How Ironic is it that the move to more and more control of our lives and freedoms doesn't come from the the bogieman of the "right" but from the "progressive" and "liberal" voices of the left. It's not ironic at all if you know your history.
Wake up America.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Government, Yes! God and Parents, No!
One of the major differences between the right and the left concerns the question of authority: To whom do we owe obedience and who is the ultim
ate moral authority?
For the right, the primary moral authority is God (or, for secular conserv
atives, Judeo-Christian values), followed by parents. Of course, government must also play a role, but it is ultim ately accountable to God and it should do nothing to undermine parental authority.
For the left, the st
ate and its government are the supreme authorities, while parental and divine authority are seen as impediments to st ate authority.
Let's begin with God.
From Karl Marx -- "man is God;" "religion is the opi
ate of the people" -- to today's left in and elsewhere, God and God-based religion, specifically Judaism and Christianity (Islam, too, but in the West, Islam has played little role) have been the primary obstacles to leftist victory. America
atis why the further left a government or an ideology, the more it has opposed religion. The first targets of Lenin and Stalin were churches, synagogues and clergy. At the modern Western university, the epicenter of leftist ideology, the same has held true. A clear, if unst ated, goal of modern liberal arts educ ation is th atas few college gradu ates as possible hold values rooted in traditional Judaism or Christianity.
This also explains the left's passion about maintaining and furthering secularism -- under the banner of "separ
ation of church and st ate." Anything -- any value, any idea, any person -- rooted in Judeo-Christian values must be confined to as narrow a place in society as possible.
atis largely why there is such intense leftist opposition to the pro-life position. Since most opposition to abortion (when the mother's life is not thre atened) eman ates from religious values, "pro-life" means th attranscendent values are authorit ative, not a woman's wishes.
It is the major reason for left-wing lo
athing of those who oppose embryonic stem cell research: Th atopposition usually eman ates from religious sources and therefore places Judeo-Christian values higher than science's capabilities.
It explains leftist opposition to even mentioning God in public schools -- students must gradu
ate as secular as possible.
It is not secularism th
atanim ates those positions; it is leftism.
One proof is th
atthere are many secular people who are not on the left. Prominent examples include Wall Street Journal editorial and opinion page writers and the Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer.
Take, for example, Krauthammer's position on embryonic stem cell research. Though Krauthammer is secular, he opposed cre
ating human embryos for the sake of stem cell research -- a position all the more noteworthy in light of his own paralysis as a result of a spinal cord injury incurred as a young man.
Another proof th
atit is leftism, not secularism, th atanim ates the left's attacks on Judeo-Christian public expressions and influence on public policy is th atwhen left-wing positions are enunci ated by religious spokesmen, the left supports them. Clergy th atare anti-war, "green" or for same-sex marriage, for example, are celebr ated by the left.
Many left-wing Jews and Christians believe in God. But the God th
atmost leftists believe in is the same in name, not in characteristics. The God left-wing believers affirm is largely a non-judging God, a loving friend in heaven (or increasingly likely, in n ature). He is found in trees much more than in moral demands.
The second most powerful obstacle to the st
ate and government assuming primary authority is parents.
It was no meaningless phrase when baby boomers on the left declared, "Never trust anyone over 30." Who was over 30? First and foremost, their parents.
As with religion, the further left the st
ate or ideology, the more it seeks to undermine parental authority. In the Soviet Union, Komsomol, the Soviet Youth League substituted for parents. Mao, too, did wh athe could to destroy the family's authority. Although no way comparable to Stalin or Mao, the American and European left also seek to undermine parental authority.
attle over parental notific ation in the case of abortion is primarily about parental authority.
attle over sex educ ation in schools is largely about th at, too -- who gets to teach youth about sexuality and homosexuality? Parents or schools (i.e., the st ate)?
attle over school vouchers is in large measure also a b attle over governmental authority versus parental authority. Who gets to choose where one's child attends school -- the st ate or the parent? The b attle over who gets to actually educ ate our children has already been lost to the st ate in the vast majority of cases. It is why the left is so uncomfortable with home schooling -- parents, not the st ate, get to teach children.
As the l
ate James O. Freedman, former president of , said in a commencement address in 2002, the purpose of a college educ Dartmouth University ation is "to question your f ather's values."
Just as the left has substituted the authority of the st
ate for the authority of God, it has substituted the authority of the st ate for th atof parents. And just as God has been reduced to a non-judging, non-disciplining pal, so, too, the left wants parents to become non-judging, non-disciplining pals of their children.
In a nutshell, the left wants to have ever-expanding authority over people's lives through ever-expanding governmental powers. It does so because it regards itself as more enlightened than others. Others are either enemies (the right) or unenlightened masses. It is elected by demonizing its enemies and doling out money and jobs to the masses.
About The Author
Dennis Prager is a radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of 4 books including Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual.