Falling Dominoes: Enforcing Silence

This is the first in an irregular series that will continue the ideas I expressed long ago in my post It’s Not The Fall That Kills You. It will cover various ways that society, the church or various institutions are starting to fall apart. In that post I compared the collapse of society with lines of dominoes toppling, one after another. Here is a snippet of that explanation:

Many people seem to expect that there will be some kind of “collapse”, or catastrophic event which marks “the Decline,” or perhaps its culmination. This is proceeded usually by a period of free-fall which may be what most think of in terms of “the Decline.”

Instead Ace provides us with an analogy which highlights that the Decline is a series of discrete events, each of which when triggered will fall and potentially trigger another event. The sheer complexity of the situation is too much for a single line of dominoes, instead we are talking about lines and lines of dominoes, linking around and intermixing with one another, all connected by a myriad of pathways. So even a few dominoes being toppled will quickly lead to line after line being set into motion; before long matters will quickly spiral out of control. Everything will topple.

Today’s post addresses a subject that a few others have addressed before, although I aim to explore it in a somewhat different light: the enforcement of “anti-discrimination” laws so as to require Christians to engage in conduct they otherwise would not want to engage in. Most recently this has focused on bakeries owned or operated by Christians who have been asked to cater for same-sex unions.

Now, others have examined whether Christians ought to refuse or not before, with Deep Strength’s post on the subject being a good example. But that is not my focus. Whether or not Christians should refuse or not isn’t what concerns me. Rather, what I am concerned with is “anti-discrimination” laws in the first place, and the enforcement regime they create.

As I see it, such laws (at least when the subject of homosexuality is concerned) have two greater and generally under the radar purposes-

The first is social affirmation. Protecting something means that is has value; this can apply to behavior or identity or some combination thereof. Anti-discrimination laws (in this context) give those they “protect” a sense of validation that essentially allows them to feel good about themselves.

The second, and ultimately more important purpose, is to squelch any public expression of Christian orthodoxy when it comes to homosexuality. However, refusing to recognize homosexual behavior is only among the first aspects of the Faith belief to be targeted. It won’t end there.

I won’t mince any words here. The goal, the long term goal, is to criminalize any outward signs of orthodox Christian beliefs. Anything that is an orthodox Christian belief will be targeted if it conflicts with modernist sensibilities. Nothing is sacred, and nothing is safe. In fact, it won’t stop there. Christians may well be affirmatively required in some circumstances to express views that conflict with core tenets of the Faith.

I called this particular post “Enforcing Silence” because silencing Christians is the main goal. But even silence may not be enough for some. Those who refuse to parrot acceptable slogans might will find themselves under suspicion. Christians who hold to orthodox beliefs will find it increasingly difficult, as time passes, to work within the general confines of society. Their silence will not be overlooked.

Ultimately, I suspect that those who hold to orthodoxy will have to isolate themselves from greater society. Think the Amish. While it may not be enforced at the point of a gun, it will be the only way to be safe from the intrusions of the State. Of course, this might well only work for a time. The Amish have been tolerated for some time, and those who join them in isolated Christian communities might be tolerated as well. But modernists (and especially SJWs) are relentless and totalitarian. There is a very good chance that they would turn their eyes upon those communities given enough time, and without other, more pressing distractions. The real question is whether the system will last that long.

As for how this ties in to falling dominoes? Well, every time such a law is enacted a domino falls. Every time one is enforced a domino falls. Every time a Christian is forced to close his or her business, or cannot voice their beliefs, another domino topples.

The acceptance, by many Christians Churchians, of these kinds of laws, is a demonstration of just how many dominoes have toppled already. Things are already so far gone most Christians fail to see the situation for what it is. And even if they could, many would still choose to love the world, and not God.

Where is this heading? Well, the past (especially the earliest days of the Church) holds some clues. But things are somewhat different, and I might, in another post, explore why the future will not be a repeat of the past.

[Apologies for the roughness of this post. Some of the ideas are still not crystal clear in my head, but I felt that it was important to get this post out sooner, rather than later. Hopefully the comments will provide needed clarity and expansion of thought.]

