Here Come The Soft Totalitarians
Listen to what Obama’s former CIA director has to say in this cheerful clip from Inauguration Day:
.@JohnBrennan: Biden intel community “are moving in laser-like fashion to try to uncover as much as they can about” the pro-Trump “insurgency” that harbors “religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, even libertarians” pic.twitter.com/SjVXWhPhR8
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 20, 2021
Even libertarians. Mercy. I don’t have to think too hard to figure out that John Brennan’s idea of “religious extremists” is broad enough to include just about anybody to the right of Father James Martin, SJ (never heard of him? Ye shall know them by their recent tweets:)
The LGBT community has few images like this. So it is not surprising that they would add their own symbol, the rainbow, in a respectful way, to a beloved image of their mother.
How appropriate that she is weeping, for it her son who suffers whenever an LGBT person is persecuted pic.twitter.com/BlpYTMMBp8
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) January 19, 2021
It will not surprise you to hear that sales of Live Not By Lies are once again rising. People know something bad is coming. I would be honored that Father Dwight Longenecker, the prolific orthodox Catholic priest and writer, gave a strong endorsement to my book at anytime — but these days, when traditional Christians need to understand what’s about to hit us and prepare, I’m especially grateful for his rave. Excerpts from his review:
Rod Dreher’s new book Live Not By Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents functions like a prophecy in our time. The book’s basic emphasis is, like the message of all prophets–“Wake up people. See what is happening all around you. Destruction is at hand.”
I have written about the “people of the lie” and the inner dynamic of deceit in Immortal Combat and the things I observed there echo through Rod’s prophetic account. The fact that this year has brought about a disastrous presidential election is something Dreher could not have predicted precisely, but the results of the election have swept in Rod’s warnings big time as a fulfillment of his prophecies. No matter what you believe about the legality of Joe Biden’s election, the fact remains that half the country believe Donald Trump and his Trump army were planning a coup. The other half of the country believe Joe Biden accomplished a coup through a rigged election.
Again, no matter what the facts are–the result is that the Joe Biden presidency appears to be propped up by military might. Calling up 25,000 troops to Washington this week was not just for “security”. It was clearly a show of strength by the winning side. It was a display of military might to remind the other half of America who won and who is in charge. Rod Dreher’s prophecy of a soft totalitarianism was perhaps too tame. Soft totalitarianism is a subtle, creeping control of the powers that be. The military display in Washington wasn’t creeping. It was creepy. Suddenly the soft totalitarianism seems to be hardening.
Finally he gives the strong encouragement that family and faith are the bedrock of resistance. There is no room for organized violence or zealous plots to overthrow governments. Instead to be a dissident is simply to follow one’s faith and live a life according to the truths revealed in religion. To live a quiet life, teaching the faith and living the faith even in troubled times–especially in troubled times!
Read the whole thing. The second half of the review is strong praise for a new book by Ralph Martin about the crisis in the Catholic Church.
If you think that simply following your faith and living according to the truths of your religion is quietism, buddy, I have some people you need to meet. The Benda family, which pretty much owns the chapter of my book about the family as bedrock of resistance, explicitly rejected the bargain that many Czechoslovak Catholics of the communist era made: living quietly so they would be left alone by the state. The Bendas believed that doing so would be a betrayal of their God-given duties as Christians. But they also knew that it was pointless to try to mount any kind of violent rebellion against the totalitarian police state. So they rebelled in nonviolent ways, ways that were constructive. Dr. Vaclav Benda ended up in prison for four years for his antigovernment protests in favor of human rights. Their entire flat was bugged (Dr. Benda’s widow, Kamila, showed me the scars on the wall where she and her late husband pulled the wires out after the fall of Communism.) The family and all their friends really suffered for their convictions.
But they won. Even if communism were somehow still in power there, they still would have triumphed over the dictatorship of lies, because they refused to yield to it.
These men and women have something to teach us Americans, now more than ever.