Donald Trump May Have Been Chosen to Reveal a Way You Could Try to Reopen the Conversation in America


The more we studied the Donald and the unique role he is playing in America’s story, the more we began to see the possibility that your God has chosen Donald Trump to shine a spotlight on the story triangle tension of our secular story allies.


Look what Paula showed us …


“Is Donald J. Trump God’s instrument for delivering America from the false religion of Secularism?” Lane asked. “I don’t have a clue. Secularism’s pastors and evangelists now control the institutional forces governing contemporary America: public education, higher learning, mainstream media, Big Business, and Hollywood.”

The evangelical organizer suggested that God could be fundamentally ironic in his choice of leader. “What a dissonant note, how shocking, is it to believe that the vehicle God would use to restore America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and reestablish a Biblically-based culture would be a pagan who does not even know the Lord God Jehovah.”

Is Trump the Evil King Ahab or the Redeemable Pagan Nebuchadnezzar?, BY TYLER O’NEIL, PJ Media, JUNE 10, 2016

And Paula reminded us that the experts on the Donald don’t believe he has changed…


Many of those whose job it is to understand Trump believe, as the Washington Post White House bureau chief, Philip Rucker, put it, that “the Donald Trump of today is the same Donald Trump of decades past, so to decode his moves as President, I find it especially instructive to talk to his biographers for insights into his actions and characteristics before he took office.” Among those he and others named were Timothy L. O’Brien, the author of “TrumpNation,” and Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter of “The Art of the Deal,” the book that made Trump a household name. Another White House correspondent recommended “Trumped!,” a tell-all by one of Trump’s former casino executives, Jack O’Donnell. “All the same traits repeat themselves now,” the correspondent wrote to me. “The grandiosity, the impatience and impulsiveness, the repeated lies. He observed Trump up close for three years and writes with more honesty and sharper observational powers than anyone else who had that kind of sustained proximity to Trump over the years.” I agree that the Trump biographers are an invaluable resource; as Trump was surging toward the Republican nomination, in the spring of 2016, I convened the authors of the five books on him for a Politico Magazine roundtable at the Trump Grill, in Trump Tower. I half-jokingly christened the project “Trumpology,” and another convening of the group on the eve of Trump’s Inauguration was an uncanny guide to what would soon transpire in Trump’s White House, from the obsession with “loyalty” on his staff to his refusal to hew to the established norms of the office. At the time, other observers, less schooled in Trump, wrongly thought that the heavy responsibilities of a job for which he was ill-prepared might change him. Not the Trumpologists. “He’s the same old Trump,” Gwenda Blair, the author of “The Trumps: Three Generations that Built an Empire,” said back then. She was right.

The Price of Getting Inside Trump’s Head, By Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, May 11, 2018

Same old Donald as he was before.

And then Paula showed us an article which she had come across concerning some work Hector Klumpp had become involved in before taking his job as the Commandante of the Border Patrol in the Department of the Public Square.

Here is the article… 


Saddam’s Identity Crisis Stalls Pre-Trial Plea Agreement

File:SaddamHussein 2004July01 cropped.jpg
“Am I the same person today as
I was when I gassed the Kurds?”
asks the former Iraqi President.

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Sean Penn, newly appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Middle Eastern Affairs, announced on Monday that efforts to end the insurgency in Iraq by persuading Saddam Hussein to accept a guilty plea and forgo a trial have hit an unexpected snag.

“His personal envoy in the matter,” explained Penn, “just phoned me this morning to tell me Saddam’s got some identity issues to sort out. So, like, we’re kind of on standby on the matter. The State Department has offered to send out one of our top psychiatrists to help him work through his issues, but they’ve turned that down.”

According to “Chemical” Ali Hassan Al Majid, Hussein’s former hatchet man who has begun a promising career as the new Iraq’s first jailhouse lawyer, “I told Sean that this really isn’t so much a psychological as a philosophical issue. Saddam is trying to get a definitive answer to the question, ‘Am I the same person now as I was yesterday?’”

An anonymous high-level source in the White House confirmed the announcement by Penn.

“As usual, Sean’s right on the cutting edge of diplomacy. Saddam is asking whether the United States would, in exchange for his guilty plea, officially recognize in his case that there is no continuity of identity over time. Of course, it would be a legal fiction since all of us recognize that we’re the same people we were yesterday and the day before that, etc., etc. But in this case it would free him up legally from any kind of additional criminal charges or civil lawsuits over his past behavior. So it’s a pretty important point to him.”

News of this matter brought a quick response from certain anti-war groups.

“If the Bush administration doesn’t drop this subject right now, we’re going to file an injunction against it in Federal District Court,” said Hector Klumpp, consultant for the Materialist Coalition Against War, Poverty, Racism and Injustice.

“We know this is just another trick by the Bushies to smuggle religion into politics. After all, if the government officially recognizes that our identity continues over time, well, then that means we must be something more than just matter, since the matter in our bodies is constantly changing. But if they grant Saddam his wish then every stand-up comedian in America is going to make jokes about it for years to come. Either way we lose. So I demand that President Bush cease and desist.”


After we read that article, Paula then said, “Okay, comrades, you can see how that fits with Donald Trump. While it does look like Donald hasn’t changed, how can we be sure that today’s Donald can be held accountable for whatever he – or the previous Donald – did in the past?”

And when she raised that issue, my mind began to think about what our team is now calling the “Weinstein Effect”.

You see, our team believes that as the allegations of sexual misconduct continue to spread into all sorts of areas of American society, the tension over Donald Trump’s past and the allegations of sexual conduct against him will continue to rise.

And as they rise, the undefended space of our secular story allies in America will be more and more exposed.

The tension for our allies, of course, is related to their story triangle tension. The more they call for Donald Trump to be held accountable, the more they will reveal their story problem.

But even more is being revealed in America…


That exposure came first for the Republican Party’s establishment, who were revealed as something uncomfortably close to liberal caricature in their mix of weakness, cynicism and power worship.

It came next for the technocrats and the data nerds of the Democratic Party, who were revealed as ineffectual, clueless and self-regarding in opposing Trump’s clown-car campaign.

And then it came for a range of celebrated media men, from Harvey Weinstein to Matt Lauer, who found that in the backlash against Trump’s misogyny their own sins were suddenly exposed.

But the unveiling has not been confined, as Trump’s providentialist supporters might like to imagine, to institutions and individuals that have arrayed themselves against him.

It has come as well for figures whose style anticipated him (Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, that whole ménage) and for figures who have deliberately attached themselves to his populist revolt. The sins of Roy Moore were more exposed by the Trump era, and now likewise the racist paranoia of Roseanne Barr.

The Baptist Apocalypse, By Ross Douthat, New York Times, May 30, 2018

Black is also good on how the Democrats’ attempt to use the Harvey Weinstein scandal to their political benefit backfired. Far from enabling their Hollywood friends to expose Trump and prosecute him as an equally criminal predator, the Weinstein episode only showcased what Black calls their “sanctimonious hypocrisy.” As Black argues, “The whole lurid story laid bare the preposterous presumption of the entertainment industry to lecture the American people on politics and morals. Hollywood is a moral and intellectual pigsty, an asylum for the stupid, the corrupt and the vocally shallow.”

Trump Contra Mundum, By Edward Short, City Journal, August 10, 2018

Is It Possible Donald Trump Was Chosen to Help You Open Your Eyes to How Seeing America as a Story Reveals a Way You Could Engage the Undefended Space of Our Secular Story Allies?

We love Donald Trump. He just keeps opening our eyes to so much.

Paula pointed out something else. First, she showed us this quote from one of Trump’s biographers… 


Trump believes life is a kind of war that should be waged by any means necessary, including mudslinging, bullying, greed, deception and prejudice. This approach worked for him for more than 40 years.

You’re Wrong, Jeb. Trump CAN Insult His Way to the Presidency. By MICHAEL D’ANTONIO, Politico, December 16, 2015

And then Paula began to show us how Donald’s attack strategy on his opponents reveals why you may want to pay attention to Sun Tzu…


Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy’s strategy.

Sun Tzu


To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.

Sun Tzu


Provided by the enemy himself!

