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Hard Truths About the Culture War - Robert Bork
firstthings.com via Orthodoxy Today ^ | June/July 1995 | Robert Bork

Posted on 03/17/2012 10:43:47 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack

Moral liberalism and the decadence of culture.

What began to concern me more and more were the clear signs of rot and decadence germinating within American society-a rot and decadence that was no longer the consequence of liberalism but was the actual agenda of contemporary liberalism. . . . Sector after sector of American life has been ruthlessly corrupted by the liberal ethos. It is an ethos that aims simultaneously at political and social collectivism on the one hand, and moral anarchy on the other. -Irving Kristol, "My Cold War"

Equivocation has never been Irving Kristol's long suit. About the fact of rot and decadence there can be no dispute, except from those who deny that such terms have meaning, and who are, for that reason, major contributors to rot and decadence. We are accustomed to lamentations about American crime rates, the devastation wrought by drugs, rising illegitimacy, the decline of civility, and the increasing vulgarity of popular entertainment. But the manifestations of American cultural decline are even more widespread, ranging across virtually the entire society, from the violent underclass of the inner cities to our cultural and political elites, from rap music to literary studies, from pornography to law, from journalism to scholarship, from union halls to universities. Wherever one looks, the traditional virtues of this culture are being lost, its vices multiplied, its values degraded-in short, the culture itself is unraveling.

These can hardly be random or isolated developments. A degeneration so universal, afflicting so many seemingly disparate areas, must proceed from common causes. That supposition is strengthened by the observation that similar trends seem to be occurring in nearly all Western industrialized democracies. The main features of these trends are vulgarity and a persistent left-wing bias, the latter being particularly evident among the semi-skilled intellectuals-academics, bureaucrats, and the like-that Kristol calls the New Class.

But why should this be happening? The short answer is the one Kristol gives: the rise of modern liberalism. (The extent to which he would agree with the following argument about the sources and future of modern liberalism, I do not know.) Modern liberalism grew out of classical liberalism by expanding its central ideals-liberty and equality-while progressively jettisoning the restraints of religion, morality, and law even as technology lowered the constraint of hard work imposed by economic necessity. Those ideals, along with the right to pursue happiness, are what we said we were about at the beginning, in the Declaration of Independence. Stirring as rallying cries for rebellion, less useful, because indeterminate, for the purpose of arranging political and cultural matters, they become positively dangerous when taken, without very serious qualifications, as social ideals.

The qualifications assumed by the founders' generation, but unexpressed in the Declaration (it would rather have spoiled the rhetoric to have added "up to a point"), have gradually been peeled away so that today liberalism has reached an extreme, though not one fears its ultimate, stage. "Equality" has become radical egalitarianism (the equality of outcomes rather than of opportunities), and "liberty" takes the form of radical individualism (a refusal to admit limits to the gratifications of the self). In these extreme forms, they are partly produced by, and partly produce, the shattering of fraternity (or community) that modern liberals simultaneously long for and destroy.

Individualism and egalitarianism may seem an odd pair, since liberty in any degree produces inequality, while equality of outcomes requires coercion that destroys liberty. If they are to operate simultaneously, radical egalitarianism and radical individualism, where they do not complement one another, must operate in different areas of life, and that is precisely what we see in today's culture. Radical egalitarianism advances, on the one hand, in areas of life and society where superior achievement is possible and would be rewarded but for coerced equality: quotas, affirmative action, income redistribution through progressive taxation for some, entitlement programs for others, and the tyranny of political correctness spreading through universities, primary and secondary schools, government, and even the private sector. Radical individualism, on the other hand, is demanded when there is no danger that achievement will produce inequality and people wish to be unhindered in the pursuit of pleasure. This finds expression particularly in the areas of sexuality and violence, and their vicarious enjoyment in popular entertainment.

Individualism and egalitarianism do not always divide the labor of producing cultural decay. Often enough they collaborate. When egalitarianism reinforces individualism, denying the possibility that one culture or moral view can be superior to another, the result is cultural and moral relativism, whose end products include multiculturalism, sexual license, obscenity in the popular arts, an unwillingness to punish crime adequately and, sometimes, even to convict the obviously guilty. Both the individualist and the egalitarian (usually in the same skin) are antagonistic to society's traditional hierarchies or lines of authority-the one because his pleasures can be maximized only by freedom from authority, the other because he resents any distinction among people or forms of behavior that suggests superiority in one or the other.

The universality of these forces is indicated by the fact that they are prominent features of two institutions at opposite ends of the cultural spectrum: the Supreme Court of the United States and rock music.

The Court reflects modern cultural trends most obviously when it invents new rights of the individual against the decisions of the political community, but it also does so in the expansion of rights expressed in the Constitution beyond anything the drafters and ratifiers could have intended. Radical individualism surfaced when the Court created a right of privacy, supposedly about the sanctity of the marital bedchamber, which soon explicitly became a right of individual autonomy unconnected to privacy. Four justices subsequently pronounced it a "moral fact that a person belongs to himself and not others nor to society as a whole"-a "fact" which means that a person has no obligations outside his own skin. The same tendency is seen in the Court's drive to privatize religion, as when a girl is held to have a First Amendment right not to have to sit at graduation through a short prayer because it might offend her sensibilities. The list could be extended almost indefinitely. The autonomy the Court requires, of course, is necessarily selective, almost invariably consisting of the freedoms preferred by modern liberalism.

The Court's commitment to egalitarianism is so strong that it overrode the explicit language and legislative history of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to allow preferences for blacks and women. The Court usually argued that the preferences were for prior discrimination, discrimination not against the individuals now benefited but against other members of their race or sex in the past. Even that requirement was dropped when the Court allowed preferences for minorities in the grant of station licenses by the Federal Communications Commission, despite the lack of any evidence that such grants had ever been tainted by discrimination. In these ways the Court reflects, and hence illegitimately legitimates, the thrusts of modern liberal culture.

To point the parallel: in a book appropriately titled The Triumph of Vulgarity, Robert Pattison points out that rock music celebrates the unconstrained self: "The extrovert, the madman, the criminal, the suicide, or the exhibitionist can rise to heroic stature in rock for the same reasons that Byron or Raskolnikov became romantic heroes-profligacy and murder are expressions of an emotional intensity that defies the limits imposed by nature and society." Rock culture teaches egalitarianism as well, not only in its frequent advocacy of revolution, but in its refusal to make distinctions about morality or aesthetics based upon any transcendent principle. There is no such principle, only sensation, energy, the pleasure of the moment, and the expansion of the self.

