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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: Part II: The good news and bad news for the future from the 2010 elections
(Wed., January 12, 2011)
(approx. 7795 words , 14 pp.)
A year ends, and a new year begins, and a new Congress...
Is the glass 90% empty or 10% full, and does it really matter?
The good news and bad news for the future from the 2010 elections,
or, that is,...
A strategy for national consensus at last & a possible total traditional values victory
Where things stand forever... It may all hang on this Congress?
I think, personally, the vast majority of Americans are seeing the splintering and radical polarization of the nation, and this I think bothers the vast majority of people greatly, but we tend to have no idea what is causing it, and in fact I would say this splintering and radical and obvious polarization of the nation that is so bothering everyone is what caused the immense initial popularity of Barack Obama because he ran openly as a candidate who wanted to bring everyone together in a common vision, and he attempted to avoid party politics as usual, and as a true visionary and great orator he could reduce many people to tears, as he sought to transform the nation into a unified whole behind his vision of a new transformed America, etc.
Obama was simply too good to be true? Or no?
Further, and somewhat ironically, Obama was able to make many people believe in the greatness of America again because we would no longer be too proud or arrogant to admit our obvious shortcomings as a nation in order to fix them, and in Obamaís mind (I think) and certainly in the mind of the Nobel Peace Prize committee this would propel America into an unprecedented world leadership role even greater than we have had in the past by openly admitting all of our supposed shortcomings, etc. But, regardless, at last we had a truly visionary leader, who could supposedly truly unite the country in ways we really have not known since virtually World War II, or perhaps ever in fact.
Letís be honest. Obama seemed too good to be true for many people. But why? In great part, because of his stirring oratory and visionary leadership to end the politics of division that have so plagued our nation in recent generations. Unfortunately, this was almost all phony image and false rhetoric we now know after 2 wonderful years of Obama's new view of America, the Presidency, and the Federal Government, generally.
However, if anyone had bothered to read his writings, he is, in my opinion, quite clear that he does not love or even like this country, and his new "transformed" America, the degree to which he can pull it off, will have little or no place in it for the traditions and values of the Founders and our great American heritage nor for those people who still hold those traditional American political and religious views dear. (Wow, my goodness.)
Generally not Philosophy 101...
Still, regardless, I think Obamaís great success in large part was due to an optimistic, but somewhat superficial and certainly disingenuous message against the polarization that has so plagued us and that is bothering people so much. But, in fact, the larger interest group factionalization of the country (to make up a word) as well as the moral cultural decline are both due to our rejection of traditional notions of God in religion, and this is generally not immediately obvious, and this is generally not Philosophy 101, but we saw much of this last time.
Our current loss of traditional notions of God and morality are actually the same combination of reasons why Isaiah and even Jeremiah wrote their prophecies, which condemned false religion and false religious leadership, as well as a general cultural moral decline, sexually and otherwise, and the shedding innocent blood (much as abortion in our day?) and even corrupt government and economics, etc. and, hence, they often read like the morning newspaper. But in fact the practical philosophical and even political aspects of this are actually best developed by the truly great Saint Augustine. An interesting but generally little known fact: so goes (our view of) "God" so goes "everything"?
God, personal moral good and the good of the nation..
The fact is, as Augustine points out, when one loses oneís traditional concept of God (and morality and good, etc.), two things tend to happen. In oneís personal life one tends toward some form of hedonism, rather obviously in abandoning the classical notion of "the (moral) good life," but further oneís state tends to degenerate into competing power factions or coalitions of factions seeking power over other factions or interest groups rather than "the good" of the nation or body politic as a whole.
In short, in losing traditional notions of God oneís political motivation is no longer to "do the right thing," but rather seek advantage for oneís interest or special interest group. Again, this is generally not Philosophy 101. But this is certainly our problem today in America and has been for some decades now, in flashing lights, no less.
We have clear and terrible symptoms but do not know the cause of the disease?
It is not always immediately easy to connect all the dots on this matter... As we saw last time the Liberal and Radical today are generally not trying to do "the right thing" (they hardly believe it even exists metaphysically) but rather implement clearly unworkable, irrational and undesirable ideological agendas, which to them seem "brilliant" and "good," no doubt. In fact the Liberal and even Radical often state their misguided and unworkable ideological agendas outright, because they generally cannot see the foolishness of their own political agendas.
But as Augustine points out in such cases, it is usually not faulty political thinking as such that is the problem, rather it is the Leftís theological foolishness that is probably the most important foundational and determinative mistake, and this is what we generally miss.
