.  A stable society needs monogamous, opposite-sex marriages for the vast majority of its people.  It prevents the shiftless shuffling of legions of young, unmarried men.  It also causes the slow, demographic death of a country, and it destabilizes families, leading to a profusion of single motherhood.

Men become simpering betas and sexual mercenaries, hoping for a simulacrum of love.  Women come to expect nothing more than a series of hook-ups and flings, then find themselves pining for the alpha lover of their youths while desperately seeking a pliant beta to raise her kids.  It is a bleak, bleak scenario.

Polygamy merely formalizes a bad system.  It also strips women of dignity, forcing them to participate in harem politics, jockeying for the favor of their man for the benefit of their children.  It brings out the worst in men and women—a man domineeringly controlling his brood, and his women fighting cattily for a crumb of his affection.

Alternatively, a monogamous society creates stability and social harmony.  Children grow up with two parents in the household, gaining important elements from their fathers and their mothers, as each provide something different to their children.

I’ll give the Mormons credit:  they’ve made monogamy work extremely well, and they raise lovely families.  They should stick to it.

And vote out Mitt Romney.

TBT: The God Pill

It’s been a week for explosive news in that corner of the Internet known as the “manosphere”; indeed, two of my posts so far (“Royal Cuckery” and “Get Woke, Get Dumped“) have been manospheric efforts.

Regardless, there were two big pieces of news to break (three if you count the impeachment trial of GEOTUS Donaldus Magnus, the living embodiment of the Red Pill):  Christian blogger Dalrock is shuttering his blog, and Roosh V is unpublishing the rest of his various pickup books.

I’m going to write more about the latter on Friday, but I will note that it is with great sadness that I learned of Dalrock’s permanent hiatus (that’s how I prefer to think of it—it leaves open the possibility of his return).  I featured Dalrock in my second Dissident Write feature, which he richly deserved.  His biblical approach to dating, marriage, and masculinity, as well as his never-ending war against “chivalry,” which he argued was a perversion of true Christianity, was formative in my understanding of the God-ordained order of things.

But I digress.  In light of these events, I thought this week’s TBT should look back “The God Pill“; another monumental shift in the manosphere inspired it.  Chiefly, Roosh V announced last summer that his infamous forum would no longer allow discussions of seduction, pickup techniques, etc., that involved casual premarital sex.  He also removed several of his pickup books from his website.

At the time, there was a great deal of speculation about how sincere it was.  I argued at that time that it seemed like a sincere conversion:  Roosh had nothing to gain—and much to lose—financially when he decided to remove these books.  He has now taken the ultimate step and removed his seminal work, Game, from his website and Amazon.  It was his primary source of income for the past two years.

That is a bold declaration of independence from sin—and a bold act of surrender and submission to God.  Roosh’s transformation from woolly playboy to austere religious scholar (tee hee) is a true testament to the power of the Holy Spirit to transform lives.

More on that tomorrow.  For today, here is 2019’s “The God Pill“:

There’s some interesting developments in the “manosphere,” a sometimes seedy, always lively corner of the Internet.  The manosphere grew out of the pickup artist (PUA) phenomenon of the early 2000s, then morphed into a catch-all philosphical, cultural, and lifestyle movement that encapsulated all manner of ideas about relations between the genders.  While not necessarily “conservative,” the manosphere broadly occupied a space on the fringe of the Right, overlapping with Dissident or Alt-Right thinkers.

It also promoted strongly the idea of the “red pill” and “red pill awareness”:  its leading lights and most avid followers purported to see things as they really are, not the fantasy realm of blue pill NPCs.  That came with a number of time-tested insights about the nature of male-female relationships, along with some unfortunate detours down the dark by-ways of discourse:  anti-Semitism, racism, libertine sexual mores, and the like.

Ultimately, though, it was a beautifully messy example of what free speech should be:  free-flowing, raucous, even unsettling discussions about every conceivable topic.  We like to imagine the public square as some kind of sanitized, lofty forum of David French-ian gentlemen debating arid abstractions.  In the world of the Internet, it’s more of a mud-flecked, bloody arena.

The 2015-2016 election cycle probably witnessed the greatest growth in this movement.  Donald Trump—a man known for his success in business and with beauties—captured the imagination of the manosphere the same way he won over the Silent Majority:  he was tough, brash, and unpredictable.  More importantly, he challenged a stagnant, ossified establishment and status quo.

The manosphere glommed onto Trump like herbal supplements on an Alex Jones live-stream.  Until the implosion of the Alt-Right at Charlottesville, the ‘sphere was going strong.

There are many strains of thought within the broad Red-Pill/manosphere movement, and I can’t do justice to them in a short blog post.  What I found interesting while reading some of these authors—the “Big Three” are Rollo TomassiRoissy, and Roosh V—was their gradual transition from PUAs to snake-oil sophists to political theorists.  One might scoff at the idea of a dude teaching guys how to pick up chicks formulating political and cultural ideas, but, hey, they did it.