Of course, we don’t know if you’ll ever seriously consider the reality that you Christians in America are Donald’s undefended space, but we’d like to show you how the story strategy of your opponents is offering you a way forward.


Our secular story allies in America have employed a brilliant story strategy against America’s Christians which has enabled them to frame you as the bad guys in America’s unfolding story war.

These attacks are part of a brilliant direct/indirect strategy which is in play against you.

And this direct/indirect combination is simple, but powerful.

The direct approach is designed to fix the enemy’s attention, which allows the indirect approach to unexpectedly flank them and win the day. They can see the direct coming, but are taken by surprise by the indirect. The two work together and the power of the indirect attack often enables the direct attack to work.


So… you grab their attention with one thing, and then you powerfully bag them with something else.


Consider the take from the American military historian Bevin Alexander on how this direct/indirect approach works…


Probably the oldest tactical device on earth is to attract attention in one place with some gesture, while taking decisive action elsewhere…. In war, this tactical device is at the heart of the principle of holding at one place while striking at another. It is one of the most successful battle methods.

……

The Chinese strategist Sun Tzu summarized its essential nature 2,500 years ago when he spoke of the zheng element, which fixes the enemy in place, and the qi element, which flanks or encircles the enemy, whether physically or psychologically. Zheng is the direct or more obvious move against which the enemy girds himself, qi the indirect, unexpected move that defeats him.

Bevin Alexander, How Wars Are Won

The power of this direct/indirect approach in America’s story war was perhaps most clearly seen in the conflict over same sex marriage.

When the United States Supreme Court nationalized same sex marriage in the summer of 2016, the supporters of same sex marriage achieved a rather astonishing victory.

And they gained it in large part by brilliantly executing a classic direct/indirect strategy combination.

In the battle over same sex marriage in America, the direct approach of the proponents consisted of an attempt to legalize same sex marriage through the courts.

This caught the attention of their opponents, which resulted in them trying to formulate a strategy focused on repulsing the direct attack.

For example, way back in 2004, two key leaders against same sex marriage illustrated this in newsletter comments within months of each other.

In April of that year, Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family remarked in his newsletter that “There is only one answer” to stopping same sex marriage.

That “one answer” was a federal constitutional amendment.

In July, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council echoed Dobson, writing that a federal constitutional amendment was “the only way.”

That’s pretty focused!

Unfortunately for them, believing in a single answer distracted them from seeing the real power of the indirect attack.

In fact, neither of these two leaders wrote about the direct/indirect strategy of the same sex marriage proponents.

They simply didn’t see that a classic combination was in play.

But it was.

The indirect attack took the form of a moral attack on the opponents of same sex marriage, accusing them of discrimination, bigotry, and hate in the unfolding drama.

As Peter LaBarbera described it, the proponents of same sex marriage were attempting to “redefine” the opponent’s moral views on the subject as a combination of bigotry and hatred – and “prejudice on a par with racism.”

Here’s one of the more fascinating illustrations we found…


[O]thers, for complicated reasons, feel compelled to adhere rigidly to an authoritarian belief structure (e.g., an orthodox religion), that condemns homosexuality. Our primary objective regarding die-hard homohaters of this sort is to cow and silence them as far as possible, not to convert or even desensitize them.

Marshall Kirk, Hunter Madsen, After the Ball: How America will conquer its fear and hatred of Gays in the 90s

So, if you believed in what orthodox Christianity has always believed about marriage, you were a “die-hard homohater” who needed to be cowed and silenced.

And that’s where the real power is — in the indirect moral attack…


ROD DREHER SUMS UP THE BIGGEST, and perhaps insurmountable, obstacle social conservatives face: “As long as the traditionalist position on same-sex marriage, almost universally held only 25 years ago, is treated as irrational hatred and nothing but by the media, business, and social elites, there will be powerful social and psychological pressure to shun it.”

