Will the Foolish Revenge Wager of Donald Trump’s Christian Supporters Play a Role in the Possible Suicide of America?


As you may remember from the Introduction to this report, I am a member of the Tribe of the Fatherless. And as we explored the anger of our tribe and contemplated the role it may play in your unfolding drama, this epiphany began to fill my thoughts.

You see, revenge played a major role in our Cultural Revolution…


Historians have known for some time that the Great Leap Forward resulted in one of the world’s worst famines. Demographers have used official census figures to estimate that 20 million to 30 million people died. …. In all, the records I studied suggest that the Great Leap Forward was responsible for at least 45 million deaths.

….

Mao’s Great Famine was not merely an isolated episode in the making of modern China. It was its turning point. The subsequent Cultural Revolution was the leader’s attempt to take revenge on the colleagues who had dared to oppose him during the Great Leap Forward.

Mao’s Great Leap to Famine, By FRANK DIKÖTTER, New York Times, December 15, 2010


And now it looks like revenge is playing a serious role in the unfolding conflict in Hong Kong…


Even a single death creates a cycle of revenge and retaliation that is almost impossible to control.

….

Demonstrators this past weekend were chanting “Revenge.” Hong Kong is now at war with itself. There is no end in sight to the fighting.

With Rising Violence, China Pushes Hong Kong Toward Civil War, By Gordon G. Chang, The Daily Beast,  November 12, 2019


So, one day we were watching one of your movies — The Blues Brothers…


The Blues Brothers Official Trailer #1


And then, as we were watching this scene…


Aretha Franklin – Think


… Paula Wong helped me make another “what if?” connection.

Paula told us something she had been thinking about because of Donald Trump’s embrace of revenge.

We hope, for your sake, you’ll think about it.

You see, it looks like many of you American Christians have made a very foolish mistake in America’s story war, which could create a very painful gap for you as the story unfolds.


Christians in America who put their hope in Donald Trump, without calling on him to reject revenge — have handed their enemies a dangerous blank check in America’s story war.

When they embraced Donald Trump for president and failed to publicly plead with him to abandon his embrace of revenge, they put themselves and the rest of America’s Christians in a terrible position.


Think about it.

Because you failed to speak out against Donald Trump’s embrace of revenge…


…how will you then speak out against your enemies taking increased revenge against you?


Think about it.

Will you then say it’s wrong to take revenge even though you appear to have quietly approved of the Donald’s desire?

Do you think they will actually listen in that day? Look at the clues…


DONNY DEUTSCH, MSNBC: [SoulCycle CEO and Trump supporter] Steven Ross, to me, is the epitome — this election comes down to guys like that and people saying, “No, you don’t get to say I’m for racial equality and all these good things and I disagree with him there, but I like his economic views, I’m going to vote for him.”

No. You own it.

And I think that’s the message that has to get out. No, Steven Ross, and no, a lot of my friends you can’t say I like his economic policy but I disagree — you own it. You own the blood that happens. You own Charlottesville. You can’t do it. You get the whole package. And that’s what swing voters have got to understand and be shamed into. You don’t get to do that, Steve Ross. I’ll take from column A but I’m going to leave column B behind. You get column B, also. You own the racism.

MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch: If You Vote For Trump, “You Own The Blood That Happens”, Posted By Tim Hains, Real Clear Politics, August 9, 2019

Tommy Lee is the new voice of the American Left. The drummer for Mötley Crüe and convicted wife-beater laid out in florid terms his plans for what the Left will do in a few years to the 47% of America that voted for President Trump.

Lee’s essay, posted on Twitter Friday morning, began “You Trumpsters better pray that liberals never gain control of the WH again because we are going to pay you back so f—ing hard for all of this shit.” Lee’s proposals, including taxing churches out of business and throwing condoms out of planes at noncoastal Americans, were creative, and his language was colorful. But the basic notion — that Trump supporters deserve to suffer — is mainstream these days.

Being a Trump supporter is no longer allowed, it seems, by Washington Examiner, August 11, 2019

Like other celebrities who have recently voiced their disdain for President Donald Trump – such as Woody Harrelson and John Legend – Tommy Lee is making a candid political statement. 

The 56-year-old Mötley Crüe rocker drew attention Wednesday in the Twitterverse when he posted a scathing message for supporters of the president. As Page Six points out, the NSFW message has previously appeared on Reddit. A user shared the post on July 15, 2018. Lee shared a screenshot of the text to Twitter.

“You Trumpsters better pray that liberals never gain control of the WH again because we are going to pay you back so (expletive) hard for all of this (expletive),” reads the post. “Planned Parenthoods on every damn corner.

“We’re going to repaint Air Force One pussy hat pink and fly it over your beloved Bible Belt 6 days a week, tossing birth control pills, condoms & atheist literature from the cockpit,” it continues.


An unapologetic Tommy Lee takes aims at ‘Trumpsters’ in scathing Twitter post, by Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, August 9, 2019

Donald’s Revenge Desire


To help you see more clearly the story war mistake you made, let’s begin by looking at Donald’s persistent embrace of revenge.

Try on this astonishing quote from 2004 for starters…


For many years I’ve said that if someone screws you, screw them back. When somebody hurts you, just go after them as viciously and as violently as you can.

Donald Trump, How to Get Rich

viciously and violently… even we know he wouldn’t find that anywhere in his favorite book, the Bible.

And now fast forward to 2008… 


I always get even. When somebody hits you, hit ‘em back harder.

…..

That is why I tell people, “Get even!” This is not your typical advice, get even, but this is real-life advice. If you don’t get even, you are just a schmuck! I really mean it, too.

….

When you are wronged, go after those people because it is a good feeling and because other people will see you doing it.

….

If someone attacks you, do not hesitate. Go for the jugular. Attack them back in spades!

Always make a list of people who hurt you. Then sit back and wait for the appropriate time to get revenge. When they least expect it, go after them with a vengeance. Go for their jugular.

Think Big: Make It Happen in Business and Life, by Donald J. Trump

And look what we found in the forward to that book…


Working with Donald Trump has completely changed the way I think. … Donald Trump has a can-do, take-no-prisoners attitude. Be your own person. Demand what you want in life. Do not let other people run your life. Do not let people push you around. If someone crosses you, do not lie down and take it; fight back, kick ass, and get even. Make your own rules, and do not care what other people think. That is what Donald Trump is all about.


And notice the description of the book on the Amazon.com page…


Donald J. Trump is an icon: the very definition of the American success story. The star of The Apprentice and developer of some of the planet’s most prestigious real estate, he’s been on the bottom and risen to become one of the world’s wealthiest men. …. For the first time ever, you too can learn Trump’s secrets to thinking BIG! Learn:

Momentum: the Big Mo. How to get it and how to get it back.


Revenge: how and when to get it (and why it’s so sweet).


And notice this from one of your Christian writers… 


This was a favorite theme. Vengeance. Throughout his life, he would unashamedly speak of vengeance as a virtue, nearly as a necessity for success. In his book Think Big, he devoted an entire sixteen page chapter to “Revenge.” “I love getting even when I get screwed by someone-yes, it is true. . . . Always get even. When you are in business you need to get even with people who screw you. You need to screw them back fifteen times harder . . . go for the jugular, attack them in spades!” He lived by this rule, treated both the powerful and the defenseless accordingly, and sent more than a few competitors reeling from the market after they received the full Trump treatment.

Stephen Mansfield, Choosing Donald Trump

And Donald has not changed. The man loves revenge.

You know it.

One of the reasons that we speculated that you didn’t even talk to Trump about his embrace of revenge in those closed-door negations during the primaries is because of his wife. She very intentionally placed this verbal marker during the campaign…not once, but twice…


“He’s a great leader. He’s fair. As you may know by now, when you attack him, he will punch back 10 times harder,“ Trump said to cheers.

“No matter who you are, a man or a woman, he treats everyone equal. ….” Melania concluded.

Melania Trump: When You Attack Donald, He Will Punch Back 10 Times Harder, By Ian Schwartz, RealClearPolitics, April 4, 2016

In response to the president’s Thursday morning tweets waging personal war against MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, Melania Trump’s communications director said the first lady supports her husband’s attack. “As the first lady has stated publicly,” Stephanie Grishman told CNN, “when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder.”

Melania Spox: Trump ‘Will Punch Back 10 Times Harder’ When Attacked, The Daily Beast, June 29, 2017

So, it does appear your President Trump has not changed his view on revenge.

Consider this…


But it is rich, hypocritical and frankly dangerous when Republicans simply point the finger at the left for a one-off crazed act from a crazed man, while refusing to take any blame or even acknowledge that their side, including the president, has contributed robustly to the vitriol, hatred and division in our politics and has at times even called for violence against those who oppose him.

Did they forget that Trump offered to pay the legal bills for anyone who would sucker punch a protester at one of his rallies?

At an event the day of the Iowa caucuses during the Republican primary season, Trump said to the crowd that there may be folks with tomatoes in the audience who may be protesting him: “So if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of ’em, would you?,” he said. “Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell … I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise. I promise.”

Later that same month, a protester was being removed from another one of Trump’s rallies. Trump noticed and quipped, “I’d like to punch him in the face, I tell ya.”

Sorry Newt, the right must tone down the vitriol too, BY MARIA T. CARDONA, The Hill, June 15, 2017

In many respects, Mr. Trump’s own quotes and writings provide the most vivid and alarming picture of his values, modus operandi and relentlessly dark outlook focused on revenge. “Be paranoid,” he advises in one book. And in another: “When somebody screws you, screw them back in spades.”

The grim, dystopian view of America, articulated in Mr. Trump’s Republican convention speech, is previewed in his 2015 book, “Crippled America” (republished with the cheerier title of “Great Again: How to Fix Our Crippled America”), in which he contends that “everyone is eating” America’s lunch. And a similarly nihilistic vision surfaces in other remarks he’s made over the years: “I always get even”; “For the most part, you can’t respect people because most people aren’t worthy of respect”; and: “The world is a horrible place. Lions kill for food, but people kill for sport.”

In Books on Donald Trump, Consistent Portraits of a High-Decibel Narcissist, By MICHIKO KAKUTANI, New York Times, August 25, 2016

Here’s an interesting question: where did Donald Trump’s orientation towards revenge come from?

He may have received it from his father…


And that is Trump all over: He can’t-stop-won’t-stop whaling away at anyone who dares to bait him. The day after Kelly returned from exile, Trump trashed her afresh with snarks and retweets, refusing to give Kelly peace. This is the other thing he learned from his father, who taught his sons to “attack, attack, attack,” says Blair, the biographer.

Trump Seriously: On the Trail With the GOP’s Tough Guy, By Paul Solotaroff, Rolling Stone, September 9, 2015

Mr. Trump described his education, business life, marriages and childhood in extensive interviews with Michael D’Antonio, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former reporter at Newsday. Mr. D’Antonio’s biography of Mr. Trump, “Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success,” will be published on Sept. 22.

