A Review of Fighting for America’s Soul: How Sweeping Change Threatens Our Nation
“I am asking you to play your part, … to join in remaking this nation.”1 –Barack Obama
Funny, isn’t it? If Christians talk about reconstructing America, putting all things under Christ, or exercising dominion, the media pundits panic and you hear all sorts of hysteria about “theocracy” and “Christian Taliban.” But when God-rejecting leftists talk about “remaking America,” and actually set about doing it—well, then it’s only “hope and change.”
This is an urgent book. The totalitarian reconstruction of America proceeds at a dizzying pace. It is, in Robert Knight’s words, “the rapid, brick-by-brick installation of a radical government-directed social order that will have dangerous implications now and for generations to come” (p. 9). And, “Before our very eyes we are seeing government become Provider, Judge, and Possessor of All Authority. In short, government is becoming a secular god to which all will be called to kneel—or face sanctions” (p. 10).
Building a Tyranny
“Tyranny … was in its origin secularism, a rule founded on man-made laws,” R. J. Rushdoony wrote. “This secularism is the religion of humanity, the most oppressive, dangerous, and persecuting of all cults, because it has no law beyond itself as a check to its lust for power.”2
Yes, we are talking about tyranny—an unprecedented, all-fronts campaign to transform the United States from a constitutional republic of free men and women into a socialist anthill controlled by an all-powerful, all-intrusive federal government. This has been in the works for a long time; but since the inauguration of Barack Obama, it has been raised to a whole new level of intensity.
Robert Knight knows his business. Former news editor, former lobbyist, former department head with Concerned Women for America and the Media Research Council, and now a senior writer for Coral Ridge Ministries, he has closely observed America’s drift into statist politics and cultural chaos. His timely book focuses on events of the first five or six months of 2009. It is as up-to-date as humanly possible, although events are moving and changing so fast that some of the information here is bound to be out of date before you read the book.
Knight provides a simple chronicle of a moment in American history “with secular forces now in the driver’s seat and hoping to enact as much of their agenda as possible before Americans wake up in time to fight for their liberties” (p. 10). He has organized his chapters to sort the information, breaking down the threat into distinct categories:
- The government’s promotion of abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research: by inflicting death on the most defenseless, the statists limber up to deal out more death all around.
- Its promotion of homosexuality and other kinds of immorality, with the aim of redefining and ultimately doing away with the natural family.
- A campaign to limit the scope of private charity, to replace it with assorted welfare programs run by the government.
- A brief look at some of the far-left ideologues who have been brought into the government (and by far left, we mean far left).
- Weakening the armed forces by subjecting them to various social experiments demanded by militant sodomites and radical feminists.
- Using international treaties to erode America’s national sovereignty—and circumvent the Constitution.
- Attempts to limit the free speech of Christians and conservatives.
- The promotion of “health care reform” as a means of sealing the deal for a totally statist America.
None of this is a product of Mr. Knight’s imagination. He is writing about real legislation that has actually been proposed in Congress, and even passed, real money spent, with real quotes from real officials. That the American people, by and large, are hardly aware of this threat to their liberties, and to their prosperity, seems amazing to us who have followed recent events.
The Statist Worldview
It all stems from a consistent worldview that denies the existence of any power higher than the state. Having rejected God’s authority, and denied their accountability to Him, it’s nothing for the statists to violate the Constitution. They pay it lip service and then do as they please, recognizing no limit to their own authority or competence. All is done in the name of the state, but the state is nothing but man’s own creation. It could just as easily be a colossal wooden idol. The name of the game is power—power for those who control the apparatus of the state, slavery for all the rest of us.
It is a worldview that is anti-Christian to the core. “When man, instead of God, becomes the measure of all things,” Knight says (p. 26), “man will be worshipped at the same time as human life is cheapened … other human beings, such as unborn babies, can be seen as impediments to personal happiness.”
If there is no God, no judgment, no life after death, there remains only the here and now, with each one of us in existential isolation; and whatever you’re going to get, you’d better get it now. But ultimately the only ones who profit—in the short term: they are very likely going to spend eternity in Hell—are the rulers of the state.
“The reason the Left wants to control health care,” Knight explains, “is that the government would assume literally the power of life and death over American families. Just the threat of withholding medical care is enough for many people to surrender other freedoms to the government. Such a system also reinforces the idea that government is God.” (p. 99)
We have already seen medical care withheld from certain individuals—supposedly because of costs, but actually in the service of a satanic, Darwinian agenda. In this brave new world, only the strong deserve to live. For example, a fifty-three-year-old cancer patient in Oregon recently applied for financial aid to pay for chemotherapy, under the state’s 2008 Health Plan—“and received a letter saying that he would get no money for chemotherapy, but could get money to help him kill himself” (p. 109).
Thanks to public indignation, this patient eventually received his chemotherapy. But it’s easy to imagine a time in the near future when the Christian and conservative voices of the “new media” have been silenced by a reborn “Fairness Doctrine” (see Chapter Ten), and there is no public outcry because the case is never reported, and the patient is left with no alternative but doctor-assisted suicide.
