A principle case formulated by Anthony Esolen of the Witherspoon Institute is called the ‘Nude Beach Principle’. The principle works by describing a town in which there is a beach, and a small minority of beach-goers who wish to be naked. Suppose the town’s civic authorities take up the matter, and are deciding on which course of action to pursue. The nudists may claim that they wish to stake out a totally neutral position, the tolerant, reasonable, pragmatic center. Nobody will be forced to strip bare whilst at the beach, but it is an option for those who wish to do so.
This of course seems ludicrous. If the beach features even one naked person, it then become unpalatable to be frequented by any normal person, especially those who might want to bring their children to play in the sand and surf. By taking a so-called ‘neutral’ ground, you’ve actually just managed to spoil it for one party to the benefit of the other.
The principle can be used to combat a prevalent route of argument among Liberals known as the ‘Illusion of Neutrality’.
blind allegiance and blind conviction are apparently bad things
but blind justice is good?
The fraudulent claim of neutrality is not only a method by which Liberals justify themselves and declare superiority in any debate, but it also undergirds the very type of society we have. For instance, since we have recently been discussing church and state, let’s look at the claim that the state is not to give people of any faith any special privileges over another. Whether a Christian or a Muslim comes before a court of law, they are expected to be dealt with in the same way. By claiming that this is their goal, the Modern court system is able to feign ‘neutrality’. After all, when it treats Muslims and Christians in the same way, it must be worthy of applause for its egalitarianism and fair treatment with bias towards none.
Wrong. Let us for a moment suppose that the Christian and the Muslim are both campaigning for a similar goal. The Christian wishes to have some element of Christian doctrine taught in the local public school. The Muslim wishes to have some element of Islamic doctrine taught in the local public school.
What is the court’s response? Well, going by the exaggerated secularism of the United States’ Founding, the judge sits atop his high horse and declares that neither doctrine will be taught in the school, for the state is unbiased and neutral regarding religion. Any child is free to believe as they wish, but no religious teaching of any kind will be present in their education.
You might be fooled into thinking this is a well-reasoned and good-natured ruling. After all, the government has treated both of these men the same and delivered them the same rebuttal. America, land of the free and home of the brave marches onwards to new heights of being the neutral arbiter in conflicts.
This isn’t the case however, because while in my rendition of the events, you may have noted the two parties (the Christian and the Muslim), there is a third party of interest that may have slipped beneath your radar. It did not petition for any change, for things were already slanted in its favor. Yes, that is irreligion. The interests of irreligion and its proponents are fulfilled by the judge’s ruling and we don’t even realize this. If these are our beach nudists, they are insidiously clever at what they do. Not only do they occupy the ‘neutral’ ground in their desire for no religious doctrine to be present in school, but their position is so neutral that its rarely classified as a position at all. It is instead representative of ‘equal treatment for all’. Imagine that as an inherent legal defense!
serving a hidden agenda since at least 1776
The Spanish priest, Félix Sardà y Salvany, addressed this dilemma of hidden institutional biases contained within Liberal Modernity in the following words:
“”[…]The modern State does not recognize God or the Church. In the conflict of different religious creeds, the public reason must stand neutral and impartial. Hence the necessary independence of the public reason. The State as State can have no religion. Let the simple citizen, if he wishes, submit to the revelation of Jesus Christ, but the statesman and the man in public life must comport himself as if no Revelation existed.” Now all this means civil or social atheism. It means that society is independent of God, its Author; that while individuals may recognize their dependence on the divine law, civil society should not—a distinction whose sophism is founded on an intolerable contradiction.”
So we can affirm that a secular government is not neutral at all. It’s as neutral as Pyongyang when it comes to matters of faith. Just because it doesn’t explicitly say so, this doesn’t actually impact the result, which is that if you appear in court with a religious interest, another party in the dispute holds all the aces already, built into the legal code and draped with a flag of neutrality.
Similarly, we can apply this to how Liberal ideology as the foundation of any state, will not create a static battlefield in which the left and right are free to peacefully make their case. Instead, it forms an Overton Window that shifts left at an accelerating pace. One might ask why has the radical right not won the debate? If our desired mode of society is so profoundly suited to human life, why is the left ascendant? Well, the answer lies in the fact that this game was rigged from the start. Beginning with a democratic republican system built on concepts such as ‘human rights’ and ‘bias towards none’ has already enforced a baseline of acceptability through which no rightist who wants to be considered as politically realistic can fall through. The left has a wide, unending expanse into which it can move and operate. The right has a tiny box. Take one rightward step outside of how ‘right wing’ you can legitimately be, and you’re toast. Why? Because the ‘center’, that neutral pole to which we all must gravitate, is a thousand miles away, deep within the left’s camp.
How may I ask is that neutrality? It’s not. And we shouldn’t let the left make this argument unchallenged. They want the populace to think that Modernity’s continued predominance is based on merit, that those supportive of monarchy, or theonomy, or patriarchy, have fled from the debating stage because their arguments are as antiquated and debunked as geocentrism. The fact is that the debating stage that our enemies have crafted is quite unsuited to our principles. Not only does the rightist have to jump through the endless loopholes of political correctness to avoid the ‘immediate intrinsic defeaters’ that are accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia, and other such made up maladies (neutrally applied to prevent people’s feelings getting hurt of course), but on top of this he must only rely on what can be empirically proven to the leftist’s pseudo-scientific standard. Yes, the rightist must bend the knee at the shrine of Liberalism itself before he goes on to debate its smug defenders.
On second thought, forget the debate. We prefer pistols at dawn.