Down the Slippery Slope: A Timeline of Social Revolution

fiscal-cliff

It is certainly not breaking news to assert that America is in cultural decline. Many aspects of this decline have been widely documented: the breakdown of the family, threats to life, and ever increasing secularization.

My intent in this article is to draw together the consistent progression of this cultural decline so that we can step back and examine the path of the social revolution that has been underway in America for some time. As we see, the undermining of family and life is not something new.

I have broken the following timeline into several stages. That is not to say that the only developments of this time concerned a single matter. Rather, the name marks the major turning point of that stage. I have also included a few international events, when they seem indicative of broader social change.

The Eugenics Stage

  • 1873 Comstock Act outlaws contraception and abortion in the US
  • 1896 Connecticut passes first eugenics based marriage law
  • 1907 First forced sterilization law in Indiana (30 states had eugenic programs)
  • 1916 Margaret Sanger founds the first birth control clinic in the US in New York
  • 1921 Sanger founds the American Birth Control League, which supports eugenics
  • 1927 Buck v. Bell: Supreme Court upholds legality of forced sterilization
  • 1929 North Carolina Eugenics Board created (North Carolina was the only state where social workers could propose sterilization)
  • 1930 Lambeth Conference endorses contraception use for Anglicans
  • 1934 Dr. Gregory Pincus produces test tube rabbits, using IVF
  • 1937 American Medical Association accepts contraception as a medical practice
  • 1942 Planned Parenthood Federation of America formed
  • 1945 Dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • 1948 McCollum v. Board of Education: Supreme Court rules religious education in public schools with government support is unconstitutional

The Contraception Stage

  • 1951 George (Christine) William Jorgensen becomes the first US citizen to have a sex change
  • 1952 At instigation of Sanger, Pincus produces the pill (though it was invented the year before by Carl Djerassi); tests begin shortly with Dr. John Rock; Rock campaigns for its acceptance by the Catholic Church
  • 1953 First no fault divorce law in Oklahoma (other states follow in the 1960s); First sperm bank is founded by Jerome Sherman in Iowa City
  • 1960 FDA approves the pill for contraceptive use
  • 1962 Illinois is the first state to repeal its anti-sodomy law
  • 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut: Supreme Court decides laws banning contraception are unconstitutional (6.5 million women on the pill in the US at that time)
  • 1966 Beginning of prenatal screening (which later leads to Down Syndrome Holocaust)
  • 1967 Summer of love in San Francisco marks the rise of the hippie movement
  • 1968 Priests across America publicly dissent from Humane Vitae
  • 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City begin the gay rights movement
  • 1970 4 million students involved in Student Strike of 1970; First changing of birth certificate for sex change
  • 1972 Eisenstadt v. Baird: Supreme Court extends right of access to contraception to unmarried individuals, stating that sexual privacy is an individual, not a marital, right

The Abortion Stage

  • 1973 Roe v. Wade: Supreme Court pronounces abortion a right of the mother; American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from list of mental disorders
  • 1978 First birth by IVF
  • 1980 First post mortem retrieval of sperm
  • 1984 Mexico City Policy seeks to prevent US funding for abortion in other countries, followed by the withdraw of funding for the United Nations Population Fund, for its support of coerced abortions and forced sterilization (both policies revoked and reinstated numerous times)
  • 1986 Baby M born to a surrogate mother, who refuses to cede custody
  • 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey: Supreme Court upholds Roe v. Wade, with the famous line: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” First case of a child divorcing a parent

Cloning and Euthanasia Stage

  • 1994 West does not intervene to stop the genocide in Rwanda; First sale of GMO food (a sign of our broader genetic manipulation of organisms, which has included animals and even human beings)
  • 1995 First assisted suicide law in Australia (later rescinded; Switzerland and Holland follow); Curtis v. School Committee of Falmouth: Supreme Court of Massachusetts rules that schools can provide condoms to students without parental consent
  • 1996 Cloning of the sheep Dolly; President Clinton signs the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
  • 1997 Assisted suicide in Oregon (2008 Washington, 2009 Montana, and 2013 Vermont); Reno v. ACLU Supreme Court strikes down restrictions on Internet pornography
  • 1998 First hybrid human clone; Gay rights summit in Waterloo, VA, which sets forth the successful strategy of desensitize, jam, and convert to change popular opinion (see Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball)
  • 1999 Columbine High School Massacre (a model for many later shootings); Jack Kevorkian, the “Death Doctor,” is convicted of second-degree murder

Gay Marriage Stage

  • 2000 Vermont passes first civil union law; First designer baby is born
  • 2001 First gay marriage law in Holland; President Bush limits federal funding for stem cell research to existing lines (Obama later lifts this restriction); Kansas appellate court decides chromosomes are not the only factor for sex identity; First 3 parent embryos (the FDA is currently re-considering the legality of this practice)
  • 2002 Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition: Supreme Court rules that anti-child pornography laws are too broad
  • 2003 Lawrence v. Texas: Supreme Court decides anti-sodomy laws are unconstitutional; Completion of Human Genome Project
  • 2004 Gay marriage in Massachusetts; First fusion of animal and human cells, which leads to the creation of chimeras
  • 2005 Marriage after sex change considered heterosexual by Immigration officials and the Justice Department; Death of Terri Schiavo
  • 2006 FDA approves Plan B emergency contraceptive (an abortifacient) over the counter for ages 18 and older
  • 2007 Gonzales v. Carhart: Supreme Court upholds the partial birth abortion ban
  • 2008 First successful cloning of human embryos
  • 2010 Obamacare passes, which gives rise to the HHS contraception mandate
  • 2012 Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Supreme Court unanimously rejects the Obama Administration’s attempt to force equal opportunity employment practices on churches; New York City provides morning after pill to high school students
  • 2013 United States v. Windsor: Supreme Court deems DOMA unconstitutional in its imposing of inequality; the Court also overturns California’s Proposition 8; Courts hear cases concerning Contraception Mandate with mixed results; Germany allows third gender on ID cards; Plan B for sale without restriction; California passes the first law to allow transgender students to choose bathrooms and sport teams; Human brain cells implanted in mice; Association for Molecular Pathology et al. v. Myriad Genetics: Supreme Court rejects patents for human genes, but upholds them for synthetic genes
  • 2014 legalization of recreational marijuana use in CO and WA; Supreme Court refuses to hear the Romeike asylum case, affirming the Obama administration’s attempt to demonstrate that there is not a right to homeschool; Belgium legalizes euthanasia for children

What is the end result of this gradual social revolution? Today, at least 40 percent of births in US are out of wedlock.  Divorce rates are about 50 percent. The fertility rate has hit an all-time low of 1.88, below the replacement level of 2.1. The marriage rate is also at an all-time low of 31.1, which represents 31 marriages for every 1,000 unmarried women. In 1950 it was 90.2. We also have seen a drastic, recent shift in popular opinion over gay marriage, with a majority in favor beginning in 2013.

