6 shocking facts about abortion both pro-lifers and pro-choicers never mention.

  1. About 67% of all reported abortions happen before 8 weeks gestation.
  2. Nearly 40% of all reported abortions happen before 6 weeks gestation.
  3. 92% of all reported abortions happen before 13 weeks gestation.  This means the overwhelming majority of reported abortions happen long before a woman is likely to feel movement and often before the sac is detectable by ultrasound.
  4. Surgical abortion, even at 6 weeks gestation, remains the norm, with nearly 75% of reported abortions before 13 weeks gestation terminated via invasive surgical procedures.  Keep in mind many of these surgeries are being done when the embryonic development is difficult to even detect reliably via ultrasound, which means an unknown percentage of women are undergoing risky, invasive surgery for what might not even be a viable pregnancy or even a pregnancy at all.  Luteal cysts and chemical pregnancies can sometimes trigger a positive pregnancy test before 6 weeks gestation, as can unviable pregnancies that would have naturally miscarried early at 7-9 weeks gestation.  This is why even pro-choice people should support transvaginal ultrasound confirmation of pregnancy before performing such early abortions.
  5. New York City alone represents about 25% of the black reported abortion rate.
  6. The “abortion access gap” is that black women’s abortion rates before 6 weeks are about 10 percentage points lower than white, Hispanic or other-ethnic women.  But there is no significant gap after 13 weeks.  Thus, all races of women have a reported abortion rate for the first trimester around the 92% figure cited above.  Needless to say, this is not how pro-choice people report the data.

All of these facts are based on the CDC’s abortion surveillance data.  That is why I use the term “reported abortions”, as California and some other areas have not chosen to report their data for a very long time, so we can only rely on what is reported.  The abortion rate is also decreasing across all racial groups, independent of abortion providers closing down.  There is some correlation, but not to the extent usually portrayed by abortion activists and mainstream media.  But the references for that come from multiple sources, some of which are pro-life, and I am not so good at chartifying data these days.

The takeaways here should be that women are getting abortions very, very, very early on, about as soon as the stick shows positive. For pro-lifers, this means that persuading women to stay pregnant just seven weeks instead of six would slash abortion rates by nearly 40%.  Get women to stay pregnant for nine weeks and now the majority of all abortions have been eradicated.  About 500k children would be born who’d have been aborted otherwise.

There is, however, no easy way to get this to happen.  The way to persuade women to stay pregnant once they’ve made a regrettable decision to fornicate (85% of reported abortions are obtained by unmarried women) pretty much involves actually being part of her life as a member of her social group.  There’s also the difficult work of persuading women that a little comfort with a guy who you don’t think will help raise the baby is maybe not worth the bother.  Celibacy also reduces abortion.  There is some inferential evidence that culture-wide, women are in fact just having less sex rather than continuing to have sterile sex that turns out to not be so sterile after all.

Another takeaway is that the pro-choice claims that women can’t get abortions or that “80 percent of counties in America have no abortion provider”  are very, very, very misleading.  The focus on second trimester and later abortions is purposeful misdirection from the fact that even poor black women and poor rural women can find their way to an abortion provider long before the second trimester arrives. One should also question how much they care about women’s health given their insistence that confirming there’s a pregnancy at all is woman-hating or a form of rape or, well, you can google their feels about transvaginal ultrasounds and see for yourself.

I’m not pro-choice or pro-life.  I’m pro-woman.  In the benighted hellholes known as Germany, France, Italy and Sweden (to name just a few countries), abortion is greatly restricted compared to American laws, the rooms have to be spotless and the procedure usually must be done in a real hospital.  They also have lower per capita abortion rates, deaths from abortion are a memory rather than an annual occurrence and the women’s health statistics are better overall.  Funny how that works.

Feudal women vs. modern women.

This is a quickie revisiting this post I made about how there is an entire contingent of women who find loyalty and stability sexy.  There seems to be a distinct inability in some men to accept this as a concept.  However, it’s not at all true that women as a class find marriage-worthy men less sexy.  Modern women do.  I don’t mean modern in the sense of “uses technology” but rather “completely operates under an essentially individualistic, self-focused, Enlightenment-derived mindset”.

This type of woman is obviously relatively common and due to fitting into narratives of modern mores being successfully propagated, appears to be presented as Ur-woman.  However, I think that the existence of feudally inclined women (i.e., women with a pre-modern view of life and love) is wildly underestimated on all sides.  In my own referenced post, I used the terms “peasant woman” and “aristocrat woman”, but one can just combine those into “feudal woman” and come out the same.

