“When people stop believing in God, the problem is not that they will believe in nothing; rather the problem is that they will believe anything.” I think C.S. Lewis was on to something here. The greatest myth of secular progressivism is that it eschews religion. But nature abhors a vacuum. And when it comes to a belief system, humanity will always seek to fill a void in their hearts with a quest to live out their lives predicated upon a belief in something higher than themselves. People need a reason to live as more than just pinballs bouncing around this chaotic world on our meaningless trip to the void. I think everyone yearns to believe in something.
As such, the religion that truly intrigues — and horrifies — me is that of Leftism. Leftists, in whose camp most professed and proud atheists dwell, like to think they are more enlightened than those who follow the teachings of bronze-age prophets scrolled on ancient parchment. They are people of “science”. Enlightenment. And, yes, if you press them (or put a few drinks in their veins) they will confide in you that they are simply smarter than those rubes who remain steeped in the superstitions of the past.
But they are wrong. The idea of “religion” is not just a prostration before a living, engaged Supreme Being these days. In the post-modern age of political and social ideology, religion casts a wider net to mean any set of beliefs to which one ascribes supreme importance. Bill Maher, for example, calls communism, an ideology steeped in atheism, a “religion”. If one sees the definition as a manifestation of any belief system, then perhaps he is right. And, it seems, as with more traditional holy zealotry, the more pious the believer, the less tolerant they tend to be of dissenting views. Indeed, when you are absolutely convinced that you’re in the right — morally, politically, scientifically — you feel no obligations to tolerate those in the wrong. Some are so steeped in their self-righteous hauteur that they’re willing to destroy any and all those who stand between them and the implementation of their belief system. And so they cross into the realm of the religious fanatic. In that respect, I have seen fewer more clear examples of religious extremism than what we see in the far-Left today.
What do I mean by this? Consider this CBS News Headline as relates to one of the Church of Leftology’s three pillars in its sacred trinity…to wit, Climate Change, Public Health, and Racism. It reads: “How climate change helped strengthen the Taliban.” Here we see unbridled devotion to one of those columns on display. In this case, the media, acting as the new religion’s messengers, draws for their unquestioning disciples a direct nexus between what is happening in the earth’s atmosphere and the rise of a fanatical Islamic army in the Hindu Kush. Climate change, as we often hear from these apostles of the new faith, is a “destabilizing” phenomenon; thus can a direct line of causality be traced back from any adverse political, military, or sociological event to perceived upheaval of the planet’s atmosphere. That one is hard-pressed to recall any era in history during which human interaction was not marred by instability matters not. Indeed, one facet of the Church of Leftology is that history should be ignored, or, better yet, re-written to fall in line with the tenets of the faith, ala the 1619 Project. Recurring evidence of a constant darkness in human nature throughout the millennia is irrelevant. No matter what caused the wars, occupations, persecutions, genocides, and injustices of the past, today the malevolent weather, and more to the point our misbehavior causing it, is at the heart of our woes.
Drawing such definitive links to so broad a global phenomenon as climate change is a dangerous proposition. When one takes the premise seriously that all things bad, from hurricanes and wildfires, to now the rise of the Taliban, and even the crisis of our wide-open border, can be traced back to Climate Change, as many of the Church Of Leftology’s ministers propose (including the current Vice President), then that logically demands all future policy promote a green agenda that must take precedence — regardless of their demonstrable encroachment upon prosperity or, more disconcerting, civil liberties.
To bolster their claims of righteous indignation against fossil fuels and other industries, we hear the phrase “existential threat” bantered about. And no wonder. Such a clarion call of impending doom is a useful pretext for radically shifting economic and social policy. When something is an “existential threat” to humanity, such as the earth becoming uninhabitable through CO2 poisoning of the atmosphere, then all other concerns must be relegated to secondary considerations. After all, what good is having a working Constitution and Bill Of Rights, a thriving economy, or fiscally responsible government if the world will literally end should we not act…and right soon? The climate change pillar of the faith serves two purposes on the Leftist altar. It is a justification for government activism at the expense of personal freedom and free markets under the guise of “saving the planet.” And it also offers those who lack any true faith a passionate crusade to animate their otherwise Godless lives; this time the aim is reclaim the entire earth rather than just the Holy Land.
We see a parallel narrative when it comes to the second pillar of the Leftist faith, “Public Health.” The massive power-grab on the parts of state and federal officials under the justification of a response to Covid is plain for all to see. Here is one example: For years the Left has wanted mail-in balloting in place of in-person voting. They claim it is in the interest of equity, but only the most naïve really believe that. Since it presents a much less secure voting system, it gives the party of Kennedy 1960 more opportunities to cheat. But how to make this happen? Then along comes a pandemic. Covid, a very real disease, is nevertheless providing cover for promoting a very unreal need for mail-in ballots. Connecticut, for example, is making mail-in balloting available to anyone who “fears Covid.” Nice. If the Democrats have their way, mail-in ballots will be a permanent feature, well after the virus’ threat is gone. Actually, for them, Covid will never be gone as one variant will follow another until all 23 letters of the Greek alphabet are exhausted. Then it’s the letters in Dr. Suess’ On Beyond Zebra up to the plate. And so must the mail-in balloting, in the interest of “public health”, remain.
Nor does the new religion stop with voting. Indeed, using “public health” as its pretext, the activist CDC recently has even decided to get involved in gun control. Gun violence, they claim, is a matter of “public health.” Very soon, like a healthcare version of the overly broad interstate commerce clause, every agency regulation, rule, edict will be justified with some degree of separation back to public health.
The influence of the final pillar of the Leftist Trinity, racism, is being demonstrated right now from the imposition of radical critical race theory in our public schools, to the opposition to even the most rudimentary voter ID laws. If you oppose any of these initiatives, the high priests of the Church of Leftology in the media, academia, or Twitter will brand you as a racist. Race is everything now. It is who you are, what you are, how you are expected to behave, to think even. It is used to divide us, to quell dissent, to ruin lives in the name of the holy sacrament of the equitable society. And should you object to viewing everything through the prism of color, well that just shows how racist you really are. Indeed, all opposition to even the most radical racism as expressed in CRT is, ironically, labeled racist.
Despite polls, most citizens of the United States are indeed religious. It is just that as those traditional religions that worship a living Supreme Being have waned, a religion of leftist woke ideology has risen to take its place. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are giving way to Climate Change, Public Health, and Racism. And when it comes to this latter diabolical trinity, the practitioners of the new leftist faith are far more akin to hard-core Baptists than the mild-mannered Presbyterians. Their views are Truth. And any dissent makes you fair game for destruction. From a policy standpoint, given they see themselves as the arbiters of saving the planet, making people healthy, and creating a racially harmonious utopia, the only people who could possibly disagree with them must be by definition eco-terrorists, science deniers, or bigots. This intolerance is the very essence of religious fanaticism. And it has become the hallmark of the Left. Many conservatives fret over the threat to the West posed by radical Islam, and they are right to do so. But a far more insidious faith has come to call. One that, should it maintain its hold on the media, the government, pop culture, academia, the boardroom, even the military, will surely cause the West to come crashing down. Maybe that is the goal. If so, then we will be as far from Eden as we have ever been.
Brad Schaeffer is an author, columnist, commodities trader, and musician. His latest novel, The Extraordinary, about a family coping with a war veteran father’s PTSD as told through the words of his autistic son, is on sale now.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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