7 contributions I offer to the anti-Trump movement

2020|9|27 ff. → 2020|10|2

Posted at theprodigalspecies.com on 2020|10|2

I worked nearly 24 hours straight to finish cranking this document out. I felt like I was getting enormous help from the Holy Spirit. For example, Microsoft Word would underline words that were central to required changes, in ways that were completely distinct from grammatical hints it typically would give with such underlines! I still have to proofread the long section for contribution 6, advice to fundamentalists. However, I went ahead and posted the manuscript as a PRIVATE file to theprodigalspecies.com website under the PROTECTED category.

7 contributions I offer to the anti-Trump movement and subsequent recovery of our democracy

Work on this document in the file “DRAFT 2 of my ‘7 contributions to the anti-Trump movement’ 2020|9|27 ff..docx”

Completed October 2, 2020

Subject: Please! If anybody is fighting back, let me offer these ideas to help!

7 contributions I offer to the anti-Trump movement

Ray Gangarosa, MD, MPH, MSEE

October 2, 2020

To whomever it might concern

It’s clear that our nation and world face, first and foremost, an ethical and theological crisis, compelling us to harness moral public outrage, ethical imagination, and theological transformation to protect our country and our world. We must hold the line while the judiciary still has integrity and not let vacillating political fortunes degenerate to tit-for-tat reprisals!

I want to contribute the following ideas to the intellectual commons, however people might find them useful:

  1. an EndNote bibliography on the Dark Triad and Dark Leadership, which characterizes malevolence in terms of (subclinical) psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism
  2. my own reinterpretation of related references from Darcia Narvaez’s triune theory of ethics, which reaches the same conclusions about good and evil through a bottom-up theory based on neurophysiological sciences
  3. the theological and scientific resolving context of Trinitarianism, which captures how life functions and protects itself
  4. a way to defend our government from dictators and their enablers by third party lawsuits (while our judiciary still has integrity), which is based on my own early involvement in the Master Tobacco Settlement, developing the underlying legal strategy and epidemiological principles
  5. a message directed to minorities
  6. a message specifically directed to conservative evangelicals
  7. a theological basis for transforming conservative evangelism

Contribution 1. The psychological literature on malevolent personalities

Recently through my Academia.edu email feed, I learned about the Dark Triad of personality traits — the constellation of psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism — which is considered in the psychological literature to be a model of malevolence or evil. A related literature is emerging on Dark Leadership. I have assembled an EndNote bibliography of 609 references, including many articles attached as PDF files, which I would be happy to upload to the Emory mainframe for academic use and will also make available to the public through my website www.theprodigalspecies.com. I have already shared that database with Rachel Maddow, the progressive commentator who reports for MSNBC News. Here are samples of the articles:

  • Figueredo, A. J., P. R. Gladden, M. M. Sisco, E. A. Patch, and D. N. Jones. “The Unholy Trinity: The Dark Triad, Sexual Coercion, and Brunswik-Symmetry.” [In English]. Evolutionary Psychology 13, no. 2 (2015): 435-54.
  • Jones, Daniel N., and Delroy L. Paulhus. “The Role of Impulsivity in the Dark Triad of Personality.” Personality and individual differences 51, no. 5 (2011): 679-82.
  • Azizli, N., B. E. Atkinson, H. M. Baughman, K. Chin, P. A. Vernon, E. Harris, and L. Veselka. “Lies and Crimes: Dark Triad, Misconduct, and High-Stakes Deception.” Personality and Individual Differences 89 (Jan 2016): 34-39.
  • Maasberg, M., J. Warren, and N. L. Beebe. “The Dark Side of the Insider: Detecting the Insider Threat through Examination of Dark Triad Personality Traits.” In 2015 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, edited by T. X. Bui and R. H. Sprague. Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 3518-26, 2015.
  • Fischbacher-Smith, D. “The Enemy Has Passed through the Gate. Insider Threats, the Dark Triad, and the Challenges around Security.” Journal of Organizational Effectiveness-People and Performance 2, no. 2 (2015): 134-56.
  • Landay, Karen, P. D. Harms, and Marcus Credé. “Shall We Serve the Dark Lords? A Meta-Analytic Review of Psychopathy and Leadership.” Journal of applied psychology 104, no. 1 (2019): 183-96.
  • Łowicki, Paweł, and Marcin Zajenkowski. “No Empathy for People nor for God: The Relationship between the Dark Triad, Religiosity and Empathy.” Personality and individual differences 115 (2017): 169-73.
  • Kausel, Edgar E., Satoris S. Culbertson, Pedro I. Leiva, Jerel E. Slaughter, and Alexander T. Jackson. “Too Arrogant for Their Own Good? Why and When Narcissists Dismiss Advice.” Organizational behavior and human decision processes 131 (2015): 33-50.
  • Nevicka, Barbora, Femke S. Ten Velden, Annebel H. B. De Hoogh, and Annelies E. M. Van Vianen. “Reality at Odds with Perceptions: Narcissistic Leaders and Group Performance.” Psychological Science 22, no. 10 (2011): 1259-64.
  • Furtner, Marco R., Thomas Maran, and John F. Rauthmann. “Dark Leadership: The Role of Leaders’ Dark Triad Personality Traits.” In Leader Development Deconstructed, edited by M. G. Clark and C. W. Gruber: Springer, 2017. (attached to this email)

God knows about these things. The plan is unfolding. It’s not that we need to fix specific problems.

These threats relate to at least four major crises that have derailed our political system:

  1. This literature perfectly characterizes Donald Trump’s own Dark Triad, where his corrupt self-interests have hoodwinked his constituency, hijacked the government he swore to protect, and hollowed out its vital agencies.
  2. As Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse pointed out on The Rachel Maddow Show on Tuesday, September 22, progressives have learned that archconservative American oligarchs have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to corrupt the courts to protect their selfish interests by packing the courts with archconservative judges. Joel Bakan has compared the behavior of corporations and their executives to the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria that define psychopaths, which we now see in the actions of these oligarch wannabes: (1) callous unconcern for the feelings of others, (2) incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, (3) recklessness with others’ health and safety, (4) deceitfulness, (5) inability to feel guilt, and (5) failure to follow social norms.
  3. Sonny Perdue, Trump’s USDA director, edited a CDC epi-aid responding to the nation’s worst COVID-19 outbreak, which occurred at a South Dakota meat-packing plant, to reduce all its directive recommendations to toothless suggestions with no regulatory or enforcement backing. Amid a pandemic that has already killed 200,000 Americans, the Trump administration is corrupting the CDC from outside.
  4. At a time when climate change is already wreaking havoc, Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency is completely overrun with fossil fuel lobbyists and the United States has withdrawn from all international climate accords.

Our hope is to mobilize progressives at the harm the Trump administration is doing and convince evangelicals that they have been duped by a truly evil person:

By mobilizing those constituencies against Trump, we might persuade enough Republican legislators to take a principled stand and leave the next Supreme Court nomination to the next elected president.

Contribution 2. My reinterpretation of Darcia Narvaez’s triune ethics theory

Beyond the culture of owing, depending and giving back, there is a gift economy. This is a cycle of giving and taking where all creatures share the fruits of the natural world.

– Darcia Narvaez, Neurobiology and the development of human morality: Evolution, culture and wisdom

The psychological literature that identifies Donald Trump as an evil person and a malevolent leader involves making a set of diagnoses, although his Twitter feed, public statements, and official actions fully self-document all three criteria to a far greater standard than any psychiatrist ever would need to diagnose any patient! The most challenging of the three diagnoses is to establish clinically that Trump a psychopath, although two psychologists did so in the most emphatic terms, in an op ed in the New York Daily News entitled, “Say it plainly: The president is a psychopath”. It’s worth listing all the evidence they cite in this brief article, which is only a very tiny fraction of all the transgressions he has foisted on our nation, acting at the head of our government in the most responsible position in the world:

  • He breaks norms, rules, and laws with impunity.
  • He lies, on average, 15 times a day.
  • He peddles fake conspiracy theories and irrational magical thinking.
  • He has been accused of sexually predatory behavior by at least 25 women.
  • He blames, scapegoats and gaslights as easily as he breathes.
  • He undermines the vital role of the free press because he abhors oversight and accountability.
  • His lies and anti-scientific advice and intentional downplaying of the coronavirus pandemic has led to countless American deaths.
  • He is callous and cold and unfeeling because he has no conscience.
  • He denigrates and humiliates anyone and everyone in his path.
  • He has no respect for military heroes or renowned experts.
  • He is racist and xenophobic.
  • He incites violence and culture wars.
  • He is obsessed with power and adoration.
  • He is a greedy opportunist.
  • He is corrupt to the core.
  • Trump is letting the Russians intervene on his behalf in this election. They are doing so. Before Trump, such an invitation would have been considered treasonous and criminal.
  • Trump is fearmongering about Joe Biden and all Democrats on a daily basis. His allegations against Biden are outrageous and even bizarre; Trump asserted that there are “people in dark shadows” who are controlling Biden.
  • Trump’s falsehoods about health insurance and pre-existing illnesses and Social Security benefits and Medicare are intended to sow doubt and confusion in the American public. He says one thing but does the exact opposite. He tells us that he will protect pre-existing illnesses, but behind the scenes he is taking court action to disallow them.
  • Trump is the most psychiatrically disordered president in history.
  • Donald Trump is dishonest and destructive and evil. He has become embolden and empowered by the complicity of his Republican sycophants. Sadly, he now believes he is destined to carry on his mission. He feels unstoppable. And he must be stopped before it is too late.

However, ethicist Darcia Narvaez has developed a completely compatible theory of good and evil, making exactly the same parallels but not requiring a specific diagnosis for the purposes of protecting our democracy against Trump’s authoritarian inclinations and ambitions. Our brains are wired with three centers that correspond to the respective ethical demands of the three axes of the triad:

  • the ethics of security corresponding to oneness (primitive structures from reptilian neurological development)
  • the ethics of engagement corresponding to sacrifice (structures from mammalian neurological development)
  • the ethics of imagination corresponding to nurturance (cerebral cortex development, a uniquely human structure)

Donald Trump’s obscenely well-documented life bears detailed evidence of egregious deficiencies along all three axes. The three brain centers in Narvaez’s theory relate to the ethics of (1) security, (2) engagement, and (3) imagination, or conversely, the depravities of (1) psychopathy, (2) narcissism, and (3) Machiavellianism. They correspond perfectly with the three trinitarian vertices: (1) oneness (vs. its opposite, personality fragmentation), (2) sacrifice (vs. sociopathic selfishness), and (3) nurturance (vs. callous and cruel exploitation). Thus, her triune ethics theory perfectly accounts for both moral behavior and moral lapses, as a general conceptual framework that fully includes the Dark Triad and Dark Leadership theories. However, I won’t tarnish her work or reputation by mixing her references in with my Dark Triad/Dark Leadership bibliography. Trump supporters shouldn’t have needed the scientific literature to identify pure malevolence, but the EndNote database I’ve provided will substitute retroactively for their bad judgment.

Darcia Narvaez’s triune ethics theory is a perfect example of both (a) an elegant triadic multilevel explanation of human thought and culture (which I’ll mention further below) and (b) implicit derivation of that theoretical framework from a theory of sequential processes. Her three-process concept was inspired by the six-step theory of moral development articulated by her mentor, Lawrence Kohlberg. His stages of moral development bear some resemblance to the problem-solving paradigm, based as they are on the assumption of sequential prerequisites. Narvaez describes Kohlberg’s theory as “top-down” (based on observational studies) and her own theory as “bottom-up,” being motivated by insights from neurobiology, viz., three brain centers that direct three categories of thought.

Narvaez’s triune ethics theory and Lawrence Kohlberg’s 6-step theory of moral development are special cases of my theory of civilizational development and design. The “Overview appendix” describes a rich proliferation of forms that each have particular niches under life’s designs:

Life’s solution to the equation that characterizes chemical affinities takes on forms that often appear in psychology, sociology, biology, ethics, and theology:

    • the Trinity: a 3-way resonant interaction that stops short of irreversible change: 1. past, 2. present, 3. future, which is more familiarly written in early Christian doctrine as 1. Father, 2. Son, 3. Holy Spirit.

Past | present | future is (1) the only way we can think about a timeless God from within our short lifespans, (2) a framework for considering the historical processes by which human civilization is laid down, (3) a means for considering the scale-invariant system dynamics of life and civilization, especially as humanity takes on the collective responsibility for designing and building the body of Christ, and (4) a basis for integrating our perspective of history with the engineering dynamics of civilizational design.

    • a 4-step transformative sequence at one level that goes to completion: 1. past, 2. present, 3. future, 4. irreversibility
    • a 4 + 3 = 7-step transformative developmental sequence spanning two adjacent levels for steps that don’t interact, where the last transformative step is determined by natural law, not human choice

What’s especially relevant for this 7-step sequence in terms of Dark Leadership are the 7 civilizational sins:

ignorance | stupidity || corruption | exploitation || duplicity | treachery || existential threat

By God’s design, more than any other figure in human history so far, Donald Trump is the personification and enculturation of all these civilizational sins. By virtue of threatening God’s entire kingdom, these transgressions are far more serious even than mortal sins have ever been considered. They are blasphemies against the Holy Spirit — the unpardonable sins that can make our world humanly uninhabitable. Jesus’ warnings to the Pharisees was a prophesy of Donald Trump!

    • a 4 x 3 = 12-step comparative sequence for “annealing” (healing) (flawed) design interactions across two adjacent levels

These secular analyses of life’s dynamics suggest that they can also be addressed in theological settings. Trinitarianism considered the simplest case of those dynamic forms, the triad, which is also the initiation point of true multicellular existence in embryogenesis. Restarting the next orbit of human civilization with Trinitarianism — augmented this time around with historical experience | scientific knowledge | and technological ability — achieves the same transition as the interaction between mesoderm | endoderm | and ectoderm in embryogenesis that eventually form the musculoskeletal system/visceral organs | the gut | and the nervous system/skin. Thus, when minorities | progressives | and conservatives cooperate in precisely that same way to initiate a long trinitarian historic orbit in human civilization by following the clues that God has left in nature | life | and civilization for how advanced multicellular life functions, and then healing the civilizational design defects left in the previous two orbits, we would be forming the body of Christ in the image of God.

We have seen from the Dark Triad of Donald Trump’s personality that triune or trinitarian structure is no guarantee that life or civilization will function properly before sliding backward into a degenerate form resembling unicellular life or a dictatorial government, or even losing all dynamic integrity altogether and dying — that is, suffering a “civilizational death penalty” of going extinct and leaving all life on earth once again without the benefits of higher-level awareness | compassion | and wisdom. Trump’s invasion of the executive branch has metastasized into malignant influence over his allies in the legislative and judicial branches, exerting pressures to collapse them under his control and confronting our nation with the existential threat of a dictator’s tyranny.

