What’s Hiding Behind Our Masks of Slavery?

Just the Facts Ma’am

It was Sergeant Friday who coined the phrase “Just the Facts Ma’am”.  It stuck in our minds as something that should be quite obvious to anyone.  If you just produce the facts, then the truth easily becomes “incontrovertible”, as Churchill would add.  To be sure Postmodernism (which has been with us for quite some time now), has questioned the possibility of truth outside of a given community’s interpretation thereof (identity groups).  Thus in the modern world, where we once upon a time could actually “know” things, we have now long lived inside a world whose ethos is that “truth is relative” and merely a shade of grey in the eye of the beholder; unless of course your particular community now says it isn’t.  So to be sure, Sergeant Friday would have a tough time around these parts and would have surely turned in his badge and gun to open up a cleaners or something.  Anything pray tell, but “pose” as someone who could ascertain something once called truth, or ever be on the right side of it.

Conspiracy Theories

COVID-19’s true death toll, cure rate and classification as a true pandemic that could be the undoing of us all fits quite nicely into this reality of relativism gone amuck (irony of ironies).  The “party of science” is sure we’re just one sandwich shy of a domestic terrorism picnic, calling any such questioning of their data as a conspiracy theorist dreams.  The “anti-science” party of Donald Trump (dumbasses to be sure) “tweets” before it ponders, and in the oppositions’ eyes, the mere questioning of their talking points are now labeled conveniently in the realm of “hate speech,” and thus are “de-platformed” and thrown into the dustbin of those who rightly now deserve “zero” runway in the marketplace of ideas.  Yet, it seems quite apparent to many inquiring minds that the conspiracy theories that used to be called into question have now become a higher modicum of truth “not” so easily found on anybody’s favorite evening news? 

Prophetic Alert

It was the late Francis Schaeffer, who in his book written in the 1970’s called “How Should We Then Live”, sounded an alarm, at least from a “so-called” Christian West perspective, that he said would be the one thing that would ultimately do us all in before we even knew what hit us.  He rightly reminded us that the values of “personal peace and affluence” and not “In God We Trust” were the real faith and doctrines that we held dear, and that once those values were threatened, coupled with a culture now bereft of anything called “right or wrong”, in his words; in order to keep both, we would gladly render ourselves as willing slaves to whomever promised the continual primrose path. 

In the height of the COVID-19 pandemonium, with a church virtually shut down (numerous puns intended), and vast industries of economic significance to the people who have not yet survived its new restrictions on their “inalienable rights”, it still seems as if Francis is speaking to us about a day still not yet in front of us.  However, it does appear as though it is one whose surety seems as real as death and taxes for us all.  For at least for now; like 9-11, the economic downturn of 2008 and the likes of the COVID-19 crisis, at least some of America’s more middle- and upper-class population have bypassed yet again the opportunity to see if what Francis said is indeed true and taken to its logical outworking in our country.  All the while vast markets and myriads of unseen people disappear from our masked view and find their places among the trash heap of economic Darwinism and under the bridges where they now settle in for the night.  Tsk, tsk.  Meanwhile, those leading us commend us to “masking” and “vaccing” this inconvenience to our personal peace and affluence out of our lives and have resigned to “tipping” the American populace by direct deposit, while simultaneously bankrupting us and our children into oblivion.  They are our pied pipers who have now called the tune, bidding us to simply sing in unison with the added refrain, “Thank you sir, can I have another”.

Masks of Slavery, Fear or Business as Usual?

To say that the majority of people we pass on the street or see in our favorite stores from week to week “masked-up” are in any way taking these things quite as serious as I am is to affirm the obvious.  They are not by and large.  My brief observation about the predicament as it relates to the vast American populace is simply that the mask itself is representative of a couple of things.  First of all, the mask now hides what the average Joe and Mary were hiding along: who they really are behind their face façade, behind their wall of privatization and their desire to simply get what they need and move on without human engagement.  Secondly, for the church at least, despite decades of mass irrelevance and with nothing to say worth listening to from a majority, those we pass in our favorite stores with bumper stickers that show “fish” and “God is my copilot” have equivalently shown that they are just as scared of dying as the rest of us.  They are also those who can continue to shuffle in and out of their virtual sanctuaries (occasionally), or after a year now, are found shuffling in (properly social distanced and masked of course) to the beat of the same predictable “church as services only” drum (3 songs, prayer, announcement, sermon, prayer and we’re done).  And the world spins madly on.

What are actual Christians supposed to do?

