Lies Our Culture Tells Us About Changing Our Culture
Religion & Liberty Online

Lies Our Culture Tells Us About Changing Our Culture

We are told, over and over, we are in the midst of a “culture war” here in the U.S. It’s Right vs. Left, Republican vs. Democrat, Baby Boomers vs. Gen Xers, Pro-Life Vs. Pro-Abortion. You get labeled by the church you attend, the shoes you wear, the type of beer you drink. We want our culture to be “better,” but we can’t seem to agree on what that means.

David French, Senior Counsel at the American Center of Law and Justice, has some ideas about how the culture lies to us as to we try to go about change. I think he’s on to something.

First, he says we are told we “can rebel through conformity.” You can witness this quite easily. Want to see “rebellion?” Look at all the twenty-somethings with tattoos of Chinese characters on their wrists. Ooooh, take that, culture! Take a gander at the “cultural” offerings on college campuses. For pity’s sake, how many times do we have to sit through “The Vagina Monologues?”

The second lie French articulates is “you can feel virtuous without acting virtuous.” Well, you can try, I guess. It won’t work. It’s delusional. As French says, “For far too many Americans, their virtue is in their attitude and their vote, and they delegate the messy business of actually, you know, helping people to others.”

Third, “your sexual self-expression is brave.” I am loathe to bring this up, but Miley Cyrus (poor dear) is not brave for having done what she did on the MTV Music Awards the other night. She was just grotesque. Are we not weary of this stuff yet? For every “brave” Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga, there are dozens of men and women in our armed services that are REALLY brave, not to mention school teachers, parents of toddlers, and young people who decide to be chaste in our sex-saturated culture.

Finally, French says,

…you get to feel morally superior to people who exhibit actual virtue. Why be better when you can simply feel better? We live in an upside-down world, where the people who do next to nothing lord their presumed morality and virtue over those who actually get out their checkbooks and get their hands dirty for the “least of these” in our culture. Faithful Christians – far more despised in pop culture than, say, the Muslim Brotherhood – prop up the world’s largest private relief agencies and give far more time and money to the poor than they ever do to the causes they’re allegedly “obsessed” with – like same-sex marriage.

Let’s start exposing the lies, ‘fessing up to our own transgressions, and make some real changes to our culture. We have the ability to do it…if we stop lying to ourselves and each other.

Elise Hilton

Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.