Today, there is a strong correlation around the world between adherence to traditional Christian, Islamic or Judaic religious values and high fertility. The result is an emerging world in which the ancient, patriarchal values of these religions are becoming stronger, while secularism suffers demographic decline.For those of us convinced of the merits of subsidiarity - what Father Vincent McNabb, G. K. Chesterton, and Hilaire Belloc called "distributivism" - Longman's words bring hope.
The current world economic crisis will most likely compound the trend, for a variety of reasons. The widespread loss of jobs and retirement savings gives a survival advantage to those who still have abundant human capital upon which to rely, specifically, strong, largely self-sufficient families in tight-knit, high-trust, self-financing communities. Under currently unfolding conditions, the “fittest” are those who invest heavily and successfully in building up strong families and local community support networks.
Many people may try to contend with their financial and economic losses by forming secular communes. History suggests, however, that families and communities bound by common blood and religious faith are more likely to succeed in fostering the necessary sacrifice of individualism and consumerism.
These changes we are living through are very scary, but they also, I think, have the long-term promise of restoring the economic basis of the natural family and renewing society generally. Seeing more specifically how this future might unfold requires dwelling briefly on a few poorly remembered traditions from the past.
In a recent issue of Foreign Policy Magazine, I have published a brief article entitled The Return of Yeomanry. This word “yeomanry” is now obscure in English, and may be impossible to translate into many other languages. But particularly in America during the 18th and 19th century, it stood for a clear ideal of human organization, which was small-scale production centered on a self-sufficient family unit.
One of America’s most prominent founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, for example, wrote frequently the superior virtue of the country’s then substantial yeomanry, which mostly comprised family farmers who owned their own land and small family business owners. Jefferson’s vision of America’s future was that widespread family ownership of small scale productive would remain the dominant form of social and economic organization, and that the influence of both Big Business and Big Government would be held in check..More>>
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
"EUROPE," says Schlegel, "was united in one during these grand ages, and the soil of this general country was fruitful in generous thoughts which served to guide both in life and in death. One common Chivalry converted adversaries into brethern in arms, and it was to defend one common faith that they were armed. Love inspired every heart, and the poetry which sang this alliance expressed the same sentiment in different languages.
"Alas! the noble energy of the ancient time is lost. Our age is the inventor of a narrow policy, and what weak men are unable to conceive is in their eyes only a chimera. Nothing that is divine can succeed when it is undertaken with a profane heart. Alas! our age has knowledge of neither faith nor love. How then could it have preserved hope?"
Joseph Pearce announces the fascinating news of the purchase of land in in the greater Amherst area of northern Massachusetts to be the site of the campus of the soon-to-be-launched C. S. Lewis College. More here.
And, if you aren't aware of it, I highly recommend Michael Ward's scholarly and informed study of Lewis's fiction, Planet Narnia. The title, in my opinion, is a bit of a misnomer or is misdirecting. But all in all, a fine and very important study that brings the reader to a deeper appreciation of Lewis's opus. Father Walter Hooper gives it high marks.
Personally, I reject all politicians' ridiculous efforts to define and delineate the terms of public discourse. A pox upon them, sooner or later.
After all, isn't the very word, "politician", synonymous to "worshiper of Mammon?"
MOSCOW, Russia, JAN. 7, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Russian Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow and of All Russia affirmed the fundamental value of truth in his message for Christmas.
Following the Julian calendar, the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on Jan. 7.Read all …
"The life of a person who has gone astray may outwardly seem to be a successful one," Patriarch Kirill acknowledged, "yet this does not mean that error is without consequence: sooner or later it will manifest itself, including in the tragedy of human destinies."
Divine truths, the patriarch stated, "today have ceased to be ideals."
He continued: "It is the substitution of true values by false values that largely explains the ever-growing significance of the so called 'human factor' in tragic events that take away hundreds of lives.
"It is this that explains the crises which have had a global impact on the economy, politics, the environment, family life, the generation gap, and many other things."
Patriarch Kirill affirmed that "Divine truth ought to be the main compass for all human activity, for growth and movement forward."
Thursday, January 7, 2010
"EVERY ONE THAT IS of the truth, heareth my voice", said Christ to Pilate; and we may set this down as a certain consequence, that, excepting in cases of unavoidable ignorance where this Orient from on high hath not dawned in hostility to the world's claims, OUR SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST HAS BECOME THE CHIEF AND ETERNAL KING OF ALL THE REALLY FREE, GENEROUS, AND HEROIC SPIRITS THAT EXIST UPON THE EARTH.
So that to Him alone they come, offering homage of undivided love, and renouncing allegiance to the world, scorning its pretensions, and regarding with the utmost degree of contempt and detestation its haughty standard of false honour and false liberty and false virtue.
