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It is not widely understood that America is in the midst of a radical cultural shift. Admittedly, it is difficult, when in the middle of events and caught up in the passion of them, to see them clearly. However, that lack of awareness is dangerous; we could wind up in a place we do not really want to go, and discover, when it is too late, that there is no way to go back.
The famous historians, Will and Ariel Durant, in “The Lessons of History,” put what is happening in America into perspective. In explaining the demise of various nations and civilizations over the centuries, they observed a pattern: “Caught in the relaxing interval between one moral code and the next, an unmoored generation surrenders itself to luxury, corruption and a restless disorder of family and morals, in all but a remnant clinging desperately to old restraints and ways.”
In his best-selling book, “New Rules: Searching for Self-Fulfillment in a World Turned Upside down,” Daniel Yankelovich asked several penetrating questions: “Will we achieve a synthesis between traditional commitments and new forms of fulfillment to create a new direction for our society? Or will we indeed end up with the worst of two worlds — our society fragmented and anomic, the family a shambles, the work ethic collapsed … our morality flabby and self-centered, and with even less personal freedom than under the old order?”
To put it simply, we are on the threshold of America’s entry into a post-religious, post-Constitutional era. Decades of liberal assaults on traditional values and institutions are bearing fruit — sweet or bitter, depending on allegiances. The final battles are under way, and the bulwarks erected to protect us from the dark side of our natures and from governmental tyranny are being battered down. The center is not holding.
The signs of moral decay are all around us. The Supreme Court has just undertaken the legal tasks of deciding whether to agree with lower courts that it is unconstitutional for The Boy Scouts of America, a private organization, to prohibit a proud and practicing homosexual from becoming a scoutmaster, and whether it is unconstitutional for a state to outlaw partial-birth abortion, the murder of a baby who is only seconds and inches from drawing the first breath.
While these cases test what little is left of the integrity of the Constitution, the core issues are not legal, but moral. Whatever restraints the Constitution imposed on the liberal agenda have already been overcome. America has already accepted the idea that the supreme law of the land has nothing to do with what the Constitution says and everything to do with the ideology and personal biases of whichever set of nine judges happens to be on the court at a particular point in time.
All that remains is the liberation of Americans from the arbitrary and mean-spirited interferences with personal freedoms imposed by traditional, religious values and the “mythical” God who constructed them. The liberal vision is that, unencumbered by the burdens of sin and guilt, man will be free to live a life without limits, and ascend to his fullest potential.
Thus far, there has not been much of an ascension. The social trajectory is not toward the stars but toward the sewer. Hell has broken loose, and our lives are taking on the character of a nightmare. Our society is littered with the victims of rape, incest, child abuse, drunkenness, sexual disorientation, suicides, broken homes, divorce, adultery, teenage pregnancies, abortions, and pornography. All about us we see minds and bodies destroyed by drugs and venereal diseases, the victims ever younger.
Liberated from an authoritarian, homophobic God, liberals have become that which they profess to abhor: moral nags, filling our lives with detailed, intrusive and inquisitionally enforced prescriptions for how to live. Traditional values are being replaced with politically correct, New Age dogma, including mandates against the right to moral discernment, the right of free association, and the right to be repulsed by that which is repulsive.
Liberated from constitutional constraints, the liberal apparatchiks are about the business of force-fitting Americans into ideological molds, wherein everyone is required to sacrifice for the common good, so that all may share and share alike. In the near future, government propaganda will prove ineffective in overcoming basic human nature, and brute force will be required to combat the selfish desire of people to keep the fruit of their own labor.
It was foretold that a time for spiritual outrage would come. It is here, and it’s time to take a stand. In the words of the American patriot Thomas Paine, “These are the times that try men’s souls. … Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered. … The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”