I had lunch this weekend with a colleague and friend. He and I inevitably end up talking politics and religion. As he is black, his views are informed from a perspective and experience different from my own. It is an experience he often cites during our debates. During this recent discussion, he called the United States a “young, arrogant nation.” The moment he made this statement, I was rankled and on the defensive.
Because I am so fatigued by the endless insults against our nation by those from without this country as well as from within (read: the Media-Activist Complex), I could not help feeling otherwise. As I tried to debate him on various points, he too became upset. The focus of our conversation was on the cultural conflict we have been experiencing for the past forty (perhaps even 221+) years. His position is that this cultural conflict is the natural maturing of a culture toward Liberalism. My premise is that Liberalism is the antithesis of progress, and is, rather, the catalyst for cultural degradation.
He cited the cosmopolitan elegance and multiculturalism of European countries, which, unlike America, instill in people a maturity that we don’t have. In rebuttal, I pointed to the fact that these cultures have all but crucified God Himself, by arrogantly dismissing Him from their cultures. “But, religion should be a private thing,” he replied. To which I countered, “Jesus Himself said that fellowship is a crucial component for being a Child of God.” So, to me, attempts to eliminate God from public life is not only a mischaracterization of Jesus’ teachings, but a very dangerous thing to be happening to our country.
It is my position that because of the liberalism that pervades them, European countries are in a state of decline. What my friend extolls as “maturity,” (the acceptance by a culture of the changing of or loss of its traditions and founding values), I view as “resignation.” This maturity my friend is admiring is really the loss of self-respect by such a culture. According to my friend, this process is natural. As we age, we come to accept things as they are, and to not to get upset about that which is minor. I suppose socially unhealthy rates of out-of-marriage births, economic miasma arising from oppressive governmental policies, and the cultural subversion by Islamists of European societies as the result of unfettered immigration are ‘minor’ things.
Of course, it is natural not to want to fight the fight any more as you get older. That’s because old people do not have the strength, drive, and energy that young people have to be able to do so. Interestingly, our Congress is populated by octogenarians. You would think that at some point, they would know when to step down and let the next generation resume the battle. But, since their battles are merely verbal ones, and, their weapons are not much more than lies, deception, and pork barrel payoffs, I suppose it isn’t surprising they go against my contention. After all, what better fountain of youth is there than power?
Now, my friend and I didn’t get very far in our discussion, as I recognized that every time I raised a question about morality, he would counter by asking, “Ah, but according to whose morality?” Each time he’d do so, it would confuse me. As Christians, I would have thought that he and I would automatically view morality as derived from God’s Word, the Holy Bible. But, instead, he often discounted the Bible (and religion as a whole) as the filtered control mechanism of governments past and present.
I would not refute his implication that the Bible was the result of convocations that have edited the “Inspired Word of God” (and, three hundred years after the time of Jesus, at that). Or, that Christianity is the amalgam of Jesus’ teachings with the rituals and practices of many pagan cults, along with successive infusions into the dogma by Roman emperors and by priests of the Catholic Church. With such a revised tome of truth and wisdom, it is easy to question its accuracy and relevance.
But, relevant it is, for Truth is immutable. It does not change over the ages, nor is it completely erased as the result of revision or whitewashing. Just like our Constitution. I argued that this country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and that The Constitution still contains the governing wisdom we need to serve as a relevant instrument for running this country. To this, my friend said Puritanism has lead to many a cultural foible, and that The Constitution is really not that important. Instead, he said, it is The Declaration of Independence that is more culturally important.
I wasn’t sure what to say to that beyond realizing my friend is a dyed-in-the-wool Liberal who reinterprets the Bible just as he reinterprets our founding documents. The fact is that the Declaration and the Constitution serve two completely different purposes. And it is apparent that a large segment of our population does not understand this. They also are uneducated about just how integral God was to the people who forged both documents.
As our conversation wound down, I expressed my concern about militant atheism, which has teamed up with liberalism to subvert this country. As I wrote in my previous commentary, atheists these days seek not only the removal of religion from the public square, but the destruction of God Himself. They have great disdain for Faith. Ironically, these same people become devotees of causes and movements with the same religious fervor of a Jesuit priest. Such arrogance.
Which brings me to the point of this commentary. I realized that even the most talented, most powerful, and most intellectual among us can be blinded to Truth because of Arrogance. Why do Hollywood stars flock to a made-up religion that charges them to be audited? Why do politicians invariably become corrupted and break their vows to serve their constituents? Why do university students so easily become seduced by romanticized representations of a murderous Cuban henchman and by the failed policies of Communism?
Once a person starts to reject God- the fountainhead of truth- and starts to believe he knows all there is to know, that person becomes blinded to Truth’s presence in this world. Such a person will begin to believe that he is smarter, better, and wiser than everyone else. And, soon, he will begin to crave power; the power to reshape the world, to make it a “better place.” Consequently, this champion of progress will seek to control what others think or do, so that there is no war, or hate, or injustice. Only a Socialist Paradise on Earth- with him on top of everyone else, of course, to make sure they are all equal. Even if it’s all equally poor and miserable.
Arrogance. There is none so blind as He who will not see.