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27 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, Civilization, Sin, The Church, Tradition

27 responses to “Falling Dominoes: Enforcing Silence

  1. KP

    Eventually, though, some of the rougher ones among us will make a decision, will cross this particular bridge: if we have nothing to lose, why not start shooting some of our antagonists? And by “shooting” I mean literally.

    This is the outcome I truly fear… and expect.

  2. Feminine But Not Feminist

    The goal, the long term goal, is to criminalize any outward signs of orthodox Christian beliefs. Anything that is an orthodox Christian belief will be targeted if it conflicts with modernist sensibilities. Nothing is sacred, and nothing is safe.

    If Hillary Clinton becomes our next President (God forbid!), she most likely will find some way to make this happen:

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/hillary-clinton-religious-beliefs-that-oppose-abortion-have-to-be-changed

    But modernists (and especially SJWs) are relentless and totalitarian.

    I’ve seen this “SJW” thing referenced a few times, but never with an explanation of what it stands for. Will someone please tell me what SJW is? Thank you. And yes I know, I live under a rock.

  3. Novaseeker

    SJW = “social justice warrior”. In other words, progressive social activists.

    I think that what will happen is that religious expression will become exclusively private, and expression of any religious sentiment, or religiously-based idea, in a “public” setting (workplace, school, public discourse, political discourse) will be socially not tolerated, and punished fairly severely according to the setting (not necessarily institutional punishment … it can be social punishment as well). Most people will accept this because they will go along to get along. And also, as we saw in the recent PEW research, the percentage of religious believers is shrinking anyway, such that in a few decades we really will be thought of as being a group of outlier, extremist nutters who really don’t deserve any rights other than the ability to practice our extremism in isolated private spaces and in ways that have no spillover to any other contexts. Essentially a kind of “quarantine” system for lepers. That’s what I see happening.

  4. Feminine But Not Feminist

    SJW = “social justice warrior”. In other words, progressive social activists.

    Ah, ok. Thank you Novaseeker! 😊

  5. Nova-

    You are probably correct. If you can find a small faith group to start some kind of Amish style community, you may able to perform marriages and other ceremonies within the boundary of your compound. It will be more or less illegal to allow that to spill out. We will be considered no different from Jim Jones or David Koresh.

    http://westernphilosophyeasternfaith.blogspot.com/2015/05/isolate-and-withdraw-or-stand-and-fight.html

  6. mdavid

    I’m a little baffled at all the panic myself. US Christians have had lots of benefits over the recent years (tax breaks, public holidays, moral laws prohibiting prostitution, gambling). For the majority, life is good. If not, it sucks. Sheese, American Catholics were severely persecuted, including jobs, property theft, even put to death by other Christian denominations. This modern stuff? There is nothing to see here, merely democracy in action.

    The situation in the USA for the last 200 years has been very unusual; the culture still was close enough to European RC unity (on marriage, family, church) that Christians remained unified on the big issues. Well, now Christian division on moral issues has become large, and SJW have the handle. This is normal and predictable, not something to freak out about.

    Look how the US laws have evolved: first, Christmas was outlawed as an evil RC holiday. Then enough RC got here to make it a federal public holiday. Then, birth control was legalized as Christians became liberal on the issue. Then abortion. Now homosexuality. This is as it should be, majority rules. Read the polls. This is the will of the public.

    The solution? Take the Mormon approach (who also have been persecuted by Christians on marriage) or the RC approach from the 1800s and live near each other, hire each other, and circle the wagons, and expect persecution. That’s how it’s always been. And it’s how Christians have treated each other in the US from the beginning. Yawn.

  7. @mdavid

    Look how the US laws have evolved: first, Christmas was outlawed as an evil RC holiday. Then enough RC got here to make it a federal public holiday. Then, birth control was legalized as Christians became liberal on the issue. Then abortion. Now homosexuality. This is as it should be, majority rules. Read the polls. This is the will of the public.

    I’m not clear on the point you’re trying to make here because it seems to be incongruent with the rest of your comments’ usual Roman Catholic pride.

