American Barbarism Is Alive and Well

3 ½ min

The other day I was sitting in a coffee shop when a rap song began playing in the café. The F-word—you know, the one that rhymes with muck and yuck—featured prominently in the lyrics. I was happy there were no children present. 

After leaving the café, I went to our library to return some books. Next door to the library is a public park with two basketball courts and a playground for children. On my way back to the car, I could hear some kid yelling the F-bomb as he called on his teammate to pass him the ball.           

Arriving home, I was sitting on the front porch when a member of the construction crew working on the house across the street about 100 yards away began striding up and down the street, shouting the Big F into his phone. For almost 10 minutes, he used the word as an adjective, a noun, and a verb. I was tempted to approach him and ask him to tone it down, but was deterred by his rage.           

This crudity of language is only one symptom of our descent into barbarism. Our disheveled fashion sense is another. But one of the much darker signs of our drift toward barbarism is the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill passed by Democrats in the House of Representatives on Friday, Sept. 24.           

The bill seeks to supersede state laws on abortion such as mandatory waiting periods and requirements involving ultrasounds and informed consent. Far worse, this act would allow abortions through nine months, a procedure that basically entails dismembering the unborn in the womb and extracting the remains piece by piece.           

Though some commentators argue that the Women’s Health Protection Act will have a tough time making its way through the Senate, that circumstance still doesn’t answer this question: What kind of hell are we creating in this country? What kind of people are willing to chop up an eight-month-old baby in the womb?           

To cheer the passage of such a bill, as some did, labels us a nation of barbaric pagans. Even if we don’t enact this monstrosity into law, the mere fact that it passed the House condemns us as a country, putting us in the company of the ancient city-state of Carthage, which practiced child sacrifice, modern-day China, and even Nazi Germany.           

We are fond today of condemning the past, tearing down monuments, revising our history books, and attacking the men and women who founded the United States and who sacrificed so much to make this a land of liberty. What will our children’s children, those of them fortunate enough to be born and see the light of day, think of a people who condoned such atrocities?           

Just 10 years ago, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to reaffirm the motto of the United States, “In God we trust.” It’s a good motto, but how do we honor it when members of Congress vote for a bill that would put into law such horrific practices? Do we really expect the blessings of an almighty deity given policies like this one?           

We may hope and pray this legislation fails. We can vote in elections for candidates opposed to this turn toward barbarism. We can write to our representatives to protest such horrors. Some might even organize demonstrations.           

But the best thing we can do is to change ourselves, to return to a moral way of living, to act as if we actually believed in the truly liberal values and mores of our Western civilization.           

Supposedly the London Times long ago sent this brief inquiry to a number of well-known authors and intellectuals: “What is wrong with the world today?” Writer G. K. Chesterton responded with a two-word answer, “I am.”           

If those in our government, in our corporations, in our schools and universities, and the rest of us exercised this same sense of humility, perhaps we might turn away from the dark path we are walking.


Image Credit: 

Flickr-Saurabh Vyas, CC BY-ND 2.0

Jeff Minick

Jeff Minick

Jeff Minick lives in Front Royal, Virginia, and may be found online at He is the author of two novels, Amanda Bell and Dust on Their Wings, and two works of non-fiction, Learning as I Go and Movies Make the Man.

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The descent into barbarism began decades ago perhaps by design as the foundational pillars upholding the post Enlightenment classical liberal republic were undermined. It remains to be seen if the flame of this nation's original quest for liberty can be rekindled but to do so, we must embrace the values and truths upon which it was all built. It cannot be done from the post Truth dark age cesspool of deceit we are rushing into.


The author has put words to the pictures I see on a daily basis. To talk, dress and behave in a respectful dignified manner in America makes you a radical outcast that would make many feel uncomfortable to be around.


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Well said sir well said. I too wonder who could dismember a baby in the womb, supposedly the safest place in the world for a baby, and then be able to sleep at night. And what gives me the biggest chills about this act of evil is a picture I saw of an aborted baby with defensive wounds on its hands. Imagine a baby having to fight for its life before ever seeing the light of day! And these evil doers want to call this women's health. God help us all!


Gilgamesh Jones
I so agree! Even many of the self-help books now have swear words in the titles. I fear we’re destined to be sneered at as the low-class country of entitled, foul-mouthed people in hoodies and ripped jeans, constantly shooting at each other, because the majority rules. And another country with higher standards of conduct will take the top spot. I was recently explaining to someone that the swearing and recent embracing of violent porn-culture don't bother me because I'm overly fragile, they bother me for the same reason I'd be bothered if the lovely small town I live in where families stroll by the the harbor with ice cream cones was degenerating into a slum with strip clubs, prostitutes, syringes and condoms in the alleyways, XXX movie houses and bookstores. (I’m guessing with the internet they don’t have the last two things anymore, but you get the ugly picture.) I was also surprised and saddened to hear about the two female rappers simulating sex acts with each other on the Grammys this year rapping their hit song with explicit lyrics: “WAP.” And even more confused when that was described as “empowering to women.” I used to watch The Grammys as a kid. I wouldn’t have wanted my kids to see that. Often I hear people say: “Aw, older people have always said things like this.” And it’s true, there are always generational differences. But there was a time during the descent of all great empires like Ancient Greece and Rome, when the older people, who had a broader perspective, were right.


I once read about some ancient graffiti that translated as “Young people are going to the dogs.” This was supposed to be reassuring, apparently. But it was probably true!
Excellent article, excellent comments!