Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
We have lost something. We have lost it because we broke it and we don't know which pieces to pick up. Destroying is always easier than building.
This nation which was built on the motto “E Pluribus Unum” has become... fractured. Some seem to delight in this like that artist who painted a mustache on the Mona Lisa and received high praise. Others are simply resigned to it — as if something inevitable is finally happening, so let's just make it quick.
I approach this with sadness and dread.
Two Republican politicians were assaulted last week week. No coverage. Last year, Republican congressmen were shot at as they practiced baseball by a man who yelled, “This is for healthcare.” The FBI ruled that it was a “spontaneous” shooting and the shooter had “no target in mind.”
Senator Rand Paul was attacked horrifically. It was treated as a punchline by the grinners on TV news. Prominent Republicans have ben surrounded and bullied out of restaurants. Their bullies have been called “activists.”
A pro-lifer in Canada was kicked and the media ignored it. Several GOP offices have been vandalized. Antifa violence is almost completely ignored — or worse yet, some in the media say it’s righteous. During the Kavanaugh hearings, Democrat Senate offices doxed Republicans by listing their home addresses, putting their families at risk.
It’s not all on one side either. In fact, just yesterday it’s been reported that bombs were sent to former presidents Obama and Clinton. The calls from the media for non-violence will increase now even though so much has previously been ignored. But just because they’ve waited a long while, doesn't make it completely wrong.
Unless something changes, I believe violence will escalate. The seams of civilization are tearing here. Pray for this country.
The first step towards violence is almost always dehumanization. When you are no longer a human being but simply an obstacle to some greater good, violence will surely follow. Is it any surprise that a culture that has killed 60 million unborn human beings behind closed doors would devolve into violence not behind closed doors? Is it any surprise that a culture that supports euthanizing older adults or brain damaged children “for their own good” would devolve into violence outside of healthcare institutions? Hidden violence always goes public eventually.
We have lost confidence in our government and many have lost confidence in our churches. This leaves people with little left but politics, which isn't so much ideological as partisan and vicious. It is an oddity that many people say that there's really not a significant difference between the two political parties yet an increasing number of people live and die with political scorekeeping. Politics for many has ceased to be about proposals, bills, laws, and decisions. It's about power. It's my side versus your side. Good guys versus bad guys. It's become about “owning” the other side, not debating or persuading them.
And when you have that kind of politics without religion to temper it, it is a powder keg with all the feel of an approaching Fort Sumter moment.
When you call someone a name like “Nazi” or “fascist” it is not an adjective. It is not an attribute. They are nouns. They are all encompassing. That is all anyone needs to know. On the other side, a recent meme depicts those on the left as NPC’s or non-player-controlled automatons. It is the end of a conversation. And when conversation ends, violence often begins. The seams of civilization are tearing.
The abandonment of the Christian worldview that had dominated Western civilization for 1,500 years has left people with a number of ultimately profound questions, mainly “Why?” and “What do I live for?” The answer from too many Christians has been silence for fear of offending. Opponents of Christianity have been all too happy to fill in the silence with their own thoughts.
Christians must tell people once again that the world was created as an act of love. There is a Heaven and a Hell. Christ did die for their sins to show His love. These things are true. And while Christians have been resistant to evangelize, the world didn't miss a beat. It might not be that easy soon. There may be consequences for evangelization now. The “new evangelization” perhaps wasn't very evangelizing at all. We may have already lost the ability to witness without blood.
Enemies of Christianity have promulgated their naturalistic and secular agenda, and it has won countless apostles. Even those who consider themselves Christian accept many of the tenets of secular materialism.
Christians are called to sound a certain trumpet. The continuing silence from a majority of Christians will have calamitous consequences for our society. You cannot simply remove the basic building blocks of a culture and expect there to be little change. We've essentially been playing a societal “Don't Break the Ice.” It can only last so long. The collapse is inevitable.
Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote, “When one gives up Christian belief one thereby deprives oneself of the right to Christian morality. ... Christianity is a system, a consistently thought out and complete view of things. If one breaks out of it a fundamental idea, the belief in God, one thereby breaks the whole thing to pieces: one has nothing of any consequence left in one’s hands.”
But so much of secular leftism carries with it the morality markers of Christianity, such as caring for the poor, but without divine provenance. It can not offer a reason why that's important or necessary or even preferable. From where is that moral code derived if not from our Creator? It's interesting to note that so many of the attempts to ban religion from the public sphere or even to change the Church's teaching on things like sexual morality often invoke pleas for “tolerance” and “mercy” which are themselves Christian precepts. So yes, enemies of Christianity are calling for us to be meek Christians so they can go about destroying Christianity. And when they demand “mercy” from Christians who fail to heed them, they are pitiless.
And those who even defend the rights of Christians sometimes do so with an apparent lack of love and mercy. In their attacks upon those who they deem attackers, they are merciless.
We are facing a burgeoning secular Inquisition. We see it already in the way that mob violence escalates. We see it in the way Christian bakers are treated by quasi-government authorities. Christianity preaches the perfection of the next world. Collectivism preaches the perfectibility of this one. One should always be wary of those who want to perfect you; it will likely be painful, especially for the perennially imperfect. (Psst... that's all of us.)
And there is no escape. Christianity offers an escape from guilt. Christianity offers absolution through the grace of Jesus Christ. Leftists would have all feeling guilt with no avenue of absolution. You are born male and white? Guilty — now and forever!
The seams of civilization are tearing. The nihilism of the left will reach an existential crisis some time during this century when the old borrowed wheels no longer move the new machine. And society will have to ask once again what it is it believes. All of the mutually exclusive ideas will need to be reconciled. Then the scramble will begin. Some will espouse complete secular materialism. Some have already escaped into the easy spiritualism of the wiccans, who now outnumber Presbyterians, according to one report.
It will soon be time to rebuild. What will we create? These are the profound questions that this generation and the next will ponder. But don’t ponder long. The enemies of Christianity are hard at work and have most of the levers of power at their disposal. Christians do, however, have recourse, to the ultimate power. So we should pray. We should pray and consider what we want the world to be. And act.