Vulgarity and obscenity are, of course, rife in popular culture. Rock is followed by rap; television situation comedies and magazine advertising increasingly rely on explicit sex; such cultural icons as Roseanne Barr and Michael Jackson can be seen on family-oriented television clutching their crotches. The prospect is for more and worse. Companies are now doing billions of dollars' worth of business in pornographic videos, and volume is increasing rapidly. They are acquiring inventories of the videos for cable television; and a nationwide chain of pornographic video and retail stores is in the works. One pay-per-view network operator says, "This thing is a freight train."

It is likely to become a rocket ship soon if, as George Gilder predicts, computers replace television, allowing viewers to call up digital films and files of news, art, and multimedia from around the world. He dismisses conservatives' fears that "the boob tube will give way to what H. L. Mencken might have termed a new Boobissimus, as the liberated children rush away from the network nurse, chasing Pied Piper pederasts, snuff-film sadists, and other trolls of cyberspace." Gilder concedes, "Under the sway of television, democratic capitalism enshrines a Gresham's law; bad culture drives out good, and ultimately porn and prurience, violence and blasphemy prevail everywhere from the dimwitted 'news' shows to the lugubrious movies." But he blames that on the nature of broadcast technology, which requires central control and reduces the audience to its lowest common denominator of tastes and responses.

But the computer will give everyone his own channel: "The creator of a program on a specialized subject-from Canaletto's art to chaos theory, from GM car transmission repair to cowboy poetry, from Szechuan restaurant finance to C++ computer codes-will be able to reach everyone in the industrialized world who shares the interest."

Perhaps. But there seems little reason to think there will not also be an enormous increase in obscene and violent programs. Many places already have fifty or more cable channels, including some very good educational channels, but there are still MTV's music videos, and the porn channels are coming on line. The more private viewing becomes, the more likely that salacious and perverted tastes will be indulged. That is suggested by the explosion of pornographic film titles and profits when videocassettes enabled customers to avoid going to "adult" theaters. Another boom should occur when those customers don't even have to ask for the cassettes in a store. The new technology, while it may bring the wonders Gilder predicts, will almost certainly make our culture more vulgar and violent.

The leader of the revolution in pornographic video, referred to admiringly by a competitor as the Ted Turner of the business, offers the usual defenses of decadence: "Adults have a right to see [pornography] if they want to. If it offends you, don't buy it." Modern liberalism employs the rhetoric of "rights" incessantly to delegitimize restraints on individuals by communities. It is a pernicious rhetoric because it asserts a right without giving reasons. If there is to be anything that can be called a community, the case for previously unrecognized individual freedoms must be thought through, and "rights" cannot win every time.

The second notion-"If it offends you, don't buy it"-is both lulling and destructive. Whether you buy it or not, you will be greatly affected by those who do. The aesthetic and moral environment in which you and your family live will be coarsened and brutalized. There are economists who confuse the idea that markets should be free with the idea that everything should be on the market. The first idea rests on the efficiency of the free market in satisfying wants; the second raises the question of which wants it is moral to satisfy. The latter question brings up the topic of externalities: you are free not to make steel, but you will be affected by the air pollution of those who do make it. To complaints about pornography and violence on television, libertarians reply, "All you have to do is hit the remote control and change channels." But, like the person who chooses not to make steel, you and your family will be affected by the people who do not change the channel. As Michael Medved puts it, "To say that if you don't like the popular culture then turn it off, is like saying, if you don't like the smog, stop breathing. . . . There are Amish kids in Pennsylvania who know about Madonna." And their parents can do nothing about that.

Can there be any doubt that as pornography and violence become increasingly popular and accessible entertainment, attitudes about marriage, fidelity, divorce, obligations to children, the use of force, and permissible public behavior and language will change, and with the change of attitudes will come changes in conduct, both public and private? The contrary view must assume that people are unaffected by what they see and hear. Advertisers bet billions the other way. Advocates of liberal arts education assure us those studies improve character; it is not very likely that only uplifting culture affects attitudes and behavior. "Don't buy it" and "Change the channel" are simply advice to accept a degenerating culture and its consequences.

Modern liberalism also presses our politics to the left because egalitarianism is hostile to the authorities and hierarchies-moral, religious, social, economic, and intellectual-that are characteristic of a bourgeois or traditional culture and a capitalist economy. Yet modern liberalism is not hostile to hierarchy as such. Egalitarianism requires hierarchy because equality of condition cannot be achieved or approximated without coercion. The coercers will be bureaucrats and politicians who will, and already do, form a new elite class. Political and governmental authority replace the authorities of family, church, profession, and business. The project is to sap the strength of these latter institutions so that individuals stand bare before the state, which, liberals assume with considerable justification, they will administer. We will be coerced into virtue, as modern liberals define virtue: a ruthlessly egalitarian society. This agenda is, of course, already well advanced.

Both diminished performance and personal injustice are accomplished through radically egalitarian measures. Quotas and affirmative action, for example, are common and increasing not only in the workplace but in university admissions, faculty hiring, and promotion. The excuse is past discrimination, but the result is that individuals who have never been discriminated against are preferred to individuals who have never discriminated, regardless of their respective achievements. Predictably, the result is anger on both sides and an increasingly polarized society. After years of struggle to emplace the principle of reward according to achievement, the achievement principle is being jettisoned for one of reward according to birth once more.

Remarkably little thought attends this process. The demand is always for more equality, but no egalitarian ever specifies how much equality will be enough. And so the leveling process grinds insensately on. The Wall Street Journal recently reprinted a Kurt Vonnegut story, which the paper retitled "It Seemed Like Fiction" because it was written "in 1961, before the passage of the Equal Pay Act (1963), the Civil Rights Act (1964), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (1967), the Equal Employment Opportunity Act (1972), the Rehabilitation Act (1973), the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), the Older Workers' Benefit Protection Act (1990), and the Civil Rights Act (1991)." At the time of reprinting, Congress was preparing hearings on "The Employment Nondiscrimination Act of 1994" and was considering additional amendments to the Civil Rights Act. Even before all this, Vonnegut saw the trend and envisioned the day when Americans would achieve perfect equality: persons of superior intelligence required to wear mental handicap radios that emit a sharp noise every twenty seconds to keep them from taking unfair advantage of their brains, persons of superior strength or grace burdened with weights, those of uncommon beauty forced to wear masks. Why not?

