A Powerful Case for Roman Catholic Orthodoxy: The Postmodernist Disaster Examined
By Joseph Andrew Settanni
“The name under which Pride walks the world at this moment is the Perfectibility of Man, or the doctrine of Progress; audits specialty is the making of blueprints for Utopia and establishing the Kingdom of Man on earth.” – Dorothy L. Sayers, Creed or Chaos? (1949)
This is a brief review of what is seen as the postmodernist apotheosis of perfectibility, revivalism, Social Gospel, Progress, and demonism, regarding Roman Catholic reflections on why there was no Protestant Great Awakening in the year 2010.
Suitable historical facts will be cited, with the defense of religious orthodoxy and argumentation presented, strongly laid against what can be quite reasonably called gross theological malformation, along with rendered provocative questions.
Seeming conundrums are at hand: How does one talk about something as to its apparent absence that even the vast majority of people do not know is now plainly missing? Is there a way of discussing what should supposedly exist when, empirically speaking, there is no actual way to be realistically seen that it does exist, as to an assertion? Why is that existent Christianity seems, in this age, to be rather quite peculiarly and existentially opposed to itself in America?
Consequently, in this postmodern era, it is most sincerely hoped that this “investigative” disquisition be not seen as just existing abstractly in a thought vacuum. While reality can very well be unpleasant, let this present discussion persist, during this impressive Age of Heroic Materialism, as noted in that book by Baron Kenneth Clark entitled Civilization.
American society, politics, and culture were not always so obsessively secular-minded, anthropocentric, as is quite fundamentally true today. There was once a mainly God-fearing nation ever mindful of Divine Providence and, moreover, of the need to fight against sin and avoid damnation.
But, extremely more than is just commonly ever realized, modern and, now, what gets crescively called postmodern Western “religiousness” has so truly leapt, vaulted, toward efforts at the often assumed perfectibility of Man through, increasingly, mandatory and often brutal social-ideological engineering efforts.
The Warfare-Welfare State is, for instance, an unfortunately Christian inspiration more than it is ever popularly realized as such; and yet, more to the point, the Western world’s rejection of (orthodox) Roman Catholicism has had many dire and baleful significances, as to decadence and degeneration, for the modern, supremely radical-bourgeois world much more than is ever commonly known.
From time to time, this past popular preoccupation with religion, as being so fairly central to the lives of people, had consequences for public life; for the public square, as with most things in life, was not to be left naked of manifestly noted Christian aspirations and devotion, ambitions and religious zeal. What is one way, among many, of knowing this asserted fact of marked sociocultural disintegration covering, at least, several past centuries? What has, generation by generation, spiritually occurred in this nation?
In the wondrously broad sweep of American religious history, what has gotten referred to, traditionally, as the Christian (Protestant) Great Awakenings have occurred, almost like clockwork, in notable terms of approximately sixty year cycles, more or less, that had once existed in this country. It was, without any question, a true and documented part of the demonstrative religious culture and fabric of the nation, as with the “City on a Hill.”
The year 2010, therefore, ought to have been the beginning of such a Great Awakening; this is by which there would have been empirically detected a rising ground swell of what should have definitely been, by 2016 or sooner, a clearly vast Protestant revivalism so enthusiastically sweeping America, of a surely unquestionable extent and scope. This is not an insignificant matter. However, since it did not happen, one may legitimately wonder why.
Such events, having a great impact, are rather obvious in nature and so observable as to the actualities and circumstances involved, meaning, thus, the various matters concerned. When they do not occur, some American people, if intelligent and interested in national realities as to magnitudes thereof, should take some lively notice.
How to Define What is Lacking
With the enormous fading and tremendous weakening of postmodernist Christianity seen in America, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic versions thereof, it is not at all surprising that a Great Awakening (GA) is unavailable at this time and, moreover, into the foreseeable future. What is here to be seen as analytically meant? Admittedly, it is speculation built upon negative evidence and inferences, as in the O. J. Simpson Murder Trial concerning that dog that didn’t bark. One justly encounters, thus, a world of largely negative inferences.
Here there needs to be the wide recovery of historical memory for better understanding the present and comprehending better the future reality of this heavily secularized nation. Good and very rather pertinent expository and detailed reading would include John Passmore’s The Perfectibility of Man and Robert Nisbet’s History of the Idea of Progress, which fairly thoroughly covers the spectrum of ancient, medieval, and, of course, the modern roots and development of this idea of Progress, for better or worse.
By developing a critical synthetic intelligence, meaning the ability to knowledgeably synthesize various elements that may seem totally disparate or unrelated, one can come to sagaciously perceive the true interconnectedness and valid interrelatedness of today’s aggressively blatant and overt demonism, past effects of Protestant revivalism, and the allied Social Gospel Movement; this is on how the latter two had come to enable the noted advancement of modern secularization to create, therefore, the new Satanic culture, more widely seen in America today, as to its highly public profile and cognate demonic implications. What is existentially occurring, therefore, did not supposedly arise out of nowhere and without legitimate cause.
