The Religious War to Come

 

Jamie stood outside the door of the conference room. He knew the group had already been waiting 15 minutes for him, but they were accustomed to his tardiness. The time had arrived to make the big announcement and he was fully prepared. Whether they were ready or not, they’d have to step up.

He opened the door and walked in. The conference room was modest in size, and the table where all six board members sat was full. Everyone was there. He smiled inwardly as he quickly reviewed their roles. They thought they were there to represent gay, lesbian, black, Hispanic, feminist and trans communities; the only reason they were actually there was because they were rich. He cleared his throat and stood at his end of the table.

“Thanks for coming, everyone, on such short notice. As you know, I’ve been contemplating our next steps in this war, and I’ve finally arrived at what will be an unexpected, devastating but successful approach to moving our cause forward. I have two more meetings after this one, so I will only give you the outline of the plan, with more detail to come later. That also means I will not take questions, but I will look forward to hearing from you in the coming days. So here is our next challenge: we will start a War on Religion.

“Now some of you will say we’ve been fighting the decadent and primitive aspects of religions for years. But I believe our efforts have only planted seeds, and our attacks using social media have been sporadic and unfocused. The war we are about to launch will be strategic and powerful. Let me explain the reasons for this next step.

“First, we have already laid the foundation for a Marxist/socialist State. Since many people are still uneasy about that label, part of our work will include calling this movement something brand new. I suggest that we call it the New Patriotism.

I think that there are still plenty of Americans who value patriotism; we will define patriotism in a whole new way. Traditionally patriotism has stood for racist, oppressive, and ancient values. The New Patriotism, however, will stand for our dedication to the transformed American values: freedom, equality, and fairness, as we define them. To be a dedicated New Patriot, one will vow allegiance to the country and what it stands for. People will be excited about supporting these values and therefore committing to them and to this country. They will be serving a brand-new set of tenets.

“This is where we begin to target the dangers of religion. The New Patriotism will be a philosophy that demands a single focus on one idea. On one Master. That Master is the State. The problem that religion presents is that it demands that people serve a second Master, one that they believe rules over everything. Those beliefs cannot stand. We have already made inroads into the religious community: those Leftist Jews and Christians who believe that they can serve two masters and haven’t yet realized that they will be unable to lead virtuous lives in this manner. Although we will need to construct powerful arguments, we will be able to persuade them slowly and meticulously to realize that they can only serve the State to be true to their country, to be a New Patriot. And they will bring others along with them.

“Religious communities have already given us plenty of other ammunition to use against them. There are the usual tropes about violence, hate, and destruction in the Jewish and Christian Bibles. We have people who still want to deprive women of their right to choose. We have seen abuse from Christian leaders, primitive rituals practiced by many religions, and endangerment of the community by religious Jews during the pandemic. We will begin an onslaught of attacks against every religious group, especially on social media, that they will be unable to counter. We’ve already been mining past posts and tweets of religious leaders and their supporters to destroy their reputations and therefore their power.”

Those sitting at the conference table sat quietly, a couple of them sitting with their jaws slack, others looking down at the table, and the remaining looking perplexed. Sharon raised her hand and began to ask a question, but Jamie interrupted her.

“Sharon, as I said, I have limited time right now, and I’ll be glad to address your questions later in the week. All of you”—and Jamie made eye contact with each person at the table—“should make notes about your questions and concerns, and we’ll talk again.

“I also thought you’d want to know, in the spirit of honesty and disclosure, that I will be speaking to the labor education leaders later today. They are demanding a seat at the table, but they are more concerned about the benefits to them than they are the benefits to our cause. I’ll be asking them to continue to make inroads in the education system, from top to bottom, and that is the most important contribution they can make; we’ll make sure they are recognized for their efforts. Steve, you are not just representing the gay community but also academia at the higher levels, and we will count on you to ensure compliance at the university level.” Steve nodded his head slowly.

“Finally, my other meeting will be with the military leaders who have joined us. It’s not clear at the moment how they will participate, since there are active as well as retired military officers involved. I want to make sure they know we are counting on them and value their role in this process. I don’t want to bruise more egos than I need to.”

Jamie looked around the table once more.

“I’m counting on all of you to dedicate yourselves to this new war against religion and to the New Patriotism. It will be difficult, demanding, and even dangerous at times. But we have a great deal of help from the mainstream media and social media as well. We will bring them all on board with this latest effort to transform our country.”

Jamie turned away from the table and walked to the door. He lifted his arm with his hand curled into a fist, opened the door, and left.

The room was silent.

Published in Politics
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 23 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Susan Quinn: Since many people are still uneasy about that label, part of our work will include calling this movement something brand new. I suggest that we call it the New Patriotism.

    This is so on the mark it isn’t funny.  The left knows their product isn’t well received by many, so they resort to deceptive “packaging” to fool their customers . . .

    • #1
  2. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    The New Patriotism, eh? Could be. Teddy Roosevelt gave a speech in 1910 which he called “The New Nationalism” and in which he laid out what became the Progressive Party platform for the 1912 election.

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stad (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Since many people are still uneasy about that label, part of our work will include calling this movement something brand new. I suggest that we call it the New Patriotism.

    This is so on the mark it isn’t funny. The left knows their product isn’t well received by many, so they resort to deceptive “packaging” to fool their customers . . .

    What was scary is that the piece almost wrote itself. I was going to do it as a regular post, but then it morphed into a little story. And it just flowed. Maybe I’ve already been indoctrinated and don’t even know it!

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    tigerlily (View Comment):

    The New Patriotism, eh? Could be. Teddy Roosevelt gave a speech in 1910 which he called “The New Nationalism” and in which he laid out what became the Progressive Party platform for the 1912 election.

    I didn’t even know that, tigerlily. Scary.

    • #4
  5. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    The latest Tikvah podcast was interesting. It looked at a 1988 essay talking about Jews being a minority in a majority Christian state and compared it to today when Jews and Christians are minorites in a secular state.

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    The latest Tikvah podcast was interesting. It looked at a 1988 essay talking about Jews being a minority in a majority Christian state and compared it to today when Jews and Christians are minorites in a secular state.

    I tried to download it and couldn’t, since I listen to that one regularly. Thanks, Bishop Wash. I’ll try again.

    I usually just save the link in my podcast file–I’m getting an error message. I’ll write to Max.

    • #6
  7. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    The latest Tikvah podcast was interesting. It looked at a 1988 essay talking about Jews being a minority in a majority Christian state and compared it to today when Jews and Christians are minorites in a secular state.

    I tried to download it and couldn’t, since I listen to that one regularly. Thanks, Bishop Wash. I’ll try again.

    I usually just save the link in my podcast file–I’m getting an error message. I’ll write to Max.

    I subscribe to the Superfeed and it came through that way. Maybe I snagged it before the link broke.

    • #7
  8. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    I don’t know if it is healthy to indulge in fantasies where we imagine the worst about people who are not on our ideological wavelength.  I know we mock progressive when they make movies that portray conservatives as cartoon villains.  I understand the desire for it.  It makes life simpler to understand if we believe that the people who oppose us on points A, B, and C must oppose us on everything from A-Z, but it leaves us with a poorer understanding of reality, doesn’t it?

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    I don’t know if it is healthy to indulge in fantasies where we imagine the worst about people who are not on our ideological wavelength. I know we mock progressive when they make movies that portray conservatives as cartoon villains. I understand the desire for it. It makes life simpler to understand if we believe that the people who oppose us on points A, B, and C must oppose us on everything from A-Z, but it leaves us with a poorer understanding of reality, doesn’t it?

    How does it affect the way we understand reality, Randy? I am not here to ridicule all progressives. Could you imagine the attacks on social media on comments that people made regarding gays, trans, race and the other issues, when they had no intention of being hateful? Could you have imagined previously that some people on the Left would humiliate, attack, and cause people to lose their jobs over these topics? Are all those incidents “reality”? They are indeed. My point, as a Jew, is that I think all religions are vulnerable to Marxists, even in this country. They’ve already acted in malicious and hateful ways. I would rather not feel compelled to “fantasize” about these incidents, but I think we need to be prepared for the unimaginable, and determine how we should react. That doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

    • #9
  10. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Today’s headline from Just the News.

    Democratic memo declares ‘rise of white Christian nationalism is a national security threat’

    A Political Action Committee and a group of Democratic lawmakers want Joe Biden to pursue a ‘secular agenda’ that pushes back religious liberty gains made under Trump

    • #10
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Today’s headline from Just the News.

