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What we want to continue doing in some of these Wednesday Updates is to look at major events in the news in their larger historical context.... And maybe even how some things will be viewed in 50 years, 100 years or even 500 or 1000 years...
Subject: The relationship of spiritual Darkness and Deception to Politics, Part 1
(Wed., October 13, 2010)
(approx. 4845 words, 9 pp.)
How religion, politics, law, education, and morality interrelate
The relationship between God, morality, Justice, and theories of the state
"On forgetting God" and on atheismís not believing "nothing" but "anything"
The complex relationship between Darkness and Deception in all areas of life
No one would become an atheist or Liberal, if they thought it was a stupid idea
Solzhenitsyn said famously of the whole Russian Revolution disaster, that it could be summed up by a simple fact, "People forgot God." Indeed he got the idea in his youth from the older generation who had lived through it.
In our time in America and Western Europe (as opposed to Russia) a somewhat similar idea was expressed by G. K. Chesterton on why everything has become so crazy and irrational. Chesterton made the observation that when people stop believing in God they do not believe "nothing," they believe "anything," and we have certainly seen that in the last 100 years in the West in ways no one would have ever dreamed before, and especially we have seen it since the 1960s.
SolzhenitsynĎs thesis at Harvard as well as Francis Schaefferís more generally
When Solzhenitsyn went to Harvard, he gave his famous speech there about modern manís fascination with atheism as "humanism" starting in the Renaissance and culminating for Solzhenitsyn in the Godless Russian Revolution, and he spoke of how America had bucked this humanistic trend in her founding, but how we too had drifted from our founding theistic principles in recent years, and how we in America need to return to them.
Basically this is the same rap as the conservative Christian of today and of someone like the late Francis Schaeffer, who had almost the exact same historical analysis of modern humanistic man since the Renaissance. Again, as Chesterton, also a conservative Christian, said when you reject the God of the Bible, you are going to start believing really nutty stuff, and not just in religion but politics and many other things, and one could add you are going to think it is the height of profundity to do so, and in this regard, there are basically two ways you can get far off track in thinking about life, and the meaning to life. One way is with atheism outright, and the other is with false or different-than-Biblical notions of God and morality.
Darkness and Deception...
Atheism, from a Biblical perspective, is just a flat darkness. As Jesus said when your (supposed) light is darkness, it is darkness indeed. In short, humanistic atheism is just not "religious" at all. Of course, it is religiously non-religious, as it were, but it is not specifically a religion, as such. By contrast, false concepts of God and religion are not so much a darkness but a deception or false light. Why? Because you think you are seeing a religious or spiritual "light," which in fact is not true light or enlightenment at all.
In such cases of Gnosticism or Liberalism, you think you are having a higher vision or knowledge when you come up with Paul what calls "another Jesus" and "another Gospel," and such cases of Liberalism or Gnosticism generally have no sin problem for man and no atonement and no need for an atonement and no supernatural all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present, perfectly-righteous Creator God of Genesis 1:1. Again, this is not a denial of the reality of God as atheism outright but a re-defining of God. But as the expression goes, "If it isnít broken, donít fix it."
Bottom-line? 3 basic supposed "knowledge" worldview positions
Bottom-line here? This analysis gives 3 basic supposed "knowledge" worldview positions, namely, no religion and spirituality, false religion and spirituality (with Liberal Christianity being but one of many forms of false religion), and true religion and spirituality reflected by rational moral theism, and by traditional or Biblical Judaism and Christianity. Both Jesus and Paul say that the spiritual darkness of atheism (which one thinks is brilliant and light) and the false light of all spiritual deception (Christian and Jewish Liberal and otherwise) are often said to be somehow connected with the realm of the demonic in a way that we do not understand.
