It’s a simple play on the presidential campaign slogan of Donald Trump, who exhorts supporters to join him and “make America great again.” A Christian author changes a single word, making for a significantly more provocative message. Make America think again. The politics of the moment reflect a culture gripped by widespread subjectivity and emotionalism. Writes The Christian Egoist:
Gone is civil disagreement. Gone is objective discussion about issues. Gone is principled and well-reasoned arguments for one policy or another. And gone with all of that is any fundamental distinction between the allegedly opposing sides. The crying passion of both is: In with emotions, out with thinking! In with rage, out with discourse! In with mindless assertions, out with evidence and facts! In with my dictator of choice, out with rights and liberty!
The author goes on to convict his fellow Christians of contributing to this state of affairs with lazy non-intellectual theology:
“Not us!” protests the [conservative Christians], “We’re the ones who have fought hard against the relativism and postmodernism of the left!” Have you? Sure, the predominantly Christian base––which provides the closest thing there is to a “conservative worldview”––has fought to say that our principles are based on absolutes and objectivity, but have they meant it? What is the Christian conservative’s “absolute” which counters the left’s relativism, and what has been the objective ground for that absolute? The absolute: God. The ground: faith. In other words, the predominant conservative response to the arbitrary assertions and emotional arguments of the left has been to arbitrarily assert God, and then to back up that assertion with our own feelings. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a Christian, and I certainly believe God to be the ultimate absolute (metaphysically). But I don’t think He is honored when we arbitrarily assert Him as some mindless opinion, and then treat Him like a fairytale that we believe in because of some feeling we get. In other words, my sole reason for believing in God––and everything I believe about Him––is grounded, not in subjective emotions and wishes, but in the objective rationality of the Christian worldview. To allow an ounce of subjectivity or emotionalism in on the issue of God is to open wide the floodgates to all manner of irrationality that we see around us today.
In other words, the current trend of lifting up feelings and sentiment as somehow authoritative began in our theology. We have treated God like a fancier version of Santa Claus, then wonder why the world we present Him to does not take Him seriously.
If we want out of the current bog, we’ll have to think our way out. We’ll have to restore rationality as an authoritative force in the culture. We will have to make America think again.