I am a feudal woman and I have even found many feudal women among bohemian folks in my years on this earth.  It is similar to the way that many right-wing people can have a liberally oriented mindset and some left-wing people can have a conservative mindset.  Feudal affinity in women is simply ordering one’s life according to a more feudal notion of life, love, community and romantic attachments despite the ways in which modernity works against such views.

Even in a world of dazzling wealth and extreme pressure to be self-focused, there are women who order their lives around devotion to community, ethny, kin and nation and expect the men they are attracted to to do the same.  And find themselves not attracted to men who don’t show some signs of this collective orientation and lack of individualism. Basically, just as a pretty goodly fraction of men do not find women of highly negotiable virtue appealing, there seem, if one is viewing the world as it is, to be quite a goodly number of women who aren’t into the cad thing and do not find them appealing.

Patriocentricity is not Patriarchy

Some things just have to be endlessly repeated over and over, clearly.  Patriocentricity is father-worship, with an emphasis on individual family units being subservient to unrestrained false “patriarchs” who themselves have no higher authority to be subject to (not even other father-leaders).

Unfortunately, patriocentricity is what a lot of conservatives think of as patriarchy.  It is worst in abusive fundamentalist Christian subcultures like Quiverfull or the now-former Vision Forum and Gothard/ATI subcultures, but it certainly appears over and over among other kinds of conservative or traditionalist Christians.

One reason these subcultures are relatively small is because there is no coherent authority or hierarchy.  At best they are cults of personality, which cannot be lasting sources of invested authority.  At worst it’s a bunch of isolated families being ill used by a man who answers to no-one and does as he pleases, which was not really the case in any historical patriarchy, not even the pagan ones where a patriarch had life or death authority over his familias/clan.

Patriarchy means men have responsibilities and have to answer to other people outside their immediate family.  They also, in addition, have headship in their own individual households, but it doesn’t supersede their hierarchical status within their local community.  I find it quite telling that a lot of self-proclaimed patriarchs on and off the internet fight the hardest against actual patriarchy being implemented.  An unfortunate and recent example is Doug Philips of Vision Forum.  He failed to accede to the authority or intervention of his (supposed) co-elders, which again is rebellion and not patriarchy.  More prosaic examples are the guys who can never attend a church because the leadership just isn’t Godly enough for them and “pastor” their families at home.

For the purposes of those interested in Western traditions and restoring them to the extent possible given time and technology, polygamy is practical patriocentricity rather than patriarchy.  So anyone supporting or encouraging polygamy is not advocating a pro-Christian patriarchy or pro-Western patriarchy position.  Patriocentric systems work against patriarchy, and polygamy tends to degenerate into patriocentricity fairly readily.  While not a common conservative theme, there are nevertheless a noticeable minority who promote polygamy either implicitly or explicitly and this promotion should be discouraged among those who are pro-Christian patriarchy.

H/T to Hester at Scarlet Letters, who is slogging through old Vision Forum stuff and brought the term patriocentricity into play.  It’s a very useful term.

ETA: From the comments, it appears the term was coined several years ago by Karen Campbell over at the blog That Mom.

What living near each other could look like

I sometimes read a little group blog called The Orthosphere.  It’s run by a bunch of conservative men who seem really sincere about promoting traditionalism.  The problem is that they profoundly misunderestimate what kind of polemic would serve to promote traditionalism as an abstraction.  A recent post there is a case in point, but what this post is about is not the abstract, overlong attempt at conversion rhetoric, but a comment following the post about living more normally/traditionally.

http://orthosphere.org/2014/04/21/you-need-to-be-a-traditionalist-conservative/#comment-43968

Here’s the relevant half of the comment:

“…living correctly is not currently allowed. It’s politically incorrect. But individuals can score small victories in their everyday lives. They can refuse to agree with what they know is wrong. They can act rightly in their own lives or, when forced by overwhelming power to act wrongly, they can do so minimally, under protest. Perhaps we should open a new thread where people are invited to share the ways they resist the current order, act rightly, and maintain their sanity. We must not lose heart because our ideals have been declared thoughtcrime. Current conditions will not last.”

This assertion is correct in that living correctly in a piecemeal, cafeteria fashion is policed and getting increasingly difficult to do if one is conservative.  But this commenter misses the observed reality that doing so in a complete fashion, with a real parallel system is still on the table.  That is the gist of my post here.

