“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me.” – Martin Niemoller
By Charlie Johnston
Several people at different sites have pondered whether I erred in saying that the Christmas of 2013 would be our last traditional Christmas until the Storm ended. I consider it to be so, but I was going to say it would not at all offend me if anyone regarded it as an objective error. I was firmly rebuked on the matter, though, for I was reminded that a part of my work is to get people to see a little more from the perspective of eternity rather than the perspective of this world.
We are so self-absorbed that we usually do not concede there is a problem until it shows up right on our doorstep. The familiar prose poem from World War II at the top illustrates this. Tyranny and trouble did not begin when they came for the narrator; it began when they came for the first group and all who were directly unaffected did nothing. When evil rises and you deceive yourself that all is well unless they come for you, you are well deceived. Evil does not stop until it is stopped.
Across wide swaths of the Middle East and Southeast Asia, Christians are being murdered en masse, children beheaded and crucified, people burned alive. In much of the west, people are being fired or forced out of business if they won’t swear fealty to the “homosexual” agenda. In many countries of the west, reading verbatim passages from the Bible qualifies as hate speech. Some traditionally European Christian countries have ceded swaths of their territory to brutal sharia law. This last year, anti-Christian activists in America targeted such innocuous symbols of Christmas as candy canes and Santa Claus. In the American military, Christian chaplains and officers are under siege. The Federal Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) quietly acted last October to propose rules that would effectively end private outdoor Christmas lighting in America. The comment period just ended with few even knowing it was proposed. If it is not stopped, the bureaucrats will have established a rule whereby you can be fined and ordered to take down your outdoor Christmas decorations.
You may ask what could we do about such things. We once could have demanded that our nation stand up for the oppressed rather than for the oppressors. But now American government overseers care little about what the folksies think. We once could have tossed out politicians who constrained our freedom. But now unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats file regulations that carry the rule and penalties of law regardless of what we think. We were seduced by tyranny coming with the sweet promise of kindness and care as long as we gave away the power of free men and women to them first. We were chumps who cared more about our comfort than our faith or what was right. We won’t get western civilization back until a great crisis has been reached and passed…we have already let it slip away. Politics has become irrelevant and impotent, except as wielded by those who would further destroy faith and freedom – and then only to lead us closer to the abyss.
In America – and much of the west – Christians are treated with wary official intolerance and hostility by both the government and the culture. The American Dept. of Homeland Security lists Christian “fundamentalists” as potentially dangerous terrorists, while dismissing fears about Jihadists. I have two police officers in my family. American police are now having to carefully choose where they will park, taking care that their site-lines are unimpeded so as to avoid ambush. They are having to rethink how to answer calls, so as not to be pulled into an ambush. They are pulling down their pages on social media so as to protect their families from targeting. The Mayor of the largest city in the country and the President and Attorney General, as well as the establishment media, all encourage and make excuses for those who target the police. Everyone who still believes and lives traditional western and American values is under siege today – not tomorrow, not later, but today. The government and the culture have gotten so big and unresponsive that it seems there is little you can do. To formally complain is more likely to get you on an enemies list than to enact change. Our governments and the media have become an occupying power with values alien to most who just want to live in peace – and hostile to any hint of faith or traditionalism. In the Newspeak that is current, tolerance demands rigidly enforced conformity to what the elite occupiers want.
So what can you do? You can withdraw your allegiance to the government and culture that surround you – and do it in support of your nation. Every community has an organizing principle. It is our fault that, for several generations, we have progressively built that principle around an overweening government and the television set. It does not have to be so. Build your community around your neighbors and your church. Ignore the government, except where it coerces you (admittedly, in many areas). Support your local police. They will be your bulwark if, in its panic, the central government tries to impose Martial Law to quell the crises it has created. I often suspect that is precisely why local police are being so relentlessly vilified by top officials and the media – they know local police will not turn on their neighbors in obeisance to a federal order – so the feds try to create a wedge now between the people and those best poised to defend us.
The federal government is making many mistakes in its efforts to stamp out Christian and traditional cultural practice. The vilification of police was one case. They knew what they were doing. They backed off a little when they got some blowback from the ambush murders of police in New York, Los Angeles and Florida…but not much. With every overreach they think they are getting more powerful and closer to being able to seize command authority. But with every overreach, the mask falls a little further and more people see what has been wrought. You can begin to form and offer allegiance to the smaller more intimate communities that will have to give us all succor as the central government succumbs to its madness and falls apart.
