As I put 2020 firmly in the rear-view mirror, I notice a reflection peering back at me. I see a world made weary, forlorn and in need of what once was, a longing for solicitude and truth, and in mourning for those loved ones who are lost to us. While loss is a part of life, it is not ever an easy burden to carry, and a reminder of our own mortality. For those of us whose hope remains in the trust that we will one day be reunited once again in Heaven, this is no small comfort.
Will America become prologue in the 21st Century? The year of 2020 dawned with hope and fervor. It was a year anticipated with the promise of great vision and clarity, and the freshness of a new decade to mark time. In many ways 2020 fell short of its promise, or was deliberately torn asunder, and in other ways, it surpassed itself. When reflecting upon the events of the past year there are some things that stand out to me.
THE THING WITH THAT SHALL HAVE NO NAME
I hesitate to share my thoughts with all of you. I hesitate as they are filled with uncharacteristic despondency and pessimism. Is this all there is left for those of us who once adhered to a solid belief in the goodness of man, that the Truth shall prevail, and that love of God, country, and fellow citizen was enough to bear the responsibility of Freedom and Liberty? The last decade proves otherwise, to me. Our politics have become ever increasingly polarized, and everything has become political and weaponized to bludgeon us into conformity and compliance. This polarization is not only here in the US. There is a global effort to do something against the will of the people; that something is not yet fully revealed.
While many of us wish to not spend a lot of time recalling the evil visited upon us, it is unavoidable as it still lurks around the corners of our lives. It lives on in the restrictions of thought, the constraints of movement, and the deep-rooted need for human interaction that has been denied, whether through governmental decree or unprecedented, self- or state- mandated isolation masked as concern for others. While in truth “it” may be waning, we are not allowed the luxury of such a thing as truth anymore. And that, singularly, is the real tragedy of the end of the second decade of the new millennium, in my humble opinion. Truth has been subjugated by those with ill-intent, and has been rendered moot and muted, taken out of its proper place in the human condition. Once Truth is slain, what remains? Will this forfeited Truth stand to define the 21st Century?
Humanity suffered to great detriment and annihilation many times in the 20th Century through malevolent totalitarianism disguised as benevolent concern with its seedlings being planted and watered once again. Are we to relive them in this new age? What happened to “Never Again” and “Never Forget”? What moves such capricious hearts that possess humanity in this time? C.S. Lewis wrote,
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
Today, Science has emerged as replacement for Truth. Yet, Science is at once demanded and rejected. Which makes it all convoluted and confusing. Perhaps this is done deliberately. Science was not ever intended to stand in the place of Truth, but to reveal it. Even small “t” truth has been censored. Science is an ever moving and evolving thing as discovery of new facets of scientific truths are revealed to man, yet the process by which scientific truths are revealed and used today has been corrupted, polarized, and politicized. Science has replaced Nature, and Nature’s God in the nation’s conscience. This may be the greatest loss to mankind in this new millennium should the ship not be righted in time. But I digress into existential, philosophical angst.
OUT OF THE ASHES; BACK INTO THE FIRE
Some good things arose out of the chaos of 2020. Charity once again became prominent. Caring for others, compassion for the poor, community became important again, the vessel of the family emerged as vital even as it was marginalized, authentic friendships strengthened, and the world came a little closer to home. Our freedoms may have been curbed, and our rights trampled upon in arbitrary ways; especially the freedom to worship as we see fit. Yet it is these things that we allowed or ignored. We let it happen. It will be up to the individual to determine if one’s speech will remain free, or be compelled, curbed, or suppressed by those who seek power at any and all cost to humanity. And not just freedom of speech, but the liberty to live our lives as we see fit.
This past year showed a hatred for the traditional, for the transcendent, for the classical architecture and artistic icons of our culture. For history itself. Nihilism stepped into the void left behind from the destruction of our Western heritage that is derived from ancient cultures. Deep down beneath the statues that were torn down out of a false sense of outrage, are the things that were rebelled against by the soulless, illiberal left whose sole purpose is to deconstruct, destroy, and to obliterate to an end unknown even to themselves. For to them it matters not that there be an end, but only that destruction is for its own sake to destroy. Thomas Molnar writes in The Counter-Revolution,
The promise of revolutionary doctrine is then predicated on the denial of stable forms, whether of art, institutions, or the meaning of words, and on the denial of time…Hence, the destruction of the old becomes an urgent matter, a historic duty. Shirking this duty, let alone obstructing the avenue of progress, is a major crime, in fact the only sin the revolutionary recognizes.
