What are you really seeing as Americans kneel, hands raised in secular prayer, repeating political creeds on the TV news? And that secular foot-washing?
You're witness to neo-Marxist appropriation of Christian symbolism, in the aftermath of the horrifying Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.
And now, the priests of the secularist left separate the biblical sheep from the goats on the basis of skin color.
Floyd, an African American, was killed by a white cop who has been charged with murder. Most, if not all, Americans were disgusted at that cop's knee on Floyd's neck. And most Americans, of all races, still express grief, seek common understanding, and push for long overdue reforms.
Yet many who seek reform are themselves confused and fearful. In the biblical parable of the sheep and the goats, the sheep went to heaven, the goats were sent to hell. But in the current political universe, whites must atone for the sins of white racism even if they're not racists, even if their families arrived here only yesterday.
And even the mere suggestion this might be unfair, the slightest hint of resistance, can trigger accusations that could ruin careers, deny entrance to the professions, and drive nuance from the public square. And it is all by design.
Christianity teaches us that all of us are sinners, that repentance comes before forgiveness. But today's hard left is not about forgiveness. It is about power.
Yes, racism still exists. But applying sin upon an entire group based on skin color is antithetical to Christian teachings. And it is in direct opposition to the promise of America.
I'm no theologian, but my ancient Greek Orthodox Christian faith teaches us to condemn racism and support the oppressed. We're judged on sins we commit as individuals. The late Archbishop Iakovos, seen in old news photos with piercing eyes and black robes, stood with the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma in 1965. Both religious men abhorred judging entire groups of people by skin color. But they are long gone.
The use of religious symbolism in politics isn't new. I've seen two recent presidents absurdly wave the Bible to ward off the demons of negative news: Bill Clinton years ago, and Donald Trump just the other day. Call it exploitation, and I won't argue.
But neo-Marxists hostile to faith, appropriating religious practice and using race to separate sheep from goat in the service of power on earth, are a profoundly different matter. Politics is their religion. It is relentlessly Orwellian. This isn't some dystopian novel. This is your country.
Must I reject the ancient teachings of faith to accommodate power? The high priests of the left tell us those who don't kneel during the national anthem are guilty. And anyone who is silent is guilty, because, they insist, "silence equals violence."
Does any of this allow room for reasoned discourse, to help a nation find a path forward? No. Now the left dominates the Democratic Party and has no room for tolerance of differing views. All this tears America by the roots.
NFL quarterback Drew Brees said his respect for the American flag wouldn't allow him to kneel during the national anthem. But he quickly caved. His wife publicly confessed her "sins." They beg forgiveness. As any student of the Maoist Cultural Revolution would tell you, they were broken in their struggle session.
White Democratic Party leaders put on West African kente cloth and prayerfully drop to their knees in photo-op solidarity. Yet many, including West Africans, African Americans and others saw this as a cynical stunt.
The New York Times dropped to its knees before its own woke-world newsroom, for daring to publish the op-ed of U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. Cotton's piece argued that modern history and the law allowed for President Trump to send federal troops into riot-torn areas. I'm on record opposing this and compared it to pouring gasoline on a fire.
But Cotton isn't just some guy off the street. He's a U.S. senator, a Harvard graduate. That liberal Ivy League nurtured generations of Times editors who protected an important tradition, that the paper's op-ed page would welcome a free exchange of competing ideas. After an internal purge, the Times promised its woke-world staff it would sin no more. The Times abased itself, earning a new motto: All the Newspeak fit to print.
We see stammering white Democratic liberals, like Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, devoured by the hard-left Black Lives Matter that demands the defunding of municipal police departments. And the woke Minneapolis town council agreed with them.
Democrats fear pushing back too hard against BLM on police defunding, but they do see the political problem for their presidential candidate, Joe Biden. The Rev. Al Sharpton went out to reshape the message, saying BLM really didn't mean it. But they do mean it.
History informs us that liberty and democracy aren't the natural state of humankind. A democratic republic is difficult enough to maintain, even in cultures with a history of ideals vital for nourishing a democracy.
Now, though, Americans are being encouraged to "de-colonize" our home libraries. So which books do I rid myself of first? Aristotle, Edmund Burke, "The Road to Serfdom" or the Bible?
Coerced fearful kneeling in fealty isn't among democracy's necessary virtues. Even American pop culture, even comic books, once recognized this.
But that must have been some other country, one that looked, remarkably, like this one.