Throughout these years my theological education had taken a resolute turn toward Geneva. And on the heels of my own social observations in the motel business, by seeming happenstance, I read R.J. Rushdoony’s characterization of this same ethnic perspectivalism as The Politics of Guilt and Pity. Therein, I found broader confirmation of all the dynamics I saw playing out in the microcosm of my experience on a daily basis.
Throughout these years I also managed to go to college, and attained my GED. In that order.
I left the Brethren church in Orange County for a Dutch Reformed church (RCA) back in my hometown of Paramount. While in an almost entirely non-White neighborhood, the church, as a holdover from the town’s earlier days, remained more than half-White. The way they had the services staggered, the first service every Sunday remained all-White. Initially I thought the only thing reinforcing that segregation was the fact that it was still taught in Dutch rather than English. But even when that custom was discarded, all those who began coming in the wake of the turn to English were also White people. Though the session’s express intent was to racially integrate the early service, they succeeded only in concentrating a larger number of Whites together, apart from non-Whites. While no problem in the eyes of the senior pastor, nor any of the elder men of the church, in the eyes of the junior (and soon to become senior) pastor, it was an outrage.
Once more I had stepped into a church which was turning to wage war on its own constituents. If the senior pastor preached covenantalism in the early service, his son, the junior pastor, preached the antithesis in the later services. If the senior pastor spoke of God’s great providential election of the Dutch, the English, the Scots, and Germans who filled his pews and thought in terms of the covenant, his son would openly condemn the first service and them who attended it as “racist.”
The dynamics of this strange civil war were complex in that the senior pastor, alumnus of Calvin College pre-1955, should never have allowed his son, alumnus of Fuller Seminary circa 1990, anywhere near his pulpit. Of course, the seeds of the older man’s declension were evident even in the fact that he had allowed his son to go to the ultra-liberal seminary in the first place. If the older churchman’s investment in his son had unfortunately yielded all the dividends one might expect, the older man had only himself to blame. Once the fruit was evident, the old Dutchman had not the strength to resist his son, so he ignored the younger’s treachery. So they persisted, a house divided, until the old man finally abdicated the senior position to his son.
But the first service remained stubbornly White, and the noon service securely Brown and Black with but a sprinkling of White kids in their midst. Taking over the first service, the new senior pastor taught Pentecostalism and cultural Marxism in place of covenantalism. This caused many of the founding generation to leave for good, but many stayed only because it was the church which they had attended since childhood and could not in their dotage break with the memory of the place.
In the majority-minority noon service, the mocking of Whites from the pulpit went from an occasional joke to outright and constant scapegoating. The pastor took regularly to blaming White people who fled the area for all the crime. According to him, all the old Whites (many of whom still made up his own first service assembly) were cowardly conservatives lacking in the Spirit, kindness, and salvation. The only thing which could save them was racial integration and the embrace of non-White spirituality – charismata.
As the winds shifted so rapidly I found myself confronting the pastor more and more frequently. In my vanity I even fell into the Arminian presumption that if I could only talk with him a bit more, I could persuade him. Surely, I could make him see – see that he was abandoning the doctrines of grace in favor of ideologies foreign to Christianity. If I was well-meaning, I was a well-meaning fool.
Perhaps it was my growing zeal for the objectivity of God’s Law, or the fact that amongst the demographic soup which made up the college group at the church, my very Germanic aspect reminded the new leadership of things which they wished only to subdue or supplant. I don’t know, but whatever the reason, when the youth pastor presented me with two tickets to the L.A. Museum of Tolerance, he said that they were set aside just for me. I asked who set them aside for me and why, but he wouldn’t elaborate.
Yes, by that time I had already long been a skeptic of the cultural Marxist dogma for its incongruity with both Scripture and all my personal experience, but my visit to the Museum of Tolerance would have the opposite effect as intended: it would grant me an even more vivid scope of the organized antipathy for White Christians.
Upon entry to the museum I was surrounded by a press of Mitzvah-ready Orthodox Jewish boys. Clearly, this place was a center of Jewish life, a place of pilgrimage. I wondered about Christian equivalents but could conjure few to mind other than the dispensational obsession with the holy land, or the catholic fixation on Vatican City. This place was a holy shrine to the Jews about me.
Visitors were corralled behind a velvet rope in the gilded marble foyer in wait for our docent. Yes, the ostentation there evoked memories of reconstructions I’d seen of Solomon’s Temple. Our docent, a middle-aged rabbi, met us in the foyer, with a glassy stare and locks dangling.
From there we were ushered through what amounted to a house of horrors, the walls of which were plastered with images of one “human rights” abuse after another. The genocide of the Amerindians, the Black slave trade in America, the Jim Crow South, apartheid South Africa, the Salem Witch Trials, the Inquisition, Operation Wetback – all these supposed tragedies were highlighted, and all pointed to the same culprit: White Christians. But none of the other apparent Gentiles in the group seemed to balk at any of these claims, nor their implied scapegoat. But the capstone of human suffering against which all others were measured and, we were assured, paled by comparison, was the Jewish Holocaust. It was, the docent assured us, the absolute and uncontested metaphysical zenith of human tragedy.
