The new mortal sins are not filthy talk or immoral conduct, but racism, sexism, homophobia and nativism. The establishment alone defines these sins and enforces the proscriptions against them, from which there is no appeal, only the obligatory apology, the act of contrition and the solemn commitment never to sin again.
If you still believe homosexuality is unnatural and immoral and gay marriage absurd, you are a homophobe who is to keep his mouth shut.
If you think some ethnic and racial groups have greater natural athletic, academic or artistic talents, don't go there, if you do not wish an early end to your journalistic career.
If you think illegal aliens should be sent home and legal immigration should mirror the ethnic makeup of the nation, you are a xenophobe and a racist.
All of these terms -- racist, sexist, homophobe -- are synonyms for heretic. Any of them can get you hauled before an inquisition.
To control the politics of a nation, control of the culture is a precondition. For who controls the culture defines what is moral and immoral, and what is heroic and villainous. And if you can set limits on what journalists write and broadcasters say, you can shape what people think and believe.
Through history, frightened establishments have dealt severely even with peaceful challenges to their power, which is why Socrates was forced to drink poison, Christ was crucified, Sir Thomas More was beheaded and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was sent to the Gulag.
When Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a "slut" for demanding that Georgetown Law School subsidize the $3,000 women students annually require for birth control to exercise their sexual freedom, the media that piled on Rush objected less to the term than to the target he picked: one of their own.
Bill Maher routinely uses far more odious terms on Sarah Palin. Yet his $1 million gift to an Obama Super PAC was welcomed by agents of the same president who phoned Fluke to console her over Rush's remarks.
Rush apologized. But the left still campaigns to have his voice stifled and censored, by threatening advertisers of his radio show with boycotts if they refuse to drop him.
Thus does the left honor the First Amendment.
As shown in HBO's "Game Change," John McCain in 2008 ruled out attacks on Barack Obama's 20-year ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the Chicago preacher of "God damn America!" fame.
Why? Wright and Obama were black, and such attacks might agitate the latent racism of white America. The Republican Party censors itself so as not to antagonize a cultural establishment that wants to see it dead.
"Beautiful losers," my late friend Sam Francis called them.