The greatest cultural collapse in recorded history was energized by the theory of evolution and accelerated by modern technology. The Baby Boomers, born from 1946 – 1964, were caught in a perfect cultural storm. That storm compromised their soul-deep reality systems intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, during their most formative coming-of-age years, the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. The resulting cultural drift away from Judeo-Christian tradition created a spiritual vacuum.
The Boomer’s deepest yearnings for significance and meaning were unsatisfied or poorly satisfied. Many people attempted to fill their spiritual vacuum by participating in various political movements such as the “protests” of the 1960s and beyond, radical feminism, multiculturalism, and various “rights” movements (abortion, animal, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender). By effectively leveraging the power of mission and vision statements, even the business world learned to evoke significance and meaning in the lives of employees.
The abundance of emerging political movements and advances in business created stiff spiritual competition for the attention of vulnerable Jews and Christians. The results have produced the splintering of the traditional God-created, God-centered family and an increasingly fragmented directionless national culture. The political and cultural power of the Boomers arises from sheer numbers—76 million, greater than any subsequent generation—as well as their high level of activism.
The perfect storm was enabled, in part, because prior to WWII the intellectual skepticism regarding the existence of God and post-modern thinking was limited primarily to a small cadre of campus-cloistered academics. However, their radical thinking was rapidly instilled in the swelling student populations, beginning with the Boomer’s parents who massively used the “G.I. Bill” to finance college educations for post-WWII veterans. After the war, there were substantially more students on university campuses than ever before. Jobs for returning veterans were scarce; pursuing a college education at government expense provided a reasonable alternative.
Evolution was the “excuse” offered by persuasive and demanding professors for questioning or denying the existence of God. Intellectually the theory of evolution produced post-modern thinking contending there is 1) no god, 2) no objective truth, and 3) no overarching universal values that apply to all people. It was not necessary for the Boomer’s parents to be fully compromised; the professors’ arguments merely created doubt, regarding traditional Judeo-Christian values and beliefs—a doubt that slightly loosened child-rearing responsibilities. The “Greatest Generation” was about to unwittingly unleash tectonic cultural changes that would be expressed throughout the lives of the Baby Boomers.
The winds of the same post-modern thinking were gleefully fanned by the media, 1960s activists, the entertainment industry and politicians. Accordingly, generations following the Boomers have been increasingly compromised and their march to maturity largely disabled, because parents cannot teach their children concepts they do not know or understand themselves.
In a recent well-researched book, Diana West observed that America has become a culture of perpetual adolescence. We have replaced anchor-like virtues with slippery values, based on situational ethics. America has become a, “culture that has perpetuated and enshrined immaturity for more than a half century,” and, “…the civilization that forever dodges maturity will never live to a ripe old age.” Mike Males forcefully adds that, “The deterioration in middle-aged adult behavior has driven virtually every major American social problem over the past 25 years.”
Today, the so-called elite and many parents view the universe in strictly physical terms. As such, ordinary thinking is dominated by impersonal practical considerations (utilitarian, logic). Purposeful (spiritual) and principled (emotional) influences have been routinely torpedoed by evolution, science, the media, Hollywood, and many politicians. The results are evidenced by extreme political correctness, escalating cultural chaos, and the movement to “control” thought by defining “hate speech” and “hate crimes,” then rendering both unlawful.
A remedy, offered in future blogs, requires recognizing the role of Judeo-Christian tradition in the development of the greatest country and culture in recorded history, a culture envied the world over for the best quality-of-life and the highest standard-of-living ever achieved, and restore that tradition to prominence. Judge Robert Bork advises that “Religion must be recaptured church by church; and education, university by university; school board by school board.” Over two centuries ago, William Penn maintained, “Those people who are not ruled by God will be governed by tyrants.” Founder John Adams agreed, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion…”
So…What happened to the Baby Boomers? What constituted the perfect storm that collapsed a national culture in such an incredibly short time? That will be the topic of a future blog. Meanwhile, what do YOU think?