In the book, Mr. Trump emerges as a man largely unchanged from his childhood in the wealthy Queens neighborhood of Jamaica Estates, where an exacting father, Fred Trump, schooled him in the ways of self-promotion and encouraged a lifetime of fighting. The senior Mr. Trump, a major real estate developer, counseled his son to “be a killer” and told him, “You are a king.”

Mr. Trump memorably told Mr. D’Antonio that “when I look at myself in the first grade and I look at myself now, I’m basically the same. The temperament is not that different.”

Mr. Trump’s preoccupation with winning — at anything and everything, big or small — dominated his youth. His mentor at the New York Military Academy, Theodore Dobias, called Mr. Trump “a conniver, even then.”

Donald Trump Likens His Schooling to Military Service in Book, by Michael Barbaro, New York Times, September 8, 2015

He had the manner of a street fighter, the blitzkrieg approach to business more common to a German tank commander during World War II. People marveled that one reared in comfort and luxury could unashamedly speak as though he had been deprived, could conduct himself with the vengeance and viciousness of a man denied his rights all his days.

Where had it all come from? It was, without doubt, the imprint of Fred Trump upon his soul. His father had wanted a Killer King. He got one, a son as tough, focused, seemingly soulless, and as committed to business as total war as the father had ever been. Yet it seems, too, that it came from somewhere deep within Donald himself. He had been harsh and bombastic since childhood. Teachers called him “maladjusted.” The less understanding called him “a terror.”

Stephen Mansfield, Choosing Donald Trump

And it also appears to flow from his narcissism…


Vaknin: All narcissists lack emotional empathy and are, to some extent, anti-social. Many narcissists are somewhat psychopathic and, therefore, sadistically prone to violence. They get a high and derive an almost sexual gratification from wielding power and inflicting pain and humiliation on others. It sustains their grandiose fantasy of omnipotence (that they are Godlike, all-powerful). That’s why many narcissists are litigious, threaten “their enemies” incessantly, seek to embarrass and humiliate them in public, stalk them, and harass them recurrently. Narcissists have a black and white view of the world: if you are not 100% with me, you are 110% the enemy (this is known as “splitting” in the psychological jargon). Trump strikes me as this type of narcissist.

Donald Trump and Narcissistic Personality Disorder: An Interview with Sam Vaknin, By Arlen Williams, The American Thinker, March 6, 2016

And there may be something else connected with his orientation towards revenge.

Notice what Dostoevsky wrote…


The man who lies to himself can be more easily offended than anyone. You know it is sometimes very pleasant to take offence, isn’t it? A man may know that nobody has insulted him, but that he has invented the insult for himself, has lied and exaggerated to make it picturesque, has caught at a word and made a mountain out of a molehill — he knows that himself, yet he will be the first to take offence, and will revel in his resentment till he feels great pleasure in it, and so pass to genuine vindictiveness.

Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

And now look at what he told you was his favorite verse from the Bible…


Last week Trump raised eyebrows when he said in a radio interview with WHAM 1180AM that his favorite Bible verse is “an eye for an eye,” as found in Exodus 21:24.

“That’s not a particularly nice thing. But you know, if you look at what’s happening to our country, I mean, when you see what’s going on with our country, how people are taking advantage of us, and how they scoff at us and laugh at us,” Trump explained.

“And they laugh at our face, and they’re taking our jobs, they’re taking our money, they’re taking the health of our country. And we have to be very firm and have to be very strong. And we can learn a lot from the Bible, that I can tell you.”

‘Eye For an Eye’ or ‘Turn the Other Cheek’? Donald Trump’s Favorite Verse Shows His Ignorance About the Bible, Evangelical Theologians Say, By Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post, April 19, 2016

During the bad times, I learned who was loyal and who wasn’t. I believe in an eye for an eye. A couple of people who betrayed me need my help now, and I am screwing them against the wall! I am doing a number… and I’m having so much fun!

Donald Trump, The Art of the Comeback

And that comes from someone who says…. 


Question: Is there anyone in the Bible that you really relate to that you — that you look up to?

Trump: Nobody that I would compare to. It’s actually a great question. I love the Bible. I love the Bible. I’m a Protestant. I’m a Presbyterian. I went to Sunday school.

August 25, 2015 (Press conference, Dubuque, Iowa)

The religion of Donald Trump, by Boston Globe Staff, September 14, 2015

Was this the kind of fluff that got you to turn a deaf ear to who he really is?

Because this didn’t surprise us…


Richard Branson skewered Donald Trump on Friday, describing a “bizarre” meeting at some point in the past that left the British billionaire “disturbed and saddened.”

In a blog post on his website, the Virgin founder said the Republican nominee invited him over “some years ago” for a one-on-one lunch at his gilded Manhattan apartment. Soon after sitting down to the meal, Branson said, Trump launched into a vicious tirade, vowing vengeance on people who’d refused to lend him money during one of his six bankruptcies.

“Even before the starters arrived he began telling me about how he had asked a number of people for help after his latest bankruptcy and how five of them were unwilling to help,” Branson, 66, wrote. “He told me he was going to spend the rest of his life destroying these five people.”


Richard Branson Recalls ‘Bizarre’ Lunch With Revenge-Obsessed Trump, By Alexander C. Kaufman, Huffington Post, October 21, 2016

Will You Change and Call on Donald to Repent?

As you know, Robert McKee and Shawn Coyne opened our eyes to the reality that story is about change…


So what is a story? Essentially, a story expresses how and why life changes. 

Storytelling That Moves People: A Conversation with Screenwriting Coach Robert McKee by Bronwyn Fryer, Harvard Business Review, June 2003

This is the first thing I always say whenever I talk about story. Stories are about change.

Shawn Coyne, Q&A with Shawn – Part 1

And Paula showed us there is a connection among you Christians between change and the concept of repentance…


Change is not only good; it is critical. If you do the same things today that you did five years ago, you need to closely examine your heart. 

To repent means to change. You discover areas of your life that are 
not under God’s control, and you repent, you change.

….

The word repent means “to turn.” It has the idea of changing directions and heading the opposite way. It involves action.

Francis Chan, Crazy Love


Repentance involves a change of mind and heart first, and secondarily a change of conduct. The Greek word translated repentance (metanoia) literally means a change of outlook (from meta and noeo meaning to reconsider).

….

When people speak of “repentance,” they may mean one of two different things. We use this English word in the sense of a conduct change (turning away from sinful practices). We also use it in the sense of a conceptual change (turning away from false ideas previously held). These two meanings also appear in Scripture.

Notes on Acts, Dr. Thomas L. Constable

So, when Paula also showed us this passage…


Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:17-21


…we began to wonder if you would ever begin to call on Donald Trump to change and repent from his embrace of violence?

Because one of your more noted Christian leaders wrote this…


[V]iolence is contrary to the nature of God, something we can know by evident reason. In other words, Christians and non-Christians alike, including Muslims, should know that violence is an offense to God. So any dialogue, this one or any other, must start with the proposition that both sides renounce violence, repent of violence in the past, and establish that as a fundamental beginning point for any negotiation, or even discussion.

Charles Colson, My Final Word

So, if Colson were still alive, would he have called on Donald Trump to renounce such violent declarations?

And if you do change and call on Donald to repent, it would truly be a radical change – kind of like what happened with your Apostle Paul…


The changes that took place in Saul were important because of his subsequent activity. Luke wrote this pericope to note those changes, so that his readers would understand why Saul acted as he did afterward. Luke stressed the genuineness of Saul’s conversion by showing next the radical change it made in him.

….

Saul’s unexpected and extreme conduct, understandably bewildered the Jews who lived in Damascus. Instead of persecuting the Christians, he was proving that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. This is what people—then and now—need to believe to obtain salvation (cf. 1 John 5:1). Saul had made a 180-degree change in his thinking and in his conduct; he had truly repented.

Notes on Acts, Dr. Thomas L. Constable

But you didn’t, did you? And because of your crazy love crisis, you won’t, will you?

Look at this, from former Southern Baptist pastor and presidential hopeful, Mike Huckabee, whose daughter is the press secretary for President Trump…


MIKE HUCKABEE: I have no idea why Bob Corker and what in the world Jeff Flake have to be thinking when they go after Donald Trump in the midst of this discussion about tax reform.

They may not like him, that is their prerogative. But it is time to do something for the American people. They are acting very selfishly, very petulantly, and they need to grow up and quit getting into it with Donald Trump.

They need to know that he is going to always going to hit back harder than they have the capacity to hit ….

Mike Huckabee, Corker And Flake Need To Know Trump Will “Always Hit Back Harder Than They Have The Capacity To Hit”, Real Clear Politics, October 29, 2017

Is he proud of The Donald?

So, given your resistance to calling on the Donald to repent, what if your God, the Great Storyteller, would like you to consider this, from McKee?


What is a story, precisely? The essential core event in all stories ever told in the history of humanity can be expressed in just three words: Conflict changes life. Therefore, the prime definition becomes: a dynamic escalation of conflict-driven events that cause meaningful change in a character’s life.

Storynomics, By Robert McKee and Tom Gerace

Think about it. What if your drama in America moves in the direction of “a dynamic escalation of conflict-driven events that cause meaningful change in a character’s life”?

So, now we’d like to show you what we discovered about the possibility the violence in your society could escalate.


Could Violence Be Coming Your Way in America’s Unfolding Drama?

Think for a moment about the capacity human beings have for violence…


What is astonishing, however, and deeply disturbing, is how quickly extreme violence can erupt among people who have lived peacefully together for a long time.

German Jews went unmolested by their Gentile neighbors until Nazi leaders stirred up the mobs after 1933. Christians and Muslims coexisted for centuries in Sarajevo, until Serb agitators, backed by armed forces, called for violent expulsions and murder. Hindus and Muslims who had left one another alone, or even had friendly relations, suddenly went for one another’s throats when the largely Muslim north broke away from predominantly Hindu India in 1947. Muslims lived peacefully in Burma until Buddhists, egged on recently by fanatical monks, started burning down their houses and beating them to death.

Over and over again, in societies all over the world, the civilized norms that protect us from anarchy and violence turn out to be perilously thin. Some people may be more disposed to brutality than others, but aggressive impulses can be activated with surprising ease. Petty jealousies or simple greed can swiftly turn unexceptional citizens into agents of barbarism.

Trump’s Flirtation with Violence, By Ian Buruma, Project Syndicate, July 10, 2017

The essence of every civilization is to hold off the worst aspects – chiefly, violence – of human nature – because violence is natural to humans – and channel the good parts of human nature towards productive ends. And what I think we’re missing is that because of the institutions that help us channel and focus human nature in productive ends, starting with the family, are breaking down, we are giving into worst parts of our nature. And we’re listening to the lesser angels, as it were, of our nature, if not the demons. And I think that it’s very easy for people within their coalition to see the hypocrisy, and cruelty, and nastiness and intellectual dishonesty of the other coalition. But they will make remarkable allowances for the members of their own coalition.

