Thursday, June 20, 2024

What the NYT's David French Doesn't Tell You About the "Racism and Hatred" Allegedly Encountered at His Church

At one point after he moved to America, perhaps at the time that he published Spare, Prince Harry wrote that he would feel better if he could have a heart-to-heart talk with the rest of the royal family during which they could (wait for it…) apologize to him.

This is bonkers. First of all, a general comment: Britain's royal family is famously reticent about commenting on public matters — which makes Harry's public rants doubly offensive (at least to his family as well as to the the kingdom's numerous monarchy fans). 

Second, even if it were true that in-depth talks were needed, and even if the King and the Prince of Wales were willing to sit down with Harry, and even if it were true that Meghan Markle's husband wasn't partisan — which he obviously is, seeing no need, for instance, to consider his own hypothetical need to apologize to other members of the family (for instance, for… airing the family's… dirty laundry!) — why on Earth should anyone now trust the author of Spare (even if he is your son or brother) or trust his wife, when it is obvious that airing laundry (dirty or otherwise) — one with a personal spin or without (i.e., seeming attempts to be, or to appear, neutral) — is obviously part of their gig?

That is what came to mind while reading the New York Times column The Day My Old Church Canceled Me Was a Very Sad Day.

bemoans that he was canceled, but he then goes on to write one extended article trashing his church from one pew to the other, proving that the rest of Richmond's Presbyterian Church in America might, somehow, somewhere, have been far from wrong in canceling him in the first place.

Besides, was  canceled? Or was it only his panel at a PCA assembly-wide seminar?

when I wrote pieces critical of Trump, members of the alt-right pounced, and they attacked us through our daughter. They pulled pictures of her from social media and photoshopped her into gas chambers and lynchings.

I have never seen these photo-shopped photos, and although I don't doubt some exist, I do doubt very much that there were more than, say, perhaps half a dozen of them (probably all made by the same person). As for conservatives and Republicans "pouncing", we have seen that description before and it is getting frankly tiresome…

We also received direct threats.

How many? Two? Three? And what kind of threats? Death threats (how believable were those)?

The church as a whole did not respond the way it did when I deployed [to Iraq in 2007]. 

Well, of course not. Why — why on Earth — should they?!

Instead, we began encountering racism and hatred up close, from people in our church and in our church school.
"Racism and hatred." Again, is proving to be a perfect leftist drama queen, with leftist "talking points" (sic), and going far in proving the Church far from wrong in canceling him.

There were terrible incidents of peer racism, including a student telling my daughter [an adopted girl from Ethiopia, now about 16 or so] that slavery was good for Black people because it taught them how to live in America. 

How many people said this? One. One person.

Another told her that she couldn’t come to our house to play because “my dad said Black people are dangerous.”

Another single person. By the way, who was the friend's father? The Reverend Jesse Jackson?

There were disturbing political confrontations. A church elder came up to my wife and me after one service to criticize our opposition to Trump and told me to “get your wife under control” after she contrasted his support for Trump with his opposition to Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair. Another man confronted me at the communion table.

First of all, many, indeed most, "disturbing political confrontations" take place on the Left. Where conservatives are regularly browbeaten, demonized, and, yes, canceled.

Apart from that, Mrs. French's remark is right on the mark. And guess what? a perfect subject for — lengthy — debate. Here's the only thing: in the final analysis, shouldn't the conclusion be reversed? Since the Left is allegedly composed of the people who are the most intelligent, the most intellectual, the most compassionate, and the most tolerant, doesn't it stand to reason that the Monica Lewinsky example (ignoring the fact that it involves a young lady barely out of her teens, and that, mere months if not weeks after the scandal occurred) — "It's only sex", remember— be used to counter the prosecution (the persecution?) of Donald Trump (his alleged paying a weathered professional sex worker for a romp two decades ago)?

On several occasions, men approached my wife when I was out of town, challenging her to defend my writing and sometimes quoting a far-right pastor …

Conservatives get this kind of behavior all the time. Not quoting far-right pastors, obviously, but far-left Drama Queens. Whenever I dated a French girl, a number of her friends invariably reacted (correctly or otherwise) – behind my back – with, "Mais il est pro-Trump!", "Ah mais il est pro-Bush!"

I do not want to paint with too broad a brush. Our pastors and close friends continued to stand with us. Our church disciplined the man who confronted me about Trump during communion. And most church members didn’t follow politics closely and had no idea about any of the attacks we faced.

Whoah. Whoah! WHOAH!

Now, in one of the final paragraphs (!), we get this shocker: "most church members … had no idea about any of the attacks we faced." Which goes to prove that the Church (or some of their members, at least (since it turns out… that… "most church members … had no idea about any of the attacks we faced"), had at least some reason to cancel (if that is the correct word) a member with a "divisive reputation" who would pen a misleading thesis such as this one.