Speak Now, or Forever Hold Your Peace, by James Antle, American Spectator, July/August 2012


As anybody who followed the debate must surely recognize, same-sex marriage did not win the day in the court of public opinion because Americans came to believe that the “literature” supported it, or because the empirical evidence apropos of divorce rates and domestic violence bolstered the case, or because it became possible to convince judges that there was no “rational basis” on which the status quo could be maintained. It won because it was presented as a moral imperative (#LoveWins), because its opponents were cast as “haters” and thereby frozen out of the debate, and because its champions came to make heavy use of two ideas that Americans rightly cherish: namely, “rights” and “equality.” The precise moment that the specter of Jim Crow was raised, the traditional-marriage movement was dead in the water. Upon that instant, all the talk of children, of divorce rates, of history, of civil society, of unintended consequences — all of these became a mere sideshow. The central question: Were you on the Good Side or the Bad?

Is Polygamy on the Right Side of History?, By Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, July 1, 2015

No doubt, the generals of our story allies out-generaled the generals of you Christians.

And you can see the power of this brilliant strategy as our story allies make continual progress in silencing you Christians.


When significant segments of the culture turned against the faith in the wake of the sex-abuse scandals and the events of September 11, we were left in most cases defenseless against our enemies. For evidence of this, witness the pathetic performance of the vast majority of Christian spokespeople against the sharpest of the New Atheists.

EVANGELIZING THE NONES: THE 2017 ERASMUS LECTURE, by Robert Barron, First Things, January 2018

Now that they have gained the commanding heights, they are using their power to end the conversation in America.

But wait, you might say. How can we say this brilliant direct/indirect approach is an actual strategy on their part?

Fair question.

As Henry Mintzberg and James Brian Quinn explain in their book, Readings in the Strategy Process, there are two different ways to think about strategy.

Look at this…


Strategies may be looked at as either a priori statements to guide action or a posteriori results of actual decision behavior. In most complex organizations…one would be hard pressed to find a complete a priori statement of a total strategy that actually is followed. Yet often the existence of a strategy (or strategy change) may be clear to an objective observer, although it is not yet apparent to the executives making critical decisions.

James Brian Quinn, “Strategies for Change,” in Readings in the Strategy Process

But if strategies can be intended (whether in general plans or specific ploys), surely they can also be realized. In other words, defining strategy as a plan is not sufficient; we also need a definition that encompasses the resulting behavior. Thus a third definition is proposed: strategy is a pattern – specifically, a pattern in a stream of actions (Mintzberg and Waters, 1985).

……

Thus, the definitions of strategy as plan and pattern can be quite independent of each other: plans may go unrealized, while patterns may appear without preconception. To paraphrase Hume, strategies may result from human actions but not human designs (see Majone, 1976-77).

Henry Mintzberg, “Five P’s For Strategy,” in Readings in the Strategy Process

So, on the one hand, it can be “intended strategy,” which is planned out ahead of time.

On the other hand, it can be what they call “realized strategy,” which emerges “without preconception.”

The emerging “pattern” is then “the real strategy of the enterprise.”

So, if you read and think about what the proponents of same sex marriage have done, it’s not hard to come to the conclusion that a mixture of intended and realized strategy is what occurred.

The direct/indirect approach really was a strategy, whether most of the same sex marriage proponents understand it this way or not.

You American Christians failed to see that a classic direct/indirect strategy was in play against you, and as a result you were lured to focus on defending against the direct attack, while the more powerful indirect attack was left largely undefended against because you didn’t understand you are in a story war.

But it was the power of the indirect attack which brought down the walls in America and allowed our story allies to gain the commanding heights.

So, maybe it’s time for you to open your minds to that reality and begin to explore the power of story.


The historical battle—the fight over which story to tell about ourselves—is the most important political struggle of our time. The Neo-Progressive story is finally one of equality rather than liberty, of power rather than authority, of desire rather than reason. Many responses are necessary to this story—and I, for one, believe that both the traditionalists (like myself) and the Natural Rights advocates have much work to do to provide a compelling alternative.

The Tyrannical Declaration of Independence, by TED MCALLISTER, Law and Liberty, SEPTEMBER 15, 2013

Remember, our secular story allies don’t really have a story. We have a boring, nonplot narrative.

We got no story in a story war!

So, imagine if you would listen to the Beckwith guy…


This is the sort of public philosophical interrogation that has to occur if the social conservatives really want to win. All their legal and social-science posturing — i. e., their appeal to what the majority of citizens want, etc. — will be for naught unless they can press the other side to account for their point of view. For this is not a dispute about “policy.” It is a battle over the nature of who and what we are and whether we can know it. It is philosophical combat over metaphysical turf with no Switzerland to which one can flee for asylum.

