In a recent discussion on dichotomies among evangelicals, I made the remark that, “They’re not that different from their neighbors–they want to feel good about themselves. They’re just a little more misinformed about what it’s gonna take to pull off the total transformation of our society required to meet the pious goals they’ve set. Like many of their secular counterparts, they’ve yet to get their minds around the vast undertaking we’re faced with, and the courageous tenacity this is going to demand from us.”
In a reflective moment afterward, I recalled the economic panic and religious hysteria of the 14th century Barbara Tuchman wrote about in her book A Distant Mirror, and privately pondered what impact ten-dollar-a-gallon gasoline or an unstoppable TB pandemic might have on our ability to remain civil, rational people in the 21st.
Later that day, I came across a passage in Sleepwalking Land by Mia Couto: ‘the obsessions of people who live by what they can see, unaware of the future world, are well known.’ This reminded me of the adage that a warrior of justice must not only be circumspect about the current situation, but also anticipate the consequences of evil that lie ahead. In that respect, a warrior protector is one who has awakened to the truth of this, and thus cannot become an evangelical, because he knows the unaware — regardless of their pious sentiments — will not join him in battle.
(Jay Taber — recipient of the Defender of Democracy award — is an author, columnist, and research analyst at Public Good Project.)
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