State of our Western Democracy

We stalk close to the precipice of cultural collapse, yet we close our eyes to the impending danger and stop our ears to the intoxicating shrill for change out of fear of being left on the wrong side of history. How absurd this will all sound to those living 50 or 60 years from now.

Much of today’s debate on issues like same sex marriage, freedom of speech, especially in regard to religious convictions, morality issues, including long-held societal views that have informed and shaped our Western liberal democratic laws and traditions, are being influenced by aggressive, unrelenting and toxic elements within the debate. These views seek to vilify and marginalize any individual or view that does not fit their tightly scripted dogma and preconceived outcomes. In fact, it’s a form of censoring honest debate, a kind of cultural totalitarianism.

These implacable voices seek a new social order, one that centres on an individualistic and narcissistic worldview. A predominately secular, humanistic and increasingly anti-Christian worldview, built around a set of presumptive opinions that manipulates the debate in order to promote their particular agenda. These voices also seek to marginalize the historic influence the Judeo-Christian ethic has had in shaping Western democratic societies.

This situation has been allowed to evolve over the past four decades without serious challenge, scrutiny and correction from good social commentary, unbiased investigative reporting and those who influence society as gatekeepers over public policy and community standards.

Increasingly within the broader public debate, there is a growing confederacy of politically correct, trendy progressives, lending vocal support to these social reformists. Our freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and freedom of conscience are under increasing bombardment from people who might best be described as, ‘societal deconstructionists’. They are increasingly aggressive and intolerant in pressing their claims. One might even refer to them as, the intolerant ‘tolerance league.’

This loose confederacy is, in my opinion, gaining significant traction in the public place, regardless of their ideological perspective. Their comments are biasing the debate in a way that is eroding the long-held right of free speech and fair mindedness. Often loose with the truth and lacking detailed analysis, they attack the person rather than debating truth, fact and anecdotal evidence. Together their so-called educated, enlightened and egalitarian mantra supports a position that is often one dimensional in process, shallow in constructive morality and lacking a holistic appreciation of genuine community. I believe this current one-sided and shallow perspective is a terrible indictment on the health and state of our democracy.

There is a difference. Secularism traditionally demands openness in which all views and opinions are expressed, explored and tested in an open, free and secure framework. One therefore needs to ask the question, “Why is there such a growing confederacy, in our Western society, that seeks to eradicate Christianity and time-tested wisdoms that made our Judeo-Christian culture truly great? Why are they so embarrassed by the West’s Christian history, its foundations and heritage? Or are they really in denial of it altogether?” We cast off these restraints at our peril!

What drives me to make such comments?

It’s because our Western liberal democracy depends on an informed, robust and beneficial public debate on a diversity of views, opinions and the competition of truth and anecdotal evidence. It is the responsibility of citizens to work to see the re-establishment of this kind of robustness and respect restored at all levels of the public debate, before we loose out altogether on what makes our national distinctive the envy of many.

Cultural, philosophical and political gatekeepers need to revisit the roots of what made our Judeo-Christian society great: namely that God has a plan and creation has a part to play in that plan. It’s also imperative that God and the long-held wisdoms that have helped shape our Western democratic societies, again become part of the meta-narrative framing our public policy, rule of law and community etiquette.

Therefore it’s time for a change!

A change of heart – to look into our own hearts to see what we need to do, to say, or take responsibility for;

A change of attitude – to consider my lifestyle; does it demonstrate the wisdom of ages past built on absolutes tried and tested? Does it truly express generosity, empathy and compassion for my fellow human beings?

A change in desired outcomes – individually and corporately, if we’re going to see true and sustainable societal transformation, one that leads to a more inclusive, considerate and holistic national meta-narrative.

What needs to change in your life?

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