My hometown was small. Woods bordered the east and west. I watched the sun rise and set into round green hills. The woods were thick enough to support my brothers’ hunting squirrels and deer for food and fur. “We buy raw fur” read a sign hanging from a metal chain at the Van Ness farm stand. Horses grazed in a pasture at the end of the street, across from St. Francis Church. Men emerged from one factory coated in silver dust from head to foot. In another, women made candles in stifling heat and deafening noise. A DuPont munitions plant exploded in 1917; we played among the ruins and sifted them out of our yards. Many of us would become cancer cases and cancer deaths.
It was all so different then, and “different,” contrary to the insistence of those who hate us, did not mean “all white” or “white supremacist.” We were all so different. Three different languages were spoken in my childhood home. The family next door was black. Across the street “straight off the boat,” Italians. Across from them, Ukrainians. Two doors down, Spanish, from Spain. Across from them, Jewish. A few houses down, Filipino. Up the street, Puerto Rican. The family doctor was Chinese, from China. The pharmacist and the dentist were Arabs. My first boss was an Indian woman from India. There were local kids whose families had been in the area longer than any of us. The Ramapo Mountain People were descendants of Dutch colonial settlers and African American slaves. We played together. We dated.
Our black neighbors were American. The father had a white-collar job; the mother was a nurse. They spoke English, dressed like TV characters, drove a new, but small, car, a Volkswagen, and ate hamburgers and hot dogs. I know because I was over there all the time.
Italians? Whoa. You walked into Sicily when you crossed that threshold. Opera music, old women in black with astounding facial hair stuffing cannoli and giving you, clearly not Italian, the evil eye. We were Catholic but they were some advanced degree. Enough statues and smoke for midnight mass, in a three-room apartment above an auto mechanic.
We were different, but we were the same. Many were a generation or two away from Ellis Island. They told stories of building a new life in Newark or Paterson and packing and leaving when “things got bad.” “Things got bad” did not mean the skin color of new arrivals. It meant white kids getting beat up while walking to school. Grandma was mugged. It was time, again, as it had been in the Old Country, to escape, to abandon the tenderly nurtured urban plots of figs and grapevines, sucking up slanted sunlight between tightly packed dwellings. This housing development of tiny Cape Cods all alike, all in a row, was the new promised land.
All different. All the same. If you were walking down the street and you saw that someone had parked his car and forgotten to turn the lights off, you opened the car door, which was never locked, reached in and turned the lights off, and went on your way. I never touched a house key. I don’t even know if there was a key to my house. Neighbors opened doors without knocking, and called out the name of the person they were visiting. If you did something bad, like if you smoked, or if your boyfriend’s car was in the driveway too late at night when your parents were out of town, or if you walked across the abandoned train trestle, a thrilling but dangerous trek, and a rite of passage, your parents would know within hours. Someone would tell them. That someone might be white, black, Asian, mixed race. We were all different. We were all the same.
We were Democrats. I asked my mother. She told me. “The Republicans are for the rich. The Democrats are for the poor. We are poor. The Republicans are not for us.” Democrats had names like ours: Muskie, Brzezinski, Rostenkowski, Mikulski, Cuomo, O’Neill. Barbara Jordan and Shirley Chisholm, black Democratic women, inspired me. Rockefeller, Goldwater, Tom Kean, John Lindsay: rich guys. Not like us. Republicans.
A local Democratic Party bigwig came to the house. I could see how important she was. Her clothes were new and crisp, and everything matched. Her hair was “done.” She had been to a salon and her hair had been put in curlers and pressured into place and lots of hairspray had been sprayed on. But she immediately let us know how much like us she was. She talked about earning money at the secretarial job she got while still in high school. “Where did that money go?” she announced. She gestured backward. “On my back!” she cried. Every payday she’d visit Paterson’s then-fashionable clothing stores. She wanted our votes, and our reliable work as county election board officials. But she’d charm us, first, by letting us know that she was just like us. From Paterson, before it got “bad,” and it’s getting “bad” was a sad thing for us all, and we wanted our cities back, back as they had been, when they were safe.
We were poor enough for welfare. We did not receive it. I interviewed my mother on tape. “Others got welfare. Why didn’t we?”
“If everyone else is jumping off the bridge, are you going to jump off the bridge?” She told me this story.
