by Fay Voshell 6/21/15
We used to use terms like “phony,” “fraud” and “con artist” to describe people who pretended to be something they weren’t. How times have changed.
Who knew liars and charlatans like Rachel Dolezal, a white who, as the entire world now knows, self-identifies as black, would be applauded as brave and virtuous? Evidently she will star in her own “reality” show.
The truth is that people like Dolezal get away with fraud because a powerful minority of left-leaning Americans believes in and assiduously promotes self- divinization as advocated by Karl Marx, among others. Marx wrote about the necessity of revolt against the idea that human beings are created by and dependent on God:
“Philosophy makes no secret of it. The confession of Prometheus, ‘In a word, I hate all the gods,’ is its own confession, its own verdict against all gods heavenly and earthly who do not acknowledge human self-consciousness as the supreme deity. There shall be none beside it.”
To unpack Marx a bit, we are now seeing people like Dolezal — and her tribe is increasing daily — are the damaged fruit grown from the root belief that human beings have a godlike, innate capacity to decide who or what they are regardless of empirical reality verifiable by observation or experience. The belief in the infallibility of “human self-consciousness” is spreading like the proverbial wildfire.
For extremists who believe in the supremacy of soul-feeling over empirical science, a person’s intuition is seen as an infallible indicator of that person’s identity, springing as it does from one’s inner genius allied to some sort of natal star. Any demands for rational explanation, any requests for verification of claims, or any questionings of a human god’s flawlessly immaculate self-conception are not permitted.
Thus, mantras suffice to overrule rational dialogue: “You can be anything you want to be;” or, “I was destined for this;” or, “My true identity is female despite the fact I was born male.” “I identify as black, although born white.”
To put it another way, “I am a god.”
The new so-called intellectuals supporting the infallibility of the inner light are turning Descartes’ famous phrase, “I think, therefore I am,” on its head. The trendy philosophical stance is now, “I am who I think I am.”
Those familiar with the Old Testament will note “I am who I think I am” comes very close to God’s announcement to Moses that he is “I am that I am.”
Becoming divine is exhilarating, for one may even join a pantheon of those who are not only divinely enlightened as to their identity, but who also are infallibly aligned with an inevitable historical process that involves the fundamental transformation of society. The historical process is discerned by an elite who, like you, have a secret knowledge of who they really are and of how things ought to be and should be progressing toward. A cabal of the divinely enlightened — that may include you! — has godly authority to enlighten, guide and control us mere mortals.
The idea of a divine inner light that is an infallible guide to human identity and a measure of the right to rule the earth is not new. It is a concept necessary for authoritarianism, and is particularly associated with the divine right of rulers, past and/or present.
The concept of an inner genius that imbued the individual or a governing class with divine powers was present in ancient Rome — and long before that. The paterfamilias, head of the Roman household, expected his family to honor his genius, genius being a spiritual double granting divine authority. But as the emperor Augustus was to supernaturally, yet very conveniently and pragmatically, discern, his genius was worthy not just of familial honor, but also of public veneration and worship. Augustus’ establishment of what amounted to emperor worship was a basis for the later idea of the divine rights of kings. The inner genius of the emperor was intuitive, but considered infallible and therefore irrefutable. It also meant there could be no rival gods. Hence the severe persecution of Christians throughout almost the entirety of the time Roman emperors demanded worship as gods. Hence the persecution of Christians in America who resist the divinely ordained decrees of the almighty State that demand their faith and beliefs must give way to a new transformative order intuited by the governing gods.
One chief difficulty with the concept that one’s inner light is an infallible guide to identity and divinity is the distinct possibility that consulting only one’s inner light can lead to insanity and evil.
Hebrew prophets, including Jesus Christ, warned the human heart is infallibly corrupted and that what arises from the inner being is often vile. But the possibility that one’s inner genius is capable of corruption and, therefore, not necessarily an unfaultable, pure indicator of human identity is not even considered by those who believe in the infallibility of the inner light. New time leftist ideologues believe that what one feels one’s self to be is not subject to any judgment at all, as the inner self is basically good and pure. That is why some among the Left as well as some among the deluded Right have completely embraced Dolezal’s fraudulent and exploitative posturing as a goddess who can change her race at will. What she feels herself to be is considered more inerrant than the practical observation by the prophet Jeremiah that no one can by mere thinking change the color of his skin.
Philadelphia’s well intentioned Quakers found out the hard way that leaving a person completely alone with only his inner light to consult could result in extreme and poisonous consequences. The Quakers’ new penitentiary system, founded in the nineteenth century, was exemplified by Eastern State Penitentiary. Each prisoner was to be kept in total isolation. No communication with any human being was allowed. The idea was that everyone, no matter how incorrigible, had a spark of the divine within his soul. Complete solitude would enable even inveterate criminals to ignite that inner spark of the divine, which in turn would enable rehabilitation and re-entry into normal society. In reality, the system’s radical enforcement of complete solitude, including torture for any infraction of the rule of silence, meant that some inmates went stark, raving mad.
