Prolegomena to Any Future Monkeyshines
So then, let us review. Donald Trump, for all his mean tweets, was sitting on top of a pretty robust economy. When the infamous J6 protest went down, the protesters drove to the protest on gas that was around $2 a gallon. Because the American public tends to vote in terms of bread and butter issues, his reelection chances had been looking pretty good for him. This was a prospect not to be endured by that class of people which specializes in not enduring things that other people want to do, and so they rushed the cockpit of Trump’s airliner, and flew the economy into the side of Mt. COVID.
When it came to said pandemic, Trump got completely and totally rolled. The whole response to that pandemic was orchestrated to run him out of town, and he thought a good strategy would be to get out in front of the thing and make it look like a parade. He was going to develop the best vaccine EVER. And they were going to see the light and give him credit for it. Yeah, when all the pigs are airborne.
The tag line for David Horowitz’s FrontPageMag is this: “Inside Every Progressive Is a Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out.” The last two years have put that sentiment into an eighteen point font, with three exclamation marks, and then set the whole thing on fire. The masking orders and the lock downs were just a beta test. “How much can we get to them to comply with before they kick?” In Australia, the answer to that question appeared to be at North Korean levels, with Canada right behind them taking the silver medal—a handful of courageous pastors and a lot of truckers excepted.
A somnolent and senile candidate for president was dragged across the finish line by 2000 mules. Having been elected by millions more voters than anyone else in history, within a few weeks he mysteriously became an object of general derision. We then removed ourselves from Afghanistan like we were trying out for a 3 Stooges skit. Aaaa! Monkeypox! Multiple drag queens assembled on America’s front porch, mistaking it for Lot’s front porch, all while demanding that we send out our kids. George Floyd died while a cop was kneeling on him, and mostly peaceful protests erupted around the country, burning down numerous businesses, and killing numerous people. J6 protesters took the bait offered to them, and swarmed the Capitol, giving the corruptocrats the raw materials they needed for some unwatched and unwatchable show trials. We now live in a climate where an employee at any major American corporation who mentions to a coworker that he thinks that little boys are made of “snips and snails and puppy dog’s tails” is an employee who is risking his livelihood. Such microaggressions will not be tolerated, and it might even be a thought-crime to categorize something so egregious as a microaggression.
Make no mistake about it. All of this completely unnecessary chaos is being deliberately induced, deliberately fomented. Then the resultant chaos will be cited as a plain reason why “strong measures” are now needed, and needed immediately, and when the dust clears, the state will have even more emergency powers.
“Humanism with its lack of any final case for values or law, always leads to chaos. It then naturally leads to some form of authoritarianism to control the chaos. Having produced the sickness, humanism gives more of the same kind of medicine for a cure.”
Francis Schaeffer, The Works of Francis Schaeffer, Vol. 5, The Christian Manifesto, p. 430
Jack Del Rio, the defensive coordinator for the Washington Commanders, what used to be called the Washington Redskins—until they eliminated the native Americans and kept the name of the slave owner—was recently fined $100K by his coach, Ron Rivera, for some hurtful comments that Del Rio had made, calling the J6 incursion into the Capitol a “dust-up” and also calling the summer of riots following George Floyd’s death, (and I quote) “a summer of riots,” and I think that it is possible that this sentence is a tad too long, almost Pauline.
Let me state this in a way that is a bit more taut. Del Rio expressed a political view that some people differ with, and was fined $100K for it by his boss. This tells me—and ought to tell you—that we are now living in a totalitarian social order. We live in a time when the diversity mongers want everybody to look different and think the same. This “sameness” is enforced with a club with spikes sticking out of it. They demand absolute conformity, total compliance, complete acquiescence, entire tractability, enthusiastic assent, sincere docility, and heartfelt obedience. Within those parameters, you are free to express yourself fully and freely. They believe in free speech, just not hate speech.
The thing that tells me we are living in a totalitarian social order is that the head coach of the Washington Conquistadors was able to make such an appalling move, and not have it be met with a storm of outrage. The American people are being trained to apologize for any hint of wrong-think, like we were so many trained seals behind the plexiglass, barking for our next fish. Our problem is that we are putting up with the totalitolerance. We are not greeting every manifestation of it with the horse laugh it so richly deserves.
And this brings me back to the late Francis Schaeffer, and the house-broken evangelical thought leaders who somehow think they understood him.
Something of a Pother About Francis Schaeffer
A short time ago, I had noticed that Tucker Carlson in one of his monologues had picked up the mantle of Francis Schaeffer, warning us about the dangers of arbitrary power and our very anti-Christian government. This caused something of a flap, as the Curators of the Francis Schaeffer Memorabilia Museum (“and over here we have little Francis’s baby shoes”) waxed indignant about my audacity in besmirching the memory of such a great man. How dare I in any way pretend that the likes of Tucker CARLSON could in any way be more faithful to one of Schaeffer’s foundational points than they? Do they not watch films by Ingmar Bergman? Do they not discuss such films with earnest sophomores, all them furrowing their brows? Have they not visited the Louvre? Yea, and verily. It turns out that evangelicals can be artsy fartsy too. In fact, it turns out some of them were pretty good at it.
