by Sandy Stringfellow
One turn of phrase bandied about frequently today is “none of my business” — a common libertarian expression often employed by libertarians and liberals alike as a shotgun strategy to avoid a plethora of unpleasant or worse – extremely uncomfortable – social and moral issues upon the public table; issues begging responsible adult scrutiny.
I respectfully submit it is some of “their” business – and the business of everyone with a conscious – to personally evaluate human behavior past and present, since history has repeatedly proven its worth in holding the answers to critically important questions relating to our personal happiness as well as the future of our constitutional republic.
Philosophically and theologically, a world of difference exists between judging the “deed” as opposed to judging the “person” in matters of legal, moral, or ethical behavior. Judicial systems – in theory – hold criminals accountable for their crimes, but their judgment is based upon the rule of law as opposed to the spiritual fate of the criminal. Would faith-based historical scholars on human morality and spirituality not agree ultimately that only God may pronounce His final judgment on the intangible ethereal value and fate of our theoretical “person” in question?
Yet would it not be considered culturally self-defeating – even culturally suicidal – if we became afraid to look closely at societal behavior through a traditional lens by allowing social intimidation to silence us or cause acceptance of significant behavioral deviancy; to thus fail in personally judging individual deeds and place them into proper and meaningful moral contexts compared with all known teachings of morality throughout history based on experience?
For a Moral and Religious People
John Adams, a signatory to the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and our second President, once issued a warning to his countrymen during a speech to the officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts on October 11, in 1798:
“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion…Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Human actions throughout history have been the primary basis for comparative evaluation when measuring our own individual morality and the overall morality – or lack thereof – within any civil society. Ideals, values, and principles with which America has been meticulously stitched together in traditional manner are the very same threads straining to cinch the woven fabric of civil society as it simultaneously suffers unraveling by neglect born of distraction from a surreptitious behavioral conditioning; all but entrenched and pervasive within our Western social structure.
Without morality, civil society is incapable of lasting existence; acceptable moral standards – in our society, those of Judea-Christian origins – provide a framework for the rule of law, especially in a society built around unprecedented personal liberty. This is where conservatives and libertarians part company; while both may agree on free markets and limited government, conservatives are more than apprehensive about adopting the premise that personal liberty equals personal license: conservatives well know from history that impact of personal behavior must be measured against what serves the best interests of civil society overall.
Thus the refrain of conservative questions for libertarians: if government tacitly approves of prostitution because a county, state, or federal government writes a statute for the purposes of generating revenue through taxation, is this not another step along the slippery slope of cultural decay by promoting lack of both personal and civic morality?
How does government making it easier to “ply the trade” – while increasing temptation to do so – and thus facilitate the inevitable demand for these “services” through legalization help civil society overall if it’s known as historical fact a society requires morality to sustain itself? Is this not an inverse example of government over-reach, of corrupting public virtue by encouraging destructive behavior, whether that behavior is classified as amoral or immoral?
Can we not agree, based on provable history, one may not reasonably extract morality from the prostitution equation, and that such behavior may not reasonably be classified as moral; and who would disagree that personal morality is the cornerstone for building a civil society capable of withstanding relentless downward pull and the tests of time?
Our Western Civil Society Today
The overall condition of Western civil society today is largely the product of its’ having been under sustained attack from within by those seeking to collapse it entirely – by Progressive Marxists historically, and Islamo-fascists of late – through what’s become known as a “culture war” against the West; a long march through our institutions in order to re-program our perceptions of acceptable moral behavior; a realigning of personal values and priorities in our lives; a jettisoning of our traditional conservative ideals, values, and principles upon which our country has been Founded.
One of Sun Tzu’s admonitions from The Art of War applies more than ever: “All war is based on deception.”
It should be obvious by now we – as Americans – are fighting an internal conflict, and are being deceived on many levels: through institutional education, from government bureaucracies, administrators, and politicians, by the field of “science,” crony financial markets, and via politically duplicitous mainstream media reporters and publishers. Even our United States military and many of our churches – the bulwark of faith-based morality – have fallen prey to forms of “political correctness” promoted through such oxymoronic terminology as “social justice.”
One of the modern clichés – a true sign of our intellectually vacuous times – offered in misguided manner for serious consideration is “Follow your heart but take your brain.” We’d all be much better off individually and as a society if we concentrated on choosing the opposite tack: “Follow your brain but take your heart.” History holds the proof.
(C) Copyright Sandy Stringfellow/2013