It’s quite a feat of parlor magic. They teach you that there is no God, they build you up with “self-esteem” coaching and “You deserve this, you deserve that” advertising, tell you that you can fornicate with anyone or anything you want, as long as you obey the state (which is only your devoted servant, and loving nanny who takes care of you from the cradle to the grave)—and then, when you get old or sick, they kill you! From precious little godlet to worms’ meat on the hoof, in one quick and easy step.
Fight the Future
How are we to cope with a civil government run by persons who think they can “control our environment, conquer poverty … significantly modify our behavior, steer the course of human evolution,” and so forth?3 More to the point, how are we to resist it, and be delivered from it?
For Knight, any solution involves “first seeking God’s guidance” (p. 22). “There is no magic bullet apart from prayer and the love of Christ for all of the social ills stemming from sexual intemperance and selfishness” (p. 31).
Whatever we do, says Knight, “it has to begin with prayer. Nothing good can be accomplished without God’s blessing” (p. 117). We are not to be demoralized or paralyzed by being told to “judge not” because we ourselves are sinners: “One of the devil’s best tricks is to persuade people that they are not good enough to act virtuously, because if they did, they would be ‘hypocrites’” (pp. 118–119).
But Knight is also a believer in grass-roots action. “In the fight to save America’s soul, if Christians and like-minded citizens did one thing a month, it could turn this nation around. It’s time to get on our knees and ask God’s forgiveness and blessing. Then, we need to roll up our sleeves and get the job done” (p. 123).
Anyone can do one thing a month. But what kinds of things would he have us do?
“It does not take millions of citizen-activists … It just takes hundreds of thousands who will pray and do one thing a week—or a month—such as calling a legislator. Or emailing a company sponsoring an immoral cause or program. Or writing a brief letter to the editor of their local newspaper. Or signing a petition.” (p. 117)
Our elected officials must be pressured constantly, he says, because “When they feel the heat, they see the light” (p. 117). As evidence that popular outrage can indeed upset the plans of the elite, he offers three dramatic examples.
In the 1970s, the Equal Rights Amendment was on the verge of being ratified as a constitutional amendment; rallied by Phyllis Schlafly, the American people stopped it. In 1994 Congress tried to put homeschooling under the authority of local public education; rallied by the Home School Legal Defense Association, homeschooling families stopped it. And in 2007, with all the elites in politics and business pushing for it, public indignation stopped a plan to grant amnesty to untold millions of illegal aliens. (pp. 115–117)
The task today, warns Knight, will be even harder because of all the “radical proposals in rapid-fire succession” (p. 120). The radicals’ strategy now seems to be to “create so many battlefronts at once that people could not get organized to mount a resistance” (p. 121). Instead of just the ERA or amnesty, we are simultaneously confronted by “Cap and Trade,” government takeovers of private industries, hate crime laws, homosexual “marriage,” and national health care—any one of which, if finalized into law, could gravely damage our republic. We are truly looking at an actively satantic reconstruction of America.
Fighting to Win
Christian reconstruction is to begin in the hearts and minds of individuals and work its way up through family, church, community, workplace, and onward—until all America is changed, voluntarily, in response to God’s word and calling.
But satanic reconstruction, especially in the version currently being installed by the new regime in Washington, proceeds from the top down. It is imposed on us by radicals impatient for “change.” It is as if they know they have a window of opportunity in which to run wild and unchecked—a window that could be suddenly slammed shut by the 2010 congressional elections.
We endorse Robert Knight’s recommended grass-roots action plan. At the same time, there is much more that must be done.
–Christian education for all Christian children, either at home or in a Christian school, is indispensible. Radicals have used the public schools to “capture the culture.” Christians must use education to take it back.
As an added inducement, removing millions of Christian children from the public schools will make those schools financially untenable: which will weaken the teachers’ unions: which will undermine one of the radicals’ chief sources of funds and political muscle—the teachers’ unions and their dues.
–What would happen to the culture if Christians all joined Biblically strong and faithful churches, abandoning the liberal churches, and faithfully paid tithes? “The tithe,” said R. J. Rushdoony, “is the abc’s of godly reconstruction, the alpha and the omega of a Christian society … In time, the effect of the tithe will be to undermine and destroy the statist world and its taxation. It will create a godly society in the only way it can be created, in God’s appointed way.”4
We need to do more than just react to the machinations of the ungodly. Otherwise, no matter how often we stop them from implementing this or that scheme, they will always come back with something else.
The cultural soil of America is friendly to the growth of such noxious weeds. The soil itself needs to be changed, by means of long-term Christian reconstruction.
Meanwhile, Mr. Knight’s book, available through Coral Ridge Ministries, is valuable in setting forth the details and the magnitude of the crisis that we face today.
1 In a Jan. 19 pre-inaugural speech reported by The Irish Examiner.com, http://www.examiner.ie/story/World/idcwmheyid/rss2/
2 R. J. Rushdoony, The Nature of the American System (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 2001 ed.), 73.
3 From “The Humanist Manifesto II,” http://www.americanhumanist.org/about/manifesto2.html
4 Edward A. Powell and R. J. Rushdoony, Tithing and Dominion (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1979), 142.
Topics: American History, Culture