A Review of The Year 202020202020

The Year That Never Ends

This special November Issue (2020) came at the wake of a radical leftist soft-totalitarianism that seeks to devour all that is human and humane. Now as November comes to a close and the great a-wokening continues forward, we must gather together as Christians to uphold the sacredness of our faith, the Truth of Christ in the darkness of our world.

Our approaching December Issue (2020) will be an evolving one. Not an all at once publication of articles, rather a liturgy of prayer, music, art, scripture, poetry, and articles that all direct the reader to the one essential reality that Jesus Christ is KING.

Month of November

November Issue (2020)

By Virtue of Desecration: Liberation & the Sexual Moral Erosion of America

“In-Doxycated”

The Left’s Feminist Narrative Killer

TruthInFocus Podcast: Ep 1 Book Review of Live Not By Lies by Rod Dreher

Totalitarian ‘Diversocrats’ and American Higher Education: A Review

Political Indoctrination and Enzyme Inhibition: How Imbalances Prevent Unity

The Voices of the Silenced

The Convergence of the Progressive Telos

Totalitarian Incantations: Late Modernity’s Radical Manifestations

TIF Podcast: November 3rd Is Here

Insight

Too Divided To Stand: Election 2020 & The Future of America

Thy Week, Thus Far (11/11/2020)

Thy Week, Thus Far: Anti-Trumpist Revoluionaires, Perverted Corruptible Men, & the Coming Judgement Upon Us All

Opinion

America’s Identity Crisis

Special Series

Target Takes Aim

Theology

For I Am Not Ashamed Of The Gospel

Letter From The Editor

Substack Chronicles

Mere Beauty In Truth

Symposium Of Dreams

In October, we approached the month by spreading our wings and laying a foundation with podcasts, an official statement, and a special series on virtue over politics.

Month of October

A Declaration

Foundations: What We Stand On

AVisualPhilosophy (Month of October) (MereBeautyInTruth)

Echo and Narcissus by John William Waterhouse (1903)

MereBeautyInTruth

Slow & Steady: Winning The Race

Thy Week, Thus Far

Wednesday October 7, 2020

Wednesday October 14, 2020

Wednesday October 21, 2020

Thy Week, Thus Far: Trump Vs Biden Vs God

Quick Thoughts

When The Eighth Grader See’s Through Them: The VP Debate Of 2020

Speak Now, Cause What Comes Next Isn’t Pretty

All Things Veritas

Christ & the Coffee Ep 2

TIF Podcast: Ep 1: Live Not By Lies By Rod Dreher

TIF Podcast: Ep. 2 Another Gospel? By Alisa Childers

Special Series: Principles Over Politics (Completed)

Principles Over Politics: Exordium

Principles Over Politics: Virtuous Individualism

Principles Over Politics: Industry

Principles Over Politics: Fidelity

Principles Over Politics: Moral Courage

Principles Over Politics: Integrity

In September, immediate events grabbed at us with the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and our public declaration of support for the selection of Amy Coney Barrett.

Month of September

Historical/Analysis

Welcome to the Party: America’s Established Political Parties By Race

Thy Week, Thus Far

Wednesday September 1, 2020

Wednesday September 9, 2020

Wednesday September 23, 2020

Visual Philosophy (Month of September ) (MereBeautyInTruth)

The Oath of the Horatii by Jacques-Louis David

Highlights (Aug/Sept 2020)

Highlights Reel

All Things Veritas (Youtube Channel)

Christ & The Coffee (Theological/Biblical Series)

Ep 1, Series 1

Insight

Burke, Kirk, & Scruton: A Conservative Legacy for the 21st Century

Special Edition

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Memoriam

Amy Coney Barrett: Our Next Supreme Court Justice Whose “Dogma” is Good for America

Special Report

Riled By Politics: The Fate of the U.S. Supreme Court & The Constitution

Quick Thoughts

The Presidential Retrobate… err Debate of 2020 (Round 1)

Hard to believe, but only four months ago, TIF was launched. August marked the beginning of the direction and purpose behind Truth In Focus. Well researched essays, art, poetry, theology… this is a safe haven for Christians and Conservatives.

