The past few years have witnessed a landslide of negative cultural change, so what does this mean and how should we respond?
Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #118 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.
In the new millennium, I have experienced social and political developments in the USA that I never thought I’d see in my country.
During COVID, 2020-2022, I wrote about these new developments, e.g., airy dismissal of First Amendment freedoms of speech and religion, specious unconstitutional government intrusion in education, enterprise, everyday life, a willingness of anxious citizens to trade personal freedom for government mandates promising illusory safety.
Predating and overlapping the pandemic, we have witnessed the aggressive emergence of a brook-no-argument promotion of sexual libertinism for all ages down to toddlers, and alongside this, radical woke politics – rooted in critical race theory and what’s called cultural Marxism reaching back to the 1960s. I have followed all this, written about it, and have become increasingly alarmed as citizens and elected officials demonstrated a willingness to ignore the rule of law, especially following the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis in 2020, the promotion and implementation in many locales and states of an inane “defund the police” movement, all this moving away from the ideal of “blind,” meaning impartial, neutral, fair, justice in favor of so-called “social justice,” weighted with racial or ethnic victimhood that are intrinsically unfair and inequitable, all this in the name of a new idolatry of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
More recently, October-November 2023, the face of the Holy Land crisis, I find it mind-blowing to watch American university students, later all ages, protesting not simply on behalf of an admirable concern for Palestinian lives, but chanting “Gas the Jews,” “Israel, Israel, you can’t hide, we want Jewish genocide,” “Death to Israel,” “Free Palestine, by any means,” “Divest from Zionist genocide now,” “F___ Israel,” “Glory to our martyrs.”
A Cornell University professor said of Hamas’s actions, “It was exhilarating. It was exhilarating, it was energizing. And if they weren’t exhilarated by this challenge to the monopoly of violence, the shifting of the violence of power, then they would not be human. I was exhilarated.” He has since apologized, saying “did not reflect my values.” One wonders whose values his words represented if not his own?
Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would see and hear open antisemitism chanted in American streets and university campuses, except perhaps from fringe neo-Nazis or skinheads.
What’s ironic is that these offensive, bigoted death-threat comments are coming largely from those on the left, progressive side of the political spectrum, the people and groups who have been preaching about hate speech and political correctness for the past decade.
The COVID pandemic was not the reason for the negative cultural trends I see in my own country. These trends, including sexual liberation and woke politics, have been building steam for several decades.
But the pandemic provided a platform on which to push initiatives and values that contradicted, undermined, and dismissed the traditional American Judeo-Christian consensus that had allowed the USA to flourish for over two hundred years.
The big government socialist tendencies of the pandemic politics, together with sexual libertinism and woke policies, became a toxic brew that’s poisoned American culture at every level.
Now, with the Israel-Hamas War, we’re seeing the dark underbelly of ideological animosity rooted in the evil heart of men and women. In the U.S., the issue is cultural centrifugal forces—and by “forces” I mean influences of our own doing and volition, not some fatalistic karma beyond our control. By our choices, we have become a culture unleashed from its Judeo-Christian moral moorings that, in turn, now creates a crisis of meaning with every new social political development.
“What is happening in America has happened to every other great nation/empire in history. They have a good run. They get rich and powerful, and then want to enjoy that prosperity. So, they get fat and lazy, weak, degenerate, immoral, and pleasure-loving. Those characteristics never produce growth, success, and prosperity, they only result in decline, decay, and destruction. And America is smack in the middle of that right now. We have turned our back on God, and we are suffering the consequences of it. And no nation in human history has ever reversed things from such a decline. There might be the occasional blip on the screen, the Hezekiah or Josiah, but the general trend is downward. And that is the direction America is headed right now and has been for over a generation.
The only answer is a return to the positive spiritual values the country was founded upon and that made it a great nation. That doesn’t appear in the offing, and it never has happened before. The majority of Americans have succumbed to a degenerate evil and self-absorption—mimicking the country’s leadership…The answer, the cure, is in the human heart.
Nobody wants to look there. The Left certainly isn’t going to because they want nothing but power, and their power comes from evil.”
“It is inconceivable that the day would come that Jews in America would need to feel fearful. For all of its flaws, America has been a secure place of refuge for the downtrodden, including Jews, who have been historically oppressed in nation after nation.
This anti-Semitic wave is just one of many examples of the decline of our nation. Several months ago, the Wall Street Journal opined that if Western Civilization, of which the United States is a prime example, were to die, it would be through suicide. In that op-ed, Gerard Baker notes, ‘If we are losing, it is because we are losing our soul, our sense of purpose as a society, our identity as a civilization.
We in the West are in the grip of an ideology that disowns our genius, denounces our success, disdains merit, elevates victimhood, embraces societal self-loathing and enforces it all in a web of exclusionary and authoritarian rules, large and small.’”
I’ve read articles and books that sound like the author is giving up hope. I understand the angst. Watching your country and culture implode is not fun, nor does it seem like there’s much we can do about it.
I’ve read pundits, who put their hopes for positive change into a grand scheme for the Republican Party. Somehow, if we could just get these people elected all would be well. But history, and even an honest look at the party and its politicians will pull the rug out from under that hope. The Republican Party does still acknowledge certain important values about life, liberty, human responsibility, but despite tons of promises, at the first sign of pressure the record demonstrates that most of these people fold or disappear.
Then there are those who put their faith in a political leader, particularly former President Donald Trump to do what? “Make America great again.” Now, does he offer some policy positions that are desperately needed in Washington, DC? Yes, he does. Are all his views, attitudes, and behaviors aligned with Christian values? No. What most motivates him? I’ll leave that to you to decide. My point is not to knock Donald Trump but to remind us that no leader is a failsafe guarantee to right the ship. Scripture says, “Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save” (Ps. 146:3).
But I refuse to become pessimistic, much less give up or throw in the towel. In fact, I believe Christians should be proactively optimistic. Why?
- Because we know the end of the story, history or his-story, written in the Word of God.
- Because God is there, and he is not silent.
- Because 1 billion peoplein the world are still breathing, and as long as they are breathing they are still able to respond to the Gospel.
- Because it may seem like the End Times, and maybe it is, but we don’t know but what things could get much worse because they have been worse at other times in human history, and Lord said in the concluding chapter of the Bible, “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life” (Rev. 22:17).
- Because Jesus said, “And surely I am with youalways, to the very end of the age” (Matt 28:20).
Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s rexmrogers.com.
And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2023
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