Into the Darkening Woods – an Open-ended Fairytale

We’ve been exploring problems with leftist thinking and I’d like to continue with that discussion, but I’m going to do so by telling you a story.

Part 4 – What is Wrong with Liberal Thinking

Once upon a meme* -- which is itself a meme, which has become so trendy it’s gone from pseudo-intellectual to rancidly cheesy in under 40 years, turning up, as it did, on college campuses in the late 70’s where it was useful only under the influence of whatever was available. The word was used at first by professors trying to impress their students, and then by students attempting to impress their professors. Now it’s found in use amongst graduates who still lean college-left and want to impress each other.  But I digress. 

Back to the story. Once there was a country where all the fathers were risk-takers, all the mothers were mothers (which made them risk-takers extraordinaire) and all the children were wildly and joyfully suicidal. The country was blessed with broad open spaces, wide rivers, deep forests and oceans to keep dangerous people away. The people moved about, built farms and factories and cities and roads and cars to drive on the roads. Then they moved around more. Eventually they built airplanes and moved around more quickly. They invented many things, worked very hard, took huge risks and became the wealthiest nation the world had ever seen.

As they did all this they tried to follow the rules they believed in – tried because, like all people they weren’t perfect. Their energy and ambition sometimes got them in trouble. But through it all they remembered God, who had created them and all the blessings their country provided. They were grateful for the power they discovered all over the land – the wood, coal, oil, gas, and raging rivers. They planted crops, cut down trees, built fences, and they mined gold and silver and iron and copper. They prospered and they were grateful. 

But eventually they forgot that the land and all that was in it was given to them. They had invented so many things that they began to imagine that they had invented themselves. God rarely turned up in most people’s thinking. The folks continued to show up at church on Sunday mornings, (Habits are hard to break.) but the preachers didn’t have much to say. After all, they weren’t all that grateful either, and they didn’t want to confuse or displease the parishioners who paid their salaries, and if they worked it right, singing and taking the offerings and marching up and down could fill an hour without much room left for the uncomfortable sermonizing.

In the schools the children all learned about reading, but didn’t actually read very much. They learned how to do math, but not that it was God’s language. They learned about science and history, but not how the two subjects revealed the Creator. They played sports, went to prom and graduated. Then they zoomed off to college where they learned that war was bad, and that somehow raising a ruckus about it would render the world safe and cozy. They mastered the art of believing self-refuting ideas and sneering at truth. They studied evolution and ecology and memes and found very little of it helpful in earning a living.

God was patient and the people got richer and continued to raise reckless children until there were hundreds of millions filling the land.

While all this was going on, new memes started snaking their way through the culture. The idea that old is bad became quite popular. Phrases like “dead white men” or “never trust anyone over 30” quilted the language and children quit looking up to their parents and grandparents, and realized their teachers were old, too, and therefore ignorant. No one read anything that wasn’t written in the last 50 years – especially not God’s Word. It was very old.

Since they had forgotten God, they forgot that He was infinitely wealthy and so they forgot that richness was expandable. They became scared that each person wouldn’t get his share of what there was and started watching each other jealously, worried that someone somewhere would get more. They changed their government to keep clever and hard-working men and women from taking advantage of their advantages.

They also (because they forgot God and His purpose for the world) got scared that the Earth would break, that some balance somewhere would go haywire and they’d all die. For a while they thought an ice age would freeze them all. Then they created elaborate and impossible explanations for all the mayhem they imagined – even suspecting that the very gas they exhaled would cause the planet to overheat. They imagined all the animals would die off, that the weather would blow them all to bits, that they’d run out of everything and that it would be the fault of all those clever and hardworking people. You see, they’d forgotten God so thoroughly that they no longer were even aware that He still had a purpose and still had the power to see to it that His purpose was fulfilled.

In fact, they had so forgotten God that when He did try to get their attention with a calamity or two, very few read the signs correctly and if they said anything, they just got laughed at or attacked. Mostly the wise ones were old, you see, and according to the new meme, their ideas were therefore worthless.

So year after year the people became more and more afraid – of what they weren’t always sure, but the uneasiness became so prevalent that they were miserable. They took medicines hoping they would feel better. They drank, smoked a variety of plants, and ate and  ate and ate – they got stoned, and fat, but they didn’t feel better. They began thinking of the government, the one they had made, as a god, able to solve all their problems. The more government they had, the more problems they had, so the more they leaned on the officials they hired until the government became a very expensive deity.

Then they stopped taking risks – most of them did. There weren’t all that many risks left to take. Most everything chancy was either illegal, or environmentally dangerous, or politically incorrect. Speaking of which, they didn’t take many risks with what they said either – they’d concocted so many rules about what could and should be uttered that they all got tired of triple-thinking everything they said, so they just didn’t talk – not about anything important, especially not about God. In fact they even outlawed that in their schools.

Actually, almost everything was outlawed. They invented penalties for getting rich. Being honest earned them scorn and distrust. Defending themselves could really toss them into hot water. So, since they had no longer had a purpose, they all just smoked dope and made fun of those who rarely used the word meme, of those who still wanted the good old days – old, you remember, was bad.

Which was unfortunate because God is infinitely old and only God could save the country. You see, in this fairytale there is no fairy godmother to conjure up a pumpkin coach. There is no lamp to rub, no prince to kiss.

You see, the story isn’t over yet. Perhaps the people will realize that their memes are just so much flutter and nonsense, without a particle of truth in them. Perhaps they will remember God and admit to Him that they need His gracious provisions, His forgiveness, His wisdom.  And perhaps they won’t. We shall see.

* meme – an idea that a large number of people cling to – like global warming. Memes change, move through a culture like a virus, can easily be produced or destroyed by means of propaganda.