In a follow up, I mentioned The Christian Manifesto. This was because quite a number of Christians who claimed to be so indebted to Schaeffer quite plainly didn’t have an earthly clue.
“The basic problem of the Christians in this country in the last eighty years or so, in regard to society and in regard to government, is that they have seen things in bits and pieces instead of totals.”
Ibid, p. 423.
The problem with these respectable Schaeffer aficionados, indignant with the Tucker comparison, is exactly the same one that Schaeffer highlighted above. Let me change just a few words. I put the altered words in bold so that those who would dearly love to escape the point might not be allowed to escape the point.
“The basic problem of the Christians in this country in the last forty years or so, in regard to Schaeffer’s life and legacy, is that they have seen things in bits and pieces instead of totals.”
Me, making a point that some people ought not be ignoring
So what about The Christian Manifesto? I have taken the liberty of selecting a few ripe specimens and then quoting them below.
But before getting to that, let me ask you a few questions. When Schaeffer saw incipient totalitarianism in the United States a full generation ago, was he right or was he wrong? Answer me. And since that time, has that incipient totalitarianism receded into a non-worry or has it manifested itself further? Answer me. Since Schaeffer wrote these warnings for us, has our erstwhile evangelical leadership grown more quisling-like or less quisling-like? Answer me. And for those who have made friends with the establishment, or at least with the sinecures provided by the establishment, thus growing more quisling-like, are any of them doing so in the name of Francis Schaeffer? Answer me.
So let’s dip into Schaeffer’s work. Just a few samples ought to make the point.
To begin with, the book is dedicated to “all those who have said: ‘Here I stand’ facing oppressive authoritarian civil and church power” (Ibid, p. 415). In addition, the book is also dedicated to the memory of Samuel Rutherford’s Lex Rex, which makes Schaeffer, in these times and under these circumstances, a genuine religious extremist.
Francis Schaeffer saw, together with John Whitehead . . .
“the emergence of the judicial and governmental authoritarian elite in the United States.”
Ibid, p. 419
A judicial and governmental authoritarian elite. Who’s he talking about?
Only when the magistrate acts in such a way that they governing structure of the country is being destroyed—that is, when he is attacking the fundamental structure of society—is he to be relieved of his power and authority. That is exactly what we are facing today. The whole structure of our society is being attacked and destroyed.
Ibid, p. 474, emphasis mine.
So Schaeffer saw and identified this problem in our society forty years ago. Since that time, have things gotten better, or worse? During this time when things were getting much, much worse, what have those dilettantes (who learned so much from Schaeffer) being doing with their time? Beside giving away the store?
The Old Bumper Sticker Test
The people that Schaeffer was so concerned about back then were the permanent functionaries of arbitrary law, what we have come to call in our day “the deep state.” These are the people that were educated in ivy-covered law schools that had no fear of God before their eyes. As a consequence of this, they have no understanding of the concept of God-given rights. We are asked to justify, for example, why I should have the right to own an AR-15. But this reveals how much they don’t understand. I don’t have to justify it. It is a right.
In the evangelical world, we have an echo of the same kind of thing that happens in the world of Conservative, Inc. Anything the progressives want to do, the conservatives want to more slowly, and with some grumbling as an added extra. Anything the left wants to do, a certain breed of evangelical leader wants to find someday in the Sermon on the Mount. Give us a few years, as we are still working on the exegesis. This is why we implement their commie agenda more slowly. We have to do some exegesis first that will satisfy the donors.
I would like to finish with the old bumper sticker test. This is thought experiment, so don’t get too riled up. Remember, in the course of this test, that the enemy according to Schaeffer was the whole world represented by the likes of Obama, Clinton, and Biden. Schaeffer didn’t think in bits and pieces, but rather in totals. He knew that the leftist agenda was a package. If you sign for it, you get the whole thing.
So here is the thought experiment. Picture a lecture being given in a major city, and the lecturer is someone like Tim Keller, or Russell Moore, or Thabiti Anyabwile, or Jim Wallis, or Karen Swallow Prior, or anybody like that. Now I am not here to question the integrity or orthodoxy of any of their speeches, or to lump any of the foregoing into the same category, for I have not heard any of the speeches. This is a thought experiment, remember?
But in this thought experiment, all I want you to do is walk through the parking lot and count the bumper stickers on the cars. How many of them say something like Obama, or Clinton, or Biden? And how many of these dear folks—and many of them are dear folks—remember Francis Schaeffer with a great deal of fondness?
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