During an interview with Glenn Beck, Paul Ryan described progressivism as a cancer: "It basically takes the notion that our rights come from God and nature and turns it on its head and says, no, no, no, no, no, they come from government, and we here in government are here to give you your rights and therefore ration, redistribute and regulate your rights..." (Flashback: Paul Ryan Explains His Conservative Values to Glenn Beck
At itâ€™s founding, America was lauded as the freest most morally enlightened society ever known by man. The secret to its success lay in itsâ€™ firm grounding on the eternally unchanging Higher Things of the living God, that is, enduring Permanent truths which are sometimes called natural law or the first principles of ethics. In the Declaration of Independence they are called the laws of nature and natureâ€™s God as well as unalienable rights.
Though many if not most of the architects of our Constitutional Republic were Christians, not all were, a small number, perhaps three or four, were Deists. However, all of them agreed that man is not born good and cannot be trusted with unfettered power, as self-deluded Enlightenment humanists asserted. America's founders did not shy away from the distasteful reality that all men are born terrible-willed hedonists, as described by Dr. Terry G. Shaw:
"To understand...principles of human behavior...we must first begin by accepting (that) all humans are born hedonists and have an intrinsic need to seek pleasure, avoid pain, and engage in those activities that best accomplish both with the least amount of effort." (Born Liberal Raised Right, Reb Bradley, p.19)
In 1926, Governor Theodore Christianson of Minnesota established the Minnesota Crime Commission to study crime and evaluate its causes. The commission eventually concluded that criminal tendencies were not the result of poverty, education, or environment as progressive humanists maintained. Instead, it affirmed that no man is born good:
"Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it: his bottle, his mother's attention, his playmates toys...or whatever. Deny him these and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness which could be murderous were he not so helpless. He's dirty; he has no morals, no knowledge, no developed skills. This means that all children, not just certain children, but all children, are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in their self-centered world of infancy, given free rein to their impulsive actions to satisfy each want, every child would grow up a criminal, a thief, a killer, a rapist." (ibid, p. 21)
Progressivism is a type of Enlightenment humanism that deifies humanity, with particular emphasis upon the idolatrous quasi-divine beings who control government.
Herbert Schlossberg has surveyed the numerous secular and religious idols of modern Enlightenment thought in his book, â€œIdols for Destruction.â€ The idol at the top of his list is deified man.
Schlossberg notes that the idea of humanity as a deity is seldom avowed openly but rather is,
"...expressed by ascribing to man attributes of God: sovereignty (or autonomy), complete rationality, and moral perfection." (p. 42)
Progressive humanism is grounded on the delusional idea of humanity as morally perfect deity, as affirmed by the writers of the second Humanist Manifesto:
"Using technology wisely, we can control our environment, conquer poverty, markedly reduce disease, extend our lifespans, significantly modify our behavior, alter the course of human evolution and cultural development, unlock vast new powers, and provide humanity with unparalleled opportunity for achieving an abundant life and meaningful life." (Humanist Manifesto II, 'The Humanist, Sept-Oct., 1973, vol. 33, no. 5, p. 6)
Schlossberg remarks that such exuberance comes from the sense that men and women have liberated themselves from Biblical moral restrictions and obligations and gained freedom. Humanists are particularly comforted by the thought that they are no longer fallen, as the hero of Aldous Huxley's utopia declares:
"What a comfort to be in a place where The Fall was an exploded doctrine!" (Schlossberg, p. 43)
Absolute freedom means that man is not fallen and no longer created in the spiritual image of the living God but rather self-created. This new notion of identity, says Daniel Bell, is the mark of modern humanism:
"I am I, I come out of myself, and in choice and action I make myself (and I am) free of the ascriptive ties of family, community, or state; to be responsible for oneself, and in choice and action I make myself." (Schlossberg, p. 43)
In this light we can understand why humanists are increasingly hostile to any notion of transcendent Moral Law, unchanging Truth, traditional one man-one woman marriage, and male/female sexual norms:
â€œThe gay revolution will produce a world in which all social and sensual relationships will be gay and in which homo- and heterosexuality will be incomprehensible terms.â€ (Gay Revolution Party Manifesto, 1970, cited by Dr. Peter Jones in "Male and Female â€” Incomprehensible?" truthXchange, 8/14/2012)
Whether they call themselves progressives, 'gay' humanists, secular humanists, or spiritual humanists, the worst of them are ruled by lust for power and self-gratification. They are nihilists who believe in nothing but 'self' and whatever 'self' covets, hates, and resents. Hence in one case a humanist judge may decide in favor of cop killers, condom-throwing 'gays,' and the murderers of a pastor's son but in another case on a fatal injection. It all depends on who the humanist favors or hates and resents.
