The Divided States of America
by Stephen D. Palmer (e-mail: SPalmer@liberator.net) [December 3rd, 2003]
The recent Alabama Federal Court decision ordering the removal of Chief Justice Roy Moore’s monument of the ten commandments from the state judicial building is an illuminating example of the contemporary trend in America of discordant, litigious minority groups causing the alarmingly steady fragmentation of our society. Their success in advancing their agendas necessarily comes at the expense of liberty and the unifying principles vital to our existence as a nation.
A week after the federal court ordered the monument removed, a disturbing CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll found that 77% of Americans disapproved of the controversial decision which ruled in favor of the American Civil Liberties Union, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with only 400,000 members nationwide (out of a total US population of almost 300 million), who found the monument “offensive” and complained that it made them feel like “outsiders.”
“Other than a few glaring yet historically rectified contradictions, the legacy of American history has been that of broad ethnic, religious, racial, and linguistic diversity united behind the political ideal of inalienable rights and a morality which acknowledges God.”
Those of the overwhelming (although remarkably passive) majority have to be alarmed by the destructive factionalism exemplified by this highly propagandized case. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, noted that “Separatism nourishes prejudices, magnifies differences, and stirs antagonisms.” He added that “This multiethnic dogma abandons historic purposes, replacing assimilation by fragmentation, integration by separatism. It belittles unum and glorifies pluribus.” The ever-widening dichotomy between dissentious minority groups and the majority, contrary to unification, will inevitably cause the dissolution of a strong national identity, which history has shown is imperative for the perpetuation of societies. Dissident sectarianism of this nature diametrically conflicts with the explicit purposes of the Constitution to “form a more perfect union, establish justice, and insure domestic tranquility” and to “secure the blessings of liberty.”
The irony is that the ACLU and other similar groups are steadily eradicating the very thing they purport to be fighting for. The self-proclaimed mission of the ACLU is to fight for civil liberties so as to “prevent the tyranny of the majority.” The only problem is that their hypocritical methodology constitutes a tyranny of the minority at the expense of the liberties of all.
James Hitchcock, an American historian, observed that, “Values are necessary for the functioning of any society, and if they are not consciously adopted and publicly acknowledged, they will be smuggled in surreptitiously and often unconsciously. Values are always in real or potential conflict. And the state inevitably favors some values over others.” In this case, the Alabama judiciary has obviously shown that they support the religion of non-theistic over Judeo-Christian beliefs, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans, regardless of religious belief or affiliation, adhere to the ethic found in the Ten Commandments. Could not this majority legitimately argue that the monument should remain using the same reasoning: that the lack of the monument is “offensive” and its absence makes them feel like “outsiders?”
Other than a few glaring yet historically rectified contradictions, the legacy of American history has been that of broad ethnic, religious, racial, and linguistic diversity united behind the political ideal of inalienable rights and a morality which acknowledges God. And while the upsurge of many historically maltreated minorities struggling to achieve equal rights has resulted in healthy consequences (such as the abolition of slavery, civil rights, universal suffrage, etc.), the current trend in America is to denounce the idea of a melting pot and to protect, promote, and perpetuate separate and divisive ethnic, racial, and ideological communities. Unless the trend is halted, the segregation, tribalization, and fragmentation of America is inevitable. Schlesinger wisely said, “…as we renew our allegiance to the unifying ideals, we provide the solvent that will prevent differences from escalating into antagonism and hatred.”
Atlanta Journal Constitution: Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore Removed from Office ACLU: Religious Liberty : Ten Commandments CNN: Ten Commandments Monument Moved
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