Posts Tagged ‘Jewish’

Liberal Religions Forced To Confront The Dodo-Bird Effect Of Progressivism

April 18, 2011

There was a “Far Side” cartoon that makes all the more sense to me now.  A dinosaur was standing at the podium in front of a large auditorium full of dinosaurs.  And he was explaining, “We’re facing a serious crisis, gentlemen.  The world’s climates are changing, mammals are eating our eggs, and we have brains the size of a walnut.”

The religious side of liberalism is every bit as bankrupt as the political side, and the constantly shrinking membership bears that spiritual, moral and intellectual bankruptcy out.

I saw an article in the Los Angeles Times about liberal Judaism that brought out the fact that liberal “Judaism” was as much a Dodo bird as liberal “Christianity.”  During the same week I spoke to a “Catholic” I frequently chatted with who – after telling me he was a “radical liberal” who believed in abortion and socialized medicine – proceeded to tell me that he utterly rejected the virgin birth of Christ.  Which is of course a central defining belief of orthodox/traditional Catholicism.  And that prompted me to do some thinking about these so-called “mainline” liberal religious movements, and just how utterly meaningless they are.

I better nip one objection in the bud immediately, realizing as I do that many liberals either can’t read very well or can’t understand what they read.  The following article is about the astounding decline of “Conservative” Judaism.  But “conservative” here has nothing to do with politics or even with theology.  “Conservative Judaism” is every bit as liberal as any liberal mainline “Christian” denomination.  It embraces homosexuality; it embraces the notion that the Bible is basically a meaningless book that can be interpreted and then reinterpreted according to constantly changing societal norms.  Which is to say, Conservative Judaism ultimately stands for nothing, and isn’t “conserving” anything remotely important.

That said, “Conservative rabbis” met in Las Vegas to try to deal with a crisis: they are going extinct.  What came out of the meeting is all the more hilarious:

Leaders of Conservative Judaism press for change as movement’s numbers drop
Leading Conservative rabbis gather in Las Vegas to ‘rebrand’ the movement, but there is little agreement about how to draw people back into synagogues.
April 12, 2011|By Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times

Three hundred rabbis walk into a Las Vegas martini lounge. Bartenders scramble to handle the crowd — the rabbis are thirsty. Suddenly, an Elvis impersonator takes the stage.

We are faced with two possibilities.

One, this is the beginning of a joke.

Two, they don’t make rabbis the way they used to.

The Rabbinical Assembly, the clerical arm of Conservative Judaism, would have you believe the second message, or something like it. That’s why it launched its 2011 convention with a martini reception at a Las Vegas synagogue. The gathering was billed as an attempt to “rebrand” the Conservative movement, which has seen alarming declines in membership in recent years.

“We are in deep trouble,” Rabbi Edward Feinstein of congregation Valley Beth Shalom in Encino told the convention the next day. “There isn’t a single demographic that is encouraging for the future of Conservative Judaism. Not one.”

Those words could apply equally to a number of U.S. religious denominations, especially liberal Protestant and Jewish faiths. Membership is falling; churches and synagogues are struggling financially; and surveys show robust growth among the ranks of those who declare no religious affiliation.

The situation may be especially alarming to the Conservative movement because it was, for many years, the largest denomination in American Judaism. It was the solid center, more traditional than Reform, more open to change than Orthodoxy.

A decade ago, roughly one of every three American Jews identified as Conservative. Since then, Conservative synagogue membership has declined by 14% — and by 30% in the Northeast, the traditional stronghold of American Judaism.

By 2010, only about one in five Jews in the U.S. identified as Conservative, according to the American Jewish Congress.

The Reform and Orthodox movements also saw declines, although not nearly as steep. Reform Judaism for a time claimed the most adherents, but today that distinction goes to people who identify themselves as “just Jewish,” meaning they don’t associate with any of the traditional denominations. Many are entirely secular.

“We’re all in trouble,” said Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly and one of those trying to save the Conservative movement. Correcting herself, she said, “We’re not in trouble, but we’re in urgent need of rethinking the institutions of Jewish life.”

[…]

The movement’s problems, many agree, begin with its name, which has nothing to do with political conservatism and doesn’t accurately describe a denomination that accepts openly gay and lesbian rabbis and believes the Bible is open to interpretation. But that’s just for starters.

Deep dissatisfaction with the organizations that lead Conservative Judaism prompted a number of influential rabbis in 2009 to demand urgent change, warning, “Time is not on our side.” The group won promises of substantial change from the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents Conservative congregations, and helped prompt reforms in the institutions that train and represent rabbis.