But as a Christian, I knew this at once to be a claim at odds with the gospel. I could not suppress a wag of my head as I replied in my mind, “Oh, yes? Well, what then of the day the Jews and the Roman empire murdered the Son of God?” The question continued rolling around in my head – what possible motive could the churchmen have in sending me there to be catechized in terms of another gospel?
The tour then concluded with an auditorium presentation by two Holocaust survivors, Herman and Roma Rosenblat. These eyewitnesses were regarded by the audience just as Christians regard the Apostles – infallible witnesses.
The man was the actual speaker, but his wife would often interject, shrilly echoing her husband as if to underscore one point or another. What they had to say was truly shocking:
they explained that the great crime of the Holocaust was not just the death of Jews, but that the Germans attempted to usurp the Jews’ legitimate office. According to them, the outrage lay in the fact that Germans, who were really but animals, dared call themselves the “Master Race,” because the Jews were the true Master Race.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Yet looking about the little auditorium, all I saw was heads nodding in agreement. Then I raised a tentative hand and asked the obvious question, “Isn’t it hypocrisy to condemn the German Superman as evil, only to embrace a Jewish Superman?” At this, the room erupted in loud murmurs, and the only word I could discern amidst the noise was “Nazi” repeated again and again.
Staring hard into my very Germanic face, Mr. Rosenblat growled back at me: “Zee Germans’ blut ees not like ours. Zey ahr keelers een zer blut! Verever zey ahr, zey muzt be viped out! Even zer cheeldren vill only grow op to be keelers like zee rest!” His wife screeched incoherently in affirmation. As security escorted me out, the genocidal couple received a standing ovation. But as it turned out, the Rosenblats would years later be proven hoaxers – and unrepentantly so.
This was a watershed moment that would only lead to more. So the question kept rolling over in my mind, “How can Christian churches such as the Paramount RCA support organizations like the Museum of Tolerance, which is diametrically opposed to Christianity?”
But I had a large vested interest, you see, to exhaust every effort to remediate the theological rot which had eaten the Reformed faith out from under us in that church, because it was there that I met my wife. We were married there in 2001. Though come of Scottish, English, Welsh, Norwegian, and Swedish background, she had grown up in the local Christian schools which were predominated by the Dutch Reformed. She had come into that congregation ahead of me, and I was loath to tear her away because it formed the organized structure of her Christian life to that point. My young bride had to endure her husband’s turning against the church. That was the great testing of our marriage. Regardless of what they actually said and taught, for a time my wife could not conceive how the ministers might be wrong. They were educated pastors, after all, and who was I but an innkeeper moonlighting as a lay theologian?
When they paid to have the word “Reformed” removed from all the church’s signage, she began to see. Then, when I discovered documentation of the fact that the tithe was being funneled to Marxist guerrillas in South America, and to support local abortion clinics, she began to hear. When young women in the congregation began meeting in “prophecy groups” to invoke spirits, she was seriously shaken. When we heard the new youth minister in a midweek worship service denounce the writings of the Apostle Paul as racist and sexist, only to then say, “God is our mother and loves us as only a mother can,” my wife understood. Thanks be to God, she had come to agree with me. I wasn’t dragging her away from her friends for no good reason. The lampstand of that one-time church was being removed.
When I went in for a scheduled meeting with the pastor to confront him on all those matters, he sent his accountant in his stead to tell me that I was no longer welcome in his church. At which I asked, “Am I to be excommunicated, then?” He replied, “We don’t do that here. Just be a man and leave.” Barely containing an icy rage, I retorted through clenched teeth, “This was my church before you guys subverted it. It’s you who can leave.”
But God had other plans: it was at this time that we got word that my little sister who, just back from her first missionary trip to Africa, had been killed in a car accident in Tyler, TX. My mother, who, with my sister’s laborious help, had finally quit her nigh-two-decade meth habit, was devastated by my sister’s sudden death. As was I.
Fresh on the heels of my doctrinal showdown with the false churchmen, the violent death of my sister emptied all the fire in my belly. I could at that time gather no more concern for the apostates’ overthrow of that little congregation. If I went to commemorate my sister’s life, I left the dead in that one-time church to bury their dead. My heart was consumed with remorse for the loss of my little sister whom I’d always wanted to protect at all costs. She was gone. And I was a child again. All I could do was entreat my Father in heaven every mile of the dark highway along the starless stretches between L.A. and Porterville.
I couldn’t sleep the three nights prior, but I was intent on eulogizing my sister. After the service my mother asked me to take her to the local store to pick up pain pills for her neck which had been a problem for some time. There, because my eyes were red from weeping, and my shoulders rounded from exhaustion, two enormous Monache Indians took me as being high, and tried to shake me down in the parking lot. Accustomed as I was to dealing with such situations, this time I had no energy, physical or otherwise, with which to fight. Completely spent, I expected to be slaughtered there on the concrete with the Indian’s dirty boot knife. But to every question and threat they posed, I just stared back at them unblinkingly. When the larger one grabbed my arm I said something, but I don’t recall exactly what. Whatever it was, it caused him to let me go, and the two of them sped off in a primered Cadillac. I could not but see in that moment metaphorical allusion to the doctrines of grace: I could not lift a finger, or even raise a thought to my own rescue. By implication, it was an assurance of God’s Providence over the strange train of events, even my sister’s death.