Further, we see the loss of traditional notions of God, but this tends not to bother many people too much because the religious Liberal, in his theological confusion, sees himself as fixing "outdated" notions of God (he or she often even says this himself or herself), and we see the obvious moral decline of the culture, and this generally does not concern us too much either because the so-called "new morality" does not seem that bad, really. But there may be far more trouble lurking here with faulty notions of God and morality than meets the eye? And especially so even for politics.
For example, the Prayer in the Kansas State Legislature:
For example, back in the 1990s a now famous prayer was given in the Kansas state legislature by one minister Joe Wright, and it quickly took on a Pattonís Prayer status in a spiritual not physical army. Although the pastor prayed in the name of Christ, the prayer itself not particularly Christian, but rather it was more generally traditionally theistic from a Protestant, Catholic and Jewish perspective. It went as follows
Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness and to seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, "Woe on those who call evil good," but that's exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We confess that:
We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it pluralism.
Search us, O God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from
every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been
sent to direct us to the center of Your will. Ask it in the name of Your Son,
the living Savior, Jesus Christ.
The point for us here is apart from whether the prayer was actually "good" or "bad," the fact is for political conservatives the prayer was good, even outstanding while political Liberals thought the prayer was bad and even terrible, but why? And what does this have to do with the 2010 elections and what should be done specifically by the new House, to turn things around in U.S. government in a Revolutionary way?
The 2010 election was not just a rejection of Obama and the 2008 Congress...
The 2010 election was overtly a rejection, not just of Obama and the 2008 Congress but of the whole nutty Liberal to Radical agenda as it has manifested specifically in the last 2 years in politics, actual law, and theories of the state, apart from larger questions of religion, education, morality, etc. and this political actual law manifestation was extremely troubling to many who see the Liberal to Radical agenda to be, well, "a bad idea" or even "terrible idea" just as a practical matter, apart from Liberal and Radical and traditional values questions.
Although many see the Liberal to Radical agenda as often the cause of most if not all our problems whether social, political, moral, religious or otherwise, in the case of the 2010 elections it was specifically our legislative problems that caused victory for the Tea Party, and, hence, the specifically political (not religious) Tea Party movement was caused in politics, as such, by the bad legislation of the 2008 Congress, and it simply manifested itself in a major way in the 2010 elections mostly about legislative matters, and Constitutional role of government etc., and not larger picture issues as such. That is, the 2010 election was specifically about The Big Screw-up of the 2008 House.
Still, in the bigger picture, just as the Liberal to Radical political agenda is ultimately generated by faulty concepts of a Supreme Being as Paul says in Romans 1 (where the result of a loss of God is a loss of reason and common sense and this is stated by Paul more overtly than even in the great Saint Augustine), so too the Tea Party movement was generated by traditional concepts of a Supreme Being and morality, law, and government, where the state upholds real rights and does not attempt to do everything for everyone, but rather to do the right thing for the nation and not pander to individual interest groups at the expense of the nation, etc.
The problem is big picture analysis has little to do with actual, needed legislation...
The problem here is this is all about very real larger causal conditions, and it is all very accurate philosophical analysis, I think, much of which one can get elsewhere, but it does not tell one what actually to legislate in general nor in particular, that is, "what must be done, specifically" by this new House elected in 2010. Still, I am convinced that these larger bigger picture, philosophical and religious questions must be answered before one can come up with "A Plan" on what to do specifically, legislatively in this new House, or any legislative body for that matter, and that Plan must deal with the reality of the larger bigger picture "bad news" of Liberalism and Radicalism as well as the "good news" of traditional values and traditional theism as seen in the good and bad news of the 2010 elections.
The bad news here is what this last election means in the big picture is that presumably 40 to 45% of the country is "gone" in terms of anything like traditional values of religion, God, government, law, education, entertainment, economics, etc., and they arenít coming back, presumably, at least any time soon without major sociological changes? In my opinion, this is truly a disturbing situation, of the highest order and of unprecedented historical proportions. So, we are going to have take this where no man has ever gone before...
We are going to have take this where no man has ever gone before...
Why is our current situation in America of the highest order importance and of unprecedented historical proportions? Because in this larger question of the bigger picture of America, politics, law, history and philosophy we have not simply an intellectual worldview problem of Liberalism and Radicalism versus traditional values and traditional notions of God, law and government but also something else going on that is often not factored in, and that is a spiritual deception problem personally for us individually and for our entire age more generally in what is known as a zeitgeist or "spirit of the age" problem where it is the temper of our times and of our hearts that has us way off base as much as the intellectual content of our minds or the truths or supposed truths of social political philosophies such as Liberalism and Radicalism.
