The WallBuilders Show

Can Civilization Thrive Without a Shared Moral Foundation?

June 26, 2024 Tim Barton, David Barton & Rick Green
Can Civilization Thrive Without a Shared Moral Foundation?
The WallBuilders Show
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The WallBuilders Show
Can Civilization Thrive Without a Shared Moral Foundation?
Jun 26, 2024
Tim Barton, David Barton & Rick Green

Can a civilization truly thrive without a shared moral foundation? Join us as we explore this fascinating question with the thought-provoking insights of Rabbi Daniel Lapin, who brings an unparalleled perspective on the intersection of faith, culture, and civilization. Recorded at the ProFamily Legislators Conference, this episode connects the dots between pivotal historical events, like the Fort Hood shooting in 2009 and the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, to the complex issues of our contemporary world. Rabbi Lapin challenges the standard evolutionary biology narrative by asserting that language is a divine gift from Genesis and examines how biblical principles have been instrumental in shaping advanced societies, highlighting unique aspects of Judeo-Christian civilization, from hygiene practices to governance.

Rabbi Lapin does not shy away from controversy as he tackles the inherent conflicts between different cultural and religious moral frameworks, with a critical focus on Islam's historical spread through conquest. By drawing parallels between ideological clashes of the 20th century, such as those involving Nazism and Communism, he underscores the difficulty of achieving peaceful coexistence without a common moral foundation. Through compelling examples and historical analysis, Rabbi Lapin discusses how divergent moral matrices foster conflict and examines real-world borders like the serene United States-Canada line versus the fraught India-Pakistan divide. Don't miss this compelling and thought-provoking discussion that promises to challenge your viewpoints and inspire deep reflection.

Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Can a civilization truly thrive without a shared moral foundation? Join us as we explore this fascinating question with the thought-provoking insights of Rabbi Daniel Lapin, who brings an unparalleled perspective on the intersection of faith, culture, and civilization. Recorded at the ProFamily Legislators Conference, this episode connects the dots between pivotal historical events, like the Fort Hood shooting in 2009 and the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, to the complex issues of our contemporary world. Rabbi Lapin challenges the standard evolutionary biology narrative by asserting that language is a divine gift from Genesis and examines how biblical principles have been instrumental in shaping advanced societies, highlighting unique aspects of Judeo-Christian civilization, from hygiene practices to governance.

Rabbi Lapin does not shy away from controversy as he tackles the inherent conflicts between different cultural and religious moral frameworks, with a critical focus on Islam's historical spread through conquest. By drawing parallels between ideological clashes of the 20th century, such as those involving Nazism and Communism, he underscores the difficulty of achieving peaceful coexistence without a common moral foundation. Through compelling examples and historical analysis, Rabbi Lapin discusses how divergent moral matrices foster conflict and examines real-world borders like the serene United States-Canada line versus the fraught India-Pakistan divide. Don't miss this compelling and thought-provoking discussion that promises to challenge your viewpoints and inspire deep reflection.

Support the Show.

Rick Green

Welcome to the Intersection of Faith and Culture. It's The WallBuilders Show and we are going to jump right in because we've got a really power-packed program for you. This is going to be Rabbi Daniel Lappin speaking at the Pro-Family Legislators Conference. The whole presentation in just one show today, but we're going to pack it in. So here we go. Here's Rabbi Daniel Lappin at the Pro-Family Legislators Conference.

 

Daniel Lappin

On November the 5th 2009, United States Army Major Nidal Malik Hassan murdered 13 people on the Fort Hood base people on the Fort Hood base. I think it's important to draw a line forward from that event to October the 7th, 2023, and perhaps just as important to draw a line back from that event, perhaps all the way to October the 7th that's right same date in the year 1571, when Christian forces inflicted a final defeat on the Muslim fleet in the Gulf of Lepanto between Italy and Greece. Fleet in the Gulf of Lepanto between Italy and Greece. Now something else that appears to be completely disconnected, and I can't tell you how much I would have loved to have actually been with you all there in person, as I've been many, many times in the past, during November for this special conference, because I was uplifted by being among you all. I was uplifted by your dedication and uplifted by your willingness to stand tall, walk brave and sometimes to stand alone, and each and every one of you that I've met at these conferences has managed to instill in me a growth of courage and fortitude and vision. And so being with you today remote I know you're there, but it's not the same as mingling among you, shaking your hands, looking at you in the eyes and drawing off some of your determination and courage. So thank you all for what you're doing and thank you for allowing me to be with you, at least in this reduced medium, which is certainly, from my point of view, better than world.

