Since American culture is a variant of the cultures of all Western industrialized democracies, it may even, inadvertently, be a book about Western decline. In the United States, at least, that decline and the mounting resistance to it have produced what we now call a culture war. It is impossible to say what the outcome will be, but for the moment our trajectory continues downward. This is not to deny that much in our culture remains healthy, that many families are intact and continue to raise children with strong moral values.
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As Mrs. One of the paragraphs that resonated most when I read it when the book was first published talked about what religion was already looking like in America: something acceptable only if it is compartmentalized, done on your Sabbath — on your own time — but not to invade your work, your civic life, and certainly not law.
Unless, that is, your religion is liberal secularism. Judge Bork wrote: The fear of religion in the public arena is all too typical of Americans, and particularly the intellectual class, today. In that they are no different from any other group of people with ideas of what morality requires. In Slouching toward Gomorrah, Judge Bork wrote: Only religion can accomplish for a modern society what tradition, reason, and empirical observation cannot. Christianity and Judaism provide the major premises of moral reasoning by revelation and by the stories in the Bible.
There is no need to attempt the impossible task of reasoning your way to first principles. Those principles are accepted as given by God. Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement During the Obama administration, there have been unprecedented encroachments on religious liberty in the United States.
As Bork put it: Philosophers cannot agree on the proper end of man and hence cannot supply the necessary premises. Religion is by its nature authoritative and final as to first principles. It must be so or it would be valueless. Those principles are given on a stone tablet, either literally or figuratively, and, so long as you believe the religion, there is simply no possibility of arguing with what is on the tablet.
Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline
Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The Second Coming (poem)