– Jonah Goldberg

Goldberg’s ‘Suicide Of The West’ Tackles Ills Of Identity Politics, National Public Radio, April 23, 2018

Anger and vengeance and violence are exceedingly easy to access and almost effortlessly unleashed.

A Week From Hell, by Charles M. Blow, New York Times, JULY 8, 2016

Unleashed…This would cause most people to pause, but not Trump.

Because you failed to speak out against Donald Trump’s embrace of revenge, how will you then speak out against your enemies taking increased revenge against you?

Think about it.


This might sound like a relatively small matter compared to things such as honesty, equality and justice. But dignity — both acting in a dignified manner and treating others in a manner appropriate to their dignity — is a core value of democracy. America’s founders were generally suspicious of absolute democracy, which can easily become tyranny exercised by 50 percent of the public plus one. In a strong democracy, those in the majority are restrained by respect for the dignity of those in the minority. If the majority uses its (temporary) power to demean, humiliate and dishonor those out of power, it plants seeds of future revenge and escalation.

Trump boldly asserts that he has learned nothing these past two years, By Michael Gerson, Washington Post, March 4, 2019

Will you then say it’s wrong to take revenge even though you appear to have quietly approved of the Donald’s desire?

Do you think they will actually listen in that day?


There’s a reasonable fear of severe political revenge from the extreme progressives if and when they get into power.

The Backlash Is Building, By ROD DREHER, American Conservative, March 5, 2018

And, there’s something else to consider: Won’t the silence about Donald’s embrace of revenge then become a justification for your enemies to impose even more silence upon you?

We in China watched closely how the Christians in the Soviet Union were turned in Whisperers. And, Chinese Christians are heading in the same direction. Is it possible this could happen in America too?

You don’t even want to think about this kind of thing, do you?

But, you should if you care about your reputation. Because the Benedict Option guy may be on to something…


Besides, fair or not, conservative Christianity will be associated with Trump for the next few years, and no doubt beyond. If conservative church leaders aren’t extraordinarily careful in how they manage their public relationship to the Trump administration, anti-Trump blowback will do severe damage to the church’s reputation. Trump’s election solves some problems for the church, but given the man’s character, it creates others. Political power is not a moral disinfectant.

Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option

And the same thing may play out in China…


An immense moral capital is being built up in China by those religious communities that refuse to bend to Communist repression. By contrast, religious communities identified with the regime will bear the stigma of that regime when it collapses, as Communist regimes inevitably do. Xi Jinping’s increasing repression, which is not limited to religious persecution, does not bespeak a regime confident of its stability; neither does his reversion to Maoist one-man lifetime rule. China has immense social problems, bad demographics, increasing corruption, and an educated population restive about income distribution and Big Brother social control (not least of cyberspace). Add up those factors and it seems more than likely that Cardinal Zen is right: Chinese Communism is mortal.

Did Pope Francis Just Make China Protestant?, By GEORGE WEIGEL, National Review, September 24, 2018

You don’t even want to think about all these things, do you?

But, you may want to, especially if you are contemplating Hector Klumpp’s Anticipatory Peace Proposal.


A peaceful separation requires some mutual respect and concern for the flourishing of the other. The Left, like crazed primitives engaged in honor killing, would instead exact revenge and command forced association rather than allow a divorce.

The Left Won’t Allow a Peaceful Separation, By Christopher Roach, American Greatness, January 21st, 2019


Can You See the Dangerous Elephant Man?

An important note to the reader:


Our alternate title: Can You See the Dangerous Elephant Man? came about in a strange way. And, at the risk of exposing what a tangled mess my mind can be, I’d like to explain to you how we came by the title.

You see, Paula Wong, the love of my life, is better at English than me. Her mind is a steel trap. She is always telling me about strange American sayings that I had never heard, such as the one I just used… a mind like a steel trap. I love that.

So, when she explained to me your saying, “The Elephant in the Room” I laughed aloud. What a picture. It still makes me smile thinking of some smelly, overbearingly obvious thing that no one wants to talk about.

But it took me on a trail– the elephant is an animal, and that made me think of, one of the many movies which has caught our attention…


ELEPHANT MAN (1980) | Full Movie Trailer


And notice how, beginning at about the 1:50 mark, he says…


“I am not an animal, I a human being.”


Well, that took me down another trail—I thought of one of our secular story allies, Stephen Hawking, and remembered that he doesn’t share the same view at all…


We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star.

Stephen Hawking, Der Spiegel, 17 October 1988

The human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies.

Stephen Hawking, interview with Ken Campbell on the 1995 show Reality on the Rocks: Beyond Our Ken

Many, many people in both our countries agree with Hawking. We are nothing more than…take your pick: monkeys or chemical scum.

While many hold this belief, there are some in this group whom we have come to call Beefy Nihilists. We have my best friend Hector Klumpp to thank for the name.

But, as you read the following, make a mental note. Though many hold this belief, not all are Beefy Nihilists. Not all. Some.

And, please note, since we are talking here about violent revenge, it is the Beefy Nihilists, thinking of themselves as just animals or scum, that may feel free to release the rage within and unleash their violent power.

For it’s the Beefy Nihilist who asks, “What does it matter?”

Thus we arrive at our alternate title: These Beefy Nihilists are the Dangerous Elephant Man.


This leads me to an important disclaimer:


As much as you Christians want to vilify the left, do not make the mistake of thinking that everyone on the left is a Beefy Nihilist.


That’s an absurd notion. The Beefy Nihilists are as much a rarity as the violent ones on the opposite side.

So, read the many alarming quotes about the Left with this in mind. There are some on the Right that don’t bother to make this distinction, adding fuel to your already raging fire.

But, on to the Dangerous Elephant man



Many of you Christians in America were very clear about what you wanted from the 2016 Presidential Race. You wanted to win back the Presidency as the path to get something you wanted very badly– to have judges appointed to the Supreme Court to secure a Pro-life majority.

Donald Trump could see your desperate need. And, as he strategically and brilliantly knocked out the best candidates in the primary that could fulfill your desires, he contemplated how to win your support.

Donald Trump, by his own touting, is quite the negotiator.

He knew it was imperative to have the support of the Christians if he was going to win the 2016 election to become the 45th President of your United States.

You knew this too, right? And, you had grown weary of the angry left, whom you saw as your enemies to be defeated. So, when Trump got into that room with your Evangelical leaders and talked of “push back” and “striking back”, it brought hope, which your leaders excitedly shared with the troops.

From our secret rooms in China, we speculated that you were wondering, “Could we be restored to our rightful place on the throne of democracy?”


 When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
 but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves.

Proverbs 28:12


We thought you might be wondering, “Could we experience some level of restoration of the reputation as “good guys” that has been lost in these last forty years?”


Is America Breaking Bad?


If you begin to see through the story lens, you may be interested in a very popular television show in America which can shed some light on how your drama in the United States may unfold.

It’s called Breaking Bad.


Here is the description from Wikipedia


Breaking Bad is an American crime drama television series created and produced by Vince Gilligan. The show originally aired on the AMC network for five seasons, from January 20, 2008, to September 29, 2013. It tells the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a struggling high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, who, together with his former student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), turns to a life of crime, producing and selling crystallized methamphetamine to secure his family’s financial future before he dies. The title is from a Southern colloquialism meaning to “raise hell”. Breaking Bad is set and was filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


It’s a fascinating show which can help you consider a strange possibility.

There has been a great deal of pushing God away in your country. Even among the Christians. If you haven’t pushed God away, how is it that you embraced Donald Trump?

You may balk at that, but certainly you’ll agree that in your country as a whole, God has been shoved to the side, right?

What if pushing God away is the trigger which sets off a dangerously blossoming mushroom cloud as America’s drama moves into a crisis mode?


So… if Christianity is the story we are in, is it possible …

when humans tell God “forget you!”

… and they push him away …

…can they shift towards breaking bad?


And in America’s unfolding drama, could such a shift… lead the United States … to its own form of suicide?

There is a fascinating passage out of the Old Testament which caught our attention.

Here are a couple of your translations of it…


They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless.

2 Kings 17:15


They rejected the Lord’s statutes, the covenant that he had made with their ancestors, and his warnings that he gave them. They pursued meaninglessness — and became meaningless themselves — as they followed the lifestyles of the nations that surrounded them, a practice that the Lord had warned them not to do.

2 Kings 17:15


They became worthless. That is a thing that can happen, if it’s the Christian story we are in.

And consider where all that may lead…


In a world with no clear origin, no purposeful end, and no intrinsic meaning, human dignity is founded on nothing more than a self-creating will to power that is, in the last analysis, self-destructive.

The New Dignity: Gnostic, Elitist, Self-Destructive Will-to-Power, by Roberta Green Ahmanson, Public Discourse, November 24th, 2015

The thoroughly secularized social order gives rise to a feeling of meaninglessness: there is a vacuum in the public square of political and cultural life, and this invites violent outbreaks of dissatisfaction. As a consequence, it is hard to predict the future of the secularist society. It depends in part on how long most people will be willing to pay the price of meaninglessness in exchange for the license to do what they want. So long as people feel sure of the comforts of affluence, they may be willing to tolerate these tensions indefinitely. On the other hand, irrational reactions are unpredictable, especially when there is a sense that the institutions of society are not legitimate. The circumstance of modern secular society is more precarious than we may want to recognize. Those who recognize the danger call for a reaffirmation of the traditions by which the culture is defined, and most specifically for the reaffirmation of the religious roots of those traditions.

How to Think About Secularism, by Wolfhart Pannenberg, First Things (June/July 1996)

When young people no longer know that they have received their lives from their parents and, through them, from God, life becomes meaningless. Life is no longer open to others and, ultimately, to God.

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, by Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger, First Things (October 1997)

It is of course a commonplace nowadays to observe that we are living in the era of “psychological man.” By this we mean that psychology in one of its various incarnations—psychoanalysis and psychiatry included—has become the primary means whereby we try to understand the meaning and purpose of our existence.

….

Freud, whatever his flaws, had the courage of his convictions, and so followed the implications of his vision through to their ultimate end. What he found was a universe devoid of meaning; to explain his own mental state he was driven near the end to postulate a “death instinct,” a concept no more scientific or measurable than “God” or “purpose” or “meaning,” but considerably more grim, and in the end he chose to die by his own hand.

….

All scientific method applied to human behavior gives rise not just to resistance, but to dread and even revulsion, because its end point—even if only sensed inchoately and not faced fully—is appalling: the elimination of the possibility of choice, meaning, and purpose in human existence. For from the scientific perspective, “meaning” and “purpose,” like “free will,” are but illusions of human subjectivity, ultimately reducible to other, prior causes. While this certainly wounds man’s pride, it does more than that: It demonstrates that the object of his deepest longings is utterly illusory, and hence his longings are utterly unfulfillable.