And they met to discuss a huge problem in evolution, and this group included people like Noam Chomsky and Richard Lewontin and many other of the big names, and here's what they were baffled by they were struggling to find a way to explain language using evolutionary biology. And here am I using language to the best of my ability to communicate with you, many miles away that separated between us, and I am using words and language and the problem that evolutionary biologists had gave up acknowledged. There is no answer, and there is no answer to this day, and that is how and where did language come from? If it was part of human evolution, then we ought to see goldfish gurgling at each other meaningfully. We ought to see chimpanzees discussing abstract ideas. We ought to see dolphins playing chess. We ought to see horses doing something that is beyond name. Where did their language come from? And they all agree that language just showed up inexplicably, didn't seem to evolve from anything or from anywhere.

And all of a sudden it came, just as the Hebrew text in Genesis 2.7 tells us, and I'll tell you in the Hebrew v'yipach b'apav nishmat chayyim, chapter 2.7,. And God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. And ancient Jewish wisdom says what does this tell us beyond what we already knew from chapter one? That God created Adam and Eve. And what does it tell us more than what we already know here? That he created Adam and then he drew Eve out of Adam. What does this breathing into the nostrils the breath of life tell us? And the answer is he gave him speech. This is the moment at which God gave the first human being the power of communication through speech and language and language, and all the evidence seems to point to that being an accurate picture. And if it's an accurate picture, then God did create humanity and then God did give us a blueprint for existence 3300 years ago on Mount Saini, and that pattern of existence is what we call civilization.

For the reality is and sociologists of great prominence and prestige all acknowledge that there are about 5,000 different cultures on the planet. There's really only one civilization, and this explains why it is that for the last 10 years, each and every year, not hundreds but thousands of people drown in the Mediterranean, traveling from Northern Africa to Western civilization. In other words, nobody is trying to break into Russia, nobody's trying to break into Bangladesh, nobody's trying to climb fences and get into Saudi Arabia. No, civilization is nothing more and this is the important point. Civilization is nothing more than the Bible projected onto a large screen, to a large screen. The principles of civilization, the idea of eschewing violence, the idea that ballots replace bullets and that voting replaces violence, the idea that women have a role to play beyond merely being the instruments of men, the idea that human beings will trade with one another and thereby create affluence and prosperity, the idea that children will be raised in a traditional family made up of a mother and a father dedicated to one another and to their children. These are the ideas that made everything that people yearn for possible.

People struggle to attain civilization, the whole ideas of cleanliness. When the Bible tells us that the soldiers of Israel carried a shovel in order to bury their excrement, that was the foundation of an understanding of hygiene. And when the principles of money and purchase and trade are laid out in the Old Testament, that lays the foundation for the stock exchanges and the great capital markets that today exist everywhere, in imitation of the capital markets that were created under Christendom, really important to understand that. That was and is the nature of civilization. It is living, in broad terms, according to the biblical principles, and so, over the course of years, although it didn't used to be this way at all, eventually, as Bible-based Judeo-Christian civilization spread, bathrooms that used to be a hole in the ground and banks that used to be gold tucked into somebody's mattress, bathrooms and banks in Bangkok and Beijing and Bombay began to resemble the bathrooms and the banks that are already, for many years, existed in Boston and Baltimore and Bristol. That's right.

The world recognized the superiority of civilization, but not everybody adopted it, and I'm about to tell you something that is very, very difficult to understand. For those of us who grew up in Judeo-Christian households and who grew up in a culture that was essentially a civilization based on the Bible, it is very, very difficult to hear and understand. The next thing that I have to tell you, and the next thing I have to tell you, is that destruction, if you are a barbarian, is just a lot of fun. The closest you might come to it is if to attack or bully or denigrate the good kids, and on a tiny level. That was what we're looking at.

