Fight the Good Fight Excerpt: Open War: Whether You Would Risk It or Not

By James Robison & Jay Richards Published on February 22, 2024

Last week, Stream founders James Robison and Jay Richards released a powerful, but easy to digest new book called Fight the Good Fight: How an Alliance of Faith and Reason Can Win the Cold War. 

We are honored to be able to start sharing with you excerpts from this exceptional collaboration.

Open War: Whether You Would Risk It Or Not

Our country is in serious trouble, and not just from enemies abroad. Leaders in our government, the media, the academy, and many corporations have trashed the American project of ordered liberty. Instead, in the name of “equity,” “sustainable development,” “public health,” “diversity,” and “inclusion,” these powerful groups attack our history, weaponize ethnic resentments, and alienate children from their parents (and even their own bodies) while denying our God-given rights, reason, and reality itself.

What if we’d told you ten years ago that most states and the federal government would soon close schools, churches, and private businesses and force people to stay in their homes for months during a public health crisis — with no evidence that this would do any good?

Would you have believed it? Would you have believed the same government would collude with tech companies to silence and cancel anyone — even experts from Harvard, Yale, and Stanford — who criticized the lockdowns?

Would you have believed that our government would try to squelch any discussion of the fact that the health crisis was most likely coming from a lab in Communist China? Or that it had helped fund the research in that same lab?

Would you have believed that parents around the country would take their young kids to pornographic drag shows? That teachers would teach young kids they might have been born in the wrong body and tempt them to explore dangerous “gender transition” drugs and surgery behind their parents’ backs? Or that the U.S. Department of Justice would target parents who complained about any of this at school board meetings as “domestic terrorists”?

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Would you have believed that rioters would rampage in a dozen U.S. cities, unpunished, night after night, but citizens who resisted them would be charged with murder? That nonviolent protestors who questioned a fishy presidential election would be treated like terrorists? That the FBI would send two dozen armed SWAT officers to knock down the door and arrest a father because he pushed a man at a pro-life protest — a man who was attacking his young son?

Would you have believed that our nation’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies would become so partisan that they would not only defy a sitting president but cooperate in efforts to remove him from office by falsifying documents and lying under oath? Or that media platforms would delete that president’s account during a contested election? Would you have believed the federal government would sit on its collective hands while TikTok — a highly addictive social media platform controlled by the Chinese military — exposed tens of millions of our kids to self-harm, porn, and hatred of their country?

Here’s the Good News

Here’s the good news: The army forming against this madness is at least as broad as the coalition that beat Soviet Communism during the Cold War. That earlier alliance of libertarians, anti-communists, and social conservatives made up the GOP electoral base. The core of this new army is serious people of faith and social conservatives — those who (on average) get married, have kids, attend worship services at least once a week, and don’t conform to the madness around them.

This is a fight not just against bad policies and bad ideas, but against the principalities and powers in the world and in our hearts. We can’t fight the good fight unless we commit ourselves to truth, light, and life.

Around that core are many blue-collar Americans who rallied to Donald Trump and many ethnic minorities who notice the gap between their religious faith and the Democratic Party platform. It extends to GOP voters who thought that “moderating” on abortion or same-sex marriage would make that “icky sex stuff” go away, and now see that they gave up precious territory and gained nothing in return.

It also includes some liberals who are rethinking their former views.

You can also define this army by what it opposes. Draw a circle around conservative Catholics, evangelicals, and Jews who will resist the leftist tide of our culture even if it costs them. Include those who oppose “wokeness” in schools, media, politics, and corporations, and who will risk their jobs and reputations to fight Critical Race Theory and gender ideology. Finally, include everyone who resisted the lockdown fever in 2020 and never wants to see anything like that happen again. These people form the emerging “alliance of faith and reason.”

Healing Rifts on the Right

The looniness on the left helped summon this new alliance. But it’s threatened by certain new rifts on the right.

Too many self-styled “conservatives” are squeamish about using their legal power. Republican governors wither at the first threat from woke corporations. Christian “influencers” worry about talk of a “culture war.” They preach “norms,” “civility,” and “faithful presence.” Two such influencers — Russell Moore, now the editor of Christianity Today, and David French — have formed the “After Party.” Their tagline is “Towards a Better Christian Politics.” What they offer, though, is a smug, we’re-better-than-those-Trumpsters surrender as the left seizes new territory.

Our advice is just the opposite. “Open war is upon you,” Aragorn advised Théoden in The Lord of the Rings, “whether you would risk it or not.” We refer, of course, to culture war — a war of ideas, policies, laws, and institutions. For decades, the secular left has been the aggressor. Conservatives and people of faith have been on defense. We’ve tried to fight the leftist advance on one front while having to debate those in our own ranks who are too fractious, squeamish, or unfocused to press for victory.

As in The Lord of the Rings, in fighting the darkness, we must resist the desire to use it for our own purposes. We must fight, yes. But we must fight the good fight. This is a fight not just against bad policies and bad ideas, but against the principalities and powers in the world and in our hearts. We can’t fight the good fight unless we commit ourselves to truth, light, and life. And we can’t win if we fragment into tiny warring camps with evangelical “Christian nationalists” in the valley, Catholic integralists in the mountains, and anti-woke liberals tweeting in the clouds. This is what the left wants us to do. Instead, we must build an alliance big and strong enough to resist — and defeat — the global wokocracy.

Hope Remains

Despite the looming darkness, we, and our country, are still here. Yes, the time is short. The stakes are high. The enemies are legion. But this litany of doom hasn’t made us gloomy. We recite it here merely to wake you up. Remember: In the end, reality eats bad ideas for lunch. The ACLU can’t reform biology. The public can’t rewrite natural law at the ballot box. Solar physics doesn’t care if the UN tries to abolish it. And at the heart of reality lies not mere biology, politics, physics, or an erratic pagan god. It is the Logos — the transcendent God of reason, truth, and love, who seeks to forgive and to redeem the penitent sinner. God is not finished with America. But if we’re going to get off our road to ruin, we must do more than slow down and conserve whatever good remains. We must repent. That means we need to make a hard, 180-degree turn — and fast. If we pray, think straight, persuade other lovers of truth to join us, and fight together — wise as serpents and innocent as doves — then there’s still hope.


Jay W. Richards, Ph.D., was the founding executive editor of The Stream. He is the William E. Simon senior research fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, where he focuses on protecting life, marriage and religious liberty, and a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute

James Robison is The Stream’s Founder and Publisher. He is Founder of LIFE Outreach International and co-host of LIFE Today. He’s the author of many books, including Indivisible (with Jay Richards) and Living Amazed.


Copyright © 2024 Jay Richards & James Robison. Excerpted by permission of Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

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