by Aaron Warner
Grace is often misunderstood. For most people, “grace” is the quick prayer you say before eating a meal with your family. But grace isn’t something we say. It’s something we can experience. And give to others.
Grace, when properly understood, is perhaps the most freeing reality imaginable. Like freedom, it is available to all. Grace is the very thing that could quickly and effectively heal the bitter divide we see in our world today, especially here in the US, including Vermont. However grace carries with it the implication that we all need it and to give it equally, as opposed to some of us are incapable of it while others need more than just grace.
A working definition of grace is: unmerited favor. In other words, grace is benefiting by something or from someone you didn’t deserve. Not to be confused with mercy, which is to avoid that which you deserve. For example, mercy is to face a ten year prison sentence for a crime you’d committed and only receive five years. Grace is to face a ten year prison sentence and spend no time in prison but rather have the judge give you a well-paying job and discount on your rent. Grace is not getting less of the negative consequences you deserve, it’s getting the positive consequences you don’t deserve.
Critical Race Theorists are a type of social justice warriors. Though names and titles can be confusing, especially when you ask them to clarify, their aims are not at all confusing. They seek to enact social justice for any and all past or current perceived social injustices. Perhaps the most notable is the injustice of historical slavery, specifically in the United States. Other injustices include any and all real or perceived injustices experienced or felt by the BIPOC (Black-Indigenous-People of Color) community.
In order to achieve “justice” they are set about identifying the unjust oppressors who are, for lack of a clearer way of putting it, “white”, while the oppressed are anyone who are not white. Curiously the progenitors of this theory seem either unaware or unbothered by the fact that this dialectical way of framing society is a type of literal black and white thinking, and that black and white thinking is a symptom of either mental illness or mental disorder. The simplicity of it is seemingly more attractive than its trappings, and the need to examine it critically for its potential failures is, ironically, not something they seem persuaded to do. Justice is not an outcome to be deterred by such virtues as patience.
It is a theory based on an idea contrived by looking at the recorded history of the United States, including the colonial era immediately prior to its constitutional establishment, whereby the Marxist lens of critical theory is used to establish the well-worn dialectic of oppressor and oppressed classes. In this case the oppressors are “white” people and the oppressed are “colored” people. It is an oddly binary view of life brought from a group that detests most binary categories. It hopes to be a means to social justice, however, like many well-intended left-leaning policy ideas, such as Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society initiative that has fostered massive decline in black prosperity, it not only fails to achieve justice, but creates greater injustice.
This dialectical view comes from Hegel’s teachings which offers control over outcomes for those who control the narrative. Hegel’s dialectical argument is mathematical in nature. Plotted out it appears as thesis + antithesis = synthesis. The math is not so simple, but more a type of syllogism intended to change the fabric of society. This method of both contriving the social narrative and controlling the outcome by determining thesis, antithesis and synthesis has been used successfully since its inception. Perhaps the best example is that of the ultimate Marxist aim, the New World Order.
Ever the optimists these warriors believe, as many of them do with the global climate change theory, that man has the ability and thus power to engineer the previously wild and incalculable phenomena of societal ills to create a just outcome in our present society. It is a fundamental view of mankind as somehow capable of constructing a utopia of equality and equity despite an entire history and present riddled with both equality, equity and their counterparts, inequality and inequity. Hell-bent on equity and equality and holding a loose grip on the scientific method of observation in determining this outcome, social justice theorists believe they are the arbiters of societal equity. Taking a myopic and selective view of American history they adopt this black and white thinking in order to simplify their aim. In so doing they believe in putting their perceived need of global justice over universal grace.
Marx, like so many others, virtually plagiarizes the teachings of Jesus. Jesus saw the religious leaders of His time, those entrusted with the fair handling of God’s holy people, were instead oppressing them with spiritual burdens beyond those we already experience from the vicissitudes of life and its built in struggles. Marx sees this oppressor versus oppressed paradigm more from an economic standpoint where the wealthy ruling class oppress the poor laborers. Marx sees the need for a complete overhaul of all existing structures aimed at a New World Order.