Street Theatre in the Bay Area: What social conservatives should do. By Francis J. Beckwith, National Review, February 26, 2004

… and try to put our story triangle tension on the table in America as a way to reopen the conversation.

Because you have an archplot at the top of the story triangle.

And that means you have a way forward, and you can begin to see it by asking the simple question…


Why Do People Want an Archplot?


As we have noted previously, Robert McKee, in his book, Storywrites the following…


As story design moves away from the Archplot and down the triangle toward the far reaches of Miniplot, Antiplot, and Nonplot, the audience shrinks.

….

[T]he audience shrinks for this reason: Most human beings believe that life brings closed experiences of absolute, irreversible change; that their greatest sources of conflict are external to themselves; that they are the single and active protagonists of their own existence; that their existence operates through continued time within a consistent, causally interconnected reality; and that inside this reality events happen for explainable and meaningful reasons.…. This vast majority of human beings cannot endorse the inconsistent realities of Antiplot, the internalized passivity of Miniplot, and the static circularity of Nonplot as metaphors for life as they live it.

Robert McKee

Your story is an archplot. Ours is a nonplot.

But why are people like that?

Why do people want an archplot?

If Christianity is the story we are in, part of it has to do with the simple, but astonishingly powerful question…


Who are we, here in the story?


You see, if Christianity is the story we are in, and your God is not only the Active Protagonist in the story, but also the Empathetic Protagonist, then it means at the deepest level of human identity, people are ultimately like him!

So, if Christianity is the archplot story we are in, it’s connected to their foundational human identity.

Their desire for an archplot flows from the very nature of who they are.

As Robert McKee says…


Culture is a quarter inch thick. Human nature is bottomless.

Robert McKee, Quoted in The God of Story: An Interview With Robert McKee, By Alec Sokolow and Tony Camin, Vice, July 1 2014

You can see why this is so disturbing to us.

Because… if Christianity is the story we are in, then our nonplot narrative version of the story is out of touch with foundational human identity!

And keep in mind what we explored before, that one of the reasons story is so powerful in our lives is because we deeply desire to understand who we are, here in the story.

So if you began to put the view of our secular story allies on the table, it would put them in conflict with people like Martin Luther King, Jr., …


King’s understanding of human dignity was founded upon the Christian Scriptures. As the struggle for civil rights advanced on multiple fronts, he spoke courageously from this foundation. In the political realm, Dr. King pointed out how the American system was inconsistent with Jeffersonian principles of the “self-evident” truth that “all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Americans had to choose: be an American (as defined in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence), or be a white supremacist; you can’t be both.

….

King and many other civil rights leaders knew the spirit of white supremacy was ultimately demonic. Jim Crow repeated the Satanic strategies of trying to convince human beings simultaneously and paradoxically that they are gods and animals. That’s why the words “I Am a Man” were more than a political slogan. They were a theological manifesto. Those bravely wearing these signs were declaring that they had decided not to believe the rhetoric used against them. They refused to believe the propaganda that they were a “lesser race,” or even just a different race. They refused to believe the propaganda (sometimes propped up by twisted Bible verses) that they and their ancestors were bestial, animal-like, and unworthy of personhood.

What Martin Luther King Jr. Can Still Teach the Church, By Russell Moore, January 15, 2018

And if all we are in the secular version of the story is dust in the wind, or, as Dawkins puts it, “great apes,” isn’t that a degrading view of human beings compared to the Judeo-Christian view of the story?



So… all this means you Christians have a higher view of human beings than our story allies do…


Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Matthew 10:29-31


The issue is between man created in the image of God and the termite in a human guise. It is in defense of man and in opposition to the false teachings that lower man to the status of an insect that this book has been written, and rewritten.

Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leftism Revisited

But man is not a thing. He must be dealt with not as an “animated tool” but as a person sacred in himself. To do otherwise is to depersonalize the potential person and desecrate what he is. So long as the Negro or any other member of a minority group is treated as a means to an end, the image of God is abused in him and consequently and proportionately lost in those who inflict the abuse.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos Or Community?