It takes enormous commitment for a system to take the leap from unicellular to multicellular design. Up until now, biologists have not understood how such a super-cooperative regime could sustain itself — and even evolve, develop, learn, and analyze to undergo a never-ending series of successively more cooperative transformations — but now we see what that discipline entails. God has to read the system undergoing this transition the riot act! He has to show how the abyss of total dysfunction | tyranny | and existential threat would look, so believers and participators will never again side against His kingdom by empowering an antichrist-like figure.

Donald Trump has shown the world how the dynamics of life can be hijacked | degraded | and degenerated to pure evil. Trinitarianism recasts the picture in terms of life’s functioning | caring | and potentiating itself into ever-growing virtuous cycles and transformative leaps.

The economic system we have had — even in the best of times before the Republicans dragged it down into a race-to-the-bottom — is just the rump form managed by our unicellular origins. That’s what our bodies degenerate into when they enter a vegetative state. That’s the very best that Trump’s ilk of dictators could even imagine, and he especially lacks the ability to keep even that from degenerating into a quivering pile of decomposing flesh!

Those who have supported, enabled, and empowered Donald Trump are in mortal peril of their souls. When their souls experience the consequences of their actions and legacies — their own roles in threatening to make our civilization go extinct and our planet become uninhabitable — they will grieve endlessly over the contrast between the glory of God’s kingdom and the ways they brought it down.

But God is not about to let Trump succeed. I don’t know what God’s plan is for Donald Trump, but I’m sure God will make an example of Trump that will make future eras and generations quake in terror. Nobody will ever again dare to do what Trump has done. Other disease states will emerge, but not this one that threatens everything at once. By creating Trump in the image of everything humanity can do wrong, God has installed an initial condition of human civilization in the form of a fully stressed design — a good engineering philosophy that makes all performance tradeoffs share the loads and risks equally among themselves.

What we are about to experience is how the empowerment of minorities, like the emergence of the embryonic mesoderm, can stabilize higher-level civilizational structures to attain successively ever-greater capabilities. What comes next is the induction of a circulatory system, the emergence of robust multicellular form, and the differentiation into previously unimaginable complementarity | mutualism | and potentiation. The diversity of racial identities and faith traditions, once a source of tremendous friction and strife in the setting of unicellular life, will become a driver for spectacular collective nourishment | well-being | potential | and capabilities. The contrast between now and then will be the difference between our current wallowing in bacterial slime and putrefaction and our future civilization capable of whatever the most adept of human bodies and minds can deliver. The ladder to life’s growth along that axis leads all the way to God.

Contribution 3. Trinitarianism as a resolving context between progressive and conservative Christianity

— and science as well

Note: I need to discuss some terms that bridge the gap between scientific and theological understanding, e.g.:

  • diakonia
  • koinonia
  • cruciformity
  • Empire

Trinitarianism was the first foundational theological doctrine establishing a precedent for post-biblical development of Christian thought. The Trinity is now considered settled doctrine in almost all denominations for both conservative and progressive Christianity. As such, it is a resolving context for our era — and returning to those foundations effectively reconfigures our civilization from an evolutionary to a developmental process — and indeed, to form we can recognize as the onset of multicellular embryogenesis of the body of Christ! In this table, we see how leading forces that characterize the left column (progressives, embryonic endoderm, healthy tissue) are instituting the resonances that establish and stabilize multicellular structures of trinitarian monotheism, while forces that lag from the right column (conservatives, embryonic ectoderm, infecting organisms) revert back to the rigid structures of radical monotheism.

Table. Analysis of 9 selected articles about Trinitarian doctrine obtained from two Web of Science searches for “missional theosis” and for “perichoresis”. Note how the second category, “radical, abstract monotheism” resembles fundamentalism, conservatism libertarianism, Republicanism, and Trumpism — and a diseased human body heavily infected with a virus! Donald Trump has done to our country and the world what coronavirus does to the human body during a lifethreatening infection.

step Trinitarian monotheism

leading forces

reference(s)

(…) = inferred

radical, abstract monotheism

(one Person, one Consciousness)

lagging forces

reference(s)

(…) = inferred

comments
0

niche

missional theosis (as intentionality) 1

relationality of the Divine 1

“mission from the margins” 2

authoritarianism 1

monarchical structure 1

hierarchy 1

dictators and tyrants 1

mission from the center of power 3

reference 2.

The important concept of “mission from the margins” is used widely but might benefit from further theological exploration. What does it mean that mission comes from the margins, that the people at the margins are the subjects of mission?

1

past

perichoresis 1

inclusiveness 1

indwelling 9

2

present

mutually connected in love 1

divine embrace 1

equality 1

friendship 1

koinonia = fellowship 2, 3

cruciformity (like the crucified Christ) 4

colonization 1

“duty” to bring “civilization” 1

superiority and subjugation 1

rule over the “lower order” 1

tension and resentment 1

monadic 1

subjectivistic 1

power and possession 1

3

future

imitation of the Trinity 1

balance (1)

resonance (1), 3

stabilization (1)

ordered relationships 1

harmony 1

God treats the good and evil kindly 1

individual action 1

humans too sinful to know Trinity 1

imitation of Christ 1

Christ as entry to Trinity 1

Trinity as inaccessible 1

only reflect God as creatures 1

reference 3.

The Meto people call their neighbors aok bian, which literally means “half of one’s body’’ (aok = body. bian = half, one side, other). This term is applied not just to one’s kin or clan, but to all people. For the Meto people, a person is not complete without one’s neighbor. An individual has only half a body, and his or her life will only be complete by living in togetherness and relationship with the neighbor. Without openness to others, the individual cannot survive. Life can only be lived in relationship with others.

4

irreversibility

unity 1, 2

reconciled diversity 1, 2

plurality 1

justice 1

egalitarianism 1

political theology 1
5

higher-level past

responsible participation 2

agency (3), 4, 6

interdependence 1, 3(!), 6

6

higher-level present

echoes 1

servanthood 4

detoxification 2

distortions 1
7

higher-level future

Ubuntu — humanity toward others 5, 6

diakonia ~ community building 2, 6

0

transformation

openness to creation and itself 1

personhood | relationality | love 1

deification | sanctification | theosis 2

theosis | deification | christification 4

life’s ratchets (1), (4)

common (developmental) platform 2

multicellularity (2), (3), (6)

transforming unity 3

collective salvation 1, (4)

revelation | salvation | sanctification 4

perichoresis God-to-creation? 8 (!)

opposition to each other 1 reference 8:

Is there a place in theology for a third kind of perichoresis, i.e. the one between the Trinitarian God and His creation, together with man and the entire nature?

References:

1. Deetlefs, J. P. (2019). “Political implications of the Trinity: Two approaches.” Hts Teologiese Studies-Theological Studies 75(1).

2. Dietrich, S. (2018). “God’s Mission as a Call for Transforming Unity.” International Review of Mission 107(2): 378-390.

3. Kolimon, M. (2016). “Mutuality in mission.” Review & Expositor 113(1): 99-109.

4. Miller, L. (2018). “Christification of the Least: Potential for Christology and Discipleship.” Studies in World Christianity 24(3): 255-276.

5. Manganyi, J. S. and J. Buitendag (2017). “Perichoresis and Ubuntu within the African Christian context.” Hts Teologiese Studies-Theological Studies 73(3).

6. Klaasen, J. S. (2019). “Theology and development: Taking persona responsibility for community development.” Hts Teologiese Studies-Theological Studies 75(1).

7. Schweiker, W. (2016). “The Ethical Limits of Power: On the Perichoresis of Power.” Studies in Christian Ethics 29(1): 3-13.

8. Stamatovic, S. (2016). “The Meaning of Perichoresis.” Open Theology 2(1): 303-323.

9. Cotnoir, A. J. (2017). “Mutual indwelling [in perichoresis].” Faith and Philosophy 34(2): 123-151.

Here’s why my literature survey worked to illustrate the difference between Trinitarian and absolute monotheism. Writers discussing mission theosis and perichoresis have a vision consistent with life’s scale invariant dynamics, and so they generate word clouds that contrast the two alternatives appropriately.

Here’s a critically important point. That word comparison exercise allows a direct comparison between my analytical method, which identifies God’s gold standard of the dynamics of how things actually work, and the word impressions that their vague perception generates. The quantitative nature of the analysis | the ability to use the basic result to make far more extensive inferences | and the potential for future research to catalyze unimaginably greater transformations | and the ability to test the quantitative model against the gold standard of God’s own reality, as a matter of elucidating the foundations of a science of theology are all completely outside the scope of the word cloud.

Thus, the deficiencies of the crude research I performed are very much to the point of showing that the new paradigm that I’ve advocated — using the clues that God has left in nature | life | and civilization for us to learn how life works || how to design our civilization || and how to discern His will — supersedes biblical literalism.

When God’s regime takes over, a transformation will ensue like nothing ever imagined in past human history. We’ll have to invent a new word for history to account for the new possibilities that will open up. What we have called “history” is just how slime molds tiptoe up to multicellular forms and then back off because the water’s too cold! What lies ahead is the emergence of a developmental platform that will refuse to yield ground when pushed back, care for its infrastructures to make even its disadvantaged become powerful, seek the development of new capabilities at every turn, and transform the kingdom of God into one new glorious form after another.

The contempt which archconservatives harbor against progressives, characterized by dark suspicions that policies will be driven from “the left” belies the fact that the body of Christ must be constructed with balanced left and right axes! Archconservatives snarling antipathy toward Marxism stems from the fact that its many design errors stem from civilizational evolution arising late in the historical orbit, generating significant phase imbalances that distort God’s will.

Embryogenesis initiates a transformation between unicellular mode operation and the initiation of super-strong cooperative interaction characterizing multicellular life. Once that threshold has been passed, the organism’s body plan never looks back again. On the basis of what’s seen in every embryo that forms every person and every animal of every kind, we can predict a spectacular future for human civilization!

The Christian principle of koinonia, or fellowship, is what evangelicals should envision, but given the dark cynicism that has overtaken fundamentalists, the initiative seems likely to originate in progressive circles.

I’m starting to look at the scientific literature on diakonia, which I interpret to a multifaceted process of building lifelike systems, to strengthen the notion of multicellular life as a process of healing its past design defects. Here is a new way to integrate those scientific and theological concepts: Think of these issues in terms of a unicellular-to-multicellular transition in the body of Christ indwelling within human civilization. We need a concise and commanding interpretation for all faiths to endorse, given that there’s lots of diversity, not much time before we have to act collectively, and an imperative mandate to establish a universal consensus for different faith and nonfaith traditions to differentiate into different tissues in the body of Christ.

The new watchword is worshipful participation, not mere belief. In an era of vibrant transformation, God couldn’t care less what’s rattling around in our heads as belief systems, as long as our actions and legacies are harmonizing and stabilizing His kingdom. When participation builds, belief follows. We can think of this new mandate in terms of a new narrative:

1. the structure of God’s kingdom

  • The purpose of our lives is to build the kingdom of God.
  • God’s kingdom is not a matter of planetary dynamics, but rather planetary dynamism —which emphasizes that trajectories for life a are beyond human agency. We are inside a reverberating, echoing system.
  • Also, after we die, our actions and legacies propagate within the transmission medium of human civilization. As our souls passively observe events like our past transgressions that transpire in God’s kingdom and we have no agency to affect their course, we not only see what we’ve done but also realize — whether with satisfaction or with the deepest regret — what influences we’ve had during and after our lives.
  • This is the basis for a new perspective of salvation. God doesn’t have to punish us. When we see how we’ve harmed His kingdom, our regret is unbearable.
  • As a matter of collective evangelism, human civilization needs to realize these dynamics and put lifelike “ratchets” in place that will keep the influences of people’s lives from turning toxic over vast civilizational timescales.

2. the dynamics of life and civilization

  • A triune (triadic) structure is the simplest configuration that can provide stability to purposive systems, which is especially important in the setting of interdependent multilevel structures that are prone to collapse.
  • That realization connects Trinitarian monotheism to familiar biological, physiological, neurobiological, and medical settings, where stable subsystems serve a single organism, but also can be conceived in terms of God designing our bodies and minds in His image.
  • By contrast, a unicellular organism has a unitary structure — and an infection attacking a multicellular organism wipes out a trinitarian monotheistic structure to revert to a radical, absolute, authoritarian monotheistic structure.
  • We are functioning like cells inside the body of Christ.
  • The body of Christ has not yet reached its awareness of multicellularity.
  • In our era, responsible participation is the watchword, not mere belief.
  • Reconnecting with Trinitarianism gets us out of an open-loop evolutionary phase (where innovations, like Marxism, spring new design flaws on civilization) and into a closed-loop developmental-embryological phase (where retracing a twice-traversed orbit shifts the focus to design repairing, healing, and annealing).
  • The roles of mesoderm | endoderm | and ectoderm are played by minorities | progressives | and conservatives, respectively.
  • God has infinite experience ushering organisms through embryological and developmental crises like ours.
  • The pervasive forces of Empire are infecting the body of Christ to siphon off its resonant life forces. Fundamentalism has recreated and projected the oppressive forces of Rome that oppressed the early Christians, which is the antithesis of their driving idealism and self-sacrifice.
  • We can understand these phenomena in terms of infectious processes. Simply stated, Trump has cultivated himself to be a civilizational virus.
  • We will learn how everything comes together once the Trump administration has safely crashed and burned.

3. the events of our era

  • Trump is also giving us a master class in bankrupting the richest nation on earth in record time.
  • The table below explains the Republican party’s “race to the bottom” engendered by shortsighted, greedy, ignorant, careless, and/or irresponsible behavior.
  • The anti-Trump movement pits awareness, knowledge, and wisdom emerging from the progressive camp against gullibility, treachery, and existential threat from fundamentalism.
  • The table also suggests how Donald Trump has done to our country and the world what coronavirus does to the human body during a lifethreatening infection.
  • God set up Trump’s empowerment to issue a warning to the faithful never again to empower a leader of pure malevolence in times of existential civilizational stress.
  • This table gives me a theological basis for accusing Donald Trump of the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. It illustrates how Trump is attempting to follow Putin’s tactic — the “firehose of lies” — to overwhelm our democracy and install his own malevolent dictatorship.
  • Donald Trump has been responsible for more American deaths per unit time than any other catastrophe — wars, diseases, anything — in our history.
  • We will learn a lot about infection, parasitism, cancer, and autoimmunity by studying how Trump took advantage of the Trojan horses provided by fundamentalists and Republicans to wheedle himself into power.
  • Belief in God will come from participation, but participation is so much more demanding and infinitely more important. Note also that responsible participation takes far more work and is infinitely more constructive than belief —as well as being compatible with all other faith and nonfaith traditions.
  • This multilevel diagram makes my point that the same rules apply across all levels. That is the scientific basis for my claim that Trump has been acting like a civilizational infection invited, enabled, and protected by a defective national immune system.