Month of August

A Special Report Series

Mob Rule, Mob Rules 2020 Part 1: To Mask or Not To Mask Isn’t The Question

Mob Rule, Mob Rules 2020 Part 2: Mob Mentality & The Era of Trump

Opinion

Unsettling Statistics: Children & Consent

Get Woke or Get Broke: When Reason Fails to Stand

PAYWALL’Ed: Academic Research & Open Knowledge

Visual Philosophy (Month of August) (MereBeautyInTruth)

L’Apparition by Gustave Moreau

Poetry

Time by Edward Kyle Richey

Insight

Virtue By Decree (Part 1)

Theology/Scripture

A Word To The Wise

Thy Week, Thus Far

Wednesday August 26, 2020

You can always read these articles and more in our Archives section.

Thy Week, Thus Far

(Wednesday October 21, 2020)

A Weekly Wednesday Dose of Truth

To my readers, I am back! This week I am going to be doing two book reviews through the new TIF podcast. It will be the first of many more that will be a part of the Truth In Focus and All Things Veritas network. Additionally, I am announcing part 3 of Mob Rule, Mob Rules 2020 along with a part 4 before the end of this month! Finally, the month of November will begin a special issue of Truth In Focus. It will be a magazine style edition. I know you will enjoy. Now onward to the week!

Articles, Podcasts, and Videos

Matt Fradd (Pints with Aquinas). Fradd hosted a debate last night (which I watched) between Stephanie Gray Connors and Dr. Malcom Potts. It was actually a really formal and polite discussion which we rarely see over such topics. Dr. Potts is a human reproductive scientist and professor at UC Berkeley School of Public Health who advocates for abortions but his position has changed as to the age of when an abortion should no longer be performed—past 12weeks. Connors is a human rights defender, international speaker, founder of Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, and author of Love Unleashes Life: Abortion and the Art of Communicating Truth. Of course we advocate against abortion here at TIF but we respect the need to dialogue and learn from others. You will learn from this discussion. See the video here: Abortion Debate – Stephanie Gray Connors Vs Abortionist, Dr. Malcom Potts

Rod Dreher (Editor/Writer). Dreher, Senior editor for The American Conservative Magazine, is just on a roll this year. His new book which I will be reviewing this week! And all of his articles are spot on about the “Soft-Totalitarianism” coming to America. One that has stood out to me, okay they all do, but one I wanted to personally mention was Facebook censoring, once again, another organization but this time it is the Christian satirical news, Babylon Bee! Yes, the wokeness tech monster cannot have their progressive ways be even mocked. Check out the article: Facebook Stings Babylon Bee

Douglas Wilson (Blog & Mablog). Moscow, Idaho has been in the news lately because of the Christian “protest” (it was a signing of psalms) without a mask and in protest against Church gathering restrictions. Some were arrested. That is Doug Wilson and congregation from Christ Church. Wilson has written dozens of books and is most recently outspoken against the wearing of masks. I don’t share the absolute vitriol of masks but I understand his most recent point. Read it for yourself: They Don’t Really Own Your Face, You Know

Thy Week, Thus Far

Wednesday September 23, 2020

Articles, Podcasts, and Videos

Rod Dreher (Editor/Writer). Dreher wrote what I think to be the most important article of this decade. It will be the only article showcased here today.

Senior editor for The American Conservative Magazine, Dreher looks at Prof. Ibram X. Kendi, a radical public intellectual whose books include How to Be an Antiracist (2019) and Stamped from the Beginning (2016) are best sellers over the rise of Black Lives Matter. Kendi has been covered at New Discourses specifically in the article, Defining Racism Up: Ibram X. Kendi’s Weird Definition of Anti-racism. As writer and economist Thomas Sowell explains, “[i]intellectual’s work begins and ends with ideas… Adam Smith never ran a business and Karl Marx never administered a Gulag… They were intellectuals” (Intellectuals and Society, p.3). Kendi is cut from the same cloth. As Dreher cites from Kendi’s own twitter account, a person is either racist or anti-racist but never not racist. Kendi’s intellectualism distorts reality for his radical ideals which are to make us all broke or woke. He cannot nor does not acknowledge the absurdity of his argument that we must always be “Doing the work” of fighting racism which sounds like a good cause until one realizes that his form of racism is everything White, Eurocentric, Westernized, Classically Liberal, Conservative or Judeo-Christian in nature. His ideals are as I have noted:

