Betsy Hart spoke Tuesday night. John J. Miller |

Betsy Hart is a senior writer at The Her­itage Foun­dation. She is a syn­di­cated columnist who has appeared on Fox News. Hart was a former press aide in the Reagan White House. Hart gave a lecture on Tuesday titled “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World: How to Stay Sane in a Time of Atheism, Fem­inism, and Cul­tural Rot.”


How do you think that atheism and fem­inism impact our culture today?

The inter­esting thing about atheism is that his­tor­i­cally, [it] has always been with us. There have always been people who have rejected God. I think what’s a little dif­ferent today is that there’s an indif­ference toward God, and I think that’s madness. If you reject God or say ‘I’m going to be my own god,’ at least con­sciously you’re clear on what you’re doing. But to just be indif­ferent to a per­sonal creator God is destructive, because our rights come from our creator. If you are indif­ferent to who the creator is, then the only other place rights can come from is gov­ernment, and that’s when you start getting intrusive gov­ernment.


What do you think sparked this phe­nomenon of indif­ference towards God?

One of the things that’s hap­pened in the West, and in the United States, is pros­perity, the ability to have extra­or­dinary wealth that our ancestors couldn’t have dreamed of. But with that pros­perity, and with the ability to take a pill to feel better and to overcome some truly extra­or­dinary dis­eases and to not have several of your children die before they reach adulthood, and so forth, I think comes the idea that we don’t really need God.


What inspired you to study this and speak on this topic?

I’ve been in the political world a long time. I was 13 years old when Ronald Reagan lost the nom­i­nation when he chal­lenged sitting pres­ident, Gerald Ford. That was dev­as­tating to me…Then I worked on Reagan’s White House staff for several years, and then I was at The Her­itage Foun­dation in the ’80s and wrote a syn­di­cated column. Then I had my family, and I think when you start having a family, you get a little more of a sense of the per­manent things and what really matters. And pol­itics is very important; we need to be involved in that process, but the per­manent things are virtue and the good. Those are the things that inspire me, and I find that becoming more true the older I get.


How can we as cit­izens bring back these ideals and focus more on what’s important?

Maybe we can’t change the world, but maybe we can change the part of the world that we’ve been given to change, which is often very small but very important.


You have a new podcast coming out on iTunes called “Gospel Mind­fulness.” Can you tell me a little more about what that focuses on?

Yeah, I’m really loving this. I’m a Christian, and I come from the [Pres­by­terian Church in America] back­ground; it’s con­ser­v­ative Pres­by­terian. My pastor…called and said, “Hey, I’d love to include you in a podcast we’re doing,” and in our little half-hour podcast I ask him some ques­tions to help us get the context of [his sermons]…It should launch very soon.