4. the heresies that have set up our current crises

  • In that sense, constitutional originalism is an invitation to infectious forces, especially of dictator and oligarch wannabes, to install more Trojan horses that erode the kingdom of God, just as Republicanism and Trumpism have done.
  • The Bible contains built-in hypocrisy detectors in our era, especially in the belief doctrines that give “the chosen people” standing to escape slavery and commit genocide but not grant basic protections and rights to the descendants of their slaves — whose righteous cause positions them to initiate the most significant contribution to the formation of the body of Christ.
  • Fundamentalists are looking backward to an ancient era when all the evidence compels paying attention to the imperatives of our era — especially in response to their own misguided motivations, which are screwing it up with a dark constellation of existential threats! They are ignorant of God’s will, blind to His messages, and contemptuous of His kingdom at one of its most critical transitions.
  • This is a setup for their eternal regret at enabling the Republicans’ blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
  • The way infection siphons vitality from triadic structures establishes a basis for our souls to experience eternal regret for harming the kingdom of God during our lives. After we die, our souls have the potential to commune with God’s kingdom by virtue of melding with its dynamic processes, but then regret steps in because we will have no agency to persuade people to undo the harm we did in life and prevent it from propagating and amplifying forever into the indefinite future.

5. the imperatives of our era

  • In the long run, humanity needs to build new ratchets into our civilization that prevent such propagation and amplification of harm, especially in the way of awareness, dialogue, scientific discovery, and especially laws that are responsive to transformative change.
  • In the short run, we need a concise and commanding interpretation for all faiths to endorse, given that there’s lots of diversity, not much time before we have to act collectively, and an imperative mandate to establish a universal consensus for different faith and nonfaith traditions to differentiate into different tissues in the body of Christ.

How these patterns unfold from first principles

Triads are not the only dynamic process compatible with life’s solution to the equation that characterizes chemical affinities. Displaying this list once again, we see that life can also take on forms that often appear in psychology, sociology, biology, ethics, and theology. See the “Overview appendix” for more details.

    • the Trinity: a 3-way resonant interaction that stops short of irreversible change: 1. past, 2. present, 3. future, which is more familiarly written in early Christian doctrine as 1. Father, 2. Son, 3. Holy Spirit.

Past | present | future is (1) the only way we can think about a timeless God from within our short lifespans, (2) a framework for considering the historical processes by which human civilization is laid down, (3) a means for considering the scale-invariant system dynamics of life and civilization, especially as humanity takes on the collective responsibility for designing and building the body of Christ, and (4) a basis for integrating our perspective of history with the engineering dynamics of civilizational design.

    • a 4-step transformative sequence at one level that goes to completion: 1. past, 2. present, 3. future, 4. irreversibility
    • a 4 + 3 = 7-step transformative developmental sequence spanning two adjacent levels for steps that don’t interact, where the last transformative step is determined by natural law, not human choice
    • a 4 x 3 = 12-step comparative sequence for “annealing” (i.e., healing) (flawed) design interactions across two adjacent levels

As we’ll see in the discussion of salvation, an understanding of life’s rules can give us an appreciation of what kinds of actions and perspectives could lead a soul to great regret for having compromised human civilization. God doesn’t have to punish us for our transgressions — in the afterlife, we will commingle with God’s kingdom and know its inner workings intimately. The patterns (eigenvectors) that we formed and propagated during life will evoke our awareness every time they appear, and our souls will relive every aspect of our impacts on God’s kingdom, over and over again, to infinity, for better or worse.

Contribution 4. A way to defend our government from dictators and their enablers

In this crucial immediate recovery process after the Trump administration has safely crashed and burned, we can see Joe Biden’s call to “rebuild our nation better” in a new context of Christian, Trinitarian dynamic principles, constructing the body of Christ within our civilization in God’s image based on the principles that make life work — and enlisting all faith and nonfaith traditions to do so. Within that framework, oppressed minorities stand to play a crucial role in the transition from unicellular to multicellular operating modes, converting the back-and-forth conflict between conservatives and progressives that is currently shaking our world apart into a smooth, rotational, constructive, resonant “civilizational life force”. The Trump administration illustrates the flaw in unicellular life that uses minorities as a buffer, cannibalizing any of their transient gains during rougher times; by contrast, in a true multicellular design, cutting off circulation to the periphery is no longer an option. Civilizational designs that commit to multicellularity establish a “ratchet” that keeps progress from backsliding, degenerating, and collapsing so a robust developmental platform can take on new challenges and undergo further design transformation. Over intermediate timescales, oppressed minorities would play the role of embryonic mesodermal tissue, laying down the substrate for the musculoskeletal system and visceral organs of the body of Christ and motivating imminent development of a circulatory system that will serve as a new kind of economy at a higher level, based upon the one that keeps our own bodies alive. An immediate purpose for such a civilization-wide circulatory system could be to sustain everyone on earth with material needs and Internet connectivity during finite worldwide synchronized lockdowns that would purge COVID-19 from the human population within a few incubation periods, thereby preventing the viral pandemic from crippling God’s kingdom indefinitely.

God has also made a point to show us the harm that dictators cause to His kingdom, to highlight the imperative of purging dictatorship from the world. We can institute both preventive and punitive disincentives by holding dictators’ personal fortunes accountable in civil court for the damages they inflict on vulnerable and scapegoated populations through their capricious, vindictive, and/or cruel actions. The exertion of dictatorial power abrogates legal immunities ordinarily afforded to officeholders acting under legitimate authority.

In embryonic terms, retracing humanity’s trajectory from the time of early Christianity, but this time with scientific knowledge and historical experience, corresponds to laying down another body segment (like the head, thorax, abdomen, pelvis), after the previous two cycles of Judaism and Christianity. This process involves healing all the major design flaws that past generations have embedded in our civilization through a neglectful process of “sleepwalking through history”, e.g., the false idol of military-style weapons that conservatives worship, which introduce a combination of autoimmune disease, cancer, and infection into the body of Christ. Extending our perspective to infinity in time, we can see how God configured life on earth with multiple extinction-recovery processes (notably, the abrupt extinction of the dinosaurs that allowed mammals to gain ascendancy) to make the human body an evolutionary platform for the development of thought and our civilization a unique and unthinkably rare jewel in His universe. Recognizing our civilization to be a developing embryo, we envision that God must clearly have purposes for it that we cannot yet fathom.

Trump makes no bones about admiring dictators. At his nominating speech (which I pointedly did not watch), I understand he led a chant, “Twelve more years!” This man really wants to do to our country what Putin has done to his — stealing all its wealth and making himself a dictator for life! Talking about the gravitas of the office as if he owns it now and will for life, he once referred to his job of addressing world leaders, dictators, kings and queens (Emphasis mine). Since when does a president refer to dictators as comparable to real leaders? This is a man who would make himself a dictator of our nation if he gets reelected! He must be stopped in this election! He must then be prosecuted for all the crimes he has committed while in office and all those that occurred before he ran for office that should have disqualified him in the first place.

This man never was the president of the United States. He never defended our nation after the attack Russia launched against us in the 2016 election. That should have been an impeachable offense in the first few months of his term in office. I feel deep regret that I didn’t write all these things and go public then. If I had done so and helped to oust him from office back then, we would not have a coronavirus pandemic now, untold misery would have been avoided among the immigrant population, the world’s environment would be much safer, and our democracy would not be threatened now.

God has let dictators show their hands and reveal to the world the threats that dictatorship poses to democracy, the international order, the future of human civilization, and our jewel of a planet. As I will explain next, my own history shows how God may want us to rid the world of dictatorship, as a matter of preserving His kingdom from capricious, cruel, unaccountable leaders. Dictators cannot participate in the emergence of multicellular-like capabilities that characterize the body of Christ, because they involve empowerment of the poor | trust | and degrees of cooperation that have never before been attained. The transformation that humanity seems to be facing may be the time that Jesus predicted in the beatitudes when “the meek shall inherit the earth”. That would be consistent with what we understand happened when the monopoly that unicellular designs had in biological evolution gave way to multicellular designs that improved the nourishment, security, and wellbeing of all cells within an organism. Dictatorial rule mimics disease processes, which a healthy body abhors.

I was involved in the earliest stages of the movement to sue the tobacco companies for societal healthcare costs. I identified the epidemiological and legal strategies for establishing aggregate injuries in those cases and circulated my ideas to antitobacco activists. My work set the stage for the attorneys general Medicaid lawsuits and ultimately the Master Tobacco Settlement, which was the biggest civil settlement in world history.

Fundamentalists should realize their souls are on the hook for Trump’s antibiblical policies that have tormented foreigners and immigrants. Progressives should emphasize the soteriological implications of those who have supported Trump and share in his willful wrongdoing. That’s part of the experiment that God has set up in our era, the culmination of the inversion that started with Christ’s crucifixion, which now is demanding that humanity act responsibly to participate collectively in the personal salvation that He initiated by dying for our sins.

This is a very subtle but unthinkably important point. If our position in the body of Christ is like that of the cells in our bodies, then we might be held accountable by God for our impact on its health. We might now understand enough about the propagation of our legacies after our deaths to figure out how that might work. Those who have supported Trump as he has damaged our democracy, deliberately turning away from the evidence that documents his pervasive wrongdoing, may bear the stigma of some of his misdeeds. If he alters the course of American and human history by contesting Joe Biden’s election and starts a civil war, all those who have supported him in every scandal that would have torpedoed a conventional politician’s career, would share in the blame for the resulting carnage.

Extracting a more subtle point, we can see that our lives, as long as they may seem to us, are just very brief bursts that influence human civilization over its (presumably) much longer timescales. Before I go on, I should say something about the end times, which many fundamentalists believe is transpiring in our era — and I firmly disagree this could be so. Applying the principle of how we would want the cells in our own bodies to act in protecting our own health, we should not give up the ghost and assume God wants our civilization to end here. It’s entirely up to His discretion when judgment comes. We must be prepared always for the end to be upon us, but it’s not for us to decide when that will be — and especially not to create conditions that hasten it! That’s the elective abortion that fundamentalists are performing on human civilization in slow motion! The remaining lifespan of the earth will be measured in many hundreds of millions or billions of years, and the only way we’re going to be able to stick around that long is for us to understand how to harness the forces that make our civilization work and stabilize it once and for all. I think God wants human civilization to make up for the brutality and aimlessness of biological evolution to become a timeless force for awareness, compassion, and wisdom. I think God wants for us to be around to fulfill that function as long as our planet exists to support us.

I have stayed in the background all these years because I saw that corporate accountability wasn’t the right place to start, because it would collapse the economy and set back the movement to build and heal God’s kingdom.

However, these dictator and oligarch wannabes are a different story. This is where the immune system for the body of Christ needs to start.

I tried to protect societal infrastructures against harmful commerce with third party lawsuits, but I decided to hold my fire. Instead, the executives of those companies were so intent on protecting themselves from accountability that they decided that causing harm | and sabotaging societal infrastructures wasn’t satisfying enough — | they also had to take over the whole government!

I could reinstate legal accountability just for them. Indeed, I think civil liability ought to be an option for redress of damages against those who still won’t budge. I get the impression that God may do much of the heavy lifting. Still, we ought to work on developing a collective culture that previews, as perfectly as possible, the sense of conscience that our souls will experience. The foundational principle of human civilization should be the anticipation of self-appraisal upon reliving every moment in life.

So, where we have to go is to be kind and conscientious. That’s a much better starting premise than mere accountability. Just as participation informs belief, so, too, awareness informs responsibility. When we envision an afterlife that could be filled with anguished regret and longing, doing our parts to keep God’s kingdom on track during our lives is a guiding principle that is far more enlightening than mere avoidance of “sin”. We can see that’s true because God Himself has a stake in the result, so we don’t have to torture ourselves over the small stuff. God doesn’t need to intrude into our bedrooms any more than He needs to rattle around in our heads with our belief systems. As long as our actions and legacies are doing right with God’s kingdom, we’ve exceeded His expectations of all previous eras and generations. That’s as far as we can discern the will of God at this early transformative stage. Future generations can build on that sound foundation by creating strong structures | challenging ourselves to exceed past expectations of caring for each other more than ever previously imaginable | reaching for every imaginable potential | and transforming ourselves and our civilization at every turn.

Contribution 5. A message to minorities

Forget everything that happened to your ancestors, because predicating your actions on restitution for the injustices they faced implicates their souls in humanity’s upcoming transformation and might cause them anguish if those considerations hold up or put brakes on the process. Nor should you dwell on recent injustices against oppressed people who have been in the news, e.g., victims of police brutality. The best justice they can receive from you is for you to take on the process of civilizational transformation as though nothing else matters. Even your own experiences with injustice and oppression should serve only to inform you what you need to change, not to make you dwell in the past. The whole purpose of transformation is to put the past into the rearview mirror and drive ahead into the sunrise! The future looks so much brighter than the past that we’re going to have to invent much better sunglasses!

Also, both African American and white cultures have been poisoned by the long course of oppression dating back 400 years, just in our country, so our current mindsets are not right for approaching the opportunities posed by this transformation. You need to invent a new culture that gets past all those limitations. You will be making a new civilization where all those injustices will be nothing more than a bad memory. You and all people like you will see to it that everything that you stand for will be fully incorporated into the transformation ahead. For everyone’s sake as well as the future of humanity, we all need to start with a clean slate.

Instead, go back to the experiences of slaves in the earliest Christian times. By starting that far back, you don’t have to deal with any of the intervening civilizational design flaws. Comparing our lives with those who lived in previous eras, our enormous advantages, especially in terms of technologies and living standards, demand to our “audience” o that we deliver corresponding gains to civilization.

It’s no coincidence that the African cultural principle of Ubuntu, humanity, is so close to Trinitarianism. That is the cultural mindset to start with and develop extensively. By virtue of your ancestors’ different paths, you have a different culture from that of the early Christians as a matter of bringing your own people’s historical, racial, and ethnic character into the process.

[Only an African American can write about Ubuntu here.]

The job of minorities, like that of the embryonic mesoderm, is to catalyze development of a circulatory system, stabilize human civilization as a multicellular form, and differentiate into the civilizational equivalent of the musculoskeletal system of the body of Christ. Fix in your mind the most expansive and capable vision of those achievements. Don’t let any other considerations cloud your mind. Our transformed civilization will not hold you back from that vision because its future of continuing transformation is driven by your fulfillment of it. The penance for those who have harmed you will be to help you out, but you must accept it graciously and even gratefully, because you cannot tell and should not ask who oppressed you in the past. All of humanity has everything at stake, and your success in this transformation is critical.

There’s an important message for minorities on the day I that write these words, the day after blacks rioted to protest that none of the police officers involved in the shooting of Breonna Taylor were indicted. Let the anguish that those policemen fear that their souls will experience for their mistakes be enough; their awareness of the guilt they will feel in the afterlife will drive them to more heartfelt and complete restitution than the law ever could. Her family received a settlement; her legacy doesn’t also demand retribution. The bitterness of slavery, Jim Crow, and discrimination can and must be left behind, if the African American community is allowed to realize its future — to build the economic system on which multicellular organisms thrive.

