"Lowering the Walls"

Posted: Mar 05, 2012 1:21 PM
Writing as a pundit who is a Christian (or, rather, a Christian who is a pundit), Hugh Hewitt discusses the temptation to hyperbole and the considerations that those who opine for a living might want to keep in mind.

Though the impetus for the column was the Rush/"slut" controversy (which I discussed here, yesterday), there was a passage from the piece that reflects a concern that all decent people should share:

[P]erhaps we can see in the fading of the nation's historical attachment to the Judeo-Christian understanding of the rules that ought to govern the public square the lowering of the walls against unrestrained commentary.

Indeed, that warning was apt, given the week we had just had.  The gratuitously and shockingly hateful commentary emanating from some on the left upon the death of Andrew Breitbart sprang to mind.  Surely, even if Breitbart had been every bit as repugnant as those lefty commentators found him, basic human decency required silence on their parts -- if not for Breitbart's sake, then for the sakes of his widow and four young children.

In a world where Judeo-Christian morality is seen as nothing but an artifact or outmoded superstition, there are no standards besides those each individual adopts for him- or herself.  The decision whether or not to believe is a personal one, between each human being and God (or, for some, not).  

But there's no denying that when a substantial segment of society seeks to consign the Judeo-Christian tradition to the as heap of history, we all end up the losers.  The common culture all of us occupy together -- whether we are believers or not -- will end up cheaper, uglier and more degraded in many particulars. That's because all of us (believers or not) are flawed and fallen, and we need some meaningful set of standards to help us first, cope with, and then transcend that fact.