Tim Dunkin
May 26, 2010
The paganization of America
By Tim Dunkin

America as we see it today is not the same nation as the America in which my parents grew up. It is certainly not the America that was founded over 230 years ago by a group of patriots who had just won a war of liberation against the most powerful monarchy in the world at that time. These changes, this degradation of America, has accelerated in the last 40 years, however, as a moral sea change swept over this land, driven by the purposeful rejection of America's Christian foundations and the system of government that was influenced and established under their auspices.

Let us make no mistake while America was not founded as a Christian nation in the sense of the establishment of Christianity as the state religion, nevertheless America was a Christian nation at her inception. The entire warp and woof of society was permeated with the biblical worldview. Our Founders, realizing the truth of the Christian doctrine of the inherent sinfulness of man, established a government in which power was divided at the federal level between three competing, contrary branches with specifically-defined powers. Further, political power was divided between what was supposed to be a relatively weak federal government and the state governments. The intention underlying this choice was to dilute the ability of any one man or group of people from being able to exercise power, naturally corruptible, over their fellow citizens. This intention, we must understand, was a spiritual and moral one, based upon biblical understandings of the nature of man.

The biblical worldview informed many of the decisions and beliefs of the Founders, not least of which being the claim, embodied in no less a document than our Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights. The purpose of government was to protect each citizen in the enjoyment of these rights. The right to self-defense, embodied in the 2nd amendment, derives ultimately from Scripture. The right of each man to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience is consistent with a true understanding of New Testament religion, regardless of what may have happened under the established religions on the European continent. Some colonial writers even claimed to have found a mandate for representative republican government with democratic institutions (like voting and jury trials) in the commands of God to the Israelite commonwealth to choose leaders from among their own people to serve as judges. Clearly, the men of this generation respected the Bible, looked to it for political and philosophical guidance, and were steeped in a worldview that accepted the truths of Scripture.

Despite the attempts at historical revision by some, biblical religion had a strong and tempering influence on our nation in her early years. Some claim that our Founders, and those of their generation, were "rational Deists" who rejected the Bible and its truths. This idea must be flatly rejected, however, when we look at the sum total of what these men said and did, instead of pulling a few quotes out of context, as the atheists and "freethinkers" do. Indeed, one of the first acts of Congress under the new Constitution was, at public expense, to have Bibles printed and distributed to citizens of our nation living in what were then frontier areas. This is not the action of people who rejected Scripture and sought to establish a radically secular nation, such as was seen with the revolution in France.

The biblical worldview, and the system built upon it, helped to protect Americans from many of the ills and vices that have befallen so many other nations throughout history. Pagan nations, by which I mean nations that have rejected the Creator's worldview in favor of some form or another of purely manmade sentimentality, have traditionally been very different than those societies in which the Judeo-Christian ethic and worldview have been pervasive. These nations have typically been rife with corruption, have considered human life to be a very cheap thing, and have not blushed at even the vilest of immoralities.

For much of her history, America could have been counted among those nations that rejected the pagan for the Judeo-Christian. She was one of a few nations, along with Great Britain and her daughter colonies and a handful of northern European nations, that were holistically Christian nations. As each of these societies has gradually rejected their moral bases, they have drifted into pagan, God-rejecting ways. America is no different. Since the 1960s, the gradual trend towards devolution that was caused by unbelieving, liberal theology accelerated to a breakneck pace. We are to the point now where America cannot credibly be called a truly Christian nation. We have a small residue of those who hold to a truly biblical worldview, but even many of those who call themselves "Christian" hold to a worldview that is utterly alien to the worldview upon which our nation was founded. We, as a nation, are regressing backwards towards a set of social and moral conditions that have characterized pagan, God-rejecting nations all throughout history.

How are we doing this?

In pagan societies, there was no sense that God was the Creator, that the universe and all that is in it is the product of a loving, perfect God who made it by His own hand, and placed mankind into it as a steward. Instead, most pagan societies held to some version of a creation myth in which the "stuff" of creation was always there and was merely shaped by finite and limited gods or other supernatural forces. There was no understanding of creation ex nihilo among them. Instead, the gods, man, and everything else were all just a part of some eternally pre-existent matter that might change in form, but certainly could not be said to have been a product of special creation by a loving, all-powerful God to Whom we will one day give an account of ourselves. As a result, pantheism sooner or later would recommend itself to them as the "obvious" choice for explaining reality, as it did the Stoics in Rome and the Hindus in India.

