"We've Moved On..."

Souls moving up and souls 'moving on'...
During the week I posted on the publicity drive for homosexual marital unions. I received quite a few comments, some in support of what I'd written and quite a few lengthy comments (so lengthy I don't publish them) from supporters of gay marriage who basically said I was talking gibberish.

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.

Now, however, every political party including Labour, Conservative, Liberal and Green has 'moved on' from 'antiquated' visions of the family, of marriage, children, education and a raft of issues which were previously grounded in what had been handed down. The idea that homosexual couples should not be able to adopt children is dismissed because society has 'moved on' from that idea. The idea that IVF is unnatural and that it would be better if we did not 'play God' with human embryoes is 'outmoded' and 'antiquated'. The idea that marriage is the union of man and woman exclusively is 'irrelevant'. Ethical challenges to these issues are dismissed not because a coherent, watertight argument has been posited to dismiss moral objections, but because objectors 'refuse to step into the 21st century'.

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.

See, what the Apostles died for was a 'new' vision. It was because the message was 'new' that they were killed, silenced, tortured and cast out of their societies. Centuries ago, the message of the Apostles and their successors was new and bold and radical and transformative. The same message of a new life in the Trinity is 'both ancient and new' as St Augustine said, yet it will not be perceived to be 'new' by modern 21st century man because modern 21st century man has 'moved on' from Christianity.

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?


The Bones said…
John, I suggest you get your own blog for your essays.
John said…
I write only for you, because I feel sorry for the mess you have got yourself into, mentally and emotionally, and ultimately I understand that you insist on the value of Christ only when the value of life feels at its lowest, and that can't be a good way for anyone to waste the one life they have. I know you were not 'born this way', that no one is, for even children do not credit such fanciful stories with truth, and that you have become objectively religiously disordered some time in your early adulthood. And, I would wager, this homosexuality fixation is a big elephant in the religious room, and that the two are closely related. Good luck getting over it, you'll be happy when you do
The Bones said…
Wow. I'm just feeling your compassion and empathy, John.

Out of the two of us, having read your reams of comments, I believe it is you, not I, who are embittered.
The Bones said…
Jesus Christ alone can liberate homosexuals, John. Other homosexuals just enslave homosexuals, unless, that is they are bringing them the Gospel.
The Bones said…

You just lied about me.

I did not write 'gays are dirty'.

You seem to comment as soon as I post.

Your fascination with my blog is a bit weird given that you clearly disagree with everything I write.

My efforts to put forward Catholic teaching may be in vain for you, but I do not write for you. Your efforts to bring me into line with your secular opinions are in vain and you are only directing your comments at me.

I don't respond to your comments on the whole because to do so is a waste of my time. Why are you wasting your time trying to convince me of the correctness of your liberal opinions.

It's pointless. Start a blog of your own and speak to whoever chooses to read. Makes a lot more sense.
Staying Put. said…
A couple of years ago I had an interesting conversation with someone who has 'moved on'. I had arranged a traditional Latin Mass in my pariuh and was in the sacristy beforehand preparing everything when the parish MC walked in. We had a brief conversation about the old and the new - all very civilised - when the MC declared - "Oh, I've moved on from all that old stuff", said she, in her long white alb, open-toed white sandals and red painted toe nails. If that is 'moving on' then am happy to stay where I am.
Lynda said…
That is a most brilliant piece, full of truth and wisdom. Please continue your much-needed service to the Church and the world. And don't publish those malicious personal attacks - they contribute nothing of worth. God bless.
George Gaffney said…
You say you didn't allow posts contary to your views only because they were too long, but this isn't really true is it Lawrence? I know I submitted a couple of short polite posts which you refused to let through. Also you quite often allow long posts from people who agree with your views. You are clearly inconsistent and biased in your posting policy and can't cope with respectful dialogue.
The Bones said…
George, John, Ringo, whatever your name is. If I don't want to publish your comments, I won't. If I do, then I will. I haven't signed up to any international comment publishing protocols. The main reason I don't publish your comments is because you raise so many points (you have so many criticisms) that I can't spend my time answering each and every one.

Second - even if I do answer each crticism (as is my nature respond), you'll just come back with another 25 criticisms of my response. We end up going round in circles so much it all ends up feeling like we're both in Hell.

That's why I don't publish your comments. Besides which, dialogue will not remain respectful for long when one is dialoguing with heretics.

God bless.
George Gaffney said…
We've been here before though haven't we lawrence. You do not have the ecclesiastical authority or theological competence to declare anyone as a heretic - and it is deeply insulting and disrespectful as well. So can you please stop calling me (or anyone else for that matter) to be a heretic. You don't know anything about me, certainly not enough to make that kind of judgement. I am a practicing catholic in good standing with the church. Ps - I am not John, there is more than one person in the world that disagrees with you.
The Bones said…
Are you one of those thinking Catholics who think outside the Pope is just another Catholics and that the Magisterial teaching on homomsexuality will change any day now?
John said…
My disagreement differs from old George's. I am not a Catholic, but I can't be a heretic either as I wasn't baptised into the Church (born Jewish though never followed it). Furthermore, as far as I understand, it was agreed by a Pope in the sixteenth century (forget which one) that 'Catholic' meant 'one living in a land whose prince is a Catholic' and that 'heretic' meant 'one who refused to follow the prince's religion' - it's known as the peace of Augsburg if you want to check. Well, since this is not a Catholic land, and since the monarch is protestant, you are, according to the pope who spoke as the Vicar of Christ, in heresy. As you might want to go to heaven you should rectify this. Might I suggest moving to Poland? Seriously. It's a) cheaper to live in, b) has a lot of Catholics, c) is undergoing something of an economic boom and will probably be a very wealthy country in 20 years time (and you can get in on the ground floor), d) has a lot of really beautiful women there, and e) you could quite easily teach English. Think about it, work teaching English in a Catholic country and make a packet. Better than freeing as a heretic in protestant lands
Dr Gavin Graf said…
Sexually active females are more likely to develop cervical cancer so by your logic we should condemn heterosexual marriage. Incidentally, lesbians are less likely to contract any type of sexually infected infections or related cancers (even in comparison to heterosexuals) so similarly by your flawed logic we should outlaw recognition of all relationships except same sex female partnerships.
The Bones said…
I think you've posted that on the wrong post.

Besides which, I think you are addressing one point in isolation without considering the wider implications of homosexual culture including physical, cultural, spiritual, psychological etc.

We're talking about body and soul.