    You have drawn a line of the will of the public with special interest on the growing segment of those same people who are Roman Catholic. Likewise, in other recent comments you have repeatedly bragged about the growth of Roman Catholic membership. But then look at the points along the line you have drawn:

    1. America is settled by Protestant Europeans
    2. Protestant Europeans outlaw Christmas
    3. Catholic Europeans arrive
    4. Christmas becomes widely celebrated as Cats convert Prots to Xmas celebrations
    5. Cats and Xmas celebrations grow in enough numbers to get Xmas federalized
    6. The growth of Cats brings with it liberalization of society and Xianity as a whole
    7. Liberalization introduces acceptance of birth control, abortion, and homosexuality[1]

    Why did you not mention that celebrations of Xmas and saints have become so normalized now that Americans produce and consume almost solely an Xmas diet of popular media centered on a magical fat saint and snowflakes? While I admit that such would (likewise) detract from the sensibility of RC pride, it would fit nicely in your chain of calamities that have befallen the US since the arrival and growth of Catholic Europeans.

    The point here is that the problems with Roman Catholicism is Roman Catholics; just as the problems with Evangelicalism is Evangelicals; etc. It would be much more constructive for each of us to focus on the work needed where we currently are instead of throwing out self-refuting assertions about how the other team led your team astray.

    [1] Problems of which can be traced directly back to either Roman Catholic teachings and/or institutions; population control of the poor, RC seminary culture, etc.

  8. mdavid

    CC, other recent comments you have repeatedly bragged about the growth of Roman Catholic membership.

    Quote once I have “bragged” about RC. Hint: factual statements about demographics necessary for the point I’m making is not bragging. You clearly have problems with RC and are projecting this onto me.

    My point was and is clear: Whomever has the majority vote has the handle, and to discuss the future we need to know who is in the majority and why. Today, the self-described US “unafilliated” outnumber RC for the first time in a long time. Hence, expect the US laws to become more liberal and SJW to get control of things as Christians are divided and liberalized on moral issues. Sorry if this reality bothers you.

    Why did you not mention that celebrations of Xmas and saints have become so normalized now that Americans produce and consume almost solely an Xmas diet of popular media centered on a magical fat saint and snowflakes?

    LOL. Why would I mention anything no applicable to my point? My point was clear, that majority rules in a Republic and Christians (who have done their share of persecuting themselves) should expect this and not be shocked. As I said, you clearly have issues. If you wish to address something I’ve said, and not something you think I’ve said that you’ve got a hard-on about, go for it. Otherwise, you are just making a fool of yourself.

    Mormons are the best example of my point. Their peaceful and working polygamy was viciously banned by Christians merely because they could. Well, guess what, now SJW are going to do the same thing to Christians. Take a lesson from Mormons and band together and get the vote out. But it’s hardly a time to panic. Opps, now I’m sure you will start freaking out about how evil Mormons are instead of RC and accuse me of bragging abuot them..

  9. @mdavid

    Quote once I have “bragged” about RC. Hint: factual statements about demographics necessary for the point I’m making is not bragging.

    Dressing up boasts as (self-refuting) factual statements about demographics does not change their nature nor intent.

    My point was clear, that majority rules in a Republic and Christians (who have done their share of persecuting themselves) should expect this and not be shocked.

    Yes, I understood that. I also understood that (according to your chain of events) as the majority became less Protestant, more Catholic, and more accepting of Catholic ideas, the republic became more liberal.

    You clearly have problems with RC and are projecting this onto me.

    Suppose, for the sake of argument, that is true: If you are RC, then it’s not projecting. One must conclude that you are jettisoning your RC-ness here for the sake of appearing aloof. Like your self-refuting point about the growth and acceptance of Catholics, Catholic ideas, and liberalism, you don’t know what you’re saying except that, to your ears, it sounds likely to put you above it all.

    See, this is why it would be better for you to concentrate on fixing your own patch of ground.

    But I don’t have problems with the RC in general because I am not one. Nor do I have problems with every individual RCs. Those who uphold the good and rebuke the evil get no bother from me, and in fact get my support; our host included.

    Mormons are the best example of my point. […] Take a lesson from Mormons and band together and get the vote out.

    More of this; less of the other.

