Tag Archives: family

The State now coerces Religion in America: the Culture War intensifies

Since the very beginning of the American republic the founders of the United States insisted on a short series of amendments to that nation’s constitution in order to protect critical areas of personal liberty and freedom from being infringed or stepped on by the power of their newly created federal state.

In particular, the First Amendment to the Constitution forbids the U.S. Congress to prohibit the free exercise of religion. The Constitution also forbids the establishment of an official State church, as was and continues to be the case in many European nations.

The reasons for the enactment of the First Amendment had a lot to do with the historical reasons many people hazarded their lives in the struggle to create new homes and communities in the original 13 colonies of British North America in the first place. People wanted to escape State coercion in all matters of the conscience and its peaceful expression in religious matters. They wanted to be able to live their lives without Big Brother, the State, telling them what they had to do religiously.

There was a certain tension at that stage of development in the history of Western Civilization as the Founders of the United States  tried to balance what Conrad Black called “Faith” and “Reason” in his recent excellent National Post column on this subject:

The central struggle, in France [during its Revolution] and in most of the West, was over the role of the state, and more generally, over the cohabitation in Western civilization of the forces of Faith and the forces of, broadly speaking, Reason (http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/08/03/conrad-black-church-state-and-barack-obama/ accessed Aug. 3, 2012).

This balanced point of view was, for the most part, embraced by Americans and other modern democracies until the Rise of the Faith of Militant Secularism, beginning in the 1960s. Now, many zealous secularists not only want any reference to the Bible’s God removed from public sphere, including state and community institutions like schools, but they also want to coerce private businesses and religious institutions who still have a worldview informed by the Divine Narrative rather than by the new Secular Narrative of political correctness.

It is not enough now to just “live and let live” or “you do your thing while I do my thing.” Now the secularist zealots want to force the religiously minded to knuckle under, accept, and conform to their flavour-of-the-day, politically correct dogmas—especially on anything touching sex and the family.

The militant secularists are, in essence, seeking to establish a new coercive State Church of Materialism that will require everyone to bow down before their idolatrous altar of Political Correctness while they teach humanity to worship themselves as the only true gods who can decide what is good and evil.

As Conrad Black put it in his column “Church, State, and Barak Obama,”

The Enlightenment, the coruscation of the Age of Reason, implied that the whole concepts of divinity and of spirituality were, to say the least, questionable, and that each day, as the march of empirical knowledge progressed, the plenitude of knowledge was being approached. While God was a dodgy concept, man might be perfectible (man as God), and, though a heavenly paradise was a superstitious or wishful confection, an earthly paradise might be attainable by the implementation of a political program.

The religiously minded, of course, are resisting this political program in usually peaceful ways at present. This conflict is sometimes labeled, the “Culture Wars.”

Evidence to back up this assertion? In the United States consider the struggle by the U.S. Catholic church and other churches to resist the Obama administration’s mandatory health insurance policies that demand religious institutions—not withstanding their long-standing moral opposition to these types of  birth control procedures and abortion-inducing drugs— to offer and pay for such “benefits” for their employees.

Or consider the secularists outrage when Chick-fil-A restaurant chain president Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press in July that the company was “guilty as charged” for backing “the biblical definition of a family.” Secular rights activists and others called for a boycott and put pressure on some municipal politicians to not approve new Chick-fil-A outlets in their cities.

What started as a strident demand by the militant secularist for “their rights” has now shifted to an unrelenting demand by them that the religiously minded submit and conform to their idolatrous assertion that they have the right to determine both good and evil and that we must all think, speak, and behave as they dictate. It is reminiscent of the old line that an erudite and cagey adversary of the God of Creation spoke to our first ancestors.

Now the snake was more able to fool others than any animal of the field, which the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say that you should not eat from any tree in the garden?” 2 Then the woman said to the snake, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden. 3 But from the tree which is in the center of the garden, God has said, ‘Do not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You shall not surely die. 5 For God knows that on the day you both eat from it, then your eyes will be opened and you both shall be like gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:1-5; vv. 1-3 New Life Version, vv. 4-5 Lexham English Bible).

The freedom of conscience to live according to the Divine Narrative in America and the rest of the Western democracies is under attack by those who would fool us into believing that they are our gods who have the right to tell us what is right or wrong. Don’t fall for it.

Family, Finance, and the Future

Presently we see the once prosperous Western world of 2011 drowning in red ink. Various European Union countries, and the United States of America are wrestling with the financial issues coming from too much sovereign debt and not enough taxes from their populations to pay for it. The news is full of controversy about the right policies to pursue to deal with this potentially catastrophic problem. As The Economist magazine likes to point out,

“for most of human history economic power has been determined by demography” (A Game of Catch-up, 09/20/2011).

Without the slightest bit of doubt, for developed nations like the United States, the European Union, Japan, and even Canada, financial, red ink problems will get much worse in the years immediately ahead as the Post World War II baby-boom generation shifts from paying taxes to the state and instead starts receiving old-age pension cheques from these same governments.

A similar problem, though with some different twists, will also start to hit China at about the same time due to their “4-2-1” social experiment over the last few decades—otherwise known as the one-child policy.

The practical effect of restricting Chinese families to having just one child means that eventually four elderly grandparents and two retirement-age parents will have to rely financially on the support that can be provided by just one child.

The Chinese government is not stupid. They avoided creating a pension black hole–otherwise known as a taxpayer-funded social security scheme—by requiring Chinese families to continue their age old tradition of looking after each other and providing for their own welfare rather than relying on the government. Consequently, strong traditional family structures are the norm in China, having as its basic characteristic the lifelong marital union between a man and a woman.

But the Western developed nations like the United States and Canada have prized individualism—rugged or otherwise—above all traditional family values. Since the 1970s we, too, like the Chinese have engaged in our own profound social experiment, which is sometime referred to as the sexual revolution. In effect the West’s collective historic societal/ moral perspective morphed from the old-fashioned values encapsulated in the motto “In God We Trust” into the post-modern, non-judgmental anthem “Do Your Own Thing” and its corollary “In Our Governments We Trust to Bail Us Out of Our Folly.”

And what has been the end result of the Western World’s social experiment with family morals and social ethics? How about national bankruptcy! Curiously, the Social Trends Institute, a liberal think-tank based in New York and Barcelona, came to the conclusion that the only way to save the Welfare State model with its generous retirement pensions and its multitude of government-funded programs as embraced by the Western developed world is to return to the traditional family structure that has as its base a married mom and dad with their kids. They’re talking about us going retro. You know, like the 1950s-60s American sit-coms “Leave it to Beaver” or “Father Knows Best.”

Entitled “The Sustainable Demographic Dividend,” the Social Trends Institutes makes these poignant observations:

“The wealth of nations is inextricably associated with the health of families… The global retreat from marriage and from family has depressed economic growth and has deeply hurt two generations of children.”

“Evidence drawn from Europe and North America indicates that children who are raised in an intact married home are more likely to excel in school and be active in the labour force as young adults.”

“An abundant social-science literature, as well as common sense, supports the claim that children are more likely to flourish, and to become productive adults, when they are raised in stable, married-couple households.”

“American children who are raised outside an ‘intact married home’ are two to three times more likely to suffer serious social and psychological problems.”

The report then cites the calculations made by Penn State University sociologist Paul Amato that IF America enjoyed a “My Three Sons” level of family stability then:

1. “The nation would have 750,000 fewer children repeating grades.”
2. “1.2 million fewer school suspensions.”
3. “Approximately 500,000 fewer acts of teenage delinquency”
4. About “600,000 fewer kids receiving therapy”
5. Roughly “70,000 fewer suicide attempts every year.”

Next, “The Sustainable Demographic Dividend” mentions the work by four Swedish researchers who discovered that Swedish children living in single parent homes were 50% more likely to be addicted to drugs and alcohol. And they said:

“It is not just the quantity of children that is in decline. It’s the quality of their lives.”

The Western developed world can’t pay its bills because it has been severely reducing the number of its children! The Social Trends Institutes estimates that the developed world is missing at least 60 million children! (All quotes from Neil Reynolds, “Family breakdown is one cause of our economic woes,” The Globe and Mail, Oct. 3. 2011.)

The loss of 60 million lives is probably a low estimate. For the United States alone, from 1970 to 2007 there were 48,106,910 abortions. According to AbortioninCanada.ca there have been about 3 million abortions in Canada since 1969. In just the USA and Canada that makes for 51 million fewer children.
Of course, you have to compound that figure to estimate the true loss of human capital since an aborted baby will never have any children of its own.

Just think of it, President Obama. If just half of the 48 million aborted American babies had lived, then those people should now be in their prime working years. If they would be paying annual social security and other taxes in an average amount of just $3,000 each that would have meant an extra $72 BILLION into the U.S. Treasury. Also, if those aborted children had lived and had generated just an extra $10,000 per year of productivity to the USA economy it would have added an extra $240 BILLION to the gross domestic product. But if that figure was an extra $40,000 per year that would have added almost $1 Trillion of extra economic activity on a yearly basis.

But no, America embraced the “do your own thing” philosophy and devoured over 48 million of its own young because it was just too inconvenient for its immoral parental refusniks.

Do the math. Why are so many of the nations of the Western developed world now staring bankruptcy in the face? Sure budgetary irresponsibility plays a role. But how much of our problem rightly belongs to our stubborn rebellion against our Creator and His moral logic that governs our Universe, including human affairs?

Our whole world’s economic system is wobbling. The potential for its actual collapse is strong. For two generations we have thought we can do our own thing while we turn our collective backs on God’s morals and ethics. We are now beginning to really pay the price. We have destroyed our future economic prosperity through immoral selfishness, lust, and pride. Even a liberal think-tank can see the facts. We would do well to take seriously this warning from one of God’s prophets and change our ways and turn to the knowledge that the Judeo-Christian scriptures teach about what is right and what is wrong as the basis for our social policies while there is yet time.

The LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns and all who dwell in it languish… My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children (Hosea 4:1-3, 6 English Standard Version).