He Who Says A, Must Say B

Bear with me a moment. I would like to sketch the outlines of an argument showing how a denial of Calvinism will lead (over time) to the canons of political correctness. But before doing that, allow me to define both terms. By Calvinism I mean the doctrine of God’s exhaustive sovereignty. By political correctness, I mean the pressing political need to browbeat people into denying the obvious.

As soon as Calvinism is denied, divine predestination is denied. And when predestination is denied, it soon occurs to the ranking civil authorities that the role of “predestinator” is vacant. The job of running everyone’s life (as God had previously been thought to do) is now vacant. And so the State applies for the job (and not surprisingly, hires itself). The choice is simple — either God is acknowledged as the one who predestines, or man will attempt to become the one who predestines.

Enter the problem of evil. As sophomores in philosophy class learn it, the problem goes this way. God cannot be all powerful and all good, because evil exists. If He were all powerful and all good, He would eliminate evil. But evil still exists. So God must be powerless to do something about the evil (although He is good and would like to), or he is an all powerful ogre, with no desire to eliminate evil, which is why he does not. Of course, both these sorry deities are idols — the triune God of the Bible is all powerful, and infinitely holy and good. But the point here is not to discuss the way a scriptural understanding of God resolves this problem of evil. Another day.

The point is to show that all aspirants to the position of deity have to deal with this problem. If there is a vacancy at the top, and the State fills that vacancy, then one of the first things that happens is that the State is confronted with . . . the problem of evil. You cannot just become a god and demand that people start worshipping you. You also have to produce. You have to do the things that gods are supposed to do, and explain the things that gods need to explain.

Since statists do not serve the truth, they cannot really deal with the evil the way the living God will — when He will bring every thought, word, and action before His throne at the great day in order to render a perfect judgment. When God judges all men at the end of the world, not one thing will be out of order, and not one injustice will be left standing. There will be no shards or remnants, and all will be well. But our various collections of bureaucrats that we call the State cannot do this — not even close.

So they only have two options. The first is to mount a grandiose campaign to eliminate some select evil from the world. There is great fanfare, and a lot of hubbub, and swollen names are given to the various enterprises — the “War On Poverty,” for example. Or the “War on Drugs” for another. Some evil is selected, and the government declares war on it. And of course, when the government declares war on something like this, what we usually find is that we get is more of whatever it is. These wars on various evils usually occur when the statists are still in that halcyon stage of believing their own propaganda. They promise the goods because they really believe they can deliver the goods.

But time goes by and the unfulfilled promises and lies become increasingly apparent. It becomes so obvious that even people in the government know. “Hey, didn’t we have a war on poverty? Why . . .” “How many drugs are being used in America today? And how many were being used when this war started?” That kind of question. Embarrassing questions.

What happens next is the tricky part. The State cannot actually deal with the evil, although they have promised to. And they cannot admit that they are not god, and that they shouldn’t have promised to do what only God can do. So what they can do is command everybody to shut up and look the other way. Extreme cases of this are found in totalitarian regimes, where they feel like they would “lose face” if they admitted that they just had a major earthquake that killed 100,000 people. This kind of thing flummoxes us. What? Why would any government lose face over something like that? Because they have claimed to be god, and the people have accepted the claim. Therefore, they must confront the problem of evil. Why was there this earthquake? The logic is compelling, and answers are very hard to come by. Much easier to throw a newspaper editor in jail if he reports on the earthquake.

Now we are not yet at this stage, although we are rapidly getting there. The rot of intellectual dishonesty that produces this is very much at the center of our current cultural consciousness. This is the mindset of the intolerista, and this is where political correctness comes in. PC thot is the attempt (frequently successful) to make people deny the Screamingly Obvious through sheer, brute intimidation. If you don’t like what someone is saying, don’t refute him. Don’t engage him in debate. That would be too much like civilized discourse. What intoleristas do is shout people down, file bogus complaints, and tell the authorities that those people over there are “not zoned for disagreeing with me.” Coercion is the standard method employed by the failed god. It is the signature of the failed god. And the more clear this becomes, the more necessary it is to resort to continued attempts at coercion.

Examples abound, but I will just use one. When did we have the national debate, after which debate we decided through our elected officials to put women in combat? Some people started to have that debate, but the next thing we knew, the armed services were running down the sidelines waving the egalitarian football over their heads. And then we were suddenly into this war, see, and now every politician alive — left, right, and center, the ones with the flag lapel pins and the ones without them — is on television extolling our brave men and women in uniform. You’re not against that, are you? Go ahead, say something. I dare you.

Okay. When women are put into combat, the results are almost always disastrous in some way or other. And depending on the nature of the disaster, you can be assured that there will be a media lockdown on it, and an absolute refusal to address it. But remember, this contumacy is happening for theological reasons. The god must solve the problem, for that is what gods do, and if the god cannot solve the problem, then the god must hide the problem, as Zeus used to do with Hera from time to time. For example, what happens to women POWs? How many stories in the national media have you seen on it? What sort of sexual abuse is a woman captured in Iraq likely to get? Is this discussed openly, honestly? Huh. Every with a camera and bandwidth looks off into the middle distance and hums. Those who want to raise a perfectly reasonable question about the different treatment likely to be received by a male POW and female POW are shut down, because the question, once raised, is immediately and intuitively answered, and usually with a “yikes.”

The reason certain people get pounded is that they dare to raise “the problem of evil” in the presence of the reigning deity. They dare to point out what must be diligently ignored if the pretension of deity is to be maintained. And their problem is not that they are technically correct while the reigning authorities are technically incorrect. It is nothing so subtle. The problem is that the State is claiming to be able to make water flow uphill, and someone is brave enough (not smart enough, brave enough) to point out that it is doing no such thing.

Applications are legion, and is probably happening right where you live. I know that a day does not go by here in Moscow without us having to deal with some aspect of this kind of thing. If I were to write a letter to the editor of our local paper, maintaining that two oranges added to two oranges will always secure you four oranges, I would soon be in trouble with some of our locals for my math hegemony. And they would want to do something to make me stop it.

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