Friday, January 01, 2021

Too Hot to Handle: Biden Our Time

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Tom: My co-writer Immanuel Can was exchanging opinions online the other day about the prospect of a Joe Biden presidency. One commenter wrote: “You have mentioned a day of judgment; perhaps this is how it starts.”

IC’s response: “That thought has occurred to me more than once.”

Since the prospect of a Biden presidency (or really a Harris presidency) has been looming over us during this Christmas season, and since the legacy media is determined to convince us the November election is a done deal, I’m okay with talking about what that might mean for believers, for the U.S., and for the world ... provided I get to say two things first about all the white flag-waving currently going on in the conservative and Christian media.

White-Flag Waving

Here goes: (1) Joe Biden has not yet been sworn in as president, and until that happens, verbally anointing him prematurely amounts to enabling liars and thieves; and (2) conservatives and Christians who believe that a Biden presidency is just something the American Right must struggle through until the next election, when a bigger Republican turnout and a “stronger” and “less divisive” candidate will enable conservative voices to finally be heard, are embarrassingly delusional.

The fact is this: if the outstanding question of election fraud is not dealt with here and now, and dealt with ruthlessly, there will be no 2024 U.S. election. Not in any meaningful, democratic way. The Republican party, which is pretty much a sham at this point anyway, may as well not even anoint a candidate.

Immanuel Can: These are certainly strange times, Tom. For one thing, I do not ever remember reaction to an election being so extreme as this, or remember any time when everybody in the world seemed to be taking a side, even when they don’t live in the country that’s involved.

The question that occupies my mind is “What is really at stake for us as Christians here?”

Tom: Well, I’d like to get to that, but let’s start with this: Donald Trump is a polarizing person, and his time in office is a reflection of the polarization of not only the U.S., but the entire world, which is currently in a high-tension tug-of-war between nationalism and globalism. Leaving aside all issues of character, history and current beliefs, whatever they may be, there are Christians who liked what Mr. Trump was doing as president for the last four years, and there are Christians who didn’t.

The End of Democracy

But a Christian doesn’t have to be a Trump supporter — or think he’s a good guy, or agree with his agenda — to object to the use of election fraud as a means of advancing the anti-Trump cause. And the fact that the fraud happened in such a coordinated, systemic way, across multiple states all at the same time, and then has been defended at every moment since by the legacy media, while the insouciant social media colossi censor every new report of Democrat chicanery, is near-irrefutable evidence of a conspiracy on an unprecedented scale to effectively end democracy in the U.S.

That, I would say, is an extremely interesting reveal, and I don’t think the Christian response to that reality should be anywhere near as polarized as our response to Donald Trump the person. We ought to be able to agree that conspiracy is bad, cheating is bad, globalism is bad, and therefore any candidate being pushed on the American people on that basis is also likely to be unbelievably bad, even if he looks like a harmless old codger losing his memory.

IC: We could add to that list things like “abortion is bad”, “ginning up racial divisions is bad” and “socialism is very, very bad”.

Tom: Or encouraging rioters. Totally undesirable.

IC: But I think you strike an important note, Tom. What we’ve witnessed is the complete collapse of any illusion of electoral transparency. We’ve witnessed the world’s leading democracy’s electoral system go entirely corrupt right in front of our eyes. And regardless of the question of who won by that method, the complete failure of electoral integrity has serious implications for everyone. It’s clear that from now on whoever gets elected will not be a person chosen freely by an informed democratic electorate, but rather a person installed according to the will of the power-brokers in Washington and elsewhere, using manipulation of the voting system and the cooperation of the mass media in keeping the electorate ignorant of what goes on. If that’s where things sit, what it means is that even the mere appearance of democracy is dead.

Tom: Well put, IC. And maybe the manipulation of the system was always going on on a much smaller scale. It probably was. But they are not even trying to hide it anymore. It’s like they are daring the world to call them out, and it just isn’t happening.

The Limitations of Human Government

I should probably add here that I don’t have any special attachment to democracy personally. I don’t know that it’s God’s preferred method of running countries, and it allows a lot of incompetents a voice in public affairs who haven’t earned one and don’t know what to do with their voice when you give them one. Nevertheless, democracy is vastly preferable to tyranny, and any system ought to at least play by its own rules, otherwise it’s an invalid system ... a lie. The U.S. electoral system apparently no longer does, and I think Christians should be able to agree that’s a regrettable thing.

IC: Here we might quote Churchill: “Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time” (November 11, 1947). For Christians, democracies have doubtless proved to be the most congenial form of human governance. But that does not give us reason to think that democracy is a godly form of government; rather, it may be only the best of a bad deal.

