God’s Three Rules
Or, Why Margaret Thatcher is the True Enemy of MAGA
It is a cliché in enlightened circles to muse that God’s list of responsibilities has dwindled. Sean Carroll, the famed physicist and podcaster, has put it precisely this way. God is no longer required to throw lightning bolts. Magnetic electricity can do that. No progressive would disagree. What the secular observer doesn’t get, though is that God is required more than ever.
Throwing lightning bolts and raising the dead were never His main line of work—and yes, the masculine pronoun is sociologically correct. Throwing and raising were just commercials. The real work of God has been to establish and enforce rules, and this is especially true of the Christian God, or what we might call the MAGA God.
What are these rules?
The first one is to remember that there is always a predictable right and wrong. One might be tempted to think otherwise without God, for He is a warrant, an underwriter, of such a dichotomy. Giving birth to a child is right. Aborting it is wrong. Celebrating Alexander Hamilton is right; putting him in hip-hop is wrong. Sex in the vagina is right; sex in the anus is wrong. A secular progressive would say this is a matter of opinion. Religious MAGAs would beg to differ It is not a matter of human opinion if God is calling the balls and strikes. God is quite necessary in order to transform mere opinion into doctrinaire, metaphysical truth.
Progressives have difficulty getting their heads around this notion. They see God as superstition, but He is not. He is a vital social fact. His great miracle is to change social facts into brute facts. To doubt that abortion and homosexuality are wrong is like being skeptical about the existence of Mount Everest. MAGAs are blamed for conspiracy theories. In fact, religious MAGAs have a solid grounding in reality once you see that, for them, reality itself is rooted in metaphysics
They are an excitable group, and why not? An apocalyptic war between good and evil is exciting. Nothing less than good versus evil, the future of a godly America (the real one), and the outcome of History is at stake. Godly MAGAs are the Bolsheviks of the right. But they are not just metaphysical; they could also claim to e pragmatists. Human beings were not created to live without God, who supplies meaning, coherence, and stability. Without God you will stand for nothing and fall for anything. The greatest proof of God’s existence is that He is so utterly necessary. His existence is evinced by the total inability of human beings to think of attempting to live without Him. He is not Spinoza’s Nature but MAGA’s Necessity.
There is a right and there is a wrong: Rule 1 What is Rule 2?
It is this: Always remember that cities are heinously overrated.. This was also the message of God’s Son, Jesus, who operated out of the little burg of Nazareth. Were Jesus to come back today, he would be in Barron, Wisconsin, or Copperas Cove, Texas. Jesus lived in a time of great, sophisticated cities: Rome, Alexandria, Athens, Jerusalem, which he entered humbly on the back of a donkey. The great cities—think today of New York or Las Angeles or San Francisco—are mired in the ways of the world, the transient and sinful pleasures of the latest trend, streaming series, or deeply-learned bot. They are all settled in time, whereas the Nazareths and Copperas Coves are in touch with the Timeless, the true province of God and His Son.
Again, progressives miss the point. Yes, Christ performed miracles and hung out with wand loved prostitutes and advocated turning the other cheek. But these were mere illustrations of the real point, which is that he grasps the eternal and is not impressed by the temporary. Were he around today, he would not be binging on The Succession of being a Taylor Swift groupie. Donald Trump is not especially Christ-like, it would seem, but he spoke for Jesus when he said Hamilton was overrated and so was Meryl Streep. For MAGA the city with its elitist trendiness is the foe. It was nice of Jesus to love the down-and-out, but his most important words were, “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.” Yes, MAGA Christians should love the homeless more, but with them, we’re just talking bodies, whereas souls are the real thing, and you can lose yours in San Francisco, where Tony Bennet’s concern about leaving his heart there is bigly beside the point.
Rule 1 is “remember always that there. Is a right and wrong.” Rule 2 is “beware of cities.” Rule 3 is, “always know that you are being watched.”
The genius of small towns is that one can be monitored. If you get married, someone will write down the date and see when the first child is born. The grapevine is concentrated and potent. This is why gays, women pregnant out of “wedlock,” feminists, and trans-genders tend to move to cities. They know they are being watched and long for anonymity, acceptance, and impersonality of the big metro. They like the idea of walking in a big city public garden alone, while MAGA Christians prefer to walk in a garden where “He walks with me and He talks with me/And He tells me I am his own,” in the words of an old gospel song made famous once by Willie Nelson. Without Him, life would be temping. It would be lonely.