Modern liberalism is most particularly a disease of our cultural elites, the people who control the institutions that manufacture or disseminate ideas, attitudes, and symbols-universities, some churches, Hollywood, the national press (print and electronic), much of the congressional Democratic party and some of the congressional Republicans as well, large sections of the judiciary, foundation staffs, and almost all the "public interest" organizations that exercise a profound if largely unseen effect on public policy. So pervasive is the influence of those who occupy the commanding heights of our culture that it is not entirely accurate to call the United States a majoritarian democracy. The elites of modern liberalism do not win all the battles, but despite their relatively small numbers, they win more than their share and move the culture always in one direction.

This is not a conspiracy but a syndrome. These are people who view the world from a common perspective, a perspective to the left of the attitudes of the general public. Two explanations for this phenomenon have been advanced. Both seem accurate. One is a heretical version of Marxism, a theory of class warfare; the other might be called a heretical version of religion, a theory of the hunger for spirituality, for a meaning to life.

Joseph Schumpeter first articulated the idea that capitalism requires and hence produces a large intellectual class. The members of that class are not necessarily very good at intellectual work; they are merely people who work with or transmit ideas at wholesale or retail, the folks collectively referred to above as the New Class (also known as the "knowledge class," the "class of semiskilled intellectuals," or the "chattering class").

Why should the New Class be hostile to traditional or bourgeois society? The answer, according to the class warfare theory, is that capitalism bestows its favors, money, and prestige on the business class. The New Class, filled with resentment and envy, seeks to enhance its own power and prestige by attacking capitalism, its institutions, and its morality. It is necessary to attack from the left because America has never had an aristocratic ethos and because the weapons at hand are by their nature suited to the left. The ideas are held not for their merit but because they are weapons.

There is probably a good deal to this, but it seems not quite sufficient. For one thing, it does not account for the Hollywood left. These are folks with no need whatever to envy the CEO of General Motors his prestige or financial rewards. And no one, to my knowledge, has ever classified Barbra Streisand, Jane Fonda, Ed Asner, and Norman Lear as intellectuals.

There is, however, an additional theory. Max Weber noted the predicament of intellectuals in a world from which "ultimate and sublime values" have been withdrawn: "The salvation sought by an intellectual is always based on inner need. . . . The intellectual seeks in various ways, the casuistry of which extends to infinity, to endow his life with a pervasive meaning." The subsidence of religion leaves a void that must be filled. Richard Grenier observes that among those intellectuals "most subject to longings for meaning, Max Weber listed, prophetically: university professors, clergymen, government officials . . . 'coupon clippers' . . . journalists, school teachers, 'wandering poets.'" By "coupon clippers," I take it, Weber meant the generations that inherit the wealth of the men who made it, which would explain why so many foundations created by wealthy conservatives become liberal when the children or grandchildren take over. And for "wandering poets," read the likes of Robert Redford and Warren Beatty. The epitome of Weber's university professors is John Rawls, whose egalitarian theory of justice swept the academy. Among other odd notions, Rawls laid it down that no inequalities are just unless they benefit the most disadvantaged members of society. There is, of course, no good reason for such a rule, and it is a prescription for permanent hostility to actual societies, and most particularly that of the United States, which can never operate in that fashion. No vital society could.

What we are seeing in modern liberalism is the ultimate triumph of the New Left of the 1960s-the New Left that collapsed as a unified political movement and splintered into a multitude of intense, single-issue groups. We now have, to name but a few, radical feminists, black extremists, animal rights groups, radical environmentalists, activist homosexual groups, multiculturalists, People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, and many more. In a real sense, however, the New Left did not collapse. Each of its splinters pursues a leftist agenda, but there is no publicly announced overarching philosophy that enables people to see easily that the separate groups and causes add up to a general radical left philosophy. The groups support one another and come together easily on many issues. In that sense, the splintering of the New Left made it less visible and therefore more powerful, its goals more attainable, than ever before.

In their final stages, radical egalitarianism becomes tyranny and radical individualism descends into hedonism. These translate as bread and circuses. Government grows larger and more intrusive in order to direct the distribution of goods and services in an ever more equal fashion, while people are diverted, led to believe that their freedoms are increasing, by a great variety of entertainments featuring violence and sex. David Frum argues that the root of our trouble is big government, but the root of big government is the egalitarian passion, which intimidates even many conservatives. So long as that passion persists, government is likely only to get bigger and more intrusive.

We sometimes console ourselves with the thought that our current moral anarchy and statism are merely one phase of a pendulum's swing, that in time the pendulum will swing the other way. No doubt such movements and countermovements are often observable, but it is entirely possible that they are merely ephiphenomena that do not affect the larger movement of the culture. After each swing the bottom of the pendulum's arc is always further to the cultural and political left. Certainly, in the United States, we have never experienced a period of cultural depravity and governmental intrusiveness to rival today's condition.

The prospects look bleak, moreover, if we reflect on the sources of modern liberalism's components. The root of egalitarianism lies in envy and insecurity, which are in turn products of self-pity, arguably the most pervasive and powerful emotion known to mankind. The root of individualism lies in self-interest, not always expressed as a desire for money but also for power, celebrity, pleasures, and titillations of all varieties. Western civilization, of course, has been uniquely individualistic. Envy and self-interest often have socially beneficial results, but when fully unleashed, freed of constraints, their consequences are rot, decadence, and statism.

Because they arise out of fundamental human emotions, it is obvious that individualism and egalitarianism were not invented in the 1960s. They have been working inexorably through Western civilization for centuries, perhaps for millennia, but they have only recently overcome almost all obstacles to their full realization. These forces were beneficent for most of their careers; they produced the glories of our civilization and, freed of the restraints of the past, became malignant only in this century. We are delighted that the restraints that afflicted men in the classical world, in the Middle Ages, even in the last century and much of this have been weakened or removed. Our names for particular events and eras celebrate that movement: the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, our own Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, the Civil Rights Movement. Though they had other complex effects, all involved the loosening of restraints: religious, legal, and moral. But any progression can at last go too far.

