Saturday, March 30, 2019

Approaching it

Peggy Noonan isn't a reliable narrator, but sometimes she gets close:
It is just such an air of extremeness on the field now, and it reflects a larger sense of societal alienation. We have the fierce teamism of the lonely, who find fellowship in their online fighting group and will say anything for its approval. There are the angry who find relief in politics because they can funnel their rage there, into that external thing, instead of examining closer and more uncomfortable causes. There are the people who cannot consider God and religion and have to put that energy somewhere.

America isn’t making fewer of the lonely, angry and unaffiliated, it’s making more every day.
Emphasis mine. She almost found it there. Substitute "will not" for "cannot" and try it again. You see it every time someone speaks not of God, but of some vague spirituality, which in nearly every instance is so protean to be without any structure at all, and is easily discarded, too. C.S. Lewis was on this one a long time ago:
The moment you have a self at all, there is a possibility of putting yourself first - wanting to be the centre - wanting to be God, in fact. That was the sin of Satan: and that was the sin he taught the human race. Some people think the fall of man had something to do with sex, but that is a mistake...what Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they 'could be like Gods' - could set up on their own as if they had created themselves - be their own masters - invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come...the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.
It's tough business to make these arguments, especially as a Catholic, given the scandals of the Church that we have endured. But to reject a religious infrastructure and substitute politics instead always brings destruction. We will always struggle to know God; it's intrinsic to faith. Being God is infinitely more difficult.

1 comment:

Bike Bubba said...

Well said. I remember telling a guy I was corresponding with, one who had walked away from the church, that he was as much a preacher as anyone, just with a different gospel. And wasn't that notion--that our bent towards religion reveals a creator--one of the proofs/indications of God's existence? Or, as the old country song says, you've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything.