• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

Dennis Prager……America without God?

AMERICA WON’T BE GOOD WITHOUT GOD     by Dennis Prager at dennisprager.com:


On page 563 of his latest biography — John Quincy Adams: American Visionary — author Fred Kaplan (biographer of Abraham Lincoln, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and Gore Vidal among others) cites this insight of the sixth president:

Christianity had, all in all, he believed, been a civilizing force, “checking and controlling the anti-social passions of man.”

That insight is pretty much all an American needs to know in order to understand why the American Founders considered religion — specifically ethical monotheism rooted in the Hebrew Bible — indispensable to the American experiment; and why the America we have known since 1776 is in jeopardy.

It is easy to respect secular Americans who hold fast to the Constitution and to American values generally. And any one of us who believes in God can understand why some people, given all the unjust suffering in the world, just cannot believe that there is a Providential Being.

But one cannot respect the view that America can survive without the religious beliefs and values that shaped it. The argument that there are moral secularists and moral atheists is a non sequitur. Of course there are moral Americans devoid of religion. So what? There were moral people who believed in Jove. But an America governed by Roman religion would not be the America that has been the beacon of freedom and the greatest force for good in the world.

In order to understand why, one only need understand John Quincy Adams’s insight: How will we go about “checking and controlling the anti-social passions of man” without traditional American religious beliefs?

There are two possible responses:

One is that most Americans (or people generally, but we are talking about America here) do not have anti-social passions.

The other is that most Americans (again, like all other human beings) do have anti-social passions, but the vast majority of us can do a fine job checking and controlling them without religion as it has been practiced throughout American history.

These are views with which virtually every American who attends secular high school or university is explicitly and implicitly indoctrinated.

Both are wrong. And not just wrong, but foolish — and lethal to the American experiment.

To deny that human beings are filled with anti-social passions defies reality and betrays a lack of self-awareness. One has to be taught nonsense for a great many formative years to believe it.

If we weren’t born with anti-social passions — narcissism, envy, lust, meanness, greed, hunger for power, just to name the more obvious — why the need for so many laws, whether religious or secular, that govern behavior?

The second objection is that, even if we do have anti-social passions, we don’t need a God or religion in order to control them. Only moral primitives, the argument goes, need either a judging God or a religious set of rules. The Enlightened can do fine without them and need only to consult their faculty of reason and conscience to know how to behave.

Our prisons are filled with people whose consciences are quite at peace with their criminal behavior. As for reason, they used it well — to figure out how to get away with everything from murder to white-collar crime.

But our prisons are not filled with religious Jewish and Christian murderers. On the contrary, if all Americans attended church weekly, we would need far fewer prisons; and the ones we needed would have very few murderers in them.

Meanwhile the record of the godless and non-Christianity crowd is awful. I am not simply referring to the godless and secular Communist regimes of the 20th century that committed virtually every genocide of those hundred years. I am referring to those Americans (and Europeans) who use reason to argue, among other foolish things: that good and evil are subjective societal or individual opinions; that gender is purely a social construct and therefore the male and female distinction is of no importance; that marriage isn’t important and is just a piece of paper invented by the religious to keep women down; that a human fetus, even when it has a beating heart, a formed human body, and a conscious brain, has less of a right to life than a cat; and that men, let alone fathers, aren’t necessary. (Think no one really believes the latter? See, for example, The Atlantic’s “Are Fathers Necessary?” and the New York Times’s “Men, Who Needs Them?”) And that is a short list.

For proof of the moral and intellectual consequences of the secularization of America, look at what has happened to the least religious institution in America, the university. Is that the future we want for the whole country?


Article originally posted on NationalReview.com

2 Responses

  1. “Getting That Old Time Religion”

