"This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but with a whimper," ~T.S. Eliot (The Hollow Men).
From the breakdown of tradition to the abandonment of Aristotelianism, Western civilization is on the decline. As radical 'progressivism' strips the West of its identity through secularization, immigration, and multiculturalism in the name of 'tolerance,' it is evident that more was lost in the trenches of the First World War than just nearly 9 million human lives (Source).
We lost our sense of identity
And everything since has merely been one exercise after another in futility as we try desperately to return to our former glory without acknowledging what gave us that glory in the first place.
Christianity, the faith of our forefathers. Not Christianity the social movement but Christianity the one true religion. Not Christ the moral teacher but Christ the victor over death. In the words of St. Athanasius, the belief that "God became man so that men may become God," (On the Incarnation).
Not only did it define the West but it actually made it. There would be no Western civilization without Christianity. The ancient Greeks such as Aristotle may have planted the seeds, but Christianity cultivated them from Ss. Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, and Gregory the Theologian to Ss. Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, and the Scholastics of the Middle Ages. It is only because of Christianity that everything which made the West great was possible. Thus I believe that only a return to Christianity can reverse the decline that the scourge of 'progressivism' has wrought.
I confidently and wholeheartedly believe that Western civilization was, and is, the greatest civilization that has ever existed. Political correctness aside, we have every reason to be proud. For what other civilization has accomplished what we have accomplished? What other civilization has left behind a legacy as glorious and fantastic as ours? From our moral superiority to our keen intellects and technological prowess, we reached summits that the rest of the world could never even dream of. But in order to return to our former glory, we must return to Christianity.
Below are three aspects of Western civilization that were only made possible because of it.
#3) Our Moral Superiority
Whether the Left wants to admit it or not, the West was and arguably still is morally superior to the rest of the world. The same society that practiced slavery and subjugated women as all societies did at one point or another and/or still do was also the only society that gave birth to abolitionism and feminism on its own. And if like me you believe that slavery was not fully rectified until 1964, then the arguments utilized by Dr. King--who was also a Lutheran minister--bear witness to the role that Christianity played in the moral development of the West.
But this goes even further back than these relatively contemporary issues. It goes back to antiquity. Christianity redeemed us from the menace of pagan worship, and as a Mexican-American I will be the first one to admit that I am grateful for that. Long gone are the days of human sacrifice, the barbarity of the coliseums, and burying alive of women which characterized not only my Aztec ancestors, but paganism everywhere including the Norse, Mediterranean, and ancient Chinese.
Furthermore this progress was only made possible because its foundation was Christianity. Only Christianity was able to affirm the inherent dignity of the human person and provide a satisfactory response to the mystery of Death. Like its Abrahamic cousins, it did this by affirming that man was created in the image and likeness of God, a premise unfathomable not only to pagan antiquity but also to paganism today (more on that later). But Christianity also took it a step further than its Abrahamic cousins by affirming that God became man. This means that not only are humans made in the image and likeness of God, but they are also partakers of the Divine nature by virtue of the very person of Christ. The Incarnation acts as a bridge uniting together creation to the creator, allowing the latter to transfigure the former. Man itself is a sacramental mystery. This is the entire purpose of iconography, the point that St. John of Damascus so eloquently defended against iconoclastic Muslims and would defend against iconoclastic Protestants today.
To those who persist in the heresy of denying icons, or rather the apostasy of denying Christ, and to those who say that they are idols, anathema!"~The Procession on the Sunday of Orthodoxy
Christianity addressed the mystery of Death through the Resurrection and in the process destroyed the pagan narrative of cosmic despair. This means that since Christ was God and Death could not contain God, Death itself was put to death through the Resurrection and thus the eternal life of mankind was secured. This together with the Incarnation means that humanity has the potential not only to live but to truly be alive with meaning and purpose through union with its Creator who is life itself. In the Eastern Orthodox Church we call this process 'theosis' and it is salvation; the Roman Catholic Church would call it 'sanctification' or living according to one's true nature.
The same cannot be said for Judaism and Islam where morality is determined by Divine Command Theory and thus accountable to the Euthyphro Dilemma. Rather for Christians morality is an ontological transformation, with 'good' being defined as that which is in accordance with this aim and 'bad' as that which is not. Thus even if our Abrahamic cousins posit life after death, they have still not addressed the mystery of Death in full. Heaven becomes a form of escapism, a place where imperfect souls reside in a manner not much different from life on Earth. There is no ontological transformation thus the actual state of the soul is never made right. God just turns a blind eye.