This timeline, along with these recent statistics, demonstrates that the eroding of family life in the United States is not something sudden, but rather the result of a gradual process of social change. The events listed are not a random collection, but show a determined and coordinated decline of our culture, rooted in our changing understanding of sexuality, marriage and family, and even life itself (which is now a commodity, which can be engineered). The link between contraception, abortion, and homosexuality itself can be demonstrated simply by examining the Supreme Court decisions concerning these issues, which in their opinions directly build one upon the other.

Although the direction of our country is very troubling, to say the least, let this recent history be a motivator to begin the renewal!

R. Jared Staudt

By

R. Jared Staudt works in the Office of Evangelization and Family Life Ministries of the Archdiocese of Denver. He earned his BA and MA in Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN and his PhD in Systematic Theology from Ave Maria University in Florida. Staudt served previously as a director of religious education in two parishes, taught at the Augustine Institute and the University of Mary, and served as co-editor of the theological journal Nova et Vetera. He and his wife Anne have six children and he is a Benedictine oblate.

  • lifeknight

    Excellent outline of our decline! The sad truth– with the reality that we are leaving our children and grandchildren in a hugely flawed society.

    • musicacre

      An even more comprehensive outline with lots of background and explanation is Hilaire Belloc’s Crisis of Civilization. I’m just re-reading it right now.

  • jacobhalo

    The Catholic church joined hands with the modern world with the disastrous Vatican II Council. The goal was to bring the church into the modern world. Pope John Paul II told the Roman Curia on Dec. 22, 1980 “the contemporary church has a particular sensibility towards history and wishes to be every extension of the term, ‘the church of the contemporary world'”. The goal should have been to bring the modern world into the church.

    • PF

      I don’t flat-out disagree with you that Vatican II was damaging to the Church in some respects, however to call it “disastrous” is definitely an overstatement. I listen to my grandparents when they tell me how terrible things were in the Church before Vatican II, and I keep listening when they share with me how far we have come in attracting the modern world to the wonderfully ancient Church as a result. Flawed? Probably. Disastrous? Give me a break.

      • musicacre

        Disaster is a very accurate term. My husband’s old parish priest (may his soul rest in peace), who was a bible scholar (and was over- looked for bishop) said it was “..an unmitigated disaster… Probably precisely because it was never followed and gave ignorant Catholics the idea that suddenly this is the church of Bambi, which bears no relation to the stalwart beacon of truth that has guided peoples for centuries to a life of sureness of truth. The number of people attracted to the faith now doesn’t stack up to the millions that left from the confusion that arose from the ridiculous and tragic methods of implementing of Vatican II.

        • Art Deco

          I’d rather my parish priest’s mistress was named ‘Bambi” than named ‘Brad’.

          • musicacre

            I was actually making a serious comment.

            • TheAbaum

              I might point out that were prior disasters-and events that more closely meet the term i.e., the East West Schism and the Protestant rebellion long before Vatican II.

              And then there were the Aryan and Jansenist heresies, et al.

      • Art Deco

        I listen to my grandparents when they tell me how terrible things were
        in the Church before Vatican II, and I keep listening when they share
        with me how far we have come in attracting the modern world to the
        wonderfully ancient Church as a result.

        Oh yeah. Weekly attendance at Mass for American Catholics falls from 67% to 30%, the Catholic colleges are secularized, we see a 60% decline in annual ordinations to the diocesan priesthood (and a decline in the shelf life of a priest as the median age at ordination is now 37), we see a 90% decline in ordinations to the regular priesthood (and the Society of Jesus shot through with poseurs, homosexuals, and bon vivants), we see a demographic implosion in the orders of women religious so thorough that it has destroyed the economy of Catholic education, we see 80,000 annullments issued each year, and we see and the wonderfully ancient Church now concealed each week by a thick fog of Marty Haugen music.

      • jacobhalo

        Disastrous because of the facts: empty seminaries, convents, Catholic schools, very, very few going to confession, rebel priests, nuns, cardinals, cafeteria Catholics, (50% of Catholics are pro-choice) sermons that never address, homosexuality, abortion, etc. Pope John Paul II had religious ceremonies with other religions in the St. Francis of Assisi church, Cardinal Kasper calling for the divorced to be able to rec. communion. Jesus said that anyone who divorces and remarries commits adultery. Pope Francis saying that conversion is “nonsense”. There is much more. Pre-Vatican II: full churches, seminaries, convents, very, very few cafeteria Catholics, long lines at confession, sermons that the pastor excoriated their flock for what they were doing wrong. Today, the clerics are mush mouths with their sermons. I attend the EF mass. Our pastor gives sermons similar to Bishop Sheen. They are outstanding.

      • jacobhalo

        The point is Vatican II was not needed. The church was vibrant.

        • Art Deco

          It seems to be his view that the 2d Vatican Council had nothing to do with the ecclesial disaster and their confluence in time was purely coincidental.

          • TheAbaum

            The problem with blaming Vatican II is that it was contemporaneous with a lot of things, we’ve had disasters before and some of the cracks appeared in the 1950’s, which was when the abuse crisis started.

            It’s always dangerous to pronounce something as the singular cause of something else in a complex world.

            • Art Deco

              I am not doing that. I am responding to a commenter who fancies there was some sort of process of institutional renewal instigated we need all be grateful for. That, of course is rubbish.

              That there are parallel processes damaging the institution and the life of the faithful I would not deny. However, the very abrupt appearance of select phenomena belies the notion that the Council and its detritus were not a force.

              To take one example: I spoke to a sister of the Congregation of St. Joseph some years back and she gave me the numbers: her order inducted twice as many young women in 1961 and 1962 as had entered during the entire 30 year run after 1970.

              • TheAbaum

                I didn’t mean to assert you did.