    Opps [sic], now I’m sure you will start freaking out about how evil Mormons are instead of RC and accuse me of bragging abuot them..

    You’ll need to throw better chaff if you want to distract me.

  10. I completely agree with you here. There is a chain of events that have been set into motion, not unlike many rows of falling dominos. We can see how some of it progresses, the cause and effect that has been set into play in hundreds of different ways.

    Just the same we are reminded to rejoice and be of good cheer some two hundred times in scripture, and to also to take heart, for Christ has overcome the world. The ride might get bumpy, but victory is already assured.

  11. feeriker

    I won’t mince any words here. The goal, the long term goal, is to criminalize any outward signs of orthodox Christian beliefs. Anything that is an orthodox Christian belief will be targeted if it conflicts with modernist sensibilities. Nothing is sacred, and nothing is safe. In fact, it won’t stop there. Christians may well be affirmatively required in some circumstances to express views that conflict with core tenets of the Faith.

    A good thing, this. The catalyst that will separate the wheat from the chaff (i.e., Christians from churchians).

  12. happyhen11

    Good post Donal.

    Here are a few articles from Fr. Stephen Freeman about the recent issues, marriage, suffering, the declining culture and it’s open hostility, and our reaction to it. I think you and your readers will enjoy his insight and observations.

    https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory2godforallthings/2015/05/05/marriage-as-a-lifetime-of-suffering/

    https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory2godforallthings/2015/05/08/getting-back-up/

    And this one because it is so incredibly challenging to me… I struggle every time I read it. The quote from Ivan Karamazov and what it really means in our lives is gut wrenching.
    https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory2godforallthings/2012/11/15/from-mud-to-light-the-saving-work-of-christ/

  13. “The second, and ultimately more important purpose, is to squelch any public expression of Christian orthodoxy when it comes to homosexuality. ”

    Note this is by intimidation, not persecution. If unimportant Christians in an unremarkable area get attacked and the journal entire world makes a spectacle of it, they create the illusion that Christians everywhere are in imminent danger of the same fate.

    You always hear about the one plane that crashes, not the fifty thousand that didn’t. The media Elites have latched onto that as a tactic. Keeping perspective when browsing the headlines is not only important, it’s become an actual skill.

    “Ultimately, I suspect that those who hold to orthodoxy will have to isolate themselves from greater society. Think the Amish.”

    Scott @ 1:33am:
    “If you can find a small faith group to start some kind of Amish style community, you may able to perform marriages and other ceremonies within the boundary of your compound.”

    The fact that God’s enemies have and are still allowing the Amish types to live in peace is tragic. Those guys are so ineffective at the Great Commission, so tolerant of other peoples’ evil, so deliberately nonthreatening, that the Devil has been content to be their neighbor for centuries. The absence of suffering is not a mark of divine favor.

    Moreover, this is exactly how the Protestant world collapsed. Don’t give offense. Look after ourselves. Don’t tell others how to live.

    And from the practical perspective, isolated communities are the easiest targets. I understand the appeal of safe communities to parents but walling up is actually counterproductive.

    What both my points have in common is that the Enemy is currently using mind games on us. Americans are too well-armed for the Soviet-gulag model so they want to scare Christianity into giving up, going away or falling silent. Any of those outcomes will prevent us from regrouping. Believe it or not, the Elites are vulnerable right now. The costs of their depravity are becoming known; they must conceal the Christian alternative to their Brave New World or people will return to Christ.

    Therefore, live where your family has contact with unbelievers, that you can show on the personal level what the Godless State doesn’t want them to see. Salt of the earth and all that. (But keep homeschooling, of course. Engage on your terms, not theirs.)

  14. feeriker

    My point was clear, that majority rules in a Republic …

    Not to be pedantic, but no. Majority rules in a democracy (a.k.a. “rule by the mob”; not the same thing at all as a republic), which is a massive part of the problem.

  15. Happy Hen-

    There are some heros out there writing and contemplating some pretty heavy stuff like Freeman. Also Fr. Patrick Reardon (Indianna) has begun refusing to sign marriage licenses. Another, Fr. Joseph Gleason (Antiochian/Western Rite) is reading the tea leaves correctly also.

