With the principles of our Republic hanging by a thread, it’s not happenstance or a fluke. The erosion of our dominant Christian worldview, the lynchpin of our Founder’s dream, they stood conspicuously as staunch defenders of values that bolstered our foundation’s religious liberty, civil and social order, as common ground of understanding that permitted us to resolve issues that threatened to unravel the fiber, that once protected individuals, and ultimately institutions, is no accident. When these underpinnings are removed and supplanted, we’re left to battle symptoms, that are detached from those edifices that were once the cornerstone of our Republic.
Poet and essayist, T.S. Eliot, American born, he, like we defenders of individual liberty today, understood that in every period of history, there are those who’ll endeavor to to pull down those “permanent things.” Others will defend them to the death. In his day, he too distrusted elites saying, “The elites, in consequences, will consist solely of those whose only common interest will be their common interest.” That characterizes the elitist news media, careerist politicians, and irreverent social platform behemoths today. He understood that the struggle to uphold “permanent things has no surcease,” as he wrote in his 1939, “The Idea of a Christian Society.” Across the Pond, in the 1930’s and 40’s he and C.S. Lewis challenged the social and cultural issues that nagged Great Britain’s conscience. What are those “permanent things” he coined? Briefly, those verities are timeless, immutable, that aren’t subject to material affirmation or men’s whimsical approval.
Today in our nation, unending knee-jerk reactions underscore the fatuity of this conspicuous loss of “permanent things.” Watching the blame game that persists among elites as to how to end “gun violence” in America. They refuse to look beyond the beguiling symptoms like more restrictive guns laws, and expanded background checks. Elitist in Biden’s cabinet, deny, or refuse to explore the underpinnings that genuinely drive those massacres since Columbine, rather rushing to shame our “gun happy” Republic. They ignore lawlessness, but offer feckless recommendations like “buy back initiatives” that are nothing more than window dressing rehearsal for a blatant confiscation of our weapons, violating our Second Amendment guaranteed by the Constitution. Democrat-run cities like Chicago, resembling the Middle East’s boiling caldron, with daily shootings reminiscent of gangland style murders. Still media elites ignore it. January 6th is more salacious.
Liberty minded citizens understand Eliot’s stance on noble causes, “We fight rather to keep something alive than in expectation that it will triumph.” In our fight for liberty, victory isn’t always certain. Anglican Eliot stressed that those “permanent things” not be politicized and that their intellectual guardian was theological. He understood that a more secularized world was largely intolerant of a Christian worldview, or dismiss it altogether. He proved to be prophetic.
In pre-WWII, he wrote, his culture, “Appeared to be drunk on the politics of conservation of wrong things.” Permanence that one can uphold and defend can only be found in theological understanding of biblical absolutes. Precisely what our Founders stated, “Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained.” Not just any religion. When Founders spoke of Providence, they meant the God of the Old and New Testament. Secularist insist it was the “Founder’s intellect” alone that nurtured this Republic. Any cursory examination of the Founder’s writings say otherwise.
Both Eliot and his contemporary C.S. Lewis, understood the sophistry of sociology, progressive education, and rogue economics may steer them to mere expediency, or utopianism, with no claim on permanence or understanding of the theological realm. It’s apparent today to those who understand our Founding, that “permanent things” defy convention and transcend time. Both warned of creeping destruction of values through progressive education designed to eliminate traditional concepts of objectivity, like the battle for student’s hearts and minds unfolding before our eyes. Lewis noted in such combat, “For the present is the point at which time touches eternity.” That time’s now. Lewis’s writing demonstrated the pervasive flippancy that secularism has for serious subjects like “permanent things.” In our time when solemn issues vex one’s soul, the dominant secular progressive culture has a default instinct to make light of anything virtuous. When President Trump held up a Bible outside St. John’s Church, he was derided for his brazen act of “violating the church behind him” and grandstanding. Had it been George Floyd, he would’ve been canonized before crossing the street.
Lewis warned that flippancy is laughter at the expense of permanency. Therefore, we who challenge issues such as same sex marriage, abortion, transgenderism, and critical race theory, must anticipate targeted flippancy and unbridled derision. It comes with the territory. One can ill afford to take it personally in this battle of ideas. Symptomatic of this irretrievable loss is cameoed across the airwaves, social platforms and progressive institutions that no longer welcome or support those timeless verities that forged the dream of our Founders. Our nation now honors falsehood over truth.
More specifically, “permanent things” extol veracity, virtue and oppose evil. Nudges one toward heaven. Escorts joy to our being. Dispels fear. Illuminates a world that’s still “East of Eden.” They embrace the sacred, and navigate us through the fog of relativism, and moral ambiguity. It distinguishes between intellect and sophistry. They look down the corridor of eternity, beyond the temporal, and beckons one that direction. Soaring rhetoric and importune marches and protest, calling for more profligate legislation, won’t replace “permanent things.” This loss is irreparable, and barring a Holy Ghost revival, irrevocable, and irretrievable. Romantic sentimentality, lingering hesitation, and similar distractions are stumbling blocks to liberty.
Where’s the good news? With God as our Bulwark, we can remain vigilant, though at times, we grow weary. Wise patriots will be well-armed. They’ll be fostering unbreakable bonds with likeminded, reliable co-belligerents, who pledge to follow liberty’s path wherever it leads; have one another’s back; and are committed, when that time inevitably arrives, to lay down their lives for a cause our Founders established. To that end, don’t jeopardize genuine unity over peripheral, pedantic issues on how others dot their “I’s” or cross their “T’s.” Time’s a formidable adversary. Fifty-six signers also knew God’s promises have no expiration date. Slumbering’s over. What do you think?
Mike Pyatt’s a Natrona County resident. His email’s firstname.lastname@example.org