Abandoning The Tower of Babel

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We must realize we are wandering

By J. Jeff Toler for Shenandoah Christian Alliance  j.toler@sca4christ.org

Although Nietzsche got a lot of things wrong, on occasion, he nailed it: “The weakest are the ones who most undermine life among men, who most dangerously poison and question our trust in life… They monopolize virtue now, these weak and incurably sick men, there is no doubt about that: “we alone are the good, the just.” This is the way they speak… As if health, good constitution, strength, pride, the sense of power were in themselves marks of depravity… There is among them a plethora of vindictive men disguised as judges, whose mouths continually secrete the word “justice” like a poisonous saliva… The will of the sick to display any form of superiority, its instinct for secret paths which lead to a tyranny over the healthy—where is it not to be found, this will to power of the weakest!” (Frederich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals)

If this passage seems to resonate with you, perhaps it’s because it’s describing the condition of America’s social construct. That is to say its sociological, ontological, and its communication theory and practice… the national narrative. 

In the May 2022 issue of the Atlantic, Jonathan Haidt (pictured) writes the following, “What would it have been like to live in Babel in the days after its destruction? In the Book of Genesis, we are told that the descendants of Noah built a great city in the land of Shinar. They built a tower ‘with its top in the heavens’ to ‘make a name’ for themselves. God was offended by the hubris of humanity.”

  • But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth. (Genesis 11: 5-9 NIV)

Haidt then writes, “The text does not say that God destroyed the tower, but in many popular renderings of the story he does, so let’s hold that dramatic image in our minds: people wandering amid the ruins, unable to communicate, condemned to mutual incomprehension.” (Haidt, J. (2022, May. Why the Past Ten Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid. The Atlantic)

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This is the supreme irony of our present day and age: we believe our technology is mastering the immense power of the internet, we are still wandering, and still mutually incomprehensible. To Haidt, at least, Americans have become “uniquely stupid.”

We are both at once the principal consumers and chief content creators of our own insatiable appetite for social media.

Without “we the people,” the social media industry would be consigned to operate in a manufactured vacuum; an obvious fakery not to be taken seriously. But social media is just too serious a business to leave it to chance or allow it to have little influence. So our “Masters of the Universe” (MoTU) devised a very clever, if not crafty, strategy for its creation and infinite promulgation. Thanks to the psychologists employed by them, they figured out years ago that giving and receiving “likes” on Face book, for example, will stimulate a small dose of dopamine—the “feel good” chemical in our brain. We are barely aware of what we are doing, which doesn’t require a psychologist to tell you is a significant factor in addiction. 

This feature provides both gratification and a form of power. It’s in this that the irony should be so painfully clear: we believe that by engaging in dialog—not discussion mind you—we are creating affirmation and association. Instead, we have built the new Babel. Do we think God will let us get away with it once again? 

For just one example, is it our notion that our society has devolved to the point where antisemitism has re-emerged, (or come out of the closet where it was always hiding) or, are we where we are because it’s no longer necessary to hide it? Antisemitism, like racism, and the entire list of the new cultural hegemonies didn’t just happen, they were orchestrated.

Lyndon Johnson
(pictured) rolled out The Great Society nearly 60 years ago. I was in High School, as was Donald Trump. And Joe Biden? He was already learning the fine craft of grifting. What’s happened since then? A decade ago, Project 21’s Jerome Hudson  [https://nationalcenter.org/bios/P21Speakers_Hudson.html] said, “Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty produced a reality that is horrifyingly different than the one he probably hoped for. Instead of providing a mere safety net for families in need, it effectively replaced the virtues of work and self-reliance with an avalanche of welfare programs nurturing the poor. These welfare programs foster defeatism, disincentivize two-parent homes and set ablaze an American underclass now seemingly trapped in a never-ending cycle of poverty.”

I’m not as charitable as Mr. Hudson. I remember LBJ, and I find it very hard to believe he actually hoped he was helping. He wanted to advance overly broad, far-reaching government controls. He was about power. Ironically, all the social, educational, and welfare programs that are failing us now were created in that era, and largely by him.

[LBJ] “told the American people that they must accept “greater government activity in the affairs of the people,” little did they know how destructive a bargain they were making. In 1965, the Great Society’s “War on Poverty” began a massive infusion of federal tax dollars and involvement into pre-K and K–12 education. It also created new taxpayer-underwritten student loans and grants for the general public to attend college. Since then, federal taxpayers have spent $2 trillion on K–12 education alone—to say nothing of the billions spent annually on student loans and grants.” [https://www.heritage.org/the-not-so-great-society]

My hope and prayer is that in the coming months there will be an awakening; that we will see a movement by God among His people. That we will abandon our towers and deceit and turn to Him for forgiveness and redemption.

We will see soon enough. For now, remain steadfast and pray.

Photo by Sean Whelan on Unsplash

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views the Virginia Christian Alliance

About the Author

Shenandoah Christian Alliance
Shenandoah Christian Alliance is a Christian organization devoted to the promotion and education of biblical truths, faith, and spiritual equipping. We believe in the sanctity of marriage as defined in God’s revealed word. We oppose the practice of abortion, and respectfully object to its funding and facilitation as currently promoted by our elected leaders. We understand homosexuality to be something that God—whom we worship and honor—does not approve among his creation. Our faith in God as revealed in scripture is not something we are ashamed of, or for which we must apologize.