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Can Churchgoing Alleviate the Woes of the Sexual Revolution’s Losers?

Mimicking a tactic favored by Islamic State, a young man in Toronto recently drove a truck into a crowd, killing ten and injuring several others. The perpetrator’s online activity made clear that he was an “incel”—a term meaning “involuntarily celibate”—and had committed his crime to get revenge on society in general and more specifically on women, whom he blamed for his own frustrations. The incident brought some attention to incels’ bizarre Internet culture. To Kevin Williamson, the answer to their woes might be attendance at church—a prescription that could probably be applied to synagogue as well:

In the 1960s and 1970s, there were some social disruptions touching marriage and family life. It was, they told us, a “sexual revolution.” The thing about revolutions is: somebody loses. The so-called incels are some of the losers in that revolution, though not the only ones or, socially speaking, the most significant ones. (Those would be the abandoned single mothers.) But their situation is worth considering. . . .

If you are a sexually frustrated young man, the smart play would be to join a church. . . . That advice won’t do much good for the guys toggling between anime porn and [the online forum] Reddit all night while concocting elaborate revenge fantasies. It probably is not the case that those guys are maladjusted fruitcakes because they can’t get a girl; more likely, they can’t get a girl because they’re maladjusted fruitcakes. But you more or less normal, nonpsychotic, workaday types having trouble meeting a girl: join a church. Today. Or Sunday. If you don’t know which one to go to, pick whichever one your parents or grandparents went to. . . .

All you have to do to clear that first hurdle is show up. You’re a man, you go to church, ergo you are a churchgoing man. Maybe you go for self-interested reasons. Most churches are [comfortable] with that. . . .

In the meantime, consider that there are women in the room who might not only be interested in dating you but who might be persuaded to make a public pledge—right there in the church—to have sex with you for the rest of your life, and enter into a legal arrangement fortifying that commitment. Marriage and fatherhood have been socially devalued. But that doesn’t mean you have to go along with it. And it probably wouldn’t kill you to listen to a sermon or two.

Read more at National Review

More about: Religion & Holidays, Sexual revolution

How the U.S. Can Strike at Iran without Risking War

In his testimony before Congress on Tuesday, Michael Doran urged the U.S. to pursue a policy of rolling back Iranian influence in the Middle East, and explained how this can be accomplished. (Video of the testimony, along with the full text, are available at the link below.)

The United States . . . has indirect ways of striking at Iran—ways that do not risk drawing the United States into a quagmire. The easiest of these is to support allies who are already in the fight. . . . In contrast to the United States, Israel is already engaged in military operations whose stated goal is to drive Iran from Syria. We should therefore ask ourselves what actions we might take to strengthen Israel’s hand. Militarily, these might include, on the passive end of the spectrum, positioning our forces so as to deter Russian counterattacks against Israel. On the [more active] end, they might include arming and training Syrian forces to engage in operations against Iran and its proxies—much as we armed the mujahedin in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Diplomatically, the United States might associate itself much more directly with the red lines that Israel has announced regarding the Iranian presence in Syria. Israel has, for example, called for pushing Iran and its proxies away from its border on the Golan Heights. Who is prepared to say that Washington has done all in its power to demonstrate to Moscow that it fully supports this goal? In short, a policy of greater coordination with Jerusalem is both possible and desirable.

In Yemen, too, greater coordination with Saudi Arabia is worth pursuing. . . . In Lebanon and Iraq, conditions will not support a hard rollback policy. In these countries the goal should be to shift the policy away from a modus vivendi [with Iran] and in the direction of containment. In Iraq, the priority, of course, is the dismantling of the militia infrastructure that the Iranians have built. In Lebanon, [it should be] using sanctions to force the Lebanese banking sector to choose between doing business with Hizballah and Iran and doing business with the United States and its financial institutions. . . .

Iran will not take a coercive American policy sitting down. It will strike back—and it will do so cleverly. . . . It almost goes without saying that the United States should begin working with its allies now to develop contingency plans for countering the tactics [Tehran is likely to use]. I say “almost” because I know from experience in the White House that contingency planning is something we extol much more than we conduct. As obvious as these tactics [against us] are, they have often taken Western decision makers by surprise, and they have proved effective in wearing down Western resolve.

Read more at Hudson

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, U.S. Foreign policy, Yemen