    Two weeks on a bus! It could be characterized as a schoolboy’s penance or just too much of a good thing—or as a deeply moving pilgrimage! How so, and enough with the riddles. I’m just back from two weeks on a bus tour in company with two dozen religious liberty leaders. Our “magical mystery tour” took us from Rome to Geneva to Paris and a goodly number of points in between as we retraced some of the great events in the struggle for religious freedom.
    Much of the tour reminded us of the Reformation which ostensibly began with Martin Luther in 1517 when he nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg church in Germany. Most of our tour picked up with events that flowed from Luther’s questions. The Reformation they precipitated can be variously described, but I’ll go with a capsule summary from the Catholic Encyclopedia: “The usual term for the religious movement which made its appearance in Western Europe in the sixteenth century, and which, while ostensibly aiming at an internal renewal of the church, really led to a great revolt against it, and an abandonment of the principal Christian beliefs.”
    That is exactly how the established church at the time saw the broad-based call for a return to the truth of the Bible and a questioning of a whole array of practices that had no basis in Scripture. What many forget today is that the Reformation produced a vigorous response from “the church,” known as the Counter-Reformation. That involved church councils like Trent that reaffirmed the very things the reformers questioned as erroneous and inveighed against the heretics. It involved direct church actions—see Inquisition—and a number of state proxies, which sought to extirpate the growing revolt. And it was a revolt against what many saw as a Christian body grown corrupt through political power and amalgamation with pagan concepts. The Counter-Reformation also saw the emergence of the Jesuit order—a new order founded by the mystic soldier Ignatius Loyola. The Jesuits used direct force when necessary, but usually focused on education and intellectual rephrasing of the Biblical models of prophecy, which Protestants identified with a corrupt church.
    Our tour bumped hard up against the history of persecution and conflict that marked the decades—no, centuries—after the Reformation began. We visited Geneva, not just home to the reformer John Calvin, but a refuge from the avenging armies, which would have destroyed it for its religious autonomy. In Geneva we found the Reformation Wall; a 100 meter long memorial to the heroes of the Reformation. It was erected in 1909 on the 400th anniversary of John Calvin’s birth, so it of course features the great man. But there are more. There is William of Orange, the main leader of the Dutch revolt against Spain, which led directly to the Thirty Years War, one of several conflicts with a religious cast which followed the Reformation. Most importantly, William said that he could not agree that monarchs should rule over the souls of their subjects and take from them the freedom of faith and belief. At the time this was a revolutionary concept.
    Also on the wall is England’s Oliver Cromwell who, after a bloody civil war which devolved into a matter of faith and the religious power of the king, presided over the king’s execution and ruled as Lord Protector. Hated by many, Cromwell was a powerful protector of Protestantism; at one point even threatening to lead a relief force to save the Waldenses from extermination.
    On the Wall, too, is Roger Williams, the new world pioneer for religious freedom. He was directly connected to the Puritan thought of Cromwell’s day and an early proponent of the right to believe according to conscience, not the dictates of prelate or king.
    In Northern Italy we travelled up into the green valleys that were long the defense of the Waldensians, a people who insisted on their right to read the Bible and to distribute it to others. They also insisted on holding their own church services in defiance of the state. They were persecuted implacably and were often forced to hide in the hills and worship in caves. We crawled into one of those caves and marveled at how men, women and children persisted in this secret worship. But of course they were impelled by conscience!
    In southern France we retraced the history of the Huguenots, or French Protestants. Much like the Waldenses they were at times religious outlaws who risked all for their faith. We visited the Tower of Constance where a certain Marie Durand was held captive for 38 years. Her brother was wanted for his challenge to the Catholic faith demanded by the state. It was at first thought he would turn himself in for his sister’s release. Eventually he was caught and executed but Marie was kept in prison because of her obdurate faith. While in prison those long years in a single room with many others, she etched a word into the stone floor that you can read today:”Resist.” That is the type of commitment to religious self-determination that characterized those days.
    I could go on, because Western Europe is littered with the debris from religious conflict and the bones of many a martyr lie barely hidden beneath the façade of a new European Union.
    While we were still on the tour news broke of Pope Francis’ visit to Israel. I do hope he can lend whatever goodwill he can muster to the hitherto intractable problems of that area. However, I cannot help but wonder if we are toying again with a dynamic that worked so badly in the past in Europe. Do we really expect or want a priest to be the arbiter of power between states? That was the role of the church then and probably its wish again. And I might even find that amenable but for the fact of a church that claims to be a state and one willing to use the power of a state to project its faith view.
    And also while on tour came news of a young Sudanese woman under death sentence for leaving the faith of her birth. Do they still do such things in our world today? Well yes, and the old justification is the same. Killing in the name of faith is not a thing of the past. And incitement to murder for offence of the faith might seem particularly the province of narrow-minded mullahs in some retrograde corner of the yet to be enlightened world—but my gut and my view of history tells me that whenever we give the power to control the faith of one over to another we will relive the horrors of the past religious wars.
    The Encyclopedia description of the Reformation I quoted earlier nicely chose to ignore the wars of religion that ensued. Wars precipitated by one party (and not always the Catholic one, mind you) not allowing the other to think and worship differently. And so what if there was “an abandonment of principal Christian beliefs”! Protestants did not see it that way. Religious liberty is not about truth or orthodoxy, curious as some may find that statement. Religious liberty is about providing the freedom for the individual to choose his or her own truth, without coercion, without fear of violence.
    “Resist” is not a bad catch cry to use in opposing the craziness of Boko Haram, and the murderous orthodoxy of families that will kill children for marrying outside of the faith. Deeds of love and mercy are not only religious at root, they are also in the best interest of the civil society. We should challenge any effort to insert religious compulsion into the matter of statecraft. Those thousands who resisted even to the point of death, in the centuries long past for their right to choose a faith direction, testify to the value of the principle.
    Author: Lincoln E. Steed
    Lincoln E. Steed is the editor of Liberty magazine, a 200,000 circulation religious liberty journal which is distributed to political leaders, judiciary, lawyers and other thought leaders in North America. He is additionally the host of the weekly 3ABN television show “The Liberty Insider,” and the radio program

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