                However between 1961 and 1970, a lot of stuff happened. Vietnam war, flower power, sexual revolution, three assassination, the pill, me….

            • jacobhalo

              Vatican II was not the only cause. The Worst Generation” my generation had much to do with the cultural revolution. They decided to rebel against society and their parents, and religion.The fault of the church was to try and bring the church into the modern world. It should had done vice-versa.

          • jacobhalo

            Many people have that belief. Why? I don’t know. You just have to look at the results.

          • PF

            I agree with you that Vatican II had a part; I was objecting to the arch remark that the Council was disastrous. I, for one, am happy that the Mass is said in my native tongue, and that there is no 12-year-old altar boy acting as a proxy for the laity. But then again, I am biased, as the Novus Ordo is all I know. This dialogue has piqued my interest, though, and I think I’ll attend a Traditional Latin Mass in the near future. I’ll try and keep an open mind.

  • Vinnie

    Most of this happened without we the people being aware of it – and so slowly that we have become the boiled frog.

    • Micha_Elyi

      Frogs, contrary to folklore, jump out of water when it’s too hot, even if the temperature is slowly raised. This common sense has been validated by numerous science fair experiments. Somehow, folklore is repeated and common sense is ignored again and again.

      • Vinnie

        Better – “and so slowly that now our culture is gone, the country just about dead and Christians are just starting to be persecuted.” May be better to be a frog.

    • Nick_Palmer3

      Sadly Vinnie, too many had eyes but did not see. Sure the broad scope would have been tough to discern in the middle of the changes, but it seems that acquiescence to evil, often even a seemingly small change, led to our current situation.

      And, sadly, too, the “boiled frog” story is bunk. Basically just a true-sounding story used by business consultants to hawk their pet changes. (I being a longtime business consultant…)

  • Watosh

    Great article. While our cultural decline began before the advent of TV, I do think that TV is a major culprit at the present time. TV is a powerful influence. When we see an image we subconsciously accept it as true. TV has developed the art of influencing people by advertising to a science. People are imitators and they imitate what they see on the screen. TV now determines what we should regard as right and wrong, not religion anymore. It is scary when you project these trends.

    • Vinnie

      With the internet as the coup de grace.

    • I don’t see TV as causing anything. Rather, as a gauge of where the culture has already gone, for TV follows the customs, it does not dictate them. TV might promote customs, but if they weren’t already at least internally accepted by the general population, there’d be a fierce backlash. This sort of thing has happened in the past, with some programs being removed immediately, with the factor that caused its rejection sometimes coming back a decade or so later, when most of the people accept it.

      Instead, the cultural decline started with gusto in the Progressive Era. But then it was something restricted to the elites and the spaces it occupied, in particular universities. When the GI Bill came about, throngs of people were exposed to their venom and the rest is history.

      • musicacre

        TV does cause….lots of things. First of all, it’s a subtle tool and it’s the daily menu that acclimatizes people to accept (without their formally thinking that) new mores in society, ever pushing the bar. It’s not the main event that has been advertised that does it…it’s the “wallpaper”… the stuff in the background. For instance, the first gays on the prime time shows weren’t the main character, they were just “there” and affectionately embraced by all. You only have to see the reaction of someone from a foreign country who hasn’t watched TV and see their shock. My husband was told by a friend that his son who worked in the TV business actually described how they use ( and still) subliminal suggestion by racing other frames across the screen that are so fast you so don’t consciously register them. That’s too creepy for me. We threw out the tv when our second was three and after raising 6 children without it, I think I can say my kids’ perception on Catholic morality is not tainted by the garbage out there.

      • redfish

        I don’t agree with the assumption that the cultural changes first happened in rarified academic circles. In the 19th century, revolutionary philosophies appealed to people on the street, which was first evident, a bit earlier, in the French Revolution, but you saw this trend continue through the century. Add to that the fact that the common person in the lower classes was more interested in pulp novels than high art, and they viewed the academic establishment — which was at that time relatively conservative — as stuffy and repressive — and balked at middle class morality. Early Marxists and avant-garde artists appealed to lower class populism. Anarchist agitators were often very poor people who wouldn’t have had enough money or power to be considered an “elite.”

        But, no, it didn’t start with TV. But it is in part about the growing power of the mass media — newspapers, TV, radio, etc — as a cultural force, and how that affected the development of our public discourse.

        It was only later that left-wing philosophies started taking over academia. And progressives were generally the “centrists” of the time.

    • Life is Worth Living. Fulton Sheen. TV can be used for good as well as evil.

      • musicacre

        I think we’re way past that. When we go to hotels is when we see TV, and even the commercials shock us, so we turn it off.
        That isn’t to say we don’t have Fulton Sheen in our home. We use the computer screen for our fav “shows.”

        • And EWTN. They’ve been replaying Life is Worth Living two to three times a week.

      • Watosh

        I haven’t seen Fulton Sheen on TV in a while, in fact a rather long while. I have seen two and a half men advertised, MTV, and other “comedy” shows that I have unfortunately been exposed to in advertising. And advertisements, first it was for pills like Celebrex , and now some advertisements that appear during a sports events that I watch when I am visiting are rather irritating, and not fit for the young who are viewing a sports events.

        But there is the opinion that TV is neutral it can be used for good or bad, as expressed above, and it only seems to be a common sense view. However a fellow named Jerry Mander, who had worked in advertising for some time, wrote a book “Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television,” that paints a sobering picture. I read the book a number of years ago and at that time I too felt TV could be used for good or for evil, and that watching Lawrence Welk was not corrupting (others may undoubtedly disagree) and my initial impression on seeing the title, that the author was going off the deep end and making an extreme, emotional pitch. Instead he presented a number of physiological facts about how TV was different and how TV images by the nature of the medium had undesirable effects. I began reading figuring maybe some of what he said had merit, even if he couldn’t support the elimination of TV claim. When I finished I understood why Jerry felt that TV should be eliminated. He furnished a lot of data to back up his contention. Okay, I still have my TV here so far anyway, although from 1991 until 2008 I never had a TV. living in Lost City WV, during that time, I had my two Australian Cattle dogs, Maggie and Smokey that were more entertainment than any TV program, but I no longer blithely believe that TV can simply be a benign media that could be used for good or for bad. Read the book, then judge what Jerry says, if you want to learn something.

