|Souls moving up and souls 'moving on'...|
I'd like to spend more time answering comments from people who want to take me up on what I write and who write virtual essays on why I am wrong, but I have a life to live and can't stay on the computer constantly answering critiques of my blog from the enemies of the Church.
However, one point which seemed to keep coming up in the criticisms of my post was that all my arguments were imbecilic because the Catholic Church's teaching is irrelevant, gay marriage is none of our business and because society has 'moved on'.
The phrase 'moved on' or 'moving on' is quite attractive. It's a kind of catchphrase for the 'progressive' movement which is liberal in its outlook on human morality. This 'moving on' appeal, this appeal to 'progress' is alluring to every generation, this one no more than the last. It is the seductiveness of this 'moving on' that allowed Mao to achieve the 'great leap forward'. It's about motion and movement, on from something now deemed antiquated into some bright future of promise. Every totalitarian movement has required for society to accept that its project for the human society is a movement forward, a movement onwards, a progression from that which went before. Onwards, that is, but not upwards since to the godless architects of all such movements there is no upwards, there is only onwards.
Every political campaign requires a movement onwards or a rhetorical publicity drive that suggests movement, because electorally speaking, all times are sad, or bad, or mad, the idea of standing still or the idea of continuity is always dismissed as dull and unenlightened. Would anyone get elected if they said, "I promise that if you vote for me, the next five years will be extraordinarily similar to the last five years!" For Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson 'Things Can Only Get Better' because there was no doubt in their minds that 'progress' could be anything other than fantastic news for everyone and everything (including their bank accounts). Years later, where has the 'progress' of the New Labour years got us?
Every political leader that has brought us some form of societal living nightmare, from Mao, to Stalin, to Hitler, even to Blair, has promised a leap forward, using the theme of modernity and the intellectual hubris aroused in every age (because every age is 'modern') by using the language of progress. This could be why Conservative electoral appeals to things like 'back to basics' usually fail. Every age wants change and every age seems to want something 'new' even if, objectively, or dare I say 'empirically', what is proposed in untried, untested and the results highly questionable in outcome. Oh well! Nevermind! Let's do it anyway! Interestingly, Margaret Thatcher's political rhetoric was traditional in terms of the family, marriage and work, but presumably was considered radical because of the chaos of what had preceded it. What was new, with the Baroness, was a strange cocktail of traditional morality (quoting St Francis of Assisi on entering Downing Street) with an ethos which espoused an undiluted and unbridled love of money. Certainly, that's what her admirers thanked her for, even if the frugal Methodist herself was unimpressed by luxury.
Abortion is defended because the language of its proponents is grounded in the 'women's rights' movement of the 1960s, which makes it relatively easy for its proponents to dismiss those who stand up in defense of the unborn child and the women who are victims of the abortion culture as a group of people who refuse to step into the modern age of female reproductive health.
Surely, in every age in which religion is crushed and the voice of the Church is silenced or ignored, the justification for doing this is couched in the appeal of a bright new modern age. Modernity is infallible, of course. So, Stalin crushed the role of the Church in Russia because the Church refused to step into the gruesome 20th century and a new era of Stalinism. Hitler's vision of a glorious German is interesting in as much as so much of his imagery was steeped in German folklore. Yet, there can be no denying that the eviction of God from the public square and the eugenicism of Nazi policy was a product of the modern age with a new vision for humanity which was both socially Darwinian and absurdly utopian.
Every modernity enthralled to its own intrinsic greatnesss blinds itself to even the most basic and fundamental of human truths which have been handed down. Christianity is rejected because 'its so 2,000 years ago'. Well, actually, it isn't. It's only 50 years ago. Britain was a Christian country (albeit Protestant) only 50 years ago. It's really only in the last 40-50 years we can speak of a Britain that has 'moved on' from Christianity.
The new vision for society is founded on a tissue of lies, half-truths and rhetorical flourishes concerning an idol of 'progress' and 'progress' is what is worshipped. It's the golden calf of our age and perhaps every age. Personally, I love electricity, the internet and modern transport, but these are not particularly moral issues. These things do not rock society at its very foundations, they bring society great benefits. The question about whether two men can get married, however, does shake society to its core. Certainly, the question of whether we can destroy nascent life does also. The question of whether we can control by artificial means such natural phenomena as human fertility does as well.
I have little doubt that the Catholic Church will suffer in the course of the 21st century in the name of 'progress'. Should that be the case in the United Kingdom, then comparisons with the martyrdom of the early Christian Church will be nonsensical.
Without doubt, the Church has tried to embrace modernity in every sphere of her mission and the results are dire in every sphere of the Church's mission. With the new liturgical movement growing in strength, perhaps the only thing that can rescue modern man building his life on sand, instead of rock, is the 'shock of the old', for every generation that severes itself from its fundamental roots and foundations withers and dies.
At some point, the wisdom of the Church will prevail both within Her and without because nothing but Our Lord Jesus Christ satisfies the human heart. Outside of Our Lord Jesus Christ, is only illusion, shadows and darkness, no matter whether man calls it 'progress' or not. The Lord has given us free will to love and worship whatever we choose, but only the love and worship of Him can bring us happiness in this life and the life of the World to come. As Lord of History, there can surely be no concept of modern 'progress' that Christ has not both seen and conquered. We are mocked because we refuse to step into the 21st century. Yet, in all seriousness, apart from the technological toys, what is so great about the 21st century? When will we all realise that our deepest desire is not to step into the age into which we are born, but to step into Eternity?