Those Aren’t Our Values
I can actually feel brain cells explode every time I hear that line. That one and, “That’s not who we are.” The nonsense of those sentences needs exploration before someone carves them in stone.
Let’s look at the word values. The word comes to us from Old French, no doubt riding across the English Channel with William the Conqueror in 1066. (That alone should give us pause.) At that time it meant to be worth -- William was so interested in the worth of all the lands he’d conquered that he took an inventory called The Domesday Book.
Value appears not to have been used then in the philosophical way it is today. Today, especially when presented in the vague plural, it refers to whatever current, politically correct ideas waft about the interbunk, or to which propaganda is trending.
Values are not the same thing as morals. A person who espouses values will place a woman’s career options above the life of an unborn child, thereby choosing success over the moral prohibition against committing murder, against the idea that every person is a valuable creation of God. Values allow us to indulge our desires, to seek self-actualization (as if we aren’t actually here unless we do) rather than to have concern for how our actions affect the welfare of those with whom we interact. Values are a human construct. Morals come from God -- “Thou shalt not have other gods before me,” (Exodus 20:3).
People who think in terms of values readily adopt new ones when they become popular. A value is infinitely flexible. A moral person, on the other hand, sees the rules by which he lives as something permanent and immutable, as something God instituted for the blessing of us all.
A person whose decisions are based on values rarely knows what those values are outside of non-specific catch phrases: multiculturalism, peace, hope and change, self-expression, progressivism, socialism, LGBT. Whatever is currently politically correct is a value.
Values have no logic behind them, are based instead on feelings. Morals have reasons –- for instance, society is based on the family, therefore any behavior that threatens the family is verboten. Values lean on one’s personal desires, morals on the concern for the preservation of an entire society. If a culture begins to lean more on values than morals the entire society is at risk –- a values culture does not recognize the dangers of this world. Look at Sweden. On the Ignlehart and Welzel *world values map" Sweden ranks at the top for “self-expression” and “secular-rational values,” obviously at the pinnacle of societal evolution –- multicultural to the extreme, thoroughly socialistic, heavily secular, yet it is now the financially fragile, Muslim-infused rape capital of the world. Yay values!
Inglehart and Welzel don’t rank self-preservation as a value on their chart. They value (double entendre intended) self-expression as the superior concept. I doubt that Swedish women would agree. What good is self-expression if you have to hide at home?
Japan also ranks high on this chart, not as self-expressive as Sweden, but high on the secular-rational axis. Japan is more aware of the dangers of Islamic intensity than Sweden, and has wisely kept a lid on Muslim immigration, but Japan is also failing to thrive; they are not replacing their population –- even sex is no longer a sought-after activity and suicide rates are alarming. Neither Sweden nor Japan is flourishing, despite their values, which causes me to conclude that values are an inadequate basis for a civilization.
It is interesting that Inglehart and Welzel don’t deal with morality and its place in the world. They use the term traditional values instead, largely, I suspect, to avoid giving any respect to this age-old idea or to the possibility that God is at all involved. Morals are not, in their view and in the view of much of academia, divinely inspired, but are, like the so-called rational or scientific values merely primitive manifestations of the same make-it-up-as-you-go miasma.
Interestingly enough they see Islamic traditional values as an equivalent to the Christian worldview, never mind the fact that murder is admired in the former and abhorred in the latter, or that women are enslaved in the one and idolized in the other. After all, there is no talk of what is good and what is evil; neither, in the modern view, is relevant or useful.
In this modern world, based as it is on evolutionary thinking and the idea that we’re always getting better, smarter, more sophisticated, values are seen as superior in every way, never mind history and the mountains of evidence to the contrary.
The women’s rights value has robbed our country alone of fifty million unique individuals. The socialism value has destroyed prosperity. The world peace value has rendered all of Western civilization unable to defend itself against radical Islam -– prudently closing our borders, retaining enemy combatants, extracting information from detainees -- all these common sense policies are no longer “who we are.” God help us.
We live in a world created by God and provided by God with instructions for survival. He has done this because He has a purpose for our existence, and He knows that evil is in the world. We are not improving our ability to make workable civilizations -– one look at the 20th century proves that -– never in all of human history have so many people died so violently, so horribly, and it has been Christian American morality that, over and over again, has come to the rescue.
In fact, America has been one of the last holdouts for living as God instructed us. That is who we are. I tremble at the idea that these divine guidelines for living, these rules for both survival and prosperity can be supplanted with synthetic, pathetic, mass-produced values.
Deana Chadwell blogs at www.ASingleWindow.com and is an adjunct writing professor at Pacific Bible College in southwestern Oregon.