        • jacobhalo

          Watch EWTN. Sheen is on every week.

          • Watosh

            reruns.

            • Well, he did die in 1979…..But reruns are new to you if they started before you were born.

              • Watosh

                Look I was viewing Fulton Sheen on Tv when he initially made his appearance on TV.

                • You were old enough to watch TV in 1951? And be in one of the two cities in the United States that actually had working TV stations at that time?

                  WOW! My respect. And yes, even the culture of my generation must seem decadent to you (though we were surpassed by the generation before us by a long ways, though they forgot what they did due to excessive pot use).

                  • Watosh

                    in 1951 I was 21, however I was careless in my wording to give the impression I saw Fulton Sheen’s first TV broadcast, what I meant was I watched Fulton Sheen when he was on live, not a rerun. In 1952 I entered the Air force as the Korean War was still on though winding down, but the first cold war was on, I was stationed in Alaska when it became a state. One didn’t watch much TV then either, of course we did have radios in those days, and telephones that connected one with a human English speaking at the other end of a business call for information, and in general there was a lot more civility among people then too. That was before the U.S. became an Empire, we were just glad to have been able to prevail in a World War. But onward and upward as they say and youth must be served.

            • jacobhalo

              Of course they are reruns. Sheen has been dead for over 35 yrs.

              • Watosh

                May he rest in peace, he was a great voice for Catholicism, though a bit disappointing as Bishop of Rochester as I recall.

                • Art Deco

                  Since Bp. Kearney’s retirement, it’s been all downhill in Rochester. After 33 years with the same (wretched) bishop, the powers that be appear to have elected for a much briefer reign, the new bishop being a fellow from Rhode Island nearly 70 years old. He does not appear to have a crisp profile, though he’s been bishop of Burlington the last decade.

                • jacobhalo

                  Sheen was forced to go there. He didn’t want to go.

              • Watosh

                Jacobalo no one is questioning whether Fulton Lewis is giving live presentations now, I merely wished to draw attention to the fact these were reruns, so down boy, down, there is no ned to attack me.

                • jacobhalo

                  Who is Fulton Lewis? If you are saying that is his confirmation name… He confirmation name is James.

      • jacobhalo

        You are correct. I remember my college prof. telling us we could get an education by watchingTV without attending school. There are many educational programs.

        • Watosh

          There are, I have watched the science presentation like Planet Earth and invariably they plug evolution as proven scientifically. So you will get an education, but what kind of an education.The danger of seeing this on TV is that the images you see go directly to the passive brain bypassing any active reaction one get from reading and hearing which involves interpreting sounds. While this in itself doesn’t argue that TV is inherently evil, it certainly lends itself to abuse.

  • McG

    Good article. This is a little besides the main point of the article regarding cultural and social decline, but I wanted to ask for clarification: were you implying that genetic engineering was, on the whole, a bad thing? As a budding neuroscientist, I would agree that there are facets of the issue (especially when it comes to GMO-food and human genetic engineering) that we haven’t thought about deeply enough, and I would also agree that people usually approach genetic engineering with a cavalier, Baconian, “let’s subdue nature” attitude that does not give due reverence and humility to nature, but I would also point to all of the practical good that has come out of genetic engineering.

    • R. Jared Staudt

      Yes, that is definitely true. The problem is that we have these new powerful advances without a proper moral and religious framework.

    • Vinnie

      The Vatican is invested in Neostem. Adult stem cell research and development.

  • Molly

    Terrific summary. I’m not which category to place this event, but I would also add the introduction of antibiotics as a cure for syphilis, an event that certainly diminished the cost of risky sexual behavior and thus inadvertently encouraged such behavior.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23054260
    The wages of sin: how the discovery of penicillin reshaped modern sexuality. Francis A.M. Arch Sex Behav. 2013 Jan;42(1):5-13. doi: 10.1007/s10508-012-0018-4. Epub 2012 Oct 5.

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      Jesus created something that could deactivate one of his, completely unannounced I might add, “plagues”?

  • NewOne

    Jesus told us that we who obey his teaching will be persecuted but will never die. While I feel blessed with my earthly life I want to believe I have the strength to be the light for all that we of faith are called on to be, though I stumble, and often. It certainly isn’t easy when faced with seeming insurmountable odds against a wall of cultural resistance. I contrarily suggest that most of us have been quite aware but are unsure enough in our own faith to know how to show it outside our comfort zone with others and be the light that drives out the evil we know relishes dwelling in the darkness. To be sure, there have been numerous struggles throughout time so our perception of cultural decay is somewhat contemporary, and we should be thankful that we are not (yet) being put to death or prison in our own country for our belief like in other parts of the world. I was very moved by the recent suffrage story of Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh (Iranian Christian women) and was amazed and emboldened by their strength. I suggest that rather than be sorrowful about it to have hope, believe in the truth, and face these challenges as our calling today to bear the cross, not just stand and as dispassionate witnesses. I have acted cowardly or selfishly all my life by believing in a private life of faith, but I feel a new sense of awakening that I do not want to be just a bystander any longer. I don’t know if I have the strength to be a martyr and I have real fears about retaliation which could lead to job loss and how I’d support my family, etc., so I don’t have all the answers to how best go about it, but I have a new sense of purpose and focus. I also understand the virtue of patience having taken 55 years to get to this point in my own life and am looking forward to coming into the church in a few days this Easter.

    • Vinnie

      Wow! I felt like I was reading my own thoughts and desire. You always hear the word “faith” but it may take a while to fully understand it (I’m 56). The seed of my understanding started soon after 9/11/01 when Daniel Pearl was beheaded and then those victims in Iraq were hung from a bridge (what would I do?) I’ve never had a bad priest but the best priest I’ve ever had came to our parish several years ago and through his teaching, homilies and witness I more fully understand faith.

      • NewOne

        Until the Holy Spirit really came into my life I couldn’t tell you 5 minutes after Mass what the priest’s homily was about. Since then, and with the same priest, I almost feel as if he is talking only to me and we’ve become much closer. I know that gift isn’t universal, and many come to develop that skill over a lifetime.

        • Vinnie

          Hopefully, over a lifetime is the exception rather than the rule – although after teaching 7th grade faith formation some may need two lifetimes. For faith I guess it comes down to knowing, constantly knowing that everything you have, including your life is from God. Dust to dust but while we can be a conduit of the Holy Spirit in this life we bear fruit.

