Remember after WWII, after this horrific binge of blood-letting, (and the one before it, for that matter), people everywhere in the western world had in many cases become disillusioned with matters of faith and traditional religion and their institutional framework. They found all of their rules and regulations concerning moral and civil behaviour to be too ‘restrictive’, and ‘preachy’, ‘judgemental’, ‘narrow-minded’, and ‘not in tune with the times’. Traditional Christian denominations, by the time the baby boomers got to be teenagers in the 1960s, found themselves faced with an overwhelmingly restless and vocal constituency of youth who, for the most part, had never known physical or economic privation and had grown up with all the modern conveniences wrought by the technological advancements that came out of the war.

These Christian Churches found themselves also faced with a burgeoning ‘culture of youth’, whose consumer-based and driven imperatives were increasingly exhorting youth to be carefree, prosperous, self-willed, self-centred, self-seeking consumers of music, narcotics, movies, magazines, travel, cars, and a whole other plethora of consumer goods which were destined to ultimately drive many of them away from the practice of some sort of Christian faith, and the presence of a Supreme Being in their daily lives.

At the same time, governments everywhere in the western world were keen to hop onto the bandwagon of becoming the new ‘God’, or new ‘Religion’, through their expanding roles in the fields of the provision of secular services such as education, health care, social services, and so on. We avidly embraced Keynesian Economics as a legitimate way to finance all of this, thereby paving the way for several generations of deficit financing, which has led many of our countries, including America, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Ireland, to the brink of bankruptcy and default.

People felt they didn’t want or ‘need’ God anymore. It wasn’t ‘convenient’ to go to Church anymore. Parents were having more and more difficulty convincing their children to come to Church and get involved in their respective Parish communities. In years gone by, there hadn’t been so many things to compete with Church. Basically most families had Sundays off, for the most part, and many families still didn’t have television, and if they did, it didn’t broadcast on Sunday mornings, or any morning for that matter, until about noon. There were far fewer channels to distract people, no cable, no internet, no video games, no cell phones, I Pods, Blackberries, I Pads, Game Boys, etc…

Nowadays, many people, especially those under 30, are now so hooked on these devices; they can’t even unplug themselves from them for even 24hrs without going into some sort of ‘withdrawal’-kind of mode, according to one survey which was broadcast recently.

Parents started also to become ‘chained’ to their jobs and their careers. Women began entering the workplace in numbers unheard of before starting in the late 1960s and early 70s. They also began entering institutions of higher learning in record numbers and began having far fewer children, and having them later and later, if at all. The homosexual lobby began lobbying for ‘equal rights’ and began demanding that their definition of sexual orientation and gender roles be taken at par with those of a traditional nature.

Basically the entire traditional social fabric began to quickly unravel. Divorce laws were enacted and loosened. Couples began to split apart in record numbers. It was all of a sudden ‘OK’ to get divorced, even almost ‘fashionable’ to do so. Many women began to be perceived as being ‘heroic’ and ‘plucky’ for being single mothers, as opposed to being perceived, or perhaps perceiving themselves, as being somebody who might just be lacking something, or should I say ‘someone’ in their lives.

It started to become even fashionable in some women’s circles to get artificially inseminated and have their baby themselves, and then raise the child explicitly without a male parent, because they didn’t want the child to have a male influence in their lives. All of a sudden it was open season on the white, Judeo-Christian, middle-class, heterosexual male: We were fat, boorish, ill-mannered, badly-educated, out of shape, slobbish, didn’t know or want to do anything noble or worthwhile, especially to help a woman, we were gutless, feckless, wimpy, sophomoric, unable to commit to anything or anyone, especially a woman, irresponsible, disorganized, lazy, and a whole host of other negative adjectives that I just can’t think of right now.

At the same time, there began to develop, especially in the 1990s and onwards, and it has gotten more pronounced in the 21st century, a sort of ‘cult of the Superwoman’, where girls and women are portrayed in the public forum as all bright, beautiful, brainy, assertive, in control, won’t take no for an answer, organized, brave, intuitive, plucky, patriotic, and generally having more balls and testicular fortitude than any man ever had or ever will.

All of this ‘gender war’, in the secular media has only gone to exacerbate an already torn and frayed social fabric. We now find ourselves in such a sorry state of societal flux and breakdown, that our hospital emergency wards in our country are overflowing with people who’re coming to consult the Doctor for all sorts of otherwise avoidable things. Our social services agencies are overflowing with people living all sorts of problems related to aging, social isolation and solitude, abuse, suicide, addictions, violence, and so on.

We have therapy houses and soup kitchens and homeless shelters which are literally overflowing into the streets with people who’ve gotten caught up in the cycle of drugs, prostitution, gambling, abuse, violence, and so on. However, one thing remains: Our Churches remain empty, or struggling to survive. Funny, isn’t it? Not ‘funny, ha! Ha!’, but ‘funny’, as in ‘peculiar’, wouldn’t you say?

It would appear that all of the best laid plans of Mice and Men have gone horrible awry. All of the secular ‘solutions’ of ‘liberating’ people from all of that bad ‘Old-time religion and superstition’, and ‘oppressive discipline’ that children used to get in the old days, by making them ‘prosperous’, and ‘affluent’ and ‘well-off’, have produced so much spiritual poverty it’s not even funny. Never before in the history of western civilization has there been more material abundance, but by the same token, the level of spiritual poverty and unhappiness has never been higher.

Right after the war, people lived mostly in small bungalows, with just a basement and one floor upstairs, and usually one bathroom with one toilet, and far fewer consumer goods than they have now, and they had three, four sometimes five kids and more. Now the size of our houses has grown exponentially to these huge two storey monsters on tiny lots with no yards, two to four cars in the driveway, loads and loads of stuff and electronic gadgets in the house drawing enormous amounts of electricity, not to mention draining the ‘human power’ from the house, and only one or two kids, if any.

In the meantime, the abortion rate has never been higher in this province, same goes for the high-school dropout rate, especially for boys. The rate of functional illiteracy is alarmingly high, the birthrate a lacklustre 1,74 children per couple, the rate of conjugal breakdown one of the highest anywhere, the rate of marriage, either civil or religious amongst the lowest anywhere, the suicide rate is amongst the highest in the western world, especially for young men, and the litany of woe continues.

Still our secular atheist elites like to talk about a ‘modèle Québécois’, as if our province were some sort of marvellous template to be emulated the world over. To my knowledge, no other civilization is lining up to utilize Québec’s way of doing things as a ‘model’ to be copied.

Every week, I see and here baby boomers in my entourage and in the public sphere in general bemoaning the state of the world, and wondering what it’s all about, as they move ever so much closer towards their twilight years. These were the people who were going to be ‘forever young’ and were going to ‘never grow up or grow old’. Well guess what, small reality check here folks, you and everybody else are going to die, and are going to have to do something about leaving the world a better place than you found it.

So far, the odds of that happening are not looking too good, and I’m not just talking about the environment, as in ‘climate change’ but also the social ‘change in climate’ which has come about in the last 50 years or so. What have the people who brought us all of this ‘progress’ and secular ‘progressivism’ have to say for themselves? How can they truly say that the nuclear family is in any way better off and stronger now than it was 50 years ago? Has the status of women really improved all that dramatically in real terms? Is having more women suffering from alcoholism, burn out, cancer, violence, drug addiction, and spousal breakdown really a sign of an improvement in the ‘status of women’? Is the decline in the status of men, and their loss of pride, sense of value, gender identity, socio-economic status, and overall decline in the relative importance of patriarchy really a sign of a society in ‘progress’?

Is the fact that children are now exposed to the pressures of secular, atheistic consumerism at an earlier and earlier age, which sexualizes them, especially young girls, and removes any sense of their attachment to a Higher Power, and all things sacred, while banalizing and profaning all else, really a sign of ‘progress’, or ‘growth’?

Perhaps we should be looking backward, not forward, and see from whence we came, and how and why we got to where we are, before we decide to blindly and blithely leap forward even further into the great wide open chasm of scientifically and technologically driven media madness and consumerism. Maybe we’ll find the elements we need to inspire us, in the truest sense of the word , as in to ‘motivate as if by Divine nature’, and be able to move forward, as the long jumper does, by first taking several steps back, then making a run for it, and jumping as far as he can.

I think this would truly ‘inspire’ a genuinely new ‘culture of youth’, of today to re-connect with the best that the past has to offer, while making a bold leap into the future, imbued with the light of faith in Christ. Now that’s what I call ‘real progress’. Amen.

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