“I can quit whenever I want. I am . . .
A gambling addict;
a drug addict.
As a minister, board certified pastoral counselor, counseling supervisor and a professor of theology, I have heard the phrase repeated hundreds of time. Each time I pinpoint the familiar vectors that locate the spiritual pathology that has metastasized and migrated from soul to body: abuse, denial, and manipulation.
The Symptoms of Addiction
The signs of the spiritual disease are known by others, as well. Most painfully, they are experienced by those closest to the addict. Everyone—family, friends, and employers—will eventually recognize what the addict refuses to see. This is the most tragic part of it all. For unless there is interdiction, the sullen soul will continue to manipulate—that instinctive impulse to hide, to conceal, to masquerade, and thereby, to conserve the poison that is killing him. The addiction is a relationship-killer as well as a descent into self-destruction. Wives, children, parents, friends, and co-workers weep and wait, hoping for hope, but expecting for the inevitable—which day will most certainly arrive, unless something is done. Frequently, that has been the stage of self-abuse when I am contacted. Sadly, there comes a point-of-no-return.
Keep these things in mind. Now. Switch tracks.
Statism: The Ultimate Deadly Addiction
Transpose the sad scenario of addiction I just described to a nation. An addicted people? Yes. Not, as the Communists say, addicted to “the opiate” of faith in God, but, rather, a deadly fentanyl-laced-soul-selling-slavery to government.
I am concerned that there is a national addiction spreading before our eyes. There is little doubt in my mind that a great number of our fellow citizens are afflicted by a dependence on the State, an unfounded, and unwise Tower-of-Babel-like trust in the Collective to provide what you once prayed to God to give strength to work for yourself. Statism—the lawless rule of the State over the individual—denies the priority of God, the Family, and the Church. Statism is a beast-like power that is fed, and grows, on the fuel of ruling-class greed, and mindless, submissive dependence of the masses on Mother State. In the beginning it sounds too good to be true—“free” services, the government covers your rent, pays your bills. Property owners, business-owners, families with hard-earned accumulated wealth are demonized. “Workers unite!” Revise history. Elevate base tribal instincts over a healthy national identity. Turn neighbor against neighbor. Transform iconic hero’s of national identity into villains of “equity”—a word with new meanings in an insider’s lexicon of idiocy. Like any street-smart drug dealer, the Statist-bureaucrats keep creating more programs, spending more money to finance and ferment the passions. Each government intrusion becomes a welcome invitation to a benevolent power. It feels good. Until is doesn’t.
The game is rigged. Equal outcomes for all will come at the cost of God-given liberty. The disease is as insipid as any other addiction. The disease is named Socialism, or Communism; or, to ameliorate the sinister sound of the word, call it Democratic Socialism, Regardless the symptoms will be the same.
ABUSE, DENIAL, AND MANIPULATION
How did the Jackson Browne folk song put it? “O people, look around you; the signs are everywhere; you’ve left it to someone else to be the one to care . . .” (Browne, “Rock me on the Water). “Look around you,” indeed. It’s time for our family, not yet addicted, not yet under the opiate-spell of the Socialist addict, to seek to save our countrymen: our fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, and our sons and daughters. Why the urgency? Just another preacher enjoying a little fire and brimstone? I care—we must care—for our fellow Americans already showing symptoms of Statism as much as a parent seeks help for the addicted child. Our response is not rancor but redemption.
Socialism is a virulent and highly addictive drug. Like other such addictive substances Socialism promises euphoria and produces dystopia. One is tempted to concede that the matter of State-control of “inalienable rights” is merely one of preferred political philosophies. However, the “60 million and perhaps tens of millions more” (Rosefielde, 2009, 2), who were killed in the “Red Holocaust” of the Twentieth Century cry from their graves to remind us, “Remember!” Remember that a later act in the play pivots to a campaign of State-directed murder for reasons of ideology (invariably a popular, tipping-point-campaign of terror against Judaeo-Christianity that refuse to bow to the Baal-Socialist State, and their inhuman policies), or manipulating class warfare (e.g., the Agrarian Wars of Mao, 1945–1948, during which the Chinese landowners were murdereda by the millions [Terrill, 211–213] to “return” property to the “People,” viz., the Communist thugs, i.e., the Maoist regime). This act is followed by the tyrannical trouncing of religious freedoms, free speech, rights to assemble, bear arms, and other inalienable rights . Manipulation will inevitably explain the seizure of rights, and the improvement of ideological dissenters as “enemies of the State” who threaten “progress.” As a former top-secret naval intelligence translator, I saw abuse, denial, and manipulation in its most Stalinist expression. The Communist–Socialist propaganda of the Cold War made Joseph Goebbels (1897–1945) look like an amateur. Is the present crisis of Liberty in the West marked by these signs of Socialist activism? Abuse? Denial?
What to Do?
I recently heard a defeated voice warn, “Don’t think an election can stop the inertia built by the Socialist wrecking ball. It will take more than an election.” I agree.
If our freedoms come from God it is to God we must appeal. It is at this point that I find hope. For America was founded on a series of sacred covenants. We must appeal to God through Jesus Christ to remember our pilgrim and Puritan forefathers’ prayers to be that “City on a hill,” shining the Gospel light of freedom to a world in chains. As the late Perry of Harvard taught, to understand the United States of America one must recognize the spiritual power of the founding, and the subsequent ebb and flow of repentance for swerving from the Founders’ faith, and crying out for supernatural revival from on high, to wash away the stain of national sin, to be restored to the sacred vows and solemn convents of our legacy.
Be not afraid. Be not reticent to call in repentance and faith on the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Remember the words of the Psalm. Remember, so that sacred memory stokes a Pilgrims’ faith, and the Pilgrims’ faith becomes our vision. Then will the dormant ancient covenants of this City on a Hill be renewed. O that we, or our progeny, will look back on these days, and make the Psalmist’s words our own:
“Unless the Lord had been my help,
My soul would soon have settled in silence” (Psalm 94:17).
So we must not settle in silence.
Jackson Browne. Rock Me on the Water. Vinyl recording. Los Angeles, CA: Richard Sanford Orshoff, 1971. Single, from the album, Jackson Brown, 1972
Rosefielde, S. (2009). Red Holocaust (1st ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203864371
Ross Terrill; Mao:A Reinterpretation. Journal of Cold War Studies 2005; 7 (1): 211–213. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/jcws.2005.7.1.211