The Formal End to Judeo-Christian America
The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the redefinition of marriage seals the end of America as the Founders envisioned it.
From well before 1776 until the second half of the 20th century, the moral values of the United States were rooted in the Bible and its God.
Unlike Europe, which defined itself as exclusively Christian, America became the first Judeo-Christian society. The American Founders were Christians — either theologically or culturally — but they were rooted in the Hebrew Scriptures. Even Americans who could not affirm traditional Christian or Jewish theology affirmed the centrality of God to ethics. Americans, from the Founders on, understood that without God, there is no moral truth, only moral opinion — and assumed that those truths were to be gleaned from the Bible more than anywhere else.
Beginning with the Supreme Court's ban on nondenominational school prayer in 1962, the same-sex marriage decision has essentially completed the state's secularization of American society. This is one thing about which both right and left, religious and secular, can agree. One side may rejoice over the fact, and the other may weep, but it is a fact.
And what has replaced Judaism, Christianity, Judeo-Christian values and the Bible?
The answer is: feelings. More and more Americans rely on feelings to make moral decisions. The heart has taken the place of the Bible.
Years ago, I recorded an interview with a Swedish graduate student. I began by asking her whether she believed in God. Of course not. Did she believe in religion? Of course not.
"Where, then, do you get your notion of right and wrong?" I asked.
"From my heart," she responded.
That is why five members of the Supreme Court have redefined marriage. They consulted their hearts.
That is understandable. Any religious conservative who does not acknowledge homosexuals' historic persecution or does not understand gays who desire to marry lacks compassion.
But let's be honest. This lack of compassion is more than matched by the meanness expressed by the advocates of same-sex marriage.
It is the heart — not the mind, not millennia of human experience, nor any secular or religious body of wisdom — that has determined that marriage should no longer be defined as the union of a man and a woman.
It is the heart, not the mind, that has concluded that gender has no significance. That is the essence of the Brave New World being ushered in. For the first time in recorded history, whole societies are announcing that gender has no significance. Same-sex marriage is, above all else, the statement that male and female mean nothing, are completely interchangeable, and, yes, don't even objectively exist, because you are only the gender you feel you are. That explains the "T" in "LGBT." The case for same-sex marriage is dependent on the denial of sexual differences.
It is the heart, not the mind, that has concluded that all a child needs is love, not a father and mother.
And therein lies one of the reasons that the notion of obedience to religion is so loathed by the cultural left. Biblical Judaism and Christianity repeatedly dismiss the heart as a moral guide.
Moreover, the war to replace God, Judeo-Christian values and the Bible as moral guides is far from over. What will this lead to?
Here are three likely scenarios:
1. Becoming more and more like Western Europe, which has more or less created the first godless and religion-less societies in history. Among the consequences are less marriage and the birth of far fewer children.
2. More and more ostracizing — eventually outlawing — of religious Jews and Christians, clergy, and institutions that refuse to perform same-sex weddings.
3. An America increasingly guided by people's hearts.
If you trust the human heart, you should feel confident about the future. If you don't, you should be scared. Judeo-Christian values have made America, despite its flaws, uniquely free and prosperous and the greatest force for good in the world. Without those values, all of that will change.
Dennis Prager's latest book, "The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code," was just published by Regnery. He is a nationally syndicated radio show host and creator of PragerUniversity.com.
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