    Democratic memo declares ‘rise of white Christian nationalism is a national security threat’

    A Political Action Committee and a group of Democratic lawmakers want Joe Biden to pursue a ‘secular agenda’ that pushes back religious liberty gains made under Trump

    Thanks, Flicker. I didn’t create the scenario to amuse people or to ridicule anyone, but to shine a brighter light on the issue. Thank you for helping me do that.

    • #11
  12. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Today’s headline from Just the News.

    Democratic memo declares ‘rise of white Christian nationalism is a national security threat’

    A Political Action Committee and a group of Democratic lawmakers want Joe Biden to pursue a ‘secular agenda’ that pushes back religious liberty gains made under Trump

    Thanks, Flicker. I didn’t create the scenario to amuse people or to ridicule anyone, but to shine a brighter light on the issue. Thank you for helping me do that.

    You’re most welcome.  And the Secular Democrats of America PAC which prepared a report for Biden uses the same disingenuous language you included in your vignette: “to restore our basic constitutional values and protect science, reason and public health in American government.”  And “restore secularism to federal governance and disentangle entrenched religious interests from federal policy.”

    Respecting and protecting the 1st Amendment is apparently not on their agenda.

    Furthermore they say, “The rise of white Christian nationalism is a national security threat.  We recommend you: encourage the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice to dedicate resources to de-radicalization programs aimed at hate groups, including, but not limited to, white nationalists; increase monitoring of such groups, including the online environment, and take action to address increased hate crimes toward minority faith communities; and shift rhetoric to label violent white nationalist extremists as terrorists.”

    Notice how they slide and elide from “religious interests” to “Christian nationalism” to “hate group” to labeling them “terrorists”.

    • #12
  13. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Whoever owns the dictionary controls our formulation of thought into words. Whoever controls our formulation of thought into words controls our thought. Orwell warned us in 1984

    • #13
  14. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    I don’t know if it is healthy to indulge in fantasies where we imagine the worst about people who are not on our ideological wavelength. I know we mock progressive when they make movies that portray conservatives as cartoon villains. I understand the desire for it. It makes life simpler to understand if we believe that the people who oppose us on points A, B, and C must oppose us on everything from A-Z, but it leaves us with a poorer understanding of reality, doesn’t it?

    How does it affect the way we understand reality, Randy? I am not here to ridicule all progressives. Could you imagine the attacks on social media on comments that people made regarding gays, trans, race and the other issues, when they had no intention of being hateful? Could you have imagined previously that some people on the Left would humiliate, attack, and cause people to lose their jobs over these topics? Are all those incidents “reality”? They are indeed. My point, as a Jew, is that I think all religions are vulnerable to Marxists, even in this country. They’ve already acted in malicious and hateful ways. I would rather not feel compelled to “fantasize” about these incidents, but I think we need to be prepared for the unimaginable, and determine how we should react. That doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

    You are exactly on point. Your understanding of reality is excellent.

    • #14
  15. Keith Lowery Coolidge
    Keith Lowery
    @keithlowery

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    …I know we mock progressive when they make movies that portray conservatives as cartoon villains. I understand the desire for it. It makes life simpler to understand if we believe that the people who oppose us on points A, B, and C must oppose us on everything from A-Z, but it leaves us with a poorer understanding of reality, doesn’t it?

    …They’ve already acted in malicious and hateful ways. I would rather not feel compelled to “fantasize” about these incidents, but I think we need to be prepared for the unimaginable, and determine how we should react. That doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

    This raises a fundamental question in my mind that has been, I think, the source of some fisticuffs among and between conservatives during the Trump years.  The question perhaps can be articulated this way: Should we understand the current political conflict merely as the continuation of well-meaning differences of political opinion in regards to differing policy choices? Or is something else, more fundamental and sinister, going on?

    I’ve always believed that Trump was nominated in 2016 for two reasons. First, Republican voters were tired of always backing the Washington Generals of electoral politics.  Right-leaning voters were tired of lining up behind yet another member of the permanent bi-partisan fusion party and watching them go down in flames because their gentlemanly forbearance would not allow them to actually fight. The second reason I think he was nominated was because voters intuited that Trump understood that something fundamental had changed and that more was afoot than the legacy gentleman’s game of policy differences. The latter partly explains, I suspect, why he is so loathed by the legacy establishment.

