Culture VS A Civilization- Pro-Family Legislators Conference Part 1: The Pro-Family Legislators Conference is a great and encouraging event for conservative legislators across the country. Today we get to experience part of that! Tune in now to hear part one of Rabbi Daniel Lapin”€™s presentation from the event!

Air Date: 11/27/2018

Guest: Rabbi Daniel Lapin

On-air Personalities: Rick Green


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture


Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture.  This is WallBuilders Live! Where we”€™re talking about today”€™s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture. We always do that from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

My name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislator. David Barton is usually with us. He’s America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. And Tim Barton is usually with us. He’s a national pastor and speaker and the president WallBuilders.

But today we’re actually going to take you to David and Tim out at the legislators conference where they are listening, as are the legislators, to Rabbi Daniel Lapin. And it is just an outstanding presentation. We had Rabbi Lapin on live yesterday here on the program and if you missed that you can get it at And we wanted to bring you his actual presentation to the legislators.

So, we’re just going to jump right into that. Encourage you to visit our websites today especially if you missed yesterday. But either way go to to see a list of our stations, to get some archives of the program. Or you can go to for a wealth of information and materials, great Christmas presents as well, by the way, if you’d like to give the gift of freedom this year. Check it out at

And that’s also where you can donate. We are a listener supported program, so every donation you give helps us to further the cause.

Here we are with Rabbi Daniel Lapin at the Pro-Family Legislators Conference.

Only One Way

Rabbi Daniel Lapin:

We could probably exchange stories of mean parents. You know, how your whole life was ruined because of your parents. And it was a particularly mean trick my father used to play on me quite regularly. He would come home with a broken clock– remember those old mechanical clocks you had to wind up? Not quite as accurate as a digital masterpiece. Considerably more expensive, but much more of a work of mechanical art, that reassuring ticking noise. If somebody figures out how to introduce that to a digital clock they’ll do very well.

And he’d bring home these broken mechanical clocks. To this day I have no idea at all where he found them. But he”€™d put them down he”€™d say, “€œDaniel, take this apart, figure it out, and put it together. Make this thing work.”€ This was the most futile and frustrating exercise of my childhood and it never stopped. There must have been, I’m guessing, maybe 30 times he came over and said, “€œGuess what I”€™ve got for you? Another clock!”€

And I was determined, I wanted– just let me just make this thing work. I’d take them apart. I’d have the dining room table covered with hundreds of little gears, and cogs, and springs, and I”€™d take copious notes of where everything goes. Never was able to get it to work. Never was even able to get all the pieces back together again.

And finally, finally, it occurred to me, “€œThere’s a way to stop this. All I have to do is actually ask him why he’s doing it.”€ Which I did and he said, “€œWell, a little surprised it took you this long to ask, but I want you to know that there is many wrong ways of playing with the pieces of a clock, but only one way to put it all together properly.”€ “€œThat’s it?”€ He says, “€œThat’s it. And that will be useful to you in your life ahead to know that there’s only one proper way to put all the pieces back together again.”€

Well, what was he talking about? And I finally began to understand. The great 20th century cultural anthropologist Joseph Daniel Unwin made the point that there are about 5,000 cultures in the world. But it’s wrong to say “€œ5,000 civilizations”€. There are 5,000 cultures. Most of them don’t work very well. There is only one civilization in the world.

5,000 Cultures, but Only One Civilization

Rabbi Daniel Lapin:

Now, this obviously sounds completely archaic to even say something like that today. But David promised me that we are in protected and defended circumstances here and I can say things that on a university campus would surely condemn me to severe punishment. So, I repeat it; there are about 5,000 cultures in the world. There’s only one civilization. Says who?

Well, it’s not just me and Joseph Daniel Unwin. No, it’s all the thousands, by now thousands, of Africans who have drowned in the Mediterranean in their frantic attempt to get to Europe. They say this. They agree.

When you ask what is the difference in a culture and civilization? A culture is any way that a group of people live. A civilization is entirely different. A civilization is when a group of people are able to cooperate in a way that produces freedom, produces satisfying, and healthy, and wholesome, male-female relationships, that encourages the development of technologies in medicine that prolong life and maintain health, that allow the development of an economic system that means that people no longer have to hunt and gather every day of the week in order to stay alive. These are the things that make us civilization.

