Pat Buchanan
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As for "professing the same religion," where 85 percent of Americans were Christians in 1990, that is down to 75 percent and plummeting. The old Christian churches -- Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran and especially Episcopalian -- are splitting, shrinking and dying.

Where three in four Catholics attended Sunday Mass in 1960, it is now one in four. One in three cradle Catholics has lost the faith. The numbers of priests and nuns are plummeting; religious orders are dying; Catholics schools are closing.

The moral consensus and moral code Christianity gave to us has collapsed. Since the great cultural-social revolution of the 1960s, there has occurred what Nietzsche called the "transvaluation of all values."

What was morally repellent -- promiscuity, homosexuality, abortion -- is now seen by perhaps half the nation as natural, normal, healthy and progressive.

Socially, too, America is breaking down.

Where out-of-wedlock births in the 1950s were rare, today, 41 percent of all American children are born out of wedlock. Among Hispanics, it is 51 percent; among blacks, 71 percent. And the correlation between the illegitimacy rate, the drug rate, the dropout rate, the crime rate and the incarceration rate is absolute.

This helps to explain the four decades of plunging test scores of American children and the quadrupling of the prison population.

And while all this is happening, the state is failing.

We cannot control our borders, win our wars or balance our budgets. In three consecutive national elections -- 2006, 2008 and 2010 -- the incumbents have been repudiated. Confidence in politics, politicians and the future of the country has never been so low in our lifetimes.

There was a time not so long ago when the nation was united on a common faith, morality, history, heroes, holidays, holy days, language and literature. Now we fight over them all.

Neocons says not to worry, the Constitution holds us together.

Does it? Do we all agree on what the First Amendment says about the freedom to pray in school and celebrate Christmas and Easter? How can we be the "one nation, under God" of the Pledge of Allegiance, or the people "endowed by their Creator" with inalienable rights, if we cannot even identify or discuss or mention that God and that Creator in the schools of America?

Do we agree on what the Ninth Amendment says about right to life? What about what the 14th Amendment says about affirmative action? What the Second Amendment says about the right to carry a concealed gun?

The new secession that is coming, Rick Perry notwithstanding, is not like the secession of 1861. It is a secession of the heart from one another.

 

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Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
 
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