Attacks on Judeo-Christianity are Attacks on Western Civilization, by Laura Hollis
The United States of America is one of the most recent additions to what is loosely called “Western civilization,” yet our nation has manifested some of the West’s greatest contributions to human society. As such, the cultural, political and social battles taking place here are compelling evidence of the current war against the values of Western civilization more broadly.
Those who would dismantle it have many forms of attack: they reject the contributions Western civilization has made to the overall health and prosperity of humanity and focus only on its shortcomings; they denigrate thinkers and political figures whose lives and careers have contributed much to the evolution of the West, calling them “racists”, “bigots” and just “dead white men”; simultaneously, they ignore the dark and brutal histories of other cultures and pretend that all cultures are equally capable of fostering human flourishing.
Among the most persistent and insidious attacks are those against the Judeo-Christian heritage inseparable from the advances of the West, including its art, architecture, commerce, music and education, as well as its political philosophies, economic and social.
In the United States in particular, many of our most basic rights and principles have their roots in the tenets of Judeo-Christianity. The Declaration of Independence unequivocally states that human beings have inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness given to us by God, not by government. And yet, increasingly, our most prominent political leaders reject this outright.
In 2006, then-US Senator Barack Obama said in a speech, “Whatever we were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of non-believers.” And again in Turkey, in 2009, President Obama said: “Although…we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.
Beyond the arrogance of deigning to talk about how an entire country sees itself, it was dangerous and confusing gibberish. It’s one thing to be justly proud of the fact that Buddhists live in America, just like Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, atheists and countless others. It is quite another to suggest that the principles upon which the nation was founded are also Hindu or Muslim or Buddhist or Sikh or Atheist.
They are not.
It is not only in the founding documents that we find the truth, but in the writings of the Founders themselves.
In his inaugural address, our first President, George Washington, said: “We must be no less persuaded that the auspicious smiles of heaven can never be expected from a nation which disregards the eternal rules of order and of the law which heaven itself has ordained.”
The country’s second president, John Adams, wrote often and passionately about the principles that formed the basis of the founding of the United States. In an 1813 letter to Thomas Jefferson, Adams reminded Jefferson that the armies of the American Revolution consisted of “handsome young men” who were “Roman Catholics, English Episcopalians, Scottish and American Presbyterians, Methodists, Moravians, Anabaptists, German Lutherans, German Calvinists”. , Universalists” and others who, despite their doctrinal differences, were “nevertheless all instructed in the general principles of Christianity and the general principles of English and American liberty”.
Adams continued, “I believed then and believe now that these general principles of Christianity are as eternal and unchangeable as the existence and attributes of God: and that these principles of freedom are as unalterable as human nature.” Adams further credits these principles with the advancements in the arts, sciences, technological achievements, and consequent prosperity that mankind has witnessed “during the past three or four centuries.”
Abolitionists like William Wilberforce, William Wilson, Evan Lewis and Angelina Grimke argued forcefully for the end of slavery using the Old and New Testaments of the Bible as support. In his ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’, civil rights icon Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote: ‘A just law is a man-made code which corresponds to the moral law or law of God. An unjust law is a code that is at odds with the moral law.” King even quotes the Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas.
The warriors against the West find their task greatly facilitated by the large number of Jews and Christians who believe that the tenets of their faith require to accompany the systematic dismantling of Western society in the name of “compassion”, “tolerance”, “cultural sensitivity”, etc.
But if the relentless laymen succeed, what remains will be utterly inhospitable to the faithful. Those who seek to dissolve the foundations of Western civilization will replace it with raw power that they and they alone will wield, without moderation and without attenuation by reason or the rights our founders expressly declared to derive from God.
Those who wish to preserve the best of Western civilization must understand that it will not exist without the Judeo-Christian principles which are its backbone. The eternal principles referenced by John Adams and Martin Luther King can never be destroyed. But nations that allow themselves to be led away from these eternal principles most certainly can.
To learn more about Laura Hollis and read articles by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: DWilliam on Pixabay