Well, consider: After Greco-Roman civilization collapsed into Christianity, things changed. Now, in America and many other places, things are changing again. The U.S. was founded as Christian, though a non-denominational nation where citizens’ rights are unalienable because God conferred them, as the Declaration of Independence explicitly states. Of the U.S. Constitution, Founder John Adams said:
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other”.
For those paying attention to America’s changing society, the remark is illuminating. Add to that the New York Times opinion that it’s time to give up the Constitution and more light is shed.
Religious laws were enforced in colonial days by the stocks, whips, branding irons, expulsion and hanging, though such practices softened along with religious political power. Although the decline continued, enough political influence remained at the Founding to provide churches constitutional protection. Since then, along with their clergy and practitioners, churches’ clout has continued to fade. Today, the Federal government feels strong enough to directly attack, rather than protect, Christian and Jewish institutions with mandates that clearly violate their precepts. It’s important to note that these attacks, as prima-facie violations of the Bill of Rights, are also attacks on the Constitution. America has indeed changed!
Key to the changes were: Marbury vs. Madison, the case that set the Supreme Court over the Constitution in 1803, the 1937 Judicial Procedures Reform Bill in Congress and the 1973 decision in the Roe vs. Wade abortion case. In 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt reacted against Supreme Court cases blocking his New Deal programs by pushing the addition of more justices (that he would appoint) to the Court with the Reform Bill, raising public support via network radio. The Court retreated from the threat and has been circumspect since in opposing popular Presidents, as its recent Obamacare decision may illustrate. Roe vs. Wade as all know, ended state enforcement of the Judeo-Christian view of abortion. With these milestones, the Court divorced the churches and became a participant in socio-political change.
The arrival of female contraception moved women away from churches and their repressive views of sex and relationships, fueling demand for divorce, convenience abortions and financial independence. Retreating from reliance on male support brought a push for better opportunities for women at work. This cultural/legal iconoclasm toward social roles began as ‘feminism’ and is now proceeding to legitimize homosexuality and devalue citizenship.
All this amounts to western women throwing out Judeo-Christianity for free sex and independence. Blossoming in the 1960’s, the symbol is Woodstock, a generational orgy rejecting all that had existed before. Art, dance, music and social rules and roles became obsolete for the young. The common mores regarding sexuality, marriage, the family and procreation had been built on biology and enforced by church and state around the needs of women and children. Technology freed women from many biology-imposed restraints; in response, they have abandoned the religious essence of the social system. Since western civilization was built on that foundation, there are consequences, including the ongoing socio-political changes we see, and those yet to come.
American Progressives have always relied upon government as their vehicle for incorporating their nostrums into society, with the Supremes now often involved. They’ve celebrated the new feminism, the ongoing rejection of the religious social regime and the new anticlericalism as a burgeoning of individual freedom though ironically, the opposite seems true. The governments, Federal to local, are rapidly increasing their control of individual actions via legislation and regulation. Business and agriculture are constrained in employment decisions, product decisions, working conditions and methods. Homeowners are constrained in standards for and uses of their property; professionals are constrained in their practices, especially now in healthcare. The government attacks on Judeo-Christian religious practices ar intended to accelerate the shift of power from churches to government, as the mandates on birth control, abortion and gay marriages illustrate. Women’s vaunted ‘liberation’ seems a pathetic delusion, more so as they now celebrate their new access to the battlefield. Feminists and the rest of us are now certainly free of the churches…free to follow proliferating government mandates instead, in a society abandoning its internal social restraints, an inarguable accompaniment of ‘women’s liberation.’
Perhaps the largest losers are the children, whose interests are now secondary, a relegation seemingly paid cheerfully as part of the price of female independence.
The abandonment of Judeo-Christianity removed a governor from the social engine; it’s running faster, with less control. That is widening a political gulf between Americans holding to the original religious values and those who prefer free sex, irresponsibility, and government benefits, the primary drivers of the trend. That raises a fundamental socio-political question: When a society holding such polar-opposite views of living comes under stress, how can it cohere? Socially as well as legally, Judeo-Christian, classical Liberal views and present materialistic, statist moral relativism seem to present a fork in the road; Americans have chosen both directions but it seems to me, America cannot. That represents a socio-legal San Andreas Fault, and the stress of ongoing economic decline is building across it.
The advent of central banking with fiat money empowered politicians to promote wars and buy votes with benefits on an unprecedented scale via debt and monetary expansion. That has led to today’s European debt crisis and America’s similarly insolvent condition; moribund, zombie economies staggering at the edge of a cliff. Those are being joined with remarkably little fanfare, by China, Argentina, Brazil and others; middle Eastern economic decline has already produced the ‘Arab Spring’ and with the ‘help’ of American and others’ meddling, thrown the region into turmoil.
Governments and the U.N. are pursuing anti-growth policies painted green for sales appeal while exacerbating already unmanageable debt with ongoing deficits in order to postpone the economic cave-in that ending the flow of money will quickly initiate. Europe has already blinked; it is pursuing “austerity” right out in public, though few outside of Greece yet realize the degree of poverty contemplated. The U.S. is close behind, with even less understanding in its electorate. Western civilization, severely fragmented, is facing huge impending economic stress. So is the rest of the globe, all at the same time; the world is now a single economy.
We know of the riots in Greece and Spain and of the Arab Spring. We’ve been told little of the mass demonstrations in China, Central Asia and Latin America.Those reflect what will be seen as the beginning of the world economic readjustment. We made a rich world in the West while the poor world persisted. Then, we provided technology and wealth that have brought that poor world up to compete with us. Fat, dumb and happy, we’ve ignored the new competition. Now, we’re forced to adapt to it as the new normal. Unions can’t accept that, neither can our governors since it means that those who used to be poor, will be better off; those who used to be rich, will be worse off. It’s a fundamental of economics, called the ‘dismal science’ for a reason. Such effects might be mediated with a combination of new technology and competent government, if both were available, but our governments prefer to control and suppress technology.
Our government-weakened economy is stalling. Our once Judeo-Christian culture is being discarded by generations that have abandoned its precepts. The same process is working in the rest of the world; Islamic fundamentalism is a frightened reaction against modernity. Greco-Roman civilization fell to Christianity; that created Western Civilization, which is in its turn, falling toward a new pattern along with much of the rest of the world. That’s what’s happening.
And the moving finger writes,
And having writ, moves on.
Nor all your piety nor wit
May lure it back to cancel half a line,
Nor all your tears wash out a word of it.
–The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam–
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