Prof. Donald DeMarco:
In his book Religion and the Modern State, the eminent Catholic historian Christopher Dawson (1889-1970) may have startled many readers when he made the comment that “European culture had already ceased to be Christian in the 18th century.”
To be sure, Christianity was not extinguished at that time. Rather, it lingered on, not as a dominant cultural force, but nonetheless influential in the lives of individuals and in the commitments of small communities.
For Dawson, the dominant faith of the succeeding century was liberalism, which lived off the capital it inherited from Christianity. It emphasized rights but not duties, freedom but not responsibilities, justice but not truth, conscience without principles, sex without procreation and compassion without real love. But liberalism, one-sided as it is, cannot sustain itself and inevitably tends toward a form of uniform or monolithic secularism.
In Dawson’s words, “Once society is launched on the path of secularization it cannot stop at the half-way house of Liberalism; it must go on to the bitter end, whether that end be Communism or some alternative type of ‘totalitarian’ secularism.”
Liberalism, as we observe it in the contemporary world, stretches what were once Christian values to the point where they begin to war against themselves. The legalization of homosexual practices and same-sex “marriages” offer illuminating examples. The present consortium of what were once considered sexual deviants represent a liberalization of sexuality on the one hand, but an intolerance toward traditionalists on the other, sometimes to the point of violence.
By refusing to capitulate to such intolerant demands, many employers have been heavily fined, and several bakeries, florists and bed-and-breakfast establishments have been driven out of business. Individuals have lost their jobs simply for defending traditional marriage. Hate speech is virtually defined as speaking against the new mores.
In Canada, the issuance of postage stamps and coins to promote same-sex “marriage” is a strong indication of a rejection of any opposition and the cultivation of a totalitarian movement. Asserting that same-sex “marriage” is “equal” means that Christian marriage is no longer distinctive.
The famous Catholic convert Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990) has made the comment that whenever there is “some drastic readjustment of accepted moral values” and they become the law of the land, the “consequent change in mores soon becomes to be more or less accepted.”