(continued from previous post)
Screwtape must be laughing all the way home, ” I will not serve!”, indeed! I think of Al Pacino’s last line in “Devil’s Advocate” : …”AAAH! Pride is my favorite sin!” …
The beliefs of Secular Humanist Progressivism, which say, “It does not matter what you believe—or whether you believe anything at all”, could be held without noticeably disastrous results by even the majority of people in our present society, so long as the majority of people in our society were also still practicing the old traditional (read “true,” “Catholic”) moral customs (see the “rift” mentioned in previous post) . These traditions, based on the revealed truths of God and adherence to the Natural Law, enabled our society to function reasonably well. In other words, what you do is more important than what you say. Another version of that is “By their works shall you know them.”
But now, in 2015, with so many people having lost touch with any reasons for morality and goodness, we live in a situation where most of these customs have been abandoned by a huge majority of our society, and the result is extreme social disorder. It is only when the present disorder impacted in our personal affairs, with, rapes, murders, broken marriages, muggings, drugs, people going berserk in mass shootings or running crowds down with their cars, or school shootings, or family murder suicides, or blowing up buildings, prostitution, pornography, child abuse, corruption in business and especially in government, etc. that ordinary folks (the masses) began to ask: “WHAT IS WRONG?!” The masses do not understand philosophy, let alone the bad effects that a bad philosophy can have. Most folks are not equipped to delve into the foundations of the moral order. They just go with the flow. These widespread effects of immoral philosophy must impact their lives directly before they cry out, “What is wrong?!”
Well, Gentle Reader, “What is wrong” is what has already been wrong for a very long time in the thinking of our culture. They no longer believe the truth. They abandoned it starting in 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the chapel door at Wittenberg and initiated his revolt against the True Faith and a unified Catholic society. They jettisoned the Revealed Religion of God, like teenagers vandalizing the family home by throwing a block party while their parents were away. “Home Alone” was a funny movie but the act of rebelling against truth and order destroys the very foundation of civil society itself, not to mention the infinitely more important matter of abandoning the one and only vehicle of their eternal salvation. And it was mostly these people who came to North America to escape the established order and founded our current North American culture. The first culture in history that worshiped the supreme individual.
Catholic moral customs inherited from centuries of Catholic and Roman civilization survived until the decade of the 1960’s. In the 60’s the rot of secular humanist progressivism exploded at an alarming rate courtesy of the new permissive immorality of the movie industry, and the secular broadcast and print media who prepared the social garden for people finally to abandon the traditional Catholic moral customs. This abandonment of order for hedonism and personal licentiousness was precipitated during the 1960’s by the advent of the birth control pill. This released society from all the traditional restrictions related to family and child bearing and proclaimed a new era of “freedom”.
This freedom was accompanied by the full court press of the movie and print industry in portraying on the screen and in magazines all manner of immoral behavior and encouraging fornication, pedophilia, adultery, murder and all sorts of revolting violence. As any one who reads history can tell, there is nothing new under the sun in the nature and types of human perversity and deviance but the massive barrage of encouragement and removal of restraint embraced by the media resulted in a general disintegration of sexual morality, pandemic infidelity, a meteoric rise in divorce, dramatic increases in STD’s (by one definition life is a fatal STD) and finally the abortion of generations of children in the name of “choice”.
Top this all off with the alarming increase in drug abuse, and the rest of human morals simply disintegrated. This is the scenario we have personally witnessed in just the past 60 years! The personal fabric of our lives and experiences of “modernism” as a sad tale indeed. The discussion here is not academic. The collapse of Catholic customs has taken place only recently, within the lifetimes of many of us. The result will destroy what little is left of our civilization.
This root of the collapse is the result of Protestantism. The Reformation was the great civil war of Christianity and the Catholic Church lost because it had itself abandoned the right and permitted myriad abuses, rather similar to where we see the church today with it’s scandals and progressive reforms and all the other trappings of the modernist leprosy. Protestantism gave birth to Modernism when it embraced private interpretation of the Bible. With the Protestant Revolt from revealed truth and the divinely established authority in the person and office of the Pope in Rome, everyone became his own little pope.
These people could not abide one man’s being “infallible” (not a Catholic claim but a Protestant fantasy and rationalization) , a man who held the divine commission from Jesus Christ Himself, when He said to St. Peter, “I say to thee: that thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys to the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven” (Matt. 16:18-20). These people could not abide this one man’s being infallible (ignoring the minor inconvenient fact of the concept of “ex cathedra“), whose authority exists only within the strictly defined limits of a tightly bound 2,000 year old universally known tradition, all the while being guided by the Holy Spirit, the “Paraclete” whom Christ had sent. These people could not accept this sort of God assisted, worldwide, visible, tightly constrained teacher.
These people could and DID accept, and continue to this day to accept, THEMSELVES(!) as the infallible, unfailing, inerrant rule of faith and morals (rather like Eve in the Garden – they would become as gods, the sole judge and arbiter of right truth each one their own little mirror of godliness). These people, the masses, who are often mental pygmies in theoretical matters, uninstructed in theology and philosophy, poorly informed, busy with practical affairs, weak, sick and all of that; they themselves are the only, the one, the true and infallible authority which they will accept! Only themselves! God preserve us from such pathological narcissism!
(to be continued)