tv John Mc Laughlins One on One PBS November 21, 2010 9:00am-9:30am PST
>> fingers in the dike. there is a well-known fable of the dutch boy holding back title waters with the seawall with his finger. the fable has it parallel in debate on modern values. this time it is america that is trying to put its finger in the dike. to hold back the tide the tide of liberal values spilling over from europe especially from that same small country abutting the north sea with his 16 million dutch citizens. practitioners of a secular values called quote-unquote personal autonomy. the netherlands was the first country to legalize the right to die known as u euthanasia.
and dutch has same sex marriage soft drugs, prostitution, and coffee shops that serve hashish. question, are americans destined to take our values cues from the dutch. well jew deyo christian be pushed aside for personal autonomy. is the jesus of bethlehem destined to be side lined by the doctrine and practice of personal autonomy. are we all going dutch? >> we'll ask these experts. paul sar bin, and steven plo ploerow. rabin, and steven
ploerow. ploerow. >> plott row. if. for such a small word it packs a wallop. if i live to a hundred. if social security isn't enough. if my heart gets broken. if she says yes. we believe if should never hold you back. if should be managed with a plan that builds on what you already have. together we can create a personal safety net, a launching pad, for all those brilliant ifs in the middle of life. you can call on our expertise and get guarantees for the if in life. after all, we're metlife. this program has been occasione journal of february 28th, 2004 called going dutch in legalizing prostitution, and soft drugs. >> are we discontinued to do the
same. why do you those are the kind of issues that you select. that is a basic recap of your proposition of the peace. do you want to talk about the global pipeline the global pipeline of values that's coming across. most people in the united states we make up our mine. we don't follow europe. >> right. well i think that's a popular myth and misconception. i lived overseas and russia until recently. one the things that occurred lot a things you see in europe are things that are ahead in some sense what you see in america. the article sit elf was prompted by the whole debate over same sex gay marriage in massachusetts that americans boy this is sort of a fau naphenomew to us. in fact the dutch had legalized gay marriage in 2001.
and so in america is really kind of sense catching up so absolutely there's a valts pipeline >> you think that this values globalization is going to change the culture. >> it's already changing the culture. >> how so? >> i think that the gay marriage is another issue. yoit anyways yeah through science and technology the so-called abortion pill r uchu t was pioneered in france. there was a great deal of hostility and opposition to it. now it's come over and now it's easily available from doctor or from a clinic. there's no question we're all sort of this mainstream of western values. >> you think that this force emanating from europe particularly amsterdam seems to have codified it more than anyone else is irresistible. i think it's a condition of modern life and in that sense is streak liamly powerful force.
there are and there can be count counterveiling issues in the society. i think it's complex. how are you impressed by this point of viview, steven? >> well, i think you have to take religion seriously in the united states and i think that's the huge difference in united states and the netherlands. you've got the one most religious and secular countries in europe in the e netherlands. if you look at some basic and rntion kes do you believe the bible is the word of god or do you believe in heaven or do you believe in hell, do you believe in miracles? i think that matters when it comes to all these issues. >> the expansion of secular rights not only in the netherlands else why in europe that you speak of, and you see that expansion taking place in
the united states. again going back to this core issue, what's cash dash is there any additional evidence of that? we have a church state wall between the two. doesn't that function pretty effectively to keep out influences which may diminish yew bumper sticker watty and force of our religious moraliub religious morality. but generally i think to look at a little bit of a paradox or a contribution what people believe and actual behavior. professing in religious values
we also look what the fastest city over the last decades las vegas. the most popular one of the popular television programs right now is "desperate housewives." i mean there's you can make an argument that america has more hypocrisy on these issues that the europeans did that our behavior is not fend mentally different. >> we just finished an election. in 11 states was a referendum rejected it. does that give a lie to the irresistible values. >> backlash. i think in the political system we often see a backlash to what is happening in the cultural arena. gay marriage was not in the table as a political issue five or 10 years ago. we're having a backlash that the culture has brought front and
center. do you see any any influence in the jurisprudence in the united states for example, in the court rulings in massachusetts in same sex mayor usualing. was that in any sense derivitive of or from europe or elsewhwhe? >> sloochlt the mast followed on the lines of the supreme court decision which ruled against the bowers earlier supreme court decision that basically found that laws on sodomy were okay. the supreme court basically threw out these laws and in doing so it cited opinions by among a european court of human rights in strauss burg, and the people arguing this case it is been a tradition of the united states to pay a decent respect to the opinions of others. >> who is the chief justice in massachusetts >> it was margaret marshamarsha. >> originally from south africa
>> an antiapartheid been marrieo the former new york city tony lewis. >> not only the echo and the language of the courts ruling didn't she a peel separation of the human rights she. >> she talked about canada. >> the appeals of some canada ontario. >> yes. so you feel that willy-nilly -- and it's going to seep into our institutions. i think what he's saying steven into our institutions notably the supreme court the massachusetts a'd even the supreme court itself on the reversal on sodomy. >> absolutely. i don't think it's willy-nilly. i think activists at the yale university law school who're very consciously doing this.
