Doug Wilson Insists That the Christian Magistrate Should NOT Enforce Blasphemy Laws

A summary of Doug Wilson’s argument in “Mere Christendom” insisting that the Magistrate should not enforce blasphemy laws.;

 As a theonomist Wilson believes in “the need to restore the Bible as the quarry from which to obtain the needed stone for our foundations of social order” (149), he strongly argues against state imposed punishment for blasphemy. He reminds us that “those who want the government to have the right to kill blasphemers are also asking for the government to have the right to kill those who rebuke their (the government’s) blasphemies” (157), and “When you give the state power to punish a blasphemer, you are giving the state the power to blaspheme with impunity” (171). Since rulers are sinners, a healthy recognition of the depravity of man ought to restrain us from giving them the kind of power that would be required to punish blasphemy. “Whenever you give the state plenipotentiary powers to crack down on x, y, and z, what you are actually doing—please remember this—is giving them plenipotentiary powers to commit x, y, and z” (173). Therefore, “It is better to allow a troubled individual to blaspheme than to give, for the sake of preventing such things, regulatory powers over the definition of blasphemy to the very people most likely to be tempted to get into real blasphemy” (175–76). Wilson calls this “restraining the worst blasphemer first” (the title of Chapter 11). It’s not that we Christians don’t want to eradicate blasphemy—we do. But “we are not waging war according to the flesh” (2 Cor 10:3); “the artillery of the new covenant is more powerful than what the people of God had in their possession in the old covenant” (169). We want to eliminate blasphemy, but “not through the law” (158); rather, we do so through gospel conversion. “The central way that Christians are called to transform the world is not to be found in politics,” Wilson insists (221). “Christ gave us our mission and He gave us our methods. The world is to be brought to Christ, with all the nations submitting to Him, agreeing to obey Him. That is the mission. The method consisted of Word and water, bread and wine” (160).  Wilson argues that inherent protection of free speech by limiting the state’s power “is the theo-political genius of Christianity” (171). He argues that “The founding of our nation really was exceptional, because the men who drafted our Constitution knew that American politicians, taking one thing with another, would be every bit as sleazy as the same class of men from any other clime” (201).


The above argument is the “argument” that Wilson crafts to explain why he does not believe that the State should be given authority to bear the sword against blaspheming the name of Jesus Christ in the public square.

Look, I’m not the sharpest blade in the drawer, and as such, I’m sure I must be missing something here because it strikes me that this argument is so absurd I can’t believe anybody can read it without their eyes bugging out. I mean, on this Wilsonian logic why would the state be given the sword to enforce any of God’s law like “murder,” “rape,” or “kidnapping” since giving the sword to enforce those laws would naturally lead to the state using that plenipotentiary powers to commit x (murder), y (rape), and z (kidnapping.)”

Rev. Wilson’s operating principle at work here is: give no one the power for good if they can use it for evil. Which of course reaches beyond absurd into the zip code of Nutville.

Wilson’s citation of I Cor. 10:3 is complete eisegesis and so is irrelevant to the issue at hand. Doug says that we want to eliminate blasphemy “but not through the law,” which every dispensational and R2K antinomian (but I repeat myself) chap worth their salt would stand and applaud.

Next Wilson sets up a false dichotomy (and nobody sets up false dichotomies better than Doug) by suggesting that we can get rid of blasphemy by law (politics) or we can get rid of blasphemy by gospel conversion. This is not a either/or but a both/and. If we can’t get ride of blasphemy by law (politics) than it stands to reason that we can’t get rid of any crime by law (politics) and so the Christian Magistrate should not legislate against any crimes since do to so would mean we are not trusting in gospel conversion. This is a false dichotomy. We should want both laws that force the Christ hater to not blaspheme and gospel conversion wherein  the Christ lover does not want to blaspheme.

From there Wilson implies that Christianity cannot triumph in the context of a Christian magistrate bringing the sword to bear in order to support God’s law. We do believe that the world will be converted (Wilson’s Word, water, bread and wine) but we also believe that along the way to that converted world the Magistrate will continue to not bear the sword in vain so that when anti-Christs arise who want to throw off God’s law as applied to the social order they will be thwarted.

Unless I am missing something (and that is real possibility) this reasoning by Wilson in Mere Christendom is embarrassing.

Francis & McAtee on the Necessity of Being Counter-Revolutionaries

“The first thing we have to learn about fighting and winning a cultural war is that we are not fighting to “conserve” something; we are fighting to overthrow something. Obviously, we do want to conserve something—our culture, our way of life, the set of institutions and beliefs that distinguish us as Americans. But we must understand clearly and firmly that the dominant authorities in the United States—in the federal government and often in state and local government as well, in the two major political parties, the major foundations, the media, the schools, the universities, big business, and most of the system of organized culture, including the arts and entertainment—not only do nothing to conserve what most of us regard as our traditional way of life but actually seek its destruction or are indifferent to its survival. If our culture is going to be conserved, then, we need to dethrone the dominant authorities that threaten it.”