        • musicacre

          Our priest just gave a very impassioned homily on how Catholics aren’t supposed to over-distinguish, between the three persons in one God, because together they are the Blessed Trinity. We are never alone, once we have been baptized as he points out, because He lives in us! (Whether we have the “skill” to notice or not.)

          • Vinnie

            That’s true but the “skill” is learning to live in Him.

      • michael susce

        I am fifty eight and do fully understand what faith is. My life has been undeservedly blessed but has never given me the contentment I expected it to. However, it is safe but empty. But having immersed myself into the life and writings of Pope John Paul II and Alexander Solzhenitsyn, I have come to the conclusion that true peace comes from total obedience to Christ regardless of the consequences. I cant turn back because I know too much. I have ears to hear and eyes to see….but… I want to be a “water walker”….but…..
        Thank you Crisis Magazine. I find the comments are as enlightening and encouraging as the articles. I have just sent the initial monthly installment to this magazine and commend anyone who reads this magazine on a regular basis should sense a divine obligation to contribute. Just sayin:)

  • Tony

    Somewhere on the list should be the first movie to celebrate an extramarital affair — Indiscreet? Love Is a Many Splendored Thing? And the first (and big budget) X-rated movie to come out of Hollywood: Midnight Cowboy. The year that Helen Gurley Brown assumed control of what had been a family magazine, Cosmopolitan. The first publication of Playboy. The first publication of Penthouse, and Playgirl. The first telecast of nudity on a network show (St. Elsewhere? Northern Exposure?)

    • Carl

      And how about the plethora of Homosexual characters in movies and sitcoms, I have no idea who was first, John Ritter from Threes Company?
      Shameless pornography, Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. Its a legitimate profession now?
      1980 Ron Howard film where Howard shoots his crippled brother in ‘mercy” killing.
      Yes, movies have a very negative effect. Brainwashing and social programming of the masses. And books, publications, and lets not forget the internet where every possibility has an outlet!
      God Help Us!

      • TheAbaum

        John Ritter actually did not portray a “homosexual character” in the series “Three’s Company”. The character of Jack Tripper was a heterosexual who represented himself as a homosexual to his landlord in order to live with two unrelated females.

        I suppose one could make the case that it represented the insertion of a toe in the water and a first step to where “the love that dare not speak its name” won’t shut the he** up.

        • Romulus

          That’s exactly what it was. It way a way to smuggle the “gay” lifestyle into the mainstream with a wink and (sort of) plausible deniability.

    • musicacre

      As Hilaire Belloc puts it, historic detail has to be limited to the larger and more obviously relevant to affecting culture….otherwise millions of details could be included. He gives Shakespeare as an example. If one just named his place of birth and where he grew up they would be missing the salient point, that he was the greatest English writer. I think Marilyn Monroe could be an example as a used female that Hollywood engineered the now acceptable method of introducing ever more degrading immorality in the guise of entertainment. Quite a significant break with the past. My husband was being “respite” for my Dad last weekend so I could take my Mom out for her b-day and the classic channel was on; he thought he would settle down to some comfortable old movies for the evening. He got a shock when he started what would be the Marilyn Monroe week…he couldn’t believe how blatantly she was used as nothing more than a sex object with the stupidest lines and literally no acting. He turned it off almost right away. Disappointing because we don’t have a TV at home.

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      Perhaps not in movies, but straight and gay erotica are as old if not older than our earliest scroll fragments of the Tanakh.

      • Carl

        Some how I don’t think the drawings on papyrus and animal skins had the same effect as modern communications does today! Really? There were porn shops B.C. selling erotic scolls? LOL
        No one is comparing how human nature and concupiscence compares to antiquity. This discussion is about how modern man and his current methods of dissemination of immoral behavior.

      • TheAbaum

        So’s killing and war.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          I was trying to point out that his comment did not have a clear point. Search around the world and throughout history and you will find killing, war, all kinds of erotica (and no stigmas against. Even Jesus describes Israel with erotic language at times, not to mention “breathing” all those euphemisms and the whole “take the virgins for yourselves” debacle), etc.

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  • Paul

    Sadly, the US is not alone … the whole of Western Europe has also taken up this moral decline with fervor. The sad thing is Western (liberal) culture, being the most dominant, will set the trend to which other countries will follow and thus evil will gain a foothold worldwide.

  • Micha_Elyi

    When and where was the USA’s first unilateral divorce law enacted?

    • Art Deco

      I think the timeline is in error. Nevada’s wretched divorce laws were enacted ca. 1933. The ‘Reno divorce’ was a vernacular term already in circulation by 1936. See Clare Booth Luce’s play The Women. Several other states (among them Alabama and Idaho) enacted lax divorce laws with minimal residency requirements during the period running from 1933 to 1966.

  • cestusdei

    This is not the same nation I grew up in.

  • Thomas

    Nice article and great presentation of major cultural domains. I would include The Erosion of Education as a domain. Begin with John Dewey and his associates at Columbia Teachers College and continue through Engle v. Vitale (1962) outlawing prayer in public schools.

  • Siwash

    The timeline forgets the forced membership policy change to the Boy Scouts of America, in 2013, which postulates moral equivalency between homosexual acts and heterosexual acts. . . thus setting the stage for the 2015 decision (I predict) of the BSA to allowing practicing adult homosexuals to manage Boy Scout troops. (Wonderful scouting opportunity there, eh?)

    Note that so many sneer at the “slippery slope” idea. . . and consider it intellectually ridiculous. . . but of course this is just how liberals want the general public to view “slippery slope” concerns about social change. . . so that then they can toss on the next slip, and the next slip, and the next slip, and the next slip down.

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      And it started with letting the blacks steal the white woman didn’t it? Or have we forgotten just how Christian and approving of separate but equal laws and of anti-miscegenation laws the overwhelming majority of white Christians were well into the ’90s when national opinion finally put a majority of USA citizens in favor of the races intermarrying?

      • Guest

        Can you explain how one’s skin coloration is morally equal to disordered sexual desire?

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          I’d ask first what should one’s skin color matter outside of shared cultural history? Racism is what keeps skin color associated with negative behavior stereotypes, which keep the comparison relevant. I have never heard racists only criticize skin color. They mostly like to box POC’s into being card-board cutouts who act in all kinds of disrespectable ways including wanting to butt in on people just trying to live good Christian lives. The majority of racists I have come across have made no pretense of being Christian but a few still directly associate racial separation and purity with following Jesus’ commands.

