Things are messed up today in America, but it’s not all Obama’s fault, even though he does deserve a lot of the credit. Our problems have been a long time coming. Some 10 years ago Dennis Prager, in one of a series of columns on Judeo-Christian Values, made this observation:
Our culture’s values today are badly skewed, but it did not get that way overnight or even over that last 8 years or the last 25 years. Some argue that the Anglican Church’s approval of the use of artificial contraception by married couples at the 1930 Lambeth Council began our downhill slide. There can be little doubt, however, that that the sexual revolution of the 1960s made the slide even slipperier.
We can argue until we are blue in the face about the morality of contraception, but the introduction of “the pill” in 1960 significantly changed peoples’ views on sex and created even more dissension within both the Catholic Church and Protestant churches than already existed in regard to contraception. This dissension within the various Christian denominations can’t be wholly attributed to the Left. It can be attributed to human nature and mankind’s collective hubris.
The Pill Was Just the Beginning
Just thirteen years after the pill was introduced, Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in all 50 states and set off a firestorm that is still raging. To date over 50 Million legal abortions have been performed. How is this respect for human life? We crack open and eat an egg and we recognize that we just stopped a chicken from growing to maturity and hatching and that we are, in fact, eating a chicken embryo, yet people can abort a human embryo and say, “oh that’s not really a human life.” Yes, the Left lead the charge on abortion, but many in the GOP seem to have given in. Twice now since Roe v. Wade the GOP has had control of Congress and nothing has been done to stem the abortion tide.
The first ‘no-fault divorce’ law was signed into law in California in 1970, and by 1985 all 50 states had some version of no-fault divorce on the books. Young couples marrying today now face a 40% chance that their marriage will end in divorce – no matter what their political bent. The 6th and 9th Commandments, “Till death do us part,” and “What God has joined together let no man put asunder” do not seem to mean much anymore – to either the Left or the Right.
Also between 1960 and 1998 “cohabitation” skyrocketed. The number of unmarried, cohabiting couples jumped from 439,000 to 4.2 million, a number that eclipsed the rates of both marriage and divorce over the same time frame. Maybe this is a byproduct of the 60s Left-leaning counter culture, but in the final analysis, maybe it is the evil one and mankind’s sinful nature at work.
In 1965 24% of black infants and 3.1% of white infants were born to single mothers. By 1990 the rates had risen to 64% for black infants and 18% for whites. By 2012 72.3% of non-Hispanic blacks were born out-of-wedlock and 29.1% of non-Hispanic whites were born out of wedlock. Overall, 40.7% of all births were out of wedlock. The Hippie movement may have promoted ‘free love’ and the Left’s welfare programs may have made things easier for single moms, but it still takes both a man and woman – regardless of their political leanings – to have consensual sex out of wedlock.
Modern attitudes about sex, the sexes, contraception, abortion and cohabitation just might have all led to the point we are at now: homosexuality is a ‘lifestyle choice’ and the words ‘marriage’ and ‘family’ are both being redefined.
According to a May 2014 Gallup Poll 55% of Americans now support same-sex marriage while nearly 8 out 10 young adults are in favor of it. Yet just 19 years earlier, In 1996, 68% of Americans were opposed to recognizing marriage between two men or two women, and only 27% supported it. Sure the Left has been pushing this like mad, but the parents of those 8 out of 10 young people that support same-sex marriage today don’t seem to have done a very good job of instilling a strong sense of morality in their children. “Open-mindedness taken to the extreme becomes moral blindness,” is a truism that very much applies today.
And we’re just getting started in redefining human sexuality. Today we’re no longer bound by natural law and old fashioned terms like male and female. Today we all get to choose whatever “gender” we want. Gender Theory is now all the rage. Pope Francis has criticized this “attempt by gender theorists to impose programs of indoctrination that deny the naturally inherent differences between boys and girls and between men and women, in exchange for development funds” and compared it to a ‘nuclear bomb.’
But what have conservative Catholics and Protestants done to stop this gender bender stupidity other than to complain that our educational system is turning out liberal idiots with no moral values and high self-esteem? Parents have long had every right to put their kids in parochial and other private, faith-based schools but that might mean cutting down on their adult toys, their entertainment, or the number of vacations they take. So instead they abandon their parental responsibilities and turn their kids over to the Liberals to get educated in public schools. They also could choose to homeschool, but careers, self-fulfillment, a big house and money are more important than raising well-educated, responsible, moral children it seems.
Secular progressives and atheists alike try very hard to refute the idea that ours is a Judeo-Christian country, and even try to refute the term itself saying it is a made up construct, but there can be no denying John Adams’ words. There can also be no denying that the Left is at war with Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular, as well as with Conservativism, but it’s also rather apparent that both Catholic leaders and the GOP have done far too much retreating and not enough counter-attacking. As one Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies suggested recently, the “Latest News Events Suggest U.S. Constitution a Dead Letter.”
Maybe that’s our fault. Maybe instead of just complaining about both the Dems and the GOP, and writing pithy comments in response to articles and essays we need to start holding our representatives accountable. Maybe we need to make more phone calls to our reps or send them more emails (and even real, actual letters!) telling them to stop being stupid. Maybe conservative Catholics and Protestant even need to get more involved in Party politics and work harder to get the Democrats to revise their abhorrent party platform or get the GOP to start delivering on its promises. And maybe we should even let our parish priests know that their ‘feel-good sermons’ aren’t doing anyone any good.
The State of America
Or maybe the 82.3% of the population that says they go to church regularly but really don’t should get off their butts and actually go to church on Sunday. And maybe praying for better leaders and candidates wouldn’t hurt either.
I admire and respect Rev. Franklin Graham as I admired and respected his father, but I disagree with his contention that America has turned its back on God. Some people certainly have, and some people have lost their way, but far too many are inflicted with acedia and apathy.
The polls clearly indicate the majority of the people in this country are just fed up with politicians. But we can’t just throw up our hands and walk away. Restoring morality and reason to our culture will require effort.
The Democrats have become the party of Secularism, Moral Relativism and Democratic Socialism and the GOP has become the party of Confusion. But come November 9 either Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump will be our new President. There is no getting around this and this simple fact gives credence to Geller’s contention.
In a larger sense, the 2016 Presidential election is not about Hilary or the Donald – it is about the direction we want this country to take. We can vote for Hilary Clinton and Secularism, Moral Relativism and Democratic Socialism, or we can vote for Donald Trump and say “NO” to Secularism, Moral Relativism, and Democratic Socialism. That’s the real choice we are facing on November 8, 2016.