By Erick Erickson
Social Justice Warriors drive out dissent at Google. Antifa attacks small businesses. White supremacists run over and kill in Charlottesville. Black Lives Matter activists shut down intersections. Gay rights activists shut down florists and bakers. The Resistance marches. All of these things are happening for the same reason. The left and right in protest and fight are just two heads of a common coin.
They are doing these things because they are trying to build moral responses to the uncertainty of Western civilizational truths becoming uncertain. As the West leaves God behind, with His absence is a vacuum into which competing parties try to become, in Arthur Leff’s terminology, the new Grand Sez Who. In the absence of God, only the mob sez who. Government itself in the West is arranged under the rubric of a divine Creator allowing the people to form governments premised on ensuring and protecting divinely given rights. Without a Creator, we create our own worlds positing ourselves and those who agree with us as the just and the other as evil.
With the collapse of shared Christian values in the West, the world is descending into natural law where survival of the fittest reigns supreme. But survival of the fittest is incompatible with people because, though we may not believe it, we are actually created in the image of God. We have dwelling within us the spark of the divine that provides a universal morality. We may do our best to repress it, but in that repression it channels itself in different ways.
With the left, repressing God leads head long into a collision with natural selection. To rationalize the balance of universal morality and natural law, the left then posits that the white male is the fittest and everyone else must be protected from him. The white male then becomes evil and the further from being a white male one is, the more divine that person is. So a hermaphroditic Hispanic one armed lesbian who used to be a man of African descent is as close to the divine as is possible in the world. It’s views must trump all others, especially the white male. The white male must also repent and acknowledge his privilege while embracing silence in order to be a part of society. His original sin is his skin color and sex. Without acknowledging his position of privilege and following the orders and whims of those who are not white men, he cannot truly be repentant and therefore cannot purge himself of evil.
On the other side, white supremacists see white men as the highest and best and believe in trickle down benefits to everyone else. What is best for the white man will ultimately benefit the others. And the others are inferior and will always be inferior. In some ways, the white supremacist is further removed from God than the left because the left seeks to grapple with moral certainties while the white supremacist seeks to abandon them altogether in favor of dominance of one race over all others.
Both also share another trait and it is premised in the pelagian heresy that rejects original sin. With the the white supremacists, people are born into skin color and are defined by their race. Whiteness is who one is and not just how one came into the world — the product of two people of the same race creating a child. With the left, people are born into sexual orientation. One is either gay or straight and because God made them that way there is no way it can be sinful. Who one is, is gay or straight. It is not how one is attracted to others that matter. Both sides define people in some way other than as made in the image of God, but also sinners by virtue of man’s fall.
The white supremacist defines us by color and the leftist defines us by sexual orientation and gender. Both write out original sin and find evil and sin elsewhere. All of this is to figure out who gets to be the Grand Sez Who in the absence of God. Politics, which had become a process by which we govern ourselves, becomes power. Who ever controls government gets to impose their morality. Government then becomes religion for both sides. In the absence of God there is only government and it is through government action that God moves. Opponents then are obstructing the god’s will and definitionally then are evil. It only then takes one small step for both sides to conclude elimination of the other is acceptable because that other is evil.
We have seen this first and foremost on the left. But there are more and more strains on the right adhering to this. Instead of embracing a divine Savior to save humanity, some of the right who purport to be Christians have embraced a strong man in Washington. Using religious rhetoric these people have traded a man who died on a cross for one who chokes on his foot. And they give him a pass at everything because they are convinced he will save them. They attack any who might be on their side ideologically if such a person calls out the President because doing so is only emboldening the other side and, therefore, emboldening evil.
Neither side will replace God and both will eventually be supplanted by other things. Eventually, Western civilization will come full circle and back to real truth. Until that time we will be in an ever growing period of chaos as both the social justice warriors and white supremacists seek to supplant God and claim themselves as the Grand Sez Who. They feed on the moral uncertainty left in the wake of the West abandoning its foundational values.
The only stable element will be the Christian church and the only stable elements within the Christian church will be those who embrace a consistent orthodoxy, which must include a consistent sexual ethic and a consistent ethic of grace coupled with authentic calls for repentance. A West without God will not long stand and the church will be the last refuge within.