Here we have introduced a new observation, namely, that there is such a thing as a profound common human longing for meaning and purpose. If it is true that, unlike our longings for food, water, nurturance, accomplishment, and romance (to name a few), our longing for meaning and purpose has no attainable object, then it makes perfect sense to label such a longing as neurotic. The repetitive, compulsive pursuit of illusory and therefore unattainable goals is, after all, almost a definition of the term.

PSYCHOLOGY AND THE ABOLITION OF MEANING, by Jeffrey Burke Satinover, First Things, February 1994

Not only did the general idea of biological evolution impact the way people thought about the value of human life, but Darwin’s particular theory of evolution by natural selection-with the Malthusian population principle embedded in it—contributed to a devaluing of human life, too.

Many German Darwinists, including Kossmann, argued that the mass destruction of organisms, including humans, showed that individual human lives were not really so important.

Richard Weikart, From Darwin to Hitler

In a speech honoring Darwin’s hundredth birthday in 1909 Max Von Gruber, a famous professor of hygiene at the University of Munich’ expressed exactly this point. He opened his speech by countering the Common misconception that nature is peaceful, harmonious, and idyllic. Rather it is “filled with pitiless, gruesome struggle, with torment and death . . . Not only do animals murder animals, but plants murder plants) Darwin, Gruber exulted, had discovered a rationale behind all this seemingly meaningless misery:

The never-ceasing struggle is, according to him [Darwin], not useless. It constantly clears away the malformed, the weak, and the inferior among the generations and thus secures the future for the fit. Thus only through the inexorable extermination of the negative variants does it provide living space for the strong and its strong offspring, and it keeps the species healthy, strong, and able to live.

Suffering and death, then, were not gratuitous, but fulfilled a higher purpose – the preservation and advancement of all living beings. Even though Gruber thought human reason and pity could and should mollify the struggle among humans, Darwinism helped him find purpose and meaning in the mass destruction of other organisms.

Richard Weikart, From Darwin to Hitler

That’s breaking bad!

There is another passage in your New Testament book of Romans which also makes a direct connection between human beings pushing God away, and a transformation in a decidedly negative direction…


For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Romans 1:21-32


See all that breaking bad stuff?


Romans 1:21-23 indicates that these individuals worshiped the creation instead of the Creator. By seeing the intricate design of the universe, they could clearly understand the nature of God. Instead of glorifying God for His power, they looked for substitutes. In their foolishness they refused to give thanks to God. Their thinking became futile and their hearts were darkened. Because of their idolatry, God abandoned pagan human beings (or “gave them over”) to their depravity. Instead of attempting to restrain their wickedness, God simply allowed their sin to run its course. He removed His influence and allowed their willful rejection to produce its natural consequence, which in this case was deadly.

The Divine Sabotage: An Exegetical And Theological Study Of Ecclesiastes 3,  By Dan Lioy, CONSPECTUS, March 2008

But we’re betting that passage is something most Americans today would utterly reject as highly offensive.

And what’s so offensive about it?

It’s the idea that if people push God away, they could begin to break bad.

But if the secular version of the story is true, and everything begins and ends in nothingness, then ultimately everything here in the story is meaningless!

And so…



As Stalin put it: “Who’s going to remember all this riff-raff in ten or twenty years’ time?”

Charles Taylor, A Secular Age


So why do they get so offended? Is there more going on in the story than they are willing to recognize?

You see, if Christianity is the story we are in, we wonder now if the following insight, by the famed Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, may well express the underlying thread in the unfolding drama facing you in the United States…


Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Dutch National Archives

More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”

Since then I have spent well nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”…. What emerges here is a process of universal significance. And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, here too I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: “Men have forgotten God.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Templeton Address, 1983


And look at this…


What has happened to America is that we have forgotten God. When faith no longer informs our actions and gives direction to the hopes and dreams of the nation, things fall apart. This is the lesson we must learn. This is also the principal crisis that we must remedy. 

Jim Nelson Black, When Nations Die

We need voices and lives like Jeremiah’s today, calling people to recognize the fact that all ruin and loss and national decay are due to forgetting God, who lifts up or breaks down according to how we relate to Him. Though Jeremiah lived some 2,600 years ago, his voice continues to challenge us today. Christians appear to be ministering in a context very similar to Jeremiah’s.

Notes on Jeremiah, By Dr. Thomas L. Constable, Sonic Light

So… if Christianity is the story we are in, then because people are made in the image and likeness of God, when they forget God, they end up forgetting who they truly are.

As a result, America is experiencing a foundational identity crisis because of the loss of belief that human beings are made in the image and likeness of God…


Nothing is more basic than the recognition that being constituted in the image of God is of the very essence of and absolutely central to the humanness of man. It is the key that unlocks the meaning of his authentic humanity.  Apart from this reality he cannot exist truly as a man, since for man to deny God and the divine image stamped upon his being and to assert his own independent self-sufficiency is to deny his own constitution and thus to dehumanize himself.

Philip Edgecumbe Hughes, The True Image

And notice how this gives you a deep sense of just how powerful this question of foundational identity really is…


“Who am I” is the fundamental question of our existence. Our self-identity is the window through which we perceive and engage the world; it determines all that we do. Our “inscape,” using the poet Gerald Manley Hopkin’s term, determines our landscape. … How we understand ourselves dictates how we behave. Emil Brunner may have overstated the case, but he put his finger on the importance of this concept: “The most powerful of all spiritual forces is man’s view of himself, the way in which he understands his nature and destiny; indeed, it is the one force which determines all the others which influences human life.”

Bruce Waltke, An Old Testament Theology

And Waltke can help you see how the power of that simple question, “Who are we, here in the story?” has huge implications for the future survival of the United States of America… 


Without God, ‘adam’ knows neither his or her identity nor his or her rightful place in the scheme of things. Unaided by revelation, the depraved human mind creates understandings of the identity of humankind that kill society as surely as diseases kill the body.

Bruce Waltke, An Old Testament Theology

So, what if forgetting who you really are also can result in a breaking bad transformation like that passage in Romans describes?

And what if that transformation has the potential to end up in horrifying places?

If so, the following material may give insight into what may be waiting for you as your drama in America continues to unfold and accelerate…


Without God, no basis exists for morality, meaning, the dignity of human beings, knowledge, or truth. Humans cannot reject God and pretend as if everything remains the same without him. In Wojtyla’s words, “[t]he tragedy of atheistic humanism … is that it strips man of his transcendental character, destroying his ultimate significance as a person.” Similarly, Wojtyla adds, citing the Second Vatican Council, “when God is forgotten the creature itself is unintelligible.” Schaeffer agrees, stating “[m]an, made in the image of God, has a purpose—to be in relationship to the God who is there .… Man forgets his purpose, and thus he forgets who he is and what life means.” Without God, therefore, humans self-destruct in nihilism.

Living Truth for a Post-Christian World: The Message of Francis Schaeffer and Karol Wojtyla, by Eduardo J. Echevarria, Acton Institute

I fear a world not just where respect and reverence for God has disappeared, but where all trace of his image has vanished from human minds, and more important, hearts. What kind of terrible creatures will we become?

No wise man, and no great artist, leaves God out, by Paul Johnson, The Spectator, October 11, 2006 (Via Catholic Education Resource Center)

Ideas have consequences, and the result of the loss of the idea of the image of God as the foundation for human worth can have catastrophic consequences for human rights and human life.

Chuck Colson, Foreword to Dr. Glenn Sunshine, Why You Think the Way You Do: The Story of Western Worldviews from Rome to Home

But for rationalistic and naturalistic thought, what has man become in our day? The center of gravity in the human being has sunk so low that, properly speaking, we no longer have any personality, but only the fatal movement of polymorphous larvae in the subterranean world of instinct and desire — Acheronta movebo, Freud himself says — and all the well-regulated dignity of our personal conscience appears as a deceitful mask. In short, man is the only place of intersection and conflict for a radically sexual libido and an instinct for death. This mystery of sorrowing life and divine life, bearing the imprint of the Creator’s face, becomes an enigma, despondent over the complications of death. Man, who at first had been looked upon as both a heroic and quasi-divine figure and a purely natural being, thus falls, following the law of all paganism, into an unnatural mockery of his own nature, which he scourges all the more cruelly the more he nourishes complacency and sentimental piety for it. He is sacked and pillaged, he becomes a monster, a monster dear to himself.

After all the dissociations and dualisms in the age of anthropocentric humanism — the separation and opposition of nature and grace, of faith and reason, of love and knowledge, as also of love and the senses in affective live — we are now witnessing a dispersion, a final decomposition. This does not prevent man from claiming sovereignty more than ever. But this claim is no longer made for the individual person, for he no longer knows where to find himself, he sees himself only as torn apart from society and fragmentized.

Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, Man, the Image of God

At the very head of the Book it is written: “Male and female He made them from the beginning. He made them in His image.” Should we miss the point of that, it’s hard to believe we’d get much right about the rest.

The Embodied Self, by Michael Novak, First Things, February 2003

Wilberforce realized that Britain was a nation that had effectively lost its conscience or grown deaf to it, that claimed in every outward way to be a Christian nation, but that acted upon principles fundamentally at odds with the Christian view of human beings as immortal creatures, created in the image of God.

Eric Metaxas, Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery

Either life is always and in all circumstances sacred, or intrinsically of no account; it is inconceivable that it should be in some cases the one, and in some the other. The God Mother Teresa worships cannot, we are told, see a sparrow fall to the ground without concern. For man, made in God’s image, to turn aside from the universal love, and fashion his own judgments based on his own fears and disparities, is a fearful thing bound to have fearful consequences.

Malcolm Muggeridge, Something Beautiful For God

So, if this kind of breaking bad is unfolding in your drama, it has immense importance for the future of America…


… because the more people break bad, the more their relationships break down.


And the more their relationships break down… the more dangerously divided they become.

So, if Americans continue to push God away, it’s entirely possible America will die…


Without God, there is a coarsening of the society. And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.

Ronald Reagan, Dallas, Texas, August 23, 1984

In establishing this sharp differentiation between what is religious and what is political, Christianity does not throw up a wall of separation between different dimensions of human life. On the contrary, it establishes, in the form of a hierarchy, a connection between them and thus suggests their necessary and organic unity. The key truth is that man receives his liberty from God, and is able to live in liberty only through his continuing relationship with God. In this way, the person has within him something that is radically inalienable, something that no other man can control. That something is his dignity as a free person created in the image of God. This liberty can be maintained and exercised only in dependence upon the creative source of human liberty, which is God. Permit me to suggest that, rightly understood, the 1776 American Declaration of Independence from political tyranny, with its reference to “Nature and Nature’s God,” presupposes this radical dependence on the source of liberty.

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, by Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger, First Things (October 1997)

But if you are having a difficult time believing your drama may be unfolding in this direction, you may want to look at the possibilities through the lens of the simple story question…


What do you really want, here in the story?


Keep in mind that one of the fascinating aspects of the Romans 1:21-28 breaking bad passage is that God gives them over to what they want. 

But from the receiving end, they wouldn’t see being given over as a form of judgment. 

They would see it as a fulfillment of their desires. 


