Each Person, Each Family, and Each Community Is Worth Fighting For
Critics of Salvo often complain about our quasi-military language. “Why not adopt a more irenic tone?” they say. My reply is that we use these terms, albeit figuratively, to describe our engagement in the realm of ideas against an aggressor. Now, some people don’t fancy a fair fight. We do.
Salvo seeks to defend truths that have shaped the civilization that can best, if imperfectly, ensure freedom for man to flourish as he was meant to. Those last two words, “meant to,” are crucial. For we believe man has a given nature and purpose. In keeping with the Declaration of Independence, for example, we hold certain truths to be self-evident, because they are “in the nature of things” and not subjective “values.” These include certain inalienable rights that come from the Creator, not from the state.
Throughout history, the state—whether through monarchs, elected bodies, totalitarian dictators, or collectivizing tyrants—has often looked rapaciously on three targets in its quest to acquire more power: the individual, the family, and the local community. In modern times, the state has participated in a three-pronged attack against these targets with increasingly sophisticated siege-engines.
First, science, which historically was the progeny of Christian theology, is now being used to attack the individual by denying the special status of man as more than a mere animal. We are told that we are only “chemicals in a bag,” and that evolutionary forces can explain our very thoughts and most deeply held beliefs.
Second, sex education is being used to subvert sex; the very term is a camouflage for the sexualization and homosexualization of children. Sex ed is used to attack not only the individual but also the husband and wife who together are the procreative parents of the family, which is the irreplaceable foundation of all societies. The right understanding of marital sexual union is being subverted and replaced with a view of “sex” as any activity between any two (or more) persons that results in orgasmic sensation. The biological reality of male and female is being deconstructed into a mere “social construct” so that gender confusion reigns.
Third, when the state denies the sanctity of individual human lives and the unique marital status of a man and woman bound together for the creation of a family, it undermines society at its roots. But the state also undermines society when it encroaches upon and subordinates institutions that traditionally have nurtured both the individual and the family unit: extended families, churches, schools, local communities, and the myriad voluntary associations founded for cultural, business, philanthropic, and educational purposes.
As the state increases its control over more and more aspects of everyday life, our families and institutions become strained by the ideological demands made upon them. They are pressured to conform to the views of the state on matters touching even faith and family. For example, if the state believes “gay marriage” is in its interest, it requires parents to hand over their children for “gay-friendly” sex education, thus denying the rights of parents to educate their own children in their most deeply held convictions. The state will also fine pastors who preach from the Bible’s texts calling homosexual acts sinful. In Massachusetts, a statewide Catholic adoption agency shut down rather than place orphans with “gay partners” as mandated by the state.
The ammunition for this assault on men, women, and children often consists of disinformation veneered with quasi-scientific language, such as that used by “sexologists” and psychologists to promote “guilt-free” sexual experimentation by minors. For the new science, which is now touted as our best guide for ongoing social progress, managed by the state, there is no hard line between vice and virtue. The young are groomed for self-destructive promiscuity, with only subsidized condoms to defend their bodies against disease and nothing at all to safeguard their souls.
No society that treats its young in this manner can long survive. So Salvopursues both a rescue or salvage operation and a counter-offensive by boldly pointing out errors and proclaiming the truth. We think the future of society is at stake. We think that each person, each family, and each community is worth fighting for. Thus, we do what we can to resist the attacks against them—keeping in mind that resistance for the Truth is never, ever futile. •
From Salvo 11 (Winter 2009)
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is the executive editor of Salvo and Touchstone magazines.Get Salvo in your inbox! This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #11, Winter 2009 Copyright © 2023 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo11/why-we-fight