Whatever Happened to God and Country?

Oct. 10 2019

Even two decades ago, religious commitment, patriotism, and having and raising children were values shared by large swaths of Americans. A recent poll, however, shows that significantly fewer American believe these things important. Moreover, the decline is primarily due to young people’s valuing them far less than do their elders. Christine Rosen comments:

Even if one is persuaded that younger generations are justified in rejecting values such as patriotism and child-rearing, nature abhors a vacuum. What new values have arisen to replace the old?

That is not clear. Secular alternatives to traditional civic, religious, and social institutions, such as the media and entertainment industries and Silicon Valley technology companies and their wares, have not proved to be reliable alternatives for those seeking value and meaning. In fact, in many ways these new secular alternatives have contributed to increased polarization and exacerbated culture-war tensions by encouraging people to embrace anger (and retweets) rather than abstract ideals such as love of God and country. . . . [Moreover, the fashionable] elevation of identity and personal experience has helped undermine people’s trust in institutions (and in one another).

The demotion of patriotism and faith and child-rearing as core American values will no doubt come as good news to many progressives and radicals who have long considered such notions retrograde. But theirs is a pyrrhic victory. If these trends continue, and “self-fulfillment” continues to outpoll patriotism while having children becomes increasingly less appealing to more and more Americans, who will be left to celebrate this supposed ideological maturation of the American people?

Welcome to Mosaic

Register now to get two more stories free

Register Now

Already a subscriber? Sign in now

Read more at Commentary

More about: American society, Decline of religion, Family

What’s the Purpose of the Hamas Chairman’s Grand Tour?

Dec. 12 2019

Egypt recently made the unusual decision to allow the head of the Hamas politburo, Ismail Haniyeh, to travel abroad. On Tuesday he was in Turkey, from where he is expected to travel to Qatar—these two countries being Hamas’s most reliable supporters—and then to Russia and Malaysia. Hamas’s other major patron, Iran, is conspicuously not on the itinerary. Shahar Klaiman speculates about the reasons for Cairo’s decision:

Sign up to read more

You've read all your free articles for this month

Register

Sign up now for unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Already have an account? Log in now

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Egypt, Hamas, Iran, Ismail Haniyeh, Russia, Turkey