Is America Becoming a Revenge Culture?


President John Adams

[W]e have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net.

John Adams, Letter to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, 11 October 1798, in Revolutionary Services and Civil Life of General William Hull (New York, 1848), pp 265-6.

There is no story of America that works politically that isn’t populist, but if our populism becomes bitter and seeks revenge and a fundamental restructuring of economic power and cultural identity, then the narrative must lead to an essentially destructive politics. 

A New American Myth, by TED MCALLISTER, Law and Liberty, NOVEMBER 8, 2012

Robert F. Kennedy

We must admit in ourselves that our own children’s future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.

Robert F. Kennedy, On the Mindless Menace of Violence, Cleveland, Ohio, April 5, 1968

So, if Donald Trump is, as former Texas Governor Rick Perry said


“He is one of the most talented people who has ever run for the president I have ever seen.”


… then is it not possible that Trump’s talent will inspire many, many Americans to become more like him?

Look at this blog post which shows there are Americans willing to embrace Trump’s vengeance culture…


Here is a list of recommendations from one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time Donald Trump. We are inspired by such talented people and we want to share these ideas with you. These points were gathered from Donald Trump’s books. Get inspired by the business tips listed below!

….

Hire the best people, but do not trust them.

Get even with people who do you wrong.

…..

Value loyalty above everything else.

….

If someone damages your reputation, take revenge that your enemy will never forget.

Forgive good people, but never forgive someone who is bad.

When somebody screws you, screw them back in spades.

When somebody challenges you, fight back. Be brutal, be tough. Just go get them and they will never think about cheating on you again.

Business Advice From Donald Trump, by Filip Molcan, How To Be Successful, June 19, 2015

And there are some indications America already has a revenge culture…


When Vester Lee Flanagan left behind his attempts to explain the unexplainable—the reason he shot two former colleagues in cold blood during a live broadcast—the rationale he gave was simple revenge; revenge for the mass shooting at a church in Charleston; revenge for mistreatment by his formal employer.
After reading the accounts of his work history and personal issues it seems obvious that Flanagan had some sort of serious personality disorder. So revenge is too simple to be a satisfactory explanation, if one is even possible. But it’s out there now, so we should talk about it.

America is a revenge culture: Revenge the television series, revenge porn, revenge games in sports… vengeance is a mainstay of foreign policy and a thematic obsession for film, television, and female pop-musicians.

The End of Revenge: Nonviolence & the American Fascination With Getting Even, by Tim Suttle, Patheos, August 28, 2015

Sometimes, no matter how much we think we have grown, the workplace can turn into high school with its high drama, pettiness, and narrow view of the world. More than 4 in 10 (44%) of 1,000 people surveyed in a new study admit they have sought workplace revenge.

….

Who is committing workplace revenge?

While more than half of workers can resist the urge to take revenge on a co-worker, that does not mean someone won’t try to take it on them. That can be a challenging problem to deal with because the survey showed that only 36% of entry-level workers have sought workplace revenge while 45% of senior managers and 38% of general managers have.

“This makes sense when looking at revenge as a power play,” wrote the study’s author. “Positions with more power may have less fear of losing their job.”

Workplace drama: Nearly half of U.S. workers have sought revenge on a co-worker, By Daniel B. Kline, The Motley Fool, April 23, 2018

So, what if America is already ripe for the revenge culture of Donald Trump?

And what if you become surprised and this begins to play out in your unfolding drama?


In fact, Trump’s policies are not policies. They’re just feverish revenge fantasies. Trump, a scam artist whose entire career has been based on victimizing the working class, should be the target of that anger. Instead, he is encouraging Americans to turn their hostility away from him and against their fellow citizens, inviting us into a war of all against all over which he will preside as an amused dictator.

If I Lose Friends Over Trump, So Be It, by Tom Nichols, The Federalist, April 26, 2016

So, here is something we are wondering.

If Christianity is the story we are in, and your God is the Great Storyteller, what if your God chose Donald Trump to help bring all these issues to the surface as the story of America moves towards its climax?


President Trump “modeled violence as a way to advance politically and validated bullying during and after the campaign,” Mines wrote in Foreign Policy. “Judging from recent events the left is now fully on board with this,” he continued, citing anarchists in anti-globalization riots as one of several flashpoints. “It is like 1859, everyone is mad about something and everyone has a gun.”

Is America Headed for a New Kind of Civil War?, By Robin Wright, The New Yorker, August 14, 2017

We have began to think that it looks like it is possible the story of America could come to its end in a rather horrifying way.

Is that what you really want? Because look at the direction you are heading…


There is little nuance in these battles and absolutely no mercy for anyone unlucky enough to get caught up in their swirling vortex. This is what our culture is driving us toward, and it’s a culture where each moment of conflict galvanizes and tribalizes us still further, in what seems like an endlessly repeating loop of resentment, righteousness, and revenge.

America, Land of Brutal Binaries, By Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Intelligencer, September 21, 2018

Perhaps, then, it would be wise to step back and consider how America’s story could turn out if the direction American society has been going continues on…


The politics of hate will not win. So say those who have a strong abiding faith in human decency but a frail understanding of history. As noted by Eric Hoffer, the reflective student of mass movements, hate is the great unifier of political causes, the motivator of true believers. Sometimes it does win.

For now, hate is winning, and it is out of control.

….

The fragility of democracy is that mass movements feed on their success and move to the extremes. Today, it is harassment and intimidation. Tomorrow it will be violence. And violence will beget violence.

The Politics of Hate and the Soul of Democracy, By Abraham H. Miller, American Conservative, October 6, 2018

Political civility is in danger of becoming a lost art. In the United States, political opponents are quick to blame one another for the horrendous acts committed by Islamic terrorists or schizophrenic young men. Witness, for instance, the New York Times’ recent editorial that blamed the National Rifle Association and the Christian Right for the Orlando shooting. And by no means is this vicious finger-pointing and misdirection confined to one side — it has become the default means of expressing political disagreement. One’s opponents are always responsible for the destruction of culture, they bear guilt for the murder of thousands, and they seek only to accrue power to themselves without regard for the cost.

This path leads to violence.

Have We Lost All Hope of Maintaining Political Civility?, By Noah Daponte-Smith, National Review, June 20, 2016

The result was two camps with fixed ideologies determined not to discuss or debate but to fight one another for dominance. The hatred between the demonstrators could be seen on their faces and at the way they lunged at one another over a six-hour period. Each side was convinced of its righteousness, that it was fighting for the future of America. And at the end of the day, each side declared victory on social media. (If you doubt that is significant, know that these sites and You Tube videos and Twitter streams have thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of followers.)

….

So the country should be disturbed by the hand-to hand combat among citizens that broke out in Berkeley on Saturday. And be warned.

A Little American Civil War in Berkeley, by Frances Dinkelspiel, The Daily Beast, April 16, 2017

Can the nation state, or maybe society in general in the democratic form with which we are familiar, survive in anything like its current shape, when history — which is vital to the nation-state’s legitimation — is fracturing into the myriad identities to which expressive individualism is ultimately vulnerable? When you add to this the other forces militating against social unity — immigration, globalization, etc. — the institutions and processes built on a deep sense of social unity and cohesion look profoundly vulnerable.

….

It is part of an ongoing and perhaps largely unwitting challenge to what it means to be human, and thus to the way the world is currently organized. But, as George Orwell once commented, “So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.” Indeed it is. And we may all be about to be burned.

PLAYING WITH FIRE: THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, THE TEACHING OF HISTORY, AND THE HUMAN CONDITION, by Carl R. Trueman, July 19, 2016

At their harshest, atheists may dehumanize those who are religious or consider them throwbacks to earlier evolutionary cousins of humans. Particularly in the online survey, atheists commonly referred to those who are religious as developmentally impaired, brutish, or unevolved.

There Is No God: Atheists in America, by David A. Williamson and George Yancy

If I had to pick one of the most under-appreciated and under-reported stories of 2017, it would be that a post-Christian America is a more vicious America, and that the triumph of secularists is rendering America more polarized, not less. Remove from the public square biblical admonitions such as “love your enemies” and the hatred has more room to grow. When the fruits of the Spirit — love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control — wither, then the culture is far more coarse.

Can America Survive as a Post-Christian Nation? By David French, National Review, December 27, 2017

Then you have to fashion yourself, as the soulless critic Stephen Greenblatt would have it, and that puts you in a precarious position indeed. It is as if the solitary person had, from his own necessarily poor resources, without genuine culture, to bridge the chasm between unmeaning and meaning; and the only material he could use to build that rickety bridge was the self.

This is the source of the desperation with which so many young people, and the teachers and politicians and mass-entertainers who mislead them, hang onto some marker of identity, some sense that they exist, that they belong to a community, even if the community is abstract and notional, no more than an oval in a Venn diagram, designating the collective of people who self-identify in a certain way because of their race or their ethnicity or their sexual desires.

It is not quite accurate to call such people narcissistic. Contemporary man is too ill to be narcissistic. He is not staring in love at his own beautiful image in the pool. He is staring into the pool to find any clear image of himself at all. If you subject his beliefs to any criticism—and by “beliefs” I mean that delicate spider-web of assumptions about the world that cannot endure the slightest breeze—he does not respond with reasoned argument, but with anger and terror. It is as if you were prying his fingertips from the brink and abandoning him to the abyss. Sometimes it is diagnostic to note contemporary man’s reaction to news that should be happy, but that shakes the spider-web. Tell the feminist that her great-great-grandfather did not, after all, treat his wife like chattel, and that men and women throughout human history have had to learn to love one another just to survive, and the rice-paper walls of her ideological house begin to buckle. Outside of that house lie darkness and confusion.

Love, Liberal Education, and the Secret of Human Identity, By Anthony Esolen, Public Discourse, December 1st, 2016

And look what we found in this noted book…


I have tried, as far as possible, to express the thought of this essay in secular language, but there are points where it has proved impossible to dispense with appeal to religion.  And I think this term must be invoked to describe the strongest sustaining power in a life which is from limited points of view “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” It can be shown in every case that loss of belief results in some form of bitterness. Ancient cynicism, skepticism, and even stoicism, which were products of the decline of Greek religion, each concealed a bitterness. There is bitterness in the thought that there may be no hell; for — in the irrefutable syllogism of the theologians — if there is no hell, there is no justice. And bitterness is always an incentive to self-destruction. When it becomes evident that the world’s rewards are not adequate to the world’s pain, and when the possibility of other reward is denied, simple calculation demands the ending of it all. The task is how to keep men from feeling desperately unrewarded. Do they today wish to go on living, or do they wish to destroy the world? Some are unable to comprehend the bitterness which may induce a desire for the second course.

Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences

Does that have your attention?

If so, maybe you’ll take this guy seriously…


Once the line is crossed — once the principle gains acceptance — juridically, medically, socially — innocent human life can be destroyed for whatever reason, for the most admirable socioeconomic, medical, or social reasons — then it does not take a prophet to predict what will happen next, or if not next, then sooner or later.