A similar revolt by prominent Reform rabbis preceded that denomination’s continuing effort to reinvent itself, a project launched at L.A.’s Hebrew Union College last November.

So what does it mean for a religious movement to reinvent or rebrand itself?

“It’s one thing for a corporation to say ‘We’re going to reinvent ourselves,'” said David Roozen, director of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research.

“Sometimes they get into another business,” he said. “A religion … can evolve, it can be reinterpreted, you can express it in a slightly different style, but you can’t just be doing Judaism one day and say ‘I’m going to sell cars’ the next.”

The Conservative rabbis won’t become car salesmen, but they batted around some fairly radical ideas and predictably stirred up some opposition.

There was talk of eliminating membership dues for synagogues or switching to a la carte “fee-for-service” plans — so that a parent who wants only to send his or her child to religious school won’t also be paying to support the congregation’s other programs. But some said dues give congregants a vital sense of ownership.

Wolpe, the Sinai Temple rabbi, said the movement needs a slogan, one that’s short enough to fit on a bumper sticker. He suggested “A Judaism of Relationships.”

“We don’t have a coherent ideology,” he told his fellow rabbis. “If you ask everybody in this room ‘What does Conservative Judaism stand for?’ my guess is that you’d get 100 different answers…. That may be religiously a beautiful thing, but if you want a movement, that’s not such a hot result.”

[…]

And then there was the name. Some prefer Conservative, which was adopted when the movement began in the 19th century. It denotes the founders’ determination to conserve the best of Jewish tradition while being open to prudent change. But others said it is one reason the movement is seen by young people as being hopelessly uncool.

One suggestion: Change it to Masorti, a Hebrew word meaning “traditional” that is used by Conservative Jews in Israel and Europe.

“If we really want to appeal to the new generation, if you want to create a real worldwide movement … we need a common name, and I think it needs to be a Hebrew name,” said Rabbi Felipe Goodman of Temple Beth Sholom in Las Vegas.

As the meeting ended, there were pledges to work toward meaningful change. One example of what that might look like is an effort to employ a new definition of kosher food that would require ethical treatment of the workers who produce it —something that is being called magen tzedek, or “seal of justice.”

“This is an answer for Conservative Judaism because it’s about the marketplace, it’s about the public square,” said Rabbi Morris Allen of Mendota Heights, Minn., who is leading the effort. Magen tzedek “shifts the entire message of who we are as a religious community. Suddenly, it’s about more than just what is said at the prayer service on Saturday morning.”

Let me begin my analysis by means of a contrast.  Rabbi Morris Allen says, “This is an answer for Conservative Judaism because it’s about the marketplace, it’s about the public square.”  By radical, radical contrast, Christianity is about Jesus Christ, who He is—God incarnate—and what He accomplished—the redemption of sinners who embrace His atoning death for the sin of humanity.

“Conservative Judaism … [is]… about the marketplace.”  That is so sad.  “We need to sell more widgets, or rebrand our widgets, or maybe produce a different kind of widget.”

One of the reasons that Judaism is so swiftly disappearing is because of atheism and a virulent form of Jewish secular humanism which basically holds that it’s perfectly okay to not believe in God as long as you act as though you did.

Dinesh D’Souza points out why precisely why this phenomenon would occur – given the enormous influence of liberalism in Judaism – in his examination of why liberal “Christian” churches are losing membership in droves:

“Unfortunately the central themes of some of the liberal churches have become indistinguishable from those of the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Organization for Women, and the homosexual rights movement.  Why listen to Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong drone on when you can get the same message and much more interesting visuals at San Francisco’s gay pride parade?”

And D’Souza provides a sizable pile of statistics to show that the traditional (i.e. evangelical) denominations and churches are growing leaps and bounds even as the liberal mainline churches are going the way of the Dodo bird.

His point, of course, is that these liberal religionists are dying out because they don’t stand for anything that has any spiritual power whatsoever.

Here is the story of Christian growth in the world today:

Compared to the world’s 2.3 billion Christians, there are 1.6 billion Muslims, 951 million Hindus, 468 million Buddhists, 458 million Chinese folk-religionists, and 137 million atheists, whose numbers have actually dropped over the past decade, despite the caterwauling of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Co. One cluster of comparative growth statistics is striking: As of mid-2011, there will be an average of 80,000 new Christians per day (of whom 31,000 will be Catholics) and 79,000 new Muslims per day, but 300 fewer atheists every 24 hours.