But the real question for all of us who are attempting to get back up on the narrow path day after day and to at least give a “college try” to this thing called the Christian life is: What is our response to be as image bearers in light of this challenge? One thing is for sure, as Christians in a country that at least used to ensure “inalienable rights” for the collective whole, if the bible is any record of how we might then live in response, the answer to this looming question is something we should consider with deeply.  This takes real work to be sure.  Yet some overarching themes for our consideration are at least striving to live authentically before God and others (possibly without masks); real thoughts around how the church has biblically and historically responded to crises such as these; and additionally, as characteristically prophetic people “pushing back” on the pervasive narrative that our culture is selling us ad nauseum.  In addition, speaking authentically and Christianly as a “free” citizenry to the power brokers of the world and the church who now seem to be cooperatively asking us to become chameleons, blending in with whatever the latest cultural talking point is, rather than as those who called to be “salt and light”.  Those who will speak prophetic truthfulness regularly as our posture in an increasingly nauseating and tasteless world that will predictively have an autopilot gag reflex to most everything we are saying.  At least then we’d again be known for obeying God rather than men when it actually counts, in the anomaly of a free Republic; with a voice of reason and salvific counterpropositions amidst a noisy and insubstantial public square.  A square that has surely now become mere tales told by a mass of village idiots, full of sound and fury, all the while signifying absolutely nothing!

Selah

Trumpism, Not Donald Trump: Conclusion

As is often the case when a thought is stretched out over time, as in the occasion with this blog of several parts now, it loses its oomph if you will.  I mean that in the sense that it’s now time to move on to bigger and better things that I typically write about, even though I felt it necessary to at least attempt to explain from the perspective of a Christian who walks on the narrow path with a distinct limp, as to why one could even vote for the current Nemesis and Chief.  However, to wrap things up, I want to refer those who have not read the first three parts to this drama to please do so, and then pick it back up here.  Equally insightful I pray, are the two blogs that kind of evolved into me eventually seeking to explain the quandary of thinking and believing Christians in regards to Trump entitled, The Light in Christendom is But a Flicker Now: Part 1 https://marknealprince.com/2017/02/24/the-light-in-christendom-is-but-a-flicker-now-part-i/ and The Light in Christendom is But a Flicker now: Part 2 https://marknealprince.com/2017/03/03/the-light-in-christendom-is-but-a-flicker-now-part-ii/.  I did so in my own unraveling in regard to this oxymoron of a President, as I reluctantly pulled the lever as one of the “secret Trump votes”; all the while praying that lightning would not strike nearby in the aftermath.  So far, so good.  Nonetheless, it’s off to the finished line!

     Who Will Fill the Vacuum of World Leadership?

 As I began in Part 2, and finished off in my last blog (Part 3), I attempted to give a microcosm of an explanation of how Christians could vote in large masses for Donald Trump by seeking to give a proper explanation of an “understanding of the two kingdoms” (The world and the church).  I’ll leave those blogs to speak for themselves.  However, in addition to this understanding, there is an overarching fear of friend and political foe alike as to who will rise to the vacuous rift in leadership on the world stage if the United States is found MIA?  What country’s globalist values will rule the day or call the shots; and one with the equal ability to back up, or better yet “stand up” to the bullies longing to have their shot at being the new “big dog” on the block?  For many, this is an overarching question that causes much chagrin and consternation that equally factors in our current and thus necessary allegiance to this President.

To be sure, we are not so gullible as to think that the U.S. does not have it’s on “blood on its hands” from its past, present and in the foreseeable future.  But as I have always reminded my sons: To whom are we being compared to in the final analysis?  And it is the answer to this question that our country’s own constituents, like never before, seem to be having a difficult time answering, as many of us secretly wonder whose history class they actually took notes and listened in.  We talk about being the world’s police and the desire to rid ourselves of this nickname, but since hating America is a new world sport (now from within its own ranks), most of us fail to realize that we are both damned if we do and damned if we don’t.  As Condoleezza Rice once said in her speech at the Republican National Convention in 2012, “Either no one will lead and there will be chaos, or someone will fill the vacuum who does not share our values”.  However, fast forward to 2019, and it becomes sort of obvious to insightful onlookers that the problem is that our once commonplace values from the greatest to the least of us have fallen on serious hard times!  That of course is why most who still think that discussion is a big frickin deal are scared as Hell as to where this brave new world will take us, and I think rightfully so.  For when the thought of God and the accompanying ethic permanently leaves the public square among the plausible considerations, then Dostoevsky’s words have come to pass, and indeed anything and everything is now permissible.