Serious conservatives could be buying properties like this with a few other families and setting up a practical agrarian/distributist lifestyle and even potential spouses for their children and a real possibility of grandchildren and future inheritance.  That property has multiple single family homes and enough acreage for each family to “own” one of several crops (livestock is a potential crop, not just plants) and use that specialization opportunity to maximize returns.  Also, with several families living near each other but having their own homes, household tasks could be split up and rotated in traditional agrarian fashion so that nobody was overwhelmed.

Since the property is located in the super-boonies, living near several like-minded families would make the stresses of driving 2-4 hours to the “big cities” to sell the farm products a great deal more tolerable.  And the small core of families could still build relationships and friendships with the locals, but wouldn’t be demoralized if those social ties never formed to a deep extent (which is sometimes the way of things in isolated rural areas).  Living far away from one’s biological relatives would have a lot of the sting taken out, as the redundancy of multiple families means it would be possible to maintain regular visits and contact without the problems that come from leaving crops to do family visiting.  And financially, the property doesn’t require each individual family to have a huge income to pay their portion of a mortgage or massive savings to buy outright.

This is one path to “having all things in common” without ignoring the importance of access to private property and individual opportunities to build wealth and inheritance long-term.  I would also note that there are dozens if not hundreds of these sorts of properties for sale right this very minute, all over the United States.  The work would be hard and challenging, and certainly people have to save up something first, but this is on the table as an option instead of laments about being priced out of the suburbs, where one would have to struggle in a very different and more risky way with a piecemeal approach to living normally.

One doesn’t have to go full Amish, but one does have to set up a lifestyle that lays groundwork for restoration of healthy social structures and institutions by starting with a small group of like minds and branching out from there.  The barnacle approach of continuing to cling to the pieces of liberalism that appeal to you while rejecting the pieces that don’t is not going to continue to be a path for conservatives going forward.  Just as the True Way of faith in Christ is narrow, so too is the list of viable options for preserving normal life for future generations.

Them’s the breaks.  Industrialization and modernity mean we just can’t rely on the old dividends of traditional living.  They’re spent up and we have to just grit the old teeth and give up some precious temporal things now or see our children lose them all.

Internet subculture drama and the problem of right wing women promoting dysfunction as function

There’s some emotional firestorm going on in a tiny internet subculture I still poke around in.  Thing is, I’ve been on the old interwebs a couple of decades and that means I have seen it all before.  The bad behavior, the ad hominems, the plays for sympathy, the binary divide into “good team” and “bad team”, and the threats to leave the internet subculture/quit blogging/focus on “real life”.  The threats to leave or quit generally involve a lot of commenting and/or posting furiously about how you’re totally going to stop posting as soon as you’ve cleared your name/confirmed that so-and-so is a big jerk/clarified the facts/etc.

It’s a very old play, ancient music, songs from long ago.  For about ten whole seconds I let myself think this particular emotional firestorm would not be like the other fifty or sixty I’ve watched play out.  But, uh, then the engine of human behavior started up and people played out the roles they always end up playing when a tiny insular subculture gets caught up in drama over some of its more flamboyant figure(s) who anchor things with their force of persona.  I’d say personality, but part of the game is that the anchors aren’t real.  They just deal out personas like a deck of cards, showing one thing one place and another thing another place.  There is a core to the many personas, but it’s the same no matter what the subculture.  It could be furries, it could be Depeche Mode fans, it could be FreeBSD users, it could be Christian manosphere bloggers.  The specific subculture’s features don’t change the nature of the kind of personalities that come to anchor these subcultures.

It’s the sun, there are no new things under it.  This too, shall pass.  The anchor will go back to anchoring the subculture and in another year or so some new firestorm will probably appear and the anchor will play the part necessary for that one, too.  And so will all of the other people still in the subculture.  It’s the way of the (internet) world.

Having stated my view (based on long and sometimes painful experience) that this is just a generic pattern of behavior and not anything unique, I am going to be more specific in my critique of this particular anchor within this particular subculture. I think the primary target in this drama promotes very untraditional, unBiblical, anti-domesticity positions and I wanted to lay that card on the table and explain my views without utilizing the emotional elements of my personal hurt feelings.  Before moving on to that critique I will note for the record that I don’t think this will affect the blogging behavior of the person in question on anything resembling a permanent basis, as the individual’s past history doesn’t suggest such and the general pattern the person represents doesn’t either.  Maybe we’ve got a unique snowflake this one time, but it is pretty unlikely.  And again, for the cheap seats, none of this means I think the “enemies” who (re)started the drama are the “good team” or whatever tribal rank-closing is going on among the various blogs discussing this.  Sometimes every player has some soot on the old cheekbone and there’s no good guys. Anyway, on to the critique.

