Thursday, February 25, 2021

Totalitarianism and Progressive Christianity


                                                             (Lake Erie, Monroe, MI)

During Covid time I re-read Orwell's 1984, Huxley's Brave New World, and Camus's The Plague

The first two, especially, are about totalitarianism and the battle to control language. (I write about this battle, and how to overcome it, in my book Leading the Presence-Driven Church.)

Yesterday I picked up Rod Dreher's recent book on the invasion of "soft totalitarianism" (Live Not By Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents) As you read Dreher's description of totalitarianism, think of America, and the Church.

"A totalitarian society is one in which an ideology seeks to displace all prior traditions and institutions, with the goal of bringing all aspects of society under control of that ideology. A totalitarian state is one that aspires to nothing less than defining and controlling reality. Truth is whatever the rulers decide it is. As Arendt has written, wherever totalitarianism has ruled, “[I]t has begun to destroy the essence of man.” 

As part of its quest to define reality, a totalitarian state seeks not just to control your actions but also your thoughts and emotions. The ideal subject of a totalitarian totalitarian state is someone who has learned to love Big Brother. 

Back in the Soviet era, totalitarianism demanded love for the Party, and compliance with the Party’s demands was enforced by the state. Today’s totalitarianism demands allegiance to a set of progressive beliefs, many of which are incompatible with logic—and certainly with Christianity. Compliance is forced less by the state than by elites who form public opinion, and by private corporations that, thanks to technology, control our lives far more than we would like to admit." (P. 8)