          The second question I would ask, is what would qualify homosexuality as disordered and merely a desire? Speaking as a heterosexual, I can say for certain that I do not merely have a desire for women. Much of who I am would be completely different if I were asexual or gay or bi.

          Consider all the thoughts and memories one has just because of all the points in their life they have had their attraction. How might their social networks and choices have changed had they had a different attraction? Most importantly, how do people react to one’s attraction, and how does that further shape the person?

          Morality has as much to do with how one behaves around others as others behave around they. Is the morality you show to others sufficient to be received by you?

          • Guest

            You are confusing items and categories. Skin color is not a moral matter. That some try to make it one does not change the objective truth of the matter.
            What evidence can you show that leads one to understand skin color is a matter of moral truth?

            Sexual attraction is in an entirely different moral plane. Heterosexual desire is normal and directed toward the good. Deviations from that are if concern. Deviations are not consistent with health or with being correctly ordered toward the good.

            No, Jesus does not burn people who disagree with Him. He calls us all to conversion.

            • Giauz Ragnarock

              I only state that some seem to think that skin color can be an indication of how moral one can be.

              When it comes to sexual attraction we come from two different bases. Your belief in wrath from Jesus seems to be the difference. Whatever negative health comes from MALE homosexuality seems to be much less risky than things like pregnancy, and gay couples seem to get along fine (what would anti-gay-rights Christians be complaining about if gay marriages didn’t continue to last?). If the good is gay people are left with unmet love, companionship, sexual needs while all of that stuff is totally okay for us (and you still call it denying oneself while saying these needs are okay for us to meet), then I totally disagree that we are talking about the good. We are really just talking about bias.

              Can you cite where Jesus says the passages where he talks about burning non-converts are just as man-made as the ones where he supposedly says men can divorce wives and a slave can either divorce and be freed or stay married but be made a piece of inheritance for the slave-holder’s family just like his wife and children?

              • Asmondius

                Pregnancy is not contagious.

                • Giauz Ragnarock

                  Neither is anything stated above 😀

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  • hombre111

    Interesting view of what amounts to social decay. A socio-economic study would have cast a wider net and seen beyond this simplistic timeline. In the Bible, the worst thing was worship of the work of human hands, and the mistreatment of the poor and helpless. Odd, no timeline here to mark the rise of individualism, aggressive militarism, consumerism, and the growing gap between rich and poor.

    • Guest

      What is more simplistic than seeing reality through left wing political lenses?

    • Art Deco

      There is no ‘aggresive militarism’, ‘consumerism’ is a nonsense term, ‘individualism’ in the economic realm has no influence on social policy or school curricula, and there is natural flux in the share of domestic income distributed to holders of various factors of production.

    • cf. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/352-abomination
      Root cause of the above (in the article) is idolatry and a sign of idolatry.
      I am trying to locate where I read that Israel once prided itself ‘as being above the reproach of homosexuality’ (because of the worship of the one true G_d).
      For them as well the ‘worship of the work of human hands’ was actually worshiping evil spirits who provoked such worship.
      Signs are that this age of the pagans is soon to be over. (cf. Lk 21:24)

  • Lod

    Yes, US suck today.

    It’s sad.

    • It has recently occurred to me that the US is no different to other secular societies that have come and gone. The attempt to build a country with laws apart form G_d;s law. That wonderful preamble to the Constitution … yet the same constitution is being used to grant rights contrary to G_d’s law and our ultimate happiness.
      Weren’t the founders ‘men of the enlightenment’?
      US flawed at its inception. It is just a matter of time.

      • Watosh

        An excellent and very accurate observation. Yet how many Americans understand this. After all don’t we consider ourselves to be exceptionally good people in a country that is a beacon to the world, nay a country that will redeem the world. We don’t want to admit the emperor has no clothes.

        • Thank you @Watosh! Have a fruitful Holy Week and a Blessed Easter.

  • Jack

    What does legalization of recreational use of marijuana or other mind altering substances have to do with same-sex marriage?

    • R. Jared Staudt

      As I mentioned at the beginning, the headings just show the major trajectory of that period. Not every event in that period relates to the heading title.

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  • ron

    The Dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had nothing to do with eugenics. It saved more lives than it took!

    • R. Jared Staudt

      I mentioned that not all events under a heading have to do with that heading. The atomic bombs are war crimes because the end does not justify the means. Killing innocent civilians is a war crime.

      • TheAbaum

        “The atomic bombs are war crimes because the end does not justify the means. Killing innocent civilians is a war crime.”

        Listen up, Mr. Professor of Theology. You don’t know what you are talking about and it isn’t the first time you’ve commented outside the scope of your expertise.

        This was a good article, but that comment makes me question your maturity and prudence. It troubles me even more because you came from HNJ.

        My great Uncle was a Pacific Theater veteran whose experience included Tarawa and the Hiroshima cleanup. His daughter was born monstrously deformed as a likely result of his trodding hot ground. He had “skin in the game”.

        He was like many men of that time, incredibly reluctant to discuss his experiences, but he was a good man, who lived his faith to the end, among other things serving as K of C Grand Knight.

        The one thing I remember him discussing was the ferocity of the Japanese soldiers, the absolute willingness to fight to the last ounce of ability, and to die for the Emperor.

        He was convinced, as I recall it that the use of the bomb ended the war and minimized the loss of civilian life and spared the lives of tens or hundreds of thousands of lives that would have been expended in ending the war, Would you have perhaps replete with years of newsreel accounts of children being used as kamikazis in defense of the mainland and GI’s getting slaughtered in booby-trapped buildings.

        If you don’t mind, I’ll take the judgment of a man who survived that war and lived a faithful life until his death in his 80’s, rather than some ivory-tower academic who issues arrogant and absolute missives and likely didn’t shave when he passed on.

        • Objectivetruth

          Agreed.

          Everyone I knew of the WWII generation said the atomic bombings of Japan were a must, the Japanese were going to fight to the bitter end. American mothers were not willing to sacrifice third and fourth sons on the beaches of Pacific atolls with names they could not pronounce.

          You’re a good writer Jared, but don’t quarterback 70 years later from your cozy armchair.

