Beware of the reality benders

funhouse mirror distort
Little girl in front of distorting mirror. Funhouse mirror in a park. |

Milwaukee has experienced a huge spike in car theft over the past two years. The good news is the city leadership is not taking the matter lying down and intends to combat the problem by suing the automotive manufacturers for making their cars too easy to steal.

As humor columnist Dave Barry is famous for saying: No, I’m not making this up.

Evidently, Hyundai and Kia, whose cars reportedly were 2/3 of stolen vehicles in the first half of 2021, can be broken into through the back window without setting off their alarm. In a press release last month, Milwaukee Alderman Khalif Rainey claimed Hyundai and Kia, “are directly responsible, in my view, for the drain on police and other city resources that have been sadly directed to deal with the rash of vehicle thefts and the havoc those thefts have brought to our city.”

Hyundai and Kia are “directly responsible” for their cars being stolen?

This would then make the car thieves (not mentioned in Rainey’s statement) only “indirectly responsible” for the vehicle thefts? Are we to think that the car bandits are actually upstanding citizens, with no intention of malice in their heart, who are being unduly enticed and dragged into their life of crime by auto manufacturers?[1]

Welcome to another example of the reality bending and responsibility deflecting that plague our culture. What a privilege we have to live in this magical age of thinking that inverts the truth to make the criminal the victim and sinner the saint.

This kind of “progressivism” in America has become, at its core, the renunciation of personal responsibility and denial of reality. The bad news is since the definition of truth is that which corresponds to reality, and consequences always exist for living a lie, we’re looking at a rough road now and a worse one in the future.

Warning – confusion ahead

During a recent episode of “Dr. Phil,” conservative author and podcast host Matt Walsh debated two individuals who identify as “non-binary” on the topic of transgenderism. When each refused to define the term “woman, the following exchange occurred:

“You stood up here and said, ‘Trans women are women.’ What is a woman?”, Walsh asked.

“Womanhood is … something that I cannot define,” the activist answered.

“But you used the word. So, what did you mean when you said, ‘Trans women are women’?”

“I do not define what a woman is because I do not identify as a woman. Womanhood is something that is an umbrella term.”

“That describes what?”, asked Walsh.

“People who identify as a woman.”

“Identify as what?”

“A woman.”

What is that?”, Walsh pressed.

The exchange is confounding on the one hand, but all too common on the other. After the episode aired, Walsh’s opponents complained in a social media post that they, “have been experiencing a heightened level of anxiety to the point that we’ve had numerous nightmares and depression spirals over the last month.”

Truth be told, they’re experiencing something philosopher J. Budziszewski described long ago in his book, The Revenge of Conscience: “Those who rationalize their sins find it to be so much work that they require other people to support them in it.” Hence the reason why society invented “safe spaces” and similar means to escape reality or those who disagree with them.

We’re at the point now where simple words and phrases are being deliberately cut out of society, even down to software code, to avoid short-circuiting people. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, physicist and atheist Lawrence Krauss pokes fun at “Google’s language police”, who are spearheading the removal in the tech world of words they deem as offensive, such as “black box” and (incredibly) “smartphone.”  Krauss correctly observes, “the list of terms excluded in the name of inclusion often borders on ridiculous.”

The eternal alternate reality scam

Poet and Nobel Prize winner Czeslaw Milosz wrote a brilliantly-titled work called “The Discreet Charms of Nihilism,” where he reveals a particularly telling truth about our current society. Commenting on how Marx called religion the opiate of the people, Miloz writes, “Now we are witnessing a transformation. A true opium of the people is a belief in nothingness after death – the huge solace of thinking that for our betrayals, greed, cowardice, murders we are not going to be judged.”

In keeping with that mindset, our current see-no-evil-prosecute-no-evil culture is doing everything in its power to reinforce this alternate reality scam now by not judging and punishing law-breakers. If you step back for a moment and take it all in from a big picture perspective, it’s a magnificently crafted plan of such deviance that it could only be orchestrated by one master maestro.

He’s the same one who told Eve when she hesitated in disobeying God, “You surely will not die!” (Gen. 3:4), making the judgment of God the first doctrine to ever be denied in Scripture. But unlike other reality disconnects, the consequence of this truth bending is eternal and, frighteningly, the vast majority of humanity has been suckered into swallowing it hook, line, and sinker.

C. S. Lewis masterfully describes the distinction between the wise and foolish person when he says, “For the wise men of old, the cardinal problem of human life was how to conform the soul to objective reality, and the solution was wisdom, self-discipline, and virtue. For the modern, the cardinal problem is how to conform reality to the wishes of man.”

Nothing but disaster occurs when you choose the latter over the former. It’s a judgment and end result spelled out by the authors of Proverbs thousands of years ago:

Because I called and you refused,
I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention;
And you neglected all my counsel
And did not want my reproof;
I will also laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your dread comes,
When your dread comes like a storm
And your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently but they will not find me,
Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord (Prov 1:24-29).

[1] It’s not just Milwaukee leadership having such reality disconnects. A day after governor Gavin Newsom toured a stretch of Union Pacific rail tracks in Los Angeles littered with the remains of looted packages, progressive L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón blamed railroad operators for the problem and said the railroad doesn’t do enough to ensure its trains are adequately locked and protected.

Robin Schumacher is an accomplished software executive and Christian apologist who has written many articles, authored and contributed to several Christian books, appeared on nationally syndicated radio programs, and presented at apologetic events. He holds a BS in Business, Master's in Christian apologetics and a Ph.D. in New Testament. His latest book is, A Confident Faith: Winning people to Christ with the apologetics of the Apostle Paul.

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