    Two key things changed, IMO, between the end of the Clinton administration and the start of the Obama years. The left began to argue that the right was not just wrong but immoral. This laid the groundwork for the elimination of rights of conscience in public policy and the ensuing adversarial posture adopted toward people and organizations like James Damore, Brendan Eich, Jack Phillips, The Little Sisters of the Poor et al. The left has been actively trying to deny others the ability to earn a living. The shift toward arguing the immorality of any non-leftist position has paved the way for denial of first amendment rights that have attended the pandemic as seen especially on the coasts and recently with New York’s treatment of the orthodox Jewish community. In addition, there has been a fundamental rejection by the left of the principles articulated in the Declaration – that our rights precede the establishment of government and those rights determine the government’s legitimacy and circumscribe its reach.

    I’m very sympathetic with Susan’s take on this issue. The left has evolved from merely being wrong to being actively malevolent.

    • #15
  16. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Keith Lowery (View Comment):

    This raises a fundamental question in my mind that has been, I think, the source of some fisticuffs among and between conservatives during the Trump years. The question perhaps can be articulated this way: Should we understand the current political conflict merely as the continuation of well-meaning differences of political opinion in regards to differing policy choices? Or is something else, more fundamental and sinister, going on?

    I’ve always believed that Trump was nominated in 2016 for two reasons. First, Republican voters were tired of always backing the Washington Generals of electoral politics. Right-leaning voters were tired of lining up behind yet another member of the permanent bi-partisan fusion party and watching them go down in flames because their gentlemanly forbearance would not allow them to actually fight. The second reason I think he was nominated was because voters intuited that Trump understood that something fundamental had changed and that more was afoot than the legacy gentleman’s game of policy differences. The latter partly explains, I suspect, why he is so loathed by the legacy establishment.

    Two key things changed, IMO, between the end of the Clinton administration and the start of the Obama years. The left began to argue that the right was not just wrong but immoral. This laid the groundwork for the elimination of rights of conscience in public policy and the ensuing adversarial posture adopted toward people and organizations like James Damore, Brendan Eich, Jack Phillips, The Little Sisters of the Poor et al. The left has been actively trying to deny others the ability to earn a living. The shift toward arguing the immorality of any non-leftist position has paved the way for denial of first amendment rights that have attended the pandemic as seen especially on the coasts and recently with New York’s treatment of the orthodox Jewish community. In addition, there has been a fundamental refutation by the left of the principles articulated in the Declaration – that our rights precede the establishment of government and those rights determine the government’s legitimacy and circumscribe its reach.

    I’m very sympathetic with Susan’s take on this issue. The left has evolved from merely being wrong to being actively malevolent.

    Bush wasn’t a hero to me.  But I found it appalling that Dems fantasized, in what I would honestly call political snuff porn, about Bush’s assassination, and put it graphically into a film.  No one, to my recollection, did anything like this with 0bama.

    And with Trump it only got worse.  Kathy Griffin holding up a severed head and then crying when half the public rejected her malevolent imagery.  This was just prepping the field for all the evil that was to come.  Now we have riots, lockdowns, and the media / Deep State stealing an election, and now others calling for Trump to be persecuted after leaving office.  Even the SC has abdicated. What will come next?

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Keith Lowery (View Comment):
    I’m very sympathetic with Susan’s take on this issue. The left has evolved from merely being wrong to being actively malevolent.

    Thank you, Keith. I just finished reading Murray’s The Madness of Crowds, which inspired this post. I especially noted that the most rabid issues were not brand new, but an incident or incidents caused the ramping up of the most vicious kind. He focuses on gays, women, race and trans. It’s like there are people just waiting for trigger to start a fight. The problem is, we often don’t see it coming; people are attacked for comments that at one time would have been perfectly ordinary and acceptable. It’s as if they are waiting in the wings to do their work. I worry about just how bad it could get–but I don’t despair! ;-)

    • #17
  18. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Tactically, the real strategy is to assert that it is religion that has declared war.  The secular world was just humming along in a state of pure justice when religion attacked women’s bodies, the rights of homosexuals, and generally opposed progress, environmentalism, and economic justice.