          • Watosh

            General Eisenhower did not, and an Admiral, whose name I can’t recall at the moment, and a good many others say dropping the Abomb was unnecessary. Japan was beaten clearly, they new it and tried to put our peace feelers which were rejected because they only condition they wanted was to retain their emperor which condition we refused, and yet when they did surrender we let them keep their emperor.

            No matter what the Japanese did, killing civilians is never justified. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not even military targets, in fact one of these cities contained a number of Japanese Catholics.

            Some very good historians who have examined this issue agree that dropping the Abomb on Japan was not necessary. Japan was already in ruins, its soldiers cut off in tara away places, it could not get supplies and food, it was done for, beyond any question, and while they demonstrated a tenacious will to fight to the end, there is a point when they realized they were done. Note that during our occupation there were no incidents of Japanese terrorism or ambushes of American soldiers. It is easy today many historians believe the bombings saved lives, a good many did, it was appealing and salved our conscience, but it is wrong to say no major military figure disagreed. I know General Eisenhower did, and a number of other military men, but what would you and the patriotic general public like to believe? Of core, that it was entirely necessary, this preserves our image as an enlightened people.

            • Objectivetruth

              Interesting link below, discussing both arguments on the A bombing of Japan. I side with the fact that Japan stubbornly would fight to the bitter. Six months before Hiroshima, two fire bomb raids on Tokyo killed 140,000 civilians. Japan didn’t blink, no surrender. Even after Hiroshima, still no surrender. The Japanese propaganda machine was preparing their citizens that an American invasion would surely lead to raping of their women. That the evil, white devil GI’s would be roasting their children on an open spit and eating them in front of them. Historians point out that an American invasion would lead to mass suicides by the Japanese citizenry in the 100’s of thousands, they so feared the Americans. Death before dishonor.

              http://www.factmonster.com/spot/hiroshima1.html

              • TheAbaum

                “I side with the fact that Japan stubbornly would fight to the bitter. ”

                And I have the first-person account of a good faithful Catholic man ( a real man) who watched all of his buddies mowed down at Tarawa as he clung to the Miraculous Medal his Mother gave him.

                • Carl

                  I would hope everyone here would agree as Bishop Sheen said in the video posted that there has to be rules and limits. Just War doctrine applies here, CCC 2309. I feel a lot of anger and revenge reading some of these comments!
                  Two bombs were dropped three days apart and killed over 200,000 mostly citizens. Really? Three days apart? We couldn’t have stretched that out a few weeks? Really? There’s is strong case here for a more measured approach!
                  There was no nightly news back then or internet access, we could have given the emperor a little more time to mull it over.
                  I’m just glad we didn’t water board anybody, that would have really looked bad for all the Allies!!!!

                  • TheAbaum

                    I feel a lot of anger and revenge reading some of these comments!

                    Sorry, I have a short fuse with pious idiocy.

            • Art Deco

              More historical fiction courtesy Watosh, to supplement his account of Saddam Hussein as your grumpy old uncle.

              • Watosh

                More ad hominem from Art. Well it beats having to offer facts that would refute what I say.

                Immediately after their surrenders, the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey sent researchers to Germany and Japan to assess the road to war and, in particular, the role of air war in bringing about the defeat of the two axis powers. this survey speculated in mid-1946 that Japan “certainly” would have been forced to surrender by the end of 1945, and “in all probability” prior to November, even without the atomic bombs, Soviet entry into the war or an Allied invasion. Note that any allied invasion of mainland Japan was not planned to occur until around November anyway.
                Other American military and civilian leaders of that time publicly questioned the use of the atomic bombs. The roster of critics included General LeMay, Admiral Halsy, General Eisenhower, as I had said previously, and Admiral Leahy. Admiral Halsey in 1946 dismissed the first atomic bomb as an “unnecessary experiment” on the grounds that “it killed a lot of Japs, but the Japs had put out a lot of peace feelers through Russia long before.” Now this may not be convince anyone that the bombing of Japan was unnecessary, but please don’t claim that everyone of the WWII generation believed that bombing Japan was necessary to save American lives, because that is not true. Naturally the belief that it saved a lot of lives sounded eminently plausible and it does contribute to our good self image.

                • Objectivetruth

                  And the Japanese citizens were ready to end the war, they were starving to death. They knew their military leaders were willing to fight the Americans until the last drop of blood of everyone of the 80 million Japanese citizens. See the observations of a Japanese citizen on the anniversary of Hiroshima who lived through it all:

                  “In 1983, at the annual observance of Hiroshima’s destruction, an aging Japanese professor recalled that at war’s end, due to the extreme food rationing, he had weighed less than 90 pounds and could scarcely climb a flight of stairs. “I couldn’t have survived another month,” he said. “If the military had its way, we would have fought until all 80 million Japanese were dead. Only the atomic bomb saved me. Not me alone, but many Japanese, ironically speaking, were saved by the atomic bomb.”

                • Objectivetruth

                  Here are the civilian deaths during WW II of countries in Asia that suffered greatly due to Japan’s aggression and expansion. I’m guessing these countries were pretty darn glad we dropped the bombs to end the war. Once again, these are civilian deaths due to the Japanese:

                  China: 18,000,000
                  India: 2,000,000
                  East Indies: 4,000,000
                  Philippines: 1,000,000

                • TheAbaum

                  “but the Japs had put out a lot of peace feelers through Russia long before.”

                  And the Soviets (there was no “Russia” then) would have liked nothing better that to draw us into a protracted engagement.

                  Good grief, there’s people on this board that can’t think.

                  • Watosh

                    Are you referring to Admiral Halsey whose remark you cited? Or is this merely your general comment regarding people who express an opinion you disagree with.

                    • TheAbaum

                      No, just you and your PHO posturing and apparent inability to comprehend the reality of the world.

                      Halsey made the remark in 1946. You are 68 years away from that and you know what Soviet intentions were back then. Am I supposed to treat seven decade old opinions from dead Admirals as infallible?

                      If you don’t think the top brass made mistakes about the Soviets and their intentions-you should review how they were caught off guard by the appearance of the TU-4 bomber at the Paris Air Show in 1948. Or THEIR first bomb, or Sputnik.

