I’m here in California, in San Francisco, deep in the heart of liberal progressivist America. I arrived from Ireland over a week ago and as I did so I wondered would I be experiencing something of a culture shock, would I be falling out of the Irish frying pan of PC liberalism into the West Coast fire of ultra-liberalism? Honestly, there doesn’t seem to be too much of a difference.
San Francisco at first sight might make you think it was the Holy City of God itself. It is not only that its very name suggests something of that. It’s that wherever you stand you will be within sight of some boulevard or street proclaiming the patronage of some angel or saint. But all is not as it seems. It is told as a joke, although one suspects that it might not be, that a native was asked was there any city in California which did not have a religious name? “Yes”, he said, “Sacramento”.
So, which is the frying pan, which is the fire? Really, it’s hard to say.
While the nation once designated as the “Island of Saints and Scholars” might not yet have reached West Coast America’s distance from its faith-filled past – it is well on its way to parity.
What is different here – or what initial impressions suggest is different in progressive America – is that cultural push-back is more vibrant, more energetic, in the face of the more extreme excesses of the illiberal liberal establishment. People are speaking up for their human and Christian values and rights here in a way that people in Ireland are still largely not daring to do. But push-back is a two-way street.
One powerful example of this vibrancy was a response by a young Latino mother who wrote an open letter to Pete Buttigieg, a Democratic presidential hopeful – although at 1% in the polls currently, that is probably too strong an epithet. Buttigieg, like our own prime minister, Leo Varadkar, is gay and happy to be so. The problem is that they not only want to be free to live their lives as they choose, they insist on everyone holding that there is no objective moral difference between their choices and moral choices made within the framework taught by Jesus Christ and his Church for close on 2000 years. The same goes for the Harris ‘twins’, Kamala here and Simon back in Ireland, pushing for unlimited abortion on both sides of the Atlantic.
There are no amphitheatres now, no lions, but the demand of the empire of liberalism is the same: worship our gods, just say you do; do not stand against us and we will tolerate you.
The agenda of those who call themselves Social Justice Warriors is not just driving for tolerance, it is driving for an acceptance of an equivalence between the moral principles of radically different ways of life. To achieve that they want to change the moral codes and customs of society, they want to convert the minds and hearts of all members of society whose moral principles are different from theirs. That is the “push back” Buttigieg is exhorting his followers to engage in.
It continues here.