by John C. Wright
It is my habit to avoid discussion of personal matters in public, but I will make an exception when the event ties in to a broader matter.
This Sunday the scoutmaster of my sons’ Boy Scout Troop arrived unexpectedly and uninvited on the doorstep of my house, while I was at Mass.
He announced that, due to an anonymous complaint that my youngest son had allegedly made an “anti-Muslim remark” in a private conversation, therefore he and his brother were forthwith expelled from the troop.
To be sure, this was not the only reason given. It was merely the cherry on top. This issue is more complex than the thumbnail I give here, but those nuances are nothing to the point of the example.
When he heard the decree, my son sat on the couch with a look on his face as if he had been shot in the guts.
He had been in this troop for as long as his boyhood memory reaches, has reached the rank of Star and is about to reach Life, and is a patrol leader, or was.
This troop was a big part of our lives. Weekly meetings and monthly hikes and campouts, and yearly camporees have been woven into our schedules since Cub Scouts. The grown ups in the family have spent more hours and weekends lending a hand and helping to sell popcorn than I can calculate. My wife is more active by far than I, and has even earned her Woodbadge, which is an advanced, national leadership program that gobbled up an unfortunate amount of her writing and editing time.
The loyalty and longsuffering support of the Wright family for this troop, which has been a part of all our lives for years, suddenly counted for nothing. We dared speak a word that might offend the Prophet of Submission, peace be upon him. The Blasphemy Laws were breached!
Apparently the decision to expel was made by the pastor of the church sponsoring the troop, even though, technically, it was not his decision to make. I say apparently, because there was no conversation, and no one asked my son for his side of the story.
For the same reason, what precisely the comment was, or who overheard it, I do not know. I suspect my boy was repeating one of his father’s opinions, which can be called “Anti-Muslim” only in the Alice-Through-the-Looking-Glass world of the Left.
The comment, if it was what I suspect, was something to the effect that America liberty is superior to and incompatible with Shariah Law, and that Christian duty of loving the enemy is superior to and incompatible with Jihadist duty to commit suicide during the mass-murder of innocent women and children dishonorably and indiscriminately, without warning, from ambush.
Be that as it may: a day later we have found another scout troop, and all is once again well in the Wright household.
The hardest part for me will be uprooting my uncouth and unchristian ire at this petty injustice, a harm from which I failed to shield my boys. Forgiveness is a duty, which I hope writing this column will encourage rather than prevent.
I am not writing to provoke sympathy or gather supportive comments, but to make an observation backed by the poignancy of an immediate personal experience.
When I was an atheist, no ambush by backstabbers happened to me, neither in my personal nor professional life. The moment I converted to Christianity, within minutes of my answering a question about my faith posed by a highschool newspaper reporter, I earned the enmity of relatives and strangers.
Editors and publishers who had hitherto been willing to publish my work, and readers who had been hitherto willing to vote awards for my work, suddenly denounced me with a fury unrelated to reality. International newspapers were eager to dunk my name in calumny, and facts be damned. No accusation was too untrue or too absurd to level against a man who dared be Christian and take the faith seriously.
But I had been warned by Christ’s own words that the world would hate me for His sake, so I express no surprise. I knew before I signed up what I was signing up for.
John C. Wright is a retired attorney, newspaperman and newspaper editor, who was only once on the lam and forced to hide from the police who did not admire his newspaper.
In 1984, Graduated from St. John’s College in Annapolis, home of the “Great Books” program. In 1987, he graduated from the College and William and Mary’s Law School (going from the third oldest to the second oldest school in continuous use in the United States), and was admitted to the practice of law in three jurisdictions (New York, May 1989; Maryland December 1990; DC January 1994). His law practice was unsuccessful enough to drive him into bankruptcy soon thereafter. His stint as a newspaperman for the St. Mary’s Today was more rewarding spiritually, but, alas, also a failure financially. He presently works (successfully) as a writer in Virginia, where he lives in fairy-tale-like happiness with his wife, the authoress L. Jagi Lamplighter, and their four children: Pingping, Orville, Wilbur, and Just Wright.
He has published short fiction in Asimov’s Science Fiction in F&SF in Absolute Magnitude and elsewhere. His novel Orphans of Chaos was a finalist for the Nebula Award in 2005. His novel Somewhither won the inaugural Dragon Award for Best Science Fiction Novel of 2016.
In 2015, he made history by being nominated for six Hugo Awards in one year, more than any other author.