Africa has been the most stunning area of Christian growth over the past century. There were 8.7 million African Christians in 1900 (primarily in Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Africa); there are 475 million African Christians today, and their numbers are projected to reach 670 million by 2025. Another astonishing growth spurt, measured typologically, has been among Pentecostals and charismatics: 981,000 in 1900; 612,472,000 in 2011, with an average of 37,000 new adherents every day – the fastest growth in two millennia of Christian history.

Christianity – which views itself (and which I personally believe is) the fulfillment of the Jewish Scripture – is the fastest growing religion on the planet.  Christianity is the world’s only universal religion; the only religion with a global reach.  It is particularly spreading in the third world and in Asia.  Soon, China will be the largest “Christian country” in the world.  There may very well already be more Christians in China than there are in America.  In Korea, Christians already outnumber Buddhists.

While mainline liberal Protestant and (mainline liberal) Catholic “Christianity” withers on the vine, evangelical and fundamentalist Christianity is exploding.  And while Western Europe and America increasingly deny the Christendom that brought them to greatness in the first place – even as they increasingly become less and less great as a result – Christianity is taking deep abiding root in cultures whose transformation can only be described as “miraculous.”

Meanwhile, as the statistics prove and as Dinesh D’Souza explains, atheism is shrinking in spite of all its grandiose claims to represent the fulfillment of modernity and knowledge.  “Nietzsche’s proclamation that ‘God is dead’ is now proven false,” D’Souza writes.  “Nietzsche is dead.  The ranks of the unbelievers are shrinking as a proportion of the world’s population…  God is very much alive.”  Secular humanists have long self-servingly claimed that the progression of “reason” and “science” would conquer religion, but this is now demonstrated to be a lie, a fairy tale of secularism.

Christianity stands for something.  And as much as I may personally despise Islam, it too at least takes a powerful stand – even if it relies primarily on force and terrorism to make that stand.  Atheism and secular humanism are only parisites hanging on to Christianity and its superior moral values, and the political liberalism that theological liberalism invariably leads to is the nihilism of objective moral truth all together.

Allow me to provide a concrete example of the empty nexus of liberal politics and liberal theology.  Barack Obama, a quintessential theological and political liberal, has repeatedly stripped God out of the Declaration of Independence and its profound establishment of Creator God as the only and ultimate grounds for legitimate human dignity, freedom and rights.  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” our founders assured mankind, and “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Not so with Obama.  On his repeatedly stated version, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that each of us are endowed with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

But just what created us (random mutation or perhaps benevolent fairies?) and exactly how did we become endowed with these rights that most cultures and most worldviews and in fact most political systems throughout human history have denied?  And further, why did the Judeo-Christian worldview which inspired these founding fathers be dumped on its head, such that its antithesis in the form of the radical homosexual agenda and abortion on demand be enthroned in its place?

Basically, the Judeo-Christian worldview – “Christendom,” if you like – has been treated like a salad bar in the Western Civilization that had been forged by Christianity, and secular humanists can pick out the parts that they like and throw away the rest.  But it’s not a salad bar; Judeo-Christianity as both a religion and a worldview is far more like the foundations of a great building.  And what these secular humanists have been doing is pulling out the foundational pillars one block at a time until there is nothing left to sustain the surrounding structure.

Which is precisely why the West – which used to be called “Christendom” – is now on the verge of complete collapse on virtually every level.

I see the war on terror, and from the start I have seen the glaring flaw in our strategy (yes, even when George Bush was waging it).  Basically, we have confronted totalitarian Islam on the military, political and economic fronts.  But we have utterly ignored the religious front – which is precisely the major front by which totalitiarian Islam has been attacking us.  Like it or not, 9/11 was a religious act.  And there has been no major movement whatsoever – either by the Western powers or by the movements within Islam itself – to confront the religious grounds of the totalitarian Islamists.

And the reason is because we have nothing to confront them with.  Secular humanists/atheists have undermined public religious expression at every turn, while cultural relativists have contextualized religion in such a way to strip it of any spiritual power whatsoever.  Now when we truly need true spiritual power to confront the demonic power motivating radical Islam, basically all we’ve got is allegorical dirt clods.

In the sphere of Islam, jihadists have the superior Qu’ranic argument that it is THEY who are carrying out Muhammad’s vision for Islam, not the liberal Westernized contextualizers who want to make very clear claims of Muhammad into metaphors and allegories representing something else.  Muhammad was a man of genuine violence; he had been in some thirty military campaigns in his life; he had committed numerous genocidal campaigns against “infidels”; and he had another thirty military campaigns planned at the time of his death, including the conquest of Western Europe as the means to spread Islam (“submission”) and the call of Allahu Akbar (a comparative which means “Allah is greater”).  If Muhammad is in any way, shape or form a representative paradigm of what it means to be “Muslim,” then the jihadists are right.