The actual notion of a true GA excludes much simply isolated stuff such as, e. g., the Promise Keepers and other relatively isolated moral or ethical ventures so linked either clearly or even somewhat to Christianity or at least Christian-oriented sentiments; or, is it a “Christianistic” sentimentality of some sort or other? It might be rather hard, sometimes, to tell the actual difference, if any there really be.
While Satanism or what can be demonism has, of course, been around for untold centuries, the “new” presentation of it wants to be seen as being quite hip, relevant, New Age, and popularly attractive stuff, not exactly your old Witch Doctor’s stale abracadabra. But, coming to know important things about what a GA is, what the awakenings so-called were, assists here greatly in keenly revealing just how rapidly the failure of the sociocultural and sociopolitical authority of Christianity, in this country, has come about in, say, the last fifty years or more.
Within, literally, just one lifetime’s span, the country has been fundamentally transformed into a place significantly very much different from, for instance, the 1950s. And, the endless multiplicity of still many ongoing changes have been incredibly traumatic and definitely dramatic beyond limits of exaggeration.
Someone, e. g., who might have entered a coma, in the year 1950, and had supposedly awakened today would be shocked and think it was, perhaps, a foreign land merely possessing an English-type language or, perhaps, that America had been conquered and, thus, substantially transformed by the conquerors. Though it starts in the early 1960s, the movie, Blast from the Past, gives an interesting account of the tremendous numbers of changes and the horrors that get revealed; it is a much disguised, brutal social commentary film pretending to be merely a rather silly romantic comedy. The main characters illustrate perfectly the equivalent of coming out of a coma and witnessing an extremely changed America.
And, that is why, among other reasons, any domestic spiritual revivalism of a truly significant kind is absent right now and, most likely, into the still unknown future, if the fundamental course of things is not essentially changed to make a sincerely real difference; and, moreover, no raw amount of artfully suggested sociological phenomenology or, perhaps, popularly applied psychiatry can explain away the fairly parlous and obnoxious religious conditions out of existence; in short, sin and sinfulness is rampant.
What a genuine GA significantly represents, therefore, ends up always reaching out strongly from just religion into having solid grips truly tangible upon national politics, culture, society and virtually all aspects or areas of American life and living. That had been, in fact, the existential national reality.
It is not, therefore, any kind of just isolated or isolatable, divisible, reality among the population at large nor does it influence only the masses, for many intellectual leaders beyond the pulpits do take up, right willingly, the Christian revivalist cause. And, it will be seen that without this American brand of religious revivalism, no Social Gospel Movement would have been actually possible in this country.
Of course, admittedly, from the particular Catholic point of view, this is not such a good thing in and of itself, for this revivalism usually implies the then concomitant streak of anti-Catholic bigotry and hatred. Nonetheless, as it can be yet quite fairly asseverated, the GA itself authentically represents a passionate desire to substantially and substantively revive, among Protestants, what is thought of as being a great desire for stimulating, reviving, wholesome and committed Christian faith among the American people.
Also, it was a clear and practical way of reaching creatively, of course, out into the unchurched portion of the population; however, passions were set free among people beyond the limits of religion because Protestantism, in its origins, had theologically split reason from faith; it rejected, consequently, entirely the Roman Catholic religious vital tension of the integral unity of reason and faith, not their supposed antagonism or opposition, as justified by philosophical nominalism.
Lest this be thought, however, some very uninformed or merely vagrant observations done about, for instance, what a GA is, one can make an inquiry seriously about such actual American, meaning mainly Protestant, religious history, in this highly specific regard. Such an examination and investigation can, of course, be made totally independently by any interested reader of this article.
Moreover, as will be demonstrated, it is intelligently best not to ever see revivalism and Social Gospel thinking in isolation of one versus the other; much rather, the two ought to be perceived as necessarily both complementing and reinforcing each other; both, therefore, had handily played their significant parts in the advancing of secularism, in America, in its society, culture, economics, and politics inclusive. Ironic though it may seem, but the truth is often stranger than any mere fiction, especially as to religious awakenings, among professed Christians, that get called great.
The Great Awakenings: Christianity with Muscle behind It
What became known as the original Great Awakening, called by historians the First Great Awakening, was a certainly trans-Atlantic affair of documented vast proportions; it was, furthermore, an evangelical and revitalization movement that had incredibly, meaning then unexpectedly, swept across Protestant Europe and British America; and, one may here add, as to the point of this present article, especially the American colonies in the 1730s and 1740s, leaving both a still enduring and definite impact on American Protestantism. What was the sociocultural and other significance as to the historical and theological impact upon the predominant beliefs?
