The Gospel Truth

New Rules in Town | March 1, 2011

In the highly acclaimed movie, Cider House Rules, the apple pickers discuss the relative merits of the rules that were to apply to their living quarters.

The Rule Book of Man

On the frayed paper on the wall, was a list of superfluous and meaningless caveats that were easily ignored.

A leading character said that the people who live in the cider house should make the rules.

The movie should be required viewing because it illustrates American society’s fundamental approach to its moral and social problems.

It is a given that America makes rules and regulations for everything.

If there’s a problem with guns, smoking, or wellness, the government makes laws that will punish those people who run afoul of its litigious will.

Congress passes enough legislation each year to fill a small library.

It is no surprise the nation has more lawyers than people.

Yet when it comes to drug use, sexual morality, abortion and euthanasia, the left lobbies for greater freedom of choice.

Their leaders emphasize the existential canard that individuals actualize their true personalities when they are allowed the greatest latitude in these matters.

To oppose these freedoms is to limit one’s ability to be fully human.  This sounds like having it both ways to me.

What is really at work is a profound Cultural Revolution that was begun over a hundred years ago.

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Helped start the cultural revolution

The forces of progressive and liberal reform have been slowly but effectively eroding and decreasing the importance of the nation’s former traditional values, or what now passes innocuously, as family values.

The old guard is giving way, each and every day, to a new paradigm of diversity, alternate families, and liberated children who know more about the mechanics of sex and birth control than their parents could ever have learned in the backseat of a car.

The 10 Commandments have been relegated to the museum status of a harmless artifact.

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A harmless artifact

They are merely suggestions to which no one pays any attention.

Part of the success of this new freedom has been the requirement that the old timers, that is, the conservatives, are not to complain or criticize.

To be judgmental is the mortal sin of the new age.

Behaviors, which a generation ago would have drawn social ostracism, if not jail time, are to be accepted with full approval without complaint.

But hypocrisy was never a problem for the left.

Judgmentalism is alive and well if one is unfortunate to be out of the cultural mainstream.

Modern society can be very critical if one is a smoker, a polluter, a bigot, a gun-owner, a religious fanatic, that is one who publicly declares a belief in a transient God or even a stay-at-home mom.

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The new bigots

The penalties can be financially severe and the social ostracism just as great as those once reserved for the homosexual or the unwed mother.

Can the county jail or the gulag be far behind?

Did not Pope Benedict warn against a dictatorship of relativity?

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Warned about a dictatorship

The new morality with its own stringent rules can be just as stifling and as unforgiving as the worst fire and brimstone preacher ever was.

The left’s ambiguous stance on judmentalism does create a conundrum.

Given the decline of our traditional moral values and the relative, almost whimsical nature of the new rules and regulations, I wonder if today’s left could in any logical and consistent sense condemn the World War atrocities of Adolph Hitler and company.

Consider the following parallels.

Was not Hitler clearly exercising the left’s Machiavellian principle of the “ends justify the means”?

Was he not “merely” actualizing his own personality in effecting his vision of a better world?

On what moral principles would the left judge him?

Certainly not the Mosaic Tablets!

By today’s standards, Hitler was in the mainstream.

Nazi Germany practiced gun control, put limitations on smoking, and encouraged sexual couplings that had eugenic intent.

And is not utility an American virtue?

As Michael Caine’s character, abortionist Wilbur Larch said in “Cider House…,” “People have to be useful.”

Hitler killed only those “useless eaters,” who were a drain on German society or those ethnic groups that did not the fit the perfect image of his Master Race.

Believed that people had to be useful

After all who are we to judge?



  1. But I would agree only to the first part of your post concerning the many laws and opinions that seem to govern your heads there, in the US.

    The most alarming of these is the popular prohibition to mention politics anywhere except to your closest friends. This prohibition is for everybody, left, right, young and old.

    And it may be the reason why lots of people do not even want to know anything about politics.

    Comment by cantueso — March 1, 2011 @ 8:06 am

  2. Maybe that’s what the left wants and why they hate the Tea Party people. BB

    Comment by bbprof — March 1, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

  3. What we are seeing today and hearing today, are the same Liberal Democratic Administration established in Germany 1934, only, we call it the Democratic Party under the High Chief, Obama.
    This is exactly what FDR and our Liberal, elites, and Obama Democratic Party has been saying 1939. They need Class and Racial warfare to accomplish complete control of the United States.
    (Look Ma, took off the gloves)

    Comment by Jim — March 1, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

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About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at







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