“We’re in this together” is more than jingo
- Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. (Matthew 12:30)
In America today, our once esteemed society and culture can be, and often are, viewed in terms of emotional and polarizing extremes.
For the sake of context, extremes have always been assumed to be outside the accepted norms, traditions, and behavior of any orthodox society or civilization. For example:
It’s never been acceptable to openly practice sexual deviancy. Again for context, throughout much of western civilization, it’s not acceptable for grown men to perform for children in “drag.” It’s literally never been acceptable that children be exposed to pornography; while in their own schools—sanctioned, even encouraged by the very people given the oversight, authority, protection for our children from such shame and perversion.
Not so long ago our parents and our teachers instilled honesty and decency in our students. Now, parents are fighting for something that has become mocked and ridiculed by political spin: decency. Because they are protesting against this wicked attack on their family’s values, our own government has called these very same parents domestic terrorists.
America, and by extension most of western civilization, routinely faces assault by racist demagogues and sexual perverts.
These things alone have made life so confusing for families—they’re becoming dysfunctional. Increasingly, couples are waiting longer to commit to marriage, if not outright deciding to never marry. If they are hesitant about raising children in such social disfunction, they will likely prefer not having any.
Or worse—much worse—they simply dispose of them.
Everyone is facing the forced redistribution of their modest wealth and personal property. This was once considered tyrannical. Government mandates ordered us to quarantine in our own homes, and surrender the autonomy of our most personal of freedoms—our own health decisions. Yet, we caved, and complied or incurred serious consequences. We face losing all our personal liberties, our livelihood, and our reputations if we do not obey. How is this America anymore? Once, these things were so intolerable no one would dare try them. Now, we are under assault by all of America’s mediating institutions—justified by a cultural hegemony who aim to divide and vilify us.
The result is the increasing horror that something is wrong… very wrong. Many, indeed most, finally believe that America is headed for the cliff.
The Center for Christian Virtue hosted Tucker Carlson for its gala in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 21. During his speech, Carlson pointed to two ballot initiatives Ohioans will be voting on in November, who asked his audience,
“But when you wind up in an election where the two top ballot initiatives, are one, encouraging people to kill their own kids, and two, encouraging their kids to do drugs — who’s benefiting here?”
It’s believed that independents influence the outcome of our elections. This idea is routinely misrepresented because those identifying as independents are also split—nearly down their middle—one side leaning to the Conservative Right, the other side tilting to the Liberal Left. The middle ground is akin to sitting on the fence, which is the same as surrender. The middle ground is nothing more than a parking lot for the apathetic. Ironically, the middle ground has become polarized too. So why ignore what amounts to an existential threat?
The extreme liberal/leftist ideologues today, embrace a social and cultural posture that simply would never have been previously tolerated. A once robust, democratic republic can only suffer under the extreme of leftist ideology for so long before there is a flashpoint. Hoping or praying that won’t happen, or waiting for a strongman to turn things around for us, is another form of surrender. History has proven that tyranny has never succeeded in anything except putting everyone but the privileged in bondage and despair. In time, even they weren’t safe.
- “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’”? Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.” (John 8:31b-34)
It’s believed that many of us—if not most—may be near, or at, the breaking point. We are facing grave civilizational trauma. In other words, for the left, the right, and the middle, gravity plays no favorites: the cliff-fall will be very painful.
This problem will not be settled politically; not now, not ever. Because, the real problem is this: we’ve become unmoored from the moral, ethical, and certainly the spiritual values that were once the hallmark of western civilization, and given full expression in America. For hundreds and hundreds of years, these values were the reason for the birth of America, and the source of her exceptionalism. So exceptional in fact, that after nearly 250 years, our republic—even now—is still considered an experiment.
Finding where America went wrong is not the quest or the question. Instead, we must admit that where we are is not where we should be. We need to know we are lost, and admit it.
That America has since been abducted by those who despise a sacred covenant and who despise liberty and freedom, and who have replaced it with something ruthlessly cynical, debased, and calculated to strangle us. Now, many—if not most—believe we ought to take back what has been stolen from us before our very eyes. Yes, we do. But to take back America from this enemy, we must first take America back.
We must start over, and go back to where we started, inspired by the very seeds of the faith that were first planted there—along with the cross—on the shore of Cape Henry, Virginia in 1607, where this land was established with a covenant.
James Lileks, (pictured) writing in the “National Review”  makes this observation about what we have come to… slowly, than all of a sudden, by writing, “Just about everything we love about the modem era was in place around January 2019. Useful tech, good design, abundant food, cheap energy, [and] booming cities. Post-Covid, just about everything has gotten shabby and lax and jangly and worse, and everyone knows it. But we are not united by this. We cannot agree on a past; we cannot agree on a future. The present seems like a pretend version of the Before Times, complete with a reanimated corpse presiding over the rituals of governance. The bad news is that this won’t come to a head and institute a wave of change.”
Though both Carlson and Lileks agree the present is either grim or depressing, Lileks observes we are not united, and there’s something to that. But. I’m not convinced a wave of change isn’t possible.
- I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-4 ESV)
We’ve been trying diversity long enough. Maybe we should give unity another shot.