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Surviving The Cultural Tsunami

Aaron Renn has a new issue of The Masculinist, his e-mail newsletter, out. Read past issues, and/or subscribe, here.  [1] Renn has launched a Patreon to support his work on The Masculinist [2] — please consider donating. If you’ve become a fan of the newsletter, you know that it’ll be money well spent.

The thing that jumped out to me from the new issue is this coda at the end, taken from an e-mail a friend sent to Renn:

I saw [big name pastor redacted] on some panel recently. What struck me is how irrelevant just about everything he said was. He shares that with [big name Christian organization redacted] in general. However, I can also see why he was regarded as being so important say, 10 years ago. I’m re-reading The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann’s work about pre-1914 Europe, and one of the points he makes is that life can go on for years, decades even, with little change, and then one day something happens, so that last week seems like 50 years in the past. At some point in the last few years, that happened here. Suddenly everything was different and the old ways no longer suffice. Trump is an obvious clue, but it is far deeper than that. The old ways don’t work and American Christianity hasn’t adjusted, partly because the irrevocable change is so recent and the future seemed predictable. You talk about this but it really stared me in the face listening to [redacted]. He doesn’t know his ideas no longer matter–he’s an old man so that’s fine. But the younger generation following is going to be a problem.

This reminded me of something a professor, himself a conservative Christian, I spoke with at Notre Dame said to me about The Benedict Option [3]. He asked how it had sold, and I said pretty well, but probably not as well as he thinks, given the hype. He said that he believes the book has only gotten started. How come? I asked.

“Most conservative Christians don’t understand what’s going on in the culture,” he said. “It’s going to take Trump losing, and the Democrats taking over in Washington, for them to feel the full force of the post-Christian culture on their necks. Right now, they don’t grasp how precarious things are for us — but they will.”

It’s odd to have one’s professional success tied to the decline of one’s culture. I would rather sell no more books and be wrong about the future! But I don’t think I am wrong about the future.

I first discovered The Masculinist when a friend forwarded Renn’s September 2017 issue, which discusses briefly the Benedict Option. Renn has asked bloggers not to link directly to individual issues in his archive, so I’ll just put the link to his archive here [1], and advise you to go to the one titled “The Lost World of American Evangelicalism” (Renn is an Evangelical). I wrote about that issue last year in this space.  [4]

In that issue, Renn lays out his theory of why Evangelicalism is not ready for the world as it is — or, to be precise, as it has quickly become. (Note well: He focuses on Evangelicalism, but everything he says is true of almost all forms of American Christianity.) The old Religious Right types, he says, are still living in the fantasy world that tells them America is essentially a Christian nation, and feels positively disposed to Christianity. Much of the present Evangelical leadership understands that world has passed, and believe instead that Christians live in a culture that is “neutral” about Christianity. This is where the “winsomeness is next to godliness” approach to the world comes from.

I wish we lived in that world! It is the world that is ideally suited to my temperament, and the temperament of all the Christian conservative intellectuals I count as friends. We’re traditional Christians of one sort or the other, but we’re not mad about it.

Unfortunately, and increasingly, the world as we find it is not neutral about Christians who hold our convictions. Isabella Chow is living in the real world today.  [5] It is imperative, conservative Christian, that you read her story and realize that at some point, that’s going to be you, and if not you, then will certainly be your children or grandchildren. Unless you apostatize, and stop offending the world. This is going to happen too. And unless you and yours are well grounded in the faith and its disciplines, you’re going to think that you must be insane.

In his Masculinist essay, Renn says that he has some significant problems with the Benedict Option, but that it’s the only attempt he sees by Christians to grapple with the world in which we find ourselves. This is a world that, according to Renn, will require “masculine virtues,” which, he says, are in short supply in the church today. Renn:

The template is Paul, who was one tough hombre. Paul was a Jewish blueblood on the fast track to high council membership who threw it all way to endure beatings, imprisonment, etc. (One of the underappreciated virtues of Paul is just how physically and mentally tough that guy was). He said he counted it all as loss for the surpassing worth of knowing Christ. He also someone who could say, “I have not shunned to declare unto you the whole counsel of God.”

Here’s the thing, says Renn: Paul did not focus his struggle on the world, but within the church itself. Aside from seeking converts, he doesn’t advise his followers to engage the culture, get politically active, or anything like that. Nor did he instruct his followers to run away from the world. Rather, he focused on building up the church in holiness, and exhorting believers in the new faith to overcome the world in themselves. 

It can be assumed that everything after that followed. Renn concludes:

[T]he church needs the manly virtues of enduring suffering, hardship, and having values that are higher than worldly social status and success – people who stand on solid rock, not who have a finger in the air to see which direction the wind is blowing so they can conform.

Encouraging the development of these virtues — which cannot be willed into existence overnight — is the central goal of The Benedict Option [3]

So, about the Magic Mountain of our time, by which I mean the thing that changes everything, such that the old way of understanding the world no longer works. Some years ago, I interviewed Oxford historian Bryan Ward-Perkins about his book The Fall Of Rome.  [6] Ward-Perkins draws on archaeological data to understand late antiquity, and the period after the collapse of Rome in the West. In his book (and in our interview), he emphasized how massive the collapse of technical knowledge and skill was in the West. For example, he said that it took something like six centuries for Europeans to learn how to build roofs as well as the Romans could. It wasn’t only architecture. People forgot how to do a lot of things — the kind of things you assume are unforgettable.

I found this hard to wrap my mind around. How could such basic knowledge be just … lost? Not having books and mass literacy certainly creates an environment conducive to mass forgetting. But you’d think that basic life skills like how to cultivate crops, rudimentary metallurgy, and so forth, would not be so easily forgotten. It happened. Could that happen to us? Hard to see how, given that we do have mass literacy, and books.

Think about it, though: we have forgotten as a culture and civilization what marriage is for, and are well on the way to forgetting what men are, and are for, and women too. This is not a matter of knowledge being denied to us. This is a matter of will.

In 2004, Dark Age Ahead, the final book by the urbanist Jane Jacobs, was published. It’s not a very good book, I’m afraid, but only because it reads like a rough draft. Jacobs was not a religious person — in fact, she was quite secular — but she warned nonetheless that our civilization was at risk of entering a new dark age, a period that is characterized by “mass amnesia.” Jacobs saw these signs of impending catastrophe:

Community and Family: People are increasingly choosing consumerism over family welfare, that is: consumption over fertility; debt over family budget discipline; fiscal advantage to oneself at the expense of community welfare.

Higher Education: Universities are more interested in credentials than providing high quality education.

Bad Science: Elevation of economics as the main “science” to consider in making major political decisions.

Bad Government: Governments are more interested in deep-pocket interest groups than the welfare of the population.

Bad Culture: A culture that prevents people from understanding the deterioration of fundamental physical resources on which the entire community depends.

(Taken from the Wikipedia entry [7] on the book.)

This list reflects her own concerns, but I share them. I would add to this list Bad Religion (I trust I don’t need to elaborate for this blog’s readership on the ills of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism) and the triumph of modernist ideology. According to the social anthropologist Paul Connerton, the modern condition is defined by “forced forgetting.” From the Enlightenment on, we have consciously chosen to cut ourselves off from the dead weight of the past (though the wiser among us would have called it “ballast”), for the sake of expanding individual freedom. Since the 1960s at least, the Sexual Revolution has required us to “forget” as a culture elemental truths about marriage and family, and now, even of the meaning of male and female. We are now indoctrinating children in gender ideology in elementary schools.  [8]

This will not end well. At all.