The constraints that made individualism and egalitarianism beneficial included economic necessity, which channeled individualism into productive work, and religion (with its corollaries of morality and law), which tempered self-interest and envy. It is only in this century, and particularly in the years since World War II, that Americans have known an affluence that frees many of us from absorption with making a living, and it is in that same period that the decline in religion, which began centuries ago, reached its low point. Religious belief remains strong but seems to have a diminishing effect on behavior. And only lately have we developed the technologies that not only make work easier but also make the opportunities for sensation almost boundless. We have always known that unfettered human nature does not present an attractive face, but it is that face that is coming into view as modern liberalism progresses. It is difficult to imagine the constraints that could now be put in place to do the work that economic necessity and religion once did.

If the drive of modern liberalism cannot be blunted and then reversed, we are also likely to see an increasingly inefficient economy. The hedonism of radical individualism is not consistent with the habits of work and saving that are essential to a vigorous economy. The quotas and affirmative action that are growing in our educational institutions and in our corporations, the dilution of the achievement principle, coupled with the government's determination to intervene in the economy through manifold regulations, mandates, and taxes, will place additional burdens on productivity. Despite all we have learned from watching other economies, perhaps we are fated to repeat the socialist mistakes and suffer the inevitable consequences.

This is a picture of a bleak landscape, and there are many who disagree. Optimists point out, for example, that American culture is complex and resilient, that it contains much that is good and healthy, that many families continue to raise children with strong moral values. All that is true. I have been describing trends, not the overall condition of the culture, but the trends have been running the wrong way, dramatically so in the past thirty years. It would be difficult to contend that, the end of racial segregation aside, American culture today is superior to, or even on a par with, the culture of the 1950s.

Others might argue that the elections of 1994 are an indication that a cultural swing is taking place, that Americans have rejected huge, regulation-happy government. That may be so, but I remember thinking the same thing in November 1980 when the electorate chose Ronald Reagan and defeated a clutch of the most liberal Senators. But little long-term improvement occurred. Government now regulates more than it did then. It was fifteen years between Reagan's first inauguration and the Republican domination of Congress. We will know that a sea change has happened if, fifteen years from now, government is smaller, less expensive, and less intrusive.

Modern liberalism, moreover, maintains its hold on the institutions that shape values and manipulate symbols. Hollywood and the network evening news will not change their ways because of Republican majorities. Political correctness and multiculturalism will not be ejected from the universities by Newt Gingrich. If the reaction of the left to Reagan's elections is any guide, modern liberalism will become more aggressive and intolerant. In any event, even a persistently conservative government can do little to deal with social deterioration other than stop subsidizing it through welfare, and it remains to be seen whether Republicans have the will to overcome the constituencies that want welfare. Moral decay is evident, moreover, among people who are not on welfare and never will be.

No one can be certain of the future, of course. Cultures in decline have, unpredictably, turned themselves around before. Perhaps ours will too. Perhaps, ultimately, we will become so sick of the moral and aesthetic environment that is growing in America that stricter standards will be imposed democratically or by moral disapproval. Perhaps we will reject a government that is controlling more and more of our lives. A hopeful sign is the degree to which modern liberalism and its works-political correctness, affirmative action, multiculturalism, and the like-is coming under intellectual attack, not merely from conservative but also from liberal intellectuals. If its intellectual and moral bankruptcy is repeatedly exposed, perhaps modern liberalism will die of shame.

But then again, perhaps not. Country singer and social philosopher Merle Haggard, whose perspective is like Irving Kristol's, says that the decade of the 1960s "was just the evening of it all. I think we're into the dead of night now." Chances are, that is too optimistic and the dead of night still lies ahead. For the immediate future, in any event, what we probably face is an increasingly vulgar, violent, chaotic, and politicized culture and, unless the conservative resurgence of 1994 is both long-lasting and effective, an increasingly incompetent, bureaucratic, and despotic government. Kristol refers to himself as a cheerful pessimist. If the argument here is even close to the mark, and if the counterattack falls short, we had all better start working on the cheerful part.

Copyright (c) 1995 First Things 54 (June/July 1995): 18-23.

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TOPICS: Arts/Photography; Miscellaneous; Religion; Society
KEYWORDS: bork; culture; culturewars; despoticgovernment; robertbork; santorum
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Just some food for thought about why Santorum's stance on enforcing existing pornography laws matters, and why the left would be vigorously opposed to the same.
1 posted on 03/17/2012 10:43:57 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack
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To: Antoninus
Interesting observation from Bork back in 1995:

"Modern liberalism, moreover, maintains its hold on the institutions that shape values and manipulate symbols. Hollywood and the network evening news will not change their ways because of Republican majorities. Political correctness and multiculturalism will not be ejected from the universities by Newt Gingrich. If the reaction of the left to Reagan's elections is any guide, modern liberalism will become more aggressive and intolerant. In any event, even a persistently conservative government can do little to deal with social deterioration other than stop subsidizing it through welfare, and it remains to be seen whether Republicans have the will to overcome the constituencies that want welfare. Moral decay is evident, moreover, among people who are not on welfare and never will be."

Fiscal band-aids, even if brilliantly implemented like Newt did with Welfare Reform, do not fix the underlying problems as we clearly have evidence today.

2 posted on 03/17/2012 10:51:31 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Joe 6-pack

I could summarize all this in one sentence: “Liberaliam is a mental illness.” (with apologies to Mr. Savage.)


3 posted on 03/17/2012 11:07:48 AM PDT by Thane_Banquo
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To: Joe 6-pack

By the nature of leftism, there has never been a liberal who could express their views with such logic and clarity. Sadly, we seem to lack conservatives today who can communicate as well as Bork did 17 years ago.


4 posted on 03/17/2012 11:09:42 AM PDT by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Mark. This nation is lost without a ‘code’ to unite us to a common cause. I see none that would solve our dilemma. I could never, ever live in a ‘progressive’ collective.
The Constitution was written for a moral society. It is not relative for one that is less.


