A New “Age of Reason” in America
- 21 December 2008 by Author 0 Comments
A New “Age of Reason” in America
By Richard Larsen
Published – Idaho State Journal, 12/21/2008
Even casually perusing mainstream media sources these days creates the impression that the country is suddenly emerging from a cultural and political cave of Medieval proportions into a new era of reason and enlightenment. For many, it’s obvious that their newfound zeal and love of the American way hinges on an illogical presumption that moving the country to the left is somehow more reasoned and enlightened. To others, the nomination of a scholarly Energy Secretary is sufficient for a presumption of a more reasoned and rational national political culture.
Whatever the sources of such patriotic resurgence, we can only hope that there is somehow a more reasonable and logical climate for us to function socially in, regardless of what’s happening politically in Washington.
As seemingly pervasive as this perception is in media across the fruited plain, we can only hope that some of the irrational, fallacious, and spurious trends of recent years will likewise fade away with the advent of the new age of renaissance in America.
Perhaps the dawning of a new age of reason will curtail the idiotic notion that the government is forcing religion on people because (gasp!) the Ten Commandments are posted on government property. Our newly enlightened citizenry will appropriately realize that the Decalogue serves as a founding codex of cultural mores for Western civilization much as the Code of Hammurabi did for Eastern civilization.
Perhaps the illuminati of American culture will come to the realization that Christians have as much right to be heard in the public square as those who fervently preach their godless secular religions of man-made global warming, atheism, and paleontologically bereft evolution. Since each of these belief systems are founded in faith which fills in the gaps that science can’t explain, all such expressions of faith will now be heralded as acceptable, tolerable, and welcome contributors to the American social fabric.
We will likewise universally realize that non-profit organizations, even if they’re (gasp!) churches, have a right to exist, and continue their efforts in serving the temporal, social, and yes, spiritual needs of their parishioners. Much to the chagrin of our more “erudite” fellow citizens, the President Elect has indicated a desire to maintain the faith-based services initiated by President Bush. But now, in this atmosphere of increased enlightenment, it will be acceptable because it’s suddenly more reasonable for organizations with genuine interest in their fellow beings to provide tax-free and subsidized service for those less advantaged amongst us.
A new age of enlightenment will allow us to actually call Christmas, “Christmas,” instead of the more generic, and politically correct “Holidays,” or “Winter Solstice.” There is a freedom in being more reason based, because it means I don’t have to be offended by a Menorah in Manhattan, or the chimes signaling morning and evening prayers for Muslims in Boston. Likewise, atheists and agnostics will suddenly choose to no longer be offended by crosses on hillsides across the country, and nativity scenes in (gasp!) public places. Our collective reason-based epiphany grants us immediate recognition of the fact that each of us can maturely choose to not be offended at everything in society that cuts across our grain. We can actually rejoice in our diversity, and not just a “politically correct” version that disallows Christians and Jews the same freedoms and liberties that social secularists embrace.
This new age of enlightenment will allow children to actually sing traditional Christmas Carols at Christmas time. They won’t have to sing nondescript, theologically neutered songs that avoid any reference to the primary reason for our celebration of this season. As the central figure in the belief system of the Deists founding this nation, and nearly 80% of Americans today, it will finally be acceptable again to mention the name of Jesus Christ, and acknowledge this season as the time we celebrate his birth.
Further, educators and government employees will suddenly discover they can have a backbone in standing up to those few who actually do force their beliefs on the rest of society. They won’t be like the school administrators in North Carolina who banned even the singing of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer since it had the word “Christmas” in it, because one parent complained.
The more I think about it, the more I like this American renaissance of reason, universal tolerance, and genuine multiculturalism. Those who have been forced into hiding because of religious beliefs can emerge now absent the fear of being defamed and derided. And we can go into stores and have the employees actually say “Merry Christmas.” What a wonderful time for the nation!
Although there is no logical reason to presume this new reasoned era will spawn the attitudes I’ve mentioned, there’s no reason why it can’t happen. It all comes down to us individually and our commitment to true classical liberalism. If we collectively realize the relationship between our inalienable rights and our moral obligations to one another in defense of those rights, this nation can rise like a phoenix from the ashes of 20th century obsession with political correctness, and become again, the kind of nation envisioned by the founders and our forebears.
In that spirit, I extend my warmest Christmas wishes for much happiness, love, and joy, regardless of religious or political orientation.
Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.