Let me repeat what Aaron Renn’s interlocutor said to him:

I saw [big name pastor redacted] on some panel recently. What struck me is how irrelevant just about everything he said was. He shares that with [big name Christian organization redacted] in general. However, I can also see why he was regarded as being so important say, 10 years ago. I’m re-reading The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann’s work about pre-1914 Europe, and one of the points he makes is that life can go on for years, decades even, with little change, and then one day something happens, so that last week seems like 50 years in the past. At some point in the last few years, that happened here. Suddenly everything was different and the old ways no longer suffice. Trump is an obvious clue, but it is far deeper than that. The old ways don’t work and American Christianity hasn’t adjusted, partly because the irrevocable change is so recent and the future seemed predictable. You talk about this but it really stared me in the face listening to [redacted]. He doesn’t know his ideas no longer matter–he’s an old man so that’s fine. But the younger generation following is going to be a problem.

Take this seriously. We are like people on a beach, watching a tsunami build on the horizon. You know how tsunamis work, right? There’s an earthquake far out at sea, and the shock wave travels through the water towards shore. Its intensity only manifests when it hits the shallows, and the wall of water builds into a devastating monster. The wall of water is coming at us. There’s no holding it back. There’s only building arks as fast as we can, and doing our best to ride it out.

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89 Comments To "Surviving The Cultural Tsunami"

#1 Comment By Dave On November 16, 2018 @ 12:32 am

The point of Christian belief is not power or comfort. It is heroic and sacrificial suffering in the face of evil inside and outside ourselves. It is repentance and forgiveness. This is the pattern Christ lived and died. This is the life the Holy Spirit calls us to.

Perhaps the coming persecution will serve a good purpose. We have been seduced away from the Gospel by a world that appeared friendly to Christians while still hating Christ. Now that the world is turning against us it will be obvious the world was always at war with Christ.

#2 Comment By charles cosimano On November 16, 2018 @ 2:46 am

“Question: how serious is contemporary conservative Christianity about upholding the prohibition on premarital sex? I have no idea, since I’m not in that world.”

They may be serious in what it says but as it has no power to do uphold anything it probably is about as meaningful as prohibitions against play cards, dancing and demon rum.

“There has never been a civilization that has denied the basics of human biology (gender) or murdered their own offspring that has survived.”

There is now. Always a first time.

#3 Comment By Eric Bergerud On November 16, 2018 @ 3:25 am

Any reason for optimism? If there’s a counter revolution in the Church after Francis, maybe so. Benedict wanted a smaller Church – we’ll get one, Francis might actually accelerate it. His accommodation with secularism will go the way of the Anglicans – complete irrelevance in the West. But I doubt the Francis flunkies will stay in the pews – if they do we can hope for schism. Here’s the kicker. Secularism is so malignant and is creating such a mound of social roadkill that people will look for something true and beautiful. It’s actually a great opportunity. And, if one is a Christian, it’s difficult to believe the Church will die. Let’s remember what one good American bishop did say (Cardinal George of Chicago) “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.” It’s a thought.

#4 Comment By JEinCA On November 16, 2018 @ 4:44 am

Rod My Orthodox Brother,

I picked up your book again (The Benedict Option) I’m about four chapters in. I never have any time to read at home but thankfully I have some downtime at work in between ferry boat departures.

I realize that I have been trying to live “The Benedict Option” for some time now. I can’t say I’ve been successful. I work full time and my wife and I are struggling to adequately homeschool our children.

I am active in my Orthodox (OCA) parish but have so far turned down invitations to become an altar server or join the choir. I am trying my best to live this life as an Orthodox Christian but it’s not me that I worry about it is my children and the world they are going to grow up in.

I am thankful to God that I grew up when I did and got to know my grandparents generation (the WWII generation) like I did.

I’m glad I was around friends whose parents made me go to Roman Catholic Mass if I was staying at their home for the weekend. Even my childhood friends who are now atheist or agnostic have some basic understanding of Christian morality. I can’t say that for someone who is 18 or 19 today (half my age).

I’m glad I grew up in a time without cell phones. My family didn’t even have a color television or cable until I was a teenager.

When I see the young people around me they are lost. Even those among them who profess to be Christians only have a very vague understanding of Christianity.

I don’t pretend to know what the future holds but I am trying my best to prepare for a future that’s grim and ominous.

I see one of two outcomes in the near future and that is either a totalitarian regime unlike the world has ever known or complete bloody anarchy unlike the world has ever known but both of those dark visions point in one direction and that is the coming reign of the Antichrist.

I hope I’m wrong but that’s what I see on the horizon. I just wish I could get my family to see what I see.

Sometimes I think about finding an Orthodox safe haven to raise my family in but I don’t know where that would be. I wish I could find one here in the States but am not adverse to looking abroad for such a community.

I think living as a neighbor to a true Orthodox monastery may be the key to riding out the storms to come.

