If you’re a normal human being of any thoughtfulness, you must be wondering,
Why the heck does everything in American life seem crazy right now?
If you’re like me, you’re trying to make sense of some of the inanity you’re seeing in the news. Heaven knows I’ve been trying to find some common thread.
Take a look at the following and ask what that commonality might be:
- The ascendency of Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Bernie Sanders
- The hunt for the “murderer” of Cecil the Lion
- The Kim Davis case in Kentucky and the rapid rise in support for same-sex marriage
- The decline of Christianity in America
- The failure of the Planned Parenthood videos
- The pornification of everything
If you don’t see the connection, don’t feel bad. I only just realized it myself.
What ties those six items together is one concept:
Let’s unpack this by starting with the last item on the list.
Scientists have studied pornography and its effects on the brain, and they’ve been startled at their findings. Pornography’s addictiveness is linked heavily to novelty. The porn addict is more addicted to the newness of every image seen than he or she is to the actual content of the image itself. It’s why porn addicts can’t be satisfied with seeing a pornographic image; instead, it must be one they’ve not seen before. That portion of the brain that resonates with novelty must be fed.
Trump, Carson, and Sanders are doing well in political polls for the very reason that everyone they are running against is a dyed-in-the-wool, tired politician of the kind we’ve all seen a million times before. But that trio is new, fresh.
The reason the Cecil the Lion case blew up is as much about our boredom with hunting down typical bad guys as it was about the actual killing of a notable animal. Ho hum with the mass murder of human beings (boring, old news), but some American dentist shot a famous lion! That’s different.
America’s boredom explains why only Christians interested in fighting abortion were entranced by the Planned Parenthood videos. Abortion? To everyone else, this is a dead horse. One the same “fanatics” keep flogging. Really, time to move on to something new!
Such as same-sex marriage. Soon to be followed by plural marriage. Soon to be followed by whatever new form of marriage we can dream up. Heck, even Christians are spinning this toward the novel when we talk about this being the FIRST DOCUMENTED CASE of Christians (Kim Davis and her supporters) being persecuted in America (which it isn’t, but hey, some of us want it to be).
And on and on.
Novelty. Not just idols, but NEW idols. Every single day.
This obsession with novelty may very well be America’s greatest sin.
When you start to think about it, that sin of obsession with novelty begins to make sense of the nonsensical. It can explain almost everything. Why people stand in line for the latest iPhone. Why you can’t engage people in conversations with any meaning. The enthrall of social media and its cascade of what is happening right now. All of it revolves around novelty.
Give us something new.
Which is why I think, in part, that Christianity is suffering in the West. It’s old, ancient even. Everyone is used to it. Even people who aren’t Christians can spout something about Christianity. And just like Asian religions swept America in the 1960s, Islam (new here, unusual, different) is making inroads in America. This seems otherwise crazy in light of 9/11, but not if novelty is the driving force. This also explains the sudden appeal of atheism. In a world filled with religions, how novel is NO religion?
This is why I believe America is in even deeper trouble than we may understand. It’s why we may be setting the stage for Antichrist or the Antichrist, depending on whether you believe it’s a generalized concept or an actual entity.
Because when Antichrist comes, the characteristic that will most likely define it/him/her will be novelty. It/him/her will gain acclaim for “freshness,” newness, and differentness. The Bible says that Antichrist and the minions supporting it/him/her will be known for the miraculous. And what sucker among us isn’t hankerin’ to see a miracle or two. Because, hey, novel. May even be the top trending news item on Facebook.
God knows we’re primed.