The same cannot be said for paganism either. Their inability to affirm the dignity of the human person and to address the mystery of Death entails a worldview characterized by cosmic despair. This means that since life is subject to death, there is no human dignity. This life is all that exists therefore there is no morality. All that matters is earthly glory and success. If I am fortunate enough to possess a lot of wealth, women, and slaves, then it is because my gods have found favor with me. If you are unfortunate enough to be impoverished, enslaved, or diseased, then it is because your gods have punished you. Therefore I must be 'right' and you must be 'wrong,' and since my gods are more powerful than your gods, there is no reason why I cannot treat you like shit. Law of the jungle.
This appalling and ironically atheistic sort of thinking is responsible for the follies of contemporary paganism as well. It is why the demonic delusion of Hinduism can put a grasshopper on a pedestal while turning a blind eye to the lot of their fellow man like the untouchables, then justify it through the abomination of reincarnation, that somehow victims deserve what happens to them because they are working out their karma from a past life. If this does not scream lack of human dignity and the inability to properly address the mystery of Death, then I do not know what does.
Only because Christianity affirmed the inherent dignity of the human person and addressed the mystery of Death was the moral development of the West made possible. It is why we outgrew paganism and the better though still deficient Judaism and Islam to become morally superior to the rest of the world. It is what enabled both the Church Fathers like St. Gregory of Nysa and the civil rights activists like Dr. King to speak out against the injustices that surrounded their communities. It was a process yes, but the fact that it came bears witness to the fact that the potential was always there. Christianity was the only ideology that made it even remotely possible. At this point the Left is probably fuming mad, just dying to (re)educate me on the injustices still present in the West like 'white privilege' and heterosexuality, but I say let them. The fact that we are even considering these things and whether or not we ought to correct them puts us miles ahead of everyone else, and demonstrates how Christianity is superior as an ideology since it made such speculation possible.
#2) Our Intellectual Keenness
As stated earlier, the ancient Greeks such as Plato and Aristotle may have planted the seeds of what would come to be known as Western civilization, but Christianity is what cultivated them. It was under Christianity that these intellectual ideals reached their peak. From St. Justin Martyr whom we call 'the philosopher' in the Eastern Orthodox Church to Thomas Aquinas the pride and joy of the Roman Catholic Church, Christianity played a huge role in the development of Western thought.
It is the latter whom more than any other pupil brought the ideas of Aristotle to completion. Building upon his teleological vision of reality, Thomas Aquinas deciphered the intricate nature of causation and formal logic which is absolutely essential to the success of any intellectual endeavor from philosophy to science. In the process he developed his theory of the natural law which came to influence Western thought for centuries from John Locke and the American Founding Fathers to Edward Feser, William Lane Craig, and Alvin Plantinga, each of whom possess doctorate degrees in philosophy from real schools whether the New Atheists want to admit it or not.
I am aware that this is very confusing since it is difficult to understand the importance of something as abstract as thought itself. With the exception of philosophers and English majors with too much spare time on their hands like myself, this is probably very boring. Hence why it is the shortest item on this list. But understanding the great intellectual tradition of the West and more importantly how Christianity cultivated it is vital for understanding Western civilization as we know it. This will become more evident in the next item on this list, but suffice to say for now that our Christian intellectual tradition far surpasses that of anywhere else in the world combined.
I can hear the American Left again, in their cheap, mass-produced Che Guevara shirts--courtesy of capitalism and the free market--whining about 'Eastern Logic' as in the case of India and dismissing Western thought as merely another opinion among many. But logic does not work that way. The truth is not relative. Logic is logic regardless of where you are from and either you discover logic or you do not. To claim otherwise is like claiming that the Pythagorean Theorem is not objectively true of right triangles simply because someone in another part of the world says otherwise. In the classroom you would just call them 'wrong.' So it is with logic. The West discovered it by virtue of the ancient Greeks and Christianity while the East did not. Political correctness cannot change that.
#1) Our Technological Prowess
From Leonardo da Vinci to Nikola Tesla and Henry Ford, the technological prowess of the West is unmatched. The ancient Chinese came close with the Four Great Inventions as did the Middle East, but both were eclipsed by the West as we gave birth to the Industrial Revolution. Hence the importance of something as abstract as thought. It may appear impractical at first, but it has real-life implications. And the most observable among them are science and technology.
The superior intellectual tradition of the West is what made this possible. Whereas the Confucian ideal of the East emphasized harmony over change, the Christian ideal of the West emphasized change over harmony. The result of which was unparalleled innovation both morally, intellectually, and technologically. But it goes even further than this. Monotheism itself paved the way for science and technology by ridding the world of the scourge of paganism and its vastly inferior cosmology.