Far from the spectrum of coexistence, woke ideals hold a Socialist-Marxist predisposition in uprooting systems by devaluing people who oppose them and belittling constructive debate that could possibly cultivate ideas across ideological lines. Almost a hundred years ago (98 to be exact) the economist and social theorist Ludwig von Mises published, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis (1922), warning against socialism: 

According to the Marxist conception, one’s social condition determines one’s way of thought. His membership of a social class decides what views a writer will express. He is not able to grow out of his class or to free his thoughts from the prescriptions of his class interests. Thus the possibility of a general science which is valid for all men, whatever their class, is contested… Thus Marxism protects itself against all unwelcome criticism… Marx and Engels never tried to refute their opponents with argument. They insulted, ridiculed, derided, slandered, and traduced them, and in the use of these methods their followers are not less expert. Their polemic is directed never against the argument of the opponent, but always against his person. Few have been able to withstand such tactics (pp. 18-19) (Source: Get Woke or Get Broke: When Reason Fails to Stand).

In their mind, not only are negotiations over but they were never going to begin. They are here to destroy. Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such a radicalism in America as these Intellectuals whose ideas are quickly infecting corporations, governments, and the like. And it all arose from Colleges and Universities.

Read Dreher’s article: American ‘Intelligents’

Thy Week, Thus Far

Wednesday August 26, 2020

A Weekly Wednesday Dose of Truth

Zeno of Elea by Carducci or Tibaldi

Articles, Podcasts, and Videos

Rod Dreher (Writer & Author) wrote an excellent piece at The American Conservative concerning the dreadful revelation of Becki and Jerry Falwell Jr sex-capades with their former pool boy. Liberty University has not been in my opinion a shining light for the Christian faith but the University still represents a large portion of American Christianity that dims the light even more. See: Falwell Family Values

Rob Henderson (Ph.D. Student at the University of Cambridge) published an article over at Quillette. Henderson argues that the rise of a luxury mindset has a corrupting nature going from high class society to the bottom. An interesting piece for our decadent times, but I would suggest that this corrupted nature exists in all of humanity and simply manifests in different ways depending on power, influence, etc. Still a valuable read for us all. See: Thorstein Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class—A Status Update

Faith Angle (Podcast) A podcast that seeks to bring together scholars and journalists to discuss relevant issues through cultivating deeper religious consideration. Last week, I know not this weeks news but we all benefit from learning, was an interview with Rod Dreher and Andrew Sullivan concerning the rise of illiberal groups particularly in relation to Woke ideology and what Dreher calls “soft totalitarianism.” Dreher has a new and upcoming book, Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents (2020), coming out in late September. I imagine Dreher is borrowing the term from Tocqueville’s “Soft Despotism” found in Democracy in America (1835). Both are proper terms for describing the Western move towards Socialism and Marxist ideologies. See: Rod Dreher and Andrew Sullivan: Live Not by Lies

Still Life by Jan Davidsz de Heem

Get Woke or Get Broke: When Reason Fails to Stand

(Opinion)

(Note to my readers: Originally I intended this piece to be of the category, Special Report, meaning a stricter standard in how information is analyzed and cited. Essentially that standard requires greater in-depth study. While I personally believe what I wrote here today to be true and factual, it did not meet my standard of a Special Report. Therefore, I qualify this as an opinion piece.)

Classical Liberalism On Edge

Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust.

— John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, p. 3

Individuals have rights, and there are things no person or group may do to them (without violating their rights). So strong and far-reaching are these rights that they raise the question of what, if anything, the state and its officials may do.

— Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, p. xix 

In the course of human history there have been principles worth abiding by when considering a deep, problematic societal concern that has and can continue to have great ramifications if it either remains unresolved or attempted to mitigate. Oftentimes issues of such magnitude fall within realms that provoke or placate the values and emotions of a populace. Justice, an essential value concerning human nature, is one of those realms. To better grasp such a realm, an acquisition of human institutions are required; those social institutions specifically include Faith, Tradition, Reason, and Imagination all of which can help an individual and society uncover values above and beyond themselves. Yet, what arises when these institutions dissolve, for whatever reason that may be, is a culture that moves away from interaction towards disengagement and then usurpation. Of all the institutions, reason is the most fragile and in a liberal democratic society, the failure to reason is the sign of a metaphysical collapse.