One of the hallmarks of barbarianism is a deep desire to undo civilization. There is not time in the time allotted to us this morning for us to delve into the psychology of what is going on and why it is that there are so many people who are driven by a deep desire and a dark desire to destroy civilization and a dark desire to destroy civilization. But what we have to understand is that Islam is today the culture of the Koran, is essentially the institutionalization of barbarianism. Now, I know you didn't want to hear me say that, because many of you have voters and constituents who are of the Muslim faith. Now, I know you didn't want to hear me say that, because many of you have voters and constituents who are of the Muslim faith, and indeed there is no question. Obviously there are many people of that faith who do not subscribe to the barbarianism that lies at the heart. But one only has to go back to the origins of how that faith spread. It was never spread through free will and consensual action. It was spread through the sword, and it was through the sword that nations, including Persia, was forced to adopt Islam or die.

Muhammad was a formidable warrior. There is no question about that. And this is unpleasant because we all prefer kumbaya. We all prefer to believe that there may be a small band of bad people in Hamas and when we deal with them, we'll all be able to live together in peace. But you see, here is the problem. The problem is that a civilization is rooted on a moral matrix. It's rooted on a group of people who all subscribe to a common morality matrix. They all agree on what is possible and what is appropriate to do in interactions with one another.

Rick Green

Alright folks got to take a quick break. We'll be right back. You've been listening to Rabbi Daniel Lappin speaking at the Pro-Family Legislators Conference. Stay with us. You're listening to The WallBuilder Show.

Break

Rick Gren

Let's jump right back in with Rabbi Lappin teaching at the Pro-Family Legislators Conference. 

 

Rabbi Lappin

The longest border, unprotected border in the world between the United States and Canada. No armies there, no thousand-page treaties and contracts. Why? Because on either side of that border are people who, in broad terms, subscribe to a Judeo-Christian-based morality matrix. And you don't need anything else. A border between India and Pakistan? Not like that at all, because Hindu and Islam are two different faiths with two different morality matrices.

In Islam we have to understand. And again, I wish I could sing Kumbaya. I wish I could say we've just got to love each other. We've just got to realize that there are a few bad guys, but if we all love each other, everything is going to be fine. And unfortunately it isn't like that. Now a lot of people wanted to believe that in the years leading up to September 1939. A lot of people wanted to believe it as well. But in the 20th century we tried something that had been promised to us. Don't listen to the Rabbi Lappans of the world. Just realize that these religious fanatics are causing trouble and if we can just get rid of all religion, we will all be able to live together in benign, secular harmony. And that was the dream of the 20th century. It was the gift of the Enlightenment. And the 20th century gave us Hitler and Stalin and Mao Tse Tung and the ruthless massacre of millions. No, benign secularism didn't work out so well and people wanted to believe that Hitler meant well. But Nazism had a different morality matrix and it is not possible to live in peace. And that goes for a marriage. If a man and a woman, each of whom have a widely differing matrix of morality, get married, it will be a war zone, doomed to divorce. It can't survive. If neighbors on a street have substantially different morality matrices, it's not going to be a pleasant neighborhood, and if countries border one another with different morality matrices, it's not going to work. And whether it was Nazism in the 20th century and Stalinism and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, there is never room for dissenters, and so it is in Islam.

Now, I'm not an expert on Islam, but you don't need to be an expert on Islam. You only have to listen to the words spoken by Islamic thinkers and warriors. They love death the way Westerners love life. Yes, I believe that. I think that's absolutely true, because, therefore, choose life is a phrase that God spoke in the Bible. It's not a part of other cultures and it certainly is not a part of barbarism. And so we've got to understand that this is not a problem between Israel and the Palestinians, because those kinds of problems can be resolved by a bureaucrat with a map and a pencil. You just draw a line, and after World War I there were parts of the Middle East that were settled that way, but they completely ignored the reality of a relationship with God. When you have different gods, you have different morality matrices, because the matrix of Western civilization springs from the pages of the Bible, of the Bible. No, what we see in the Middle East, when the cry goes for Palestine from the river to the sea, that means the obliteration of Israel. But that's not all it means. You see, I said we want to draw a line from what happened down the road at Fort Hood 14 years ago. Let's go backwards. Let's go backwards to 11th of September. Now there's an interesting date 9-11.