Bottom-line? We must add to worldview social and political philosophies of Liberalism, Radicalism and traditional values, the spirit or temper or attitude of the age as well as the spirit condition of our hearts individually beyond our particular worldview beliefs (in this case of Liberalism, Radicalism and traditional values). And we must do this first before we can get to "what must be done specifically" by this 2010 new House.
So, the question of "what must be done" will have to be put on hold as we look briefly at more of the spirit as well as truth of Liberal, Radical and traditional values positions, in politics, religion, law etc.I must warn the reader that this is going to get a little rough, but times are tough, and tough times call for tough measures, but you have been warned. If you read any further, you read at your own risk and the risk of your immortal soul, forever. If you are not comfortable with that stop now because you are about to go somewhere (in the realm of the spirit and in all history) from whence there is no return.
Braveheart, shall we continue...
The fact is the Liberals and Radicals are generally in an irrational la-la land (spiritually speaking) in historical religious and philosophical terms (Paulís point in Romans 1) that ultimately simply manifests itself "politically" in really lousy legislation (as say with the outrageous 2008 Congress), but in this whole process Liberals and Radicals are completely convinced they have everything figured out in their spiritual and intellectual confusion, and they think they are actually doing "good" as they attempt to set up a misguided statist if not totalitarian society, with themselves in charge of course of almost every aspect of everyoneís life or business and often even in an un-legislated or open-ended legislated manner no less as with this current administration.
In any case, donít kid yourself, the EU is alive and well, and itís living in Washington DC or at least in the hearts and minds of the Democrat Party and certainly the Congress of 2008 and in Obamaís seemingly fiat executive decisions, which in themselves seem to match the absolute power judicial rulings of the activist, legal positivist, Leftist judge we have seen for so many years now.
By contrast, the American founders were virtually obsessed with...
By contrast to Liberals and Radicals the American founders were (in heart and mind, spirit and truth) virtually obsessed, no less, with traditional notions of God, government, law, rights, virtue, morality, economics, education, religion, etc., and generally as a package deal no less. And herein lies our real "bad news" problem in the bigger picture; we, as a nation, arenít so obsessed anymore, as a slight understatement.
Indeed the whole point of the Liberal and Radical (in heart and mind, spirit and truth) is traditional notions of God, government, law, rights, virtue, morality, economics, education, religion, etc. have to "go," and have to go big time. (Very serious stuff here?) This is, in essence, being so-called "politically correct" is it not, and this is when the Left is not doing revisionist history (of the truth) outright, of what actually happened in the past, no less. For example, it is a common Liberal and Radical myth that many American founders were so-called "Deists." Revisionist history has become so commonplace as to go un-noticed and unchallenged in most cases.
The telling election of 2010...
The key point here for this analysis of the good and bad news from the 2010 elections and for America is when anyone let alone 40 to 45% of the country votes for a Liberal to Radical agenda, it tells you virtually nothing about the Liberal to Radical agenda, but it tells you volumes about the person so voting. This is not limited to Liberalism and Radicalism, from voting for George Washington to voting for Barack Obama, how a person votes tells you a lot about the person voting, not about the person voted for.
For example, I saw a survey recently where a majority of American historians polled said they considered FDR the greatest American President ever. You will note this tells you virtually nothing at all about FDR, but it speaks volumes about the polled historians, to say the least. When you tell people whom you admire or for whom you vote, it tells people about you, and not the person you admire or vote for.
In any case, in the bigger picture, we in America have a big mess on our hands, obviously, if 40 to 45% of the country is not at all scandalized by Liberalism or Radicalism, but rather still is all hot to trot for the Liberal to Radical agenda (as clearly manifested in the 2008 Congress) as supposedly brilliant and the solution to all of our problems. Give me a break, please! Of course this larger sociological situation did not come about overnight but over the course of many decades in the 20th century, though the seeds were certainly planted in the 19th century.
The prophetic Charles Haddon Spurgeon...
To my knowledge the first proverbial heat-it-up-slowly in order to boil the "frog in the kettle" to death guy was the famous British 19th century minister Charles Haddon Spurgeon in what was called in his day "the downgrade controversy" over Christianity as such.
Just as you do not heat the kettle quickly (we say today) to boil Christianity (or even America) to death, but slowly, Spurgeon argued famously this slow destruction is like being on a not very steep downgrade, but on a downgrade nonetheless to the eliminate the essentials of the Christian faith, slowly over time. As I understand it, Spurgeon saw the future for the Church in particular, in the coming 20th century, and it was not going to be pretty, and he was right, it wasnít pretty, tragically. In fact Liberalism came to dominate all religion, not just Bible Christianity. Now to the larger issues of this...
