We Are The 80%

WE ARE THE 80% – If you are a conservative Evangelical Protestant and politically active, the Evangelical gatekeepers want you to know you are embarrassing them.

Christianity Today feels compelled to post pieces meant to check you and remind you that you are ignorant and easy prey. You are the bitter clingers Obama spoke about and the deplorables HRC deplores. You are a sellout and a dupe, easy pickings for populism. How dare you be you. Jesus doesn’t like you.

But you are not alone. We are the 80% of Evangelicals.

Let the elite chase the fads of the times to keep their supposed cultural influence, even while they condescendingly chide you for your political influence, whereas they have none. They say they do not seek it. They do and have tried. But their brand has no buyers in the marketplace of ideas.

The best they can now do is turn against you.

The Day Whittaker Chambers Began His Turn From Communism

These are his own words from his stellar autobiography, “Witness.”

Avalanches gather force and crash, unheard, in men as in the mountains. But I date my break from a very casual happening. I was sitting in our apartment on St. Paul Street in Baltimore. It was shortly before we moved to Alger Hiss’s apartment in Washington. My daughter was in her high chair. I was watching her eat. She was the most miraculous thing that had ever happened in my life. I liked to watch her even when she smeared porridge on her face or dropped it meditatively on the floor. My eye came to rest on the delicate convolutions of her ear—those intricate, perfect ears. The thought passed through my mind: “No, those ears were not created by any chance coming together of atoms in nature (the Communist view). They could have been created only by immense design.” The thought was involuntary and unwanted. I crowded it out of my mind. But I never wholly forgot it or the occasion. I had to crowd it out of my mind. If I had completed it, I should have had to say: Design presupposes God. I did not then know that, at that moment, the finger of God was first laid upon my forehead.

It is hard to overstate the influence Whittaker Chambers had on the burgeoning conservative movement in America. His accusation before the House Un-American Activities Committee that the former State Department official Alger Hiss was a communist spy  It ultimately brought several strands of conservatism together, which William Buckley, Jr. then formed into a self-conscious anti-Communist conservative movement. Chamber’s book, Witness, gave the movement much of its punching power. For a few brief months he worked for the new National Review before his failing health made it impossible to do so.

“Witness” is on any list of the top ten books on conservative reading. It takes its place not only due to its content but as well due to its literary value. It is not a political book. It is a book of philosophy, theology, and the meaning of a life well lived. Some consider it the best work of the 20th century, at least in autobiography. I am reading it now. The writing is delicious, forcing me to slow down and taste and digest morsel after morsel of truths that feed the soul.

The Hiss-Chambers duel before Congress and in courts is entertainingly described in the series on YouTube, A Pumpkin Patch, a Typewriter, and Richard Nixon. It is very well done.

Snatching the Fingernail of a Saint

“The enemy—he is ourselves. That is why it is idle to talk about preventing the wreck of Western civilization. It is already a wreck from within. That is why we can hope to do little more now than to snatch a fingernail of a saint from the rack or a handful of ashes from the faggots, and bury them secretly in a flowerpot against the day, ages hence, when a few men begin again to dare to believe that there was once something else, that something else is thinkable, and need some evidence of what it was, and the fortifying knowledge that there were those who, at the great nightfall, took loving thought to preserve the tokens of hope and truth.” -Whittaker Chambers in a letter to William Buckley, Jr.