The American experiment is unique in the world which makes it ever more precious to be preserved. The gravitas of the American political project reminds us of the great Western tradition that was fought for time and time again with bloodshed mixed with the tears of the people coupled with the resolve to go on. America is made up of the sovereign individual. Our military cannot do it alone as it must be wanted and preserved by those who make up the individual American spirit. Our nation’s motto, E Pluribus Unum, used to mean something to America’s people. I question whether if it means anything anymore. Are we no longer filled with the sober responsibility of patriotism, values, ethics, and love of neighbor? Evidence is scarce at best of such a thing. The self has been elevated to utmost importance. The heroes of the American revolution rest uneasy in their graves. They, too, were called traitors and insurrectionists of their time. Was their willingness to die for the ideas of sovereign liberty and freedom for naught? Do the hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens who shed familial blood for a cause that no longer has meaning have no hallowed ground on which to lay in peace?
THE FUTURE, SHOULD WE WANT ONE
Today’s children are resilient, but only to a point. They are the future. How we proceed into this new year will determine what we are able to do and say as the third decade of the new millennium ensues. What Truth will be carried forth? What compels one must not be forced upon another without thought and care for the individual. Collectivism over the individual has harmed mankind time and time again. We adults must prepare the young ones to take the lead and stay on the path, rather than prepare the path for them. The experiment of elevating the idol of self above all else has failed terribly and has broken the ties that bind humanity to its intent and purpose. It has weakened a once strong and powerful force that stood against the worst of humanity. Intestinal fortitude will be a strength required through the next year and beyond to recover such a will and purpose if it should still be desired.
It is my fervent prayer that humanity rise to the occasion even knowing that it will inevitably fall to its highest level of preparation and understanding. This is of grave concern. We have room for growth, my friends. The silent majority must not remain in the shadows. We must take back the Truth that is consistent with the mind, will, character, glory and being of God. Even for those who do not believe in God know this Truth as it is innately written on their hearts. The definition of Truth flows from God and it is being washed away by something malevolent and malicious. The fundamental terms of human evil are dark and relentless. Have we replaced life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness with the pursuit of darkness and power in our national consciousness? Will the belief systems that we inhabit be more powerful than the dark forces so that we can confront this evil that is prowling about the world?
What light can we shed on this dark winter that was called for and is now embraced? The 21st Century belongs to our children and to their children yet to come. What legacy will we leave for them? How many circles of hell shall they be forced to navigate to recover what was lost or discarded for the want of something shiny and shallow? Betrayal is the worst of the circles. The betrayal of all that was once beautiful, good, and true is the beginning of the fall of man and it has reared its ugly and malevolent head once again.
Self-sacrifice, acts of bravery and courage, and the knowing of the mysterious and supernatural will require the necessity of confrontation for these things to be returned to us. The crucial thing to know is that only through confrontation will victory to be obtained. Courage is the light we must leave for our children to seek and to find. We must re-integrate trust into the national dialogue and in our fellow citizens. How do we do this? If we want to leave this world for our children in better condition than it is in now, we must become courageous again. To become courageous, we must get past first naivete (the belief that man is benevolent first), then the hurt (the realization that man is malevolent), then cynicism (the pessimism that we can do anything about it), and only then trust and courage will emerge. How can we call the better out of each other rather than the worst? We must cautiously put our hand out in trust. It will be this act of bravery and courage that sets the tone for trust to be restored.
AN ENDING, OF SORTS
My friends, I share these deep thoughts with you out of love for God, for you and for our country, for the world and its humanity, and for our children who will inherit it. Those of us who adhere to the ideals of freedom and liberty, who worship God, and love our nation will be punished. Those of us who follow Jesus Christ were told that we would be persecuted as Jesus himself was persecuted. Our place in society may be marginalized. We must stand resolute anyway.
God has given me a gift of words through insight and foresight, and while not fully formed, for there is always more to cultivate and learn, to not share this with you would be an act of weakness and defeatism. I was born a warrior and I shall always be a warrior. If am to remain true to the gifts God has given to me, I must share it with you. I encourage you all to restore and strengthen your resolve, dig deep for the intestinal fortitude necessary to confront Evil, look it in the eye and say, “No! Be gone with you.” In this light of the Truth, may we all draw strength from our God, from each other, and to go out in the world to do what must be done. The bell is tolling. Does it toll for thee? As we contemplate the Last Four Things: Death, Judgement, Heaven, and Hell, what we do, or not do, on this earth will determine our place in the eternal. The bell has been tolling for some time now, and it will be answered.