God and the Good, the Right, and the True in all areas, in essence, Right Reason
To the point at hand, the thing that goes first in traditional notions of God, government, law, rights, virtue, morality, economics, education, religion, etc. is God, and once a traditional notion of God as all-righteous, all-powerful, all-good, all-knowing, ever-present, conscious, Creator Being (Who, for the Christian, sent His Son to die for us, etc.) goes, you lose traditional concepts of Good, Truth and Right in government, law, rights, virtue, morality, economics, education, religion, etc. Why?
Because Good, Truth, and Right are literally identified with a traditional notion of God (in theory and in practice as well as in spirit and in truth), and, hence, with faulty theology, one inevitably falls into the faulty notions of Good, Truth, and Right that are associated with (spiritual) Liberalism and Radical (atheism) or other false philosophies and religions. What this means is I think Spurgeon got it right in seeing the coming slow decline and fall of Bible Christianity in its essentials as such in the 20th century in Britain and America, but he not see the coming fallout of this in the larger picture of the larger decline and fall of much of British and American culture and civilization, politically and otherwise, in the coming 20th century
The plot thickens a bit with traditional Protestants, Catholics, and Jews...
However, the plot thickens a bit here not just for Britain and America, but for Western civilization itself and even all mankind on earth. Traditionally Protestants, Catholics, and Jews were obviously not all preaching a Gospel message (of Spurgeon). Indeed, that was why we had a Reformation, was it not? However traditionally Protestants, Catholics, and Jews all held, theologically, to a correct or traditional or Biblical concept of God as all-righteous, all-powerful, all-good, all-knowing, ever-present, conscious, Creator Being. Right? Right.
What this means is in reality it would not surprise this writer if in 1910, 95% of the American population was traditional Protestant, Catholic or Jewish, and, hence, held to a traditional notion of God and belief in Him, and, hence, held to the long list of traditional values, truths, rights, etc. (concerning government, law, education, etc. essentially of the Founders) which accompany or are associated with a traditional notion of God. This means except among the know-it-all intellectual elite I would guess very few if any Americans were Liberals or Radicals in 1910, religiously or otherwise. Today, we now know from this last election, that, sad to say, about 40 to 45% of the country, at least, are either committed political Liberals, and hence presumably spiritual Liberals theologically (whether Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish), or they are not outright atheists, as such. Not a good situation for the nation, to say the least?
But, the good news is the country is now experiencing a major backlash against unworkable and irrational Liberalism and Radicalism, not just in religion and politics but all areas of life. Quite simply, (welfare state) Liberalism and (state as God) Radicalism are faulty ideologies, and they create faulty ideological agendas in the legislator that cannot work and will not work. That is where this is all going and how it is all going to play out in the 20th century. Once you have this big picture down, it is fairly easy to answer the question of "What must be done?" specifically by the House of Representatives elected in 2010, though the answer is not immediately obvious, it is definitely hiding in these larger historical, religious, political, philosophical facts.
The theologically Liberal demise of the Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish faiths
In summary, in the bigger picture, it was the theologically Liberal demise of the Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish faiths in the early part of the 20th century that would lead America into the beginning of the collapse of the culture, society, education, law, etc. that culminated in the 1960s "God is dead" movement or at least He is certainly not well, to say the least, and "God" must be totally re-defined by theological Liberalism. In the early 20th century after its mostly 19th century beginnings Protestant Liberalism began to bail out slowly but openly and overtly on a traditional concept of God as well as on the essentials of the Atonement and the Resurrection and morality and sin, etc., indeed as the very point of its new Liberal Christianity. For the Liberal the literal Covenants of the Old and New Testament are in fact not literal at all! The very point of his "Liberalism," no less!
In my opinion Reform Judaism does the exact same thing with the Old Testament as the Protestant Liberal, but not so much with the New of course. All of this Christian and Jewish Liberalism was tied up in endless "scholarship" of the so-called "higher critics" about why the Bible is not true and is supposedly all fake, forgery, fable, myth, conspiracy, endless unknown metaphor and even a chocolate chip cookie recipe, if you really have eyes to see it, with the correct advanced degree, etc., etc.
The particular situation with Roman Catholicism is equally bad if not worse...