“We were so poor when we came to this country. There was a magician and he cost ten cents to go see. My mother didn’t have the ten cents to give me. She could not scrape up ten pennies. The insurance man was sitting at our kitchen table and he wanted to give me the ten cents. And my mother says to me in Slovak, ‘No. You cannot take it from anybody.’ So I didn’t see the magician. She was too proud. My mother used to sew dresses at home. Fifty cents a piece, for the neighbors. Imagine? I used to be her model. From size ten to size forty. And if I didn’t stand straight, I’d get a whack.”
Pride was more valuable than being beholden.
We wanted our cities fixed that way, through work and pride, not through the government, not through welfare. To us, feeling that way was a Democratic way to feel. We felt that Paterson’s poor were not some class of beggars, lower than we, who required our noblesse oblige, scattering coins from above, but poor like us, and like us, they could work and make their lives better.
There were hungry days. Shoes were an issue. I developed tough feet. But we shared. One winter, Regina, Irene and I played in the snow all day. We had one sock we shared between us as a glove. As one’s hand warmed up, she’d pass off the sock to the next one. Big plastic bags of hand-me-down clothes passed from hand to hand. Baked goods left sugar trails from door to door. Garden produce sprang out of tiny back yards cleared of Dupont’s shards, backyards that had seemed so big back then. Zucchini and peaches shuffled in brown paper bags carried by little kids running from back door to back door. When my mother had no car, neighbors took her grocery shopping. When my mother had a car, she took neighbors grocery shopping. When things got bad at home, I went to live with the family across the street. When things got bad for Bridget, she came to live with my family. When you encountered human need, you didn’t immediately say, “The government should solve this with taxpayer dollars. Pity that they do not.” Rather, you made room in your house, you made time on your schedule, you dug into your pocket. Caring about other people was about YOU caring about other people, not some distant bureaucrat fiddling with taxpayer dollars.
Care being something that you did something about, not waiting around for others to solve, extended to death. Three members of my natal family died in the house I grew up in; a fourth died in her own home. My mom turned my dad every two hours, so that he wouldn’t develop bed sores, as he surrendered to Alzheimer’s. I changed my dying loved one’s diapers; I held my sister and my mother as they died. I didn’t call the government and ask them to send someone to do those things. When someone died, so many neighbors came there was no room to sit down. You had to feed them all so there was no time to cry. My mother and I were alone for hours. When she finally passed, I opened the screen door and called out to my brother, walking in the street. “Mommy’s dead.” Within minutes, the house was full of neighbors, crying and kissing me and telling me how wonderful she was.
It wasn’t heaven, but there were at least two hells. There were the past hells passed through by unknown generations of peasant elders. Kateryna’s father, a Ukrainian Christian, had been an inmate in a Nazi concentration camp. He was weird; she was shy. I used to beat up on kids who teased her. Another friend’s father fought in North Africa and on the Eastern Front, and not for the good guys. He brought his hate home and onto our friend’s young body. There were World War II and Korean combat veterans. Young men went to Vietnam; some did not return. Survivors of the Great Depression could still identify edible wild plants and bake cake without eggs. Further back, Frank’s grandmother worked in a sweatshop. The foreman used to grab the women. Grandma broke his arm. She had to return to Italy for a while. The czars, the English, the Turks, cholera.
War, Depression, and concentration camps all have names. I don’t know what troubled this one neighbor. My dad had premonitions. One day he had a premonition that he had to visit this one neighbor, and he found the guy about to kill himself. My dad talked him down; saved his life. He lived for many more years, taking joy in his basement hobby of carving animal figurines out of wood.
The other hell was present, not past. This hell surrounded us, and we could fall into it at any moment by making bad choices. Rocky died of a heroin overdose. Maeve, unmarried, ended up getting pregnant in high school and she has spent her entire subsequent life on welfare, eating chips, sitting on sagging couches, and watching bad TV. Some sons went bad and became bums. That’s what we called them. “Bums.” Not “homeless” or “unhoused.” Some girls went bad and became “tramps.” We didn’t worry about “slut shaming.” The word “tramp” worked. We didn’t say, “Rocky was a victim of the pharmaceutical industry.” We said, “It was heroin. What did he expect?” We weren’t being cruel; we were erecting a neon sign at the gates of hell: “Don’t do heroin.” If you didn’t want to be a dead addict or a pregnant teen or a tramp or a bum, you looked at these people’s sucky lives and you learned something and you made different choices. Aspiration, working to be better than you were, the power of personal responsibility: those felt like Democrat values, back then.
