Torturing Tolkien: How Wokesters Seek to Remake Middle-Earth ⋆
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Torturing Tolkien: How Wokesters Seek to Remake Middle-Earth

Photo credit: Patrick Luscri

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There’s a new power threatening J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. It’s a smothering cloud of absurdity that’s seeking, ever seeking, to devour all commonsense and reason. Its minions work tirelessly to cover the land in a darkness of dumbness not seen in this or any age.

Under its banner of DIVERSITY, woke scholars and activists seek to remake Middle-earth to their liking by waking the rest of us to its deficiencies. In doing so, they torture all things Tolkien.

Tolkien, the creator of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, would likely quail at The Tolkien Society’s theme for their July 3-4 Summer Seminar. “Tolkien and Diversity” features these torturous topics:

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  • Gondor in Transition: A Brief Introduction to Transgender Realities in The Lord of the Rings
  • Pardoning Saruman?: The Queer in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings
  • The Lossoth: Indigeneity, Identity, and Antiracism
  • The Invisible Other: Tolkien’s Dwarf-Women and the ‘Feminine Lack’
  • Queer Atheists, Agnostics, and Animists, Oh, My!
  • “Something Mighty Queer”: Destabilizing Cishetero Amatonormativity in the Works of Tolkien
Goblins and gobbledygook

What seems not to occur to these wizards of wokedom is that transgenderism, homosexuality, racism, and sexism have absolutely nothing to do with Tolkien’s creations. It’s likely that not one of their precious themes even entered his mind as he crafted tales of hobbits and dwarves, wizards and dark lords, elves and orcs, adventure and friendship.

Tolkien’s themes, like any good storyteller’s, transcend pedestrian presentism, social justice, equity and other spirit of the age fluff. His tales shimmer with light and magic and good versus evil.

Perhaps it’s Tolkien’s “versions” of good and evil that generate woke creations of nonexistent themes in Middle-earth. They don’t exist there because they have no place there. They only exist in our world because of a lack of courage to resist the constant bombardment from moralizing amoral Utopians.

Assailing Gondor

Minas Tirith in transition? In the Lord of the Rings, the only transition Gondor faces is from freedom to slavery, and it has nothing to do with transgenderism. There aren’t any transgender realities in that fantasy world, but there are surely transgender fantasies in ours.

In reality, true transgenderism is exceedingly rare. In WokeWorld, one need only want to be of a gender he or she is not. Apparently, in the minds of woke folk, when it comes to transgenderism, there are no biological realities. Yet there are transgender realities in The Lord of the Rings?

It’s difficult to imagine Faramir, Gondor’s Captain of the Guard, caring one whit about gender or transgenderism when fighting foes that seek his life and the destruction of his fair city. When facing the Lord of the Nazgûl, the Witch-King of Angmar, is Faramir pondering preferred pronouns?

The PRIDE of Saruman

The wizard Saruman had his opportunity for pardon, and he chose pride—the sin, not the scene. Does the presenter of “Pardoning Saruman?: The Queer in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings” think the wizard and Wormtongue are gay lovers? In Tolkien’s world, Saruman and Gríma are master and minion. Are there hidden aspects of homosexuality in their relationship of which even Tolkien was unaware?

One would have to invent something much more queer about Saruman than his penchant for isolation in his tower of Orthanc or his seductive and beguiling voice. The truth is that Tolkien didn’t address homosexuality in the Lord of the Rings for at least three reasons.

First, it would make no sense in furthering his plot. Second, Tolkien was a committed Catholic and a believer in God’s design for love and marriage as between one man and one woman. Third, he was a linguist and lover of language and “faerie” stories, not a social justice warrior or a PRIDE panderer.

Warriors and women

Dwarf-women in Tolkien’s tales? There aren’t any in his story, but obviously they exist in Middle-earth. Otherwise, there would be no Bifur, Bofur, Bombur or Balin—or the illustrious Thorin Oakenshield. The absurdity of justifying the existence of male dwarves in Tolkien’s fantasy is eclipsed only by criticism of his dearth of female dwarves and a supposed “Feminine Lack” in his tales.

By the way, Bilbo might have something to say about the “Feminine Lack” when it comes to his battles with Lobelia Sackville-Baggins. When it comes to indomitable Lobelia, he would welcome a “Feminine Lack.”