5 posted on 03/17/2012 11:10:32 AM PDT by griswold3 (Big Government does not tolerate rivals.)
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To: Pollster1

Just think how different things might have been if we’d have had Bork on the SCOTUS instead of Anthony Kennedy...


6 posted on 03/17/2012 11:21:14 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Joe 6-pack

could care less about Santorum, but this article rocks. thanks for posting.


7 posted on 03/17/2012 11:22:40 AM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: Joe 6-pack

A very good essay.


8 posted on 03/17/2012 11:25:42 AM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: Joe 6-pack
a rot and decadence that was no longer the CONSEQUENCE of liberalism but was the INTENT of contemporary liberalism.

Emphasis and slight modification added. The distinction is important because it shows the evolution of the socialist apparatus. The decay we see is not an accident. It is not collateral damage. It is the very goal of liberalism.

9 posted on 03/17/2012 11:26:34 AM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: griswold3
"This nation is lost without a ‘code’ to unite us to a common cause."

Much of that 'code' is articulated in the Declaration of Independence.

10 posted on 03/17/2012 11:27:42 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Required reading for the ‘moral anarchists’ among us.


11 posted on 03/17/2012 11:29:51 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: skeeter

Perhaps I should have thrown in a few *pictures* to get their interest ;-)


12 posted on 03/17/2012 11:36:32 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Joe 6-pack

bfl


13 posted on 03/17/2012 11:40:28 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: IronJack
The decay we see is not an accident. It is not collateral damage. It is the very goal of liberalism.

True. The MO of the liberals in charge (think Obama) is to foment rot, anarchy, and confusion because then they can more easily become dictators.

14 posted on 03/17/2012 11:42:29 AM PDT by what's up
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To: Joe 6-pack

Yet, 50% + 1 have decided that the Declaration of Independence is irrelevant. They have decided it is better to be ‘Dependent’.
We complain about the government, but we have allowed 50% + 1 to turn our Republic into a ‘Mobocracy’ following de Tocqueville’s prediction almost to the letter. I do not recognize the ‘United States of America’ any longer.


15 posted on 03/17/2012 11:48:45 AM PDT by griswold3 (Big Government does not tolerate rivals.)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Yet, 50% + 1 have decided that the Declaration of Independence is irrelevant. They have decided it is better to be ‘Dependent’.
We complain about the government, but we have allowed 50% + 1 to turn our Republic into a ‘Mobocracy’ following de Tocqueville’s prediction almost to the letter. I do not recognize the ‘United States of America’ any longer.


16 posted on 03/17/2012 11:48:50 AM PDT by griswold3 (Big Government does not tolerate rivals.)
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To: IronJack

Eggsactly!


17 posted on 03/17/2012 11:49:59 AM PDT by griswold3 (Big Government does not tolerate rivals.)
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To: Joe 6-pack
Thanks for posting that.

I'll share it with everyone who will listen.

Such deep wisdom in the thoughts and writings of Robert Bork. I purchased Slouching Towards Gommorrah years ago.

Pity what the liberals did to skewer him many years back....

18 posted on 03/17/2012 11:53:53 AM PDT by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: Joe 6-pack
Thanks for posting that.

I'll share it with everyone who will listen.

Such deep wisdom in the thoughts and writings of Robert Bork. I purchased Slouching Towards Gommorrah years ago.

Pity what the liberals did to skewer him many years back....

19 posted on 03/17/2012 11:54:09 AM PDT by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: Joe 6-pack

bump


20 posted on 03/17/2012 11:54:26 AM PDT by bubman
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To: sauron
"Pity what the liberals did to skewer him many years back...."

Outside of Chappaquiddick, I would aver that the smears on Bork was the most shameful episode of Ted Kennedy's life, which was replete with a long record of shameful episodes.

21 posted on 03/17/2012 11:57:52 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Joe 6-pack

“It would be difficult to contend that, the end of racial segregation aside, American culture today is superior to, or even on a par with, the culture of the 1950s.”

+1


22 posted on 03/17/2012 11:58:34 AM PDT by GenXteacher (He that hath no stomach for this fight, let him depart!)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Thank you Joe 6-pack. Thank you. The great Robert Bork seemingly has a crystal (Kristol?) ball into which he peered to see so stunningly, so presciently, in such detail, the movement of our culture. His essay deserves our meditations, as well as a national conversation.


23 posted on 03/17/2012 12:01:31 PM PDT by jobim (.)
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To: Joe 6-pack
"This nation is lost without a ‘code’ to unite us to a common cause." Much of that 'code' is articulated in the Declaration of Independence.

And even better was this......"Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other," John Adams declared.Adams, John, message to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, October 11, 1798. "Religion and virtue are the only foundations, not only of republicanism and all free government, but of social felicity under all governments and in all the combinations of human society."Adams, John, Letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, August 28, 1811.
24 posted on 03/17/2012 12:05:07 PM PDT by Cheerio (Barry Hussein Soetoro-0bama=The Complete Destruction of American Capitalism)
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To: GenXteacher
That line caught my attention as well. I remember the film Pleasantville and how it promoted just the opposite view; how 1950's America was sooo repressive, and how things started to get better only when the female protagonist had sex with an unsuspecting high school date. It was clearly driven by, and symptomatic of, mass media's effort to undermine that which is good about traditional values.

And yet one of the chief criticisms I hear of Santorum is that he's trying to take the country back to the 1950's (racial segregation aside).

25 posted on 03/17/2012 12:05:25 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Joe 6-pack
Just think how different things might have been if we’d have had Bork on the SCOTUS instead of Anthony Kennedy...

With Bork on the Court, Heller might have gone the wrong way:

____________________________________________________________

The Second Amendment states somewhat ambiguously: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The first part of the Amendment supports proponents of gun control by seeming to make the possession of firearms contingent upon being a member of a state-regulated militia. The next part is cited by opponents of gun control as a guarantee of the individual's right to possess such weapons, since he can always be called to militia service. The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that there is no individual right to own a firearm.

The Second Amendment was designed to allow states to defend themselves against a possible tyrannical national government. Now that the federal government has stealth bombers and nuclear weapons, it is hard to imagine what people would need to keep in the garage to serve that purpose.

