Carol Platt Liebau: A Troubling Dichotomy

Sunday, October 23, 2005

A Troubling Dichotomy

Michael Barone write about the growing gap between "transnational elites" and the "patriotic public" -- a gap that's growing wider by the day. Perhaps his most important point comes near the end:

"A nation's morale and strength derive from a sense of the past," argues historian Wilfred McClay. Ties to those who came before--whether in the military, in religion, in general patriotism--provide a sense of purpose rooted in history and tested over time. Secular transnational elites are on their own, without a useful tradition, in constructing a morality to help them perform their duties.

The key word there is "secular" -- for the "transational elites" most hostile to America are almost invariably aggressively non- or even anti-religious. But the important point about permitting some recognition of religion in public life is this: Everyone (and every society) has to derive a moral code from something, somewhere. If the moral code isn't derived from a religious tradition, from where is it to come? Is the measuring stick simply to be what "feels right" or what "seems good" to us, today? It seems pretty arrogant to assume that our own individual "moral compasses" can supersede received religious wisdom of the ages. But increasingly, that's what the "transnational elites" seem to be arguing -- to our individual and collective detriment.

2 Comments:

Blogger stackja1945 said...

A false god, a golden calf, created and worshipped does not make it the true God, no matter how many elite worship the false god. What was right is still right, what was wrong is still wrong and always will be wrong.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Draino said...

You don't have to have "ties to religious tradition" to be moral. This line of argument implies that people who aren't religious are inherently immoral - an absolutely preposterous notion. Conversely, anyone with an actual understanding of history that is uncolored by his or her own religious beliefs, would know that some of the most evil people in history were devotely religious. (I could tick off the crimes of dozens of Popes but google a few for yourselves). Your arguement is full of largely disprovable stereotypes and unconvincing generalizations.

Additionally and with all the due respect that individual religious beliefs deserve, religion has been used by government for eons to repress and control an "unruly" populous. It is not religion in and of itself that your "godless liberals" have a problem with Carol. It is religion perverted in the hands of unscrupulous governments to repress liberties and control dissent that is understandbly worrisome because of its long and unpleasant track record. This age old tool of tyrants is once again rearing its ugly head. Separation of church and state is not just a bunch of words. We are increasingly witnessing the reason it is in the first amendment and not the 10th or the 20th. The founding fathers were justifiably worried about this issue because they too had witnessed and experienced the corruption of religion by governments in their own lives.

6:49 AM  

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