#5 Comment By Rob G On November 16, 2018 @ 8:45 am

~~~Let’s use the term “traditional” which is highly valued in some circles.~~~

Your post demonstrates that you have no idea what the term means.

“If our food system broke down for any reason— civil war, pandemic, major weather event, invasion— there would be a huge portion of the population who couldn’t feed itself.”

Wendell Berry has long said that our food system’s dependence on the petrochemical industry should be viewed as a national security concern.

Anyone who’s interested in the question of why cultural memory matters should buy Anthony Esolen’s new book Nostalgia: Going Home in a Homeless World posthaste.

#6 Comment By Judith Sylvester On November 16, 2018 @ 9:18 am

Logan52: “Traditional support for tobacco growers, always firm and absolute, had begun to waiver.”

What specifically do you mean by ‘traditional support’? Are you talking about the federal subsidies for tobacco that conservatives supported as late as 2014?

#7 Comment By Sara On November 16, 2018 @ 9:37 am

@Alice

“But now imagine making clothing as a basic skill. Who in America can spin wool from a sheep?”

Never fear! This knitters have your back on this one. Sheep-to-shawl contests are standard at large fiber festivals. And the contestants are not the grandmas. They are the youngsters. Moreover, I’ve seen more than one knitter move on to sewing.

Some may be chagrined to think that it’s the much maligned hipsters who are preserving so many of the old ways: iron smiths, butchers, organic farmers, distillers, carpenters, etc. Today they apply their skills to produce high-end products for those who can afford and appreciate them. But when civilization collapses, they will be the ones to teach the rest of us the basics needed to carry on.

#8 Comment By John Doe On November 16, 2018 @ 10:14 am

Remember the world that Jesus was born into. People followed him of their own free will because they believed in Him and His words. Live as He lived. Teach as He taught. Literally. Think about it. He led by example – not by force. Can you? Everyone will die, eventually, and be judged at The Gates. We shouldn’t sweat life on earth too much.

#9 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 16, 2018 @ 10:56 am

What specifically do you mean by ‘traditional support’? Are you talking about the federal subsidies for tobacco that conservatives supported as late as 2014?

Hey, anyone remember the video of Al Gore on the campaign trail telling an audience of southern agriculturalists, “I have grown tobacco.” (What he meant of course is he hired people to grow tobacco on land he owned).

In 50 years, homosexual marriage will be looked at as nonchalantly as women working outside the house is nowadays.

Plausible. Equally plausible: In 50 years people will realize that there is real harm caused by homosexual acts, that the harms are different in kind and degree for females than for males, and while homosexuality won’t exactly be back in the closet, it will be viewed as a genetic defect to cope with in various ways, rather than as something to celebrate or take pride in. Change is not linear, as any reading of human history will tell you.

The Dems love, love, love Islam, for example. The Dems also love liberal churches that meet the pro-sexual revolution litmus test.

JonF was referring to several denominations I have some personal familiarity with: AME, AMEZ, CME, COGIC, Missionary Baptist… These are not theologically liberal churches. They strenuously object to the facile analogy of same sex marriage as “the civil rights movement of our time,” or insinuating that if you’re not all for Gay Pride, you are the moral equivalent of Bull Connor. Their flocks, and even their pastors, vote Democrat for lack of alternatives, but they do not appreciate their children at summer camp being called “phobes’ because they believe in a traditional concept of marriage.

This is not going to blow up quickly, but it is a ticking time bomb of sorts.

And I am sure that when the Chinese quit buying T Bills, and things come crashing down, The Democrats will be at fault.

That’s been basic Republican strategy at least since 1980. Republican administrations run up huge deficits. As Democratic administrations grapple with how to bring deficits down and perhaps even pay down the size of the national debt, Republicans run rabid campaigns highlighting the hazards of the growing national debt. When a new Republican administration comes in, they run up huge deficits.

Third parties have no hope in the US. That is history.

I refer you to the history of the Republican Party…

If you can’t win a primary (whether Dem or Rep), you’re not going to be able to win a general.

Assumes facts not in evidence. Turnout for primaries is much lower. One of the problems with primaries as they have “just grown” (they are not constitutional in origin) is that the most rabid party true believers have an inside track, and then 40 percent or more of general elections voters ask, how did we get such an awful selection to choose from?

I’d also point out that third parties more in line with Christian conservative values have been attempted multiple times, and not one of them made a dent in the two party system.

Of course not. Its an awfully slender base for assembling an electoral majority.

The “tradition” in the South was slavery and yes, the basis for slavery was taken from the Bible.

That flies in the face of historical facts. Sale of slaves in British North America began because there was a shortage of labor, and the prisons of England couldn’t be emptied out fast enough to provide sufficient indentured servants. Few really questioned it until the mid-1700s, and as with most slave economies anywhere in the world, it was not uncommon for motivated slaves to become free, own their own property, even own their own slaves. When notions of “liberty” became popular, a contradiction emerged, and as it is impossible to get a man to acknowledge a fact when it is in his interest to deny it, the Bible, among other sources, was cherry-picked to provide rationales for self-evident hypocrisy. We know how that ended.

#10 Comment By MKW On November 16, 2018 @ 11:05 am

It wasn’t only architecture. People forgot how to do a lot of things — the kind of things you assume are unforgettable.

The making of concrete was lost for almost a thousand years, and it’s only recently – like the last couple years – that we rediscovered how the Romans made such durable underwater concrete. (The answer is, addition of volcanic ash to the mix.)

#11 Comment By kgasmart On November 16, 2018 @ 11:20 am

JeffK:

Reform the tax system so that the wealthy pay the same percentage on their earnings that Josephine Sixpack pays. Quit giving tax break handouts to the elite class, as if they are the only ones that matter.

Reform the patent system so that Big Pharma still profits from innovation, yet cannot prevent generics from being produced widely.

Work on real solutions to climate change, which could really be an existential threat to life as we know it on earth.

I could go on and on. This is doable. It requires political will.

There isn’t enough political will in the world to accomplish this.

Think Big Pharma will give up the status quo? They might fight, employing huge wads of campaign cash. So which political champion(s) will be able to stand against that maelstrom?

The whole “doing something about climate change” is a canard – which candidate will run on a platform of “Americans will have to give things up, and third world countries aspiring to American prosperity will have to understand they won’t be able to achieve it?” Because that’s what “doing something” to move the needle of climate change will actually require. Good luck generating the political will to push that through.

And on and on. Fewer tax breaks for the elite? You mean like Jeff Bezos? We just had a mad scramble for cities to give him more tax breaks; why didn’t those cities take the first step towards a saner society by refusing en masse to play the game?

Because we’re too far gone, is the answer.

#12 Comment By VikingLS On November 16, 2018 @ 11:56 am

“Third parties have no hope in the US. That is history.

I refer you to the history of the Republican Party…”

Had the Whig party not collapsed I doubt the Republicans would be anything other than a footnote in history.

The Republicans are the exception, not the rule.

#13 Comment By JonF On November 16, 2018 @ 12:04 pm

Another factor in Africanized slavery in the New World: west Africans have more resistance to malaria and yellow fever than Europeans or Native Americans do. Brazil, the Caribbean and the lowlands of the of the future US were lousy with those diseases.

#14 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On November 16, 2018 @ 12:11 pm

“There has never been a civilization that has denied the basics of human biology (gender) or murdered their own offspring that has survived.”

Depending on how you classify “survived” this is either wildly false or else true but trivial because you could say it of every society.

Human society always exists in a balance between stasis and change: whether you consider a society to have ‘survived’ or not depends on the point at which you think things have changed so much that it’s no longer the same society. (E.g.: was Christianized Byzantium the same society as the pagan Eastern Roman Empire? What about England before and after the arrival of the Saxons?) No society has survived for centuries or millennia without *some* level of change, whether it’s religious, social, genetic, intellectual or just technological.

That being said, there are definitely societies that have lasted for very long periods of time with a high tolerance for abortion or infanticide. Among them you could include Japan (which is probably the oldest continuously existing civilization and state in the world: their royal house dates back before recorded history, and they were one of maybe a dozen nations around the world to avoid European colonization), and you could also include the Hindu religion (which has a fairly blase approach to abortion and has survived probably longer than any other major world religion, in spite of the coming of Buddhism, Christianity and Islam), and you could also include any number of pre-industrial societies like the hunter-gatherers of the Kalahari (which have probably survived in their current location with their current language and mode of production for as long or longer than any other human society).

None of this means abortion is a good thing, it means that history isn’t a morality play where goodness is rewarded and social orders that optimize human flourishing win out in the long run. There’s very little to believe any of that.

#15 Comment By James On November 16, 2018 @ 1:00 pm

“JonF was referring to several denominations I have some personal familiarity with: AME, AMEZ, CME, COGIC, Missionary Baptist… These are not theologically liberal churches. They strenuously object to the facile analogy of same sex marriage as “the civil rights movement of our time,” or insinuating that if you’re not all for Gay Pride, you are the moral equivalent of Bull Connor. Their flocks, and even their pastors, vote Democrat for lack of alternatives, but they do not appreciate their children at summer camp being called “phobes’ because they believe in a traditional concept of marriage.

