Recently, there have been a whole spate of signs that our civilization is circling the drain. One of the most disgusting is the “rape sex tape” that was produced and uploaded to the internet by Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz, also known as Mattress Girl. She released the pornographic video as performance art. The fact that anyone would call this art is a sign of the degeneracy of our culture.
I haven’t watched the video, and I won’t. It’s my tiny protest. I refuse to be counted as click to her rubbish. Besides, I suspect that she is mentally ill and I don’t want to encourage the exploitation of a mentally unstable person.
Of course, there is also the Bruce Jenner transition. It is not the transition itself that is the problem so much as the reaction to Jenner’s announcement that tells us how degraded our society has become. ESPN gave Jenner an award for his “courage” in dressing up as a woman, and even the President lauded Jenner for being brave. We officially live in bizarro world now.
I ran across a great piece by Fr. C. John McCloskey over at The Catholic Thing. While the title of the article is Friendship and Evangelization, this short piece neatly summarizes what we face and the key to solving it:
It is more and more apparent to any unbiased mind that what is left of what used to be known as the Christian West is collapsing. Just look at the falling fertility rates in the United States as well as in all those European countries that once were solidly Catholic.
Taking their place almost inevitably are procreating Muslims who, unless there is a radical shift to fertility, will attain at last to what they could not achieve at Malta, Lepanto, or the Gates of Vienna. And as we know now, given the recent events in Ireland regarding the definition of marriage, perhaps only the return of St. Patrick himself could save even Ireland from also becoming Islamic.
And we should not expect mercy from the Muslim, given what we are witnessing with great sadness: the destruction of historic Christianity in the Middle East. There, great multitudes are being driven from their homeland or martyred for their Catholic faith, with virtually no help from what is left of the Christian West.
Fr. McCloskey agrees with me that we are not likely to see Pope Francis call a crusade to repel an Islamic takeover. So what is the solution? Fr. McCloskey writes that it is not going to come from the top:
If what’s left of Christianity can rise up and save the West, it will be through the Christian laity having children, many children without fear, and bringing them up as strong members of the Church founded by our Savior Himself.
Most men don’t want to hear that. We want to hear that a rescue is going to come from electing the right political leaders. Or maybe we are waiting for a collapse of civilization that will allow us to magically restore order in some heroic fashion. Getting married and raising good children is such a difficult, long term approach.
Interestingly, another recommendation from Fr. McCloskey is that men need to renew the ancient art of friendship.
[Men] must also be willing to man up. And one way for men to do that is simply to have many male friends with whom they share their Catholic faith. Every year a well-known newspaper in the United States publishes a survey asking, “How many friends do you have?” Sadly, the common answer for men, year after year, is two: his wife and one male friend!
I think that Fr. McCloskey means something more than buddies that you spend some time with. I think he means the kind of close friendship that the Inklings such as J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were known for.
I would go even farther. What is needed at this time is a much tighter bond than what we have been accustomed to in the recent past. I mean the formation of tribes. Men that you can rely on if things go south. Bands of families that can support each other when times get tough.
If we are going to thrive over the next few decades, we are going to need our tribe. The sooner we begin to form them, the better our chances will be.
Good article. I have read several of these articles in the last couple days that call for Christians to become more tribal, or they emphasize following in the footsteps of St. Benedict and I agree with them completely. The only way we can survive is by building strong communities of faithful Christian men. Focus on our own families and build strong friendships.
Michael Sebastian says
Thanks. My wife is ready to go the full Benedict option and move out to some rural location. I am not there yet, but Christians do need to start becoming more tribal in tangible ways.