LTRP Note: The following commentary is written and compiled by a Lighthouse Trails reader who is involved at a political level in his home state.
By Dick Pence
A Bit of Background
We are living in a moment of time that is a cultural seismic shift.
I will discuss Critical Theory as the working engine of Marxism, but first a little background. One article asserts that “You Can Be A Christian, You Can Be A Marxist, But You Can’t Be Both,” Please keep this truth in mind as you read the following information. These two worldviews are absolutely mutually exclusive.
I am going to appeal to you to watch a video titled Critical Theory and Racism in America with Dr. Glenn Sunshine. It’s not short; it’s a training tool. This is a rare opportunity to train your kids if you wish for them to survive as Christian conservatives. They are being bombarded with cultural Marxism from every direction.
Critical Theory is the weapon being used by the “New Left” to promote Marxist indoctrination. It is the essence of what “the Left” has become. Understanding this will give you a whole new perspective of Marxism (and the Democratic Party).
The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos and kairos. The former refers to chronological or sequential time, while the latter relates to the circumstances that open moments of opportunity. We are in a kairos moment in America.
Clarion Call for Grass Roots Leadership
We would normally look to three institutions for leadership—the Congress, local and state Legislators, and the Church. At the moment, none seems to be coming from these sources. There are a few who are issuing a clarion cry that we are losing the culture. I embrace the thinking that, at times, to NOT speak is sin.
#1. Sadly, at this very kairos, the majority of our Republican Legislators at all levels are sitting on their hands—keeping their powder dry until the right time to speak. From talking to some of the Montana R’s I respect, it appears they think they are going to address this in the next legislative session starting in January. “They have us over a barrel; we could lose our income,” one said. The problem is that the Cultural Consensus on these issues is quickly shifting because the Left is working, and we are not.
#2. What is the source of salt and light doing? If you walk into the vast majority of evangelical churches today, it is like walking into a backwards time warp. Dennis Prager writes American Jews and Christians are Failing the Test of Their Lives. What they are talking about is completely divorced from the reality of the kairos. They grind away talking about various forms of what really amounts to self-help dressed up with Bible verses—playing Ostrich to the kairos. You would never know anything was happening outside the four walls. We experienced sexual revolution, Roe v. Wade, loss of school prayer, the LGBT revolution, Obergefell v. Hodges (same-sex marriage) and now Bostock v. Clayton County—the recent Supreme Court decision to change the meaning of sex which amounts to a national NDO-SOGI law. These court decisions will open the doors to a seismic cultural shift that will also impact the church. In the 1980s, I was a pastor and we were coached to never get involved in controversial cultural issues. Well, like the church today, we were complicit.
Encouragingly, some of my pastor friends are speaking out. The problem is that there are not enough to become a force that can change things. Remember that verse in Ecclesiastes 4:12, “And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Maybe you ought to be asking some hard questions of your church leaders.
#3. We the People – yes, YOU, WE, US? Mathew 11:17 comes to mind: “We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.” Along with the word trifling. Your pastors can’t talk that way because we think if we are offended by them, then they are wrong. It’s called rebellion. The vast majority of Americans are deeply committed to—their amusement.
The New Left: Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste
The problem is that the New Left is very attuned to kairos. While we are ignorant and complacent, the Left is always ripe for the moment, the kairos. I did not say we are stupid; we can fix ignorant; you can’t fix stupid. You have heard them say never let a crisis go to waste? We thought this was just a cliché someone uttered, but it’s not. This is the motto of the Critical Theorists. Boy, they mean it! And, their commitment level to that kairos is strong—they put the conservatives and Christians to shame.
Our Biggest Threat
I am firmly convinced that Cultural Marxism or what you will see as Critical Theory (CT) is the biggest threat America faces.
Dr. Glenn Sunshine, the speaker in the “Critical Race Theory and Racism in America” video I link to above, said this:
The protests and the rioting and looting in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death at the hands of the police have brought the issue of racism in America to the forefront. As Christians, we must oppose racism whenever and wherever we see it. But does that mean we must support the most outspoken leaders of the anti-racism movement? What are the core ideas of Critical Theory, the worldview that underpins Black Lives Matter and similar organizations? In this webinar, we will look at the development of Critical Theory, how it works as a worldview, and provide a biblical critique of its ideas. We will also explore a more biblically grounded approach to race and race relations.
A Few Ideas You Need to Understand
(gleaned from the video)
What you are seeing playing out today in culture is undergirded by Critical Theory. It has been at work for well over a century. Stalin and other Marxists originally believed they could take over the world by armed revolution. Marxist theory taught that the Proletariat (the so-called working class) would rise up in revolution and take over the means of production by force. When it did not happen, Antonio Gramsci began to push the philosophy of cultural takeover after WWI. By slow, incremental cultural changes, they would move resistant countries into Marxism without firing a shot. And, they have been very successful.
Some thoughts and questions:
- The Frankfurt School was a group of German Marxists who fell afoul of the Nazi’s so they moved to Columbia University in America in 1935. One of them was John Dewey, the Father of modern education who focused on promoting CT within the education system. In Chicago, Saul Alinsky (Hillary Clinton’s hero) was also one of them.
- What is meant by Economic Determinism in Marxism? Marxist taught that the economic system controlled everything and you had to change the economic system. Gramsci added, you have to do it by changing culture.
- What is meant by the “Long March Through the Institutions?” Simply put, it is the march of Marxist thought through all institutions that would control the ideology beginning with academia, schools, corporations, etc. until the entire culture buys into Marxism and/or CT.
- How does the economic term “Zero Sum Game” (the idea that all resources are limited – if you take a big piece of the pie, I get less) impact thinking about cultural capital or cultural power? Men have power because they have taken it from women is an example. Or, a 3rd world country has less power or wealth because we took it from them.
- The base line of CT relates to the fact that there are the oppressed and the oppressors and that applies to everything.
- Intersectionality is the thought that all oppression is connected. Everything relates to power and the idea that some people take power from other people. It does not matter if it is a person of color taking power from a white or a woman taking from a man. However, in CT, Moral authority always moves from the oppressor to the oppressed. Whites lose moral authority to blacks simply because they are the assumed oppressors. The intersect part relates to intersection of identities – e.g., the intersection of race and sexual identity.
- Everything in culture relates to domination and privilege vs. oppression. Your identities are determined by what intersectionality areas you occupy (e.g., black vs. black and gay; white man vs. white woman or white lesbian; rich vs. poor etc.
- You gain moral authority the more oppressor categories you fit into (black + woman + lesbian), and you lose more moral authority the more oppressed categories you occupy (man + educated + wealthy). More oppressed categories = More moral authority. A woman of color who is lesbian has three categories of moral authority or power. This is how identity is defined.
- Zero Sum Gain is in motion here. You lose moral authority the more you fit into oppressor categories, and the authority has to go somewhere so it goes to those you have oppressed. If you have more categories of oppression (e.g., a white, educated, male with wealth), you lose moral authority to the white uneducated male or someone else. Moral authority is finite so in each issue, the oppressed must forfeit it to the oppressor.
- Oppression = Sin and Salvation happens – the way you get rid of your sin comes from becoming WOKE or an ally of the oppressed.
- This indoctrination partially explains why you see so many white people joining #Black Lives Matter riots. This explains much about Liberation Theology (note: the oppressor can never get rid of his or her identity).
This is the politics of the New Left.
Critical Race Theory
Race is not a biological foundation. We are all in the human race. Early on, “race” was used to identify nationalities. It was not until recently that it was used as so-called Scientific Race that introduced the idea that some races as we now think of them, are superior to others. Inevitably, this would and did lead to racism.
- Critical Race Theory (CRT) is the new definition of racism relating now to Power or Moral Authority (the two are synonymous). CRT suggests that institutions, structures, ideologies in society give power to whites (for example) over blacks. If you participate in a system, institution, or ideology that supposedly favors one race (higher education, Republican, Christianity), you are a racist.
- So, we are back to Gramsci’s thinking of the oppressed and oppressors. White Supremacy and White Privilege mark you as a racist because just by being white, you are a racist. According to CRT, literacy, belief in absolute truth, paternalism, the nuclear family, and many other things define this supremacy. Objectivity is evidence of racism according to CRT (i.e., they are postmodernist and there is no objective truth). Denial of white supremacy is racist.
Once objectivity goes out the window, you are left with experience. So, things like statistics of fatherlessness, unwed birth rates, even employment rates mean nothing to the CRT movement. They can’t hear you. Quoting data is itself racist. The Narrative grows out of experiences and reality is subjective. It is supreme and defines truth.The Blacks and Latinos have a set of experiences that determine their truth (and whites can never understand this because they lack the experience). Statistics buy into the myth of objectivity. So shared truth or reality is impossible – you can’t know my experience.
Systemic Racism is the idea that racism is embedded in institutions like the police, housing, education, political parties etc. These are fundamentally corrupt.
#Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement
First, we must be very clear that black lives DO MATTER, and we must communicate that consistently.
However, the #Black Lives Matter movement is evil, rooted in Marxist/Critical Theory and is both anti-Christian and anti-democracy. It is made up of anarchist bullies and is well funded by American corporations, the NFL, and others.
An excellent article by a pro-family activist group outlines the real mission of #Black Lives Matter. Many young people have become radicalized, and the author adds, “If you follow bad ideas and take action to support them, you are guilty of a crime against your fellow citizens.” A key leader of BLM, Shaun King, is calling for the burning of churches.
In a Townhall article, Christian author and pro-life advocate Ryan Bomberger gives his Top Ten Reasons he won’t support BLM. Some of those reasons include: a faulty premise, no allowance for forgiveness and reconciliation, heavily promotes the LGBT movement, ignores fatherhood, and wants to abolish prisons and police forces.
- What are BLM’s “Doctrines”:
- They are radically Marxist and admit this.
- Deeply rooted in Critical Theory.
- Rejects the nuclear family (i.e., the village raises the children).
- Fathers are nowhere to be found and not supported as worthy of support.
- They are for abortion (including the murder of black babies).
- They walk in solidarity with every form of LGBT+ theory
- They are Anti-Semitic.
- Note how not ALL Black lives matter, only the ones that fit the narrative.
This fixes nothing; it only produces more racism. It denies any agency to black people and dissolves any opportunity to see themselves as anything but victims [see veteran civil rights leader, Bob Woodson, talking about this].
I hope this information gives you an idea of what is taking place and how CT, CRT, and BLM are not the solutions that will help end racism. On the contrary.
[T]he children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, [knew] what Israel ought to do. (1 Chronicles 12:32)
Dick Pence is coordinator of Big Sky Worldview Forum. Contact information: (406-672-9207; email: firstname.lastname@example.org).