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The Psychoanalytical Dodge

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Watch closely the video that Hewitt posted this morning.  Now, filter out the word “fascist” in your mind, and what word do you hear over and over and over again? – “Feel” and “Feelings.”

Apparently we live in an age where emotion shapes fact rather than reacts to it.  “Fascist” is a word with a definition and its application can be factually analyzed against that definition.  But in the world we currently live in if someone “feels” the word applies, it is applicable, facts notwithstanding.  Moreover, if you or I do not accept the feelings-based application of the word, then the problem is not the definition or the facts, it is our feelings, our anger, our fear…our whatever.

How does one argue with this?  Facts don’t matter and the stance of the person you are arguing with is pure deflection back at you.  A shield is erected through which no information can pass.  This is the source of the self-righteous bubble that everyone has noted the Left is residing in.  They reinforce this psychological bubble by turning college campuses into tightly controlled environments where “microaggressions” can trigger the harshest of student discipline and by living in the gated and cloistered communities of coastal California.  Like Sue Richards of the Fantastic Four, nothing can get at them.

I am told by many a psychologist and other observers of human behavior that this phenomena is really a phenomena of shame.  So ashamed, apparently, are these people that they stand up pride and arrogance to hide from their shame.  Yet this entire scenario conjures an image of Nero fiddling in one’s mind.  No amount of empathy with the shame undoes the fact (uh-oh, there’s that word again) that Rome burns around them.  The temptation in this situation is to help the fiddler deal with their shame when in reality the need is to man the fire line.

The last election was certainly an effort to push aside the fiddlers and get busy on the fire line.  And yet so unwilling are the fiddlers to face their shame that they stand in our way and continue to fiddle as if nothing is going on – this is what produced the video that Hugh posted this morning.  What kind of future will this situation give rise to?

Years ago a client of mine had a very small titanium fire.  Without getting into too much technical detail a titanium fire cannot be extinguished by conventional means – they are typically extinguished in the same way that the reactor core fire at Chernobyl was eventually extinguished, by burying the fire in a special boron-impregnated sand.  In this instance an employee wanted to be a hero and kept spraying the fire with a hose, something that does nothing more than create a lot of steam.  In his efforts he stood in the way of the crew with the equipment and training to actually put the fire out.  Eventually, after much discussion and cajoling, it became necessary to have him physically – and forcefully – moved out of the way lest the fire grow too big for the equipment on hand to handle.

This nation is not yet at such a crisis point, but with videos like that one it is easy to see such a point coming.  How are we to react?

Fortunately it is a large nation with many people all of whom play different roles.  There is enough manpower in our nation for the fire line to function while others help our shame-filled fiddlers deal with their personal issues.  And frankly, the only power that can deal with shame this powerful is the gospel.  As churches continue to divide, split and segregate according to political viewpoint I wonder if they are not making matters worse.  Too many churches I know either focus on the fire line to the exclusivity of  helping the shamed or they focus so exclusively on helping the shamed that they attempt to heap scorn on the firefighter.

Because the crisis point is not yet upon us, it is avoidable – but only if we get serous about avoiding it.  The church is the only place where this chasm can be bridged – it sure is not going to happen in the realm of the government.  Bridging this chasm will not happen by accident.  I wonder, is your church “vision-casting” and praying about it.  If it is not, I certainly think it should be.


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