To His Church they repair, from every region and language and people, to confirm their union, to proclaim their fidelity, to take up the arms with which they are to fight against the ruler of this world, to secure their deliverance from the hands of their enemies, and to receive power from their adorable Lord, Who is enthroned in the centre of their hearts, to serve Him without fear all their days, in holiness and justice.
"Europe has denied its Christian roots from which it has risen and which could give it the strength to fend off the danger that it will be conquered by Muslims -- which is actually happening gradually," Vlk said.
"If Europe doesn't change its relation to its own roots, it will be islamized," the 77-year-old cardinal, who was named Prague archbishop by pope John Paul II in 1991, added on his website www.kardinal.cz.
He blamed immigration and Muslims' high birth rate for helping Muslims to "easily fill the vacant space created as Europeans systematically empty the Christian content of their lives".
"At the end of the Middle Ages and in the early modern age, Islam failed to conquer Europe with arms. The Christians beat them then," Vlk said.
"Today, when the fighting is done with spiritual weapons which Europe lacks while Muslims are perfectly armed, the fall of Europe is looming," added the cardinal.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
CERTAINLY THE MORE men reflect upon the noble and joyous images presented in heroic history the more they will feel themselves confirmed in all those holy feelings which only can give them dignity and security. The more they think of these things the more they will become persuaded that the principles which those examples illustrate and recommend are the most important that can be made the subject of their study. And so they will see that they can be happy and honourable, can obtain the blessing of God Almighty for themselves, for their country, and for mankind, only in proportion as they adhere to those principles.
The curious question is, why is Google enabling the "rival"? Scaredipoo of the big, bad scimitar? Hmmm...
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Who will save Western Civilization?
Like most of you, I have the feeling that somehow things have gone off the tracks while we are being hurtled through changes most of us don't like at all or can't comprehend. It's a sense of unreality - that we have lost something important and we don't know what it is or how to get it back. These are dark days for Western Civilization though almost nobody seems to want to defend it anymore.
Just before the end of 2009, Pam Geller quoted Geert Wilders in Dooming Europe
The Europe as you know it from visiting, from your parents, or friends is on the verge of collapsing." Geert Wilders said this in a speech he made in the U.S. last year. He went on: "We are now witnessing profound changes that will forever alter Europe's destiny and might send the continent in what Ronald Reagan called 'a thousand years of darkness.'" This applies not just to Europe, but to America as well.
David Warren writes
Let us start as grimly as possible in the present: with my conviction that things do not look very promising for our civilization. For two generations (and according not only to me) we have been watching catastrophic moral betrayal and collapse; and worse, the spread of a lethal apathy toward it.
The building and rebuilding forces of our society -- essentially church and family -- are by now almost everywhere under organized legal, legislative, and propaganda assault from the sterile vanguard of the atheist Left. The poison mist of "political correctness" swirls over our psychic landscape, and the great joyous and unifying truths which animated Western Christendom continue to be supplanted, both practically and symbolically, by the envious Big Lies of the political "activists."
But we have not lost access to the means of recovery. The wisdom upon which our Christian civilization was built is available not only through books still in circulation, but through surviving monuments such as her cathedrals, her art and her music and her poetry and even the hard core of her sciences. Surviving customs, such as Christmas and Easter, rekindle constantly with their true meaning; surviving language continues to carry centuries of folk wisdom in an unconscious stream.
Deacon Dean Fournier goes further and says the Catholic Church is in the first stage of a new missionary age
The collapse of the West will not be remedied by any political party or philosophy. In the United States, gripped by the lies of a culture of death and use, we do not need a “conservative revolution” as some pundits maintain. We need a Christian revolution. It was the Christian Church which gave us the understanding of the dignity of every human person because we are created in the Image of God. From that came the understanding that we all possess fundamental human rights. Yes, the American founders carried such a notion into a bold experiment in ordered liberty but they did not come up with it on their own. They derived it from Western civilization and the influence of Christendom. That is the the influence of the Church. That is also why the seemingly inevitable collapse of the West can be averted, but only through the resurgence of the Church in the Third Millennium. It is the Church which is the vehicle for true progress. Christianity is the antidote to the descent into a new barbarism arising out of the neo-paganism currently masquerading as liberation.
Pope Benedict’s summons to Europe to return to her Christian roots in order to rebuild herself - and his commendation of some of the philosophical underpinnings of the American experiment ( as evident in his visit and his locutions while on our shores) - are oriented toward the same end. He is encouraging the building of a truly just civil and social order by proposing the Christian vision of the person, the family and the common good as the foundation. In short, we need a new Christian foundation for the West. The Catholic Church is in the first stage of a new missionary age. The Dictionary tells us that a prelude is “an introductory performance, action, or event preceding and preparing for the principal or a more important matter.” The Year that was and the Year that will be are a just that, a prelude, there is much more to come.
Read all ….