Feminine lack? What of the role of the Elf Queen Galadriel? What of Arwen, Aragorn’s love and future queen? Or Samwise Gamgee’s love interest, Rosie? Tolkien’s tales have a lot to do with war and wizards, swords and shields, orcs and trolls. If he were a sexist, would he have had the warrior Éowyn, King Théoden’s daughter vanquish the aforementioned Lord of the Nazgûl?

Éowyn the Fierce

If there were indeed a feminine lack in the Lord of the Rings, we would be cheated this glorious and beautiful passage as Éowyn, disguised as a man called Dernhelm, challenges the dreaded Witch-King over the dying body of her father and king:

“Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!”

A cold voice answered: ‘Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shriveled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye.”

A sword rang as it was drawn. “Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may.”

“Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!”

Then Merry heard of all sounds in that hour the strangest. It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel.

“But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.”

Is there a scintilla of feminine lack in Éowyn’s courage and strength here or anywhere else in the Lord of the Rings?

Begone, you fools

It’s likely no coincidence that The Tolkien Society is bending to the will of the wokesters after partnering with Amazon for their Lord of the Rings TV series. Talk about a power bent on world domination. What Amazon wants, Amazon gets. There is no resisting the power of Lord Bezos.

If The Tolkien Society wanted to stay true their president and reason for existing, they would’ve partnered with Amazon with the condition that Amazon preserves the magic and mystery of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings in all its beauty and goodness. Perhaps they did, but the topic list of their upcoming Summer Seminar tells a far different tale.

If only Gandalf the White could make an appearance at their gathering. He might listen to the nonsense for a twinkling before scattering them with a commanding, “Begone, you fools!”

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Patrick is a journalist and writer with degrees in English and journalism. He served six years in the Navy where his life was changed forever by the Lord Jesus Christ. He lives in the Sierra Nevada of Northern California with his wife, dog and two cats. He enjoys hiking and cycling, taking pictures and blogging at https://luscri.com/



 
 
 

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Elections

Let’s Reclaim America’s Optimism Advantage

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On this New Year’s Day, America needs more than a parade and great football games; our people need renewed optimism in living our American Dream. Instead of looking for government fixes or some magical new president who will make things right, we need a kick in the pants to get busy making America work no matter what obstacles we face.

At the 1992 Republican Convention, Ronald Reagan shared what he considered the secret of his success as our President: “I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears, to your confidence, rather than your doubts.”

Oh, how we need leadership like that in America today. As we start this year, too many people feel powerless. Inflation may be coming down, but high fuel and food prices have taken their toll on far too many Americans. Watching the invasion on our Southern border means too many of our cities are being overwhelmed with no end in sight. We wonder if there is anything we can do but watch. The sense of despair and helplessness is contagious, but so is optimism. What attitude do you spread?

There is more than you think within your control. Every day, you make choices to make your situation better or worse. Studies of optimism find that optimism comes from a track record of overcoming obstacles. If you have had obstacles the last few years and are still making it work, pat yourself on the back. Be a proud survivor, not a victim so many seem to take pride in claiming to be.

Make each day count by starting your day doing one thing to make your situation better. Find one way to cut expenses. Find a way to increase your resources. Make a call or visit to nurture your network of colleagues and friends. Learn from your mistakes and celebrate your successes, both big and small. Nurture your faith realizing that God gave you gifts and give thanks every day for the blessings you have. Lest you forget, you’re blessed to live in America. People risk everything to come here, and few want to leave.

Yes, this is an election year, and it would sure be a gift to have a leader who would nurture the hope and optimism of all our citizens. So as the campaigns progresses and you listen to potential leaders vying for your support, ask yourself a few key questions:

Do they want to control your choices or ensure your freedoms?

Do they want to make you more or less dependent on government?

Do they want to increase the size of government and entitlements and the taxes needed to fund them or decrease them?

Do they want to force your children to go to public schools that don’t’ get the results your children deserve, or are they willing to give you the freedom to pick the schools your children need?

Do they disagree with their opponents and state why, or do they demean them and call them names?

Do they want to grow the size of government and its debt, or do they want to decrease both?

Do they believe in the citizens they represent, or do they convey that they are the answer to America’s future?

Do they take responsibility for their mistakes and actions or quickly deny responsibility and blame others?

No President is perfect. It’s easy to promise and a lot harder to deliver. Reagan focused on three things: an optimism based on free-enterprise innovation, smaller government, and lower taxes. He delivered on all but smaller government. As Reagan advisor Arnold Laffer confessed, “When it came to cutting welfare payments and school lunch,…it was very hard. Someone would come over and say, ‘How can you cut school lunches?’ Reagan would reply, ‘I guess you’re right; I’ll tell them not to cut that one.’”