Barbara worked in a factory for a multinational cosmetics company. The bosses demanded sexual access. The older, wiser women resisted. The bosses gave them lousier work and hired younger, more naïve girls. Carrying bags in country clubs, landscaping, mopping floors in hospitals. We all did work “white people don’t want to do.” Most of us doing that work were white, and apparently invisible to those who invented that phrase.
We knew there were richer people. My mom cleaned their houses; my dad carried their bags. We knew it wasn’t “fair” that they had so much and we had so little. We just worked harder. The church told us that this world would never be fair. The church told us to find people poorer than we, to give our money to. My dad used to repeat, “I used to feel sad that I had no shoes, till I met a man who had no feet.” Catholic school kids held events to raise money for Third World hospitals and orphanages. My mother sponsored a black woman who drove around the country in a station wagon spreading the word of God.
We never, and I mean never, engaged in suffering Olympics. No one used their horrible life story as part of any competition. No one expected to receive goodies because he or his ancestors had suffered. No one was better or worse than anyone else because of his or her miserable history of being victimized by bigotry or shot in war or just plain growing up foraging for food during the Depression. No one deferred to our black neighbors because their ancestors were probably slaves, or to Kateryna’s father who had been in a concentration camp, or to the mother whose son was offed by the mob. No one received any extra points for being a victim. If you could turn your suffering into a good story, you got points for that skill, but not for the suffering itself, because, hell, everybody hurts.
There was a guy in the next town, Roger, who chose to wear dresses. We found this interesting but other than that we didn’t much talk about his clothing choice. Seemed like a nice enough guy. A cousin was “butch.” An aunt said that that was a sin. I said no, she was born that way, and God wants us to love each other. The conversation ended there. She was one of us; why cause trouble?
Fat girls and thin boys were bullied mercilessly. No one expected the government to intervene, or teachers or parents to rescue us. We, the bullied, learned to fight back and to stage counteroffensives of our own. Bullies learned to regret it and to back off. I was a fat girl. I learned to ignore one bully, and that was a useful skill. I learned to hurt other bullies, and that fed my ungodly lust for revenge. I did bully others, and that introduced me to my own dark side, a dark side I needed to recognize and resist. All of this felt like growing up, not something I needed to be “saved” from.
We all told extravagantly ugly sexist and ethnic jokes about every group, especially our own. I could tell, right now, jokes about ten ethnic groups, and many jokes about dumb Poles. We called each other all the derogatory ethnic group names. Alice called me “P—k,” and I called her “S–c.” How different things are now that you can’t even spell out a lot of those words.
In school there was no “representation.” No one tried to induce us to learn by presenting us with material that reflected our lives. There weren’t separate books for the Arab kids, the Italian kids, the Polish kids. We learned because otherwise the nuns and our parents both would beat the living crap out of us. We read books that had absolutely nothing to do with our everyday lives. Zerna Sharp and Carolyn Keene, Shakespeare and Homer, had never slept three to a bed or raided a factory’s dumpster for supplies. This felt Democratic to me. If Shakespeare was good enough for rich WASPs whose ancestors arrived on the Mayflower, he was good enough for me. When we read, we weren’t “the Arab kid” or “The Italian kid.” We were the American kid. Democratic!
There was no such thing as being ashamed of being “white.” In fact we didn’t think of ourselves as “white.” We thought of ourselves as Polish or Italian and certainly Americans. Being American meant we escaped all that Old Country garbage of “I’m this; you’re that; I hate you; you hate me; let’s fight.” Poles, Slovaks, Jews, Germans, Blacks, sat around my mother’s kitchen table, ate and talked, and ignored the abundant history that could have made us want to destroy each other. The idea of being ashamed of our skin color or ethnicity or religion because of some sin some ancestor committed could not have been more remote, more alien. Identifying yourself for good or ill with what some ancestor did was an Old Country poison and caused nothing but problems. If you went to a Democratic Party dinner you had all these mixes of ethnicities and we all united under the same red-white-and-blue flag; at that dinner, your last name didn’t make you better or worse than anyone else there. It was a great feeling of community.
Deep down, we never fully escaped the shame for our poverty, powerlessness, dirt, and defeats, so we worked harder, we did better at school, and we were compulsive cleaners. You could eat off our floors. We shared our identities as we shared everything else. Have some paella, oskvarky, baklava. We were thrilled, at an event, when our Arab pharmacists danced as they danced in the Middle East. We responded with polka.
