POSTED BY REBECCA HAMILTON 07/08/2016 FOR NATIONAL CATHOLIC REGISTER
|Fernando Gallego, “Cristo Bendiciendo” (c. 1495)|
Evangelical atheists and moral nihilists of all stripes would lead us to believe that when we remove God from a society, what we get is reason and rationality.
Despite their own irrational hate talk and irrationality, they posit that the only evil is God—that faith, and faith alone, is responsible for every evil human beings have ever committed or will commit.
Reality puts this fantastical delusion to the lie at the first and every test.
What do we get when we remove God from a society? We get evil. Pure, unadulterated and unapologetic evil. We get an implosion of the civic order and a societal return to the beast.
The steady pounding of politically correct censorship of speech and thought is nothing more than an attempt to coerce silence about reality by imposing Orwellian double speak on the populace. The use of slander, vitriol and personal vendettas to silence public debate on important issues has all but stopped our ability as a nation to deal with the problems facing us.
Simply put, if we can’t talk honestly about it, we can’t deal with it, and “it” will roll right over us and ultimately destroy us. We become like a person with a compromised immune system who dies from a relatively minor infection because their normal defenses against it are blunted.
If you want to see what happens to a society that turns its back on Christ, look around you. Watch the news. Listen to the self-serving double-speak and lying, the manipulations and prevarications from our leaders in government, education and commerce. See the implosion of peace and sanity.
Look, listen and think for yourself. Think. What you get when you remove God from a society is evil unchained and without apology.
Original sin infects all societies, including Christian societies. The evil that people do to themselves and one another is ubiquitous. But Western society’s development of the rights and value of the individual is a direct result of following the Gospels of Christ to their logical conclusion.
Western society has also committed evil. We are never free in this life from our fallen natures. But the ideal that human beings have certain unalienable rights that are inherent in the fact that they are human beings, is the flowering of the Gospel teaching that every hair on our heads is numbered, that we are, each and every one of us, made in the Likeness and Image of God.
Germany brought death into the Western world in a terrifying way when it turned that great nation back to its pagan past. The entire cult of Nazism and Führer worship was part of this.
The Nazis were smart about how they handled the churches. They coopted them with political rhetoric supporting them and bullied them with the church tax. Then they imprisoned and murdered any clergy who dared to stand for Christ. Entire seminaries of Catholic priests died in concentration camps. Bonhoeffer was hung and Niemöller, who believed at first that he could negotiate with the Nazis, spent long years in camps.
The horror of the death camps shook Western Christianity to its core. In the long run, it tore it apart and enfeebled it. If a Christian nation could do this, if Christian clergy could raise their arms in the Nazi salute, if they could take the crosses off the altars of their churches and replace them with the swastika, then what did that say about our Jesus?
European Christianity died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. It has been a long, slow slog to the death rattle, but the old paradigm of Christianity as an adjunct of the state died because it allowed the state and not the Gospels, to lead it. It remains to be seen if a new, more vigorous and independent Christianity will rise in its place.
The recent massive immigration into Europe of peoples with vastly different values and beliefs has created an existential crisis for European culture. The thought and speech tyranny of political correctness and economic bullying, coupled with blood guilt born in the concentration camps, has paralyzed the continent into a sort of somnambulant wandering.
American Christianity survived the horrors of World War II, but then stepped, half-awake, into the same trap of industrialized killing with legalized abortion. Abortion has become for us a kind of gateway drug of killing and cultural implosion. It has morphed into euthanasia, egg harvesting, selling designer babies on the internet, the destruction of marriage and ever-amping cultural violence.
Our attempts at solutions are carefully crafted to avoid any possibility of facing the problems themselves. Rather than ask ourselves why so many young men have become homicidal maniacs who kill innocent people for no reason, we tout gun control. Instead of looking to our policies toward our neighbors to the South as the cause of our immigration woes, we demonize Hispanic people.
Every “solution” being pushed at us involves a loss of American freedoms or an attack against innocent people. Instead of dealing with the reality of Islamic terrorism in our midst, we employ verbal jousting to try to blame our political opponents for atrocities that had nothing to do with them.
We encourage hate speech against whole groups of people, in particular Christians, simply because we disagree with them.
We do not look at our divorce culture, our sexual depravity, our willingness to kill the unborn, the infirm and the elderly, because taking care of them instead of killing them would be a “burden.” We refuse to see these barbaric behaviors as contributors to our national moral implosion. We refuse to consider that our worship of money, celebrity and power are not only shallow but root causes of the deep anomie of our young people.
Our lives are hollow because our beliefs are hollow. No one can build a meaningful life on obsessive celebrity watching, chasing after money, and sleeping around like an alley cat. If the only thing we live for is our own momentary pleasure, then we are dead to meaningful living already.
It’s a simple mathematical maxim: Nothing, multiplied by nothing, gets nothing. Lives filled with transitory relationships, passing entertainments and gluttony of all sorts, are empty, wasted existence. This emptiness explodes in spasms of senseless violence, then settles into sullen sleep walking for a while before rousing itself for another convulsion of senseless violence.
This is what life without Christ looks like. It is what happens to a vibrant, pulsing and incredibly successful society when that society turns its back on God.
The loss of faith does not lead to a utopia of reason and rationality. It leads directly to overwhelming evil. It lets the devil off his leash to run free.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that Christianity is simply one faith among many. There is only one empty tomb.
Jesus Christ and Him crucified gives meaning, direction, hope and resilience in the face of any trial. Corey Ten Boom wrote that what she learned in the concentration camp was that there was no pit so deep that He was not there.
I am not Corey Ten Boom. I am not a great heroine of the faith. But I know, because I have lived it, that she was right.
Jesus Christ is God. If you are a Christian, then all the little-g gods of this world can mean nothing to you. If you will give yourself to Him without reservation, He will walk with you through every day of your life.
Christ gives meaning to everything that happens to us. He gives purpose to our lives that transcends the daily pricks and pains we must endure in this life. He gives hope unending, and He shows us the Way that leads to eternal life.
Look around you, my friends. You will see what a society looks like when it turns its back on Jesus. You will see the violence, misery, viciousness, slanders, lies, depravities, hatreds and death that evil feeds on. The devil craves annihilation, and he hates us. When we serve him—and we either follow Christ, or we follow the darkness—we serve our own death.
Nothing, multiplied by nothing, gives nothing. You and your life, yielded to Christ, equals transcendence, hope, meaning, purpose and, at the end of your days, eternal life.