Today’s America Resembles Roman Republic When it Fell Into Decadence

Written by Robert Knight

Decades before the Visigoths invaded Rome, that once-impregnable republic had fallen into decadence. Virtue was no longer taught and people were pacified with “bread and circuses.” The Colosseum served up gladiators, chariot races and the crowd-pleasing spectacle of Christians being thrown to the lions.

Similarly, the Bible chronicles how Israel gave up worshipping God and engaged in abominations such as child sacrifice. Each time, God let them come to destruction before rescuing a remnant and restoring the nation.

I thought about all this when contemplating current signs of civility slipping away in America.

Some are obvious, such as massive public debt, the Free Stuff Army, Earth worship and ubiquitous obscenity. Or the Navy using a transgender “influencer” to recruit a “diverse workforce.” Or the ongoing child abuse of subjecting kids to “gender-affirming” drugs, hormones and healthy organ removal.

Other signs are a corrupt government and media that lie every day and wink while doing it.

Advice columnists Ann Landers, Dear Abby and others often counsel parents to push children toward — not away from — sexual experimentation. They quote the Kinsey Institute and other “experts” who say natural marriage is only one of many options, just as there are dozens of genders.

A reader recently asked Amy Dickinson (“Ask Amy”) how she felt about Pittsburgh’s baseball team eviscerating its longtime introduction: “And now, ladies and gentlemen, here are your Pittsburgh Pirates!”

As with Disney’s theme parks, the “ladies and gentlemen” part is history. While “not personally bothered at all by being politely referred to in this way,” Ms. Dickinson backed the Pirates’ surrender to the “woke” madness.

“There are fellow human beings who do not identify along a binary gender line as either male or female, and one would assume that some of these people are also baseball fans — buying tickets, beer and trinkets and rooting for their hometown team [so] I appreciate gender being left out of public announcements,” she wrote.

Tough noogies for the other 99% of fans. They can kiss goodbye the civilizing balm of being addressed as either a lady or gentleman. We must instead accommodate the tiny portion of the population that’s aggressively remaking America into a Marxist version of Sodom and Gomorrah.

To 21st-century eyes, vintage photos at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, evince culture shock. Taken less than 100 years ago, they show men and boys in suits, ties and hats. Women and girls are wearing dresses. If a fan yelled a curse word in front of a woman or child, he would have been ejected faster than you can say “Dizzy Dean.” Good manners were expected at public events, and the two sexes were a given.

North Carolina legislators recently debated a reasonable bill setting higher penalties for obscene performances if children are present. As The Associated Press reported, “LGBTQ activists” complained that it was “unfairly targeting respectable drag events.”

What’s “respectable” about a man acting out his own sick fantasy in front of children? This is light-years different from silly depictions in classic movies such as “Some Like It Hot” (1959), in which Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon pretend to be women and team up with Marilyn Monroe to elude mobsters who want to kill them.

Likewise, in “White Christmas” (1954), Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye bring down the house in a nightclub by doing a “Sisters” act in order to give Vera-Ellen and Rosemary Clooney time to avoid arrest on a trumped-up charge.

Everybody’s in on the joke, because these romantic comedies feature sparks between men and women, not sexual confusion.

There is a method to all the “woke” madness. In his new book, “War on Virtue,” Bill Donohue exposes how ruling elites are undermining morality deliberately to create a dumbed-down citizenry and an all-powerful state.

The president and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Mr. Donohue notes that highly successful American subgroups such as Jews, Asians, Mormons and Nigerians consistently outperform others by inculcating three virtues: self-discipline, personal responsibility and perseverance. In most cases, religious faith plays a crucial role, along with strong families.

The solution to our moral crisis, Mr. Donohue argues, is a “re-norming” of America, most probably on the heels of a religious revival.

Timothy S. Goeglein, vice president of Focus on the Family, advances a similar remedy in his book “Toward a More Perfect Union.” The United States, he says, has a rich enough moral history that, if taught honestly, will counter leftist myths that drive young people away from faith and toward socialism, pessimism and nihilism.

Both authors assert that a major pushback is underway, and I agree. It’s evident from the reaction to Bud Light’s disastrous experiment with transgender promotion. It’s evident in pro-life legislation around the country and bills protecting schoolchildren from trans madness and critical race theory. It’s evident in the boom of private schools and home schooling.

More and more people realize that neutral ground has disappeared. You either defend virtues that produce civility or you abet those who destroy them.

Joshua 24:15 says, “Choose this day whom you will serve.”

As Bob Dylan sang, “It may be the devil, or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”

Robert Knight is a former Los Angeles Times news editor and writer and was a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. This column was originally published by The Washington Times.

He has been published by the Wall Street Journal, National Review, the Christian Post,,,, and many others.  He has co-authored three books and written 10, including “Liberty on the Brink: How the Left Plans to Steal Your Vote” (D. James Kennedy Ministries, 2020) and “The Coming Communist Wave: What Happens If the Left Captures All Three Branches of Government” (D. James Kennedy Ministries, 2020) . 

You can follow him on Twitter at @RobertKnight17, and his website is