The 18th century was supposed to be, however, the surely brilliant Age of Enlightenment, when all the supposed horrid superstitions such as religion were to be joyously replaced by knowledge, science, rationality, and the overall supremacy of deified Reason; this was to replace, dispel, the hoary darkness of metaphysical nonsense, idiotic priestcraft, and all the other related rather dumb “spiritist” delusions. Rationalism was to replace rationality, as the former was assumed to be just the latter in a much better version, such as with positivism.
Insipid Deism, called the mere Ghost of a God or a diminished Deity – minus the need for any attendant ontology whatsoever, had easily and most conveniently gone well with the Enlightenment: Supreme Being stripped to bare bones, if any that there were to be had, of course. However ironic it may seem, by usually imperceptible degrees, this sustained attack upon metaphysical order allowed for increasing degrees of secularization because individualism went well with religious private judgment; in addition, there never was a heresy that did not seek, sooner or later, to become its own orthodoxy.
The steady diminution of Christianity became inevitable, moreover, once the traditional and historical source of theological orthodoxy, as to a truly universal faith, became rejected increasingly; the greater the spiritual and intellectual distance from Roman Catholicism, the greater became the allurements and attractions of secularization, though often, in the beginning stages, unseen or unsuspected as such.
Nonetheless, the seeds of religious dissolution were routinely planted, generation by generation. The revivalism of these so-called awakenings had helped to successfully conceal and, moreover, to further the larger process of spiritual decay and with it, secular thinking. However, back to the main narrative.
What an immensely dramatic, counterindicative shock to both Europe and America! The three principal exponents (or denounced as vile culprits by their truly much angered opponents) were: Gilbert Tennent, Jonathan Edwards, and George Whitefield who then really stirred things up spiritually, though not just in spiritual terms. For those detesting such extremely agitational spiritualism and passionate revivalism, however, the Anglicans, Lutherans, and the Society of Friends (Quakers) had gained adherents, perhaps, appropriately.
Contrary to Enlightenment aspirations, the earliest appearances of the American phase of this certainly wide phenomenon, meaning the early stages of the First Great Awakening, appeared principally among Presbyterians, in the colonies of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. These spirit-filled fellows had founded, it ought to be historically noted, what became Princeton University, no small deal, indeed.
Mere religious reasoning without a hard-driving feeling for religion, a passionate regard for Christianity, was so urgently displaced, discounted, by more and more fairly obsessive inclinations toward wrongly placing (increasingly mindless) human passions above or even set against reason in religion. The free movings of the spirit were not to be critically questioned, when felt to be completely genuine, but, curiously, the march of secularist thinking was not halted either, meaning , perhaps, as much as would have been supposedly expected.
Significant religious enthusiasm was, nonetheless, rapidly disseminated from the Presbyterians of the Middle Colonies to the Congregationalists, meaning Puritans, and also to the Baptists of New England, which made the readily contagious religious fire of emotional spiritualism go advancing at a notably tremendous speed thereafter. Interestingly, Nisbet, in his History of the Idea of Progress, explains how Puritanism and its development had come to spread secularization through ironic rationalization of its religion as a related manifestation of human Progress. The Puritan spirit was at work.1
The Dutch Reformed Church and German Reformed denominations were, also, significantly influenced by the First GA. The “Old Lights” who questioned or utterly rejected such revivalist antics that brought out enthusiasm, so very unboundedly, into religion, into preferred belief, were, however, vigorously opposed by the “New Lights,” as each group was so denominated. The important impact of all this activity ought never be underestimated.
After once meeting, e. g., the Rev. George Whitefield in 1740, no less a major American personage of the Enlightenment than Benjamin Franklin became good friends with him. Franklin had thought of him as a genuine intellectual and, moreover, eagerly decided to print some of Whitefield’s religious tracts and even entire sermons, in his influential newspaper; this, then, surely blew the raging flames of the First Awakening even more. When on the Patriot side, Benedict Arnold, among many other colonial revolutionaries, felt inspired by the Methodist teachings of Whitefield.
The above is only meant to merely suggest the enormity and magnitude of what the very First GA was all about, as to amazingly how far and wide it was spread, in the 1730s to 1740s; this was with a decisively lasting impact as to the many intensive implications and important ramifications involved. Methodism was one significant result, among many, that would, in fact, eventually develop with yet more force, while non-Protestant believers (e. g., Catholics) went unmoved by this massive religious agitation that had, in addition, clear political consequences. Religion and politics would be tightly intermingled.
For instance, a number of major historians have rather creditably called the American Revolution a kind of conspiracy of the Congregationalists or, perhaps, seen as the Congregationalist War made against the Anglican forces of Great Britain, which renders a fairly different light (see an earlier paragraph) on the entire American Revolutionary War. This is, thus, not insignificant to consider intelligently and ponder profoundly.
But, the ardent adherents and passionate practitioners of this nominalist revivalism, ironically, could not see the obvious trend of the increasing attenuation, theological dilution, of American Christianity, which saw its mainly exact parallel in Western Europe too, of course.
