The collapse of Christianity in Europe led to the horrors of Nazism and Communism. And to the moral confusions of the present -- such as the moral equation of the free United States with the totalitarian Soviet Union, or of life-loving Israel with its death-loving enemies.One need not be a believer to embrace the values espoused in the Bible, in particular, the last six of the Ten Commandments (from the Douay-Rheims Bible Online, Exodus 20, verses 13-17):
In fact, it was a secular Jew, the great German Jewish poet Heinrich Heine, who understood that despite its anti-Semitism and other moral failings, Christianity in Europe prevented the wholesale slaughter of human beings that became routine with Christianity's demise. In 1834, 99 years before Hitler and the Nazis rose to power, Heine warned:
A drama will be enacted in Germany compared to which the French Revolution will seem harmless and carefree. Christianity restrained the martial ardor for a time but it did not destroy it; once the restraining talisman [the cross] is shattered, savagery will rise again. . . .
What is needed today is a rationally and morally persuasive case for embracing the values that come from the Bible. This case must be more compelling than the one made for anti-biblical values that is presented throughout the Western world's secular educational institutions and media (news media, film and television).
13 Thou shalt not kill. 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15 Thou shalt not steal. 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house: neither shalt thou desire his wife, nor his servant, nor his handmaid, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is his.As the Catholic Encyclopedia puts it:
That's a good summary of the precepts of libertarianism.
The precepts [of the last six of the Commandments] are meant to protect man in his natural rights against the injustice of his fellows.
- His life is the object of the Fifth;
- the honour of his body as well as the source of life, of the Sixth;
- his lawful possessions, of the Seventh;
- his good name, of the Eighth;
- And in order to make him still more secure in the enjoyment of his rights, it is declared an offense against God to desire to wrong him, in his family rights by the Ninth;
- and in his property rights by the Tenth.
Atheism, Religion, and Science
The Limits of Science
Three Perspectives on Life: A Parable
Beware of Irrational Atheism
(Thanks to Mike Rappaport at The Right Coast for the pointer to Prager's column.)