One of the key distinctions between the contemporary and the founding (late 18th c./early 19th c.) American pertains to the doctrine of original sin. The latter believed (we’re speaking in generalities, here) that man was basically corrupt, and so magistrates need constraints or else they will become tyrants. The former believes that man is basically good, and so magistrates can typically be trusted to act in our best interest. I don’t think this is how most people would word it, but the substance is true.
I spoke with a young woman in public a few weeks ago, about our Governor’s mask mandate. I was about to express my concern over the unconstitutional character of the regulation, when she exclaims, “I don’t understand people. I mean, the government told us to wear masks.” There are at least two assumptions in her words. Assumption one is that civil government is our sovereign – no qualifications, no spherical boundaries. Assumption two is that civil government should be trusted by default. To question our civil government’s response to C19 is silly.
I sometimes wish we could make blonde jokes great again. We need to apply them to this large swath of Americans who have been raised to swoon over civil magistrates who press the right social justice buttons. We can call these “American jokes” for now.
Two American’s fell down a hole. One said, “It’s dark in here, isn’t it?” The other replied, “I don’t know; I can’t see.”
Why did the American tip toe near the medicine cabinet? Because he didn’t want to wake the sleeping pills.
The American never dialed “911,” because he couldn’t find the #11.
A Canadian was driving in a car with an American. The Canadian told the American to stick his head out the window and see if the blinker worked. He stuck his head out and said, “Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes…”
Americans get excited when they finish a “2 to 4 years” puzzle in 6 months.
An American walked into the ER and complained, “Everything I touch, hurts!” The nurse replied, “Mmhmm – your finger is broken.”
This would be so totally mean if it wasn’t so totally true. Americans who never second-guess the cow-farting propoganda, are Americans who think Cheerios are donut seeds. Americans who get frustrated with the pastor who refuses to shut down his church in the middle of a fake-news pandemic, are Americans who get fired from M&M factories for throwing out the W’s. Americans who prefer infanticide to a brash leader, are Americans who get stuck in the shower because the shampoo bottle says, “lather, rinse, repeat.” Land of the free, home of the naive.
Off the Grid
The gentlemen at Cross Politic had a great show earlier this month, called “No Water No Freedom.” For some time now, our culture has characterized “preppers” as the wild type. These are the ones who want to dig their own wells, generate their own electricity, and grow their own food. Personally, I have never seen the wildness in such mentalities. However, I have never been compelled to pursue such a lifestyle. You’re not a Communist if you tap into city water, right?
Well, California happened. The state government decided to pick a fight with local churches, chiefly Grace Community and John MacArthur. In the wrestling match (that is still going on), the city of Los Angeles threatened to turn off the water and electricity to Grace Community Church. In the twinkling of an eye, the work of preppers from Oregon to South Carolina was vindicated. Many of us have lived with the assumption that civil magistrates, while potential idiots in economics, are relatively trustworthy. They would never actually impose on our religious freedoms. They would never dare to shut off our power for worshiping Christ – not in America.
Remarkably, America is not impervious to original sin. Those born in America are of David’s stock: conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5). It’s obvious, too. Our streets wreak with dead infants, rotting universities, and prostituted churches. Just working off of generalities and stereotypes, I’d say that Americans are about as unrighteous as they come.
But now, if I question the governmental response to C19, then I get crucified upside-down – by Christians. I’m not allowed to ask, “Why aren’t we fact-checking the people who support child murder?” It’s taboo to say, “You know, the CDC doesn’t know what boys and girls are. Let’s find a more level-headed source to draw from.” Hopefully we’re arriving at a place where such sentiments are not called crazy.
My concern is that the place where doubts are heeded is the same place where America is finally judged for her sins. We might not realize our mistake until the water is flooding our nostrils… we were so darn focused on that scratch-and-sniff Marx threw into the pool.