A continuation from A Letter to Me, From Me
Are you still listening? You had a short attention span ten years ago and, the bad news is …
Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah, I was scaring the bejeebers out of you by informing you that you’re gonna be a zealous devotée of Jesus in a little less than a decade from now (then). Look at it this way, the Bible says numerous times, (yes, we read at least four chapters a day) that fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Of course, because you are currently a touchy-feely new age wonk, you reject the whole notion of fear having any association with God whatsoever.
However, a young child obeys their father because they fear the consequences, and desire his approval. Dad might merely raise his voice when his son goes reaching for a boiling teapot, but he’s really going to feel dad’s wrath if he catches him running into oncoming traffic. Authority has to be established early. Conscience is formed and then the seeds of wisdom begin to take root. (If it makes you feel better, just insert any euphemism in place of “fear” that soothes your tender sensibilities.)
But, while I’ve got my attention, I’d like to talk about a curious contaminant which is running rampant in the world today, and it’s prominently displayed in your current moral code. You have a desire to be good, but you’re afraid to cross over into that nondescript place of sunshine, lollipops, rainbows and everything that has no edge to it. You have an aversion to being — what? — too good? There’s this Barney rebel proclivity toward heroes who are somewhat villains.
I don’t mean to pick on you, me, because it’s not just you, it’s like the entire world has forgotten how to grow up and we’re in a perpetual state of adolescence. Back in the 60s, a popular saying was, “Don’t trust anybody older than thirty,” and it seems like the advice has finally been taken. (For purposes of full disclosure, I’m thirty-five, so read at your own risk.)
Concupiscence is man’s natural inclination towards sin since the fall in the Garden. (No, not the Celtics’ 87 Finals loss to the Lakers in the Boston Garden, I’m talking about Original Sin, the Garden of Eden.) It’s in our blood to rage against the proliferation of the Light; to resist the divine nature and to persist in deviance. (I know you’re not buying any of this, me, but hear me out.) In my time, 2011, the Western world, and its leaders, seem to have adopted the “cool teacher” mentality.
You know, those teachers who wanted to be liked by their students more as a peer than as an instructor; so they preferred to be called by their first name, and they’d occasionally swear accidentally /on purpose in front of you (as a ploy to make you think, “Hey, he’s just like us!”), and they enforced little to no discipline, because they were just too cool to be such a drag. Well, that pretty much describes every one in a position of authority now, in my time, but it seems to have started to get going in your time — about a decade ago — when the Internet had established her groove.
You might think I sound like a stick-in-the-mud raining on various and sun-dried parades, but there is a phenomenon occurring which has been an ever-growing cultural snowball. Maybe it’s always been in us, but now we have a tool with which to inflict our anonymous animosity.
There is an endless onslaught of caustic humor available at all four corners of the tangled web and everywhere in between. There’s no getting away from it. I believe that this is the backlash from the Political Correctness movement, where everybody was essentially forced to be artificially polite. The personal computer users hooked up to the net were the avant-garde counter to the other kind of PC movement, and for them, the more cruel and sadistic the content and commentary the better.
This mentality gathered momentum and eventually seeped into the mainstrean. In 1992 the first Reality TV show made its way onto the airwaves of the pop culture litmus test for teens and twentysomethings: MTV (which used to stand for Music Television, but don’t ask me where the music went). “The Real World” premiered and the opening narrative bragged:
This is the TRUE story of seven strangers picked to live in a house, work together, and have their lives taped to find out what happens when people stop being polite… and start getting real….
As though the two are necessarily mutually exclusive. So to be harsh and unsympathetic is to be real.
Let me say I’m still a strong supporter of the Internet and its freedoms of expression. It is highly unlikely that this — the most powerful tool of the masses ever — will remain as it is, with almost no restrictions at all, and I think that’s a shame. It’s inevitable that those in power will eventually put the clamps on the web and then turn around and exploit its limitless potential for Huxley-esque persuasion.
Government enforced restrictions are not what I’d call for. What I would like to see, however, is some self-governing by individuals, in conjunction with God’s Law. Personal responsibility in union with Christian ethics. (Yes, I said it!)
Television followed the Internet’s lead and so did once-reputable publications. Everything is being run by your average 13-year-old now. Endless video variations of some guy getting whacked in his groin with a wiffleball bat and that kind of comedy is the common offering in this technological Lord of the Flies. But that’s the more tame content. Mostly we like to watch somebody be humiliated in some way. Schadenfreude — Sigmund Freud’s older brother.
Am I freaking myself out, sounding like somebody’s grandmother, asking where all the adults have gone? There’re countless adult websites, but all the adults have regressed into pubescent punks.
