It’s one of the better scenes from the Spielberg semi-classic Hook. Peter Pan’s little daughter Maggie is being carted off by order of Dustin Hoffman’s Captain Hook. Incensed, she shouts back at Hook, “You need a Mommy, very, very badly.”
I thought of that line the other day as I was puzzling over one of the great puzzlers of our time – why are so many on the Left overflowing with Vesuvian anger at anyone and anything that stands in the way of their progressive beliefs and policies? And the answer I came up with? Because they need a God, very, very badly.
Their anger is everywhere. Democratic politicians seethe with it. It’s become a movie-of-the-week eruption on college campuses. Black Lives Matters fumes and rages with it in their marches. Jordan Peterson, a University of Toronto professor, created a national firestorm by refusing to refer to LGBT students with their “preferred” pronoun. A West Virginia pastor took a stand against using the Facebook rainbow emoji on his website and was subjected to an organized backlash that included death threats and feces being mailed to his house.
If it was only anger, that would be one thing. But the anger comes coupled with a very disturbing political determination to impose its will on the nation through legislative ramrodding. Nowhere is this more insidiously seen than the current efforts to force into the American psyche and lawbooks a host of LGBT-policies that completely undermine and overwrite classical, historic understandings of human sexuality.
In Minnesota, radical politicians and school board administrators are quick-stepping into place a series of policies and curriculum that seek to condition (i.e.brainwash) children from pre-K upwards into accepting this disturbing and dangerous worldview. All this, along with the now well-known attempt to ban gender restrictive bathrooms and locker rooms. A new law passed in Canada would actually require parents to accept and endorse their child’s chosen gender identity, to the point of removing the child from the home for “abuse” should the parent refuse. Similar legislation is quickly popping up in California, New York and elsewhere.
So what drives this anger? I see three sources for it.
First, the 2015 Obergefell vs. Hodges Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage clearly emboldened radical progressives into pressing their agenda further.
Gay marriage proponents were always eager to assure concerned traditionalists that this was all they were after. Which was always a ruse. The logic which allows for the abandoning of the classical view of marriage – that freedom of the individual trumps all other considerations – throws open the door to a limitless number of sexual possibilities which the law must then accept. 57 genders? Why not? If the individual says it’s so, who are you to question them, you intolerant, hate-filled bigot. (Of course, notice how the argument has shifted in three years. First, we were told that sexual orientation was innate. “I’m born this way!” Now birth has nothing to do with it. It’s who or what I feel like identifying as on any given day. The issue always was about having unrestricted freedom.)
Second, though the anger preceded the rise of the Trump presidency by several years, his ascent to power has become a lightning rod for all the rage and madness of the Left.
The political awakening of the “Deplorables” was a shocking and unexpected development, arresting the Progressive’s momentum and causing them to doubt. Rather than question their assumptions though, they have doubled-down on their drive to power, using anger as their wedge. The strangest irony in this entire cultural clash is that the slander of “Nazi!” and “Hitler!” and “Fascism” which the Left hurls at the Right is most palpably, visibly seen in the behavior of the Progressives, who have stooped to aggressive and often violent means to shut down any and all dissent.
But why such vitriol, bordering on the fanatical? Why this Saul Alinsky passion-on-steroids? It dawned on me the other day as I puzzled my puzzler.
This is largely a group of people which does not believe in God.
Oh, they may be religious. Even those who reject God cannot shut down the part of their soul that thirsts for meaning and longs for eternity. And so as David French points out, these “reasonable” people gravitate toward any number of strange metaphysical beliefs. Some will even claim they believe in “God”. But look closely and you’ll see that it is a God fashioned completely in their own image. It’s a God who endorses all their beliefs, choices and feelings. A God whose “love” for them would never question, scold or – God forbid God – judge. Our Teddy Bear who art in heaven.
No, the God not believed in by the average radical Progressive is the God. The one who is the Alpha and Omega. The Consuming Fire. The King of kings and Lord of lords. The one whose got the whole world in his hands. Who loves us yes, but as Real Love does – with Righteousness and Justice, with Mercy and Holiness, and a clear sense of right and wrong – imbedded in its DNA. When you’re someone who believes in that God, you’re not as easily rocked by failure or disappointment as someone who doesn’t. There’s a ballast under your feet, and a tether about your waist that the other does not have. You know it doesn’t all depend on you. And if you lose your grip on the world, then Someone bigger and smarter than you still does.
The desperation of the Leftward fanatic must be in part because they don’t have that belief anchoring them. (And if push came to shove, most of them would reject that God anyway, because he comes with Boundaries, and Expectations, and Accountability, and we certainly can’t have that.)
Being therefore God-less, politics becomes truly Life and Death. It is, in a fashion, their god. Climate Change becomes religion. Abortion a sacrament. And unbelievers must be zealously resisted. The wicked must be punished. (I’m not kidding. So says Tim Gill, a software entrepreneur who has poured millions of his dollars into LGBT causes.)
Meanwhile, it takes true believers in the true God time to warm up to politics because they’re less desperate on the front end. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,” they say. “Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”
But sooner or later, the stewardship that God asks of them to take good care of things like the family, and culture and the environment kicks in, and when that happens, the powers of darkness tremble. I pray, and trust, that this stirring is taking place even now across our country.
I guess when all is said and done, we all need a God, very, very badly.