Things are regressing swiftly in the Culture of Death.
Aging women can now have IVF treatments done with ovarian stem cells, rather than eggs, so they can delay motherhood indefinitely. We not only have a governmental attempt to cram contraception down our unwilling throats after priming us for weeks with harping on contraception in the Republican debates, we even have to fight against the ideas that pregnancy itself is a barbaric act and that it’s possible to have a wrongful birth. All of our newfound ability to manipulate our fertility has predictably caused us to lose interest in reproduction altogether, as if we’d figured out how a magic trick worked and then bored of it.
Abortion is now a possibility for those already born, both young (infanticide) and old (euthanasia). “Gay marriage” is on the march across the country and a loose woman demanding payment for her sterile services has become the national mascot.
Clearly, we have a problem here.
Because they’re not even wrong
Many have argued that the first step to solving this apostasy is the return to basics of pagan theology: the acknowledgement of natural law, the reaffirmation of family allegiances, reverence for our traditions and ancestors, and the wonder of the supernatural. The things societies value if they value anything at all.
This would be a Great Reset at the cultural level, paving the way for widespread conversion, and I agree that it is necessary if our country will have any future other than a further slide into bizarre depravity. How can we begin to argue for the unseen, when our audience isn’t even sure of the seen?
As C.S. Lewis has written:
I certainly feel that very grave dangers hang over us. This results from the great apostasy of the great part of Europe from the Christian faith. Hence, a worse state than the one we were in before we received the faith. For no one returns from Christianity to the same state he was in before Christianity, but into a worse state: the difference between a pagan and an apostate is the difference between an unmarried woman and an adulteress….Therefore many men of our time have lost not only the supernatural light, but also the natural light which the pagans possessed.
Before we can even begin to argue for the Gospel, we must have a shared basis for argument. This is a simple law of rhetoric, otherwise we’re merely speaking past each other.
- Before we can argue for God’s existence as evidenced in nature, we must first define what nature is; that there are things that are natural or unnatural, and that there is order to the universe. Or even that there is anything at all; that our existence is more than a mirage or mass delusion.
- Before we can fold people into the family of Christ, as brothers in the Church under our Father God, we must explain to them what a “family” is and what “brothers” and “fathers” are. Nobody is quite sure about that anymore. Even “friendship” has become a murky term with an uncertain meaning, and “motherhood” (the last relationship holdout) is being reduced to “incubator” and soon will not even be that.
- Before we can speak of the graces and the Holy Spirit, the sacraments and God, we must first convince them that not only is there such a thing as nature, there are things that exist outside of nature in a higher realm. In order to believe in a higher being, you have to believe that there is a higher place for that being to reside.
- Before we can prove that our religion holds the keys to the afterlife, we have to teach that there is an afterlife, or even that there is life. That we are not simply a biological robot, but that our animation is a miracle that differentiates us from inanimate objects.
- Before we can argue that the Church holds the Truth, we must first argue that there is any truth at all. That morality is something that can be defined in absolute terms, that opinions are not facts, that laws are universal.
Begin at the beginning, go on until we come to the end, and then stop.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
— Revelation 22:13
We have our work cut out for us. We can’t start off by debating how many angels are dancing on the head of a pin (as we are wont to do), when there is no general consensus on the existence of either the angels or the pin. Like Chesterton’s Maniac, many of our secular neighbors have painted themselves into a pattern so precise, but so small, that there is no room in it for a god or even for themselves.
Some of us can charge into battle waving our Bibles, but the rest of us will have to begin with the elementary. Our society must relearn the sacred, from the start to the finish, just as the old Israelites once did.
So, what is the first topic we must teach? I am. I exist. Life is a real thing, and I’m not just a figment of my own imagination, in some sort of tortured cycle of existential schizophrenia. As Blessed Pope John Paul II saw, the pro-life message is the first thing — the alpha of our spiritual war — because it undermines the very foundation of the Culture of Death.
May these words reach all the sons and daughters of the Church! May they reach all people of good will who are concerned for the good of every man and woman and for the destiny of the whole of society!
I am. You are. There is life and it is good. Even the pagans know that.