Of late, I have taken to warning people that a key reason for deliberation and restraint is that the devil is inspiring people on the left to float specific false instances of evil practices they generally use in order to discredit criticism of those practices altogether. They hope that over-aggressive folks on the right will jump on the ‘false flag’ tales with eagerness. Then, when they are inevitably proven false, it will discredit all such accusations.  Several years ago I recognized the ‘Pizzagate’ story as such an instance. The logistics of the story did not hold together well, but I knew from other experience that pedophilia and satanism is near rampant in many quarters of the left. What the Pizzagate story did do was make it easier for the evil pagan left to dismiss all such stories. Even the revelations of the depth of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal did not change that – and Epstein was a choirboy compared to what many are doing.

Now we have another example. It turns out that the whole ‘Hammer and Scorecard’ scenario was a leftist disinformation campaign. No, it was not launched in the hopes that people would believe it generally, but in the hopes that over-aggressive types on the right would swallow it whole without vetting, so as to undermine the mountain of legitimate evidence of massive election fraud.

It is brutally hard right now to know well what to believe. You have the opponents telling you things that are not true, you have friends telling you things that are not true (often with the best of intentions, simply because they have bought into leftist false flags), the very means we use to calculate statistics have been badly bowdlerized, normally reliable people are venturing into some deep rabbit holes…it is chaos out there. So what to do? First, slow down. In chaotic times, I like to fall back on what I call “first things,” fundamental principles that are a solid guide to analysis. A couple of examples: you do not have to be a scientist to see that the places that have locked down hardest and been most exacting on mask mandates are having the worst results. Demand to know why. Yes, the politicized medical community says it would be even worse in those spots if they had not been so draconian. But seven or eight months ago they were saying that the draconian measures would make kill zones like New York, New Jersey and California into safe spots while those with a lighter touch like Florida and Texas would become disasters. It has been exactly the opposite. I don’t have to be a scientist to know this is true – and I demand that the scientists explain before I continue to put any credence into their wild, dictatorial guesses. It looks to me like the draconian folks are, indeed, unnecessarily killing people. The draconian states I mentioned have almost twice the death rate of the more permissive states. Demand a credible explanation of why – or demand the mandates be dropped because they actually are killing people.

All the folks demanding that we admit that Mr. Biden was honestly elected could resolve matters by supporting a full, vigorous and transparent investigation into the evidence of massive fraud. If they won’t support such an investigation, why not? And calling me a ‘domestic terrorist’ for demanding the investigation before making a determination won’t cut it. The fundamental question on our side should not be whether Biden was fairly elected or not, but whether his advocates will support a proper investigation. We need to be very disciplined in our framing of the issues at hand.

Here are a few things that are verifiably true:

-It is true that Biden and the left are launching an effort to purge conservatives from the military. I say let them. It just means the Republic of Christians and Conservatives will have a stronger, more disciplined real military to confront the soy boys that are allowed to remain in Biden’s army. There is no successful radical takeover I know of in history where the radicals did not first successfully woo the existing military. Yes, Stalin purged his military corps, but only after the Soviets had successfully consolidated power long earlier. Even then, the Soviet Union suffered several years of military losses because it was filled with political soldiers rather than professional ones.

-It is true that the demonstration at the Capitol, in which a sliver of protesters got out of hand, met NONE of the criteria for an insurrection – while many of the ‘peaceful demonstrations’ the left supported over the last decade did. It is a failure and a betrayal for conservatives to adopt the incendiary framing the left wants to put on this to justify classing all orthodox Christians and conservatives as “domestic terrorists.”

-It is true that one of the primary and most aggressive instigators of the incursion into the Capitol was John Sullivan, a BLM/Antifa activist. That does not change the fact that some of the instigators were conservatives and the overwhelming majority of the instigated were conservative. We have to be more disciplined. It is worth noting, though, that when Sullivan was recognized as a radical left activist, he was released from jail, unlike many of the less aggressive – but conservative – people arrested. Perhaps he was able to tap into Kamala Harris’ bail fund for left-wing rioters. Certainly, the only real crime recognized in Bidenworld is disagreeing with the leftist narrative.

-It is true that Gina Carano, a popular star of Disney’s The Mandalorian, was fired for noting that the sustained assault on conservative and Christian thought is essentially the same as how the Nazis dehumanized Jews in preparation for the Holocaust. Some lefties called her remarks reprehensible. Yet those remarks are objectively entirely accurate – and I have been saying the same for over a decade. It is almost precisely the same technique. If you want to stop what is actually reprehensible, the left should stop doing it. Fortunately, The Daily Wire has set up a streaming movie company – and Carano was picked up to produce and star in an upcoming movie. Disney has a magnificent archive of classic movies, but it has become a gutter company dedicated to the destruction of traditional American values.

-It is true that Q largely accurately described the predatory nature of the Deep State, but it is also true (whether from naivete or from hubris) that it encouraged people to do nothing, to just wait for the men on white horses to come in and save the day without individuals having to make their stand. Breitbart writer John Hayward has a much better take on what is required of each of us if we are to restore liberty under law. And Congressman Dan Crenshaw came up with an excellent mini-manifesto of what it means to be a conservative American in these perilous times.

-It is true that we are no longer edging, but instead rushing headlong, towards full-blown social, economic and cultural collapse. Hostile tyrannical and rogue regimes throughout the globe are celebrating that their hour has come round at last.

-It is true that those states which have locked down the hardest and enacted the strictest mask requirements have the highest number of Covid cases and death rates

. New York and New Jersey have near double the death rate of Florida. A scientist who has worked with these issues told me it is because, outside of clinical settings with careful protocols, masks become viral incubators. The average 17% reduction in oxygen intake masking imposes on most people weakens their immune system – and so heavy unclinical mask use becomes a true super-spreader event. I don’t know enough about the subject to know if that is entirely accurate, but I DO know that the places with the most draconian restrictions are producing the worst results. Why is some enterprising reporter not asking about this? Why do the bureaucratic government health officials keep insisting we double down on what objectively is producing the worst results? Why do so many people not look dispassionately at this evidence right in plain sight and not ask the questions – and demand real answers instead of double-speak?

-It is true that in British Columbia (thankfully not in the United States) the top medical official has petitioned for the authority to order police to arrest anyone who attends services at any of the three churches which have publicly criticized her or who has shown the intent to attend services there. Canada is often a harbinger of leftist madness yet to come in the States. If this madness does not stop soon, I have a feeling a lot of public health officials are going to have appointments with the cells they would confine others to when it finally does.

The devil is in the streets, roaring like a lion and seeking out people to devour. His allies, both witting and unwitting, do not understand that, though he seeks out their mutual enemies first, he is perfectly content to devour his own allies, too. The devil’s only ideology is human misery and destruction. I see a few initial signs that some of the less obtuse on the left are starting to figure out that they, too, are on the menu.

Some are suggesting that the left is being deliberately provocative because it WANTS a civil war – and thinks it can win. That is entirely possible. Napoleon invaded Russia because he thought he could win and would be greeted as a liberator. Kaiser Wilhelm provoked World War I because he wanted to take over the European continent and thought he had the power to make it stick. Adolf Hitler provoked World War II because he thought western leaders had become too soft and degenerate to stop him. History is replete with people who let hubris lead them to downfall because they underestimated the will of people to survive after they understood they were in an existential battle. On the other hand, leftists are pathologically one-dimensional, static thinkers. They actually believe that when they take a title, you MUST do whatever they say because they say so. They actually believe that when they change a major input into society, nothing beyond it will change: that killing tens of thousands (even millions) of jobs from day one will not increase unemployment, that making the country dependent on hostile foreign powers for basic needs does not empower those hostile powers, and that forcing people to shut up or be cancelled does not create a smoldering resentment that almost always erupts into extensive violence and revolt. Whatever the reason, it sows massive chaos and discontent. Talk about unsustainable!

The pagan left has joined the legion of chaos and confusion, assaulting people and commanding them, even (maybe even especially) when a lighter touch provides much better results.  But the devil likes to create doubt in the early stages of battle, to persuade people that maybe he is not really there and this is just an intense version of business as usual. Thus, you have all manner of establishment Republicans – Nikki Haley, Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney among many others – jockeying for position trying to leverage things to provide their next step up the ladder. It is like the multitude of doctors in “The Exorcist” (both the movie and the book from which it was based) are determined that everything is normal, though they can’t locate the source of the problem. It was subtle, but the doctors were too busy dreaming of the sensational case histories they would be named in to see the problem clearly, blinded by their own desperate normalcy bias.

In the end, Chris McNeil, the mother of the possessed little girl, saw 66 doctors before they threw up their hands and conceded they did not know what was happening or how to stop it. Even then, they still recommended more of the same thing that was clearly not working. It was only when Mrs. McNeil absolutely refused confined institutionalization that they tentatively suggested trying the ritual of exorcism. And again, even then they pedantically explained that exorcism was superstitious poppycock, but sometimes worked on people who had been overtaken by such poppycock. They could not bear to say that they did not understand what was going on and that they might be wrong in all their suppositions.

At first the Priest that McNeil called in, Fr. Damien Karras, was of an accord with the doctors. While formally a Priest, he had lost his faith, if not his concern for those around him. Out of deep concern for Mrs. McNeil, he went to see her daughter, Regan. The demon in Regan delighted in playing on Fr. Karras’ uncertainty. It would demonstrate its power and then give cause to doubt it was a demon at all. Even when Fr. Karras finally sought approval to perform an exorcism, he could not bring himself to believe Regan was actually possessed, only that the case met all the criteria for an exorcism. The Bishop brought in Fr. Lancaster Merrin, a Priest with serious experience dealing with evil and demons. Even then, Fr. Karras tried to explain to Fr. Merrin the psychological outlines of the “case.” Fr. Merrin firmly dismissed the desperate delusions of the determined rationalist. Fr. Karras’ true saving grace, the thread with which God could reclaim him, was his resolve to be a sign of hope to the McNeil family, despite the sacrifice and horror it entailed on him.

With Fr. Merrin’s entrance onto the scene, the demon completely abandoned the cat-and-mouse pretense that it was not really a demon at all. Now all it did was rage and attack. In the midst of this full-blown horror, an amazing thing happened. With the demon no longer pretending to be anything other than what it actually was, Fr. Karras saw what a pale simulacrum of reality his shallow conventionality actually was. He regained his lost faith.

When I first saw the movie in 1973, I was utterly astounded. With the exception of one flaw so huge and fatal that it caused me to hesitate recommending it, the movie got everything right. A demonic entity neither tries to convince you it is or is not real. Rather, it tries to keep you confused, guessing and second-guessing yourself. It is deadly dangerous to get into idle conversation with a demon. No one except Christ can “handle” a demon. All of the gambits of the demon are designed to take your focus off of Christ and onto yourself and the demon. If you are timid, it will seek to intimidate you into asking for mercy – failing to rely on the superior power of Christ. If you are vain, it may cower before you, seeking to persuade you that you are the great demon-slayer so you cease to rely on Christ. Any gambit that causes you to rely on either yourself or the mercy of the demon instead of on the power of Christ is sufficient and you become the captive of the devil. Once revealed, a demon spews accusations at all people involved and present – mostly false but sprinkled with a few true accusations to goad people into engaging directly with itself instead of counting on Christ – and to shake the people’s confidence in each other and and derail the focus on Christ that is vital. Once you begin to try to determine which accusations are true, you become captive to the devil. You must ignore them all. Most are false, and even the ones that are true are solely matters between God and the accused – not your concern. No matter how pure of intent, people who are emotionally undisciplined or given to delusions of grandeur should flee from the devil and never be so cowardly as to directly engage him.