Somebody might well say, “€œOh well, look, you’re confusing things here, Lapin. People struggle to get across the Mediterranean because there’s more money in Europe than there is in Africa. To which I say, “€œBingo! Yes.”€ And that’s the basic question. Why is it, to put it directly, why is it do you suppose that an indigenous system of capital has arisen only in Christendom? That’s another old fashioned word, by the way. You”€™re not allowed to use that one either.”€

Yeah, don’t say the things I say. Because you don’t operate under the same protections as I do. But the the principles will be useful to you anyways. So, yeah, it is true that no capital market has ever arisen indigenously outside of Christendom.

Now, yes, today we have a stock market in Bombay, and Beijing, and Bangladesh, obviously. But that didn’t start there.

Front Sight Training Course

Hey friends! Rick Green here, from WallBuilders Live. What do Dennis Prager, Larry Elder, Ben Shapiro, Rick Greene, Tim Barton, David Barton, have in common other than the fact that they’re conservative commentators that defend the Constitution?

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We’re going to have a great time out there, and if you’re a supporter of WallBuilders, we’re going to treat you. If you’re a donor of WallBuilders, you”€™ll be able to go to this Front Sight class for free. It normally cost a thousand dollars, go to right now. You’ll see that it’s a thousand dollars to attend their two-day class. You are going to be able to go for free, if you’re a supporter of WallBuilders Live.

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Rabbi Lapin:

The concept of the accumulating capital– as a matter of fact, the concept of a viable currency, didn’t exist outside of Christendom. Why? Well, it’s so basic that in this country, the greatest engine of economic prosperity ever, we actually put the words “€œIn God We Trust”€ not on the walls of churches, but on the currency. Because without faith there is no such thing as currency.

Places Christianity Built

Rabbi Daniel Lapin:

Just ask yourself – why would a farmer, anxious to be able to feed his family through the winter, answer the door when a guy in yellow pants and a green checkered shirt knocks on the door and says to the farmer, “€œI’ve got this great idea. You let me load up your entire harvest on this wagon of mine and in exchange I’m going to give you these little disks of metal.”€ What farmer would agree to such a deal? It makes no sense.

It only makes sense within a vast economic environment where huge numbers of people bound by a common system of morality– because without that I wouldn’t take your currency either– with a shared worldview, in which work, struggle, achievement, vanquishing the odds, challenging the problems, all of those values, are real and that’s not true in all parts of the world. It”€™s not true for every culture. It’s only true for a civilization.

So, while there are many, many, cultures around the world, I can state quite categorically that not a single one of them has an illegal immigration problem. Doesn’t that tell us something? That means that it’s not just me telling you that civilization works better than anything else. That’s all the people who vote with their feet and often with their lives – they choose where to go. And their choice is always places that Christianity built. That’s where they go.

There are not a lot of successful ways of putting the cogs of society, and the springs and gear wheels of society, together in a workable fashion. There’s actually only one way. There”€™s a lot of different cultures. You”€™re welcome to them if you want them. But if you value the benefits of civilization then there really is only one way that that works. Well, what is that way?

Well, I had this beautiful rose adorning what was originally an unpromising rosebush in my garden. And this just grew to be such a splendid specimen of fragrance and beauty that I just felt bad that my visitors had to walk all the way down to the end of the garden where this rosebush flouted my incapable gardening efforts, defeated all my destructive impulses, and nonetheless, succeeded in producing this beautiful rose. And I thought, “€œWhy should everybody have to go all the way down to the end of the garden and crouch down over this rosebush?”€

Lessons From a Rosebush

Rabbi Daniel Lapin:

So, I clipped off the rosebush, and I brought it into the house and put it in a vase of water, and I thought I was pretty smart because for the rest of that day my visitors “€œoooed”€ and “€œawwed”€ about my rose. And most of them would never have undertaken the pilgrimage all the way down to the bottom of the garden and this way they enjoyed it.

