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Running Off The Cliff

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Scott Johnson thinks the hysteria has reached “11” and wonders what comes nextI have said that I think things are a bit more fundamental than that.  The host has said over the last couple of days that it is more a media phenomena (“performance art”) than real politik or anything affecting “Joe Bag-o-Donuts” – extending, maybe, to the Democrat base.  The problem with the “performance art” idea is that people watch and are affected by the performance.  I think the host is right in Trump country, most people have better ways to spend their time, but here on the Left Coast the hysteria is palpable.  For example I know of Bible studies, typically apolitical places, where lefties are asking for prayer for “what is happening in Washington.”  If you have lefty Facebook “friends,” regardless of where they reside, then you have probably run into it yourself.  Something very real is happening at least on an emotional level.  And while it is not majoritarian, it is significant.  As I watch it I alternate between amusement, bemusement, and very deep concern for friends that really think they are facing some sort of existential crisis.

In my opinion, liberalism has just about run its course.  Liberals have, like Wile E. Coyote, run off the cliff at full speed and are a little late at realizing they are running on air.  When I thought of that analogy I went looking for a clip of that classic cartoon gag to illustrate.  I was looking for the take where Wile E. runs off the cliff and after a moment stops, look down, realizes his peril, then holds up a sign that says “Help!” just before he falls off camera and seconds later you hear the THUD! as he smacks the ground.  But while searching I found this take (Please go watch, its pretty funny.)  In this take, Wile E. is so animated in his pursuit of the Roadrunner, that even after he smacks a cliff face opposite and falls forever to the ground he tries to climb the cliff and pulls rocks down on his head.  Unperturbed, he keeps trying until eventually he is buried under a huge portion of the cliff.  He simply refuses to acknowledge or admit defeat – at his own peril.  Somehow it seems even more apropos as an illustration.

The host is fond of reminding the audience of the first rule of holes.  But what if the only thing you know how to do is dig?  In that situation you really only have two options – keep digging or hysterical panic, and typically a little of both.  That’s what I think we are seeing right now – hysterical digging.  They do not know what else to do.

I got thinking about this while thinking about how empty the terms “equality” and “diversity” have become.  They are not really words with any discernible meaning anymore – they have become some undefinable and unattainable goal.  How do you measure them?  How do we know when we have attained them?  We don’t and hence they have no meaning.  We continually pursue them, but never know when we have them.  If we are not careful, we might end up like this cat.  Liberalism has run off the cliff and is standing on air because they simply do not know what else to do – they are in pursuit of the ill-defined, unable to recognize if they have ever obtained their goal and so they have no choice but to continue to pursue.

Douglas Murray makes this point very well in his book “The Strange Death of Europe.”  He sees a Europe standing on a civilization that due to its rejection of Christianity is without foundation – they are standing on air.  Murray is no Christian apologist; he is a realist and notes that even if one is not a believing Christian, one has to note that so many of the concepts that are precious in the West – freedom and equality among them – are rooted in Christian thought.  Absent this foundation, and hence no solid place to stand, Europe cannot defend itself and thus is dying under the wave of immigration it is currently suffering.  Meeting Einstein’s definition of insanity, they keep letting immigrants in despite the enormous problems that have been created.

America has not completely rejected Christianity – yet.  Liberalism has, of course, but Americans generally not so much.  We are still on solid ground, but we are standing close to the edge of the cliff, and the cliff edge is fragile.  Our liberal friends thought we were ready to follow them off the cliff, but we have proved unwilling and now they find themselves alone standing on air.  But I fear we have come closer than we are willing to admit.

Jesus recognized His foundational position.  But when the Apostle Paul wrote of it, note the context:

…until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;  but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ…

The context of our firm foundation is unity.  Unity is in short supply in American Christianity.  We see schism on a daily basis in the church.  Just when it looks like it was every congregation for itself we come up with “spiritual, but not religious” where it is every person for him or herself.  That’s about as far from unified as we can get.  We may enjoy a better foundation than Europe, but our foundation is far from secure.

There is great sport in recent weeks pointing out the utter silliness of the liberal hysteria, but that hysteria should also be cautionary.


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