Ruminating on the Death of a Nation

Barb Wire

America is quickly coming to an end. If this is true – and I certainly think it is – then how should we think about all this? As an American this greatly concerns me. It bothers me no end to see this nation which was once so great, so powerful, and even so good and so virtuous, heading down the gurgler, fast.

But we also must realise this: All good things come to an end. People live forever (in either of two different eternal destinies) but everything else comes to an end: artefacts, artwork, culture, institutions, societies, and nations. How one reacts to this basic reality depends I suppose on a few things.

If you are like me, this means quite a lot, and is something to be greatly concerned about. Briefly, I hate to see things go to waste. My parents grew up during the Great Depression and learned the hard way about the utter importance of saving everything and wasting nothing.

I guess that is fully in my DNA as well. I am one of those kind of guys who will use the same tea bag 25 times – and that before I send it to overseas missionaries! It really pains me to see anything go to waste. And related to that is my conservative outlook on life.

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I am a political, social and theological conservative. And as the word implies, I prefer to conserve things. Many things are worth hanging on to and not recklessly throwing away or dismantling. That is why politically speaking I have repudiated the leftist radicalism of my youth.

The revolutionaries often just want to destroy, regardless of what might take its place. They propose lofty and grandiose utopias, but theory and practice seldom match. Indeed, we have history to verify all this: when the radicals have their way, they simply destroy everything before them, but what they replace it with is usually far worse.

They create hellholes on earth, be it of the Marxist variety, the Nazi variety, and so on. The conservative says ‘better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know’. Make sure that you actually have something – and something better – in place before you engage the wrecking ball.

Thus when I think and pray about places like my homeland of America, I weep and I groan heavily within. I love that country, yet before my very eyes I am seeing it being completely destroyed. The cultural Marxists and the secular leftists have been extremely active in obliterating the nation.

They have all but succeeded. And when it gets to the point where our only two choices for POTUS are Trump or Clinton, then you know the wrecking process is virtually complete. We all know how bad Clinton is. But all that Trump can offer is rage and anger: ‘Smash the system’. ‘Tear it down.’ ‘Vent your spleen.’

Yeah right, we’ve heard all that before. Thus Trump is just as much of a radical leftist as were any of the other revolutionaries. Tear it down, and then figure out what to do afterwards. Chesterton once put it this way: “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.”

Yet that is exactly what we see happening in America and the West. It breaks my heart. A friend pointed an article out to me today which discusses part of the reason for America’s decline: the destructive sexual revolution. The title of the anonymous piece is: “Was Mapplethorpe the moment we lost the battle for American culture?”

The title refers to American “artist” Robert Mapplethorpe, whose pornography and disturbing “art” exhibitions back 1989 caused a national stir. The author reminds us of how bad this was, complete with sado-masochism, sexual torture and the like. Let me pick up here with her (?) commentary, as she describes a visit to the exhibition:

My then-boyfriend had a much more visceral reaction. He put his hand across his mouth, bolted for the exit, and threw up in the bushes.

Here’s my question for you: Can you imagine anyone today having a reaction similar to his? In the years since the fight over the Mapplethorpe exhibition, our world has become saturated with pornography and penises, all of which were off limits in polite company before the Mapplethorpe show. For anything short of snuff films, there’s nothing left to surprise us anymore.

Heck, highly-rated shows such as Bones — which are popular with the teen set — boasted entire episode about horse fetishes and The Simpsons, shown at 8:00 p.m. Saturday nights, saw Homer enjoying a lesbian fantasy about his wife. Our gag reflexes have been deadened by non-stop exposure to things that no one spoke about outside of New York’s, San Francisco’s, and Los Angeles’ club scenes.

The fight now isn’t about pictures of tortured penises in hoity-toity art galleries; it’s about whether we’re discriminating against a minute percentage of the American population, those who have a gender-focused form of body dysmorphia, when those of us still athwart the barricades yelling “stop” say that it’s wrong for men with functioning penises to be allowed free run in bathrooms that serve little girls, teenage girls, and women (something for every sick rapist’s or exhibitionist’s favorite fantasy).

In a sane culture, one that hadn’t had dysfunctional, perverse behavior normalized over the past thirty years, the vast majority of Americans would never countenance what’s being forced on us now. We’d say that we have sympathy for those poor people with body dysmorphia. Because of that sympathy, we’d be willing to try certain workarounds, such as making a single use staff bathroom available for the high school boy who has been dressing in girl’s clothes since fifth grade. What we won’t do, however, is turn every public bathroom in America into a pedophiles’ playground. It’s never been part of the American polity that avoiding discrimination against the minority requires possibly dangerous discrimination against the majority.

