No one is at home in the American mind, and that condition makes us vulnerable.
No One Is at Home in the American Mind
Go stand outside of your local grocery store and try the man-on-the-street routine, asking people a question such as, “How would you summarize your worldview in a couple of sentences?” If that question stumps them, try something like “What do you think life is all about—where did we come from, why are we here, and where do we go after this?”
Odds are pretty high that most people will struggle to answer at all, having a worldview so vague that they will have difficulty coming up with a meaningful response.
In my experience typical responses consist of a string of platitudes that don’t hang together and for which the person lacks a rational basis.
For example, I frequently hear the cliché, “Well, everything happens for a purpose.” Deeper probing reveals that those holding this belief have no explanation as to who or what makes everything happen for a purpose or why, not to mention what that purpose might be. It’s just sort of a nebulous law of the universe that they take by faith without any thoughtful basis.
Similar sentiments arise when someone dies. Almost invariably the assertion will be made, “He’s in a better place,” without the person having any sense as to where that place is, who put it there, how the person got there, or what qualified them for entrance. In other words, such a statement is totally devoid of meaningful content.
When it comes to the worldview of secular Americans, the above responses are about as good as it gets. It is like a walk through a serendipity shop filled with wall plaques containing feel-good phrases not connected to each other or to reality. Consequently, in terms of a self-conscious American worldview, no one is at home.
What Has Emptied the American Mind?
Previous posts have been addressing the manic nature of contemporary American culture, our adoption of feelings as the ultimate expression of reality and the basis for decision-making: “If it feels good, do it.”
If life is all about feelings, and more specifically immediate gratification, “Do it now,” that eliminates any purpose or motivation for thinking. In other words, American mania unplugs the mind, leaving it with all the content of an iTunes Visualizer, designed to turn off the mind and gratify the feelings.
Notice that both of the responses cited above represent feel-good answers. It feels good to believe that everything is happening for a purpose, which suggests that even in the face of temporary setbacks, “it’s all good.”
Likewise, it feels good to believe that everyone who leaves this life ends up in a better place. Of course this suggests that the one verbalizing this belief can be assured of that outcome also. Even families with no religious orientation or commitment, who give little or no thought to spiritual realities in their daily lives, at the customary meal after the funeral will talk about how dad is with mom now, and after all that is where he has wanted to be ever since she passed.
The Vulnerability of Mindless America
This vacuous worldview leaves America vulnerable because ultimately the strength of any society resides in the content and clarity of its belief system—its worldview.
History shows that commitment to a concise and cohesive worldview empowers even minority groups to dominate. The absence of such a worldview leaves a society devoid of the weapons of resolve and character needed to survive and prosper.
One reason Muslims are gaining so much ground, now being on the verge of taking over Europe, is found in their strong belief in and commitment to Islam. Likewise, the Communist takeover of Russia and creation of the Soviet Union can be attributed in large measure to their belief in and commitment to the cause.
At the other end of the spectrum, we see Europeans reflecting the same malaise plaguing America. Armed with their muscular ultimate concerns of a shorter work week, longer vacations, and earlier retirement they wilt when confronted by Muslims ready to die for their faith.
Likewise, the amorphous nature of the American worldview leaves us too weak even to secure our borders. We have been blessed by the commitment of those in our military to the historic ideals of this nation that leads them to endanger their lives for us. However, ultimately the inroads of our culture will erode even our military, leaving us vulnerable to enemy attack. Survival demands that Americans recommit themselves to a cause worth living for and dying for. Let me propose genuinely biblical Christianity.