1973…the pivot point

I graduated from high school in 1973. Over the last forty three years I have thought often that 1973 marked the pivot point in the shift of the American Culture. By culture I mean the 400 year history that served as the foundation of this country’s belief system with its roots in Judeo-Christian theology and values. That History is undeniable.

In the late 19th century Darwin and Naturalism changed the philosophic landscape in Europe.  Darwin’s evolutionary theory allowed for the denial and necessity  of supernatural creation.It did not take long for that thinking to travel to America.  Two of Darwin’s contemporaries, Karl Marx, and specifically Sigmund Freud also shaped opinion and advocated for social change with similar motives. They proposed that man could thrive and survive without the influence or existence of the metaphysical.As a result, science became the support system for all of the new thinking.

In 1925 Darwin’s theory was front and center in the Scopes trial. The argument shifted popular belief toward evolutionary teaching in the public domain and by 1962 creation was eliminated from textbooks and just one year later prayer to a deity was disallowed in American public education. It became clear that any reference to the traditional values based on the Judeo Christian history were no longer necessary. God was declared dead and it was time to move on.

The change in philosophy had been brewing in America since the early 1920s and in the 50s and 60s things began to boil. There are other ideas and issues one could point to but I believe strongly that just one decision initiated the shift and 1973 is the year the new paradigm  changed the direction of American culture.

January 22, 1973 was the landmark decision by the United States Supreme on the issue of abortion. It was decided simultaneously with a companion case Doe v. Bolton. The Court ruled 7–2 that a right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion, but that this right must be balanced against the state’s two legitimate interests in regulating abortions: protecting women’s health and protecting the potentiality of human life. Forty three years of history has seen the government lean strongly to the rights of the woman and not the “potentiality” of human life.

With the stroke of a pen, seven individuals shifted the culture 180 degrees. In the forty three years that have transpired since that decision, America has eliminated over 60 million lives from the public arena. The 1973 decision culminated the one hundred plus years of attempting to eliminate God from the culture. The desire to remove one creator and replace him with another. After thousands of years on one day in 1973, life was no longer considered sacred and protected in America.

In the midst of a pretty crazy election cycle I am growing ever weary of the process; the billions of dollars wasted on campaigning. For me there is only one issue that any candidate must acknowledge. No other issue matters unless and until this one is returned to its rightful position. There is never an acceptable reason for the taking of human life.

In  200 A.D. Tertulian wrote,
For us murder is once for all forbidden; so even the child in the womb, while yet the mother’s blood is still being drawn on to form the human being, it is not lawful to destroy. To forbid birth is only quicker murder. It makes no difference whether one take away the life once born or destroy it as it comes to birth. He is a man, who is to be a man, the fruit is always present in the seed.”

In 1973, a few in places of power determined to turn away from the sanctity of life. Unless or until the culture changes back and acknowledges the wrong direction the values and heart of the country will continue to spiral away from truth and civility. No other issue matters at the core, because no other issue is grounded in the heart of God and man’s design. When life is no longer sacred, nothing matters. I cannot support anyone that chooses to view life, all of life, as anything less than sacred.

      “But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of the divine being. So nobody has an excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.
     So God said, in effect, ‘If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us  Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean spirited, venomous, fork-tongued, God bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags. They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way. Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold- blooded. And it’s not as if they didn’t know better. They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face. And they don’t care—worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best.”

It is not about intolerance.  It is not about political agendas.  It is not about being right. It is not about judging others.  It is about love. The Creator loves all of His creation. He asks us to do the same.   One day He will restore everything to its original design.   For now, grace is the only choice.

About Bill Harbeck

Founder and Director of Holding on to Hope Ministries. A non-profit work that helps survivors of childhood sexual abuse unveil their past and begin the healing process. Author of the book Shattered; One Man's Journey from Childhood Sexual Abuse
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