The twisted path from humanism's divination of humanity to the contemporary realm of what Saint Augustine calls libido dominandiâ€”-the realm of the earthly city ruled by lust for power, glory and self-gratification at the expense of everyone else, is best explained by the concept of ressentiment (envy), said Schlossberg.
Ressentiment (envy) begins with an inflated sense of self accompanied by covetousness for the material possessions, bodily attributes (i.e., beauty) or intangible qualities possessed by another person.
Schlossberg notes that if envy is not either sublimated or assauged by the doing of some injury to the object of its wrath, the result is a persistent mental disorder stemming from the repression of culturally unacceptable feelings, compulsions, and impulses. The consequence of this is hatred and the impulse to spite, malicious gossip, slander, and outright character destruction in order to detract from or destroy another man's worth. Vengeance is the principle secret manifestation of ressentiment. Vengeance is the unholy rejoicing at another's misfortune, especially that misfortune brought about by the scheming of the envious one.
Modern humanism (i.e., progressivism) is indeed a cancer, as Paul Ryan said. For if God does not exist, meaning the living God Who exists outside the space-time universe, then envy, the most-cold-blooded sin of all, becomes both permissable and fashionable, and when completely unbridled, always leads to killing fields, gulags and concentration camps.
In his book, â€œEnvy: A Theory of Social Behavior,â€ Helmut Schoeck calls our humanist age the â€œage of envy.â€ By this he means that fewer people than ever are ashamed of being envious, seemingly believing that the fact of their envy is proof that social injustice has been done, that the envious one is in fact justified in verbally crucifying and seeking vengeance against the object of his envy. Schoeck comments:
â€œSuddenly it has become possible to say, without loss of public credibility and trust, â€˜I envy you. Give me what youâ€™ve got.â€ (p. 148)
If we are to make sense of the nonstop demonization of and vengeance-seeking against successful businessmen such as Dan Cathy, COO of Chick fil A, property owners, the straight, good, decent and righteous, we must think in terms of man's sinful nature and envy in particular.
For example, if the object of envy is the "straight" masculinity of a male, his committed marriage with a female, and his ability to beget children, we can finally understand the â€œgayâ€ movements efforts to feminize straight males, ridicule those who refuse to submit, and sexually pervert their children.
If the focus of envy is the success, contentment, and independence of other people, then envy will attack and demean the objects of its' wrath with shameless outbursts like Obama's recent, "you didn't make that" it was only luck. Here we must picture Obama as a spiteful child who, coveting the toy and happiness of another child, says that toy's no good, only sissies play with stuff like that.
And when malignant resenters occupy positions of power in the White House, and the object of their ressentiment is a well respected, successful, straight-white male like Ronald Reagan---who epitomizes everything resented and hated about traditional values America---the resenters dance round a hellish bonfire in the White House:
"Gays invited to the White House this summer (2012) by President Obama, took pictures of themselves as they sashayed down the hallowed halls, giving the finger to the portrait of one of the most revered presidents in history, Ronald Reagan. The past was trashed with hardly a thought while their futurist dreams of dancing with their same-sex partners at the White House were realized during President Obamaâ€™s Gay Pride reception." (Dr. Peter Jones, truthXchange)
And what malevolent fury fuels the virtually nonstop crucifixion of Christians, the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, â€œright-wing fundamentalists," and gun-owners but envy.
The sharp contours of our future are coming into focusâ€”a future inhospitable to Christian truth, said Dr. Jones. Malignant resenters will see to it that,
"The literature and language of the two-thousand-year-old â€œChristianâ€ civilization, which assumed the normative male/female distinctions, will become homophobically unspeakable, culturally silenced and legally prohibited." (ibid)
With every passing day the primacy of ressentiment comes that much closer to being granted. And once granted, there can be no complaint when the grossest brutalities are committed in the name of tolerance, inclusion, diversity, 'gay' rights and whatever other pseudo-values are deemed 'high.' And since nobody commits brutality merely because he wants to dominate others, seize their property, and utterly destroy the object of ressentiment, then nobody is subject to judgement and condemnation except the object of ressentiment. After all, if he did not exist then neither would ressentiment. And this is the real meaning of progressive humanism.
Over fifty years ago, Conservative John Hallowell advised that if America and the West are to find redemption from the tyranny of ressentiment,
"We must restore to our vocabulary a word discarded long ago, namely sin." (The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America, George Nash, p. 52)