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?

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Read more at Commentary

More about: American society, Decline of religion, Family

The Evidence of BDS Anti-Semitism Speaks for Itself

Oct. 18 2019

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs recently released a lengthy report titled Behind the Mask, documenting the varieties of naked anti-Semitic rhetoric and imagery employed by the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jewish state (BDS). Drawn largely but not exclusively from Internet sources, its examples range from a tweet by a member of Students for Justice in Palestine (the “world would be soooo much better without jews man”), to an enormous inflated pig bearing a star of David and floating behind the stage as the rock musician Roger Waters performs, to accusations by an influential anti-Israel blogger that Israel is poisoning Palestinian wells. Cary Nelson sums up the report’s conclusions and their implications, all of which give the lie to the disingenuous claim that critics of BDS are trying to brand “legitimate criticism of Israel” as anti-Semitic.

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Read more at Fathom

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Roger Waters, Social media