I offer the single most politically incorrect statement a modern American — indeed a modern Westerner, period — can make: I first look to the Bible for moral guidance and for wisdom.
I say this even though I am not a Christian (I am a Jew, and a non-Orthodox one at that). And I say this even though I attended an Ivy League graduate school (Columbia), where I learned nothing about the Bible there except that it was irrelevant, outdated and frequently immoral.
I say this because there is nothing — not any religious or secular body of work — that comes close to the Bible in forming the moral bases of Western civilization and therefore of nearly all moral progress in the world.
It was this book that guided every one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, including those described as “deists.” It is the book that formed the foundational values of every major American university. It is the book from which every morally great American from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln to the Rev. (yes, “the Reverend,” almost always omitted today in favor of his secular credential, “Dr.”) Martin Luther King, Jr., got his values.
It is this book that gave humanity the Ten Commandments, the greatest moral code ever devised. It not only codified the essential moral rules for society, it announced that the Creator of the universe stands behind them, demands them and judges humans’ compliance with them.
Without this book, there would not have been Western civilization, or Western science, or Western human rights, or the abolitionist movement, or the United States of America, the freest, most prosperous, most opportunity-giving society ever formed.