- - Thursday, December 25, 2014


President Obama is fond of referring to “our core values,” but so far he has not spelled out exactly what those might be.

It seems easier to figure out what they are not, judging by presidential actions and by what is not allowed to be said or printed in The New York Times.

A recent speech reminded me uncomfortably of an ancient exhortation by Ezekiel (the Old Testament prophet, not Zeke Emanuel). The speaker warned of the consequences of abandoning core values or roots, “including the Christian values that constitute the basis of Western civilization.” We and our European allies “are denying moral principles and all traditional identities: national, cultural, religious and even sexual.” Our policies equate “belief in God with the belief in Satan.”

“The excesses of political correctness have reached the point where people are seriously talking about registering political parties whose aim is to promote pedophilia,” he said.

“Holidays are abolished or even called something different; their essence is hidden away, as is their moral foundation.”

The speaker warning against the spiritual destruction of America was not recalling words from George Washington about the importance of religion and morality. He is not an American nor even our friend.

These words are from a major foreign policy address by Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting of the Valdai Club in Sochi on Oct. 24. The response? The New York Times set the tone by writing that Mr. Putin “unleashed perhaps his strongest diatribe against the United States yet” — without quoting what he actually said. I saw the text in the September issue of Chronicles. The words of Ezekiel were probably also called a diatribe.

Do the words fit? Anyone observing American culture can see that classical concepts of virtue from Greek and Roman civilization are clearly no longer core. Such echoes from dead white European men, if not completely forgotten, are more likely the subject of ridicule. The Ten Commandments are being pushed out of the public square, though they form the foundation of English common law, American law and traditional moral standards. Their source — the Torah — might offend a Buddhist, an atheist or perhaps a Muslim, who believes it was superseded by the Koran.

Clearly, the Ten Commandments are an embarrassment to the government and trendsetters. For views on truth telling, see the recent House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearings featuring Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist and government consultant Jonathan Gruber and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. False witness? See some Ferguson witnesses’ testimony about Officer Darren Wilson and rape accusations by “Jackie” of Rolling Stone magazine fame.

The president’s signature legislation, Obamacare, considers abortion on demand a right that everybody should pay for, takes promiscuity for granted, foments the politics of envy, and forcibly “redistributes” wealth (called “stealing” if a citizen does it without government sanction).

What about cherished American qualities or rights like entrepreneurship? There’s the “you didn’t build that” rejoinder. Work ethic? Not if it is considered “acting white” or a sign of “white privilege.” Freedom of speech? Not if it’s deemed offensive to certain groups. Freedom to practice one’s faith? Only if it doesn’t interfere with a governmental priority like free contraception or celebration of “gay pride.” The rule of law? Only when the president finds that it serves his purpose. The separation of powers? Gone, as the “living Constitution” is dead.

Ironically, the agenda to destroy the American family and moral fabric, including promotion of abortion, was part of the communist strategy to destroy America.

Could it be, in this progressive utopia, that our core value is not to have any core values? If we put good and evil on equal footing, will they, like a positron and an electron, annihilate each other? Are we not left with the rule of men or one man — the one who can say, “I won”?

Americans must defend our core values or lose our civilization. As Mr. Obama promised, we will indeed be transformed.

Mr. Putin said, and our mainstream organs fear to quote: “Without the values embedded in Christianity and other world religions, without the standards of morality that have taken shape over millennia, people will inevitably lose their human dignity. We consider it natural and right to defend these values.”

Dr. Jane M. Orient practices internal medicine in Tucson, Arizona, and is executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.



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