We are staring into the eyes of what Jurgen Habermas called a “legitimation crisis.” There is a fundamental mistrust of our government, churches, media, education, legal system, and other administrative agencies that are supposed to be in place to protect us from tyranny.
Regardless of our political or religious affiliations, we feel let down. This is the inescapable downfall of humanism. When we rely on human beings for anything, we will inevitably be disappointed.
Thomas Jefferson is a hero to American conservatives. He was one of the Founding Fathers who was a staunch advocate of a small centralized government and one of the authors of the Federalist Papers. He is one of the most oft-quoted Americans of all time and is one of the few Founders that has his face on not one, but two pieces of our currency.
Thomas Jefferson was also a slave owner who was notoriously promiscuous with his slaves. No matter how hard conservatives try to ignore this history, they cannot. Some of his behavior cannot be excused.
Karl Marx is a hero to American progressives. He is widely taught throughout our university system for his critiques of Capitalist greed and inequalities. His writings in the Communist Manifesto and Kapital influenced multiple nations to try their hand at Communism via Socialism. The U.S.S.R., China, Russia, Germany, North Korea, North Vietnam, Italy, France, Sweden, Denmark, Cuba, and other nations have all tried to invoke Marx’s ideas of eliminating private property and sharing in goods and services by way of government distribution. Most of these Communist states have collapsed entirely after massive genocides and totalitarian regime changes. Others are facing massive economic failures, and even peaceful Sweden has become the rape capital of the world due to their lax immigration laws.
American Marxists would simply blame these failures on the fact that these nations did not actually follow Marx’s principles. We cannot have Communism until global Capitalism collapses. Marx’s critiques of capitalism are valid. His theories of alienation, the fetishism of commodities, and the culture industry are all great and should be discussed.
Karl Marx was also extremely racist and misogynist. He was a poor husband and terrible father. By all indications, he was a rough, arrogant, and aggressive jerk who was infamously difficult to be around. He was a bum who could not keep a job and railed against capitalism while suckling from the teat of frequent collaborator Friedrich Engles, whose father was a wealthy industrialist. No matter how hard progressives try to ignore this history, they cannot.
Ronald Reagan defeated Communism, ended Carter’s recession, lowered taxes, shrank the size of government, and embodied the ideals of conservative Republicans. He is an icon whose name appears in every GOP debate.
Reagan also allowed amnesty and must be held accountable for the Iran-Contra affair.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt is considered to be one of the greatest Presidents of all time. He expanded social programs in America like never before with the New Deal.
FDR also interned the Japanese into camps and was famous for being racist. Many economists are coming to understand that his high taxation and heavy regulations on businesses actually extended the Great Depression rather than ended it.
Sure, politicians are almost always seen as being corrupt, but are church leaders any different? How many major ministers resign from their churches due to sex scandals? Catholic priests are notorious for unlawful carnal knowledge with altar boys. Jimmy Baker disappeared from public after his extra-marital affairs came to light. Mark Driscoll stepped away from his church when allegations of fraudulent book sales surfaced.
Many Christians cringe at news coverage of the Westboro Baptist Church protesting military funerals with “God Hates Fags” signs or when Pat Robertson blames 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina on homosexuality.
No media outlet is trusted—nor are any unbiased.
Our professors are ideologically opposed to the majority of Americans, but they are responsible for helping us transition from immature teenagers to responsible adults. All while coddling young twenty-somethings and keeping them “safe” from harmful subjects and reality checks.
If you are a black man in a courtroom, your fate is almost certainly sealed. We all know that the system is broken, but trying to address the problems will cost votes in an upcoming election. One cannot be elected while seeming soft on crime.
We fear the government. We fear the legal system. We are always let down by politicians and church leaders who only gain power through the cult of personality rather than through merit.
We are the fools who continually put our trust in flawed human beings. We are also flawed and want to hope that our leaders are able to withstand corruption, because we want to believe that we can do the same.
What we are left with is just more disappointment, devastation, and depression.
It has been my experience that standing behind principles is a stronger position than behind people.
My principles are predominantly Christian. I put my Faith in the only perfect being in all of the universe. I do not have to make excuses for ANY behavior exhibited by Jesus Christ. There is no literary “character arc” where Jesus went from a flawed person to a hero. He was and is God from birth to death to resurrection.
No other leader in history can make that claim. Even if you do not believe that The Bible is the literal Word of God or that it is just a collection of stories, you still must admit that there has never been so perfect a character in all of literature.
Peter, Paul, Thomas, King David, Abraham, Moses, and Noah all made a transition from flawed to Faithful. Christ never did.
Mohammed, Joseph Smith, L. Ron Hubbard, Marshall Applewhite, Jim Jones, and the entire line of Popes cannot claim to be as perfect of Christ. They were all flawed human beings that died flawed—and all remain dead.
Christian principles of loving everyone—including enemies—and treating others as you want to be treated, as well as not lying, killing, or stealing are practically universal. Can any other ideology claim the same?
We cannot judge or justify Christianity based on the actions of Christians—but we should base it on the actions of Jesus Christ. To be contrary to Christ is simply not Christian.
I am secure in believing that my worldview is based on universal perfection. That is a standard that will never let me down. I will never waver like a Marxist, a Jeffersonian, or a cult follower. I do not follow a person or god, but THE God.
I challenge you to look to your own worldview and hold it to a standard of perfection. Does it hold up? Should it hold up? If not, then why are you still clinging to a sinking ship with no life raft? There is plenty of room on our boat.