This is not going to blow up quickly, but it is a ticking time bomb of sorts.”

Except, not really – this might’ve been true ten years ago or whatever, when approval of gay marriage really did lack behind white liberals, but according to recent polling, 51% to 52% of African-Americans support gay marriage in 2017, which is up from 27% in 2007.

That number is likely only to go up, as older anti-LGBT African Americans are replaced by younger pro-LGBT African Americans by time.

[9]

[10]

#16 Comment By David J. White On November 16, 2018 @ 1:37 pm

Benedict wanted a smaller Church – we’ll get one, Francis might actually accelerate it.

Benedict *predicted* that the Church would become smaller. That’s not the same as “wanting” it.

#17 Comment By Mandrake On November 16, 2018 @ 1:49 pm

“The Dems love, love, love Islam, for example. The Dems also love liberal churches that meet the pro-sexual revolution litmus test.”

“JonF was referring to several denominations I have some personal familiarity with: AME, AMEZ, CME, COGIC, Missionary Baptist… These are not theologically liberal churches. They strenuously object to the facile analogy of same sex marriage as “the civil rights movement of our time,” or insinuating that if you’re not all for Gay Pride, you are the moral equivalent of Bull Connor.”

Yet they block vote Democrat anyway.

These ecclesial communities may not be “theologically liberal,” but issues bearing on first Christian principles like the sexual revolution, gender theory and traditional marriage are very low down the priority list for them if considered at all. Their members get special dispensation for views that others such as the LDS don’t get (why is that?). They are taken for granted by the Dems and they will be repaid by the state coming for them last and forcing them to comply anyway, despite their past votes. Lenin referred to this when talking about rope sales.

That, or as James said at 1:00 PM, they will convert themselves to the over-culture views on these issues, which seems more likely. This process went into high gear the minute Obama ceased the boob baiting and announced his actual views on the subject.

So the original point stands: Dems love Islam and liberal churches that meet the pro-sexual revolution litmus test.

#18 Comment By Lee On November 16, 2018 @ 2:16 pm

“There has never been a civilization that has denied the basics of human biology (gender) or murdered their own offspring that has survived.”

I believe virtually all pre-industrial societies allowed abortion and infanticide because they all lived with food-scarcity and on the edge of survival with very high rates of mortality in the very young (5 or younger generally). If a tribe or group was going through a crisis period, the elderly could also be consigned to death, or simply left behind when the tribe moved, because the limited resources had to be used to keep the healthy ones who were past the high mortality period and who had reproductive abilities alive.

As to gender, they obviously did not have the medical options available today, but there were plenty of pre-industrial societies who recognized LGBTQ people and gave them a special place in the society such as shaman. With such small populations, it was rare for more than one to exist at a time in a given tribe so gay marriage wasn’t an issue but they were not scorned or shunned.

#19 Comment By grumpy realist On November 16, 2018 @ 2:31 pm

Hector–I’d add on to your comment and say cynically that almost ALL civilizations have ended up tolerating “a high level of abortion and infanticide”–it’s just that they would pretend it wasn’t occurring.

But anyone who looks at the mortality rates of baby-farming in Victorian England or the mortality rates of orphanages in 18th century France has to realize that the killing of unwanted children has had a long, long history. (Not saying that the mothers of the children didn’t want them to live–but certainly society didn’t give a hoot as to whether the kids lived or died.)

#20 Comment By SMK On November 16, 2018 @ 3:04 pm

Alice: I’m with Marie in Vermont. It’s happening already. We’ve overspecialized and become overly dependent on highly interdependent systems, where any small event can crash it all.

I don’t agree with this, but I do agree with your point on how much self-reliance we have lost. Very true. Good comment.

JeffK: Run up the balances doing everything you can possibly conceive of doing. Life can be WONDERFUL.

Funny. But my point is simple: these are the easy years. So one should already have healthy savings and lifestyle and so be well positioned for the coming liberal persecution. This is the Gilded Age before the wars. Enjoy them.

There is ZERO reason to run an $800B deficit when unemployment is 3.5%. But we are doing it. Full throttle, wide open.

Don’t care. Liberals destroyed this country; I cannot stop this. Detroit or CA for a future blueprint for the whole nation. Prepare accordingly. We have. So quit trying to blame or shame. Liberals destroyed the social trust, and you cannot guilt me into caring or trying to save anything. That was so 1990s!

This does not mean doom and gloom. One person’s crisis is another’s opportunity. The USA is still peaceful and prosperous for now as we live off the fruits of past labors. So keep saving money, build more skills, and most importantly enjoy the twilight to have something to tell the grand kids about. The evening is always a good time to take a drink or two and dance.

I am sure that…the Dems will be at fault.

Sarcasm aside, this is true. But it doesn’t matter who is to blame; the die is cast. The house is on fire and cannot be saved. Forget the blame game. Rather: Prepare! The USA is now a “low trust” multi-culture like the Middle East and thus imploding fast. Act accordingly. Take what you can from the house before it is lost forever. Just remember: the next home will have bars on the windows :-). Low trust culture, indeed.

#21 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 16, 2018 @ 3:10 pm

That number is likely only to go up, as older anti-LGBT African Americans are replaced by younger pro-LGBT African Americans by time.

Or not, as the LGBT popular fad begins to crash. There is nothing less reliable than projecting current trends indefinitely into the future. And there are a lot of young people in these churches, although, there are also a lot of young people out of them. Those on the outside include most of the real thugs, who incidentally have a more visceral anti-gay attitude than those in the churches.

Had the Whig party not collapsed I doubt the Republicans would be anything other than a footnote in history.

The Republicans are the exception, not the rule.

There has not been a statistically significant number of parties in the United States to arrive at a statistically significant rule. The collapse of the Whigs was occasioned, in part, by the rise of the Republicans.

The Dems and the GOP were sufficiently afraid of another rising alternative to revise election laws to in effect create the previously unknown “Two Party System.” Both the People’s Party and the Socialist Party were doing well enough to put a good scare into those already established.

#22 Comment By LFC On November 16, 2018 @ 3:11 pm

Hector_St_Clare, that was an excellent description of the history and reality of societies and their not so universal moral code. If I had to summarize it in one sentence I’d say “History has proven that societies don’t require a particular code of morality to survive and thrive.” Sure there’s overlap in the most basic behaviors needed to keep any society together but there are many more that don’t matter remotely as much as their believers think they do.

#23 Comment By Ken Zaretzke On November 16, 2018 @ 3:31 pm

“This world is mostly my world now. But that could change overnight. — RD]”

It will happen in two or three generations, when panic over the coming of the new human-unfriendly climate of the Anthropocene era begins in earnest, all over the world. It will be uglier than you know. Denialists and fossil fuel industry executives won’t be harassed, they’ll be murdered. The government will feel so besieged that prosecutors won’t bring charges, for the most part.

#24 Comment By James On November 16, 2018 @ 3:49 pm

“Or not, as the LGBT popular fad begins to crash. There is nothing less reliable than projecting current trends indefinitely into the future. And there are a lot of young people in these churches, although, there are also a lot of young people out of them. Those on the outside include most of the real thugs, who incidentally have a more visceral anti-gay attitude than those in the churches.”

This portrayal of the African-American community is hilarious to me, but OK. Again, the actual polling shows younger African Americans with strong majority support for LGBT rights – the “true thugs” are actually a small part of the African American population.

If anything, the non-religious part of the A-A community is going to be far more pro-LGBT than the religious part.

Your average teenage African American lives in a less than great suburb of Atlanta, and plays video games, makes Snapchat or Youtube videos for his friends, etc. the same as most white kids.

It’s not 1993 anymore – there are still severe racial problems in America, but outside of a few specific cities that have specific problems, things are slowly getting better for African Americans.

It can obviously be better, but there’s never been less “true thugs” in African American history, in all reality.

#25 Comment By Antonia On November 16, 2018 @ 7:07 pm

RE: “manly virtues of enduring suffering, hardship, and having values that are higher than worldly social status and success”

Perfect example of why I don’t subscribe to Renn.
The insistence on categorizing all virtues as masculine.

I guess women are being manly during childbirth? And stay-at-home moms are being manly in giving up worldly success?

Who knew?

#26 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 16, 2018 @ 8:24 pm

James lives in a suburban bubble. As Langston Hughes said in 1965, there are “fifty eleven different kinds of Negroes in the USA.” So to talk seriously about how “they all” think is absurd. Sure, lots of things have been getting better, for over fifty years, in some ways, one hundred years. (From 1877 to 1930-something things were definitely getting WORSE for Americans of African descent). But that doesn’t mean they all think “just like” your template for “most white kids” any more than most “white” kids all think alike.

As for the percentage of thugs, its always been a small minority, but sometimes enough of a presence to intimidate those closest to it. You should check out some rust belt cities, which are not AT ALL like a suburb of Atlanta. Heck, check out some of the SUBURBS of Chicago. As with many others, jobs go away, the quality of life degenerates. Plenty of “white” people are also having five children by six different women and dying of drug overdoses.

