Monday, December 10, 2012

Culture Wars, Part I--Where We First Went Wrong

In the ongoing culture wars, conservatives continue to be routed by liberals.  The recent election proves this, where a slim majority reelected a man--Barack Obama--who has made negative net progress on the economy in the past four years over a man--Mitt Romney--who has rebuilt numerous now-successful businesses.  Now, we could argue a great deal about who on the Right is to blame for this specific failure, but the truth is that it is all of us.  We have ceded the entire war on culture and values in the name of political correctness.  To be sure, other elements are in play--which I hope to discuss later--but we have failed the Founding Fathers.

We have allowed separation of church and state to be twisted to mean virtual banishment of religion, especially Christianity, from the public sphere.  We have failed to inculcate entire generations with mores and norms that were a given for centuries in Western Civilization.  How many children or young adults can describe the framework or the meanings of even a fraction of Aesop's fables?  Would they see the ant as a horrible villain and the grasshopper as oppressed, or would they even understand that so much of the current culture encourages them to become grasshoppers?  Would they jeer the mouse for removing the thorn from the lion's paw?  What about other former cultural touchstones?  Would they understand Hansel and Gretel is an object lesson on poor planning and disobeying one's parents, or would they decry the violence of the story as too toxic for children?  Would they understand the parable of the prodigal son as the love of a father (and God) for his child, or see it as a template for endless largess for the wealthy to the poor, even if one is poor after having squandered his own wealth so foolishly?
This is the first post in a series on this topic.  Next will be Culture Wars, Part II--Schools and Socialism.

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