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Home/Rod Dreher/The ‘Live Not By Lies’ Quickening

The ‘Live Not By Lies’ Quickening

SALEM, OR - NOVEMBER 07: A protester in a Guy Fawkes mask stands in front of the Oregon State Capitol building during a Stop the Steal rally on November 7, 2020 in Salem, Oregon (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

A reader writes:

Watching the Biden “acceptance speech” is what put me over the edge.  All of Biden’s talk of “tolerance” and acceptance of conservatives, it’s just…not my experience.

Well. This past week, at my place of employment (a local university, dominated by liberals), my coworkers were fretting over the election, and I casually mentioned my concern of voter fraud among Democrats. I didn’t call anyone names, didn’t say ANYthing disrespectful, but when the conversation shifted to “Republican voter suppression” and then (of course, as it always does) to “black lives matter” and “systemic racism” I did register a very vanilla critique of BLM’s motives.

Two of my coworkers, (both women, both hard left feminists, one black, one loudly identifies as  “queer”) started shouting at me. Really shouting.  Telling me I was making them “unsafe.” One of them even told me my CROSS that I wear around my neck made her feel “unsafe.” I have had interactions with these two before that have not been pleasant, but this was taking it up a notch.

I was pretty upset by this interaction, but in the interest of being charitable I  chalked it up to election week stress, and went back to work, hoping to forget about it. Instead, I was greeted with a call from our HR office, and told that one of them had filed a complaint against me.

My punishment? Diversity training. Just me, no one else. I’ve been told I must be more “tolerant.” It starts next week. I could cry.

So you’ll forgive me if the presidents’ words ring hollow.

Yes, it’s starting all over — the things that I write about inLive Not By Lies. We are now seeing a quickening. It’s only going to get worse from here. A lot worse. Look:

Don’t you know that this is a sophisticated form of war? That this is how it’s going to be from now on for dissenters on the Right? You know who has seen this coming for a while: American citizens who grew up in the Soviet bloc. We need to listen to them and do what they tell us to do. This is a Kolakovic Moment for America.

To be clear, I am not one of those people who believe that this election is being stolen from Trump. I tend to disbelieve that, but I’m not 100 percent sure. What worries me is the attempt to silence dissent from the official story. Yet let’s be aware that we on the Right do ourselves no favor when we choose to believe things not because of evidence, but because it suits our ideological preferences.

A reader sent me this news that in the UK, Barclays bank decided to close the bank account of a Christian ministry because Barclays disagrees with its stance on homosexuality. Absent legislation to prevent this, we can expect the same thing to happen in the US, using the rationale of preventing “hate” — of LGBTs, of racial minorities, and the usual protected classes — and “misinformation.” If you disagree, it’s off to diversity training for you. Or you will lose access to the economy.

Please, read Live Not By Lies, and read it with your church friends and other small groups. Here is a link to the free study guide. 

My friends at the influential Issues, Etc. radio show forwarded me this letter from a listener:

Your book is having a huge impact!  I have friends reading your book who never ever read, and they’re buying copies for their friends and family.  One of my buddies said his sister is starting a small group Bible study and using your book.
The scales are falling from my Lutheran pastor’s eyes.
Good. We need to see clearly now, and act accordingly.
UPDATE: Gonna be seeing a lot more of this:

UPDATE: A reader writes:

In response to your recent post, I had a bizarre interaction with someone I count as one of my very best friends. By all accounts, he’s a evangelical centrist working at a Protestant church in a reddish city in a purple state. He has supported Republicans, Democrats, and third party candidates over the years.

He has always been anti-Trump and was firmly in the Biden camp from early on — primarily because Biden has historically been center-left. The day after the election, we were conversing and my friend states that he cannot imagine how anyone could have voted for Trump. Thinking I was making benign point about how circumstances affect voting decisions, I tell him the story of a Trump-supporting friend who lived near rioting in a deeply blue city in a blue state. Make no mistake, this Trump-supporter’s sole reason for supporting Trump was because he was the first person in his governmental chain-of-command who seemed to care about law and order. He feared what was happening mere blocks away and his mayor, police chief, and governor neither acted nor cared.

In pointing out a throwaway, single-issue vote for Trump, my good friend absolutely lost his mind to the point of advocating for the ostracization of ALL Trump-voting friends. From the comfort of his gated community, he could not empathize with the fear one might experience by being in proximity to a frenzied mob. This is an upper-middle man who has always prided himself on having an array of friends from all walks of life who in the last few months has decided that he must push out of his life friends and family who find themselves amongst the 70 million Americans who cast a vote on behalf of the sitting president.

Joe Biden is known as a guy who is friendly with a lot of Republicans — I fear that my aforementioned example speaks louder than the sentimental bipartisanship of yesteryear. I have little doubt that Joe will be overrun by the new fundamentalism that dominates his base, from the leftiest of lefties to the centrists.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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