To avoid redundancy or repetition, the other revivals will simply be just as briefly covered or noted. In pre-Civil War America, the Second GA, circa 1790 – 1850, caused many thousands of pious conversions to various kinds of evangelical religions of diverse sorts. Itinerant preachers, most notably men such as the Presbyterian Minister Charles Grandison Finney, had traveled from town to town, far and wide, exhorting the many assembled crowds about the great need for destroying sin in the grand name of moral perfectionism.
An egalitarian thrust as a crusading kind of religious democracy of believers, which widened the scope of the second effort, made these messengers of the spirit, this time, reach out even to Negro slaves and lower-class people too. However, gradually, spiritual welfare apprehensions would eventually combine with material welfare concerns; spiritual reform, as to an ongoing Reformation, was held to be not really enough.
Jeremy Bentham’s Utilitarianism (although he himself was an atheist), thus, magically reformed or transformed what were supposed to be mere jails into “penitentiaries” for, in effect, pragmatically and democratically better putting the Gospel to some practical work.
Camp meetings, many near water sources useful for giving drenching baptisms, existed as rather large religious and often fairly disorganized kinds of gatherings; these had given the gathered believers many opportunities to freely practice their religion, take greater cognizance of private spiritual revelations, and yielded increased opportunities for potential conversions of the truly vast sea of non-believers, especially regarding the unchurched of that era.
Also, inspired missionaries, itinerant circuit preachers, sought to reach out into the gigantic hinterland of the sprawling frontier regions of the rapidly expanding nation, for harvesting souls.
However, besides it being an obvious religious movement, other reform movements, seeking to logically tap into and utilize the passions aroused, such as temperance, abolitionism, and women’s rights, also, proliferated freely in that more simple world of antebellum America. At bottom, Christianity, being in the very air being breathed by so many, was then readily cited as the vital inspiration for almost all the reform movements seeking diverse ways and means of terrene perfectionism among the people, of course, needing different forms of redemption.
But, social welfare efforts and attempted perfectibility, under various guises, was still axiomatically assumed as being fairly essential spiritually speaking.
The temperance movement, as is known, had encouraged (a Godly) people to abstain from consuming any kinds of alcoholic drinks for the sake of Godly living and helping, thereby, in better preserving family order and values. The abolition movement, with countless Christians certainly in the forefront of it, struggled to abolish American Negro slavery, which took a centralizing, nation-state regime and an intimately related bloody war to finally accomplish.
The women’s rights movement, usually, developed from the doings of those female abolitionists who, over time, comprehended in their minds that they, also, could fight for their own political rights, not adverse to any Christian interests, of course. Incidentally, one can see that Christian utopianism was involved too.
Requisite comprehension of yet greater considerations do, thus, come from such noted volumes, of course, as Passmore’s The Perfectibility of Man. The noted utopian communities of, e. g., Hebus Valley, Pennsylvania having George Rapp, Nashoba in Tennessee with Frances Wright, New Harmony, Indiana founded by Robert Owen, and the New Philadelphia Colony, in Pennsylvania, with Bernhard Müller had existed, among, literally, many, many others much too numerous to mention here. Intellectuals lusted for advancing reform in all areas of human conduct and activity.
Added to all these various aforementioned causes, a myriad of reforms affected almost every aspect of daily American life, with such examples including the restricting of the use of tobacco as well as dietary (e. g., advocacy of vegetarianism) and dress reforms. Elements of this sort of widespread revivalism, as to Christianity, had carried into, for instance, both the Confederate States Army and Union Army during the War Between the States.
Some historians have argued, moreover, that this had the terrible result of making the warfare even bitterer, as each side was firmly convinced, without a doubt, that God surely had supported their cause.
Witness the song: The Battle Hymn of the Republic. The Confederates had, of course, such illustrative songs as: God Save the South. This is no exaggeration. The movie, Gods and Generals, about the war could be, in truth, rather evocatively retitled “The Ascension of Stonewall Jackson,” so volubly infused with Christian spirit was he.
The Christian impulse, therefore, easily justified and was never that really far from the manifestly basic centers of all such efforts at a so much wanted human perfectionism, at striving for utopian aspirations, though done, ultimately, in the name of Jesus for at least most of them. The set, Bible-centered and saturated milieu of the early American republic was hard to avoid; after all, the infamous Abolitionist John Brown quoted from Holy Scripture as if he had written it himself.
Fanatics took the simple Christian admonition to spiritual holiness of “be ye perfect” to mean, instead, perfectibility itself of Man on earth, which surely continued into the 20th century and after, in the spirit of Progress. In addition, when all that exists is basically Sola Scriptura, a rabid faith in faith itself often develops unseen; it is still a true form of idolatry that absconds with God, as the supposed or assumed sufficiency of mere faith alone takes prominence, in the minds of believers, who no longer can then recognize their own fanaticism or idolatry, meaning in thinking it (read: their fanaticism) to be true faith.
