One thing that can be done to return to order is to awaken longings for Christian order in society. These longings can then bring about a change much like that of the prodigal son who then returned to his father’s house.
A way we can awaken these longings is by introducing supreme themes into the national debate. There are certain topics that by their nature have a great capacity to captivate people and awaken movements of passion toward that which is good, true and beautiful.
Examples of supreme themes today are the Love of God, nobility, grace, sublimity, purity, honor, inequality or love of country. Many of these themes can be found in the book, Return to Order. Talking about these themes can raise the debate above the partisanship, personal attacks and pettiness that tends to dominate presently.
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The Return of Supreme Themes
The liberal establishment has long tried to hide and suppress these supreme themes because in doing so, it becomes easier to slowly win people to their side. Thus they have made these themes politically incorrect and awkward to bring up in public.
However, the situation has changed. Those who once suppressed these themes are now publicly bringing them up. This is because radical liberals cannot advance without raising these themes—because they want to destroy any remnants of these supreme themes found in society.
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Not only are they bringing up these topics but they are doing so in an aggressive and irrational manner. They are consumed with hatred for these themes. They show contempt and rage against anything rational, Christian or Western.
With their political correctness, they are making life unbearable. Even freedom of speech is suppressed in the name of tolerance. Nothing is spared. The intensity of their radical rage is creating a great tension that is tearing the country apart.
Defending Good Order
In this debate, we are the ones defending good order, rational discourse and the beauty of supreme themes. We believe in and work with the grace of God. By our words, actions and examples, we can help awaken longings in countless souls for the good order of the father’s house.
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In such a climate, these themes have the capacity to attract since people are thirsting for them. They are waiting for people to speak out.
Disentangling the Issue From the Theme
Another thing we must do is to go where these themes are being discussed. We fight for supreme themes, but we must realize that sometimes these supreme principles are embedded in very small things.
For example, it is very beautiful to fight for the supreme theme of love of country in the national anthem controversy. However, it is not especially noble to fight for the NFL. Yet the issues are very entangled.
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It is very beautiful to fight for the noble qualities found in persons represented by some statues. However, these same people do not have all the qualities of the saints.
In other words, we must disentangle the supreme principles from the issue at hand. And use the issues as springboards to talk about the supreme themes. What is important is a return to order. We love and desire Christian order. We need to stay on focus.
Find the Real Issue
Thus, it is not enough to fight for standing during the national anthem in NFL games but defend the supreme theme of true patriotism in all its splendor.
We cannot fight for a specific statue but rather we fight for the idea that people should be honored for the good they do. Our supreme theme centers around a notion of justice.
The controversies help us raise the themes and expand upon them. In this way, our discussions can awaken longings for order. This prepares the way for a return to order future.
The preceeding article was adapted from the talk, “The State of Our Grand Return to Order,” delivered on October 28, 2017 at the National Conference of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) in Spring Grove, Penn.