And liberalism – whether it be religious/theological or political/cultural liberalism – has exactly what to answer that?  Other than mocking or trivializing it?

Did political liberals – like the liberal rabbis from the LA Times article above – truly believe that we overcome the threat of terrorism by simply changing the name to “overseas contingency operation” from “war on terror”?

As bad as the religion of Allah may be for a free society, it has a great deal of force when the competition is cultural nothingness, the decaying leftovers of “salad bar pseudo-Judeo-Christianity.”

2 Timothy 3:5 says of such “Christians”:

“They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!” (New Living Translation)

St. Paul told us, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.” (2 Timothy 3:1).  The risen and glorified Jesus told St. John of the seventh and final church age, “But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” (Revelation 3:16).
of my mouth!

And it is with this final age of de-spiritualized, unglodly lukewarm “Christianity” and “Judaism” that makes God literally puke that staggering Western Civilization rises to the bell.

If anyone wants to know why I come across as angry from time to time in my blogging, it is because when I look around, I keep seeing the series of morally and even rationally terrible and despicable choices we have made right here in America that will invariably end with Antichrist, the Tribulation and Armageddon.  And it will not have been God that made this happen, or God who chose this end for mankind; but rather mankind that chose this end for itself.

C.S. Lewis said:

“We can always say we have been the victims of an illusion; if we disbelieve in the supernatural this is what we always shall say.  Hence, whether miracles have really ceased or not, they would certainly appear to cease in Western Europe as materialism became the popular creed.  For let us make no mistake.  If the end of the world appeared in all the literal trappings of the Apocalypse, if the modern materialist saw with his own eyes the heavens rolled up and the great white throne appearing, if he had the sensation of being himself hurled into the Lake of Fire, he would continue forever, in that lake itself, to regard his experience as an illusion and to find the explanation of it in psycho-analysis, or cerebral pathology.  Experience by itself proves nothing.  If a man doubts whether he is dreaming or waking, no experiment can solve his doubt, since every experiment may itself be part of the dream.  Experience proves this, or that, or nothing, according to the preconceptions we bring to it.” (God in the Dock, “Miracles,” pp. 25-26).

The problem with liberalism is that it “fundamentally transforms” whatever it touches – whether Christianity, Judaism or fiscal and economic reality – into a game of make-believe pretend.

Margaret Thatcher put the end-state of econimic liberalism succinctly: “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”  And then comes the collapse.

When radical Islamist jihadists attack, you can’t answer or fight with make-believe.  Any more than you can fight massive debt with make-believe mass-printed dollars.

My one consolation is this: I’ve cheated; I’ve skipped ahead and read the last pages of Revelation.  God – and most definitely not Allah or secular humanism or liberal mainline pseudo religiousity – wins in the end.  And when God wins in the end, via the return of Jesus Christ as true King of kings and Lord of lords, He will win in a very literal way indeed.

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Helen Thomas, Liberal Journalist, Useful Idiot And Typical Progressive Bigot

June 7, 2010

What liberal White House press correspondent Helen Thomas recent said is simply mind boggling:

On Friday May 27, at the White House Jewish Heritage Celebration, Helen Thomas, the “Dean” of the White House Press Corps, answered a journalist’s request for an opinion on Israel:

“Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine. Remember, these people are occupied and it’s their land…not German and not Poland.”

“So, where should they go?”

“Go home. Poland, Germany.”

“So, you think the Jews should go back to Poland and Germany?”

“And America and everywhere else.”

How is saying, “Tell all the Mexicans (whether legal or illegal) to get the hell out of America and go back to Mexico,” or, “Tell all the blacks to get the hell out of America and go back to Africa”???

And go back to Germany?  Doesn’t Helen Thomas realize what she’s saying?  “Go back to the country that only recently tried to exterminate your entire race as though they were vermin”?  That event occurred within your lifetime, Helen.  I mean, how dare you???

Helen Thomas is a liberal.  That’s easy to prove:

Helen Thomas: I’m a liberal, I was born a liberal, I’ll be one ’til I die, what else should a reporter be when you see so much and when we have such great privilege and access to the truth?

I don’t know.  Maybe “objective” would have been nice.

