In the wake of Roseburg, we are reminded that our president has said he believes “ideologies are not defeated with guns,” but that “they are defeated with better ideas.” I agree, at least in half measure. Indeed, as author Richard Weaver told us in 1948, Ideas Have Consequences. They matter. Good ideas bear good results and bad ideas bear bad results. As any farmer or botanist knows, good seeds yield good fruit and bad seeds yield bad fruit.
Our president is right in saying some ideas are simply “better” than others, which, by logical inference, also means some must clearly be worse. Therefore, it might be prudent to look at some of the predictable consequences of the ideas that Mr. Obama apparently holds dear.
Ideas such as proclaiming with narcissistic confidence that “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for” and “we are the change we seek.”
Ideas like teaching the generation to follow that it has the authority to define life for the generation that follows it.
Ideas like arguing that “choice” gives the powerful the right to take away the right of the powerless to choose.
Ideas such as believing that it is somehow more heinous to kill an adult—who is twenty years old—with a gun, than it is to kill an infant—who is twenty minutes old—with a scalpel.
Ideas like teaching sexual promiscuity in our schools while failing to teach sexual restraint to our students.
Ideas that diminish the value of marital fidelity while leaving our culture clueless about how to defend the definition of marriage.
Ideas such as parroting the self-refuting duplicity that it is tolerant to not tolerate those we find intolerable.
Ideas such as implying that it is not hateful to hate those we find guilty of hate.
Ideas, ideas, those pesky ideas indeed, they do matter. It matters when the Supreme Court dumbs down the definition of a human being to nothing but the sum total of his or her sexual inclinations. It matters when we teach young men to view young women as nothing but objects of recreation and young women to accept this insult. It matters when we teach our children that a career is more important than character and that money is more important than morality. It matters when we teach a culture that evil is good and good is evil. It matters when left becomes right and right becomes wrong.
C.S. Lewis once warned us that severing men from morality is akin to “removing the organ and yet demanding the function.” Or to put it more bluntly: it is as foolish as thinking you can “geld the stallion and bid him be fruitful.”
Mr. Obama, your idea of a gunless society being controlled by a godless government is just as foolish. All we need do is look at the lessons of history for proof. From Robespierre to Mussolini and from Stalin to Pol Pot, we have learned that “gelding” the people of their right to defend themselves and their loved ones while gutting their soul of God does not bring freedom, but rather the bondage of the gulag, if not the finality of the guillotine.
Yes, Mr. Obama, we all agree. You do defeat bad ideas with better ideas. Ideas do have consequences.