Walker Percy, Signposts in a Strange Land

And given our view – not yours – of who we are, here in the story, then perhaps this might be of interest to you…


Every genocide in history was preceded by the perpetrators telling their supporters that the soon-to-be victims were animals, insects, vermin — in one way or another, not human. That’s what was necessary to get consent for whatever the government was going to do. Because once you deny people’s humanity, there’s almost nothing you won’t do to them, or allow to be done to them in your name.

Trump’s ‘animals’, By Paul Waldman, The Week, May 18, 2018

I think it’s important to add that labeling classes of people subhuman is really always wrong. It leads to horrific actions. That’s still true even if we’re talking about people in gangs who do commit horrific acts.

Watch the Whole Video, By Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo, May 17, 2018

But you won’t stop and think seriously about the implications for that in your unfolding drama, will you?

Of course, maybe if you begin to recognize that, if Christianity is the story we are in, your God is the Great Storyteller, who has designed story to be powerful with human beings, then the following insight would light begin to shine a light for you…


Story gives you foresight to see the consequences of future events long before they happen. A leader prepares for change no matter how illogical its cause. In fact, sensitivity to irrational change is quintessentially rational … if you wish to lead.


WHITE PAPER STORY-IN-BUSINESS: Why Story Works, Overcoming Negaphobia, and Authoring the Future, BY ROBERT MCKEE


The Beefy Nihilists are Out There


Are you afraid of the Gray Rhino grunting at you?

Are you afraid of Black Swans flying overhead?

What if, as your drama unfolds and you continue to march yourselves onto Desperate Ground, you may also have a Dangerous Elephant Man, a Beefy Nihilist, waiting to meet you somewhere along the path?

But you won’t stop and think seriously about the implications for that in your unfolding drama, will you?


We want to help you face the reality that the Beefy Nihilist are certainly out there and will be a factor as your drama unfolds.

Which brings us back around to my best friend, Hector Klumpp, and his Anticipatory Peace Proposal.

In the face of what Satan wants, and what the Beefy Nihilists want…


A peaceful separation requires some mutual respect and concern for the flourishing of the other. The Left, like crazed primitives engaged in honor killing, would instead exact revenge and command forced association rather than allow a divorce.

The Left Won’t Allow a Peaceful Separation, By Christopher Roach, American Greatness, January 21st, 2019

Maybe you better take Hector Klumpp’s warning seriously. How dangerous will the Beefy Nihilists become?

The Beefy Nihilists have a hero, and his name is Friedrich Nietzsche. If there are Beefy Nihilist showing up on your path forward as a country, you should look at what the man was all about…


Friedrich Nietzsche was the most honest atheist of modern times. He was one of the very few who truly understood how momen­tous an event it would be for European civilisation to lose the spiritual foundation on which it had been built since the conver­sion of Emperor Constantine in 312. …. Nietzsche had a premonition that some vast tragedy was going to play itself out in Germany once the full consequence of the death of Christianity had been absorbed. He wrote, ‘One day my name will be associated with the memory of something tremen­dous – a crisis without equal on Earth, the most profound colli­sion of conscience, a decision that was conjured up against every­thing that had been believed, demanded, hallowed so far. I am no man, I am dynamite.’

Had he been entirely alone in this judgement, one might have said this was madness, despite the fact that it actually happened and that the most objectionable passages in Nietzsche’s writings also turned out to be the most prophetic. But one other genius, the poet Heinrich Heine, saw the same thing in 1843, forty-five years before Nietzsche, in one of the most prescient pieces ever written:

A drama will be enacted in Germany compared to which the French Revolution will seem like a harmless idyll. Christianity restrained the martial ardor of the Germans for a time but it did not destroy it; once the restraining talisman is shattered, savagery will rise again . . . the mad fury of the berserk, of which Nordic poets sing and speak . . . The old stony gods will rise from the rubble and rub the thousand-year-old dust from their eyes. Thor with the giant hammer will come forth and smash the gothic domes.

The German thunder . . . rolls slowly at first but it will come. And when you hear it roar, as it has never roared before in the history of the world, know that the German thunder has reached its target.

Although Heine’s views had nothing in common with Nietzsche’s, on this one point their judgement concurred. It would happen when Christian ethics lost their power, when people could no longer hear the divine ‘Thou shalt not’.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning

And here’s another one about Freddy… 


Nietzsche has his own famous term to describe the same effect: the death of God. He was not the first to use the term. Hegel among others had used the term seventy-five years before him, but Nietzsche was the most radical in pressing home the consequences in every areaThe death of God was far more than a crisis for theology and theologians. It was an all-encompassing catastrophe that touched the whole of culture and all the values and disciplines that had depended on God-including such important things as truth, reason, knowledge, morality, right, wrong, good, evil, art, philosophy and the humanities. Every one of them must change and be drastically revalued. God was dead, the sun had been destroyed, the cosmic order had been unhinged, the center had collapsed, and everything that had once depended on them was now hollowed out, empty, vacuous and sheer vanity. Nothing would ever be the same again. In losing God the Western world had lost its soul and its center. It had become “weightless” -groundless, centerless, meaningless, insignificant and immaterial, with an “unbearable lightness of being.”

Os Guinness, Impossible People

If Freddie is right, what does it all matter? Why not eliminate the weak? Like Eric Harris of the Columbine High School massacre…


Eric Harris, the co-conspirator behind the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, confided to his journal just a few months before his rampage, “I just love Hobbes and Nietzche [sic].” On the day of the shooting he wore a T-shirt that proclaimed “Natural Selection,” and in his journal he stated that he loved natural selection and thought we should return to a state of nature where everyone had to fend for themselves. He wanted the weak and sick to die; his solution was to “kill him, put him out of his misery.” He also expressed utter contempt for humanity and dreamed of exterminating the entire human population. Although Harris had personal reasons for his hatred of humanity-he felt belittled and left out socially-he had also absorbed ideas prominent in our society today. It seems clear from his musings that Harris thought life was meaningless and death was natural, so why worry about it? On the same day that he wrote in his journal, “I say, ‘KILL MANKIND’ no one should survive,” he also remarked, “theres no such thing as True Good or True Evil, its all relative to the observer. Its just all nature, chemistry, and math. deal with it.” Earlier he had written, “just because your mommy and daddy told you blood and violence is bad, you think its a law of nature? wrong, only science and math are true, everything, and I mean everything else is man made.”

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

Oh, and look at this…


The radicals who once served the useful purpose of putting fear into the other side are taking center stage.  It’s not surprising that the French Terror began with the purge of the moderates and the urgency of virtue. As Robespierre put it, virtuous men have no choice but to employ any means necessary:

If the basis of popular government in peacetime is virtue, the basis of popular government during a revolution is both virtue and terror; virtue, without which terror is baneful; terror, without which virtue is powerless. Terror is nothing more than speedy, severe and inflexible justice; it is thus an emanation of virtue; it is less a principle in itself, than a consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing needs of the patrie.

The Thing is older than one would think. And more voracious.  The intellectual Old Bolsheviks thought their illustrious records would protect them from the ruffian Stalin. Bukharin, who was eventually executed by Stalin, once said: “Koba, you used to be grateful for the support of your Bolshevik comrades.” “Gratitude is a dog’s disease,” Stalin shot back.

By Any Means Necessary: Left-Wing Violence Won’t Stop with Andy Ngo, BY RICHARD FERNANDEZ, PJ Media, JUNE 30, 2019

Be careful. The Beefy Nihilists are still in your story. And the idea that god is dead has been the steady diet they are consuming.

Can you sense the challenge human beings face from our version of the story we are in?…


I am very concerned that too many of us complacently believe that the reigning societal value under which we were raised–the sanctity/equality of human life – continues to control society. But that is no longer true. We are in the midst of an attempted coup de culture that seeks to supplant human exceptionalism with a toxic mix of utilitarianism/hedonism/radical environmentalism-scientism as the sources of our personal values and public policies. Thus, I take every chance offered to issue the warning. …. I assert that rejecting human exceptionalism is to reject human freedom.
……

These, and other, attacks on human exceptionalism are profoundly dangerous to human life and liberty. It is our unique moral status in the known universe that gives rise to both universal (human) rights. It is the sanctity of life ethic that compels us to care for the weak, vulnerable, and elderly among us.

Either we all matter equally, simply and merely because we are human—or our value becomes relative, our rights, and indeed, our continued existence—determined by the reigning power structure of the day. After all, if we are merely another animal in the forest—or worse, the planet’s enemies—why should any of us be treated as if we have any special meaning at all?

I’m tellin’ y’all, I know what I am talking about here. Let us hope that forewarned is forearmed.

Discard Human Exceptionalism and You Discard Universal Human Rights, by Wesley J. Smith, First Things, October 31, 2009

In a world with no clear origin, no purposeful end, and no intrinsic meaning, human dignity is founded on nothing more than a self-creating will to power that is, in the last analysis, self-destructive.

The New Dignity: Gnostic, Elitist, Self-Destructive Will-to-Power, by Roberta Green Ahmanson, Public Discourse, November 24th, 2015

All scientific method applied to human behavior gives rise not just to resistance, but to dread and even revulsion, because its end point—even if only sensed inchoately and not faced fully—is appalling: the elimination of the possibility of choice, meaning, and purpose in human existence. For from the scientific perspective, “meaning” and “purpose,” like “free will,” are but illusions of human subjectivity, ultimately reducible to other, prior causes. While this certainly wounds man’s pride, it does more than that: It demonstrates that the object of his deepest longings is utterly illusory, and hence his longings are utterly unfulfillable.

Here we have introduced a new observation, namely, that there is such a thing as a profound common human longing for meaning and purpose. If it is true that, unlike our longings for food, water, nurturance, accomplishment, and romance (to name a few), our longing for meaning and purpose has no attainable object, then it makes perfect sense to label such a longing as neurotic. The repetitive, compulsive pursuit of illusory and therefore unattainable goals is, after all, almost a definition of the term.

PSYCHOLOGY AND THE ABOLITION OF MEANING, by Jeffrey Burke Satinover, First Things, February 1994

What, more realistically, is this “mutation,” the “new man”? He is the rootless man, discontinuous with a past that Nihilism has destroyed, the raw material of every demagogue’s dream; the “free-thinker” and skeptic, closed only to the truth but “open” to each new intellectual fashion because he himself has no intellectual foundation; the “seeker” after some “new revelation,” ready to believe anything new because true faith has been annihilated in him; the planner and experimenter, worshipping “fact” because he has abandoned truth, seeing the world as a vast laboratory in which he is free to determine what is “possible”; the autonomous man, pretending to the humility of only asking his “rights,” yet full of the pride that expects everything to be given him in a world where nothing is authoritatively forbidden; the man of the moment, without conscience or values and thus at the mercy of the strongest “stimulus”; the “rebel,” hating all restraint and authority because he himself is his own and only god; the “mass man,” this new barbarian, thoroughly “reduced” and “simplified” and capable of only the most elementary ideas, yet scornful of anyone who presumes to point out the higher things or the real complexity of life.

