Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lucia Christ in the centre of the West

I've just taken a small part of an incredible speech given by an American Catholic Bishop in Slovakia. He covers alot, and so I would urge everyone to read the whole article. But for those that like their information in small snapshots, here he is on what undergirds the West, and that is Christ. Take away Christ as many want to do, and it will all fall apart. As it is doing.

Two of the biggest lies in the world today are these: first, that Christianity was of relatively minor importance in the development of the West; and second, that Western values and institutions can be sustained without a grounding in Christian moral principles. [...]

Downplaying the West’s Christian past is sometimes done with the best intentions, from a desire to promote peaceful co-existence in a pluralistic society. But more frequently it’s done to marginalize Christians and to neutralize the Church’s public witness.

The Church needs to name and fight this lie. To be a European or an American [or a New Zealander] is to be heir to a profound Christian synthesis of Greek philosophy and art, Roman law, and biblical truth. This synthesis gave rise to the Christian humanism that undergirds all of Western civilization.

On this point, we might remember the German Lutheran scholar and pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He wrote these words in the months leading up to his arrest by the Gestapo in 1943: “The unity of the West is not an idea but a historical reality, of which the sole foundation is Christ.”

Our societies in the West are Christian by birth, and their survival depends on the endurance of Christian values. Our core principles and political institutions are based, in large measure, on the morality of the Gospel and the Christian vision of man and government. We are talking here not only about Christian theology or religious ideas. We are talking about the moorings of our societies – representative government and the separation of powers; freedom of religion and conscience; and most importantly, the dignity of the human person.

This truth about the essential unity of the West has a corollary, as Bonhoeffer also observed: Take away Christ and you remove the only reliable foundation for our values, institutions and way of life.

That means we cannot dispense with our history out of some superficial concern over offending our non-Christian neighbors. Notwithstanding the chatter of the “new atheists,” there is no risk that Christianity will ever be forced upon people anywhere in the West. The only “confessional states” in the world today are those ruled by Islamist or atheist dictatorships – regimes that have rejected the Christian West’s belief in individual rights and the balance of powers.

I would argue that the defense of Western ideals is the only protection that we and our neighbors have against a descent into new forms of repression – whether it might be at the hands of extremist Islam or secularist technocrats.

Related link: When the Tribunal of the World Condemns the Church for Heresy ~ Chiesa

2 comment(s):

mzala said...

It's no co-incidence that the headline below is about suicide. These two columns are in some ways related in that below you have the great tragedy of individual suicide whilst this article refers to 'civilisational' and of course spiritual suicide on a diabolical scale. Interesting to note the 'debate' about whether to discuss suicide publicly as I believe is a must. Wonder if we could maybe discuss publicly this 'civilisational' suicide as well?

Lucia Maria said...

Mzala,

There is a connection, though with personal suicide it's more a terrible despair that is almost irresistible in it's force for the destruction of the person. That's the impression I got from talking to someone who was in a psych ward for a while for attempting suicide.

While as civilisational is not as direct - it's hidden behind a selfishness and turning away from God that leads to everything falling apart.

Though maybe that is the door through which the rest follows ...

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