The fact remains that we Christians are on foreign territory even when we are under a democratic regime; this world is run by powers that are not ultimately sympathetic to us, our values or our destiny with Christ. We have sometimes been tempted to forget that fact, and to speak as if we live in a “Christian country”. But until Christ returns, there is ultimately no such place on earth. If democracy decays, we have to realize that it was always a house of straw in the first place: it was bound to fail sooner or later.

Tom: Right. But I think nobody is wise to celebrate the failure of the democratic — or even sort-of-democratic — nations, even if it was always inevitable.

Globalism and the Beast

Put it another way: globalism is quite literally the agenda of the coming beast of Bible prophecy. I feel fairly safe saying that Joe Biden is not the beast, no worries there. Joe is not long for this world. But the forces that are propelling him into the presidency have the same stench. They are of the same spirit: the idea that “I will ascend to heaven”, whether that “I” is individual or corporate, and “I will do anything to get there”. And while the rise of the beast, or even a move in that general direction, are signs that the Lord’s coming may be closer than we think — something we all desire, I’m confident — I am also fairly sure no Christian wants to be part, consciously or unconsciously, of a movement that is absolutely anti-Christian in spirit and intent.

IC: That movement will be sold to us in terms that will appeal to many. Its advocates will speak of equality, unity, the common good, justice, inclusion, solidarity, the future of the race, historical progress, public health, global peace, and so on … all causes that a Christian could think he or she could get behind if he or she did not look deeper into the meaning of what’s actually being advocated.

Tom: Definitely. One thing I am encouraged by in the current environment is that the communi-globalist program has not been able to take America legitimately, by captivating hearts and minds. It’s had to succeed by stealth and fraud, which says better things than I might have thought about the wisdom of large numbers of Americans.

One and Done

But we’ve talked about this and I agree with you: even if by some miracle the Biden-headed coup somehow fails or is publicly exposed, and the U.S. manages to get a four-year reprieve from Great Resets and Green New Deals, some later iteration will succeed down the road, and we need to be realistic about that. The number of powerful people involved, and the scope of the media collaboration in the scam, is just astonishing. This thing is pretty much a religion with the people who are pushing it, and they only need to win once.

IC: Yes, that’s true. One win and they’re in. There will be no more meaningful opposition after that; they’ll never allow it again.

A lot of this goes back to a basic issue: bad anthropology. What I mean is that human beings just refuse to believe that human nature itself is fallible, sinful or susceptible to corruption. But even the best of us is. American democracy was notable for the fact that it enshrined in a system of checks and balances a recognition that human goodness is just not to be trusted — at least not all the time. By preventing any one person or any one party from getting too much power for too long, and by dividing powers among different groups that could serve as a check on each other, it prevented the inherent corruptibility of politicians from having free rein. And that was good. Ultimately, it was a blessing that came from the legacy of Christian understanding of human sinfulness that they had.

Tom: I quite agree. The framers were not utopians by any stretch.

Denying Original Sin

IC: But in our age the idea of sinfulness has been denied; and so the reasons for there to be limits to the power of politicians and governments have ceased to be obvious to most people — even most Christians. This opens the door to wild, utopian projects, and also to the corrupt dealings that are always in the hearts of every person.

So now the cry is more like, “Why are you Christians keeping us wonderful humans from having the power to do all the great projects we have in mind?” And sadly, even some who regard themselves as Christians are buying into that attitude, because their anthropology isn’t biblical either. So they don’t see a problem with human beings being given unchecked power.

Tom: Basically, it’s a denial of original sin. This is why God divided the world into nations. If you have one giant political power over all, and it goes wrong, you are in big trouble. If instead you have hundreds, you’ll have good ones and bad ones and some in between, because even people with good intentions are fundamentally fallible. But at least in the second scenario every single nation can’t be taken down with a single bad judgment, or oppressed by a single tyrant. They won’t all go down the tubes at the same time. But it is very difficult to explain this to people who have an unhistorical and logically-insupportable faith in big government.

Bigger and Worser

IC: Right. And herein lies a serious danger that globalists never seem to fully realize. That is, IF human beings are basically good and their political operations trustworthy, then maybe bigger is better. But if humans are sinful and some (at least) are capable of great evils, then the bigger and more powerful you make the political system, the greater the damage the evil hidden in any one political system or person can do. That’s why as the world has moved closer to globalism we’ve had world wars, and why those wars have killed more people than all the previous wars of history combined. And that’s why as the world has grown more technologically advanced we’ve acquired the power to destroy suddenly all life on earth many times over. As we get bigger, the cost of our mistakes gets bigger … magnified by our numbers, by our new technologies, and the scope of the reach of our interventions.

Can we afford to let the sinful nature of man go global in scale? That’s what we’re really talking about. Can we afford to pay a price higher than the one we already paid in the last century?

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