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Monday, December 17, 2018

Richard Fernandez: "We need a bigger world"

After WW2 a chastened humanity realized the kingdom of man was unattainable through force of arms especially with the invention of the Atomic Bomb and turned its attention to achieving its goals through global institutions instead. The traditional faiths would be allowed to wither away, driven back year by year by advancing secularism, until they were impotent. Then the press would replace the pulpit; the academy the monastery; the State substitute for God till the institutions collectively had all the attributes of divinity and decide who would live or die, be born or not born, who was man or woman, even determine who belonged to what race. It would rule on the very meaning of life itself until there was nothing beyond the competence of the world of man....

Everything would be under control. But since, as Andrew Sullivan argued, religion is "in our genes" some ersatz had to fill the void, some opiate of the masses. So the time from the Fall of the Soviet Union to the present was spent building a substitute. Religion didn't "decline" so much as replaced and it is easy in retrospect to recall how this was done. Reverence for the great was provided through remoteness and elaborate pageantry. Substitute dogma, sacraments and even hagiography were found. By 2016 a nearly complete substitute religion generally known as Political Correctness had been rolled out.

Everybody knows what PC is because we are all members of its church, born into it at birth. It has sacraments like abortion, blasphemous words one cannot utter, heretical doctrines you cannot hold, individuals canonized by the media you cannot impugn and a roster of the damned with whom you cannot associate. Few say their prayers any more but multitudes spend each day sorting their trash in their backyard altars to the goddess Gaia. Nonbelievers in Global Warming are anathemized as Deniers; virtue signaling has become the new piety. And we are familiar with all of it because our conversion until recently seemed all but complete.

Unfortunately digital omniscience and globalization eroded the religion of men. When Rome, Jerusalem, Brussels or Washington are no harder to visit than Disneyland; when the peccadillos of the rich, famous and reverend are splashed across social media then familiarity will breed contempt. The Gramscians marching through the institutions never realized that in capturing the castles they would ruin them and deprive these of their mystery and power to overawe.

But there is hope because God is not dead and Jesus will come again. Read the whole thing.

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