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Yard sign Calvinism

Time was, people put yards signs up for three reasons: the house was for sale, an election was about to happen, or they wanted you to know who re-paved their driveway.

But over the last few years I've noticed a different category of yard signs - they don't tell you to vote for anyone or even advocate a specific policy, they are simply there to let you know the property owner's beliefs.

Some of them even provide a secular credo cribbed from bumper stickers that used to appear on the rusting exteriors of college-town Volvos.

I'm not the first person to notice that much of what animates the modern American left is a secularized form of Calvinism.  Thomas Sowell beat me to it decades ago, but the traditional Elect were a bit more subtle in advertising their self-righteousness (okay, the "In the case of the Rapture, this car will be empty" bumper stickers were a bit much).

Calvinism is a frequent target of the Lord of Spirits podcast, and justly so.  John Calvin took the Lutheran concept sola fides to its irrational extreme and modern secularists have run with it.  If faith alone can provide salvation, then simply announcing one's virtuous beliefs demonstrates moral superiority in the secular realm.

One of my favorite signs is one that reads:  "Wherever you are from, you're welcome to be our neighbor," which appears in English, Spanish and (presumably) Arabic.  I like it because I see them in the yards of houses that cost $300,000 or more.  Clueless irony is the best irony.

Another point of amusement (which is only possible if you live in the same neighborhood for a while) is when these houses are put up for sale, the virtue-signalling signs disappear.  The contractor ones can stay ("see, we just repaved the driveway"), but the owner is willing to mute their self-righteousness to recoup their investment.

I mean, the sign already proved their virtue.  Now they're just trying to sell the house.


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