And speaking of grandmothers: let me ask you, me, how would you feel if, instead of being comforted by an elderly person’s wisdom and kindness, they too lost that sort of majestic maturity? What if sweet and gentle grandma got a kick out of seeing some poor schmuck get kicked in the crotch; or if she swore like a truck driver — even in front of the little ones? Sure, everybody knows an old person like that, but what if the other kind ceased to exist entirely?
And this is what YOU think you want.
You want a hybrid, streamlined religion that’s all-inclusive and not so restrictive with its rigid rules and dogma. (You think “dogma” is a pejorative.) Let me tell you, me, if it’s the thought that counts, you’re no mathematician. The Church is like the grandmother. She hasn’t changed in 2000 years, by orders and intercession of her founder, Jesus Christ.
Nowadays, you are much more disciplined, but with a ways to go still. “Discipline”, derived from the Latin discipulus or disciple. For a while there you veered off into Gnosticism, because you thought it was Christianity for cool people. Cool is the fickle frost that hardens the soul and gives the whole world frostbite. Save us some time and stop deviating from the yellow brick road, Dorothy.
The world wants to “push the envelope,” in terms of decency. But the thing is, this package has no destination, it just keeps getting pushed. Nobody really wants to open it because what’s inside is anti-everything good, but we’re willing to anti-up. What happens when the antiestablishment is the establishment? Again, this is what you thought you wanted. Well, you’ve got it. The class clowns are now teaching the class. The inmates are running the asylum. Tabloid voyeurs set up the pedestal people so that the satire assassins can knock ’em down.
Do we love our neighbor? Well, in a desperate housewives sort of way, yeah.
You think the Church is prudish, because of its positions on sex (like you even know the Church’s positions on sex, outside of what the mainstream media tells you), but true Christianity teaches that sex is sacred, because it’s where God allows us to somewhat assist in the creation of life; whereas, secular progressives have achieved their longtime goal of making it no big deal, and just another marketable commodity. The constant noise machine media mocks and attacks conservative values, while their side is running up the score and putting the “purse” in persecution. (Um, kinda.) We’re running out of prepubescent girls who don’t dress like common streetwalkers. I know you’re thinking, “every generation says that”, but every generation couldn’t go into Wal-Mart and buy a thong for a five-year-old.
Pop culture aims to devalue human beings and then sell them on the clearance rack. They want to chew all the flavor out of individuals and then stick them to the bottom of the desk and move to another piece.
Hey, me, a long time ago we stopped looking at porn — entirely. Not only do we no longer seek out movies with strong sexual content and gratuitous nudity (that’s fun to say), but we actually avert our eyes during beer commercials with bikini-clad women, so’s not to tempt temptation. (I’ll give you a couple seconds to throw up in your mouth.)
OK? Shall we go on?
I know, you’d be ashamed to be seen with … you. We don’t eat meat on Fridays, because it’s a modest sacrifice to honor the Great Sacrifice of Good Friday. We pray the Rosary at least once a day. (You don’t know what that is yet, but, trust me, you’ll grow to love it.) We don’t give things up, we offer them up.
And I’m not patting myself on the back, yours or mine, because we have a long way to go in one lifetime. I don’t believe in reincarnation, though I did in a past life. I am an irredeemable sinner who has been redeemed; a maculate mud-man touched by grace; a walking contradiction who cannot walk.
And every stepless step of the way, in my heart I say: God’s will be done.
by Steve Turner
We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin.
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don’t hurt anyone,
to the best of your definition of hurt,
and to the best of your knowledge.
We believe in sex before during
and after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that sodomy’s OK
We believe that taboos are taboo.
We believe that everything’s getting better
despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated.
You can prove anything with evidence.
We believe there’s something in horoscopes,
UFO’s and bent spoons;
Jesus was a good man just like Buddha
Mohammed and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher although we think
his good morals were bad.
We believe that all religions are basically the same,
at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of
creation sin heaven hell God and salvation.
We believe that after death comes The Nothing
because when you ask the dead what happens
they say Nothing.
If death is not the end, if the dead have lied,
then it’s compulsory heaven for all
excepting perhaps Hitler, Stalin and Genghis Khan.
We believe in Masters and Johnson.
What’s selected is average.
What’s average is normal.
What’s normal is good.
We believe in total disarmament.
We believe there are direct links between
warfare and bloodshed.
Americans should beat their guns into tractors
and the Russians would be sure to follow.
We believe that man is essentially good.
It’s only his behaviour that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.
We believe that each man must find the truth
that is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly.
The universe will readjust. History will alter.
We believe that there is no absolute truth
excepting the truth that there is no absolute truth.
We believe in the rejection of creeds.