The Case for Judeo-Christian Values, Part X
by Dennis Prager
It is difficult to overstate the depth of the differences between the Judeo-Christian view of the world and that of its opponents, most particularly the Left. For example, it involves the very question of whether there is order to the world.
Basic to the biblical worldview is the proposition that God made order out of chaos — order expressed largely through separation and differences. God separated light from dark and created day and night; separated the waters and created land; and so on.
Differences reflect the divine order, while attempts to abolish those differences represent a denial of that order and a yearning for primeval chaos, moral and otherwise.
Here are some of the differences that are central to the Judeo-Christian worldview that are under attack today: Good and evil: Central to the Judeo-Christian value system is that good and evil are polar opposites and "Woe unto those who call evil good, and good evil" (Isaiah). Opponents of Judeo-Christian values have made war on moral absolutes, on God-based moral values.
This has been attempted through moral relativism ("What I think is good is good for me, what you think is good is good for you"); opposition to moral judgments ("Who are you to call the Soviet Union 'evil'?"); multiculturalism ("No culture's values are any better than any other's"); substituting psychological categories for moral ones (such as routinely labeling violent murderers "sick" rather than evil); dividing the world into the powerful and the weak rather than the good and bad; and through Marxism and all its leftist and liberal materialism-based offshoots that have substituted economic criteria for moral ones ("Poverty causes crime"; or as constantly heard since 9-11, poverty breeds terrorists, the point made by George McGovern recently at a symposium on world poverty at Princeton University).
God and man: God is God and man is man. There is an infinite gulf between man and God, and God is infinitely higher than man. For the Left, man is God and God is man (these were the very words used by Marx and Engels). Each man is the source of values and the measure of all things, unaccountable to any God.
Man and woman: "And God created Adam [i.e., the human being], male and female He created them" (Genesis). This is the area of the greatest current cultural battle. The biblical view is that man and woman are entirely distinct beings, and human order in large part rests on preserving that distinctiveness. The Left is working to abolish this distinction. That is what its battle for the "transgendered" is about. "GLBT" means "Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered." Transgendered is not transsexual. A transsexual has simply changed sexes, but he or she does not obliterate the sexes' distinctiveness. The transgendered, on the other hand, remains a member of his or her sex but acts out gender-roles belonging to the other (such as the man who wears a dress in public).
The Left advocates much more than merely homosexuality-heterosexuality equality. It is for obliterating the notion of fixed sex, of male and female. That is why in the last 10-20 years the word "sex" — always used to describe male or female — has been replaced by "gender." Sex is objective and fixed; gender is subjective and malleable. Thus some universities — the institution in the vanguard of removing Judeo-Christian values — are eliminating men's and women's bathrooms, as they imply a sex distinctiveness that is unacceptable to opponents of Judeo-Christian sex distinctions.
Two laws in the Torah provide further evidence of the biblical desire to retain male-female distinctiveness. The first is the ban on men wearing women's clothing and on women wearing what is distinctive to men; the second is the wording of the ban on male homosexual behavior: "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman" (my translation). Sexual intercourse between men obliterates the ultimate male-female distinction.
Holy and profane: A major separation in the Judeo-Christian values system is between the holy and the profane. Applied to speech, this means, for example, that cursing is regarded far less seriously in those parts of society estranged from Judeo-Christian values. Applied to sex, this means that sexual intercourse has a dimension of holiness unknown to the Left, which regards it as a volitional and health issue.
One characteristic of the Left is its general disdain for the very concept of the holy. No one better expresses this disdain than the chief writer on culture for the New York Times, who regularly heaps contempt on religious people's sensitivities in this area. Worthy of particular ridicule are those who thought that the baring of Janet Jackson's breast on national television during half-time at the 2004 Super Bowl, and cursing and vulgarity on the public airwaves, are worth getting upset about.
Human and animal: A final example of a Judeo-Christian distinction being obliterated in the secular world is man-animal. For the Bible, man is created in God's image, animals are not. Indeed, the best way to describe holiness is the movement from the animal-like to the God-like. One of the great human tasks, according to the biblical worldview, is to separate oneself from the animal — to emulate the holy, not the animal. On the other hand, in the contemporary secular world, every attempt is made to show how similar humans are to the "other animals."
By erasing the distinctions that make for an ordered universe, those working to dismantle Judeo-Christian values are working, consciously or not, to restore chaos.
The Case for Judeo-Christian Values
I: Better Answers
II: Right and Wrong
III: Human Reason
IV: The Dog or the Stranger?
V: Values vs. Beliefs
VI: Feelings vs. Values
VII: Hate Evil
VIII: Values Larger than Theology
IX: Choose Life
X: Order v. Chaos
XI: Moral Absolutes
XII: Jewish Mission
XIII: The Meaningless Life
XIV: Arrogance of Values
XV: Unholy vs. Immoral
XVI: Nature Worship
XVII: Man and the Environment
XVIII: Murderers Must Die
XIX: Challenge of the Transgendered
XX: No Viable Alternative
XXI: Rejecting Materialism
XXII: Feminization of Society
XXIII: First Fight Yourself