Being a liberal journalist basically means being a propagandist and an ideologue for the left, unfortunately.  It also means thinking oneself an “intellectual” – the “privileged” intelligentsia class which alone has “access to the truth.”

Thomas Sowell described the destruction their kind has done:

“George Orwell said that some ideas are so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them, for no ordinary man could be such a fool. The record of twentieth century intellectuals was especially appalling in this regard. Scarcely a mass-murdering dictator of the twentieth century was without his intellectual supporters, not simply in his own country, but also in foreign democracies, where people were free to say whatever they wished.  Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Hitler all had their admirers, defenders, and apologists among the intelligentsia in Western democratic nations, despite the fact that these dictators ended up killing people of their own country on a scale unprecedented even by despotic regimes that preceded them” – Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society, p. 2.

American liberals enthusiastically supported Hitler’s socialist fascism during his rise to power, just as they had supported totalitarian communism in the years before.

Nazism was always a creature and creation of the left.  They didn’t call themselves the “National Socialist German Workers Party” for nothing.  Nazism and Darwinian theory went hand in hand as the Nazis delved deep into American Progressive-born eugenics.  Margaret Sanger – founder of Planned Parenthood and Nazi-sympathizer – strategically used abortion and birth control to weed out “racially inferior” peoples such as blacks and Jews.

Of this effort, liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said:

“Frankly I had thought that at that time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of” — 7/2/09 Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

It was Woodrow Wilson, “the father of the Progressive movement,” who RE-segregated the military, and who purged every single black from the federal government save a single “token negro.”

And now we’ve got Helen Thomas “on the record” being the useful idiot for the side of murder and totalitarian evil yet again – this time siding with the Islamic jihadist murderers who want to exterminate Israel and kill all the Jews just for being Jews.

Liberal progressives have done incredible damage throughout 20th century history; but they never seem to pay for it, because they’re the ones who get to “write the history.”

Leftist Thought Led To Fascism – And Is Doing So Again

November 29, 2009

Liberals think that the title of Jonah Goldberg’s book Liberal Fascism is an oxymoron.  They’re wrong.  Goldberg himself writes:

“For more than sixty years, liberals have insisted that the bacillus of fascism lies semi-dormant in the bloodstream of the political right.  And yet with the notable and complicated exceptions of Leo Strauss and Allan Bloom, no top-tier American conservative intellectual was a devotee of Nietzsche or a serious admirer of Heidegger.  All major conservative schools of thought trace themselves back to the champions of the Enlightenment–John Locke, Adam Smith, Montesquieu, Burke–and none of them have any direct intellectual link to Nazism or Nietzsche, to existentialism, nihilism, or even, for the most part, Pragmatism.  Meanwhile, the ranks of the leftwing intellectuals are infested with ideas and thinkers squarely in the fascist tradition.  And yet all it takes is the abracadabra word “Marxist” to absolve most of them of any affinity with these currents.  The rest get off the hook merely by attacking bourgeois morality and American values–even though such attacks are themselves little better than a reprise of fascist arguments” [page 175].

“Foucault’s “enterprise of Unreason,” Derrida’s tyrannical logocentrism, Hitler’s “revolt against reason.”  All fed into a movement that believes action is more important than ideas.  Deconstructionism, existentialism, postmodernism, Pragmatism, relativism: all these ideas had the same purpose–to erode the iron chains of tradition, dissolve the concrete foundations of truth, and firebomb the bunkers where the defenders of the ancient regime still fought and persevered.  These were ideologies of the “movement.”  The late Richard Rorty admitted as much, conflating Nietzsche and Heidegger with James and Dewey as part of the same grand project” [Goldberg, Liberal Fascism, page 176].

It turns out that most of the moral and philosophical assumptions of liberalism have been shared by not only the Marxists, but the Nazis as well.  NAZI stood for “National Socialist German Workers Party,” and was merely a rival brand of the clearly leftist political ideology of socialism.  And given the fact that Marxism was in fact every bit as totalitarian and murderous as Nazism, in hindsight it seems rather bizarre that “Marxist” was ever an abracadabra word that the American left was willing to bear to begin with.

The purpose of this article is to explore how the foundational ideas that liberals uphold as being the opposite of fascism in fact actually fed the monster of fascist Nazism, and how the modern American left continue to fall prey to fascist premises and outcomes to this very day.

