Over 25 years of active involvement in a range of seminars, conferences and retreats (ranging from Certified Trade Missions under the auspices of the Department of Commerce to being a guest speaker at Passover and Winter Retreats) as a facilitator or speaker, gives one an interesting ‘bird’s-eye view’ of sociological and ideological trends in the USA.
I believe it would be safe to say that America has never been more polarized with respect to worldviews. These diametrically opposed perspectives are manifest in the sharp political rhetoric between the Democrats and Republicans.
One of the tragedies of this polarization is the insidious and often aggressive initiatives spearheaded by left-leaning politicians to secularize America and demonize religion. Rampant on university campuses across the country, the tragic results of this misguided trend are now becoming evident. From the spike in teenage suicides in America, the statistically significant increase in people battling with substance abuse and the drop in the number of people getting married and even those that do, the move away from a conventional family unit.
The Founding Fathers of this great country were deeply religious people. As recently as a decade ago, the average college graduate would enter the world having embraced basic Judaic Christian values, even if he did not actively practice his chosen religion. People used to stand for immutable moral and ethical principles and values. In short, people had a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives.
The secular revolt to sterilize America of any sense of a Higher Power or the understanding that humans need to have parameters and temper their ambitions to a Higher Calling have resulted in a generation of youngsters who lack meaning in their lives. The promotion of a hedonistic lifestyle, by definition, cannot coexist with basic existential truths that were commonplace only a generation ago. The underlying premise of Dr. Victor Frankel’s Logotherapy is that the motivating force for all human beings is the need to have meaning and the belief in accountability. Perforce, the inverse correlation of a nihilistic existence is anxiety and depression.
While I have never suggested that we run to the first street corner with a bell horn and begin to proselytize the masses, the current trend is dangerous and self-destructive. Having an open mind is one thing, but when one’s mind is pried open so wide that one’s brain falls out, it is time to take stock and question the consequences of angry, confused people masquerading as warriors against organized religion.
Antony (Chanan) Gordon, a Fulbright Scholar, graduate of the Harvard Law School and member of the Advisory Council for Israel and the Middle East Security spearheaded by Congressman Ron DeSantis, Chairman of the National Security Subcommittee, is the co-author of the renowned research article titled “Will Your Grandchild Be Jewish?” and, in addition, is one of the most sought after speakers in the Jewish world in America.