That we live in a decadent age will seem evident to anyone who has been numbed by the moral horrors that occur on a daily basis, all over this country, and that are reported with a bland reportorial neutrality by all the news media. These horrors—involving open drug-dealing and prostitution, shootings in the schools, fetal abortions, doctor-assisted suicides—evoke hardly more than a shrug. Passivity in the face of such evils is in fact nowadays admired as evidence of “open-mindedness,” “compassion,” and “tolerance” for differing “values” and “behaviors.” In fact, to believe that evil is a reality and to have strong convictions about how to deal with the forms that evil takes in the national life is usually to be dismissed as an absolutist, a crank, and a bigot. Public moralists are a nuisance and we usually do not like to listen to them. I am therefore led to wonder whether, if this were...


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