The Third GA, spanning roughly about 1890 to 1920, was yet another period of fairly intense Christian activism in American history. This revivalism had definitely animated pietistic or evangelical Protestant denominations and, more than just that feature, produced a robust sense of renewed social activism, which was known as the Social Gospel and its, of course, notably explicit social-welfare orientation.
One can add, e. g., that the Populist Movement and the later Progressive Movement should, logically, come to mind with basic directions being both egalitarian and collectivist on orientation. Sinfulness was supposed to be successfully handled, more and more, through well applied and practical social welfare reformism, not deeply profound penitence and sorrow for sin, both commissions and omissions thereof.
Moreover, this once mounting religiously-inspired force assembled additional thinking composed from the then prevalent postmillennial theology that the Second Coming of Christ would come, after mankind had successfully reformed the entire earth. Even, e. g., The Salvation Army was, in fact, so theologically influenced by these chiliastic impulses and attitudes, as a kind of militant Christianity in action. Christian aspirations and interests devolved crescively upon what the State could do, as the churches, more and more, gave up their sociocultural prerogatives (charity and community work) to governmental entities.
Further than that, the nascent Warfare State, aided by World War I and the New Deal, combined with the Welfare State, favored by the Christian Socialists and their ardent allies, to yield the present and regnant Warfare-Welfare State in America. Advocates for both war, Woodrow Wilson had claimed that Americans as a Christian people were fighting against the evil Hun, and welfare, such as the Settlement House Movement leaders, could, thus, validly claim their Christian antecedents, precursors, as it were.
Though there was some opposition, however, a Protestant America had been, for the most part, easily mobilized religiously for war. No less a contemporary religious personage than, e. g., the fiery Rev. Billy Sunday, during the Great War for Democracy, had publicly called down the Christian God against the evil Germans, for it was, also, notably called The War to End All War. How much more millennialist, chiliastic (or utopian), could one get? Why not seek to perfect man so that armed conflict became, in the future, completely nonexistent?
Again, one sees here how utopian perfectionism manifestly entered into the main cognizance of these enthusiastic believers. The Social Gospel Movement, therefore, increased its accumulated strength from the cognate Awakening, as notably did the global missionary movement. Moreover, America’s version of a Christian Socialism was originated, popularized, and developed. New religious kinds of assemblages appeared, moreover, as churches that became formal religions; these certainly had so included the Pentecostalism, Holiness, and Nazarene movements, among others.
The Fourth GA was said to be a Christian religious awakening that, admittedly, some scholars, as with, e. g., economic historian Robert Fogel, had asserted that it occurred, in this country, in the late 1960s and early 1970s; however, there is still some debate, regarding this matter, because other writers insisted that the time following World War II should be correctly accorded the proper title of the Fourth GA. But, the ideological pursuit of perfectibility can never really end. Where, however, had all this come from connectedly and to where, basically speaking, did it all seem to lead into this postmodernist era?
Secularization Triumphant … though with Mighty Peculiar Exceptions
In brief, what started, centuries ago, as “Reformationism” turned eventually, through cited revivalism, into the popularized Evangelicalism that laid the emotional foundations, eventually, for the success of the Social Gospel Movement (Christianized Socialism in effect) of the late 19th and early 20th century; this had, in its sorry turn, gradually oriented most of American Christianity, further and further, toward seeing itself in more secular terms that, as a result, weakened its internal resistance and coherence, as to major trends, to willingly abide with more and more resultant secularization.
This has had, as can be properly noted, many real and dire consequences, including how governments increasingly took over what had been under the exclusive providence of churches as to social services. Accepting the secular interpretation of religion in a compartmentalized manner, moreover, had results that were increasingly baleful and, in addition, fraught with definite malevolent intentions.
Instead of a great outcry echoing and reechoing throughout the land against the 1962 US Supreme Court decision to throw out prayer in public schools, which should have been enough either to put pressure on the Court or Congress to save prayer, there was a capitulation, an admission of defeat, as to subsequent decades that just went rolling on and on to the present. As materialism, positivism, pragmatism, and hedonism has marched forth, this was the formal nihilistic beginning of the official de-Christianization of America, though mainly unrecognized as such back in the early 1960s.
In 1973, when the Court legalized abortion-on-demand, again, where was that proclaimed Christianity by which generations of honored and forceful divines had boldly defined American values and spiritual strength? Again, capitulation. It is still horrendously legal, now, over forty years later.
Fairly recently, the Court, also, legalized sodomite “marriage” as a new norm, and American Christianity, an eroded shell of a joke by now, had just meekly yielded for that too, meaning in strong comparison to what ought to have been done in response. What has happened, through artificial contraception and abortion, to that once boldly asserted (White Protestant) Christian America? Is it that one cannot serve both God and mammon?