Eighteen hundred years prior Jesus said He came to destroy the works of the real enemy of the people, a spiritual enemy, who machinates behind the scenes to manipulate both oppressed and oppressors, and that this would one day culminate in an entirely new earth and new spiritual person. The divergence comes in that Marx, a deadbeat dad to five children who died by his neglect and never worked with his hands, believes it is in man to destroy the existing order and rise like a phoenix from the ashes miraculously assuming a new nature by virtue of changed societal structure and power, the epitome of naïve and wishful thinking, and Jesus explains the corruption in man is not societal but spiritual. Men, by our very nature, are physically living but spiritually dead. This explains rapacity, greed, lying, conspiring, murdering and so on. It is at the core level of the spirit where we are bankrupt. Marx’s view is painfully superficial, which informs the view of Critical Race Theorists who look only at the surface color of one’s skin.
One sees race, the other the need for grace.
Critical Grace Theory came to earth some two thousand years ago in the form of a man far more capable of diagnosing society’s ills than Marx, Engels, Nietzsche, Freud, Rand, Plato, Mohammed or all of them put together. In the ultimate act of mercy He showed us grace by offering us a way out of both our spiritual deadness and its inescapable and eternal fate. In that He showed us a kindness that is sorely missing from today’s political opponents, largely because they either don’t know what grace is or how much they need it.
No manner of self-flagellating “work” or denying of one’s immutable characteristics like color or sex will ever heal what truly ails us. One does not end the corruption in our world by superficial or philosophical means. You can’t make a dead person alive with make-up or motivational speeches. You cannot fix a broken system from the inside, it requires a capable technician who understands how to fix it from the outside. That technician came and showed us how it can be fixed.
Aaron Warner is a Citizen Columnist for Vermont Daily and a resident of Hartford, VT.
I LOVE THIS Mr. Warner!! THANK YOU!
Much like forgiveness, Grace is very necessary, yet very misunderstood. These Gifts are both so needed for ALL of us as flawed humans living in a fallen world.
Thank you kindly. I am still stunned at people who know so little about Marx and the life he actually lived versus the one he wasted his time philosophizing about. Neither produced any fruit worth preserving yet the aroma of deception is so strong his theory it intoxicates the superficial observers, of which there are many here in Vermont.
Critical Race Theory, Black Lives Matter and the Left writ-large are a kind of theological movement. With their rejection of a transcendent God or of any religion they look for an explanation for the pain, suffering and evil in the world. Minimizing the world into identities of race, sex, sexual orientation, etc. and social or cultural constructionism, they summarize the world into white civilization versus non-white civilization and then go on to believing that all reality up to now has been socially constructed (post-modernism) by and for the benefit of whites and at the detriment or expense of non-whites. Wrong-doing or evil has been identified in this worldview as attributed to whites and the overthrow of white civilization (modernity or the European Enlightenment) will bring about salvation and justice. This worldview goes back to the Garden of Eden and the serpent. Original Sin. Man searching for his temporal justice instead of God’s eternal mercy.
It’s also a side-set away from Hitler’s national socialism which was race based versus class. All true socialism operates on the same deceptive principles of an economic theory that simply violates actual human nature. We are individuals first and foremost, not groups, and the people of New England used to understand that.
I disagree on at least 2 points: The “great Society” was working, albeit slowly. Reagan discontinuedpolicies, many, in order to break up the Soviet Union. That wasn’t necessarily a bad idea.
As far as the intentions of many on the radical left, I don’t see them as so well-intentioned. They have committed and/or defended atrocities, etc.
If we are agreeing on the definition of “The Great Society” as a set of domestic programs in the United States launched by Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964-65, I disagree with your view that it “was working.” If looking only on the surface, these programs appeared to be good.
Most of the social programs displaced personal responsibility and allowed the US Government to interject themselves into personal lives and families having control of more monies.The programs have grown and are now estimated to be 60% of the US Budget. Some people legitimately need help, but these programs have become enabling and debilitating to many capable people who have been conditioned to take ALL that if offered by the Government.
The great society was working or has worked? Looking at black families, crime rates, level of reading, etc. it is an utter failure. It’s not about race either because the people who rise the fastest in the American system are Nigerians who expatriate here.
All socialist policies, including LBJ’s, are crypto slavery of the frog in the pot variety. In each case the frog is lead to believe he is entering a swimming pool at a resort until he realizes the heat he feels isn’t coming from the sun.
