The virus that threatens a nation
Randall Murphree
Randall Murphree
AFA Journal editor

October 1996 – Clearly the most dangerous neo-religious sect to spring up in the American public arena during the last half century is an insidious movement with no formal name, but which we will herein call Church-State Separationism (Seps for short).  Missionaries from the Church-State Separationists can, at any time, be found in the public square braying loudly and illogically about freedom, the Constitution and its alleged principle of “separation of church and state.” It is a principle which they have fabricated in their own secular seminary. Whether it emerged out of ignorance or intentional deceit, no one is certain.

The Seps’ rapid growth and supposed credibility can be attributed largely to a secular media fawning over their leaders and spreading with fanatic, religious fervor the movement’s unchallenged disinformation. The intended result of the Seps’ absurd creed is nothing less than the subtle sabotage of America’s once strong foundation of Christian faith.

Where once religious displays held a place of honor in the public square, some now demand we banish them from view, lest they offend (or, God forbid – excuse the term) “corrupt” some passerby! Where once prayers to our nation’s God echoed through halls of public schools, some would now silence spoken words to any God but their own lesser ones. Where once no merchant would have dared to sell pornography in corner grocery stores, the family marketplace is cleansed of “censorship” and guarantees the merchant’s “right” to pander porn.

The list could go on, but for the sake of brevity, pornography and obscenity will be the backdrop for this exploration of the issue.

The Seps’ nonsensical questions
Over and over and over again, the Seps harp on two questions. First, they emote indignantly, “Should a relative few impose their views on an entire community?”

Even the most naive would answer, “No. Of course not.” However, any objective observer of the current tailspin of American cultural decline can see that more than a “few outspoken” citizens desire to see some law (local or state) enacted and/or enforced to bar from their communities obscene and pornographic movies that depict unnatural sex acts including multiple partners, homosexual and lesbian acts, gang rape, and gory, bloody, violent sexual content. Of such “entertainment” the Seps shout, “Bravo! All America wants total freedom (read anarchy)!”

Such films do their absolute best to destroy the traditional Judeo-Christian moral values through which our nation has maintained its strength. If the majority wish to allow such material to invade their communities unrestrained, then that majority should come out of hiding and identify themselves with their cause. They should be appearing before City Councils and State Legislatures to let their voices be heard. They should be championing the cause of pornography in their churches, their PTA meetings, civic clubs, neighborhood block parties, and in the forum of local papers.

A second question often piously pondered by Seps is, “What will protect the rights of people who disagree with a particular anti-obscenity ordinance?” The logical response to that is yet another question: “What rights?” In reality, the First Amendment does not protect obscenity – nor has it ever been so interpreted by the Courts. Any real student of the First Amendment could have told them that.

The insanity of their second question is revealed in this parallel: “What will protect the rights of the driver who disagrees with a 30 mph speed limit on a busy street where children play?” The question is inherently invalid because a driver (disagree with the speed limit or not) has no right to endanger the lives of others. Just as the driver is restrained by law in order to protect other lives, the porn peddler is restrained by law in order to protect minds and lives – especially of children and women, who are most likely to become the helpless victims of pornography.

FAV – deadly virus
The flowering of Separationism has led to dismay and disarray in the American public square. Its rapid spread has spawned a deadly virus that now runs rampant among the easily led. Many citizens, once normal, healthy and at least modestly patriotic, are now afflicted with or endangered by this ’90s phenomenon, a pseudo-religious virus called the “First Amendmentitis Virus” (FAV). The FAV leads to serious maladies of the mind for those who have been misled to believe that the U.S. Constitution protects all forms of obscenity – verbal and visual. Once FAV infection occurs, the victim’s sound reason deteriorates rapidly as he grows more vulnerable to the propaganda of the Seps. At its worst end, FAV leads to Acquired Propaganda Overload Syndrome (APOS), a state in which the victim no longer even attempts to think for himself. APOS victims are so totally brainwashed that they cling tenaciously to the Seps’ convoluted conviction that no moral principle may be brought to bear in American public life. Pornography and obscenity represent only one area into which that fallacy has forced its influence. Seps would have us believe that constitutionally, absolutely no restrictions may be placed on any form of pornography or obscenity.

Watch for the symptoms
As reflected in Separationist propaganda, there are three major symptoms of FAV. Any one of them alone is cause for alarm, in that it might well lead to APOS. For the victim who exhibits all three, recovery will be a difficult, though not impossible, journey.

Symptom one.  The APOS victim cannot refrain from shouting at the top of his voice, “First Amendment rights! or “Separation of Church and State!” at the drop of a Bible verse, or at any suggestion of restraint on individual moral behavior. The notion that the First Amendment protects obscenity is, of course, simply untrue (but this fact is lost on the APOS victim, brainwashed as he is).  A 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling (Miller v. California) gave some definition to the issue of obscenity.