    It is a mess.

    Are you Orthodox?

    Donal–these guys are Catholic, which as you know I am not. But I am liking what I have read on their site so far. Have you heard of them?

    http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/

  16. mdavid

    Scott, Fr. Patrick Reardon (Indianna) has begun refusing to sign marriage licenses.

    I looked up Fr. Reardon’s audio; thanks for that. His talk is interesting. He covered how EO handled marriage under Muslim and Soviet situations (this is similar to the Braveheart situation for RC). But he also talks on how he would be willing to not file a marriage with the state even for economic reasons. Neat, a complete pullback from the state on marriage.

    In an interesting twist, the priest performs the sacrament in EO, while in the RCC the couple does. Because of this, RC couples have an interesting option to avoid telling anyone. It will be interesting as things unfold. The RC church already got out of the adoption business due to law, so we know they will take action if pushed. Personally, I can’t wait for things to heat up.

  17. happyhen11

    Yes Scott, we converted to Orthodoxy from protestantism many years ago. I totally understand your posts on being in a small community oriented parish as that is where we have been for the majority of our Orthodox life and are members of now.

    Yes, there are many powerful thinkers and writers out there now. Father Freeman’s book Everywhere Present is excellent and his blog posts are always challenging and enlightening.

    Father Pat, God grand him many many years! If I ever need a good butt kicking as well as a well thought out sermon, Father Pat Reardon is where I go. (I listen to a lot of Ancient Faith Radio.) I listened to Father Pat’s podcast interview concerning his decision to stop being an agent of the State of Illinois and no longer signing marriage licenses and he held nothing back. It was heartening and also a bit shocking to hear an Orthodox priest be so utterly and unapologeticly BLUNT. Refreshing.

  18. Happy Hen-

    If you are on FB, look up “Large Orthodox Family” (Group page).

    It is amazing how many in that group are converts, not cradle Orthodox. And they all have 6, 7, 8 (even 9 and 11) kids. The converts outnumber the cradles by about a 7:1 ratio.

    And most of them are of the prepper/homeschool variety if you know what I mean.

    Mdavid–if there is one thing both Orthodox and RC with 2000 years of sacramental theology/tradition on marriage can agree on (that protestants dont have) is “marriage” was not redefined by the word gay being placed in front of it. It was obliterated a long time ago. Both Frs Reardon and Freeman are saying that now.

  19. mdavid

    One more important point on this post: while the LDS & Amish are great US models to follow, the history of Poland under the USSR is fairly recent and illuminating too. Basically, they brought down Communism that wasn’t afraid to kill and torture merey by religious unity (via unifiying on a strong religious leader, in this case the pope). The unity was so complete (97% I read once) the guards were terrified to shoot or have mobs rip them apart limb from limb.

    This sort of thing is only possible with real cultural, religious, and econmic unity, much like the Amish have today. With unity comes success, and with disunity and “freedom” come eventual slavery. It’s actually pretty funny. The reason the Amish don’t pay into Social Security and can employ children in violation of federal law (ah, religious exemptions!) is because no pol dares to challenge them as they vote as a block under their bishops and have big families to generate the voting pool (US RC had this 200 years ago as well before they went native protestant). Personally I don’t think modern American Chrisitans, with their rabid individualism, can unify, regardless of denomination (culture leads religion here) or how painful it gets for them. Would love to be wrong.

    So my prediction is that SJW will keep the handle. It’s like the classic monkey trap: American Christians won’t let go of their religious individualism and will thus lose their political power…even with massive numbers of self-identified “Christians” that should terrify pols. Clearly, these people aren’t “Christians”…or the word has no real meaning whatsoever if they are. Who says Christ doesn’t have a sense of humor? He always makes the punishment fit the crime perfectly, and makes it self-inflicted. I’m thinking of His last prayer that His followers “be one” and getting a chuckle. Ah, justice.

  20. mdavid

    Scott, Mdavid–if there is one thing both Orthodox and RC with 2000 years of sacramental theology/tradition on marriage can agree on (that protestants dont have) is “marriage” was not redefined by the word gay being placed in front of it. It was obliterated a long time ago.

