It’s Become a Cartoon

The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.
– New Left Notes (Students for a Democratic Society, Chicago, 1960’s)

There is no place for quarter with the devil. Every moment is either your chance to stand firm, or to be sold out. If you will not walk in self-control, then you will walk under the control of others.

We do not have a “news cycle” any more than we wrestle against flesh and blood. We do not know what is really going on. We do not know how these winds are turning for the apparent good or ill. We are not prophets nor seers. We shall not outwit the demons by being clever.

Theory is always more overwhelming than fact. Stories written by your enemies are the framework of your enslavement. Paper dragons and FOMO only have the power that you cede to them.Issue framing is not a tactic of your enemy but his principle. It’s not “what” they’re talking about but “how” they’re talking about it and “why” they’re letting you hear about it now. The only goal is moving their agenda forward.

So…what’s yours?

Till angel cry and trumpet sound,
The Mad Christian

The parents are revolting

A perfect storm of Critical Race Theory, identity politics, masking, and falling standards has turned school board meeting parents into a battleground. As parents are becoming aware of what their children are being taught (or not taught) they have been taking the floor and speaking their minds. In response, the National School Boards Association suggested that parents are really “domestic terrorists.”

While some incidents have definitely turned ugly, the government’s commitment seems to be guarding the teaching of CRT, not the concerns of parents. Attorney General Merrick Garland instructed the FBI to help curb harrassment and threats of violence against school administrators. Rumors that the “Patriot Act” would be used to investigate or surveil parents were not dismissed by Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

It is fairly clear now that those on the Progressive side of politics have no interest in giving quarter to anything less than complete control of the education of our kids. The Education Secretary recently said that parents are not the main stakeholders in their children’s education. So just leave it to the experts already! But while the Attorney General has a vested interest in Critical Race Theory being taught and schools have a financial incentive to implement pandemic restrictions, the battle will go on.

In some good news on the education scene, parents in Colorado decided to make their own school and got it off the ground in just one year.

The only way to win is not to play

News came this week that Democrats want to prioritize grants to programs that will teach Critical Theory in schools. The Marxist ideology seeks to redress inequality by dividing society into arbitrary levels of victimhood. While the Trump administration highlighted the ways Critical Theory is dangerous, fomenting contempt for country and breeding distrust, Bari Weiss wrote recently that in elite schools, its power is almost total.

Mad Monday readers will be aware that our nation’s elites are quite fluent in Woke-ish, but Weiss’ article reveals that not everyone is happy about it. She recalls interviews with teachers and parents who say that children at the most expensive schools are being “educated in resentment and fear.” One parent worries that her children are being taught to “give up ambition and yield positions that they might earn through hard work to others who are more marginalized.” Surely this should not be tolerated?

Weiss writes that in the antiracist worldview, there is no room for difference. “Complexity itself is a kind of racism, nuance is a phobia, and skepticism merely a type of false consciousness.” As she points out, Ibram Kendi, the author of How to Be an Antiracist, summed up the dogmatic ideology in a tweet: “The heartbeat of racism is denial. And too often, the more powerful the racism, the more powerful the denial.” Behold, the Kafka Trap of Critical Race Theory— there are only racists and those who deny that they are.

While one student said he tried to avoid the ideological deluge by sticking to “the fact classes, not the identity classes,” he found that even hard science is tainted. “We don’t call them Newton’s laws anymore.. .we call them the three fundamental laws of physics. They say we need to ‘decenter whiteness.'” Teachers are also expected to toe the line with one teacher revealing that the antiracist curriculum he was expected to teach included a “pyramid” of white supremacy. “At the top was genocide. At the bottom was ‘two sides to every story.'”

No one who was interviewed for Weiss’ article would allow their names to be published. They admit to meeting secretly with like-minded parents and are aghast at what their children are learning, yet they continue to pay tens of thousands of dollars each year in fees. Why on earth? Weiss concludes that the desire to see their kids attend Ivy League universities is too strong. If you question the curriculum, you risk having a mark against your name.

It would be understandable if hearing the nonsense that the wealthy and privileged use to prop up their sense of worth makes you laugh. Jumping through every hoop to achieve what they see as a good life might seem ridiculous. But Weiss warns that these elite values trickle down. It is not just well-heeled parents who need to appease the identity police— she sees parents of public school children just as scared to speak against what their kids are being taught. They may not have as much to “lose” but they still fear retribution.

Here are the brass tacks: unless you live under a rock, this revolution is going to affect your world, one way or another. Whether your kids are homeschooled or not, it is important to realize how pervasive and far-reaching this ideology is. The long game that has been played by the Left means identity politics doesn’t stay in elite bubbles. It ripples out through government, media, Hollywood, education and everything else. What’s more, students at elite schools graduate to fill elite colleges and enter the workforce in elite institutions. It has become harder for conservatives to remain.

The fellas on A Word Fitly Spoken this week voiced similar concerns and argued that Critical Theory is not only affecting culture but is also impacting our churches. They made an excellent case for why Christians in general and pastors particularly, need to get educated about Critical Theory. They argue that we need to inoculate ourselves against it with truth and be willing to defend what God says about humanity.

Dr. Koontz once pointed out that regimes thrive on passivity and compliance and this regime is dividing and conquering, by shaming people into silence. You’re with us or you’re a bigot. Falsehood requires a constant stream of propaganda and heavy-handed tactics to keep people believing. But people are waking up to the Woke and the cracks are beginning to show. Educators are speaking up, even at the cost of their jobsThe Federalist‘s Joy Pullman interviewed a woman who organized parents to stand against Woke curriculum at her children’s school.

So be encouraged! As Mad Christians we can own our peculiarities — we are strangers in a strange land. Putting your confession on the shelf in order to hold onto prestige and status is a losing game. Rev. Fisk’s words are something we need to consider— “The time for being normal is over.” Game on.

Hypocrisy ain’t all it’s cracked up to be

An interesting article from Unherd this week points out one of the main disconnects when the Right engages the Progressive Left. The writer, Ben Sixsmith, suggests that while conservatives rightly point out hypocrisy on the Left (“an environmentalist who takes a plane, or an advocate of socialism with a second home”), it is largely a useless tactic:

“Right-wingers often argue, correctly, that Left-wingers use charges of personal bigotry as a means of avoiding difficult debates. Yet conservatives often do the same with the charges of personal inconsistency. The difference is that bigotry is a powerful charge, while inconsistency has fewer such damning connotations.”

Sixsmith concludes that, “One should have enough pride in one’s own beliefs not to spend all of one’s time holding others to theirs.”  While pointing out hypocrisy might change someone’s mind, the writer asks, “If your opponents lived with scrupulous consistency, would you have to admit that they were right all along?” He makes a good point.