Monday, April 27, 2015

Defending Christian Culture and the Fall of Secularism

Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Photographer Unknown
Just as Communism was unsustainable, so too is Secularism, collapse is inevitable.
'I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.' 
-- Cardinal Francis George (1937-2015)
The word 'culture' derives from the Latin word cultus, meaning 'religion'. Thus, the English meaning of the word is that which derives from religion. Culture and religion are intertwined in an inseparable way, for culture comes from the way a religion interacts with a certain people and their environment. Over the last three-thousand years, the Western world has known three dominate cultures, and each were developed by three religions that spawned them. The first of course was Paganism. Various Pagan religions surrounded the Mediterranean Sea, and from these came the cultures of antiquity. The second major culture that developed was Christendom, expressed in two forms (eastern and western), derived entirely from the religion of Christianity. Nobody can deny that there are considerable differences between the Christian culture of the middle ages and the Pagan cultures of antiquity. The third and final culture to develop was Islamic, which derived from the religion of Muhammad, and thus took root primarily in the Middle East and Northern Africa. So there are only three major cultures in this history of the Western world over the last three-thousand years: Paganism, Christianity and Islam. There have been no others of any major significance.

As I said, culture derives from religion, and it is upon cultures that civilisations are built. Imagine, if you will, a pyramid to illustrate this. The pyramid is divided into three sections; a base, a middle, and a top. The base section would be labelled 'religion', as it is upon the beliefs of man that everything else is built. The middle section would be labelled 'culture', as this is how religion interacts with people and their environment. Finally, the top section would be labelled 'civilisation', as civilisation is built atop culture and religion.

When we look at the last three-thousand years of Western history, we can see how this played out. Ancient Roman, Greek, Semitic and Egyptian civilisations were built atop various Pagan cultures, and these cultures were built atop various Pagan religions. The only exception of course was the ancient Kingdom of Israel, which was a small civilisation, built atop a Hebrew culture, which was built atop the belief in the one, true God. All of these civilisations looked radically different, and the reason why is because their cultures were radically different. Likewise, the reason why their cultures were radically different, was because their religious belief systems were radically different.

The ancient Romans, like the Greeks before them, and to a smaller degree the Babylonians and Persians before them, wanted to unite the world under one grand civilisation. Yet to do this, they understood the culture pyramid. In order to unite the world (or one large region of the world) under one civilisation, you could have various cultures, but they all had to be linked by a common religion. The Babylonians attempted this first, by imitating the Egyptian practise of king worship. People would be allowed to worship and serve whatever gods they desired, so long as they also agreed to worship their king as a god too. Later the Greeks attempted something similar by uniting everyone under a common pantheon of gods. However, it was the Romans who really took the Babylonian idea of universal king-worship to a whole new level. Again, anyone could worship whatever god they wanted, so long as Caesar was also worshipped as the supreme god above all gods. Now, nobody can deny the culture created by the Roman imperial system had a particular look and feel to it. While various corners of the Empire had their own unique culture, the common link was Caesar worship, and this common creed united the various bands of Pagan religions under one umbrella. Thus the Romans created an entire civilisation, uniting various cultures, by injecting a common religious belief at the base of the pyramid. Get the people to worship Caesar as a god, then their cultures will adapt to this, resulting in a united civilisation under Caesar. It worked marvellously, that is, until the whole thing fell apart. What killed it? Christianity, in part, brought about its demise.

With the rise of Christianity in the ancient world, the imperial Pagan system crumbled. Saint Augustine of Hippo argued that the imperial Pagan system was destined to fall anyway, because it was immoral at its very foundation. He was right, and it was already falling on its own, but Christianity provided a quick and convenient replacement for a dying system who's days were numbered. Christianity laid a completely new religious foundation of the pyramid for an entirely new culture to develop from the old. Upon this was built a new Christian civilisation. Nobody in their right mind can deny that medieval Christian culture and civilisation looked entirely different from ancient Pagan culture and civilisation.

Some centuries after the rise of Christianity, came the rise of Islam in the Middle East and Northern Africa. With the rise of a new religion, the foundation of the pyramid was changed again, this time from Christian to Muslim, and with that, the culture radically changed as well. This in turn resulted in the rise of a whole new civilisation that is still with us today -- Islamic civilisation.