She then looks at some famous cases of the gender bender madness, such as Bruce Jenner (who is still Bruce by the way) and the logical outcomes of all this:

If you read tabloids such as The Daily Mail, every so often it runs stories about people with severe body dysmorphia. The stories are always distressing.trans 17

-There’s Jocelyn Wildenstein, who has been trying for years to look like a cat.

-Or Peter Burns, who embarked on a radical gender change long before Bruce Jenner even began plucking his eyebrows.

-And the most recent entrant into the lists, Richard Hernandez, the formerly human man who is busily converting himself into a female dragon, complete with missing ears and minimal nostrils.

She concludes:

All of us looking at these photos instinctively know something is wrong with Wildenstein, Burns, and Hernandez. To have ones sense of self so seriously disconnected from ones physical being is a tragedy — and for that reason, I think we ought to pity these people. They deserve compassion, not contempt. But we do recognize, as I said, that something is wrong with them.

Despite the fact that Jenner has the same body dysmorphia as Jocelyn, Pete, and Richard, we’re told “This is a hero! Celebrate!” Well, I don’t view Jenner as a hero. I continue to respect Jenner’s past accomplishments, I appreciate that his political values are conservative, I dislike his exhibitionism, and I feel compassion for how obviously he suffers as he tries to find a happy meeting spot for his body and his mind. What I don’t do is think he’s a hero, and I don’t think what he’s going through is normal.

The problem, though, is that once you’ve normalized Mapplethorpe’s S&M and penis worship, you’ve made it awfully difficult to back away from conversations about whether Bruce has or has not augmented his false breasts with an amputated penis and artificial vagina.

If I had to go back and distil the essence of this post, I’d say that those of us who think we’re at the front line of the gender wars are not. We’re fighting a rearguard action in a battle that we already lost back in the late 1980s.

Of course, losing the battle doesn’t mean giving up. We can still fight. Just as the Left pushed the culture in this crazy direction, it is possible to push it back the other way. The pendulum swings, and then swings again. I do like to remind myself that the rigidly moral Victorian era was preceded by the unusually corrupt Georgian period. Just don’t expect any victories in the near future, that’s all….

I mentioned above two main things that strongly drive my thinking and worldview: a dislike of waste, and the conservative disposition. But there is of course another and more important thing that animates me, drives me, and colours all of my thinking: the Judeo-Christian worldview.

As a Christian, I must always assess my life and my culture in the light of eternity. I know that nothing on this earth will last, and so I cannot hold on too tightly to anything here. My loved ones have died and will die around me. Homes will come and go.

Jobs will eventually be replaced by others. Beloved pets will pass on. Even my library will eventually be just dust. ‘All things must pass.’ That is the Eastern way of looking at this, and a song by George Harrison. But the Christian believes the soul lives on, as does our character. What we have developed here on earth will form who we are in the next world.

So in one sense nothing is wasted. All of our choices, behaviours and actions will in a sense live on with us. All the more reason to live wisely and circumspectly now. America may well be doomed. That breaks my heart. America will one day be no more, and that is a huge loss.

And how many lives are wasted as well by the demonic agendas of the radical secular lefties and their coercive utopianism? We must weep when we see lives destroyed by the radical gender bender ideology, or destroyed by porn addiction, or by the harmful homosexual lifestyle, or the killer drugs that are out there, etc.

We know all this is demonic, as Scripture makes perfectly clear: Jesus comes to give life, while Satan comes to kill, to steal, and to destroy (John 10:10). And Satan has been very successful alas. He is destroying the lives of millions of individuals, and destroying entire cultures in the process.

So America may be on its last legs. This is no small thing, and it should drive us to our knees, begging God for a bit more mercy if it is not too late. But whether that nation is now under divine judgment or not, we know that it cannot go on forever. But Americans, like everyone else, will live forever.

Thus while I can work and pray like mad for my beloved America, I have to hang on to it loosely. But hopefully more people will join me in eternity if I live my life aright, testify to truth, and seek to be a witness for Jesus. At the end of the day that is what really matters.

But it saddens me nonetheless to see such waste.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Bill Muehlenberg
Bill Muehlenberg, who was born in America, lives in Melbourne, Australia. He runs a web-based ministry of pro-faith, pro-family activism called CultureWatch: Bill is widely sought out by the media for comments on social issues, faith issues, and family issues, and has appeared on all the major television and radio news shows, current affairs shows, and debate programs. He is the author of In Defence of the Family; Strained Relations: The Challenge of Homosexuality, and several other books.

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