Anyway, the churches I’m talking about are real, and have real people inside them. There is a reason all the democratic politicians make a point of coming to speechify there. You can speculate until the cows come home exactly what the statistics are. And you haven’t answered my caution about projecting your favorite fad indefinitely into the future. Anyone remember the hula hoop?

It will happen in two or three generations, when panic over the coming of the new human-unfriendly climate of the Anthropocene era begins in earnest, all over the world. It will be uglier than you know. Denialists and fossil fuel industry executives won’t be harassed, they’ll be murdered.

Definitely a possibility. California is burning due to global warming, and the president is tweeting that its all due to poor management — overlooking that most of the land is federally owned. The people who count on him to do that won’t be around in two or three generations, but if they leave their portfolios to their grandchildren…

#27 Comment By JeffK On November 17, 2018 @ 8:52 am

@Ken Zaretzke says:
November 16, 2018 at 3:31 pm

“It will happen in two or three generations, when panic over the coming of the new human-unfriendly climate of the Anthropocene era begins in earnest, all over the world. It will be uglier than you know. Denialists and fossil fuel industry executives won’t be harassed, they’ll be murdered. The government will feel so besieged that prosecutors won’t bring charges, for the most part.”

I agree with this 100%. History will not judge the greed of the fossil fuel industry, and the politicians that cravenly support them, kindly.

The movie Man on Fire shows Mexican elites living in a segregated society where their wealth may protect them from the masses. They live in luxury, everybody else lives in poverty. The movie Elysium shows the same, with The Elites living in one world, and everybody else living in another. Both are fantasy.

The elites must understand that sharing the wealth is ultimately in their interest. There are over 300 million guns in circulation in the US. For the elites to think they will not come under attack during the next socioeconomic crisis may be a tragic mistake. Gated communities and private security guards would only protect a few.

My good friend has an extremely wealthy cousin that lives in Panama. The cousin said that his biggest fear is that he does not pay his private security enough to keep them loyal to not participate in a kidnapping scheme.

Is this the world we want to live in?

#28 Comment By JeffK On November 17, 2018 @ 9:14 am

@kgasmart says:
November 16, 2018 at 11:20 am

“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo

I firmly believe that.

#29 Comment By JeffK On November 17, 2018 @ 12:50 pm

Regarding fossil fuels and sustainable energy, Lazard, an investment bank, performed an analysis that indicates it’s now cheaper to build a solar or wind farm in parts of the US than it is to invest to keep an existing coal fired plant running.

Obama’s war on coal was a myth. Simple economics is driving coal companies into bankruptcy. Once a solar or wind farm is up and running the fuel is free. Plus maintenance costs are significantly less. Natural gas is also killing coal.

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#30 Comment By VikingLS On November 18, 2018 @ 1:04 pm

“There has not been a statistically significant number of parties in the United States to arrive at a statistically significant rule.”

Yes there has, and it’s because of reasons you just outlined.

Don’t argue just to argue Siarlys. Encouraging any group of people to form a third party is essentially, particularly at the national level, the same as telling them not to vote at all.

#31 Comment By YinandYang On November 18, 2018 @ 5:32 pm

I have read numerous articles and commentaries with regards to this important topic, and I myself have pondered and prayed over our coming cultural disaster waiting in the wings.

I have also read numerous writings regarding the Benedict Option as well, which I have a great deal of respect and admiration for.

My question is, with all due respect, does the Benedict Option go far enough?

Why should we Christians have to give up in defeat and submit to a liberal, secular, anti-Christian culture that everyone says we are doomed to accept?

Why not take the Benedict Option one step further, and work towards starting our own society?

We know what needs to be done and how to do it. That’s never been the problem.

The problem has been, and is increasingly going to be in the future, the anti-Christians who do their best to stop us from doing the right thing every chance they get and who, let’s be honest, wish to completely and totally destroy the Church by any and all means necessary.

They wish to destroy the authority of God, and replace God’s truth with their own (of course they never mention how they believe in moral subjectivism and yet still demand that their moral beliefs be accepted as absolute truth, nor how we as Christians have an absolute, objective authority via God, who IS truth and goodness itself, to break the proverbial tie between mere human opinions, where all they have is themselves, and of course their college degrees telling everyone how “intelligent” they are, but which still does not turn their personal, subjective moral beliefs into absolute, objective moral truth).

So honestly, why do we need them?

That’s not to say that we can’t pray for them and try to convert them, but let us do so from a strategic position of strength and independence, where we are not forced to bow down to a corrupt and evil society which hates God and hates us.

That’s what we as Christians really want, if we’re honest. We want our society to serve God once again. We want to live in such a society, and then work towards converting others and helping them obtain salvation as well.

So why are we all just sitting around and telling each other we’re doomed?

From my understanding, all things are possible with God.

Who are these liberal, secular, anti-Christians to tell us how we must live, how we must think, what we must learn in their church of public education, how our mandatory tithes of taxation to the government is supposed to be spent, what beliefs are acceptable for us to have, how our Churches are supposed to be run etc?

We believe abortion and homosexual marriage is wrong, we know what massive governmental socialism will lead to, we see the tsunami on the horizon (if not, we wouldn’t be having these discussions already).

Why go down with their ship?

We need a new society based on a common ideology, not merely geography.

We have no common first principles anymore in this nation. Nothing to unite us the way religion does.

If the left wishes this to be so, then so be it.

Let them have their own society as well.

Massive entitlements, massive taxes (driving away business), massive immigration (who always needs government assistance), abortion on demand (which has been responsible for the death of over 50 million babies in the US alone, wiping out an entire generational workforce), homosexuality being promoted, destruction of the family (the building block of civilization), a weakened military precense around the world, forced unionization of workers (of which said unions go against their members’ beliefs oftentimes by funneling money to the left which attacks Christianity, private Christian schools, supports abortion and homosexuality), a corrupt incompetent and ineffective public education system which cannot even compete against third world countries in educating the youth, the destruction of absolute, objective moral truth via religion, and on and on the list can go.

They would fall apart in short order I believe.

But let them try, if they wish.

However, we should also be able to live in a society which corresponds to how we believe as well (if they can do so, having no absolute, objective authority like God to back up the authority of their beliefs, then certainly we Christians can do so also).

And consider this question, who do we really have more in common with, those who think like us in other countries, or those in this country who wish to destroy us (and there are many other people around the world who are like us as well, they just might not have the majority in their own country either right now, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there, feeling the same way we do. Smart immigration policies would be set up, where those who become a part of our society don’t seek to merely take advantage of us, nor destroy what we have built).

We all need to band together, but we need to do so realistically, in a way that will save the Faith and the Church for generations to come, while being able to distance ourselves from those who wish to destroy us and God’s Church, and be in a position where we don’t have to pretend that these people are our friends.

They have no authority or right to become our public masters, via the Leviathon government which they intend to impose on this great country, which is anathema to everything the founders implimented when they broke away from Great Britain in the American Revolution.

Contrary to the propaganda they spout, they are not our philosopher kings, nor our God.

We need a new societal Benedict Option, a new society where we can live as free people, who worship and love God and love and help our neighbor, while recognizing that our rights are inalienable because they are bestowed upon us by our Creator, not by our government.

We would end up being stronger, smarter, richer, and holier than any other nation on the planet, and we could once again be an example to other nations… by being that shining city on the hill.

#32 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 18, 2018 @ 11:16 pm

Encouraging any group of people to form a third party is essentially, particularly at the national level, the same as telling them not to vote at all.

Your unsubstantiated axiom is dubious. Despair about the viability of a new party is the reason you vote Republican (you’ve told us how much you hate it) and I vote Democrat (a party I generally despise).

We need the kind of courage Eugene Debs called for when he said “I would rather vote for something I want, and not get it, than to vote for something I don’t want, and get it.”

#33 Comment By JonF On November 19, 2018 @ 6:20 am

Re: Massive entitlements, massive taxes

Best rethink that. American taxes are rather low relative to the rest of the developed world and our safety net is very sparse.

#34 Comment By YinandYang On November 19, 2018 @ 2:41 pm

In regards to the comments made up JonF, about rethinking massive entitlements and massive taxes:

First of all, I believe that you did not read the context to which those comments were made, with all due respect.

They were made in regards to the society the liberals and the left would implement if they had their own society (after we separated and we had our own society).

I was simply explaining what they would most likely enact in their own society, if given the power, and indirectly tried to show what their plans are for this country in the future.

