I studied economics and English in my undergraduate degree, and for good reason: economics is often complicated enough to require an English degree for explanation. Nevertheless, one of the illustrations my English teachers used to teach was the contradiction of the noble savage. That was, of course, a very clear example of an oxymoron. An oxymoron is a noun that, according to the dictionary is “a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction.” The reason the above example worked so well is that one cannot be simultaneously noble and a raging savage; therefore, it is a self-contradicting phrase. The same may be said of the phrase “secular republic,” for one has never existed nor ever shall.
Virtually all Americans, conservatives and liberals alike, can agree that keeping the government from establishing a state religion is a darn good thing. Experimentations in totalitarianism by the likes of England’s King Henry VIII (who started his own church in protest of divorce laws in the Catholic Church), and the coercions of other state-run churches, have fully debunked the notion that church and state ought to share administrations. Nevertheless, free societies, while not thriving under state-run religions, don’t exist in value vacuums either. There must be a balance between the establishment of religion and the establishment of secularism.
In our Nation today, there’s an all-out war on the traditional Judeo-Christian Values that serve as the foundation for our freedoms and free market system. We’ve bought the lie of moral relativism, erroneously believing that we may all have our way and everyone will be happy. This is a patent falsehood. Our Nation must have a shared set of values, or it will descend into such cultural chaos that we will share a continent but not a country. This great experiment in self-government requires that we, the people, govern ourselves. If we are to govern ourselves, we must use an objective standard as opposed to our self-constructed views of right and wrong. If we leave it up to each individual to create his or her own moral system, then the idea of “equal justice under the law” will be a thing of the past and tyranny will reign in our time.
Rebuilding America will begin at home. It will begin with moms and dads teaching their children and grandchildren the values that made America. These values are steeped in the Judeo-Christian convictions of our founders and include delayed gratification, concern for others and love of country. If we fail to teach these principles to the next generation, then freedom in America will die with us. Abraham Lincoln once stated that “the philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” My friends, if we don’t start reclaiming the cultural high ground in our schools, and in the mind of the next generations, then the philosophy of government in the next twenty years will set the stage for serfdom for our kids and grandkids.
Let’s get to rebuilding, beginning in 2012.