Still, the evidence for it is overtly obvious. No atheist thinks he or she is getting more and more irrational as they pursue their supposed "knowledge" of atheism, quite the opposite of course, both the atheist in his darkness and the Liberal in his deception think they are getting smarter and smarter the farther and farther behind they leave traditional concepts of God, morality, Justice, and truth. However, in truth, the farther down the path of atheism or Liberalism one goes, the more and more irrational one becomes and un-Godly and amoral if not outright immoral, and generally benighted or deceived.
No one would become an atheist if they thought it was a stupid idea
If you think about it, no one would become an atheist if they thought it was a stupid idea. This is not really about the Special Revelation (of Scripture) but the Natural Revelation (of Solomon, Socrates, and Cicero). It is the old Cicero versus Lucretius, and wise Solomon versus the fool, who has said in his heart there is no God! In its purest philosophical form this is all outlined brilliantly and explicitly by Cicero in his three major philosophical works, but letís not digress.
The 3 basic worldviews depend on oneís definitions of God and morality...
As C. S. Lewis says and as Paul says in Romans 1, there are basically two philosophical questions upon which the 3 views of no religion, false religion, and true religion hang: 1.) Is there an actual God, traditionally and Biblically defined? And 2.) Is there a real moral law or good for the individual (and ultimately Justice for the state) also traditionally and Biblically defined?
True religion answers "yes" to both of these questions as its starting point, and false religion and atheism answer "no" to both of these questions, and this is all apart from the historical question of did God reveal Himself directly to Moses on Sinai and through Christ, sent from heaven to die for our sins and rise again, etc. No-religion atheism tends to deny a real God and morality altogether, while false religion tends to radically re-define them both.
In short, in the Natural Revelation Solomon, Socrates, and Cicero all pretty much come to the same basic knowledge conclusion, "Fear God and keep his (moral) commandments because all things will be brought into Judgment." This reflects the 2 issues of God and morality upon which the 3 worldviews of no religion, false religion, and true religion hang and disagree in their supposed knowledge claims, no less.
Atheism has pretty much run its course for modern and postmodern man
I personally think "no religion" atheism has pretty much run its course for modern man. In the 18th century, known as the Enlightenment, atheism was seen to be based on Reason and was a supposed Enlightenment, which Jesus says was actually a darkness. For the Christian in the 18th century Enlightenment and Reason had entirely different, even opposite, meanings, namely, how "the Laws of Nature and of Natureís God" Reasonably interface (that is, of the Natural and Special Revelations), and not how Reason supposedly proved atheism, as the atheist incorrectly thought.
In any case, with time and after 2 major World Wars in the 20th century the atheist could not make his Reason justify his atheism and optimism in atheism nor make his humanist revolutions and totalitarian states, which followed from his atheism, work rationally. So when neither atheism nor optimism in humanist totalitarian revolutions could any longer be justified by "Reason," the supposed foundation of all modern manís thoughts, and rather than giving up on atheism and humanist totalitarian state revolutions, which would have been the Rational thing to do, the atheist after World War II tended to give up on Reason itself the supposed very foundation of his original position, and modern atheismís supposed original reason for being no less.
So, by the 1960s much humanism in American and Europe had gone "postmodern"
So, by the silly 1960s it was often no longer the sham, supposedly rational, totalitarian state the atheist sought but simply revolution for the hell of it, as the expression goes, and generally because the revolutionary wanted absolute power with himself on top, of course, in order to supposedly "fix" everything, as say an Alinsky.
In any case, the modern atheist had believed in Truth as well as Reason, and when he could not make his atheism work based on Reason, he gave up on both Truth and Reason. And this became known as postmodern atheism where everybody supposedly has their own "Truth," and, hence, there is actually no real Truth at all just opinions, and one can supposedly not use Reason to sort through all the varying opinions to see whose is correct or "true". (And this was Socrates versus the no-truth (only mere opinion) Sophists all over again.)
Real Reason and Truth as the foundation of Western civilization
This question of is there a real Reason and Truth is the foundation of Western civilization, and this was the bone of contention between Socrates and the Sophists (as is well-known), but not between (rational moral theist) Cicero and (amoral irrational atheist) Lucretius both of whom thought they had real but opposing Truth based on Reason. Or to put this another way postmodern atheist Jean Paul Sartre of the mid 20th century has modern atheist Voltaire of the 18th century turning over in his grave!
