Conservatives are often accused by liberals of having a “civil religion,” of getting our Christianity confused with our patriotism.
It’s a fair cop. I’m sure I do that, and I’m pretty sure I do it more than I’m aware.
But liberals have a civil religion too, and I have an idea very few of them recognize it at all.
Like the conservative kind, Liberal Civil Religion (LCR) is a denatured form of Christianity. It goes like this:
There’s Original Sin. In LCR, original sin is privilege. “White Privilege” is the fashionable variety right now, but liberals have always been ashamed of privilege of one kind or another. Being a citizen of a prosperous, free country is the pretty much the worst kind of privilege. Since liberals believe in a zero-sum world (if you have $2.00 and I have $1.00, you must have stolen fifty cents from me), all our freedom and all our wealth must have been torn from the poor. We are thieves and parasites.
There’s Penance. Penance takes the form of voting for Democrats (or Socialists, if you’re really a saint) and supporting policies which we suspect will hurt ourselves and our families. We deserve it.
There are Indulgences. Indulgences are paid in the form of high taxes. We may know that government programs are by nature inefficient and even counterproductive ways to help the less fortunate. But helping them isn’t the point. The point is making ourselves suffer. The pain provides a momentary, fleeting sense of expiation.
And what about grace?
There is no grace in LCR. The guilt goes on and on forever.
If grace were offered, how would people be persuaded to do perpetual penance?
I have a vague idea I may have written on this subject here before. But the scenario looks even more likely to me today than it did then (whenever that was).
I consider it highly probable that the mainline Protestant churches will convert, en masse, to Islam. Very likely within my lifetime.
Here’s my reasoning. Continue reading Imminent Islam
I have a piece in The American Spectator Online today:
The liberals’ moral GPS tells them that their present location is right outside the gates of Eden. They’re still wearing their fig leaf aprons (they believe) and just a couple steps back in the right direction will return them to Paradise. How could anyone be against that?
In their view, the problem is simple, like a crossword puzzle. Fill in all the spaces correctly, and Paradise is regained. The fact that the goal is never achieved in practice, that more and more spaces keep appearing, needing new laws written to fill them, does not trouble them. Next time it will be different. We’re almost there. We can see Eden from our front porches.
Read it all here.
I shared this idea on Facebook today. I’ll elaborate it here.
I had an epiphany today. I figured out what I think is the essential problem with liberalism in our time. They believe in an outmoded form of science, a pseudoscientific myth.
Think of one of our president’s favorite phrases: “My opponents are on the wrong side of history.”
Think about it. What does it mean to be on the wrong side of history? How can history have sides?
It can only have sides if you believe there is some overarching inevitability to the course of history. It’s understandable for Christians to think that way. We’re supernaturalists. We believe a Mind is in control. That’s how our world-view works.
But how can secularists believe that history has an inevitable course, a right and a wrong side?
It can only come from a myth, a belief in some kind of driving force behind the course of events, even if it’s seen as somehow non-supernatural.
In the 19th Century there was a common belief in Progress. You may think of the 19th Century as an age of faith, but it was also an age in which the driving, dynamic new world view was Darwinian. The problem was that even the scientists of the time generally didn’t understand how evolution works.
(I don’t propose to debate the evolution question here. I’m talking in terms of social myths and common assumptions.)
The kind of Evolution that was popularized by writers like H. G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw was purposeful. Nature – in some way – was striving to perfect itself. Everything it did was an attempt to come closer to the perfection that waited at the end. History had an inevitable course. This is implicit in Marx. He firmly believed he was writing science. Because it was science, anyone who disagreed had to be insane. Continue reading Conservatism is scientific
A PASTORAL LETTER
From Bishop Judith Hardanger-Hansen
There has been considerable dissension in our fellowship recently, and a number of hard words have been spoken, causing much pain. I feel it my obligation to address the matter directly, exercising openmindedness and charity, both to the enlightened, Christ-like people who agree with me, and the knuckle-dragging Nazis on the other side.
From its inception, the Merry Pride movement has been like the wind of the Holy Spirit, breathing new life and new ideas into the church. Sadly, however, some people do not welcome change, and run from the challenges of a new day.
In case anyone reading this is unaware of recent history (home-schooled people, perhaps), the term “Merry” was adopted by the oppressed group formerly known as “adulterers,” employing a pun on the word “marry,” to give their lifestyle a more positive public face. They felt it intolerable to be forced to live any longer with a name that bore the weight of centuries of misunderstanding, prejudice, and oppression. Continue reading Pastoral letter from the future