The Jewish holiday of Passover begins today, March 30 at sundown. It celebrates the Hebrews' escape from Egyptian slavery to freedom 3,250 years ago. Weeks later, God revealed the Torah at Mount Sinai.
The Ten Commandments and other values in these first five books of the Bible, received by Jews and largely spread by Christians, form the moral foundation of Western civilization. These values inspired the American Constitution and the resultant goodness of America. This goodness included the eventual ending of slavery, a Passover theme. Despite that national (and worldwide) travesty, "love thy neighbor" came to mean that all of us had freedom of religion, speech, commerce, ownership of private property, etc. The material and spiritual well-being of world humanity was elevated beyond prior imagination.
That is, unless one imagines Utopia. Proposing this perfect world, enter Karl Marx ("Religion is the opiate of the masses"), Saul Alinsky, et al. Alinsky, in his Rules for Radicals, was clear: ". acknowledgement to . the very first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom - Lucifer." Alinsky was joining with God's adversary ("Satan" in Judaism) in opposing God and God's values. For example, his tactical instructions for destroying the existing order include: discredit, lie, distort, ridicule, humiliate, and intimidate.
Jewish psychiatrist and Auschwitz survivor, Viktor Frankl, described the essence of the moral order that was targeted: There are two races - the decent and the indecent - and they are both found in all races.
In contrast to differentiating the decent from the indecent, Marx posited the proletariat vs. the bourgeoisie (cheated vs. cheaters), Alinsky the have-nots vs. the haves, and today's American left the non-white, female, poor vs. the white, male, rich. They took Judaism's concern for the oppressed and perverted it into class warfare. In place of the Torah's universal objective standards for right vs. wrong is us vs. them. In place of "love thy neighbor" and "do not covet" is hate and envy. In place of create, build, and improve is Alinsky's destroy what is and then "see what happens."
From the U.S.S.R. to North Korea, we know what happens: If Lucifer's kingdom is hell, then the left's is hell on earth: its atheist regimes are responsible for the murder of about 70 million and the suffering of vastly more. Yet, despite this record, self-adulating leftists know with certainty that by replacing Mount Sinai's Higher Power with themselves, they can bring Utopia. Their "higher education" neglected to convey - literally and practically - that "Utopia" is Greek for "no place."
Nevertheless, Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama, acknowledged Alinsky protégés, employed his ways toward achieving his goals. Obama: America needs to be "fundamentally transform(ed)" by "We are the ones we've been waiting for." Up to half of our population are "deplorables (Clinton)" who continue to "cling to guns or religion (Obama)," capitalism, racism, and pride in the exceptionalness of our nation. Not only is humility not their strong suit but, as per Alinsky, truthtelling isn't either: If you like your doctor/insurance, you can keep them and save $2,500 (Obama).
For the left, it is not enough for us to attempt to improve upon a good order in an imperfect world. Being grateful for what we have compared to other real world alternatives is part of the "opiate" for people who believe in God. Instead, we are to destroy what is because it's imperfect compared to Utopia (Indeed, "The perfect is the enemy of the good.").
By almost imperceptible degrees, roughly half of Americans have been lured away from many of the values of Judaism, Christianity, and classic liberalism toward Marxism/leftism. Though many of them still believe they are liberals, they now harbor the non-liberal, intolerant belief that the half of our people who believe in a universal Judeo-Christian moral code are somehow bad.
Destruction of this code is nihilistic, leading to moral and mental chaos. Erosion of it causes self-centeredness, loneliness, alienation, a sense of victimhood and entitlement, smoldering resentment, devaluation of life, depression and sometimes violence. Feeling entitled to riot in Berkeley and to murder in a school may have much in common - meaninglessness.
Marxists/leftists have an unusual faith that the way to achieve good is to destroy it and then see what happens. They believe in their self-assumed inner wisdom and in an "arc of history" that magically, despite mounds of disastrous evidence to the contrary, will bring us Utopia. Most traditional Jews and Christians and most classic liberals and conservatives have faith in the values carried inside the Ark of history. The values our forebears received at Mount Sinai lead us to be kinder to each other. They need defending.
Deane Berson has lived in the Pikes Peak region since 1974. Input to this column from the talks and writings of Dennis Prager and David Horowitz is acknowledged.