You have bigger fish to fry in the true challenges of our era. The assertion of your needs and wants will

  • stabilize the cooperative function of the body of Christ to make it function like a multicellular organism
  • induce and mobilize, on national and civilizational scales, the equivalent of a circulatory system
  • provide the infrastructure by which humanity can forever purge the coronavirus from the human population
  • form structures in the body of Christ that could resemble its musculoskeletal system and visceral organs

There’s no need to protest or prosecute police brutality to a retributive degree. “Bad apples”, systemic discrimination, economic injustice, and, of course, police brutality, must be rooted out, but a healthy path forward would benefit more with the momentum of awareness and action direct.

It should be your purview to create a multicellular-like economic system that supersedes the unicellular-like operating system established by corporations and oligarchs. The way our bodies work, their economic system functions only in the background and only kicks in when the body is in shock and in multisystem organ failure. The full functional capabilities of the human body at its peak of health and vigor, augmented by whatever additional capacities that science and technology can impart, give you an idea how high to set your sights for the economic system that will be of your designing and your making!

You need to envision the black wall streets that would have taken hold in the wake of the American Civil War had the visionary former slaves realized the dream of Reconstruction. Jim Crow laws were like thalidomide to the body of Christ, stunting development of its musculoskeletal system, but in a very real sense, God needed to use the anguish and terrorization of your ancestors to form a more perfect union that is more than a national union — it’s a multicellular union!

God waited until now to give the descendants of slaves this chance because He needed to display, for all humanity and over all future eras, all the civilizational sins of white supremacy. God needed Donald Trump to generate the unthinkably expansive documentation of his sordid life and career as his Dark Leadership incurred God’s wrath and white supremacists, corporate oligarchs, and false Christians rationalized his actions. Now there can be no doubt, no excuses, no regression, no backsliding, when it comes to identifying the hypocrites, the sycophants, the deniers, and the traitors who harm God’s kingdom.

Speaking from a position of complete naiveté, I suspect that whatever differences exist between Ubuntu and Trinitarianism provide abundant examples of how prior conditions set up future developmental differentiation. My advice to minorities is turn the other cheek — but thereby expose their tormenters to far greater retribution, damning themselves with their own actions and their continued defiance. Once everybody gets that message, turning the other cheek will be unnecessary — cruelty will be seen as the most self-defeating behavior imaginable!

But then the question that minorities need to ask themselves in their new role is how can we build ratchets that learn ever better how to act and to learn from our knowledge and experience? You will become the juggernaut economic engine, an engine of pure compassion aided by immense competence that grows with every insight you put into the next transformation! You will have nothing but deference and respect for being qualified, through all the past discrimination that you and your ancestors suffered, to take on that role. You will become the muscles, bones, and sinews of a civilization, to make up for the way your ancestors muscles, bones, and sinews were scourged, broken, drained, and abused. And the souls of your ancestors will rejoice in your success as they lord it over the anguish of their tormenters in life, whose consolation will be that at least the harm they put in motion will finally have stopped.

Contribution 6. A message to conservative evangelicals

The civilizational sins of Trumpism

I’ve kept quiet during the Trump administration because I wasn’t sure how to address these issues, I trusted our leaders and government to impeach Donald Trump, and I wasn’t sure about my theological interpretations until fairly recently. It won’t make sense to delve too deeply in the Bible henceforth, although as the main civilizational standard through the early phase of the last historical orbit, human civilization will have to reconcile and heal the countless design flaws it has embedded in human civilization.

We can rely on the prophesies of Jesus, because as the Son of our timeless God, He could see and anticipate all that would transpire, in our time 2000 years after His and beyond to where we have no vision. Jesus excoriated hypocrites of His day with the prophets’ prophesies, few in number but powerful penetrations of civilizational dynamics beyond those of all other participants in the compilation of the Bible. Not only did he foretell the meaning of blasphemy against the Spirit, he also enumerated the woes of the teachers of law and the Pharisees. We now can see exactly what he was foretelling there, too: bilateral interactions are intrinsically unable to attain the multicellular resonances required to sustain the kingdom of God in its transformative natural state. All those archconservative judges that Trump appointed were God’s way of telling the world that those litigious morons, indoctrinated by archconservative think tanks funded by archconservative oligarch wannabes, would have taken our nation down a road to perdition. We might take Jesus cue and come up with “the woes of the archconservative judges and fundamentalists”.

It’s easy to see how and why the Bible is an automatic hypocrisy detector. It encourages people “to read the book” instead of “to interact in unadorned honesty with your fellow beings”. With the invention of the printing press coinciding with the Reformation, Protestant denominations have turned biblical literalism into something akin to idol worship. Don’t take my word for it — see how God Himself has set these hypocrites up to follow a false prophet while the RECORD button of social media just turned ON, to give witness to all future eras and generations of the heresy of fundamentalism. This dichotomy that favors reading over interacting systematically deprives fundamentalists and other conservatives of lived experience. Biblical literalists change criteria through cultural consensus according to their preconceived agendas either to make up doctrine de novo or to block responsiveness to the challenges of our era — and then to resist criticism for their inconsistencies. That is a prescription for getting completely out of sync with God’s will during this transformation and all future ones to come.

As a result, we are seeing only a very dark spirituality that is null and void and completely lifeless. The foundational flaw of biblical interpretation is that it endeavors to pigeonhole our modern values framed around what was acceptable in ancient times. It then tries to make its own pronouncements about how to interpret God’s will from within that ancient perspective. That perspective then proceeds in our current epoch, even in our eyes because they didn’t know better.

Anyone would be crazy to invoke insights from the Bible to justify forming human civilization in our era! But that’s exactly what fundamentalists have been doing. They think they can relive ancient animosities as some kind of new template that reestablishes good and evil — or, worse, man’s vs. God’s interests, as they would say — all the while ignoring the personal experience that made the system work. Their reverence for words that outlived the cultural prejudices that formed them has enshrined misogyny, colonialism, systemic violence, economic exploitation, rationalized corruption, and, to add a heaping dose of sheer pettiness, intrusive prudery. They have turned all those venial civilizational sins into a Trojan horse that handed the keys to God’s kingdom to a human virus. To show how far out of tune they were with God’s will, many fundamentalists thought we were in the end times instead of at an embryonic critical point, effectively turning their manufactured doctrine of antiabortion zealotry into an excuse to gleefully perform their own civilizational abortion!

In attacking biblical literalists, I don’t want to imply that the Bible is wrong, that it should be ignored, or that its foundational principles aren’t true. It’s just that there’s so much chaff among the wheat that there are a lot of better places to look for the underlying principles by which we must live. And, for whatever it’s worth, I believe Jesus was the Son of God, so His prophesies have special weight, since He could see the future when God the Father was putting it in motion.

So, let me propose a Trinitarian interpretation of the whole Bible. In true Trinitarian fashion, it has a triad of principles that can morph into a tetrad where transformation (or collapse) is concerned. The first principle applies from both Old and New Testaments, while the other two are prophesies from Jesus Himself — the only biblical author who can be rightly regarded as a prophet, by virtue of knowing God the Father as both planned the trajectory of human civilization.

  1. past: Judeo-Christian tradition is a revelatory faith. Its approach to scholarship is inherently transformative, where the revelatory insights of one era render the dogma that preceded it inapplicable to a foundationally changed era.
  2. present: Jesus Himself, in pledging and sacrificing his own human body to atone for humanity’s sins, made the first biblical pronouncement of a higher-level body representing a church, a society, or a civilization. In the epistles that unfolded after His resurrection, His apostles referred to believers’ relationship with that body of Christ in the same sense as our cells are with our bodies (although of course, not in biological terms). Lacking scientific knowledge, it’s amazing that they intuited the generalization of multicellular dynamics through scale-invariant processes! But what they envisioned was a multilevel generalization of the Golden Rule.
  3. future: Jesus made a prophesy for the ages in warning the Pharisees of the “unpardonable sin” of “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit”. Those terms have baffled theologians through the ages, but now we can understand what they are, by virtue of having witnessed them played out before our eyes. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the “firehose of lies” that Trump and Putin have used to overwhelm democracies and attempt to install dictatorships. The salient feature of the firehose of lies, according to RAND researchers, is that the squirt gun of truth is useless against its onslaughts. The term blasphemy used to seem archaic, but seeing the firehose of lies wielded by Donald Trump, we can fully appreciate how a steady stream of bullying and intimidating and corrupting sucks the life out of out of life itself.
  4. irreversibility: The multilevel Trinitarian resonances of the previous three steps — or else the catastrophic dampening that kills them — are the basis for either civilizational transformation or collapse. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, if allowed to continue to grow, threatens to make our nation, our civilization, and our planet humanly unlivable. And that is what ultimately makes it the blasphemy of blasphemies, the unpardonable sin of making human civilization, the future of life, and the viability of our jewellike planet all collapse.

The archconservative movement has done violence to the role that conservatives will play in the body of Christ. As the civilizational equivalent of the embryonic ectoderm, which is destined to become the nervous system and skin. The ultimate role that the ectoderm will play in the body of the grown organism will be to steer it through life, with excitatory nerve impulses and tactile sensation.

Conspicuously, not one of the constituencies in the unholy alliance that commandeered the party of Lincoln and turned it into the cult of Trump have any standing for wise governance in a multicellular civilization. The nervous system and skin are quiescent throughout embryogenesis, because movement is irrelevant in utero. That quiescence of the ectoderm is the most salient feature of mammalian, and especially human, gestation. Its function during that formative process is simply to undergo a kind of patient transformation, especially to develop empathy and sympathy through its quiet, unaggressive, unchallenged maturation. To give the ectoderm a say, especially the truculent arrogance of the archconservative attitude, during its unicellular-to-multicellular transition would be to make the body in which human civilization will have been embedded from a different species, like an insect or an octopus. God sees enough of those species in the brutal, aimless process of biological evolution, thank you, so He commissioned our civilization to instill awareness, compassion, and wisdom in the world. To put archconservatives in charge of governance does extreme violence to the whole notion of the body of Christ.

This archconservative movement has followed a false prophet who will go down in civilizational infamy. Donald Trump is an exquisitely self-documented villain who has committed every one of the seven civilizational sins to an unthinkable degree, presenting as a “firehose of civilizational sins” infecting our government from within it. Those civilizational sins are

ignorance | stupidity

corruption | exploitation

duplicity | treachery

existential threat

By checking off all these boxes at once, Trump is stressing American democracy evenly along all its performance tradeoffs, which also can be framed in terms of civilizational virtues:

knowledge | intelligence

honesty | service

integrity | righteousness

protection of vital resources

After this virulent, multifaceted onslaught, once the Trump administration has safely crashed and burned, American democracy will shore up all these performance variables at once. Having been stressed essentially evenly along all its operating criteria corresponds with a time-honored design principle, called fully stressed design. Computer science offers many newfangled performance principles that derive from mathematical equations mixing tradeoff criteria in flexible ways, but the principle of fully stressed design stems from the pre-computer era, when design characteristics of mechanical structures could be easily configured by spreading all stresses evenly among the tradeoff variables. As bad as Trump’s firehose of civilizational assaults has been, the evenly distributed attack bodes well for our nation’s recovery from it.

The whole framework of archconservatives’ pervasive contempt is poisonous to awareness, agape love, responsible participation, and wisdom. They have worshipped a truculent attitude of intolerance and self-righteousness that is utterly inconsistent with and unrecognizable as Christianity. They continue to enshrine biblical passages that cannot be interpreted sensibly anymore, e.g., transporting into our era a questionable interpretation of God’s advice in a pioneer ecosystem advocating genocide, which probably invoked the counterattacks that ultimately led to the expulsion of “the chosen people” from “the promised land” — language that continues to cause ancient tensions that should long ago have merged into settled doctrine and bygones-as-bygones to fester and burn, with no end in sight. And modern archconservatives have taken the whole mess of chaos to another level, weaponizing modern communications technologies to weaponize ancient resentments into institutionalized political malevolence, character assassination, and shameless, systemic, overt assaults on voters’ rights, democratic institutions, and democracy itself. How in God’s name can fundamentalists, who profess to defer to God’s will, put up, year after year, with someone clearly intent on becoming a dictator to say that he would do everything in his malevolent power to corrupt the rule of law and defy the will of the electorate? How could they be fooled by a person who vomits nothing but endless egregious lies, squirms like a contortionist to evade legal scrutiny, uses the levers of power to defang investigations into his own wrongdoing, and pardons anyone who knows enough about his actions to testify against him? How could they overlook his whole sordid life and exploitative business dealings as one of the most notorious charlatans in human history, allow him to wheedle his way into power without any vetting, trust his word against mountains of evidence against him, and insist on exonerating him without even letting his impeachment trial go to completion? How could they let him hollow out the vital institutions of yet another of his squandered inheritances — the most capable and compassionate governments in American and world history — to install his sycophants and criminals to sabotage his next election in plain sight? And what kind of government do they think he would install the second time around, and then again to make a total of “twelve more years”, and then to match his musings that other dictators have a nice arrangement with lifetime appointments? What right do they have to turn their religious zealotry against the most storied democracy in world history, at the very moment when it was poised to make such a transformative leap as to make the term “history” hopelessly obsolete? They turned themselves into a deranged immune system that lets the virus in instead of turning it away!

Their misplaced reverence for misinterpreted prophesies are obvious cases of flawed insights that any reasonable person in our era would recognize as misperceptions, not prophesies. Just as Jesus scolded the biblical literalists of His era with the “Woes of the teachers of law and the Pharisees” and “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit”, they continued to favor the chosen people when the challenge of our era is to provide for everybody, entrenched mere belief when salvation calls for dedicated participation, and held the souls of biblical authors hostage to perverse, contemptible modern civilizational sins that the ancients never could have imagined could come into existence. The souls of the biblical authors themselves would repudiate their own writings if they had agency to do so.

On the basis of this egregious civilizational catastrophe, it’s clear God needs us to install life’s ratchets into our civilization to keep our own legacies from becoming toxic over long civilizational timescales. God has in His mind that human civilization can be a good citizen in the biosphere for as long as the planet is viable, and He won’t put up with our poisoning, blowing up, or sabotaging the jewel of a planet that He has bestowed us. Our science fiction treats civilization like it is as common as water in the universe, when all the evidence establishes that our planet and our species may have found the rarest of sweet spots. Biological evolution — which many fundamentalist sects also vociferously refute, as if they have a personal right to deny God’s Own reality! — has created a platform by which life can become more robust over time by installing ratchets that keep progress from going backwards.