     Roll the Dice Again Please

And so our country rolled the dice on a classic narcissist, quite frankly like all the rest, yet with one stark difference: A narcissist who doesn’t hide behind politically correct language that disguises this obvious fact, and also one who actually sought to represent the people who voted him in office.  Go figure.  And rather than a globalist agenda, he is one who put forth the agenda of and for the working man of his own country.  For the people who can’t buy a job and for whose voice had long been forgotten, and whose values had been repeatedly trampled on as having no justification in the public domain of ideas.  A President who relentlessly and tirelessly put forth those ideas, making them once again a mainstay in American public life with equal footing to the ones that if not for the 2016 outcome, would have closed the coffin and nailed the lid shut to the future possibility.  All the while, these policies for the common man are continually being put forth, while relentless attacks are hurled at a man who will respond to each one with an equal left jab or uppercut, much like you and I would if someone was attacking us at every move we made.  And while all this was being done, we finally realized that people don’t like the President, much like they don’t care for deplorables like us.  After all, he’s not “Presidential”, and for once in our life, or maybe twice, we have someone in the office who cares more for his own country and its values which supersede what the entourage of globalist nations incessantly mutter on about.  A concept the left equally finds akin to the unpardonable national sin.

And That’s a Wrap

 And so, for once we have a nation that desires to get its own house in order before it seeks to help the rest with checks that the (unemployed) working man has been forced to write for far too long.  A country that is seeking to make peace with its enemies as a new strategy or experiment for prosperity for all, as opposed to one forever in a battle to tell everyone else to do with their own country with the threat of war looming not too far in the distance.  And so as one looks out at this now going on three-year experiment we’ve entered into, we realize still that it was and perhaps still is a risk; but a calculated one, nonetheless.  A businessman rather than a politician for a change.  Crazy right?  But its kind of got a nice ring to it don’t you think?  Worth a college try we still think.  And of course, the reason is, that when something is broke, sometimes it takes a billionaire narcissist who can’t and will not be bought, to finally “stick it to the man” for us and finally fix it.  Donald Trump, or Trumpism, is just that experiment; and for most of us in the “Dreg” camp: so far, so good!  But for those who can’t wait for the well done with ketchup steak-eating Commander and Chief to once and for all leave Pennsylvania avenue on the horse he rode in on, I only hope everyone is ready for what comes next.  As I once heard someone say, “Be careful what you wish for, because sometimes you just might just get it”.

Selah

Trumpism, Not Donald Trump: Part I

I’m not a Politician

 I’ve been cautioned in my own spirit as a given rule not to write about anything political in nature. My reasons are manifold.  One has to do with the fact that I am not a political pundit, nor do I have a degree in political science, and neither do I sit around reading news articles all day for fun.  This of course led to my decisive resolve to simply heed the “stay in your lane bro” advice and talk about what I might know a thing or two about. You know, things such as talking about my cracked up American life in search of the Jesus missing in America and all that.  And this indeed could be sage advice.

On another note, I did have at least one friend that encouraged me to write about hot-button issues that people were actually interested in.  His analysis was that nobody really cared about what kind of day I was having, or about Jesus and the narrow path and all that.  I tried to tell him that though I’d love to be known for my writing, I really just want to write about what actually moves me, with the hopes that maybe that in itself would be enough to gather a few readers.  With that being said, and with much trepidation, I took his advice a couple of times after writing “The Light in Christendom is But a Flicker Now” parts 1 and 2, when I wrote one blog in particular entitled: “Trump vs. Everyfrickingbody: Our New Mascot for Sticking It To The Man” https://marknealprince.com/2017/06/09/trump-vs-everyfrickingbody-our-new-mascot-for-sticking-it-to-the-man/,and one more a little later entitled “As It Turns Out, Freedom is Not Actually Free: On Flags, Freedom and Racism in America https://marknealprince.com/2018/05/28/as-it-turns-out-freedom-is-not-actually-free-on-flags-freedom-and-racism-in-america/.  And the truth is, it felt really good to write those pieces at the time.