What we have here is hot a failure to communicate but a triumph of communication. For Rule 1, right v. wrong, is enforced by God. Rule 2, be wary of the city and its emptiness, is enforced by Jesus the Son. And Rule 3, know that you are being monitored, is enforced by the Holy Spirit.
God’s Three Rules are the rules of the Godhead: Three in One. In theological terms the Trinity is an enigma. In social terms it makes a great deal of sense.
This is not a new story. In 1952 one of the saints of the Conservative Movement, Whittaker Chambers, wrote a great book called Witness, where he spelled out the metaphysical necessity of being a right-winger. The enemy of the Right is secular humanism and liberalism. It derives from the Enlightenment and the belief that great moral questions are a matter of opinion and that Man can overtake God in creating happiness and stability. Before he was fired, Tucker Carlson pointed out a few examples. Secular liberals wanted to force Christians and Real Americans to eat insects; to urbanize their leafy suburbs; and to take away their cars and guns. This is what comes from replacing Man with God, and THIS is the great epoch war of History. Make no mistake that it is war, and the enemy must be eliminated. History can be redeemed only if liberals, elites, feminists, gays, and the immigrants they sponsor can be gotten rid of. It is not that MAGA is gun-happy, but it needs those guns to win the Battle of History for God. The first great antagonists of God were the Communists; there can be little doubt that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and AOC would have joined the Party back then. As for sinister John Kerry, he fought Commies for a while but then turned in favor of them and against his own godly land.
There is a right and there is a wrong. Kerry was metaphysically wrong. He is an urban elite. He is unaccountable. God may be philosophically and scientifically dead. He is sociologically well.
Towards the end of his fairly short and unpeaceful life, Chambers wrote that unless conservatives went up against the Machine, they would only be petulant and short-tempered and ineffectual. By this time, he had retreated to his Maryland farm and found some tranquility in nature. He had become, like another conservative, Martin Heidegger, anti-mechanical. Were Chambers around today in MAGA-land, he might have said that there was once upon a time a period when the desires of MAGA were met, though not in America. In England, Scotland, and Wales from the late 19th century to the 1980s there was a settled community of workers, such as coal miners, who lived in socially conservative, chapel Christian villages where work was masculine, hard, but at least sufficient for a living. It was a blend of government supports, since the coal industry progressively was not able to operate totally on its own, and Christian piety. There were jobs; and there was God.
It was a Tory, a conservative, Margaret Thatcher, who upended this socialist arrangement. She broke the unions, attacked the economic basis of their family values, and declared that the free market would rule from then own. Members of the Labour Party have never forgiven her. Glenda Jackson said she would rather die than attend Thatcher’s funeral. She destroyed a mélange of left-wing economics and once-pious family life. She ruined what we might think of as MAGA Rural UK.
Chambers said conservatives needed to oppose the Machine. MAGA conservatives need to oppose global markets, whose creative destruction has outsourced their jobs and led to all those despised urban trends. It has made secular humanists like Jeff Bezos and Whoopi Goldberg rich. MAGA senses that free-market types like Paul Ryan are traitors to the cause, but it cannot bring itself to protest against global capitalism. Why not?
The main reason takes us back to their metaphysical view of history as seen in the Godhead’s Three Rules. They identify the secular left, he socialistic liberals who are little better than Reds, as the enemy. Since the ancient foe of communism has been capitalism, MAGAs cannot figure out how they can fight socialism and fee markets at the same time. Thatcher and Ronald Reagan talked a great game about how we could have free markets and stern morality at the same tine—they spoke of “individual responsibility.” This was a lie. The relentless creativity of capital markets is the great promoter of temporariness and novelty, of dynamic economies that push citizens into a perpetual need to re-invent themselves. It is the greatest enemy God ever faced. It IS Chambers’ “Machine” And without going up against it, MAGA remains petulant and angry, dangerously tempted to get rid of its enemies at any cost while letting their real antagonists off the hook. They need to send a memo to God: Demote the Iron Lady.