The Latin Community is gearing up to post a few essays on the cracking foundations of Christian civilization. As Christians, after assessing these cracks, we can ask, “How did we get here?” However, the answer is different and more serious depending on where you call home as a Christian. In the United States, we are victims of an ‘intellectual’ purge, a sort of quasi-McCarthyism for Christians. If any attempt to profess traditional Christian beliefs and creeds, well will be labeled as bigots and treated as an outcast in society—an intellectual and societal martyrdom. The danger, of course, is if we choose to “obey God rather than men” when human laws violate the laws of God, we may lose our jobs, businesses, friends, social standing, education as well as being shamed in the public sphere. This is the reality of our ‘intellectual’ persecution in the United States. So what is the answer to the question, “How did the United States get here? Pope Benedict XVI begins to clarify this question in his essay “The Spiritual Roots of Europe: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” in the book Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam. He writes that the United States “Built the foundation created by free churches (Protestants), it adopts a rigid dogma of separation of church and state…it is characterized by a Protestant Christian consensus that is not defined in denominations, but rather in association with the country’s sense of special religious mission toward the rest of the world.”
What Father Benedict is explaining is the foundations of what I call “The Golden Age of Christianity” in the United States. Of course, studying American history this had been founded on several “Great Awakenings.” Father Benedict explains in the United States’ foundation and early history that the “religious sphere thus acquires a significant weight in public affairs and emerges as pre-political political and supra-political forces with the potential to have a decisive impact on political. Of course, one cannot hide the fact that in the United States…Christian heritage is falling apart at an incessant pace.”
Father Benedict’s essay is mostly about the destruction of the Christian foundation of Europe, which will be discussed in future posts, but what he explains clearly and concisely about the United States was that it grew into a nation that wielded political influence in the name of Christianity around the world—The Golden Age of American Christianity. Notwithstanding, there is a movement that has always and in recently quite successfully undermined this influence seeking to destroy these Christian pillars in American society. Father Benedict uses Europe as the example for his essay to show the erosion of Christianity in the West. I would imagine for various reason: One because Father Benedict is European and the second being that Europe has different issues. However, in many ways, what Father Benedict explains is happening in Europe can also be found in the United States. He says, “Today almost no one would openly deny the primacy of human dignity and of basic human rights.” (Ibid, 75.) The problem though with this idea is that ultimately it’s a political shibboleth. Everyone certainly agrees with the statement but what constitutes as human dignity and rights is often not agreed on. Father Benedict explains that the memories driven by Nazi Germany are still very much in the current mind of modern society, but still today, we’re strangely still employing the same type of Nazi ‘progress; in the name of science and medicine.
Modern humanity, as Father Benedict explains, with its love affair with technology and scientific progress is continuing to violate the realms of human dignity by such actions as cloning, the storing of human fetuses for research and organ harvesting. American society is also beginning to glamorize the idea of designer babies through the genetic manipulation. Recent examples of these types of actions are the recent Planned Parenthood scandal after the organization had been exposed by conducting less than legal activities, all the while the organization receives protection from the American government and media. The other example with attacking the dignity of humanity is the praise of celebrities such as Chrissy Teigen using scientific “progress” to choose the sex of her child. Modernists do not concern themselves with the possibility of creating two classes of people. The people whose parents were affluent enough to have them created versus those who are natural.
How did we get here? The enemies of Christianity have finally subverted the stronghold of the institution of the family in the 21st century. Of course, enemies of Christianity attempting to undermine the traditional Christian institutions such as the family is nothing new. Since the end of the 19th century, Friederich Engles wrote in Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State (1884): “[The family] is founded on male supremacy for the pronounced purpose of breeding children of indisputable paternal lineage.” Now Engles certainly gets more in depth, but this quote although subtle illustrates the goal of the enemies of Christianity. In the course of the Soviet Union, the communist learned ultimately you could never have complete loyalty to the state if there were still traditional families, because more times than not, the children will always choose their parents over the state.
