Why We Refuse to Fight

Servile Christians embrace surrender as a virtue

By John Zmirak Published on December 1, 2020

The best book I’ve worked on, out of a dozen I’ve written, co-written, or edited, was The Bad Catholic’s Guide to the Seven Deadly Sins. Hands down. Not because it’s funnier, or more politically pointed. No, I like it the most because I’ve been told that it’s the most useful. It does something that nobody’s done, at least not in English and not for a very long time, so far as I’ve seen. Let me explain.

Every book I’ve seen on the Seven Deadly Sins lists the sins, and then the virtues they mock or miss. For instance Lust vs. Chastity, Wrath vs. Patience, etc. But that’s only part of the picture, and presenting the moral life that way gravely misleads people. Because the moral life is not about looking at one sin, and overreacting to it to the greatest degree imaginable.

Instead, it’s about finding the Golden Mean between two opposing vices or sins. That’s where virtue lies, between the two. Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and Dante recognized this. Too few Christians writing books on morality have seen this in recent decades.

Lurching From One Sin to its Opposite

As I wrote in the book:

Much of the trouble and most of the self-torturing craziness we find in religious circles comes less from people sunk in deadly sins – though we’ve got our share of those – than from well-meaning people who have carelessly overreacted to a sin by embracing the opposite vice, just to be on the safe side.

But the opposite vice is usually no better than the sin. Sometimes it’s worse. The opposite of Lust isn’t Chastity, but Frigidity. The opposite of Wrath is Servility, which takes a sullen, cowardly pleasure in putting up with mistreatment, and feeling morally superior.

Cuckianity Isn’t for Christians

Servility is what I want to talk about today. Over the past few years, especially among the type of Christians who joined the NeverTrump camp, I’ve seen that deadly neurosis repackaged as a virtue. It pops up in repugnant essays like “Christianity Is for Cucks,” and in redundant books like The Benedict Option. (“Hey, I’ve got an idea. Let’s start our own subculture! Why didn’t anybody ever think of that?”)

And now we’re seeing it turn up in spades just in time to hamper our fight against election fraud.

The Task at Hand

To fight this, first we need to move citizens out of their cozy comfort zone, which pretends that we live in a 1940s civics newsreel. Usually you can manage that by reminding people (as I have) how from 2016 on, the Democrats slandered, libeled, falsely prosecuted, and unleashed violent mobs on their political enemies. Remind them what happened to Nick Sandmann, Brett Kavanaugh, and General Mike Flynn, among many others.

The next step, of course, is to present the actual evidence that the presidential race was dodgy, as the president’s legal team, and on a parallel track, Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, are doing.

Losing Is their Brand

But you’re still not done. For far too many Christians, no amount of evidence of massive, intentional fraud will be enough to get them fighting. Why? They’ve already embraced losing as a brand. They’ve decided that “Turn the other cheek” isn’t limited to trivial personal slights, as Christ actually said.

No, we should also extend it to bigger things like “massive fraud designed to seize power in our country, persecute our churches, and keep on killing babies.” Or, over in Europe, “false persecution claims intended to flood our country with Muslim immigrants who want to impose sharia.” Fill in the blank, as fitting.

For every fight that seems potentially difficult or unpleasant, a Servile Christian is ready to come up with a noble-sounding excuse for letting the wicked triumph. Then quietly feeling proud of himself for his noble embrace of suffering — even if others whom he should have but failed to fight for will suffer far more than he.

You Preen, While Others Suffer

For instance, the fight over whether Joe Biden will take the White House will have big implications for Christians here at home. But it’s life or death for Christians over in Syria. The Biden team has clearly signaled that it intends to help al Qaeda jihadis (the so-called “moderate rebels” John McCain vouched for) take power in Damascus.

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I fondly remember al Qaeda for bombing my home town, New York City. More recently, these “Syrian rebels” marched off to kill Christians in Armenia. And now they hope to ethnically cleanse a million Syrian Christians, countless Alawites, Yazidi, and other religious minorities from Syria. Biden wants to help them, for reasons unclear to me. If we let him take office fraudulently, hundreds of churches will burn.

But thousands of Servile Christians cheeks will flush with a quiet, “humble” pride, as they congratulate themselves on “taking the high road,” and “putting country over party,” and even “not embarrassing themselves” by getting “down in the mud” with Trump and his backers. I tell you solemnly, echoing Jesus, such people “already have their reward.”

Losers Face Temptations, Too

Yes, there are temptations entailed in winning. You might become a bully. Throwing your weight around, you might fall into Vainglory, or succumb to the snares of Wrath. Societies where Christians wielded power sometimes practiced gross intolerance.

Guess what? The devil doesn’t pass up any opportunities.

There are plenty of equally grave temptations that losers face. Especially those who surrendered without a fight. People subject to oppression, like “dhimmi” Christians in the Middle East, are tempted to resentment, even bitter Envy. Those who get smacked down by the State for preaching the Gospel might be stung to greater zeal — or else fall into Sloth, and the comfy slough of despair.

It’s true that persecution produces rare flowers like heroes and martyrs, who wing it into heaven. You know what else it generates? Huge numbers of ordinary people who break under the pressure, renounce their faith, and merit hell.

Ground Down Until they Accepted Islam

The Christian Middle East wasn’t converted to Islam quickly, by the sword. Instead, over several centuries, it was inexorably ground down. One Christian after another got fed up with stepping aside on the sidewalk to make way for any Muslim. With wearing special badges, accepting servile professions, and generally living like an ex-slave in the Jim Crow South of 1890.

Even worse, parents knew that raising their children as Christians guaranteed them the same humiliation, generation after generation. So gradually, most Christians in those lands gave up the Faith.

That’s all Servility gets you in the end: all the way to hell, by the scenic route.

 

John Zmirak is a senior editor at The Stream, and author or co-author of ten books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. He is co-author with Jason Jones of “God, Guns, & the Government.”

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