T. S. Elliot’s poetic thoughts are so analytically true; this is how the world ends, not with a bang, only a whimper. There is the ever growing harsh reality of how the Federal Government and, indeed, most state governments are actively presiding over the total eradication of Christianity from all of public life; next, must logically come its full elimination from private life as well, for better correctly maintaining the uniformitarian dogma of the Left. Related reading, thus, would pertinently include Erick Erickson’s You Will Be Made to Care: The War on Faith, Family, and Your Freedom to Believe.
For as William F. Buckley, Jr. was fond of quoting Leon Trotsky: Who says A must say B. The plain logic involved gets forcefully compelling and compulsive simultaneously, since no rational mind should be improperly kept in any significantly serious doubt of this quite indubitable fact, as Erickson documents. A recent search, on a popular browser, when sent on the particular subject hunt for “war on Christianity in America” had produced no less than 17,200,000 hits. One could, quite reasonably, cite on this topic: Brad O’Leary’s America’s War on Christianity, S. E. Cupp’s Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media’s Attack on Christianity, and David Limbaugh’s Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity.
The highly political and ideological evacuation, systematic removal, of religion from the public square, with the very notable exceptions made for: Islam, New Age (and its variants), and Wicca/Satanism, can and will only lead to its rather thoroughgoing extermination; if there is no solid resistance, meaning this is as even a mere “private matter” or “preference” as to true religion or just simplistic odd religiosity, often just called being “spiritual.”
The attack, as above noted with the very interesting exceptions, is really not upon all religions, active de-Christianization, the attempted eradication of Christianity, by the Federal government and most state governments is what is, in general, actually now happening. Previously, it was more subtle or usually covert in nature versus large-scale efforts at overt governmental persecution that is simply much more contemporaneous, meaning in its increasingly perceived pervasiveness and explicitness of its approach.
Of course, this so specifically applies, therefore, to all of genuine Christianity and without any real doubt whatsoever. The public authorities are, increasingly, determining both what Christians are to believe and where they may or may not exercise their ever further restricted, tightly circumscribed, belief. One can see what is happening, most vividly, within the US Armed Forces. Persecution exists now and will then be definitely increased and expanded, if no truly genuine and adamant opposition arises, thus, to both significantly and substantially halt it. And, furthermore, let there be no existent doubt about this very important matter.
These days, just unsurprisingly, when vile Satanic Masses seem to so routinely take place, is there a truly nationwide protest, so clearly and voluminously staggering, as to quite resoundingly ring far through and beyond the very public halls of the Congress, with the great effusive noise of a very righteously outraged Christian people? Once again, need one really say it, abject capitulation was noted, meaning, as ever, in lacking due proportion to what vitally ought to then so dramatically exist, as to truly virile protestations and other cognately puissant nationwide actions, of course. The relative total silence is, thus, deafening.
And yet, it must be honestly noted, almost all Americans do remain (conveniently or otherwise) blind as to how the tradition of revivalism and the Social Gospel had, by one working off the other, historically paved the here noted way toward the crescive secularization that, over time, had come to debilitate, to attenuate, domestic Christianity. Thus, let it be said, there is inherently and integrally something quite fundamentally wrong with Protestantism and, for that matter, with all of liberalized Catholicism too.
And so, one comes to easily see the creation of the postmodernist apotheosis of all of perfectibility, revivalism, Social Gospel, and, as a direct consequence, much exultant demonism present in America and in Western Europe this is while everywhere noting the public rise of neopaganism and witchcraft (with, e. g., Ireland having a major resurgence of it).
This has all been done, especially in America, within the bosom of the Warfare-Welfare State (WWS), of course. One observes, furthermore, such degeneration and decadence, along with the reprimitivization and rebarbarization of contemporary society and culture too, as both myth and magic reign so triumphant, since the dawn of modernity some mere centuries ago.2
Does anyone really dare deny that no genuine 5th GA is to be seen? It should be known that Christianity in America, by and large, is a substantially spent force; it has dissipated badly in that the mainstream churches, now including the Roman Catholic Church, have yielded to the social and cultural degeneracy. The traditional Latin Mass community being a rather small exception to what has generally happened to domestic Catholicism as to its fundamental lack of requisite religious vibrancy and puissance.
One sees the rather generally tepid, halfhearted, response that the Christian community at large has had regarding the rise and spread of Satanism in its various guises; the past and substantially enormous socioreligious, sociocultural, and sociopolitical force of Christianity, seen easily in the 1st, 2nd and even into the 3rd GA, exceedingly then proves here the rather demonstrative point.
The equivocal and dilatory Christian opposition, on the whole, to the growing contemporary demonism is simply, therefore, lacking I substance in set direct comparison to what ought to really and powerfully exist. What is the broad background to all this? Liberalization of theology and religion, in the Western world, has been an invitation to the Infernal Regions, not the New Eden as is too often supposed.
