Let me break this down for you. There is a revolution in progress. This is what a revolution looks like. The revolutionaries have been preparing it for decades, following out the logic of Gramsci’s “long march through the institutions.” They are in the process of making what they believe is their final concerted push. They are doing this because, as things stand now, there is no place for conservatives to stand as they try to push back.
The conservatives, such as they are, have been operating on cruise control for those same decades—holding to the form but lacking the substance. The form they have been holding to is the brick skin of Western culture, but they have acquiesced in a repudiation of all the internal support columns of Western culture, which would be the Christian faith. And remember, without Christ the Christian faith has its own forms of holding to the form but lacking the substance—funny hats and no gospel.
So here is the point again, the stark point—it is Christ or chaos. For those who have been buying into the flatteries of the liberal democrats, the flatteries that say we can have a society with “a center that holds” without a transcendental authority, my point is a stark and ugly one. But ugly or not, it is manifestly true: Christ or chaos. It is Christ at the center or chaos at the center. The practical problem is this. How can you have chaos at the center without soon enough getting chaos out at the edges? Maybe even in suburbia? Maybe even out as far as your gated community of Woodlawn Hills?
So for some time now, I have been calling for a return to mere Christendom. There is no coherent defense against Leftist insanity available that can prevail by simply appealing to common sense or shared civic traditions. Hollow traditions are simply that brittle exterior that make such a satisfying crunchy sound when the radicals punch through them. This is a battle between false gods on the march and hollow gods standing on pedestals just waiting to be yanked over.
Eric Erickson has some good things to say about this as a battle over the God-vacancy. He is talking about the Antifa thugs on the Left and the neo-Nutzis on the Right. My point is consistent with his, but I am comparing the agitators on the Left with the respectable buttoned-down, creased-khaki conservatives on the modest and diffident right. They are modest enough not to get an upper-case R.
The Left is attacking America, not the Confederacy. The Confederacy, for those just joining us, lost the war. Part of the accommodation that was reached after the war was an arrangement where the nation grew back together with both sides being proud of how both sides fought. A story is told of a Yankee speaking in Manchester, England, trying to raise support for the cause of the Union. Manchester was a textile town, in need of Southern cotton, and so the crowd was feisty and hostile. While he was speaking, a heckler interrupted him with the taunt that the war was supposed to take just a few weeks, and here it was years now. What’s your problem? The speaker acknowledged that the war was dragging on, and that it had taken a whole lot longer than anticipated. The problem was that we failed to take into account the fact that we would be fighting Americans.
The Left has not decided that a resurgent Confederacy is a real threat. They have determined (correctly) that the whole thing is woven together. If they can get everyone cowed by the emotional logic of “Slave-owner!,” they will be able to tear down a lot more than a memorial plaque in a community cemetery in Mississippi somewhere.
CNN’s Angela Rye: Statues of Washington, Jefferson and Lee ‘All Need to Come Down’
The first target is slave-owners who fought for the South (Lee, Jackson), and the second is non-slave-owners who fought for the South (monuments for the generic Confederate soldier, the vast majority of whom did not own slaves). Next up will be slave-owners who fought against Great Britain for the North and South (Washington), and after that will be slave-owners who fought for the North (Grant).
But note this well. They are attacking an America that does not know how to defend itself. Moreover, they are attacking an America that deserves every last bit of what is coming down. We are now in the worst possible position—America is being attacked because of its historic association with Jehovah, and is being attacked having angered Jehovah. A nation of ingrates, it is not surprising that we cannot deal with the simplest of problems. Trick question! What is a boy?
Contemporary America has rejected God, and refuses to name of the name of Jesus. But there is no salvation without a Savior. We have therefore lost the concept of sin, but we have not lost the ability to pile up grievances. Sins can be forgiven (if you call upon Jesus), but grievances accumulate. If there is no God, there can be no sin. So these statues are coming down, not because they represent sinners, but because they are represent losers. This is a power struggle, not a moral struggle.
