Skip to comments.Post-Christian America
Posted on 08/19/2012 1:51:28 PM PDT by NYer
When we reach the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Revolution in 2027, will Protestantism still be a presence in the United States?
What is the definition of a Christian country? Mine is a country that has a majority of citizens who believe in and publicly profess the Nicene or Apostles Creed, as these creeds have come down to us from the Ancient Church – people who at least attempt to live according to the Ten Commandments.
Of course, we are all sinners. But the proof that we are even more pagan than formerly Christian Europe – or the Islamic countries for that matter – is the piling up of more than a million abortions per year (killing our own citizens) since 1973.
“Christian” America has already killed enough of its unborn to easily surpass Nazi Germany’s extermination camp total and may soon catch up with the death rolls of the U.S.S.R. and Red China. No true Christian country that has recourse to democratic voting could countenance such massacre without regime change or rebellion.
On top of this, the number of divorces and illegitimate births continues to rise, as fewer “couples” bother to get married and the number of people addicted to pornography skyrockets. In short, the social revolution of the 1960s captured the culture and converted much of the nation. According to a new Pew poll, the number of Americans who profess a belief in no religion at all has tripled since the 1990s, now accounting for one in five of our countrymen.
My purpose here, however, is not to prove that America is no longer a Christian country but to reflect on why and how it happened.
Many of the first settlers came to the Americas to escape religious persecution. With the solitary exception of Maryland (my home state, settled by Catholics), these early settlers were Protestants of various persuasions. They differed from one another in dogma, but generally agreed in professing and attempting to live a moral life based on the Ten Commandments.
Though bestowed by God on Mt. Sinai, the Commandments are also commonly held (even when not lived up to) by non-Judeo-Christians and unbelievers who recognize the natural law written on our hearts.
Alexis de Tocqueville
With the passage of time, homegrown American Protestant sects sprang up so profusely that they now can be counted in the thousands. Despite this variety, almost all shared a biblical moral philosophy not far removed from Catholics. The loosening of divorce laws and the propagation of the birth control pill in the Sixties, however, precipitated further retreat mere decades later by mainstream and traditional Protestant denominations on other moral fronts, including abortion, homosexual activity, and most recently same-sex marriage.
The primary reason is the lack of dogmatic authority in Protestantism and the reliance on the principle of private judgment. Leaving people to rely on only their opinions or feelings as moral guide is not enough to sustain a country that was once Christian and now is increasingly pagan.
What is the solution? Can American become Christian again? In my judgment, mainstream Protestantism is in an irreversible freefall. Don’t count on any great religious revivals. America needs witness, not enthusiasm. The United States will either become predominantly Catholic in numbers, faith, and morals or perish under the weight of its unbridled hedonism and corruption. As Alexis de Tocqueville, the nineteenth-century French observer who arguably best understood the United States, observed:
I hope and believe that readers will live to see that happen in this life – if not the next.At the present time, more than in any preceding age, Roman Catholics are seen to lapse into infidelity, and Protestants to be converted to Roman Catholicism. If you consider Catholicism within its own organization, it seems to be losing; if you consider it from outside, it seems to be gaining. Nor is this difficult to explain. The men of our days are naturally little disposed to believe; but as soon as they have any religion, they immediately find in themselves a latent instinct that urges them unconsciously towards Catholicism. Many of the doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic Church astonish them, but they feel a secret admiration for its discipline, and its great unity attracts them. If Catholicism could at length withdraw itself from the political animosities to which it has given rise, I have hardly any doubt but that the same spirit of the age which appears to be so opposed to it would become so favorable as to admit of its great and sudden advancement.
One of the most ordinary weaknesses of the human intellect is to seek to reconcile contrary principles and to purchase peace at the expense of logic. Thus there have ever been and will ever be men who, after having submitted some portion of their religious belief to the principle of authority, will seek to exempt several other parts of their faith from it and to keep their minds floating at random between liberty and obedience. But I am inclined to believe that the number of these thinkers will be less in democratic than in other ages, and that our posterity will tend more and more to a division into only two parts, some relinquishing Christianity entirely and others returning to the Church of Rome.
One in which the government as a whole, supports Christianity.
Problem: There is little or no evidence that Catholics in America, as a group, are more attached to biblical morality than Protestants, particularly conservative Protestants.
Not that this is saying much.
I’d bet that the majority of Americans could honestly confess the Apostles’ Creed.
I can’t prove it, but I think so. At least all adult Americans.
Which would make this a Christian country, in the cited author’s opinion.
Reads more like wishful thinking that those “pesky” Protestants will finally go away.
Maybe the U.S. should be more like France, a country whose history is saturated with Catholic morality and dominance as well as the blood of those the Catholic church deemed “heretics”.
Last time I checked our Government has been a secular plus
the seperation of church and state thing.
A different alternative would be that conservative Protestants and Roman Catholics meet in conclave to end the 500 year old Reformation schism in the Christian communion.
Many Protestant faiths today have almost forgotten why they split off from each other and the Catholic church. As such many could merge without offense until perhaps just a few remained.
The liberals, of course, would reject such a reunion entirely, as it would be done under the auspices of faith and shared belief, instead of for the purposes of the leftist agenda. But without the conservatives, the religions of liberals evaporate as inconsequential.
The end result would still be the Catholic church and one or more Protestant faiths, but no longer in contention and argument.
Your description might fit France in the 17th Century or before, but Catholicism in France has been in serious decline since the revolution.
Merge into the Catholic Church, right?
Thus “Catholic morality” is in no way superior to any Protestant morality.
In practice or on paper?
Unlikely, at least at first. Several Protestant denominations could merge with each other first.
But even a potential merge between the Catholics and Anglicans, who are very doctrinally similar, and wanted by many in both faiths for a very long time, has only recently become possible, after a fashion. Anglicans can now “become Catholic”, while still practicing their Anglican version.
Anyone can talk a good fight but the practice is what tells the tale.
Overall, is there a great difference between Catholic and non-Catholic in abortion rates or premarital sex, etc.?
I doubt there is.
You can tell the quality of what a church teaches about Christianity, by which party it’s adherents vote for.
The Catholic church, Episcopalians and other liberal churches produce voters who support the left’s morals and they vote for that.
Yes, liberal sympathizers the whole lot of them.
I would make a distinction between mainline Protestants and the growing number of Evangelical Protestants.
Ah, yes, the Protestants are the reason America is going down the toilet! Fr. McCloskey, as the nuns used to tell us in grade school, "Clean off your OWN doorstep before you try to clean off someone else's."
What's with you guys this weekend? Beat up on those Protties so you can feel better about yourselves? So far, you are NOT scoring any points and I highly doubt our Heavenly Father is pleased.
When the Rapture happens, we WILL go away - to be with the Lord!