Culture? The symptoms are undeniable, and call for radical treatment.
If your doctor were to say that to you in his/her examining room, only a fool would challenge the diagnosis and charge the doctor with malpractice. The wise patient would seek a treatment prescription designed to conquer the conditions and to restore health.
Two social doctors – Amy Wax, professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and Larry Alexander, professor at the University of San Diego School of Law – opened their op-ed piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer on August 9th with this cultural diagnosis:
Too few Americans are qualified for the jobs available. Male working-age labor-force participation is at Depression-era lows. Opioid abuse is widespread. Homicidal violence plagues inner cities. Almost half of all children are born out of wedlock, and even more are raised by single mothers. Many college students lack basic skills, and high school students rank below those from two dozen other countries.
Those are not societal sniffles that will pass with a good night’s sleep; they represent a troubling collection of conditions which, if not righted, represent the systemic decline of America’s historic strength. They go on to describe what they characterize as “bourgeois values” that were normal:
That culture laid out the script we all were supposed to follow: Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.
Who could oppose that honest reflection of American middle-class values, from a generation back? Answer: everyone in the academic elite and politically correct community. In National Review:
In an interview with the Daily Pennsylvanian, Wax called Anglo-Protestant cultural norms “superior” and said that “everyone wants to go to countries ruled by white Europeans,” though “bourgeois values aren’t just for white people.” She clarified that she doesn’t think white people are superior, instead claiming that “bourgeois values can help minorities get ahead,” according to the student-run newspaper, which reported that some of her previous lectures have opened her up to criticism.
Throwing caution to the winds, they challenge the core tenet of multiculturalism: “All cultures are not equal,” they write. “Or at least they are not equal in preparing people to be productive in an advanced economy.” Unless America’s elites again promote personal responsibility and other bourgeois virtues, the country’s economic and social problems will only worsen, they conclude.
The backlash charges against Wax and Alexander – by the Penn graduate students union – were immediate, and predictable: Racism. Xenophobia. Sexism. Homophobia.
America’s “bourgeois values” are superior because they are, essentially, Christian values. Thus, a bourgeois culture is superior because it is essentially a Christian culture, and that ultimately is why the left attacked Wax’s and Alexander’s piece. As The Miracle and Magnificence of America – and any other sound account of U.S. history – reveals, America was founded by Christians and upon Christian values and principles. The death, disease, and moral rot so prevalent in much of America today is there because many of us have abandoned these values and decided to make our own rules. (Trevor Thomas, in American Thinker)
The front-lines of the culture war surround us; the contemporary college campus – whether public or private – is the indoctrination center for the Burning Man ideology that now embraces the antithesis of what Wax and Alexander call bourgeois values, but we would recognize as biblical values.
If you have a son or daughter heading into college, forget the US News and World Report rankings of schools for consideration. Average compensation for graduates is not the litmus test for the place you’ll entrust your progeny for indoctrination; worldview is first-and-foremost in your search. Unless the values espoused and celebrated align with the Scriptures, your role as parent is going to be compromised: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)”
On the front line, and firing against the enemy assault,