The arguments against biblical literalism are also a perfect refutation of constitutional originality in law. It’s illogical and literally self-defeating to corrupt the law into an instrument that turns a civilization into a fossil during a time of great transformation! Reactionaries have cultivated perverse reverence for once-useless, now-perverted ancient doctrines, which have long since turned venomously toxic, precisely because their accumulated design flaws introduce Trojan horses as invitations for themselves as corrupt exploiters! In fact, the oligarchs who did so have become so open about it that they packed the Supreme Court with their own corruptionists, allowed unlimited campaign contributions and court meddling in elections to overwhelm and poison civic debate, even as the judges themselves sat on the sidelines and let the public melee get unspeakably out of hand! As trinitarianism introduces new forms of cooperation and cooperativity, we obviously need to have judges who will weigh in more to encourage civic discourse and greatly underemphasize ruling on the kinds of bilateral disputes that turn life against itself. Donald Trump’s infamous litigiousness, preconceived notions of justice, attacks on the rule of law, and outright corruption of the Justice Department and legislators provide yet more hints, as if we really should need them, that God resents the way conservatives have perverted our system of laws for their own purposes to sabotage God’s kingdom. Archconservatives have also long planned a constitutional convention as yet another subterfuge for bypassing the will of the majority as yet another scheme for imposing their will against the reality of the intrinsic unpopularity of their virulent ideas. As demographic shifts usher in the trinitarian forces that will guide transformative change, those archconservatives are intent on perpetuating their craven rule as a hated minority.

As if fundamentalists couldn’t find something in the Bible that was worthwhile defending, they couldn’t see to it to insist that Trump treat immigrants fairly according to countless biblical exhortations. Instead the pattern was that Trump refuted any notion that archconservatives ever had any principles for which they were willing to stand. Trump always held a tenuous but unshakable minority of popular opinion, and fundamentalists were the strongest faction in his base, so they could easily have held him in line. It was perfectly obvious that Trump didn’t have a clue about Christianity and was just ingratiating himself to gullible hypocrites. Trump’s utter cluelessness about the Bible itself and his contempt for the religious hypocrites who enshrined him as a savior of Christianity, including his own obsequious vice president were sickening to watch.

It’s quite clear to me that biblical authors are suffering great guilt to see their own words twisted into forces that are causing human actions to sabotage our entire civilization, the future of all life, the viability of our planet, and God’s kingdom itself. All people of all time are joined in an undertaking to keep the whole of human civilization on track for all time. This is not a difficult concept to grasp, because it’s exactly how Jesus described the body of Christ and his apostles considered us as the elements within it. From a more contemporary, biological, and scientific standpoint, we are playing the role of the cells in our bodies because the principles of life are scale invariant and apply to all levels. There are many ways that our souls can commune with God’s kingdom to experience selectively the transgressions we will have committed in life — event patterns, civilizational echoes, behavior patterns, electron spin interactions, maybe even neutrinos. We need to pay attention when our actions turn against us as reflecting discontent from the spiritual world through corrective feedback loops, because it could be the basis for installing life’s ratchets that will attenuate the regret of departed souls. I envision that evangelism is not a prospective matter of cajoling belief, but rather a collective, retroactive process of bringing human civilization into alignment with the challenges that God presents to each era.

Then there’s the matter of “second amendment rights”. Aside from the fact that the second amendment was intended to enforce genocide against Native Americans and slavery against African Americans, archconservatives’ casual worship of guns is, in biblical terms, idolatry, placing a personal fetish against the needs of God’s kingdom. You have installed your evil toys and your lust for destruction as an unnatural, unholy mélange that puts autoimmunity, cancer, and infection in the center of God’s kingdom. You have looked the other way as tens of thousands of people died painful, needless, easily preventable deaths, crudely tearing apart the wispy networks that define the Holy Spirit, because you insist on shooting your obscenely ugly toys. The souls of the militarists who invented and perfected those cursed instruments of war are seething in horror at what they unleashed against civilization and God, as you gun fetishists will, too, when you join them.

Our culture makes obscenely short shrift of violence, as if we are still playing the same games as when we were kids, getting back up time and again after we “got shot”. Our movies and, more recently, video games, desensitize us to violence.

So, let me conjure a picture that puts violence into the perspective that the souls of violent people and their victims will experience. I first had this vision when I attended the Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, especially on viewing a duplicate row of coffins to match the one nearby that was dedicated onsite to memorialize them there in perpetuity. The duplicate set was lined up with the addresses of the communities who should feel compelled to call home these victims of lynching and memorialize the horrific suffering by which their lives ended.

When we intone “rest in peace”, we acknowledge that the souls of the dead have an interest in what transpires after them in the world of the living that they have departed. When our bodies decompose or get cremated, our electrons get released into the environment, where they mingle with everyone else’s. Body electrons from the souls of lynchers get mixed with those from the souls of victims, and all are mixed with those of Jesus and of nefarious tyrants. They are so scattered that any time a similar violent crime is perpetrated, the electrons from each participant plays the roles of attacker and of victim. In other words, some electrons from both killer and target pull the trigger and likewise some from both transmit the sensations of pain when the bullet hits. As disembodied souls, both agents have no agency, just experience at the consequences of a crime originating from or patterned after their own. The profound difference is that the torturer’s soul feels deep regret for having despoiled God’s kingdom with the violent act in question, while the victim’s soul feels vindicated at providing corrective feedback that eventually will result in universal salvation. I’m not sure how that feedback looks, but some of the things I’ve described — this soteriological model, the notion of life’s ratchets, the responsibilities we all have not to abuse the legacies of those who come before us.

But there’s a special place in hell for the archconservative “news” media that has led the deranged nosedive intending to turn our democracy into a kamikaze attack against God’s kingdom! None of the commentators and none of the investors deserve to keep the dark money they “earned” rationalizing and excusing Dark Leaders, sycophants, and traitors against the truth. Your firehose of lies was what Jesus prophesied was the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. I have no idea telling you how to start redeeming your souls for the nefarious assault you launched against reality and truth. Future generations will see the toxin you spewed and wonder how anybody could be so callous, ignorant, and stupid. Don’t kill yourselves, though — suicide will always make a soul’s burden of guilt yet worse. You must chart new territory in finding dignity from where there is none. You do not have the right to aspire to much anymore after what you’ve done, so you must find redemption in abject humility.

Fundamentalism was originated in the nineteenth century to reconcile the science of that day with biblical teachings, but things didn’t work out that way at all! Fundamentalists clashed with Darwinian evolution because they rightly considered the brutality and aimlessness of “survival of the fittest” as inconsistent with the principles of God’s kingdom. However, the tack they chose was to deny the reality of evolution, not to propose that God had another plan for humanity’s co-creative partnership. Biological evolution is driven by natural selection pressures, but civilizational evolution can proceed through awareness and human design. God has left clues throughout nature, life, and civilization how to proceed in building the body of Christ in His image, modeled after the human body (or better).

That denial of reality has had corrosive effects, especially as technological advances gave everyone with a smartphone the ability to dump misperceptions, errors, conspiracy theories, and outright lies into humanity’s collective conversation. We’ve come to recognize from the 2016 presidential election the toxic effects of social media in accentuating evil and causing it to collapse civilizational structures. The archconservative echo chamber has had a remarkable effect on Donald Trump’s rise to political power, election to the most powerful and responsible position on earth, and his self-documented dismantling of governmental structures.

Fundamentalists were right in surmising that divine intervention was responsible for Trump’s improbable electoral college victory despite losing the popular vote by over 3 million ballots. The remarkable civilizational experiment that God set up two millennia beforehand preselected the one character in the world who could do the most damage to His kingdom and never respond to any corrective feedback with the slightest humility. God has always known the evil that would be in Trump’s soul. He gave him a father who was pure evil and who encouraged the emergence of a malevolent character. Trump thoroughly personifies and enculturates all the principles that God most thoroughly abhors, and the thorough documentation of his life, fueled by malignant narcissism and habitual mendacity, will forever testify to the error of giving him any power or responsibility. The preconditioning phase of God’s experiment created the monster that became Donald Trump over the course of his lifetime and drew him to power. He learned to seduce people to get what he wanted, and fundamentalists’ inclination to deny reality in favor of ancient scriptures made them an easy target. As fully documented before voters even made their choices, Trump was a false prophet who had already committed every transgression against God’s kingdom that humanity has been doing wrong, yet those fundamentalists somehow thought of him as a “chosen one” who would “save Christianity”!

Simply stated, the United States could have chosen a better leader with a phone book and a dart, but such a cosmically bad one is an obvious act of God. God’s purpose for setting up fundamentalists to put Trump in power was to install someone who would thoroughly document with an endless stream of public communications, broadcast in real time to tens of millions of people and archived for all future generations, precisely the kind of leader that future eras must henceforth avoid empowering — an existential civilizational threat who would attack His kingdom from within. At a time when progressives were prepared to accept responsibility for stewardship of God’s kingdom based on secular scientific principles, God needed for believers to learn a lesson never again to side against His kingdom aligned with an existential civilizational threat. The Trump administration has been the occasion for entraining a civilizational immune response that would forever henceforth rise to the defense of God’s kingdom.

God has used the misperceptions of those believers — with their grossly flawed interpretations of His will, a predisposition to attack those who tell the truth, and a worldview that denied reality and accepted an unprecedented torrent of lies from the most responsible position on earth at the most pivotal time in our history — to deliver a warning. They have empowered the most obvious of existential civilizational threats almost to “accomplish”, in less than one term, what the worst of Israelite kings in ancient times took centuries to mismanage against their people’s interests — to lose the promised land — in this case, nearly causing the collapse of the most powerful nation that has ever existed on earth. He is thereby showing that biblical knowledge, even during biblical times, was flawed, as illustrated by the book of Kings, where the Israelites were warned that taking kings wasn’t the right thing to do, but they did it anyway — and their flawed leadership lost the promised land. In principle, you might think that earlier caution proved the point that the Bible was right, that believers shouldn’t empower flawed leaders, but biblical literalists maintained dogmatically that they were supporting Trump for all the right reasons.

The Bible actually supports this contention. Jesus scolded the biblical literalists of His time, the hypocritical Pharisees who attacked and undermined Him, that their adherence to sterile rules was not reverence to God, but instead a false worship that could not discern God’s will. Jesus warned them of the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. In our time, we might think of that unpardonable sin as making our planet humanly uninhabitable — something Trump conspicuously threatened to do with denial of climate change and withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord. Fundamentalists read those scriptures literally but cannot apply them to our time when God has needed them to protect His kingdom against the brazen impostor and invader.

Clearly, God’s whole experiment spanning all of history since Jesus’ time, completely beyond human agency, was fully justified in advance by God’s anticipation of the hideous distortion of His will that would be produced by a person whom He knew beforehand would leave that nefarious legacy. God has been planning to set up Donald Trump and fundamentalism as the quintessential civilizational villains for the ages since the dawn of time. Fundamentalists’ subterfuges to undermine democracy to enshrine their false doctrines in theocratic government, which then set up Trump’s efforts to install himself as a dictator with their wholehearted acquiescence, will serve as a cautionary example to all future generations of the warning signs of criminally gullible zealotry exploited by egregiously exploitative autocracy.

In this way, God is informing us with our own predictable actions that He doesn’t want us to litigate the past or predict the future on the basis of the Bible. The spurious echoes produced by Trump’s autocratic rule have generated phase errors by which God is showing us His will through corrective feedback — a message to return to acceptance of the reality of natural laws. Simply stated in nontechnical theological terms, biblical literalism ignores all the life that transpired since ancient times. It thereby foments grave injustices and false judgments on those who simply went about the business of living, superimposes retroactive and countervisionary criteria on God’s kingdom, and blinds people to what lies ahead. Under those circumstances, nature’s feedback pushes back and inhibits the human economy. Fundamentalists have stood by as Trump played out the world’s nightmare of misgovernance and maladministration, invoking God’s wrath in the form of pandemic and selective economic depression. True to form, Trump blamed the adverse consequences of his actions on everyone else, and fundamentalists have continued to stand by silently, even though they have always had leverage to rein him in.

There’s a simpler way to see this — in the administration of Donald Trump, which has been a masterclass in bankrupting the strongest nation on earth, showing utter contempt for God’s kingdom and natural laws, showing no fear of God in the face of His wrath in unleashing pandemic disease, and his fundamentalist supporters standing by him even in the face of his constant admissions of His extreme impiety. God Himself has definitively disproven the principle of biblical literalism to all humanity over all future time, in four short years during one of the most pivotal periods of human history, proving once and for all (1) that the Bible is not infallible and should not be used to make public decisions or predict future events in a complex era, (2) that in times of civilizational stress, believers should never again line up to empower and support an existential civilizational threat, and (3) that God has provided an infinite richness of other clues elsewhere in nature, life, and civilization to inspire believers to know His will — and specifically to design and steer human civilization henceforth. This is not to discount the Bible as a source of inspiration, but rather to note that God Himself has dramatically highlighted its limitations in a scientific and technological age when humanity needs less ambiguous and more responsive ways to respond to His will. God needed for the early Christians to enlist believers so His Church would reach critical mass, but now that most of the world’s population expresses Christian faiths, it’s sufficient that other faith traditions notice intuitively how Christian doctrine guides civilizational dynamics. The expression of other faiths in our era is simply a matter of differentiating all the various organs in the body of Christ.

No person in history could have so definitively established and so completely documented the sequence of circumstances that, beyond all human agency and over the course of much more than two thousand years, now completely disprove that the Bible should be followed literally to make decisions or predict events, and especially not at the collective level of all humanity. Only Jesus played a role in the experiment, by passively causing an inversion process with his crucifixion and death — but notably not with His resurrection, which was a post-inversion event that figured only into the development of Christian religion. Believers who followed that principle of biblical literalism have revealed it to be false by empowering the absolute worst leader so far to cause the greatest reversal of fortunes in any nation in history, who incurred God’s wrath at every turn and constantly showed utter contempt and no fear whatever of God in the face of the most obvious feedback that he was making truly horrific decisions based on all the wrong principles.

Fundamentalists have served God’s critically important purpose of exposing their belief paradigm as false, but they have a lot of penance to do. They implicitly or explicitly supported Trump’s policies that were egregiously anti-Christian, especially in wreaking intentional cruelty on utterly innocent and vulnerable subpopulations whom he scapegoated to gain and maintain political power. They ignored the enormous loss of lives, connections, and talents that comprise the real civilizational substrate of God’s kingdom, letting Trump continue to mismanage the coronavirus pandemic in ways clearly calculated to improve his election prospects. They stood by as he cowed his supporters in the legislature with threats of “tweeting” to turn his massive public support against them (as if anyone with courage in a position of responsibility shouldn’t have blown the whistle), even though they could see he was making terrible decisions and leading our country down the wrong path. God gave Trump’s political allies the chance to remove him from office before fully unleashing the coronavirus outbreak in China, giving them one last chance to exert real international leadership and appropriate public health intervention, but only one among them exerted any real courage or integrity. After the Republican party tried to impeach a Democratic president for a sexual discretion, they proved their egregious double standards by letting their own leader get away scot-free after tampering with an election, repeating in plain view the accusation he so strenuously denied about the 2016 campaign. Now, Donald Trump tries to steal the election by crippling the U.S. Postal Service and wheedles excuses why the election he is losing is rigged and somehow should bounce his way, even if his stubborn selfishness would precipitate a civil war.

