This series typically focuses on answering questions non-Christians pose to Christians, but this installment is directed at my fellow followers of Christ. It’s one I’ve wanted to write for some time, and focuses on a question I see posed to me and to others many times, and have seen and heard and asked myself throughout my life:
How do we fight back, particularly in the cultural space?
I am going to share a meme you’ve no doubt seen if you’ve spent any time on line, a meme that is utterly and without a doubt the definition of evergreen:
We all know this guy or gal. We see them online all the time, but we also see them on the news, in entertainment, and sometimes in real life.
The charge, of course is that Christians are the biggest hypocrites, and that non-believers both know the Bible AND how to act like the proverbial God-fearing person better than Christians do.
And so many Christians go along with this frame!
Why is that?
A part of it, no doubt, is humility. You see, when one has moral standards and publicly professes them, failing to live up to them sticks out like a sore thumb. Contrast this with a heathen who doesn’t care–therefore, if they do the exact same morally bad act a Christian does, they’re usually greeted with sympathy or at least far less vitriol than, for example, the stereotypical TV preacher who fathers a child out of wedlock.
We are commanded to be humble before God. But we’re not commanded to be doormats.
Second, Christians–especially American ones–have been so embarrassed for so long thanks to our prevailing culture that they agree with the “Well, some Christians are X” or “Y.” You know. There’ll be a TV show where the Christian character is overtly hostile to the friendly gay couple who just moved in next door. They quote scripture in a smarmy way and might as well have a neon sign reading “HYPOCRITE” over their head.
They’re a walking caricature, a hatchet job personified. And instead of saying “That’s not fair. That’s not accurate. That’s not right,” too many Christians excuse the depiction and say, “Well, some Christians are like that.”
As if it excuses the propaganda hit pieces that trickle down into everyday life!
Imagine American Muslims, upon seeing a bit of pop culture that depicts Muslims as hysterically anti-gay, or maybe chucking a few off a rooftop, shrugging their shoulders and saying, “Well, some Muslims are like that.”
Never in a million years!
Or Jews portrayed in a way that makes a mockery of their culture and their faith.
Why do we put up with it then? I have theorized two reasons; they both don’t have to be present, and the first is actually stronger than the second, but we see both come into play very often:
- Other religions have strong political power and money that can put pressure on the offending person or organization’s finances until the offending person faces financial ruin or the offending organization relents or is financially destroyed.
- The threat of, and actual carrying out of, physical violence against the offending parties or organizations.
You all know what I’m talking about.
Christians had a mild form of the first point during my lifetime. Ever hear of the “Moral Majority” or the “Christian Right”? There’s a reason these entities are still used as boogeymen by the current cultural gatekeepers: because they scared the hell out of them.
How? Because they successfully applied political and economic pressure against their foes.
It was mild, albeit, and the only lasting victories were, really, having ratings and warning labels put on music, movies, TV shows, and video games and having certain television shows shown at later hours when children probably aren’t going to be awake, but they were still victories.
Yet all we hear about is the “Satanic Panic,” how these so-called kooks feared that Dungeons & Dragons was going to lead kids into the occult–this is embarrassing, since D&D godfather Gary Gygax was a Christian and suffused then original game with Christian elements and themes but in such a skillful way it was unobtrusive to players.
So that was embarrassing, but in no way the sum-total is the arguments.
But one miss can’t outweigh the hits:
They should recoil at the all-holy name of Jesus Christ.
Remember: these people weren’t aimed at convincing your Greatest- and Silent -generation grandparents to abandon their faith. They infiltrated institutions aimed at educating and entertain the young to convince your Boomer and Gen X parents their faith. Remember this; this is an important point we’ll return to later.
I DO NOT advocate violence; while it works, it’s wrong in most instances save for self-defense, and it backfires horribly.
