A difficult question to answer, which depends, to a large degree, on a person’s perspective; yet a question that, in our prevailing social and political climate should be asked. Part of the answer would seem to lie in what has come to be known, in today’s lexicon, as the 1960s counter-culture revolution and the changes it wrought to the society of this country. There are, in the life of every nation, what can only be referred to as “defining” moments in their histories, events which, for better or worse, alter the course of their culture; the fabric, as it were, of their society. The 1960s was a decade of great upheaval and change in the United States, beginning with the assassination of President Kennedy and extending through the civil rights, feminist and anti-Vietnam War movements. It became fashionable, certainly main stream, to challenge everything middle America believed in, including its moral compass! Religion, notably Christianity, was ridiculed by the people who had adopted as their battle cry, the slogan, “if it feels good, do it.” In the name of some abstract theory, which morphed into today’s twisted idea of “Political Correctness,” the history of the United States was re-written casting the “Founding Fathers” as villains and demonizing everything America stood for as a nation. We were villified as a country of power seeking WASPs that trampled on the rights and freedoms of people of “color.” We stole the land from the Native Americans, fought an illegal war with Mexico, raped and pillaged the environment in the name of progress, while they conveniently forget to mention it was these same WASPs that fought and died in the thousands during the civil war for the emancipation of black slaves, that were responsible for passage of civil rights legislation granting equality to the descendents of those freed slaves and who forged the environmental laws that continue, to this day, to protect our landscape and our very lives! In general, these so-called WASPs were portrayed as a plague on the planet! Suddenly, it was an offence to be a white male and to be associated with the men who gave us “The Declaration of Independence,” the “Constitution,” with its “Bill of Rights,” (which affords those 1960s radicals the right to speak out against this country) and the “Gettysburg Address,” which so eloquently defined the concept that “All men are Created Equal;” a concept, by the way, handed down to us from the Bible. We see the “fruits” of this 1960s revolution all around us today and we may be forgiven if we ask, “was it worth the ride?”
Each individual must answer that question for themselves, but some points to ponder, before reaching a conclusion, should include, the lack of personal responsibility as an offshoot fo removing God (Christianity) from our culture, especially the public school system. The creeping disregard for human life, permiating our society, spawned by the Roe v Wade decision legalizing abortion, with the attendant approximately 50,000,000 aborted pregnancies since that “defining” event. The polarization and general lack of respect of our political debate as we shout louder and louder accusations and libels at one another to draw attention to our point of view. The vulgarization of our culture by “free” speech advocates, which is nothing more or less then the “right” to say and show whatever enters our minds, regardless of the sensibilities of those around us. The lack of respect for law and civility in our day to day behavior and what’s worse, the lack of courage to hold those responsible for these transgressions to any moral or civil accountability!
Our’s is not the first, nor should we expect it to be the last civilization to experience this cycle of youth and vigor to old age and decreptitude, but we could and should learn the lessons from those that have gone before; Egyptians, Hebrews, Greeks, Romans et al, great civilizations that went extinct in what history would call “quick” succession. It maybe that the cycle of nations’ rise and fall is inevitable, like a person’s progress from birth to death and we the people are powerless to do anything about it, but it would be nice if we chose to face the “inevitable” with a little more class and grace!