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Many religious reactionaries are told, "Your actions are speaking so loud I cannot hear what you are saying!" James wrote with similar thinking in chapter 2:14,17 when he wrote, "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith, but has not deeds? In the same way, faith in itself, if it is not accompanied by actions is dead. Many people have been repelled by the strict- legalistic standards erected by the "religious" of their communities. Instead of finding solutions to their problems in the local churches, many have turned to popular psychology or other para-religious experiences to find answers to their questions.

Some religious reactionaries tend to put greater weight on the sins of commission than the sins of omission, disposition, or wrong assumptions. This is particularly seen in their desires to censor immoral activities of pornography, abortion, or sexual promiscuity. William Bennett gave America a great lesson in presenting a positive picture of avoiding all four of these sins in his best selling book, The Book of Virtues. In his book, Bennett shows people how to succeed at being a public espouser of Biblically based virtues. He railed about American's broken moral compass as an academic in the 1970s; he carried on preaching morality when he was Ronald Reagan's education secretary and George Bush's drug czar. His 1992 best seller book has made him a millionaire several times over and has spawned a mini-business: book sequels, calendars, videos, stickers, speeches at $40,000 for an appearance. He remains an outstanding example of a media darling who is a moralist in the age of determined relativists. While many are insisting that what President Clinton does in his private life is his own business Bennett objects to that saying, "If Americans suspend judgment of such behavior they have lost the capacity to make moral judgments about anything."

He insists that without a morally guided capacity, Americans might not have ended slavery, outlawed child-labor or mobilized itself against communism. He asserts that without that basic moral value system, America stands little chance against the family disintegration and decline in social disciplines that have become too prevalent. Mr. Bennett gives us a fine example of someone who can bridge the gaps between the educated progressive and the educated conservatives through dialogue. He effectively gives us an example of one that is no longer just urging people to better exegete their basic Ten Commandments. Instead, Bennett urges people to re-weigh the values by which they live. He is not judging the President of the United States in public, but is using these incidents to point out the harm that wrongful behavior can have on the respect of the President's character. Bennett appeals to the pragmatic aspects that people respect. Many religious reactionaries have become more concerned about maintenance than with productivity. Talking about issues becomes an end in itself rather than a means to an end. To them, "Success is entirely in the hands of God."


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