Rose & Eugene Seraphim, Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age

The idea that we are just part of nature and nothing to celebrate is gaining traction in these nihilistic times. …. If we are nothing special, Jefferson’s assertion that all men are created equal — by which he means we have equal moral worth — becomes essentially untenable. Indeed, if we are nothing special, we are thrust back into a purely materialistic Darwinian world of tooth and claw, where might makes right. And that opens the door to all the evils that have plagued human history. Indeed, understanding that there is such a thing as evil action proves we are special in the known universe.

Smith: Derbyshire and Darwin, by Wesley J. Smith, First Things, October 9, 2007

But here in each of our own stories, we experience a fascinating range of core values.

Why is that?

Where does that experience come from?

Is it really all an illusion?

These are the things that keep Paula and I up all night talking.

And, if Christianity is the story we are in, then look at this, from the Moore Man…


The demonic elements of the universe wish for us to see ourselves as either more than we are or as less than we are. They wish for us to see ourselves as beasts, animals driven along only by our appetites and our instincts, and thus unaccountable morally to God, or as gods ourselves, those with no ethical boundaries other than those we impose on ourselves, and thus morally unaccountable to God.

Russell Moore, Onward

See what he says the demons wish for me? Spooky…

I have my own issues as secularist, but we hope that you Christians are feeling a little spooked yourselves. Are you?

Are you ready to consider that Anticipatory Peace Proposal by Hector Klumpp and the Nihilist Lites of America?

After all…


It does not have to be this way. There is a difficult, but ultimately peaceful path that ends with everyone getting most of what they want. We divide the nation in two.

….

Nobody is expected to cheer for this split. Cheering is not a normal reaction when couples get a divorce. We cheer for old married people on their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

But life is imperfect. Life is hard. We both now agree that living under the other side’s value system is wholly unacceptable. The most peaceful solution we Americans can hope for now is to go our separate ways. So let us come together one last time and agree on one thing: Irreconcilable differences.

It’s Time For The United States To Divorce Before Things Get Dangerous, By Jesse Kelly, The Federalist, April 10, 2018

And look at this warning…


The danger to the country this time around is that the Left has so destroyed the old protocols of the opposition party that it will be hard to resurrect them when progressives return to power.

We are entering revolutionary times. The law is no longer equally applied. The media are the ministry of truth. The Democratic party is a revolutionary force. And it is all getting scary.

Revolution and Worse to Come, By VICTOR DAVIS HANSON, National Review, April 24, 2018

So, if Christianity is the story we are in, are you sure you want to push your God away and embrace revenge along with your President?


The Vicious Payback Cycle

We get it that you’re mad at the left, for you have suffered. And Trump really knows how to milk that for all it’s worth. And, you’ve embraced a guy who’s really into political payback. But, is that really what you Christians want?


The Cycle of Revenge Rarely Slows

Ordinary Americans have endured being insulted by the ruling class’s favorite epitaphs—racist, sexist, etc., and, above all, stupid; they have had careers and reputations compromised by speaking the wrong word in front of the wrong person; endured dictates from the highest courts in the land that no means yes (King), that public means private (Kelo), that everyone is entitled to make up one’s meaning of life (Casey), but that whoever thinks marriage is exclusively between men and women is a bigot (Obergefell).

Trying to stop the cycle of political payback with another round of it, while not utterly impossible, is well-nigh beyond human capacity.

….

But not only do opposing sets of wrongs not make anything right. As I have argued (Sophocles did it a lot better), trying to stop the cycle of political payback with another round of it, while not utterly impossible, is well-nigh beyond human capacity.

Neither Obama nor Trump seem to know or care that cycles of reciprocal resentment, of insults and injuries paid back with ever more interest and ever less concern for consequencesare the natural fuel of revolutions—easy to start and soon impossible to stop. America’s founders, steeped in history as few of our contemporaries are, were acutely aware of how easily factional enmities deliver free peoples into the hands of emperors. America is already advanced in this vicious cycle. The only possible chance of returning it to republicanism lies in not taking the next turn, and in not following one imperial ruler with another.

Donald Trump Is The Next Barack Obama, By Angelo Codevilla, February 29, 2016

See that? Fuel of revolutions. Has it already become impossible to stop in America?


The problem with today’s new puritans lies in the fact that the market for flawed heroes is now overheated in terms of both supply and demand. The supply of potential culprits will always be boundless, for we are all sinners, and we have all committed sins that someone somewhere can track down and avenge in the name of justice. What makes this explosive is that in a culture of victimhood, hyper-sensitivity and litigiousness, the demand is equally stoked. But our brave new activists only make the problem worse, for the more the revenge, the greater the resentment, and the greater the need for further revenge. Revenge does not resolve injustice, it recycles it and binds the generations together in iron links of resentment and hatred. What is forgotten is that, even with the direst injustice, judgment alone cannot bring justice and genuine peace unless there is also healing, forgiveness and reconciliation. A society that is bent on avenging all the sins of the fathers (and mothers) will find that they end with no freedom and no future but only the bondage of deepening intergenerational cycles of injury, resentment and vengeance.


Os Guinness, Impossible People

The Anger of the Left

Paula told me another of your wonderful sayings awhile back, and I love it: It takes two to tango. So true. Because, you’re not the only ones angry here.

Here’s a taste of the anger from the left…


We’re seeing the results every day, and we’ve seen liberal anger steadily rising. While we may only think about it as anger when we see a Trump administration official asked to leave a restaurant, anger is what’s driving so much liberal activism, just as it always did for conservatives. That’s especially true for the people whom Trump holds in the most contempt, among them racial minorities and women.

The Liberal Backlash Is Coming, By PAUL WALDMAN, The American Prospect, JULY 9, 2018

Just what will the rage-filled American political left and their Democratic Party handmaidens do when they take power?

Given their recent calls to mob action, harassing Republicans and their families out of restaurants and movie theaters, spittle flying from angry mouths, America is right to wonder what will happen when the left holds the federal hammer in its hands.

….

Waters, the Los Angeles Democrat considered a hero and wise woman to some, argued publicly that those loyal to President Trump should be hounded, publicly.

“And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd,” Waters said at a rally the other day. “And you push back on them.”

This is exceedingly dangerous. It begs violence. And if it happens, it will rightly be put in the lap of the Democrats.

Because Waters is a Democrat, and what she calls for is mob action and vengeance. The mob lunges forward, filled with self-righteousness and seeks a dehumanized enemy.

What adds to the danger is that Trump voters have already been dehumanized as “deplorables” and most recently and loudly as Nazis by many in media and the left, for daring to think America should have control over its borders.

Democrats, Maxine Waters, is the sky falling?, By John Kass, Chicago Tribune, June 26, 2018

With the contempt of the left sky high, this could get interesting for you.

But, I have something difficult for you to consider. To use another American phrase Paula taught me: Let’s not pull any punches—While you Christians stewed in your anger, they went and won the story war, or ‘culture war’ as some call it. And, they’re not inclined to accommodate you…


The culture wars are over; they lost, we won. Remember, they were the ones who characterized constitutional disputes as culture wars (see Justice Scalia in Romer v. Evans, and the Wikipedia entry for culture wars, which describes conservative activists, not liberals, using the term.) And they had opportunities to reach a cease fire, but rejected them in favor of a scorched earth policy. The earth that was scorched, though, was their own. (No conservatives demonstrated any interest in trading off recognition of LGBT rights for “religious liberty” protections. Only now that they’ve lost the battle over LGBT rights, have they made those protections central – seeing them, I suppose, as a new front in the culture wars. But, again, they’ve already lost the war.). For liberals, the question now is how to deal with the losers in the culture wars. That’s mostly a question of tactics. My own judgment is that taking a hard line (“You lost, live with it”) is better than trying to accommodate the losers, who – remember – defended, and are defending, positions that liberals regard as having no normative pull at all. Trying to be nice to the losers didn’t work well after the Civil War, nor after Brown. (And taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.) I should note that LGBT activists in particular seem to have settled on the hard-line approach, while some liberal academics defend more accommodating approaches. When specific battles in the culture wars were being fought, it might have made sense to try to be accommodating after a local victory, because other related fights were going on, and a hard line might have stiffened the opposition in those fights. But the war’s over, and we won.

Abandoning Defensive Crouch Liberal Constitutionalism, by Mark Tushnet, Balkinization, May 06, 2016

Such cases clearly illustrate the totalitarian spirit of this new secularism. The new secularism is not only interested in controlling today’s society; it also seeks to deprive future generations of the keys to unlock and interpret of our personal and international memory. The abolition of books like Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, St. Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of the Sun,” the Rule of Saint Benedict, and the novels of G.K. Chesterton, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, T.S. Eliot, Graham Greene, and Cormac McCarthy will not help society to develop integration and mutual respect. On the contrary, such repression will lead everyone to new unbearable forms of slavery.

Europe, Multiculturalism, and Nihilism, by Luca Volontè, Public Discourse, December 17th, 2015

The arrogant humanism underpinning liberalism, combined with fallen human nature, makes the temptation to violence irresistible, especially in times of political exile. …. Many of the heroes of the left are figures of violence — from Fidel Castro and Che Guevera to Bill Ayers and the Black Panthers.

The Left’s Flirtation With Trumpicide, By GEORGE NEUMAYR, The American Spectator, June 15, 2017

Be warned. Violence may be coming your way.



Violent Turns in the Stories of Nations

In your fear of losing your religious liberties, you entered foolish negotiations and entrusted yourself to a man who embraces revenge. We find it interesting that in your desire for justice you trusted in a man who believes in taking matters into his own hands, rather than leaving vengeance to your God. So, in your Trump bargain, did you try to steal what rightly only belongs to your God?

Which brings me to another useful saying Paula taught me: it’s time to take off the gloves. We need to engage in some straight talk about revenge in stories.

The story of any country can take turns you would have never believed. And when they take a violent turn, we Chinese can tell you from experience—watch out…


During the Cultural Revolution itself, the Chinese became like wild beasts, a situation made possible by their atheist background and the violence at the heart of communist ideology. They stopped at nothing to achieve their objective, with husbands and wives betraying each other, children denouncing their parents, and students attacking their teachers. It was a time when virtually everyone in China was transformed into a monster complicit in the bloodshed.

As these events unfolded, people were only concerned about ideology: They cared little for individual human lives, much less for honor. The Cultural Revolution brought out the beast in the Chinese; it was a cathartic release of the will to sin.

Cultural Revolution isn’t over yet in PRC, By Cao Changqing, Taipei Times, May 19, 2006

Deng Jifang had fled his village as a young boy after his brother and father, who belonged to the hated landlord class, were killed by the government in the 1950s.

But in 1968, villagers trying to comply with a Red Guard frenzy for rounding up “class enemies” hunted down Deng, then 20, in a neighboring village. They carried him in a bamboo cage back to Sixiao, where the villagers beat him and poked him with hot iron rods until he passed out.

