To deny that human beings are filled with anti-social passions defies reality and betrays a lack of self-awareness. One has to be taught nonsense for a great many formative years to believe it.
If we weren’t born with anti-social passions — narcissism, envy, lust, meanness, greed, hunger for power, just to name the more obvious — why the need for so many laws, whether religious or secular, that govern behavior?
The second objection is that, even if we do have anti-social passions, we don’t need a God or religion in order to control them. Only moral primitives, the argument goes, need either a judging God or a religious set of rules. The Enlightened can do fine without them and need only to consult their faculty of reason and conscience to know how to behave.
Our prisons are filled with people whose consciences are quite at peace with their criminal behavior. As for reason, they used it well — to figure out how to get away with everything from murder to white-collar crime.
But our prisons are not filled with religious Jewish and Christian murderers. On the contrary, if all Americans attended church weekly, we would need far fewer prisons; and the ones we needed would have very few murderers in them.
Meanwhile the record of the godless and non-Christianity crowd is awful. I am not simply referring to the godless and secular Communist regimes of the 20th century that committed virtually every genocide of those hundred years. I am referring to those Americans (and Europeans) who use reason to argue, among other foolish things: that good and evil are subjective societal or individual opinions; that gender is purely a social construct and therefore the male and female distinction is of no importance; that marriage isn’t important and is just a piece of paper invented by the religious to keep women down; that a human fetus, even when it has a beating heart, a formed human body, and a conscious brain, has less of a right to life than a cat; and that men, let alone fathers, aren’t necessary. (Think no one really believes the latter? See, for example, The Atlantic’s “Are Fathers Necessary?” and the New York Times’s “Men, Who Needs Them?”) And that is a short list.
For proof of the moral and intellectual consequences of the secularization of America, look at what has happened to the least religious institution in America, the university. Is that the future we want for the whole country?
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.”