So how has the family been undermined in the West? Father Benedict explains that “the integrity of marriage has been undermined by easier forms of divorce and the practice of cohabitation between a man and a woman with legal marriage.” Furthermore, marriage has been eroded by what Father Benedict infers a ‘demand’ for same-sex marriage—now more or less a reality. He explains that “such a development would fall outside the moral history of humanity. Regardless of the diverse legal systems that exist, humankind has never lost sight of the fact that marriage is essentially the special communion of man and woman, which opens itself to children and thus to family.” Father Benedict goes on to explain that this not a matter of discrimination “but what constitutes the human person as a man or as a woman.” As we, the Charity of Christ, has witnessed in recent years with the rise of gender theory in the world. It is no longer accepted in secular society to call what is man…man or woman…woman. The dangers of this movement are explained well by Cardinal Robert Sarah in his book God or Nothing.
Cardinal Sarah explains, “According to gender theory there is no ontological difference between man and woman. It claims that masculine and feminine identities are not inscribed in nature but are only a result of a social construct…for these theorists, gender is performative, and the differences between man and woman are nothing but oppressive norms, cultural stereotypes, and social constructs that have to be undone so as to arrive at parity between man and woman…A man will never become a woman, and she will never become a man, no matter what mutilations one or the other agrees to undergo. To say that human sexuality no longer depends on the identity of a man or woman but rather on sexual orientations such as homosexuality, is nightmarish totalitarianism.”
So again I ask, “How did we get here?” One of the ways that we arrived at our present situation has been from the promotion of the philosophy of multiculturalism, which is now rebranded as ‘diversity’ by many universities. The fundamental problem with the philosophy of multiculturalism is that its proponents insist on its principle of relativism over absolute truth. Marcello Pera in his portion of Without Roots quotes Pope John Paul II, “ belief in the true no longer exists: the mission of true is considered fundamentalism, and the very affirmation of the true creates or raises fears.”
Many universities require their students to take ‘diversity’ courses as a requirement to graduate. These universities missions are to promote their philosophy of relativism and materialism throughout the world. In my own experience, when students, like myself, pushed back against the rhetoric in these classes, we were instructed by the professors that each person has an equal truth. This assertion is flat out false. Christians must begin to stand up and say so without fear of being called a fundamentalist, bigot, or whatever label relativists have created for those who oppose their ideology. The professors that ran this course methods, as Pera explains, is “to proclaim that there are no grounds for our values and no solid proof or argument that any one thing is better or more valid than the other.” However, Pera shows this idea to be inherently false as he states, “The only thing required is that the members of [cultures] A and B wish to enter into a dialogue and submit to each other’s criticism…If a contextual relativist belonging to culture A, speak of error you are contradicting yourself because to recognize an error within Culture B, A and B would share a common criterion for ‘error; that makes possible to distinguish between the real and the apparent in both cultures…then the relativism of the contextualist collapses.”
So how did we get here?
Christians have allowed it to happen by silently standing by in fear of intellectual persecution in the United States. Father Benedict explains,” one issue that is fundamental to all cultures: respect for that which a group holds sacred.” However, those in the university setting, media, and public sphere no longer respect what is sacred to Christians, and as Father Benedict explains that “when this respect is violated in society, something essential is lost to the culture.”
We, the Charity of Christ, must reject the assertions of the relativist in our midst. We must do so at some risk, but we must be comforted by the words of Christ, “and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.”
 Acts 5:29
 Ratzinger, Joseph and Marcello Pera. Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam (New York: Basic Books, 2007), 70.
 Ibid, 75.
 Ibid, 77.
 Cardinal Robert Sarah, God or Nothing (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2015), 163-64.
 Ratzinger and Pera, 37.
 Ibid, 13.
 Ibid, 13-14.
 Ibid, 78.
 Mt. 10:22