This, naturally, leads to two outflowings. The first is the placing of humanity and the natural world around us on the same level. A man is equals to a dog is equal to a mouse is equal to a tree. The most obvious example of this is the view of the transmigration of the soul as it is expressed in karmic Hinduism. In this worldview, a man may very well end up being a dog in his next life, or a tree, depending on how good or bad he was in this life. Even among the Greeks and others pagans, however, there was this same sense of man having an intimate connection with nature. This formed the basis of the sympathetic magic and astrology that were practiced throughout so much of the ancient world they arose out of the pantheistic belief that all of physical existence was connected, and that the actions of one part would subtly influence other parts. The motions of the stars would control our destinies. Using the right ingredients and speaking the right formulae would influence anything from the weather to the emotions of other people.

We see this same general mindset today in the rise in astrology, the occult, alien Eastern religions, and so forth, all of which rest on the same pantheistic foundation. However, the most pervasive example of the inroads that this worldview has made into the psyche of our nation is to be found in the widespread acceptance of the principles and beliefs embodied in the environmentalist movement. While I believe that there is certainly a place within the biblical worldview for a proper stewardship over the earth and its resources, the modern "Green" movement goes far beyond this. Instead of viewing the earth as a special gift of God to man for his use and benefit, the Green movement views the earth as something which transcends man, a system in which man is simply one little cell in the greater mass of life which is called "Gaia." There are many thousands in our nation who, literally, worship the earth as a mother goddess, just as the pagans in many societies did thousands of years ago. But there are millions more who, while not revering the mother goddess openly, still accept the implicit teachings of pantheistic environmentalism. "We belong to the earth," they say, "it does not belong to us." That is an anti-God statement, and one which is as likely to be said by a religionist in a liberal church as it is an earth-worshipping Gaiast. The whole "Earth First" movement is predicated on the notion that man, by exercising his industry and intelligence to improve the world around him, is acting on an alien and desultory instinct which is "ruining" the earth. Man needs to know his place, to be "in harmony" with nature. Indeed, man, because he uses earth's resources, deserves to be "culled" according to some of the more radical Greenies. Even the belief, imparted to our children in the public schools and in many children's entertainment programs, that we need to "save the earth" by crash recycling programs, ending CO2 production, and saving the rain forests is predicated on pantheistic Green assumptions. Need I say it, but Captain Planet was nothing more than a high priest of Gaiasm, tasked with converting your children to his religion.

Coupled with radical environmentalism, we also see the advance of the religion of evolutionism which is a religious and mystical belief system, rather than a scientific. Again, materialistic evolution finds its basis in the myth that all of existence has been eternally there is no God who called it into existence from nothing. Whether all that exists is now ordered from some hypothetical Big Bang (the initial point of explosion itself existing without a beginning), or through some sort of eternally contracting and expanding steady-state system, the fundamental constant in all this is the rejection of any need for God the Creator. Instead, all of us, and everything else, are just flashes in the pan in that great cosmic stream of non-consciousness. Life arose from non-life, and is just another form that matter happens to take, much like crystals and planetoids. When you get right down to the nuts and bolts, that is what materialistic evolutionism is a worldview that exists to give its believers a reason to reject a personal God to whom they will one day be accountable, and to replace it with a soulless diversity of "change" in which we just form one point on an ever-evolving continuum of existence, all of it interconnected and interrelated. In evolutionism, man really is no better than a dog or a mouse or a tree, for that's merely what man was millions of years ago.

The other outflowing of the pantheistic ethos is the devaluation of human life. If we're all just part of some great big Everything, then no single one of us really matters for much. Our nation is well on its way to losing the sense of the uniqueness and value of innocent human life. In godly societies, it is understood that man was created in the image of his Creator, and that he occupies a special and revered place in the estimation of God. To assault the life of man, except under very stringent and atypical circumstances clearly delineated by God Himself (such as capital punishment for very specific crimes), is to assault God Himself.

