February 3, 2011

The Rabbi has spoken!

The rot in values that is
causing America’s decline
By SHMULEY BOTEACH (The Jerusalem Post)
Thrift, hard work, close-knit families, a pioneering spirit, a love of adventure, a rejection of indolence, faith-based ethics, a God-centric society, a belief in spreading freedom and democracy – where did that all go?
Science and math. Science and math. President Barack Obama’s new mantra is science and math. If only America’s students focused on science and math, he told us in his State of the Union address, then we’ll be as innovative as China and will no longer have to farm out the building of wondrous handheld gadgets. The gods of science and math will make our economy blossom.

But missing from the president’s new, post-midterm vision for America is any mention of the rot in values that is causing our decline. The reason we don’t excel in education is not because our schools focus on philosophy and the humanities to the exclusion of science and math, but rather because we are becoming a pack of ignoramuses watching inane TV shows, following the lives of mostly decadent celebrities, and engaging in an endless orgy of consumption. Our problem is not that we read too much Nietzsche and too little astrophysics, but rather that our character is becoming corrupt.The solution for America is not to raise an army of sterile drones, engineered into productive obedience by a government that emphasizes equations. I have no interest in living in China; communist totalitarianism dare not be our model. Rather, our solution is to reembrace the values that made America great: thrift, hard work, close-knit families, a pioneering spirit, entrepreneurship, a love of adventure, fearlessness, a rejection of indolence, faith-based ethics, a God-centric society, and a belief in spreading freedom and democracy.

Thomas Jefferson knew tons of science and math. So did Benjamin Franklin. But George Washington did not. No historian claims that Abraham Lincoln knew calculus like Einstein. The point is that science and math made some Americans great, but were passed over by others who were equally great.

But what all these men possessed in abundance was a sense of mission. Whether it was a hatred of oppression and tyranny, or a desire to see the dynamic American spirit supplant the ossified European aristocracy, or contempt for brutal institutions like slavery, they all embraced America as a great idea, a living dream, one that could lift men and women and inspire children.

IS ANY of that greatness captured in Jersey Shore or in MTV’s new ode to childhood corruption, Skins? Is American exceptionalism evident in the millions trampling each other at the crack of dawn to get 20% off a new HDTV on Black Friday? Was American greatness in evidence at the recent Golden Globe Awards, where the most ‘beautiful’ among us got up to thank hairdressers and fashion consultants, but not a single star thanked God, with the sole exception of Ricky Gervais, who thanked God for being an atheist? The obsession with celebrity is especially startling. Our founding fathers did not idolize humans. That’s what the British, French and Russians did, lifting ordinary mortals to positions of ‘divine’ grandeur. Rather, the founders idolized God alone – faith in Him was stamped even on our money – and brooked no shallow imitation.


Anonymous said...

Wow, that is good. Sounded like a Rev. Goomba stemwinder. Funny, but the Obama Regime would probably blackball the rabbi from speaking with any moral authority if that were really him with the stogie.

Great stuff. Thanks, Goombs.

sig94 said...

Throughout the Old Testament Israel was warned not to make idols. Our modern day idols are different but just as destructive. Political correctness is now our moral code. Just as ancient Israel, because of our moral corruption we will end up in the dustbin of history.

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

The family no longer has to care for each other ... the government will do it.

sig94 said...

We have become a nation of risk avoiders, thanks in part to the stinking lawyers who hang from the public like fat intestinal parasites on an spastic colon. No one makes a move without examining how you expose yourself to real and imagined liabilities.

The_Kid said...

Right on Nickie. Right on.
Talking to some friends at lunch lately, we've decided things have gotten too easy for everyone.
Given that pain and experience are the best and maybe the only teachers, there isn't much learning going on.

Taking back the schools should be 1st on anyone's list for recreating America. Because America doesn't exist presently.
I live in a country I do not recognize. It can't end well, but who knows when it really flies apart. As someone smart says, You can nail the direction or the timing but rarely both.

Rhod said...

Give the people what they want and they will come. These are the ultimate interests and attributes of a society composed of stupid people dedicated to the pursuit of "happiness" - something Jefferson never anticipated.

T. F. Stern said...

America's greatness may be right in front of you, reading blog articles and comments by those who really want this Great Experiment in liberty to work. Some work hours on end after having already put in a full day at a job just to pay the bills. But their love of country and the dream which is alive in them pushes them to share thoughts, not much different than those who published pamphlets in Ben Franklin's time. The solid foundation of America will survive as long as folks keep plugging away. We don't need no stinking Jersey Shore or Skins television!

Anonymous said...

Rhod, Jefferson (the great secularist of his day) would have the cast of Jersey Shore hunted down and required to participate in Vacation Bible School put on by the Danbury Baptist Assn.

kid said...

There were no show like that on when Good Old Dutch (G.O.D) was President, wrong. Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crest which Old Dutch's ex-wife was on. Face it Ronnie was scum.

Even MLK himself was no Reagan fan. Here is a excerpt from a speech he gave in 1967. I think the way MLK defines Reagan and today's right wing is even relevant today.

"Now what are some of the domestic consequences of the war in Vietnam? It has made the Great Society a myth and replaced it with a troubled and confused society. The war has strengthened domestic reaction. It has given the extreme right, the anti-labor, anti-Negro, and anti-humanistic forces a weapon of spurious patriotism to galvanize its supporters into reaching for power, right up to the White House. It hopes to use national frustration to take control and restore the America of social insecurity and power for the privileged. When a Hollywood performer, lacking distinction even as an actor can become a leading war hawk candidate for the Presidency, only the irrationalities induced by a war psychosis can explain such a melancholy turn of events."-MLK November 1967 National Labor Leadership Assembly

Yes those last few sentences are refering to Reagan.