Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Who's This Matt Walsh Guy?

Just kidding. Seems like a nice gig, actually. Share your opinions; make money. I'm not really going to share a great deal of my opinions about Matt Walsh. I think it'd be more helpful to talk about myself.

If I had to pick one non-fiction book (besides the Sacred Scriptures) that has impacted the way I think about the world and my place in it, it would have to be "Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey," by David Horowitz. It wasn't the information; it was him; the way he experienced life as the son of Communists will move you. Just trust me on this. And I sat there as one born at the dawn of Reagan, and thought, "This is still where the fault-lines are. I have felt this way; I know these people."

The outlook of a conservative who thought he was something else--or wanted to be--is astonishment. It feels like you've been "mugged by reality," as the saying goes, and it's hard when the (seemingly) obvious is staring us all right in the face, and an entire group of people apparently is invested in denying reality. On the other hand, everyone thinks that, I suppose.

I still think most "progressives" spend most of their energy trying to shame and silence others, and deny reality. Matt Walsh is a guy speaking for a generation who got tired of being told to sit down and shut up. That snarkiness, that anger, comes from being told you disagree because you're a bad person too many times. We're talking politics, because we need to. It makes (white) Christian evangelicals uncomfortable, because they've been political for a long time without acknowledging it, or thinking critically about it.

Matt Walsh is shrill, partly because he firmly believes if someone doesn't fight back, we'll all be crushed under the wheels of "progress." If he read the pastor's post, he'd say, "You can be "nice", but I'll be free." This is why he shouts the obvious, and why he's not terribly nice about it. All the Christian concern about "tone" sounds like capitulation. So, I'm not saying he's not a jerk. I'm saying that I understand him. I've felt those feelings. I'd like to tell Johnny Progressive to stick it where the sun don't shine, frankly.

But that isn't what Jesus would do. And that introduces quite the challenge for people like me and Matt Walsh.


Vaughn Ohlman said...

This article seems to end right where it really should begin. Care to share *why* Matt should post differently?

bossmanham said...

I don't think being straight and to the point, especially on topics Matt covers, is un-Christlike at all.

In fact, Christ and His apostles were very shrill themselves at some points. Just because Matt says things that the Holy Spirit uses to convict some people, who then take offense to it, doesn't mean he's doing it wrong.

Jason said...

I don't necessarily view this as a criticism of Matt Walsh, so...

Fr. Bill said...

I'd like to tell Johnny Progressive to stick it where the sun don't shine, frankly. But that isn't what Jesus would do.

Well, maybe not in those precise terms. But, you seem to have overlooked the verbal shellacking he gave the Pharisees, both in public and at their own dinner table!

Jesus was not nice.

Jason said...

Progressives aren't necessarily sitting on the seat of Moses, and ought to know better, either.

Nor is the one who castigates them God.

Next time I intemperately lecture someone, I'll just say, "But Jesus yelled at the Pharisees!" Not.

Ciara Barsotti said...

I think maybe the difference is that Jesus was harsh with the religious leaders who thought they had it figured out... which, by the way, is an attitude I see in Matt Walsh. Jesus did not insult people who did not claim to follow him or his teachings (or who were humble about their attempts to do so). I can understand some of Walsh's critiques against Christian culture, but I also think he is very arrogant in his approach, full of ungrace. What I cannot abide is his vehement attacks on how the nonbeliever chooses to live. Christ called people to follow him by his love and grace... the grace of God absolutely has to come first, not the law, because there is no way we can be saved by the law. We must begin with Grace and Love. Walsh seems to ignore that part completely based on my experience.