Confronting the Principalities and Powers of Darkness With the Faith of Naomi Wolf

Confronting the Principalities and Powers of Darkness With the Faith of Naomi Wolf
Confronting the Principalities and Powers of Darkness With the Faith of Naomi Wolf

We live in ever more sinister times.

To call our times sinister might appear extreme since evil has always existed and manifested itself to humanity. However, evil has long advanced by hidden means to corrupt with greater ease. Darkness descends gradually amid the decadent mediocrity of our days.

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However, this age-old tactic is changing. The chilling presence of pure evil appears much more frequently. The shock of a raw encounter with this dark force is enough to shake us in the depths of our souls and even change our lives. This radicalized evil startles, raises questions, and invites supernatural reflections not common in our secular times.

Hitting a Nerve

Such is the curious case of Naomi Wolf. She encountered this dark force when she challenged a cherished liberal narrative. Her particular angle hit a sensitive nerve that unleashed disproportionate wrath that she qualified as evil.

Dr. Naomi Wolf is not given to wild imaginings or conspiracy theories. She graduated from Yale University and received her doctorate from Oxford. As a bestselling author, columnist, and professor, she is outspoken in her defense of all leftist causes (including procured abortion) and is not afraid to say what she thinks.

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However, she recently encountered the “principalities and powers of darkness.” Her recent article, “Is it Time for Intellectuals to Speak about God?” describes this discovery process in brilliant detail.

Experiencing the Wrath of the Liberal Establishment

Her case triggered this wrath because it threatened a vital narrative crucial to a progressive agenda. It need not be a single issue. It can be the pandemic, the vaccine, the economic meltdown or breakdown of order. Indeed, conservatives have long experienced the disproportional wrath of the opposition on a whole spectrum of issues. What is different today is the increased intensity of this wrath and the willingness of liberals to attack their own.

Dr. Wolf’s crime was questioning the effects of the vaccine on young girls. She has long produced similar exposés denouncing big business interests, all to the applause of the liberal establishment. She expected the same reaction to her well-researched articles.

However, she was shocked to find herself on the wrong side of the narrative. She soon discovered that life-long well-educated colleagues, journalists, editors and professionals—critical thinkers all—rejected her broadside and clung to the talking points of CNN and other major media. They asked her not to show them the evidence lest they lose status, jobs or opportunities.

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“The progressive, right-on part of the ideological world—my people, my tribe, my whole life—became more and more uncritical, less and less able to reason,” she exclaimed as she found herself “pulped, de-platformed, canceled, re-canceled, de-platformed again, and called insane.” She was accused of being a “pandemic conspiracy theorist” engaged in “crack-pottery.”

The issue was not the vaccine but the challenge to the narrative. Indeed, The New York Times broke the same story in January 2022, vindicating research similar to hers but not reestablishing her reputation.

Evil Too Massive

She perceived that the broadside was not against her but represented “an infection of the soul,” the abandonment of “the most cherished postwar ideals,” and the dropping of “post-Enlightenment norms of critical thinking.” She was impressed by its orchestration and agility.

This overwhelming attack represented something profound—and sinister. Dr. Wolf concluded that “this edifice of evil is too massive, too quickly erected, too complex and really, too elegant, to assign to just human awfulness and human inventiveness.”

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She was perplexed by this intelligent force that was much more powerful than anything she had ever experienced. She recalled the comment of a Christian medical freedom activist who had suffered similar treatment and calumny. He said he found courage in Ephesians 6:12:

“For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.”

When the hammer of evil fell upon her, something clicked that made those words come alive.

The Necessity of a Countervailing Force—God

Indeed, she had encountered the devil who embodies evil in its most extreme and radicalized form. She felt “the majestic nature of the awfulness of the evil around us, the presence of ‘principalities and powers’—almost awe-inspiring levels of darkness and of inhuman, anti-human forces.” This narrative generated “anti-human outcomes” beyond the reach of humans alone.

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From this sinister impact, there awakened in her soul a belief in “the presence, the possibility, the necessity of a countervailing force—that of a God.” An evil so big demands a God that can address this danger.

With her tiny faith in an unknown God, she started to pray. She might well pray with the disciples on the boat in the raging sea who awakened Our Lord saying: “Save us, Lord, lest we perish!” (Matt. 8:25)

A Leap of Faith

This literal leap of faith presented Dr. Wolf with many problems. She expressed consternation because her Jewish cultural background does not frame spiritual battles in the dramatic fashion presented during her recent ordeal. Classical liberal authors like her, writing in a postmodern world, are not supposed to talk about God, much less the “principalities and powers of darkness.”

She reflected that the rise of Existentialism after World War II glorified a worldview that celebrates the absence of God and humanity’s essential aloneness. Thus, few dare talk about anything spiritual.

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However, she resolved to talk about spiritual combat and “the fate of souls” because “the forces of darkness are so big that we need help”; humans alone cannot solve this predicament.

She does not know how to address this God or even describe Him. All she knows in her primitive faith is to call upon this unknown God who represents the only hope for an evil world.

Lessons From the Case

The case of Naomi Wolf is a sign of our sinister times. We do not know whether she will develop her faith and embrace Church teachings. Such conversions are best left in the hands of God, Whose ways are mysterious and inscrutable. However, her desperate plea for help against the principalities and powers contains the seed of faith that may blossom one day.

The most encouraging conclusion to this story is that sinister times call forth courageous leader souls who recognize the nature of the evil we face and listen to the voice of grace. As Saint Paul says: “Where sin abounds, grace abounds much more” (5:20). How many thousand Naomi Wolfs are out there that are finding God amid their desperation? With their little faith, they are calling upon a God that they never knew and now grasp. God cannot fail to listen to such pleas.

The case also contains lessons for mediocre believers who do not want to see the spiritual combat and make no effort to battle the principalities and powers. Her cry might also awaken these lukewarm souls. They might pray: O God grant me the small faith of Naomi Wolf. “That I may see!” (Mark 10:51).