By Jay Rogers
Published April 26, 2008
Editor’s note: The material in this article is based in part on a speech given by Justice Robert Bork.
The Coming Breakdown of Democratic Pluralism
In the past few decades, the debate between liberals and conservatives in American politics revolved around the democratic process. Both sides have espoused a kind of democratic socialism. The left railed against the bourgeoisie while allowing for a free market. The right defended the rights of capitalism while conceding certain social programs to help “the poor.” Neither side was chagrined when they realized that America’s poor were richer than the middle classes of most other countries. Both sides were committed to helping our citizens pursue the “American Dream” (whatever that meant) while legislating a growing socialist state.
In the 1960s, both groups – liberal and conservative – emphasized moral values. When Barry Goldwater ran for president in 1964, his message was one of traditional values and conservative fiscal politics, much like that of the Christian conservative movement of today. When Hubert Humphrey gave speeches in his bid for president in 1968, the message was not so much different from that of the conservatives, except that he emphasized “values” in context of compassion for the lower class, the group from which liberals traditionally drew their support.
Both sides argued from a traditional moral and religious worldview. Martin Luther King could invoke the name of God in his civil rights marches. Ronald Reagan and could invoke the name of God while he stumped for Goldwater. No one ever got the idea that the other side was arguing from different moral premises or a different view of what society ought to look like. The liberal/conservative debate, as heated as it sometimes became, was over the means by which we could arrive at the American Dream. Each side wanted a country that was fair and egalitarian, where every young person had a shot at fulfilling their dreams.
The Emergence of the Radical Left
The big change came with the emergence of the 1960s generation into American politics. The radicals who first appeared during student protests in the late 1960s and early 1970s have now come of age. As a result of their influence, politics in our country no longer masquerades as “equitable” according to pluralistic democratic processes. We could term this group the “Radical Left.”
With the emergence of the radical left, the politics of the 1990s are no longer symmetrical. There used to be debate between “liberal” and “conservative.” But now, to the left of liberalism, is a new, powerful, radical, activist Left. Unlike the Old Left, which had known goals and a program, the New Left’s strategy is much like that of a Muslim car bomb with a noisy, sudden impact that is truly radical. Not unlike Muslim terrorists, they make no reasonable demands. Their strategy is confusing to both traditional liberals and conservatives. It is difficult for reasonable people to identify exactly who these people are and what their strategy is for winning the culture war. They attack society without announcing any plan or agenda for the future. They believe that Western civilization is corrupt so they are attempting to break down the authoritative traditions of the culture. The radical left are active in politics. They are tenured professors in universities. They dominate much of the media. They do not have a high regard for the established democratic processes. They only want results.
These people did not appear suddenly. Their coming of age has been gradual and in many cases a concession to “the establishment” which they disdained. During the past 25 years, you could meet the Radical Left at any liberal arts college or large state university in America. They are the “perpetual students” who make up the political structure of the student union. You might find on one university hallway, for instance, the gay/lesbian/bisexual student association, a student run National Organization for Women chapter, a Greenpeace chapter, an Amnesty International chapter, a “Hunger Task Force,” a “Pagan Society,” etc. These groups advocate “multiculturalism,” “ethnicity,” “civility,” “tolerance” and “diversity” on the university campus. Yet we often find the same people making up the memberships of each group. Ironically, their views are intolerant of those of traditional liberalism and conservatism. Their views are promoted by the editors of the student newspaper (which they run). They are heavily funded by the student government association (which they also run).
In the “real world” of post-collegiate society, we are seeing the emergence of this new radicalism in a growing number of interest groups. This phenomenon is epitomized by groups such as ACT-UP, a homosexual activist group that uses the AIDS epidemic as a political lever; radical feminist groups (N.O.W., Planned Parenthood, N.A.A.R.A.L.) who lobby for abortion on demand; international relief organizations (WHO, UNICEF, etc.) who advocate population control; radical environmentalists; etc. The religious element within each group are the New Agers, Pagans and Wiccans.
These people have no real agenda for reform, except for championing “the causes of the oppressed” and bashing the traditional values of Western civilization, which they vilify with their “politically correct” nomenclature. The respected ideas and personalities of history are derided as “ethnocentric, eurocentric, phallocentric, misogenous, and homophobic.” Western culture’s patriarchal heroes are vilifired as “dead white males.” And here again, many of these groups manage to find funding from the state.
