Sunday, October 30, 2005

Peggy Noonan Provokes Thought

It may have seemed from my last post that I dismiss Ms. Noonan's morose outlook on the future of America and all that is good and decent as overwrought angst unworthy of consideration. Not true. In fact, since reading it yesterday, her piece has stuck with me like bad barbeque--my stomach hurts so much I couldn't ignore it if I wanted to.

Evidently I wasn't the only one distressed by her latest offering. Instapundit thinks she should "cheer up". The Anchoress via Gateway Pundit thinks that there is a "Painless Coup" going on and that the sleeping masses are being shepherded into the gateways of hell by the "elites" and that the answer to all of this is prayer and lots of it.

Prayer definitely is a great place to start, but certainly only a start. The good Samaritan was good because he acted when others ignored and passed by. Hand-wringing rationalization have no place in a Christian's life.

My problem with both Noonan and the Anchoresses fine writings is that they are making the simple complicated. And the problem in America is simple--we are not going down the tubes because of bloated buerocratic policies (Medicare Drug Benefits), plagues (Avian Flu, AIDs), natural disasters, Terrorism, and overwhelmed Presidents. All these things exist, yes, but tough times have always existed (Reveolutionary War, Civil War, WWI, WWII, The Great Depression,etc.)

The problem in America can be simplified to this: The God Gap.

Two philosophical groups inhabit our land and a house thus divided cannot long stand. The first group believes that God-believers founded our country, that the Constitution's framers meant what they said just like God meant what He said when He wrote the Good Book, that families are the foundation of society (husband, wife, kids), that self-reliance means making a living to support yourself and you family, that Freedom must be defended and fought for continually and to take that fight whereever Freedom is imperiled, that Freedom is a God-given right, that power is dangerous and to be viewed with guarded skepticism but can be a force for good, that we will have to answer in the next life for what we do in this life.

The second group believes that the Colonist's zealotry wrongly justified their exploitation of the land and the inhabitants thus undermining their whole mission, that the Constitution like the Bible shouldn't be taken literally--and only simpletons do this, that "good people" are the foundation of society--good meaning anyone trying to be good because we all know no one is really very good so who are you to say one way is better, that not all people have the skills, intelligence or good fortune to rely on themselves so those who are more sophisticated, smarter and fortunate are obligated to take care of the "others", that Freedom really means freedom from condemnation which means freedom from absolutes--I am free to decide what is right or wrong, that power can and should be cultivated and used as a force for "good"--government in it's perfect incarnation can be the father, the mother, the benign loving force that our parents never were, that if we screw up this life, we'll have an opportunity to do better next time. And God, the Universe, she is everywhere all the time and loving if only we could tune in and let go of our restrictive past.

With all this, you'd think we'd have another Civil War right now, but we don't. Between these poles we have people who float back and forth. Many more people simply don't pay attention and show up and vote on election day for who their family member or friend or the TV says they should vote for.

On the other hand, people haven't been so motivated and involved in a long time. When Bush put up a milk-toast nomination for the Supreme Court, his voters pushed back. When his underlying message was, "trust me", I paused and so did a lot of other people. Let the Germans trust, let the Maoists trust, let Communists trust, but please don't ask me to trust you just because you are privy to some super-secret information.

When the Supreme Court decided that it was okay for developers to take Mr. Average Joe's house to put up super condos and this was decided by Liberal justices supposedly championing the rights of the "common man", more people sat up. The implications of this law, the implications of a few dudes in black robes changing so many lives with one ELITE sweep--breathtaking.

When the MSM embodied by Dan Rather "reported", a little too gleefully I might add, "new facts" regarding a presidential candidate's past and was found to be knowingly or unknowinly duped by a partisan hack, people took note. Some people participated in the unmasking of the fraud by this little thing called webblogging on a very free Internet.

Howard Dean and his Deaniacs, helped to transform grassroots efforts also via the Internet. Passionate young people came to the fore.

Meanwhile, the MSM and cultural elites in Hollywood, along with the Good Old Boys and Gals in the hallowed halls of government and justice push back after taking some time to scratch their colletive pointy head disbelieving. How dare they? Who do they think they are? Well, time will tell what kind of people "they" are.

Ultimately, because of the God Gap, it really comes down to what exactly a person views as immoral.

One group views killing animals as immoral. The other views killing unborn children as immoral.
One group views a burdened woman while the guy goes off scott-free immoral. The other views sex outside of marriage immoral.
One group views fossel fuel use immoral. The other views drug use immoral.
And on and on it goes.

But under this, is a foundational belief. One group views The Bible to be God's written word and that Christianity and the Freedom that America embodied as a Christian country with God-given rights to be the best protection to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The other group believes that only a Simpleton puts his faith in a God who may or may not exist and that the moral authority to freedom comes from the Individual, not God. Liberty rests in men and women fighting for their rights and those rights are defined by the individual. Men, in their essence, can come together for the common good and through this coming together benefit all.

In this secular world, which philosophy sounds more fun? Which philosophy gets reinforced daily by our popular media? Which philosophy seems more expansive and inclusive?

When wrapped up in working, taking care of kids, paying bills, etc. the underlying messages of most media we take in while unwinding in front of the tube and at the movies don't always cross the radar screen. In fact, most God-fearing Americans, those mindless-dimwits the Elites love to dismiss, possess a live and let live attitude.

Most God-fearers have friends or family who they love who are gay. Most God-fearers also believe that being a good steward of the environment is important--they just may believe that the path to conservation comes through individual rather than governmental ownership. Most God-fearers find animal cruelty horrible. Most God-fearers give very generously when tragedy strikes.

Why? The popular idea is that a God-fearing individual is a mindless robot programmed for world-destruction through domination. Again, a Christian can have a nuanced view because Christianity allows for it:

Hate the sin, love the sinner. Dress and keep the earth. Show love to the least of these. Jesus, Himself, is dressed and fed when those in need are dressed and fed.

Christianity allows for diversity of thought because a fundamental belief is that each person must answer to his Creator. It is not for one person to condemn another--but that doesn't mean that there is no sin.

America is rich beyond measure. Who gets credit for that? God or ingenuity (the common man)?

America helped plant Democracy around the globe. Why? Benevolent belief that God endows freedom or selfish colonialism (though we have no colonies)?

America is flawed. Why? Because people are flawed or the system is flawed?

Do we really want a secular, individual as god, state as savior, society? Do we really want society where the only agreement we have is that we all have equally valid opinions?

Where are we on the slippery slope? Ms. Noonan believes the Elites have given up and the train is careening off the tracks. I disagree. The Elites are fighting tooth and nail to grab the controls and wrest it from the common person who puts God above man. The Elites believe the future depends on Man--really important men, like them.

I don't see apathy when I see Senators bloviating, I see antipathy. I don't see apathy when I see that Hollywood puts out a T.V. show where "America is ready for a woman President" (which, by the way, we are, but must it be the Annointed--Hilary?), I see contempt. I don't see apathy when I see the NYT refusing to write a correction or retraction, I see arrogance.

Antipathy, contempt and arrogance require huge sums of energy--energy spent propping up and protecting power. Far from giving up, the Elites fight as if conceding that a Higher Power than them exists, means the destruction of civilization. In fact, for them it does--a civilized man is of a different and better class, a chosen class. Elite.

If America is going off-track, it is because it is being driven there willfully and with purpose. The path, as it always is, is the path of least resistence--also known as "good intentions." The drivers intend to end up in a man-made haven called Utopia where their rules reign supreme and everyone is equal.

If the Elites believed in Hell, that's where they'd end up--if they succeed. The jury is still out.
More blogs about the woodlands rita.