-footnote, Slouching Toward Gomorrah, Robert Bork

26 posted on 03/17/2012 12:05:35 PM PDT by Ken H (Austerity is the irresistible force. Entitlements are the immovable object.)
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To: Joe 6-pack

He seems to have a real problem with individualism, or what he calls radical individualism. Rugged individualism is what made this country great, not conformance with “society” as defined by whoever.


27 posted on 03/17/2012 12:05:42 PM PDT by microgood
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To: Joe 6-pack

It’s no wonder the left hated this guy.


28 posted on 03/17/2012 12:07:00 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Ken H
The Second Amendment states somewhat ambiguously: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Bork obviously does not understand the English language or what an independent clause is.
29 posted on 03/17/2012 12:07:51 PM PDT by microgood
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To: Ken H

I’ve never said Bork was perfect, and certainly I disagree with some of his 2nd Amendment stances over the years. That’s one of my primary personal issues, and is one reason I support Santorum who has higher lifetime ratings from both the NRA and GOA than does Newt.


30 posted on 03/17/2012 12:08:15 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Joe 6-pack
Great find, even if it was written in 1995.

"Modern liberalism is most particularly a disease of our cultural elites, the people who control the institutions that manufacture or disseminate ideas, attitudes, and symbols-universities, some churches, Hollywood, the national press (print and electronic), much of the congressional Democratic party and some of the congressional Republicans as well, large sections of the judiciary, foundation staffs, and almost all the "public interest" organizations that exercise a profound if largely unseen effect on public policy. So pervasive is the influence of those who occupy the commanding heights of our culture that it is not entirely accurate to call the United States a majoritarian democracy. The elites of modern liberalism do not win all the battles, but despite their relatively small numbers, they win more than their share and move the culture always in one direction."

That was Judge Bork's thesis 17 years ago. Barack Obama and his minions are truth positive the elites of modern liberalism win more than their share and move the culture always in one direction ... LEFT!

I have been lamenting for 3 decades now about the coarsening of our culture. Only a small example can been seen in all the trashing of the Republican candidates by supposed conservatives, one to the other here on Free Republic.

I do believe we have crossed the Rubicon and the coming result will not be pretty at all.

31 posted on 03/17/2012 12:12:31 PM PDT by ImpBill ("America, where are you now?" - Little "r" republican!)
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To: microgood
"He seems to have a real problem with individualism, or what he calls radical individualism. Rugged individualism is what made this country great, not conformance with “society” as defined by whoever."

I'd invite you to read Bork's Slouching Towards Gomorrah where he explains the differences between "individualism" or "rugged individualism" (which he agrees are good things) and the concept of "radical individualism" which has a deleterious effect on both jurisprudence and society at large. Since you seem intent on knocking Bork on this point, you probably won't, but just in case you are interested in approaching this on an intellectually honest level, I'd encourage you to read the book.

32 posted on 03/17/2012 12:15:10 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Joe 6-pack
Since you seem intent on knocking Bork on this point, you probably won't, but just in case you are interested in approaching this on an intellectually honest level, I'd encourage you to read the book.

Actually I do not know him that well, which is why I noted his use of the words "radical individualism" versus just individualism. Obviously anything can be taken to an extreme, so as long as he does not believe "society" trumps indivdualism, I am Ok with that.
33 posted on 03/17/2012 12:21:58 PM PDT by microgood
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To: Joe 6-pack

Ping


34 posted on 03/17/2012 12:22:11 PM PDT by ishmac (Lady Thatcher:"There are no permanent defeats in politics because there are no permanent victories.)
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To: Joe 6-pack
Does Bork still support Romney?

__________________________________________________________

Judge Robert Bork Endorses Mitt Romney

December 15, 2007

Joining Romney for President, Judge Bork said, “Throughout my career, I have had the honor of serving under several Presidents and am proud to make today’s endorsement. No other candidate will do more to advance the conservative judicial movement than Governor Mitt Romney.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1939895/posts

35 posted on 03/17/2012 12:24:33 PM PDT by Ken H (Austerity is the irresistible force. Entitlements are the immovable object.)
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To: microgood
"Obviously anything can be taken to an extreme, so as long as he does not believe "society" trumps indivdualism, I am Ok with that."

That's essentially Bork's contention as well...that things have been taken to extremes and the traditional concept of "personal liberty" has been perverted into some grotesque form of personal license.

36 posted on 03/17/2012 12:25:42 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Ken H

Unfortunately he did back him again as of last summer. I was disappointed in his doing so, particularly because Rick has been a much more consistent proponent of much of Bork’s longstanding judicial philosophies that got him nominated by Reagan in the first place.


37 posted on 03/17/2012 12:29:33 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Joe 6-pack

I did not read this all — too long - but read Bork’s book back a while ago. I personally think when you chuck Christianity, all moral constraints go. It’s like the French Revolution, and the chaos then invites a ‘Napoleon’ who sees things clearly and then wants to establish order. His way. And the people go for it, because they are tired of the chaos.

History repeats itself endlessly, as the source of the evil is always that selfish tendency in the human heart.


38 posted on 03/17/2012 12:31:08 PM PDT by bboop (Without justice, what else is the State but a great band of robbers? St. Augustine)
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To: IronJack
We will be coerced into virtue, as modern liberals define virtue: a ruthlessly egalitarian society. This agenda is, of course, already well advanced.

Quite true. But what is the political response, coercion the other way into virtue as we define it? Bork, at the end of this essay stipulates that there is not a political answer to this threat citing with second sight Newt Gingrich by name nearly 2 decades ago. In other words, taking back the Congress after 40 years does not change the culture, neither does welfare reform, or electing Ronald Reagan.

Yet Bork's indictment of our condition in 1994 is even more dreadfully vindicated in 2012 so, what do we do? We, as sons of liberty must be aware of the limitations of the power of the state to enforce virtue whether virtue as defined on the left or virtue as defined by the right. If we rigorously enforce laws against pornography we risk creating a tyranny. If we stand by passively we watch the culture deteriorate.

I have come to believe that ultimately culture trumps politics. I am sure the left has come to this conclusion long before I have and they have done something about it long before I woke up. What did they do? They created, The Frankfurt School, they devised methodology for revolution by people like Saul Alinsky, they deliberately fomented economic disintegration by people like Cloward-Piven. Today they contrive from top-down the occupy movement.

