The two books I’ve read that best define American Values are David Gelernter’s Americanism: The Fourth Great Western Religion and Prager’s Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph. Both place American values in their proper context as derivations from the Judeo-Christian tradition. Gelernter describes the history of how over centuries the Old Testament Puritanism of the first settlers evolved into a secular, universal faith of Americanism. Prager defines the three core American values — Liberty, In God We Trust, and E. Pluribus Unum — and explains their incompatibility with Leftism and Islamism. Evan’s emphasis on the Garden of Eden as the key myth to understand the Modern Liberal fits right in with this paradigm — from page 30 of The KinderGarden of Eden:
In order to return man to Eden, the Modern Liberal had to reverse all of mankind’s progress, attacking everything that history had accomplished and undoing all that Athens and Jerusalem – reason and faith – had ever or would ever create. Note Voltaire’s recognition that Rousseau’s efforts were “against the human race,” and the results were to have everyone again “walk on all fours.”
To reverse the course of humanity, the True Believers had to turn everything on its head, literally changing the very meaning of life and the purpose of man’s day-to-day existence. Whereas Western Civilization was predicated on a person using his allotted days to better himself, without God or science the Modern Liberal had neither the mandate nor the means to do so. In fact, the Modern Liberal was taught from his birth to never seek to better himself in any way. This was because the Modern Liberal knew that to discover the better would require people to use that most monstrous of their faculties – their mind. Instead, in the Modern Liberal era, the child was instructed to only and always just be himself. The same “self” he had been from the day he was born.
It used to be the meaning of life was to get married, have children, and worship God according to the dictates of one’s own conscience (Jerusalem + Athens). We understood that the Garden of Eden where a benevolvent father god takes care of us like children forever was not a state to which one should aspire. (Hence why the depiction of God evolves in sophistication over the course of Jewish and Christian scriptures.)
The real important lesson of the story was not what many of us learned as kids: that we lose paradise when we disobey a patriarchal parent god’s rules. Rather, it’s something more literal: as soon as you take a bite of the apple and realize that something called “Good” and “Evil” exists outside of you then you are no longer a child and you can never rest in paradise again. As long as you know that people suffer under evil — both the kind perpetrated by the modern-day Hitlers and the more subtle variety bubbling in all our hearts — then no matter how abundant the sticky cultural fruits of Modern Liberalism may grow and how beautifully Hollywood’s cinematographer photograph them, they will always leave a bitter aftertaste.
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