It is particularly interesting that the supposedly highly individualistic and influential school of thought known as “existentialism” became so ensnared by fascism and Nazism.  On the surface, existentialism would seem to be the very polar opposite of fascism and Nazism.  After all, a philosophy of radical freedom centered in the individual would surely be incompatible with a totalitarian social system that denies political liberty in the name of the community.  One would assume that existentialism would be a philosophy of rebellion against all such external authority.  And yet the Nazis quoted Frederich Nietzsche at great length in support of their ideology (see also here).  Martin Heidegger, one of the foremost existentialist thinkers in history, turned out to have been a proud member of the Nazi Party.  And even famed existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre – who fought to resist fascism in his Nazi-occupied France during WWII – ultimately merely chose another totalitarian ideology in its place (Sartre identified himself as a Marxist and a Maoist).

Georg Lukács observed (in The Destruction of Reason, 1954, page 5) that tracing a path to Hitler involved the name of nearly every major German philosopher since Hegel: Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Dilthy, Simmel, Scheler, Heidegger, Jaspers, Weber.  Rather than merely being amoral monsters, the Nazis emerged out of a distinguished liberal secular humanist intellectual tradition.

Max Weinreich documented in Hitler’s Professors: The Part of Scholarship in Germany’s Crimes against the Jewish People, an exhaustive study of the complicity of German intellectuals with the Nazi regime.  Far from opposing the Nazi regime, we find that German academia actively provided the intellectual justification for Nazi fascism as well as the conceptual framework for the Holocaust.  Weinreich does not claim that German scholars intended the Holocaust, but he argues that the Holocaust would not have been possible without them.

He asks, “Did they administer the poison?  By no means; they only wrote the prescription.”

How could such a thing happen?

Very easily, it turns out.

The existentialists (along with the secular humanists and the liberals), deny the transcendent, deny objective truth, and deny the objective morality that derive from transcendence and objective truth.  Rather than any preordained system – whether moral or theological – existentialist anchored meaning not to any ideals or abstractions, but in the individual’s personal existence.  Life has no ultimate meaning; meaning is personal; and human beings must therefore create their own meaning for themselves.

One should already begin to see the problem: since existentialism, by its very nature, refuses to give objective answers to moral or ideological questions, a particular existentialist might choose to follow either a democrat or totalitarian ideology – and it frankly doesn’t matter which.  All that matters is that the choice be a genuine choice.

Existentialists didn’t merely acknowledge this abandonment of transcendent morality, they positively reveled in it.  In his book St. Genet, Jean-Paul Sartre celebrated the life of a criminal.  Genet was a robber, a drug dealer, and a sexual deviant.  By all conventional moral standards, Genet was an evil man.  But for Sartre, even ostensibly evil actions could be moral if they were performed in “good faith.”  And since Sartre’s Genet consciously chose to do what he did, and took responsibility for his choices and his actions, he was a saint in existentialist terms.

And the problem becomes even worse: by rejecting the concepts of transcendence, objective meaning, truth, and moral law, and by investing ultimate authority in the human will (i.e. Nietzsche’s “will to power”, Hitler’s “triumph of the will”), existentialism played directly into the hands of fascism — which preached the SAME doctrines.  If fascism can be defined as “violent and practical resistance against the process of transcendence,” as Ernst Nolte defined it, then it’s affinities with existentialism are crystal clear.  The two movements became part of the same stream of thought.

Modern Nietzsche followers argue that Nietzsche was not a racial anti-Semite.  For the sake of argument maybe he wasn’t; but he was without any question an intellectual anti-Semite, who attacked the Jews for their ideas and their ethics — particularly as they contributed to Western civilization and to Christianity (which he also actively despised).  And in addition to Nietzsche’s intellectual anti-Semitism was his utter contempt for any form of abstractions — particularly as they related to the transcendental categories of morality and reason.  Nietzsche maintained that abstraction of life resulted from abstraction of thought.  And he blamed Christianity – which he rightly blamed as a creation of the Jews – for the denial of life manifested in Christian morality.

And, unlike most pseudo-intellectuals of today, Nietzsche was consistent: in his attack against Christianity, he attacked Judeo-Christian morality.  He attacked the Christian value of other-centered love, and argued that notions of compassion and mercy favored the weak and the unfit, thereby breeding more weakness.  Don’t you dare think for a single nanosecond that Hitler didn’t take the arguments of this beloved-by-liberals philosopher and run down the field with them toward the death camps.

The Nazis aligned themselves not only against the Jews but against the the Judeo-Christian God and the Judeo-Christian morality the Jews represented.  A transcendent lawgiving God, who reveals His moral law on real tablets of stone for mankind to follow, was anathema to the fascists.  They argued that such transcendence alienates human beings from nature and from themselves (i.e., from their own genuine choices).  The fascist intellectuals sought to forge a new spirituality of immanence, focused upon nature, on human emotions, and on the community.  The fascists sought to restore the ancient pre-Christian consciousness, the ancient mythic sensibility in the form of the land and the blood, in which individuals experience unity with nature, with each other, and with their own deepest impulses.

