One look at the lineup of Democrat presidential candidates and I have to wonder what we’re coming to -- is this the best the party can come up with? Really? If the Democrats make up roughly half the population, then why are these people the cream that’s risen to the top? If they’re the top, what on God’s green earth is at the bottom?

What’s at the bottom is thoughtlessness – empty, emotional symbolism hardened into a rock-hard ideology. This lack of thought is foundational to the left. You can’t have curious, inquisitive minds mucking about trying to make sense out of things if none of the goals of your organization is sensible. What they must have is a battalion of ideologues.

That’s an interesting word, ideologue. It’s taken on an unattractive patina over the years. It originated from ideology, a French word that came into use in the 18th century. It meant “the science of ideas.” The word has soured appreciably since then. On the other hand, the word idea is still shiny – we think of ideas as good; every one of the things that make our lives delightful came from someone’s idea.

But some ideas have not been good. I’ll admit to having had hundreds of bad ideas during my life – I have acknowledged that and abandoned the boondoggles when I recognized them (I have many an unfinished project to attest to that). Evidently, not everyone lets go of mistakes. The 20th century stained history with horrific ideas – the leftist agenda alone proudly produced the Third Reich, the murderous Soviet Union, the Chinese massacre of some 60 million of its own citizens, the Vietnam fiasco, the crumbling of Europe, the impoverishing of Cuba,– and now in the 21st century, we’re staring down the starvation of North Korea and Venezuela and the impossibility of the Green New Deal. The amazing thing is that adherence to the leftist credo is still intact – solidified into an impervious, concrete-hard protective shell continuously promoted by fossilized ideologues.

An ideologue is a person who dogmatically defends and promotes demonstrable failures. It’s a form of sclerosis of the mind – a hardening to the extent that logic shrivels into a dried pea of a thing, useless and ugly.  I am sure that if doctors did thermographic images of liberal brains they’d find this little pebble in a vast blank area formerly known as the left lobe.

But is it only leftist ideas that solidify into ideologies that produce wild-eyed ideologues? No. It can happen to any idea that’s false. And how do we know which ideas are false? Evidence, evidence so pronounced that it either has to be studiously ignored or seriously twisted, hidden, distorted. Or, believed.

Right now the hard sciences are in an uproar because the more we learn about our world the clearer it becomes that nothing about it is a random occurrence. Even the simplest cells are micro-cities filled with factories and delivery systems and copying machines. The earth itself is an awesome contraption that circulates water and air, and lends itself to the reproduction of all organisms, often amidst complex inter-species relationships. Science can’t account for the breathtaking beauty and intricacy of all of the Earth’s formations and creatures. Science can’t begin to account for thought. Yet in spite of rapidly mounting evidence to the contrary, the evolutionist digs in and holds on tight, lashing out personally and professionally at those scientists who are breaking rank.

The same is true of the climate change activist. Evidence keeps accumulating that:

1. The earth’s warming has slowed to a crawl,

2. Much of the data produced has been faked, tweaked, and twisted,

3. We’re in a low sunspot era and it’s looking to be a doozy – no sun spots, much less warmth. 

4. And, instead of high CO2 emissions causing rising temperatures, it appears to be causing luxuriant plant growth. Yet, here in Oregon, our government is fighting to impose an economy-killing $.22 per gallon gas tax to ward off global warming. Ideologues are dangerous.

But what about religious beliefs? Even religion should be subjected to the verification requirement -- why would we want to believe something false? Any god worth his salt would leave a trail of evidence. As a Christian I have no trouble lining up the historical/archeological substantiation for the claims made by the doctrines of my faith. It isn’t blind. Even the Resurrection stands the test of logical reality (See the writings of J. Warner Wallace or Lee Strobel). Christians have no need to harden into belligerent, dangerous ideologues. We don’t have to kill those who disagree with us. We don’t need to rape their daughters or knife them in the streets. Ironically, the existence of those who do these things merely verifies the Christian doctrine of original sin and the teachings about idolatry.

In fact. idolatry is a major contributor to the current plague of ideologues. We have made idols out of celebrity, of wealth, of movements (Antifa, Pro-choice, even the Earth itself) and if we can’t achieve whatever we think demonstrates the approbation of these gods we become desperate and frozen, unable to crawl out of the hole we have dug for ourselves. Democrats have made such shibboleth of Trump’s Russian collusion, that even in the face of complete exoneration, they can’t let go – partly because they have always known it wasn’t true. Our craven need for the approval of these demigods turns us into mental statues incapable of movement or curiosity much like what happened to the characters in Narnia who were turned into statuary by the White Witch.

The most dangerous idolatry of all is the leftists’ tendency to idolize themselves. They shut their eyes to the clearly present God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and place their own puny selves on the altar and then run around trying desperately to prove that they’re deserving of that position. Virtue signaling has become a plague on our society. The worshippers of self don’t care at all if their “good” deeds actually accomplish an alleviation of suffering, in fact their actions can, for all they care, actually make things worse -- note the homeless problem as an example.  They just want their “compassion” duly noted and photographed.

But they will defend to the death (of someone else, not themselves) their right to draft their own rules for living, allowing any activity they find pleasure in and denouncing anything that chips away at their turtled shells of self-righteousness. I suspect that it is this fear of being deshelled and exposed as the reprobates they are that makes them so hate Donald Trump; he is the symbol of all of us who continue to place God, country, and family above ourselves. If Trump continues winning, they lose not only political power, but the power to believe in their unicorn fairytale; they will have to face the fact that nothing they’ve based their lives on is true. They will have to admit that they’ve been loons.

Deana Chadwell is an adjunct professor and department head at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon.  She teaches writing and public speaking.

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