Monday, March 15, 2010

Belloc - The Heart of Culture

Hilaire Belloc wrote:
HOW CATHOLICISM STANDS TODAY is obviously a vital matter both to the man who recognizes it for the salvation of the world, and to the man who regards it as a mortal poison in society. But it is also a vital matter to any neutral observer who has enough history to know that religion is at the root of every culture, and that on the rise and fall of religions the great changes of society have depended ...

The form of any society ultimately depends upon its philosophy, upon its way of looking at the universe, upon its judgment of moral values: that is, in the concrete, upon its religion.

For whether it calls its philosophy by the name of "religion" or no, into what is, in practice, a religion of some kind, the philosophy of any society ultimately falls. The ultimate source of social form is the attitude of the mind; and at the heart of every culture is a creed and code of morals: expressed or taken for granted.
As I have noted before, a society or culture that expels the Judeo-Christian ethos in particular and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church in particular - regardless of its ostensible self-understanding, as per Belloc above - is not a secular society. There never was and never shall be such a human culture. There may be a momentary void created by the expelling, but into such a vacuum will within 2-3 generations or faster come a new form of our human default religion, paganism, replete with all its usual characteristics (cf. the works of Burke Satinover cited in the link).

I repeat: it does not matter how the expellers see themselves or their themes, which nearly always self-grandize; the surreptitious structure of their behavior, programs, and platform always shows the tell-tale signs of paganism, or what Girard calls "the primitive Sacred." Human instincts and human will always are worshiped in their pantheon and end at the place of human sacrifice.

Our "progressivist" leaders chart this course with its obvious Moloch-like characteristic of abortuarial sacrifice, regardless of stainless steel, latex, and clinical euphemisms. Old Testament prophets would spot it and name it in a heart-beat.

Religion indeed resides at the heart of all human cultures. Can the biblical ethos survive before this neo-paganism onslaught? We must first see the malaise, then ora et labora.

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