In pagan societies, life was cheap. The Greek and Roman myths are full of stories of unwanted babies who were exposed left to die on mountains or in the wilderness. In the stories, these babies were often taken in by kindly strangers. In real life, this was a standard practice in these societies for getting rid of unwanted children, especially girls (who were less valued), and usually, nobody was there to take them in. In the games of Rome, men fought to the death, spilling each others blood and lives onto an arena floor, all for the entertainment of a hooting crowd. In war, there was no concept of "human rights," no distinction between civilian and combatant. When the Assyrians, the Mongols, or the Romans conquered you, the best you could hope for was a relatively short period of bloodletting and rapine, followed by the enslavement of the survivors. Human life was just another commodity, and a cheap one at that. Even today, in non-Christian societies all over the world, we see the same contempt for the value of human life how else can one describe, for instance, the genocide committed by a paganized Germany under the Nazis, or the Rwandan massacres in Africa?

But what of America today? What can we say of a nation where a million babies a year are aborted in the womb, practically always because they are inconvenient to one or both of the parents? How is that really any different from leaving the baby to freeze to death or to be eaten by wolves on a mountain? Abortion is a thoroughly pagan practice, and nobody who accepts that it is a woman's "right" can credibly claim to be a Christian. Nobody. It is a pagan abomination, the existence of which shows starkly the terrible depths to which our land has fallen.

But let's look beyond that. What about our popular entertainments, the movies and video games and the like, in which blood and gore are glorified? Our people are entertained, amused and titillated by seeing graphic, on-screen depictions of people's lives being destroyed in a splatter of blood. Our children play video games where the object is to kill and maim in as grotesque a fashion as possible. How are these any different from the jeering Roman crowds who urged gladiators to behead and disembowel each other as spectacle?

Another practice that was common in pagan societies was the acceptance and practice of sodomy, so-called "homosexuality." This sin was rife among the filthy pagan societies of the Canaanites. The pagan Greeks practiced it with abandon. The Spartan system of military training for their boys included conditioning to sodomy. The Thebans had their "Sacred Band," 150 couples of male lovers who were honored as the highest warriors in their city-state. The Romans, as they became more decadent, cast aside their repugnance at this sin and it became widespread among their upper classes. Even in religion, sodomy has been revered by a pagan, anti-God world. The role of male temple prostitutes in the Baal religion of the ancient Near East, against which God and His prophets objected so strenuously, is well-known. The Greeks, especially the Spartans, had entire festivals devoted to the "carrying away" of young teenage boys by older men as lovers, in emulation of the myth of the abduction of the young man Ganymede by Zeus. Far from being abhorred, sodomy was a virtue in many pagan systems.

And so it is today in America. Sodomites form a protected class, afforded special protections by law that are unavailable to those who follow normal patterns of sexuality. "Gayness" is held up as laudable and good by our popular entertainment, in the movies, on television shows, among the chattering classes. What was once the most shameful of practices is now performed openly and without punishment on the streets of many of our cities. We are even on the brink of appointing an open lesbian to the highest court in the land. Even religion, so-called "Christianity" as it is practiced in our liberal, unbelieving "churches," is a part of the mainstreaming of sodomy. Just look at the denominations today who are seeking to openly place practicing homosexuals into their clergy, and who are at the forefront of the condemnations leveled at those who hold to the biblical position on this sin. "Gay is good," we are told even by churchmen in these denominations, while those who side with God are bigots and hateful. Our society has advanced far down the path of pagan rejection of God.

One final way in which we see our nation rejecting the biblical worldview and regressing to the same standards of behavior as seen in pagan nations throughout history is in the acceptance of institutionalized corruption in politics and government. Granted, human nature being what it is, there has always been corruption to one degree or another in every government ever conceived, even our own back in the good old days. But late Republican Rome set a new standard for such behavior. Offices were bought and sold with impunity. Patrician notables with personal armies would invade the Republic's neighbors for the purposes of extracting gold, slaves, and glorious acclaim back in Rome. Provincial governors openly milked as much tax revenue as they could without inciting open rebellions, so as to fund lavish lifestyles and the furthering of their political power back in Rome. Bribery was rampant. Members of the ruling class used the courts as a tool to destroy each other, instead of exacting true justice. Despite the moralizing against the effects of this corruption by a few lonely voices, there seems to have been little moral or ethical concern that would have served as a brake on the advance of corruption.

Rome wasn't the only corrupt society. Even into modern history, the extent of corruption among government officials and others at high levels in society generally correlates inversely with the degree to which biblical Christianity and the biblical worldview had penetrated into the consciousness of a nation. As they lose that influence, they lose their good government by honest people.

