commentary: The Beat Goes On
The Body In Motion Principle Continued
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 24-Mar-12; 11 minutes
Last week I used the British government's use of what the Brits call a consultation to trigger a brief commentary on the truism found in the philosophical principle that states, "a body in motion tends to remain in motion unless something else stops it or redirects its motion" ["A Body in Motion (2012)"]. I mentioned to you that this is not a scientific law, but a philosophical principle whose use is usually confined to human behavior. This posits that once a behavior begins, it becomes increasingly more difficult to change.
Using this principle can work to our advantage. For example, Proverbs 22:6 admonishes us to "train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." That's an admirable use of this body-in-motion principle. This truism, as applied to behavior, is so strong that Muriel Beadle, who authored the book, A Child's Mind, argued that if she was writing the Bible, she would change Proverbs 22:6 to read, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, it will be impossible to change him." She wrote this in order to indicate how important and strong early childhood experiences are regarding establishing habits of thinking and conduct.
The story of regarding the consultation came from The Telegraph newspaper, which is reputed to be the most conservative of the London-based papers. The consultation, which we probably would call a survey, asked people to consider and respond with opinions regarding a law change that would make all marriages of equal legal standing in Britain. The Telegraph staff concluded, by taking the pulse of the British people's opinion and the tone of the consultation's writing, that what the government is seeking to do regarding marriage is a done deal, regardless of how the people respond. In other words, the government's mind is already made up.
In my lifetime, many cultural changes have been made using forms of the body-in-motion principle to persuade public perceptions and, therefore, public opinions of what is moral and immoral, what is ethical or unethical, and advertisers use it constantly to sell products.
When World War II was looming on the horizon, most citizens in the United States were dead set against being involved in it. A book that I listened to in the past six months documented how a small group of charming British spies were deliberately dispatched to Washington D. C. to propagandize America into the war on the side of the Brits. They had almost complete freedom of movement anywhere in Washington, D. C. Along with a group of cooperating American newsmen, like Drew Pearson, Walter Winchell, Edward R. Murrow, and a small group of American political figures, lured larger and larger numbers of American political and business figures into supporting America's entrance into the war. These Americans then published the propaganda in the newspapers, broadcast it on radio, and spoke it to their constituents to persuade the public until enthusiasm reached such a pitch that if a person was against the war, he was considered to be a traitor. You will note that the instigators did not fight the war on the battlefields.
What moved millions of people to enter the war, and in many, many cases caused the loss of those who were moved? It was largely the effect of the body-in-motion principle applied as Adolf Hitler made famous. Tell something often enough, and even if it's a lie, people will believe it.
People actually, at this time, believe our Constitution contains a statement that there must be a wall of separation between church and state, and they will quote Thomas Jefferson as its author. There is no such statement in the Constitution! Thomas Jefferson's statement appeared in a private letter that he wrote to a friend, and the context of the letter makes it very clear that he was not anti-religion. He only wanted to show that the government should not officially support one religion to the exclusion of others.
In the early 1970s, a small number of people who were pro-abortion began spreading the lie that large numbers of pregnant women were dying in filthy, disease-ridden back alley surgeries, performed by doctors not interested in preserving the lives of women seeking the abortion—and therefore, abortion was an "urgent" need to save these women before they lost their lives to the hand of a doctor in an illegal abortion mill. The abortion seekers successfully pushed the law, following on the heels of this theme, through the federal government's House and Senate. The result: Since that time, in excess of 50 million babies have been murdered before they were born. Later, the man who headed the program to legalize abortion repented and confessed that virtually every argument they used to persuade people was a greatly exaggerated, bald-faced lie. But they got the body of people's thoughts in motion, and truth was not enough to stop it.
The homosexual movement in America used the same sort of theme to exaggerate their circumstances. They, too, have been successful beyond their wildest dreams, and today possess an influence—especially politically—in the United States far, far beyond their numbers.
Let's bring this right up to date. In 2010, the California Supreme Court ruled to permit homosexual marriage. However, one dissenting judge on the California Supreme Court—one Marvin Baxter, his name is—warned, "that it would be not illogical to expect that support for polygamy would soon follow." So on Friday (yesterday) it appeared on the Internet that a group in Utah has challenged the ban on polygamous marriage. The ball is rolling.
A survey taken by Wenzel Strategies shows that already a full 22% of American respondents say there is no legal justification for denying polygamy based on what has already been decided regarding same-sex marriages. Even more alarming is that another 18% said there is no moral justification for denying polygamy, and another 18.7% is uncertain regarding polygamy's morality, and that 19.9% of Americans surveyed said polygamy is an equally valid lifestyle. When those percentages are converted into population numbers, it appears that tens of millions of voters already accept the idea of polygamy.
The body in motion of American thought regarding the sacredness of marriage is moving downward at an ever increasing pace, and every indication is that there is nothing to stop it and divert its acceptance into a different direction.
So, what will be next that will lead to our no longer being able to blush? Will it be incestuous marriages—brother and sister marrying one another? Will it be marriage between an adult and a 10-year-old kid?
The body of public opinion is in motion, and that motion is not upward. God help us. Thy Kingdom come.