There is a strain in many conservative Christian subcultures that pops up again and again that relies on the Superwife myth to bash other women having difficulties as SAHMs.  It simultaneously claims that it’s easy and fun and not really important to be a SAHM, while lashing out at women who dare mention any travail as spoiled/selfish/lazy and making very clear that every woman should want to do it anyhow.  These subcultures invariably rely on women who have an emotional investment in the idea of the Superwife as viable and who have a compelling writer’s voice (this strain appears in printed matter and blogs alike) to craft a persona of the woman who does it all because anyone could and if you can’t, you must be a closet feminist trying to justify laziness.  The pushback I and other women get for promoting historically normal household help specifically for SAHMs is extremely insightful and saddening.  We are generally dismissed, told it’s not historical, accused of being rich/spoiled/selfish/not really Christian and mostly blown off.

So I do not favorably view a persona who is part of this broader strain of anti-domesticity, who encourages the meanness and cruelty towards tired housewives and doesn’t offer anything but illusions of accomplishment.  This dysfunctional masquerade has gotten us conservatives a bunch of women drowning in laundry, kids and chronic exhaustion while Superwife personas sit around telling them they just didn’t plan well, because their (fictional) family never has those problems.  Their laundry is always clean, their house is sparkling, their meals all home cooked from scratch, their children in perfect clothing and behavior and it’s all done with three or four hours of down time left in each and every day with no other people helping or assisting ever.

It’s fictional, it’s a front presented to promote a certain way of thinking about life as a SAHM.  It’s viciously unhealthy and unnatural to promote such an unrealistic standard, though.  The results are directly visible.  Women are being broken by it, and so I did have a hope that this latest drama-fest would result in the anchor-persona stepping away from the aggressive promotion of this unhealthy strain of conservative thought even if the blogging didn’t end (which, of course, it won’t).

But this strain exists in conservative-land for a reason.  It feeds the Randian individualism that has been so destructive to conservative life but which permeates its fabric in a seemingly permanent stain.  It used to be a Pioneer Woman myth, then it became a Donna Reed myth and now it’s…well, it’s looped back to pioneers with the push for homeschooling and homesteading on top of all the rest.  And this anchor-blogger is just one small piece of a larger right wing woman problem.  I could list out ten or twenty more blogs, some much more popular down to others with just five or ten hits a day, all of which have the same strain infiltrating many of their postings.  Conservatives keep choosing this madness over and over, decade after decade, and it’s NOT WORKING.  It DO NOT WORK PEOPLE.  We aren’t islands, it’s not supposed to be one person and Jesus, but several people and Jesus.  Atomicity isn’t superior when it’s a SAHM working herself into a hospitalization rather than a single childless career gal doing the same thing with an office job.

That insane, hypocritical embrace of atomicity and autonomy uber alles is why I am not comfortable with promotion of dysfunction, unlove and general cruelty being defended as, shockingly, Christian and appropriate and yet that’s what is going on.  Ex-fundamentalists, the very women who bought so hard into what this anchor-person is promoting and advocating and presenting as a common persona in her blog posts, are dismissed with a viciousness that rivals any of their own snarky scrabbling around in pieces of what may or may not be the anchor-blogger’s personal life.  They aren’t treated with a lick of love or concern for the fact that they were broken by the disordered Superwife ideal and veered into a different unhealthy extreme response.  No, they’re “the right kind of enemies”.  Enemies.  A bunch of tired housewives who turned to extreme feminism because they didn’t think there were any other alternatives than that or the right wing dysfunction that was eating them alive.  These are now “enemies”.  Not fellow broken humans who are still quite lost and looking for His light.  Enemies.

It’s sad to me on a personal note because several people I respect greatly are caught up in the emotional rollercoaster and feel compelled to make assertions that this anchor-person represents the positive aspects of the insular subculture.  If this was a feminist subculture, I’d be seeing a bunch of stuff about how badasterisk and tuff and empowered the anchor was instead of the bizarro-world portrayal of that persona as nothing but the summit of Christian womanly lovingkindness when the blog posts, comment history and comment threads on her blog posts tell a very different story.