I had only been home with my wife for a short time before my mother requested my return for her neck surgery, which was to take place in Bakersfield. As she had estranged herself from all other family, her long-term care fell to me also. Though I were yet a newlywed, my mother’s condition and subsequent treatment required my living apart from my wife for six months. Try as we might, there seemed to be no way around it.
But just as my mother’s recovery was nearly complete, I would soon suffer a medical emergency myself. Out of the blue one night, I was wracked by nausea and abdominal pain. I couldn’t even drink water the two days before I finally opted to call an ambulance. The emergency room staff in Porterville turned me away twice because they thought I was only seeking drugs. Twice they thus turned me away without any justification. But the Hindus, Cambodians, and Mexicans who ran the hospital in Porterville were notorious for medical malpractice and negligence anyway. So after three days with no food, nor water, nor sleep, my eyesight began to dim and blur, my breathing was labored, and my mind was foggy; it was becoming clear that if I didn’t get to a hospital which wasn’t run by third-worlders, I would shortly die. So I caught a ride with a Pentecostal Mexican woman heading to L.A. She was convinced that I was so sick only because I had no faith, and that I’d be healed if only I’d speak in tongues. So, I spent that five hours on the road trying to dispel this woman’s charismatic voodoo in favor of Reformed cessationism, all the while in delirium.
Once at Long Beach Memorial, the White triage staff was able to quickly confirm that my kidneys were shut off, my liver was swollen, my stomach was ulcerated, and I was extremely dehydrated. Though appropriately admitted to the hospital, the procedures of the allopathic system itself would prove a threat to life as well. For one thing, each symptom was delegated to a separate specialist to investigate, so each had any number of theories, but they could agree on nothing with their fellows other than to tell me I should get my affairs in order, because I was continuing to decline and they didn’t think they could help me.
Once notified, my wife rushed down to the hospital and was informed that I was dying. Of course, she called friends, who in turn called clergy. Though I could only maintain consciousness for thirty seconds or so at a stretch, when I saw through wavering vision the pastor from that one-time Dutch Reformed church standing over me smiling, my spirit raged within, but I couldn’t move a muscle without. By that point, even to speak, I could only muster a single whispered syllable per breath. He had no intention of listening, so he rambled over all my protestations. Hovering over me triumphantly, the impastor’s entourage placed little ceramic angels all about my bed, and they spoke in glossolalia, all things which he knew I opposed. On his way out, despite my blurred vision, I could make out his satisfied smirk. I thought to myself that should God deign to let me live, my immobilization at that moment was probably the only thing that might keep me out of prison for the rest of my life.
But once the room was quiet enough that I could be heard, I told my wife in labored gasps, “Get…those…things…a…way…from…me.” She knew what I meant and apologized, saying that she had no idea who called that pastor, as she pitched the little statuettes in the trash.
But in spite of losing over thirty pounds in two weeks, and dire prognoses from all the specialists who had sat twiddling their thumbs the whole time, I suddenly got better.
After that I didn’t plan on returning to the church nor leaving my wife again. We switched churches to an OPC in Torrance. It was a great weight off my shoulders to find a church in which I would hear both law and gospel. Other refugees from the RCA in Paramount followed us.
After a period of recovery, and anxious to put my regained physicality to the test, I got up a wild hair to resist the chaos swamping the region by joining law enforcement. Enrolled in a prep course in a local city college, I passed all the testing with flying colors, scoring 100% on my verbal skills, and above 98% on everything else. I was even second in my class in the physical training portion. Clearly, I had rebounded well from my recent near brush with death.
But again, God had other plans: my wife and I were hunting rental houses away from the Paramount/Bellflower border where we’d previously kept residence, and in a chance conversation with a random property owner, I was asked what I did for a living. I explained that I was pursuing police work, maybe sheriff in Orange or Riverside Counties. At this he asked why I hadn’t considered L.A. County. Now, this was in the near wake of the Rampart scandal wherein many LAPD were found to be gang members working the system from within, so I answered the old gentleman that in L.A. you can’t tell the cops from the gangbangers. That’s when he informed me that he was a member of the review board in charge of hiring for the LAPD. I had offended him and he declined to rent to me. What’s worse, at the next class my C.O. (that’s what the teacher insisted we call him) pulled me aside and asked who the hell I’d ticked off so bad. He said he’d received a call informing him that I was blackballed from all law enforcement in the state.
“Can that be done?!” I asked. He assured me that it was done. Unless I left the state to pursue it, my career in law enforcement ended before it ever started all on account of the injured pride of one petty functionary. With that I was cured of any stray hope that the system might be saved, or that it even should be.
Read Part 10