Perhaps Bork was a touch naïve in his judgment that the war on the body politic and on the culture by the left was not a conspiracy.

To wage our counterculture war we had our churches but this institution like virtually other institution catalogued by Bork in his essay, has been infiltrated and corrupted against our sense of virtue by the left.

So, just as there is no political solution, there is no institutional solution.

Bork ends by exhorting us to optimism but I see very little to warrant optimism. If there is any salvation for us as conservatives it is to have resort to an individual salvation of our fathers quite apart from any culture or political trend.


39 posted on 03/17/2012 12:39:37 PM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: Joe 6-pack

BM


40 posted on 03/17/2012 12:40:35 PM PDT by Popman (America is squandering its wealth on riotous living, war, and welfare.)
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To: nathanbedford
"Perhaps Bork was a touch naïve in his judgment that the war on the body politic and on the culture by the left was not a conspiracy."

That is my sole disagreement with Bork in this piece as well. We now have the Venona papers, the books of Vasili Mitrokhin and any other numbe of credible sources that indicate a lot of these things were being deliberately orchestrated from the outside with the express purpose of bringing about the downfall of the US.

Those things were only coming into the light at the time Bork was writing this. There's no doubt Bork was aware of Cloward-Piven, Alinsky, Gramsci, et al, but perhaps viewed them as independent theorists/academics first, and activists second, rather than the unwitting elements of some coordinated conspiracy.

41 posted on 03/17/2012 1:01:32 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Joe 6-pack
Great essay. This just reaffirms what I have been saying.

We need both Newt and Rick on the ticket.

Newt (the attack dog) can cut through the heart of a matter, clearly and exacting, leaving liberals shell-shocked and not prepared to respond. Newt can handle the media, the leftist in academia, the politicians who have sold their soul and leave them sputtering like a bad engine. The media is not reporting all that is going on; kids in kindergarten learning sex about homosexuality at school instead of RRR Our schools are failing our kids because they are busy socializing them on the lefts agenda.

Rick can talk to the people, reaching their heart and souls, reminding them that their children are going to have to face a world that is so selfish, self-centered and corrupt. Where hard work is rewarded by giving it to the non-producer and where the guilty are coddled and the innocent are told to be tolerant. He can remind people that obama has no problem with abortion up to 9 months in the womb and even having a doctor finish the job when an abortion fail and a baby is born alive. What kind of heartless, soulless person can live with that. They even refuse to give these babies anesthesia like Europe does, because it might give the impression that its not just cells, but a kicking, crying baby trying to live.

Remember, over 80% of US believes in God, though many don't regularly attend church. Removing God from schools, who gave us our moral codes, started the moral decline in the schools. You can track the growth of problems from then on.

Since abortion was legalize you can track the rate of child abuse. If life is so cheap that you can kill your babies in the womb, how different are they then the ones you already have. Some people don't value life anymore, including the born. (We got some of these stats from Focus on the Family when I was a counselor at a CPC) Remember to watch who you get stats from because, just like anything else the left tends to adjust their numbers to meet their goals.

Kids are having sex earlier and with more people since schools started teaching the leftist curriculum which tells them, they can't control themselves—like they are animal- so they have to be given condoms....
50 years ago their was 4 types of STD.s. Today there is over 25 different types of STD even more strains of STD’s. (by the way-why can we tell kids they can say no to drugs and cigarettes, but not sex?)

Divorce rates higher
Children having children
Drug use up
Gangs, even in conservative cities
.....

everyone could add to this list.

42 posted on 03/17/2012 1:07:43 PM PDT by Linda Frances (Only God can change a heart, but we can pray for hearts to be changed.)
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To: Ken H

If Bork endorsed Romney, he has really lost hope in the future of this country.


43 posted on 03/17/2012 1:09:14 PM PDT by Linda Frances (Only God can change a heart, but we can pray for hearts to be changed.)
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To: sauron

ping for later


44 posted on 03/17/2012 1:27:26 PM PDT by mick (Central Banker Capitalism is NOT Free Enterprise)
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To: Joe 6-pack
No one can be certain of the future, of course. Cultures in decline have, unpredictably, turned themselves around before. Perhaps ours will too. Perhaps, ultimately, we will become so sick of the moral and aesthetic environment that is growing in America that stricter standards will be imposed democratically or by moral disapproval. Perhaps we will reject a government that is controlling more and more of our lives. A hopeful sign is the degree to which modern liberalism and its works-political correctness, affirmative action, multiculturalism, and the like-is coming under intellectual attack, not merely from conservative but also from liberal intellectuals. If its intellectual and moral bankruptcy is repeatedly exposed, perhaps modern liberalism will die of shame.

I stand with Irving Kristol, and the other "cheerful pessimists"! I believe that there is still time to turn the culture around, and, with God's help, and faith whole mountains of sin can be moved.

Of course, modern liberalism has attacked nearly all of our cultural institutions. Of all of these institutions, education is one of the most important. It is why I am on Free Republic nearly daily urging conservatives to do several things:

1) Immediately remove your child from the government schools. Your child's godless government school is **not** different! It is evil to send your child into godless schools where they must learn to think and reason godlessly just to cooperate in the classroom.

2) Conservatives must work to entirely shut down our godless, single-payer, socialist entitlement, K-12 schools. They can **not** be reformed! When was it ever possible to reform a godless, socialist, and single-payer program?

3) Conservatives must work to see that all children in the nation have access to a private education that fully upholds Judeo-Christian values and our nation's founding principles. The prison-like Prussia-model of schooling should be abandoned. It is expensive. It is inefficient. It teaches children to be good little compliant prisoners. Instead, we should support neighborhood dame schools, one room schools, tutoring centers, and homeschool cooperatives.

Personally....Government schooling is, in my opinion, sooooo evil, so hurtful to children, and such a threat to our continuing freedom, that I have recently made a decision. I will no longer have a government teacher for a friend. I am done with them. I won't have an abortion worker for a friend either.

45 posted on 03/17/2012 1:41:14 PM PDT by wintertime (Reforming a government K-12 school is like reforming an abortion center.)
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To: Joe 6-pack
I don't know if anyone has heard of The Truth Project, but it aligns with this essay. I facilitated it in my home and everyone said it was an eye opener. Here's what it looks like.