they are tied to activists in europe, and they are developing this whole body of law that the social conservatives are very worried about it >> let's take euthanasia or doctor assisted suicide is okay. in the netherlands. do you know that i believe it's 65% of americans support allowing a doctor to fu fulfill terminally ill patient's right to end life >> that's one where americans are relatively close to other in need lund. 59% of americans oppose gay marriage even though of them are for civil unions. but i think this notion that there's a pipeline that's running somehow from europe and from the netherland to the united states i think that's the wrong metaphor. there is a battle that's going on between a culture of duty and culture of freedom or however
you want to refer to or religious or secular culture. surely one of the lessons of legislation we're not taking our laws from massachusetts of supreme court or from europe that the religion matters that the religion informs that the people think about public life. they informed about the way they think about political life. the lesson the election is just the opposite. >> which is just front and center >> you want to put any kind of gloss on those statistics about the general ration null this next on the gay marriage the 14%. 65 and older between the 18 and 29 support it. this exist that generational changes looming >> i think it is. if you look at the early marsh juries, s
harbingers, sand i think that te question of gay marriage is on the table. it's a controversial one. it will work itself in the system i think. >> is there a historical for the clash between personal autonomy, and religious values. >> john i think this has been clash is as old as our country. we are a religious abiding country. have always been so. the autonomous with his zone of privacy is profound kind of libertarian idea. it results in sort of a clash and sometimes that the clash is not just between different parts of the culture in people themselves. >> but the turn of the 19th century the church represented traditional views and tried to impose its will through its
church. >> and some regards between personal autonomy and this country and the combination of politicians, and values modes seems to some to be eerily similar. do you think it's eerily similar? >> well, i think there's always been a battle between the religious values and secular values and i think one thing that distinguishes united states from the europe the religious values really matter mere and we can ignore them at certain points. we can aspiration null politics where we hope or fear that say that the gay marriage issue is going to powerfully to the u.s. but i think in terms of description now you don't want to take these port cities and these blue counties as probleming sees for to the united states. there's regions and religions that matter. do you reject or accept the idea of american exceptional meaning
we're different from europe. >> i think we are very different from europe in many different ways. you can't found ooh county in the united states that approaches not one county. you believe europe is venus, and america is mars. >> i think do think there's a tremendous difference. i think the culture badges are being won in europe in the enlightenment and personal tonomy, and personal freedom and there being one in the united states on the adjudicate christ judeo christian. with cal vun in his um. you're an individual be
calvinist that and the we're in something together with god that we have sort of a contract between human beings and god and the american still think this way. you think this rhetoric out of the white house with democratic, and republican presidents. it's not going away. >> you want to comment on that. >> i think that we have that doctrine and it's held up as an ideal in america it become somewhat attenuated. the other thing about cal vunism. this is of the for and religion it became gradually what happened after the review formation that the netherlands formation that the netherlands became
>> legalizing prostitution, and legal i guess doctor assisted suicide. religious authorities from the wide cross section of churches stand in opposition. why do you contend they are able to testimony the tide. they are misaligned with their faithful. >> i think there's some of that. i'm not catholic but aren't there polling that suggests that a lot of the people even though who go to catholic church are not observing church teaching on issues like consequent septiotr. there's a lot of cafeteria thinking. >> i think picking and choosing a good way to put it. i think there is a satisfy tiara
mentality. that can apply to even religious beliefs. you think that religion is in the climb in the united states. >> no, i don't. i've vested a intt i teach at religion at boston college. it's not a commercial anything. religion is powerful. there's people i don't think it's true that we're in the middle of another great awa apawakening. >> let me grijalva you some statistics. look at marriage. in 19 snrirtss. the number of unwed couples shot up 50%. >> marriage ins decline. i think that's true. i think that's true. maybe paul and i agree on there is a battle going on here between these two ways of thinking about the world. one more can you have n nent.
