Dobson set the tone of the interview at the 0:25 mark when described modern society as in decline.
"It is no secret to any of us that the American way of life such as it's been known for generations is under attack today. At least that's what we believe. The Judeo-Christian system of values on which this country, and truly much of Western civilization, have been founded are threatened on a number of different fronts."Much of Lapin's talk revolved around the alleged dangers of secularism and the degeneration of society. For instance, at the 3:06 mark, Lapin explained that he and his wife homeschooled their seven children to shield them from "the sordid stain of secularism" in public schools.
"We realized that sending them off for the best part of every day to fall under the influence of a system that is fundamentally spreading the sordid stain of secularism, essentially a public educational system that has as one of its prime purposes the obliteration of faith, that seemed to me to be an incredibly self-destructive act after we've invested so much of ourselves ... into these children."Throughout the show, Lapin's distaste for secularism was clear. At the 16:32 mark, he demonized secularism as a "sinister and aggressive religion" bent on the obliteration of faith.
"You don't see secularism as a sort of benign, comfortable absence of religion. On the contrary, when you see that secularism is actually a very sinister and aggressive religion all on its own ... if you are a secular fundamentalism, then yes, you do need to obliterate all evidence of competing religions, and Christianity of course is the most conspicuous of the competing religions. And so obviously a prayer to the god of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob must be removed from schools. Praying to Jesus Christ, yes, must be stopped and eliminated."In line with Lapin's contempt for secularism was his positive opinion of school prayer, whose demise in the U.S. he lamented. At the 13:40 mark, he suggested that school prayer is not an assault on anyone's rights, stunned that anyone would be opposed to school prayer.
"Prior to the Supreme Court rulings in that period, it was unthinkable. I mean, nobody ever thought that there was anything problematic--I know so many Jews of that generation who said, 'Of course we all said prayer in public school. So what? It was wonderful. It was not a bad thing.' And all of a sudden, over a span of terrifyingly few decades, people have been trained to consider prayer as a violent assault that challenges your rights to, what? Secularism?"Like other voices from the Religious Right, Lapin help up Biblical knowledge as paramount. At the 9:15 mark, Lapin lamented that "timeless truths" from the Torah have been rendered "unpopular" in modern society. Amusingly, he suggested that this is the first generation in all of human history that considers itself sophisticated despite its alleged lack of Biblical knowledge.
"Christians ... during the colonial period were deeply aware of the permanent principles and the timeless truths to be found in the Torah, and they implemented them to build the society. And as the society has become more secularized and these timeless truths have been stripped one by one from the culture and made unpopular, to the point where interestingly enough we are now in the very first generation in all of human history ... this is the first generation where people, there are people in America today who consider themselves educated and sophisticated ... and yet they are utterly and sublimely clueless about the Bible. There's never been people who dared to consider themselves educated and yet who were ignoramuses Biblically."Um, Rabbi Lapin? You do know that countless societies existed long before the Bible was compiled? And that many non-Christian and non-Jewish societies have existed across the globe? Were they uneducated and unsophisticated by default, despite their impressive contributions to history? To boot, Lapin's assumption that well-read, cosmopolitan people aren't truly "educated and sophisticated" unless they are knowledgeable about the Bible was extremely condescending.
In keeping with Religious Right rhetoric, Lapin pointed to sexual practices he disagreed with as culprits for a host of social ills. During a discussion of the roots of societal decline, Lapin attributed the emergence of the birth control pill to the alleged rise of "perpetual male adolescence." At the 11:35 mark, he had this to say.
"Perhaps one of the notable events ... was the arrival of the birth control tablet in the 1960s. And what that did for the very first time is it created the possibility of perpetual male adolescence. It made it possible for the first time for men to really never grow up and essentially it transformed masculinity and with all the implications of honor and respect and courage and the ability to defer gratification, everything that we think of as responsible masculinity got transformed into a very simple question: did you remember to take your pill, honey?"Lapin conflates male responsibility with delaying sex, and delaying sex with the absence of birth control. The idea that birth control use is a form of responsibility meant to prevent unwanted pregnancy was not considered, nor was the idea that men can embody "honor and respect and courage" and have non-procreative sex. To boot, Lapin neglects contraception's immensely positive impacts on women, allowing them to enjoy intimacy while postponing or foregoing childbearing. This, in turn, allows them to cultivate other realms of their lives such as education, career, and community life.
Similarly, Lapin claimed that removing faith and Biblical wisdom from society heralded a tide of abortion, homosexuality, and changing sexual attitudes. Describing "sexual depravity" as the "barometer of a failure of a culture to control its basic instincts," he had this to say at the 21:20 mark.
"There is only one force powerful enough to combat the pull toward sensuality. Only one force powerful enough to defeat the compelling urge of rising sap in adolescent bodies, and that is God's power, the power of faith, and the wisdom of the Bible. When you strip that out of a society, you start off gradually with the violation of sexual mores, which we found during the Sixties and Seventies. It follows on with abortion, which is of course just another way of furthering if you like the sexual revolution, and then finds full expression in homosexuality which is ultimately the freest form of sex there is."In keeping with familiar right-wing tropes, Lapin looks askance at secularism, contraception, and homosexuality as supposedly corrosive to a sound society. Instead of recognizing church-state separation, reproductive autonomy, and LGBT inclusion as positive developments, Lapin excludes them from his vision of an ideal society.
To listen to the broadcast, click here.
(Hat tip to Right Wing Watch)