Jaroslav Pelikan nailed it when he said, “Tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.” In order to be the kind of tradition that keeps a people together, there has to be life in it. But there is no life that spans generations apart from Christ. That means the gospel is necessary in order to keep any society from going to seed.
When I compare false gods to hollow gods, remember that these active false gods here are the hollow gods elsewhere—in those lands where collectivism was actually attempted. They have their appeal here because socialism runs on envy, the same way my truck runs on regular, and because of the massive amounts of material prosperity here, that envy has all the inspiration it needs to keep going. They do not have any accomplishments to their credit, unless you count the central goal, which is to tear down the accomplishments of others.
The central logical telos for all forms of egalitarianism—financial, sexual, environment, etc.—is the impoverishment of others. What they want above all is fruitlessness. What they want above all is barrenness. This is why they worship the barrenness pill. This is why they think CO2, the thing that makes plants lush and green, is a pollutant. This is why they hate profits.
So back to the chase. Let us distinguish between the death of God as a datum in theology, than which no greater absurdity can be imagined, and the death of God as a datum of rebellious political philosophy, the consequences of which we see playing out around us every day. Those consequences are every bit as absurd as they are in theology, but because those who have decided to adhere to it are currently in the grip of a mass hysteria, that absurdity is hidden from them. We can see it, but they cannot.
We have been told, and for some time now, that we could have a stable, orderly society without a transcendental authority. So how’s that working out? We were told that common sense would enable us all to work together, regardless of the fact that we all believed different things about ultimate reality. Is that still true?
We have gotten to the absurd point where people in Che! shirts are accusing Robert E. Lee of being a bad man. We must repudiate slave-owners, said the guy in the murderer shirt. Seattle has a monument to Confederate soldiers in Lake View Cemetery and Vladimir Lenin in Fremont. Talk about cognitive dissonance. If I might quote John Lennon, “But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow.” God let him write those words to preemptively make up for Imagine. But if you are going to start with the monsters who had the most blood on their hands, and if we lived in a world that made any sense, then Lenin would already be gone. His statues are all gone in those places that actually had to put up with his ideas in action.
So here it is, once again. I have little doubt that I will be repeating this over and over and over again in the years to come. You have a limited number of choices. First, you can join the commies. They are the ones who, if given complete control of Hawaii, would shortly be running shortages of salt water. Second, you can wistfully wish that Antifa had not gotten that rocket launcher into position such that enabled them to blow Washington’s nose off Mt. Rushmore. You wish this ardently, and are greatly distressed, and are thinking about a stern letter to the Wall Street Journal. This behavior is just hurtful, that’s all.
Or you can recognize that Christ is Lord. If Christ really rose from the dead, then He has the authority to forgive us for climbing into this stupid frying pan. And He can forgive us for the temptation of thinking jumping out into the fire would be an improvement.
All of this depravity and derangement should not be a surprise , but rather expected. Romans 1:18-32
I totally agree. Amen. The problem being, you are not going to stop a tantrum by throwing yourself on the floor and having a bigger one. You are simply going to have to to be the only grown ups actually standing up in the room. There is a concerted effort underway to manipulate the alt right and get them to become the very caricature that fuels the need for the revolution. That effort is pointed right at our churches, right now, and is coming off just swimmingly. Extra credit points for gaming neonazis into using scripture as justification for their… Read more »
But maybe telos = ridding the competition?
No God = we get what we want!
Barrenness & chaos = simply logical effective means, not the telos itself?
Satan has many sons, & can be most organized, no?
Dissing the RC, or the KKK?
Embrace the healing power of “and.”
OK. Jesus is Lord. I’m with ya there.
But: now what? Our society is collapsing around us and I’m more than a little worried what kind of culture my kids will grow up in.
How Should we Then Live?