Classical liberal theory is a term to describe the belief in the rights of the individual, the freedom of markets, and private property. Within the context of the United States, the U.S. Constitution is a document representative of classical liberal thought though not entirely. Presently in the United States of America a climax has occurred on several ideological fronts. One such shift is the rise of woke culture from the far-left through its permeation into governments, corporations, universities, and other private-public institutions. No western post-industrial society is free from its wake.  

Wokeness Monster

Extensive analysis fills the web concerning critical theory, postmodernism, and cultural marxism. While additional analysis is necessary that is not the focus of this article. Therefore, a simple explanation will suffice concerning the meaning of Woke, Wokeness, or Woke Culture.

To be woke means a form of “awakening” to injustice particularly linked to racial injustices yet intersectional toward other oppressed minority/identity based groups e.g. trans/cisgender. Woke cultural markings have evolved into a dangerous ideology of critical, liberation, and social justice movements that developed ties to Marxism, Postmodernism, and other leftist identity based theories and organizations who oppose so-called Eurocentric or Westernized systems (e.g. Capitalism, Free Speech, Merit Base, Scientific Method, etc). To be presently woke means joining a collective that is centered on destroying entire westernized structures, not reforming them. And therein lies the problem.    

End of Discussion

Oversimplifying for the sake of a greater argument, it can be said that Christians and Conservatives, though fundamentally different, share a unique appreciation and understanding of the needs for the layout of faith, tradition, reason, and imagination. One based entirely on the faith in Jesus Christ and the other a philosophical movement in response to the French Revolution both seeking to challenge the hearts and minds of men in a sacred responsibility. Christians nor Conservatives are strangers to cultural critique including of liberal society (e.g. Capitalism or Free Speech) and upholding standards beyond the relative values of the day. As the conservative thinker Russell Kirk explained, “The pure democrat is the practical atheist; ignoring the divine nature of law and the divine establishment of spiritual hierarchy” (The Conservative Mind, p. 137). A synergy exists between the two over their respect for God and a moral law. However, neither fail to recognize liberalism’s overarching value to the world through their shared principles concerning human liberty, freedom, and rights. Both critique liberalism but never demanding the obliteration of classical liberal thought. In no fashion is that an attempt to whitewash history. Every side has its rabble that claim to uphold righteous values only to commit atrocities, however, as long as homo sapiens exist so shall their brutal behaviors. Historically Christianity, Liberalism, and Conservatism have peacefully coexisted despite their differences. 

Far from the spectrum of coexistence, woke ideals hold a Socialist-Marxist predisposition in uprooting systems by devaluing people who oppose them and belittling constructive debate that could possibly cultivate ideas across ideological lines. Almost a hundred years ago (98 to be exact) the economist and social theorist Ludwig von Mises published, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis (1922), warning against socialism: 

According to the Marxist conception, one’s social condition determines one’s way of thought. His membership of a social class decides what views a writer will express. He is not able to grow out of his class or to free his thoughts from the prescriptions of his class interests. Thus the possibility of a general science which is valid for all men, whatever their class, is contested… Thus Marxism protects itself against all unwelcome criticism… Marx and Engels never tried to refute their opponents with argument. They insulted, ridiculed, derided, slandered, and traduced them, and in the use of these methods their followers are not less expert. Their polemic is directed never against the argument of the opponent, but always against his person. Few have been able to withstand such tactics (pp. 18-19).

Those words ring equally true today. As I mentioned in Part 1 of my series Mob Rule, Mob Rules: 

Mob rule means a collective identity group must win. Mob rules serve the interests of that collective. Liberty and her institutions are being tested by this eruptive behavior, serving as a reminder that when pure rage is the predicate for judgement, tyranny is never far behind. What comes next will be decided by the public will for civility or lack thereof. Humanity itself may not only end up alone but alone with no way out. 

Without question the radical left are not alone in their threat against a liberal order but they are defining the times as R.R. Reno wrote in his book, Return of the Strong Gods (2019):

Today’s technocratic ethos defines political legitimacy in terms of the weak gods of policy expertise, therapeutic delicacy when speaking of sensitive topics, and the rhetoric of diversity and other motifs of inclusion (p. 141). 

