“From Hollywood celebs like Cameron Diaz and Angelina Jolie to high school students, skeptics are opening up,” she caws, going on to sing the praises of fellow atheists like Alain de Botton, who “simply posits the nonexistence of God and then goes on to discuss what humanity can glean from the rubble of religious traditions.” (You know, Christian “rubble” like charity, hospitals, nursing, the Red Cross, the abolition of slavery, the civil rights movement, et. al.)
Ms. Tarico then throws out a few earthshaking discoveries – scriptural “dog whistles,” I guess – that, heretofore, have somehow eluded every biblical scholar since the Apostle Paul: “Perhaps the most consistent sexual theme in the Bible,” she declares, “is that a woman’s consent is not needed or even preferred before sex.”
“By demanding an end to rape culture,” she adds (whatever that is), “today’s young women and men are making the Bible writers look as if they were members of a tribal, Iron Age culture in which women were property like livestock and children – to be traded, sold and won in battle. Small wonder the culture warriors have ramped up their fight against contraception and abortion. Imagine if, on top of everything else, all women got access to expensive top-tier contraceptives and the power to end ill-conceived childbearing.”
Zing. Ouch. Busted. Small wonder, indeed, Valerie. (See why I said little additional commentary is required? OK, I admit it: I have considered selling my children. Don’t judge. You haven’t driven cross-country with them.)
In perfect keeping with the instinctive habits of the indigenous North American “progressive,” Ms. Tarico then goes on to make up a bunch more crap.
Of “believers in recovery” she waxes worried, while sounding the alarm over some really scary sounding pretend thingy called “Religious Trauma Syndrome,” followed with analysis most scholarly on the imaginary “relationship between religion and mental illnesses like depression, anxiety disorders and panic.”
Finally, Ms. Tarico offers hope beyond hope that “religious fundamentalism itself may one day be treatable.”
Shazam! Electrodes, anyone?
While “a mind is a terrible thing to waste,” how much more a soul? The secular-”progressive” mind is a curious thing – a waste of God’s purpose for the very soul, the very life to whom it was gifted.
What is the meaning of life? It’s not complicated. The meaning of life is to “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Luke 10:27).
This is true freedom. “It is for Freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:5).
From the freedom of Christ stems “the fruit of the Spirit,” which is “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Without Christ, there is no freedom.
There is only death.
Those who live by the Spirit of Christ “will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want (Galatians 5:16-17).
This is at odds with man’s fleshly desire – which began in the garden – for autonomy from God. The God-denier seeks to fill the void where Christ belongs with “acts of the flesh.”
Warned Paul: “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24).
Those who do not – have not.
When God-deniers like Ms. Tarico dig in their heels, a pitiable paradox occurs. While they think they’ve achieved intellectual enlightenment and freedom, they have, instead, been played for the fool. They have become slaves to the flesh, and playthings to the enemy.
Ultimately, there is no autonomy. In the end we each belong to one Master or the other.
Ms. Tarico, the end is just the beginning.
And eternity is a very long time.
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).