    I get your drift (I think); the State has no interest in sacramental marriage.

    But to clarify, RCs believe protestants do have a valid sacramental marriage if a) baptized, b) believed the marriage was forever with no exception for divorce, c) are open to life, and d) willingly consumated it. If any was missing, RCs believe nothing happened (no matter what the priest said). That means RC think many protestants have sacramental marriages (and many RC/EO don’t). I understand the EO have a very different view of sacramental marriage, and thus rightfully don’t accept any marriage except EO as sacramentally valid. But you would know better than I; EO bishops disagree with each other so there is no way for an outsider to know what’s what.

  21. Novaseeker

    I’m not aware of any Orthodox bishop who would say that any sacramental act outside the Orthodox Church is valid or invalid — it isn’t terminology the Orthodox use. Normally the question is whether there is grace present in the action, and there again I’m not aware of any Orthodox bishop saying that grace definitively exists in sacramental acts that occur outside the Orthodox Church — be it baptism, Eucharist, marriage, etc. Where there are differences are in the praxis of “what to do with someone who comes from church X and wants to enter Orthodoxy?”. In praxis there are different approaches used by different Orthodox churches, and even different bishops, when it comes to exercising their “ekonomia” in terms of deciding how people should be received. In my experience it is generally pointed out to the persons who are going through this that the act of reception chosen by the bishop does not imply any statement about the grace, or lack thereof, in the prior sacramental acts that were outside the Orthodox Church. This doesn’t make sense to Catholics, who look at it as a question of “valid or not” — kind of a yes/no question. Orthodoxy doesn’t take that kind of a view as to the presence or absence of grace outside the Orthodox Church per se — although, again, there are differences in how bishops and churches may decide to receive people.

    It also can be very individualized.

    When I was received into the Orthodox Church, it happened very quickly indeed. The priest told me that this was because I was a special case in that I was a known commodity in the local Eastern Catholic and Orthodox communities, and the bishop was comfortable that I was sufficiently catechized. Nevertheless, I was received (as was my wife) by chrismation, as is the normal way that the church which received me receives people who have been baptized in an act outside the Orthodox Church. My son, who had been initiated as an Eastern Catholic and never was RC (unlike me and my wife, who were both cradle RC) was not chrismated but was instead received at the chalice. Per the bishop this was because the “form” of his initiation in the Melkite Church was fully Orthodox, so it was not necessary to repeat any of it. None of that implied a different opinion about whether our Catholic sacramental life had grace or not — it was just how he decided to receive each of us as a matter of form. Our marriage was not reaffirmed — it was simply made Orthodox and accepted by means of our chrismation and the subsequent communion.

  22. happyhen11

    Exactly Nova. Your experience is ours as well.

    I too think reception into the church is another good example and was going to mention it but you did such a wonderful job, I can add nothing to that.

    We were married Orthodox after our reception into the Church but were never taught our marriage was better or more grace filled or really anything compared to any other marriage regardless of religion. We just felt blessed to be married in the Church and experience that mystery.

    The term mystery has always been preferable to me personally due to the theology of theosis in our Church. I think this goes hand in hand with what you are saying concerning what our Church teaches on “where” grace is and also the fact that we don’t limit what God can use as a vehicle for His grace. I can imagine all that seemly untidy and nebulousness of thought can be a bit frustrating to outsiders or the newly illumined who simply want to know “the rules.” I know, I was there many years ago. I had to unlearn a great deal.

  23. Jim

    > Anything that is an orthodox Christian belief will be targeted if it conflicts with modernist sensibilities.

    Luckily for you, Jesus’ beliefs (not talking about Paul’s) are mostly modernist sensibilities – equality of humanity to a fault, not a sparrow falls, give one of your coats, don’t break a bruised reed, accept slaps, blah blah blah.

    [DG: I should have expected a heretical response to this post. Gotta love the casual dismissal of Paul though. As if he wasn’t one of the first ones spreading the Gospel. Kinda funny how those silly early Christians didn’t see any contradiction between what he was saying and what Jesus said in the Gospels, don’t you think?]

  24. Pingback: Yet Another Domino… | Donal Graeme

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