The particular situation with Roman Catholicism is equally bad if not worse. Roman Catholicism, which often buys into higher criticism nonsense sometimes officially and sometimes unofficially, has rarely if ever preached a straightforward Gospel message in the last 1000 years, and has often even rejected and denounced it, and has for the most part embraced an ecumenical spirituality of all religions with Vatican II. In fact and by definition prior to Vatican II there was a growing sense of seriously needed change within Roman Catholicism itself that culminated in Vatican II, or it would not have happened, obviously.
And, hence, there are 3 views of the major Vatican II changes, as I understand it within the Roman Catholic Church itself.. One is Vatican II was not needed. The second is the changes were needed and did the job well, and the third is the changes did not go far enough. I personally hold to the third view. For all practical purposes in my opinion Vatican II rejected Trent without embracing a Lutheran Christianity (in which case why bother to denounce yourself?), but to a degree Vatican II did embrace "all religions," making it all very confusing, as a slight understatement? This means, as a practical matter, Papal and Roman Catholic infallibility was thrown to the wind and hence Apostolic succession, all without throwing out all the other historical errors and embracing a Bible based faith as such. Big mess?
Vatican II... Not rocket science?
Still, Vatican II made a shot at a serious course correction if not at a 180 outright, but in truth historical Roman Catholicism probably did not need a complete 180 since it had a pretty valid or orthodox notion of God, theologically speaking, but from a Gospel perspective, as such, Roman Catholicism probably did need a 180, or close to it anyway. The point of being a Christian is not accepting a current version of Roman Catholicism whatever it may be in any given century, but rather accepting Christ? Not rocket science here?
Regardless the early Christians went to the lions rather than embrace an ecumenical version of "all religions" in more or less the manner of Vatican II? Not pretty, but true? And further an ecumenical to all religions type Christianity (Roman Catholic or otherwise) in fact does call into question oneís very concept of God from a traditional point of view since the "God" of "all religions" is not the God of the Bible or of traditional Western civilization. Yet another big mess?
The only hope for America and the world...
In any case, again in the big picture, not the immediate political picture, the only hope for America and the world is for us to re-embrace a traditional, Biblical concept of God which has fallen on Liberal-to-Radical and ecumenical hard times, so to speak, with the vast majority of mainline Protestants, Reform Judaism, and Vatican II Roman Catholicism. All 3 of these groups need to do a 180 (or close to it) or America and the world are "gone," and as far as this writer knows none of these 3 major religious groups are even remotely considering a 180 at this time. Indeed, hard as it is to believe, theological Liberals (Protestant, Catholic or Jewish) just as atheists outright think they are getting smarter and smarter with their new notions of God and their new versions of Christianity and Judaism and Catholicism and with all their nutty attendant views on law, government, morality, education, etc. that go with their new notions of God.
I even heard of a movement in the 1990s to get at least one Christian professor into every mainline seminary, but I do not know if it was successful. This would parallel trying to get at least one traditional Natural Law (that is, real rights) professor into every Law school? In truth, the ultimate goal in the bigger picture is indeed to flip all the Liberal to Radical seminaries and all Liberal to Radical law schools back to traditional notions of rights, law, government and God, no less, as the case may be. And the spiritual Liberal and atheist Radical are generally not ready to deal with any of this, and usually actively and openly strongly oppose any such moves of course in the seminaries or law schools.
In my opinion what the 2010 House must do specifically ("what must be done") to restore the nation and unite us behind a common vision is virtual childís play compared to these larger questions, but that is probably not immediately obvious yet, so let me continue... I know where this is going, trust me.
At best what may the future hold for mankind on earth with 3 180s?
At best what may the future hold with 3 180s by Reform Judaism, Roman Catholicism, and mainline Protestantism out of their religious and theological Liberalism? I do not think if Reform Judaism does a 180 that it will revert back to conservative or Orthodox Judaism but rather move forward to a Messianic Judaism, and I do not think Vatican II Roman Catholicism will in its possible 180 revert back to a pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism but will rather move forward to a Bible or Evangelical Christianity outright. But if the mainline Protestants bail out on their utterly ridiculous irrational, amoral theological Liberalism and their generally ridiculous "higher criticism" (with endless theories on why the Bible isnít true) they will indeed go back or forward as the case may be, to a straightforward Bible faith, presumably, anyway.
And if these 3 religious groups flip or do a 180, they will carry, in their wake, all the legal positivistic law schools with them back to traditional notions of Truth, Right, and Good, and I would assume, in fact, pretty easily. So, the entire future of mankind on earth may hinge on mainline Protestantism, Vatican II Roman Catholicism and Reform Judaism each doing some sort of appropriate 180 because they all 3 either have gone "Liberal" or have more generally, each in its own way, substituted "the traditions of men" for the Truth and Word of God. (Just as Jesus, Isaiah, and even the Kansas Prayer say.)
