We have arrived at the “Perfect Storm” of American cultural depravity. Along with photos of Iraqi prisoners being abused in an American prison, we now apparently have photos of American soldiers having sex and committing homosexual acts on prisoners.

In the real-life story of “The Perfect Storm,” a group of singularly dangerous conditions came together to create a lethal mix. Likewise, America has endured several cultural currents that have come to a deadly nexus in Iraq. Businessman Nick Berg, who was beheaded by a group claiming revenge over the prison abuses, is the first victim, and we can only pray he will be the last.

The photo of an American female soldier leering at naked Iraqi men could not have been better designed to enrage Muslims and stimulate recruitment for the suicide-bombing training camps. Only this time, instead of Israelis being targeted, we shouldn’t be surprised when Americans like Berg – in America – are the victims.

Our troops and civilian personnel in Iraq already are sitting ducks for terrorism. They don’t need our enemies having any more incentives. Muslim extremists don’t know that the majority of Americans are decent, law-abiding people who wish them no harm. The radicals hate America not because we’re good, but because America’s faults have been presented as the total reality.

None of this happened by accident. It is directly due to cultural depravity advanced in the name of progress and amplified by a sensation-hungry media.

  • We were told putting women into combat areas is progressive and enlightened.

  • We were told pornography is liberating, and that anyone who objects is a narrow-minded Puritan who needs therapy. We have been flooded with porn imagery on mainstream television and in magazine ads. Where did those soldiers get the idea to engage in sadomasochistic activity and to videotape it in voyeuristic fashion? Easy. It’s found on thousands of Internet porn sites and in the pages of “gay” publications, where S&M events are advertised alongside ads for Subarus, liquor and drugs to treat HIV and hepatitis.

  • We were told homosexuality is harmless and normal, and the military should live with a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that allows homosexuals to stay in the barracks. We were told that men “marrying” men and women “marrying” women is inevitable – not only for America, but for the world. Imagine how those images of men kissing men outside San Francisco City Hall after being “married” play in the Muslim world. We couldn’t offer the mullahs a more perfect picture of American decadence. This puts Americans at risk all over the world, especially Christian missionaries who are trying to bring the Gospel to people trapped in darkness for millennia.

This is a Perfect Storm of our own making, and it is up to normal Americans to unmake it. It is not beyond correction. The American people should start by getting on their knees and asking God’s forgiveness for letting it get this bad. Then, they should ask Him for guidance in how to restore the moral order. Barring a more direct Divine intervention, here are a few things Americans can do in the meantime:

  • They should refuse to patronize businesses that trade in or support depravity.

  • They should demand governments – local, state and federal – cease all activities that undermine moral order. Practically speaking, this means:

    1. Withdrawing all female personnel from combat areas. It is barbaric, not “progressive,” to place women directly in harm’s way.

    2. Stamping out the open use of pornography in the military. The Defense Department kicked the skin magazines out of the PXs a few years back, but still must stop winking at the widespread, casual use of porn among the troops. This has destroyed modesty and led to rapes and sexual abuse. In a more civilized era, Gen. George Patton once tore down a girlie pin-up and barked, “This is a barracks, not a bordello.”

    3. Enforcing the military’s ban on homosexuality. Congress enacted a ban in 1993 that bars military service for anyone with a “propensity” for homosexuality. The “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule instituted by the Clinton administration violates the law. Congress needs to junk “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and to reinstall the question about homosexuality on induction applications. It’s time to restore the military’s reputation as a place of honor and morality that inspires an entire culture.

    4. Cracking down on pornography. So far, the Ashcroft Justice Department has been prosecuting only the most bizarre porn while ignoring the 95 percent that is prosecutable under obscenity laws. It’s past time to get serious about this moral cancer that is destroying our nation.

    5. Yanking some broadcasting licenses. Finally showing signs of life, thanks to Democrat Commissioner Michael Copps and Republican Commissioner Kevin Martin, the Federal Communications Commission needs to cut off consistent violators of decency rules. Fines have not done enough. Infinity Broadcasting still thinks the “Howard Stern Show” is appropriate at all times, regardless of whose kid is listening.

    6. Strengthening state and federal marriage laws and ceasing the creation of civil unions and domestic partnerships. These counterfeits make a mockery of marriage and send the message to children that homosexual behavior is normal and healthy. The state has no business creating incentives to engage in immoral and dangerous activity.

    7. Demanding that schools stop promoting “safe sex” and homosexuality in the name of “AIDS education” or “safe schools.” These are recruitment schemes into early sex and homosexuality, with documented, ghastly results.

Liberals shamelessly accuse the Bush administration of a cover-up and are seeking the scalp of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. They demanded an apology, and they got it from both Mr. Rumsfeld and President Bush himself. But that’s not enough. They want to use this scandal to undermine the war effort and to damage the president. Surely the images of bizarre sexual activity cannot really offend them. It’s standard fare among some of their more active supporters.

As long as we’re in the apology business here, isn’t it time for liberals to apologize for systematically aiding and abetting the cultural depravity that produced the Iraq scandal? In a thousand ways, liberals have hammered away at the most basic moral restraints that allow us liberty under the law.

  • They have rebuked parents as “censors” for wanting to know what schools are dishing out to their kids.

  • They have worked tirelessly to stamp out the Ten Commandments and other public expressions that acknowledge God as the author of our liberties.

  • They have tied the hands of public officials to keep Internet porn out of schools and libraries, and fought reasonable measures to protect children from early exposure.

  • They have enacted “speech codes” at colleges that effectively throttle honest discussion of controversial issues.

  • They have enacted “hate crimes” laws that violate equal protection and will crush dissent on such issues as “gay rights,” as is already occurring in Canada.

  • They have pressed for higher and higher taxes, and made more Americans dependent on government. By doing so, they have expanded the public square, while arguing that religion has no place in the public square.

There are so many ways that liberals have worked to destroy morality and freedom that one big apology might suffice for all of it. Then, they can do the one thing that will help the most: They can please step aside while America recovers its sanity and its soul.

Robert Knight is director of the Culture and Family Institute, an affiliate of Concerned Women for America.

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