Leonardo Radomile is a political consultant, author, and guest contributor to several news outlets. In this article Radomile expands upon his previous work discussing how religion is part of the backbone of America.
Leonardo Radomile explains how in story after story religion is often characterized as a threat to individual freedom by the elites that control media, higher learning, and much of government. It’s a widespread narrative that comes from the same sources that claim men can be women, confused adolescents can be mutilated, and tech companies should control what you see.
Radomile says it’s not enough to be disturbed and reject these points of view. Narratives matter. When stories are repeated over an extended period of time they become woven into the fabric of a culture and become assumptions, accepted truths. Narratives can only be overcome by better counter narratives, repeated widely and often. In order to create an effective counter narrative one must fully understand the sources of the narrative, its shortcomings and those elements that create a convincing counter narrative.
Let’s begin with where did the idea that religion is dangerous to individual liberty come from?
Leonardo Radomile notes that after World War II an intellectual movement known as Postmodernism became accepted doctrine in European Universities, particularly in France and Germany. It wasn’t long before this movement infected our own universities and by the end of the 1960’s it began to dominate the humanities and social sciences.
We may all have heard the term Postmodernism but what are its foundational elements? How do we understand it more deeply in order to construct an effective counter narrative.
The first thing to understand is that Postmodernism is a form of Neo Marxism. What’s different from traditional Marxism is that instead of having an economic class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, Postmodernism largely removes the economic element and categorizes groups as the ‘Oppressed’ and the ‘Oppressor’. There is no room for individual choice, guilt, or innocence. If you are a member of an oppressor group you share its collective guilt. Thus, if you are white you are part of an oppressor group and guilty of oppression even if you just moved here from Sweden.
Another element of Postmodernism is that there is no such thing as absolute truth. Everything we see, all that we encounter are ‘social constructs’ things that we make up. Since every element of what you and I would think of as reality is made up by particular individuals or social groups according to the postmodernists, reality is infinitely malleable: you can make things whatever you want them to be. That’s why men can become women. There is no absolute truth, only ‘your truth’.
This subjective relativism is combined with an attitude of skepticism, rejection of objective notions of reason, human nature, social progress, and objective reality and a conscious attack or what postmodernists term a ‘critique’ of all traditional institutions and ideas. Given this context of being whatever you want one can see why religion would be a threat to liberty for a postmodernist. Any imposition of a moral standard other than what a person wants would be a limitation of postmodern conceptions of liberty.
What are the shortcomings of this new form of Marxism? ‘Let me count the ways.’
First, no form of Marxism has ever built a successful society where human beings flourish. Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot also thought that humankind was infinitely malleable, that you could create a ‘New Man’, a new model of the individual and society. Not only did their attempts to implement these ideas fail economically and result in mass starvation, they also produced the most repressive governments that were responsible for the death of over 100 million people.
One might be tempted to argue that the latest Neo Marxist iteration under Xi Jinping belies this argument. Nevertheless, the majority of demographers, geopolitical analysts, and economists agree that the Chinese economy will totally collapse in less than ten years leading to mass starvation and political upheaval. In the meantime, over two million Uyghurs are being being held in prison camps where they are being raped, sterilized, and subject to organ harvesting in this century’s worst example of genocide, not to mention the complete repression of China’s entire population.
Leonardo Radomile explains Marxism, classical or neo, simply doesn’t work. It has failed in every instance and nowhere is there any empirical evidence substantiating any of its claims. It’s simply an ugly, oppressive story that only leads to disaster. Nor has its progressive iteration in American life fared any better. The Postmodern narrative of oppression advocated by the 1619 Project has been totally discredited by African American historians. Its political version in the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement resulted in nationwide riots, burning and looting estimated in the billions of dollars in damage and a significant portion of its funds being absconded by its founders. Drag Queen story hour, adolescent sex reassignment, and the ideological grooming of young children further attest to the inadequacies of Progressivism.
But once Postmodernism, Neo Marxism, and Progressivism are dismantled, what is the counter narrative? Interestingly enough, it is the direct opposite of the narrative of the elites: Religion is not a threat to individual freedom but rather the guarantor of individual freedom.
Our nation was founded on religious principles, under the ‘laws of Nature and Nature’s God’. God is mentioned four times in the Declaration of Independence. The Founding Fathers knew and specifically stated on numerous occasions that a society can only be free if it is a religious society. This is due to the fact that only a religious society can be self-governing.
But how can this be proved? What counters the argument that this is only an unsubstantiated narrative?
First, the twin principles of equality and self governance came to the colonists through a religious movement known as the ‘Great Awakening’ something virtually every colonist was not only aware of but also deeply touched by. Prior to the Great Awakening Colonial America was organized in a hierarchical structure. In contrast, as preached by George Whitefield, all stand equal before God, king and commoner alike and all were subject to a higher authority than civil law, God’s law. Each of us must choose, and is free to choose, to live accordingly. These religious principles require self governance rather than the imposition of rules from the state. This self governance allows a freedom to choose rather than state compulsion which is the very definition of liberty.
Leonardo Radomile notes another argument bolstering religion as the foundation for liberty comes from the social sciences. The religious stories of the Judeo/ Christian contain what anthropologists and psychologists term as ‘Practical Truths’. Many of the virtues in this tradition have been shown to reflect what are now being found in positive psychology as the necessary elements for human flourishing. Anthropologists have noted that many of the principles from this tradition are the bedrock of successful societies. It’s difficult to argue with these conclusions in that our nation which has incorporated them so successfully is certainly the freest and most prosperous in human history.
Religion is the foundation of freedom. Whenever you hear otherwise, don’t get angry or frustrated. Speak up. Use the tools available to you to dismantle the poison narratives that surround us and bring sanity back to our discourse. As de Toqueville observed, ‘America is great because she is good’. It is our Judeo/Christian virtues that have made our freedom and prosperity possible. We cannot forget that; nor should we allow others to.