THE RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY; OR SOMETHING
Since the time I had finished writing this while reviewing it once again, the events of 6 January 2021, the Feast of the Epiphany, have occurred. There is more malevolence and hatred than I was willing to admit, even to myself. The coup d’état that was in the making for more than a decade has been completed. Many who once stood firm against the tyrannical takeover of this country have moved over to the other side because it is easier to believe that they are “on the right side of history.” The spineless cowards that took the easy path, rather than stand and fight, would not have seen themselves live through that dark winter on the Potomac with George Washington. We are a nation of fools and monsters who are fools. Proverbs 26:11 says, “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” Too many of us have been conditioned and indoctrinated to not believe in right and wrong or truth and justice, even when it is presented in living color. The useful idiots that need safe spaces have built a bubble of delusional security around themselves as they deny reality, no matter how ugly and dysfunctional it may seem. They only want to see and hear those things that do not threaten their comfortable inertia. Public discourse does not need the First Amendment to protect speech that everyone agrees with, because that speech will be tolerated and accepted. We must have the First Amendment for that speech which we disagree with, or regard as intolerable, outrageous, or offensive. For without protection of such speech, the vicious mob rule will censor and suppress speech. And we are here. Will this nation, once set apart and blessed by God himself, have ever increasing speech codes codified into law that will threaten this solid Constitutional right? Will America adopt the practice of compelled speech along with censored speech? Will certain conservative voices be forced to go underground to be heard? Will we dare to whisper our dissent? Will the echo chamber of the Left convince themselves of their own hubris? When truth becomes conspiracy, gas chambers are showers.
The “right” to kill infants in the womb by tearing them apart limb by limb, and the right to sell their body parts in the marketplace for such things will become a universal right. This is the altar on which all else rests. The sworn allegiance to the god of death under the pretext of compassion rules the day. What other rights will be trampled upon as the power hungry subvert the one country on earth that stood as a beacon to so many oppressed in the world? I shudder to think about it. Will we surrender to those in power whose intent is to weaken those in opposition whether through codified law or coercion? The Leftist shrieks, “Morality is what I think it is and you’re wrong.” It doesn’t matter what you think, I am the one in control.” Will they now drop the pretense of the calls for unity and harmony? Will they demand of us a compliance to evil or will we stand steadfast in our resolve to fight it? Time will tell. How many will hold the line against evil in the light of increasing pressure to conform, or die?
How sad and disturbing for these people who will not accept anything that threatens their delusions of safety and security. It is no wonder this nation was so easily taken over. Academia, and therefore history, literature, science, and the humanities have been seized by the weak and fragile of heart and mind. The prescient philosophers of our time, George Orwell of 1984 and Animal Farm, wrote these masterpieces in the shadow of the worst atrocities perpetrated on man by monstrous man. Evil is good, Good is evil, up is down, left is right, and 2+2=5. Newspeak rules our information, and some are more equal than others. Ayn Rand of Atlas Shrugged lived during the time of Stalin’s Russia. Her magnum opus work plays out in real life as America now forfeits the ideals of reason and rationality, justice and integrity, honesty and independence. Her character, John Galt, says that “Evil is impotent and has no power but that which we let it extort from us”, and, “I saw that evil was impotent … and the only weapon of its triumph was the willingness of the good to serve it.”. Is this a manifestation of what we are witnessing today? The work of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago holds many answers to the question of just how far men will go to achieve their goals. Solzhenitsyn personally suffered the atrocities of Stalin’s oppression and torture first-hand. The capacity for a human-beings to brutalize another is unbounded and incomprehensible. There is always more to study, such as Mao’s China now living large in the 21st Century. Pol Pot’s killing fields. Kim Jong-Il to Kim Jong-Un’s North Korean hell of starvation and oppression. The tribal warfare on the continent of Africa, and the corruption of South America to name a few. To paraphrase Solzhenitzyn, ‘Why do we continue to “paste together the dead bones and scales of ideologies” that killed so many people in the last century?’ What compels us to disturb the sleeping lions as they lay sleeping? What moves us to arouse the roar of their rage? Have we become so accustomed to tyranny in this year of lockdowns, isolation, mandatory masks and six-foot separations that we no longer recognize liberty? Are we to be forever ruled by “men with stunted and unfed intellects and women with stuffed and overfed moral passions, undirected, unrestrained by the demands of intellectual coherence and downright reality, so that there is nothing so mad, so squalid, and so vicious that the slack men of our time will not find an excuse for, and that the women will not espouse with sound and fury.” (~excerpt from The Option, by Anthony Esolen in Touchstone Magazine).
We are here, folks. Our once proud, God-fearing nation that stood firm and resolute between Evil and its horrors, especially in the 20th Century, has been corrupted into elevating Evil in the 21st Century. May our nation, and her people, not just be prologue to something of such magnitude that it makes the brutalities of the 20th Century pale in comparison. Let us hide in plain sight by living our lives as best we as we are able. Take care of our families, our neighbors, and our communities. Pray for our nation. Pray for our elected leaders. The ideal that was America demands our attention and prayers. Peace without justice is no peace at all. The calls for unity and peace are hollow at best, propaganda at worst. We must not surrender by participating in the killing of the ideal in our own Cain vs Abel moment.
Hold on to hope, my friends. Hope rings eternal. Fellow good and faithful Judeo-Christians, and others who believe in the goodness of mankind, heed the words of Jim Caveziel, “Evil is powerless if the Good is unafraid.” We must not be afraid. We must continue to turn to our God for healing, peace, and the resolve to do better.