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Rejecting the World to Improve the World

Oct 5, 2023

Rejecting the World to Improve the World by David Carlin at The Catholic Thing. In recent centuries a new kind of worldview has emerged that is quite the opposite of world-rejection-ism. It is a purely secular worldview. When it is most consistent, it is an atheistic worldview. Sometimes it manifests itself in a moderate form; for example, Benthamism (Utilitarianism). Sometimes in a more radical form; for instance, Marxism-Leninism. In America today, this atheistic worldview manifests itself in what I like to call (when I talk to myself) neo-Benthamism. By its adherents, it’s usually called Progressivism. The benevolent aim of the progressives is to – gradually but steadily – improve the world (“make the world a better place” is the way they like to put it) until all the inhabitants of this planet live in peace and security and prosperity and personal freedom and happiness. This secular worldview has invaded American Christianity and deeply corrupted it, persuading tens of millions of American Protestants and Catholics that theirs is a purely world-improving religion, not at all a world-rejecting religion.  In other words, it is a religion of neo-Benthamism clothed (disguised) in the rhetoric of Christianity. I have no crystal ball, but it is my personal belief that Catholicism will not return to its true nature until it recovers its world-rejection element. Read


The Curmudgeonly Catholic: Three Life Lessons from Evelyn Waugh by S.A. McCarthy at Crisis Magazine. Through his hard-partying early twenties, Waugh had become disillusioned with the modern world and all it had to offer. He saw the decaying of sexual morality in particular as a threat to civilization. Upon his conversion to Catholicism on September 29, 1930, he wrote, “The trouble about the world today is that there’s not enough religion in it. There’s nothing to stop young people doing whatever they feel like doing at the moment.” …. Here are three enduring life lessons Catholics today can learn from Waugh. Read


How the Marxist Left Captured Higher Education by Mike Gonzalez at The Daily Signal. The chant “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ has got to go” refers to the time on Jan. 15, 1987, when Jesse Jackson rallied 500 students to march on Stanford University. As Robert Curry at Intellectual Takeout reminds us, “They were protesting Stanford University’s introductory humanities program known as ‘Western Culture.’ For Jackson and the protesters, the problem was its lack of ‘diversity.’ The faculty and administration raced to appease the protesters, and ‘Western Culture’ was formally replaced with ‘Cultures, Ideas, and Values.’” Read


The Transgender Liability by Nathaniel Blake at World. The toxicity of the extreme transgender agenda is... a cultural and spiritual [opportunity] for Christians. The radical, obvious evils of transgender ideology have allowed us to make the case against the perverse understanding of human beings and society that leads to such wicked ends. The seductive promises of the sexual revolution are less alluring when their destructive results are clear—chopping healthy body parts off of troubled children and taking kids away from parents who object. Christians must resist these clear evils and explain how they and other wrongs are the natural result of the sexual revolution and its hatred of restraints on our desires. When passions are not regulated in accordance with our nature as designed by God, they become both personally and socially enslaving and destructive. Read


Survey Finds Significant Confusion about the Church’s Teaching on the Real Presence by J-P Mauro at Aleteia. [O]nly 17% of responding Catholics still go to Mass at least once per week, down from 24% prior to the pandemic…. When asked which sacrament was most important, Baptism was at the top of the list, with 71% saying it was “very” meaningful. This was followed by marriage (69%) and the Eucharist/Holy Communion (66%)…. The survey found that there is significant confusion about the Church’s teaching on the Real Presence, with 49% responding that they believe the Church teaches that “Jesus Christ is truly present under the appearance of bread and wine.” Meanwhile, the slight majority (51%) thinks that the Church teaches that “the bread and wine are symbols of Jesus.” Read


Conservatives Turn to the Classics by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. For [Rachel Alexander] Cambre, the appeal of classical education lies in a fundamental principle of the purpose of education, which she said is the formation of the person's soul. "Education is not a matter of programming machines but a matter of shaping souls, which begins in the home and in the family," she said. "And this is a classical principle; this is a classical principle with roots in the ancient worlds of Jerusalem and Athens." Read


Throwback Thursday


The Schoolhouse Fallacy by David Carlin at The Catholic Thing on September 17, 2021. When we Americans have public policy discussions regarding the quality (or lack thereof) of education in this nation, these discussions usually focus entirely on schools…. But we never hear a public official say, “If American kids are to be better educated, they need to have better parents and better friends and better TV programs and better popular music.” The Catholic Church has a number of old-fashioned teachings that, if implemented, would make all the educational difference in the world.  I’m thinking of three in particular: (1) A child’s first and most important educational institution is the home and family. (2) Parents are the ultimate authorities regarding a child’s education. (3) A child has a right to grow up with two married parents. It’s unfortunate for us Americans that we have not embraced – barely recognized – these three basic educational truths. Read

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