You just make too much damn sense for anyone to take you seriously, Doug. I’d tweet your message out but it would be a fart in a windstorm. Let’s pray these Antifa bastards into the Kingdom. What did you say once about the worst thing to happen to a sinner would be to kneel before the throne of God and accept Christ as their Savior?-it would be the death of them right? Well, I don’t see any other solution. Well no other solution than to pray for their souls, proclaim the Truth, and carry a gun big enough to protect… Read more »
Tim, you just said what many out in fly-over country have been thinking for far too long. We aren’t afraid of the anarchists, but we are in protective high yellow alert mode and at the ready if they get too close to the ideals and people we care about.
We in the capital of hipster cool don’t see Denver as flyover country! It’s Rocky Mountain High.
It’s only a trick question for those who aren’t firing on all cylinders. I find it hilarious that the same people who claim to be our scientific betters can’t grok onto the simple biological fact that X and Y don’t lie.
Who wants to wager that when Bruce Jenner’s bones are dug up 500 years from now, the osteologists conducting the exam won’t be able to tell that he (yes Krychek, he) was absolutely, undeniably male?
Good read, you must have been in my living room yesterday, as my wife and I discussed this very thing after we heard that someone torched Lincoln in Chicago.
I understand that some are going down the road of attacking Washington et al., but might this be a bit of slippery slope argumentation (not the main point, but the imminency of removing Washington statues)? Seems to me preservation of Confederate statues has a lot less popular support than preservation of monuments of our country’s founding fathers.
“Gay people?!? MARRIED?!?!? Hahaha!!” — the 90’s
We have grown up thinking that Jesus gives us life when we get to heaven, but we missed the fact that Jesus gives us life on Earth, as well.
“But if you are going to start with the monsters who had the most blood on their hands, and if we lived in a world that made any sense, then Lenin would already be gone.”
Great article that drives home your point above:
“What they want above all is barrenness.” I get the impression you’ve been reading “That Hideous Strength” again.
Meanwhile in Boston, a conservative group that distanced themselves from white nationalists tried to have a free speech rally. 15,000 counter-protesters showed up to bully them into….well, not having free speech. Some of them were surely Antifa types who would have no problems resorting to violence.
I’m sure we won’t see any prominent Evangelicals denouncing this, though.
CHer, do you theoretically reject the validity of peaceful and lawful counterprotest? If a group of people find a rally’s message repugnant, should they not be able, in theory, to obtain the necessary permits and assemble in protest–as long as they are peaceful and follow the orders of the police? Whenever I demonstrated for something in my long lost youth, I fully expected to encounter people demonstrating on the opposite side. I believe utterly in free speech, but not the right of unopposed free speech. If you see me marching through the streets of Los Angeles yelling “Trump tortures cats,”… Read more »
Sure. But that hasn’t been happening. There are peaceful counter-protesters, but Antifa, the violent wing of BLM and others keep showing up. When the city officials know this, they cancel or end the demonstration very early…so the original group never has a chance. I’m sure that’s a strategy for some counter-protesters.
Up until a few years ago, Klan rallies were a joke. A handful of of them showed up, some peaceful protesters were there (along with curious onlookers) and it barely made the news. They were dying out until Antifa turned their demonstrations into low-grade gang fights.
Where did you learn that Antifa was “the violent wing of BLM”? Calling Antifa a wing of the BLM is like calling CREC a wing of the SBC. I mean, people associated with each may occasionally show up at the same event, and there might be some sort of relation in some of their aims, but for the most part they’re completely different people, from different places, showing up at different events, with different methods, for different reasons. Antifa was born out of anarchist movements, mostly on the West Coast, probably mostly White, who primarily go to right-wing events and… Read more »
“Antifa, the violent wing of BLM and others keep showing up. ”
How about learning basic grammar instead of giving an unnecessary 4-paragraph lesson on the history of left-wing protesters? “Antifa,” “BLM” and “others” are compound subjects:
Then who is this “violent wing of the BLM” that “keep showing up” at right-wing protests?
And when have I ever demonstrated lack of knowledge of basic grammar?
I simply didn’t assume that your grammar was perfect.
Does the name George Soros ring a bell for any of you people who post here.
