Over the past 90 years, a relentless campaign has unfolded to overthrow Judeo-Christian morality and replace it with an amorality that says desires themselves validate choices.
This campaign has been advanced largely by hijacking the rubric and moral capital of the black civil rights movement and misapplying it to volitional behavior. The changes, which move us closer to barbarism, are enforced via media that pounce on even the slightest hesitation to embrace the new immorality.
In earlier days, people who opposed the pornification of culture were denounced as "prudes" until they finally gave up or were seduced by the dark side. People who opposed abortion were falsely accused of wanting to harm women. And people who opposed unilateral divorce were smeared as lacking compassion for those in unhappy unions.
The current target of this unholy campaign is the perversion of marriage. For the first time, a Republican-controlled state Senate chamber provided the margin of victory for a state law redefining marriage away from the man-woman requirement. Soon, there will be no bride needed or no groom for a New York marriage license. Meanwhile, liberal judges all over the country are ruling that preference for traditional morality is animated solely by "hate."
This radical advance is occurring partly because of the ongoing media propaganda that suppresses any serious discussion of the consequences of sexual dysfunction. But it's also occurring because of the economic drama unfolding in Washington. The left does not waste crises that it purposefully creates.
Some major Republican figures have floated the idea of a "truce" on social issues while expanding the "big tent" to include the sin lobby. According to Webster's, a truce is "a suspension of hostilities, as between armies, for a specified period, by agreement."
If only one side declares a truce while the other side keeps fighting, it's not really a truce, is it? It's a surrender.
The left is not about to call a truce in the culture war. Sensing disarray, the Obama administration has stepped up its attacks on the moral order even while it runs our economy off a cliff.
Part of the problem is that Tea Party and Republican leaders, in correctly diagnosing that Americans are terrified over the economic crisis, are concentrating on fiscal issues. Fair enough. That's what's on everyone's mind. But it is not enough, and it's shortsighted.
A free, self-governing republic can work only if a nation has a self-renewing supply of social capital, which comes primarily from strong, intact marriages and families.
Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski write the following in their new book, "Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America: "You cannot stop a decades-long march toward a socialist and authoritarian state if the family breaks down. Those who say we need to maintain a laser focus on government spending miss the forest for the trees, or refuse to accept what the Founders embraced. If we balance the budget and rein in government but do not rebuild and protect families, then the popular will for government intervention will irresistibly grow over time."
Surveys show the vast majority of Tea Party members are also socially conservative. Yet most major Tea Party leaders have bought the idea that breathing a word about President Obama's titanic assaults on the moral order will cost them independent support. Never mind that addressing this with confidence could bring tradition-minded Hispanics, blacks and other minorities into the conservative camp.
The political left has long been at war with sexual morals for strategic reasons. People conditioned to think as short-term opportunists instead of as members of the family tree with long-term moral obligations are easier to manipulate. Given the false promise of a painless future free from individual responsibility, they are less likely to recognize, much less oppose, trespasses on their liberty, such as Obamacare.
Eventually, they don't even notice that the Constitution, which is supposed to be a check on government, has turned into a blank check for statists. Can you imagine an earlier generation of Americans nodding meekly while the government, under threat of force, dictates that they can buy only poisoned light bulbs?
The marriage-based moral order has been in the bull's-eye of socialist activists since the French Revolution. Strong families interfere with that vision by inculcating personal responsibility, faith and different loyalties.
In his 1884 opus "Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State," Karl Marx's co-author, Friedrich Engels, argued for "free love" as a byproduct of the advance of communism:
"With the transfer of the means of production into common ownership, the single family ceases to be the economic unit of society. The care and education of the children becomes a public affair; society looks after all children alike, whether they are legitimate or not. This removes all the anxiety about the 'consequences.' Will not that suffice to bring about the gradual growth of unconstrained sexual intercourse and with it a more tolerant public opinion?"
Who knew that a commie philosopher like Engels probably could make a living today as a "Sex and the City" scriptwriter?
It's not too late to save what's left of marriage and to reorder public policies to strengthen rather than corrode the sanctity of the home. There are efforts under way in several states to pass constitutional marriage amendments, adding to the 30 that already have them. The abortion industry is losing public support. And many young people are discovering that the hookup culture is a dead end.
A great reservoir of sentiment for the permanent things is waiting to be tapped. What's needed first is moral leadership from those who purport to be leaders.
Robert Knight is senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a columnist for The Washington Times.
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