Last year I wrote a short post on Hilaire Belloc’s Third Phase. Belloc foresaw an upcoming fork in the road for civilization, in which “the Catholic direction will be generally restored, or it will be lost – and with it, probably our civilization.” Rob Dreher writes rather convincingly here that we have already passed the fork, and have taken, not surprisingly, the path to destruction. I encourage you to read his entire article, but if you are pressed, here are a few noteworthy snippets.
“If by ‘Christianity we mean the philosophical and cultural framework setting the broad terms for engagement in American public life, Christianity is dead, and we Christians have killed it.” The idea that the death of Christian culture in the United States was a suicide was also observed here.
“I believe it will be increasingly difficult to be a good Christian and a good American. It is far more important to me to preserve the faith than to preserve liberal democracy and the American order.” Isn’t that the only right approach for a Catholic? Sadly, more baptized Catholics in this country consider themselves Americans who are also Catholic than Catholics who are also American.
“Christians who believe that politics will save us should discard those illusions now.” Here’s more evidence, as if we need it. The Republican majority watered down their own abortion-limiting bill because they couldn’t agree that someone who wants to claim a rape exception should have (oh, the injustice!) first reported that they were raped. Even an auto insurance claim for a smashed bumper requires a police report, but when it comes to killing babies, let’s not add any crazy restrictions. Because there is always a next election to worry about.
“If we do not form our consciences and the consciences of our children to be distinctly Christian and distinctly countercultural, even if that means some degree of intentional separation from the mainstream, we are not going to survive.” This raises an enormously important question. To what degree do we hole up behind castle walls to try to avoid the plague, and to what degree do we still go out to minister to plague victims? Are Catholic ghettos really the best hope for the acculturation of civilization after it finishes collapsing? I don’t know. But abandoning the castle to live in the rat-infested village while hoping that the fleas stay off of our kids is not a strategy.