Of course, through much intelligent hindsight, by now, it ought to be so obvious a fact of the present reality that more than just simply tolerates evil demonism, Satanism, as being an up and coming religion spreading in this country. Need one actually say more on this rather sad and revolting topic?
The major apostasy of the Western world is critically at issue, the shocking reality of a post-Christian America can be seen plainly, the devastating consequences of all this by society at large gets ignored, and the road to spiritual recovery, ironically, is blocked interminably by popular American piety and feelings for tolerance. But, tolerance is not and has never been a Christian, certainly not any Roman Catholic, virtue. Jesus, for instance, was not at all tolerant of the vilely corrupt money changers in the Temple; Sacred Scripture, the New Testament, explains clearly how He at least twice physically whipped them out of the Temple.
Both the Old and New Testaments contain numerous instances where there was great intolerance of evil. Sodom and Gomorrah got blasted because of divine punishment and anger. Q. E. D.
The vast majority of Americans think that God is, more or less, an avuncular, jolly, tolerant, Santa Claus-like figure who is ever all forgiving, all loving, and, moreover, all forbearing too. The hard notion of a rigidly requisite full expiation for the tremendous sinfulness of the population seems terribly foreign, unthinkable, and, yes, downright un-American. Some think that many prayers, ardent sacrifices, and multiple fastings may be enough, perhaps. But, such deep expiation may not necessarily be bloodless.
The obvious need for the administration of true divine punishment usually seems, therefore, set so well beyond any basic (human) reason, especially any call to an ultimate compensation, totalized reparation, or, to put it here rather bluntly, the ultimately final metaphysical recompense of actual martyrdom.3
It will take a great deal of courage and honesty, for the vast majority of Protestants in America, to come to acknowledge the hard truths enunciated and extrapolated, in this article, as to past awakenings and their results, being short and long term in nature. It will, then, take even more or still greater steadfast courage, however, to totally reject, in this postmodernist age, the WWS as the settled regime paradigm for now and into the future, along with absolute rejection of the now mandatory de-Christianization underway, which should not be rationally deniable.
In addition, one can properly appreciate now why there is no real obvious possibility for any actual new awakening to occur, and here’s the point, that genuinely matches, in force or intensity, concerning what had been the historically rather detailed pattern carefully described for the readers. Inclusively, the noted egalitarian Social Gospel/Christian Socialism has truly done its successful damage as well.
Revivalism qua Protestantism necessarily connected to heresy does not really prosper, as the constant theological and religious fracturing of Christianity into multiplying denominations and sects has reduced substantially its requisite strength; the both substantive and substantial dissolution of its very spiritual, ethical, and moral force has, therefore, most certainly occurred, though, of course, the ideological quest for seeking (secularist) perfectibility seems never to reach an end.4
As Passmore, Nisbet, and others have importantly shown, fanaticism, whether religious or otherwise, tends to produce results so diametrically opposite to those usually proclaimed. And, Protestantism qua heresy is, moreover, ever a supremely exemplary case-in-point, as to both an invitation to major sociocultural and sociopolitical disaster, in the entire Western world, not just America in isolation.
Orthodoxy, in definite contrast, is forever unitive, directive, confident, and integrally strengthening; when the Roman Catholic Church, moreover, properly maintains its needed orthodoxy, it is then quite relatedly vibrant, directed, poised, puissant, and clearly robust; today, with the Second Vatican Council’s teachings and the degenerate and evil aftermath of its enfeebling, enervating, consequences, it is so notably weak, morally fractionalized, and overtly dissolute. Q. E. D.
While there is a certain truth in saying the religion is too important to simply leave to the theologians, it is so urgently truer, therefore, that considerably requisite moral, social, cultural, and even political leadership is much too vital to leave to all those dedicated secularists, Satanists, and atheists who have and seek yet more power. One ought, therefore, to willingly seek Christ and His Kingdom first and all other things will follow unto the believers.
Athanasius contra mundum!
1. This may need some useful and insightful elaboration and related exposition for gaining proper cognitive impact. The rationalization of Christianity inevitably produces its resultant secularization of attitude. In turn, secularization, therefore, eventually becomes the logical and end result of the ever rashly attempted rationalization process as a whole. And, thus, this was the logical fate of the Puritans, meaning especially their descendants.
Puritanism, in its vast pride and vanity, then thought that the new Anglican Church had not really gone far enough to absolutely strip away, to delete, all the evil and corrupt, the unneeded and superfluous, encumbrances, excrescences, and hindrances that had represented an evil, unwanted, and degenerate Papism, meaning all of Roman Catholicism and its so traditional Latin Mass, as well as classical learning. But, these only self-elected and highly opinionated purifiers (in their puffed-up minds) of Christianity in need of an assumed reformation thought they had genuinely possessed, of course, good intentions.