Nobody knows exactly what these people are so angry about and what they are fighting for. Even more baffling to the casual observer, is the fact that they do not share a love for our society, but seek only to attack and destroy it. Although they are essentially nihilistic, the Radical Left has gained political clout because they instinctively head for the power bases of society. They correctly understand that they university campus is the microcosm of society. After leaving the university, these people become newspaper editors, television journalists, political activists, public school teachers, university professors, and increasingly they are being elected and appointed to high public office.
The nihilism of the New Left is understandable. In the 1960s and 1970, liberals who disliked a capitalist society could advocate socialism or communism. But since these political philosophies have been so thoroughly discredited in the 1980s and 1990s, the only alternative to capitalism is anarchy or nihilism. Their strategy now is to define traditional conservatives in politics as being “out of the mainstream.” The Radical Left uses shrill, hysterical rhetoric to discredit conservatives and attempts to define the “mainstream” as the Radical Left. Through vilification, they attempt to make the public believe that the center is actually the extreme Right. By doing so, they make the same people believe that the extreme Left is the center.
Misinformation through propaganda is one way in which the culture war is being fought by the Radical Left. We see this strategy in full page ads in the New York Times paid for by the National Organization for Women, which portray conservative religious figures such as Cardinal John O’Connor, Pat Robertson and Ralph Reed as “dangerous, fanatical, right-wing, religious zealots” who would force millions of women into seeking back alley abortions. (We should be amused that these figures are often given credit for having a more radical agenda than even the most strident reconstructionist.) They are making progress because most Americans get most of their information from the liberal news media which cleverly disguises the Radical Left’s strategy to change public opinion in the mask of “neutrality.”
This battle plan is going almost unnoticed by the public because it did not appear suddenly. This strategy of subversion has been working since the late 1960s. By using stealth and “ideological guerrilla warfare,” the Radical Left has been slowly gaining power for over 20 years, not through numbers, but through capturing the power bases of society: the media, the schools, the political lobbies. The Radical Left now possesses the “heavy artillery” which they need to wage a long term war.
Emergence of a Theocratic Right
Part of the Radical Left’s battle plan is to announce themselves as “liberal” because they know that there is no significant Radical Right to oppose them. The only opposition to this Radical Left is now coming from the moderate liberals and conservatives. The intrinsic problem here is that both of these groups are reasonable and pacifistic by nature. They are at a great disadvantage. Meanwhile, the rhetoric and emotion coming from the new radical pro-abortion/ homosexual/feminist/environmentalist/pagan Left is increasingly hostile and inflammatory. Moderates find it hard to inflame passions by merely being reasonable, fair, egalitarian and pluralistic. In fact, extremist passion can never be reasonable, fair, egalitarian and pluralistic.
The Radical Left does not shirk back from charging middle America with “intolerance and bigotry,” because they do not embrace their agenda. This only makes the moderate liberals and conservatives cower back into their pacifistic shells in an attempt to become even more tolerant, egalitarian, fair and extremely reasonable. The Radical Left knows that they will react this way. Their accusations are merely a propaganda ploy to make themselves appear more mainstream than they really are. They are not really worried about the politics of the traditional conservatives. What they fear the most is a backlash from an imagined group of “theocratic terrorists.”
The schizophrenic strategy of the Radical Left becomes even more understandable when we study their theology: a strong belief in an inevitable renaissance of ancient earth religions. The Radical Left fears an imagined “Religious Right” because they are the “Religious Left.” They have already grasped the power of spirituality. They have reinvented a neo-pagan religion. The epistemology of the Radical Left seeks a consistent worldview which justifies homosexuality, lesbianism, feminism, environmentalism and paganism as part of a complete ideological circle.
Their main problem is that when confronted with biblical Truth, their system will completely breakdown. There is no room in their system for any toleration of biblical Christianity. There is no real neutrality. They know this better than most religious conservatives. Consequently, they are always preparing to stave off the inevitable challenge that biblical Christians may someday pose to their power bases.
In painting a picture of an “extremist” theocratic Right, the Radical Left has prophesied their own demise. Their main fear is that people who call themselves Christians may someday start acting like Christians. Those “out of the mainstream” might someday start believing what they read in the Bible. And even more terrifying to the Radical Left, these Christians may want to impose the standards of biblical Law on society. When that day comes, the Radical Left knows that politics will no longer be a matter of democratic fairness and pluralism. Modern politics will become a new civil war of increasing division between the Radical Left and a “new” theocratic Right.
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Your comments are welcome!
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
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“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
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That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
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Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
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