While reading Dennis Prager’s superb article, America’s Decay Is Speeding Up, Tuesday, Apr 7, 2015, http://www.dennisprager.com/americas-decay-is-speeding-up/ thoughts about the kinds of persons this country is now producing percolated into my brain. I start with quoting segments of Prager’s article. His article was originally posted on Townhall.com
As one who loves America — not only because I am American, but even more so because I know (not believe, know) that the American experiment in forming a decent society has been the most successful in history — I write the following words in sadness: With few exceptions, every aspect of American life is in decline.
“Decay” is the word.
The Decline of the Family: Nearly half (48 percent) of American children are born to a mother who is not married. Forty-three percent of American children live without a father in the home. About 50 percent of Americans over 18 are married, compared to 72 percent in 1960. Americans are having so few children that the fertility rate fell to a record low 62.9 births per 1,000 women in 2013. And in an increasing number of states, there are now more deaths than births.
Prager goes on to reference the decline of education, the abandonment of serious subjects like history, English literature, the abandonment of foundational knowledge such as spelling, grammar and sentence structure and the replacement with disingenuous topics such as social justice, critical theory on all kinds of drivel and then, not the least of it, sex and the destruction of sexual identity.
Any of us who receive emails from large numbers of Americans can attest to the deteriorating education — including among those who attended college — in written English. In sophisticated commentary on websites as well as in email, one encounters the most basic errors: “it’s” instead of “its;” “their” instead of “there;” “then” instead of “than,” etc.
Prager writes about the end of Right and Wrong, where every reality is reduced to mere opinion, and where all opinions are equal. Auschwitz cannot be considered wrong, the alleged thinking goes, because some people thought it was good. Fill—in-the-blank horrors and villainy cannot be denounced as evil or bad if one person thinks it or they are good. Moral relativism is used to destroy all facts.
Prager then cites the end of Religion and the end of Beauty as additional evidence of America’s accelerating decay. Recall the Piss Christ, the Virgin Mary in elephant dung and the concentration camp inmate with a Campbell soup logo on his striped prison clothing. Prager mentions a giant sculpture of a dog with lifted leg urinating that adorns the front of the Orange County Museum of Art in California.
Such filth has become art; allegedly a challenge to the conventional; a cattle prod to have us face our biases and preconceptions about everything else under the sun. Unless, of course, one posts cartoons of Mohammed. Then forget about the venerable role of the artist; the First Amendment and the noble search for one’s weaknesses and biases. Then it’s all about sensitivity and respect, two of the most abused words now in the current pop culture vernacular.
Prager’s ideas and those inspired by his article, caused me to ponder and then write about another dimension of or consequence of this moral decay and rot, generated by the so-called Progressives and by those nominally referred to as “The Left.” I use the recent ‘batter up’ incident in Oregon regarding Klein’s bakery and a lesbian couple who wanted to have a cake baked for them for their imminent wedding and their successful appeal to the Oregon Bureau of Labor to punish the bakery owners. Here is a brief summary of the events:
An Oregon administrative law judge recommended today that the bakers who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding should be fined $135,000.
“[T]he forum concludes that $75,000 and $60,000, are appropriate awards to compensate [the same-sex couple] for the emotional suffering they experienced,” wrote Alan McCullough, administrative law judge for Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries in his proposed order.
Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa located in Gresham, Ore., say the fine is enough to potentially bankrupt their family of seven.
Rachel and her partner Laurel Bowman-Cryer, who are now married, filed a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries under the state’s public accommodation law, which bans discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation.
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries pursued charges against the Kleins on behalf of the same-sex couple.
In January 2015, an investigation by the bureau found the Kleins guilty of violating the state’s public accommodation law by denying Rachel and Laurel full and equal access to their bakery, which the state considers a place of public accommodation.
For whatever its worth, I find the behavior of the couple to be loathsome and viciously predatory. I find McCullough’s reasoning legally indefensible, bigoted, morally cowardly and willfully anti-Constitutional. The two ladies were offered every service available to every other customer. Only when they demanded that the Kleins make a political statement which the Kleins opposed did this loving couple attack the Kleins like a panzer division. The Kleins, and others similarly situated, based their opposition on religious grounds. This is regrettable. This religious basis for opposition is too narrow. The larger issue is forcing a person to act—to make an affirmative political statement through his or her actions—which the person opposes. Whether opposition is based on religion should be secondary, if relevant at all. That McCullough inflicted the near-infinite power of the State on the Kleins, which includes the power to destroy and bankrupt them, is beneath contempt.
But I relate this vile behavior of the women, enabled and sanctified by the State, to make a different point: to give an insight into and make an assessment of the character of the people this culture is producing. The following are some of the 80 or 90 categories of ‘damages’ each woman in the couple alleges to have suffered as a consequence of not getting a cake:
“acute loss of confidence,” “doubt,” “excessive sleep,” “felt mentally raped, dirty and shameful,” “high blood pressure,” “impaired digestion,” “loss of appetite,” “migraine headaches,” “pale and sick at home after work,” “resumption of smoking habit,” “shock” “stunned,” “surprise,” “uncertainty,” “weight gain” and “worry.”
What pathetic people! Would not any self-respecting human being avoid publicizing such injuries as an alleged result of such a trivial event? Instead of showing stoicism and fortitude, they proclaim weakness and flaunt it like a badge of honor. “Look at my suffering and injuries,” they proclaim from the mountain top of social media on the Internet. Weakness, frailty, lack of fortitude and self-efficacy become weapons of highest order used in the predatory opportunism in the culture wars.
By the way, given the nature of their injuries related to the alleged cause, a few questions arise, such as, did these two women experience soaring joy, affirmation, sense of respect, an energized capacity to take on life’s challenges and on and on when other bakeries agreed to make the cakes, before they were refused after searching out the Kleins’ bakery? Could not those life-affirming positive experiences served as a spine-strengthening antidote of the alleged horrors of being a refused a cake by the Kleins?
A few other questions arise of greater significance to the nature of our society: Are we raising good people in this current culture? Is the popular culture providing incentives for people to be abusive and immoral?