Thursday, June 28, 2012

A vindication for Calvinism?

I'm going to make a departure and do something I don't really want to do, at least not for this blog.  I'm going to write something that has to do with...wait for it...politics!  I hate politics; it's a waste of energy and is an exercise in compromising integrity for popularity.  But, my plan is (we'll see how successful I am) to tie it in some way back to Christianity in general and Orthodoxy in particular.

Let me start out with my thesis:  Today's Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of Obamacare is a vindication for Calvinist thought which is the center of modern liberal (i.e. progressive) political thought.  Let me also state very plainly that I was in no way happy with the decision this morning.  As much as this idea makes me want to throw up and to disfigure my face while saying "unclean, unclean", I am seriously going to throw all my support, whether financial (very little to give), my pen (by which I mean my keyboard) and everything else I can to support Mr.  Romney for President as well as any Congressional and Senatorial candidate who will insist on Obamacare's repeal.  Again, it sickens me. (Full disclosure:  I once was registered as a Republican but after finding out that they are nothing more than Democrat-lite, I found my home as a neo-anarchist monarchist libertarian).  Let's now get to my thesis.

Calvinism is alive and well.  Its basic doctrine can be summed up in its five points.  They are:
1)  Total depravity
2)  Unconditioned election
3)  Perseverance of the saints (once saved always saved)
4)  Limited atonement (Christ died for one person but not for another)
5)  Irresistible grace

All of these will be addressed in some way (except for perseverance) in this essay.  The concept of total depravity says that nothing about man is good.  Because of the original sin of Adam and Eve, everything about man is now crooked (the literal meaning of depravity) and twisted from its original beauty. As such, man has nothing left in him to desire God.  God must do all the action; man is passive.  Since man cannot choose the good, it must be chosen for him.

I find it ironic that a system that is so dependent upon someone else to do right for him could have built the bedrock of this nation.  Hard work and initiative and personal responsibility were cornerstones of how the Puritans and Pilgrims (though separated from the English Church, they did so under the influence of Calvinism which gained a strong foothold in Scotland) were able to transform their colonies into blossoming metropolises with commerce that became wealthy.  But in Calvinist theology, those things would be suspect if not outright condemned. 

Calvinism pictures God the same way as Jonathan Edwards does in his famous sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God."  For Calvinists, God is vindictive, angry, arbitrary.  Nowhere in that sermon is any hint, any trace of the compassions or mercy of God.  Why should there be?  God's own sense of justice precludes any forgiveness or mercy, hence why Jesus only died for person A and not for person B.  You cannot do anything to cooperate with God's grace, let alone do it yourself.  God must do everything for you, whether that is to save you or condemn you.

So, what does this have to do with the ruling?  As much as progressives (I really hate the term liberal because I'm more of a liberal than they are) hate Christianity and Calvinism in particular, they are operating from the same mindset.  Progressives may not like or believe or worship God, but they certainly like to play the angry, vengeful God.  Since man is shackled by his depravity, not to sin (progressives don't believe in that), but to freedom, that freedom must be curtailed to the point of not having any (I grant that I am assuming that Obamacare is, by its nature, tyrannical).  God, or in the case of progressives, the state, must then dictate who is saved and who is condemned in a limited way.

This limited atonement has already played out by waivers being granted to companies with large unions while other companies were denied.  The irrestible grace is being doled out by eventually forcing employers to drop coverage from their benefits so that people will then be forced into a government-run health plan.  Unconditioned election will be handled by the IBAP, the board of 15 unelected governors who will decide who gets treatment and who doesn't. 

For Calvinist progressives, the only thing that has changed is God. It is no longer the Triune God, it is now the state.  And man needs the state to dictate to him since he can do nothing on his own or at least do nothing right and good.

I may not have well proved my thesis. I would think, at the very least, that I demonstrated some of the similarities behind the progressive mindset and the Calvinist one.  I believe that they are one in the same save for who God is.

As Nixon once declared, "We are Keynesians now."   When it comes to politics, maybe we are all Calvinists now.

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