Posted by: gmscan | August 5, 2013

Rosaria Butterfield, Part Three

First, I want to apologize for being so long in getting back to this. As you might imagine, the heath care wars are heating up, and I’ve been commissioned to write a couple of research papers related to it. Plus, our garden is booming this year and it needs attention on God’s schedule, not mine.

But early this morning, the Holy Spirit came to me and said, “Get ‘er done!” (Who would have thought the Spirit would talk like Larry the Cable Guy?). So here I am.

——

To refresh your memory, we have dealt with Dr. Butterfield’s conversion to Christianity in Part One, and her life as a Christian in Part Two.   Now I want to look at something a little less rosy, and that is her life before all this.

It would be a mistake to take Butterfield’s experience as a model for homosexual conversion. She, frankly, wasn’t much of a lesbian. She “boldly declared” herself to be a lesbian at age 28, and then undeclared at age 36, spending a mere eight years in her lesbian identity. Nowhere in the book does she say anything about a struggle with sexual identity. She never discusses her adolescence and any conflict she might have felt about being attracted to other girls. After her conversion, she never once mentions any lingering attraction she might have felt for the same sex.

In fact, this phase of her life doesn’t seem to be about sex at all, but about politics. She says she was “being recruited by universities to take on faculty and administrative roles in advancing radical leftist ideologies.” Now, there is a sobering thought for you. She wasn’t being recruited for scholarship or for teaching, but to advance radical leftist ideologies.

She wanted to be involved in “the struggle,” but as a middle class white girl with a PhD, a woman of privilege, she could hardly claim to be able to identify with the victims of oppression on a personal level, so she became a lesbian to join them in victimhood.

Throughout the book, even after becoming a Christian, she spouts leftist political blather. It is blather because it is profoundly shallow. She thinks Christians are “anti-intellectual” but bases that assessment solely on Pat Robertson. She is completely unaware and uninterested in the robust intellectual tradition of Christianity, from Augustine, through Aquinas and Calvin and Luther, to C.S. Lewis and Dorothy Sayers, to Michael Novak, and N.T. Wright in our day.

So, like Leftists everywhere, she bases her opinions on ignorance, yet thinks of herself as intellectually superior at the same time. Quite a trick!

Also, like Leftists everywhere, she fails to simply identify any particular problem in society and try to fix it. Rather, she lumps everything together and despises it all. She writes –

“… the Religious Right was manipulating religious commitments in the name of capitalist consumerism and conservative political agendas…” “… Christian imperialist ideologies…”

There is much more in this vein, but you get the idea. Rather than being insightful, she spouts jargon that might have been published in a Bolshevik pamphlet in 1917. And that is one of the great ironies here. These folks consider themselves cutting edge, but as Butterfield concedes, they are actually recycling the 19th Century thinking of Marx, Freud, and Darwin, all of whom have long been discredited.

But it is worse than that. Butterfield saw her mission as a university professor not as educating the young to think for themselves, but to brainwash them to conform to her ideology. She cites the syllabus from her own Women’s Studies 101 class –

“Students are expected to write all papers and examination essay questions from a feminist worldview or critical perspective. In Spanish class you speak and think in Spanish. In Women’s Studies you speak and think in feminist paradigms. Examination essay questions written from critical perspectives outside of feminism will receive an automatic grade of F. Papers written from critical perspectives outside of feminism will be allowed on revision. Any student who is unable to write and think from a feminist critical perspective or worldview with a clear conscience should drop the class now.”

The Left’s intellectual foundations are so shaky that it cannot tolerate any criticism or originality. And that is how we end up with Gulags in the Soviet Union, reeducation camps in Vietnam, and the Cultural Revolution in China. It is brutally conformist, and it is alive and prospering right here in American “higher” education.

Just one final point. Butterfield saw, and continues to see, the world in stereotypical symbols. When she was a “radical feminist lesbian” she wore a butch haircut and blue jeans. When she became a Christian she felt she had to let her hair grow out, don dresses and wear uncomfortable shoes. Why? What difference does it make? Why can’t a lesbian wear her hair long and a Christian woman have a butch cut if that is what she finds comfortable?

For that matter, since there are Christian socialists, why can’t there be lesbian capitalists? In fact, there are, but not in Butterfield’s mind. She sees the world as cardboard cutouts and shallow stereotypes. And I worry that she is applying the same way of thinking to her Christianity that she did to her radicalism.

Jesus knows what he is doing and I trust in his work with Butterfield. As a personal testimony her book is fine, but I would hesitate to give her book any more importance than just a personal statement.

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Responses

  1. “Any student who is unable to write and think from a feminist critical perspective or worldview with a clear conscience should drop the class now.””

    It’s the “clear conscience” that seals the deal. Up till then you could have claimed she was just been asking students to practice taking a position. It’s an important skill in dialectics. But telling the students up front that they can’t BE critical of THINK critically about a critical perspective and putting that in the syllabus? That’s not a class intent on brainwashing. Prior brainwashing is a prerequisite to the class.

    Who knew you could be a Fundamentalist Feminist?

    • LOL Jodie. Though, since this is a 101 course it is presumably an introduction for Freshmen (excuse me — “First Yearers”). Do you suppose the brainwashing begins in high school? Maybe so, maybe so.

  2. “It would be a mistake to take Butterfield’s experience as a model for homosexual conversion. She, frankly, wasn’t much of a lesbian. She “boldly declared” herself to be a lesbian at age 28, and then undeclared at age 36, spending a mere eight years in her lesbian identity. Nowhere in the book does she say anything about a struggle with sexual identity. She never discusses her adolescence and any conflict she might have felt about being attracted to other girls. After her conversion, she never once mentions any lingering attraction she might have felt for the same sex.”
    I agree with your first sentence. I can’t think of any “model of homosexual conversion.” Nor can I think of any model of heterosexual conversion. Then your next sentence strikes me as naive, “She, frankly, wasn’t much of a lesbian.” Really? You base this on her years, age 28-36, that she openly spent in the lesbian community. You say that she spent “a mere eight years in her lesbian identity.” How many years would you have her spend in her lesbian identity to convince you that she was very much a lesbian? You also base your statement on what she doesn’t say in the book as tho’ because she didn’t speak about her identity struggles growing up, that makes her “lesbian identity” less valid in your eyes?
    I very much appreciated how Dr. Butterfield wrote of her conversion to Christ, what she chose to include and what she chose to exclude.

  3. Pat,

    Thank you for your comment. I also appreciate her conversion and her current life as a Christian. I applauded all that in my first two posts on this book. As for your criticism, all I can do is address what she actually puts in the book. I can not impute qualities or experiences that are not present in the text. In my reading of it, she was following her “radical leftist” beliefs more than a sexual identity.


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