Speeding toward Gomorrah
Warren Jeffs must be banging his head against the walls of his prison cell these days.
If he had only waited a few years before starting his Texas polygamy compound, he’d have ended up a civil rights trailblazer and Twitter-verse superstar, enduring nothing more than a little good-natured teasing from Jimmy Kimmel about his new show, “79 Wives and Counting.”
Actually, that scenario’s not hard to imagine, given that the last vestiges of “repressive Christian morality” are being swept away by a tsunami of “progressive” dogma, its doctrines flowing from an absolute certainty that there are no absolutes — that all notions of truth and morality are purely subjective and, therefore, equally valid.
The inevitable result is that all behaviors considered to be unnatural, perverse or otherwise corrupting vices for the past 2,000 years will be eventually redefined as moral.
And the endorsement of these brave new virtues will be a litmus test for enlightenment and empathy. Refusing to endorse them will constitute criminal intolerance, putting at risk one’s upward mobility, and branding one with a scarlet letter “H” (for “Hater”) on every social media site.
In Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana, Deborah Kerr placed a lovely spin on the underlying sentiment when she said, “Nothing human disgusts me.” I’m sure she meant to add, “Except where the coercion of unconsenting and underage humans is involved.”
Although NAMBLA would quibble about the definition of “underage,” its members would readily agree that the young continue to be the ultimate focus of most every morality debate. Even for garden-variety liberals — as the teachers’ unions remind us during every pension- and benefits-related work stoppage — “it’s about the children!”
Unless, of course, the children are unborn.
But even that line in the sand is being washed away. Planned Parenthood lobbyists and lawmakers like Senator Barbara Boxer are no longer content with a woman’s right to partial-birth abortion. Now they’re refusing to acknowledge human killing even in the face of infanticidal horrors like those described in sickening detail at the trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell.
They argue that in an unsuccessful abortion, where the child is born alive, a woman’s right to a dead baby must be preserved. The skin tag in question has no personhood — much less constitutional rights — regardless of its degree of development. As the left’s Orwellian overlords assure us, this isn’t murder, it’s “health care.”
And with the help of their media disciples, they will continue to assure us, as they redefine depravity downward, that any behavior which brings personal pleasure, fulfillment or empowerment — unless, as Deborah Kerr added, “it’s unkind or violent” — people have a civil right to express and a moral right to celebrate.
So it is with “the love that dare not speak its name,” now among the loudest and most powerful voices in politics, even though all lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender people combined only account for an estimated 5-10% of America’s adult population.
But what they lack in raw numbers, they make up for in polished talent — like their legendary gift of encouragement — once again on display as they help the Boy Scouts do a good turn, away from their traditional beliefs and values.
That’s why the children entrusted to the care of Scouting need to be prepared like never before. The BSA has clearly lost its compass, acquiescing last week to the demagogues’ demand for openly gay membership, but then inexplicably taking a stand against openly gay leadership.
This makes no sense but, unfortunately, in light of the moral decline of post-modern America, it makes perfect sense.
Just look at the devaluation of marriage.
Weddings were already on the wane by the 1970s, largely because of the sexual revolution, the feminist movement and welfare incentives. By 1980 nearly 20% of U.S. births were to unwed mothers. Today that number is more than 40% and rising rapidly.
Even the left-leaning think tank Third Way warns that children raised in single-parent homes use more illegal drugs, get lower grades in school and are arrested and incarcerated far more often than those in traditional homes where two parents are present.
But sadly, homosexuals seem to be the people most interested in marriage. And the fact is, as a moral concern, gay marriage pales in comparison to heterosexual adultery and pre-marital sex. It’s these evil twins, fueled by easy access to pornography, the pill, abortion and now the abortion pill, that continue to be the prime causes of the erosion of the American family.
Yes, our slippery slope is becoming a landslide, and that shining city on a hill is looking more like Castle Rock in Lord of the Flies as we descend into the chaos of moral relativism.
But even that’s not the real tragedy.
The real tragedy is in the trending of opinion polls, especially among the under-30 demographic.
More and more Americans are aware of our decadent trajectory on all of these social issues and, more and more, they’re just fine with it.
So cheer up, Warren! You just might get your re-trial and reality show after all.
Timothy Philen is the author of Harper & Row/ Lippincott’s “You CAN Run Away From It!” a satirical indictment of American pop psychology. He is currently at work on a latter-day “Walden,” a collection of essays on post-modern American culture.