In history for Western man, atheism generally is presumably finished because it has in both Sartre and Rorty (Sartreís American counterpart) conceded that it is no longer based on Reason just whatever you "feel" irrationally, as it were, is "true." This is utterly ridiculous, and this is why we can have an openly postmodern Supreme Court nominees pretty openly hold whatever the Judge feels is "Justice" is real Justice because who is really to say from their own personal "experiences" and "opinions" etc., etc.
This is overt postmodern no-Truth (no-Justice, etc.) nonsense, but few today think anything of this theater of the absurd because this is the spirit of our humanistic age, namely, postmodern humanism, and that there is no real Truth nor Justice, and the judge simply imposes whatever he or she feels like! What could be more obvious! This is utterly ridiculous, of course, but not for the person into postmodern humanistic darkness. For such people it makes complete sense and it seems brilliant, but as Chesterton correctly said, when one stops believing in God, one does not believe "nothing," one believes "anything," however ridiculous and absurd it might be!
"Education" as atheist indoctrination into nonsense, or merely Liberal "compassion"
This stuff becomes so ridiculous in the late 20th century that postmodern atheist Richard Rorty actually develops a theory, not so much of Law and Justice, but of Government and Education based on explicit, overt, irrational totalitarianism as "the good" of the state, and Education as indoctrination or "enculturation," since Reason is supposedly no longer available to be used in teaching students his postmodern absurd atheism!
Almost all of this Rorty gets from John Dewey he himself says, though as Rortyís earlier forerunner from the first part of the 20th century, Dewey was still under the modern humanist delusion that all of this stuff was based on Reason as "pragmatism".
By contrast to the outright atheist whether modern or postmodern, the Liberal tends to be under the deception that Justice is mere "compassion" or it is a Liberal version of "unity, tolerance, and oneness," and, hence, Justice is no longer to be defined in terms of traditional notions of rights and liberty based on "the Laws of Nature and of Natureís God" of the American founders. The point? Neither the atheist (whether modern or postmodern) nor the merely "compassionate" Liberal hold to traditional notions of God and morality nor of Justice and of political rights and liberties for the individual and the state!!!
Each of the 3 religious worldview positions tends to have a political counterpart
The larger point here is each of the 3 positions of no religion (whether modern or so-called postmodern humanism), false religion (Christian, Jewish or otherwise), and true religion tend to have a political counterpart that is a result of believing or not believing in traditional notions of God and morality. Who said this? Washington and Jefferson, of course.
Washington and Jefferson were into "the Laws of Nature" (philosophically identical to Solomon, Socrates and Cicero) and "the Laws of Natureís God" in the light of "true religion" of Scripture, and while the "no religion" atheists Voltaire and the French Revolutionaries generally still believed in at least some notions of Truth and Reason or at least thought they did, they were not able to construct workable humanistic, that is, atheist notions of rights, government, Justice and the state. These modern atheists were more after the manner of the ancient atheist Lucretius (though the Epicureans were notoriously apolitical), and not after the manner of the atheists of the no-Truth and no-real-Reason of the Sophists, who were more like our current postmodern humanists or atheists.
In any case, atheists tend to set up absolute or totalitarian states with no real rights, liberty, or Justice and with the state as God and indeed, often themselves as a "God-like" cult figures. I mean somebody has to be "God." Being an absolute monarch or total dictator is a tough job, but somebody has to do it! Both the atheist French Revolution of the 18th century and the atheist Russian Revolution of the 20th century end in total disaster and tyranny, of course, but by the end of the 20th century both Sartre and Rorty are still arguing for such Revolutions, though non-violently, but these two (postmodern Marxist) Leftists no longer think the supposedly perfect totalitarian state they wish to set up is "rational," as their earlier modern humanist counterparts had thought.
