The Modern Pharisee

Where does the moral satisfaction of political progressives come from? I can understand religious hubris–after all, the Pharisees thought themselves particularly righteous and thus entitled to divine favor from the Lord of the universe. Pride is a natural disposition for the religious. (And perhaps that is one reason God lets his people experience so much cultural shame, to keep the Church with a sense of humility.)

But the justification for progressive self-satisfaction eludes me. There’s no divine mandate, as it were, driving their philosophical or moral commitments. In fact, some are open about the ultimate meaninglessness of the universe and the complete subjectivity of all moral values. So why are they so quick to condescend and insult those who differ with them?

Is it the disproportionate wealth or “success” of many progressives that give them their outsized sense of worth? Writing a critically celebrated science fiction novel or graduating from Yale law school can certainly inflate one’s sense of self-worth. Yet there are poor and relatively obscure progressives who look down their noses at everyone else too.

Is it better explained by those old superstitions so many now reflexivly dismiss? Demonic influence would be deliciously ironic. But however plausible, the mystery remains.

No matter. The smug hostility lasts only a short while. Even the arrogant must suffer the ravages of time, for divine judgment is inexorable.

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