- - Monday, January 5, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A new religion has swept the western world and is changing the outcome of all levels of policy. This is a religion like no other as it denies the existence of God or relegates Him to an inconsequential shadow of ambiguity; its mantra is “I am spiritual, but not religious.”

The root of the word “religion” in Latin means “to rebind.” This new religion requires its adherents to be bound by a set of rules and behaviors; it requires them to evangelize and recruit, and it punishes those who deviate or reject its tenets. This new faith could be called “Red Puritanism.”

Naturally, we are using “Puritan” in the way that Hollywood does: describing those who are awkward, austere, uncompromising, dogmatic and sinister. Oddly enough, this is exactly the terminology one could use to describe members of the new faith. In reality, the Puritans were devout Christians who believed in a strict covenant between God and man. They authored the Mayflower Compact and set the stage for the development of American political thought. They composed the first notes on American exceptionalism and the obligations of Christian charity. They laid the foundation for the American Bill of Rights with documents such as the Massachusetts Body of Liberties. In contrast, Red Puritanism is removing the oxygen from our political and social lives.

If Red Puritanism has a genesis story, it is in the cultural revolution of the late 1960s. What started out as the “summer of love,” turned into the Cain and Abel story of the 1968 Democratic Convention and the flood that became Woodstock without a Noah. Battered by their inability to change the system from without, they entered their New Testament period where they became the system itself. The Red Puritans virally spread until they metastasized in Hollywood, academia, the media, arts and education.

It is a faith that is humorlessness. Their motivation is better described than that of the actual Puritans in the adage by H.L. Menken: “The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” In religion they are confirmed in either their atheism or their “light unitarianism,” which, if nothing else is anti-Christian and pro every-other-faith. They are horrified at religious intolerance, unless it is intolerance to Christians. They are confirmed relativists knowing in absolute terms that there are no absolutes, except for those described by them. One must credit them with mental gymnastics worthy of an Olympic gold medal. This is the pinnacle of secular humanism, placing this new man at the top to decry the presence of real evil as mere construct created by conservatives. It is the religion of ultimate paradox. There is no absolute good except for the laundry list they have created: multiculturalism, tolerance, atheism, socialist realism, skepticism, activist science, anti-western ideology (extra piety points for anti-American) and collective white guilt. There are no immutable goals except ending white privilege, destruction of conservatism, the cult of victimization, a reduction of American military power and the glorification of anything that shocks. They have engaged in the systemic reduction of humanity by pledging allegiance to neuro-reductionism, determinism, deconstructionism and post-modern artistic meaninglessness. They preach a personal morality that would make the actual Puritans wonder in its rigidity. They have strict doctrines on culinary, sexual, economic and environmental behavior. They have declared war on everything of value that human beings have achieved in historically, including democracy, human rights, aesthetic beauty, love and community. Here, the paradox for them is irreparable; there can be no democracy without free will, there can be no human rights without God’s natural law and there can be no beauty where there is no standard. They have no answer to any part of the world that is not western which engages in evil, barbarism and atrocity.

Naturally, the Red Puritans have to punish apostates, heretics and infidels. They utilize the word “evil” or “inappropriate” to silence critics or defame dissenters with the same methods used in the Salem witch hunts. They claim an accepted moral superiority to those around them, crowning themselves in the manner of Napoleon’s coronation of 1804. They are self-congratulatory in how they can seek to understand the complex world that others cannot see.

In Hollywood and the media, the pattern is depressingly similar: White Christian men are bad, America is a force of evil, western nations have undeserved privilege. In academia, the dogma is illustrated in combat against conservative students and faculty through intimidation, non-hiring, tenure denials and shunning.

The crackup is coming, and it won’t be the rapture the Red Puritans have prepared for. The new Garden of Eden, which would have a smaller human population living in harmony with an untamed wilderness, is not on the horizon. The paradox they preach by using absolute terms to worship at the altar of relativism cannot endure. The Orwellian nature of their totalitarian dream is beginning to crumble, but they won’t go without a fight. They will continue their crusade until it becomes abundantly clear how morally bankrupt they are, but the beginning of the end is looming.

Lamont Colucci is a national security fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council. He writes here in his private capacity.

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