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The Greatest Gift For All

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Source: Paul Craig Roberts

Awesome Blue and Silver Christmas Tree
(image by indac)

Christmas is a time of traditions. If you have found time in the rush before Christmas to decorate a tree, you are sharing in a relatively new tradition. Although the Christmas tree has ancient roots, at the beginning of the 20th century only one in five American families put up a tree. It was 1920 before the Christmas tree became the hallmark of the season. Calvin Coolidge was the first President to light a national Christmas tree on the White House lawn.

Gifts are another shared custom. This tradition comes from the wise men or three kings who brought gifts to baby Jesus. When I was a kid, gifts were more modest than they are now, but even then people were complaining about the commercialization of Christmas. We have grown accustomed to the commercialization. Christmas sales are the backbone of many businesses. Gift giving causes us to remember others and to take time from our harried lives to give them thought.

The decorations and gifts of Christmas are one of our connections to a Christian culture that has held Western civilization together for 2,000 years.

In our culture the individual counts. This permits an individual person to put his or her foot down, to take a stand on principle, to become a reformer and to take on injustice.

This empowerment of the individual is unique to Western civilization. It has made the individual a citizen equal in rights to all other citizens, protected from tyrannical government by the rule of law and free speech. These achievements are the products of centuries of struggle, but they all flow from the teaching that God so values the individual's soul that he sent his son to die so we might live. By so elevating the individual, Christianity gave him a voice.

Formerly only those with power had a voice. But in Western civilization people with integrity have a voice. So do people with a sense of justice, of honor, of duty, of fair play. Reformers can reform, investors can invest, and entrepreneurs can create commercial enterprises, new products and new occupations.

The result was a land of opportunity. The United States attracted immigrants who shared our values and reflected them in their own lives. Our culture was absorbed by a diverse people who became one.

In recent decades we have lost sight of the historic achievement that empowered the individual. The religious, legal and political roots of this great achievement are no longer reverently taught in high schools, colleges and universities or respected by our government. The voices that reach us through the millennia and connect us to our culture are being silenced by "political correctness" and "the war on terror." Prayer has been driven from schools and Christian religious symbols from public life. Constitutional protections have been diminished by hegemonic political ambitions. Indefinite detention, torture, and murder are now acknowledged practices of the United States government. The historic achievement of due process has been rolled back. Tyranny has re-emerged.

Diversity at home and hegemony abroad are consuming values and are dismantling the culture and the rule of law. There is plenty of room for cultural diversity in the world, but not within a single country. A Tower of Babel has no culture. A person cannot be a Christian one day, a pagan the next and a Muslim the day after. A hodgepodge of cultural and religious values provides no basis for law -- except the raw power of the pre-Christian past.

All Americans have a huge stake in Christianity. Whether or not we are individually believers in Christ, we are beneficiaries of the moral doctrine that has curbed power and protected the weak. Power is the horse ridden by evil. In the 20th century the horse was ridden hard, and the 21st century shows an increase in pace. Millions of people were exterminated in the 20th century by National Socialists in Germany and by Soviet and Chinese communists simply because they were members of a race or class that had been demonized by intellectuals and political authority. In the beginning years of the 21st century hundreds of thousands of Muslims in seven countries have already been murdered and millions displaced, because their religion does not submit to Washington's hegemony.

Power that is secularized and cut free of civilizing traditions is not limited by moral and religious scruples. V.I. Lenin made this clear when he defined the meaning of his dictatorship as "unlimited power, resting directly on force, not limited by anything." Washington's drive for hegemony over US citizens and the rest of the world is based entirely on the exercise of force and is resurrecting unaccountable power.

Christianity's emphasis on the worth of the individual makes such power as Lenin claimed, and Washington now claims, unthinkable. Be we religious or be we not, our celebration of Christ's birthday celebrates a religion that made us masters of our souls and of our political life on Earth. Such a religion as this is worth holding onto, even by atheists.

As we enter into 2014, Western civilization, the product of thousands of years of striving, hangs in the balance. Degeneracy is everywhere before our eyes. As the West sinks into tyranny, will Western peoples defend their liberty and their souls, or will they sink into the tyranny, which again has raised its ugly and all-devouring head?

Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente's Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available here. His latest book,  How America Was Lost, has just been released and can be ordered here.

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Are you forgetting first the extermination of the ... by Paul Repstock on Monday, Dec 23, 2013 at 2:56:05 PM
North American Natives were in many cases willing ... by Paul Repstock on Monday, Dec 23, 2013 at 3:24:07 PM
Paul, It's true that much evil has been done by pe... by Derryl Hermanutz on Monday, Dec 23, 2013 at 5:43:59 PM
You couldn't have made a more meaningful and i... by michael payne on Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013 at 11:53:27 AM
But I wonder though if that's not self-exculpatory... by K V Ramani on Thursday, Dec 26, 2013 at 8:34:52 AM
Ongoing and unending fear and terror are haunting ... by Lance Ciepiela on Monday, Dec 23, 2013 at 6:48:32 PM
Individual Liberty has aided the advancem... by Michael Sacco on Monday, Dec 23, 2013 at 10:51:34 PM
Normally I am a fan of Dr. Roberts, but in this ar... by Paul Easton on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 3:29:03 AM
Very well said Mr. Easton! I would go a bit furthe... by Paul Repstock on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 9:21:20 AM
Paul makes no mention of the millions of socalists... by Cheshire cat on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 11:31:12 AM
Absolutely RIGHT___Individual liberty, for the ric... by jean labrek on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 3:13:24 PM
I think a lot of people are turning away from Chri... by Cheshire cat on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 11:50:57 AM
Makes lot of sense___And how strange that those wh... by jean labrek on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 3:29:27 PM
RIGHT___The Bush Blair Cheney Rumsfeld team should... by jean labrek on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 3:34:35 PM
Thanks Paul____Interesting article,___ Exposing th... by jean labrek on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 3:45:46 PM
Like several of my fellow commentators here (Paul... by K V Ramani on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 10:07:54 PM
And of course the sad thing is that the view of Mr... by Samson on Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013 at 9:11:16 PM
PCR is a good Christian in my book because he is o... by Michael David Morrissey on Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013 at 3:49:51 AM
The problem with saying you oppose 'diversity' is ... by Samson on Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013 at 9:06:11 PM
Diversity is not cultivated. It is the natural sta... by K V Ramani on Thursday, Dec 26, 2013 at 7:37:43 AM
Christianity made up not only the Western Civiliza... by Yury Ryabukhin on Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013 at 7:58:01 AM
Funny as usual from Dr PCR, full of praise.Which "... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013 at 9:32:32 AM
Saying the 'fifteen centuries of the Byzantine Emp... by Samson on Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013 at 9:03:13 PM
"What do I think of Western civilization? I think ... by Samson on Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013 at 8:59:59 PM
Fellow commenters; "Christianity" and "Christian... by Michael Sacco on Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013 at 9:29:44 PM
Much as I admire most of the recent writings of Pa... by Richard Clark on Thursday, Dec 26, 2013 at 2:19:37 PM
Turning to modern times, while Roberts laments tha... by Richard Clark on Thursday, Dec 26, 2013 at 2:21:16 PM
Richard Clark;IMHO, I agree with multiculturalism.... by Michael Sacco on Monday, Dec 30, 2013 at 12:04:54 PM