Anyway, back to our question: what do we do? I’m no leader and no philosopher, but have a few practical recommendations:
- Be strong in your faith and recognize what the fight truly is. It might feel goofy, but prayer is your best weapon. It’s the best way to keep up your spiritual strength. Our fight isn’t against people, not at the end of the day or at the end of all time. It’s against the Prince of This World, Satan, the Devil, the guy with the horns, whatever you want to call him. Him and his demons. So you need to get spiritually fit if you’re really going to wage this battle. Because it will never end until the end. Our job is to carry the torch and pass it to the next generation of warriors.
- Recognize that evil exists. Because it does. This is also directed at my friends who are not believers but are similarly aghast at Clown World. Evil is why we are where we are. Evil isn’t God’s doing. Evil is the absence of good, the moving away from good. And it’s done by man’s free will. Recognize this and exercise your free will to life towards the one thing that can counteract this evil (whether or not you believe in it yet).
- Don’t accept the frame you’ve been given and punch back. This is important! Don’t fall into the traps the smarmy wormtongues set for you. Reject the “Well, some Christians are like that” mentality utterly and completely. Instead, punch back: “Well, some Muslims are terrorists, aren’t they? Some African-Americans commit violent crime, don’t they? Some Jews are in media, aren’t they?” Make them choke on their own words. This isn’t to cast aspersions on Muslims, African-Americans, or Jews. It’s to throw the Pharisees you might find yourself arguing with off their game by confronting them with the utter stupidity of their own arguments. Use rhetoric to hit them where it hurts–their own sense of “being a good person.” Additionally, when faced with the “Hypocrite!” charge, reply that “At least [person involved] has standards and isn’t a degenerate relativist” or something to that effect.
- Don’t give money to people who hate you. I’ll let Brian Neimeier really handle this one–he wrote the book on it, after all. I’ll give a succinct rundown though: if an entertainment product is insulting you and your faith and your very being, cut it out of your life and replace it with alternatives. They are out there, and more numerous and easy to find than ever before. This dovetails nicely into the next point.
- Infiltrate institutions. “Indoctrination” isn’t a dirty word. It all depends on who is doing it and what are they teaching. Our side of this struggle needs to put away its aversion to certain professions as unworthy, and this doesn’t just include art but education. Don’t discourage your kids from being teachers or policy makers or even working in HR. We need them in there in critical mass to balance out and eventually take over.
- Create your own culture, and support the creation of cultire that does stand up for your beliefs, or at least doesn’t actively hate you. If you’re an artist of any type–film, prose, music, poetry, filmmaking, acting, animation, game–get out there and make stuff. Release it. Don’t let the perfection beast, or fear of criticism from people who aren’t going to like you anyway, keep you from putting your vision out there. There’s an audience out there thirsty for good stuff. Trust me. And if you’re not a creator, support. Buy. Fund via crowdfunding campaigns. Become a Patron. Even just reviewing–on Amazon or on your own social media platform–and spreading the word are free to low-cost ways of getting in the mix.
- Organize and boycott. I do not find boycotting to be “un-American” like a lot of basic conservabros do. Nope, not at all. Apply pressure. Organize email campaigns, organize boycotts, and vote with your collective wallets. This is what other social movements have done in the past, and they work. No more of this “Muh principles!” fence-sitting. Fight fire with fire. Hell, I’m no expert but if something comes up shoot me an email and let me know. Maybe we can figure something out.
- Enjoy the battle. This fight will never end. There will be losses, but there will also be victories. Celebrate the wins and keep going. Morale is important, so don’t spread despair. Blackpilling does nobody any good.
Remember: we’re not necessarily here to convert people–although if they want to convert, great! We’re here to occupy space that we’ve been shut out of for so long. Why have we been shut out? Because we’ve refused to fight for fear of being called mean names.
How pathetic is that?
Support independent culture creation that occupies the sci-fi and fantasy space. Still only 99¢ for an ebook download until the end of the month. Buy it here!
This is Part 4 of NortherWild‘s 7 posts in 7 days challenge.