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Reviewed by Marshall Hughes
Culture Shift by
R. Albert Mohler Jr.
"Interesting in some spots and a bit of a head-scratcher in others, Culture Shift appears to be a collection of independent ideas loosely connected under the head of culture change in America."
Has excellence been dumbed down too far in America? Hint: in 2001, 94% of Harvard graduates graduated with honors.
Are we raising a nation of wimps? Hint: yes.
Can Americans truly get anything they want by claiming to be offended? Hint: not everything, but pretty close with our new “not to be offended by anyone or anything” motto, especially anything related to the religious beliefs of our founding fathers.
The wussification of America, the slackening moral and educational standards and the non-stop, seemingly-always-successful whining for political correctness are some of the issues dealt with in Culture Shift, written by R. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Convention.
Interesting in some spots and a bit of a head-scratcher in others, Culture Shift appears to be a collection of independent ideas loosely connected under the head of cultural change in America. It can take some out-of-the-box thinking to see how the author’s thoughts on an appropriate response to the December, 2004 tsunami in Southern Asia; a rehash of the moral issues of the Hiroshima bombing and several other diverse (to be politically correct I had to use that word at least once) issues can be tied together under the banner of culture shift.
Clearly, Mohler’s observations on what is going on in our public schools and our courts in our post-truth era is solid, if scary. The social re-engineering undertaken in our schools by radical secularists is discussed. And is it really a good idea for the Lexington, Massachusetts schools to be teaching the joyous wonders of homosexual marriage to seven-year-olds? Good idea or not, it’s what passes for education in Massachusetts. It makes you wonder what they are teaching in Berkeley and San Francisco.
What would a book about culture shift/deterioration be without a discussion of abortion? Little new information is found in the discussion other than the panic that abortionists have over pregnant women seeing their babies more clearly in ultrasounds on newer so-called 4D ultrasound equipment. Secularist Pete Singer probably doesn’t like the new technology because he believes that abortion should be extended to the time where a child “has attained the ability to relate and use language.” That would be called infanticide by most of us.
There are a few shots in the book at lying, dirt-bag lawyers, but how easy of a target are they? His example du jour is a Florida prosecutor who argued in court that two teenage boys had killed their father, and then in another courtroom argued that it wasn’t the teens but a family friend who committed the murder.
And speaking of dirt-bags, liars and lawyers, Chapter 13, which is entitled “Welcome to the Age of Dishonesty”, goes a whole eight pages and yet not once does it mention Al Gore. It does, however, mention how we have come to accept dishonesty, whether it be called misspeaking, exercising poor judgement, spin, poetic truth, nuanced truth, strategic misrepresentations or terminological inexactitudes.
In the end, Culture Shift covers very little new ground and should be considered an entertaining but light read at best. Only two chapters cover as many as 10 pages, so in-depth analysis on any of the topics discussed cannot be expected.
Marshall Hughes is a former sports writer for the Honolulu Advertiser. For most of the past 22 years he has taught English in Japan. He has taught at the university level in America, Japan and China. Among his hobbies are sports, traveling and photography. He has been to 41 countries and is always hoping to go somewhere new. He is an award-winning photographer in both Japan and America. His bi-lines include The Washington Post, The Pacific Daily News (Guam), The Contra Costa Times and several sports publications.