Catholics like Reno represent a necessary deflection against the left vs right attitudes of our time. Believers in the good, the beautiful, and the true recognize that there can be shared critiques without shared beliefs in radical, revolutionary uprisings found within Communism or Fascism. Catholicism has long promotedsocial justice” issues including its claim that the idea itself comes from the book of Matt: 25:31-46. That claim, true or untrue, points to a long line of thinkers from the Apostle Matthew to Thomas Aquinas and onward, a line of pre-modern thinkers rather than modern thinkers like Karl Marx whom heretical christian groups have adopted; a movement rooted in gnosticism rather than Christian teaching. 

If those on the fringe would only listen and grasp that there are means to redemption, a shared bond in both the craving for justice and the rights of the individual—the Rawls-Nozick dichotomy—can be reached without destroying the very foundations that granted them their rights and privileges in the first place. Unfortunately, extremists have broken through in a trojan horse disguised as inclusiveness, diversity, equity, and universals (e.g. healthcare, housing, etc) on the back of a neoliberal order that momentarily makes even Socialism look promising by the untrained eye. They are not interested in listening, they are here to destroy.

Dr. James Lindsay, a physicist and mathematician from New Discourses, is one of the leading thinkers on critical theories and social justice practices including on why woke culture is anti-debate wrote:

The deeper, more significant aspect of this problem is that by participating in something like conversation or debate about scholarly, ethical, or other disagreements, not only do the radical Critical Social Justice scholars have to tacitly endorse the existing system, they also have to be willing to agree to participate in a system in which they truly believe they cannot win. This isn’t the same as saying they know they’d lose the debate because they know their methods are weak. It’s saying that they believe their tools are extremely good but not welcome in the currently dominant system, which is a different belief based on different assumptions. Again, their game is not our game, and they don’t want to play our game at all; they want to disrupt and dismantle it.

Fundamentally the critical ideological framework cannot coexist with our present rights, freedoms, and liberties; our culture is an anthemia to their ideals.  

What Happens Now?

Pessimism can easily set in when surveying the political landscape. There are no guarantees of success if that success means a complete and total reversal. Instead the pressures of life require those who oppose all forms of radicalization to be truthful and loving at a moment when anger and rage can easily persevere but only at great unnecessary costs. Reason will not work. Only the actions of a people who can rely on truth beyond reason, a movement beyond mere modern beliefs, and uphold eternal principles regardless of threat can withstand the revolutionary spirit filling the air. “Be still, and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10, ESV), that is the required spirit. Believers (and unbelievers) in God must testify truth and goodness through the acknowledgement of present hurts which no doubt exist within the black community and the latin community and the LGBTQ community. Again, there is a shared bond, a means to redemption beyond the ruin of an already broken world. Demands for justice need to be heard but never at the abandonment of truth, reality, and morality or it only becomes another form of injustice. 

Christians can lead in this through their understanding that while they may be alone, they are never truly alone and our calling is above ourselves. Conservatives can resonate in that understanding. And those beholden too Liberalism, especially classical liberal thinking, know what it means to sacrifice and stand against tyranny when it rises; prize an ideal beyond their present estate. All three prize liberty though in different forms but rooted in the greatest of ideals: Human Freedom. 

We must not become radicalized in response. Let their injustice show by speaking up for justice and speaking out against injustice; truth over untruth; reality above irreality; goodness over hate. Death by virtue versus radicalized ideals that seek to breakdown and destroy. Fight but with real love, not the fake dignity espoused by those who insult, deride, and traduce people no matter their origin. 

Announcements

Wednesday August 12, 2020

Upcoming

Aug 13 – Get Woke or Get Broke: When Reason Fails to Stand (A Special Report)

Aug 14 – A Visual Philosophy Series (Aesthetics) A Mere Beauty In Truth

Aug 17 – Mob Rule, Mob Rules (Part 2) Mob Mentality & The Trump Administration

Highlights

Grant Mitchell (MOT/ OTR/L) (Licensed Specialist in Occupational Therapy)

Prof. Kaleb ‘Kal’ Demerew (Adjunct at Concordia University School of Business and Communication; Specialist in International and Comparative Politics; Ph.D student at USF School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies)