Excerpts from multiple posts by Fr. Johannes Jacobse in the comments section of “It’s a Brand New Age” blog post. Some edits made to transform multiple individual comments by Fr. Jacobse into a cohesive stand-alone article. Special care was taken to preserve the original meaning of the author.
– Fr. Johannes Jacobse
Political correctness is the cultic aspect of Liberalism and Progressivism mostly because it attempts to control thought through language. It’s Orwell, but on a deeper level Dostoevsky and even Nietzsche. The markers are easy to spot especially the cruder terms — racist, sexist, homophobe, Islamophobe, white privilege — anything to shut down discussion and censure thought. Language is used promiscuously, laced with moral opprobrium and other self-justifying blather. It’s intimidation, like the Brownshirts or Bolsheviks.
The corruption of language is both a cause and effect of the moral inversion I spoke of elsewhere. Dostoevsky is the clearest expositor of the rot of the cult and thus also an antidote; he exposes the acidic pits from which the corruptions seep and reveals how courage and other virtues can defeat it — virtues that draw power from the scandal of the cross; a strength through weakness; a re-inversion of the inversion that makes all things whole and new.
Political correctness is a cult because it sees the world in restricted and self-limiting ways, so much so that asserting that Steve Bannon is “potentially America’s Goebbels” is construed as a clear idea. Those captured by the cult think that calling clearer thinkers who don’t share the progressive beliefs with names like racist, misogynist, homophobe, Islamophobe (and other phobias not yet discovered) closes the discussion. It doesn’t and it should be clear to anyone now that it never did. The “Goebbels” comment in other words makes no sense except to those already enraptured by the cult.
Progressivism and liberalism represents what Nietzsche termed the “transvaluation of values” (what I call a moral inversion). It uses the language of the moral tradition but means different things by it (aborting the unborn is an act of “benevolence,” denying birth sex as the basis of gender is an act of “compassion,” forcing states to allow adult males to use bathrooms used by little girls is an act of “tolerance,” to cite some examples).
The confusion enters because the vocabulary of the tradition and the vocabulary of progressive/liberals is the same. This gives the appearance that the values informing the liberal/progressive social vision are derived from the tradition (and contiguous with history). These values function on the level of religious conviction and thus gives the vision moral power. That’s why so many progressive/liberals are impervious to facts and why actions seen as illicit in the past (abortion for example, or driving families out of business, etc.) are construed as a social good.
This is why so many liberals and progressives who see things like restricting Muslim immigration as an “impending catastrophe” (the Fascists are coming!) while they remain impervious to the slaughter of Christians in the Middle East due to the policies of politicians they support, or why they defend the financial destruction of a family over the refusal to bake a cake. The thinking takes on a cultic character where the real cost of real life events are evaluated and judged solely within the boundaries of politically correct ideology. That’s why political correctness is actually a political cult.
What progressives don’t understand is that most Americans don’t like having things like transgender bathrooms shoved down their throats, seeing bakeries forced out of business because they won’t bake a cake (the judge who ruled against the bakery was voted out of office, BTW), using public money to subsidize the abortion industry, and the scores of other beliefs that those caught up in the cult see as self-evidently righteous and true. The cult has been completely and thoroughly repudiated [when Donald Trump was elected]. The progressives would not listen (actually they are so self-limiting they cannot hear) so conservatives took matters into their own hands (they have been doing so in the states for ten years). This should become increasingly clear to everyone as the months wear on but whether or not people will see it depends on whether they can escape the self-limiting constraints of the cult.
We will increasingly see that those who support the Progressive ideals do so thinking that they do service to God. They do not recognize the dehumanizing trajectory of their heresy, how it threatens the true Gospel with a false one. At the same time we will better understand why the Fathers fought against the heresies of their day with all their strength. We have already seen this descent among with other Christians and I think it is inevitable that we will see it among some Orthodox too. The only strength that can avoid this fate is the kind of strength that bears the cost of faith in Christ and frankly we have few leaders willing to pay that cost and many more who don’t understand it. It we did, we would not see scandals like we recently saw in New York (awarding an aggressor against the unborn a human rights award).
Memo to Greek Orthodox Bishops: Stop Honoring Pro-Abortion Politicians
Giving the Patriarch Athenagoras Human Rights Award to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was a mistake. Cuomo is a defensive tackle for the abortion industry. He uses the power of the state and his bully pulpit to bulldoze anyone who dares defend the unborn. Gov. Cuomo also advocates for partial birth abortion through the ninth month of pregnancy. Maybe you didn’t know.
The award muddies the moral waters. The first calling of Bishops of the Orthodox Church is to “rightly divide the word of truth.” All of us — clergy and laity alike — pray for this every time we meet for worship. Rightly dividing the word of truth applies not only to what is taught inside the church but also to our public witness. And the moral tradition is clear: aborting the unborn is morally indefensible.
We will have to see about President Trump. The repudiation of the Democrats and Republicans is a good thing overall. We have been given a reprieve. The test will be if those who understand what is at stake have the courage and discipline to maintain resistance. If not, we just delay the inevitable descent into tyranny.
Progressives believe their own propaganda. They are impervious to facts and the testimony of history and literature. They think tyranny is freedom and earnestly labor to build a New Jerusalem surrounded by barb wire and attack dogs that they think keep the barbarians out when in fact it keeps them in chains. That’s what the inversion does. Not all of them see this of course but their leaders do.
One of the things the election proved is that conservatives (non-liberal/progressives really) are done with it. You can’t reason with misguided believers. You can only take away their power. Thankfully, we can still do that peaceably in America.
– Fr. Johannes Jacobse