And yes, thanks to President Trump and the Republican tax plan that passed, taxes have been lowered. However, as Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats have said, they wish to take those proverbial “crumbs” back from the American people and businesses, and refill the government coffers with more and more our hard owned money, so they can decide how our money is spent (which, like always, will be used ineffectively and corruptly for THEIR own purposes, and to help THEIR supporters and donors first, before being used properly, and allowing us to have some of THEIR left over crumbs, if we behave and do as we’re told by them, of course. That’s why we need to be able to keep more and more of our own money, and focus once again on charity, religion, and Churches, so that money can and will be spent more efficiently, without government waste, fraud, and abuse).

And with the state of our nation, and the direction it is headed, with regards to the political/demographic shifts taking place, how much longer will it be until the left is able to do as they please, and raise taxes and government spending far beyond what we are able to sustain, long-term?

We are over 20 trillion dollars in debt as of right now (with President Obama having single-handedly doubled the national debt on his own). And that number is only going to get bigger over the years and decades (yes Republicans have not always been the best stewards of our money either, but at least they do a much better job than the left does, and in a new society they too would have no excuse for taking advantage of taxpayers, because there would be no “big government” opposition to blame anymore).

So, who’s going to pay down this massive debt?

Our children, our grandchildren? (I’m sure many people these days don’t even care, and just smile and say it’s not their problem because they won’t be around to suffer. Another wonderful example of what happens when you erode the societal bedrocks of religion and morality).

And where will the money come to pay down this debt?

We will have to raise taxes higher and higher as the debt eats up more and more of our GDP, and we will have to do so in order to also pay for more and more expanding entitlements, which will drive away more businesses, the fuel of our economy.

This means less money, and less “rich” people’s money there will be to take (The left says how much they want to take from the rich, well what happens when the rich all leave and there’s no one to steal money from? Are those left-wing leaders going to voluntarily give up their own money? Here’s a hint, nothing prevents the well off left-wingers from voluntarily donating all of their money and possessions now, to those on entitlement programs, for equalities sake. And yet they don’t do so, for some reason. I wonder if it could be because they only like it when they can tell and force other people, usually their enemies, how and where to spend their money, but don’t like to be told to do so by others themselves).

And how will we pay off our debt when we keep governmentally allowing/supporting abortion, which, once again, has killed over 50 million babies, many of whom could have been a part of the workforce now helping to sustain our economy, and most importantly could have been enjoying their inalienable right to life, enshrined in our founding as a nation, and given to each of us by our Creator (but which has been allowed to be taken away in the case of abortion by our government, via pro-choice laws)?

How will we pay off our debt when we as a nation promote more and more socialism and people being on entitlement programs, instead of being responsible working adults and getting a job (the more people who do not take advantage of the system and pull their fair weight economically, the quicker and better we can help those who actually do need the help, such as the handicapped, the elderly, the sick etc.)?

With regards to entitlements, nearly half of Americans receive and rely upon government assistance, (yes President Trump and the Republicans have lessened those numbers to some degree, in part by fixing our economy and helping business have more jobs available than there are people to fill those jobs, and slashing unemployment to record lows, especially for African Americans and Hispanics. This allows more people to chart their own courses and be more and more independent in their lives with regards to how they spend their money, while also not being more of a burden to our system via entitlement assistance. But how long will things be allowed to stay this way? The left is bound to take back more and more power eventually, and with the new far left promoting socialism and hating capitalism, the economy will end up grinding to a halt).

The more takers there are, the less producers there are. And the less producers there are, the less that is available to disperse amongst the takers. It’s simple mathematics. Yes, some people do need the help, but we need to promote all sections of society towards being more independent, and more proficient in providing for themselves as much as possible, and individuals doing so well for themselves that they have a surplus in order to be able to help those less fortunate, without putting themselves in a bad situation.

And then what is going to happen to those government programs and entitlements once we have to divert tax money away from those entitlements, and more towards paying off our debt? And how about money for our other bloated government organizations, such as the post office, government pensions which are bankrupting states, our schools and teacher salaries and the increasingly outrageous demands of organizations such as the teachers unions and other government unions? Does anyone really think that those people will give up a penny of their money (or a fraction of their power), or sacrifice at all without being forced to, for the good of the country? (And I’m sure the democrats and liberals won’t be up to taking them to task, considering how deep they are in those people’s pockets, and how much they owe them politically, considering the political funding they receive from them, which they then use to turn around and pass more laws giving them more money and power, which those people use to elect more liberals and democrats. It’s worse than the mafia).

How will those government programs survive if we keep hurting our businesses and driving them overseas? Where will the tax money come from? If we degrade our military, where will our strength internationally come from? Who will even want to listen to us anymore, as far as other nations are concerned? We will become obsolete and unimportant, and then other countries like China etc. will demand we start paying off our national debt, which they own by the way. They will take center stage and dictate how things are on a world scale. And do we honestly think that China is going to play by the rules with regards to things the liberals and the left say they care so much about, such as climate change, fair working environments, pollution, civil rights etc.?

They will just smile and tell us to keep sending them our money. And then the government programs will run dry, people will be kicked off of these socialist programs, which let’s be honest do a terrible job of serving the public anyway in most cases (the VA, public education, and Obamacare being prime examples. Just look at the terrible premiums and deductibles involved in Obamacare, and how many veterans have died because they had to wait years for medical treatment. And we want to governmentalize all of healthcare?).

And where will our government get the money to support its ever-expanding socialist government in other areas it whishes to get its greedy hands on? Not from businesses, they’ll be overseas making money with the countries that now have the power, and where they can obtain cheap and low cost labor. And what are we going to do, demand that those businesses stay here in America, with what leverage? Our military will be obsolete, if the liberals have their way, our capitalistic economy will be severely crippled as well, and our citizens (many of whom have to rely upon government assistance to survive) will now have less and less buying power to make an impact on the way businesses look at us as a nation. Those businesses will just smile at us as well, and stay where they are, making money with those nations who didn’t shoot themselves in the foot, over and over again, and allow themselves to needlessly bleed out.

Oh and then there’s our failing public education system, from which children somehow miraculously are allowed to graduate high school without being able to read and write anywhere near at proficient levels. Don’t take my word for it, just ask the colleges themselves, who say that they have to “re-educate” their students in things they should have learned in primary school, all because the teacher’s unions and education bureaucrats wish to keep their money and power, without doing their jobs, where there is no accountability due to outrageous notions such as teacher tenure and seniority, being against merit pay for teachers, being against school choice for parents via tax credits and school vouchers etc. This is another way our society is being completely and totally dismantled economically, due to our education system failing our children, the future of America.

And then we can move on to the wonderful liberal college professors themselves, who are the intellectual nexus and hub of anti-Christian thought and mentality, and who are primarily responsible for educating our leaders on the unnecessary nature of religion and morality in our society, and for promoting such crazy notions as socialism, homosexual marriage, abortion, transgender ideology etc. The list can go on and on. And now they wish to label anyone who disagrees with them as promoting hate speech, in order to take away our freedom of speech, and threaten us criminally if we don’t comply with their forced ideology.

They wish for religion to be wiped off the planet, especially Christianity, because it is a threat to their power and control of wanting to become the sole teaching authority of all of humanity.

And when religion and morality go out the window, then people will only care about themselves and getting as much for themselves as they can. And then comes more and more people taking advantage of all of the free “goodies” the government is willing to give out to keep the population under their control (Why do you think they want to legalize marijuana so badly, to once again keep the population focused on something else, to help make them more and more lazy and dependent).

And the powerful people who are steering this ship on the left don’t care what happens when the breaking point is reached. They’ll have their money from the massive government corruption and greed which takes place in all totalitarian regimes of socialism. They’ll have their monopolized, centralized government control to quell any rebellions against them. These people are so evil and corrupt it is unbelievable. I would laugh if it wasn’t so utterly sad.

And they talk about how corrupt and evil business and capitalism is? So the solution in their minds is let’s get rid of the separation of powers via the private/public sector balance, create a business monopoly by getting rid of all competition, and then combine that massively corrupt idea with the massively corrupt and monopolized government, to produce socialism.

