Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Roadmap to Saving Western Civilization

A friend of mine, who happens to be a conservative Gulliver stranded amongst the San Francisco Bay Area small-brained Liliputian liberals, recently sent me the following document that was tagged with the requisite acedemia-boring title of "Presentation at the Convocation of the College of Fellows, January 28, 2011" that took place at the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology in Berkeley, California.

Sounds like quite the yawnfest, huh? Well, Like the old saying goes, don't judge a book by its cover.

Anyway, this was a stunning speech. I strongly suggest every single Christian Conservative (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant... doesn't matter) to invest a few moments of your life and take a gander at what Gil Bailie of the College of Fellows at DSPT had to say.

Here are just a few passages that I hope may pique your interest;
Like many of you I suppose, the first thing that came to mind when I learned that Cardinal Ratzinger had chosen Benedict for his papal name was the concluding lines of Alasdair MacIntyre's After Virtue, in which he suggested that nothing short of a new St. Benedict would save Western Civilization from itself. Having a few weeks earlier declared the "dictatorship of relativism" to be the besetting affliction of the contemporary West, the new papal name seemed to signal that the rehabilitation of the culture for which the sixth century Benedict had laid the foundation would be a priority of Benedict XVI's pontificate.

The Holy Father clearly understands that if Western culture is to awaken from its historical amnesia and moral confusions, and if the uniqueness and history-altering meaning of the Christian Gospel is to be proclaimed afresh, we must learn to account for Christian truth in ways that are faithful to Church doctrine, intellectually cogent, morally robust, charitable, and uninhibited by the spirit of the age. Decades ago, Joseph Ratzinger pointed the way to accomplishing this task by suggesting that a collaboration between theology and anthropology can lead to "the truly most exciting part of Christian faith."

Today, however, these efforts will necessarily have to engage the powerful forces now arrayed against any form of Christianity that refuses to mimic the passing moral and social fashions of the age. Though promising counter-trends can be found, very powerful forces in our society have lately been growing ever more hostile toward the religious tradition that inspired our civilization's greatest cultural and moral achievements - namely: the respect for the dignity of each and every person, an empathy for the persecuted, the downtrodden, the poor and the powerless, and - most importantly - the religious inculcation of these moral principles in human hearts and their political codification in law, which is essentially what we mean when we use the phrase "Western Civilization."
Read more and view video...

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