I don’t know about you, but I’m not at all into the idea of bending over at the airport so that the TSA can check my underwear for al-Qaeda. Particularly when the Southern border is swung wide open and anyone able to hop, skip, or giggle their way across the border gets an American taxpayer-funded ride to anywhere in the continental US en route to a full ride on a special, expanded edition of the already insanely pervasive American Welfare State…without even having to have their underwear checked for al-Qaeda.
Call me a crackpot crazy Christian conspiracy theorist if you must, but it seems to me like this is a little bit outta whack…and purposefully so.
It seems as if, for example, maybe – just maybe – the very things that Big Brother wants to bend me over and search me for at the airport might just be finding their way into the “land of the free” and the home of the NSA by way of the wide-open, globally advertised southern border situation.
I know, I know…I must be a racist.
What else could inspire such thoughts, right?
At any rate, it seems to me that the root cause of all of this comically tragic stuff, from the never-ending government-run airport proctology assembly lines to the increasing imposition of Orwellian standards for thought and speech, what we have here is not a Democrat problem. It’s not an Obama problem. It’s not a Republican problem.
Not primarily, anyway.
What we have here is an idolatry problem.
And it’s getting pretty serious.
Our idolatry of the State – in particular the “good ol'” U S of A – has enabled every horrible Orwellian Statist approach that we are seeing and experiencing right now.
So long as Big Brother comes wrapped in “old glory”, spouts some (intentionally) vague Christian-ish lingo, most conservative Christian Republican types will be right on board toe Big Brother bandwagon (and will often be the loudest critics of Big Brother’s opposition).
The patriotism angle brings “conservative Christians” into the fold, and the entitlement angle brings the liberals.
But before either angle can work, an idolatry of the State must already be in place…
…and that idolatry has been cemented into place for generations now, so we really shouldn’t be surprised at all by what is happening today.
With these things in mind, I’d like to share what I hope will be a helpful excerpt from a book I wrote in 2012 called Stupid Elephant Tricks:
God bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Through the night with a light from above. ~ God Bless America
“I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy – but that could change.” ~ Dan Quayle
“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” ~ George Orwell, 1984
The closest thing that the enemy has to a superweapon in the battle for American political will is blind faith in the American system and state. Blind, stupid faith – a faith made possible only through a lifetime of ignorance-fueled indoctrination prepared, promoted, and reinforced by the very system and state in question. The typical American citizen’s programmed, perverted notion of the system’s untested and unexplored invincibility is the feeble, broken down, rusted out little lynch pin holding the whole rotten machine together.
America’s imminent collapse is an unthinkable thought to the mind of the thoroughly programmed and dependent drone, and such drone status now sadly defines the vast majority of the nation’s population.
The thought that any Christian is currently captivated by this profoundly warped view of American invincibility is one that should all the more motivate our pursuit of truth in political and social realms through conversations aimed at understanding and exalting the will of God in all places. As nearly every American brother and sister in Christ is struggling to one extent or another to free themselves, by His grace, from the fog of America and Americanism worship that defines so much of the political discourse in the nation – particularly on the right, we must be mindful of and patient with those who are still operating under the mass of false assumptions and delusions that define the attitude of America idolization.
We are also wise to note and hold close the truth that apart from the supernaturally salvific work of the Gospel of Christ in the life of one who is lost, they cannot see, much less understand, much less choose, the truth of God.
As all who are unsaved and remain unrepentant before the Lord are literally enslaved to their spiritually dead natures, we should aim first and always to guide them toward the Gospel of Christ. Only after they have been saved by His grace through His Gospel can we have any real hope of bringing them to embrace His will in any other area of life, and doubly so when it comes to the worldview permeating American idolatry that defines the typical secular (and many a professing Christian) American mind.
Explaining to such folks why it is that they should set aside their idolization of the nation, or any other idol, for that matter, is pure silliness (and a huge waste of time and breath) when we know full well that, biblically speaking, they can do nothing but worship one false idol or another in their present state of self-obsessed, self-serving, and self-referential spiritual blindness and death. They need the Gospel. Only the Gospel can open their eyes, minds, and hearts to the truth. Only the Gospel can propel God to the pinnacle of concern in their lives and displace any warped views of American idolatry that have usurped His rightful position as the only worthy object of undivided adoration and glory.
Until and unless this supernatural salvation happens in the life of a sinner, they are bound to go right on sincerely, obliviously singing “God Bless America” while supporting a government and system wholly at war with the God in question.
Until and unless a miraculous, divine intervention raises the spiritually dead to life through the Gospel proclamation, that dead man or woman will continue to imagine that the material plunder and comfort that has been granted them by way of the coasting-toward-oblivion American economic system will continue to cushion their life forever and ever and ever. Things like math and sustainability do not matter to them. Such realities simply do not register, because they cannot be allowed to do so. The bubble world of the welfare state dependent slave cannot suffer even the thought of such pinpricks.