Samuel Francis
“Culture and Power: Winning the Culture War”

A few observations;

1.) Being in a culture war implies a war that is even much larger than that. Indeed, it might be more accurate to say that we are in a cultural battle being fought in the context of a Theological war. The combatants in this battle own different theologies, believe in different God(s), and practice religions that are in contradiction and because of that there is, what is commonly called, a culture war that continues.

2.) Because of #1 being true — because we are in a theological war — now more than ever we need to be epistemologically self-conscious about what we believe and why we believe it and what we don’t believe and why we don’t believe it. We must understand our theology. We must understand the God we serve. We must know our undoubted catholic Christian faith. If we do not know our theology we will be defeated in this cultural battle. What’s more we will see our children become enslaved by the victors of this theological war/cultural battle if we do not become epistemologically self conscious. There is no fighting against our opponents unless we understand what beliefs makes them, “them” and what contrary beliefs make us, “us.”

3.) If all this is true then we who are opposing Trashworld must begin to see ourselves as “counter-Revolutionaries.” It is not the case, as Francis rightly notes, that we are merely seeking to preserve and conserve. No, rather it is the case that we are seeking to overthrow principalities and powers in high places. We are seeking to overthrow Satan’s magistrates. We are seeking to overthrow wickedness. There will be no conserving without becoming fighting counter-Revolutionaries swearing oaths of allegiance to our great Liege-Lord, Jesus Christ.

This must be done wisely and without a foolish rashness, but the fight must be engaged in on a host of fronts. Many in the church could begin by getting their children out of government schools and getting themselves out of churches that aren’t interested in being counter-Revolutionary.

There are many places to go from there, but we will never win this cultural battle and theological war unless we abandon the churches and schools of the enemy.



An Open Letter to the Boomers

Dear Boomers;

I have noticed that at least some of you (hard to say what percentage) have taken to tongue lecturing those a young white males a couple generations younger than you. It seems that you’re convinced, in light of their complaints over how difficult it is to make their way in the current culture, that they are just not working hard enough. I have seen you say things like, “if you just worked as hard as I did when I was your age,” and, “we Boomers had it harder than you did and we made it,” and, “you’re a whiner.”

Well, while I’m not really a Boomer, I am close. I am one of those chaps who is a tweener who falls right in between the Boomers and Gen. X paradigm. Now before I address this, let me tell you, that, generally speaking, I am not a big fan of creating general characteristics of the respective generations. It is my conviction that there are far too many factors that account for why people are the way they are. However, I am willing to concede that in a stable culture there are events that occur in each generation that could end up molding each generation in a similar fashion so that general truths might be taken as a given for each generation. Still, I think we need to be careful about over-applying this.

Having provided that caveat, I turn now to address the Boomers who have been tongue lashing the younger generations. Y’all are want to say that y’all had it more difficult than those who have come behind you in age. To that I can only say, in the strongest terms possible, that is total crapola.

The Boomers were the generation that had it all. Born of the generation that trudged through the Great Depression, and WW II, the Boomers lived in the best of times, prospering from the great largesse arising from victory in War. The Boomers are the ones who lived in excess. They were the first generation where the FEDS practically gave them free University education. The Boomers could dodge the draft by taking a school deferment. The Boomers had the luxury of protesting Vietnam in the streets, while the Boomer women burned their bras in protests as feminist. This could never have happened if they had had to work for a living. The Boomers rode the crest of the communications wave being the generation that could fritter their time away viewing television. It was with the Boomers that the phrase “teen-ager” was introduce with the purpose of marketing to you in order to sell you  all kinds of junk you didn’t need. Later Boomers also had the advantage of seeing the military draft disappear and some of them didn’t even have to register for a draft. The Boomers, thinking that they were having it all, derived the “benefits” of the sexual revolution. The Boomers channeled all that free sex then into Woodstock, Altamount, Haigt-Ashbury, Dead-Head concerts and every Rock -n- Roll concert that came to town. It was the Boomers who brought in the drug craze, who gave us the Hippie movement, and who were the ones cheering the androgynous lead singers found in nearly every Rock -n- Roll band.

Boomers, you were the ones who began the hash of marriage and family that we continue to live with now. You were the that generation who treated us to no fault divorce. How many of your children ended up raising themselves or being “latch-key kids?” How many of your children were visiting Dad on the weekends while living with Mom during the week? How many of your children grew up with step-siblings, half-siblings or in foster homes? How many times did your little children have to sit in listen to clueless social workers, friends of the court, or deranged judges?

