Two Minutes’ Madness

Abner Dean: Two Minutes Hate
"Two Minutes Hate," Image by Fugue via Flickr

In case you’ve been ignoring the news (other than the weather for those of us in the path of the winter storm, of course) for the last few days, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was severely wounded in a vicious attack on Saturday that claimed the lives of six people (including a nine-year-old girl) and wounded thirteen others, allegedly carried out by Jared Loughner.  Our prayers are with all of the victims and their families, of course, and our appreciation and respect goes to Dan Hernandez, who ended the shooting by tackling Loughner.

And as usual, the shooting prompted calls for stricter gun-control such as this editorial from the New York Times.  Loughner actually cleared the background check required by the Brady bill because while he had had trouble in the past that indicated his mental instability, he had never been formally declared mentally incompetent.

The problem with attempting to “toughen” the gun laws in this case is that such laws could very quickly be used to violate the 2nd Amendment rights of the politically-incorrect, since we’re basically talking about trying to read a person’s thoughts in advance of an actual crime.  Fortunately, as Karen Travers writes for ABC News, “Polling and history indicate no.  American support for stricter gun laws has steadily declined.”

It gets better, though.  It wasn’t enough for the leftwing media that a terrible assassination attempt had taken place. Practically before the blood had clotted on the street, several supposed newscritters were already engaged in an assassination of their own–that of the character of people who weren’t even involved, as James Taranto both illustrates and debunks:

What the Washington Post, in a news story, offensively calls the “easy assumption” that “Giffords was targeted by a tea partier” turns out to have been false. To the extent that the suspect, Jared Loughner, had political views, they were disjointed and impossible to categorize–think John Hinckley meets No Labels. A list of his favorite books included “Mein Kampf” and “The Communist Manifesto”; a YouTube video titled “My Final Thoughts: Jared Lee Loughner!” is filled with incomprehensible syllogisms such as this: “If B.C.E. years are unable to start then A.D.E years are unable to begin. B.C.E. years are unable to start. Thus, A.D.E years are unable to begin.” . . .

The notion that the killer acted according to some political logic existed only in the minds of people like Fitzsimmons and Krugman. It was pure fantasy, and it turned out not to correspond with reality. Yet many on the left, including in the mainstream media, are treating this fantasy as if it were fact, or at least a legitimate point of view.

As with any left-wing fantasy nowadays, the former governor of Alaska plays a central role. “Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ Blood Is on Sarah Palin’s Hands After Putting Cross Hair Over District,” screams a headline in yesterday’s New York Daily News. “Liberals Blame Sarah Palin in Wake of Tucson Shooting,” reads the headline of Politico story posted at 4:23 p.m. Saturday, less than three hours after news of the shooting broke. Straight-news reporters, too, put Palin into the story. An Associated Press dispatch on the massacre gave her four paragraphs; a New York Times report, three paragraphs.

Taranto’s observations brought to mind another column that I’d marked for review and discussion a few days earlier.  Melanie Phillips, in discussing the ongoing delegitimization of Israel, hit the nail on the head when she noted:

The scale of this phenomenon is nothing short of a multi-layered civilisational crisis.

The west is experiencing a total inversion of truth evidence and reason. A society’s thinking class has overwhelmingly subscribed to an immoral, patently false and in many cases demonstrably absurd account of the Middle East, past and present, which it has uncritically absorbed and assumes to be true.

In routine, everyday discourse history is turned on its head; logic is suspended; and an entirely false narrative of the conflict is now widely accepted as unchallengeable fact, from which fundamental error has been spun a global web of potentially catastrophic false conclusions.

This has led to a kind of dialogue of the demented in which rational discussion is simply not possible because there is no shared understanding of the meaning of language. So victim and victimiser, truth and lies, justice and injustice turn into their precise opposite.

This madness is being promulgated through a global alliance between state and non-state actors – diplomats and journalists, politicians and NGOs and websites. Many of these are waging war not just against Israel but against the west. (emphasis mine)

As I read Phillips’ column, I couldn’t help but think of the warnings of Scripture:

[T]hey didn’t receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  Because of this, God sends them a working of error, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be judged who didn’t believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  (2Th. 2:10-12)

The true test of God has never been that one have absolute knowledge of the truth, but that one love the truth.  And we live in a day when “truth” is nothing more than a lie agreed upon, when the very notion of truth is mocked, and when politically motivated fantasies are preached on the tubes as truth.  The result is a societal madness.  To quote Phillips again:  “The problem is that we are dealing with a pathology — to which we nevertheless respond as if it were rational behaviour.”

This is not, however, a pathology rooted merely in a well-oiled propaganda machine, though that certainly has its part.  We do not war against flesh and blood.  The madness is rooted rather in a supernatural agency, “in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the Good News of the glory of Messiah, who is the image of God, should not dawn on them” (2Co. 4:4).

At some point, I’m going to have to do a review of George Otis’ The Twilight Labyrinth: Why Does Spiritual Darkness Linger Where It Does? It is a book that everyone needs to read, second only to Dr. Ed Murphy’s Handbook for Spiritual Warfare on my list of training manuals for said warfare.  Suffice to say, the spiritual darkness that Otis describes in places that have been resistant to the Good News is no longer “out there,” it is moving into the United States and the Western world in a way that we have never seen before.  The utter hatred we see for the truth in our day is both the gateway and the most prominent symptom.

Keep your Sword of the Word ready, my friends.  And for those of my traditional Jewish brethren that might stumble upon this post, let me offer some advice from the Talmud:

Said Abbayye to Rabbah, “What is the reason [that some do not wish to see the [coming of Messiah]? Is it because of the turmoil of the Messiah?   And has it not been taught on Tannaite authority:  His disciples asked R. Eliezer, ‘What should someone do to save himself from the turmoil of the Messiah?’  [He replied to them], ‘Let him engage in study of the Torah and acts of loving kindness.’”  (b.Sanhedrin 98b)

Love the truth, my friends.

Shalom

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