Through the last half of the twentieth century, America and the West in general experienced a breathtaking cultural and moral decline. We typically delineate the root cause quite neatly by the decade when most of this cultural carnage took place, the nineteen sixties, or, more familiarly, “The Sixties.” This term in America refers to a cultural revolution that, among many other social atrocities, brought about a most significant and overnight rejection of moral and religious traditions built over a millennium. In the half century leading up to The Sixties, our civilization was already in a state of decline, becoming merely a shadow of its great Middle Ages ancestor called Christendom. The architects of The Sixties revolution exploited the weaknesses of this grandchild of Christendom and dealt our ailing civilization what appears to be a final deathblow.
“I think it would be difficult to find a single decade in the history of Western culture when so much barbarism – so much calculated onslaught against culture and convention in any form, and so much sheer degradation of both culture and the individual – passed into music, into art and onto the American stage as the decade of the Nineteen Sixties.” (Crocker 2001)
I say that western civilization prior to The Sixties was a mere remnant of Christendom because for centuries religious revolutions, The Enlightenment, The French Revolution, and twentieth century communism battered and weakened Christendom’s walls. The revolution in The Sixties was simply the final flaming ramrod breaking down the castle door of Christian civilization and allowing Satan’s Hellions to rush through. What followed were decades of the most confusing morass of philosophical, moral, and religious disorientation in human history. Currently, it reaches apocalyptic proportions in the publicly loud, rude, and arrogant mockery of God by this truly lost civilization.
As a result, it seems that few people today grew up with any real education in true Christianity. Thankfully, we still find these teachings in the institution that no man could destroy since the time of Christ, that is, The Roman Catholic Church. No one taught me this either, as I will point out to you in a moment; though, my childhood community gave me Protestant-oriented morals that served to keep me in a semi-traditional Western mind-set for a while.
Furthermore, in the years following The Sixties revolution, fewer people grew up learning the skills of logical argumentation or the analytics of reason, both of which the Church developed solidly in Christendom. Again, no one taught me the Catholic foundations of our traditional way of thinking in my early years; for, our good, small, southwestern community that I will describe below spoke little of the treasures of Catholic history, intellectual development, or civilization. As a result of this educational vacuum, we have young people today who think rational debate is nothing more than vulgar, uncharitable invectives on internet blog sites. One short journey through cyberspace will reveal the sad state of Western education.
We are at least the third generation removed, with islands of exception, from anything resembling the academic disciplines of rhetoric, logic, and debate that Christendom nourished through magnificent scholars such as Augustine, Aquinas, or, more recently, John Cardinal Newman and G.K. Chesterton. Most youth today do not recognize such names; yet, the modern mind has little to offer in their place. My guess is that many of our youth who read “progressive” atheists have no idea that Augustine or Aquinas ever existed.
As a result of The Sixties revolution, modern educators teach young people ideas without knowing the roots of our thinking processes, and least of all that Catholic civilization developed them. The revolutionary generation ahead of them, their parents, are just as ignorant about this. This is an amazing phenomenon. Even the scholars of the Dark Ages could reason more ably than many academics today. They knew logic and reason even if they did not know the Theory of General Relativity. Intelligent thinking and reasoning have nothing to do with the state of scientific development. As G.K. Chesterton points out:
“There are arguments for atheism, and they do not depend, and never did depend, upon science. They are arguable enough, as far as they go, upon a general survey of life; only it happens to be a superficial survey of life.” (Chesterton 2008)
My propositions stand merely as opinion. However, if you read the likes of Augustine and Aquinas, or John Paul II and Benedict XVI, or Cardinal Newman and G.K. Chesterton, comparing them with the teaching in most schools today, you might feel the same.
That hellish thing called The Sixties snapped Christendom’s moral, cultural, and intellectual traditions harshly into pieces. However, the sacred tradition from the Apostles of Christ remains alive and well in an unbroken succession of Popes and Bishops in the Holy Catholic Church. Nowhere else will you find it, not in Protestantism that rejected it outright 500 years ago, and certainly not in those revolutionary strongholds, bastilles of Hellion philosophy, called public schools. Our grandchildren and their grandchildren might one day read of that great civilization, now long gone, if the oppressive, egalitarian, anti-God political regimes that are rising on the scene today do not censor it. That persecution and much worse boiled over in the French Revolution and is on the horizon in the United States today. Forget the controversy about the Church’s persecution in the Inquisition; the persecution of the Hellions will make your skin crawl. The Inquisition is child’s play compared to The French Revolution, the officially atheistic regimes of twentieth century communism, or the occult-like, anti-Christian regime of Germany. Yet, these revolutions and regimes, firing one cannon shot after another into the grand castle that was Christendom, were the strategic, antecedent movements by the enemy that led to the fiery ramrod of The Sixties and the consequent destruction of Western civilization.
I purposely painted above a picture of a civilization best described now as completely lost in a dark forest after centuries of hellish influences, culminating in the decade of the nineteen sixties. Now imagine the monumental impact this would have on a child born into that civilization just as it fell into the darkness. At first, being young and feeling protected by his parents, it might seem like fun, sort of like an adventure; then, as he gets older and knowing no better, he might listen to and accept what the modern mind speaks and therefore misunderstand this blind groping through dark woods to be “freedom,” for the modern mind knows not the difference between groping in darkness and freedom. Terrifyingly, he heads to his death over a precipice he cannot see, on stony rocks below, and he knows not what is about to hit him.
Then imagine if you can that before he falls to the point of smashing on the rocks below, an angelic hand, fragranced like the perfume from a thousand roses, unknown to him and completely gratuitously, grabs him and pulls him up. He is back not just from the precipice, but lifted up into the sweet sunlight of the heavens, complete with a host of heavenly friends living in joy and real freedom with the Creator. Picture now that he stands on a beautiful path of freedom leading out of the dark forest. Beatitude and eternal joy belong to him if he stays on that path. He has the freedom to choose that life or to walk off the precipice in the darkness. It is up to him to make a free choice.
That is the image of my story. I was born in 1959.