THE NEW SPECTRUM
We have entered what appears to be a turning point in our nation’s history, and we need to talk plainly before mass violence breaks out. How we think discuss politics and the value of human life in the coming days will determine what kind of nation our children will inherit.
For too long our conflict has been mischaracterized as right versus left. Those words mean nothing. They only serve to distract and confuse from the conversation that actually needs to take place. To understand the true conflict upon us, we have to break free from directional thinking (left, right, center), and enter into The New Spectrum: collectivism vs. sacred individualism.
Here’s the backdrop of The New Spectrum, as I see it:
The siren’s song named collectivism is calling with a bullhorn, and our amnesia-filled population is being lured into her jaws, having no recollection of her violent failures or the evil ideology she demands of her adherents. Politicians-of-the-moment are creating legislation on idealism and mob rule. Intellectuals are actively redefining words like ‘justice’ and ‘fairness’ in order to consolidate power in the collective and diminish the individual. The populace is slowly being conditioned to lay on altars of acceptable thought, acceptable belief, and acceptable speech.
And yet, many millions of us would rather die than lay on that altar. Reason forbids us. Belief in a Creator God reminds us we are more than obedient citizens of a time and place. We are more than flesh and bone, more than cells bound by temporary tides. We are sacred individuals, holding fast to an origin story that gives worth to every human being and justifies everything we believe to be true at the political level.
I believe God intentionally made man in His own image, placing the spark and order of creation in our hearts. We were formed to order the chaos we encounter, to build, to make something out of nothing and truthfully declare it is good. Every individual carries that fire. Thus, our nature connects us to a story of eternity that will always supersede government systems, cultures, and the common expectations of how man ought to live. Man ought to live as if he were created by God, not as if he were created to serve the age in which he was born. We are not bound by our age. We are bound by our origin.
And as beings who are eternally created, we are also the bearers of eternal rights. Governments recognize those rights, ignore those rights, or try to destroy those rights, but governments cannot create or remove those rights.
Here’s why this matters:
As a nation, we must begin to reject the notion that politics exist on a left-right spectrum. Politics exist on a collectivist-sacred individualist spectrum. To put Stalin on the far left side of the spectrum and Hitler on the far right presents a spectrum where there is no such thing as truth. They are both collectivists who rejected the inherent worth of the individual in favor of grouping people they wished to kill. Collectivizing millions gave them a convenient way to eventually declare those millions as expendable. Who they grouped, and why they grouped them, differs. But the very same methodology was used by both. They viewed masses of individuals as collections rather than as sacred individuals created by God. To dehumanize you must first de-individualize. The same was done by American slaveholders, Pol Pot, and all of the genocidal dictators throughout history. When you take the faces from your enemies, they become much easier to murder.
In fact, every atrocity committed throughout human history can be attributed to de-individualizing enemies and putting them into group identities first.
Yet, this kind of thinking is growing more popular in our nation - even in ways that appear to be well-intentioned. Let’s take a recent example:
As political turmoil shakes our nation and racial wounds are reopened, militant collectivists have rallied around the “black community”, not realizing that thinking of black Americans as one single group is the same type of thinking that led to the source of their historic discrimination in the first place. Racists and modern “leftists” use the exact same methodology to think about black Americans as a single monolith. Shouldn’t that give us pause? In reality, isn’t there great diversity of thought, belief, and values among Americans with black skin?
The same holds true for any color of skin. I recently heard someone refer to “the white community” in the USA. Which white community did she mean, exactly? Did she mean those who live off-the-grid in Alaska, or Wall Street traders, or Russian immigrants, or surfers in California, or Antifa members in Portland, or farmers in Iowa, or miners in Appalachia? Did she mean to suggest these communities are built around the same customs, values, and beliefs? Did she mean to suggest they have the same opportunities and challenges?
What is gained by pooling all of these very clearly different people into one single collective?
More importantly, what is lost?
This intellectual laziness is not limited to race. Take any group - homosexuals, Baptists, prisoners, and on and on. If the population can be convinced a group is all the same, they can also be convinced the entirety of the group is dangerous, or blameworthy, or no longer worthy of equal treatment under the law. Militant collectivists assign group identity as the primary identity under the guise of creating empowerment (which, on a side note, is patronizing and a subversive attempt to gain moral authority over that group), failing to recognize how this leads to the exact opposite outcome. To reduce the individual to a member of a group is the gateway to justifying evil against that group.
The end of the spectrum called Sacred Individualism offers the opposite.
Every man, woman, and child on earth has inherent worth because of our origin, not because of group identity. A spark was placed within each of us at creation. This is the truth that offers the most justice, dignity, and purpose to every single person on earth, no matter their belief system, sexual orientation, or social status. We are all free, because we cannot be anything else. As individuals, we can think, believe, speak whatever we wish. We can protect ourselves from harm. We can gather into communities. We can assemble for common purposes. We can build societies. As creations with the divine spark, we owe each other nothing, unless we have entered into a voluntary agreement or a direct grievance has been committed. We are responsible for our own lives and actions. We are called to care for our fellow images because they are images. The sacred individualist sees his fellow man on a 1:1 level, and recognizes the divine spark in all men, regardless of how they look, who they love, or where they are born. Individual identity is primary, which leaves no room for racism or intentional discrimination of groups. There are no expendable millions. There are no classes. Only 8 billion sacred individuals.
Those who wish to group you will eventually wish to kill you. Dictators don’t exterminate those who are viewed as individuals. Dictators exterminate collectives - the expendable millions. For this reason, we should have no patience for those who use identity politics to fortify their own sense of moral superiority or to virtue-signal how much they believe in collectivist dogmas.
The ideology itself is evil.