Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “In other words, how did we get to Brexit? How did we get to the Texas Supreme Court abortion case? How did this sinking come about? That’s the question we ought to be asking. When you can answer that question, then you can diagnose a solution or, I say more importantly, forget solving the problem. You can’t solve the problem for 320 million people.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
And, one of the central arguments I’m making in The Unintended Reformation is that that is not the case, and that all of those developments indeed are critical to understanding where we are today, but what we really need to understand are the religious disagreements of the Reformation era, and the unintended processes that they set in motion, without which we will not understand the character of the problems that we’re facing in the early twenty-first century.
It’s Gregory’s claim that the Western world today is “an extraordinarily complex, tangled product of rejections, retentions, and transformations of medieval Western Christianity.”
Mike: In other words, how did we get to Brexit? How did we get to the Texas Supreme Court abortion case? How did this sinking come about? That’s the question we ought to be asking. When you can answer that question, then you can diagnose a solution or, I say more importantly, forget solving the problem. You can’t solve the problem for 320 million people. That’s just not going to happen, barring divine intervention. You can solve it for 32,000, 3,200 in a township, 320 in a Catholic parish. Think small. Seven in a family.
“On the eve of the Reformation, Latin Christianity comprised for good or ill the far from homogeneous yet institutionalized worldview within which the overwhelming majority of Europeans lived and made sense of their lives.”
Mike: We make sense of our lives through PlayStation. We make sense of our lives through Netflix and Facebook. We make sense of our lives – in other words, folks, we don’t make sense of our lives. We endeavor to not make sense of it. Whatever the status quo is, whichever way the wind’s blowing – [mocking] “Mitter Church, the wind’s blowing that way. It changed.” Yeah, sure it did. Why don’t you go ahead and change with it? That’s what most people do. Why? Because they’re not grounding their thinking in the truth. All thinking should be for the ultimate purpose of conforming your thinking to truth. If you’re not trying to conform your thinking to truth, then you are conforming it to error.
Back to Gregory:
“Diversely, early twenty-first-century Westerners live in and think with and even feel through the historical results of its variegated rejections and appropriations in such knotted ways that it is difficult even to see, much less to analyze, them. In getting from the early sixteenth to the early twenty-first century, this study develops the claim from my first book that ‘incompatible, deeply held, concretely expressed religious convictions paved a path to a secular society.’”
Mike: I’m reading to you a series of clips, of excerpts from the book The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society. Let me ask the question, especially to my Evangelical and Protestant friends out there. You do agree that we live in a perverted, secularized society, do you not? I know that you do. So what Mr. Gregory is trying to answer is: How did it become that way? At one time in Europe it was not that way, so what happened? If we can diagnose what happened, then perhaps we can figure out how to go back there. Yes, using iPhones and taking advantage of advancements in science and medicine, yeah. You don’t have to lose any of that, but you don’t have to be diabolical. We’re using medical advancements today to kill babies. We’re using medical advancements today to sterilize the young, to help them contracept, help prevent the next generation of souls from entering this world. These are horrifically, mortally sinful activities. God has to be sitting up there going: Man, I am not giving you idiots very much longer. You are trying my patience. I’ve got about two gray hairs left before I’m pulling the plug.
Elsewhere in the book, he fleshes out the implications of having lost the common ground that Latin Christianity had previously represented:
“A centrally important, paradoxical characteristic of modern liberalism is that it does not prescribe what citizens should believe, how they should live, or what they should care about, [Mike: Folks, that is significant. That is hugely significant. How is it possible that you can have an ordered society that doesn’t know what the order should be? Problem solved, right?] but it nonetheless depends for the social cohesion and political vitality of the regimes it informs on the voluntary acceptance of widely shared beliefs, values, and priorities that motivate people’s actions.”
Mike: Here’s a good one, that now it is a widely-shared erroneous belief that sodomy is not sin any longer, and that sodomy is cool, and that fornicating while being a sodomite is okay and no longer mortally sinful. That’s just preposterous. As Brother Andre Marie points out at Catholicism.org, if you encourage someone to do that, that’s a sin against charity. What are the three theological virtues? Faith, Hope, and Charity. Where’d you get those from? We got them from the man himself, the God man. Do you really want to get in his face and go: Huh, whatever, Jesus. Whatever, John the Baptist and your faith, hope, and charity. Whatever. We’re modern man. We have iPhones. [mocking] “Mitter Jesus, we have modern computers. We don’t need you. We have figured this out. We’re better off because we have more fun now.” Trust me, you’re not going to have fun when the vision of Dante’s Inferno is actually being lived by you.
Listen to this. This is Hobbes brought to fruition. Mark Kreslins, you were talking about this the other day, about how Hobbes theorized that if you kill the Christian order, if you kill internal regulation of man and give it over to external regulation, man will either kill himself and each other, as we do in abortuaries every day, or you will have to bring increasing amounts of legal and government power to bear. That’s exactly what’s happening today. That’s why secession won’t fix that. I’m not saying I’m opposed to secession. I’m just saying that it’s not a remedy for it. It may lead to the remedy being tried because now the political interference can be avoided.
Folks, once you have a secession of a Great Britain from the European Union, it really now matters not the size of what entity it is that’s seceding. It can be a large entity like a country, or it could be a small entity, especially with all the cry-babyism over there. [mocking] “We want another chance.” Go ahead, do it. Go ahead and do it. Back to Mr. Gregory. This analysis, by the way, is so spot on. This is precisely the error in written terms I’m sharing with you.
“In the West, many of those basic beliefs, values, and priorities—including self-discipline, self-denial, self-sacrifice, ethical responsibility for others . . .
Mike: Folks, that’s where you get the magisterial teaching of solidarity, ethical responsibility for others. We are ethically responsible for others, which is why it’s not charitable to tell sodomites to keep fornicating and to do it in public. It’s not charitable to tell them, after they’ve lost their friends as a result of Muslim orthodoxy that somehow that, because they were killed by an Islamic that [unintelligible] paved the way for them to go to heaven and all the rest of them are going to go to heaven as a result of that. Talk about not being charitable. If you tried to be sinfully not charitable, that’s what you would say. Modern man, however, has never been catechized like this, or few have.
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. . . ethical responsibility for others, duty to one’s community, commitment to one’s spouse and children—derive most influentially in the modern Western world from Christianity and were shared across confessional lines in early modern Europe. Advanced secularization, precipitated partly by the capitalism and consumerism encouraged by liberal states, has considerably eroded them in the past several decades and thus placed increasing pressures on public life through the social fragmentation and political apathy of increasing numbers of citizens who exercise their rights to live for themselves and to ignore politics. This is one way in which modernity’s failure is under way, a symptom of which is the constant stream of (thus far, ineffectual) proposals about how to reinvigorate democracy, restore public civility, get citizens to care about politics, and so forth. More abstractly but important in different ways, the ideological secularism of the public sphere and the naturalist metaphysical assumptions of academic life, combined with the state of philosophy and the explanatory successes of the natural sciences, prevent the articulation of any intellectually persuasive warrant for believing in the realities presupposed by liberal political discourse and the institutional arrangements of modernity: that there are such things as persons, and that they have such things as rights. Secularization and scientism are thus subverting modernity’s most fundamental assumptions from within, developments that are facilitated by the same institutional arrangements of liberalism that solved early modern Europe’s problem of religious coexistence.
End Mike Church Show Transcript