conservative think tanks

How The West Really Lost God: A New Theory Of Secularization

There are many fine lectures and roundtable events presented by conservative think tanks, policy groups and grassroots organizations around the country. Not all make it on C-SPAN and it's not logistically possible to get to even a small percentage of them. Reading about them takes time and often through the biased lens of the Mainstream Media. However, with the Internet, greater audiences are gaining access to these first-class events. While the sponsoring organizations often  stream these events online and archive the video for later viewing, unless the public knows about them, it's a rare occurrence the public will drive into them on the Information Superhighway. But . . . we know about them through the many e-mail updates we receive from our allied, friends, affiliates and partner organizations. Starting today, we will share these excellent learning opportunities with regularity.

Part of our job as a public policy advocate is to educate the public. It doesn't have to always come from us. There are numerous quality sources and resources available. There always have been. The Internet and social media makes it more easily available. But it shouldn't stop with us. An educated public makes it easier to get the public policies we desire into effect. The more we can educate, the more likely we can accomplish our shared goals of restoring our foundational principles of traditional family values and limited constitutional government. So, please share what we post, whether it's from us or other sources, on your social media sites, via e-mail or on your own blogs and web sites.

Today, we share a presentation from earlier this week from The Heritage Foundation, featuring leading cultural critic Mary Eberstadt. In How the West Really Lost God, she delivers a powerful new theory about the decline of religion in the Western world.

Here's a synopsis, from Heritage.

The conventional wisdom is that the West first experienced religious decline, followed by the decline of the family. Eberstadt, however, marshals an array of research, from historical data on family decline in pre-Revolutionary France to contemporary popular culture both in the United States and Europe, showing that the reverse has also been true — the undermining of the family has further undermined Christianity itself.

Eberstadt posits that family decline and religious decline have gone hand in hand in the Western world in a way that has not been understood before. They are — in summarizing her book's thesis — "the double helix of society, each dependent on the strength of the other for successful reproduction." She, then, reflects on the ramifications of the mutual demise of family and faith in the West — the enormous social, economic, civic, and other costs attendant on both declines.

How the West Really Lost God is both an account of how secularization happens and a sweeping brief about why everyone should care about the two institutions — faith and family — that have undergirded Western civilization as we know it and the real nature of the relationship between these two pillars of history.

Mary Eberstadt: How the West really did lose God.

Prophetic Article? A Must Read To Understand The Future

A Barack Obama presidency has me scared for a long time for a number of reasons. There's the pending economic socialism and the disregard for innocent human life, among many urgent issues. During the campaign the many to whom I expressed my concern would respond with the conventional wisdom that he'll mess it up and the country will swing back to conservatism in the mid-term elections, as in 1994. (That's a big "if," predicated on whether the so-called conservatives in Congress remain scared of their own shadows and remain addicted to "big-government conservatism.")  I would reply to those who responded that way, "Not so fast." Conventional wisdom and the old models don't apply anymore. With such large majorities in Congress and control of the White House, the extreme, Angry Left will ram through several initiatives to permanently seal its institutional advantages. For example, the liberal media, which crossed from only being biased to all out left wing advocacy this campaign, will be cemented by the passing of the so-called Fairness Doctrine, minimizing (if not completely eliminating) conservative talk radio. Advantage, Left Wing Media.

How about the so-called Freedom of Choice Act? Senator Obama said it's the first bill he would sign. It would eliminate all state restrictions on abortion. (No need for state legislatures, then, huh?) Gone would be all parental consent, notification and regulations against partial birth abortion. Advantage, the government grant and profit machine known as Planned Parenthood (see LifeSiteNews.com, here).

The union card check bill, if it becomes law (see The Las Vegas Sun, here), will end the secret ballot in union organizing campaigns. This will create countless new union shops. Aside from the economic peril of making American industry less competitive, this bill will add tens of thousands of new union members to union rolls — along with their compulsary dues, which go to union political action committees and used to elect leftist candidates. Advantage, corrupt Leftist union bosses.

The public education establishment, which largely dumbs down children K-12, and the college education establishment, which largely indoctrinates them because, by then, students have been conditioned to feel rather than think, will get new, large amounts of federal grants to run their politically correct campus societies, further preaching liberal doctrine under the guise of teaching, both in the classroom and in campus regulations such as speech codes. Advantage, Leftist educrats and teachers union leaders.

I could go on. But someone else has for me. Give me one more minute.

When I extolled this theory, some saw credence. Some thought the conventional wisdom would magically re-write history in two years. Many thought I was looking for the man on the grassy knoll. My response was that I would write a thesis on it. End of minute. I don't have to write the thesis. Quin Hillyer, of The American Spectator, has. I don't know whether to celebrate that my theory has been vindicated or mad that I didn't publish it and get compensated for the idea first. Regardless, Hillyer's "Saul Alinsky Takes the White House" (click here) is a must read to understand what Christian conservatives and those who believe in traditional family values and limited constitutional government will face starting January 20, 2009. It is something we need to be prepared for and ready to work against — work very hard against.

Here's an excerpt:

Watch what Michael Barone called the Obama "thugocracy" use the Justice Department to stifle dissent. Anybody who complains about vote fraud will be charged with "vote suppression." Anybody who complains about DoJ's actions will be charged with interfering with an investigation. Anybody who denies having interfered will be charged with perjury. Likewise, anybody who peacefully protests abortion clinics or the use of state-sponsored racial quotas will be charged with a civil rights violation. And the accused won't be able to look to the Supreme Court for help: Anthony Kennedy's "evolving standards" of justice will evolve to match the new zeitgeist, providing a 5-4 majority for the administration. Meanwhile, of course, Obama's other appointments will be filling up the rest of the judiciary at a rapid clip, with nobody able to stop them.

Other ways the Obama axis will tilt the playing field: "card check" legislation to eliminate secret ballots in unionizing and to force union victories in contract negotiations. Provision after provision giving favors to the trial bar so it can sue enemies into submission. Copious new regulations, especially environmental, to be used selectively to ensnare other conservative malcontents. Invasive IRS audits of conservative think tanks, other conservative 501 organizations, and PACs.

What Ohio officials did in rifling through so many of Joe Wurzelbacher's files will serve as ample precedent. (Just watch, by the way: Nobody ever will be effectively disciplined for the violation of Wurzelbacher's rights.)

And, only when the time is right and the ground (or air) has been well prepared, will come the grand-daddy of all fights, the re-enactment of the misnamed "Fairness Doctrine."

It's not just Joe the Plumber. Remember Barbara West, the Florida anchor who dared asked Joe Biden tough questions? Her station was blacklisted. Three newspapers who endorsed John McCain had their political reporters thrown off the Obama press plane (see The Washington Times, here). That's before he was elected! But surely there are bigger fish to fry — perhaps IRS and government intimidation of churches and pastors? By the way, what's with the 250,000 member security force Senator Obama promised? (See Blue Collar Muse, here.)

The coming socialist, one-party state only will be a crazy conspiracy theory if people fully understand what's at stake and decide to get engaged, stay vigilant, remain active and work hard. Work very hard — starting now.