When I was a liberal, I used to complain about children. How loud they were, how annoying, how they destroy the planet. There is, of course, some truth to this. But at its root, it is cynicism in the extreme.
Then I became a father and grew to reject these narrow, short-sighted, misanthropic views. Becoming a parent is part of the natural process of renewal that all humans need to witness and share. Seeing the world through the eyes of your own child erodes some of that cynicism and replaces it with joy. Parenthood is such an amazing experience. Almost everyone should do it.
Atheism is bad for your health. How, you say? Well, it forces you to fill up your time and worldview with something other than religion and that is usually something pretty incoherent. Let’s be honest. Religion is imperfect, but it gives a person some structure.
For another, atheism enables the flourishing of anxiety and depression. In a religious tradition you are supposed to put God first, never yourself. So the endless ruminating and dwelling in one’s own mind and about one’s own problems yields unnecessarily self-destructive thoughts.
Then there is the absence of moral guidance. For years I argued with my conservative religious friends about who was more “moral.” I was a liberal and I was wrong. In my travels I learned that without a religion humans are deeply confused about right and wrong. Not the big things. All but the sociopaths get the big things, but we are confused about the smaller ways that we choose good and evil, right and wrong, leaving us vulnerable in the modern world.
I’ve long been a fan of rap music, but I’ve always had this sinking suspicion that the stuff was garbage. It is.
I frequently ride the Metro in Washington, DC and routinely young men belt out the lyrics of whatever they’re listening to on their headphones. It’s profane, sexist, homophobic garbage. For real. Not the fake way the left says everything is racist nowadays. Garbage.
After four decades of cussing people out, I’ve decided to stop. I used to be a road rager, an f-bomb-dropper, a middle-finger-raiser, but no more. I’ve decided to exert some self-control and do better.
Believe me, I see things all day long that make me want to pop off. But over time I’ve learned the best way to influence others is by modeling good behavior. Showing, not telling. So I’ve tried to eliminate profanity from my life, something which has the added benefit of eliminating it from my son’s life and the lives of others around me.
I also know that profanity is a sort of temperature of my mood. If I start cussing, it means I’m getting pretty angry about something. Anger is another thing I’m trying to eliminate from my life.
When I was a young man living in Seattle, I noticed something super annoying that folks including many of my friends did out there- frequent ostentatious displays of how liberal they were. This self-congratulatory liberalism, as I called it, annoyed the hell out of me. It took the form of voting for Ralph Nader or covering your car with bumper stickers.
Well, virtue-signaling has gone global. Barack Obama and Justin Trudeau are the best political examples of this. But look around you. Isn’t it everywhere you turn?
And look at your own actions. What are you signaling to others?
Indulge me for a moment. You don’t have to agree with every word, but hear me out.
The availability of casual sex without marriage, fatherhood, commitment, etc. has weakened men. It has made men slippery, less capable of commitment, more prone to dishonesty- generally, less attractive to women.
Giving up casual sex has made women more emotionally confused, less authentic, less happy. Case in point, the Aziz Ansari story.
The result? Fewer marriages, families, relationships. An embrace of atheism and hedonism over all else. And the decline of families.
I’m currently watching Narcos on Netflix and finding myself in the strange position of being both repulsed by and kind of liking the character of Pablo Escobar. He is, of course, a horrible man. But he also is a good family man. He’s much like the Tony Soprano character- a likable, but pretty evil guy. He takes care of his family and he takes care of his crew members (for the most part). He is a provider and a protector, admirable traits to men.
This is why our culture needs stable, admirable archetypes. Without them, we start to gravitate away from the proper role model, JC.