God is signaling something else, too. All the improbable constituencies cobbled together within the Republican party do not have valid cause for governance within an operational body of Christ. In the face of demographic changes that threatened to make their party nonviable in national elections, they proceeded to undermine democratic rule at every turn, to the extent of empowering someone who clearly was taking on dictatorial powers and threatened to do far worse during his second term, if he somehow got elected. Libertarians, the wealthy, gun owners, the alt-right, QAnon are expressing nothing but selfish and/or human-centered interests that are antithetical to the operating principles of life at the civilizational level. Even the anti-abortion movement, which admittedly stakes a moral claim, takes a position that was not supported by the biblical canon and played out in our time as a means for solidifying political support — hardly a manifestation of the Holy Spirit — which ultimately provided Trump a receptor for invading the Republican party and getting elected. In other words, that manufactured doctrine gave a viral agent a hook for subverting God’s kingdom. The libertarian dictum that government must be small is a denial of the body of Christ, which must encompass all of human civilization. Guns have become a false idol with conservatives, weaponized in more ways than one to undermine God’s kingdom, good governance, and even democratic elections. And to have vast quantities of military firepower embedded in the body of Christ is an invitation to intractable autoimmune disease, for which no solution is offered because none is possible. The souls of those who have promoted the current breed of small arms, say, from Kaiser Wilhelm on, are witnessing with great anguish from beyond the grave how their legacies are infecting and corrupting the kingdom of God. The signature “achievement” of those selfish agents during the Trump administration — a huge tax cut for the rich that belied years of talk about principles of fiscal restraint — just highlighted for all future generations how the Republican party lost all pretense to integrity under Trump.

The reason those constituencies don’t have standing to exert aggressive control of governance relates to how God needs for us to construct the body of Christ during this embryonic phase of human civilization. What kinds of organisms let their material interests rule during gestation? In the oceans, God sees enough of octopuses, which are extremely intelligent creatures that are as close to alien beings as God could make them, even having eyes that work much like ours but that evolved along completely different lines. Octopuses hatch soon after fertilization and must immediately fend for themselves. Life is short and brutal for octopuses at every stage of their existence, as if living the lives of a unicellular organism in a multicellular body.

By contrast, during human gestation, the nervous system and skin — which are the purview of conservatives in their desire to steer the organism — have no function but to develop. To design the body of Christ in God’s image, we must hold those interests quiescent as we develop higher-level economies through resonant processes. They still have a role in the Trinitarian dance, but it’s as a developing and communicating member, not as a participant in significant action and certainly not as conductor of smash-face politics. And as our own bodies clearly prove, an economy built on multicellular design is infinitely better, more productive, and more secure than the unicellular economy those greedy interests have devised. Most important, the human body served as an evolutionary platform for the development of thought and civilization. And for the body of Christ to function as Jesus’ body did, the nervous system and skin need to develop pain and empathy — to express contrition and do penance for the deal with the devil that they made with Trump to get their precious judges installed to enforce their manufactured antiabortion doctrine. We can see the action of a defense that has turned against itself in Mitch McConnell’s sabotage of Senate functions, even in the face of a pandemic, and his refusal to take significant action in the face of two successive attacks by a foreign dictator meddling in our elections in ways that would benefit Trump and Republicans.

God has taken great care to deny Trump any claim any accomplishment: he would not have won the 2016 election without illegal foreign support, he should be denied all benefits of the office he occupied because he refused at every turn to defend our nation against that enemy, even in the face of continued attacks favoring him. God reduced Trump’s vaunted economy, inherited from Obama’s wise stewardship, to the most crippled in the world, which threw tens of millions of people out of work. It’s perfectly obvious that Trump admires Putin because he’s the richest man in the world by virtue of having stolen the assets of the Soviet Union — and God will eventually show that’s what Trump has always intended to do with our country. God is also signaling that all the propaganda levied against a dedicated public servant who would have been the most competent leader in American history was a reprehensible conspiracy of calculated character assassination, which had long become standard practice for the Republican party as it devolved from the party of Lincoln into the party of Trump. Fundamentalists are paying for their denial of natural selection and biological evolution by playing out those aimless, brutal dynamics in their selection of their own leaders. Now that we understand how corrective feedback works, all the animus that conservatives have heaped on everybody they’ve blamed for God’s wrath can now be seen and understood as God’s disapproval for their denial of His reality. Their disparagement of “political correctness”, “the mainstream (or lamestream) media”, “fake news” is just a reflection of their acknowledgement of the fragility of their own worldview, which cannot even stand up to fact-checking. In accusing “liberals” of being “snowflakes”, they exude pathological sensitivity to challenges against their false and faulty perspectives. God is signaling that he needs scientific integrity and journalistic standards to guide His kingdom as knowledge and experience guide humanity to the transformative process of life at the civilizational level. He has let Donald Trump condemn himself to future generations through endless deceptions via social media, now revealed as blasphemy against God’s reality.

Although the “right to life” movement has an ethical point that deserves further attention as humanity advances, even the theoretical notion that every embryo should be born, no matter what, is a violation of one of the most important rules of life: apoptosis, or programmed cell death, which God has built into every cell of every organism as a safety valve in case life becomes unsustainable. Life must make way for future generations by dying, so the mechanisms of cell death are embedded in every aspect of its design. No cell or organism has an unconditional right to life. And no faction or government can intrude so invasively as to prevent elective abortion, as reprehensible as it might be practiced at individual or collective levels. The purview of the antiabortion movement is persuasion, not legislation or regulation. It should be presented as a theological discourse, not a political agenda. The whole process of life involves attending to the most salient aspects first and leaving overtly theoretical concerns in the background. Neither slaves nor fetuses had rights in ancient times — and no biblical authors expressed an antiabortion stance, even though the abortifacient silphium was widely used until the Romans harvested it out of existence. God conjured another inversion-extinction event for human civilization, beyond any capacity for human agency, whereby a commonly used abortifacient would disappear and instill in His church a revulsion against abortion, that fundamentalists in our era would weaponize a manufactured doctrine that would place a false right to life above the health and security of His kingdom.

In fact, the whole notion of a “right to life” is what cancer cells try to express as they take over the body. Fundamentalists have let multifaceted cancers into our nation and the world — a proliferation of gun violence, oppression of minorities, denial of voting rights, and, of course, Trump himself. God had a hand in their choice of the term “right to life”, because the very notion of keeping all life alive through any phase is a denial of the foundational principle of life, which is its mortality. And since life proceeds one step at a time, it obviously makes sense that the still-oppressed descendants of former slaves would be granted rights before barely formed fetuses. To structure a life sequence that gets that order wrong would invite severe birth defects in the forming embryonic civilization. And fundamentalists’ obsession with the end times amounts to a death wish for all human civilization, wherein their distance from God’s will has empowered leaders and enacted policies that would, in effect, perform an elective abortion on our whole civilization — the ultimate irony expressing God’s disapproval for their denial of the realities of mortality and free will to impose their manufactured doctrine!

More likely, however, the delays incurred by their lack of insight would induce birth defects into the embryonic body of Christ. The New Testament says we must always be personally prepared for the end times but never anticipate them with our actions. The epistles scold believers for shirking duties as they awaited Christ’s second coming. How much worse is it to encourage public action based on the premise that we should end human civilization and hasten Christ’s return? Our planet has existed for 4.35 billion years and its lifespan is likely measured in many more billions to come. Human civilization is only 5000 years old. Unless God only intended us to have a blip of influence or else judged that He would have to rule us Himself in post-millennial supervision, the numbers show that God had bigger plans for human civilization. This picture is entirely consistent with my claim that our civilization is in an embryonic stage just negotiating the unicellular-to-multicellular transition.

I suppose I should say a few words about what fundamentalists fear from a secular standpoint from progressives and minorities — that “leftists” will take over, redistributing wealth and privileges with which they’ve been blessed and to which they’re entitled. They think social justice is a cynical ploy to take away their rights and give them to others. And they worship their guns like golden idols, despite the obvious fact that they erratically deprive God’s kingdom of its lifeblood of a reliable stream of lives, connections, and talents. And they envision government in the context of “constitutional originalism” that attaches special reverence to the founding era of our nation.

Marxism arose in the context of civilizational designs that have demonstrably made it toxic to human civilization. But when social justice is recast in light of a resurgence of Christianity amplified through knowledge and experience, it’s no longer about redistribution — it’s about making the body of Christ undergo a transformation from the last of its unicellular-like phase to the rest of its multicellular existence. In human embryos, that transition occurs at 16- to 18-days gestation and is followed shortly thereafter by development of the circulatory system. The endoderm (analogous to progressives, fated to become the gut, and ultimately committed to nourish those who are alive at any time), ectoderm (analogous to conservatives, fated to become the nervous system and skin, and ultimately committed to steer the organism after birth), and mesoderm (entering the picture a bit later, fated to become the musculoskeletal system and visceral organs) undergo a kind of resonance at a higher level of existence, which serves the multicellular organism throughout the rest of life. And we also see that design defects must be “annealed” (think healed) not just 300 years back, but 2000 years back, to the start of the previous cycle, in early Christianity. Thus, fundamentalists’ secular stance also reveals the same kind of phase distortion that plagues failure to acknowledge lived experience, by refusing to see the elements that would make the body of Christ function outside the flawed originating historical contexts in which they prejudge them. This is another example how biblical literalism fails to acknowledge all the living that has transpired since ancient times, in this case, prejudging the world in terms of “right” and “left”, at a time when we need to concentrate responsibly on how to construct the body of Christ that naturally would have to have both right and left sides to it!

Under fundamentalists’ fear-based perceptions, they put themselves at the head of God’s kingdom, with special privileges as “the chosen ones”, even as their actions may threaten to derail and disrupt what may be time-sensitive development of the body of Christ. It’s worthwhile to note, as I mention elsewhere, that the ectoderm plays no functional role during embryogenesis within the human uterus except to interact with the other cell types via chemical signaling, in sharp contrast to other organisms, where a free-living larva needs to put its nervous system to immediate use to survive in the wild.

I distinguish between evangelicals, devout Christians who endeavor to save souls, and fundamentalists, whose Christianity is flawed because they deny the realities of life, nature, and civilization. And in defending their untenable worldviews and positions in the face of stubborn fact-checking, they create overtly false realities and disparage reputable journalistic standards that hold their errors and disinformation to accounting. The chip on its shoulder that fundamentalism developed against the very reality of biological evolution — making up all kinds of alternative realities that “survival of the fittest” doesn’t apply, not just that it shouldn’t rule civilizational evolution — represents a denial of reality that prompted God to elicit their heretical rebellion against His laws and put fundamentalists on a course to precipitate this crisis of governance.

The Republican party attempted to coopt religion for political purposes over a period of three to five decades, contradicting insights and unraveling mildly transformational gains made by the opposing party through wise and realistic secular policies. The coalition it has formed appears to be reaching back to commit our nation’s worst civilizational sins: ignorance and stupidity, corruption and exploitation, duplicity and treachery, existential threat. It was bad enough when George W. Bush, through inattention and mismanagement, lowered our guard against the 9/11 attacks (and proceeded to start two retaliatory wars, instead of conducting a police action against the perpetrators and asking the most salient and obvious question: why did they hate us so much to do that?). Later, his mismanagement of the economy unleashed the 1988 financial crash. But Trump has committed far worse civilizational sins. God is signaling that business leaders have no special qualifications for government service and their vested interests are typically antithetical to what will be required for building the body of Christ in human civilization. Republican leaders laughed without the slightest remorse that Trump was beholden to a foreign dictator and enemy, as if that was funny. He was and he is. After five bankruptcies and still showing utter contempt to lenders, Trump borrowed 2 billion dollars over 30 years so he could “invest” in the inherently unprofitable business of golf resorts and continue to lose money hand over fist, as he had done all his life. Somebody with unlimited money underwrote those loans, and they obviously had to come with strings attached. The fact that Trump denies Russian involvement so strenuously yet refuses to defend our country against its continued attacks and even tries to alter the evidence of Russian meddling are the obvious machinations of a guilty individual who has no remorse or shame.

During the course of his time in office, Trump commandeered a Republican party that had already been led badly astray by its pervasive disdain for reality, cowed all the feckless politicians who came to accept or even endorse his obviously antibiblical principles, and turned his position of power into a wrecking ball that has befriended dictators everywhere and almost dismantled governmental institutions and practices to install dictatorship in the nation that he was entrusted to lead. When given the chance to remove their false prophet from office before he did irreversible damage, Trump’s supporters instead rallied around him, expecting the rebuke of impeachment to chasten him. Only one of their ranks opposed him, who conspicuously subscribed to a different biblical version, as yet another divine clue that the original Bible is not an appropriate source for guiding decisions on a national or civilizational scale in God’s name.

But being impeached only emboldened the false prophet. He coddled his fellow dictator, Xi Xiaoping, as their coordinated complacency and evasion of accountability unleashed a pandemic that, had the tables been turned or their principles been consistent, fundamentalists would have rightly recognized as the wrath of God (or, in more appropriate nonbiblical terms, corrective feedback). Trump admitted that the Chinese should have contained the virus before it went pandemic, but Obama and even Bush before him had robust pandemic prevention strategies in place and CDC boots on the ground in China, which, true to form, Trump dismantled. By trying to dismantle Obama’s legacy, Trump has at least shown what we should do with his.

Now God’s kingdom is crippled with a mutable viral agent that may episodically reemerge in deadly form to constrain human activities and hobble humanity’s economic potential, possibly forever. Trump “invested” billions in multiple vaccines that have advanced medical science, but that was primarily from the standpoint of his all-purpose universal bankruptcy strategy. There is a simple and obvious way to purge coronavirus from the entire world’s human population: worldwide synchronous lockdowns for just enough incubation periods to rob the virus of any chance of transmission. That simple strategy is predicated on providing everybody in the world enough material security to hunker down for a month or two, altogether. Such a distribution system would recognize what Trump conspicuously denied — our world’s interdependency — and form the scaffold for a circulatory system for our embryonic civilization as it enters its multicellular phase of awareness, responsibility, and intentional co-creation of God’s kingdom. Instead of a Green New Deal, progressives could work on making that circulatory system green.

As I said, Trump has given a masterclass in going bankrupt — a step-by-step screed on Twitter broadcast to the world year after year, documenting for all to see how he has never earned a cent of his exaggerated wealth and has squandered every asset he has ever inherited. He inherited a robust economy from Barack Obama and proceeded to remove every regulatory restraint that kept it on track. Now, when wise leaders like Cory Booker are advocated baby bonds, Trump proposes ending the payroll tax — a page right out of the playbook of the bankruptcy king that would quickly deplete Social Security and Medicaid and make those wise programs unavailable to future generations. God retaliated against His utter contempt, denial of reality, gross incompetence, and galling arrogance by unleashing two of His worst scourges — a pandemic and an economic collapse. God thereby deprived Trump and his followers of any claim of success. I hope all those unemployed former Trump supporters realize what they put our country through and oust him from office.