The 3 positions on religion each have political theory counterparts
But, again, the larger point is each of the 3 positions of no religion (whether modern or so-called postmodern atheism), false religion, and true religion tend to have a political counterpart that is a result of believing or not believing in traditional notions of God and morality with real rights and Justice for the individual and state.
And while virtually any religion or spirituality (as such) that is not based on traditional notions of God and morality is almost overtly demonic, since it itself is claiming to be spiritual, the darkness or benightenment of atheism is not overtly "demonic," since it is not claiming to be spiritual, but presumably it is as well, and so Jesus and Paul tend to argue.
In any case, the most instructive false or, that is, possibly demonic religion to look at is false Christianity, as such, since it is not simply false as all false religions are but rather false Christianity is claiming not just truth but the mantle of true Christianity, as such. Again this is not so much a darkness outright but a deception, since the "light" you have is not what you think it is. The quintessential Christian Liberal is, of course, Harry Emerson Fosdick who explicitly, himself, outlines his new "Christianity" as another Gospel with another Jesus, of whom he says he is having spiritual experiences. I do not mean this as a put-down so much as what he is claiming for himself.
Liberalism as a clear new false Christianity...
The point is many Christian Liberals are not conscious of what they are implicitly doing, but Fosdick is doing his new "Christianity" explicitly, and as with ancient Gnosticism, the Liberal generally dispenses with the supernatural God of Genesis 1:1 as well as with the morality or sin question, again the two major things the 3 worldviews of no religion, false religion, and true religion hang on are God and morality, traditionally defined. And for traditional God and morality (and for the Gospel as such in false Christianity), the Liberal usually substitutes a spirit usually of unity, oneness, and tolerance (or some variation on these things), while the atheist of course tends to dispense with God, morality and even "spirit" and often even "mind" altogether.
Unity, oneness, and tolerance can be fine things of course, but they are hardly the Gospel, as such, to say the least. The Gospel is Jesus died on the cross for our sins in order to give us new spiritual life in Him. And unity, oneness, and tolerance, mere compassion, etc. do not make moral distinctions for good or ill, and as a spirit in themselves they do not assert a conscious Creator all-righteous, all-knowing, ever-present God of Genesis 1:1, indeed just the opposite. But this is just the beginning of problems for false religions/ spiritualities and false Christianity in particular
Carter and Danforth base Liberal political theory on religious Liberalism
Both the Democrat Jimmy Carter and the Republican John Danforth write in the early 21st century their own version of Fosdickís "Shall the Fundamentalists Win?" advocating this new "Christianity" of essentially unity, oneness and tolerance (and "love," etc.) and as openly and generally opposed to traditional Christianity, and they then go on to write how this new "Christianity" of theirs relates to politics, law, education, morality, etc. (Very important stuff here.) There are some differences in Carter and Danforth, and Danforth is a clearer writer and thinker than Carter (I think), but I am here combining the two here to expedite matters.
The point is both Carter and Danforth see their, in essence, new Liberal "Christianity" as mere unity, oneness, and tolerance as implicitly an improvement on the old, original Biblical Christianity just as Fosdick had done before them and as the higher consciousness Gnostics did with no sin and no salvation message in ancient times in the early centuries of the church far, far before Fosdick. You would think the Devil would think of some new major Christian deception?
For the religious Liberal, there is no all-righteous, supernatural God
Many points emerge here. The three major philosophical and/or religious views are all on the stage in the early centuries of Christianity, namely no God and no morality of the Epicureans, a real God and real morality of Solomon, Socrates and Cicero and even Moses of course, and a false God and no real morality of the deceived Gnostics, which for many intents and purposes will become a Liberal Christianity and even Liberal Judaism in the 19th and 20th centuries because modern science has supposedly proven there is not and cannot be a supernatural God, say both the Liberal Christian and Liberal Jewish "scholars" as virtually and often explicitly the foundational point of their very similar positions.
Liberal Christianity and Liberal Judaism are actually forms of humanism
Further, Liberal Christianity and Liberal Judaism are actually forms of humanism, of course, but they are not materialist humanism (atheism) but spiritual humanism, since they are not true God nor real morality centered, and in essence both reject "the Laws of Nature and of Natureís God" (of the American founding) for theories of Justice and rights for the individual and state. In any case, once one sees the components of all of this it is easy, for better or worse, to see why both the atheist Marxist and spiritual Liberal disagree not only with the American foundersí Christian religion, as such, but also with their corresponding political theory based on "the Laws of Nature and of Natureís God."
For the atheist Marxist neither the religion nor political theory of the founders are any good and never have been, and one can also see why todayís Liberal also does not accept the American foundersí Christian religion with its corresponding political theory based on "the Laws of Nature and of Natureís God." Indeed this is the whole point of the Liberalís new Liberal Christianity (in religion) and Second Bill of Positive Rights (in political theory and politics), though the Liberal generally concedes both the old Christianity and its political theory of the 18th century were good for that time, but, they say, we have by the 20th century moved beyond both the Christianity and political theory of the founders. What could be more obvious for todayís "enlightened" political and religious Liberal elites?
Bottom-line philosophical, practical and historical realities and truths
Bottom-line reality and truth: When you stop thinking correctly about God and morality, you lose your ability to think rationally and clearly about government and the good for the state, though one inevitably thinks one is getting smarter and smarter in all of these areas, and errors!
Another bottom-line reality and truth: Increasingly in the 20th century as America left traditional forms of religion (primarily Christianity and Judaism) increasingly we lost traditional notions of God, morality, government, rights and justice, and we fell into various forms of spiritual darkness and deception, both politically and religiously (whether in atheism or Liberalism), and things tended to collapse entirely in the postmodern 1960s, and so here we are, with Liberals and 1960s atheist Radicals controlling almost all 3 branches of government in the United States of America.
This is probably a greater crisis than the American Civil War because at that time only the survival of the Union was at stake, now it is the America of the founders itself that is at stake, and indeed the nation is currently on the mat and, it seems, down for the final count of all history...
Here we are today with elections looming, just days away...
And so here we are today with elections looming, just days away, and with the 3 basic religious, philosophical, political worldview positions battling for control of America. A 4th radical humanist libertarian view of "no government" is really not much on the scene these days. The 4th radical humanist libertarian view holds the state cannot and should not do virtually anything good, while the religious and political liberal holds the state can and should do everything for people.
In truth, the state neither can nor should attempt to give people everything they need and even want, as FDR proposed, ridiculously, I would say and even shamelessly as well as foolishly. Still, to the Liberalís credit, he or she still believes in "the rule of law" just an irrational and unworkable one of mere compassion and tolerance, etc.! However, the Marxist, even in theory, let alone practice, does not believe in "the rule of law" at all (a central point of his position, no less), let alone the American Constitution, as such, and this explains much of the otherwise unexplainable actions of this current administration.
Bottom-line? What can and should the state do, or attempt to do?
Bottom-line here is we are not going to return to traditional, workable and desirable notions of political theory and law until we return to traditional, rational and desirable notions of God, morality and "religion," and this second thing is still not yet on the horizon for a substantial number of people in America? Still, the traditional political question of the American founding will not go away... What can and should the state do, or attempt to do? This is a question of real practical rational wisdom and of what is desirable, truly so, in the nature of things.
The Liberal has an easy ready ideological answer of course, the state can and should do everything, which is totally irrational and unworkable and not really even desirable when you stop and think about it. The Marxist seeks to answer this question with absolute dictatorship (he says) with himself in control, this idea tends to appeal only to academic elites (who will share in the dictatorship) and deceived, un-educated masses, who think they may have something to gain.
So, what can and should the state do or attempt to do? Again, this is a question of practical rational wisdom and of what is desirable, truly so, in the nature of things, and we will probably not be able to think clearly about such political matters nor pass appropriate legislation until we recover lost notions of God, morality, Justice, and religion and even the Gospel itself, just as the American founders realized!
