Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Victory Over Victim Demagogues

By Rick Pearcey

As columnist Ralph Peters sees it, Barack Obama's former pastor Jeremiah Wright "is only one of many demagogues in all races and creeds who foster cults of victimization around the globe."

The demagogue succeeds by shifting blame: "Your failures aren't your fault -- it's all their fault. Whitey's to blame, or people of color, or the Jews (those Elders of Zion sure do stay busy) or black helicopters from the UN. It's a formula for the perpetuation of failure."

The solution? "Fortunately for us," says Peters, "this paralyzing cult of victimhood is the antithesis of the ethic that allowed the United States to achieve the quality of life the vast majority of us enjoy today. What built our country was the get-up-off-your-butt belief that God, by any name, helps those who help themselves" (italics added).

It is true that God helps those who help themselves.

This is clear in the data we have from the Creator, who informs us from Genesis onward that human beings made in His image indeed are significant creatures able to make choices, shape history, form cultures, build civilizations, and otherwise develop creation in ways that honor the Creator and demonstrate respect for nature and our fellow human beings.

Of course, we're sinners; that's something we did, in our infinite wisdom. But the "scientists" and atheistic materialists need to go back to the drawing board. We're not space junk or cosmic victims. That's why no one, including a Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens, wants to be thrown into a trash can or live in a garbage dump.

But not any name will do, just as not any "God" will do. Try calling your wife Mary when her name is Susan and you'll see what I mean.

Names matter. Not as arbitrary signs plastered onto meaningless globs of human flesh (Sartre was wrong) or as merely religious symbols stuck onto some kind of unknowable spiritual being (Kant was wrong, too).

As far as I am aware, only the Creator Deity set forth in the Biblical data and self-identified as Yahweh, verified in history and available to rational investigation, qualifies as a being who thinks, acts, and cares about what happens in this world, including how we treat the planet and how we treat our brothers and sisters "red and yellow black and white."

This Creator is not a mythological Zeus, distant Allah, impersonal "All" of pantheism, or an eternally existing Darwinian cosmos that couldn't care less whether Whitey lynches blacks or an Austrian nut case kills off 7 million Jews.

This Creator acts in history. This Father stands up, sends prophets, and allows his Son to subvert evil, judge hypocrisy, slap religious leaders upside the head, die on a cross, rise from the dead, and smash the gates of Hell.

Why? So people can have an ethical and juridical basis for renewed community with their Creator, each other, and the world in which we are to work, live, and play.

That's a full plate. Not a lot of time left over to play the victim.

Rick Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report (articles).