"But it seems that something has happened that has never hap-
pened before: though we know not just when, or why, or
how, or where."
"Men have left God not for other gods, they say, but for no god;
and this has never happened before"
-- T.S. Eliot, Choruses from "The Rock"
(As featured on CBN's [700 Club] Newswatch Today, 01/05/96)
It's a world void of absolutes -- of spirituality without truth
-- a virtual world where you are your own god. And although it
sounds more like a science fiction movie, postmodernism is indeed
a reality threatening to undermine morality as we know it.
Author Gene Veith says, "People are trying to find something new,
a new worldview to take us into the 21st century."
Although most people haven't even heard the term, statistics
indicate that post-modernism already rules in America. Today, 75
percent of adult Americans reject the notion of absolute truth.
Author George Barna says many young people today are being
negatively influenced by a postmodernist agenda. "We've got an
even higher proportion of our young people -- kids under 18 --
who say there's no such thing as absolute moral truth."
Barna believes most don't even realize what they're part of.
When denying truth, he says, "we lose the difference between good
and evil, love and hate. That... condemns us to bad decision
making right from the start," he says. "We can't hope to have a
positive meaningful existence."
The O.J. Simpson trial clearly put postmodernism on display.
Throughout the case, the facts were secondary to racial concerns
and feelings for Simpson.
The postmodern rejection of ultimate standards, says Barna, makes
today's America a virtual America -- a poor imitation of a
country -- one obsessed with escaping into a false reality. That
Americans now spend 49 hours-per-week in front of their
television sets only further illustrates Barna's claim of rampant
But to understand the postmodernism threat, one must be familiar
with modernism -- which turned science and rationalism into a god
-- designed to solve all our problems.
"That hasn't solved our problems," says Veith. "In many cases
they seem to be worse."
Although it rejects modernism's arrogant and false claim to have
all the answers, postmodernism is dangerously similar to Hitler's
Nazism and fascism, says Veith. "What fascism did was to set
forth another kind of socialism but instead of being based on
science and rationalism as Marxism was, it was based on
irrationalism -- on tribal identity -- on passions and
While examples of irrational postmodern influences can be found
everywhere -- in art, architecture, radical environmentalism,
feminism, political correctness and science -- they are most
prevalent in television and movies. In fact, the anthem for
postmodernism in the '90s is Oliver Stone's movie, "Natural Born
Killers", which screams out that life is meaningless and people
alone create reality and meaning.
In the political realm, the transition from modern to postmodern
can be seen in the nation's rejection of modernist George Bush,
in favor of post-modernist Bill Clinton.
"People choose their candidates not on whether they agree with
their policies but whether they like him," says Veith.
"President Clinton seems like such a nice man..."
The postmodernism theme is found in architecture where constructs
mock the norm. A hospital in Milwaukee, Wis., for example, gives
the outward appearance of being a country barn.
This kind of postmodernism appears as harmless fun. Indeed,
Barna and Veith see hope in this postmodern movement: "Maybe
this will be the chance to rebuild the culture on a biblical
foundation," says Veith.
But the most likely scenario appears dark for postmodernistic
souls lost in a virtual world void of truth.
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See also: *Postmodern Times* by Gene Veith. Crossway Books,
1994. Phone 800/323-3890 ISBN: 0-89107-3890
For a catalog of publications, many concerning Postmodernism,
contact The Barna Research Group, 647 West Broadway, Glendale, CA
91204. Phone: 800/552-2762.