    The Nazis were too smart to take on Christianity openly and directly.  In response to the seduction, early on, Pope Pius XII directed that in every church on the same Sunday that a letter be read denouncing Hitler Youth and admonishing parents not to send their kids.  But many did not want their kid to be ostracized and besides, what is the harm of outdoor physical activities and a chance to make contacts that might help advance a kid socially and academically.   [Modern version: So what if my kid is being morally and cognitively deformed.  It’s an Ivy League school and his roommate might be the next Bill Gates.] Rationalizing Nazi rule was not done under threat of violence at first as much as a fear of not being on the winning, upwardly mobile side. Recall the lyrics from the closing song in Caberet

    Oh fatherland, fatherland, show us the sign
    Your children have waited to see
    The morning will come when the world is mine
    Tomorrow belongs to me

    Unlike the winning side, religion interferes with wealth, fun, self-expression, and the illusion of self-esteem. It assaults our innocent pre-existing state of nature according to latter-day Rousseau suckers followers.

    The game will always be that no one is trying to suppress religion.  Perish the thought. Religion just needs to stay in its place, out of public discussion, out of view where it might trigger people, and ready at all times to apologize, submit and retreat when it openly contradicts a secular dogma. That’s all.  Perfectly reasonable.  Pass me an armband.

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Tactically, the real strategy is to assert that it is religion that has declared war. The secular world was just humming along in a state of pure justice when religion attacked women’s bodies, the rights of homosexuals, and generally opposed progress, environmentalism, and economic justice.

    The Nazis were too smart to take on Christianity openly and directly. In response to the seduction, early on, Pope Pius XII directed that in every church on the same Sunday that a letter be read denouncing Hitler Youth and admonishing parents not to send their kids. But many did not want their kid to be ostracized and besides, what is the harm of outdoor physical activities and a chance to make contacts that might help advance a kid socially and academically. [Modern version: So what if my kid is being morally and cognitively deformed. It’s an Ivy League school and his roommate might be the next Bill Gates.] Rationalizing Nazi rule was not done under threat of violence at first as much as a fear of not being on the winning, upwardly mobile side. Recall the lyrics from the closing song in Caberet

    Oh fatherland, fatherland, show us the sign
    Your children have waited to see
    The morning will come when the world is mine
    Tomorrow belongs to me

    Unlike the winning side, religion interferes with wealth, fun, self-expression, and the illusion of self-esteem. It assaults our innocent pre-existing state of nature according to latter-day Rousseau suckers followers.

    The game will always be that no one is trying to suppress religion. Perish the thought. Religion just needs to stay in its place, out of public discussion, out of view where it might trigger people, and ready at all times to apologize, submit and retreat when it openly contradicts a secular dogma. That’s all. Perfectly reasonable. Pass me an armband.

    So if I understand you, OB, if the Left goes after religions, they’ll say that religions trespassed out of their own lanes. So it will be religions’ fault. Sounds about right to me.

    • #19
  20. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    I was expecting this to be fiction.  While the setting might be imaginative, I don’t find it fictional at all.

    • #20
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Quietpi (View Comment):

    I was expecting this to be fiction. While the setting might be imaginative, I don’t find it fictional at all.

    I think a few people have had the same reaction, quietpi. Thank you.

    • #21
  22. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    So if I understand you, OB, if the Left goes after religions, they’ll say that religions trespassed out of their own lanes. So it will be religions’ fault. Sounds about right to me.

    Richard John Neuhaus, the founder of the publication First Things, was singularly possessed of the idea of fighting against the “naked public square” in which our religious traditions (and history) are extinguished from public life in the name of a false notion of neutrality. I did some work on the First Amendment years ago and there is sizable movement dedicated to the idea that the establishment clause means freedom from religion.

    • #22
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    So if I understand you, OB, if the Left goes after religions, they’ll say that religions trespassed out of their own lanes. So it will be religions’ fault. Sounds about right to me.

    Richard John Neuhaus, the founder of the publication First Things, was singularly possessed of the idea of fighting against the “naked public square” in which our religious traditions (and history) are extinguished from public life in the name of a false notion of neutrality. I did some work on the First Amendment years ago and there is sizable movement dedicated to the idea that the establishment clause means freedom from religion.

    Thanks, @oldbathos. I’m not sure if I’d be happier if I were told I was all wet, or that there is evidence to support my premise. Although I argued with one commenter (mainly because he misunderstood my premise), I’m disturbed to know there is more history that supports it. Sigh.

    • #23