I am more concerned about my country than ever.
The Passivity Crisis
Passivity comes today wrapped in the mantle of tolerance. Our young report in surveys their optimism for the future, though they are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed than previous generation. They accept alternative life styles easily, as they have been raised on the question, "Who am I to judge?" This servies as a substitute for rational thought.
Most serious, even, is their belief the central government must do more for them. A bankrupt central government in a highly dependent public is the stuff of violent revolutions. Ask the Greeks now. In a month, ask the Spanish or the Portugese.
Values, what we would have called morals or ethics in the near past, is now almost the complete province of a values class. Here is one indication. The last Protestant Supreme Court judge is set to retire. This will leave the US Supreme Court made up of Roman Catholics and Jews. Republicans appoint comservative Roman Catholics. Democrats, who, in the White House tend to be baptist (Carter, Clinton and Obama, the last three Democratic presidents, along with a Vice President, Gore) appoint more liberal Jews.
The values of the Great American middle class(es), mostly Protestant or Free Church, still hold sway in general elections, for now, but not in the judgeships, where Republicans need conservative Catholics to hold the line on abortion rights, immigration and law/order issues (mandatory sentencing for drug offenders, capital punishment, crimininilization of same sex unions, easier regulation on polluters and those who skirt the law to amass wealth). Democrats appoint judges who, they hope, will find privacy issues in every possible place, as privacy has become the modern euphemism for individual rights.
Left unsaid in the appointment of reliable, doctrinaire judges, of one stripe or another, is the apparent assumption that Protestant and Free Church Christians are much like the irreligious; they lack reliable moral voting) determinants. Are leaders telling Protestant/Free Church/Irreligious we are too independent in our thinking, which might be a good thing, or are they just telling us we seem to be, well, flaky?
What happens to a culture when it must turn for its values thinking to a particular values class? I don't know, and neither do you, but it seems to me, if values/morals/ethics are the domain of a particular class of arbiters, the rest of us are left with a certain elastic dependency on the mores of that values class. This may not be good.
Racial Victimization thinking leads to a sense of entitlement that does not necessarily augment assimilation. America is hard to govern quite because it is not racially/religiously homogenuous.
America has worked so far because previous massive waves of immmigration have been Americanized. Noble, generous, liberal American thinking operated so powerfully that the various Americas (Italian-American, Irish-American, et al) became Americanized on both sides of the hyphen. Religious immigrants came here for freedom of religion, not freedom of religion, but learned to practice the same freedom for others one sees embodied in American governing documents. The new religious immigrants seem determined not to Americanize. In fact, though they come to America, they seem more convinced that America must be changed to fit their religious views and that violence against the infidel is an acceptable means of change.
So, I am more concerned about America than I have been in my life.
Opinions expressed here are mine alone. They do not reflect the opinions of the church I serve, not of any other person or organization.