Os Guiness posed the following questions in an interview with Trevin Wax at The Gospel Coalition. Well worth pondering and the way we answer determines the direction and character of our nation.
Os Guinness: Where should I begin?
As I see it, the Sixties was above all a grand and damaging blow to the easy complacency of the post-War world and to the illusions of Henry Luce’s “American century.” This was evident at the time as the U.S. became more and more bogged down in the jungles and paddy fields of Vietnam and in the labyrinthine peace negotiations in Paris.
But it slowly became equally evident too in the way that Sixties ideas openly assaulted many of the ideals and ideas that had shaped traditional America:
What is life?
How are we to define the family?
Is there such a thing as truth?
Does character matter in leaders?
What part should religion play in public life?
What do we mean by “Americanism” and “exceptionalism”?
Does freedom require virtue?
And so on, and so on.
Clearly, the recent answers to such questions not only form the contested issues of the culture wars today, but are significant in various ways. They demonstrate the chasm between the present generation and most Americans before the 1960s, they show the mounting alienation of the educated classes from many ordinary citizens, and they represent the decisive manner in which contemporary America has departed from the founders’ understanding of the republic. It is not too much to say that these Sixties answers are what has called into question the very health of United States and may hasten its decline.
So, how do YOU answer these questions?