This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published October 24, 2014 on The Washington Times website.
Recently, I wrote a column suggesting that we are living in an age of insanity. Events since show the madness morphing into soft despotism, which may harden into outright tyranny.
That was the pattern of post-World War I Weimar Germany, where cultural decadence and wheelbarrows full of worthless paper money birthed an evil strongman who promised to restore morality and order.
Before we get anywhere near that odious outcome, I’m hopeful that Americans will awaken to reaffirm our heritage of faith and freedom that has made the United States uniquely dynamic, prosperous and generous. It’s not too late, but we’re nearing the edge of no return, with a moral meltdown and nearly $18 trillion in national debt.
What we may need is a whack upside the head to help us connect the dots. It’s worked before. It took a bloody civil war to end slavery.
It took Pearl Harbor to stir America in 1941 to join the war against religio-fascism in the East and National Socialism in the West.
It took bellicose nuclear threats by the Soviet Union, the grim reality of the gulag, and North Korean troops pouring into South Korea in 1950 to harden our resolve to stop communism.
It took the launch of Russia’s Sputnik in 1957 to harness America’s scientific and industrial might to run away with the space race.
It took the Sept. 11, 2001, airline hijacking mass carnage to wake us up to the dangers of militant Islam. Amazingly, our ruling class, led by the Obama administration, still won’t connect the dots. They insist this threat has no particular religious root, even as terrorist acts underscore it, such as Muslim convert Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s murderous shooting spree in Canada’s Parliament building last Wednesday, or the ax attack on two officers on a New York sidewalk on Thursday.
It took Obamacare’s brutal takeover of America’s health care system to drive millions of voters to the polls in 2010.
Sometimes, it’s not one big event that awakens us. It can be a series of incidents that cause the scales to fall from people’s eyes. The dots of soft despotism are increasingly easy to connect. As Red State’s Eric Erickson likes to say, “You will be made to care.”
Nearly every day, we hear of yet another scandal or federal power grab rocking Washington, with federal agencies simply making up laws or breaking them as they go along.
With the notable exceptions of U.S. district judges in Louisiana and Puerto Rico, black-robed federal tyrants have trashed self-government, striking down a dozen voter-approved state constitutional amendments that protect natural marriage.
Similarly, judges have overturned voter photo-ID laws in several states. Except for Wisconsin, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued stays allowing some of the laws to remain in effect for November’s election.
In California, the state Department of Managed Health Care has ordered all insurance plans to cover elective abortions — no exceptions. This includes churches. Yes, churches, not just businesses owned by Christians, such as Hobby Lobby.
Our rulers behave as though the First Amendment’s religious freedom guarantee is good only behind closed doors. That’s the Soviet model, where commissars forbade religious or charitable activities outside church buildings in order to keep religion irrelevant. In government schools, they enforced atheism to make children think that neither God nor their parents offered anything of substance.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because school bureaucrats in America, working with liberal teachers unions, have turned classrooms into atheist programming centers. Anyone doubting this might want to view “Indoctrination: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America.”
The 2011 film is a chilling indictment of how millions of Christian parents have entrusted their children to a system that keeps them ignorant about U.S. history, alienates them from their faith and marinates them in moral relativism.
The left’s idea of tolerance with an iron fist has taken other vivid forms lately, painting more dots to connect.
In Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, a couple who are ordained ministers and who own a wedding chapel face a 180-day jail term and a $1,000-per-day fine if they continue to refuse to “marry” homosexual couples.
In Houston, openly lesbian Mayor Annise D. Parker not only had the city subpoena five pastors to turn over their sermons, but also demanded emails, letters and other communications regarding the city’s transgender statute, the mayor or the topic of homosexuality.
In Jefferson County, Colo., the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) went ballistic when conservative school board members proposed in September to create a committee to review the Advanced Placement U.S. history course. The conservatives want to “promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights” and delete materials that “encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.”
Egad, this is too much. The ACLU fired off a letter signed by seven other groups and triggered massive student protests against conservative “censorship.” Give us back the leftist propaganda.
Speaking of brainwashed children, what are we to make of three teenaged girls from Aurora, Colo., skipping school and flying to Germany, apparently to join the Islamic State?
If all religions are pretty much the same, and America is not exceptional in any way, and parents are advisers at best, what’s the big deal?
Connect all the dots, and it’s a very big deal to more and more Americans. The only question is whether and when they will do something about it.