Obama clips the eagleís wings on the world stage for all to see?
We have had two massively horrendous pieces of legislation come out of this current Congress and administration dealing with healthcare and finance, both blatantly foolish, unworkable and undesirable, and both widely reported to be blatantly in-your-face un-Constitutional but nobody cares anymore? When welfare-state or racial-Marxist good must be done, welfare-state or racial-Marxist good must be done!
Of all the outrageous and at times un-Constitutional actions of this administration (with its enabling Congress) for absolute dictatorship in order to hand out hundreds of billions of dollars at the great leaderís discretion and to exempt those in his favor from his draconian laws, it is the relatively minor NASA space program thing that bothers me more than anything, I think. Why? Because it was, I think, an overt move on the world stage by our great leader to openly clip the eagleís wings in one of our greatest symbols, and he reveled in it?
2012 and The Big Re-Do
Still, at some point we will have to have The Big Re-do, on all of this outrageously terrible legislation, will we not? And this cannot even begin to happen before 2012, and it may not even happen then? And unless the Republicans capture one or more of the Houses of Congress on November 2nd, we are presumably toast, forever? If Republicans do capture one or more of the Houses of Congress, they can slow down the welfare state, racial Marxist train, but not stop it, let alone Re-Do it. What a mess?
The good news? There isnít any, besides the fact that it is widely reported in the news that 40 to 45% of the country is starting to figure things out, a bit anyway! Unfortunately 40 to 45% wins very few elections, and the academic elites, Liberals, and Marxists with their billions of dollars and millions of deceived followers are plowing ahead and may already have enough legislation in hand to take over healthcare and most of the financial sector, when the time comes, and Obama is widely reported to still have hundreds of billions of additional dollars in spare Stimulus and other cash in his pocket to spend at his discretion, no telling how, also when the time comes? And there is hardly a thing a Republican Congress can do about either one of these things? An intervening calamitous Judgment of God could change the religious and hence political direction of the country dramatically, of course, re-establishing not only traditional notions of religion but of rights, liberty and Justice but there is no way to factor that in practically speaking.
We have to hold out until 2012...
In short, one way or another we have to hold out until 2012, and at that point we shoot for The Big Re-Do legislation based on the just, righteous, workable, and desirable "Laws of Nature and Natureís God," and we throw out the current unjust, unrighteous, unworkable, and undesirable legislation based on the welfare-state, racial-Marxist ideology of this Congress and of our great leader.
However, more than merely holding out until 2012, on the hope of having The Big Re-Do at that time with a possible 51% of the vote, we now need to develop a national consensus that this change of direction is what we need, and this will not be forthcoming until we re-establish the traditional notions of religion and of the just state of the founders, and this does not seem on the horizon at this time with sufficient numbers of people? In short, our only hope? We need a new national consensus based on our original national vision that everybody (but Liberals and racial Marxists) will easily get on board for, at which time everything will work out fine! No problem!
Part 2: The 21st century and "The Age of Obama"
On the other hand if things go badly on this soon-coming November 2nd, and we lose this penultimate showdown (or if they do not go badly and Obama rebounds in 2012 winning re-election and winning back Congress), I think Obama will be good for 8 to 10 terms fairly easily, and The Big Re-Do will have to be postponed until 2040 or 2044 or even later, I would think. In Part 2 we will consider this possibility and what we may need to be doing at this time to prepare our as of yet un-born grandchildren and great grandchildren to re-establish America as a beacon on a hill in a post-Obama world in the closing decades of the second half of the 21st century. The 19th century is known in history as the Victorian Era, and it was a grand thing no doubt (while America was still just a bunch of cowboys)!
In this vein depending on how long President Obamaís glorious reign lasts with its inspiring worldwide leadership, the whole of the 21st century could become known forever in all history as "The Age of Obama"? But what would this really mean in the larger story of things? Next time in Part 2 of is there a God in heaven and a real Justice...