God put theology on a path to glean such an insight because it was critical for the future of His kingdom that humanity never make such mistakes ever again. He had to set up a perfect experiment, completely documented by the people participating in it, that would show once and forever, that fundamentalists were using the wrong tools for making decisions in His name. Those fundamentalists are the Pharisees of our day, prying and obsessing over what happens behind closed doors while leaving all of God’s kingdom exposed to an obvious existential civilizational threat. We’re going to understand a lot better how viruses and other pathogens work, because God made Trump for the sole purpose of infecting our nation and world with his virulent, deliberately cruel agenda. We can see what he did to us a lot clearer than we can peer into virus-infected cells, and the same mathematical principles apply.

I see myself as a progressive evangelical, explaining to people how we must act collectively, and not so much individually, to ensure the health of the body of Christ and the future of God’s kingdom. What fundamentalists have done, blasphemously claiming in God’s name, is to let a series of viruses into His kingdom, each one worse than the one before, until this one is posing an existential threat to the future of life on earth.

I would also say to my fellow progressives that we must not pursue a leftist agenda — that would only lead to further oscillation and resentment. There is another path that life prescribes, to form resonant life forces and structures at a higher level, patterned after our own bodies. The miserable record of past leftist regimes issues a warning that we must not dissipate what exists, but instead follow a transformational path. I think that minorities, playing the role of the mesoderm that will form civilization’s musculoskeletal system, should take the lead in constructing humanity’s embryonic circulatory system and working with progressives to follow its optimal developmental path. That undertaking would form a separate economy at the civilizational level that need not siphon excessive resources from the one that currently exists at our familiar level. Embryonic life doesn’t allow much leeway for either mistakes or delays, so we’d better approach this task carefully and wisely. Fortunately, God has left lots of clues throughout His kingdom about how to proceed and what pitfalls to avoid.

We can see from biology and technology how these events came to pass in our era. Moore’s law of hyperexponential growth of computer capabilities gave rise to technologies that gave clueless people the capacity to broadcast their poorly conceived ideas to tens of millions of people instantaneously via social media, especially Twitter. That proliferation of toxic ideas resembled a sudden inflammatory process, which attracted the least insightful people to spawn countless conspiracy theories. And that’s how Trump, the champion conspiracy theorist, rode to the top of that inflammation. Over the course of Trump’s lifetime, God also crafted the evil in his soul to make him the ultimate dictator and bankruptcy king, an existential threat to His kingdom, with ambitions that would bankrupt it, too. For God’s purpose, Donald Trump was the perfect villain for showing future generations how an existential civilizational threat would seduce believers, exploit their self-righteousness, and get them to support his own evil agenda. Trump has performed future generations a great service by documenting every vacuous twitch in his nefarious plot as his supporters stood by and applauded him.

Beware: God is watching you differently now that you have been warned, making it clear to future generations that your words and actions are now being recorded in a different light. Henceforth, you cannot hide behind your smug self-assurance. The record button has always been on, but now you know about it. That was God’s purpose for social media all along, only we could only conceive of it from our own narrow perspectives.

I feel guilty that I didn’t see these things earlier and call them to people’s attention, but the course of events has clarified my thinking greatly. The coronavirus isn’t just affecting individuals — it clicked into place at a higher level to infect the human global economy, especially in the United States under Trump’s genius for precipitating bankruptcy. It was nature’s way to put the brakes on our own species for acting like a pathogen in the biosphere, especially as Trump became a super-pathogen throwing gasoline on the fire. That one poor bat that got butchered unceremoniously in the Wu Han market to seed the coronavirus pandemic is being feted silently by the natural world everywhere, finally taking advantage of humanity’s first existential civilizational threat to free God’s creation from humanity’s ruthless and pervasive encroachments. We need to heed that lesson as we envision ourselves becoming a good citizen of the biosphere, since we are the only species with analytical capabilities and a civilization to provide wise stewardship for the future of all life.

And at this moment when humanity gains the insight and accepts the responsibility for co-creative engagement in building God’s kingdom, He needed for us to see everything that we were doing wrong or possibly could do wrong, so we could avoid all those pitfalls in the future. Donald Trump is perfect for the role of showing us that, since he is the personification and enculturation of everything that humanity has been doing wrong, with the bonus feature of broadcasting every nitwit idea he has ever had, immediately and fully documented for all future generations! His whole mindset is that of a virus and, using technologies that God has carefully crafted for our time, he is broadcasting a complete description of the genetic toolbox by which viruses seduce, attack, and destroy.

For fundamentalists not to see that is a manifestation of the inflammation they have fomented by denying nature’s laws and fabricating their own realities. The cynicism they feel toward progressives and the narrowness by which they frame their criticisms of social justice, wise stewardship, compassionate policies, and moral imagination is just a manifestation of their own vague realization that something is not right with God within themselves — their own internal fact-checking that is signaling them they are denying God’s realities. Of course, both minorities and progressives are not yet thinking along these lines, but they are well positioned to enter into a trinitarian resonance for transforming our civilization to higher-level development. By contrast, conservatives have misconstrued and sabotaged God’s kingdom for decades, bitterly fomenting a race-to-the-bottom, smash-face politics that feeds on divisiveness. God needed all future generations to see these realities clearly in one sharp moment, so under His direction, we could make of our civilization a new kind of truth detector that can turn our civilization into the body of Christ by retracing the orbit of Christianity, this time with knowledge and experience. God timed the development of technology to destabilize human civilization at just this moment of our maximum self-destructiveness, letting semiconductor performance grow according to Moore’s law so cell phones, computers, networks, and servers could proliferate social media in a toxic form and give rise to this existential civilizational threat of our era.

God especially needed for us to see the hazards that dictatorship pose to His kingdom. There is perfect remedy for ridding God’s kingdom of dictators — give the victims of their capricious, cruel, and malign rule legal standing to sue them personally in civil courts for incautious and autocratic actions taken under color of authority. Our system of government rightly provides officeholders with immunity from civil liability for official actions, but when autocrats dismantle the governments that they have been entrusted to lead and corrupt them to do their own bidding, they abrogate those protections. In health, the body doesn’t let a virus get away with attacking it. When Trump is bankrupted by the innocent immigrant families he unfairly deported, cruelly separated, or unjustly detained and the COVID-19 victims and their families who suffered under his management-by-delusion-and-confusion, future autocrats will realize they will jeopardize their personal fortunes by going into politics and avoid like the plague the slightest consideration of entering public “service”!

Multicellular organisms need to repel acellular and unicellular pathogens, and this is how they do it. Dictators can’t use life’s operating paradigm because it empowers people and initiates vibrant resonances at higher levels that will challenge their authority. Those harmed by Trump’s malignant rule have standing to sue Vladimir Putin for violating our election laws and putting him in power. They can recover damages from any personal assets he holds in democratic nations. When the Russian people see themselves left behind as democratic nations learn how to harness life’s rules to transcend our current unicellular-like economy, they will strive to depose him. We should enlist the Chinese to build synthetic islands in the China Sea to house dictators in exile. Their countries won’t mind one last looting of their treasuries to subsidize the good riddance of their exile!

Trump admired the most vociferous kleptocrat in human history and wanted to siphon America’s wealth for his own dictatorship. He abandoned our natural democratic allies and formed a cabal of dictators. He encouraged them to oppress their own people. He was willing to dismantle our government, corrupt our justice system, cripple our postal service, ignore a deadly virus that was raging like a forest fire only in our country under his watch, lie endlessly, rig and sabotage our election, whine that the election was rigged against him, force voters to risk viral infection because mail-in voting worked to his disadvantage, and even foment civil war if he lost, just to get his way. That’s exactly what viruses do. God crafted Trump into the perfect human virus. And that, along with the fact that his supporters looked the other way and let him get away with dismantling every aspect of our government, is the most perfect proof that their worldview was infected with blasphemous error, even aside from the physics and history of human civilization that I will describe next.

We also need to understand how we fit personally into God’s kingdom, specifically in relation to our actions in life, our legacies after death, and our souls. The theory I’ve developed recognizes four interacting moieties in the universe — charges, masses, photons, and spins — but there is a fifth moiety that courses through our bodies by the billions every second but doesn’t interact: neutrinos. The four interacting moieties establish a basis whereby chemical affinities can set up a pattern of interaction that encompasses and transcends all organizational levels of nature, life, and civilization. But God may have a different purpose for neutrinos. Forged in stars everywhere in the universe, they make me think of a cosmic CT scanner. Whether or not that’s true, our souls after death experience the consequences of our past actions and continually rippling legacies. The souls of destructive liars, torturers, or those who fomented weapons technologies during life revisit related actions that occur after their deaths, when they have no agency to intervene, experiencing both the perpetrator’s initiative and victim’s anguish without any ability to stop anything from happening. Worse still, they can see how the rippling consequences of their actions have infected God’s kingdom. The body of Christ exists as an embryo still in the last phases of its unicellular existence, but the actions of fundamentalists threaten to induce what will become birth defects. That’s why it’s critical to pinpoint exactly what they’re doing, so they can stop and make amends — not only for their own souls, but for the future of God’s kingdom.

As we contemplate all the design flaws that have become embedded in human civilization through its haphazard development, we can envision retracing its orbit from the previous two cycles, first in Judaism and then in Christianity and now, third, in our era. With knowledge, technology, and historical experience, we can anneal all those design flaws, but to do so, we must start at the beginning. Here again, conservatives are at odds with God’s plan, seeing our world in terms of “constitutional originalism”. There obviously were design flaws embedded in American society then, most notably, slavery of colored people and genocide of Native Americans. To anneal all the design flaws, so our civilization starts with the firmest, best foundation, we must go back to the origins of Christianity, when believers envisioned the Church as the body of Christ and God as the Trinity. Their insights were ageless and point now to how we need to apply them. As it turns out, the triadic structure and “dance” of the Trinity play out in embryogenesis and also relate to electronic technologies we have developed, so God has left clues everywhere in nature, life, and civilization — far beyond the imagination of biblical authors — for us to follow.

Let us review the course of events and the evidence before us that now serve as God’s own instructions not to rely on the Bible as a guide to His will in the future, based on how it has led people astray in our era. Biblical authors themselves envisioned profound transformation and revelation, and it must cause their souls great distress that their own words are being distorted, in a very real sense that has never before been identified, to harm God’s kingdom. If you are not already convinced of that by my narrative above, just think how Donald Trump’s endless barrage of absolutely inane and criminally vacuous tweets will read to future generations, who will have the reconstructive wherewithal to evaluate every toilet pontification and brazen lie against a complete timeline of everything that really happened. Trump has unwittingly provided future generations a handbook for recognizing an existential civilizational threat, so God can make sure henceforth, in times of great civilizational stress, that believers will line up on His side and not the civilizational threat’s. It’s perplexing to imagine how fundamentalists imagine that Donald Trump has anything to do with Christianity, outside my contention that God is conveying that fundamentalism itself has become toxic to His kingdom. Fundamentalists have made a deal with the devil, letting their manufactured doctrine become the entry receptor for a virus masquerading as a leader. Their disdain for those who are unlike themselves, coupled with the harm they have inflicted on God’s kingdom, gives us some idea whose side God is on.

Biblical authors could not have conceived that their civilization was destined to become ours, where technology routinely works what they could only have imagined were miracles. They anticipated a revelatory future, but they could not have conceived it going through the computer and Internet age. Biblical authors could not have anticipated conditions thousands of years later in our time, and efforts to twist their words into new rationalizations defy a plain and simple logic that must emanate from their souls. If they had known that antiabortion sentiments derived from their reverence of human gestation would destabilize civilization and threaten planetary health, persuade people to deny reality, fabricate mass communication systems to defend a fragile and untenable artificial worldview from fact-checking, generate manufactured doctrines, and induce believers to follow an obvious grifter off a cliff, they would say to us now,

Look, you have technologies that we would have considered miracles! We had no idea that such things were even possible, much less that they could be designed from human ingenuity!

Don’t misuse our legacies to drive human civilization off a cliff!

Use your heads and look ahead, not behind, when it comes to building our civilization!

We talked about the body of Christ — you can implement it! Do it!

God has been trying to show fundamentalists, though the cynicism in their own hearts, that they are practicing an unsatisfactory form of Christianity and tearing His kingdom apart. Those who have supported Trump as he has dismantled our democracy, tormented and terrified vulnerable populations, tried to install himself as a dictator, violated every standard of Christianity, and threatened the future course of all life on earth should worry about the legacies they will be leaving behind as a result and making amends before it’s too late. The Bible’s authors whose words they are misusing are crying out from beyond the grave to get with God’s plan for human civilization, lest their own holy legacies be responsible for catastrophic collapse that God had never intended. We must make this midcourse correction or the path that God has prescribed for our civilization will be thrown off-course. And we can tell that these are not the end times because nobody is more clueless than those believers.

The conclusions I have reached follow from first principles of how nature, life, and civilization are organized and how they function dynamically. This perspective derives from physical principles, far beyond the purview of our anthropomorphic thinking or conspiracy theories — or of biblical authors. This view of nature is where God needs for us to consider how the world works. As an engineer, I am clumsy with mathematics, but in this world where we understand the workings of God’s kingdom, we all need to become mathematicians. Our new facility with Internet tools suggests how we might shut down our toxic social media and apply ourselves to collective research about the true nature of the reality in which we live. It’s about time.

To fundamentalists I say, you need to correct the harm you’ve done putting God’s kingdom in charge of a Dark Leader who is, and has been acting as, a psychopath, a narcissist, and a Machiavellian while you excused his every outrageous, contemptuous transgression. You did not perform due diligence in vetting him, and at every turn, you ignored mountains of evidence of his egregious wrongdoing, stood by, and actually helped him stay in power as he did grievous harm to God’s kingdom. All the time Trump acted like a wrecking ball against the interests of our nation, our world, and the future of all life on our planet, you installed your Trojan horses that let him wheedle himself into a position of unthinkable responsibility and power, you turned your ears away from all the evidence amassed against him, you excused his egregious sins and endless lies, you empowered the deniers and enablers that he installed to replace those who would obstruct his naked dictatorial ambitions, and you acted with flagrant spite against those who sounded the alarm and tried to protect God’s kingdom. The consequences of your actions are proof that the maze of unconnected, illogical, and disengaged beliefs that you thought were keeping you close to God have always been what He saw as corrupt and hypocritical to the core. God has set up conditions over centuries to expose your heresy and display it to all future eras and generations. Your example will serve to instruct all future generations and eras that believers in God and participators in His kingdom should never again line up on the side of evil against Him in times of civilizational stress. Donald Trump’s exquisite documentation of his own craven life and career will serve as a detailed instruction manual by which everyone will henceforth know how to recognize an antichrist figure.

Computer, network, and Internet tools are wonderful for research — although most emphatically not QAnon’s kind of research! However, as far as social media go, God has the RECORD button ON and future generations will be paying especially intently to what you say once you’ve been warned what’s going on.