Last time I checked to radically change direction or do a 180 is called "repentance" is it not? In this case it would be (for these 3 major religious groups) to repent primarily from Liberalism. Obviously all outright false philosophies and religions need to do a 180, whether Mormonism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, etc. or even atheism but these philosophies and religions are different than the big 3 Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish (or big 4 if you add iconic Greek Orthodox) because false religions and revelations outright are not claiming to be the real Bible thing. The point is Judaism, Catholicism, and Protestantism were the 3 major vehicles for Western civilization to maintain a traditional notion of God, which when lost for theological Liberalism or ecumenicalism unleashes all the moral, political and other woes on society we now see including the folly of political Liberalism and Radicalism
So, what in the world does this have to do with the 2010 elections?
So, what in the world does this state of Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and possibly even Orthodox religions in America and worldwide have to do with the 2010 elections and with what must be done specifically be the new 2010 House? Nothing of course, in a sense, but in another sense everything.
To give credit where credit is due. I got this analysis out of C. S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters and Martin Gross in The End of Sanity and in the early Church father Origen (ca. 185 to ca. 254 AD) of all people. All 3 have virtually the same conclusions, except Lewis literally attributes faulty religious and political thinking such as Liberalism and Radicalism to the Devil himself somehow literally messing with your mind and deceiving you, as does the Bible of course in numerous places, but not Gross to my knowledge but he has the same bottom-line analysis of what must be done, Devil or no Devil, and as does Origen basing his work on the great Justin Martyr. (You may have never heard of Origen, but he was no slouch. He is actually considered by some to be the greatest Christian thinker who ever lived, no less, no small accomplishment, so we might want to listen up a bit to him?)
Look at it this way: when a man or woman goes to Washington it does not really matter that much (on the surface) what concept of God he or she has. It is a free country, have any concept of God you want, or none at all for that matter. When someone runs for office one simply says what one stands for politically, and people vote for you or against you accordingly. Not complicated.
All that matters...
The only thing that matters in the final analysis is whether one is going to Washington to pursue and legislate a good thing, namely, a reasonable, workable, desirable legislative agenda for the good of the nation as a whole, or if one is going to Washington to pursue a bad thing namely, either 1.) an unreasonable, unworkable and undesirable ideological agenda (dare I say such as political Liberalism or political Radicalism) or 2.) a special interest agenda for some particular group at the expense of the nation as a whole (as Augustine says, correctly, we are naturally prone to do). These are the two bad things a legislator can do.
And herein lies the difference in the Tea Party Republicans and conservatives generally as opposed to the Democrats and the Left generally which are given over to the two bad pursuits of 1 & 2 above almost always, while by contrast the conservative politically or otherwise (going back to antiquity, no less) asks two radically different questions than the (above) 1 & 2 pursuit questions of the Liberal or Radical. And those two questions or pursuits for the conservative are first, "Does an idea, policy etc. work, practically rationally speaking?" and second, "Is an idea, policy etc. right or moral?"
For example, you may have a very workable plan to rob a bank (or the people?!) but it would not be right, obviously. Not to beat a dead horse but these two questions (Does it work practically, rationally? And is it moral or right?) are the central point of Solomonís wisdom in Proverbs, implicitly, but explicitly of Platoís Republic, Aristotleís Ethics, and Ciceroís On Duties. And, further, for Lewis they are also explicitly the two questions the Christian, as such, should always ask (about a policy, idea, etc.), and for Gross asking these two questions (Does it work practically, rationally? And is it moral or right?) are a mark of virtual "sanity," no less, in reasoning and public policy debate, which he and Lewis see both the Liberal and Radical to have lost. But in truth more than "sanity" as such it is a matter of rationality or common sense to ask, "Does an idea, policy work practically speaking, and is it right or moral?"
What Lewis and Gross point out...
What Lewis and Gross point out (just as an observation) is when you become a Liberal or Radical, you stop asking these two good questions, and ask rather the bad two questions, namely, "Is an idea, policy, etc. ideologically correct?" or possibly as Augustine would add "Does it simply serve my interest over and against the good of the nation or Body Politic as a whole?" This is all true, but more than this when one becomes a Liberal or Radical you almost cannot think rationally even if you want to. (Paulís point in Romans 1 & 2).
In point of fact both Liberalism and Radicalism are very irrational positions, but when you become a Liberal or Radical, these two irrational philosophies seem brilliant to you. Lewis and the Bible (in several places) actually call this literal "demonic" deception (spiritually speaking), not possession as such, and at one point the Bible even says in Revelation there is political "deception" of "the nations" by Satan, and Lewis also develops the idea of way off track and irrational political thinking as demonic deception or confusion literally, but letís not overly digress here.
