Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

05/29/2009 (9:07 am)

What Can We Do?

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Victor Frankl, holocaust survivor

Those of us who stand for virtue and individual liberty have been deeply dismayed by the flood of destruction being produced at break-neck speed by the Obama administration. Government is mushrooming and gobbling private businesses, partisan donors are being paid off, the currency is heading for collapse, eco-loons have been unleashed to emasculate our economy and micromanage our tiniest decisions, abortionists have been blessed and given carte blance, our leaders are bowing and scraping to our enemies, and soon our doctors will all become bureaucrats. Liberty is vanishing faster than record players.

We’re all making noise as it happens, but our noise seems to make no impression. One of my readers, expressing frustration after a few years of unaccustomed activism, expressed his frustration in a poignant question: what can we do?

I don’t have answers, I have the same question. But I do have some thoughts.

I was encouraged recently by the example of the Catholic Church standing up to abortion. Recent polls are showing an increase in the number of people who call themselves “pro-life.” Abortion is the one arena in the culture war where decency has taken a stand and may yet win. In every other matter — sexual restraint, child-rearing, public expressions of faith, moral education, public decency, and so forth — the culture has laid down and permitted “progressive” dogma to overrun sound thinking and moral behavior. In this one arena, the Church took a stand en masse and publicly refused to bow to political correctness. It’s by far the most successful battle being fought in the culture war.

Republicans, conservatives, Christians — anybody who’s fighting the culture war on the side of the angels, in fact — needs to see this example and learn from it. We don’t win when we make friends with evil; it does not help to reason with it, or to attempt to find a middle ground. Evil is evil. To resist it and succeed, one must simply stand firm, like a rock, and say “No. I won’t change that. What’s right is right.”

As we grow older, we become aware of our individual limitations. When I was a young man, I used to think in terms of changing the world. Then it occurred to me that the only thing I could really affect was my own family. Now it appears that I can only change myself.

Given my limits, what I’ve chosen to do is what I do best — think, talk, and write. My goal is to comprehend those things that made the West great and good, to recover and document as much of what’s been lost as I can, to become the best, most knowledgeable, most courageous person I can become, and to trust God for the results.

wrybob1Please don’t minimize the crucial importance of the last phrase. Trusting God is what keeps us doing good when it looks like all is lost. History is not a circle, it’s an upward spiral, and God wins in the end. Along the spiral, there are times when good men lead and produce greatness, and times when bad men lead and produce destruction. Bad people always carry with them the seeds of their own destruction, and the things they build always collapse in the end. During those bad times, which seem to be upon us now, good men suffer martyrdom — they lose their freedom, then they lose their prosperity, then they lose their good reputations, and then some lose their lives. But the blood of the martyrs becomes the foundation on which the greatness of the next round of good gets built.

It looks like we and our children get to be martyrs. I don’t mean we’re all going to die, although it’s possible some of us might; I mean for a while, the good people stand to lose a great deal, and will be vilified for their goodness. We get to stand for what’s decent while the rest of the world sinks into the bog. Let’s do it well, and with joy. The better we do our part, the greater the result will be after evil collapses.

So I guess I’m saying, find out what you do best, do it with great energy, become the best person you can become, and don’t lose hope. The goal is something that you may not live to see, but it’s coming, and cannot be stopped. God wins in the end, and He’s given us an honorable role to play in His victory.

I hope that doesn’t sound too cheesy or overblown. I’m not any great man, just a guy with big words and too much information. But there it is. That’s what I think we can do.

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May 29, 2009 @ 11:10 am #


May 29, 2009 @ 3:42 pm #

Bravo. This is fantastic.

May 29, 2009 @ 4:16 pm #

Great follow up. It really highlights to me the incredibly stark difference in viewpoints as to how our countrymen view America.

I reread the last two posts and the comments here, and they highlight one kind of basic vision of America. But I remember when Bush was in office the left wailed constantly about how we had become a tyranny, how freedom was being chilled through the Patriot Act and how insane it was that everyone didn’t wake up and see the threat to their freedom posed by Bush, how we were now a hated country that “tortures people”, etc., etc. You know the drill.

These are huge, almost cavernous differences in what people aspire to in terms of their country and how they want to relate to it.

Back in the Clinton days our leadership seemed like a bunch of rogues, and I knew the pendulum would swing back and people would come to their senses, even though some china might get broken along the way. Most people, at the end of the day, were headed sort of down the same general path, with some people taking different detours.

Bill Clinton may have wanted a European “3rd Way”, but no one other than the fringe left element really wanted socialism. Heck, Hilarycare got shot down like a clay pigeon. i almost felt sorry for her.

Now, it seems a much darker, more looming threat. I look around and feel that perhaps every other person I see or speak to would prefer a socialistic, perhaps even, (gulp) a benign totalitarian regime (so they wouldn’t need to hear from hate mongering right wingers challenging the politically correct wisdom).

Your comments about secession are very, very sad, but I am beginning to think the idea has legs. God help us.

May 29, 2009 @ 8:55 pm #

Very, very well said, Phil.

RM, I think the comments on secession are quite the opposite – very, very good. It may be the vehicle that changes the course of events. Not here in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts (Peace be upon our leader, Deval) of course, but there are those states whose blood pressure is rising.

And I am very, very sorry that I’m saying very, very so much. My vocabulary is very, very diminished after a very, very long day.

May 29, 2009 @ 10:04 pm #

Standing up for what it right and trusting in God is the only option we have at this point. The future looks pretty bleak in many situations, in many cases in ways that we could have never imagined some 20 or 30 years ago. Even so, we must stand with the Christian faith or be washed away with the floods of the world.

Secession is looking pretty good to me as a viable option in some places. It may be the way that a remnant is preserved, rather than having the whole be destroyed.

May 30, 2009 @ 6:37 am #

Martyrs only? Is this from where our country came?

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
Thomas Jefferson

May 30, 2009 @ 12:13 pm #

God does indeed win in the end, but I do not see this “upward spiral” you claim. I used to believe that, but it is not biblical. We have the govt that 52% of us thought was best. Looking to change this or that law is helpful, but limited. Unless we change hearts, regardless of party, our efforts are doomed. Without men of good heart, a democracy cannot long survive. Our only real hope is for a Revival, to give us more time to win souls for Christ.

I read Amos 8:11-12 and shudder.

June 5, 2009 @ 12:10 am #

Phil, thanks for your insight. I have been reading, rereading and digesting it before I responded.

I like what you wrote and I agree that we should all live our lives as best as we can. I have always been that way. I just always figured government would just work things out in the end and life would be the same. I’m not so sure right now with everything that is going on, but you are right about turning to God. He will win in the end and I am thankful for all the people that fight on his side.

I have also been talking more to people and expressing my opinions, in a very respectful way of course, as I am not an in your face kind of guy. However, I let people know where I stand and ask that they at least familiarize themselves with what is going on and then tell them to make up their own minds.

I wish everyone I knew would read your blog or any intelligent blog for that matter, just to be informed. I had a conversation with a co-worker yesterday as she asked me why I was posting political comments on facebook and I told her why and she said she isn’t even registered to vote, she is about 35 years old, sigh… I told her to register and to get her husband as well. Here in NJ we have a very important election coming and I feel it’s important that everyone’s voice is heard.

This situation showed me how so many smart people are uninformed and it’s just plan sad. I wish I could do more to get the info out and I keep thinking in my head maybe getting a newsletter out to people would be a good idea (it’s an occupational hazard for a graphic designer, it’s how I think).

Anyway, I just keep thinking of ways to inform people to make them more aware of how grave things are.

I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate your thoughts and insights.

God bless…

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