It did this by positing a clear distinction between creator and creation. Whereas the pagan narrative viewed the two as synonymous and thus sharing a circular relationship, the monotheistic narrative viewed (and still views) the two as distinct and thus sharing a causal relationship. In other words, God is not a literal part of the universe like Neptune who embodies water but is rather the creator of the universe like Matt Groening to The Simpsons. The former narrative leads to superstition and infantile thinking as in the case of 'Eastern logic' since natural phenomenon is mistaken for the supernatural while the latter narrative leads to empirical observation and study as in the case of science since natural phenomenon is no longer beyond the scope of human understanding.
The third man on the first image is my recently departed uncle leading a group of students in a science experiment. He was a renowned nuclear scientist and Greek Orthodox Christian ☦️
The metaphysical outcome was likewise immense and cannot be ignored for the great role that it played in the advent of science. For science rests upon axiomatic principles of logic and the ability to discern causal patterns within nature. Neither of which were possible within the pagan narrative of excluded middles, lack of identities, and contradictory statements like the creator also being creation, as if such circular reasoning had any merit whatsoever. It was only within the monotheistic narrative that these necessary metaphysical developments could occur, and thus only within the monotheistic narrative that science could blossom. Moreover it was only because of Christianity with its emphasis on change and great intellectual tradition of Thomas Aquinas and the Scholastics that we could surpass the rest of the world in science and technology.
If the Left is offended by this, good, I want to offend them. I am much more offended by their use of my tax dollars to fund the systematic slaughter of the unborn in the name of 'choice' than they are offended by me. That and their war against the traditional family unit in a petty act of rebellion against the Divine, which is all that 'progressivism' really is anyway. But I am not finished. The abandonment of our great intellectual tradition and particularly the teleological vision of Aristotle and Aquinas is one of the main forces behind the decline of Western civilization. It is why we are experiencing a regress, with unscientific bullshit like the (re)definition of gender and normalization of perversions like homosexuality. Only a return to Christianity can reverse this utter insanity.
The West has lost its sense of identity because it has abandoned its Christian heritage. It was only because of Christianity and Christianity alone that we were able to attain such glory as in the case of our moral superiority, intellectual keenness, and technological prowess. Only a return to Christianity can restore our identity and make us glorious again. But I am going to take it a step further and argue that only Eastern Orthodoxy is fit for the task of saving the West. Since Vatican II, the Roman Catholic Church is a shadow of its former self hardly in a position to do anything, and Protestantism by its very nature is unfit for the task since it was born from rebellion which is precisely the problem that needs to be addressed. Only Eastern Orthodoxy has maintained its integrity and has the experience necessary to 'rough it' in a society that has become so militantly opposed to Christianity, as we did under the Ottoman yoke for 400 years before doing the same under the Soviet Union.
To those who disagree, I would challenge you to find me one, just one, society that has reached greater heights or built a more fantastic civilization than the Christian West. And for that matter one, just one, ideology that has shown itself to be more capable of this task than Christianity.
Surely it cannot be paganism, as I explained ad nauseam throughout this article. It cannot be atheism either, since atheism admits no creed, culture, or dogma. For that matter, it admits nothing beyond the natural world which makes metaphysical concepts like morality impossible. Does the lion think twice about hunting the zebra? No, and neither does Dr. Peter Singer who is at least logically consistent with his atheism. Thus in that regard it is similar to paganism, characterized by cosmic despair. It cannot be Judaism or Islam either for reasons outlined above, even though I have more respect for my Abrahamic cousins than I do anything else mentioned so far. And certainly it cannot be 'progressivism' as the countless failed utopias, violent revolutions, and wholesale genocides since the Enlightenment bear witness to. The Left has about the same ability to 'lead' as a group of rebellious little boys after locking their babysitter out of the house. Heck, I would take the Muslims over them -- at least Islam can ensure social stability -- the same cannot be said for 'progressivism' which leads only to the gulag, the guillotine, and the gay agenda.
Our Inevitable Fate...
With the abandonment of Christianity, I believe that there are only two possibilities left for the West. They are totalitarianism and Islamization. I believe that the United States will adopt the former while Europe will fall to the latter. The reason being that while Americans do not like being told what to do -- just look at how the Prohibition went -- the vast majority of us are more than willing to surrender our rights if it grants the illusion of safety. Just look at NSA and the militarization of the police in the aftermath of 9/11. And as long as we have access to cheap beer and football for conservatives and gay pride and marijuana for liberals, we will not do anything about it. We will go down the same path as the Roman Republic with Julius Caesar. Europe on the other hand has no fight left in them as they are even more infected with 'progressivism' than we are. Otherwise they would have done something already about the 'No-Go Zones' in France and imprisonment of citizens in the UK for 'Islamophobia.' This combined with rapidly changing demographics convinces me that Islamization is inevitable.
Only a return to Christianity can avert this crisis, and I intend to go down like my patron St. Augustine of Hippo after penning The City of God when his civilization fell after turning its back on Christianity.