Do you remember C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia? Do you remember the last book in the series: The Last Battle?
In the book an overly comfortable king is vacationing and is unaware that his kingdom has been invaded by an enemy disguised as businessmen. The “businessmen” confuse and bewilder the locals by telling them that they were sent by Aslan and in his name were wreaking havoc on land and beast.
The Narnians had also become so comfortable in their lives of security that they had lost their sharpness of discernment. They tried to stand up to their “businessmen” enslavers, quoting Aslan and what they could remember of goodness and common sense. But everything they pointed out that these disguised enemies were doing, the enemy turned it back on them, saying that the Narnian leadership was doing that, not them.
The enemies then went further and twisted Aslan’s sayings into tools to confuse and entrap the undiscerning Narnians. They specifically twisted the meanings of words and spoke half-truths. The Narnians, who had become lazy in their critical-thinking skills, became confused and disequilibreated.
Then these enemy “businessmen” went even further and began to proclaim boldface lies. This would startle the Narnians, but the lies were presented with such confidence and “sincerity” that the creatures were overwhelmed and resigned themselves to their unwanted fate of servitude and destruction.
Unfortunately, when the king finds out what is happening, his lack of preparation and self-control come back to haunt him. Because he has been lax in keeping up with studying to discern truth, he also falls into moments of disequilibrium. He acts rashly in trying to free some subjects rather than with self-control and determination. The enemy is able to then convince the king’s subjects that he is the enemy, not them. The king’s impulsive decision to stand up for his subjects simply led to losing the kingdom and the destruction of all.
Which leads me to where we are today, we see the same kind of tactics that the enemies of Narnia employed being used by the current occupant of the White House. For four years, I have felt like we Americans are slipping into an alternate reality. Like we are being drawn inexorably into a fiction that has become a reality (like the three children being drawn into the painting of the Narnian ship in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader). In our case, though, we Americans are being drawn further and further into scenes from The Last Battle:
- Lives devalued through racism towards POC and immigrants
- Public land sold off to industry
- Environmental protections removed
- Those who are from regulated industries running the regulatory agencies
- So many others, but you know them
Over and over Americans stand up to some outrage that has been perpetrated by our president or his perfidious cronies, who retort that it is not THEM who are doing___ (fill in the blank), it is the Democrats (or Biden, or Harris, or Obama). Think about the things you have heard the president or his mouthpieces say:
- Biden will eliminate health coverage for pre-existing conditions
- Biden will eliminate health care
- Biden will increase your taxes
- Biden will pack the courts
Does make you feel crazy? Trump and his people accuse Democrats of doing the very things they themselves are doing.
They also invent an enemy and deflect attention from themselves by getting their base roiled up to fight that enemy.
- Hillary Clinton’s emails (she’s not even running for office)
- Obama and Russian interference (trying to deflect from himself the influence Russia had on 2016 election and what they are trying now)
- Antifa is the problem (not bad cops, not white supremacists, not systemic racism)
- Hunter Biden (not his kids who work in the White House with their business deals with China or Yemen)
They turn to out and out lies:
- Quoting Dr. Fauci out of context saying
- Photo of MLK and Jackie Robinson, coopting them as supporters (both families were upset about this)
- Trumps’ 20,000 lies during his presidency
What can we do?
The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis is a cautionary tale. Cautionary tales guide readers on things to work on so that they are not ensnared by the same fate as the characters in the story. Lewis would advise his readers to:
- maintain self-control
- maintain preparedness
- maintain knowledge of the truth
When evil doers try to get you disequilibreated with false accusations, deflections or lies, take a breath. Keep your composure, your self-control. Try not to argue with someone like that, it will turn into a small version of the first presidential debate. Look away from that person. It there are onlookers, look at them and tell them the truth (if there are not onlookers, remind yourself of the truth.)
To keep yourself from falling into confusion or disequilibrium, get prepared and stay that way:
- Educate ourselves on the way our government works
- Make a habit of contacting elected officials about anything you feel is important
- Follow local and state politics
- Pray for the nation, the elections, and yourself
Maintain your knowledge of the truth. When evil doers try to steal an election by chaos, intimidation or voter suppression, have a plan on what you can do:
- Stay prayed up
- Keep your composure
- Read the US Constitution
- Take a civics refresher course
- When you spot intimidation or suppression, contact:
- Contact your state elections board and/or attorney general. Our attorney general in Maryland issued this guidance
- Brink accessibility app for those with disabilities
- Stay in touch with wise organizations who will not be tricked into laziness and disequilibrium, but rather, are preparing for various actions of evil doers
If I haven’t said it often enough, our greatest power is in prayer, and then obedience to God’s leadings from prayer.