Democrats were for the little guy. You couldn’t be for the little guy, the powerless, the wretched of the earth, without being for the most vulnerable human life of all. It was the guy’s job to “do the right thing” and marry the girl. Families were big and houses were small. You made a mess; you cleaned up the mess; otherwise, someone else would have to deal with your mess. You made a kid; you took care of the kid, or you were a tramp, a bum. No one tried to pretty up the word “abortion” by calling it “choice” or “care.” No amount of manipulation would ever rescue the word “abortion” from its own ugliness.
We acknowledged that the nuns were mean but we did what they said and we stopped doing whatever it was we were doing to make them torture us. The nuns were excellent training for our inevitable encounters with law enforcement. “Yes, sir. No, sir. Whatever you say, sir.” Save the lip for the story you tell later.
I interviewed my dad late in his life. He had only a few years left, though neither one of us knew it at the time. When he told me what he and his family went through, I wanted to sob. The blows started when he was born and they never stopped. He went on to kill in combat and two of his sons died in the prime of life. In civilian life, he worked only the kind of jobs where men in suits would order him around and look down on him. And yet he kept saying, “This is the greatest country on earth. I’m so happy we left Poland and came here.” “I cried because I had no shoes till I met a man who had no feet.” He lived by that quote.
Gratitude and hope. Everyone talked about how much better things were. Our town was better than the coal fields. Better than Newark. Better than the Old Country. Things were just going to get better. Everyone had a kid who was going to go to college, or trade school, or join the military, or become a secretary, and wear stockings every day, not sweat in the candle factory, and great things were going to result from this. So-and-so was saving up to buy a really nice used car. So-and-so was going to have a party in the back yard and there would be citronella candles and steak.
We were going to make things better, we were going to avoid past and present hells, through gratitude and hope, responsible choices, and constant work. Joan’s dad, Irish, worked in Paterson’s silk mills. Otto’s dad, a German immigrant, was an iron worker. Otto’s hands are covered with scars from their labors. Gerry’s dad had a really special job. He was a letter carrier. Alice’s dad, born in Spain, was a clerk at Borough Hall. Work was erotic. Men who had jobs and women who kept clean houses were desirable. Fila, Slovak, married an American plumber. She was set for life.
Work was competition; who can clear this patch of ground quickest? Work was holy. St. Joseph, Jesus’ father, was “St. Joseph the Worker,” depicted with carpentry tools. Work was therapy. Mike, an intellectual, told me that seeing the results of his own manual labor rewarded him as nothing else did. Work gave you great stories.
Film star Richard Burton was never more compelling than when telling this story. Burton’s father in Wales and my Slovak and Polish grandfathers in Scranton, Pennsylvania worked two ends of the same transatlantic seam of coal. “My father used to talk about the beauty of this coalface as some men talk about women … this gorgeous display of black shining ribbon of coal. That coalface was a magical creature. Miners believe themselves to be aristocrats…There was the arrogant strut of the lords of the coalface. They had these muscular buttocks and bow legs.”
Kids got jobs starting at least in high school. My sister and I were nurse’s aides. Herb was behind the counter at the 7-11. Others pumped gas, fixed cars, input data. Mike became one of the “silver men” at the factory that processed magnesium. He died young of cancer.
It wasn’t Heaven. There was domestic violence, quiet desperation, and low horizons. There was the assassination of a judge, an unsolved ax murder, and a notorious UFO sighting. But you run into problems everywhere. Not everywhere offered solutions. Our solution?
One day, when I was a kid, my mother pulled me aside to teach me how to iron a man’s shirt. It was my father’s, gotten from a great, black plastic garbage bag full of donated clothes. I don’t know how many people had worn the shirt before my father, or with what degree of care. My mother lifted it; it was limp, sky-blue, short-sleeved; you could see through it. “Treat it with care, as if it were a rich man’s shirt.” My mother knew how to iron rich men’s shirts. She showed me how to point the iron, how much to spray it with my fingertips, after dipping them in a bowl of cool water stationed at the end of the ironing board. I know now that in that lesson, in hearing her leave for work before dawn, day after day, never calling in, walking on legs that were as veined as maps, in my father’s feeding us on berries and mushrooms and bread-and-butter leaves, my parents taught me. Focus on what you have; ignore what you don’t have. Do your best, even with the small things, even when no one is watching. “The best of everything” is an approach, not a product.
And that’s how I got a BA, an MA, and a PhD. I was accepted at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League school. I couldn’t go because I couldn’t afford it. I was repeatedly told that I was the “wrong minority” to receive funding. I attended cheaper schools.
