Americans have lost their way but my "Rational Bible" will show them the light
I won't make any assumptions about how many readers noticed I took a three-month break from column writing.
Nevertheless, I want to explain why.
I needed the time to finish the first volume of the biggest project of my life as a writer, a commentary on the first five books of the Bible, or what are called the Torah in Hebrew.
The commentary is addressed to people of every faith and, especially, to people of no faith.
I have believed all my life that the primary crisis in America and the West is the abandonment of Judeo-Christian values, or, one might say, the dismissal of the Bible. Virtually everyone on the left thinks America would be better off as a secular nation. And virtually all conservative intellectuals don't think it matters. How many intellectuals study the Bible and teach it to their children?
And yet, from the time long before the United States became a country until well into the 1950s, the Bible was not only the most widely read book in America; it was the primary vehicle by which each generation passed on morality and wisdom to the next generation.
Since that time, we have gone from a Bible-based society to a Bible-ignorant one; from the Bible being the Greatest Book to the Bible being an irrelevant book. Ask your college-age child, niece, nephew or grandchild to identify Cain and Abel, the Tower of Babel or the ten plagues. Get ready for some blank stares. I recently asked some college graduates (none of whom were Jewish) to name the four Gospels. None could.
But what we have today is worse than ignorance of the Bible. It is contempt for it. Just about anyone who quotes the Bible, let alone says it is the source of his or her values, is essentially regarded as a simpleton who is anti-science, anti-intellectual and sexist.
Our society, one of whose mottos is "In God We Trust," is becoming as godless as Western Europe -- and, consequently, as morally confused and unwise as Europe. Just as most professors regard most Bible believers as foolish, I have more or less the same view of most college professors in the liberal arts. When I hear that someone has a Ph.D. in sociology, anthropology, political science or English, let alone women's studies or gender studies, I assume that he or she is morally confused and bereft of wisdom. Some are not, of course. But they constitute a small minority.
Whenever teenagers call my radio show or I meet one in person, I can usually identify -- almost immediately -- the ones who are receiving a religion-based education. They are far more likely to act mature and have more wisdom than their Bible-free peers.