People are talking these days about their “red pill” moments. That is, for those on the right, those moments when they realized that what they had been told by the educational system and the media was a con, that the “good guys” were the bad guys.
I have had many such moments, not just one. I suppose that is true of most of us who have lived as long as I have. But one that definitely stands out in my memory happened when I was in third year university, at Queen’s, a Canadian college with a reputation for being hard to get in to and for attracting the youth of the Canadian upper class.
It was December, close to Christmas, on a cold winter night. I was living in Elrond College, a high-rise student residence. Across the street, at a gas station, in a pool of lamplight, a Salvation Army band began to serenade passers-by with Christmas carols. Snow was falling. It seemed to me a perfect moment of gratuitous grace.
And then the windows below me started to open, and heads came out, booing and taunting.
|Grandmama met grandpapa in front of old Grant Hall.|
Okay, it must have been exam period. Academics is tough at Queen’s. People must have been bothered by the distraction.
I suddenly felt, very profoundly, that I found myself on the wrong side here. The good guys were out there in the cold. You do not boo the sincerely religious. Especially when they are trying to do good. Perhaps as disturbing, one does not boo unexpected moments of beauty. The well-off and the educated, it seems, were the bad guys.
That night, or soon after, I had an internal vision that we were headed for civil war in the culture. We would soon find ourselves figuratively in the trenches; and those who believed in personal liberty and the rights of man and the good, the true, the beautiful, were going to be fighting alongside the conventionally religious on the one side, against a totalitarian enemy on the other. And the totalitarians were going to be those Queen’s types, who considered themselves on the whole progressive and tolerant and the best and the brightest and the way of the future.
I think we are just about there now.
This was 44 years ago.