Marita Vargas
Become a refusenik
By Marita Vargas
March 19, 2010

Jesus was a political genius — among other things. No one has improved upon his: "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's." No one. In fact, societies are defined by where they draw the line between God and Caesar. America is even now redrawing that line in favor of Caesar, in favor of a redistribution scheme that has lead to suffering everywhere it has been tried. It will lead to suffering here too; and, perhaps, to persecution.

In the last century Malcolm Muggeridge added a gloss to Jesus' words when he said that we should render unto Caesar as little as possible. But Muggeridge's proviso is hardly necessary in a world that is sane. Everybody knows that a too-powerful state is the enemy of freedom and a rival to its author — a rival to God.

The problem is that we are living in a world that is insane. We are so far gone that we have installed governors who speak and act as though the power of Caesar — the power they wield — is the only power under heaven. We are governed by fools.[1]

Though the Tea Party movement is testimony to the fact that millions of Americans are not politically or spiritually insane; millions more honestly believe that if we lay down the better part of our goods at the feet of our rulers, we will receive them back as gifts — gifts of life, and health and peace. Even a secularist should see the parallel here between the view of a gracious God held by Christians and the view of an all-benign government held by socialists.

But it takes a bit more horse sense to recognize that the government is a far more exacting "benefactor" than the God of the Bible. God requires ten percent of an individual's gain, the state requires fifty percent or more. As for me, I would rather obey God than man. And it doesn't hurt that I learned how to add and subtract when a wee babe.

Muggeridge warned the West that we would one day be forced to declare our true allegiance — America, that time is now. Ideas have consequences, even more than elections, and we have been living out a philosophical materialism that has all but wrung the last vestige of the transcendent from our thinking and actions — especially in the public square. All materialisms lead to secularism; all secularisms lead to progressivism (Read "humanism" directed by the most powerful who've adopted an evolutionary paradigm.); all progressivisms lead to oppression.

Malcolm Muggeridge saw this pattern unfold in the late Soviet Union. He reported on the Russian scene in the heady days following the October Revolution of 1917. He was a witness to the starvation and wretchedness visited upon a people in a ruthlessly secularized, brutally collectivized society. He bore testimony to the utterly uncaring response to the suffering they had created by the "people's" government at the time.

The only individuals on the planet who remained heady in the wake of events unfolding in the former U.S.S.R. were third world dictators in search of some new ruse to gain power and the self-righteous intellectuals of Western academia. No good thing could come of such an arrangement.

No good thing has come of it. President Barak Hussein Obama has come of it. A knee-jerk-leftwing-daft-wing press has come of it. A Hollywood propaganda machine has come of it. A brainwashing school system has come of it. And the list goes on.

Americans have cause to fear our powerful government agencies. We all live with the threat to life (Death panels anyone?); liberty (Techno-surveillance on social networking sound good to you?); property (The Supreme Court thinks private property seizure is okay, so does the E.P.A; and, of course, local and state governments have for years.); and the pursuit of happiness (Self-determination is next to impossible when the bulk of an individual's money belongs to the state.).

Our nation is in trouble as it has never been before, and it is more than an over-reaching Democrat party that has pushed us over the edge. Our failure to be vigilant has encouraged the demagogues to seize power. Our own complacency and apathy in the face of their usurpations have put us at risk. Our own moral failures have made us weak. Our lack of commitment to absolutes has made it possible for our government to re-define the rules of the game at every turn and victimize us further.

When Nancy Pelosi says that we must pass the health care bill in order to see what is in it, she is declaring her contempt for the legislative process. She should be reprimanded for violating her vow to uphold and defend the Constitution. But, then, she displayed her utter contempt for its limiting and binding provisions this past summer when she derided a town hall attendee's inquiry about the constitutionality of health care. Predictably, she has gone on to play procedural games in getting the latest health care monstrosity passed.

There is no such thing as deeming that an unseen trillion-dollar bill has been passed by a House of Representatives that has not voted on it. It is no wonder that "deem and pass" sounds to the ear like "demon pass." It is all a lie. Our legislators have turned congress into a smoke-and-mirrors operation. They think that we are fools.

The Tea Party activists are the best sign that the enemies of freedom may have miscalculated our gullibility. However, if we resist their schemes, many of us must be ready to suffer. Either way we will suffer. Better it is to suffer in resisting tyranny than in succumbing to it. Our overlords will not go quietly — but neither will we go quietly into that good night that is the loss of liberty.

We should study the great refuseniks of the Soviet era: Natan Sharansky and Andrei Sakharov — because it is definitely time to become a refusenik. It is time to carry a candle for freedom. And because that candle must take as its source the light that illumines the City upon a Hill, we must each in our own way, make our peace with God first. Then we will be able to draw the line which Caesar must not cross and stand on the right side of the divide ourselves.


[1]  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying: "Let us break their bands asunder and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Psalm 2: 2-4 (Nancy, old girl, will not be the last one laughing.)

© Marita Vargas


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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Marita Vargas

Marita Vargas believes in freedom of speech and in civil discourse. Because for decades the American people have been silenced, intimidated, and poorly informed, they are in danger of losing their freedoms for the simple reason that they rarely discuss the underlying reasons for the current state of affairs. She can be reached at


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