O’Reilly, Letterman, and the Culture War

John Richard Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report and its blog, Pro-Existence. Rick has served as managing editor of the Capitol Hill political weekly Human Events, associate editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report, and senior writer with the MacLaurin Institute. He has also held several editorial positions at The World & I magazine, published by the Washington Times Corporation. Rick’s work has appeared in Human Events, WorldNetDaily, The Examiner, Boundless, The World & I, and Citizen. He writes on film, books, the arts, science, politics, social issues, and worldview.

The following is excerpted from a post by Rick at The Pearcey Report.   The entire article is available here.

America today is fighting a two-front war for survival. On the one hand, there is the war on terror – or the war against Islamofascism, as some call it. On the other hand, Americans are in the midst of a culture war. On one side of the culture war are people who understand that this nation is founded upon the governing principle of independence under God. This position is clearly set forth in the Declaration of Independence, which is based on a framework in which there is a Creator from whom all human beings, by virtue of creation, are endowed with inalienable rights.

On the other side of the culture war are people who reject this founding framework in favor of a concept of independence apart from God. Instead of a Creator God as the basis for human rights, people on this side of the struggle have come to see humanity as the product of an impersonal nature that has produced autonomous human beings who look to themselves (their choice, power, genes) or their groups (race, class, gender, party) or the impersonal natural order itself as the final reference point for human rights and identity.

Observers such as Bill O’Reilly, who was challenged by David Letterman on the Late Show, see the struggle as one between traditionalists and secular progressives. In O’Reilly’s lexicon, traditionalists are people “who believe the country was well founded, does mostly good things, and has become the most powerful nation on earth by adhering to Judeo-Christian principles like generosity, justice, and self-sacrifice.” O’Reilly defines “secular progressives” as people who “believe that the USA is fundamentally a flawed country, which has caused considerable misery both within and outside our borders. The S-P’s want drastic change and a new direction for America.”

It is tempting to see these two fronts as separate struggles – the war on terror over there, and the culture war over here. But there is a unity: Ultimately the war on terror and the culture war are struggles against Western Civilization as rooted in the Judeo-Christian worldview. Thinking of the struggle in this way, neither secularism nor Islamofascism can win without liquidating the Judeo-Christian worldview – or, at a minimum, removing it as a legitimate voice in public life.

America is divided along cultural lines. But underneath the cultural lines are antithetical worldview divisions that we would do well to attend to. Islamofascism is not secularism is not the Judeo-Christian worldview. The more Americans understand the thoughtforms upon which their historic freedoms are founded, a verifiable worldview with the Creator at the center as opposed to an inadequate secularism or a kind of religio-fascism, the better prepared all will be to meet the challenges that already confront America early in the 21st century.

Chances of survival seem better if Americans remember who they are and how they got that way.

- Rick Pearcey


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3 Responses to O’Reilly, Letterman, and the Culture War

  1. Jim Byrne says:

    Dear Mr. Pearcey,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    You write: “The more Americans understand the thoughtforms upon which their historic freedoms are founded, …”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’d bet the signers of the Declaration, etc., most certainly did NOT form their thought in terms of the epistemic framework of competing worldviews that you are using to any significant degree. Something to think about in the interest of understanding the thoughtforms upon which our historic freedoms are founded.

    Have a blessed Thanksgiving,
    Jim

  2. Martin Josten (UK) says:

    I would like to know what is meant by “Islamofascism”. Does this term imply that all Moslems have fascist tendencies? Alternatively, if “Islamofascists” refers to a sub-group of Islam, and if they are being identified as “the enemy”, and if it’s true that our Lord commanded us to love our enemies, I wonder if we can think of a name for them that better expresses that love, however much we may disagree with their doctrines?

    • Martin

      Thank you for your comments. Not all of our guest bloggers are in a position to respond to comments. This is the case with Rick. However, your comments certainly deserve a response. So, while I am NOT writing for Rick, I do want to respond.

      You have raised two issues: 1) Are all Muslims Islomafacists ? 2) Is there not a more loving name?

      First, not all Muslims are fascists – i.e., militantly authoritarian in their political methods and agenda. Islam, like Christianity, is a broad spectrum. It has at least four different expressions. 1) Secular Muslims – those born into a Muslim family who have rejected their father’s faith to embrace Secularism; 2) The reformers – Muslims who desire to see their faith worked out in a pluralistic context; 3) The pragmatists – those not necessarily politically inclined, but unwilling to confront others who are; 4) The Fundamentalists – Muslims who long to see Islam return to her glorious past.

      Within this last division is a smaller group who are militants working to restore Islam to its past dominance through violence and authoritarian measures. These self identify as Jihadists and Salafists – the Salafists, for example, just won 20% of the vote in the first round of voting in Egypt. Some call these Islamists. They are Muslims who are Fascist in their orientation and methods. So the term Islamofascism is an accurate term for this small but growing minority within Islam. If they seem to receive attention disproportionate to their population that’s because their influence/terrorist activities? is likewise disproportionate.

      Among those who supported Fascism in Germany and Italy prior to and during World War II were some who professed Christ. These might accurately be called Christofascists. Whether they were truly Christian is certainly another matter.

      Are we to love our enemies? Most certainly we are. And that would mean we are to love people who want our own destruction. But does love demand that we do not make distinctions between peoples and ideologies? Does it demand that we are not accurate in our language and description of movements? In fact, it seems that love is not divorced from truth and there are times where love demands that we speak in categories that reflect reality.

      Martin, thanks again for your comments. Again, I do not know how Rick would respond to your query. Please take this as my response.

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