Emotionalism Will Destroy America
Hillsong Worship in California, Credit: Hillsong
Emotion has ruled the nation for nearly twenty years. Generation Z is the first generation that has always had technology at their fingertips. While many have argued this would not negatively affect the world, it is now apparent that it has. While it is time for many much-needed reforms in the US, the way the Black Lives Matter movement rose to prominence in recent weeks has raised concerns. In the past, emotion drove people to research and rally behind solutions, but now emotion is the sole solution. This has infiltrated the way we vote, the way we write policy, the way we worship, and the way we protest. People do not take time to correspond about problems – they only bicker about them until irrational movements are forced. When emotion is the guiding factor to the world’s biggest decisions, powerful nations collapse and people die. This is what is happening in the United States.
Black Lives Matter
Today, thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest the unjust killing of George Floyd. After an officer suffocated the man, who was being detained for using a suspected counterfeit $20 bill (which was not counterfeit), the nation turned against the police in an uproar for justice.
In this rage, many crimes were committed including the burning of small businesses and killing of guards and officers. Peaceful protests turned to violent protests, looters raided shopping malls, and the police couldn't contain it. A Las Vegas officer was shot in the head, and many were shot at a Nevada courthouse. Four officers were shot in St. Louis. A New York officer was struck with a vehicle. Over 130 officers were attacked and injured in Chicago. Two Richland officers were shot, a federal officer was murdered, three Denver cops were run over, four county officers were struck in the head with projectiles in Santa Ana - overall hundreds of officers have been injured and many have died. What logic justifies the lives of hundreds of officers - of all colors - to be attacked or killed? If one of every thousand cops are corrupt, does that justify an attack on all of them? Is this not the same injustice the movement is protesting against? When asked, most did not want to talk about the details. The National Guard was called in, enforcing an evening curfew in most major cities. In a matter of days people's rights were decimated.
Many were killed in a plea to be heard, but it didn't stop there. Activists instigated that if anyone was not involved in the protests they were a part of the racist problem in society. Many reported co-workers as racists in the workplace for not agreeing to protest with them. People were fired for not protesting. A simple solution came last week for all of those who wanted to "stand" but did not want to literally stand. "Blackout Tuesday" called for everyone online to post a blank photo on social media to reveal a stand of solidarity with the movement. Hundreds of thousands participated, but they did not really stand for anything. Our lead journalist at the Daily Wave (sarcastically) called it "the day racism died."
What is the movement actually proposing? Though they scream for justice, most protesters cannot explain what justice actually entails. The act was obviously atrocious, and calls for some extreme reforms in the judicial system, but what are those reforms? When people started publishing possible solutions to the problems, the Black Lives Matter movement wouldn't share them. Why are millions protesting without uniting behind answers?
If people will protest and kill for an emotional campaign without any propositions, what has happened to America? Nothing, really. The nation has been emotion-driven for years, and it is only getting worse.
Protests have been redefined.
The Case of Presidential Elections
This is the same thing that happened when Donald Trump ran for office with his simple "America first" platform, and won. He had no realistic policy propositions, but he had charisma and he had the ability to lead an emotional group of voters that wanted "change." People wanted the America they remembered from their childhood, and with the slogan "Make America Great Again" they rallied to bring back that America - but there was no feasible promises made on how America would be made great.
Trumps simplicity and charisma mirrored the movement that Obama led in 2008, when the winning slogan was literally "change we can believe in." Emotion-driven decisions have dominated elections and it's only getting worse.
Political movements have been redefined.
The Case of Marriage
Scientists say that the millennials are more relationship-driven than the previous generation, but the rate of marriage is the lowest in history, at only 6.5 marriages per 1,000 people. It is estimated that 30% of all millennials will not marry. This problem correlates with the rate of divorce in the country - 3.2 divorces per 1,000 people. That's half of all new marriages.
Less are getting married, and more are getting divorced. Why? Because love is no longer about a commitment, love is no longer about a lifelong unity, love is about an emotional relationship between two people. When that emotion changes, or when couples find feelings for other people, they split the union.
Christian Theologian C.S. Lewis explained how love used to be an idol in the Christian household. When the foundation of love is rooted in an emotional feeling that "has a tendency to claim for itself divine authority," and it justifies nearly any action that a person does, then there's some serious issues.
Every human love, at its height, has a tendency to claim for itself a divine authority. Its voice tends to sound as if it were the will of God himself. It tells us not to count the cost, it demands of us a total commitment, it attempts to over-ride all other claims and insinuates that any action which is sincerely done “for love’s sake” is thereby lawful and even meritorious. (The Four Loves, 7–8)
Still, love was more stable in Lewis' days, because the outrageous emotion was coupled with a commitment. Though the act of love he's describing is idolatrous and unhealthy for any individual, it has gotten much worse.
There are countless blog posts about people's "love fading." Here's why; the meaning of love has changed. In today's culture, people are driven by a single chemical, more so than ever before. This chemical is dopamine. As smartphones emerged and social media developed, people's attention spans became shorter. Now social media is a platform used not to connect with old friends, but to market oneself. Selfies, travel photos, baby photos, gourmet foods - no matter what the person likes to post, when they get a comment or a like they receive a boost of dopamine. Instant addictive chemical satisfaction, which scientists say is comparable to gambling or drugs.
