Let’s pull back the curtain and have a good look at the Wizard; that is, if we still have eyes to see.
too many decades ago, there was a solid American consensus that
faithfulness in marriage, complementary masculinity and femininity,
belief in a benevolent God, and bearing/raising children were good
No one needs to be told that things are different now, and many are convinced that the changes are for the better.
So how did this occur?
changes didn’t occur organically; that is, by a broad-based evolution
in Americans’ perspective. Rather, this transformation was directed by a
subculture with a vested interest. Like the Jacobins in the late 18th
century, a self-interested subculture used legitimate concerns about
women’s rights and abuses of minority rights to spearhead its agenda.
Thus, the objective of this subculture was not justice but utter
transformation of the culture; like a house with electrical problems in
several rooms, we didn’t re-wire the problem rooms, we bulldozed the
Using the educational system, the media, and the
entertainment industry, this subculture set about convincing Americans
that its agenda was normative, and that traditional beliefs about faith
and morality were primitive and repressive.
The elements of this subculture’s agenda?
Americans that faith in a benevolent Creator is irrational and
unscientific, or diverting Americans from the God of Scripture to an
amalgamation of every god and New Age formula, thus a god who doesn’t
stand for anything except self-fulfillment and “social progress”
(whatever the subculture defines this to mean), dogmatic
environmentalism, and tolerance for those things the subculture values
(but not for those things it opposes). The outcome was the abandonment
of objective truth and its replacement with beliefs that are, as George
Weigel puts it, “malleable and subject to human willfulness”.
Converting Americans to faux-reason and faux-science,
with popular consensus substituting for evidence. By most objective
metrics, the environment in America is vastly improved compared to
25/50/100 years, but most Americans hold the opposite view because
popular consensus overwhelms evidence. Another example: empirical
evidence proves that one-man, one-woman faithful marriages foster
responsible adults, whereas the abandonment of traditional families
produces dysfunctional, even savage societies, so why does the consensus
insist that the traditional family is no better than single-parent
homes, or any number of transient adults?
Using the “religion” of
psychology to convince Americans to give in to their urges and to
consider faithfulness and self-discipline within marriage as unhealthy,
repressive brakes on self-fulfillment. With this transformation,
intimacy is no longer a uniquely transcendent experience but merely sex
Replacing masculinity and femininity with
androgyny, dissolving the difference between men and women, thereby
eroding the uniqueness of man and woman: women boxers, men wearing
makeup, transgender men-women. If we are interchangeable, then any
combination of people is equivalent to any other. How out-of-place John
Wayne and Grace Kelly would be in this confused culture.
Americans that having children is not unequivocally good by insisting
that children are an impediment to self-fulfillment and sexual
gratification, and detrimental to the environment (often a code-word for
self-interested fear of competition for the world’s resources).
Destroying a six-month old fetus is legal; killing a goose is a
prosecutable offense. Ambivalence about the value of children erodes
generosity and compassion, replacing these human virtues with a
The acceptance of abortion and homosexual
relationships depend on these foundational principles, once confined to a
small subculture, but now broadly supported by Americans.
substitution of pop-spirituality for authentic religion, consensus over
evidence, sex as recreation, androgyny, and ambivalence about children
made America more generous and joyful?
Virtuous freedom, both
virtue and freedom, is a demanding path, but we can see for ourselves
where the shortcuts advocated by this subculture have led: to
coarseness, diversity in externals but conformity in thinking, savagery,
gratifying urges over reason, dependency on the state, and lost
childrenunborn and born.
Pope Francis is charting the response to
this anarchic agenda. The Church opposes dehumanizing ideologies but,
more importantly, it proposes the Gospel, the fruits of which
are joy instead of stimulation, compassion instead of tolerance,
solidarity instead of radical autonomy, beauty instead of coarseness,
and generosity instead of grasping materialism.
said, “A secret, an open secret: these world crises are crises of
saints.” Francis of Assisi, Miguel Pro, and Edith Stein weren’t naïve,
nor did they retreat from the world, knowing all-too-well the dangers
The most sublime reasoning won’t reverse these
dangerous innovations, nor will retreating within walled sanctuaries
with people who believe as we do, nor will angry rants about the
culture. There is no other answer than for the Church to radically live
the Gospel, to engage society with vigor and hope, and, thereby,
re-convert the world.