The huge and fatal flaw in the story is that, in the end, Fr. Karras in his misguided compassion for the girl, invited the demon to leave her and take him. While in the book and the movie, this freed the girl – and Fr. Karras leaped from a window to his death and the demon’s demise; in reality, this would not have freed the girl but only made both the girl and him hostage to the devil. After such a disciplined, clean narrative, in the end, Fr. Karras relied on what he thought was his own noble cleverness rather than on the power of Christ.

Now here we are. A ravenous lion is prowling the streets, seeking people to devour. We are still at the stage where he often pretends he is not a lion at all or is, at least, a friendly lion only seeking “unity” with us. Of course, his brand of unity is to devour us and our consciences whole.

We must resist without becoming ravenous lions ourselves. Far too many Christians think in binary terms – either becoming completely passive, thinking that doing nothing is “trusting God.” That is just a formula for consigning our posterity to the lion’s tender mercy – and makes the serious theological error of assuming that God does not demand anything concrete or risky from us. The other side is to fight fire with fire, steadily becoming more and more the mirror image of what we fight. That is just a formula for replacing one tyranny with another. The central question of Christian activism and witness is how to act in a vigorous way that gives everyone a chance to repent of the evil they do, without becoming monsters that seek to coerce their will on others on legitimate matters of conscience – as those others now seek to coerce ours. As I sometimes say, serious Christianity is not for wimps.

Almost all on the left have decided to be heroes on the cheap. They do not think heroism consists of self-sacrifice, patience, or grace under fire or lifting humanity generally up. They think it just consists of choosing who it is safe to hate – and then punish and oppress them freely. The modern left really is not any different than Pol Pot, Josef Stalin, Adolph Hitler, or Mao Tse-Tung – all of whom ruthlessly oppressed those they wanted to while telling themselves it was in service of a superior morality. This tale is just a rerun of the sad narrative that cuts through the whole of human history.

Many serious Christians, as they find their way in this tragic new world challenge, are trying on different tragic roles they want to assume – as martyrs, heroes, prophets or kings. We only have one choice – and that is to seek prayerfully and mightily to discern and to do the will of God in our particular situation. God is the only casting director here. If we humble ourselves to Him, He will choose what role He wants us to play in order to draw more souls back to Him. I pray that whatever role He assigns me, it inspires more to love Him and find the peace that only comes from Him. I most assuredly do NOT want to be a martyr, but if that is the role He assigns me to gain the most souls, I am willing (if grumpily so). Don’t try to usurp God’s role as casting director; just seek to humbly discern His will in your life. The way to do that is to acknowledge Him, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you.

We are dealing with powers and principalities here. There is only one conspiracy – and that is the one run by the devil to separate us from God. He has many busy little co-conspirators running little gambits throughout the world – all unknowing that when their usefulness is expired he will gleefully devour them, too. Not all such can be rescued, but as God hungers for souls, it is our duty to try to rescue as many as we can without collaborating, by inaction, in the active persecution of the faithful.

The lion is in the streets. He will not vanish by our pretending he is not there, nor will he go because we hope for the best. After decades, maybe centuries of our love growing cold, of our presumption growing beyond all bounds, God will redeem and deliver us. But not until we have shown Him by our actions – not pretty lip service – that we love Him and His ways and mean it.

If you truly go all in, you will still suffer much, either directly or through your family and loved ones. Astonishingly, though, like Fr. Karras in the midst of great horror, you will rediscover your lost faith and find great joy. For now, though, we have arrived at the great confrontation between a Christian worldview and a satanically-inspired pagan worldview, between the Church and the anti-church, between the Gospel and the anti-gospel. Your future and your posterity’s future hinges on the choices you make over these next few years. May your children, your children’s children, and their children look back on these times and call you blessed.

The lion is in the streets, but he will not prevail because the arc of all of history bends towards Christ.

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