No competition, no accountability, no separation of powers. They all know that people would never support a monopolized private business having complete control over even one sector of our economy (although with the amount of crony capitalism that is taking place within this nation, even by those on the left, I wouldn’t be surprised if they started supporting that idea as well, especially considering how liberal companies like Amazon and those in Silicon Valley are), nor would people support business providing the goods and services, and monitoring itself. So why would anyone in their right mind support a monopolized government providing all of the goods and services (with all of its corruption, greed, and evil which already takes place in government) and then having the government be the only viable option for monitoring itself? With the private sector weakened beyond repair, who will have the power to stand up against a tyrannical government (and news flash, what makes someone on the left think that all of those “terrible, evil, greedy” business people who run all of these “horrible” corporations they hate so much won’t end up going into government instead, if we socialize it? The left has to look no farther than Donald J. Trump. I for one do not believe President Trump is an evil person, and I support him immensely as I do with the private sector in general, but when you consider how much power the left wishes to give the government, and then take into account the left seeing someone like Donald Trump gaining power in the form of the presidency, it is no wonder they went nuts when he became elected. They know, deep down, how much evil the government can do now, let alone when socialism is implemented. They just want that power and greed for themselves to use against their enemies, and they definitely don’t want a conservative coming to power even now, let alone when socialism is implemented. One would think that would tell these people something about their flawed ideology).

Aside from that, we can talk about all of the intimidation, harassment, persecution etc. by those on the left attacking those on the right, and Christians in general. I myself have experienced this persecution for years on end, as has my family. From the jobs I’ve had, to the places I’ve lived, to numerous other issues and situations I won’t mention here.

Let me just warn those on the right and the Christians out there, you haven’t seen anything yet. These people are totally and completely evil, and have no conscience about anything that they do to us. In their sick, twisted minds the ends always justifies the means. And it’s only going to get worse the more they gain power, and the more they are able to consolidate that power within government via socialism.

I say enough is enough. It is high time that we stop bowing down to these people, and allowing them to attack us and destroying everything we stand for. We need to separate once and for all, and remind those who come after us the reasons we did so, in order to save our Faith, Christianity as a whole, and the principles on which our nation was built.

We need to save our children’s future as well. How long do we think it will be until they mandatorily indoctrinate all of them into their anti-Christian, anti-capitalistic worldview, and force them to submit or be ostracized from their society? It’s already happening daily, just read the news stories.

It’s coming, believe me it is coming. I guarantee it.

But we can do something about it now, while there is still time. We don’t need to convince those who disagree with us that we’re right. We don’t need their approval for anything. We just need the courage and determination to do what needs to be done.

A new society, based upon the idea of the Benedict Option and what other conservative thinkers and leaders have said, whether directly or indirectly. We all know that what needs to be done, deep down.

Yes it might seem unknown, and somewhat scary, but we have God with us, and we have eternity in heaven to always look forward to.

When I stand before God on my judgement day, alone with only my life story to give as a testimony, I want to be able to say that I stood up for the Faith and the Church, and for my fellow Christians, in trying my best to save things, when all of the rest of the world went crazy and became evil.

We all will have to answer to God on that day, whether we admit it now or not.

#35 Comment By JeffK On November 19, 2018 @ 10:02 pm

@YinandYang says:
November 19, 2018 at 2:41 pm

Wow. That was one heck of a rant.

#36 Comment By JonF On November 20, 2018 @ 9:12 am

Yinandyang, to cut to the chase here, the US is a fantastically rich country and could easily pay its Bill’s including all those “unfunded entitlements” some folks wrong their hands over. It’s not that we can’t, it’s that we won’t. Or rather, the owning class won’t, much as their peers in France under the ancien regime refused any reform that would have put that could back on firm fiscal footing. That didn’t end well, and I suspect this won’t either, but not because some old folks are living off a small pittance of Social Security.

#37 Comment By JeffK On November 20, 2018 @ 9:50 am

@YinandYang says:
November 19, 2018 at 2:41 pm

“We are over 20 trillion dollars in debt as of right now (with President Obama having single-handedly doubled the national debt on his own).” – ON HIS OWN?

How convenient it is to ‘forget’ that 6 of 8 years of the Obama presidency the Republicans controlled the House of Representatives, where, by the constitution, all spending bills originate.

Also, for those not paying attention, The Republicans have controlled The House 20 of the last 26 years. The Republicans have controlled the Senate 18 of the last 26 years. The Republicans have controlled the POTUS 14 of the last 26 years.

The Republicans have controlled, at the same time, The Senate, The House, and POTUS 10 of the last 26 years.

The Democrats have controlled, at the same time, The Senate, The House, and POTUS 2 of the last 26 years.

But somehow, from the perspective of many Republicans (and Faux News), the Democrats are responsible for the $20 Trillion deficit, and everything else that is wrong with this country.

The Republicans spend like the proverbial drunken sailor, and then blame the Democrats. And it’s amazing that at least 35% of Americans buy into this charade.

No wonder Trump likes ‘the poorly educated’.

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#38 Comment By JonF On November 21, 2018 @ 9:58 am

Yinandyang, the moment you reach for the language of “makers and takers” your post becomes nothing but a social Darwinist screed and I won’t waste my time reading the rest of it. The simple fact is that we are all of us, even Jeff Bezos, reliant on government in some ways, and that is as it should be: we humans are social animals and could not otherwise survive. Once again, we are a fantastically rich country and can afford to provide an austere subsistence for all of us, though for moral reasons I also believe we should require some sort of work from able bodied non-elderly adults, through guaranteed public jobs if necessary since our owning class is so enamored of automation and offshoring. Something of this sort has been the re of government since very ancient times- consider the story of Joseph and the Seven Lean Years in Genesis (and more factually the Pharaohs did in fact put people to work on vast public projects during fallow periods and ensure that they were fed)

#39 Comment By YinandYang On November 30, 2018 @ 3:29 am

For the sake of my fellow Christians and fellow Conservatives, I will address the comments made by JonF and JeffK.

First with regards to JeffK, it is obvious that you did not read my post in detail, nor did you spend any time trying to understand what I was trying to say.

If you had, you would have read, in the same paragraph that I mentioned President Obama and the $20+ trillion dollar debt, that I also said that Republicans have not been the best stewards of our money either.

And yes as President, Mr. Obama did double the national debt, more than all other Presidents combined. If you wish to make him immune from that fact completely that is your prerogative, but then in order to be consistent you should not criticize President Trump either, as you said all spending bills (and all laws for that matter) start in Congress (even though the President has to sign them into law as well, unless there is a super majority vote to override a presidential veto).

Apparently only Republican Presidents are held responsible, and Democratic Presidents such as Obama get a free pass, unless it’s in regards to something they did which was good, then the hypocrisy reverses itself I’m sure.

But the fact remains, between the two of us, I was the one who placed blame on both Democrats and Republicans, you have yet to do so.

That aside, are you really going to try and make the argument that the Democrats and Liberals are the party of balanced budgets and fiscal, economic conservativism? (you could use President Clinton back in the 1990’s as saying the days of big government are over, and working with the Republican held Congress to balance the budget, but then you would be contradicting yourself because, as you said, all spending bills begin in the House, which was run by Republicans at that time, including Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich).

I would also take into account the $30+ trillion Medicare for All plan the Democrats are now pushing for (which is very similar to a single payer system, which many Democrats said, back when they passed Obamacare, that they would never push for single payer and that Republicans and Conservatives were crazy and paranoid for supposing such a notion) before you try and make that argument.

Also, let us not forget Miss trillion dollar per year deficits herself, Nancy Pelosi, likely the next Speaker of the House.

Or the self described democratic socialists which have become more and more powerful and influential within the Democratic party as well.

Do you really believe that these people will be the ones who are fiscally responsible and conservative?

I won’t call you a poorly educated person, as you have done to me without knowing anything about me, nor without apparently taking the time to read my two well thought out, rational, logical posts (I wonder if you believe everyone who doesn’t submit to leftwing thought and propaganda is a poorly educated person as well).

But I will say that you are committing wishful thinking if you believe that the Democrats are now the party of balanced budgets, limited government spending/government size, and getting the deficit under control.

With regards to JonF’s comments, I would also say that you have not read my posts in their entirety (by your own admission at least), and yet still wish to comment on my points without even taking the time to fully comprehend the notions I am trying to express and put forth.

That aside, I would like to say that it is interesting you attacked me in my last post for mentioning “producers and takers” (again without taking the time to understand what I am saying by reading my posts in full) and then saying that you also believe that we as a society should require some kind of work for able-bodied adults (of course you added through guaranteed government jobs as well).