The Quakers’ experiment revealed that the consultation of one’s inner self without outside reference or constraints, with nothing to measure one’s self against, could produce distorted human beings who became certifiably mad. Self-proclaimed gods can turn out to be a Caligula or a Jim Jones.
Just as bad as the fact consulting the inner light can result in the exhibition of mad or corrupt behavior is the fact that the newly minted gods believe themselves to be entitled to demand obeisance from us mere mortals.
We mere everyday humans must bow down and worship the deities among us. We must change human discourse to reflect the belief system of those with unique divine rights. The new linguistic framework is to become a new and universal liturgy spoken and written by all of humanity. The new liturgy must be recited lest the gods are offended. No questions are to be asked, no doubts expressed. Old ways of thinking must be eliminated.
Whereas once the royal “We” was used by royalty in addressing lower classes, who in turn were to use terms like “Your Majesty,” and “You Highness;” now the ordinary human being must inquire as to how the new gods would like to be addressed — What would “He” or “She” like to be addressed as? Please help us to pick the right form of address, the right pronouns, lest we offend and are subject to just punishment.
The uneducated masses must also be taught to honor the gods. The new mythology of the new pantheon must be taught to children, disabusing them of the old fairy tales found in such books as the Bible, which erroneously teaches that God created humans as male and female — and as mortal creatures. New shrines dedicated to the gods must be erected, including the retrofitting of bathrooms to acknowledge their elevated status.
The new gods are also determined to put to death the law as Western civilization has previously known it. The elevation of intuition to infallibility means that any outside objective measure of perversion or corruption is instantaneously invalidated. The new beings now must have absolute authority over the law. The individual genius reigns supreme and is more authoritative than any ecclesiastical or secular authority; and in fact has the inherent right to modify, and ultimately to crush any institution that stands in its way, be it the Church, educational institutions, or institutions of the law.
Further, since the only teacher of the human being is the divinized self, there is no possibility of doing wrong. All can be justified by godlike intuition. Sin is abolished, and any institution that would rebuke or constrain the individual is to be modified or destroyed. All institutions must bow to the gods, be they in the form of transgenders, reversers of race, transabled — or any other godlike form.
Anything that stands in the way of self will, of the divine autonomy of the individual must be destroyed. Even the police must be destroyed — all authority must go because authority places restraint on the gods’ individual expression. That is why Baltimore’s Marilyn Mosby could say with a straight face, concerning the rioters who were ravaging their own city, “We also gavethose who wished to destroy space to do that as well.” She meant the rioters should be given room to destroy, as their feelings of rage were legitimate and should not be restrained. The result of allowing the inner light of rage full expression was, as it always is, anarchy. When no structure or stricture is allowed to resist the expression of the authentic individual genius, the result is destruction.
But worst of all, allowing mere mortals the absolute right to be gods means the death of truth. The entire theological/philosophical enterprise — indeed civilization itself– rests on the ultimate question, “What is truth?”
Why is such an enterprise so critical? It is critical because the power of humans to do what they like, to be as gods, seems to be growing all the time. The result, as C.S. Lewis noted in the Abolition of Man, is that “each new power won by man is a power over man as well.” He concludes, “For the power of Man to make himself what he pleases means… the power of some men to make other men what THEY please.”
If Christians and others who believe human beings owe their existence to and dependence on God value their own and others’ freedoms, they cannot allow the new gods to assert authority over them. Today’s Christians, like those those of the Roman Empire, know they cannot give other gods, including those in human form, the unconditional allegiance they owe only to God himself, the God of truth.
For as Lewis knew, once humans become gods, “…they become demons. Then they will destroy us, and also destroy themselves. For natural loves, [including love of one’s self] that are allowed to become gods do not remain loves. They are still called so, but can become in fact complicated forms of hatred.” [Italics mine.]
It is up to the Church, which in this day is failing miserably at the core mission of discerning and proclaiming truth, to answer that question, “What is Truth?” by confronting, as it always must, the false and mendacious spirits of our age. Those untruthful spirits will vary in form from generation to generation, but ultimately, all their controversies will center on Pilate’s question to Jesus, who proclaimed his divine self to be the very embodiment of Truth, “What is truth?”
This article originally appeared in AmericanThinker.
Fay Voshell is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and other online publications. She received the Charles Hodge Prize for excellence in systematic theology from Princeton Seminary. She was also selected as one of the Delaware GOP’s “Winning Women,” Class of 2008. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.