What mainstream media, cultural elites just don’t get: If there’s no God, then there really is no humanity

The song “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” was not written by Peter, Paul, and Mary, but no group sang it better. It became a popular political song in the 1960s, and in time was viewed as a protest against the divisive Vietnam War. Especially relevant were the haunting lyrics near the end:

“Where have all the soldiers gone? Gone to graveyards, everyone! Oh, when will they ever learn?”

Well, the Vietnam War is long over. A new war is now taking place: a cultural civil war.

What is at stake in this war are the traditional morals and values that have been foundational in the West for centuries.

Entertainers, media elites and much of the political left think it is time to say goodbye to our traditional values and morals. We are told that these values are old-fashioned and no longer serve an enlightened, politically correct society.

Perhaps we should add another verse to the old protest song:

“Where have all the morals gone? Gone to graveyards, everyone! Oh, when will they ever learn?”

In today’s subjective, post-modern world truth is fast disappearing. Some elites and social engineers deride concepts like right and wrong.

Indeed, one wonders when people will learn. In today’s subjective, post-modern world truth is fast disappearing. Some elites and social engineers deride concepts like right and wrong.

There are no moral absolutes, we are told – well, apart from whatever happens to be politically correct at the moment. Logic, reason and facts have been trumped by identity politics and false narratives.

Free speech is under siege. Those who lean left are allowed to speak at our universities, but those who lean right are often not welcome. Even attempting to speak can spark a riot.

An amoral permissiveness has pushed aside our old-fashioned morals. The New Age of Permissiveness has coarsened our society.

Who any longer is shocked by the unprecedented vulgarity in media and public discourse? Our society has been carpet-bombed by F-bombs. Lyrics in rap music (if it can be called music) lionize rape and murder.

It is hardly surprising to see the upsurge in sexual depravity, violence against women, disrespect for authority and antagonism toward law enforcement. Today’s youth have little hope.

How did we get into this mess? Why the eagerness to eliminate moral absolutes?

Perhaps some will point to the noisy souls in the 1960s who clamored to get prayer out of our schools and to get God out of the public square.

No doubt some will think of the late Madalyn Murray O’Hair (1919–1995), founder and president of American Atheists, who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered by one of her fellow atheists. What might not be remembered is that she also actively promoted the end of traditional morality.

In my view, however, O’Hair was more symptom than cause. Ultimately, what lay behind the revolution of the 1960s and continues to lie behind the moral morass in which we find ourselves today is the rejection of God and the embracing of a materialistic worldview in which human beings are viewed as nothing more than two-legged animals.

According to Judeo-Christian faith, humanity is made “in the image of God.” That gives us identity, purpose and moral standards.

But according to our atheist friends there is no God and humanity is only a freak accident of nature. Therefore, there really are no grounds at all for morality. There really is nothing more than a law of the jungle, the survival of the smartest and the strongest.

Celebrated Oxford atheist Richard Dawkins acknowledges this and finds nothing but “pitiless indifference” in the natural world. What a pity indeed. 

What our media elites and social engineers apparently fail to realize is that we really cannot have it both ways.

If there is no God, then there really is no humanity. If there is no God, there are no moral absolutes, no standard by which we can identify and judge evil. It is not a pretty picture. Without God, our morals have gone to graveyards, every one of them.

Jeremiah J. Johnston, Ph.D., is president of Christian Thinkers Society, a Resident Institute at Houston Baptist University where he also serves at Associate Professor of Early Christianity. His latest book is "Unimaginable: What Our World would be Like Without Christianity."