It is not the least bit hyperbolic here in the year of our Lord 2022 to aver that the United States has lost its way. Fingers of blame are pointed in so many directions that the casual observer could think it’s impossible to say that just one or two things are the root of our present national malaise.
Well, I’m not a casual observer and have no problem saying that this country’s woes can be traced to the abandonment of God and moral absolutes for the false comfort of secular relativism.
This isn’t something that I just thought of when I woke up this morning, it’s a conversation I often have with friends and colleagues. This past weekend, one of my closest friends and I talked at length about it, and I figured that it was time to write something.
It is important to note up front that I am in no way positing that all people of faith are good people or that all secular non-believers are bad. Far from it. I’m just saying that things tended to be better when there was some sort of moral compass involved, even if there was disagreement on the particular brand of compass.
While I am not given to quoting Bible verses to make a point, there is one that pertains to what I’m trying to say here. The last few chapters of the Book of Judges in the Old Testament are filled with tales of wholesale slaughter and cruelty. It’s truly gruesome stuff, even by OT standards. The final verse of Judges says, “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.”
At least we know that moral relativism isn’t new.
We need look no further than the abortion issue to see the perils of tossing all morality out of the window. Secular relativists have powers of rationalization that enable them to come to any conclusion they want. They begin by convincing themselves that the life that abortion terminates isn’t really a life. To reach that conclusion, one has to completely dismiss biology. Anyone taking this interior trip is then on the slipperiest of all slippery slopes.
After that, it’s easy to condone violence against anyone who doesn’t agree with you on the issue. After all, every man doing “what is right in his own eyes” sees his right as the highest good. That makes it easy to justify any means to defend it.
It’s a “chicken or the egg” situation when trying to determine whether individuals or institutions led the charge to secular relativism. I tend to think it was the former, who had too much influence on the latter.
A fringe contingent of ivory tower commies on college campuses has polluted countless American institutions with its godless secular lunacy over the last half-century, and there may be no coming back from it. Academics hold so much sway over mainstream media outlets that journalism has been all but abandoned. That’s why The New York Times felt comfortable burying the story of the attempted assassination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in a part of the paper generally devoted to complaining about city council lunch expenditures.
Now that people on the left are making up rules as they see fit, they’ve decided that they have a right to go through life never being offended.
This is where society really hits the toilet.
The consequences of fragile progressive idiots believing that the world should bend itself to fit subjective kumbaya criteria are far-ranging and absolutely poisonous.
To begin with, this is obviously not a reality-based approach to life; it’s the antithesis of it. There is no way to functionally navigate even a relatively nice life this way. This is more of a clinical mental disorder than a philosophy of life.
People who truly believe that they have the right to the world being exactly as they want it have no problem justifying any means to help craft their impossible world, from ruining careers to ending lives. It’s the impetus for everything from Twitter cancel culture mobs to mass shooters.
I’ll wrap up with a brief discussion of the shootings.
J. Christian Adams wrote a column for us a few years ago that examines something that isn’t discussed often enough:
The millennial generation might be surprised to learn that theirs is the first without guns in school. Just 30 years ago, high school kids rode the bus with rifles and shot their guns at high school rifle ranges.
After another school shooting, it’s time to ask: what changed?
Cross guns off the list of things that changed in thirty years. In 1985, semi-automatic rifles existed, and a semi-automatic rifle was used in Florida. Guns didn’t suddenly decide to visit mayhem on schools. Guns can’t decide.
We can also cross the Second Amendment off the list. It existed for over 200 years before this wickedness unfolded. Nothing changed in the Constitution.
That leaves us with some uncomfortable possibilities remaining. What has changed from thirty years ago when kids could take firearms into school responsibly and today might involve some difficult truths.
While this may not be part of the ongoing gun argument (it’s not a “debate”) in America, it does get brought up a lot by those of us who are Second Amendment proponents.
I was born and grew up in Arizona, which has always had the freest gun laws in America. My grandfather was a gunsmith who owned a gun store when I was a little kid. He amassed one of the largest collections of antique guns in America, including a Gatling gun and a pistol from the fight at the O.K. Corral. Guns were a way of life in my family.
I spent my formative years in a little mountain town where every home had an arsenal in it.
Nobody was shooting anybody.
This could be dismissed as anecdotal evidence but when anecdotal evidence is overwhelming, it’s just evidence.
The guns aren’t AI monsters that became sentient beings in the last thirty years.
What has changed is that a good chunk of America no longer believes in God, truth, or the existence of real evil (calling one’s political opponents “evil” isn’t the same thing).
Emotional fragility coupled with a sense of entitlement (Participation trophy!) is a toxic societal cocktail and it’s literally killing us.
I could write for another week and not have begun to examine this topic in depth, so I will leave it here to be revisited at another time.
And I’ll say a prayer or two.