When the second day came by I was still pretty full of myself. I thought, “€œI can”€™t imagine why everybody doesn’t do this.”€ But guess what started happening by the third day? Third day my rose had petals that were wilting. And by the end of that day they were getting a little discolored. By the fourth day there was absolutely nothing left. But that flower”€™s sisters that I had left alone on the bush were still flourishing in all their fragrance. That severed flower looks awfully good at the beginning, but a little time goes by and you realize that when you detach something from its roots it deteriorates. Not instantly – because it was instantly, even I would have figured it out, “€œbad idea”€. But it’s not instant. You actually think you’re pretty smart as it all winds its way through the first few days.

Originally, this system of civilization that works was Bible based, the principles that shaped the civilization. And you don’t just have to tour through Europe examining the religious nature of the art, and the architecture, and the literature. No, it’s pretty obvious anyways. It’s clear when you realize that over 97 percent of all the technological advances in medicine, in science, in mathematics, between the years 800-1850 – a little more than a thousand years – all of that period, the discoveries overwhelmingly took place not only in Christian societies, but in most cases by Christian scholars and scientists. There must be a reason for that.

Why Does the World Flock to a Bible-Based Civilization?

Rabbi Daniel Lapin:

Why is it that it is the book called the Bible that shaped the civilization to which the entire world flocks and which the entire world attempts to emulate on every level? Do you have any idea of what banks used to look like in Bombay, and Beijing, and Bangkok, in the 1600s? They were guys who kept pieces of gold in their mattresses. There was no such thing as a currency system. There was no such thing as a banking system.

And as time went by cities developed like Birmingham, and Boston, and Berlin, and banks developed in those cities too. Did they emulate the banks of Bangkok, and Bombay, and Beijing? No. It was Bangkok, and Bombay, in Beijing, that emulated the banks that had been created in what we think of as the West.

Now, needless to say, this stuff, I barely have to tell you this is so horribly politically incorrect. We’re not supposed to venerate Western civilization. It”€™s all dead white mail, you know the whole song, right? But I’m going to feel myself restricted this morning by only one rule and that is, tell the truth. And there is nothing that I’ve told you today so far, and there won’t be anything I plan on telling you for the rest of our time together, that in any way threatens that objective or in any way is difficult to verify. Because in our culture today in America, I won”€™t call it a civilization any longer, but in the culture that is seizing control in America, the truth is not a defense. But over here it is .

So, when it came time to decide how to deal with human waste, the whole idea of cleanliness, the whole idea that a civilization needs to focus on beauty – not ugliness, a civilization needs to focus on the upward aspirations towards nobility on the part of human beings. Part of doing that is making sure that body waste doesn’t flow down the main street of the village every morning. So, you develop a sewage system and once again it is notable that Birmingham, and Boston, and Berlin, did not copy the sewage systems of Bombay. But it’s Beijing and Bangkok that have done everything they can to copy the sewage systems of the West.

Join Us In Israel!

Hey guys what are you doing January 28th through February 7th? If you said you don’t know, let me give you an idea. We are going to Israel. Rick Green, my dad, David Barton, Tim Barton, our families are going and we would love for you to go with us. We are going to the Holy Land if you’ve ever been to Israel this is something as a Christian that will make you forever read your bible differently.

To see where Jesus walked, where He lived, where He did miracles, where so much of the Bible took place. If you’ve ever read through the Bible and you’ve given it a mental picture, the mental picture will not do justice of what happens when you’re actually on the ground. If you’ve ever thought about the story of David and Goliath and you”€™ve envisioned what it looks like, we’re going to go to the actual field where it took place.

There are so many things that you will see that literally makes the Bible come to life. In fact, that’s the name of the tour group we”€™re going with is The Bible Comes to Life. Go to You can click on the link, it has an Israel itinerary, all kinds of details. Hope to see you on this trip this coming year.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin:

The whole concept of cleanliness, having an associative relationship with the development of a civilization, this is purely biblical. So, once upon a time the whole idea of what we today think of as conservative political values was attached to the plant. It drew its nourishment from the roots. But what we’ve done is we’ve detached the flower from the plant and we have tried to develop a conservative politics that is intended to somehow exist independently of its biblical origins. That’s the goal. And it actually looked pretty good for a few days, but now its stopped looking so good.