So today, in America we see a system in which bribery is increasingly accepted as "politicians being politicians." We have a President who dithers in his response to grave natural and environmental disasters such as we have seen recently in Tennessee and Louisiana, because those states voted for his opponent. The present administration has been involved in selling Senate seats to the highest bidder. It has tried to bribe a sitting member of Congress with the promise of a high office if he would refrain from running against the President's chosen candidate in a senatorial primary. This President has surrounded himself with ethically questionable individuals like Van Jones and Valerie Jarrett, and only got to where he is because of his ties to a political machine dominated by such sterling examples of ethical goodness as "Hot Rod" Blagojevich and "Fat Tony" Rezko. Obama's campaign for the presidency was financed in part by foreign money, funneled into his treasury from various Middle Eastern sources. This administration's immigration enforcement apparatus has openly said that it "may not" process illegal immigrants arrested under an Arizona law that the President doesn't like, thereby positively refusing to do its duty under law. Obama and those around him have not been shy about using thugs Black Panthers, SEIU mobs, and ACORN operatives to intimidate voters, opponents, and those who are being made into examples to the rest.

Even before the current administration, Bill Clinton was able to get away with high crimes and misdemeanors because he was popular and well-liked, and was able to convince the gullible people of this country that he was merely being persecuted by prudish Republicans for whom it was "all about sex." Of course, Clinton also got away with financing his campaign through foreign money, when Al Gore facilitated the entry of Chinese money through his fundraising at a Buddhist temple. Other candidates for office, from John Kerry to Richard Blumenthal, have been given passes by the media and their own supporters, despite their bald-faced lying about their war records in Vietnam.

The list goes on and on. But you know why this is the case? Because the people love to have it so. These politicians get away with what they do, and continue to get a pass election after election after election, because the mainstream media and the people themselves are willing to accept and condone this ever-increasing lawlessness and corruption. We the people could change this if we wanted. But too many of us don't want to, because the corruption in Washington is merely mirroring the corruption in the personal lives of many in this nation. To really and truly get serious about holding (Democrat) politicians accountable would mean that too many liberals, and even moderates, in this country would have to face up to their own culpability for many of the same sorts of things, only on a smaller and less noticeable scale. The corruption is not merely at the top in this country. It goes all the way through, and it is so because a large portion of this country's population has rejected biblical morals and the biblical worldview we have become a pagan nation in the way that a goodly share, perhaps the majority, of the people themselves think and act in their personal lives. Just as in Rome, the patrician class got away with corruption because the people were too busy with their bread and circuses and with their own increasingly immoral lifestyles, so it is in 21st century America.

So what can we do? How can we, as conservatives and Christians, oppose the seemingly inevitable march towards the paganization of America? Well, first and foremost, we have to get serious about standing up and making our voices be heard on the matter, regardless of who wants to naysay, regardless of who wants to criticize, regardless of who opposes us. We have to be willing to vote our consciences, instead of constantly compromising with every moderate, RINO, and social libertarian who comes along and says they are a fiscal conservative. We have to start demanding that our candidates and those who claim to speak for us on the national stage hold to our worldview that they respect human life as a gift from God, that they respect God as our Creator, that they oppose the perversions that are increasingly stamping themselves onto our culture. We have to make the case in positive terms to those around us, showing them why abortion is bad, why gay marriage is detrimental, why environmentalism is not what it is cracked up to be.

Even more so, we have to get serious about living the biblical worldview ourselves, instead of merely telling other people about it. We have to practice what we preach. We have to make our words and our testimonies match, and we have to be able to present them to those around us who have accepted the pagan philosophies and worldview, and show why ours is better. In our free society, we do not nor should we have the right to impose our worldview by force of arms or violence. We do have the right to present it into the marketplace of ideas, and we have the responsibility to make it so obvious that it imposes itself, by the iron force of reason and wisdom. So let's get busy doing so.

© Tim Dunkin

 

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Tim Dunkin

Tim Dunkin is a pharmaceutical chemist by day, and a freelance author by night, writing about a wide range of topics on religion and politics. He is the author of an online book about Islam entitled Ten Myths About Islam, and is the founder and editor of Conservative Underground, a bi-weekly email newsletter focusing on foundational conservative worldview and philosophy. He is a born-again Christian, and a member of a local, New Testament Baptist church in North Carolina. He can be contacted at tqcincinnatus@yahoo.com. All emails may be monitored by the NSA for quality assurance purposes.

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