This is part of the insular subculture pattern, though.  A major persona sends around a few emails/tweets/AIM chats and people are like “surely someone who’s contacted me so personally and directly is basically cool!”, or sometimes it’s phone calls or even in-person contact.  The latter works best for maintaining position, as people feel guilty about saying anything once they’ve met a person offline.  I remember a similarly small subculture about 15 years ago having a huge blowup also regarding “outing” of personal details where a lot of people could confirm the facts that the anchor was not as nice/pleasant/cool as he appeared, but didn’t want to because they’d met the anchor-person of that subculture and felt cruddy at admitting they’d been manipulated non-neutrally.

As it relates to Christian housewives in this particular case, it’s as I said earlier in this post.  A bunch of disordered mostly ex-fundamentalist SAHMs decided months and months ago to internet sleuth a new voice in the Superwife sweepstakes, but they never assembled their efforts in one spot.  Recently someone else did, a persona that was itself very influential and popular in its day with the very same manosphere subculture, but who has been paying ever since for not living up to the high opinions that subculture had of his early writings.  That’s also part of the pattern, for a compelling persona to acquire guru status, flame out and constantly scrabble for months or years afterward trying to regain the lost footing, while the former adoring fanbase turns on him or her like a pile of jackals.

What I am saying probably repetitively and incoherently (yay pregnancy brain) is that this little dustup in the manosphere isn’t about doxxing or anyone’s children or being intimidated out of talking online.  The person in question who claimed to be so oppressed spent many days commenting hither and yon on many, many blogs.  Can’t miss ya if ya won’t leave, y’know?  The observed behavior puts the lie to the idea that there was all this deep concern about effects on offline family/friends/relatives.  Anyone being honest about the whole thing will notice that there is zero sign that this person is intimidated by anything at all relating to posting content on the internet. People with a dominant/prominent role in an internet subculture are never the ones who are intimidated or whatever by drama no matter what they are saying in public or in back channels or both.  I keep repeating that the blogging will resume because this isn’t a Christian dustup.  It’s just a generic subculture power struggle and one of the current top dawgs in that subculture is using the fact that this is a subculture that worries about being outed offline to stir up emotional attachments and connections to maintain status within the subculture.  The cost is, of course, that some folks will bail on participating in it.  But the ones left will feel more insular, more attached and for this type of persona, that’s the point of the exercise.  Eventually this approach of drama-storms reduces the number of people down so low the subculture scatters into something else (nothing is an option, but sometimes also getting merged into a new subculture somewhere else online).  I think this is likely to happen soon (18 months or less) with this subculture simply because it’s greatly reduced from its peak size and shows only signs of reduction and further insularity.

Getting back to the manosphere drama, as for the other housewives who are genuinely being reviled out of proportion to their claimed and observed participation in this melodramatic fiasco, well, part of the pattern is that less popular people in the subculture getting considered part of the “Bad Team” have to deal with a lot of nasty blowback, which often drives them offline.  And then people feel kind of cruddy about it all and settle down, allowing the anchor-person(s) to roar back with their blogging/website/messageboard.  This type of drama always requires some longtime but not as flamboyant members of the subculture to actually get intimidated offline while the main players stick around and pop back up a few days, weeks or months later.

TLDR;  this isn’t Christian stuff, it’s very secular, very typical and ordinary and not the least bit special at all.  Watching it play out like clockwork was like rewatching some of the other such dramas I’ve seen over the last twenty years online.  The specifics were of course quite different, but the basic playbook is no different when it’s a bunch of people adding some Scripture to their power struggling.  The person at the center isn’t specially nice or evil, the various people accused of being mean to this person aren’t specially evil or unChristian (of the Christian ones); this is all some standard-issue stuff happening because this is just what happens when affinity, insularity and the internet collide.

In fact, I thought about splitting this ridiculously long post into two posts, one of which would detail a nearly identical situation among a bunch of distinctly non-housewife women, but I think one post is plenty.  I tried not to get into too much of the specifics of the manosphere drama because the particulars are quite meaningless to both the persona anchoring this subculture and the general tenor of how this kind of routine goes.

Prayer is well warranted here.

Pray as much as you wish to if you believe in Him for the FJers and their distorted understanding of the faith, instead of cackling about how they’re the right sort of not-really-real “enemies”; as ex-fundie SAHMs, they were and in some cases still are the same dingdang women so many involved claim to want other women to be!

