- - Sunday, November 29, 2020

Republican pollster Patrick Ruffini recently tweeted, “What Republicans need to replace Trump is not a wet blanket. Trump will always be with us until someone steps up who can fight smarter.” Mr. Ruffini then added, “When conservatives don’t fight for ideological first principles like they used to, fighting for nonsense is what fills the void.”

But what are those first principles, and what do they look like?

Historian Tom Holland, an atheist, offers the answer: Christianity.

In his excellent article written for The Steam, Jonathan Van Maren summarizes Mr. Holland’s newest book, “Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World,” as follows. “[Holland’s] book … [comes] as something of a surprise for several reasons. First, Tom Holland is not a Christian. Second, [‘Dominion’] is one of the most ambitious historical defenses of Christianity in a very long time.”

Mr. Van Maren continues. “While studying the ancient world, Holland … realized something. Simply, the ancients were cruel, and their values utterly foreign to him. The Spartans routinely murdered ‘imperfect’ children. The bodies of slaves were treated like outlets for the physical pleasure of those with power. Infanticide was common. The poor and the weak had no rights.



“How did we get from there to here? It was Christianity … Christianity revolutionized sex and marriage, demanding that men control themselves and prohibiting all forms of rape. Christianity confined sexuality within monogamy … Christianity elevated women. In short, Christianity utterly transformed the world.”

Mr. Van Maren concludes, “In fact, Holland points out that without Christianity, the Western world would not exist. Even the claims of the social justice warriors who despise the faith of their ancestors rest on a foundation of Judeo-Christian values. Those who make arguments based on love, tolerance, and compassion are borrowing fundamentally Christian arguments. If the West had not become Christian … no one would have gotten woke.

“Holland’s passionate defense of Christianity is fascinating because it appears to be part of a trend. As the West becomes definitively post-Christian, many secularists are suddenly realizing that Christianity may have been more valuable than they thought. While many — including Holland — cannot quite bring themselves to believe Christianity is true, they are starting to believe that Christianity might be necessary.”

Mr. Van Maren cites Douglas Murray as another atheist who has recently argued that society now stands on the precipice of three stark but clear options. The first is to reject the idea that all human life is precious. The second is to “work furiously to find some way to assert an atheist version of the sanctity of the individual.” The third (and likely inevitable) option is this: if option two doesn’t work, “there is only one other place to go, which is back to faith, whether we like it or not.”

Atheist and London Times writer Matthew Parris echoed the same sentiments in his 2008 essay titled “As an Atheist, I Truly Believe Africa Needs God. As a “confirmed atheist,” wrote Mr. Parris, “I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa … Government projects … alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa, Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good … Those who want Africa to walk tall … must not kid themselves … Removing Christian evangelism from the African equation may leave the continent at the mercy of a malign fusion of Nike, the witch doctor, the mobile phone, and the machete.”

Patrick Ruffini is absolutely right. America does not need, nor does it want, the pallid milk toast of Joe Biden and a bunch of complicit RINOs who seek to blend in with everything that is woke while refusing to condemn anything that is wrong.

No, our country is not interested in such wet blankets.

Donald Trump will only be replaced by someone who is ready to fight; someone who is willing to give his or her all for our nation’s “ideological first things;” a leader smart enough to understand what atheists like Messrs. Holland, Murray and Parris understand and who is not ashamed to say it: America’s first principles are Christian.

Our nation stands on the precipice. Millions are begging for a leader willing to talk not of “soft soap and wishful thinking” but of the terrifying person of Christ. Not of comfort but courage. Not of tolerance but truth. Not of safety but freedom. Someone who understands and shouts the words of Dorothy Sayers (“Creed or Chaos,” 1949):

“I believe it is a grave mistake to present Christianity as something charming and popular with no offense in it. Seeing that Christ went about the world giving the most violent offense to all kinds of people … [and] that He was so stiff in His opinions and so inflammatory in His language that He was thrown out of church, stoned, hunted, and finally gibbetted as a firebrand and a public danger … nobody need be surprised … that a determined preaching of Christian dogma may sometimes result in a few angry letters … Whatever His peace was, it was not the peace of an amiable indifference.”

• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery).

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