This column by ACRU Policy Board member J. Christian Adams was published December 3, 2015 on PJ Media.
These are confusing times, as a generation unfamiliar with the nature of evil senses a gathering storm. It’s easy to blame guns when you don’t understand that the West is engaged in a multi-front struggle for existence with evil.
What is happening in San Bernardino, in Paris, in small Coptic churches, and on the streets of London isn’t about guns, knives, and high-capacity magazines. It’s about an experience familiar across the ages: when evil starts to march.
These horrors are the experiences of individuals across history, when the very existence of domestic tranquility is jeopardized. Instead of fleeing our village for the safety of the next, we simply don’t go shopping or out to dinner — at least for now.
Human experience has always been pulled by the gravity of disorder, chaos, and misery. That’s the story of mankind. Progressives don’t understand this. In their rush to blame objects and things for the chaos, they overlook the role of the spiritual and the sinister. If only we could get rid of guns, all this would stop, they hope.
America was created to be a shelter from this storm.
That’s why the rule of law was paramount in America. We were founded as a nation where order was treasured, where domestic tranquility was written into our national birth certificate. Every generation before this one understood that the right to defend ourselves against evil was a moral imperative.
Every generation understood what was worth defending and how to defend it.
The enemy hates these things. The enemy craves chaos, disorder, fear, and destruction. The enemy hates that America was founded on the idea that the individual is infused with the divine, and must be treated by others as such. All of the horrors of human history stand in opposition to this idea.
Yet America is disarming itself. Just as assuredly as if the military has shrunk, which it has, we are disarming ourselves of the civilizational and cultural barriers needed to defend against this modern manifestation of evil.
We learn that suspicious neighbors saw dozens of Muslim men suddenly hanging out at the killer’s apartment. One neighbor didn’t report anything, because we can’t have any of that, can we?
In California and much of the country, it is now “See something? Don’t say anything… if.” We have become a country where people no longer can properly balance the fear of being called a racist with the fear of being murdered by a jihadist.
Who are the people that shamed Americans out of our common sense? Who are the pundits who shamed us out of our capacity for moral self-defense? Those of us with common sense left know the answer.
But even some Republicans running for president lecture us on behaving “reasonably” in the face of the threat. Decoded, “reasonably” invariably means “inadequately.” And thus candidate Trump rises, because others seem incapable of articulating the contours of the civilizational struggle more precisely.
I can’t shake the image of the twenty-something man interviewed on local Los Angeles television wearing his feathered pork pie hat, utterly without a frame of reference that jihadists had arrived in California. After all, history had stopped. We have shed our hubris and say all the right things to the aggrieved, so there is no reason to hate us. The bright global future awaits his generation, right?
But history never stops. Americans, if they want an America like their parents and grandparents enjoyed, will need to learn what the threat really is. What evil is.
Lots of smart and respected people will appear in all the right places, laughing off the old-fashioned notions of evil, of culture, and of barriers. They’ll tell us it’s the guns. After a while — and sadly, after more carnage to come — Americans will begin to wonder why these respected people are so insistent.