It's about 6 minutes. Watch at least one minute.

It IS life changing & the best thing I have ever seen on the culture we are living in. I promise you that you would never regret watching the series.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzvKOgCrag8&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Lesson 1 - Veritology: What is Truth?

The Truth Project begins by defining truth as “that which corresponds to reality.” This absolute and eternal truth, at the heart of Jesus’ mission on earth, continues to be the focal point of the Cosmic Battle in our own time. Back to top

Lesson 2 - Philosophy and Ethics: Says Who?

Truth is not simply an academic concept. The way we think about truth has a direct bearing upon the way we live our lives. What's more, our understanding of right and wrong is directly dependent on our worldview: is the universe God's creation or a closed cosmic cube? Back to top

Lesson 3 - Anthropology: Who is Man?

The Bible tells us that man was created in God's image but fell from innocence through sin. Modern psychology, on the other hand, asserts that man is inherently good and behaves badly only under the influence of social or institutional pressure. This lesson explores the implications of both views. Back to top

Lesson 4 - Theology: Who is God?

Eternal life, according to Jesus, is knowing God in an intimate, personal, and relational way. Such knowledge, which is possible only because of divine revelation, transforms us from the inside out as we begin to see ourselves in the light of His majesty and holiness. Back to top

Lesson 5 - Science: What is True?

Science, the “systematic study of the natural world,” brings to light innumerable evidences of Intelligent Design. But Darwinian theory transforms science from the honest investigation of nature into a vehicle for propagating a godless philosophy. (Part One)

A careful examination of molecular biology and the fossil record demonstrates that evolution is not a “proven fact.” Meanwhile, history shows that ideas, including Darwinism as a social philosophy, have definite consequences – consequences that can turn ugly when God is left out of the picture. (Part Two) Back to top

Lesson 6 - History: Whose Story?

Does the past have an objective actuality and significance? Or does it, as postmodernist philosophy asserts, exist primarily inside our heads? This tour considers the meaning of history as God’s story and shows us why remembering is so important. Back to top

Lesson 7 - Sociology: The Divine Imprint

The order we observe in the natural realm is even more apparent in the social systems God has established: family, church, community, state, labor, and the union between God and man. Life is a series of relationships that flow out of and reflect the Trinitarian nature of the Creator. Back to top

Lesson 8 - Unio Mystica: Am I Alone?

Is it possible for the infinite, eternal Creator to dwell within the heart of an individual? The implications of this great mystery, which represents the very core of the Christian faith, are explored at length in this examination of the most intimate of the social spheres. Back to top

Lesson 9 - The State: Whose Law?

Of all the social spheres, the state, to which God grants the power of the sword for the punishment of evil and the preservation of the good, has the greatest potential to go awry if it oversteps its authority. The civil magistrate must always remember his place under the sovereignty of God – otherwise, havoc will ensue. Back to top

Lesson 10 - The American Experiment: Stepping Stones

America is unique in the history of the world. On these shores a people holding to a biblical worldview have had an opportunity to set up a system of government designed to keep the state within its divinely ordained boundaries. Tour #10 follows the history of this experiment and explores what happens to freedom when God is forgotten. Back to top

Lesson 11 - Labor: Created to Create

Contrary to a great deal of contemporary popular opinion, work is not a “curse.” God Himself is active and creative, and He calls man to share in the joy of His activity and creativity. Labor, economics, media, and the creative arts all have a role to play in magnifying the glory of the Creator. Back to top

Lesson 12 - Community and Involvement: God Cares, do I?

The ethical law and the meaning of the Christian life are summed up in the commandment to love God and one’s neighbor. This command is the source of the believer's motivation for self-sacrificial service to the needy and their personal involvement in our culture. Back to top

46 posted on 03/17/2012 1:42:05 PM PDT by Linda Frances (Only God can change a heart, but we can pray for hearts to be changed.)
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To: Linda Frances
Remember, over 80% of US believes in God, though many don't regularly attend church. Removing God from schools, who gave us our moral codes, started the moral decline in the schools. You can track the growth of problems from then on.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

The problem started with the nation-wide establishment of compulsory attendance, compulsory funded, single-payer, socialist schooling. ( Mid-1800s to early 1900s).

At best, modern single-payer, compulsory, socialist schooling offered the students a generic and lukewarm Protestantism. What is the problem with this? Answer: Children risked learning to be lukewarm and generic about their faith. What does Christ do with the lukewarm? He spits them out of His mouth!

It only took a generation or two for the socialist government schools to move toward secularism. My grandmother ( born 1894) attended secular schools that nodded to God on occasion. It was inevitable that socialists (that have **always** control teacher training and curriculum development) would increasingly move toward the utter godlessness that children and taxpayers are now forced to establish in these pits of ignorance ( misnamed “schools”).

47 posted on 03/17/2012 1:51:45 PM PDT by wintertime (Reforming a government K-12 school is like reforming an abortion center.)
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To: Linda Frances

Thanks LF. Interesting post!


48 posted on 03/17/2012 1:52:23 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Joe 6-pack
The constraints that made individualism and egalitarianism beneficial included economic necessity, which channeled individualism into productive work, and religion (with its corollaries of morality and law), which tempered self-interest and envy.

I think he only brushes against the issue. I honestly believe that the root of this moral, liberal-lead decline he speaks is caused by the Federal Reserve - and I'm not even a Ron Paul supporter. The Federal Reserve was the first, and cornerstone, institution of Progressive Gov't. In sum, it helps Progressives pay for their social engineering schemes. No one has to pay for their sins (or, payment has been delayed so far.

49 posted on 03/17/2012 1:58:51 PM PDT by PGR88
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To: nathanbedford
Very cogent observations. We will not make ourselves a moral nation by legislating morality. The source of our morality must be our SELVES, not any institution or collective. But most of all, we must stop apologizing for having that morality, for stating the obvious, and for standing by the principles that have evolved over ages.

A moral people have no need of pornography. Or drugs. Or violence. A moral people have little use for laws or the tyranny of the state. But the more immoral we become, the more some turn to the state to "protect" us from what are ultimately the consequences of our own decisions.

50 posted on 03/17/2012 3:22:36 PM PDT by IronJack (=)
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