by ProfDave, ©2020
(Nov. 16, 2020) — Two years ago a Barna poll showed 59% of Americans believed the country is on the wrong track and a veto-proof majority of both liberals and conservatives believe we are going the wrong way morally. So it isn’t just us – it is worse now.
To be sure, left and right disagree on some matters of right and wrong, but this is way beyond what consenting adults do in their bedrooms. Where is all this hatred, violence, abuse, abandonment, lying and cheating coming from? Why are we raising a generation of angry nihilists?
Could I suggest that we need to agree that good is good and bad is bad (whatever your definition of either), positive is positive and negative is negative? Let’s admit that banishing positive values, such as faith and morality, from the public schools was not a good thing. That kids who bring their Bibles to school and pray over their lunch are less likely to bully homosexuals or anybody else, bring drugs or shoot up the place. That sincere religion (excepting Jihadism) is the most powerful antidote we know to hatred, violence, abuse, abandonment, lying and cheating – ie the moral mess we’re in. Better to deal with the occasional self-righteous rebuke or overzealous proselyting than the mindless rage we now have. And if militant secularists do not like it, they need to come up with positive moral incentives that can compete. Yelling “separation of church and state” has brought only unilateral moral disarmament and cultural negativity. In the meantime, while we are waiting, we need to bring God back. He’s a positive influence.
We need a return to positive values in America. Just to get along. Whether we agree with each other or not, we need to encourage encouragement. Just to be safe in public. Half a century ago not even the insane would consider shooting up a church or a school. We need to lower the temperature (fever) of hatred in our society. We need to talk, not yell. Whether we believe or not, we need to bring back God for the sake of general goodness.
We also need to bring back the family. It isn’t really practical to do away with children. The process of mass extinction is too painful. Given that there are going to be sub-adults in our society, someone has to raise them. The continuation of civil society depends on it. Letting them raise themselves while the adults do their own thing does not work. Have you noticed that just about all the school shooters have been fatherless boys? While society is intent on social experiments for adult sexual expression, we have yet to find a better factory for productive citizens than a dedicated mother and father raising their own young to adulthood. Perhaps, until something better comes along, we should encourage what we know works and stop attacking and undermining it? Be positive about the positive. Preserve the future.
No sane person is proposing to coerce belief or traditional marriage, but can’t we admit these are positive things? Even the great French skeptic Voltaire wanted his servants to be good Catholics so they wouldn’t steal the silver. Devout kids, raised in intact families, cause less trouble. Who wants trouble?
Was Karl Marx right that you have to destroy society in order to make it better? It occurs to me that Marx came into vogue in university faculties back in the late 60’s and today’s senior faculty and cultural leaders are products of that. Marx envisioned a cataclysm between a shrinking elite and the swelling, miserable masses. Did that ever happen? No. World War I was a different cataclysm. The industrial proletariat never exceeded the one-third barrier. And Marxism rode a miniscule minority onto the backs of Russian, Chinese and third world agrarian masses – one elite replacing another. Destroying society did not make a better society. Long after the Marxist regimes fell the destruction lingers.
So can we expect the destruction of American society by elite minorities (calling themselves “the people” or “the mainstream”) – or elites on behalf of minorities – to produce utopia? Can we expect them to produce anything better than wreckage and privilege? May I suggest that we do it the democratic way rather than the revolutionary way? That before we destroy positive institutions and the foundations of society, we build something positive that can compete with them? In the meantime, preserve what is good? Then let everybody make their own choices?
Modest proposal: we keep the old boat afloat while we build the new one, rather than disassembling it midstream. How about we keep men and women up and running until we have something better – whatever they may be? Equality is fine. “Anything you can do, I can do better” (Annie Get Your Gun). But that kind of feminism misses the point: freedom is not the same as respect. Equal pay with disrespect and objectification is no great gain. Is becoming alt-males – indulging male vices and male fantasies – a better womanhood? It is bad enough that men are irresponsible and unfaithful to their families without women joining the rush to hell. Let’s not do away with women-as-women yet.
By the way, there is one thing women can do, vital to the species, that men cannot. So let’s not do away with motherhood just yet, either.
There is just too much hatred, outrage and violence in our society. Murder is in millions of hearts (see Matthew 5), should we be surprised at the news that some (not too tightly wrapped) let it out? Assault rifles? How about assault words? It all begins with assault attitudes! Can’t we just get along?
There are plenty of negatives in our society to be eliminated without attacking positives. Positives like faith, family, the dignity of womanhood and motherhood. And how about manhood and fatherhood? Go after the deadbeats and wife-beaters, not the responsible husbands. Is it necessary to attack chastity in order to preserve the freedom to philander? Is it freedom for those who have no conscience against abortion, euthanasia and “free” sexual expression to coerce those who do? Can’t believe that things so obvious need to be said!
David W. Heughins (“ProfDave”) is Adjunct Professor of History at Nazarene Bible College. He holds a BA from Eastern Nazarene College and a PhD in history from the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Holiness in 12 Steps (2020). He is a Vietnam veteran and is retired, living with his daughter and three grandchildren in Connecticut.