Reimagining the Secular Fairytale
We are frequently harangued about “reimagining” whatever it is the left wants to destroy -- reimagine sexuality, policing, education, elections. For me, “imagining” is for fairytales, for Tolkeinish worlds of orcs, hobbits, and magic rings, for Narnia and Cair Paravel. It’s not for public policy, not for laws and regulations that can adversely affect millions of real, flesh-and-blood people. Our nation is suffering mightily under fantastical decisions made by people who either don’t know what they’re doing, or do know and don’t care; they’re too busy imagining their own wealth and power.
I’d like to turn the tables on this make-believe, pie-in-the-sky rip-off and do a different kind of “imagining.” I’d like to explore a different tack -- one that hasn’t been in effect for quite a while -- in fact, has rarely in human history been tried. Let’s imagine….
What, for instance, would happen if we -- at least, say a quarter of us, actually saw God as an absolute reality? Not as one of many “religious” options, but as the reality of realities, as the one Being that exists outside of time, outside of space, Who is actually the Inventor of those two dimensions. What if our days were filled with wonder -- wonder at the amazing minuteness of creation, at the immensity of the universe, at the beauty and efficacy of all that He has made? This shouldn’t be hard to do; science is discovering daily new evidence that this is so. Our own observations -- the hummingbirds at the feeder, the glories of the sunrise, the thunderous power of the weather -- should at least make us ponder. Surely the ability of all animal life to “see” is a miracle, the complexity of reproduction, the glories of gemstones found buried in the earth, the wonders of a seed -- doesn’t all that at least give us pause?
What would life be like if daily we were aware of the presence of this God, if we remembered, now and then, the necessity and the sacrifice of the crucifixion? What would happen if we lived in a wash of gratitude? Would our children dose themselves with Fentanyl? Would they riot in the streets? Kill their babies? I doubt it. But we have systematically taught them that God isn’t, that the planet is dying, that all is hopeless. We have taught them that man is the ultimate good, but is also destroying nature so many of us must die. We have taught them that there is no truth except for the truth that there is no truth. What would they be like if they knew God’s plan for this world, if they knew they were the creation of that God, if they knew that He loves them -- personally, individually, eternally?
What would it be like if generation after generation we taught our children these wonderful things? What would happen to those children who grew up taking time each week to pay homage to such a God? What would happen if those children were taught the lessons that God laid out for them? Wouldn’t those children grow up to love and adore the parents that gave them that legacy? Would some kids run amok? Yes, but not nearly as many as plague our society today.
What would happen if, instead of glorifying killing with pro-abortion propaganda, with violent games, with “entertainment” that features torture and death, we revered each life that God created, if we recognized that each person is a work of art -- a unique marvel with a purpose, a plan, and a world of opportunities? What if we realized that we seldom have the moral right to take that from another person? Why aren’t we raising our children to understand that?
What if we also revered marriage and worked at making each union fruitful and fabulous? What if we tied marriage back to the original Adam-and-Eve scenario? What if we saw each wedding as a celebration of grand opportunity? What if we saw it as also designed and produced by the same God who made us? What if we saw each child as a holy gift? Let’s imagine a society where a man and woman seriously work together on this third entity -- the marriage -- as if it were a palace they were building. Why not? Biblically speaking, we have the information we need to make that happen -- so why don’t we live that way?
What if, in our societal rulebook, we learn to despise envy and jealousy? It seems that just the opposite oozes out of our textbooks and classrooms, even out of many of our churches. What if, instead of mere namby-pamby tolerance, we inculcate students with an understanding that the best human beings are those who help others succeed? Why can’t we all practice gratitude for the good fortune of others? Would we even need prohibitions about theft or infidelity?
Okay. Yes, we would because human nature is seriously flawed and at any given time in history there have existed millions of individuals who, out of the perversity of their own souls, refuse to think in the ways I’ve just outlined. We’ve made laws pertaining to some of that thinking. We’ve outlawed murder and stealing and violence of all kinds, but the laws themselves only benefit society when they’re enforced. And general morality only works to create peace and prosperity when we mostly agree on what is and is not moral.
What would happen if a substantive portion of our society favored the Golden Rule and personally (not governmentally) practiced it without hesitancy, without judgment, without hope of reward? What would happen if we, generally speaking, attempted to love God and our fellow man? If we worked at treating people better than they deserve?
We all know that nothing bad would happen. We all know society would be kinder, more loving, more relaxed. Some would balk at being held morally responsible for their failures here, but not holding each other responsible doesn’t seem to be producing a more viable social fabric, either. Our crime rates are skyrocketing, we have the homeless clogging our streets, and elections we can’t count on (no pun intended).
We can learn from history -- as did our Founding Fathers -- what kind of government works and what decidedly doesn’t work. That’s not hard to do. None of our current problems are unsolvable. We can clean up elections. We can let parents choose the schools their kids attend. We can build the wall and drill for oil. We can prosecute criminals. We can stop spending money we don’t have. This isn’t rocket science. What would happen if we just did those things?
Thinking people know that we’re up against something bigger and more sinister than we’ve ever faced. We’re up against truly satanic forces. But we have directions from the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, and following His lead will pull us back from the edge of doom.
Deana Chadwell is an adjunct professor and department head at Pacific Bible College https://pacificbible.edu in southern Oregon. She teaches writing, logic, and literature. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.