Truth has a cost. Defiance has a cost. Resistance to the machine being built around you has a cost.
In an eroding society like ours, the book burners have nothing to lose. Nothing but their souls, little by little. A little bit more as Hamlet goes up in flames, a little bit more as A Brave New World is turned to ash. Piece by piece their fealty to the overstate flattens everything in a wasteland of ideas. There’s nothing left. But it cost them nothing. The flamethrower was handed to them; they didn’t pay for it. Their time was bought.
To nod and say yes, to march on behalf of the corporation or the king, to pick up arms and do the bidding of the force that wishes to eliminate the free and eternal spirit of man and pulverize him into nothingness, into a compliant, homogenized pile of flesh with everyone else, nodding, nodding, repeating, on their way to the grave that they will dig for themselves.
Compliance to tyrants costs nothing.
But your soul.
Yet, the ones most willing to comply cannot understand that they even a soul–the soul, that pathway that connects us to eternity, to the image of the One who spoke stars into the sky. The notion has been beaten out of them. Washed clean from their memories, replaced with certainty that we are nothing, that human value comes from . . . comes from . . . where? Where does human value come from, O holder of the flamethrower?
Does your life have value? Does any life have value?
Yes, they cry.
And where does it originate, O holder of the flamethrower?
Ah, now the flamethrower is turned upon you.
Obedience to eternal truth, on the other hand, always has a cost. To open your lips and say what no one wants to hear has a cost. Your tongue, cut out. Your voice, seized. Your freedom, withdrawn from those who did not give it to you in the first place. The truth is rare, and precious, and dangerous.
Jesus once said,
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”
Cowards take the flamethrower that has been handed to them and burn the world flat, burn the mind flat, burn any memories of a soul or goodness or morality or enduring truth. Burn it all, coward. It will cost you nothing but the thing you cannot recognize exists inside of you.
This is the day for courage. Men and women of truth. It’s time to lay down your life you might find it.