I worked full time as a nurse’s aide while going to school full time. I was a live-in domestic servant in two different households; that cut down on rent. I also worked as a landscaper, cashier, exam grader, house-sitter, and carpenter. I walked in shoes till my feet were hitting pavement through the holes in the soles. I got food from food banks. I did not own a car and did not have my own apartment; I shared, I sublet, I housesat. I did not travel. I did not have cable. I remember once watching a student who was taking out much larger loans than I purchase juice from a vending machine. I was astounded. For the amount of money that student was spending on one bottle of juice, I could buy concentrated juice in the supermarket and have juice for a week. I carried a canteen.
It took a very long time, but I got the PhD. The market was flooded, I was again, “the wrong minority” and “too right wing” for potential employers and I never got a tenure-track job. An adjunct, I made less money with a PhD than before I got one. I paid back my student loan in full.
I’m in touch with a friend from my hometown. He is brilliant and an original thinker. He has no college degree. His parents were abusive and they cut off all support after he graduated high school. He earns six figures, but, given job descriptions and requirements, he could be earning more, while doing virtually the same work he does now, if he had the degree. His entire career trajectory would have been higher and more profitable had he had the college degree, a college degree he chose not to receive because he couldn’t pay for it himself.
In my working through my degree, and paying back my loans, in my friend not going to college because he couldn’t swing it financially, I believe we both were practicing values I learned in my hometown, values that I have long thought of as blue-collar, as American, as immigrant, as Catholic, and as Democratic.
Maybe nothing writes in such clear, bold lines how much the current Democratic Party holds people like me in contempt, and the values of my natal Democratic milieu in contempt, so much as the reaction to the August 24, 2022 announcement by Joe Biden that he would “forgive” up to $20,000 in debt for a married person earning up to $250,000.
Fawn, one of my Facebook friends, does not come from a history of privilege. Fawn’s great grandfather’s poor, white family was auctioned off as laborers in 1880 Arkansas after the family matriarch died of diphtheria and the patriarch was maimed by an ax. After Biden’s announcement, Fawn wrote,
“I work in finance in higher ed. Over the years, I have worked in many areas, including receivables, payables, budget, inventory, and payroll. I know from experience that corruption comes in many forms. I’ve seen all-expenses-paid travel to major conferences by employees in their final week before retirement. I’ve seen purchases made just to use up the funding available. The mandatory athletic, activity, and meal plans are exorbitant. As a single parent, I covered my daughter’s full expenses without loans. Hard choices were made. My daughter lived at home, went to a local school, and we shared an old car. She worked two part-time jobs at one time. I also did side jobs. While we made those hard choices, my married supervisor, who had double my pay, and four times the household income, had a son at school, living in the dorms, driving an SUV, enjoying the meal plan. They got large loans. He ‘needed’ the ‘college experience.’ NONE of his expenses were paid from family funds. Employees were allowed free tuition. One was also getting $10,000 per semester in loans. Her pay was similar to mine, but she had a new Mercedes. None of us responsible ‘suckers’ should have to pay for irresponsible loans. Loans were too easy and abused.”
In response, one of my old high school friends wrote, “We made hard choices as well. I guess the words ‘sacrifice’ and ‘responsibility’ are outdated … I just wrote to the White House expressing my dismay. The Dems will not be getting my vote next election cycle. I may just not vote at all. Biden’s plan won’t solve the core problems of outrageous tuition rates and predatory lending. Biden’s plan is a slap in the face to those who worked hard to pay back their debt. Taxpayer dollars could have been used to improve the current system by subsidizing community colleges and trade schools. Some degrees could be made into three-year programs to cut down on costs.”
Organized Democrats on social media are defending Biden’s plan. The closest they come to an intellectual defense is “whataboutism,” a Soviet propaganda technique that Democrats roundly condemn whenever any Trump supporter resorts to it. “Whataboutism” is just that old excuse kids gave their parents. “Everyone else is doing it.” Good parents respond, “If everyone else is jumping off the bridge, will you?”
Democrats’ whataboutism runs like this: “You don’t like Biden’s ‘student debt relief plan’? Oh yeah? Well what about the auto company bailout? What about the Wall Street bailout?” The answer is, of course, that Americans don’t like those, either. “Everybody Hates TARP,” “How Did TARP Become So Unpopular?” “TARP: The Most Unpopular Bill in History” are just a few of the headlines reflecting how unpopular TARP was in spite of what many assess as its success.