They, with their fanaticism and enthusiasm unbounded, committed the philosophical fallacy of urgently wanting to thoroughly tear away all the extraneous or surplus layers of, say, the onion to supposedly then get at only the true onion itself. It was, inherently, a quite absurd, vain, and mindless project, as G. K. Chesterton would have easily agreed. Why?
All the Roman Catholic dogmas, doctrines, and traditions were (and still are) logically dependent upon the three main pillars of the Holy Faith, meaning Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterium; they rather holistically and thus, by coherent definition, represented the bountiful entirety, the necessarily Apostolic fullness, of the True Faith as blessed eternally by Jesus Christ Himself. No less an authority is involved.
They were definitely not any so-called encumbrances, excrescences, or hindrances, with the attempted peeling of an onion. All are, moreover, both systematically interrelated and interconnected means so well supplied to charitably and lovingly lead human beings toward what ought to be seen as truly needed salvation. Over 2,000 years of Church history, moreover, can readily testify to this impressive reality, if thought needed.
Puritans, one suspects, could not see the forest because of the trees nor the trees because of the forest. Getting at, deluded generation by generation, the assumed “true onion,” thus, had lead more and more to the necessary secularization of American society, politics, and culture through Protestantism. This ought to be understood.
Once again, therefore, it is so vividly seen how the proverbial road to Hell begins with good intentions. Overall, secularization is a true and cognate product of Protestantism and its historical, social, cultural, etc. development over time. Without the “Reformed” belief’s prior existence, moreover, there could then neither be classical Liberalism nor, later on, modern Liberalism/Socialism. Most of the authentic roots of Liberalism are, thus, to be found quite firmly embedded in Puritanism and, of course, Calvinism.
One can now see that there was the definite Protestant reification of the idea of Progress as, in effect, functionally synonymous with God; Progress itself, eventually, by the 19th century and into the 20th, had become a god-term of immense power. There were certainly allied consequences, as is interestingly covered by Nisbet’s History of the Idea of Progress. The cold rationalization of the Protestant (private judgment-nominalist) ethos eventually forces, one suspects, the keen cognitive realization that, e. g., Utilitarianism (mentioned in the article), with its progressive-democratic ethics, is basically secularized Puritanism in disguise.
There should be, thus, no real surprise that the hellish utilitarian dogma still intellectually and ethically rules most Western cognizance and, moreover, certainly most American thinking today, as the late great Richard M. Weaver, author of that truly seminal work, Ideas Have Consequences, agreed. Or, as Buckley would have said, “Who says A must say B.” Ideas, have no doubt, do have consequences.
4. Truly, perfectionism will never lack for its so ever enthusiastic acolytes! It is seen in what ought to be realized as the bizarre neo-neo-Marxism of the Cloward–Piven strategy. This was a political-ideological stratagem, outlined in 1966, by American sociologists and radical political activists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven.
The harebrained notion called for overloading the U.S. public welfare system, for then precipitating an ultimate crisis, that would replace the entire rotten welfare system with a beautiful national system of a guaranteed annual income and, therefore, an end to poverty once and for all (aka Utopia). But, one, in fairness, ought to correctly unite this rather grand ridiculousness also with Antonio Gramsci (the march through the institutions of Capitalism) and Saul Alinsky’s very similar subversive thinking.
The great fallacy involved and unperceived, in such neo-neo Marxism and, one may add, neo-Leninism, is the failure to actually see that Capitalism was, is, and will always be a truly revolutionary force. It is empirically absurd, among other primary matters, to, thus, attempt to ever wage a revolution against revolution itself. The idiotic Leftist view, as well noted by the traditionalist right, is in ever ridiculously thinking that Capitalism is just some determinedly fixed, ever static, X factor that can be undermined, conquered, corrupted, transformed (against its “will”), destroyed, etc.
No, not possible. Capitalism is the Revolution! The, thus, Cloward-Piven-Gramsci-Alinsky paradigm is all together, therefore, just amalgamated and congealed childish, ideological nonsense, simply a fairy tale.
Capitalism is, by its very own inherent innovative nature, a dynamic protean reality capable of plastically mutating and becoming variable whenever, wherever needed for any exigency; it is not a motionless “it” that can be supposedly circumscribed or narrowed into a set quantity or object suitable for filing away somewhere. Generations later, the “system” is still victorious.
These people probably never read or, perhaps, did not fully understood and comprehend properly such works as (which I’ve read long ago) Joseph Schumpeter’s Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy.
They must have forgotten, in addition, what even Karl Marx himself wrote, as to the extremely revolutionary nature of true Capitalism and its truly impressive industrialism and vastly pervasive technologism, in his The Communist Manifesto:
“It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals; it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former Exoduses of nations and crusades….
Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind….
The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Subjection of Nature’s forces to man, machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalization of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground – what earlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labor?”