Now, of course we are talking generalities here. We are saying that this was generally true of Boomers, though not universally true. I know. I was there. Having participated in some of this I think it is pretty schlocky of current Boomers to now turn and wag their fingers at those young white males who find getting a start in life difficult, and who are then turning and blaming that the Boomers didn’t do more to protect their generation. The generations behind us, I think rightfully, point a finger at us and rail about all our conspicuous consumption that ended up meaning the way was harder for them.

None of the above absolves the younger generation from the necessity to work hard or excuses them if they think they automatically get a pass for not being responsible because the Boomers were not responsible. It is just to agree with the younger generations that Boomers, generally speaking, failed at being good parents, failed at even considering what they were leaving behind for future generations and failed at being lights for future generations.

To the Boomers who still don’t get it, lets spend some time comparing and contrasting what we were not facing at 25 years of age (appx. 1980) with what those who are 25, who are doing the complaining, are facing today.

Were we dealing with Trannies and Sods like this when we were 25 in 1980? The US Military wasn’t even allowing sodomites into the military when we were 25.

Consider Boomers that all the stats are screaming that the middle class is being destroyed. The attack may have been ongoing when we were 25 but it isn’t what it is today.

And what of the paucity of suitable spouses for both Christian white men and women? Did we have the problem finding Christian spouses at 25 the way our sons and daughters are having that problem?

When you and I were 25 were we dealing with the deep state engineering a depopulation event like the scamdemic? Was biological warfare via quackzines going on?

Was cancel culture is full force when you and I were 25? Were the Universities — Including the Christian ones in full attack mode against the Christian faith? Was WOKEism saturating the landscape when we were 25 as it is today?

Was the PCA refusing to discipline sods? Was the OPC being run by feminists? Was the CRC allowing women Pastors when we were 25? When we were 25, though the landscape was changing the conservative denominations were still largely “conservative.” Now they are nearly all festooned with Leftism of one form or another.

When we were 25 was CRT in the secondary education curriculum? When you and I were 25 were parents being threatened by the FBI for protesting at school board meetings?

When I was 25 the Chinese communists were not on the verge of

economically taking over Michigan. Today that is a reality.

When we were 25 were we facing social credit systems? The crash of the US dollar? Were we facing “smart cities,” and the rise of the surveillance state?

When we were 25 were they trying to outlaw fossil fuels? Were they trying to put you and I in “electric cars?”

When we were 25 were the greenies on the verge of successfully changing everything because of “Climate change?” They are for today’s 25 year olds.

When you and I were 25 the family infrastructure in the West was declining but it was nowhere near the wreck it is today. When you and I were 25 we were not having to deal with imaginary borders and 30 million illegal immigrants in our homeland … not to mention all the legal ones.

When you and I were 25 miscegenation was not yet being crammed down our throat during ever media commercial, advertisement, and billboard.

When you and I were 25 we could still work in a factory and earn a middle class wage or we could manage to get through 8 years of post-high school education without being 100K plus in debt.

I could go on and on. Boomers, you just are being stubborn in this matter in refusing to listen with a sympathetic ear to the hardships of our children and grandchildren.

Face it, you and I did not do enough to deliver them from the sewage they are having to navigate.

Perhaps they will do better for their children than we did for them.

Our New Public Rituals Stemming From Our New Culture & Religion

If culture is defined as “religion made public,” then as all religions have rituals we would expect to find public religious rituals adorning every culture. And that is exactly what we do find. In a Christian culture a public religious ritual are things like attending church weekly, saying prayer before school starts, putting “In God We Trust” on our coinage.

As we in the West and in America find our culture changing that means by necessity our religion is changing. As our religion is changing then we can expect different public religious rituals to adorn our new religiously driven culture. And that is exactly what we find with the advent of new rituals. Our new rituals have been things like the administration and receiving of the vaccine. Whereas pagan cultures used to engage in the ritual of offering up a virgin to the volcano God every year, we today have the public ritual of offering up ourselves to the strange belief that the vaccine will save us. Whereas Christian cultures would often don the sign of the Cross as a public ritual, we today in our public ritual took to putting on masks, or hoisting and flying a pride flag. Whereas as a Christian people we would offer our children up to God in Baptism with our new public rituals we are offering up our children to grooming, hormone blockers, and surgery.

Public rituals that communicate the religion that drives the culture are an inescapable category.

Once upon a time American culture, because of its Christian underpinnings, would find public ritual days set aside for prayer and fasting. These days were often called for because some disaster had visited the people and the leadership understood that there was a need for public repentance — a crying out to the God of the Bible for forgiveness.