To the oligarch wannabes who used their massive wealth to try to overturn our government and reshape the body of Christ after their insect or octopus vision, I say, we will let you elect either to turn all your fortunes over to remediation or else face civil lawsuits with punitive damages from those harmed by Trump’s autocratic rule. I originated the epidemiological and legal strategy of third-party lawsuits, but I quietly called a ceasefire when I saw that its overzealous use of corporate accountability would bankrupt the useful commerce required to keep our economy going. I envisioned use of the triple and punitive damages of civil RICO statutes against the firearms industry, but too much success with that paradigm could take down all economic sectors, since few industries can pay for the social costs they impose.

But making dictators an example of civilization’s righteous retribution is another matter entirely. That would be an efficient use of trinitarian-like litigation to protect vital infrastructures, since it would be restricted to punishing the worst of bad actors, who have proven themselves to support pure malevolence and have no redeeming values. On that basis of where the Trump-appointed judges got their indoctrination and, given that Trump has shown that he cheated and would cheat consistently to gain power, our nation has every right to challenge their legitimacy, by their ideological conspiracy with the nefarious oligarchs and Trump. If oligarchs want to use the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling to allow themselves to invest obscene amounts of money to reshape our government in their image, then another principle should come into play: if your investments hurt vulnerable people and their essential infrastructures with your callousness selfishness, they should have legal standing to sue you for the harm you did them. That intervention would insert a harsh trinitarian dynamic in a hurry!

However, as the person who first envisioned suing your ilk, there still is a basis for continuing my ceasefire, but this time it must come from your initiative. Against any one of you who resists, people can go to court for judgment against your crimes. But you can give up every aspect of your ambitions, as a matter of putting your souls at rest. You can acquiesce to let our government reexamine the credentials of all the judges vetted by oligarch wannabes who acted covertly to install them to serve their interests. You come clean when Congress investigates events behind the scenes that turned the party of Lincoln into the cult of Trump because you bankrolled Republican legislators to do your bidding. You can help investigate the silence of Republican legislators who would not question Trump’s commandeering our government, hollowing out its vital agencies, assaulting its electoral system, and challenging the very premises of democracy. You can shed light on the motivations and actions of Republican legislators who enabled and protected Trump and refused to remove him from office when confronted with evidence of his wrongdoing. You can reveal the longstanding plot by which conservative leaders came to turn against the interests of our nation over the years and especially during the Trump administration. You can help direct critical questioning of the conservative media that turned their attention away from the evidence, disparaged the mainstream media that has always been reporting the truth, and fabricated a web of deceit that rationalized Trump’s autocratic rule.

You can reflect on your own roles in turning a blind eye to the assaults on our democracy from a foreign dictator, whose government of a state-sponsored crime syndicate was much to your liking. You can reflect on the penance that you need to pay to future generations, the immigrants Trump terrorized and mentally tortured, aggrieved minorities you neglected and disparaged, the American justice system, our electoral processes, sincere civil servants and dedicated scientists, and progressive leaders who acted to save our democracy for the harm you’ve done to God’s kingdom with your heresy. You can do all that, lest the consequences of your actions and inaction compound and multiply into the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Contribution 7. A theological basis for transforming conservative evangelism

Be vulnerable. Take chances. Participate in changes you’ve resisted. Don’t make preconditions. Accept humiliation.

It’s not about individual salvation, it’s about keeping the whole of civilization healthy over all time.

God expects us to follow a multilevel generalization of the Golden Rule: be responsible to civilization the way you’d want your cells to be responsible to your own body.

Learn from the poor authors who wrote the Bible that you should do everything you can to keep other people’s actions, work, and legacies from becoming toxic. In a transformative world where participation is everything, don’t abuse the trust that anyone expresses when they release their ideas, actions, and legacies to the public and into the ages. Future generations owe it to previous ones not to induce regret for having built the edifice that will support their world. This is a kind of Golden Rule across the ages.

Imagine your soul seeing yourself act in every moment of your life. It will. Don’t make your soul regret anything you say or do. Live your whole life through so that your soul will have no cause for regretting the legacy you leave behind.

Think of your actions and legacies propagating, reverberating, and echoing through the active medium of human civilization over all time. After watching Trump cause maximum turmoil, do everything you can to calm and tame that echo chamber.

Unless you are a soldier or a policeman, destroy all your guns. The lust to destroy things is idolatry. You don’t want your soul to experience the liability even of an inadvertent gunshot wound. For that reason, even self-defense is not a viable rationale for owning guns: it would be better for your soul if you were killed violently than if you were to kill someone accidently. Enough said. Awareness of and respect for the kingdom of God is tantamount to ending the gun epidemic once and for all.

There is a huge, overarching, collective component to salvation. This is a basis for common interests in the spirit of multicellular organisms. We haven’t begun to realize just what that means.

Humanity’s objective is to stick around on this planet for as long as it’s here. Shortsightedness is ignorance, stupidity, or worse. We have to expand the time horizons of human civilization to millions or billions of years. Get with the plan.

As far as I can tell, humanity will be describing large, looping orbits through civilizational design space. Think about how you can make the designs of everything around you work much, much better. Transform everything you touch for the better.

Everything except the recording and analysis of ancient history involves responding to the challenges that God presents before each era. Reflect on all the opportunities you have to address the challenges of our era and meet them with transformative change.

I think damnation is based on eternal regret at having harmed the kingdom of God during life.

I think a benevolent God doesn’t need to punish, because shame and guilt will overtake those who harm His kingdom. Our benevolent God gives us the opportunity to shape our civilization with our collective will. We are profoundly blessed that our benevolent God has set humanity up to enter into co-creative partnership with Him during our era.

The mission of our era is to design the body of Christ in God’s image. The life ratchets we install that will make the body of Christ a robust developmental platform will someday be the substrate for the unfolding of the mind of God when its time comes. Think of designing the body of Christ to become a higher-level physiological-like platform for the reification of the mind of God, which will also unfold into human civilization in due time.

God has left clues everywhere in nature | life | and civilization how to design the body of Christ and the mind of God in His image — not like bacteria, insects, or octopuses, but rather like the human body — or better!

God needs us to use science, technology, and experience to understand natural and human networks.

Participation is the watchword. Belief is immaterial, because constructive perspectives develop from transformative participation. God doesn’t care what’s rattling around in your noggin, as long as what comes out makes His kingdom better!

Reflect on how our souls might commune with other souls and nature without regret. That’s the basis for retroactive, collective evangelism. I think that if we, as cells in the body of Christ, work hard and smart to make our civilization healthy over all time, then virtually everyone gets saved. Even the likes of Donald Trump will have served a constructive purpose.

Reflect on our souls’ intimate interaction with and awareness of nature’s laws — through events, echoes, patterns, electrons, maybe neutrinos, and maybe other things.

The souls of lynchers and the souls of their victims will intermingle, and the tables will be turned. Every time a pattern integral to our being comes into being, our soul will be invoked and rerun its programs. Mathematicians and souls will recognize this as a tale of eigenvectors and electrons.

The task of our era can be conceptualized in terms of an embryonic view of setting up the future adult body of Christ to be a paragon of collective health and wisdom. That mission requires installing ratchets everywhere life is weak, so it can hold the line against backsliding, build a robust developmental platform, and become a conduit for transformation.

Installing life’s ratchets will also keep the legacies of saved souls from turning toxic, notably in the case of biblical authors misinterpreted by fundamentalist biblical literalists and constitutional framers pigeonholed and straightjacketed by constitutional originalists.

Watch what you say: the RECORD button is ON. It took us four years too long, but we finally learned a lesson from Donald Trump’s dictatorial rule: STOP THE RAVING! Future eras and generations will sit in judgment of the permanent record of our social media communications. Donald Trump’s 20,000 lies in four years will necessarily be a record that will stand for all time! Nobody will ever dare to say or do what he did ever again. Trump has been the benchmark by which all of human civilization over all subsequent time will understand everything that humanity was doing wrong at time zero when we first came to responsible co-creative partnership with God.

Work towards a civilization designed to foster universal salvation. Pay attention to life’s corrective feedback; somehow or other, some of it may reflect the anguish of the dead who are not resting in peace. If we get complacent as a culture, you or I might be next to suffer that fate for all eternity.

To you who have supported archconservative causes, I say this. Either you are not destined to fulfill the conservative function of the nervous system and skin or else your role is to generate the sensation of pain. Christ showed with His own human body what He expects of our resilience — the ability to experience crushing pain and handle it with resilience and determination. That’s a lot different from the squishy, wishy-washy lip-service-only that Republicans have called “conservative values” and then abandoned each and every one to enable a dictator who clearly would have taken control of our nation but for the determined opposition of Democrats. The civilizational pain of fundamentalism will come from the Republican party’s race-to-the-bottom that put a Trojan horse in our government for Donald Trump to invade.

None of the Republican constituencies were ever compatible with the multicellular body of Christ or the kingdom of God: oligarchs, racists, white supremacists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen, anti-immigrants, cynics, character assassins, gun idolators, militarists (allowing for reason). God saw to it, with a civilizational experiment extending two millennia that was far beyond the purview of human agency, that he grouped nothing but hypocrites and misfits into His unloyal opposition.

The antiabortion movement is not even grounded in the Bible. Not one of the forty or so biblical authors took an antiabortion stand, either explicit or implicit, even though abortifacients were in widespread use and other ancient authors did whose works were not accepted into the canon. However, characteristically and far worse, the “right to life” movement is dangerously inconsistent with physiological principles, and, by God’s own judgment against fundamentalists, counter to the laws of His kingdom. God’s kingdom is built on interacting networks and the wispy resonances that make them function at higher levels, not the awarding of some theoretical “right to life” that impinges on God right to run His kingdom. All life will die and enter God’s kingdom, and its goal in life is to get to the other side with no regrets for the rest of eternity. There are moral issues with abortion, but not the ones fundamentalists have touted — especially as they have risked crashing our whole civilization and our whole planet at a pivotal inflection point.

I say, woe you oligarch wannabes who put so obscenely much money as to sabotage our nation, its electoral system, its sovereignty, and God’s kingdom. You should be sued into bankruptcy, but your corrupted souls would be infinitely better off if you gave everything away. Give away all your money or it will become toxic to you, live modestly like an ordinary citizen (or a hermit), and above all, dismantle everything you’ve built and repurpose your fortune to accomplish exactly the opposite of what you’ve done all your life. Your soul will bear the heaviest of burdens, even with deep repentance.

To fundamentalist Trump supporters I say this: churches must henceforth be uninvolved in politics, except to save our democracy from the likes of the monster you enabled and supported. Abandon your archconservative denominations and find progressive ones that practice real Christianity (or some other religion) that will dispel your cynicism and make you feel like a constructive participating cell that is actively and unambiguously contributing to the health of the body of Christ.

To you archconservative preachers: find some other work that’s really honest. Your false religion is dead as a doornail. God Himself killed it off, but you took it most of the way there.

I don’t think I’ll have to tell anyone to shun conservative news channels. Although even fundamentalists should resent what they did to hoodwink them, conservatives should not give themselves the excuse of blaming the propagandists and sycophants that they themselves chose to watch and follow. It should be everyone’s mission to scorn the conservative news media, bankrupt it, and make its investments utterly worthless. To investors I say, don’t buy their poisoned, tainted assets until they have been cleansed by becoming utterly worthless. Their corruption would taint your businesses. Let charities serving the interests they’ve opposed take them over at no cost. That is the only way those assets can be redeemed.

The people who spread the poison of conservative “news” owe a terrible debt to everyone else, our nation as a whole, and all of human civilization. Whatever you “earned” through that disservice is utterly toxic to you.

I might be wrong about any of these things I’ve said. Don’t make my soul regret that I said any of this by clinging to it if it stops making sense. Biblical prophets might have been prophets in their time, but they certainly couldn’t prophesize anything relevant to our era, because their pronouncements, anchored in the ancient world, has conspicuously neglected all the intervening lived experience.

Feedback from Sophie Mott and Shirley Lee from our Sunday check-in group from Bible study:

  • Note: Neither Lisa nor Dave and Ed are responding to my request to critique my “manifesto”. THAT IS THE WRONG WORD TO USE! I need to stick to “7 contributions”.
  • Before I got on the line with Sophie and Shirley, I pared this draft down to 20 pages, which averages about 3 pages per contribution. Can I get it down to 1 or at most 2 pages for each contribution?
  • Sophie had looked at my website but Shirley had a very busy week, in part helping Reverends Barbara and Paul Elliott to move back to Australia.
  • My soteriological arguments aren’t convincing. Sophie and Shirley were not convinced that souls have continued stakes in the course of civilization.
  • Accordingly, the more incendiary and confrontational things I’ve written need to be removed. I need to consider how they would go over at the Ethics Center. Removing that material will pare things down a lot.
  • My arguments that we are just like the cells in our bodies didn’t impress Sophie and Shirley — not even when I framed them in terms of building the kingdom of God.
  • Seeing the Republican party as the party of death made a big impression on Shirley.

    She extracted something I circulated in the two op ed pieces that made this point.

Reinterpretation of our current crises in ways that reconcile dynamics and theology: a Trinitarian perspective

A commitment to human civilization that could purge COVID-19 from the global economy

  • I pointed out that Donald Trump’s mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for more American deaths per unit time than any other event in American history.
  • When I said that Trump’s Supreme Court pick of Amy Coney Barrett would backfire because she was dedicated to building the kingdom of God, Sophie wasn’t convinced that she was salvageable or that she could be convinced to change her views. They didn’t think I had any way to know how the afterlife works. Shirley had watched the nomination ceremony on television and was shocked to note that Barrett paraded all her children on the stage and none of them wore masks. Sophie and Shirley were more impressed that Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia were such good friends and made a point to be so collegial.
  • I need to make my presentation extremely short and uncomplicated. Sophie and Shirley are my target audience.
  • Maybe I should ask to make a series of presentations at the Ethics Center.
  • Sophie recommended the movie My octopus friend. Our Bible group had a recommendation to see another movie before our Zoom session on Wednesday.
  • Sophie offered to critique what I present. I am sure that Shirley will, too.
  • I have 37 days before the election to convince people, but I don’t have a lot of chances to get a foot in the door with my arguments. I should only work with a few people at a time, so I don’t exhaust all my chances at once. Accordingly,

I won’t use my email circulation list before the election.

I should only approach one friend at a time with each draft.

  • Diane Berlin is the one person who might stick with me through multiple drafts. She is in terrible arthritis pain, but she is dedicated and quick to respond. She made an insightful comment when she saw my website:

FYI, SOME of the right wing extremists are seeing this as fulfilling Revelations.

Maybe that’s a good thing.

  • I’m going to retire the current 20-page working document as “DRAFT 1 of my ‘7 contributions to the anti-Trump movement’ 2020|9|27.docx — INCOMPLETE, LONG, INCENDIARY” and concentrate on making the next draft much more succinct and readable. I’ll put the next draft in the first section of this notebook, preceded by the line

PASTE NEXT DRAFT SECTION FOR ARTICLES AND/OR BOOK SECTIONS ABOVE HERE

Next, I need to work to get this into a 7- to 10-page document.

I need to look for a couple more theological topics that can make the case for my soteriological theory. But where would I start?

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