Author: Matt Walsh
For those who do not know much about the author, Matt Walsh is something of a contentious figure. Matt Walsh typically comes across as brash with a dry wit that sometimes rubs listeners and readers the wrong way. This style is present in The Unholy Trinity. While I tend to appreciate Walsh’s frankness, even I was a little taken aback when I began this book. Even so, I’m glad that I kept reading. I learned so much! And I think we all need a little unfiltered honesty in our lives. Though this isn’t the book for everyone, the message affects us all. Matt Walsh does not mince words in his The Unholy Trinity, and regardless of how you take his straightforward writing style, his thesis is clear: The religion of liberalism has become the new, sandy foundation of our society, and we Christians let it happen.
The Unholy Trinity is not what I would call a typical nonfiction book or political work. The book doesn’t drag on, digress, oversimplify, or overcomplicate. Walsh gives it to you straight. Though he weaves in his dry humor, which you will either appreciate like I did or find annoying, he doesn’t try to minimize the seriousness of what he is discussing. This is a philosophical work and discussion, a discussion we need to have (and should have had) in society and the church.
Walsh is very harsh, perhaps harsher than I would be. And yet, his views on abortion and the culture of death are the same that I have had for over a decade. I was both relieved to know that there were other thinkers who recognized the foundation and path of our current secular culture, and I was disturbed to have our culture laid out so clearly before me. He does this so well in his book. You can forget for a moment that you’re reading about the world around you until you go to close the book and realize how far our culture has fallen and who can take a large part of the blame.
So what is the main focus of the book? I think the subtitle sums the first focus nicely: It is about the left’s persistent assault on life, marriage, and gender. These subjects are intertwined with each other, but the foundation is found in life. When that was removed, the blocks on top quickly toppled. Walsh does not presume that any of the ideas on the value of life, the sanctity of marriage, or treatment of gender is anything new. On the contrary, he points out that the pagan views progressives now push are ancient ideas, and the foundational ones we hold to as a Christian society (now largely lost) are even older. They are true, and they are confirmed in Holy Scripture. Walsh clarifies that what we call liberalism is the same as every other “ism” out there, though perhaps it is the ancestor of many of them. It is more than a political philosophy but a set of religious beliefs as old as the Rebellion with the “self,” me, ultimately at its center.
There are many key points about this religion, but the main one is that the “self” is the foundation. My wants, desires, needs, and ideas come before all else. It is the basis for humanism, relativism, narcissism, and most other “isms” out there. It has virtues, tenets, and practices that keep the self as the primary focus. We become our own gods, as Jeremy Rifkin once said. Reality is defined by us. Unfortunately for us who live in such a world, we don’t know what we want, what truth is, or how to define anything because we’ve ripped out our foundation: God and His truth, the truth.
We did this in a few ways. In declaring ourselves to “be like God” and becoming the architects of a universe of our making, we had to take care of some things first. This is what I would say makes up the meat of Walsh’s book. Again, his book is very philosophical but straightforward. He shows the logical progression (or regression, rather) of these beliefs. For one, we stripped humans of their humanity. And when we took away the humanity of humanity, we striped our moral compass of one of its key features. There is little wonder how we slipped from there.
For example, we made children into blobs of matter. These we eugenically deal with because they have no meaning or use or want to me. Eugenics has its foundation in evolution. Before, society had to rationalize slavery, murder, and abortion because they recognized natural law and saw the need to find a way around it. But now, we have no moral compass. That foundation has been destroyed in the minds of many. Now what is right or wrong is relative to a person’s desires. Because of relativism, we don’t need to find a way around messy things like right or wrong. There is only my truth. It’s about what’s right for me, my desires, and what I want. No need to rationalize because it doesn’t matter if what I’m killing is human. All that matters is what I desire.
This rockslide of destruction to our culture began a long time ago, with ideas that existed long before that, but it makes sense that we have ended up with the culture we possess. We destroyed life, and from there the family, and within that, proper roles in society. We exchanged the truth of God for a lie and served our baser, sinful natures instead of holding onto what was good, noble, and true. Walsh digs into these underlying issues in the lives of the unborn and raising children, marriage, transgenderism, gay rights, feminism, and other closely related topics. I won’t discuss them here because, honestly, he does so much better in his book.
I do have a couple of points of interest and dispute with his work, however. For one, I am surprised that for someone who so strongly argues that we are not meaningless blobs of cells that arose by chance from nothing is still not a creationist. Everything he writes makes me think that he would be, yet I know he is not. This is frustrating to me, especially since he argues so well for the value and unique creation of human life. Additionally, towards the end of the book, some distinct Catholic theology comes out that I take issue with. He speaks on the goodness of our works and worth that I disagree with. I don’t think it takes away from the rest of the book, but it is there at the end.
There are many great parts of this book. The succinctness, the thoroughness, the way Walsh does not pull punches. But I think the best is probably his main criticism of the culture. He says, “The corrosive effects of relativism, hedonism, and secularism, advanced by [the culture], have weakened the moral fiber of our civilization and left us susceptible to attacks on our most fundamental institutions.” This is his thesis. But more importantly, he doesn’t let us Christians off the hook. In that same chapter, discussing marriage in particular, he points out that, “it should be made very clear that we are not victims of this assault. We are participants. … Christians were so inconsistent … our arguments purposely incomplete so as to allow loopholes to accommodate our own extrabiblical lifestyle choices – that we’d already ensured” our arguments couldn’t sustain any attacks.
Matt Walsh is not giving us a book on leftism and why it is so terrible, although his book does accomplish that goal. His book helps us Christians understand the other side and to make us recognize who is at fault for our current state of affairs. We Christians dropped the ball and didn’t stand up for the truth. The world was always going to attack God’s truth, but we were active or complacent participants of the process.
As the Psalmist says, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Walsh makes it clear that we dropped the ball on the “culture war.” Miserably. In fact, he outright says we already lost a long time ago. We are in, for all intents and purposes, a post-Christian society. But that doesn’t mean we’re off the hook. Instead, Walsh calls on fellow Christians to stand up for the truth. After all, what have we to lose? For this reason and more, I see this book as part one to Walsh’s other book Church of Cowards (which I also think you should read. And in some ways, I think I liked that one better!).
The Unholy Trinity will offend you, but I think we all need that from time to time, even though I’m not sure this book is for everyone. So I ask that for those who chose to read it, at least make it to page ten, and then keep going. It will be worth your time. Let this book convict you, teach you, and embolden you to speak the truth in a culture of anti-truth. The world needs the truth. We need it. Our children need it.
Blessings to you and yours,
~Madelyn Rose Craig