LOPEZ: Speaking of evil and cancer: We’re about to mark 40 years of legal abortion in America. How can we claim any kind of moral high ground given that fact?
PRAGER: The rendering of the human fetus as no more worthy of life than a fingernail is another example of the effects of leftist thinking. When America was God-based, this was not the dominant view.
LOPEZ: How are we “morally confused” on health care?
PRAGER: The health-care debate is in large measure one more manifestation of the ascendance of big government. The moral effects of big government on society are terrible. Prior to the rise of Leftism and big government, Americans believed that they were morally bound to take care of themselves, their families, and their communities. With the growth of the state, Americans have begun to think of the state just as Europeans do — as responsible for taking care of them, their families, and their communities.LOPEZ
: How do you figure that the world will be “Leftist, Islamist, or American”? Who would you put your money on?
PRAGER: I can only tell you that right now, American values are losing — which is why I wrote my book. And they are under attack by both leftism and Islamism. Meanwhile leftism has eaten away at European civilization — Europeans by and large believe in little beyond working as little as possible, being taken care of by the state as much as possible, retiring early, enjoying good restaurants, and traveling abroad (recently declared a human right by the European Union). And as their low birthrates make evident, they don’t even believe in perpetuating their own societies.
At the same time, Islamist governments — such as Iran’s — are producing the first generation ever of Muslim atheists. But there are hundreds of millions of Muslims who still believe in Islamism — a Sharia-based society.
LOPEZ: “For the majority of people in the West, the Left’s view of life is not considered only the Left’s view, but in fact the only legitimate view of life.” Is that all the doing of culture and academia — and the media?
PRAGER: Yes. Other than “culture and academia and the media,” there isn’t much that influences vast numbers of people. That is why institutions such as National Review Online, talk radio, the Wall Street Journal editorial and opinion pages, and conservative columnists are so important. And that is why I am devoting so much time to Prager University — to present in highly sophisticated and entertaining five-minute “courses” an antidote to the university on every important issue. The latest course, by the way, features NRO’s Jonah Goldberg.
LOPEZ: “Leftism is a religion because those who believe in its tenets often do so as fervently as religious Jews, Muslims, and Christians believe in their tenets.” Some leftists, though, claim to be religious believers — of Christianity, etc. — too. Is that an untenable mix? Is this — and not some birth secret — Barack Obama’s problem?
PRAGER: Barack Obama’s religion is between him and God. But there is nothing as oxymoronic as or more poisonous than the “religious Left.” Judeo-Christian values are the antithesis of leftism (I explain why in detail in Still the Best Hope). As a believing Jew who has lectured and written on Judaism for 35 years, and author of one of the most widely read introductions to Judaism, I can describe the Jewish problem in a sentence: For most American Jews today, leftism is their religion; Judaism is their ethnicity. And the havoc the religious Left has played in mainstream Protestant churches is leading to their demise.