Politics & Policy

Secular Conservatives Think America Can Survive the Death of God

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The most profound thinkers in America are conservative.

There are, of course, bright liberal and leftist thinkers, but I can’t think of one who approaches the depth and wisdom of the best conservative writers and thinkers. What liberal historian, for example, approaches the understanding of life and history that Paul Johnson has exhibited in his many works of history? Who on the left matches psychiatrist/writer Theodore Dalrymple for insight into the underclass? What left-wing columnists understand human nature, the state of mankind, or contemporary America as do George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Tom Sowell, or many of the leading columnists at journals such as National Review, City Journal, Commentary, or the Wall Street Journal?

I write this to make it clear that my admiration for the leading conservative writers, columnists, and thinkers is deep and abiding.

There is, however, a “but.” The vast majority of leading conservative writers, just like their liberal colleagues, have a secular outlook on life. With few exceptions, the conservative political and intellectual worlds are oblivious to the consequences of secularism. They are unaware of the disaster that godlessness has led to in the West.

Most leading Republicans and most of the wealthy donors to the Republican party — in addition to virtually all libertarian politicians, and think-tank scholars — are either uninterested in the death of Judeo-Christian religions and values in America and the West, or are okay with it. They think that America can survive the death of God and religion, that fiscal and other forms of conservatism without social conservatism can preserve America.

It shows how effective the secular indoctrination in our schools and media has been that even most conservative thinkers are not only secular themselves but seem to have no idea how much of the American civilization rests on religious foundations.

They don’t seem to understand that the only solution to many, perhaps most, of the social problems ailing America and the West is some expression of Judeo-Christian religion. Do the inner-city kids who study the Bible and go to church each week lead wasted lives, join gangs, produce children out of wedlock, let alone commit murder? Other than a religious revival, what do conservatives, with all their superb critiques of disastrous left-wing policies, think will uplift inner-city youths?

People want to — have to — believe in something. And if it’s not God and Christianity or Judaism, it’s going to be some form of leftism.

And why do secular conservatives think that so many affluent and well-educated Americans have adopted left-wing dogmas such as feminism, socialism, environmentalism, and egalitarianism as their religion? Because people want to — have to — believe in something. And if it’s not God and Christianity or Judaism, it’s going to be some form of leftism. Why are Evangelical Protestants, theologically conservative Catholics, Orthodox Jews, and practicing Mormons almost all conservative? Because they already have a religion and therefore don’t need the alternate gods of leftist faiths, and because Judeo-Christian religions have different values than leftist religions.

When these conservatives — people who revere the Founders and the Declaration of Independence — read the Founders’ assertion that “all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” do they believe what the Founders wrote? Or do they think the Founders were just echoing the irrational religious beliefs of their time, as the Left believes?

Do most conservatives regard ‘In God We Trust’ as no longer necessary?

When these conservatives see the components of what I call the American Trinity — “Liberty,” “In God We Trust,” and “e pluribus unum” — on every American coin, do they regard “In God We Trust” as no longer necessary?

John Adams warned: “Because 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.” Do secular conservatives think he was right or wrong?

The problem is not that most leading conservative thinkers are secular. It is that they don’t seem to understand that a godless and Judeo-Christian-free America means the end of America, just as a godless and Judeo-Christian-free Europe has meant the end of Europe.

Dennis Prager — Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His second volume of Bible commentary, The Rational Bible — Genesis: God, Creation, Destruction, is published by Regnery.  He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

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