Within the last few days I’ve come across a few modern patriots of both the United States of America and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who warn us “to get up off the mat, and to start consciously and actively fighting the forces of militant secularism that are bent on destroying us and our civilization with them.” Wilfred M McClay These three annotated links are to related, recommended reading.
As Eric Cohen puts it, “The founding proposition of the American experiment was that biblical morality [emphasis mine]—our nation’s bedrock Judeo-Christian inheritance—could form and sustain a citizenry suited for modern liberty and self-government. … But no longer. Today, the Judeo-Christian moral system has not so much dribbled away as it has been actively attacked and severely weakened through a deliberate campaign of delegitimization by myriad enemies of religious morality. “Secularists, and their allies among the ‘progressives,’” as [Attorney General William P] Barr put it,
have marshaled all the forces of mass communications, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.
“… today, for all the reasons expounded by Barr, the current moral challenge seems particularly difficult and dramatic. Anti-biblical civilization is now on the offensive, with its leaders well-entrenched in the commanding heights of modern culture: the universities, the media, the schools, and now even the corporations. And these progressive prophets, in their secular temples, are armed with some very seductive arguments: that modern science has embarrassed the truth-claims of biblical religion, and that religious morality is oppressive, judgmental, and unnecessarily prohibitive.
“For Western civilization to flourish, Judeo-Christian moral disarmament, or moral surrender, must come to an end. Traditional Jews and Christians must forcefully reassert that the Hebraic way of life—with its vision of sanctified normalcy, governed by the Hebrew Bible’s moral code, and courageously defended—is good and true. They—we—should never be embarrassed by traditional Judaism or Christianity, and should never give up on our sacred moral heritage. [emphasis mine]
U S Attorney General Barr spoke at Notre Dame 11 October 2019 that, “… How does religion promote the moral discipline and virtue needed to support free government?
“First, it gives us the right rules to live by. The Founding generation were Christians. They believed that the Judeo-Christian moral system corresponds to the true nature of man. Those moral precepts start with the two great commandments – to Love God with your whole heart, soul, and mind; and to Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself.
“I will not dwell on all the bitter results of the new secular age. Suffice it to say that the campaign to destroy the traditional moral order has brought with it immense suffering, wreckage, and misery. And yet, the forces of secularism, ignoring these tragic results, press on with even greater militancy.
“Among these militant secularists are many so-called “progressives.” But where is the progress?
“We are told we are living in a post-Christian era. But what has replaced the Judeo-Christian moral system? What is it that can fill the spiritual void in the hearts of the individual person? And what is a system of values that can sustain human social life?
“The fact is that no secular creed has emerged capable of performing the role of religion. [emphasis mine]
“Scholarship suggests that religion has been integral to the development and thriving of Homo sapiens since we emerged roughly 50,000 years ago. It is just for the past few hundred years we have experimented in living without religion.
“In the past, societies – like the human body – seem to have a self-healing mechanism – a self-correcting mechanism that gets things back on course if things go too far.
“The consequences of moral chaos become too pressing. The opinion of decent people rebels. They coalesce and rally against obvious excess. Periods of moral entrenchment follow periods of excess.
“This is the idea of the pendulum. We have all thought that after a while the “pendulum will swing back.”
“But today we face something different that may mean that we cannot count on the pendulum swinging back.
“First is the force, fervor, and comprehensiveness of the assault on religion we are experiencing today. This is not decay; it is organized destruction. Secularists, and their allies among the “progressives,” have marshaled all the force of mass communications, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.
“There is another modern phenomenon that suppresses society’s self-corrective mechanisms – that makes it harder for society to restore itself.
“In the past, when societies are threatened by moral chaos, the overall social costs of licentiousness and irresponsible personal conduct becomes so high that society ultimately recoils and reevaluates the path that it is on.
“But today – in the face of all the increasing pathologies – instead of addressing the underlying cause, we have the State in the role of alleviator of bad consequences. We call on the State to mitigate the social costs of personal misconduct and irresponsibility.
“A third phenomenon which makes it difficult for the pendulum to swing back is the way law is being used as a battering ram to break down traditional moral values and to establish moral relativism as a new orthodoxy.
Jerry: I encourage you to read AG Barr’s speech in its entirety, or listen if you can find it. Notre Dame pulled down the video on their site because of some copyright restrictions.
I also suggest a related book by McClay, “Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story.”