The evil in our country is accelerating, and there is no good way to say that.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court did what has been predicted for a long time: We could say that it "struck down" Roe v. Wade, but in the wrong direction. Roe allowed the states to regulate mid-term and late-term abortion for the mother's health. Texas tried to do just that. The justices then formed themselves into a medical board and struck down the Texas regulations because they made it too hard for babies to be killed! The regulations themselves, even if some lawmakers did (heaven forfend) have a pro-life motive in passing them, were legally and medically quite reasonable from the perspective of the "health of the mother," but the justices didn't care about that. The absolute ability to kill the unborn must be maintained and made widely available, even at the risk of additional lives.
Meanwhile, I just got an e-mail from a reader about the California law SB 1146. This isn't a reader I've ever corresponded with, so I know nothing about her, but I can draw some conclusions from the fact that she asked why it isn't reasonable for the state of California to rule that "if you want to discriminate" you can't receive state funding! So now refusing to refer to a man as a woman and house him in the women's dormitory at college is "wanting to discriminate." The country has jumped the shark.
Meanwhile, meanwhile, the religious right has died, not with a bang but an abject whimper. Michael Farris nails it here concerning the laying on of hands (metaphorically speaking) upon D.T. by leaders of the religious right, and mark this: Farris wrote that before James Dobson showed himself to be ultimately naive by publicizing a secondhand rumor that D.T. "recently" received Jesus Christ as Savior! D.T. can't even be bothered to work up a little speech about this alleged event and claim to be a repentant, prodigal son returned to the arms of the Father. Nah, he doesn't even need to bother with that. The evangelical leaders will accept a bare, detail-free rumor instead.
This is sad beyond belief. I never believed Dobson was that foolish, that gullible. Farris is right: This is the end of the Religious Right as any sort of credible force in politics in this nation, and it's chock full of ironies. As, for example, the fact that these leaders have psyched themselves and hence made themselves the tools of a manifest charlatan who obviously despises them partly because they couldn't bear the thought of being politically irrelevant! Yet doing so has been the ultimate sign of political irrelevance. One person who actually attended the meeting with D.T. as an observer has told me that the attendees were told that he was originally planning to speak to them for only fifteen minutes and that it was so great and they should be so pleased that he spoke with them for a whole hour! This is like an abused wife being so grateful that her abuser will give her a little of his time. Questions were screened, presumably so that he could answer only the ones that he had previously agreed to answer. There was no open Q & A. A transcript is here. Pathetic.
These various aspects of the darkness that is engulfing our nation accentuate one another, because Charlatan T., in the midst of his stream-of-consciousness ramblings and his willfully ignorant blatherings, has decided to keep saying "Supreme Court" over and over again, even to the point of (falsely) stating that all religious liberty matters are up to the Supreme Court to decide. In actuality, the administration can be aggressive against religious liberty or can protect it in many ways, including interpretation of existing statutes and military policies. But he can't be bothered to know these things, because he's just trying to get people to vote for him, so he blathers that it's all about the Supreme Court and pretends that he can be relied upon to appoint justices who will make good rulings.
Meanwhile, he's completely silent about the recent, historically bad, SCOTUS ruling, and I say it's because, frankly, he doesn't give a damn.
There is a common thread that runs through all of the insanity I have mentioned here, and it is this: The natural light is being systematically doused in the public mind.
Men can become women, women can become men, and you're a bigot if you don't go along with this insanity. Sodomy is perfectly fine, love is love, and you're a bigot if you don't endorse a sexual perversion as a form of "love" and marriage. Schools that even try to use religious exemptions as an opportunity to act according to mere common sense in their policies regarding men and women must be destroyed. There is an absolute right to kill an unborn child, and this right is so absolute that even regulations that make sense from the perspective of protecting the mother in the killing procedure must be struck down. And finally, a candidate who has neither honor nor knowledge nor wisdom nor any other quality from the perspective of common sense that qualifies him for the Presidency of the United States, the leadership of the free world, must be voted for because "we aren't electing a pastor." Because nothing but extremely narrow, religious concerns could possibly motivate one to refuse to vote for such a person. Thus the natural light is obscured and extinguished in the realm of candidate selection. Basic, not-particularly-specially-religious virtues like integrity and caring for something other than oneself are treated as optional and irrelevant in a leader, as if a demand for such virtues in a candidate were a silly religious nitpick.
The pattern is an old one, but now it's moving faster: Dismiss any opposition to some particular demand as "religious" and then dismiss even that as irrational, even when it is manifestly rational.