The villagers then carried him to the river, and while he was still alive, Yi slit his chest and pulled out Deng’s heart and liver.

“Because he was a class enemy, it wasn’t enough to kill him,” Zheng said. “You had to eat him. It was a symbol of loyalty to the party.”

Scholars Continue to Reveal Mao’s Monstrosities, Beth Duff-Brown, Los Angeles Times, November 20, 1994

The Red Guard hounded thousands of people to commit suicide and just outright murdered thousands of others. Even the Chinese government today admits that anywhere from 1.5 million to 2 million people died as a result of Mao’s Red Guard rampage.

The Red Guards went through China to rid their country of “the Four Olds,” which were: “old customs, old culture, old habits, and old ideas.” Those are pretty broad categories, aren’t they? Mao’s young hoodlums went on a rampage destroying anything they thought was old. They burned, looted, smashed, or tore down thousands of priceless works of art from ancient Chinese culture.

The Red Guard wanted to rid China of its past — anything that “offended” them was a target. They even raided cemeteries and dug up corpses of ancient Chinese leaders! At the Ming Tombs they dragged out the remains of the Wanli Emperor and his empress (dead for about 400 years), denounced these corpses as enemies of the people, and burned them. At the cemetery of Confucius, the Red Guard dug up the remains of the Duke of Yansheng and hanged the corpse on a tree. Statues, tombs, shrines, monasteries, paintings, and priceless records from antiquity were destroyed by the Red Guard.

Five Common Threads Between China’s Red Guard and Antifa, BY JEFF SANDERS, Pajamas Media, SEPTEMBER 14, 2017

You trace how the schools of artistic experimentation and intellectual dissent that emerged in China in the 1970s and flowered for a while after Mao’s death emerged from this undercurrent in the Cultural Revolution. The generation that started out as fervently loyal to Mao ended up 10 years later producing this outpouring of dissent.

It is the biggest irony in modern Chinese history. It was a gradual process of the profanation of what was once held as sacred. Red Guard factionalism resulted in nothing but violence. Many people felt betrayed, like puppets being used by the power elites. After they were sent down to villages from late 1967, disillusionment deepened. They also saw a China unknown to them before, very poor and harsh.

How the Cultural Revolution Sowed the Seeds of Dissent in China, By CHRIS BUCKLEY, New York Times, JUNE 15, 2016

Sobering stuff.

“But, that’s China,” you say. “That could never happen here.”

But have you seen this?…


Most Americans (58 percent) believe the Holocaust could happen again and half think it could happen in the United States, a survey released on Holocaust Remembrance Day showed.

Poll: Most Americans believe Holocaust could happen again, By Sue Surkes, The Times of Israel, April 12, 2018

Recall with me– the secular version of the story has the commanding heights in both our countries. And remember, you Christians are the ones put under a restraining order by your God. A secularist has no such obligation to withhold revenge.

So, you can expect the viciousness and violence which Donald Trump advocatescould end up coming your way.

Is this possibility hard for you to believe?

Remember the history of the 20th century…


Most Westerners don’t want to think about the fact that millions of human lives were lost because of the decision to exclude God from public life. It is easier to argue with Putin than to reflect on how the Western world is becoming more and more similar to Soviet society as we progressively exclude God from history and our civic memory.

Europe, Multiculturalism, and Nihilism, by Luca Volontè, Public Discourse, December 17th, 2015

Another of Marx’s traits was evident from his youth: his passion for destruction…

Michael Walsh, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace

It’s easy to forget that in the secular version of the story we are in, revenge is not prohibited.

We hold the same view as Donald Trump.


After news that the White House was set to place new curbs on investments into the US by Chinese firms, The Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping was sending thinly veiled warnings to US firms companies about the consequences of an all-out trade war.

“In the West you have the notion that if somebody hits you on the left cheek, you turn the other cheek,” the Chinese leader was quoted as saying. “In our culture we punch back.”

‘In our culture we punch back,’ Xi warns Trump, By ASIA TIMES STAFF, June 26, 2018

And keep this in mind…


Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Nihilism is…not only the belief that everything deserves to perish; but one actually puts one shoulder to the plough; one destroys.

Friedrich Nietzsche


So… what if the Benedict Option guy has given you a clue about how to think about Donald Trump being Chosen by your God to play a unique role?

Look what Dreher wrote…


The culture war that began with the Sexual Revolution in the 1960s has now ended in defeat for Christian conservatives. The cultural left – which is to say, increasingly the American mainstream – has no intention of living in postwar peace. It is pressing forward with a harsh, relentless occupation, one that is aided by the cluelessness of Christians who don’t understand what’s happening. Don’t be fooled: the upset presidential victory of Donald Trump has at best given us a bit more time to prepare for the inevitable.

Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option

…at best, a bit more time?


I won’t vote for Trump in 2020, and I didn’t vote for him in 2016. But more and more, I understand why people will and did. There’s a reasonable fear of severe political revenge from the extreme progressives if and when they get into power. And, on top of that, while I can’t morally justify it, it’s at least humanly understandable that when one group (progressives) continually demeans and belittles another group (poor whites), the demeaned group gets a certain amount of satisfaction and schadenfreude from throwing a brick through the window, so to speak. I won’t defend that sentiment, but more and more, I sympathize with it.

The Backlash Is Building, By ROD DREHER, American Conservative, March 5, 2018

Reasonable fear.


Thucydides

I saved this for the end. Something for you to chew on.

Consider the role revenge played in the following…


In the two years since the 2016 US election, it seems ever more clear that Thucydides is the greatest historian not only of empire but also of contemporary politics. This excerpt is his account of civil war in Corcyra, 427 BC—and, equally, of politics in America, AD 2018:

So revolutions broke out in city after city, and in places where the revolutions occurred late the knowledge of what had happened previously in other places caused still new extravagances of revolutionary zeal, expressed by an elaboration in the methods of seizing power and by unheard-of atrocities in revenge. To fit in with the change of events, words, too, had to change their usual meanings. What used to be described as a thoughtless act of aggression was now regarded as the courage one would expect to find in a party member; to think of the future and wait was merely another way of saying one was a coward; any idea of moderation was just an attempt to disguise one’s unmanly character; ability to understand a question from all sides meant that one was totally unfitted for action. Fanatical enthusiasm was the mark of a real man, and to plot against an enemy behind his back was perfectly legitimate self-defense. Anyone who held violent opinions could always be trusted, and anyone who objected to them became a suspect. To plot successfully was a sign of intelligence, but it was still cleverer to see that a plot was hatching. If one attempted to provide against having to do either, one was disrupting the unity of the party and acting out of fear of the opposition. In short, it was equally praiseworthy to get one’s blow in first against someone who was going to do wrong, and to denounce someone who had no intention of doing any wrong at all. Family relations were a weaker tie than party membership, since party members were more ready to go to any extreme for any reason whatever. These parties were not formed to enjoy the benefits of the established laws, but to acquire power by overthrowing the existing regime; and the members of these parties felt confidence in each other not because of any fellowship in a religious communion, but because they were partners in crime. If an opponent made a reasonable speech, the party in power, so far from giving it a generous reception, took every precaution to see that it had no practical effect.

Revenge was more important than self-preservation. And if pacts of mutual security were made, they were entered into by the two parties only in order to meet some temporary difficulty, and remained in force only so long as there was no other weapon available. When the chance came, the one who first seized it boldly, catching his enemy off his guard, enjoyed a revenge that was all the sweeter from having been taken, not openly, but because of a breach of faith. It was safer that way, it was considered, and at the same time a victory won by treachery gave one a title for superior intelligence. And indeed most people are more ready to call villainy cleverness than simple-mindedness honesty. They are proud of the first quality and ashamed of the second.

Love of power, operating through greed and through personal ambition, was the cause of all these evils. To this must be added the violent fanaticism which came into play once the struggle had broken out. Leaders of parties in the cities had programs which appeared admirable—on one side political equality for the masses, on the other the safe and sound government of the aristocracy—but in professing to serve the public interest they were seeking to win the prizes for themselves. In their struggles for ascendancy nothing was barred; terrible indeed were the actions to which they committed themselves, and in taking revenge they went farther still. Here they were deterred neither by the claims of justice nor by the interests of the state; their one standard was the pleasure of their own party at that particular moment, and so, either by means of condemning their enemies on an illegal vote or by violently usurping power over them, they were always ready to satisfy the hatreds of the hour. Thus neither side had any use for conscientious motives; more interest was shown in those who could produce attractive arguments to justify some disgraceful action. As for the citizens who held moderate views, they were destroyed by both the extreme parties, either for not taking part in the struggle or in envy at the possibility that they might survive.

As the result of these revolutions, there was a general deterioration of character throughout the Greek world. The simple way of looking at things, which is so much the mark of a noble nature, was regarded as a ridiculous quality and soon ceased to exist. Society had become divided into two ideologically hostile camps, and each side viewed the other with suspicion. As for ending this state of affairs, no guarantee could be given that would be trusted, no oath sworn that people would fear to break; everyone had come to the conclusion that it was hopeless to expect a permanent settlement and so, instead of being able to feel confident in others, they devoted their energies to providing against being injured themselves. As a rule those who were least remarkable for intelligence showed the greater powers of survival. Such people recognized their own deficiencies and the superior intelligence of their opponents; fearing that they might lose a debate or find themselves out-maneuvered in intrigue by their quick-witted enemies, they boldly launched straight into action; while their opponents, overconfident in the belief that they would see what was happening in advance, and not thinking it necessary to seize by force what they could secure by policy, were the more easily destroyed because they were off their guard.

Certainly it was in Corcyra that there occurred the first examples of the breakdown of law and order. There was the revenge taken in their hour of triumph by those who had in the past been arrogantly oppressed instead of wisely governed; there were the wicked resolutions taken by those who, particularly under the pressure of misfortune, wished to escape from their usual poverty and coveted the property of their neighbors; there were the savage and pitiless actions into which men were carried not so much for the sake of gain as because they were swept away into an internecine struggle by their ungovernable passions. Then, with the ordinary conventions of civilized life thrown into confusion, human nature, always ready to offend even where laws exist, showed itself proudly in its true colors, as something incapable of controlling passion, insubordinate to the idea of justice, the enemy to anything superior to itself; for, if it had not been for the pernicious power of envy, men would not so have exalted vengeance above innocence and profit above justice. Indeed, it is true that in these acts of revenge on others men take it upon themselves to begin the process of repealing those general laws of humanity which are there to give a hope of salvation to all who are in distress, instead of leaving those laws in existence, remembering that there may come a time when they, too, will be in danger and will need their protection.

— Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, translated by Rex Warner (Penguin, 1972; pp. 242–245)

What Thucydides Knew About the US Today, By Edward Mendelson, The New York Review of Books, October 29, 2018

So, we want to know if you’ll look through the lens of story and take any of this seriously. What you choose to do will tell us so much about what you really want, here in the story.