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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
        Friday, May 28 2004

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Bread and circuses, 2

Before I got sidetracked in my life story on Wednesday I intended to say that I used to believe liberalism—humanism stripped of any credible dependence on the living God—would take us back to the dark ages, but now I think it's taking us back to the old Roman Empire. If you take to heart the proposition that both Stalin and Hitler were products of the spirit of their age, two not very unalike radical extensions of liberalism, secular humanism, man-as-superman...the proposition of a new dark ages doesn't seem at all far-fetched. Just 60 years ago we were "that" close....

But now, the world having stepped back from the abyss that Hitler and Stalin had dug for us, now that it's safe to play around with radical theories and godless political platforms again, it appears we're getting closer to a return to the Roman Empire than the dark ages. We seem more likely to return to the age of bread and circuses than the inquisition, the persecution of the scientists, and the Borgia Popes that were low points of the dark times. Though we western Caucasians, imbued with the idea that the age of the Caesars was a golden one, for most of the population of the pre-Constantinian Roman Empire it was indeed a dark age, more like the "glory days" of Hitler and Stalin than the French and English kings of the middle ages. In that Roman Republic, anyone—notably Jews and Christians—who believed in any God they believed commanded all their loyalty, were considered enemies of Caesar, the Republic, and fit for wrestling matches with lions in the Coliseum.

We're moving back there quickly. Exhibit One: infanticide was as generally condoned in old Rome as abortion is today in Europe and North America. "Safe" hospital abortions were not quite perfected at that time, so the unwanted products of sexual hijinx were simply left out to die, with no legal repercussions against the mothers making that choice. From the reforms of Constantine's time in the Fourth Century to our own generation, all of Western Civilization believed that outlawing abortion and infanticide was in the best interests of both the babies and their mothers, and society as a whole. But in less than 35 years we've slipped back over 16 centuries of biblically based humane ethics.

Exhibit Two: Europe today is more unified than it has been in any other time since the fall of the city of Rome, and also more godless. Exhibit Three: despite pleadings for many months by Catholic and Orthodox prelates, and a few politicians from the more "backward," more Catholic and Orthodox countries, the EU has adamantly opposed any attempt to include recognition of Christianity's influence in the new empire's history.

Exhibit Four: the Catholicism of those American politicians whose real religion—liberalism—shows through their displays of Sunday piety can hardly be any more seriously adhered to than the mythology of the Roman Empire was adhered to by its proponents and its "mortal gods." To say "I'm a lifelong devout Catholic and I believe a woman's choice for abortion is her proper legal right" is so absurd as to force the observation that such "Catholicism that isn't Catholic" is just a new variety of civil religion, just as the mythologies of Greece and Rome were used to keep their republics together.

Neither of their republics were able to stay together more than a couple of centuries. From Constantine on, "Byzantine" Rome, centered in Constantinople, was a whole new empire that lasted fully a millennium after the Western Rome fell to the barbarians invading Italy. Many think that America's "empire" has almost run its course from godly beginnings to its end in humanistic chaos (or takeover in Islamic jihad, or both, each in its turn).

I'm not saying this is all stuff I expect to happen. I'm not prophesying. I'm as skeptical of the "Late Great Planet Earth" and "Left Behind" theories as the next guy. But I am proposing that there's a lot here that's worth considering, praying about, and trying by our ballets and our influence in our families and communities to keep from coming to pass.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

Less-known proverbs

Honk if you love peace and quiet.

Sent by Mary Ann Losiewicz 

Thought for today

Every time I close the door on reality it comes in through the windows.

Jennifer Unlimited
Sent by Trudy Myers 

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