Dopamine also accounts for the feeling of "falling in love." This chemical response only lasts seven years, according to Doctor Dan Lieberman, Professor of human biology at Harvard. When one mentally commits to a lifelong relationship, other chemicals - oxytocin and vasopressin kick in to provide new feelings of attachment. Now that humans have conditioned themselves to receive constant boosts of dopamine, when the dopamine slows down they look to other people to fulfill their addiction. Love has become the satisfaction of a chemical addiction - and this is normal.
Love has been redefined.
The Case of The Christian Church
The church is no longer a place to worship - it is a place for members to receive worship.
Yes, I quoted myself on this because I want to clarify that the very nature of the Church has changed. Church used to be a place to go, hear a message, be encouraged, to serve and to stay connected throughout the week. It was a place to hear the word preached, to be convicted of sin and to turn from that sin in unity with the body. Now it has become a show - a place where people go to stand in the dark, close their eyes, and recite words about "love" (which, as we just explained now actually means, "dopamine addiction"). Singing, especially in a dark smoke-filled room, produces dopamine (the pleasure chemical the world is addicted to) and oxytocin - the same main chemicals released during sex, and the same chemical that is released when you are active on social media. Dopamine provides pleasure. Oxytocin provides feelings of unity. While worship commonly led to feelings of emotion, emotion did not drive worship in the past. Churches now dress the scene to heighten these feelings. Songs are written so that people feel more, not so that people worship.
This week's top worship song is called "Holy Spirit," for example. Take a look at the lyrics to this six-minute song. It opens with an ethereal backdrop. A soothing guitar sets the mood after a long introduction.
There's nothing worth more
That will ever come close
Nothing can compare
You're our living hope
Holy Spirit, You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord
Your presence, Lord
The lyrics are repeated with the introduction of more instruments, crescendo-ing toward a "worshipful" experience.
This is not the case in every church, but this form of self-worship is becoming more common in churches around the nation. Worship has become primarily an emotional experience, not a purposeful expression of Love to God.
In this piece, Jonathan Aigner explains the issue. Worship has become a time to fulfill further personal satisfaction. There used to be a difference between entertainment and worship but now worship is entertainment. "Not only does the church allow this, it has taken on the responsibility of serving it up."
"One of the responses to elements of worship that makes me cringe is the locution 'worshipful.' 'That anthem was so worshipful.' 'The music today was especially worshipful.'
What these well-meaning folks are undoubtedly saying is that our acts of worship, meant for the good of the whole body, just happened to satisfy, satiate, or stimulate them as an individual. If the church can’t make this experience happen, then it is failing them on a serious level."
Worship has been redefined.
The Case of Abortion
Abortion has been a practice for centuries, but never has it been so openly accepted. Now, not only is it accepted but if you oppose it, you are the evil. You are anti-women's rights. You are a bigot. You are hateful. You are closed-minded. You are a misogynist. You are unloving. You are judgmental. The killing of unborn children in the womb has never been so "normal."
As Levi described in a Daily Wave piece just weeks ago, Abortion was not widely accepted until the 1930's. According to the founder of Planned Parenthood - Margaret Sanger, a bitter racist and speaker at the Klu Klux Klan - sterilization was a way to quietly contain "poor, uneducated African Americans" who were known for having large families. The Nazi Sterilization Law (1933) was based on a proposed blueprint by Maragret Sanger - yes, the Nazis credited the founder of Planned Parenthood with their murderous campaign. Unlike the Nazi genocide, Sanger's push for access to sterilization and abortion went on to become normal practice in America.
"In our history, racism often resulted in the killing of innocent humans, but abortion always results in the killing of innocent humans. Between 1882 and 1968, 3,446 black people were lynched in America. Today according to the Life Education and Resource Network, more black babies are killed by white abortionists every three days than all who were lynched in those years. Around 3,000 abortions have occurred during the writing of this article and 13,121,000 since the beginning of this year."
The justification by planned parenthood? The baby is not a person - it is the property of the mother. Does this sound familiar? Justifying the killing of a life because it is a "property" dependent on another person?
The baby is in fact a unique entity with DNA that matches no other human in existence. The Family Research Council explained this fact in a recent publication. “The zygote acts immediately and decisively to initiate a program of development that will, if uninterrupted by accident, disease, or external intervention, proceed seamlessly through formation of the definitive body, birth, childhood, adolescence, maturity, and aging, ending with death. This coordinated behavior is the very hallmark of an organism. By contrast, while a mere collection of human cells may carry on the activities of cellular life, it will not exhibit coordinated interactions directed towards a higher level of organization. Thus, the scientific evidence is quite plain: at the moment of fusion of human sperm and egg, a new entity comes into existence which is distinctly human, alive, and an individual organism - a living, and fully human, being.”
Rather than trying to understand the creation inside of themselves, people turn to abortion as a means of escape from the responsibilities of caring for another human. They justify the act of murdering a child so that their immediate future can be more pleasurable. This is not a random correlation – people have become so addicted to short-term pleasure that they are willing to kill to have more of it.
Life has been redefined.
The Future of America
We live in a revolutionary time. Not only has America shifted focus from solutions to problems but the people have become addicted to pleasing themselves. From social media to marriage to politics, no longer are there discussions about solving problems. Now all we talk about are how we feel about problems. The only way to stop the decline is to shift focus within each individual. We need to change the way we think. It took a generation to change the human mindset and it will take another to change it back again. If we do not take action, our great country will fall. Maybe it will not fall as hard as the Roman empire, but the United States will not be the superpower it is today. We will be another nation with our own issues that nobody can solve. We are becoming powerless to solve anything because of our new focus on emotion rather than substance - it is only a matter of time before it leads to our destruction.