>> the church authorities cannot keep marriage which is a centerpiece as ovenant. >> the church authorities caot keep marriage which is a centerpiece as we that this rce is irresistible sooner or later we're going to be am stu amsterdam over here. the question are we going to be -- what can they say that they can't save marriage >> how soon are the 40% much measures goer on agriculture gnawings particulars or in atheists >>hen it comes to bedroom issues there is a very powerful impulse. but that impulse isn't winning in the republican party. it's getting 84% of adult
american identify themselves at christian. 82% of americans believe jesus is god or the son of god. 79% of americans believe in the virgin birth of jesus. how can anyone think that americans's religious faith cannot shunted aside by a dutch flo philosophy pushed aside by personal autonomy. wife edie two daughters apits kaw pale 81. politics yale university american studies with an emphasis on religious and politics. ba some come law day. harvard university ph.d. religioum cum laude.
harvard university ph.d. religion. "new york times" magazine. new york book review the "wall street journal" "l.a. times" the washington post. so on.com. three books on white buddhists, recently american jesus, how the son of god became a national icon. red sox die fan and ken u.s. richard plotherow. >> bangor maine 47 years of age. wife na g i sa. jewish. politics independence. wesley 81. london school of economics ms international relations. business week magazine moscow
burro chief 4 years. the atlantic contributing editor one year and currently. national journal staff correspondent with five cover stories this year. the french w we right kerry is a worldly der the rise of nationalism. rethinking that zionism and going dutch one year the new york and washington post, "los angeles times" contributed to. the real state of the union essays on united states the angry american our commentary on social rage. hobbies, travel in the form of ussr, the mideast and europe. paul, jeffrey sarrabin. >> the statistics that i gave from this quite remarkable 5,500
were recapped. do you believe that t historical account as given by at least two of the gospel writers of the christmas the angels announcing to mary. >> no, i'm not a theologian. >> do you think it's not treating as historical jesus' true history? >> well, i'm a histo historian t know how much historical evidence there is for this. we don't know the historical evidence his yuns go by. >> well,, the row monocatholic church council said you don't have to accept it in it full littoral teerality.
>> sure i do. these statistics are from your article. it's on the question of is religion very important to you. 60% of americans say religion is very important to them. 30% that of the irish, 30%, 27% of italians, 20% of germans, and 10% of french say that religion is very important to them. does that kiss appoint disappoi? >> it's welsh. in the netherlands that figure is 17%, and this is another huge disparate between them and the united states. people think about politics or wish they didn't and sometimes it's a bad thing. but the fact is that that's how americans go about thinking about these big moral questions. they think in light of god,
jesus in light of the christmas story in light of the teach of the catholic church or the teaching of local preacher. >> how do you feel what he just said >> i think religion does matter here. i'm not sure it matters as search to pat ushes of behavior as you might be implied by those figures with the number of unmarried people living together. with the abortion pill becoming available. with the mainstreaming of the pornography through the internet. all of these things seem to allow people more and lessor their autonomous actors and that is under mining in a basic way of religious ethos. >> do o u know that oregon physician assisted suicide is okay >> the one state. >> it is tacitly done in hospitals all the time but under
the legal range. >> we have to be careful with the distinction here, and that is the removal of a lifeline, and the actual injection with a needle or some positive direct a act. >> that's true. >> the catholic churur for example, which is quite clear on this and quite studious about it there's no requirement to maintain extraordinary means to stay alive. there's no requirement. so what is an extraordinary means. extraordinary could be heart surgery. so how do you you see that balance there? >> so doctor assisted suicide may not always be in the instance of the 4,000 who have it done out of 5,000 who requested it. in other words is it different between the right and the practice of it in the netherlands? >>t's active euthanasia that's
being discussed in need 0 netherlands. >> atnetherlands. >> a thenetherlands. >> athe netherlands. >> and they give them a pill. people do make a disstainings between these two thing. in a way it seems natural. god thought it was their time. and other intervention science and medicine. do you think that religion as we know today will endure in the united stes. >> absolutely. there's a paradox here. there's an element of hypocrisy here. how many of those people went to las vegas or sitting at home watching "desperate housewives." or participate in a reality show. >> it's the consumer society. >> so you feel that the religion is here to stay. >> religion is absolutely here to stay. the fact that sinners this is no