I had been reading Philip Yancy's, "The Bible Jesus Read." I'm still reading it, but it's slow going and I decided that I wanted to read the books of the Bible that were being discussed as I went so that book is just simmering.
Anyway, the book I landed on for the week was 100 People who are Screwing Up America (and Al Franken is #37) by Bernard Goldberg. Goldberg focuses on the cultural demise in America and the naysayers, who have prospered in a country of freedom, tearing down the very fabric of society. He says it best,
"Here's the problem, as far as I'm concerned: Over the years, as we became less closed-minded and more tolerant of all the right things, like civil rights, somehow, we became indiscriminately tolerant, "You're so judgmental" became a major-league put-down in Anything Goes America - as if being
judgemental of crap in the culture is a bad thing...In a way, this tolerance - or avoidance- gets to the very heart of the problem, and to some of the names on the list of 100. There's always been ugliness in the world, and there have always been those who peddled it for profit. We live in a society that is free enough for even the demented to operate in the marketplace. But until very recently, those whom society regarded as "responsible people" -including leaders in the entertainment field and critics at important national publications- treated them with the contempt they deserved, thereby protecting the culture by holding the line on standards. No more. Today, too many of those who should be protecting the culture at too busy applauding those tearing it down. "In the end, there will be a price to be paid for this, "says Herb London," the price one always pays for ignoring evil. Some of the best potential minds will be decimated. Culture will be assaulted beyond repair and the nation will be undermined from within." Or, as author John Underwood, has so elegantly put it, "In a society where anything goes, everything, eventually, will. A society that stands for nothing will fall for anything- and then, of course, will just simply fall."
Throughout the book, Goldberg purports the idea that the cultural wars are not so much about "right and wrong" but about good and evil. Because we live in a country with the freedom to do and be pretty much anything we want, we have a higher moral standard to live up to. Yet all to often, the other extreme is given in to; public vulgarity and the dishonoring of public officials as well as those who have died in service to this country, white collar crime that leaves dedicated employees job and penniless, gossip masquerading as news and gansta rap, full of vengeful hate, murder and the degradation of women.
Goldberg's list was fascinating, including several names that I wasn't familiar with, and, while it did include a lot of liberals on the list he doesn't limit himself to them, Judge Roy Moore and Jimmy Swaggart on in there too.
A fascinating read.
You can read more book reviews over at http://www.read52booksin52weeks.com/2010/01/book-week-four-drama-of-it-all.html