So in the last three-thousand years there have been only three major types of civilisations in the Western world. The first was Pagan. The second Christian, and the third Islamic. All three were built on three different cultures, which were derived from three different religious systems. I hope you'll excuse me for digressing into this so far, but it's important to understand the principle of how things work. Cultus (religion) creates the culture, and the culture in turn creates the civilisation. It is very much like a pyramid. The top (civilisation) is built upon the middle (culture) which is built upon the base (religion).

Now once we understand this historical precedence, which is based on the natural law of human behaviour, we can begin to see how futile and impossible the Western experiment in Secular Humanism really is. The creation of Secular culture is an vain attempt to erase religious influence from civilisation. When I say 'religious' here, think Christian, because it is only in Christian societies that Secularism developed. So Secularism was primarily designed to erase Christian influence from Western civilisation. It began ideologically with the Enlightenment and French Revolution. It took on a militant form with the communist revolution in Russia. In Western Europe, it spread quickly. While in North America more slowly. The gist of it however, is the same. The influence of Christian religion will be erased from all aspects of public life (government, schools, public squares, commerce, etc.) and as a result, a break will be made between religion and culture, allowing a godless government to reign supreme. This opens the door to all forms of moral relativism. State sanctioned sexual liberation is the 'holy grail' of promise made to those who will conform, and in the West, this temptation has worked very well.

So now moving beyond the history lesson, let's skip to the present. It is not enough to say this experiment into Secular Humanism will fail, because you see, it's already failing, and it's failing fast. We need look no further than Western Europe, which is leading the way. Secularism in general, the idea that we can separate religion entirely from public life, is failing because it produces a childless culture, filled with a small remnant of youth who have no religious or moral underpinning. Seeking guidance and direction, many of these remaining youth turn to whatever religion presents itself as a solution. Some are fortunate enough to find their way back to Christianity. Some wander around in occult Neo-Paganism for a while. Some discover Islam. The point I'm making here is that Secularism is, by its very nature, a religious vacuum, and vacuums must be filled. It leaves behind it an infertility wake, that wipes out most of the youth. The result is an ageing population that must rely on immigration to keep its economic and social systems afloat. Secularism is not any kind of a foundational base to build a culture and civilisation on. It is rather an empty vacuum. With no foundation base, the rest of the pyramid will crumble, or as in Europe's case, just as it was with ancient Rome, it will simply be replaced. Secularism is not a religious foundation upon which anything can be built. It is rather a simple transition stage, as a people change from one religious foundation to another.

As immigrants pour in to fill the void created by Secular infertility, they bring their religions with them. In North America, the dominant religion these immigrants bring with them is Catholic Christianity, but in Europe, which is much further along in this process, the dominant religion these immigrants bring with them is Islam. In time, if things are left alone with no change, the dominant religion of North America will gradually become Catholic. While the dominant religion of Europe will gradually become Islam. With the change in the religion, will come a change in culture, as the middle step of the pyramid is altered to accommodate the changed foundation. Once the culture is changed, it is only a matter of time before the civilisation is changed too. New laws will replace old laws, and new governments will replace old governments. The pristine Secular state the West has foolishly sought after will never materialise. It is already dying. In Europe it will be replaced by an Islamic state (if nothing changes), and in North America it will eventually be replaced by a Catholic state, and that is pretty much guaranteed. This is because Secularism is a self-destructive system. It is a victim of its own success. As it teaches indulgence to its citizens, it creates citizens unwilling to sacrifice, and you see, raising children requires self-sacrifice. So they just don't have any, or at least, they have very few. We are already witnessing the final stages of Secularism play out in Europe. It has about another twenty years at most, before it must make significant concessions to the rising Muslim populations. Within another twenty to thirty years after that (so about forty to fifty years from now) many countries in Western Europe will essentially become Islamic states. That is, if nothing changes. That is, if Europeans continue down this foolish path of trying to create a pristine Secular state that is devoid of religion. That seems unlikely to me, as at some point, European youth will have to wake up and realise that Secularism just isn't working. When that day comes, whenever it will be, European youth will have to choose, between finishing the transition to Islam, or reversing the trend and going back to what they know works -- Christianity. In Europe the road ahead is a harsh one. Any attempt to transition back to Christianity now will be met with force by the Secular institutions hell-bent on creating a pristine Secular state. Any attempt to transition back to Christianity in the future will be met with force by the emerging Islamic population that sees a takeover of Europe within their grasp. For European Christians, the road ahead will be a treacherous uphill battle.

