Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn suffered horrifically during the Stalin era for his outspoken criticisms of Godless Communism. His writings are compelling. In 1978 Solzhenitsyn offered the graduating address to Harvard University. Ironically the University might ban his speech today. In his prescient address he meticulously and boldly challenged what he saw as a decline Western society. One might call him a modern day Alexis de Tocqueville. Before I post the rub of his speech so to say, I want to back up and offer a bit of a historical context via Woodrow Wilson.
Woodrow Wilson was the intellectual father of our modern day progressive movement, a philosophy institutionalized primarily in the Democrat party and many universities. Here is what Wilson advised concerning the Declaration of Independence:
If you want to understand the real Declaration of Independence, do not repeat the preface.
He then suggested these contemporary thoughts concerning the Constitution:
All that progressives ask or desire is permission—in an era when ‘development,’ ‘evolution,’ is the scientific word—to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle; all they ask is recognition of the fact that a nation is a living thing and not a machine.
Now, the preface of the Declaration determines,
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the LAWS OF NATURE AND OF NATURE'S GOD entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
Back to Harvard. As a wise outside observer contemplating modern day Western character, Solzhenitsyn proclaimed:
However, in early democracies, as in American democracy at the time of its birth, all individual human rights were granted because man is God's creature. That is, freedom was given to the individual conditionally, in the assumption of his constant religious responsibility. Such was the heritage of the preceding thousand years. Two hundred or even fifty years ago, it would have seemed quite impossible, in America, that an individual could be granted boundless freedom simply for the satisfaction of his instincts or whims. Subsequently, however, all such limitations were discarded everywhere in the West; a total liberation occurred from the moral heritage of Christian centuries with their great reserves of mercy and sacrifice. State systems were becoming increasingly and totally materialistic. The West ended up by truly enforcing human rights, sometimes even excessively, but man's sense of responsibility to God and society grew dimmer and dimmer. In the past decades, the legalistically selfish aspect of Western approach and thinking has reached its final dimension and the world wound up in a harsh spiritual crisis and a political impasse. All the glorified technological achievements of Progress, including the conquest of outer space, do not redeem the Twentieth century's moral poverty which no one could imagine even as late as in the Nineteenth Century.
Not only did our forefathers believe in natural revelation, they affirmed it as a self evident truth. And so the rub-remove God from the culture and people's consciences no longer restrain their aberrant behavior. Thus, the need for increased litigation and contradictory, noose tightening laws.