Gene Edward Veith in his book Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian worldview writes:

The fascist rebellion against transcendence restored the ancient pagan consciousness.  With it came barbarism, a barbarism armed with modern technology and intellectual sophistication.  The liquidation of the transcendent moral law and “Jewish” conscience allowed the resurgence of the most primitive and destructive emotions, the unleashing of original sin (page 14).

Nietzsche argued that God is dead, and Hitler tried to finish Him off by eradicating the Jews.  What is less known is that he also planned to solve the “church problem” after the war.  Hitler himself  said:

“The war is going to be over.  The last great task of our age will be to solve the church problem.  It is only then that the nation will be wholly secure” [From Hitler’s Tabletalk (December 1941), quoted in The Nazi Years: A Documentary History, ed. Joachim Remak, 1990, page 105].

Hitler boasted that “I have six divisions of SS composed of men absolutely indifferent in matters of religion.  It doesn’t prevent them from going to their deaths with serenity in their souls.”  And Himmler said, “Men who can’t divest themselves of manners of previous centuries, and scoff and sling mud at things which are ‘holy’ and matters of belief to others, once and for all do not belong in the SS.”

With the creed “God is dead” and the resulting “death of God,” Nietzsche predicted that energizing conflict and revolution would reemerge in a great wave of nihilism.  Human beings would continue to evolve, he said, nodding to Darwinism.  And man would ultimately give way to Superman.  And Nietzsche said that this Superman would not accept the anachronistic abstract, transcendental meanings imposed by disembodied Judeo-Christian rationalism or by a life-denying religion.  Rather, this Superman would CREATE meaning for himself and for the world as a whole.

The Superman, according to Nietzsche, would be an artist who could shape the human race – no longer bound by putrefying and stultifying and stupefying transcendence – to his will.  “Man is for him an un-form, a material, an ugly stone that needs a sculptor,” he wrote.  Such a statement did not merely anticipate the Darwinist-based Nazi eugenics movement.  It demonstrated how the exaltation of the human will could and would lead not to general liberty, as one might have expected, but to the control of the many by the elite — with those of the weaker in will being subjugated to the will of the Supermen.

Nietzsche’s new ethic became the rationale for all the Nazi atrocities that would follow.  As Nietzsche himself put it, “The weak and the failures shall perish: the first principle of OUR love of man.  And they shall even be given every possible assistance.  What is more harmful than any vice? Active pity for all the failures and the weak: Christianity” (in “The Anti-Christ” in Portable Nietzsche, p. 570).  We see here also the exemplification of yet another legacy left behind by Nietzsche that was picked up by the Nazi and afterward by secular humanist atheists today: the Nietzschean attitude of flippant, sarcastic contempt for all the ordinary human values that had resulted from Judeo-Christianity.

One of the ordinary human values that had resulted from Judeo-Christianity was the fundamental sanctity of human life.  But the Nazis had their own concept – Lebensunwertes Leben (“life unworthy of life”).  And nearly fifty million of the most innocent and helpless human beings have perished as a result of an existentialist philosophy that survived the fall of the Nazis in liberal thought, which celebrates pro-existentialist “pro-choice” above human life.

Nietzsche’s philosophy underlies the thought of all the later existentialists, and the darker implications of his thought proved impossible to ignore.

And Martin Heidegger, in his own personal choice to commit himself to National Socialism, did not ignore them.

There is more that needs to be understood.

Martin Heidegger invoked Nietzsche in his 1933 Rectoral Address, in his speech entitled, “The Self-Assertion of the German University,” in which he articulated his commitment to the integration of academia with National Socialism.  He began by asking, if Nietzsche is correct in saying that God is dead, what are the implications for knowledge?

As Heidegger explained, if God is dead, there is no longer a transcendent authority or reference point for objective truth.  Whereas classical thought, exemplified by the Greeks, could confidently search for objective truth, today, after the death of God, truth becomes intrinsically “hidden and uncertain.”  Today the process of questioning is “no longer a preliminary step that is surmounted on the way to the answer and thus to knowing; rather, questioning itself becomes the highest form of knowing.”

