Children of the Snake

It’s a heart-breaking, cruel and baffling picture: a dewy young woman—anxious to make her mark in the world—is promised the glories of high-society introductions, admission to elite universities, and professional advancement in a club that is chock full of billionaires and luminaries.

And, by the way, would she mind giving Mr. Epstein a back rub?

It’s something like watching a mouse nibbling at cheese within the writhing coils of a three foot king snake. Watching these predator stories, you can imagine decent parents asking themselves the question, “have we really warned our daughters about the evil some men pose?” The more likely emotional defense, however, in our age, against sane, Biblical parenting would be an appeal to unicorns and pixies: “Do we want to traumatize our children with a picture of ever-present lurking evil?”

By way of comparison, 18th-century New England children were served up with death and depravity right from the womb. Consider the way they were taught the letters “X” and “Y” in the alphabet…

XERXES did die,

And so must I.

While YOUTH do chear (sic)

Death may be near.

This wasn’t the “Finding Nemo” world, where innocents are schooled with absurdities like, “fish are friends, not food.” We stumble along in the present age, perpetually disappointed by our own moral optimism and sense of fair play, unprepared and unarmed—stripped of the more realistic picture our Puritan ancestors painted. Mother earth is not kind. She’s a raging bitch, full of Jeffrey Epsteins.

The juxtaposition of Epstein against his maiden victims serves as a kind of metaphor for our own condition. It’s the picture of innocent, if foolish, hope set against a remorseless snake, completely at home with lies and lying. The people who actually make this country function still have something of our ancestor’s work ethic, and desire for fair play, but we have either lost the assumption of lurking depravity everywhere, or we foolishly wish the fear away.

The framers of the Constitution may not have been orthodox Calvinists, but their system of checks and balances—three branches of government perpetually at war with each other—was thoroughly beholden to John Calvin’s sense of the Word, and the assumption that men are not angels. It was a system that did homage to an instructive, but largely unexamined Biblical principle: “children of the woman and children of the snake.”  Jesus would later affirm this Genesis taxonomy when He told the Pharisees they were children of their father, the devil—incapable of telling the truth because there was no truth in them. People are not “basically good.” Even dear old Ronald Reagan got that one wrong.

The Epstein story is instructive because of its stark, bold contours, but it’s really just a more dramatic representation of what we all endure every day in America. We assume our doctors, our experts, our law enforcement officers are inherently worthy of our respect and obedience, even when they ask us to do things that feel like clear violations of common sense and personal liberty. We’re something like the 16-year-old virgin in Jeffrey Epstein’s massage parlor—not quite able to believe we’ve been asked to take off our clothing, but going ahead with it just to please the authority figure—who must, after all, have some good reason for making this request. Right?

Stanley Milgram taught us that average people will actually injure their fellow citizens if they are ordered to do so by a man in a white coat with a name plate, and the authority of Yale University behind the badge. We shouldn’t be surprised by Stalin’s Holdomor or Pol Pot’s Killing Fields or Hitler’s Holocaust or Xi Jingping’s Zero-COVID insanity.

We should be surprised we don’t see this a lot more.

Thinking back, I’ve written a lot here about the obligations of citizens to authority, and, more critically now, our obligation to defy authority when necessary. It’s a necessary contemplation because if you fancy yourself a “child of the woman,” a person expecting, and assuming, honesty, courtesy, and the golden rule, you should have a plan, at the very least, for contending with the children of the snake, the Jeffrey Epsteins of this world. Who could doubt, for example, that Anthony Fauci could easily kill six million people, world-wide, with a virus he paid for, and not lose one moment of sleep? The man is utterly without remorse. He has no shame. He could even kill another several million with an untested “vaccine” and expect your gratitude. The guy who poisoned your well wants to be your doctor as well. How many times do you need to be fooled?  How much stinking hubris must you endure before sweeping the filth off your porch?

Honest, hard-working conservatives—my tribe—have a tendency to believe the academy, the experts, the courts, and the agencies are populated with people worth honoring, and some of them are, but some of them are as remorseless as Jeffrey Epstein collecting girl flesh. They could debauch two  14-year-old girls and not think twice about it. They could dump a girl in a river, fix an election, store state secrets on a private computer, sell influence to China and never entertain even a second of remorse. What was it Juanita Broaddrick said about Bill Clinton? He raped her, bruised her lip, and advised her to “put some ice on that.” I’m fully convinced Joe Biden could commit actual crimes against humanity and still see himself as a chatty, fun-loving uncle from Scranton. Snakes don’t actually see themselves as snakes. That’s part of the deal.

What we need is a culture of collective, creative, virtuous defiance. We need to stop being polite and obedient when God would expect us to be full of righteous anger. The Bible, after all, is our guide. When Pharaoh ordered the Hebrew midwives to kill Hebrew children, the midwives disobeyed and lied about it. Moreover, their disobedience and lying earned the Lord’s blessing. When the wise men were asked the location of the Christ child, they never returned Herod’s call. When Peter was ordered not to preach, he refused and shot back, “better to obey God than man.”

It’s likely, in a world where Klaus Schwab types actually praise Chinese Communist totalitarianism, we are going to be asked to get naked and give the bastard in the backroom a massage.

Be ready to respond, with the blessings of heaven, “fuck yourself.”

About James Patrick Riley

James Riley is the owner and operator of Riley's Farm in Oak Glen, California and the creator of "Courage, New Hampshire," a television drama seen on PBS stations across the country. The father of six children, Riley performs "Patrick Henry" and supervises a living history program visited by hundreds of thousands of school children. He holds a degree in history from Stanford University.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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