North Americans, on the other hand, don't have it quite as bad. Europe is at least twenty years ahead of us in the advancement of Secularism. However, that doesn't mean Secularism's influence hasn't been felt here. It has. However, the United States has answered the fertility problem by opening the floodgates of immigration from Catholic Mexico and Central America. Not all Latin American immigrants are good practising Catholics. In fact, a large number of them are not. However, there is still a cultural tie to Catholicism that many of them bring with them, and it is this cultural tie the U.S. Catholic Church hopes to capitalise upon in the years ahead. As the situation continues to deteriorate in Europe over the coming decades, North Americans will watch in horror, and it is likely a religious revival of some kind will take place here in reaction to what is happening in Europe. That revival will be predominately Catholic, simply by the demographic shift in North America over the next two decades.

Understanding that it is not us, but our children, who will inherit the gift of religious revival in North America, the goal of our generation at this point is to simply carry the torch of faith for them. Part of that means preserving not only our religion, but our culture as well. We must defend orthodoxy within, and build a solid cultural platform for our children to build upon when their day arrives. If we can do that within the construct of our current Secular laws and government than we should work to preserve that relationship. If our Secular governments choose to make that impossible, than we should work to preserve our culture outside of our laws and government. The point I am trying to make here is that we only need to wait Secularism out. Within twenty years, the failure of Secularism in Europe will be so glaringly obvious to any rational soul, that only the insane will advocate its continued advancement. A return to Christian culture and civilisation will be the only remedy, and while our Western governments will likely be the last to admit this (because they are insane), Christian culture can flourish beneath the surface until Secularism finally gives way. Whatever punishment Secular governments can dish out on us in North America, it will be small in comparison to the punishment that will be dished out on Christians in Europe, both by their secular governments and then by their Islamic rivals. The message here is patience and courage. Patience, because the days of Secular civilisation are coming to an end. Courage, because preserving our Christian religion and culture will require us to resist Secular movements and governments for a while longer.

Our first strategy should be to try to preserve those social institutions that were built by Christianity for as long as we can. This unfortunately is fading fast, and when what seems to be inevitable happens, the complete separation of Christianity for the laws of our land, the duty of Christians will then be to preserve our religion and culture outside of the laws of our land. We will have to create a counter-culture of some kind, a society within a society, that is separate from the Secular state and social institutions. The Amish and Mennonite communities provide a type of example to follow. While we probably wouldn't want to become plain-people like them, we can draw upon some of their ways as an example. On the issue of marriage, churches may have to fully emancipate sacramental marriage (matrimony) from the legal system, as same-sex marriage, polygamy and incest rapidly become legally recognised. Christian businesses may have to completely reorient themselves to serving only the Christian community, isolating themselves from the population at large, so as to avoid prosecution and lawsuits for unlawful 'discrimination' when asked to service immoral behaviour. In the worst case scenario, Christians may have to simply remove themselves from cities where extreme immorality and perversion abounds, especially if they are raising families. In such cases, Amish-like communes might be one possible solution. Among Catholics, these could be built around existing monasteries and convents. Another possibility might be for Catholics to buy up all the homes and businesses surrounding an existing Catholic parish, effectively creating a Catholic community within a city that is recognised as such, much like many Muslims are doing right now in various cities in Europe. Then, as Muslims demand the government to make concessions to their Sharia Law in those communities, Catholics can make similar demands for recognition of Canon Law in their communities. As I pointed out above, however, even if drastic circumstances ever call for such drastic measures, it would only be temporary. Secularism is dying. It will die in Europe sooner than North America, but I suspect when it finally breaths its last gasps in Europe, the scene will be so terrible that North Americans will watch in horror, and begin to make amends rather quickly, so as to prevent similar tragedy from happening here. Yes, Christian culture is worth preserving, just as much as Christian religion is, because in the end, when Secularism finally breaths its last (and that day is coming), we will need to have the cultural foundation laid well, so that we can begin rebuilding our Christian civilisation again.



Shane Schaetzel is a published author and columnist for Christian print magazines and online publications. He is a freelance writer and the creator of 'FullyChristian.Com -- The random musings of a Catholic in the Ozarks.'

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1 comment:

Arminius said...

Excellent work here. How many times has the Church picked up the broken remnants and preserved civilization for later generations?