In accordance with the long-standing tradition of this blog, when I find something I really think is relevant and well-written, I repost it with attribution. Usually it’s an excerpt. Or ten. Occasionally, it’s an entire piece. Today is one of those “entire piece” days. I meant to cross-post it here some time back, but things happened and it slipped my mind, but now I’m fixing that. By permission, from a post at Facebook by Brad R. Torgerson:
Long thought. Don’t say you had no warning.
The explicitly secular perspective is that there is no proof of a spiritual layer to human experience, therefore this spiritual layer does not exist. Or if it exists, it exists purely as a construct of the human mind. A figment. Untestable. And that while it’s all well and good to have morals, principles, and values, any of these things rooted in spiritual soil—amounting to supernatural belief in that which is unseen and unknown—is self-delusion. Perhaps even dangerous self-delusion?
But I ask: what of the self-delusions of those who turn their backs on “old time” faith? Surely by now it’s abundantly evident that those who deny the old churches and the old ways of believing (coping?) merely fashion new churches and new beliefs (again, coping?) to explain not just how the world and the universe work, but what our purpose in this world ought to be. Why we’re here. Or, if not why, what we ought to be doing with ourselves during our finite lives.
The Marxists replaced God with the State. Whose purpose was to perfect the human condition. But which did in fact make immense human misery across the decades of the Marxist Century (1920-2020.) And there are Marxists who insist to this day that their paradigm is the paradigm which will own the human future. They agitate for this. Protest for it. Threaten it.
How is the belief of the devout Marxist—after an entire century of woe, pain, death, and suffering on every continent—in any way different from the belief of, say, a Catholic? Or a Muslim? Or a Mormon?
We have all the proof in the world that Marxist economies and Marxist governments are doomed to failure, and waste human life at an unconscionable level. Yet the Marxist, like a Scientologist, seems to think we’ve yet to achieve the necessary level of understanding (cough, “OT,” cough) which will make the perfection of the human condition possible. So we need to try one more time.
Always, there is one more time. Disregard all the awfulness of the past hundred years. It just doesn’t matter. We need to do it again, comrades!
Is this not a church? Is this not unbreakable faith? Despite all the evidence telling us it’s unfounded?
And now we have sexual and ethnic identitarianism, as well as environmentalism, rolled up into the Marxist tapestry. The purpose of the State is not just the perfection of the human condition, it’s also the salvation of the planet from certain catastrophic climate doom. As well as the full liberation of the transhuman mind to express itself as any gender it wants, any sexual flavor it can conceive. And all of this must be respected and enshrined by human activity as well as interactivity.
I’d call anything that denies the realities of biology and medical science, a kind of religious faith. Faith in the plasticity of people such that they can decide things for themselves which nature (or God, if you prefer) decided in the womb. A sort of gender and sexual Lysenkoism. The politics tell us it is so, so it must be so. Even when our genes and our bodies tell us, “Nope.”
I’d also call anything that revolves around doom prophecies of climate Armageddon, borderline cult-ish.
Consider: if you’re a street preacher who hangs a sign on his body and stands on the corner shouting, “The end is near!” they call you crazy. But if you’re Greta Thunberg and you go to a posh international conference and shout into a podium mic, “The end is near!” they put you up at the nicest hotels, publish your books to international fanfare, and make you rich.
And I’ve barely addressed the priests and priestesses of anti-racism. Consider someone like Robin DiAngelo, who’s made herself into a millionaire selling white guilt to wine moms. How is this any different from a plastic-haired televangelist who used to sell fire-and-brimstone guilt to evangelicals?
So, I think we have to conclude that humanity is in fact wired for faith. And even if we throw out the old churches and the old ways, we just invent new churches and new ways.
And I am frankly scared to death of the new churches. Cultural Marxism. Environmental Marxism. Equity Marxism, as preached by the anti-racists. It’s all prosecuted with a kind of religious zeal. Especially regarding punishment of designated evil-doers. Do not get caught being a kulak, comrade. It might not go well for you when the rainbow Cheka comes.
At least the old churches (many of them, anyway) bend a knee to a higher power. Concede that innocence is the default state of man, not guilt. And present a path for rehabilitation and redemption. Both temporal and spiritual. Our entire Western Enlightenment edifice of temporal law is predicated on it. Men are to answer for their own crimes, not the crimes of others. Collective guilt is anathema. You can’t punish a person merely for belonging to a category.
That last bit—about punishing people for their demographics—has been the focus of equality activism in America since the inception. And we had almost reached this point where everyone agreed it was wrong to exclude, defame, slander, judge, or jail anybody because of their sex, their gender, their ethnicity, who they sleep with, who they marry, et al.
But the new gods are jealous, and seek to drive out the old God. New types of sin are invented to replace the old type. And new villainy is invented to replace the old villainy.
Consider, stealing is no longer wrong, but misgendering somebody is.
Consider also, you can sleep around all you want, no harm no foul, but you better give up your car and buy an EV, or you’re a wretched climate sinner.
These are just two examples. I could spell out many, many others. I am sure you could, too. And is it not all just religion? Is it not just scriptures and a holy class of learned clerics piously insisting, while also making accusations of wrong, followed by threats of damnation? Except, nobody’s in their box ready to hear your confession. Give you penance. Nor will there be baptism for the cleansing of sin. No salvation promised. Merely incrimination.
For being a kulak, comrade.
A race kulak. A gender kulak. A sex kulak. A climate kulak. Sooner or later the bleeding edge of self-styled intellectual progress gets around to branding everyone a kulak for some reason. And each new breed of iconoclasts topples the statues and touchstones of the old, to in turn be toppled again by the iconoclasts who come after. Revolution as the perpetual state of things. Endless overturning of all that is established, for all that is new. Or believed to be new.
Is this insistence on perpetual revolution—especially as it destroys good and necessary institutions—not a kind of religious fanaticism?
Oh, there might not be any God in any of it, per se, but the zeal is the same as that possessed by the legendary mob who set fire to the library of Alexandria.
We must keep pushing the Year Zero button, comrade! The perfection of the human condition is at hand!
I want to hope that we can snap back from this. That we haven’t so thoroughly shed our Christian Enlightenment skin that the entire project tips into the sea of history. And in a thousand years some future civilization has to try to re-invent all that we made and did, from 1500 A.D. to 2000 A.D. Learning all the lessons all over again. Following an interminable dark age of suffering, ignorance, and a massive backsliding for the human species, from where we were at in 1999.
But the candle of my hope flickers too much these days. I see how easily the doctrines and gospels of the new religions fire the eyes of too many. Who’re absolutely certain in their hearts they’ve got all the answers.
Just like the Bolsheviks of 1920, the Neo-Bolsheviks of our time are going to bring it all down. Then make it all new again, in their own image. Because people who’ve never built anything in their lives, know precisely how civilization and society ought to be rebuilt.
Their faith in themselves and their ideas tells them this is true. And they will seemingly not be dissuaded.