It’s not unknown for a passionate opponent to a particular kind of behavior to execute a 180-degree turn and become one of its defenders. This article at The Catholic Thing provides a striking example:
This “hate speech” weapon is being used to silence Catholic objections to homosexuality. And used with a high degree of success. When is the last time you heard a priest denounce homosexuality? Every parish priest knows that if he does so, he will provoke the ire of more than a few parishioners. They will leave his parish, or they will reduce their financial contributions, or they will write to the bishop complaining of his “hatred” and “bigotry.” And he knows that many a bishop, instead of complimenting him on his courageous defense of the faith, will advise him to be “prudent.”
Soon it will require great courage for a priest to speak against euthanasia. That’s just around the corner.
The Catholic Church, which once held that “error has no rights,” today has little choice but to become a defender of free speech. Otherwise, its own freedom to speak will vanish.
Was it right, in any sense, for the Church to claim the authority to censor “error?” Modern thinking says not – yet it was the practice for centuries, during which the Church held temporal power it no longer possesses. My own opinion is that it was a symptom of that terrible condition. No religious doctrine or body of believers should have that kind of power. But then, I’m generally of the opinion that power over others, no matter the basis on which it’s claimed, is a horror per se.
My personality, which is exceedingly conservative, originally ranged me firmly against a certain contemporary phenomenon, simply because it upset me. I started out vocally in opposition to it, purely out of my personal revulsion. That didn’t last, owing to my habit of trying to analyze such reactions for the critical component. However, when I found the true cause of my revulsion, it didn’t turn me into an absolute defender of the thing at issue. Rather, it set me to studying it more closely.
It also caused me to write several novels and stories about it, in the attempt to broaden the perspectives brought to the issue. You may be familiar with them, but if not, that’s no matter. The subject of this piece isn’t transgenderism; it’s politicization.
Politics ruins everything.
I suppose I could have put the above in level-six font, but it has enough authority as it is. Many things that repel us do so only because they’ve been made public, and therefore political issues. The pervasive tendency of our time is to politicize any and every matter of controversy, from the mildest to the brassiest.
The thing to remember about politicization is that it turns somebody else’s problem into something on which you are forced to take a public stand. That’s the whole of the Left’s aim, in keeping with its hoary old mantra: “The personal is political.”
Politicization destroys privacy. It turns people who disagree into combatants, and advocates into warriors for a Cause. It engages the attentions of the worst men in the world, not because they have a desire to see justice reign, but to see what they can get out of it.
If the majority of Americans could keep that in mind, the country would be a lot saner. Perhaps “our” government might even be kept within its Constitutional bounds, though that’s a longshot.
Let’s not forget the nature of politics, shall we? It’s about the desire and quest for power. To politicize a thing is to subject it to the rule of power: coercive force and the threat thereof. Some agency will be “authorized” to enforce the “official stance.” Deviation will become hazardous. Open dissent will endanger the dissenter, for the worst men in the world will not long tolerate opposition.
I could go on about this for many pages, but as it’s Palm Sunday, I’ll spare you. Rather, I’ll direct you to my “Off the Mishnory Road” essays:
We must return to the attitudes that made “Mind your own business” the original American motto. There are innumerable “issues” that should not be issues. That rebuff to the Left, delivered in a sufficiently loud, clear voice, would settle a lot of upset stomachs. If you don’t like the implicit truculence of “Mind your own business,” try this one, which the late Robert B. Parker put into the mouth of his detective Spenser:
Now let’s get on with Holy Week. And do please have a nice day.