The power of professions of cultural influence to affect people’s worldview is not well understood by the average politically obsessed conservative. Elect some conservative politician and somehow America will become a better place, they believe. It doesn’t work that way, Mike D’Virgilio writes.
At Breakpoint Regis Nicole wonders if Americans are really Hindus. In terms of worldview, that might be close to the truth:
After giving a nod to our Christian founding and the overwhelming percentage of Americans who identify themselves as “Christian,” Newsweek admits, “Of course, we are not a Hindu … nation.” Nevertheless, “recent poll data show that conceptually, at least, we are becoming more like Hindus and less like traditional Christians in the ways we think about God, our selves, each other, and eternity.” Though not stated in the article, our “conceptual” faith has led to lifestyles and behaviors that are at variance with our professed faith.
And how are we like a Hindu nation? In a word: relativism. For many Americans there is no absolute truth. It’s just not nice, for many of these decent folks, to question what any other person believes about reality. It’s none of their business. But when a culture, a people en masse believe truth is malleable, there are consequences.
I actually enjoy talking with functional relativists, be they religious or not. It’s not all that difficult to get them to realize that holding two completely contradictory thoughts simply isn’t tenable. I do that by asking lots of questions and making very few assertions.
Regardless of how tolerant the Hinduization of America appears to Americans to be, it simply isn’t logically sustainable. Truth is like water to the human soul. Go without it long enough and you will die. But when your parched lips taste it, nothing ever tasted better. I’ve seen it over and over again; most people want to believe that there is a there there. Reality is concrete and exists, including truth.
This points out the absolute importance of culture in the health of a nation. And it further points out what a tragedy it has been that that Christians and others who hold traditional values (for lack of a better term) have abdicated professions of cultural influence to secular leftists.
For more than a half-century, people of a conservative bent have focused on politics and public policy almost exclusively, thinking that this will determine the direction of our society. The only time culture becomes important to these people is to complain about it.
Culture forms the plausibility structure of a society, i.e. those things that seem true and real to people, and the secular left has been given free reign to ingrain their worldview into America through Hollywood and entertainment, media and journalism, and of course education. It’s not enough to comment or complain about these professions, we have to get in there and do the dirty work of earning a living so a conservative friendly worldview again permeates our society.
That seems impossible now, but it isn’t. It will take a generational commitment to permeate these professions with people who understand that relativism is a self-contradiction.