“But communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience.” Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles The Communist Manifesto
This week the news has brought us the media’s lamentation over the conviction of two young men that raped a girl. They pointed to the culture of entitlement that existed for the athletes in the community. They spoke of the lack of oversight by adults, and supervision by those in authority. Most of all, they openly regretted the loss of opportunity and promise for young men because they were going to prison for rape rather than going to college to play football. They raped, let me say it again raped a girl! They recorded their evil on cell phones. And, they celebrated their activities. Why isn’t everyone equally outraged, sickened, disgusted, and saddened, because morality has been evacuated from the American conscience. I argue that it was a political inevitability that was undertaken as a task to grasp and maintain political power.
In 1973 the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its decision in the case of Roe vs. Wade. That landmark decision had a profound effect on America in three distinct ways. They are politics, morality, and the creation of the so called “religious right.”
Politically, Roe v Wade insured that abortion would be a go-to political issue for candidates when they needed red meat to throw to potential voters. Consider the last presidential election cycle. Unemployment, finances, turmoil in the Middle East, and immigration policy could have all been important factors in how political parties reached out to “swing” and “undecided” voters. To a large degree they were not. The Obama campaign and their surrogates invented a non-existent war on women and then made Republicans especially Mitt Romney the Cossacks leading the raid. It worked. Political polling indicated that for the vast majority of swing and undecided voters social issues outweighed tangible political policies. Honest politics has been sacrificed on the altar of abortion.
Morally, Roe v Wade forced Americans to determine the value of human life. Wrapped in the language of privacy, abortion advocates were armed with a morally defensible position. Likewise, they were able to augment their support if they could convince a majority of people that abortion is not a life vs. death issue. Thus, an unborn child became classified as less than human, perhaps pre-human at best. It worked, and now to consider one’s self to be pro life makes them subhuman to the majority of Americans. The American conscience and morality has been sacrificed on the altar of abortion.
The only set back that Roe v Wade cause for political progressives was that the decision was instrumental in creating the “religious right.” Politically, prior to 1980 reaching out to conservative Christians did not exist. It didn’t need to. At the national level the biggest political/religious issue was the potential election of a Roman Catholic president when JFK was nominated. During the third quarter of the 20th century voting and Christian values were mutually exclusive terms.
The Republican Party was the party of the affluent, upper class, and out of touch. Their policies and ideologies stressed capitalism, patriotism, and anti-communism. Christianity was invoked as a reason to resist the spread of communism on the basis of its ardent atheism. But, Christianity and economic, foreign, and domestic policy were largely unattached by Republicans.
Likewise, Democrats were an eclectic group during the same period. There were the East and West coast radicals, the college campus rebels, and the middle class and minority Kennedy voters. All of these groups were ardent civil rights voters. However, the largest identifiable group of Democrats existed in the South, the “Dixiecrats.” These Democrats were white, mostly Christian, very traditional, non-progressive and solidly anti-civil rights movement. The only thing the Dixiecrats disliked more than the civil rights movement was Republicans.
Then in 1976 a Southern Baptist governor from Georgia was elected president. During his campaign Jimmy Carter’s religious beliefs became an issue. On the pages of Playboy magazine Carter discussed lust, sin, and salvation in being “born again.” Once again, one can note that his faith in no way directed his progressive policies. American politics on both the left and right was a golem. A man-made living being that had no soul. But, by the end of Carters term in office and potential re-election the “religious right” would rise to life.
When Ronald Regan began his second bid in the Republican primaries he and his advisors identified and targeted Evangelical Christians because they saw a connection between conservative Christianity and conservative politics. Far from the country club Republicans in the North East, Regan saw pro-family, pro-life, small government, personal liberty, and anti-communism as Christian ideas. Regan’s campaign believed that in light of the dismal economy, difficulties in foreign policy and the Middle East, and the still rippling uneasiness of social upheaval in the late 60s and early 70s, the time was right to get conservative Evangelical Christians to connect their faith with their politics. It worked.
But, times have changed again. Liberals have learned to face the giant without fear. Most of all they listened to the father of their movement. “But communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience.” The political left understands that Christianity must be marginalized if it cannot be removed from the public arena. Now, that has worked. Evangelical Christians are demeaned, derided, and drummed out. Now, even the Republican Party has rejected them. Why? Because politicians want to win elections not lead moral revolutions. Politicians are interested in building a private empire and not the kingdom of God.
Eternal truths, religion, and morality are an afterthought and all we are left with in America is the contradiction. Liberal policies have shaped public education in America. This is most evident in the area of character development. Public schools have implemented a variety of programs encouraging kids to respect others. Sadly, kids don’t understand contradictions and social experiments. When we tell them to respect people but deny the inherent value of human life they see the latter and not the former. When we tell them that “no means no,” but treat the powerful with a “boys will be boys” attitude, they will make amoral decisions. Just ask Bill Clinton! And, when the media laments the fact that rapists go to prison and not college, it tells them character is just a word that means the cultural elite haven’t found a way excuse all the evil . . . yet.