Pray for the GOMIers and their tendency to make gurus/aspirational idols out of women (mostly mothers) and then turn on those women for not living up to the images in their blogs/websites.  They are to be pitied, not hated.  They are just one little piece themselves in their own subculture of the general pattern of anti-natalism peculiar to America.

Pray for the people who populate the manosphere (Christian and secular flavors) and their habit of combining both of the above problems, and for the people specifically named and shamed in this latest little drama (Christian and otherwise), that they gain some perspective and realize that they, too, are like sheep and have gone astray.

Easter has passed for this year, but He rose, He is risen and I stand by my commentary and will mourn the loss, if I lose something I value to tribal subculture politics and emotional firestorms.  It happens, this is one of the two or three times I’ve been emotionally attached enough within the subculture for it to affect me.  I do wonder at the fact that this time it allowed me to see the larger pattern of all those dozens of other times it happened that I witnessed (and sometimes, sad to say, took my own part in the tribalism and drama) again and again.  Perhaps there is providence and some deeper purpose in that.  One never knows.

Where the Christian manosphere and neoreaction could find wives.

It is a common lament in the internet spheres listed above that there is a distinct shortage of 19 year old virgins with large breasts, slim waists and a surplus of homemaking skills who desire nothing more in life than to have two babies a year while homeschooling, cooking and cleaning for the ever-growing family in a moldy trailer on 29k a year from her “patriarch” or “alpha” or “alpha patriarch”.  Numerous reasons are given for this horrible shortage that never existed before 1963.

But the interesting thing is that there is a giant pool of women who are content with such a disordered, broken understanding of family and patriarchy.  These women tend to be associated with things like the former Vision Forum, the recently disgraced Bill Gothard, and the movement known as “Quiverfull”.  The question is, why aren’t all these men who spend weeks at a time in comment threads on various blogs complaining about how there’s too many “Churchian” women joining one of those legalistic, explicitly male-dominant Christian subcultures and wifing up one of the 10-15 daughters a lot of those people have?

I am definitely not saying the subcultures listed above are healthy, Biblically sound, or very good places for women, children or even the men wielding power improperly over their individual families.  But they do have a ton of young virgin girls who have never known anything else and who have been raised to expect to marry and do all the SAHM Superwife things for decades on end, often without any support or adult company outside of church meetings.  Can’t guarantee the large breasts, though.

While the subcultures in question are numerically small, there are more of them than there are unmarried men in the internet spheres above seeking that elusive double-D virgin Superwife.  So all those guys could be married to such a creature if they truly desired such a thing, there are still ample supplies, despite the recent scandals in some of the subcultures.

And yet, they aren’t.  Funny, that.

Pregnant Pause

I’ve dropped any schedule for this blog until further notice.  I like this blog, I think it’s profitable to post the things that I post, but I have limited energy and it’s better served for now doing more offline stuff as best I can.  So I may post now and again, or I may leave this thing idle for months or weeks at a time.  I may turn up to comment here and there, but mostly I’m just taking pressure off myself to fret, since I could fret for the gold medal if it were an Olympic event.

I continue to hope and pray that more conservatives become serious about normal living and undertake the painful and necessary steps to help make it more likely for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (yep, it might just take that long).  I also more importantly hope and pray that the Christian conservatives specially might put on the holy armor of Our Lord and be the best Christians grace grants them the strength and perseverance to be.  It is hard out there, we are being persecuted in America and the wider West.  But we must pray for those who are actually being martyred right now for Christ and not forget that we can still worship in public spaces and carry Bibles around freely.  We still have it and we can still use it.

It’s hard to remember sometimes that the bolder in Christ we are, the worse it will go for us with the secular world.  If we do excommunicate adulterers and don’t bake wedding cakes for multiple divorcees and refuse chemical and physical birth control except for the direst medical need, it will not be easier.  If we teach our children the Narrow Way, the True Word, public schools will not rejoice and cheer us on in the PTA.  If we hold fast to what is lovely, true and real, things will not be light and cheerful.  The secular world will not go “How amazing to see you live your values, it’s so wonderful you are living near each other, building communities of blood, Christ and love, working with and supporting each other in economic, spiritual and collective ways!”

They would instead start looking longingly at the countries that kill Christians.  But we could yet count it all joy, for it would be, then.