But now our culture has changed with the advent of our new Globo-Homo religion. Now instead of days and prayer and fasting that bespoke a repentance that took ownership for our sin, what we get in its place is the act of public scapegoating and shaming. We have thus moved from a culture where public rituals would include days of prayer and fasting with the theme of repentance — all of which communicated that we were taking responsibility for our sin — to a culture where via the public ritual of scapegoating where instead of taking responsibility and owning up to our sin and guilt we now transfer responsibility for our sins by shaming and scapegoating thus blaming our problems on things beyond our control like heteronormativity, white supremacy, global warming, and gender bias.

As such we have moved from a culture of guilt to a culture of shame and in a culture of shame one main priority is to make sure that the shame can be passed on to somebody else so as to avoid the cultural isolation that comes when shame finally finds a home. With this kind of religion driving this kind of culture the inevitable outcome is a cancel culture reality where, when the blame finally finds someone to land upon and settle, that person finds themselves cast out of society. With this kind of religion there is a great deal of time and energy spent avoiding the shame. This translates into a cultural infrastructure that does not operate smoothly for the benefit of the citizenry. This translates into a culture of suspicion and defensiveness.

Our new culture, which has changed out the previous one is just a matter of a few decades is a very different culture than the one many of us over 45 grew up in.

And it is all driven by religious commitments.

Of Worldvision, Social Imaginary, Conglomerate Thinkers, Hollywood Film Sets and Reformation

Is the “social imaginary” of 21st century philosopher Charles Taylor the same thing as 20th century philosopher J. H. Bavinck’s “Worldvision?” These both in turn would have been what Glen Martin was talking about when he wrote about “Eclectic and Conglomerate thinkers.”

In all of these the idea is that people move in terms of a worldview that they do not self-consciously recognize as such. In other words in all these cases the individuals under consideration have not arrived at the way they are leaning into the world by being epistemologically self-conscious about the ideas that are forming the foundation for why they lean into life the way they lean into life. Instead, to use a metaphor, they are flowing with the cultural rivers current or whatever sitz-em-lieben they are in living in.

The way I have have often put it is with the analogy of a Hollywood film set. People, exceptions notwithstanding, are chameleons and they will blend into any film set that the culture gives them. So, if the culture is the equivalent of a Pirate film those who are not espistemologically self conscious about their belief system will dress in pirate hats, wear eye patches, and go around saying; “Arrrgh, Matey.” If, in their lifetime the cultural film set switches to a Western these same people will suddenly begin to wear ten gallon hats and speak with a Texas drawl.

Most people intuit “truth” and do not intuit it very well. In the words of Michael Polanyi they use “tacit knowledge” to ascertain what it will take to surf the zeitgeist and will accordingly adopt whatever it takes to fit into the “social imaginary,” (Charles Taylor) the prevailing “Worldvision,” (J. H. Bavinck) thus demonstrating themselves to be eclectic and conglomerate thinkers (Martin).

Still, like it or not the substratum underneath of all this is the handful of people who both play with and popularize and implement ideas which in turn eventually gets into the blood stream of a culture so that the social imaginary/worldvision can begin to gain traction so as to explain why the overwhelming majority of people lean into the times and so live the way they live.

To slightly change a quote from John Maynard Keynes;

“Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct ideologue/theologian. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

The long and short of this is that the largest percentage people don’t live the way they live or believe what they believe because they have thought through matters. They have not spent their lives examining the whys and wherefores of life. They were born, so to speak, on ice and having been born on ice they just put on their ice skates and took off without a thought that just maybe that wasn’t ice after all. Most people live the way they live and believe what they believe because they have caught all their “convictions and lifestyle” the same way they catch a flu virus.

This means it is those who are the idea people who are the most dangerous people as combined with those who promote the ideas which they more often than not don’t even understand. These are the creators, producers and manufacturers of culture (Hollywood, Publishing Houses, Media, Universities, etc.). More often than not in their role as “cultural gatekeepers” they are even more instrumental for creating the cultural film background set by which most people live by than those whose ideas they are (often unwittingly) pushing.

So, to make this practical, if we as Christians are to be have a plan of attack for returning to something that approximates Christendom what needs to be done is as follows;

1.) Negatively we must give a deadly virus to this current cultural context so that the social imaginary/worldvision can no longer be sustained by the average person in the culture. As Biblical Christians we have to find a way to make what was once considered “odd behavior” to be odd behavior again. That likely won’t be done by just chanting over and over again “that’s odd.” Instead it will be done perhaps by being able to mock the odd. Right now using the absurd to illustrate the absurd may be one of our best friends.

For example … We could run an ad campaign where someone tries to run their appliance by plugging in a male cord into another male cord and then run a tag line … “Gay lately?”

Look, Elijah mocked the hades out of his and God’s enemies. I think it is time for Christians to start clever mocking.

2.) Positively we have to have some people who are idea people who are casting Biblical Christianity in such a way that the current pagan theology of the self (as one example) is challenged and some other people who can promote those ideas into pop culture.