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9 Jun, 2022 13:06

Robert Bridge: Does America need a religious revival to offset its godless liberalism?

Faith is declining in the US as ultra-liberal virtue-signaling replaces true virtue
Robert Bridge: Does America need a religious revival to offset its godless liberalism?

In the misguided belief that virtue-signaling and political correctness have anything to do with morality, Americans have cast aside traditional religious belief and joined the church of liberalism, a most bizarre cult.

In case anyone missed the rainbow-colored memo, now plastered on everything from crosswalks to flagpoles to social media accounts, America has entered the second week of Pride Month, and heaven help the heathen who does not genuflect to the LGBTQ+ juggernaut. Those ‘haters’ will be dragged screaming into the light of day and forced to explain their impudence before the torch-carrying mob that has no reputation for forgiveness. Just ask those professional baseball players from the Tampa Bay Rays who politely declined to wear the LGBTQ+ logo on their uniforms during ‘Pride Night’ festivities.

As The Tampa Bay Times found it necessary to report, team members Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson were “among the players who did not wear the patch on their uniforms and chose to wear the team's standard caps for the June 4 home game.” These dissident athletes, who are paid good money to play ball, not to play advocate to every social trend, were forced to explain their non-conforming behavior before a throng of reporters. In the carefully-worded apology that followed, the renegades said it had been a "faith-based decision.” But since hell has no fury like a virtue signaler shunned, it will be interesting to see how this story develops.

For anyone inclined to believe the summer madness ends there, you haven’t been paying attention. Just about every corporation – from NASCAR, the racing organization that should be solely focused on fast cars and fan safety, to FIFA, the Switzerland-based football body – are running hog-wild with the social justice mob, all with the intention of creating “a more inclusive environment.” Yet when was the last time someone was denied entry at a sporting event due to their sexual proclivities? I’m going to crawl out on a proverbial limb and say ‘never.’

Brace yourself, dear reader, the ride has just begun.

If you had to guess which all-American institution would never ever genuflect at the altar of sexual ‘diversity’, which would it be? If you answered ‘the US Marine Corp’, you may want to have a seat, especially if you’re a patriotic veteran of some foreign entanglement. The commanders of those tough, beach-storming jarheads have shown their true colors, ladies and gentlemen, and I regret to inform it’s very far from khaki.

“Throughout June, the USMC takes #Pride in recognizing and honoring the contributions of our LGBTQ service members,” the Corps’ official account tweeted alongside a helmet adorned with rainbow-colored bullets, you know, those little projectiles that KILL people. “We remain committed to fostering an environment free from discrimination, and defend the values of treating all equally, with dignity and respect. #PrideMonth #USMC.”

But even that could not compare to what was on tap in Dallas, Texas, home of the tragically displaced cowboy. In celebration of the drag queen community that takes up quarters somewhere in the LGBTQ+ love shack, the Mr. Misster gay club hosted an event entitled, “Drag the Kids to Pride.” And wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly what some parents did. As my colleague Ian Miles Cheong rightly observed, involving kids in such lewd performances is pure “deviance, not Pride.”

It probably goes without saying that experiencing ‘culture shock’ is never more unsettling than when it involves your own country. Like an increasing number of Americans, I no longer recognize the place of my birth. In a few short years, the United States has gone from being an upright, God-fearing nation anchored on solid Christian principles to a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah. When did things go so wrong, and, more importantly, why did we let it happen?

Looking back on my middle-class American upbringing in the 1970s, life seemed pretty normal, perhaps even idyllic judging by the current state of things. Although my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – like much of the so-called ‘Rust Belt’ – was then entering a phase of irreversible industrial decline, people clung to their Judeo-Christian principles and persevered. The moral fabric that held it altogether remained intact.

The neighborhood where I grew up was predominantly Catholic, and, like much of the nation at the time, attending church services once a week was more of a rule than the exception. Ironically, however, it was through weekend basketball games, organized by the local churches, that the full extent of religious observation became obvious to me. Each weekend, our church basketball team, made up of elementary school kids, boarded buses to compete against other Catholic school teams in the region. The games attracted hundreds of local worshippers, all members of the religious parishes that dotted the region. Today, those basketball games – and the dozens of Catholic schools that hosted them – are a distant memory. Due to declining church attendance across the country, many of those Catholic schools, including my own, closed their doors years ago. The same fate awaited other religious denominations.

According to a 2019 Gallup survey, church membership in the United States was 70% or higher from 1937 through 1976, declining modestly to an average of 68% in the 1970s through the 1990s. The past 20 years, however, have seen a massive drop in religious affiliation with just 50% of Americans saying they belong to a church, synagogue or mosque.  

What has led America to its current state, where a godless ultra-liberal mindset has gripped the country, I cannot say with any certainty, but the lack of religious faith seems to be a determining factor. Combine that spiritual void with rampant materialism and the violent, amoral messages emanating from Hollywood, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Perhaps as a way to replace that spiritual foundation in their lives, Americans began to confuse politically based virtue-signaling and political correctness with true moral behavior, which has often been grounded in religion before.

To understand the difference, the virtue signaler is the person who sits in the front pew at church every Sunday so everyone can see how holy they are. Although I can’t prove it, I’m guessing God finds those people the most annoying. The truly moral person, meanwhile, is the one who acts like the Good Samaritan, who performs acts of goodness from the heart without any expectation of glory or earthly rewards.

Historically, the religious institution of the church, whatever the denomination and regardless of its well-known faults provided a sound moral foundation for society at large. Today, that foundation is crumbling, as is becoming obvious from every city street corner, and the weeds of social decay are beginning to take over. Eventually those invasive plants, if not brought under control, will grow into massive trees and that will be the end of Western civilization. America, it’s high time for a religious revival to confront the excesses of liberalism, our great country depends upon it.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.