You accused me of social Darwinism, and by that I take it to mean that I am uncaring towards those less fortunate who do need assistance.

And yet, within the same paragraph that I mentioned “producers and takers” I said that some people do need help, like the sick, the handicapped and the elderly.

My point was that if we don’t promote our economy, and people working for a living and being responsible adults (something which again you yourself have said you agree should happen, for moral reasons, even if it is through guaranteed government jobs) then we won’t have enough money to help the people who do need the help. The less people working, the more people who will need entitlements, and the weaker our economy will be with less people actually working to support and help those receiving entitlements.

As I said, you seem to agree with me that promoting work is a good idea, and doing so to make sure our economy can support helping people who are less fortunate should be considered a good idea too, especially with how much you seem to support entitlements as well, by your own words.

Also, I would assume that you would agree that those who take advantage of the system, and who can work and provide for themselves, are actually doing a disservice to the country and those people who do legitimately need assistance.

So the big issue seems to be whether or not America can afford our ever increasing entitlement spending, or if it is just rich people who are simply being greedy and who are not willing to do the right thing.

Let us start with this, both sides of the aisle have said that Social Security and Medicare are on the verge of going bankrupt, in part due to the government raiding the proverbial trust funds put in place when those programs were started to pay for other pet projects, and also wasting the money through massive government corruption, waste, fraud, and abuse.

The original idea behind such programs was that each generation would be taxed for these programs, and the money would be saved by the government and used to provide services and checks to the same generation when they reached the retirement age, if you will.

But it became so bad that now the younger generation’s Social Security/Medicare taxes have to be used to pay for the previous generation(s) services and checks.

Many people expect that when this younger generation gets older that Social Security and Medicare won’t be available for them to utilize, even though they are forced to subsidize the system already in place.

So those two entitlement programs are going bankrupt, the country owes $20+ trillion in debt, and the plan now is to enact Medicare for All, which will cost $30+ trillion, which no one knows how to pay for (perhaps we can beg to borrow more money from China).

One can see that this will lead to massive tax increases (which I’m sure the Democrats will cry themselves to sleep over, having to put such pressures on the poor American people and businesses, which are the lifeblood of our economy, and the bloated government beaurocracy and entitlement programs as well, by the way).

I could understand one presumably believing this would help alleviate the financial struggle, until one considers that such higher taxes would once again push companies overseas.

There’s no reason companies have to stay in the United States, especially with the push for globalization around the world now (by many on the left these days, ironically). This, combined with the pressures unions put on businesses as well, will continue to force more jobs overseas, and will hurt the American economy. Even if one denies the job losses here in this country, one has to understand that if we crush business profit margins that there is less money for them to invest in expanding their business and thus growing the economy.

Also, any repatriotization of money which has taken place during the Trump administration will most likely stop.

Also, businesses aren’t the only ones who suffer from higher taxes, the burden gets pushed onto the consumers/customers and onto workers as well, either through job cuts, loss of raises, or lack of employment.

I would imagine that the left could try to pass legislation demanding businesses stay here and do as they’re told, but with an ever weaker economy, an ever weaker presence on the world stage through military weakness etc., who is really going to listen to them when they try to do so?

And then, as I said before, this will mean less tax revenue overall for all of those entitlement programs (as well as for other government organizations such as our failing public education system which cannot compete against third world countries in job performance, the post office which is doing a horrible job in staying finacially viable, government sector pensions which are bankrupting states etc.), then there will be that need for even more taxes, which will drive more businesses away, and down and down the economic death spiral will continue, all the while the American people will truly suffer through their own taxes being raised, the cutting of government programs to spread out entitlement spending and to pay off the ever growing massive debt etc.

Then we have to take into account the problem mentioned earlier of government corruption, waste, fraud, and abuse with regards to government programs (including entitlements) and how our tax money is spent in general.

And those in power (i.e. the left) will demand more and more say in how we live, what we are allowed to think and say, how our money is supposed to be spent etc.

They’re taking away people’s plastic straws for crying out loud, and saying that people can redefine themselves and reality, by claiming to be a different gender than they were biologically born (or a totally new made up gender) just because they woke up feeling that way, and then saying that if we don’t accept such notions we can be fined or even jailed (so much for being the party of science/biology).

And yet, if we follow their logic, then we on the right also should have the power to define our own realities, which would include not accepting such ludicrous notions as gender redefinition, and subsequently demanding those who disagree with us respect our beliefs and admit we are correct or else be fined and jailed.

This notion should then hypothetically apply to all disagreements and aspects of society, if their false ideology is to be followed out logically.

But this they will not do, because it is not in their interest to do so, even though it is the only logical conclusion (unless the left wishes to label us on the right as less than human in having equal rights under the law, or perhaps wishes to make us second class citizens, as they are trying to do already in many aspects of society).

Also, taxing the rich and powerful into oblivion won’t pay for all of the entitlements the left wishes to implement. It won’t even come close, even with the absurd notion that those rich and powerful people will just happily stay in America and allow the government to take every penny they have. That is a blatent lie, and the people in power within the Democratic party know this. It is just a good slogan to use on people who don’t take the time to do the research and study what is really going on.

As the old saying goes, eventually you run out of other people’s money.

If you want businesses and the rich to stay here then you have to realize that we compete with every other country on the planet. We have to convince them to stay and be a part of our society. You can’t force them to do as you please, simply because you wish to. These aren’t stupid/poorly educated people, contrary to leftist propaganda. There’s a reason they are rich, powerful, and successful.

I could go on and on, but most of what needs to be said has already been said, in this post and my other two posts.

If people would simply take the time to read them, in detail, I’m sure they would get a better understanding of my points, without simply resorting to trying to label me as poorly educated or an uncaring social Darwinist, all the while without making any relevant points relating to the problems we face as a nation.

Thats aside, I would now like to ask those on the right reading this, and those on the left as well (including those who have attacked what I’ve already said in previous posts), wouldn’t we all be better off in separate societies?

From the right’s perspective, wouldn’t you agree that this whole situation has become completely and totally out of hand?

Are you not also tired of being labelled “poorly educated”, uncaring etc. just because you happen to believe as you do?

Do you really think that the left is going to stop trying to destroy everything you love, believe in and care about?

Look at how they feel about us, and how we feel about them. Wouldn’t separate societies be a much better way at achieving what needs to be done, without being stopped, harassed, persecuted etc. for our beliefs?

We could do what’s right, and live in the type of society we really want to live in.

From the left’s perspective, if we are so stupid and evil as you claim we are, wouldn’t you be happier with your own society as well?

You could have things exactly as you wish.

If you are so correct in your thinking and we are so wrong, then prove it.

Let us have our own society and you can have yours. You should succeed and be better without us, if we are so uneducated and you are so enlightened.

According to the left, we on the right should destroy ourselves in no time and come groveling back, if what you say is correct.

Then let us separate, and see what happens. I am more than willing to do so, and I believe many other people are as well, on both sides of the aisle.

We have nothing in common anymore, as I’ve said before. No fist principles, no basis for coming to compromises or working together.

Our country is as divided as it’s ever been.

Why not allow everyone to live in the society they wish to live in?

Let there be competition, and let people choose.

What have you, those on the left, to lose?

This goes for my Christian brothers and sisters in Christ as well.

The Faith and the Church is systematically being attacked daily. There is a concerted effort to wipe Christianity off the planet, even within our country today. It will only get worse as time goes on, we all know this to be so.

We need to unite and start a new Benedict Option, society-wise. A new best possible society where we can live according to God’s principles and laws. We won’t have to be attacked for our faith within our own country anymore, and be threatened with fines or imprisonment just because of our Christian faith.

We can continue to do our best to convert the world to Christianity, but we can do so from a position of strength, as I said in a previous post, so we can be that shining city on a hill as the Bible, and President Reagen talked about.

For all parties involved, separate societies do seem like the logical next step in human history.

Let us not be afraid to do what needs to be done, for all people involved.