“Duke offers men a ‘safe space’ to contemplate their ‘toxic masculinity’” reads the headline in a news story published online Sunday morning October 2, 2016. The dateline might have been “Moscow, USSR, 1960.”
This is America, 2016. Everyone (except a few now-anointed minorities) is considered toxic and offensive. By virtue of having been born male, or white, or middle class, entire segments of the population have been deemed worthy of scorn.
The news story defines the mission thusly,
The Duke Men’s Project, launched this month and hosted by the campus Women’s Center, offers a nine-week program for “male-identified” students that discusses male privilege, patriarchy, “the language of dominance,” rape culture, pornography, machismo and other topics.
While nations of the former Soviet bloc seek to distance themselves from their communist past, America rushes headlong into the numbing and dehumanizing morass of Marxism-Leninism. Consider this excerpt from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia.
Marx regarded “the weapon of criticism” as an effective means of the proletariat’s class struggle under the conditions of capitalist society, with its inherent social antagonisms. Lenin stressed the vital importance of criticism and self-criticism for carrying out the socialist revolution and for the work of the Communist party. In the course of the workers’ and communist movement and the national liberation struggle of peoples the weapon of criticism has been extensively employed to expose the exploitative essence of capitalism and the policies of the ruling classes and to bring about the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist system and the liberation of the toiling people from social and national oppression.
Under socialism, the change in the nature of social relations and the elimination of antagonistic contradictions and exploiter classes fundamentally alter the purpose and nature of criticism. The weapon for the destruction and revolutionary overthrow of the old system becomes an instrument for the creation of socialism and communism.
Notice the aim of the self-criticism: to get rid of the old system (capitalism and democracy) and replace it with the glorious socialist and communist state.
Self-criticism is neither unheard of nor totally unwelcome in Christian circles. In fact, confession, as it is properly called, is one of the duties of the Christian. James 5:16 tells us, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
The purpose of such declarations of our own sinfulness is not the creation of a Godless state, however, as is the aim of the self-criticism session. Rather, the aims of confession to one another are unity and healing. We are not confessing for the party bosses to hear us. We are proclaiming our need for prayer and claiming for ourselves the prayer of the Godly. The admonition to pray for one another, for the other members of the household of faith, is found in many places throughout God’s Word.
America is in a bad place. Americans today are thin-skinned and intolerant; easily offended by the least offensive statements and acts.
Perhaps these modern self-criticism sessions are a plea for prayer. Certainly our nation needs it. Pray for our country and for the generations of Americans affected by the current wave of self-loathing called for by those who do not recognize the image of God in mankind.