Consider the following article as the reason our nation teeters on a cultural collapse. Touchstone Magazine (Jan-Feb 2021) has a snippet from T.S. Eliot’s “Thoughts After Lambeth.” Here’s the selection –
The world is trying the experiment of attempting to form a civilized but non-Christian mentality. The experiment will fail; but we must be very patient in awaiting its collapse; meanwhile redeeming the time: so that the Faith may be preserved alive through the dark ages before us; to renew and rebuild civilization, and save the World from suicide.
Our nation was founded upon the Judeo-Christian worldview. There is a God. There is absolute, objective, God-given truth. There is right and wrong. Men and women are created in the image of God, therefore life is sacred. There is unalterable law. Each individual has a personal responsibility for him/herself. We have a responsibility for one another. Marriage is sacred. Family is to be protected. Sexuality is to run in its created channels. These are the foundation stones of Western Civilization. When the foundation crumbles, the house built upon it collapses. How can the house remain standing when the foundation is removed?
Look at it this way. Imagine a house built on six foundation stones. Each stone is a different color; blue, red, green, yellow, pink, and brown. It is a colorful, creative, and strong foundation. It will bear much weight. But someone comes along and makes the case that blue is out of fashion and belongs to yesteryear and so it needs to be removed. It can’t be repainted, only removed. And so it is. The house sags. Macho Man comes along and the pink stone has to go. The house sags and leans. And so on until each foundation stone is removed. “Well certainly they replace the removed stones, don’t they?” Yes, they do. Yet they are not big or strong, or deep enough to prevent the sag and lean and the eventual collapse. As T.S. Eliot observed, the experiment will fail and the collapse will come.
For many, there is no God; no objective, God-given truth. Truth is subjective and individual. Right and wrong are relative. Evolution assaults the creation story of men and women being created in the image of God so life isn’t sacred and people don’t have inherent dignity. Life has no inherent meaning. Marriage is what people want it to be. Family is a social construct. Morality is a social construct. Our bodies are our own and we will determine our sexual partners and practices. The Christian mentality has given way to the non-Christian mentality. The stones have been removed and the house is sagging and leaning and nearing collapse. The experiment has failed.
Consider our nation. It is divided down the middle, politically, philosophically, and religiously. We are marching against one another, shouting at each other, censoring one another, shooting each other. We have gone from, “We have God’s truth” to “You have your truth and I have my truth” to “I don’t want to hear your truth and I forbid you speaking your truth.” When principles are gone, all that is left is power; power-plays and power-grabs.
T.S. Eliot had argued, in his 1931 religious essay “Thoughts After Lambeth,” that young people needed to be taught “chastity, humility, austerity, and discipline.” Stephen Spender wrote him to dispute that notion in June of 1932. Below is a portion of Eliot’s rebuttal.
What really matters is not what I think about the Church today, or about Capitalism, or military processions, or about Communism; what matters is whether I believe in Original Sin. I know that there are plenty of material injustices to be set right, and I want them to be set right; nevertheless I believe that the world will always be an unpleasant place, a place of trial for individual souls, and that the vast majority of its population will always be a compound of knave and blockhead, chiefly moved by vanity and fear, and kept quiet by laziness.
I, too, believe in Original Sin. And the logic of Original Sin banishes mankind from Paradise and drives him into the Wilderness and pushes him into the Grave. I, also, believe in Jesus who raises us from the Grave and leads us through the Wilderness and lifts us into Paradise. As our nation follows the logic of Original Sin, let’s follow the logic of Jesus. As Eliot exhorts us, let’s redeem the time and preserve the Faith and renew and rebuild civilization and save the World from suicide.