America is now well into a “Celebration of Irrationality.”
As I’ve noted earlier, America has lost its moral center. For a few decades now, we’ve discarded the Judeo-Christian values, drawn from the Bible, that guided American culture from its formative colonial period. We tossed aside the values that helped to develop—for all America’s fits and faults and sins—the freest, most prosperous, most aspirational country in history. Our forebears created and bequeathed to us a country, based upon a public morality defined objectively by God, or natural law as some described it, providing citizens with ordered liberty, rule of law, and a fabulous Bill of Rights, a country capable of endless opportunity and growth.
But since the late 1960s, my adult lifetime actually, Americans began rejecting the timeless verities the Founders entrusted to us, replacing these precious ideals with nothing other than moral relativism, which is the very definition of “nothing.”
Now, we have almost nothing left. There’s no longer any “there there,” no philosophic glue holding our culture together. The rationale and values undergirding E pluribus unum, making unum possible, are disappearing, so pluribus is unleashed, undisciplined, and undefined—hence our growing inability to appreciate our heritage or even to define American identity.
If there’s no God or at least no objective, outside-ourselves standard, nothing that provides meaning and direction, nothing that makes order out of chaos, nothing that defines “good” and “evil,” then how do we decide what is right or wrong?
Do we even care what is right and wrong? Surely, we do not when it comes to abortion-on-demand. No longer is abortion to be “safe, legal, rare” but “unlimited.” In abortion there is no right/wrong calculus, just convenience, preference, or a personal situational ethic determined by “might makes right,” which is to say the Mother is mightier than the baby, so she gets to decide what is “right”…for her.
We’ve offloaded not only morality but the inconvenient truth of reason and rationality. In fact, we now culturally believe there is no “truth” other than what we subjectively want to believe. Don’t tell me about truth. I will be my own church, my own religion, my own god, and I will decide what is truth. We live now in a post-truth culture. And if indeed there really is no truth, who cares?
We do what is right in our own eyes, the laws of nature be hanged. Surely, this is the case with respect to “gender fluidity,” a term itself that makes no biological or historical sense, that is patently irrational yet is now one of the new sacred norms of Woke Culture. Laws of nature be hanged. We’ve developed 58 and counting (on Facebook) gender identities. In the UK, Facebook apparently needs 71 gender categories. No matter; we’ll determine our own “sexual orientation” and pursue whatever one we might devise. And this is limitless because no one is allowed or can say, “This is it”—and don’t forget the catch-all category, “Other,” added to cover the new gender identity developed tomorrow. No, we have LGBTQQIAAP or LGBTQ++, the pluses indicating an ad infinitum sexual proclivity run amok.
The US Supreme Court case Bostock vs Clayton County (2020), defined biological sex as understood in the 1964 Civil Rights laws as including sexual orientation and gender identity, and in so doing, unleashed a new wave of social disruption upon American culture. This case will result in confusion, chaos, and more lawsuits. And while Justice Neil Gorsuch’s majority opinion attempted to dampen fears of a clash with religious convictions and liberty, history suggests he is naïve and wrong, for this case has set in motion a collision course between the newly reinforced, legally protected categories, sexual orientation and gender identity, and religious liberty.
If we’ve thrown off moral guidance, reason and rationality defined by God, or even nature, in favor of a brave new world of our own making, then how do we live? There’s no meaning, and since no human being can actually function in this manner—we are after all, not Zombies…at least I don’t think so—we must fill the vacuum with something. Historically, the something that enters the hole in our heart is, inevitably, angst > disillusionment > despair > hopelessness > hate. It is nihilism come alive.
Human beings were created by God to be rational, reasoning, and relational, with God and with others. Nihilism leaves human beings alone, bereft, and adrift. They have no recourse but to hate everything around them including themselves.
Nihilistic behavior is visible in American culture. The Left, where nihilism flourishes (not Liberals, the Left, there’s a difference) is currently on a rampage exercising intolerance in the name of tolerance, silencing in the name of expression, mobocracy in the name of democracy, defaming, defacing, and destruction in the name of respect, violence in the name of peace. Tear down while virtue signaling and shaming anyone who dares to question your aberrant actions.
Meanwhile, irrationally, police departments are attacked and “defunded” as somehow the only source of racial animus in society, a claim that cannot be demonstrated with data. Yes, there is police brutality. Yes, there should be police practice reform. But No, police are not the number one or most threatening force destroying Black culture or taking Black lives—abortion is, along with the broken family, and so are a list of other cultural pathologies.
Mobs—now only ostensibly connected with any real pursuance of racial justice—are presently more influential in some cities than elected leaders. These mobs are using the language of race, civil rights, justice, but they are using the tools of racism, violence, and injustice. Naked force, a kind of newly constituted gang, is ruling what happens in streets and neighborhoods and if you’re a citizen nearby, get out of the way.
Nationwide vandalization of historic monuments have moved way past concerns for racial justice. The latter can’t explain defacement or destruction of Matthias Baldwin’s, an abolitionist, statue in Philadelphia, or the defacement of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment in Boston, an all-Black group of Civil War Union soldiers, or the toppling of General and President U.S. Grant’s statue in California, the man who helped defeat the Confederacy.
Meanwhile, elected political leaders charged with the safety and security of their state, district, or city, incredibly, order police departments to stand down and not protect citizens from larcenous vandals. Why have politicians on both sides of the aisle, who just a couple of months ago willingly dictated unconstitutional behavior restrictions to American citizens to preserve public health, suddenly become so feckless in the face of lawlessness?
Remember, history teaches us mob rule is but a half-step away from tyranny. This is, to say the least, enormously concerning for the future of American democracy.
American culture is off its rails, celebrating irrationality. The question now, is it too late to change? Are we a bridge too far?
For Christians, there is still and always hope, for we know the Lord and we know the end of his-story. We do not, however, work with guarantees regarding American culture, nor its future, and America’s future is imperiled.
Irrationality is the very definition of crisis.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020
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