“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.” Hosea 7:8
It was after a school shooting near Spokane last September that Spokane Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich addressed a clutch of reporters:
When I was in high school, every one of those rigs in the high school parking lot had a gun in the gun rack. Why? We went hunting on the way home. None of those guns ever walked into a school, none of those guns ever shot anybody… Did the gun change or did you as a society change? I’ll give you odds it was you as a society. Because you started glorifying cultures of violence. You glorified the gang culture, you glorified games that actually gave you points for raping and killing people. The gun didn’t change, we changed.
It seems clear to me the sheriff was speaking about rap music with its hateful, violent and misogynistic lyrics, and video games like Grand Theft Auto, where you can have sex with a prostitute then strangle her or pull an innocent person out of a car, beat him, then steal his vehicle.
I am a First Amendment purist and don’t want to see expression censored in any way. And I don’t argue that there’s a straight line between any specific cultural creation and bad acts. But surely, a culture in which those in authority approve of and argue for things like gangsta rap and GTA — and indeed for the use of violenceto silence speech that offends them — well, such a culture becomes a machine for transforming madness into murder.
It reminds me of some wisdom from another two sheriffs, the fictional sheriffs from the Coen Brothers movie of Cormac McCarthy’s novel No Country for Old Men discussing the mindless violence that has taken over society.
“Once you stop hearing ‘sir’ and ‘ma’am’ the rest is soon to follow,” says one.
“It’s the tide, the dismal tide,” says the other. “It’s not the one thing.”
The left wants to defend gangstas and “transgressive” art and antifa thugs — but when the shooting starts, they blame the guns.
The left wants to get rid of feminine modesty and masculine protectiveness and social restrictions on sex — but when the abuse and rape and harassment rise to the surface, they start whining about toxic manhood. Perhaps they should have listened to the Catholic apologist G.K. Chesterton, who wrote about the difference between reforming society and deforming it — a passage that was neatly paraphrased by John F. Kennedy: “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.”
Now the left wants to legitimize disrespect for the flag and for Christianity. They want to ignore the rule of law at the border and silence protests against Islamic ideas that are antithetical to every good thing the west stands for. They should look to Europe where all that’s been accomplished. And now, when European women are molested in the public square, the gormless authorities advise them to behave more modestly lest immigrants get the wrong idea. When Islamic knives come out and Islamic bombs go off, the police rush to harass — who? Those who questionthe dictates of the Koran.
The left wants us to reel in shock that Donald Trump chased women or praised Russian strong men? Who was it who defended the infidelities and possible rapes of Bill Clinton? Who was it who turned a blind eye to Barack Obama consorting with terrorists and hate-mongers like Farrakhan?
For fifteen years and more, I have been complaining that the right is silenced in our culture — blacklisted and excluded and ignored in entertainment, mainstream news outlets, and the universities. But the flip side of that is this: the degradation of our culture is almost entirely a leftist achievement. Over the last fifty years, it’s the left that has assaulted every moral norm and disdained every religious and cultural restraint.
The left owns the dismal tide. They don’t like the results? They’re looking for someone or something to blame? Maybe they should start by hunting up a mirror.