What a breath of fresh air. Thank you Aaron. Trying to prove righteousness is a merry-go-round that never ends and one can waste an entire life being bitter instead of reveling in its wonderment. I never understood GRACE. You have done an excellent job in your explanation. Typically most people have an attitude of extending GRACE only after evaluating the merit or worthiness of the individual needing the help. It becomes clear that what undermines GRACE are well intentioned legislative mandates that hollows out one’s appreciation and replaces it with programs of entitlement. The miracle of GRACE is giving and thus accepting GRACE when every logical human thought contradicts the act of kindness. I have learned this the hard way in my life. Ironically when I have chosen to invoke Grace, it has given me more back than I have ever given away. Spiritually my cup runith over. You can’t legislate that!
Well said. Once you apprehend what it really means and how it works I can’t think of anything greater than the Grace of God. It is the only free program worth enrolling in fir life. Thank you for sharing.
You give too much credit to “Leftists”. They aren’t of the Left and they don’t operate on a philosophical level. They are power hungry corporatists using the same logic as Robespierre or Marat in France to divide, confuse and ultimately tear away social cohesion. Marx was a fraud but like many frauds his framework is useful to sow division and distrust. The “left” can then draw on the works of Alinsky, Bill Ayers and Susan Rosenbaum to utterly destroy our sense of common heritage.
Sadly republicans are no better. They go along for the ride, pointing out the extreme positions of their political rivals to, again divide enrage and sow mutual distrust. It’s how we ended up with a uniparty of political sleaze and corruption, operating in plain sight.
So……. we are open to hear. What are your ideas and solutions?
I have lots of ideas but I think the best are to not try and reinvent the wheel. Individual education is critical, and sharing truths with those who lack understanding is essential for putting water under this cliff-dive we seem to be in.
1. For those not sullied by the new school of anti-American teachings it’s important to understand the answers to the following questions:
If America is founded on slavery, why did Vermont end slavery in 1777? Who supported it’s abolition? Were they socialists, atheists, Christians?
How did America become the most powerful nation in the world in the fastest time ever recorded? Likewise how did it become the wealthiest?
Was slavery profitable? Is it today? Do those with the freeness to contract their services create a greater economic environment than slavery/socialism?
If American is so down on the BIPOC how is it Nigerians who expatriate here do better than all others? Why do Indians and east Asians seek to come here and do so well?
Encourage people, especially leftists to listen to Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Larry Elder, Alan Watts, Candace Owens, etc.
2. As one who has seen the power of it for 20 years I strongly encourage EVERYONE, believer and non, to pray and ask God for wisdom (James 1:5-8), as well as resources to lead a counter-revolution like the one we see among school board meetings.
3. Legislators NEED to hear from conservatives. We are their administrators – i.e. bosses – if we aren’t leading them WE are falling down on the job. They will produce what they believe the public wants unless told otherwise.
Finally, is there anything greater than love? Let is go with every one of these endeavors. Wish for the good of everyone no matter how heinous their disposition or beliefs. The article is about grace, yet is the love of God that energizes that grace. So it should be with us. Ultimately they are the most freeing things that bring the most good. Freedom, after all, is the fundamental principle that separates America from the rest of the pack and why so many wish to come here.
If you can’t sell freedom you suck.
– Andrew Breitbart
I agree at the top and in many key positions we have manipulators and powers who use ideological tactics to created division, but they are few. There long march to the institutions has been effective and the superficiality of those who adhere with a type of chauvinistic militarism, on either side, are a problem. However I think the majority of people are merely deceived and do want what’s best for all including themselves.
I think you give too little credit. Your view is cynical to the point of Machiavellianism. Ironically, it is lacking in grace, which is required if we’re ever going to bridge the divide. If we assume the worst about the left AND the right, is there a middle free of criticism? Your comment borders on misanthropy.
I had a pleasant conversation with a woman who is in the middle and she is able to see most of us want the same thing – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with those whom we love. Is this not true of most of mankind or do you think we’ve devolved into a world of psychopaths and sociopaths?
Perhaps acquiring a monocle of grace to look through will allow you to see the in a better light?
Most Excellent Commentary! CRT, like BLM & BDS, are wolves in sheep’s clothing inside a Trojan Horse, already. Self-described “Anti-Racist” “peace and justice” (they have over-appropriated these terms ad nauseum) SJW’s. Contrary, reefer-huffing Antifa types who want the USA to go the way of Cuba and Venezuela. Clueless clients of chaos.