The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is famous for coining the phrase “God is dead.” At the end of the nineteenth century, his ideas were all the rage among the intellectuals of the day. Religion, and Christianity, in particular, was falling into disrepute among the cognitive elite.
In Nietzsche they found an optimistic and progressive vision of the future: finally, we will cast aside the relics of the past that are holding us down and preventing us from ushering in an era of utopia!
Nietzsche thought that guilt would be buried alongside God. Progressives embraced this message fully. No longer should people feel guilty as sinners. Free sex, freedom from gender roles, freedom from children. It would be great.
Not Quite Utopia
Fast forward a century and in the Western world, most of our material needs are being met. Widespread societal poverty is eradicated in the West and may soon be in much of the rest of the globe, with formerly poverty ridden countries like China and Brazil making their way up in the world. It is arguable that people have never lived longer, been freer or had more opportunities for individual fulfillment. We have been to the Moon and Elon Musk is carpooling to Mars.
However, many on the left rattle on and on about guilt. Whites are guilty of slavery, imperialism, and privilege. Conservative blacks are guilty of being white on the inside. Men are guilty of patriarchy and rape culture. Heterosexuals are guilty of not being gay. Gays are guilty of not being transgendered. Able people are guilty of not being handicapped. Humans are guilty of exhaling CO2. By progressive standards, life is hell and “guilty” is tattooed on all our foreheads.
Much Guilt, No Mercy
Although Christianity has a lot to say about sin, there is also within it a powerful message of forgiveness to alleviate guilt. That idea of mercy is built into our juridical system. When a criminal is caught, he must atone for his sins by going to jail. However, once his sentence is complete, he is a free man who can return to society – forgiven and given a second chance.
Progressives by contrast, who claimed to be emancipators of religious oppression, proved themselves to be not without guilt, but without mercy.
Consider what happened to actress and comedienne Roseanne Barr recently. Being her usual impulsive self, she tweeted an offensive comment about former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett. It didn’t take long for the progressive lords of the flies to hunt her down and eat her alive.
Barr immediately apologized profusely to anyone who would listen. What did the progressives do, those moral superhumans who have transcended the outdated religions of the past? They ignored her pleas for forgiveness and extinguished her television program without mercy.
A Source of Guilt
It turns out that getting rid of religion is far harder than one thinks. Think of the fate of the elves; as superstition and folklore declined during the spread of science and reason, high-tech elves in the form of aliens in flying saucers started popping up instead.
As leftists stopped worshipping an all-powerful Being in heaven, they started worshipping an all-powerful Being on earth instead – the state. They claimed they wanted to escape the prison of a Christian morality but have instead replaced it with the straightjacket of so-called social justice.
Could it be that the atheist left let the genie out of the bottle and unleashed forces they neither understood nor predicted? It turns out that they never abolished faith. They never transcended guilt. They merely wiped the slate clean and let unconscious bias fill in the gaps with a Frankenstein version of religion.