On the origins of liberal democratic values in the Western Church’s social engineering

Detail from cover of “The WEIRDest People in the World” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2020).

American liberals often charge that Christians seem unusually preoccupied (even obsessed) with sex and sexuality, and have a bunch of strange hang-ups about marriage and family structure.

Conservatives, meanwhile, argue that the “traditional family” lies at the core of Western Civilization, and that weakening foundational norms around sex, marriage, and child-rearing would likely have destabilizing and adverse effects on affected societies and cultures.

The WEIRDest People in the World, a new book by Harvard anthropologist Joseph Henrich, suggests that both parties in this debate are onto something, even as it casts the entire conversation in a different light.

Specifically, Part…


A better approach to coordinated action

“Vengeance populaire après la prise de la Bastille” — Charles Paul Landon (c. 1793–1794)

On July 7th, Harper’s Magazine published “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate.” The collective statement was signed by more than 150 public luminaries, from prominent academics and journalists to bestselling authors.

The signatories denounced a culture of repression, fear, and reprisal which they claim has overtaken many institutions of cultural production — rendering the work of conveying important truths far more difficult and precarious than it needs to be. This, they argue, poses a grave threat to Western liberal democracy.

As a corrective, the signatories call for all citizens to rally around free expression, and to engage in good-faith…


Nancy Pelosi has succumbed to impeachment fever. Which means she might have just gifted Trump a second term.

Credit: Nicholas Kamm (Getty)

On September 24, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the opening of a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. The House, through various committees, will look into the president’s alleged attempts to get the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on Hunter Biden, ostensibly to damage his father Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral prospects, based on information provided by a whistleblower from the U.S. intelligence community.

As someone who’s had a relative measure of success predicting political outcomes recently—I said Trump would win in 2016; I correctly called the Mueller investigation outcome a year before it concluded; I correctly called the…


Change We Can Believe In

.

“It was like hamburger meat shootin’ out of his chest.”

His burger was rare; blood & oil ran down his double-chinned beard, down his marshmallow-chain fingers, staining his freedom fries. Nirvana on his face.

Brown on the outside, pink on the inside. Just like a nigger.

I.

(2008)

That nicotine itch on the back of my brain. Dim lights, lukewarm coffee, waitresses preparing for the worst. Denny’s. Just after Friday, approaching 2AM, the bars letting out soon; the diner to be filled with drunk, obnoxious GI’s & 20-somethings who wished they didn’t live here anymore. All looking to fight or to fuck, some looking for both, maybe simultaneously. …

Musa al-Gharbi

For more about myself and my work, check out my website: musaalgharbi.com

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