The point is both Liberalism and Radicalism reflect irrational spiritual confusions or deceptions, but more than that when you become a Liberal or Radical you in reality have lost your mind and hence ability (and often even desire) to think rationally, even with the most basic common sense as both Lewis and Gross point out, and you begin to think simply and only in terms of your irrational ideologies (of say Liberalism and compassion, or radical nutty Environmentalism and light bulbs, or screwy political Radicalism of Alinsky, etc. etc.), or as Augustine points out you go into a human default mode of the natural fallen man which is simply "what is in it for me" in a selfish manner (while the new man or born again person has a new desire, heart, or default setting to do the right thing over self, not that he always does of course).
Enter one Origen...
The person in history who first puts most if not all of this together is Origen, brilliantly as a matter of fact. Origen is also the person who for me personally provided the last piece of the puzzle on how to deal with todayís Liberalism and Radicalism. What Origen argues correctly (based on Justin Martyrís unprecedented work) is that Christ did not really come for mankind on earth with Jesus. Christ is the divine Logos or Rationality of the Greeks, and "that" was already here. "Jesus" the second person of the Trinity (in human form) simply reveals to mankind on earth that the Logos is a conscious Being and is, in fact, the second person of the Trinity (Johnís point in John 1 of course).
Origenís point is what Jesus actually gives us is just what Jesus said we would get, namely, the presence of the holy Spirit in our hearts, (as well as of course new natures or new hearts to God, a new default setting). Origenís point is "Jesus" is "out of here" so to speak, heís gone, and he ainít coming back until the end of the age, etc., and that is what Jesus himself said that last night in the Upper Room, "I am leaving, good-bye." But, says Origen correctly, the second Person of the Trinity, divine Rationality, itself, has been here all along in mankind from the very beginning, (somewhat corrupted perhaps or presumably from the fall, though theologians have debated this point for centuries, primarily, most famously in the two sides by Aquinas and Calvin, I would say, and I definitely lean toward Aquinas on this one).
Bottom-line is Jesus did not come to give us the Logos or Rationality, but rather the Person of the holy Spirit within and new natures, and to reveal that the Logos is not just God (as the Greeks correctly held) but a conscious Being, the second Person of the Trinity. Further the unique and defining property of Western civilization (Origen argues) is that it is based on the Logos Rationality of the Greeks which asks two questions of an idea, policy or program, namely, "Does it work practically, rationally, etc? And is it moral or right?"
The point Origen makes, correctly, is you do not have to be a Christian (that is, be born again, or have the indwelling Person of the Spirit in your heart) to ask these two Rational questions. We get, by Godís grace, Rational common sense just by being humans, though it is no doubt not always "perfectly Rational," though sometimes so, equally so no doubt?For example, two plus two equals four is not 90% Rational. It is actually almost an expression to say, "It is "perfectly Rational" to say abc." Why? Presumably because it is. So, who can think "Rationally"? Presumably, everybody, though we do better at times with it than others, no doubt. (When you are thinking truly Rationally, you are actually participating in the divine Mind of God? Indeed is this not the whole point of Heraclitus who first postulated or discovered the Logos in Greek philosophy? Justin Martyr will argue this strongly and famously, but let's not digress.)
Who can think Rationally? Everybody!
Note: God said, "The day you eat of that fruit, you shall surely die (in your spirit, original nature, etc.)." God did not say, "The day you eat of that fruit, you will lose your mind! You will go insane!" However in Romans 1 & 2, Paul does say you can lose your mind, in essence, your Rationality. Paul says when you deny the reality of God, you tend to lose your ability to think straight about many issues generally moral; God gives you over to a "reprobate mind." You go in a sense increasingly crazy because the common sense Rationality of your mind, that we all have by Godís grace, is increasingly lost. But you think that you are actually getting smarter and smarter. Paul does this in terms of the radical hedonist, of course, but the exact same process is in play with the Liberal and Radical, both of whom have lost their common grace Rationality, tragically. The fact is Liberals and Radicals have actually lost much of their minds, poor things, and we ought to be praying for them. They are totally deceived (by Satan literally or otherwise), but they think of themselves that they are geniuses. A truly sad, sad situation.
