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Katherine Kersten: No religion, too? A recipe for trouble ...
Minneapolis Star Tribune ^ | January 1, 2011 | KATHERINE KERSTEN

Posted on 01/01/2011 5:57:04 PM PST by rhema

What should we laud or lament in the year just ended? Where should we turn our attention in 2011? One troubling trend, I suggest, dwarfs all others in importance. It's the shrinking influence and declining prestige of religion in our nation today.

Increasingly, Americans see religion as a private matter with little to contribute to public debate -- even on issues with moral dimensions, such as marriage and family, abortion and euthanasia. In the crusade to banish faith from public life, judges order county courthouses to be stripped of plaques listing the Ten Commandments, and activists attack Christian hospitals that decline to perform abortions.

Our growing distaste for religion springs, in part, from our modern hatred of constraints on our behavior, and from our equating freedom with living exactly as we please. Judeo-Christianity presents an obstacle here. It holds that there are universal moral truths -- accessible to reason -- that should shape our conduct, and that create obligations to others that require sacrifices we might prefer not to make.

In recent decades, the rise of psychology -- which is replacing religion as a vehicle for understanding what it means to be human -- has greatly facilitated our cherished project of throwing off moral constraints. Almost 50 years ago, psychologist Philip Rieff spelled out the implications in his seminal book, "The Triumph of the Therapeutic."

Rieff wrote that our society's model for the organization of personality -- our paragon, or character ideal -- has undergone a radical shift. The Christian model of man, he explained, dominant for 1,500 years, has been increasingly replaced by "psychological man" as our society's primary character type. The "soul" has been replaced by the "self."

Why does this matter? Traditional Christianity, Rieff observed, made great moral demands on believers.

(Excerpt) Read more at startribune.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: abortion; judeochristian; marriage

1 posted on 01/01/2011 5:57:08 PM PST by rhema
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To: rhema

The bible said this would happen. Does it surprise anyone? The apostasy.


2 posted on 01/01/2011 6:03:35 PM PST by Cisco Nix (Real Conservatives stay sober and focused)
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To: rhema

We were warned about what would lead to the failure of our great experiment.


3 posted on 01/01/2011 6:03:35 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: rhema

Not sure I agree that religious belief is all that much in decline. Our lamestream media might want us to think so and have thus created such an impression but ...

Not so sure.


4 posted on 01/01/2011 6:06:05 PM PST by PaleoBob
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To: anniegetyourgun

Who gave the warning, might I ask? I don’t recall the event.


5 posted on 01/01/2011 6:23:03 PM PST by Misterioso (If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.- Ayn Rand)
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To: Misterioso
Our founders. Let me read the article to you:

"Today, we Americans take our democracy for granted. But our founders warned that our system of self-government is an experiment, and is not guaranteed to succeed. If we allow the "ordered liberty" they envisioned to degenerate to license -- as our embrace of the psychological model of man makes likely -- our experiment may fail."

6 posted on 01/01/2011 6:28:31 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: rhema

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.”……Thomas Jefferson (excerpts are inscribed on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial in the nations capital)


7 posted on 01/01/2011 6:31:42 PM PST by tflabo
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To: anniegetyourgun

Our founders ! Wasn’t them the guys who wrote the Constitution that the guy on MSNBC said didn’t count any more cause it was wrote so long ago?


8 posted on 01/01/2011 6:42:20 PM PST by reefdiver ("Let His day's be few And another takes His office")
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To: PaleoBob

>>Not sure I agree that religious belief is all that much in decline.<<

I don’t know how old you are but let me assure you that gays, abortion, and the Godless society we have today would not have occurred back in the ‘50s.


9 posted on 01/01/2011 6:59:49 PM PST by CynicalBear
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To: reefdiver

And they are called “the founders” rather than the “founding fathers” because of women’s lib. The term “founding fathers” is considered offensive to radical feminists. To appease the feminists, the MSM replaced the term “founding fathers” with “founders” or “framers” of the constitution, so we don’t have to be confronted with the fact that they were all men.


10 posted on 01/01/2011 7:06:36 PM PST by Dilbert San Diego
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To: rhema

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
- John Adams

When we cease to be a moral and religious people, our government will fail. Simple enough equation....


11 posted on 01/01/2011 7:13:35 PM PST by GenXteacher (He that hath no stomach for this fight, let him depart!)
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To: anniegetyourgun
We were warned about what would lead to the failure of our great experiment.

It never occurred to me that you were referring to the article itself. Why would you do that? It's very confusing when you lose the context of your posting.

12 posted on 01/01/2011 7:14:46 PM PST by Misterioso (If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.- Ayn Rand)
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To: rhema

“Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing.
The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against his Anointed saying,
Let us break their bands asunder and cast away their cords from us.
He that sits in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath and vex them in his sore displeasure”


13 posted on 01/01/2011 7:15:43 PM PST by lazlo (Psalm 2:1-5)
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To: rhema
Why does this matter? Traditional Christianity, Rieff observed, made great moral demands on believers. Its goal was salvation; consequently, it exhorted believers to "die to self," repent of sin, and cultivate virtue, self-discipline and humility.

I say good riddance.

14 posted on 01/01/2011 7:20:46 PM PST by Misterioso (If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.- Ayn Rand)
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To: Misterioso

Indeed, it’s not as if the values that created the happiest, most prosperous and all-around most successful societies in human history could have any value today. /s


15 posted on 01/01/2011 8:17:16 PM PST by LastNorwegian
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To: Misterioso

LOL - won’t happen again!


16 posted on 01/01/2011 8:56:53 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: rhema

Liberals claim the demise of religion gives people more freedom but if there are no personal restraints on behavior, then what’s left to keep in you line? Government! The simple rules of life every one once followed have now been replaced by a thicket of regulations that govern every aspect of our conduct. Its debatable whether that has made us more freer than our parents were.


17 posted on 01/01/2011 9:28:30 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Misterioso
Traditional Christianity, Rieff observed, made great moral demands on believers. Its goal was salvation; consequently, it exhorted believers to "die to self," repent of sin, and cultivate virtue, self-discipline and humility.

I say good riddance.

So also said the men of Sodom and Gomorrah.
And countless other 'civilizations'.
Those that turn from God, reap the fruits of their arrogance as God removes HIS restraining hand and gives them up to their own lusts and depravities.

There is only one recipe for a Nation to prosper. It is as it has always been:

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

18 posted on 01/01/2011 10:24:06 PM PST by El Cid (Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house...)
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To: PaleoBob

I agree with you.

I don’t belong to any established church but strongly feel I am a Christian.

Many of my acquaintances attend church but don’t seem to act as Christians. Going to church is something they ‘do’ on Sunday, and repeating passages from the Holy Bible substitutes for incorporating Judeo-Christian morals into their everyday lives.


19 posted on 01/01/2011 11:09:21 PM PST by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS OUR PRESIDENT!)
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To: Dilbert San Diego
the MSM replaced the term “founding fathers” with “founders” or “framers” of the constitution......

I agree with you about "founding fathers" vs. "founders," but "Framers" actually does point to a meaningful distinction.

The "Founders" were the men who prosecuted the Continental Congresses and the Revolutionary War. They would include Thomas Jefferson, for example.

But Jefferson was not a Framer. The Federalists, with keen foresight, sent him to Paris as ambassador to the French court, to get him out of town so he couldn't impede the great Federalist project of overhauling the Republic that Jefferson had done so much to help found.

The Framers were the men in the room when the Constitution was written (they "framed" the Republic); or more broadly, participated in the Philadelphia Convention, or the ratification conventions in the several States (Patrick Henry refused to attend in Philadelphia, and George Mason bolted the convention before it concluded; but both came to the Virginia ratification convention; likewise, John Hancock did not attend in Philadelphia -- he was an Antifederalist like Mason and Patrick Henry -- but eventually joined his ratification delegation), or more broadly still, participated in the public debate over the Constitution (this included a woman or two, btw, writing pseudonymously to the papers), which last category at a broad, tenuous stretch, could be deemed to include Jefferson, since he corresponded with some of the convention participants like, most signficantly, James Madison.

20 posted on 01/02/2011 3:33:32 AM PST by lentulusgracchus (Concealed carry is a pro-life position.)
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To: lentulusgracchus

Thomas Jefferson went to France of his own volition.


21 posted on 01/02/2011 3:41:54 AM PST by jla
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To: jla
He was Ambassador to France.
22 posted on 01/02/2011 3:54:57 AM PST by lentulusgracchus (Concealed carry is a pro-life position.)
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To: lentulusgracchus

No kidding??!! And where did I state that he was not? I didn’t. I merely stated that he went of his own volition.