And the problem is because the other side has enormous advantages attached. What are its advantages? Well, at the beginning of the book of Genesis we’re told that total chaos suffused the universe. That’s what it was. And God began injecting energy on some level beyond our capacity to understand and out of this absolute chaos and confusion emerges land, and water, etc., and everything else comes about.

From that day to this we are left with that really important piece of information which is that without the regular application of energy, and very often painful energy, my desk will begin to resemble a Bombay garbage dump. Let alone my kids bedroom.

Stop Injecting Energy and It All Slides Downhill

Rabbi Daniel Lapin:

And I think to myself, “€œHow odd. Wouldn’t it be nice?”€ I didn’t actually do anything to make that happen. It just sort of went that way. In the same way that if I stopped maintaining my motor car, after a few years it begins to look and behave as a wreck. But why doesn’t anything move in the opposite direction? Why is it that if I wait long enough my messy room doesn’t turn into a tidy room? Why if I wait long enough does the process of deterioration in an abandoned car reverse itself?

And the only reason you’re not astounded at that question is because we are so accustomed to living in a world where the default is chaos that we don’t recognize the extraordinary miracle of that process. Stop injecting energy and it all slides downhill.

Now, the problem is that on the other side it doesn’t work the same way. You see, in the same way that gravity would assist if we decided to hold a competition of strength. And the challenge is for you to move a 50 gallon drum filled with water 10 feet and for me to do the same. And the only difference is I get to choose the course. My job is to move a 50 gallon drum of water from the roof of my garage to the ground. And yours is the same ten feet just in the other direction. I win.

But it seems fair on the on the surface of it. The only reason it isn”€™t fair is because of something called gravity and we take it for granted. We’ve lived with it for so long we say, “€œOkay, fine, that’s not fair.”€ But it’s moving a 50 gallon drum of water 10 feet. “€œWell, yeah, but you’ve selected the course in such a way that you benefit from the direction gravity pulls.”€ Ah ha! Exactly!

How about if– and they don’t have this sort of thing in Dallas– but imagine there was a destructive street gang in Dallas and we hired them for an experiment. During this conference. We bring them in, we say to them, “€œLook, your job is to demolish the Omni Hotel. I would venture to suggest two facts. Number one, we will all be astonished at how quickly they achieve that job. And number two, we will also be astonished at how unified they all become in this great orgy of destruction.

Much Harder to Build Than Destroy

Rabbi Daniel Lapin:

Lighting fires and breaking glass makes people feel a kinship with the others doing the same thing. And they will be unified in their virulent fury to destroy this building and they’ll go ahead and they’ll do it. Part 1 of the experiment. Here’s part two the experiment – part two is we now engage a team of architects, and contractors, and engineers, and we asked them to rebuild a hotel here. How long will that take?

And let’s even not look at World Trade Center in New York. Where basically this experiment was carried out. Let’s not even look at that because that was a government project.

But imagine here privately in Dallas we asked these engineers, “€œGo ahead, please, put a hotel back here.”€ Longer than it took, much longer than it took the street gang to destroy. Much longer. And what’s more there will be debate and argument, what sort of hotel. Broadly we agree, yes, it”€™s going to be a hotel, it”€™s got to be built with reasonable costs, it”€™s got to be eight floors, whatever it is. But the arguments between the various teams of engineers and architects, the arguments will go on for a long time. It will take forever before they build it. It’s much harder to build than it is to destroy.

Culture VS A Civilization- Pro-Family Legislators Conference Part 1


Well, friends, we’re going have to interrupt Rabbi Lapin here for today’s program. We’re going to get the conclusion of his presentation tomorrow, so make sure you tune in again to WallBuilders Live tomorrow. Also, if you missed yesterday, that’s a little confusing, right – tomorrow Rabbi Lapin, today Rabbi Lapin, yesterday Rabbi Lapin, but it’s not that confusing actually. Yesterday, he was with us live and that’s available on our website at in the archives section. And then today is the first half of his presentation to the legislators. Tomorrow we’ll pick up the rest, so be sure not to miss tomorrow.

Thanks for listening to WallBuilders Live.