You "do not want to paint with too broad a brush", ?! You just did one heck of a generalization the likes of which recalls the United States is a despicable hell-hole because — 250 years before the nation's founding — one single white man in Virginia purchased two dozen Black slaves.

My commitment to individual liberty and pluralism means that I defend the civil liberties of all Americans, including people with whom I have substantial disagreements.

Except for Donald TrumpJanuary 6 "rioters", and other Republicans who do not fit into the Rino universe.

links Michael Gryboski's Christian Post article (twice), but conveniently refrains from quoting any part of it:

PCA Teaching Elder Ben C. Dunson wrote a column denouncing French's involvement, citing French's support for legalizing same-sex marriage, anti-Trump statements, defense of drag queen story hours and how he allegedly "besmirches the character of Christians who disagree with him on these issues."

Is it hyperbole or exaggerated or otherwise wrong to say that  "besmirches the character of Christians who disagree with him"? I think not. Just think of… the present article, the one that he wrote for the New York Times, the one that ends with these stirring words:

Race and politics trumped truth and grace, and now I’m no longer welcome in the church I loved.

That's one solid piece of solid drama queenery from someone who had just acknowledged that "most church members didn’t follow politics closely and had no idea about any of the attacks we faced."

Besides, PCA Teaching Elder 's column hardly seem like the ravings of a religious lunatic: 

Virtually everything French writes or says is about the danger posed to America by Donald Trump and a sizeable percentage of the Republican Party and evangelical church. … French has made it clear that only one presidential candidate is a threat to “our democracy.” How can he then be thought able to help guide pastors in how to deal with political polarization? If the goal of the seminar was to present arguments for and against the two Presidential candidates, perhaps things would be different, assuming there was a vigorous voice on the other side of the issues from French, but that is not what this seminar is intended to do.

To be fair to , that is not anything that any leftist debate, newspaper, or presentation is intended to do. In a follow-up piece proves surprisingly clear-eyed as he grabs the (devilish?) issue by both horns. The PCA Teaching Elder starts by dissecting the Left's obvious hypocrisy: 

Many who are upset with the panel being cancelled have labelled this as an instance of conservative cancel culture, a “caving to a mob mentality,” and have said that the decision of the assembly gives “in to the wrath of very online voices.” It is easy to understand why this claim would be made, because it adds the taint of hypocrisy to the whole affair. After all, conservatives were the ones years ago sounding the warning about cancel culture. If one can make the charge of cancel culture stick, then conservatives can be made out to be the something like the new Antifa, shouting their opponents into silence, rather than calmly, respectfully, and logically engaging with their ideas.

What happened with the GA panel is not, however, an instance of cancel culture … What would be necessary for such a panel to be fair and judicious? The obvious answer is that it would need to represent all sides of an issue and grant all sides the freedom to speak openly on it. This does not appear to be the case with regard to the original makeup of the panel. … Having panel members who hold extremely strong public positions against one candidate for the Presidency without panel members with equally vigorous support for that Presidential candidate all but ensures that the panel would have been ideologically lopsided.

Which, again, is par for the course when you have a left-leaning debate, newspaper, media outlet, etc…

To his credit,  quotes a Federalist piece, albeit linking it to the verb "ranted" (instead of to the publication's name, i.e., The Federalist). Let us end this post with the words of Kylee Griswold:

 … the Pharisaical metanarrative is a familiar one: a self-righteous religious leader who sets his own rules, measures his opponents by them, morphs those rules when it suits him, and then boisterously gives thanks that he’s not like the unpalatable white Trump voters over there.

French is not so much a regime handmaiden as he is a court eunuch who became so by choice and nonetheless thinks he is in a position to lecture others on masculinity. He’s a turncoat who scolds others about loyalty, a liar convinced he’s the last honest man on Earth, and a party apparatchik whose vaunted principles always seem to align with his paychecks. 

In recent years, he’s made a name for himself using Sunday — the traditional Christian day of rest and worship — to smear the faithful for the unpardonable sin of believing God’s law is superior to man’s law.

So it’s a shame the Presbyterian Church in America saw fit to grant French a pulpit from which to slime the faithful.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves,” the gospel of Matthew warns. The PCA isn’t just ignoring that warning. They’re giving the wolf a brand new wool coat and microphone and daring the sheep to object.

Related: In NYTimes Essay, Columbia U Professor Praises 1950s Communist Dad for Remaining True to His Convictions 

 • The January 6 Protest Summarized in One Single Sentence

• The 1619 Project Summarized in One Single Sentence  

• Republicans Pounce! Dept. After Pouncing, Seizing, Gloating, Latching, etc, etc, etc , Now "Demonizing" Republicans Are "Exacting Revenge"… "

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