Heidegger’s conclusion became accepted to the point of becoming a commonplace of contemporary liberal thought: that knowledge is a matter of process, not content.  With the death of God, there is no longer any set of absolutes or abstract ideals by which existence must be ordered.  Such “essentialism” is an illusion; and knowledge in the sense of objective, absolute truth must be challenged.  The scholar is not one who knows or searches for some absolute truth, but the one who questions everything that pretends to be true.

Again, one would think that such a skeptical methodology would be highly incompatible with fascism, with its practice of subjecting people to an absolute human authority.  And yet this betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of fascism.  In fact, Heidegger’s Rectoral Address was warmly endorsed by the National Socialists for a very good reason: the fascists saw themselves as iconoclasts, interrogating the old order and boldly challenging all transcendent absolutes.

We find that in this same address in which Heidegger asserts that “questioning itself becomes the highest form of knowing,” Heidegger went on to advocate expelling academic freedom from the university:

“To give oneself the law is the highest freedom.  The much-lauded ‘academic freedom’ will be expelled from the university.”

Heidegger argued that the traditional canons of academic freedom were not genuine but only negative, encouraging “lack of concern” and “arbitrariness.”  Scholars must become unified with each other and devote themselves to service.  In doing so, he stated, “the concept of the freedom of German students is now brought back to it’s truth.”

Now, the claim that freedom would somehow emerge when academic freedom is eliminated might be sophistry of the worst kind, but it is not mere rhetorical doublespeak.  Why?  Because Heidegger was speaking existentially, calling not for blind obedience, but for a genuine commitment of the will.  Freedom was preserved because “to give oneself the law” was a voluntary, freely chosen commitment.  Academic freedom as the disinterested pursuit of truth shows “arbitrariness,” parking of the old essentialist view that truth is objective and transcendent.  The essentialist scholar is detached and disengaged, showing “lack of concern,” missing the sense in which truth is ultimately personal, a matter of the will, demanding personal responsibility and choice.  In the new order, the scholar will be fully engaged in service to the community.  Academic freedom is alienating, a function of the old commitment to moral and intellectual absolutes.

And what this meant in practice could be seen in the Bavarian Minister of Culture’s directive to professors in Munich, that they were no longer to determine whether something “is true, but whether it is in keeping with the direction of the National Socialist revolution” (Hans Schemm, quoted in Hermann Glaser, The Cultural Roots of National Socialism, tr. Ernest A. Menze, 1978, p. 99).

I point all of the above out to now say that it is happening all over again, by intellectuals who unknowingly share most of the same tenets that made the horror possible the last time.

We live in a time and in a country in which the all-too modern left has virtually purged the university of conservatives and conservative thought.  This is simply a fact that is routinely confirmed.  And as a mater of routine, conservative speakers need not apply at universities.  If they are actually invited to speak, they are frequently shouted down by a relative few liberal activists.  And leftwing censorship is commonplace.  Free speech is largely gone, in a process that simply quashes unwanted views.  We have a process today in which a professor who is himself employing fascist tactics calls a student “a fascist bastard.”  And why did he do so?  Because the student gave a speech in a speech class choosing a side on a topic that the professor did not like.

We live in a society in which too many of our judges have despised a system of objective laws from an objective Constitution and have imposed their own will upon both.  Judicial activist judges have largely driven transcendent religion and the transcendent God who gives objective moral laws out of the public sphere.

Today, we live in a society that will not post the Ten Commandments – the epitome of transcendent divinely-ordained moral law – in public schools.  And why not?  Because judges ruled that:

“If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments,” which, the Court said, is “not a permissible state objective under the Establishment Clause.”

One can only marvel that such justices so cynically debauched the thought of the founding fathers whose ideas they professed to be upholding.

Justices of the Supreme Court agreed with this fallacious ruling even as the figure of Moses holding the Ten Commandments rules atop the very building in which they betrayed our nation’s founding principles.

And thus the left has stripped the United States of America bare of transcendent moral law, just as their intellectual forebears did prior to WWII in Nazi Germany.   And thus the intellectual left has largely stripped the United States of America from free debate within academia largely by pursuing the same line of reasoning that Nazi philosopher Martin Heidegger employed to do the same in Nazi Germany.  We saw this very feature evidenced by leftist scientists who threw aside their scientific ethics in order to purge climatologists who came to a different conclusion.

The climate that led to fascism and to Nazism in Germany did not occur overnight, even though the final plunge may have appeared to be such to an uninformed observer.  It occurred over a period of a half a dozen decades or so, with the transcendent and objective moral foundations having been systematically torn away.  And after that degree of cancer had been reached, it only took the right leader or the right event to plunge the world into madness.