That ruling is important for two primary reasons. First, it reaffirmed a 1957 Supreme Court ruling (Roth v. United States) which held that “obscenity is not within the area of constitutionally protected speech or press.” Also, Miller v. California reversed an earlier ruling (Memoirs v. Massachusetts) which required that an allegedly obscene work be found to be “utterly without redeeming social value” (Emphasis in original). Reason and reality aside, however, the APOS victim will bellow belligerently until he’s blue in the face that obscenity is nothing more than free speech.

Symptom two. APOS affects the mind in such a way as to lead its victim to trust totally in illogical conclusions. The Separationist faith relies heavily on the fact that the standards of one person may not be the standards of another. From that reality, Seps take a giant leap to demand that all differences thus be tolerated. This irrational premise obviously defies sound reason. In fact, carried to its logical conclusion, that premise would lead to pure anarchy. For example, there are those whose personal standards declare it acceptable, even desirable, to exploit young children as pornography models and prostitutes. There are organized groups (the North American Man/Boy Love Association, for one) which advocate sexual child abuse and perversion, who boast in their vile slogan, “Sex before eight, or it’s too late!” Must their “differences” be tolerated, too? The Seps’ major tenet would say yes.

Symptom three.  The APOS victim loses control of reason and grows to rely on certain emotionally-charged buzz words to conjure up either a negative or a positive reaction as the occasion demands. Seps chant such words and phrases as “individual rights,” “First Amendment rights,” “tolerance,” “respect,” and “individual standards” to evoke images of Old Glory waving in the breeze while the strains of “My Country ’Tis of Thee” float through the air.

On the other hand, Seps grow indignant when sneering “few outspoken people,” “bigotry,” “impose,” “pressure,” and “narrow-minded” – their sneaky strategy to coax the unwary to take up mental and emotional arms in defense of freedom. However, even the casual observer of our culture can clearly see that the Seps and their hapless converts are the “few outspoken” ones as they flail frenetically against principles which the vast majority support – strong families, traditional moral values, and, yes, neighborhoods free from pornography and obscenity.

Hope for recovery
All who are susceptible or who have been exposed to the infectious FAV should seek treatment immediately. And there is hope even for the severely afflicted APOS victim. A personal study of the Declaration of Independence, the U. S. Constitution and the writings of our Founding Fathers would be a good place to begin. Extended exposure to such documents can restore truth and reason to the FAV-ravaged mind. Only a return to the nation’s spiritual foundations will correct our off-course ship of state. Our American freedoms must include the right to live in an environment where pornography does not threaten our communities – our lives, our families, the minds of our children, and our values.

Our best hope for restoring moral strength and sanity to our neighborhoods – and ultimately to our nation – is to return to the morality of our founding fathers. We should take a lesson from Prof. J. D. Unwin of Cambridge. Some 60 years ago, Unwin conducted a study with which he hoped to prove that it was harmful to man to perpetuate the strict, monogamous sexual morality of the times. For seven years, Unwin researched and studied more than 80 different civilizations. In a 1984 presentation at the National Consultation on Pornography, Obscenity and Indecency, Dr. Reo Christenson, Professor of Political Science at Miami (Ohio) University, summarized Unwin’s findings:

After examining the sexual practices of more than 80 primitive and more advanced societies, Unwin concluded that sexually permissive behavior led to less cultural energy, less creativity, less individualism, less mental development and less cultural progress in general. Primitive societies with the greatest sexual freedom had made the least cultural advances. Those with stricter limitations had made the greatest progress. Among civilized societies, the same rule held. Those with restrictive sexual codes had made the greatest cultural strides, and when more permissive sexual standards appeared, cultural decline set in.

Yes, every single one of Unwin’s case studies began a descending spiral when its people turned away from traditional moral values as the abiding strength of their society. They began their fall when they adopted a hedonistic life-style comparable to that which the Church-State Separationists would have us embrace today.

After a lifetime of studying world history, Will and Ariel Durant wrote in The Lessons of History that it is imperative to maintain rigorous sexual restraints upon the young. Edward Gibbons, in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, said five things marked Rome at its end: a mounting love of show and luxury; a widening gap between the very rich and the very poor; an obsession with sex; freakishness in the arts, masquerading as originality, and enthusiasms pretending to be creativity; and an increased desire to live off the state.

Sound like anybody we know!? Can not American citizens see the obvious, tragic irony here, recognize impending danger on the horizon? Can we not discern that the attacks on our spiritual foundations will surely effect the collapse of our culture? Can we not learn from the mistakes of countless fallen nations? Let us hope so.

Let us turn our hearts back to the God of our fathers. Let us turn our minds and our energies to healing our wounded culture. And let us pray that America will not be the next nation to topple.