What’s even more fascinating was watching the probing into the foundations of political systems.  On the old Return of Kings website, controversial founder Roosh V wrote a series of articles examining the different world religions, weighing their perceived pros and cons.  He also seemed to grow increasingly disgusting with a life of meaningless sex (I’ll provide some actual links when I write a longer treatment of this transition).

Now, Roosh has done a dramatic turnaround, after he has undergone—he claims—a profound religious conversion.  Consistent with that conversion, he’s banned posts on his popular forum about “pre-marital sexual activity,” to great scorn from his readers.  He’s also removed eleven of his Bang guides from his website (books for hooking up with women at home and abroad).

Some of his readers are accusing him of engaging in censorshipa la big tech companies shutting down InfoWars.  This comparison is absurd.  Roosh is a single entity, maintaining a server with his own funds and for his own purposes.  He’s not crushing political discourse or criticism of a regime.

Other comments accuse Roosh of “selling out”—as if telling people not to talk about sex is somehow going to sell more books.  Maybe the eleven books he’s removed from his website weren’t selling well anymore, but it does seem like a sincere example of “putting your money where your mouth is.”  Sure, maybe he’ll parlay his newfound faith into giving talks to churches, but that’s a pretty big transition to swing.  He’s not tapped into that market at all.

I could be naive, but this doesn’t seem like a case of “conversion-for-cash.”  There was a distinct undertone of disgust with his former lifestyle in Roosh’s recent writing, and a subtle repudiation of the West’s culture of sexual license.

Even before his conversion, I noted the Augustinian quality of the path Roosh trod.  He gave himself fully to the pursuit of earthly pleasures, only to find that pursuit was fruitless:  no amount of casual encounters could give him meaning.  Indeed, a theme that was beginning to emerge on sites like Return of Kings was a call to return to traditional gender and sexual roles, including a renewed embrace of Christianity in the West.

“Game” practitioners like Roosh were researchers in the dark field of dating and relationships in the twenty-first-century West.  They developed some useful techniques and stratagems for navigating those murky, painful waters, but their experiences also led them to Truth.  Roosh might have been a dime-store Sophist, but he’s come to realize that only Christ can fill the void.

I do hope his conversion is sincere.  If it is, his moves to remove potentially damaging books from his website is commendable, and a show of good faith.

It’s no wonder, though, that heads are exploding.  Christians are guaranteed persecution.  As Roosh puts it:

If you’re not a believer, it is unlikely you will understand the nature of these decisions and similar ones that will come in the future.

Amen, brother.  God bless.

The Ascendance of Christian Radio

An interesting bit of data:  Christian radio gained the most number of stations in 2019.  Ninety-two of those stations were designated simply as “Religion” stations, while another sixty-one were “Contemporary Christian.”  That’s even with “Southern Gospel” and “Black Gospel” losing stations (eleven and five, respectively).

That puts “Religion” in second place, coming in behind the popular “Country” format and beating out my favorite, “News/Talk.”  That’s pretty substantial growth.

Could that upswing be a sign of greater faith?  I’m not so sure.  It does seem heartening that Christian radio is gaining stations; presumably, owners wouldn’t establish religious stations or change existing stations to that format if listeners aren’t there.

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TBT: How the Reformation Shaped the World

It’s a brand new year, and I’m excited for what it holds.  For this week’s TBT, I looked back to the first post of 2019—which then snowballed into a year-and-counting of daily posts.

This piece drew inspiration from a Pager U video (links below), and featured some of my off-the-cuff reflections on the influence of the Protestant Reformation.

I’ll let the original speak for itself.  Here is 2019’s “How the Reformation Shaped the World“:

There’s a video up on Prager University called “How the Reformation Shaped the World” (PDF transcript for those who prefer to read).  Stephen Cornils of the Wartburg Theological Seminary gives an adequate, broad overview of the impact of the Protestant Reformation (albeit with some noise about Martin Luther’s anti-Semitism, which, while accurate, smacks of throwing a sop to politically-correct hand-wringers).  You can view the video in full below.

I’ve written about the influence of Christianity (and it was, notably, Protestant Christianity) on the founding of America, and I’ve discussed how shared Protestantism helped create an American identity.  Indeed, I would argue that, without Protestantism, there would be no America, as such.

I would also argue—perhaps more controversially—that America’s commitment to Protestantism as opposed to Catholicism allowed the nation to avoid the anticlerical upheavals seen in France and other predominantly and officially Catholic countries.  While there were official, established churches at the State level into the 19th-century—which I wrote about in “The Influence of Christianity on America’s Founding“—the lack of federal establishment, and the general movement towards greater religious liberty, ensured a proliferation of Protestant denominations in the early Republic.

