Why does it have to be called a war?

https://www.pilotonline.com/opinion/columns/vp-ed-column-thomas-0125-20200125-kgrx2i6rdfhflj2pmtplfojoaa-story.html

Once again, a conservative cries about trying to take the country back to the 1950’s, when “toilet paper” was a vulgar phrase.

The only “war” I see is the one where people expect others to the live the life they expect and not follow the teachings of their own savior; love and acceptance. Attack and tell people you don’t like to change and become the person you THINK you are. The mantra of the minority right.

16 thoughts on “Why does it have to be called a war?

  1. Wow! Mr. Thomas’s piece is simply demented. Oh, the horror! Clueless parents send their children to “state schools” where they – shudder – learn about evolution. Oh, no. They must be “indoctrinated.” You would think a professional writer would be aware of the ugly connotations of that word but apparently not.

    How does he define “winning” this so-called war? Who are these “legions” of young people who eschew education going to defeat? And from ANYBODY who supports Donald Trump as Thomas does his blather about “duty, honor, and country” and the rise of vulgarity is laughable.

    Here is a clue for the clueless – our culture today is FAR more moral in the ways that matter than those “good old days” that people such as Thomas pine for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “ …where they learn they evolved from slime and the reason they like bananas on their cereal is that their nearest relative is at the zoo.”

      I wonder what God might think of someone who denigrates His creation and his methods.

      Gary Larson had a great cartoon years ago. It showed God in his workshop with a finished earth on the table, blue oceans, green land and white caps. He says “…and just to make it interesting” while using a salt shaker labeled “Jerks” to sprinkle the globe.

      I think we have just read an opinion by one.

      Just sayin’.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. RE: “Here is a clue for the clueless – our culture today is FAR more moral in the ways that matter than those ‘good old days’ that people such as Thomas pine for.”

      Some people think so, but it would be hard to prove. Either way.

      My own view is that human progress is a myth. One can certainly point to improvements in the human condition for which we all may be thankful, but human nature and the problem set it generates have never changed. Tried and true solutions to the problem set have never changed, either. They just go in and out of style.

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      1. @Roberts

        Hard to prove? Not really. In the good old days, for example, Jim Crow laws were morally acceptable. Now, not so much. The list would be long if I continued in this vein. I won’t.

        “Human progress” is not about changes in human nature. It is about changes in society. That society, at least in our country, has made moral progress is beyond dispute. It is not a “myth.”

        There is a fundamental difference between the way that conservatives and progressives view human nature. It is at the heart of most of our political differences. On the right people tend to believe that human beings are inherently selfish and immoral and that bad behavior observed is just human nature. It is the Christian idea of original sin. On the left people tend believe that human beings are inherently altruistic and moral and that bad behavior observed is from nurture not nature. Nature cannot be changed – as you pointed out – but nurture can be. As a society we can reduce the poverty, illness, ignorance and hopelessness that produces bad behavior if we are willing to try.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. RE: “Hard to prove? Not really. In the good old days, for example, Jim Crow laws were morally acceptable. Now, not so much. The list would be long if I continued in this vein.”

        Yes, it would be. The puzzle for you is that we have laws and customs today which are arguably comparable to Jim Crow laws.

        RE: “On the left people tend believe that human beings are inherently altruistic and moral and that bad behavior observed is from nurture not nature.”

        I have certainly heard that people on the left believe such things. I used to believe them myself, until I learned there’s not much science to support them.

        I recommend the Christian doctrine of original sin as worthy of philosophical contemplation. In my view, it encapsulates a number of scientifically justified principles.

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        1. @Roberts

          ” . . . there’s not much science to support them.”

          That is just about backwards. Remember, we evolved (yes we did) as social animals where altruism and empathy have been rewarded with survival and unrestricted selfishness has not been.

          https://phys.org/news/2011-09-humans-naturally-cooperative-altruistic-social.html

          From that book review . . .

          “Cooperation isn’t just a byproduct of competition, or something done only because both parties receive some benefit from the partnership,” says Sussman, professor of physical anthropology in Arts & Sciences. “Rather, altruism and cooperation are inherent in primates, including humans.”

