Western Civilization - what is it?
And why is it so important to our future?
Western Civilization is a set of ideals that produced the world’s most enlightened society. Western Civilization came to full maturity with the ideals embodied in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. (See "Foundations of America") Western civilization is the highest form of social development - it took several thousand years to develop AND it is the most difficult to maintain.
The Founding Fathers took the best of previous civilizations: From Greece, the concept of a republic; from Rome, the rule of law. The Founders read the great British thinkers of the 1600s, notably John Locke. One of the most important features of the Constitution is the ability to add amendments in order to adapt it to changing times and conditions. This idea came from William Penn, who labored to create his “Framework of Government.”(1)
But while this provided a legal code, a moral code was needed and Christianity was chosen because it was the best. Christianity put forth an entirely new concept - that every human being was precious in the eyes of God. Many barbaric practices that had been accepted for thousands of years were now found unacceptable: Child sacrifice, humans fighting each other to the death for sport, feeding humans to wild animals for sport, killing babies when they were not the sex you wanted and the list goes on. Helping the less fortunate was promoted. Coming to the aid of others under attack was promoted. Slavery was outlawed. Tragically, slavery would reappear repeatedly throughout history, eventually to be outlawed again. The institution of slavery was inherited by the new nation of the United States and eventually resulted in the Civil War.
Western Civilization was a combining of the best legal and moral beliefs. Western Civilization is not compatible with pagan cultures and religious cults, such as Hindu, Islam, Buddhist, etc. Without Christianity, there would be no Western Civilization.
Rightfully believing that America had developed the best social and governmental system ever, Americans felt the necessity of teaching new immigrants the tenets of Western Civilization in order to “Americanize” them. Western civilization taught freedom of speech, religion, assembly and individual liberty under the rule of law in our Bill of Rights. Western Civilization taught the necessity of Private Property, economic freedom and Separation of Powers under our enlightened Constitution, necessary to prevent our society from degenerating into either anarchy or excessive government control on people - what had happened to so many earlier civilizations. Western democracy routinely refreshes itself - not with machine guns and government goon squads, but with the peaceful process of voting. Sadly, many liberals today are undermining the integrity of the voting system by opposing voter ID laws. This attack on our voting system by these fascists must be stoped.
It has been said that history repeats itself, only the people and circumstances change. The purpose of understanding history is so the mistakes of the past don’t become the mistakes of the future. Western Civilization has been roundly denounced by the radical left since the 1960s. Yet the people who denounce it don’t even understand that they are attacking a system that brought about massive good for the common people and fundamentally changed our view of right and wrong. These ignorant people would replace it with a society that is less free, with dramatic curtailment of freedom of speech, religion and press.
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." President Ronald Reagan