“But if you are going to start with the monsters who had the most blood on their hands, and if we lived in a world that made any sense, then Lenin would already be gone. His statues are all gone in those places that actually had to put up with his ideas in action.” Exactly. This is exactly how it feels for southern people, whose ancestors lived under slavery, who every day deal with the legacy of slavery in action. Easy to talk about “history” from rural Idaho, when the ideas in action never impacted you, your families, or your… Read more »
Isn’t Doug from Georgia?
I think he was from Virginia, but his family moved to Idaho when he was a teenager. If I remember correctly (please fix this if I don’t) he had attended segregated all-White schools for most, if not all, of his pre-college schooling.
“…who every day deal with the legacy of slavery in action.”
Really, how so in today’s America which is significantly removed from that era? (Did I misunderstand?)
This is a useful starter article for how so:
Chloryphyll. For the actual love of God, who made CO2 and chlorophyll. And if you don’t think CO2 is a pollutant, maybe put your head in bag filled with it for a few minutes.
Is there really serious doubt that an excess of carbon dioxide can be harmlful? Isn’t there quite a bit of evidence that absorption of carbon dioxide has accelerated the acidification of the oceans? And isn’t the hostile environment the planet Venus largely due to the large amount of CO2?
Actually, Venusian temperatures are mostly due to distance from the sun, and atmospheric pressure.
As for the oceans, they’re basic, not acidic, so any lowering of pH is actually making them more *neutral*, and the pH of the oceans vary both temporally and spatially orders of magnitude greater than any proposed CO2 neutralization effect.
CO2 is plant food, and is still at historic lows today on the geologic scale.
No doubt the result would be the same as putting your head in a bag filled with tofu for a few minutes
Here’s where we’re going with all of the left-wing hate. A guy gets stabbed because of his “neo nazi” haircut.
This reminds me of a much better story from the 1980s when another “skinhead threat” was being overhyped. A group of thugs jumped a group of “skinheads”…only they weren’t skinheads, but off-duty Special Forces guys. They gave the thugs a serious beating.
So when ISIS destroys roman architecture, it is desecration of culture, but it is fine for us to tear down Washington and Jefferson and should be done? Sounds about right. Rome never had slaves after all. Those dastardly ISIS folk!
“…Gramsci’s ‘long march through the institutions.'” Dumbest meme ever. You can always make something perfectly normal and ubiquitous look evil by giving it a nefarious name and implying a conspiracy. “Seattle has a monument to Confederate soldiers in Lake View Cemetery and Vladimir Lenin in Fremont.” The statue of Lenin is privately owned and sits on privately owned land. Despite this, the liberal mayor of Seattle has called for its removal. “His statues are all gone in those places that actually had to put up with his ideas in action.” There are many Lenin statues in Eastern Europe and Russia.… Read more »
“Dumbest meme ever. ” Obviously Matt doesn’t see the moronic memes posted all day on social media by SJWs…or else he’s just extremely biased.
Pretty cool how you never mention Charlottesville, which this is clearly in response to. Let’s you subtly defend white nationalists/supremacists without actually having to unequivocally support their cause in public.
We are crumbling in the face of the revolution because we have replaced Christendom with the ideals of the Protestant Revolt and the Enlightenment which inexorably have lead us to cultural marxism. Namely, Private interpretation, that God gives the right to break God’s commandments (IE freedom of speech, conscience, ect.) Abstract rights have been placed above actual right and thus this country has degenerated (with the help of outside influences) into a Balkanization of Hades.
Greatly enjoyed Free Speech Apocalypse. Don’t agree with everything you say, but would fight and die for your right to say it. Silly question – I don’t recognize that Christ is Lord. I’m still on your side on a bunch of different topics, and the ones I think we disagree on, I think we can at least disagree agreeably about. Would you take aid and comfort from a secular ally in this battle for liberty against the dark forces of antifa and the regressive left, even if I didn’t believe all the things you did? tl;dr – big tent or… Read more »