In the year 1683, when the Muslims tried to attack Europe from the east, no Israel, no Jews involved. It was an elimination of Christianity, because in the Muslim worldview there is room in the world only for Sharia-believing Muslims. I wish I didn't have to tell you this, and I wish that you would be able in a sense, for your peace of mind. There's a part of me that says wouldn't it be nice if you could go home at the end of the conference and say this was a great conference, except for that insane rhetoric from Rabbi Daniel Lappin? But I don't think you're going to find it easy to do that happen. But I don't think you're going to find it easy to do that. That's right. The Muslims tried to destroy Christianity, first of all in the seventh century and in the eighth century. They took over Catholic Spain and Catholic Portugal, turned the cathedrals into mosques, and then they decided to move onwards, to attack Europe from the west, and the next step was France, and it was in 732 that Charles Martel, the French hero, stopped the Muslim advance into Europe from the West.

But one of the things that religion gives you—and this is true for Judaism and Christianity, but it's also true for Islam—gives you long memories For Christians. Jesus is here today as much as he ever was. When my Christian friends ask themselves what would Jesus do? This is real, it's true, it's alive when we Jews look at the law of Moses and we conduct our daily affairs in accordance with that law. We've got a memory that goes back thousands of years and we look forward. One of the reasons that abortion is such a problem is because it's a violent attack on the future. Little children are sacred in our culture, but that's not true in all cultures. It's certainly not true in barbarism. It is true in civilization.

And so, after having been turned back from a Western attack on Christianity in 732, the Muslims came back for another crack at Christianity in 1683, and they progressed through much of Eastern Europe and they progressed through much of West Eastern Europe and finally they arrived at the gates of Vienna. And at that point the Christian forces rallied and Christian armies were sent from everywhere, from Poland in the north, they were sent from the Vatican in the south, and the armies converged on Vienna and defeated the forces of Islam on September the 11th 1683. But people who have long memories keep coming back for another shot and they choose relevant dates. And before that, islam tried a waterborne invasion of Europe, and they'd been trying for many years. They plundered the shores of Europe, they pirated ships and finally the Christian forces had had enough and they built a combined Christian fleet that destroyed the Islamic fleet in the Gulf of Lepanto in the year 1571. What date? October, the 7th, that's right.

This is an ongoing battle between civilization and barbarism. Civilization is a Bible-based Judeo-Christian way of life. Civilization is a Bible-based Judeo-Christian way of life. That is the Bible projected onto national screens and onto entire societies, and barbarism hates it with a passion. Barbarism is not interested in merely extirpating it, but it is desirous of extirpating it with cruelty and pain and unforgettable torment.

We call that terrorism, but it doesn't matter what we call it, because the bottom line is we are talking about a titanic struggle that the history books that our great-great-great-grandchildren will read in the towns in which you live and the states in which you all live.

They will read about the titanic struggle in the 21st century between civilization and barbarism, between civilization and barbarism.

And may they, god willing, thank the good Lord for the fact that at the end of it all, after lengthy and painful struggles, after struggles in which the civilized very often stood lonely and afraid, but in the end civilization triumphed over barbarism, and it is only because of that that our descendants will be able to live in their homes, in their towns and in their states life of tranquility and prosperity, just as the founders of the United States of America envisioned and designed for us right here a civilization built on the principles of the Bible. Thank you for all you do, because when the war will eventually win and civilization will triumph over barbarism, it'll be because of the dedication of all you here this morning and the many standing shoulder to shoulder alongside you who are not here this morning but nonetheless can be counted upon to do their part. I consider it a privilege to be able to stand arm in arm with David and Tim Barton, with wall builders and with all of you, ladies and gentlemen, in defending civilization against the dangerously destructive forces of barbarism. God bless.

Rick Green

All right folks out of time for today. Thanks so much for listening. That was Rabbi Daniel Lappin teaching at the Pro-Family Legislators Conference. Be sure, and send your state rep or state senator to that program. It is a fantastic few days with fellow legislators from across the country really a great opportunity for iron sharpening, getting good ideas and taking them back into their states. Really appreciate you listening today. I'm Rick Green, America's Constitution Coach, normally here with David and Tim Barton, and you have been listening to The WallBuilder Show. Thank you.

 

Faith, Culture, and Civilization
Religion, Morality, and Civilization