The goal of TARP was “to mend the financial situation of banks, strengthen overall market stability, improve the prospects of the U.S. auto industry and support foreclosure prevention programs.” In short, TARP was meant to help all Americans at a time when the economy was on the brink of collapse. That’s really not the same as Biden selecting a distinct class of Americans – the 13.5% with student loans – and erasing debts that they, as individuals, took on and promised to repay. Economists predict that Biden’s student loan forgiveness, rather than helping the economy, will increase inflation. Biden’s plan comes at a time when academia has divorced itself from mainstream Americans, abandoning any commitment to education, and instead advancing an indoctrination into values that contradict those of most Americans. See for example here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, ad nauseum.
One Occupy Democrats meme equates work with suffering. “I’m not a ghoul who derives his worth by how much other people suffer,” the meme reads. I wanted to respond but I couldn’t because I realized the vast gulf between me and the thirty thousand Democrats who “liked” it. I didn’t “suffer” to pay off my student loan. I “worked” to pay off my student loan. These folks could never understand me; could never understand Richard Burton’s story about his coal miner father. When I was younger, I thought that work had inherent dignity and that valuing work united us as Democrats. For today’s Democrats, work is abhorrent; one is saved from work by siphoning unearned taxpayer dollars.
In an irrational move that rings historical alarm bells, Democrats are conflating resistance to Biden’s plan with Christianity. Organized Democrats on social media have made the utterly counterfactual announcement that resistance to Biden’s plan is a Christian project. Since Biden’s plan is benevolent and resistance to it is evil, Christians are evil. Democrats on social media are unleashing a tsunami of vitriol against Christians. There is no logic to this; Christians are not notable in opposing Biden’s plan. The only logic here is that the left hates Christianity and require a scapegoat.
Twitter user Stan Van Gundy mocked working class Christians with a meme. “Republican logic,” Van Gundy wrote above a meme depicting Jesus Christ with the caption, “Jesus’ miracle of the loaves and fishes was a slap in the face to all the people who brought their own lunch.”
Poet and author Jay Sizemore wrote, “Money is imaginary. Just like Jesus. Stop worshipping both.”
“Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead was a slap in the face to everyone that had already died,” reads one meme. “Jesus paying for the sins of everyone is an insult to those who paid for their own sins” reads another. One meme depicts a church steeple topped by a Christian cross. The white church steeple has two blank eyeholes. In this meme, the KKK hood and the Christian steeple are the same thing. A meme read, “If you’re a Christian and you’re big mad about the possibility of student loan debt being cancelled, let me remind you that the entirety of your faith is built upon a debt you couldn’t pay that someone stepped in and paid for you.”
Democrats are convinced that there is a better religion out there. Islam. They share a meme insisting that “MAGA,” that is Trump supporters, are all Christians and were all opposed to Biden’s plan. They are also all hypocrites because, the meme insists, the Bible demands that all debts be cancelled after seven years. Not one syllable of this is true, but memes turn lies into truth. The source of these Democrat-beloved lies is Qasim Rashid. Rashid ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for the Virginia state senate in 2019 and for congress in 2020. David Wood exposes how Rashid published falsehoods about gender apartheid while proselytizing for Islam. See that video here.
A Jewish Facebook friend observed that, whereas anti-Semitism on the left disguises itself as anti-Zionism, Christophobia on the left is overtly theological. The leftists who hate Christians hate Christians specifically for our faith, and our faith is what they use in their hate-mongering propaganda: images of Jesus, of churches, distorted Bible quotes, references to Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. “Christianity Is the World’s Most Persecuted Religion,” studies show. Christians are not persecuted for their skin color, the niche they occupy in the economy, their language, or their culture. All these vary by country. Christians are persecuted for what they think. Leftists hate Christians because our minds contain thoughts – thoughts for which we would die – thoughts that inspire and motivate us – thoughts that leftists have not put in our heads. Leftists hate us because we worship God. Leftists want us to worship them. Leftists hate Christians because they cannot control our minds.
In spite of my increasingly conservative views, I am still, like my parents, a lifelong registered Democrat. I tell myself that that’s so I can vote for moderates and against extremists in primaries. But it’s really because I can’t shake the warm glow I feel when I think about the local Democratic Party of my youth. My friend Paul Kujawsky is Jewish, and he posts article after article exposing the current Democratic Party’s virulent anti-Semitism, trans extremism, and divisive identity politics, yet he remains a Democrat. We may both be lost in nostalgia for a real or imagined past that will almost certainly never return.
Danusha Goska is the author of God through Binoculars: A Hitchhiker at a Monastery.