          Liked by 1 person

        2. RE: “Rather, altruism and cooperation are inherent in primates, including humans.”

          So are other behaviors like murder and genocide, as Jane Goodall famously discovered in the case of murder among apes. As a result, I see little scientific basis for emphasizing one behavior set over another.

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  2. “Children, like soldiers, must be trained and indoctrinated with the knowledge and principles of the nation (or kingdom) they are expected to serve.”

    A new, camouflaged version of the Young Pioneers in the Soviet Union back in the “good ole days”.

    Come to think of it, Thomas’ call for “war” is also a Red movement.

    Brings back memories of “better dead than Red”.

    Funny how some conservatives pine for the past when minorities knew their place, gays could be beaten and blackmailed, Catholics were on the KKK lists, Jews were excluded from neighborhoods, child abuse was ignored, women stayed home…life was good.

    And using the word “war” about ones political opponents. The “enemy”…not ISIS but the media, Democrats, city people, anyone who is not lockstep in ideology of a White Christian nation.

    The great partisan divide. We have found the source.

    IMHO

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: “Come to think of it, Thomas’ call for ‘war’ is also a Red movement.”

      I see that you dislike Thomas’ terminology. What do you make of the underlying concept it conveys: That culture depends on conscious transmission from one generation to the next?

      It seems to me this is profoundly important. If culture must be taught, then decisions about what to teach and what not to teach are unavoidable. And decisions which are unavoidable must be faced.

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  3. Thomas’ terminology is purposefully divisive. “You are either with us or against us.”

    I believe the culture is dynamic. The more we learn, adapt and understand we can reevaluate long standing mores and adjust. The culture before 1960 accepted apartheid as a centuries long institution. No longer acceptable. It also demanded unquestioned acceptance of authority. The government lies about war killed that. Americans learned that government reliance on “the Greatest Generation’s” sacrifice in a war in which we are actually attacked did not translate well to a war of foreign policy against a people we had hardly known.

    So you suggest that “culture” must be taught. Well, what are the key points and why can’t they be challenged. Are we talking about etiquette, art, food, music, science, religion, patriotism?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: “I believe the culture is dynamic.”

      I do, too. The general pattern of history is that cultures emerge, thrive for a while, then decline and fall. Distintegration and collapse are enduring features of this process such that dynamism is not necessarily a good thing. It may even be a bad thing for some cultures.

      RE: “So you suggest that ‘culture’ must be taught.”

      No, I asked what you make of the idea that culture must be taught. It is a standard concept that every anthropology course covers. I get it that there are aspects of past and present day culture you don’t like. I’m asking about your thoughts on a different question.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t know if religion matters, but culture certainly does.

    Simple manners taught when young leave an enduring character. The boy who holds his sister’s chair at the table, or does not interrupt the elderly, does not beat his future wife or bully his coworkers.

    Learning in childhood that the weak are to be assisted and protected if you are to call yourself a man makes for a society that is peaceful and just.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I grew up with “old country” style child rearing from Sweden. Manners were huge. And I am not sure about today in Sweden, but bowing the head to the elders, eating properly, dressing up, etc., were important.

      Respect for others was tantamount. Even arriving a few minutes early, never mind the rudeness of “fashionably late”, for a dinner party was frowned upon.

      Apparently the culture goes way back with some of that. I had to read “The Vikings” in Swedish to keep up with the language. It was a novel, of course. But there was a chapter in which the chieftain’s long house was holding a celebratory fest for a returning set of ships (probably raiding Ireland. I can’t recall, although they did go all the way to Africa to trade also).

      Apparently two Vikings had a disagreement, that turned into an argument. Well it was considered terrible manners to fight as guests in someone’s home. Even suggesting that they settle their difference with swords was verboten. So one asked the other if he would join him to go take a leak. Acceptable manners.

      The fight took place outside, the victor returned with the head of the loser which was tossed down the table and landed in the mead. No big deal, just push it aside and scoop out some slightly pink liquid and keep partying.

      But notice that neither the host nor the elders were disgraced or disrespected.

      We could use some more of that attitude, and perhaps a bit less of the violence, but the point was still passed on for another 1000 years or so.

      Not casting aspersions, but the Swedish culture evidently got the violence out of their system long ago.

      Perhaps we are just work in progress.

      Liked by 1 person

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