For the sake of this new, state system-fueled “America worship”, Americans have, en masse, surrendered liberty after liberty, sacrificed the future economic survival, much less prosperity, of their children, and, most importantly, formally abandoned any distinct reliance upon truth and its Author as the basis upon which anything of consequence is done in the nation. And each of these progressions away from God’s perfect truth and towards man-centered pseudo-realities have been vigorously promoted and advanced by the leadership of the contemporary American Republican party.
In the modern era of perpetual invasion and occupation, “we have always been at war with Eastasia”. In the modern era of George W. Bush having “abandoned free market principles to save the free market system” and the normalization of TSA molestation for the sake of our protection, “freedom has become slavery”. And in the new normal of mass-produced, properly programmed, pro-state drones, “ignorance has become strength”.
It is 1984.
And it will remain 1984 until and unless God graces us with the one and only thing that can save us from this increasingly Orwellian nightmare: A Christ-centered reformation, revival, and revolution.
America is not the answer. Conservatism is not the answer. Free markets and capitalism are not the answers. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the one, only, and first essential answer, and all of these other things, wonderful though they may be when they are explicitly defined and pursued according to His will, are incapable of inching this nation or culture or even one single solitary individual man or woman one single inch into a true and lasting place of peace and prosperity.
Where once America – along with its political conservatism and Republicanism to a significant extent – was associated with the God-centeredness so precious and essential to a Christian worldview and life in practice, the modern conservative movement and Republican Party establishment has built its castle on a foundation of sand, and the storms are coming to blow that house down even as this is being written.
While there are many faces and man-centered foundation points to the secular, self-serving conservatism that has come to shape the majority view within the Republican Party, there is one fairly recent face and philosophy that offers us a good glimpse into the ugly truth of much of what passes itself off as modern conservatism and libertarianism. This relatively fresh reference point is found in the philosophy and worldview of Ayn Rand.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” ~ Jesus (the Real One) in John 15:12-14 (bold emphasis added)
“I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” ~ Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Ayn Rand (1905-1982) was the author of two best-selling, influential novels, Atlas Shrugged, and The Fountainhead, and the founder of a philosophical system that she dubbed “Objectivism”. Her books and the ideas contained therein are wildly popular among those with conservative and libertarian political inclinations. Her slogans can be seen on signs at Tea Party events and her thoughts have been praised by Rush Limbaugh. Ayn Rand is a big deal on the conservative and libertarian political scenes.
As an atheist, she denied God and the supernatural. As a political philosopher, she advocated an explicitly self-centered, self-serving approach to pretty much everything; a “rugged individualism” the likes of which has natural appeal to the secular conservative and libertarian. Her views couldn’t be more clearly anti-Christian, yet they do harmonize well with much of the modern conservative movement in America.
“The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.” ~ Ayn Rand
Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it. ~ Luke 17:33
The self-serving, self-centered, materialistic, hedonistic core of such secularly inspired and inspiring philosophies as Rand’s Objectivism are hard to miss as being largely representative of modern secular thought – be it conservative, libertarian, or just plain American. We are a people committed to self-serving, materialistic pursuits. In these pursuits, we are practical objectivists almost as often as we are practical atheists.
This objectivist inclination is tailor made to fit and feed the “America Worship” mode that has come to be a primary source of sustaining the nation’s slide into statism.
America – and American secular conservatism -finds itself more and more defined by and reliant upon the self-serving slogans and philosophies portrayed by Orwell in 1984 and advocated by Rand in Atlas Shrugged.
Perpetual spending for the sake of eventual financial stability.
Perpetual war for the sake of eventual peace.
Perpetual selfishness for the sake of a happy civilization.
“Ignorance is strength”, as Orwell once wrote, and we are now reaping the fruits of our persistent aversion to truth and its Author.
We have abandoned the beautiful truths that God has given us first through theology and then in theologically driven sociology,
economics, ethics, and philosophy. By chasing after our self-referential tails, we have spun ourselves silly and are left dizzy on the brink of a darkness the likes of which this nation has not yet seen.
As we watch the cumulative consequences of these catastrophic philosophical constructs engulf the nation, we are witnessing the convergence of each of these stupid elephant tricks. Secular pragmatism defines the approach of the modern Republican Party. Secular libertarianism fuels the grass-roots movements within the party. Neo-conservatism has a hammerlock on the foreign policy of the party, ensuring perpetual war for the foreseeable future if it is given the power to make such choices. And the idolization of America is the battle cry of practically everyone at every level in the G.O.P camp.
Serving as the proverbial cherry on top of this most depressing of sundaes is the presumptive pending nomination of the first openly and explicitly anti-Christian candidate of any major American political party.
Somewhere, the devil is smiling at all of this “progress”…
This is an excerpt from the book Stupid Elephant Tricks:The Other Progressive Party’s War on Christianity.
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