I'm going to speak candidly to my fellow Christians: There is a personal devil, and he hates the natural light. So he's seeking to destroy it. He's attacking it right now from many different angles.
What can we do? That's a hard question to answer, because there is so little, right now, that we can do. I have portrayed right here the attempt to hold onto political power by endorsing D.T. as a mug's game and as being in and of itself an instance of the attack upon the natural light--in this case, the natural light that allows one to see that a political candidate is unqualified. (By the way, I've gotten really intolerant of Trumpites, so if they come and try to take over this thread, I may close comments or take other, more drastic measures. I really don't have any particular concern anymore about appearing to be open to endless debate with any stranger who happens to show up.)
But does that mean that we should in some general sense renounce politics? No, it just means that we need to keep hold of our principles. There are state elections, referendums, elections of congressmen and senators, and we should pay attention to these and be willing to vote in them when a candidate or referendum is worthy of the vote. But being able to vote for somebody "viable" shouldn't be such a desperate need that we become like a single woman who will accept anybody who proposes to her rather than become a spinster. You don't owe anybody a vote. Don't become addicted to politics and to the feeling (even the illusion) of wielding political power. Let's face it: With an even more lawless court than before, with the left-wing elites wielding increasing political power, and with the GOP a disgraceful shambles, our ability to work through the political system is going to be increasingly limited.
So here's what I have left to say to do: Keep on speaking out about the natural law, and above all, keep on teaching it to your children. And teach it as the natural law. Speak of it (and be sure that you think of it) unabashedly as mere sanity and common sense. Don't give in to the meme that says that your objections to sodomite "marriage" or to calling a man a woman are irrational or even narrowly religious. Even if you or your organization has to use some religious exemption or non-discrimination law as a legal loophole, remember that you are actually testifying to the natural light which is available to all men, which is the deliverance of reason. It is not some narrow, black-box religious fiat. Tell your confused Christian friends outright that they are flat wrong, loud and clear, when they say foolish things such as, "I don't object to homosexual marriage, because we shouldn't be trying to impose our Christian views in secular law."
This is somewhat easier to see for abortion, because it's killing a baby. So remember it there too: Your opposition to abortion is based on the natural light, not on a religious objection that no one else can be expected to understand.
A real danger is that we Christians will mentally cooperate in our own dhimmitude. As dhimmis we will come to believe that our views are really weird, that no one can be expected to associate with us, and that we should just appeal to our religion and beg pitifully to be left alone. This is not just a prediction. It's happening already. Try talking to a "centrist" Christian friend about homosexuality sometime, and you will see this dhimmi attitude in force. And now it's starting for transgenderism. A sincere Christian just sent me this stupid article, full of falsehoods and confusions, the other week to ask me what I thought of it, as though it presented some kind of problem requiring us to rethink the approach of pure common sense to men who decide that they are "really" women and vice versa. And Mark Yarhouse has been undermining reason on this issue for quite a while in the Christian community, receiving credence as an "authority" on the matter.
Abortion is an interesting case, because it involves violence, and even many otherwise squishy Christians don't like to endorse killing innocent human beings. In fact, I've been encouraged by the (relative) robustness of the pro-life perspective through all the decades since Roe, and I have hope that this robustness will continue at least in our own refusal to adopt a dhimmi mental posture. We have many groups that just go on declaring the human worth of the unborn child and the human worth of human beings through thick and thin. God bless them. But it may be tempting, in sheer discouragement, not to continue to teach the natural law facts about the evil of abortion loud and strong, especially after rulings like yesterday that further limit our ability to do anything about it in the legal realm. (By the way, in case anyone wonders, Texas should defy this new, lawless SCOTUS ruling, but that is unlikely to happen.)
We are entering a time of great darkness in our country. One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone--your child, your friends, your congregation (if you are a pastor), someone you mentor--is the natural law. This doesn't mean that you should downplay an understanding of the Bible in Christian contexts. But God intended for the natural light always to be there to work together with what he said in the Bible. And the Bible doesn't say everything important that there is to say. When the natural light is extinguished, chaos follows. The left has an explicit war on with reality and hence with the natural law and the natural light. We therefore need to be witnesses to it, in season and out, even in the midst of our grief and discouragement, knowing that no darkness can last forever.
One of my Facebook friends, who works for a pro-life organization, quoted yesterday from one of the LOTR movies. While, as a Tolkien purist, I generally hesitate to quote the movies rather than the books, this quote is apropos:
It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass.