National Morality Gone South

The Supreme Court is considering another “prayer problem” currently, petitioners insisting that the separation of church and state (this term nowhere mentioned in the U.S. Constitution) is violated when anyone is subjected to hearing a prayer in any public place such as a public school or governmental setting such as a town’s legislative session. This is another ho-hum issue, with God certainly unbothered, but atheists and maybe Muslims unable to handle PTPD – Post Traumatic Prayer Disorder.

It’s unlikely that God will be erased soon from governmental entities such as buildings and currency and prayers in the Congress, as well as being a guiding factor in the way many people live, but the erasure is at least a de facto matter now that will, as the president might say, “evolve” into de jure status when national secularism, now well on its way, reaches full ascendancy.

Morality is established individually and is operative as long as a citizen’s practice of it does not adversely affect another citizen, at least in a civilized society. National morality is established when the majority of citizens are in agreement concerning things that are morally acceptable and enact laws to reflect the consensus, with friction among the citizens as a predictable result. One person’s morality may be another’s orgy.

During World War I, in which the U.S. began its rapid journey to world leadership, a main contention in the Congress and country concerned alcoholic beverages being made, transported and consumed—a well-defined “morality issue.” The result was the Eighteenth Amendment ratified in January 1919—Prohibition. Sobriety and a public protected from alcohol usage prevailed.

Myriad state laws at one time prohibited the practice of sodomy, a “moral issue” usually defined as use of sex organs for other than procreation purposes (homosexual behavior), and in 1986 – Bowers v. Hardwick – the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state sodomy laws did not violate the U.S. Constitution's right to privacy, though the laws were virtually unenforceable.

“Blue Laws” regulating what could and could not be effected on Sunday were introduced in colonial Virginia in 1620. Since then, states have enacted all sorts of “blue laws” having to do with commerce, transportation, entertainment, with religion being the main driver of these laws. Even laws prohibiting sale of liquor on election days remain in force, though not account religious reasons.

How things have changed! As the country has become more secular and religion has become more “watered-down” and ridiculed, these actions have all gone by the board. Prohibiton was repealed in December 1933 before it could even be evaluated, a mere 14 years. Given an entire generation, it might have made a tremendous difference socially. Heroin and crack pale into insignificance when their usage is compared to the results vis-à-vis that of alcohol.

In 366 U.S. 420 (1961), the Supreme Court ruled that some “blue laws” were indeed constitutional, not on a religious basis but for the welfare of the people. Since then, all “blue laws” have been set aside and anything goes on Sunday, though alcohol still may not be sold on Sunday in some areas.

Laws against sodomy prevailed in the U.S. right through this century. In a 6-3 ruling of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Lawrence vs. Texas (2003), sodomy laws in Texas were considered unconstitutional, effectively deeming all state laws against sodomy unconstitutional as well.

These examples indicate how the national morality has changed, especially in just the last 80 years (since Prohibition) but more markedly in just the last decade as the nation has plunged into an almost deification of what the founders and two centuries of their heirs considered unacceptable morally, culminating in a sort of acceptable debauchery.

The elitists love Plato’s “republic design:” (1) Philosopher kings to govern and furnish intellect; (2) Guardians to keep order and furnish will; (3) Ordinary citizen/workers to furnish appetites. Morality is whatever the kings approve, enforced by the police, and hopefully satisfies the people, no matter the perversions involved. Check out today’s circumstances and compare with King Obama’s imprimatur on same-sex marriage and forcing homosexuality on the military.

Oh yes. Plato was perhaps the ancient Greeks’ highest profile homosexual/pedophile and probable pederast. Look at the current U.S. “republic scene” and weep as it goes the way of Plato’s republic—rotting inwardly.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark