The topic of Christian humanism must be frankly faced by the Christian today as … a problem …  A problem because … (it) is questioned by a secular culture, a culture of revolution, which declares religion to be a social mystification which diminishes man’s human stature, blunts his creativity, retards his growth toward maturity.

Thomas Merton, Monk

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This is Merton in the last half of the 20th century.

Matters have only gotten worse.  We are now nearly totally immersed in secular culture. What remains?  Godless humanism – man as god, each his or her own god only to be collected by ideological subsets – a herd of true believers.  A sea of believers in what they believe: their own scripted and formulaic ideas, small as they are.

Since Merton wrote this the West, and the U.S. in particular, has placed politics and power above faith and near the center of the culture.  Doing so elbows God out of the picture with an avalanche of rapidly accelerating bad consequences because all decisions are political, all seeking is self-seeking, crass replaces grace, naked self-interest reigns and folly is our national product.

This is clear in any venue and most clearly visible among the political Left where the ends always “sanctify” the means.

Merton anticipated this by rightly diminishing the presumed value of “social action” in favor of Christian love noting “… that Christianity can not only throw light on the most typical and most urgent problems of the modern world but that there is certain light which Christianity alone can provide.”  (Emphasis added.)

That’s where we are.  What can we do?  Reject what we have and its proponents and with force and intent place faith back at the center of your life and, in so doing, at the center of this culture and this nation.

Shalom.

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