2020 has been a tumultuous year, and most of the commentary has been far from level-headed. Compound this with censorship by social networks on the one hand mixed with blatant misinformation on the other, and you encounter a ridiculous amount of Internet noise.
In my attempt to cut through the noise, I have found that just as the best advice given to me were by trusted people who weren’t afraid to tell me if my ideas or actions were wrong, so also some of the best Conservative commentary will come not from the Conservatives who excuse moral failings but rather from the Conservatives who are not afraid to say when the Republican Party and their supporters are working against the best interests of the majority involved.
Disclaimer: The following recommendations are for individual pieces and not a blanket recommendation or agreement of everything the authors have written. Neither are these recommendations ones for which I agree 100%, but I found these pieces to be excellent food for thought.
The very first on my list goes to David French‘s piece America Is in the Grips of a Fundamentalist Revival. Seriously, some of the best commentary on Third-Wave Antiracism. If you had some rioters plunder your neighborhood this summer, it was most likely by extremists and/or opportunists in favor of Third Wave Anti-Racism. This wave is much larger than the anarchists that I was discussing just months ago. Here is a poignant quote about this movement to pique your curiosity:
I’m reminded of the old religious maxim, “Error has no rights.” That impulse lies at the heart of much of the Christian nationalist/integralist critique of classical liberalism. That impulse lies at the heart of the speech code and the metastasizing intolerance of woke capitalism.
In a culture stripped of existential humility, the only valuable speech is the speech of those who speak existential truth. Dissent harms the body politic by introducing error. Thus “free speech”—as an independent liberty interest—cannot possibly be in the common good. The common good is advanced only by truth, and thus only truth has rights.
In other words, Third Wave Anti-Racism has become a fundamentalist religion. And woe be unto the heretics.
I am anti-racist. As in, I condemn any form of discrimination that is on the basis of someone’s skin color or ethnic background. I am still learning how deep and how wicked the legacy and consequences of racism are, and you should too. American Conservative Christianity has much to blame in this regard. However, all of that does not inherently require you to submit to whatever labels or quasi-religious movements the crowds demand that you do. Such demanding behavior is reminiscent of the AIDS ribbon sketch:
Content warning: swearing by God’s name
The next recommended commentary on my list is Owen Crew’s thoughtful work Preparing for Communion During a Political Dispute. I, for one, can very much relate to the following excerpt when wrongdoing among Republicans is challenged:
Some Republicans and former Republicans will be shocked to find that former allies may consider them as bad as or worse than Democrats who embrace abortion on demand and value sexual autonomy more than religious liberty or civic virtue. They will be stunned that this evaluation will be based on their embrace or rejection of soon-to-be-former President Trump. Some will be horrified at being told that they are on the wrong side not only of Biblical revelation or the Constitution, but of common grace, natural law, and the best of philosophy. I am not shocked. I am grieved.
Last, but not least, I also recommend reading The Dangerous Idolatry of Christian Trumpism, also by David French, as it cuts at the heart of the problem plaguing significant numbers of Conservative Christians right now: idolatry. French writes:
We’re way, way past concerns for the church’s “public witness.” We’re way past concerns over whether the “reputation” of the church will survive this wave of insanity. There is no other way to say this. A significant movement of American Christians—encouraged by the president himself—is now directly threatening the rule of law, the Constitution, and the peace and unity of the American republic.
I am of the personal belief that when persecution against Christianity comes to America, it will not necessarily be on the basis of believing in Jesus. Rather, I am very concerned that American Christians will have brought this judgment on themselves from their unrepentance in similar fashion to how the Israelites disobeyed and the pagan nations were allowed to conquer and exile them. The difference between us and Israel is that God never made a nationally-restorative covenant with America (beyond the promise that all will confess that Jesus is Lord) but He did promise the salvation and national restoration of Israel.
The situation among Conservative Christians is now dire and I am concerned too few will take this seriously too late.
I am blessed to have my hope not placed in a movement or in a subculture, but in Jesus alone and in His authoritative words in the Scriptures alone.
Fellow Christians, let Him be your rock. Not your President, not your Supreme Court, not your electors. Jesus alone.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.Psalm 20:7 ESV