We have been watching a lot of Ben Shapiro vids lately. Ben is an American political commentator and an Orthodox Jew who at 17 became the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in America. He studied political science and law and then became a lawyer and editor of a video commentary site, ‘The Ben Shapiro Show’. He was an editor at Breibart before that. So …highly intelligent and his debating skills are second to none. We don’t agree with everything Mr. Shapiro says, but his approach is non-hostile highly logic-centred and common-sense related and frankly, at the age of 33 I don’t think there are very many members of the political left in America who can hold a candle to him. We have seen quite a few of his debates and his youth is his only drawback. I can only assume he will one day be a senator. Which will be a shame. We need ‘ordinary people’ if you can call a genius with an eidetic memory ordinary, to speak up for conservative ideals in western politics without actually joining the fray.
Ben is a great spokesperson for convervatives in America. But as he puts it in this video, he is actually a political libertarian which means that he wants less government legislation not more. In Ben’s words, and we concur, ‘the government sucks at everything’ and should stay out of everyone’s personal lives.* He says that he wants to live in a country where he doesn’t have to care what you do and you don’t have to care what he does. This is the ideal, but unfortunately, everything anyone does has consequences. You can’t just live and let live, although most of us try to. When other people get in your face and force you to comply with their personal perception of what their ‘rights’ are then you need to learn to not only defend yourself but get all your ducks lined up in a row. And this is where Ben Shapiro appears to have excelled. He has thought his arguments through, and is skilled at thinking on his feet. I could not think my way out of a wet paper bag when I am in a confrontation, which is why I prefer writing my thoughts down. However, Ben is actually a good role model for millenials in that if you learn to debate the way he does, you don’t have to use ad hominem, you don’t have to use logical fallacies and you don’t have to get nasty, crude or abusive, you can impress people simply with your ability to think in a straight line and know your facts. He has an unfair advantage with the University students who line up to debate him on college campuses because frequently they have not thought their positions through and some end up actually recognising that. If nothing else, Mr. Shapiro is doing students a favour by helping them smarten their critical thinking skills. I certainly was not good in my twenties at this kind of thing. Not many are. It would be a great thing if more university students were able to recognise groupthink and step beyond it to determine what they actually believe instead of simply being lazy and agreeing with whoever has the loudest voice.
Ben talks about gay marriage and why he doesn’t care what people do as long as it doesn’t become a threat to his own way of life. He is not interested in stopping gay people marrying if that’s what they want, but where it becomes an issue of forcing a business to serve their interests and then suing them for tens of thousands of dollars when there was a baker across the street who would have served them it becomes nefarious. This is where there needs to be a much stronger offensive rather than a snivelling defensive which makes conservatives look either look like the stern headmaster or the pathetic victim. His suggestion is that conservatives don’t let down their guard and recognise that the doors are now open for further incursions into the personal lives of conservative religious people.
This I think is the essence of most conservative qualms about gay marriage. Generally, Australians are happy for gay people to live their lives as long as they don’t bother them. It’s not exactly heroically moral and virtuous, but they don’t start wars either. In essence I guess, a lot of Australians simply don’t want to have to think their way around political agendas, they don’t have the energy. They are too tired from a day’s work trying to pay their taxes and feed their families, and this is something that political lobbyists take advantage of. It is also where America is different to us. Their history and culture has been formed by political dissidents who have hoped to create a libertarian society free from both religious and political bigotry and authoritarianism. There are not enough Ben Shapiros in Australia, in fact I am not sure if there are any. I have zero respect or admiration for any political figures this country has ever produced. They may be great personalities and good for a laugh, but their job is not to entertain but to govern, and they appear to have little desire to actually do this. The political landscape in Australia has been marred by leftist controversy and bad management and right wing indifference and intolerance. Which party rules better? The one who doesn’t make a horses arse of themselves in a public place. Australians may have short memories, but they are not that short. A former labor supporter once publicly said ‘Australians only vote for Labor once in their lifetimes’. It kind of says it all.
My children have not had their own kids yet, they are not even married and probably won’t be for some time. But Steve and I are concerned about the next generation of children and the world they would be growing up in. It would be lovely if everyone had a strong moral worldview and had a developed integrity and sense of self-worth. But that is not going to happen if Christians teach their kids that they have to conform to the way the world is. First of all you have to decide which version of worldly you are talking about. Is it the social justice/environmentally friendly version or is it the ancient gnostic/medieval monastic mystical version or is it the Hillsong Happy Clappy version. I should just mention briefly that Hillsong’s takeover of the AOG church in Australia and in particular their takeover of Garden City Christian Church, which I attended for some years, was not only insidious and cultish it was wrong, wrong, wrong. The Houstons have no authority and no credibility and no thinking Christian should endorse their brand at all, ever. I hope I got that said.
Generally though, those churches which encourage other worldviews and preach a kind of all encompassing everything goes theology have absolutely nothing to offer the next generation. The parents don’t know what they believe, the kids are not going to know what they believe, and the pastors just keep embracing whatever comes at them down the pike because they don’t have a backbone and don’t want to ‘offend anyone’. It encourages a hypocritical religious show which begins on Sunday morning and ends on Sunday night and rears its head whenever they are questioned about their beliefs. The rest of their lives are spent living in worse spiritual squalor than any non-religious person on the planet. A fake Christian is a pimple on the backside of the universe and I could quote you a fair number of scripture verses which make it clear that God himself gives them short shrift.
So when it comes to knowing what you believe and being agreeable about definding it, the video I linked to is a good example. Dave Rubin is a liberal. Yet he is able to have a sensible and even friendly discussion with Ben whilst asking him what he believes and why. Ben’s machine-gun delivery style can be very difficult to listen to at times, especially if you have seen a lot of his stuff, and somebody suggested he may even be Aspergic, which is possible. He tends to interrupt a lot and Dave seems to be a fairly genial guy so doesn’t seem upset about that. If Ben took the intensity down a peg or two he might have been able to relax a little more, Dave certainly did.
You don’t have to compromise your views and beliefs in order to be agreeable. You don’t have to sacrifice integrity in order to tell the other person they are wrong, and you don’t have to be an existential chameleon in order to be acceptable or garner support.
I think in the end this is what everyone, regardless of your political, religious or social beliefs are, wants and needs. The extreme left liberals need to understand this, but as one, they tend towards hostility and aggression when they don’t get consensus of opinion. This above anything else makes me wonder if they are in touch with reality at all. NOBODY expects everyone to agree with them. Nobody. So why are they so surprised, angry and abusive when people have opposing viewpoints. They are not right about everything. Neither is Ben Shapiro.
* Recently saw an old video of Frank Zappa (sixties rock legend) making exactly the same statement about the government from a liberal point of view in 1984. Worth remembering that Zappa was part of the Laurel Canyon set recently alleged by author Dave McGowan to be part of the CIA military intelligence complex and government mind control system. I have included this purely from interest in the possibility of controlled opposition.