What is interesting is Liberalism and Radicalism (which often denies the reality of spirituality) both tend actually to define themselves in spiritual terms, and ultimately irrational and highly undesirable spiritual terms. Liberalism is grounded in an irrational utopian and hence false and undesirable "compassion" or "love" etc. (a clear spiritual state) and the Liberal is up front about being in that place spiritually, personally, no less, and the Radical is personally, spiritually, grounded in "class consciousness," as is he himself openly states. But in fact getting "class consciousness" personally is a getting into a spiritual state of coveting and revenge as a so-called "have not" against the so-called "haves," all supposedly, justified by an unworkable and irrational Marxist theory of egalitarianism and the so-called "dictatorship of the proletariat." This means there is a fascinating relationship between the faulty, irrational thinking (mind) of both the Liberal in his Liberalism and the Radical in his Radicalism and their actually highly undesirable spiritual (heart) conditions. Truly fascinating.
But to the point at hand. Bottom-line here: Who can think Rationally? Everybody, naturally! But when you buy into faulty and irrational political and even religious theories such as Liberalism and Radicalism, you tend to lose your ability to think Rationally and with common sense, even though you do not see it yourself of course. In my personal opinion this is because you have given yourself over to processing all life data, as it were, in terms of the faulty and irrational life theory and worldview you have given yourself over to. It is all very tragic, really, especially when you see a friend or loved one fall into Liberalism or Radicalism, but we are most concerned with the general political aspects of this here.
Putting the whole thing together...
The Liberal (whether Protestant, Catholic or Jewish) as well as the outright Radical atheist is not thinking straight Rationally, and they generally cannot think Rationally (with their minds) even if they want to, which generally they do not. (Presumably, they have lost their hearts in San Francisco, so to speak, or somewhere else along life's journey.)
And, hence Liberals and Radicals do, and basically can, only ask two questions:: "Is something ideologically, politically correct in terms of Liberalism, Radicalism, etc.? Or, what is in it for me?" As opposed to the two Rational questions of the human condition most famously established by the Greeks, explicitly, overtly, and as from and of God, literally, no less, namely, "Does something work practically, Rationally, etc.? And is it moral or right or good, etc.?"
"Locked and loaded," but where is this going?
Where is this going? Neither the Liberalís entitlement Welfare State nor the Radicalís Statism "works" practically speaking, nor are they right, morally speaking though both sometimes try to argue they are "right" at times based on, say, a misguided "compassion" or so-called "economic justice" or whatever.
Still, none of this Part II has answered the question, "What specifically must be done by this new House to do a Big Re-do of the past 2 years of Radicalism and a Complete Re-do of the past 60 years of Liberalism and the entitlement Welfare State?" I am very well aware of the fact that that "what must be done" question has not been answered. So, you might call this Part II "locked and loaded!"
"So you have a Ďmagic bulletí to pull this off?" No, actually I donít, but I do have A Plan. A Game Plan, A Strategy for total victory, A Plan for the new House that will, and will inevitably probably, not simply lead to a Big Re-do of the last 2 years (small potatoes?), but a Complete Re-do of the last 60 years of the entire Liberal entitlement Welfare State. "This must be a brilliant Plan!!!" No, I would not call it "brilliant"... "beautifully simple" maybe but not "brilliant." It was Ronald Reagan who said, "There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what is morally right." You will note, "morally right" is one of the two basic right questions of Western civilization one should always ask of an idea, policy, program, etc. So, the goal?
The Goal? To slay the out-of-control, unworkable, all-consuming Leviathan
So, we are now ready to answer the question, specifically, of "What must be done?" by the 2010 House. We have, over the last 60 years, built a massive, massive, massive Federal Government (which is attempting to do "everything" for "everybody") and which is not "working" so well, the vast majority of the American people now agree, by ballot. In fact it is a total mess. But why is it a total mess?
Following FDR we, as a nation (for larger "bigger picture" reasons already explained in detail) tended increasingly to stop asking the right two time-honored questions of Western civilization from the Greeks based on Rationality, which generally speaking will solve all our problems, namely, "Will an idea, policy, etc. work? And is it right or moral?" and we substituted instead the wrong two questions for doing legislation for the good of the nation, namely, "Is an idea, policy, etc. ideologically or politically correct? Or simply is it in my interest or groupís interest?" And from there we built the nation accordingly into an unworkable, all-consuming Leviathan, the vast majority of the American people now agree. Big mess, obviously.
Is it too late to change this reality? The answer to that question is "No, it is not." Is it possible to actually slay this current Leviathan, this monster we ourselves have created? Sure it is, if you stick the spear in the right place and push as hard as you can...
So, next time The Revolution III: Not just specifically "what must be done" by this new House, but how this House may actually be able to slay our out-of-control, unworkable, all-consuming Leviathan.