Fast forward till now, and I of course survived unscathed and even got some positive responses, even though I’m sure my liberal friends either unfriended me or put me on a long snooze vacation.  Although sadly, as my friend and I continued to have discussions, mostly about our Christian faith and encouraging one another in it, our clear political differences became a topic he most wanted to talk about.  And as usual, I tried to do so by allowing myself to both be challenged by his thought process, and to likewise challenge him with my rebuttal. He came to the conclusion that Fox news had blinded me to the light, concluding that was responsible for my total thoughts on these matters, and that every black person on the planet that had views even similar to mine (honkey that I am) were mere “Uncle Tom’s” or “house niggas”.  For him, that was an open and shut case, no matter how I tried to invoke logic and reason into the discussion.  He wasn’t having it.  And the more and more I tried to bring us back to being brothers in Christ, he decided he could no longer have a relationship with me.  I was hurt about this, because I don’t have too many “brothers” as it is, which is all the more reason why politics and religion don’t make good bed fellows.  Yet here I go again appealing to both.

Not all Deplorables Are Cut From the Same Cloth

My theory is that it doesn’t take a Rhode’s Scholar after 2 ½ years now into the Trump experiment, to realize that the designation of “deplorables” to half of the voters in this country has not served the democratic party well.  In fact, as of recently (enter “The Squad”), my contention is that this type of tirade is the gift that keeps on giving quite frankly.  First of all, this is because lumping all people into the same basket of a particular voting block is to have taken one’s thinking cap “off”, which should be a slap in the face to people as learned and intellectual as the other side claims to be.  But the truth is, that “deplorables” voted for Donald Trump for a variety of both gullible, selfish and even very noble reasons.  Imagine that!  Secondly, as any good American knows, when you start the name calling, the “Hatfield and McCoy” gloves come off.  And as a result, a fight will ensue until the cows come home, and for many generations hence. So then, what should have been instructive for the democratic party, has instead caused them to dig their roots down deeper into this overarching narrative and ramp it a notch further; by bestowing an equally appealing naming convention to the uninformed masses called “the Dregs of Society”.  So to wax Forrest Gumpian here, “I may not be a politically astute man, but I do know what needing a new game plan is”!

How Can Christians Vote for Trump?

 Of course, among other things, one of the questions on everyone’s mind has been, “How can those who claim to be Christians vote for Trump”?  And though there are a myriad of reasons why voters who have no faith to speak of have also cast their ballot for the Tweeter and Chief, I’ve been somewhat desperate to expound further on why many Christians have actually done so.  And though it will take several blogs to attempt to unpack my thoughts on Trumpism, my explanation for the Christian part in it are fourfold.

First of all, it was due to a reaction to the current vitriol against what made the West great in their eyes. And as a result, like other people who also love their country, the Christian vote was for “Trumpism” and not necessarily for Donald Trump.  Now to be sure there are many who actually now like the guy in spite of himself (myself included), and who will again vote for what he represents.  And so for them, Donald Trump is a “middle finger” to the liberal mayhem and the now popular hatred of America among our own ranks! And yes, even Christians, for what they would call “Just war” reasons, signed off on the not so affectionate hand gesture! And like other voters in this block, they cast their silent Trump vote in a reaction to this vilification of what they believe has made the West great, and in the judgements of many (both foreign and domestic) who have studied its history.  The West of course also includes the American Republic experiment and “idea”, whose founding documents have equally been both admirably studied, wrongfully canonized, and painstakingly scrutinized by those near and far as well.  In short, their concern is that the ideals of reasoned discourse in the market square; freedom of religion; the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of any kind of happiness they can find; free market capitalism that either makes or breaks us; taxation with representation from a government that stays out of our business and our pocketbooks; and one who also protect its country from those who mean it harm have fallen on very hard times.

Now it is not in the scope of this blog to deliberate on all the explanations of all these things while equally positing their opposition, nor is it in my time allotment or particular pedigree to do so from a purely academic sense.  Nonetheless, it is these particular things that grateful Americans are in a fuss about.  And this includes those born on our soil, and those red, yellow, black and white grafted in by becoming its co-equal citizenry.  Those who are still just deplorable enough to believe that these principles and what once made America great is actually a big frickin deal, and those of which are currently under blatant attack by spoiled-rotten, postmodern anarchists!   And though admittedly America is not without her faults and colorful past, I would like to propose that those of us on this side of the isle would like to know what nation we are being compared to as the standard in course correction.  So yeah, we get that people have the right as America’s sons to whine and complain about everything under the sun that was provided for them with blood, sweat and tears. But just like an ungrateful teenager gloating in parental provisions, we think perhaps the time has come for someone to send them to their damn room without any supper.  Which could also be another phrase for “go back to where you came from” from someone caught up in the continual insolence in the current national room.

 

Selah

 

Stay tuned for Part II