DAVID KLINGHOFFER, a senior fellow in the Discovery Institute’s program in Religion, Liberty & Public Life, is the author of The Lord Will Gather Me In, a memoir of Jewish conversion, The Discovery of God, a spiritual biography of Abraham, and Why the Jews Rejected Jesus. He lives on Mercer Island, Washington.
Contrary to Mel Brooks's humorous presentation of Moses and the 10 Commandments on film, Klinghoffer (The Lord Will Gather Me In) does not think these biblical laws are a laughing matter. A writer and senior fellow at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, Klinghoffer warns that America is ignoring the commandments and sinking deeper into a quagmire of immorality. Using the Northwest's urban environs in which he lives as a case study, he warns that Seattle suffers from an "advanced case of moral retardation" that could easily spread to the rest of the country. The main culprit is secularism, says Klinghoffer, a "modern and resurgent paganism." Although this seems somewhat overstated, in light of religion's ascendancy in much of America, the author's argument that the U.S. has slighted a communitarian ethic in favor of increased individualism is compelling. Klinghoffer writes with passion and is genuinely concerned with the moral state of the union. However, he often slips into acerbic commentary that distracts from his more salient points. For every example given regarding the moral ineptitude of some residents of Seattle, there could be 10 provided about those who are fighting the good fight and living by God's word. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.