One of the great blessings in my life is the absence of television in our home. Actually, in the interests of full disclosure, I must confess that we do have a dinosaur of a TV, the old sort that is almost too heavy to move, but we use it only for watching DVDs and videos. We have no reception, either by aerial, cable, or satellite, thereby ensuring that the unwanted guest of uncouth secularism is not invited into our living room. This being so, one of the ways that I keep my finger on the pulse of the TV-watching masses is to observe the bumper stickers on other people’s cars. In previous articles for The Imaginative Conservative, I have waxed indignant on the seemingly ubiquitous “coexist” bumper sticker and also on the less ubiquitous but equally problematic “just be nice” bumper sticker.
A few days ago, as I drove our family to church, I was again affronted by the “coexist” bumper sticker and felt myself muttering the word “hypocrite” under my breath. Many people who brandish this sticker do not believe in genuine coexistence but only in the need for tolerance of particular lifestyles. They are all too happy to use coercion on those who disagree with them. I think of the militant pro-abortionists who endeavoured to prevent this year’s March for Life in Washington D.C. by physically blocking the route, or the homosexual militants who rioted at a university in Canada in an effort to prevent the late Charles Rice from speaking. The latter instance of coercive “tolerance” impacted me directly because an invitation to speak a year later at the same university was rescinded at the last minute because the same group of radical homosexuals had threatened more violence were I to be allowed to speak on campus. My “crime,” as cited by the coexist fascists, was that I had written a biography of Oscar Wilde, which had not condoned his desertion of his wife and two young sons in his pursuit of the homosexual lifestyle.
The refusal of a large university to allow freedom of speech because of the threat of violence by the storm troopers of “coexistence” is certainly lamentable, to be sure, but it pales in comparison to the present Federal Government’s passing of laws to force employers to finance the killing of babies. The Obama government’s laws not only deny the rights of babies to coexist with their parents but are intolerant of the coexistence of all dissident views, refusing to even acknowledge an employer’s right to any conscientious objection to being forced to become partners in the Government’s crime of legalized infanticide.
The fact is that secular humanists have never really believed in genuine coexistence, as their bloodstained track record illustrates all too clearly. From the Parisian guillotines, the Soviet show trials, the German gas chambers and the Cambodian Killing Fields, their record of intolerance is even worse than that of Islam.
The only genuine foundation for true coexistence is the law of love laid down by Christ. Coexistence can only exist if we genuinely love our neighbour, and, what is more, if we genuinely love our enemy. And, as history all too evidently demonstrates, we will not love our neighbours and enemies unless we first love our God. Godlessness has never led to peace between peoples. If we will not obey the commandments of God, which are voluntary because rooted in our divinely created free will, we will be forced to obey the commandments of Man, which will not be voluntary but coercively enforced. Whereas God might punish us after death for disobeying his commandments, His Mercy notwithstanding, Man punishes us now for disobeying his unjust laws. The choice is between a Father in Heaven or a Big Brother on Earth. The saint and the sinner would be wise to choose the former; only a fool prefers the latter.
And speaking of fools, am I a fool and a hypocrite to be calling my neighbour with the “coexist” bumper sticker a fool and a hypocrite? Should I be looking at the plank in my own eye and ignoring the mote in his? Quite possibly. I feel guilty for judging someone who, in all honesty, I do not even know. But perhaps that is exactly why I’m judging him. If I knew him, I’m fairly sure I would like him better. I might even come to understand why he chooses to put such a sticker on his car. He might even have good reasons for doing so. The problem is that drivers are strangers whom we don’t know personally but can only know in the abstract. It is much easier to condemn someone in the abstract, as it is easier to hate the sin than it is to hate the sinner. Deo gratias!
And yet I can still justifiably call my anonymous enemy in the other car a hypocrite, not because he brandishes a “coexist” sticker on his car but because, right beside it, he also brandishes a sticker proclaiming that “Darwin loves you.” It is with this sticker that my unknown enemy condemns himself. Indeed there is absolutely no need for me or for anyone else to condemn him because he stands self-condemned. He is self-condemned either for being an idiot of for being a hypocrite.
Perhaps I should explain.
If he genuinely believes that Darwin loves me and everyone else, he presumably believes that Darwin is still alive, either in this life or the next, and that he loves everyone. It is akin to saying that Napoleon loves you, or Einstein loves you. It might be true but only if there’s a life after death and only if the deceased gain a greater capacity for love in the after-life than they possessed in the mortal flesh. Somehow I think it difficult to believe that my unknown enemy really put the bumper sticker on his car for this reason. It is far more likely that he put it on his car as an ironic insult to his Christian neighbours who have “Jesus loves you” bumper stickers on their cars. In other words, my unknown acquaintance, I can no longer bring myself to call him an enemy, is deliberately setting out to offend his many Christian neighbours. In doing so, he is showing his true kinship to all those who believe in coercion rather than genuine coexistence. He is, therefore, a hypocrite.
It takes one to know one ….
The saddest thing is that my friend, for as a brother he cannot be my enemy, does not really believe that Darwin loves me or, for that matter, that Darwin loves anyone else. As a champion of Darwinism, he presumably believes that Darwin as a person no longer exists but is nothing more than decomposed biodegradable matter. If this is so, how can Darwin love? He is only matter and therefore doesn’t matter. This is the real tragic belief with which my friend is afflicted. I must remember to pray for him.
Books on the topic of this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.