23 posted on 01/02/2011 3:58:30 AM PST by jla
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To: Cisco Nix

The apostacy does not surprise me— what is a constant amazement is the intensity of those who oppose any reflection of our fundamental American principle that Religion and Morality (a Morality based upon the Christian Religion are essential to good government ,and the happiness of mankind.


24 posted on 01/02/2011 4:12:26 AM PST by StonyBurk (ring)
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To: rhema

This is from the Philadelphia Inquirer review and opinion section and shows how long the injustice has been going on
about many Americans seeing religion as a private matter

Sunday October 16,1983

Against private religion

To the Editor: In it’s October 9 editorial,The Inquirer argues in favor of the position that Pawtucket R.I.,and other local communities should not be permitted to have a Nativity scenes,or other religious symbolism,on public property. In arguing that position,it is stated that such a prohibition would put religious belief “where it belongs,”namely in the peoples hearts and private lives.Such an assertion betrays the hypocrisy of those who claim that their opposition to the Pawtucket practice is based on the principle of religious freedom. How can one claim to believe in religious freedom and then make dogmatic assertions about who and to what extent religion should be practiced? There may be many people in this country who subscribe to a religion that holds that religious belief is a private matter of the heart. I do not subscribe to that religion.The religion to which I subscribe claims to be all-encompassing, with nothing outside its purview. I resent being told by dogmatic adherents of another religion, namely the “private religion of the heart dogma”, that I must forsake the practices of my religion and take on the practices of theirs. And I consider legislation and judicial decisions that restrict the practice of religion to the private sphere to be “government establishment” of a “religion” to which I do not subscribe.

name witheld


25 posted on 01/02/2011 5:21:02 AM PST by Glider (The brainwashed never wonder)
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To: Cisco Nix

“Our growing distaste for religion springs, in part, from our modern hatred of constraints on our behavior, and from our equating freedom with living exactly as we please.”
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

If this is the cause then where is the bloody revolution against a government that destroys every last shred of liberty? Constraints on behavior? People don’t have a clue to how restrained they are, if the government had the capability to arrest convict and sentence every one of us every time an absurd and unnecessary law is broken the last one in would need to lock the door behind himself.


26 posted on 01/02/2011 6:53:08 AM PST by RipSawyer
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To: CynicalBear

I don’t know how old you are but let me assure you that gays, abortion, and the Godless society we have today would not have occurred back in the ‘50s.


I’m 61. I agree with you that public morals and values and standards are in decline—but that might be what is happening on the surface and being advanced by our stifling lamestream media. Underneath, I think there is a lot of belief in God still there.


27 posted on 01/02/2011 7:31:36 AM PST by PaleoBob
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To: SatinDoll

Many of my acquaintances attend church but don’t seem to act as Christians. Going to church is something they ‘do’ on Sunday, and repeating passages from the Holy Bible substitutes for incorporating Judeo-Christian morals into their everyday lives.


God is dead, wrote Nietzsche, but as the great Dinesh D’Souza replied, it’s actually Nietzsche who is dead.


28 posted on 01/02/2011 7:35:17 AM PST by PaleoBob
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To: PaleoBob

>>Underneath, I think there is a lot of belief in God still there.<<

I truly wish that was the case. I would suggest that that is rather wishful thinking. The quote “belief in God” is claimed by most Churches today but I would suggest that at best it’s a rather luke warm faith and given that many of those Churches today allow Sodomites to serve as pastors I’m inclined to think the “belief in God” claim gets rather cold.


29 posted on 01/02/2011 8:38:23 AM PST by CynicalBear
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To: PaleoBob

Never read Nietzsche. He can’t relate or explain how to live a righteous life. It is all there in the Holy Bible.


30 posted on 01/02/2011 12:23:29 PM PST by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS OUR PRESIDENT!)
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To: StonyBurk

Amen


31 posted on 01/02/2011 2:56:14 PM PST by Cisco Nix (Real Conservatives stay sober and focused)
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To: RipSawyer
I thought the article really summed up a lot of what is happening in our society. People want to act like thoughtless animals without judgment or consequence. The government wants to control our behavior allowing all the elements of immorality that destroys God and his esoteric path. Once done, the killings start. Gulag Archipelago all over again. The Government will destroy all of us that do not fit into their plan. Ah, and they will kill many of us as part of their plan.

It has happened over and over again throughout history. Just look at the 20th century. That is just one century with how many murdered? A quarter Billion? A half Billion? More? No one knows. .

32 posted on 01/02/2011 3:11:55 PM PST by Cisco Nix (Real Conservatives stay sober and focused)
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