By Sigrid Weidenweber
My last article addressed our split-society from the view- point of lawyer, seeing that laws, once serving well, are now circumvented or not enforced. Since then, I have looked at the facts with the eye of a religious conservative. Most intriguing was an article in the Wall Street Journal’s Notable & Quotable section. It was a speech given by our Attorney General William Barr at the University of Notre Dame law school on October 11.
Who would have thought that this powerful lawyer would choose to lay the blame on our societal ills on the doorstep of personal responsibility and the demise of religion or better, the supplanting of God by an all-powerful state. He begins and I quote,
“In the past when societies are threatened by moral chaos, the overall costs of licentiousness and irresponsible personal conduct became so high that society ultimately recoils…But today—in the face of all the increasing pathologies—instead of addressing the underlying cause, we have the state in the role of alleviator of bad consequences. We call on the State to mitigate the social costs of personal misconduct and irresponsibility.”
We all know whereof he speaks. Each of us knows examples of people who make, or made, constantly bad choices leading to altercation with the law or alleviation through the medical complex. We know of mothers who allow their underaged daughters free sexual contact with adult males, know of fathers indulging in pot-sessions with their sons, and people, giving up a job sustaining them because they are bored. These are only a few examples of thousands that came to grief, of whom you can read about daily in the local and national press.
Interestingly, William Barr sees in this rise of moral decay and the advance of abdication of personal responsibility, the rise of a new moral system, a system he calls “macro-morality.”
“It is,” he says, “in some ways the inversion of Christian morality. Christianity teaches a micro-morality. We transform the world by focusing on our own personal morality and transformation.”
In the new, the secular model of religion, it matters not if your private conduct is flawed but rather if you commit to collective actions and political causes to address social problems.
Many years ago, we learned through psychological studies that the locus of controlling our lives lies within ourselves. We can only change ourselves, others perhaps by example, never control. No matter how much one wishes to control other people, it is but a wish; because of any action taken by us or society, freely thinking and acting people countermand all and every one of our efforts. It is thus that society pays again and again for the costly admittance and treatment to hospital of a hemorrhaging drunk, using enough blood to keep a few accident victims alive. The traumatic events and dire warnings by the staff will not change his behavior. He will be back again until he finally dies. In the meantime, his behavior, and the cost to the staff, infuriates the treating nurses and doctors, for they have come to loathe their role in a war they cannot win. They are compelled to perform these jobs by the state, when they would opt for commitment of the patient instead of release back into the street. I chose this example, witnessed by me in Oregon, for it most disturbingly makes my point.
Our Attorney General focused on macro intervention by the state, forcing citizens or religious entities to subscribe to practices antithetical to their face. And I quote, “Militant secularists today do not have a live-and-let-live spirit—they are not content to leave religious people alone to practice their faith. Instead they seem to take a delight in compelling people to violate their conscience.”
His examples focus on schools, in New Jersey and California, where parents are forced to keep their children in class during indoctrination with sexual material concerning gender and gender identity.
These are a few of the problems and concerns roiling America. I predict that forcing people to subscribe to a remake of their own belief system and conscience does not bode well for those seeking office.
Related article: Ethics, Morals, Truth and the Constitution (Part I)
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.
Sigrid Weidenweber grew up in communist East Berlin, escaping it using a French passport. Ms. Weidenweber holds a degree in medical technology as well as psychology and has course work in Anthropology. She is co-founder of Aid for Afghans. Weidenweber has traveled the world and lived with Pakistani Muslims, learning about the culture and religion. She is a published author and lecturer. You can find her books on Amazon.com