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Dennis Prager & Michael Shermer: Religion, Government, and the Founding Fathers (Pt. 3)

“Without God A Limited Government Won’t Work”

Dennis Prager (Author & Radio Host) and Michael Shermer (Publisher, Skeptic Magazine) join Dave Rubin to discuss the individual vs the collective, the founding fathers and their view on religion and God, what is responsible for the crumbling of Europe and American universities, the criteria we use to decide what is right and wrong, Islamophobia and more

Dennis Prager and Michael Shermer

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Wisdom Begins With Fear Of God

NO GOD, NO WISDOM

Prager Exposes “Substitute Religions”

Leftism is the most dynamic religion in the world!

Race, Gender, Class – The Left Wing Trinity

 

 

Dennis Prager writes:

How I found God at Columbia

Very few people can say that they found God or religion at college or graduate school. The university, after all, is a radically secular institution that either ignores or disparages religious belief in God.

Yet, one day, when I was a graduate student in international affairs at Columbia University, I had what can honestly be called an epiphany.

I remember it very clearly. Since entering graduate school, I was preoccupied with this question: Why did so many learned and intelligent professors believe so many foolish things?
Why did so many people at my university believe nonsense such as Marxism? I was a fellow at the Russian Institute where I specialized in Soviet affairs and Marxism, and so I encountered professor after professor and student after student who truly believed in some variation on Marxism.

Why did so many professors believe and teach the even more foolish notion that men and women are basically the same? At college, it was a given that the differing conduct of boys and girls and of men and women is a result of different, i.e., sexist, upbringings. The feminist absurdity that girls do girl things because they are given dolls and tea sets, and boys do boy things because they are given trucks and toy guns, was actually believed in the mind-numbing world of academic intellectuals.

And why were so many professors morally confused? How could people so learned in contemporary history morally equate the Soviet Union and the United States, regard America as responsible for the Cold War, or regard Israel as the Middle East’s villain?

One day, I received an answer to these questions. Seemingly out of nowhere, a biblical verse — one that I had recited every day in kindergarten at the Jewish religious school I attended as a child — entered my mind. It was a verse from Psalm 111: “Wisdom begins with fear of God.”

The verse meant almost nothing to me as a child — both because I recited it in the original Hebrew, which at the time I barely understood, and because the concept was way beyond a child’s mind to comprehend. But 15 years later, a verse I had rarely thought about answered my puzzle about my university and put me on a philosophical course from which I have never wavered.

It could not be a coincidence that the most morally confused of society’s mainstream institutions and the one possessing the least wisdom — the university — was also society’s most secular institution. The Psalmist was right — no God, no wisdom.

Most people come to believe in God through what I call the front door of faith. Something leads them to believe in God. Since that day at Columbia, however, I regularly renew my faith through the back door — I see the confusion and nihilism that godless ideas produce and my faith is restored. The consequences of secularism have been at least as powerful a force for faith in my life as religion.

If our universities produced wise men and women, curricula of moral clarity, and professors who loved liberty and truth, not to mention loved America — there is no question that my religious faith would be challenged. I would look at the temple of secularism, the university, and see so much goodness and wisdom that I would have to wonder just how important God and religion were.

But I look at the university and see truth deconstructed, beauty reviled, America loathed, good and evil inverted, elementary truths about life denied, and I realize that one very powerful argument for God is that society cannot function successfully without reference to Him.

So as much as I shudder almost every time I read of another academic taking an absurd position, I also feel my faith renewed.

Ironically, the worse the universities get, the greater their tribute to God.

Misconceptions Of The Bible

Dennis Prager 3Dennis Prager deals with three common misconceptions of the Bible

DO NOT STEAL PEOPLE

Understanding Forgiveness

 

All you then have to do is keep out of his mind the question, “If I, being what I am, can consider that I am in some sense a Christian, why should the different vices of those people in the next pew prove that their religion is mere hypocrisy and convention?” C.S. Lewis

Moses murdered an Egyptian and hid his body in the sand. David had a loyal soldier killed in battle to cover up his infidelity with the man’s wife. Peter denied Christ three times before the cock crowed even though he knew He was the Messiah.

These were great men, champions of Christianity, heroes for the ages – and yet they were flawed and weak. Do you really think the Christians we look up to today are any better? Maybe they are, but I suspect if we knew the secret sins of people like Billy Graham, Rick Warren, and Mother Teresa, then we wouldn’t have as high an opinion of their character. However, that says more about us than it does about them because there was only one perfect man who walked the earth and the rest of us have feet of clay. Sinning comes with the territory and all of us do it. That’s why we’ve been told to, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”

Of course, it’s not always so simple. It’s easy to think of a person who does something bad as someone bad – and that’s often not the case. As John Watson said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” People get depressed, exhausted, hurt, confused and lost. In their pain, sometimes they sin to try to fill that hole in themselves even though they know what they’re doing is wrong.

Ever listened to someone telling you about cheating on her spouse, heard about how bad her home life is and think, “I don’t condone cheating, but I’m not sure I blame her?” Have you been told about something a person did that was undeniably wrong, but you’ve thought, “That’s a tough situation and I’m not sure I would have done anything differently?” So often, I’ve heard someone tell me about something awful he’s done and thought, “There but for the grace of God go I.”

What do you do in the face of that kind of ambiguity? How do you handle it when you’re talking to a good and decent person who has done something bad?

forgiveness

Too often, the modern response has been to steer clear of the whole dilemma by waving off any and all standards of moral behavior. After all, if you have no standards, then how can you be accused of not living up to them when you fall short? If everything is permissible, then how can you be condemned for being a hypocrite?

The problem with that sort of thinking is that it’s trying to live to God’s standards that carves us into better human beings. If we have no standards, then it’s easy to be content to roll around in the sewer. If we make our own standards, then being what we are, we’ll make them very lax in the areas where we’re weak. Only by trying to live up to tough standards set by a Higher Power can we really achieve our greatest potential as human beings and become everything we ought to be.

That doesn’t mean it’s simple. Going down that road means that we sometimes are unable to excuse the behavior of people we care about or people who are hurting. It can also cause turmoil when good people we admire don’t live up to their moral code and there are consequences for their behavior. You can’t follow the pastor who’s having an affair, agree with the friend who’s stealing from his job to pay his bills, or cheer on the politician who’s lying to achieve his goals.

The whole process is messy, ugly, uneven and, yes, sometimes even hypocritical, but it’s what it takes for us to grow. If it requires a bit of hypocrisy now and again for flawed, broken creatures like us to try to serve our fellow man the way God intended, then that’s a small price to pay.