Plenty of evidence from daily news sources plus personal experience has persuaded many that our culture is coming unglued. But agreement ends on the question of the cause of the coarsening values and the definition of the moral yardstick being violated. Is it God’s or man’s standard? In the final analysis, unless a polarized nation figures it out and begins to obey God and trusts in Him and not men, society’s moral unraveling means a political and spiritual tragedy of Katrina-like proportions. The lies of “theocracy-threat” con men are a clear and present danger to consensus because their true intention is that a Godly, society-saving new direction must never be attained.
With this in mind I have a personal story. It underscores the theocracy threat message foisted on us by leftist activists in media, education and even by groups of left-liberal Christians. (These were well-described here last Friday by Joel McDurmon.) Last week I suggested that, post Saddleback, James Dobson might begin leaning toward McCain, and in fact he’s now 100% on board. So “you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet” per the depth and power of the anti-theocracy campaign certain to go into high gear with the VP choice of the evangelical Gov. Sarah Palin. I hope my story illustrates why you need to pay attention.
In 1967, as a single Army officer in Viet Nam, I extended my tour by 9 months. A happy benefit was a 30 day leave. But once back home in Michigan, I was treated, unhappily, to nightly news distortions by the networks and media guru Walter Cronkite as they harangued against the U.S. presence in SE Asia. This was shocking since I, from my vantage point in Saigon where I played a small role in initiatives to “win hearts and minds,” believed things were going pretty well. Over and above his single-minded focus on casualty figures and body bags, my main discovery about “the most trusted man in America” was how media was using the pro-victory passion of most Americans as an excuse to imply that they were dangerously stupid in all sorts of other areas too. Being pro-war meant that despised conservatives were equally likely to be guilty as follows:
As a group and by definition, conservatives are automatically knee-jerk patriots, pro-war, pro-draft and pro big government intrusion into private lives—ala 1930’s Germany. We also upped Cold War tensions by opposing conciliation with the Soviets. The media were tireless in undermining traditional values and implied that “you anti-feminist, right-wing, eco-despoiling, racist bigots” should wake up to the pro-pacifist spirit of 1960’s Marxism as displayed in liberal academe, media, and Beltway circles where the “best and the brightest” lived. The beautiful people exemplified love, peace, and “do your own thingism,” while we were pilloried as moral has-beens. And, oh yes, God was dead too. Being conservative meant you’d never appreciate the likes of hippy, acid-dropping Timothy Leary, who, with others, wanted us to “turn on, tune in and drop out” either attitudinally or via drugs. When my leave was up, so intense and blatant had been the received media innuendos that while looking out the window at 30,000 feet, high above northern Lake Huron (and directly over the site of my month’s leave and also where this article chances to be written), I won’t forget my relief as I headed back to Viet Nam where greater truths still prevailed and genuine headway was being made in giving a decent and trusting people a chance at freedom. Which is not “the way it is” there today. But what you must remember is that this media campaign of lies was highly effective in “programming” a naïve populace, and the damage done to our national psyche still remains 40 years later. Lies do work.
Now to the main point: For those “guilty” of the above charges, the media-abetted left wasted no time inventing a value-loaded, short-cut word by which they falsely labeled the countrymen they saw as being the real enemy. And the term was used with a timing, venom and cleverness as tough to counter as the inference in, “when did you stop beating your wife?” The word I refer to, and was the frequent victim of, both in and out of uniform, was “fascist.” A lot of hate went into that word as it was used to intimidate and silence. It also illustrates the ad hominem fallacy at its best; or in this case, at its worst.
And so it is today. “Theocrat” is on track to become the direct successor clone of “fascist,” and though it seems to be working, we must not let it. It’s thwarting the uninformed and timid, and those who would and could be God’s activist remnant; those who, with pastoral guidance, could help (as with Gideon’s 300) to restore decency and direction to the land. It’s a challenge we can’t ignore as we recall the enormity of the “fascism” slogan’s successful dirty work then in weakening national resolve, in leaving Viet Nam communist, in seeing 50,000 young men dead for what, and creating a nation that remains bitterly divided politically and philosophically. Even in 2008, 1960’s trained professors are still teaching today’s teachers to fling “no God, no absolutes, if-it-feels-good-do-it, the U.S. and Christianity are the enemy” lies at impressionable minds.
I can’t stop without first equipping you with the true definition of theocracy so you can counter the contrived charge that Christians lust to usher in a “dictatorial theocracy.” You’ll recall that theocracy means “rule by God.” So, when bad men—even if they say they’re Christians, Jews, Muslims or Humanists—set up, by force, brutal governments in the name of some deity (man, actually), then the correct pejorative title for that rule is not theocracy, but ecclesiocracy, or civil rule with some sort of sham religious theme. (Secularism is also a religion.) But theocracy pertains exclusively to the fact that all 7 billion of us live on a planet in which the Trinitarian God already rules, 100%, over every man, woman, rock, molecule and atom.
This cosmic, indisputable fact takes “theocracy” totally off the table as a threat and as a psychological weapon. When good Christians are accused of being “theocrats” by the God-haters, our response is, first, to be aware that their pretend concern is not about saving the Constitution or insuring that freedom won’t go the way of the buggy whip because of a mob of frothing-at-the-mouth Christians. It’s about their pathological hatred of God and how to erase Him from the public mind. Second, the rule that good Christians are most interested in re-instating is the toughest one of all, “self-ocracy.” That is, self-government, combined with self-reliance. Without self-government not even millions of rules will bring world honesty, civility and peace. Third, God intends for us as his agents to achieve the Great Commission and the Cultural Mandate. So, yes, we want His precepts, His standards, to prevail across the earth. But this means we will persuade, not dictate; teach by example, not by edict; lead from the bottom up, not from the top down, and convince those around us to voluntarily see the truth of the Gospel and covet to share it—happily—along with us. Every time you hear a “theocracy threat” pejorative it’s time for a letter to the editor, phone call to a call-in show or letter to your pastor asking him to help clarify the argument.