God created the universe as a hierarchy; some things are “higher”, more valuable, and more important than others. Each human being may be equal in value in the sight of God, since all are made in his image; but irrational animals are not equal to human beings. They do not have rational souls, free choice, or the knowledge of God. If animals were equal to humans, eating meat would be cannibalism.

Peter Kreeft, Catholic Christianity

The real question is: Whose worldview comports better with reality? It seems to me that the Christian worldview makes better sense of the human condition than do secular philosophies. Christianity teaches that humans are intrinsically valuable because they are created in the image and likeness of God. Their lives have purpose and meaning. They have attributes that set them apart from other animals, such as rationality, linguistic ability, creativity, free will, aesthetic sense, and religious yearnings.

Richard Weikart, The Death of Humanity and the Case for Life

So, that simple question, “Who are we, here in the story?” … is very powerful… 


People today are trying to hang on to the dignity of man, but they do not know how to, because they have lost the truth that man is made in the image of God.

Francis A. Schaeffer, Escape From Reason

And if you crossed that identity bridge and exposed our raw nerve, what if this would come into play even more?…


So let me begin by thanking Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens for causing this new cultural interest in God and religion. Their high-profile campaigns against faith have reopened both interest in and discussion of the big questions of life. I’m delighted that they have done so.

I’m not so sure that they will be pleased about the outcome. Instead of closing the debate down, they’ve opened it up. It has never been so easy to talk about God, or to find an interested audience for questions of belief, meaning, and ultimate significance.

Thank God for the New Atheism, by Alister McGrath, ABC RELIGION AND ETHICS,  January 31, 2011

Like Sun Tzu said…


To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.

Sun Tzu


But as long as you stay in that minimalist corner, our team believes the fog will blind you to your opportunity.

Because, as we explained to you earlier in this report, our secular story allies have won the story war in America. Your migration into the minimalist corner handed them their victory.

So, why have they grown increasingly hostile towards Americans who still believe in God?

Look what Paula showed us…


I take an old-school Jacobin-style line that religion should be stamped out.

Tweet from journalist Matt Yglesias, of Slate, on August 29, 2013

Today’s atheism-as-identity is really about absolving oneself of the tough task of explaining what one is for, what one loves, what one has faith in, in favour of the far easier and fun pastime of saying what one is against and what one hates. An identity based on a nothing will inevitably be a quite hostile identity, sometimes viciously so, particularly towards opposite identities that are based on a something – in this case on a belief in God. There is a very thin line between being a None and a nihilist; after all, if your whole identity is based on not believing in something, then why give a damn about anything?

How atheists became the most colossally smug and annoying people on the planet, by Brendan O’Neill, Telegraph, August 14th, 2013

The war between New Atheists and believers has become savage, with Richard Dawkins writing sentences like, “I have described atonement, the central doctrine of Christianity, as vicious, sadomasochistic, and repellent. We should also dismiss it as barking mad. …” In that climate, saying anything nice at all about religion is a tactical error.

Where Thomas Nagel Went Wrong, by Michael Chorost, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 13, 2013

Mock them. Ridicule them. In public… Religion makes specific claims about the universe which need to be substantiated, and need to be challenged, and, if necessary, need to be ridiculed with contempt.”

Richard Dawkins espouses Militant Atheism: “Mock them, Ridicule them.”

The war between New Atheists and believers has become savage, with Richard Dawkins writing sentences like, “I have described atonement, the central doctrine of Christianity, as vicious, sadomasochistic, and repellent. We should also dismiss it as barking mad. …” In that climate, saying anything nice at all about religion is a tactical error.

Where Thomas Nagel Went Wrong, by Michael Chorost, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 13, 2013

And look what Stephen Prothero wrote about Christopher Hitchens…


Hitchens claims that some of his best friends are believers. If so, he doesn’t know much about his best friends. He writes about religious people the way northern racists used to talk about “Negroes” — with feigned knowing and a sneer. God Is Not Great assumes a childish definition of religion and then criticizes religious people for believing such foolery. But it is Hitchens who is the naïf.

The Unbeliever, Reviewed by Stephen Prothero, Washington Post, May 6, 2007

And what our secular story allies are doing sounds a lot like this…


This is the great political failure of progressivism: They always go too far. They always try to rub your face in it.

Meanwhile, Back in America…, by Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2014

And there are those among you Christians who get it…


Catholics need to wake up from the illusion that the America we now live in – not the America of our nostalgia or imagination or best ideals, but the real America we live in here and now – is somehow friendly to our faith.  What we’re watching emerge in this country is a new kind of paganism, an atheism with air-conditioning and digital TV.  And it is neither tolerant nor morally neutral.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., “A Thread for Weaving Joy”, Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life, January 22, 2012

And the hostility consists of more than a change of attitude. There’s also an active element involved…


To be blunt: Religious people who hold traditional values are in the way of what many powerful people want. We are in the way of widespread acceptance of abortion, unrestricted embryonic stem cell research and experimentation with fetal tissue. We are in the way of doctor-assisted suicide, euthanasia and the mercy-killing of genetically defective infants. We are in the way of new reproductive technologies, which will become more important as our society makes sex more sterile. We are in the way of gay rights and the redefinition of marriage. We are in the way of the nones and the engaged progressives and their larger goal of deconstructing traditional moral limits so that they can be reconstructed in accord with their vision of the future.

Traditional religious people are in the way, and many of our fellow Americans are doing their best to push us out of the way.

Our Secular Future, by R.R. Reno, America Magazine, February 24, 2014

This powerful push play doesn’t surprise us.

It flows naturally from our version of the story.

But you shouldn’t be surprised by this either. Our team discovered that Jesus already told you what the rulers of the Gentiles are like…


And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.”

Mark 10:42


And we understand that hasn’t changed…


China has not moved toward democracy over the past quarter century, even as its national wealth, per capita wealth and integration into the global economy have shot upward. Chinese leaders, rather, have used prosperity to buy legitimacy while also ruthlessly but skillfully repressing dissent. According to the Polity IV dataset, China is just as authoritarian as it has been for decades—and the human-rights crackdowns, repression of civil society and centralization of power under Xi Jinping indicate that the regime is actually becoming less liberal.

The Chinese Century?, By Hal Brands, National Interest, February 19, 2018

Totalitarian takeovers demand a degree of submission that leaves little room for sentimental humanistic ties answering to such private imperatives as love, friendship, or personal loyalty. And it was precisely these ties between family members and friends—the most fundamental building blocks of any healthy society—that were most gravely ruptured by Mao’s Revolution.

To Forget or Remember? China’s Struggle With Its Past, By Orville Schell, The Washington Quarterly, Fall 2016

Xi Jinping will not be as restrained as Rongcheng’s officials. He evidently believes the Party must have absolute control over society and he must have absolute control over the Party. It is simply inconceivable that he will not include in the national social credit system, when it is stitched together, political criteria. Already Chinese officials are trying to use artificial intelligence to predict anti-Party behavior.

Xi Jinping is not merely an authoritarian leader, as it is often said. He is taking China back to totalitarianism as he seeks Mao-like control over all aspects of society.

China’s ‘Digital’ Totalitarian Experiment, by Gordon G. Chang, Gatestone Institute, September 12, 2018

But it looks like you Americans have increasingly given in to it…


The desire of men to exploit and to rule over others by diktat, and by force, did not disappear when the Wall fell. What did disappear – or, at least, what faded dramatically – was the willingness of the free world to take a firm stand in support of the oppressed. 

Garry Kasparov, Winter is Coming

So, we began to wonder if our secular story allies in America and the West were struggling with fear over the underlying reality of our story triangle tension.

What if this Novak guy was on to something?


Newly aggressive anti-Christian organizations appear to suffer from dread at the public mention of God. Why should this be? For atheists, God does not even exist. So why should anybody be afraid of something that does not exist? It could be that the bare thought of being judged by an all-seeing, undeceivable Judge is more than secularists can bear.

Lose the Story, Lose the Culture, By Michael Novak, National Review, July 2, 2016

And we are very sympathetic with their struggle. So, the Hitch Maneuver makes sense.

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