Do not be seduced by false dawns or false promises. I see many were enthused by the closure of a lot of abortion facilities in the last year. I sympathize with the enthusiasm, but it is not what it seems. What is happening is abortion is moving slowly away from the disreputable little clinics that were easy to identify and protest against – and going mainstream, moving into more and more hospitals at a vigorous pace. That was an intended effect of the Obamacare legislation. A few years ago, one of my closest friend’s daughters landed on a prestigious list of the 50 most promising medical students in the country. But she was a serious Catholic and had to consider moving to another field – for some proposed regulations associated with it would have required medical students to be trained in how to safely perform abortions before they could be licensed. The regulation eventually was softened to give some limited rights of conscience, but it was clear that the administration wanted to move abortion out of the abortuaries and into hospitals. Call your hospital and ask what “reproductive services” it offers. Do not be challenging…better to sound as if you may be seeking an abortion. If you call 10 hospitals, you will be shocked at how many are now offering “reproductive services” that include “termination of pregnancy.”
In World War II, the great majority of people never even had to leave their homes. Oh yes, a large minority was killed or displaced, but the majority only had to worry, without ever having the beast descend upon them. It was because of the human propensity to consider nothing really wrong so long as the beast is not in their living room that caused so many tens of millions of people to have to die in that conflagration.
Now, I pray and expect that whatever happens in the next two Christmases of the Storm, I will celebrate it with joy and gratitude. I even hope to have a place to keep warm and, maybe, a tree. But while Amnesty International elevated Christians to the single most persecuted people in the world this last year, while my government defines Christians and pro-lifers as potentially dangerous terrorists, while my government is in the process of trying to ban outdoor electrical Christmas displays, while Christians can be fined, fired, jailed or have their business seized for failing to be sufficiently enthusiastic about homosexual “marriage,” while the American military’s officer corps is being purged of soldiers who do not hide their faith sufficiently well, while you cannot get health insurance without financially subsidizing the execution of infants as a human right, while increasingly you cannot be sure the hospital you go to for treatment does not have a death chamber for infants down the hall, while swaths of the formerly Christian west are being ceded to the control of murderous Jihadist maniacs and their murderous sharia law, while the highest officials in the land are putting targets on the backs of the men and women charged with protecting their communities, I will NOT pretend that this is business as usual and a traditional Christmas.
If your definition requires the beast to be in your living room, by all means, count it as error on my part. I do not know if there will be anyone to speak for me when they come, but until they do I am going to keep speaking for those under siege rather than pretending that because I still have a warm bed, nothing serious is amiss.
When I studied the events leading up to World War II there came a time when I realized that, if the world had heeded Winston Churchill in the mid-30s, there would have been war and probably 200,000 would have died. Each year that they ridiculed him as an alarmist and warmonger, the price went up. In the end, good estimates have 86 million people dying in World War II. It was certainly the aggressors who caused those deaths, but they were enabled by millions and millions of people who insisted that, as long as the butchers were not at their door, nothing serious was wrong. In doing so, they enabled the butchers. What a horror.
I have been heartened this year by how many readers at this site have abandoned their fears, have set aside paralyzing doubt, and just started actively being a sign of hope to those around them. That IS the path to reclaiming and rebuilding our culture, simple as it sounds. I know, though, that at least a hint of my disquiet and anger comes through today, for many are still acting as if they are the audience at a particularly gripping drama, giving thumbs up or thumbs down at what pleases and displeases them. You are not the audience; you are the players. How it turns out is dependent on you. Given all that has happened in the last year, if you still believe our culture had a normal, traditional Christmas season because you were not deprived of your fireplace, tree or eggnog, then you will likely remain in denial until the barbarians really are at your door – and by that time you won’t be able to be a sign of hope to anyone.
You don’t need to believe anything about my visitations to see the signs of the times. Dismiss it all…but please, acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those around you. If you will just do this, whatever happens, you will help rescue the world.
I have refrained from writing of late largely because I am trying to figure out how to convey the urgency that is already upon us. I’m stupid in many ways. It frankly surprised me that anyone would argue that this Christmas was culturally traditional in any sense. I am working to try to convey better what these things mean…but for heaven’s sake, if you have to have a smoldering meteor in your living room to think anything is really wrong at all, I don’t know how to get the message across. It truly is the last hour. And if somebody notes, an hour after this is posted, that we are all still here, I am going to scream.
May we all get up on our hind legs and behave like men and women of the Most High God, men and women who were chosen to be the signs of hope that would reclaim His people in these times. Remember that God chose you to live in these historic times. Stand your post and justify His confidence in you.