Curtis Dahlgren
The triumph of Evil & the fool in fashion? Or Evil's last gasp?
By Curtis Dahlgren
June 15, 2015

"The true test of civilization is, not the census, nor the size of cities, nor the crops, – no, but the kind of man the country turns out . . " – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1870)

"FOLIE A' PLUSIERS": the madness of many. Take pop culture, please. Religion is not the opiate of the masses; it's popular culture, and those most saturated with it don't even know what the term entails. In the war of cultures, they are oblivious to consequences. As Frank Maguire has said, "Dependency psychotic disorder is the presence of the same or similar delusional ideas in persons closely associated with one another" (i.e., the Crowd. Hip, cool, and "enlightened"). The rise of "Reason" and its rapid decline. Rationalism and "fashion" often lead to delusions and ruin, as in the French Revolution. Good intentions leading to a Napoleon. The Madness of the Many. Mass psychology, manipulated by the few. It's a paradox.

"You know one had as well be out of the world as out of fashion." – Colley Cibber (1671-1757)

"Bury me on my face, because in a little while everything will be turned upside down." – Diogenes

"Man purposeth and God disposeth." – Thomas a' Kempis (1380-1471)

"Man appoints, and God disappoints." – Cervantes

As in Aesop's "The Wolf and the Lamb," the wicked man will always find "an excuse" for evil doing, but – long-term – it is the wicked who get "disappointed." Short-term though there are often battles lost to evil.

In 1914 Wm. Butler Yeats published a poem – a long version of 'nice guys finish last' – entitled "TO A FRIEND WHOSE WORK HAS COME TO NOTHING." Magill's Quotations in Context explains that the "friend" was a man who could not compete with men from the vulgar crowd, men to whom it means nothing to be proved a liar: "Not only does such a man feel no shame at being caught in a lie, but his neighbors, people of the same type, feel no shame either. In Yeats' opinion, "The friend to whom the poem is written, being a man of honor, will inevitably be defeated by such people, for he cannot fight them with their own weapons. He must therefore, take defeat quietly, knowing in his heart that it is he who has really won the victory." The poem includes the following:

Bred to a harder thing
Than Triumph, turn away
And like a laughing string
Be secret and exult,
Because of all things known
That is most difficult.

Sounds like he was writing about starving writers, a man on a mountaintop, voices crying in the wilderness. Or a Romney? The bottom line is that the alarm must be sounded, whether or not it is Evil's last gasp or Freedom's. Never ever "take defeat quietly"! Speaking up may not save a civilization, but as someone said, "Silence kills, for sure."

P.S. Some may wonder why I quote many mere humans. The answer is that the niche I'm targeting includes people who simply won't open their own family Bible even if almost forced to do so. I could quote the Lord Himself – "They have set up kings, but not by me!" – or I can quote a Davy Crockett: "Be always sure you're right – then go ahead!" (it makes the same point).

I could quote "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country." Or I can quote Emerson:

"For non-conformity the world whips you with its displeasure . . [but] is it so bad then to be misunderstood? . . To be great is to be misunderstood."

Sure, Emerson thought his greatness was his rejection of religion, but we can turn his words back against him, because now it is the secular-humanist-progressives who are doing the bullying. The 'fool in his fashion' whips us with politically correct hatred, but I hope that the fools are still a minority. A wise man used to say that God will keep His protecting Hand over a nation as long as there are "enough people" who still ask for the "old ways" and try to do the right thing.

Abraham tried to save Sodom by bargaining God all the way down to ten people as "enough." MAYBE ABRAHAM GAVE UP TOO SOON. The Lord did protect America for 200 years from the time of George Washington's presidency to the first attack on the Twin Towers. He performed many documented miracles during WWII. He still could if He would, but the question is, will He?

The answer is [ – ]? The answer is up to YOU!

PPS: The news of the world is so disheartening that I look to the comic page for a little relief. In Hagar the Horrible recently, Hagar's little boy just finished a book, and Lucky Eddie asked him what kind of book it was. The boy said, "It's a mystery." And Eddie says:

"Maybe you should have paid closer attention!"

The coffee-table family Bible is also a mystery to many people. They don't even bother wiping the dust off of it. Mine is so worn out that both covers are covered with duct tape. God's official 'operator's manual' is full of good advice, including the path to the kind of world the secular-progressives claimto seek, but don't! They in fact persecute God's people.

To respond in kind is useless. You can't even get through to them with kindness, but as someone advised Ben Franklin, "Just say 'your viewpoint is interesting, but have you ever considered THIS?'" For example, as General Patton once put it, "If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking!"

I hate to be the one to have to point out the obvious, but your biggest fear is NOT climate change or tree pollen. Today's Milwaukee paper has a huge front page story that seems to imply that we have too many trees now. I for one do not fear man-made climate change (are you kidding me?), but I AM concerned about spiritual global warming someday. As another Milwaukee boy once said:

"We have had our last chance . . The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence, an improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science [etc] . . It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh." – General Douglas MacArthur

© Curtis Dahlgren


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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