The pressure to keep growing government is tempting and easy to understand, but it is not what America was created for. America’s form of government was designed to protect citizens from an over-controlling, over-taxing government. We need to reclaim that passion for freedom and self-reliance. Our founding citizens wanted the opportunity to pursue happiness, not happiness given to them at the expense of other taxpayers.

The election is months away. So I’m going to borrow on the optimism of Ronald Reagan to inspire us all on this first day of 2024: “I’m not taking your time…to ask you to trust me. Instead, I ask you to trust yourself. That is what America is all about… It’s the power of millions of people like you who will determine what will make America great again.”

Reagan wouldn’t want us to wait for the next election. We’ve had enough of eloquent politicians who think they have all the answers. We need to believe in ourselves and get busy living our own dreams. Then, in November, let’s elect a leader who will stay out of our way and give “We the People” freedom again—freedom to fail, succeed, and thrive in our own American Dream!
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Faith

Three Cheers for Christian America

Thank you for safeguarding the public and private expressions of others

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Considering all the nations in the world and the dominating religions within those nations, Christianity is the most beneficial. When Christians are in the majority, it is good for everyone who resides there.

Christians during the Dark Ages, the Renaissance, and up to the mid-20th century contributed to much of the world’s turmoil. In recent decades, however, they have been the most accommodating, accepting, and peaceful group. I’m glad I live in a Christian nation and, given the options globally, would not have it any other way.

Best of the Best

Particularly in America, Christians today are tolerant, acknowledging the rights of others. They recognize the right of Israel to exist. They fully embrace Israel’s strategic role in the Middle East.

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Too many people on the left who regard themselves as the arbiters of what is right and true, in minor and major ways have been persecuting Christians for decades. They do not want public displays of Christianity anywhere in America. Their agenda is to remove all vestiges of religion in America. They contend that America would be a better, more egalitarian nation.

Just the opposite is true. Those who want to stamp out religion in America don’t understand that our origins and 250-year history is based on Judeo-Christian principles. The cancel culture left seek to reject the U.S. Constitution out-of-hand.

We have encountered leftist groups who shatter statues and historic symbols they deem to be oppressive and part of an old regime that was illegitimate from the outset. Many of these perpetrators hide behind ski masks while regarding themselves as heroes. In reality, they are fascists, seeking to control us.

Leftist enforcers have no idea how intolerant they are and that they are no better than those they seek to diminish. In the U.S., people of all faiths are free to celebrate their faith. If one particular faith, Christianity, was predominant from inception, to today, that does not preclude other religious groups from celebrating.

Congress: Hands Off

Leftists make erroneous statements about the “separation of church and state.” The phrase simply is not contained in the Constitution or any founding document. It appeared in a letter that President Thomas Jefferson sent to a Baptist congregation in Danbury, Connecticut. His note to them was designed to reaffirm that the government would not make dictates related to the church.

The First Amendment to the Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” So, when it comes to religion, Congress must keep its hand off.

As a nonreligious person, I have nothing against seeing a religious display on public or private property. Indeed, America shorn of religious symbology would be a dismal place. The Ten Commandments on a public plaque? Fine. Christmas trees in the town square? Flip on the lights! A mosque being built in America? Why not?

As long as everyone is tolerant of other religions, such developments represent no threat to anyone. It is those who operate in secret who represent a threat, as are those who wish to vanquish the rights of others to publicly exhibit symbology.

The Option to Sing Along

When I attended grammar school, I was exposed to the annual Christmas pageant. I had the choice to skip the assembly. In each case, however, I chose to enjoy the merriment of the festivities, but not sing along. My young classmates did not require me to capitulate. Nor did I expect them to modify their festival to accommodate me. Would any aware American who moved to another country expect that country to diminish their celebrations to accommodate the newbie?

I’ve had the opportunity to visit 46 of the 50 states, and 73 countries. I have walked through hallowed halls of shrines, mosques, churches, and ashrams. While Christians are being persecuted in many countries around the world, I don’t know of a single instance today where people feel unsafe in a Christian majority country.

So, I say to you, if you are a Christian, in America, please know that large numbers of us support your right to practice your religion.

For All You Do

Thank you for safeguarding the public and private expressions of others. Thank you for helping to establish a climate where non-Christians and others can feel welcome. Thank you for becoming a peaceful, tolerant religion that rightfully serves as a model for others around the globe.

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