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The Predictability of Indifference: A Sinless Pagan Culture?

By Dan Shea
August 7th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

When a culture is allegedly emancipated from its traditions, it emasculates the nation's ancestors and denies their rich legacy to their progeny.  Long overdue is a vociferous chorus of outrage over these drastic changes in moral standards traditionally held by this nation.  We must confess, with Ronald Knox, "There is no sign, yet, of a rally, no distant foot-fall of the Prodigal's return." The contemporary culture decided a "fair" God would overlook sin if one led a "reasonable" life, meaning to be nice, not hurt others feelings, not make waves or challenge a society that allows pagans to revolutionize the nation's moral code

FLORIDA (Catholic Online) - "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths."  -2 Timothy 4:3-4

Society has confused liberty with license, exalted individual self-rule, and ignored eternal truths, thereby, undermining the foundations of the nation's religious and moral heritage.  This can be ascribed to the sin of pride, the deadliest sin of all, which is always in disguise. 

It can justify almost anything, especially, a sinful lifestyle.  In the conscience of the sinner, pride's cohort, rationalization cagily obscures truth with illusion getting a hardy assist from the self-serving promise of relativism.

While society concentrated on being non-judgmental, it failed to understand it had dismantled its value system by falling prey to modernism.  The tragedy of modern society is it has become disillusioned with its sense of entitlement, unrealistically demanding reality match its expectations. 

When a culture is allegedly emancipated from its traditions, it emasculates the nation's ancestors and denies their rich legacy to their progeny.  Long overdue is a vociferous chorus of outrage over these drastic changes in moral standards traditionally held by this nation.  We must confess, with Ronald Knox, "There is no sign, yet, of a rally, no distant foot-fall of the Prodigal's return."

The contemporary culture decided a "fair" God would overlook sin if one led a "reasonable" life, meaning to be nice, not hurt others feelings, not make waves or challenge a society that allows pagans to revolutionize the nation's moral code.  Alexis deTocqueville warned of this possibility saying, "It may be foreseen that faith in public opinion will become...a species of religion and [the] majority it[s] ministering prophet." 

However, these cunning tactics were advanced by the Father of Lies through the use of political correctness as his instrument of reasonability.  In his diabolic zeal, he duped a nation into accepting it.

Sadly, Christianity has demonstrated a less dutiful posture when compared with the ardent stance of secularism's vast minions.  They stridently chant, "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die and there is nothing beyond the grave." This paganistic din leaves in its wake a miasma of uncertainty rather than the solid convictions of past generations.

Forty years ago, Karl Menninger, the prominent psychiatrist, wrote, Whatever Became of Sin.  Menninger's book could have resurrected the orthodox concept of sin and its consequences; however, it did neither.  Today, the same question continues to go unanswered.  Maybe the denial and abhorrence of sin can be traced back to its damning affects. 

The French essayist, Montaigne wrote, "So wonderful is the power of conscience.  It makes us betray, accuse, and fight against ourselves, and for want of other witnesses, to give evidence against ourselves."  Adding, "Tis the first punishment of sin that no man absolves himself."

The fixation with wealth, status and comfort has all but purged morality and ethics from the societal equation.  The culture has forgotten Socrates dictum, "He is nearest to God who needs the fewest things."  Apparently, today the opposite is equally true. 

This hastened Secularism to promote its agenda in the name of tolerance while ludicrously pronouncing absolute truth non-existent.  Since it could not accept what it did not understand it labeled it as intolerance.

Socialism's hubris is obvious in its self-importance and condescension as it denounces others as intolerant who hold fast to traditional moral standards of right and wrong.  Less obvious is the self-centered indifference, which prefers to remain aloof on its own behalf.  Even more repugnant is the concept that no one is wrong. 

The communal denial of the Trojan horse within our midst filled with the nation's collective sins sanctioned the rapid pagan enculturation within our borders.  At present, these ills freely prowl the landscape and testify to the annihilation of the nation's soul.

Blessed Pope John Paul II recognized the potential for decline in the souls of nations and wrote, "When freedom does not have a purpose, when it does not wish to know anything about the rule of law engraved in the hearts of men and women, when it does not listen to the voice of conscience, it turns against humanity and society." 

Freedom is not about what we can choose but about being able to choose what is right not what we desire.  Decisions made against God and His Natural Law lead to doing what is evil.

The common man needs pertinent and potent information on the existing crisis within the country and the Church.  However, he is focused on his own realities within the circumstances he finds himself.  Thus, he is rather badly informed to what surrounds him on the borders of those realities. 

He lives life thinking freedom is the absence of restraint and wades in the shallow waters of moral complacency while accepting without question the conventions of the day.  He is neither blatantly evil, nor morally astute.  In concert with like minds, he contributes to the mounting moral evil while being unaware of his indifference and often defends his actions as the right thing to do.

Perhaps, had the Church whole-heartily embraced and promulgated Humanae Vitae when it was decreed in 1968, the Church and the culture might be on a more equal footing today.  Yet, a great deal of this would have required the cooperation and participation of the lay faithful. 

Pope Saint Pius X, who worked tirelessly in combating Modernism, once said, "The greatest obstacle in the apostolate of the Church is the timidity or rather the cowardice of the faithful."  This nation's demise may indeed eclipse the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.  Nevertheless, with devout prayer, the principles of Christian thought, and the Natural Law steadfastly adhered to can restore cultural sanity to the nation.

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Dan Shea lives and writes from Florida. Long active in his parish and in the Right to Life movement, he has written two books Beyond Banter & Banalities and Breaking Father Down.

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