A number of well-known spokesmen on the left have voiced reservations not only about the Republican decision to have members of Congress -- both Republicans and Democrats -- read the Constitution aloud at the opening of the latest session of Congress. They have also voiced reservations about the American veneration of the Constitution.
In a recent appearance on MSNBC, Washington Post staff writer Ezra Klein said: "The issue with the Constitution is that the text is confusing because it was written more than a hundred years ago and what people believe it says differs from person to person."
Joy Behar asked her guests on CNN's Headline News, "Do you think this Constitution-loving is getting out of hand?"
Congressman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., complained that "They are reading it (the Constitution) like a sacred text."
What troubles Klein, Behar and Nadler?
The answer is that for leftism -- though not necessarily for every individual who considers himself a leftist -- there are no sacred texts. The two major examples are the Constitution and the Bible.
One cannot understand the left without understanding this. The demotion of the sacred in general and of sacred texts specifically is at the center of leftist thinking.
The reason is that elevating any standard, any religion, any text to the level of the sacred means that that it is above any individual. Therefore, what any one individual or even society believes is of secondary importance to that which is deemed sacred. If, to cite the most obvious example, the Bible is sacred, then I have to revere it more than I revere my own feelings in assessing what is right and wrong.
But for the left, what is right and wrong is determined by every individual's feelings, not by anything above the individual.
This is a major reason why the left, since Karl Marx, has been so opposed to Judeo-Christian religion. For Judaism and Christianity, God and the Bible are above the self. Indeed, Western civilization was built on the idea that the individual and society are morally accountable to God and to the moral demands of that book. That was the view, incidentally, of every one of the Founders including deists such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.
This is entirely unacceptable to the left. As Marx and Engels said, "Man is God, and God is man." Therefore, society must rid itself of the sacred, i.e., God and the Bible. Then each of us (or the society, party or judiciary) takes the place of God and the Bible.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”