A tale of two message-boards

Virginia Heffernan
I ran across an arti­cle that filled me with sor­row while at the same time giv­ing me a smidgen of hope.

Colum­nist Vir­ginia Hef­fer­nan has been in the conservative/Christian news for the past cou­ple of days. Her admis­sion of believ­ing in Cre­ation­ism and her han­dling of the expect­ed vit­ri­olic assault from the main­stream­ers is both con­fir­ma­tion of our fears of how hos­tile and intol­er­ant soci­ety is to faith and dif­fer­ing belief and encour­age­ment because one of us has coura­geous­ly stood up and spo­ken hon­est­ly and then coura­geous­ly stood up to their hate­filled response as well with char­ac­ter and back­bone.

Vir­gini­a’s arti­cle titled “Inside the Infi­deli­ty Club”, gives me much the same dual­i­ty of feel­ing.

I love mar­riage, fam­i­ly, and rela­tion­ship, and more specif­i­cal­ly God’s per­fect blue­print for them. See­ing what soci­ety has made them… the destruc­tion of the fam­i­ly, hearts, and lives is a top­ic nev­er far from my con­sid­er­a­tion. It’s so dif­fi­cult for me not to be filled with sor­row bor­der­ing on hope­less­ness as I per­ceive a con­tin­u­al and accel­er­at­ing decline, and find lit­tle to give hope of a return to san­i­ty and health. Vir­gini­a’s arti­cle took me into the deep­est regions of that dark val­ley as she describes a mes­sage-board for women who glee­ful­ly dis­cuss their extra­mar­i­tal affairs: hav­ing them, lov­ing them, jus­ti­fy­ing them, plan­ning them, recount­ing them, feel­ing enti­tled to them, encour­ag­ing one anoth­er to greater depths of betray­al, etc. She con­trasts it with a sec­ond mes­sage-board for women* who are try­ing to sur­vive being betrayed by their spouse.

My smidgen of hope is engen­dered by her choos­ing to explore/expose this dif­fi­cult sub­ject in a main­stream forum and was­n’t afraid to be hon­est and call the bad bad and speak truth regard­ing the ter­ri­bly self­ish immoral hate­ful behav­iors and the hor­ri­ble pain they cause oth­ers… to be hon­est and say that it’s unequiv­o­cal­ly wrong. Maybe that’s part of the answer to turn­ing stam­ped­ing herd that is rush­ing head­long for clif­f’s edge… peo­ple stand­ing up and clear­ly say­ing, “This is wrong. It’s hate­ful, self­ish, imma­ture and despi­ca­ble. It’s wrong and there’s absolute­ly no jus­ti­fy­ing or ratio­nal­iz­ing it.” What a gift to those who have oper­at­ed under these lies so very long with the rest of the world cheer­ing them on to new depths of depraved inhu­man behav­ior.

She does­n’t stop there how­ev­er. She goes on to out­line efforts she intends to make to be cer­tain that she is pro­tect­ing and build­ing her own mar­riage… not things she sees that need fix­ing in her spouse, but extra efforts she her­self plans to make to grow her­self and her mar­riage. If any­thing, I sus­pect this final bit may be of even greater val­ue to those liv­ing the lie than even her speak­ing truth to the lie. I could see this find­ing chinks in hard­ened hearts and expos­ing self-decep­tions that might have stood unex­am­ined indef­i­nite­ly. The thing that seems to be most feared by per­sons of a moral-rel­a­tivist human­is­tic bent is self-exam­i­na­tion. Denied pre-knowl­edge on a much-sup­pressed hon­est lev­el, that they would ‑not- like what they would find, fills them with a ter­ror-dri­ven goal to avoid such an exer­cise at all cost. Per­haps her crit­i­cal self-exam­i­na­tion will be ignored just deter­mined­ly as the usu­al frontal-attack on their lifestyle, but I have hope to the con­trary.

Even if the results on the heart of one who reads and absorbs her per­son­al explo­ration is not imme­di­ate­ly and dras­ti­cal­ly felt, it may be that what Ravi Zachara­ias says is true of the appli­ca­tion of apolo­get­ics on a hard­ened spir­i­tu­al heart may also be true of her efforts on a hard­ened rela­tion­al heart. He states that apolo­get­ics can only take you so far and no fur­ther in many cas­es. He said that it is rare if not unheard-of to ‑argue- an athe­is­tic heart into belief in God. Over the years he’s been told by many for­mer-athe­ists that such argu­ments, while admit­ted­ly hav­ing some small influ­ence on their shift, were not the cause of or impe­tus behind the shift.

* No indi­ca­tion if there are sim­i­lar com­mu­ni­ties of dev­as­tat­ed men.

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