Catholicism inherently insists upon a top-down hierarchy of control.  Luther’s view of man’s relation to God is horizontal, as Bishop James D. Heiser argues in his extended sermon The One True God, the Two Kingdoms, and the Three Estates (one of my Christmas gifts, incidentally, and a good, quick read for just $5).  That is, every man is accountable to God directly, and is responsible for accepting Christ and maintaining his relationship with God.  That horizontal, rather than vertical, relationship infuses Western Civilization with a sense of individualism, the effects of which have been far-reaching and both positive and negative.

Regardless, the impact of the Protestant Reformation is staggering to consider.  The Catholic Church in the 16th century was an increasingly sclerotic and corrupt institution, one that had fallen from its great height as the pacifying influence upon a barbaric, post-Roman Europe (of course, the Counter Reformation reinvigorated and, in part, helped purify the Church).  With the advent of the printing press and translations into national languages, conditions were ripe for an explosion of religious reform in the West.  The ripple effects of the Reformation still pulse through Western life and culture.

That said, I’m not anti-Catholic, nor is that the intent of this post.  In today’s political and theological climate, committed followers of Christ must band together, be they Catholic or Protestant.  I don’t “buy” Catholic theology in toto, but I respect the Catholic Church’s longstanding traditions and consistent institutional logic.  Thomas Aquinas’s cosmological argument in the Summa Theologica is pretty much what I learned growing up as an Evangelical Protestant.  And I’m broadly sympathetic to the traditional Catholic argument that the Reformation busted up the orderly cosmos of medieval European society (see Richard Weaver‘s various essays for further elucidation of this idea).  A side effect of the Reformation naturally includes many of the cons of modernity.

Ultimately, too, Christians face the double-threat of modern progressive ideology and radical Islamism.  I’ve written about the former in detail, but not so much the latter.  For the moment, suffice it to say that the two are temporary, uneasy, but powerful allies against a traditionalist, conservative, Christian worldview, and both are deeply antithetical to Western values and culture.

These are some broad and slapdash thoughts, ones which I will gradually develop in future posts as necessary.  Any useful resources or insights are welcome—please share in the comments.

Happy New Year!

Lazy Sunday XLII: 2019’s Top Five Posts

2019 is winding down, and with this being the last Sunday of the year, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to look back at the most popular posts of 2019.

These posts aren’t necessarily the best posts—although that’s an entirely subjective measure—just the ones that received the most hits.

When looking through the most popular posts, there were a few surprises.  One thing I’ve learned from blogging is that posts I pour my heart and soul into may walk away with five views (and, oftentimes, only one!).  Then other posts that I dash off in a hurry to make my self-imposed daily goal take off like Rossini rockets, garnering dozens of hits.

Some of that is timing and promotion.  I find that the posts I have ready to launch at 6:30 AM do better on average.  But some generous linkbacks from WhatFinger.com really created some surprises here at the end of the year, surpassing even the exposure I received from Milo Yiannopoulos.  Writing posts about hot, current news items, the dropping links about said items in the comment sections of prominent news sites, also helps drive traffic, but I often lack the time required to do such “planting” (and it is a practice that can come across as spammy if not done with finesse).

Some posts take on a life of their own; I see consistent daily traffic from one of the posts on this list, “Tom Steyer’s Belt.”  Apparently, a bunch of people are as mystified as I am with Steyer’s goofy, virtue-signalling belt.

Well, it’s certainly been an adventure.  And while it may be premature—there are still two days left in the year!—here are the Top Five Posts of 2019:

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Christmas and its Symbols

It’s Christmas!  Imagine “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” played on an uptempo French horn and a crackling fire.  That’s how I imagine Christmas morning—like a 1970s Christmas variety show.

In all seriousness, it’s truly the most wonderful time of the year.  Christ is born!  It’s a day for celebrating His Birth with family and friends.  Just like the Wise Men of yore, we exchange presents to celebrate (and to stimulate the economy).

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The Joy of Christmas Carols

Christmas puts me in a musical mood. For one, I’m somewhat contractually-obligated to put on a Christmas concert, which will consume most of my free time this week, so I’d better embrace the Christmas spirit—or else. But it’s not hard to get excited about the iconic music of the season.

(Also, Milo Yiannopoulos—the actual Milo—shared my post about his views on Romantic music, which helped make it the most trafficked post of the year so far. That was incredibly gracious of him to do, and it’s further boosted my excitement for playing and writing about music.)

As I wrote in an earlier blog post on hymnals, I’ve gradually taken over piano playing at my little Free Will Baptist church. We sing many of the traditional hymns that were written and popularized in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as some earlier selections. Shape-note hymns are often hard to play, with big intervalic leaps in the melodies and surprisingly complex harmonies.

Take that melodic variety and harmonic complexity and multiply it by a factor of ten, and you’ve got Christmas carols.

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