                    • Watosh

                      TheAbaum, I never asked you or anyone to regard seven decade old opinions from dead admirals as infallible. Let me make it simple for you to understand. Someone said earlier that no one in the WWII generation questioned the dropping of the Abomb on Japan. Now have you got that in focus? You have to keep that in mind to understand that when I cited Admiral Halsey’s comment it was offered as a refutation of that claim. In other words the fact that Admiral Halsey said he didn’t think the dropping of the Abomb was necessary, and he was, as you so perceptively pointed out, a member of the WWII generation this would seem to show that there were people of the WWII generation who questioned the dropping of the Abomb. q.e.d. Right? I didn’t say he was right or wrong in expressing this opinion, I SIMPLY SAID THAT THAT WAS WHAT HE SAID. I hope you can follow that logic, because I can’t make it any simpler.

                      Now I freely admit and acknowledge that I don’t think that we should have dropped the Abomb on Japan, and books have been written by reputable historians that present arguments supporting this, so I am not simply relying on what Admiral Halsey said.

                      You may be convinced that dropping the Abomb on Japan was justified, but since it is a subject that certainly is debatable, resorting to name calling and insults is certainly not an admirable way of registering your disagreement.

                    • TheAbaum

                      “Someone said earlier that no one in the WWII generation questioned the dropping of the Abomb on Japan. ”

                      So you were responding to this quote:

                      “Everyone I KNEW of the WWII generation” (Objective Truth)

                      Is there any indication Objective Truth knew Admiral Halsey?

                      Now have you got that in focus?

          • R. Jared Staudt

            See my response above.

            • TheAbaum

              It was lousy the first time, it grows more odious with susequent readings.

          • musicacre

            In defense of Jared, we live in a very open society where it is common, if not custom to comment on things we are not expert with. I admit to not being closely associated with the Hiroshima bombings, but to the discredit of United States, I understood that they went beyond the original plan of bombing a militarily significant city and threw in a Catholic city (Nagasaki) for good measure. How is that justified?

            Got to get back to live state funeral now…

            • TheAbaum

              “In defense of Jared, we live in a very open society where it is common, if not custom to comment on things we are not expert with.”

              This is the same defense offered to premarital sex. “Everybody’s doing it”. Let me clarify what you wrote a bit: we are imprudent, injudicious, intemperate and calumnious.

              He’s hitting on all four cylinders, especially the calumny. How dare he question from his office the prudential decisions of others and call them “war crimes”. How nice he gets to toss stones at people from the feathered pillow in an ivory tower.

              “I understood that they went beyond the original plan of bombing a militarily significant city and threw in a Catholic city (Nagasaki) for good measure. How is that justified?

              You understood or you remember hearing somewhere?

              Support your assertion. I provided a link to the minutes of the committee that selected the targets which showed the criteria used and the evaluation. “targeting civilians” wasn’t there. Jared is not only wrong, he’s obstinate in his error.

              Would you care to support your claim that Nagasaki was chosen substantially or wholly due to it being Catholic.

              In the name of all that’s decent, don’t provide a link to “The Nation” or any other bird-cage liner.

              • Art Deco

                Just to chime in in support here (and recalling Elizabeth Anscombe). This sort of discourse smacks of the activity of people who cogitate for a living but never make choices which actually have flesh and blood consequences. (Yes, the epithet ‘consequentialist’ has been thrown at me as well by Catholic fraud-pacifists). Pres. Truman was not doing crossword puzzles.

                • TheAbaum

                  Agreed.

                  He was also operating under duress, uncertainty, fatigue and a set of epistemic impediments.

                  • Objectivetruth

                    And even though the bomb had been tested in New Mexico, it had never been used in war against a city. They weren’t 100% sure what the effect of the blast would be or its outcome.

                    But the bomb ended the war. Period. Trying to take some judgemental moral high ground now is easy to do, and wrong. I’m thankful I didn’t have to make the tough call they did.

                • Objectivetruth

                  War is hell and it’s all grey area. The decision to drop the bomb obviously came with much pain, thought, argument, decision and prayer. But they had the guts to make the call, and the most horrific war in history came to an end. People then stopped dieing on both sides. For Jared to incredibly simplify their decisions from a 10,000 foot, academia, hindsight is 20/20 view and to try and somehow apply a means/ends test and that it was a war crime is outrageous. It insults heavily the men who defended our country from annihilation and who had incredible courage to make the tough, tough call to drop the bomb.

            • Objectivetruth

              See the link below for a horrific article on the Sack of Manila, the rape, torture, and mass murders of Filipinos by Japanese soldiers (the Phillipines were approximately 96% Catholic.) this was ongoing by the Japanese right through the end of the war in 1945. So think about it…….if we did not drop the bombs ending the war in August, 1945 the war would have continued for at least another year, if not longer. And the wholesale slaughter of millions of Asian citizens by Japanese soldiers would have continued on and on:

              http://www.battlingbastardsbataan.com/som.htm

            • Objectivetruth

              From the article posted below on the Japanese Sack of Manila. Almost one million Catholic Filipinos citizens were slaughtered by Japanese soldiers during the war:

              “They (Japanese soldiers) reduced to a rubble heap the fine old Pontifical University of Santo Tomas, the greatest Catholic university in the Orient and the oldest under the American flag. Only the ruined walls are left of Manila Cathedral, the most beautiful church in the Far East. The Archbishop’s Palace, hospitals, convents, schools, libraries were bombed and burned. The cultural monuments that made of Intramuros a miniature Rome have been obliterated.”

            • Objectivetruth

              From the same article on the Sack of Manila I’ve posted below. Notice the date: February, 1945. As the Japanese realized they were losing the war, their holocaust against the citizens of the Phillipines increased. No bomb, no end of war. And countless more citizens would have been slaughtered:

              On 12 February 1945, a Japanese officer and 20 soldiers forced their way into La Salle College where 70 people were living, including 30 women and young girls, Children, 15 brothers and one priest, and the adult men of four families. All the inmates were shot, attacked with sabers, or bayoneted. Many who did not die during the attack, later bled to death. The attackers attempted to violate young girls while they were dying from bullet wounds and bayonet slashes. The chapel was set on fire and only ten of the victims survived. The father superior, who escaped, described the massacre under affidavit.

              • musicacre

                This exact same kind of slaughter is being perpetrated as we speak, just in a different part of the world; Syria. An American subsidized holocaust of Christians is going on and all we can do here is pray for the victims and potential victims. Does someone need to drop a bomb on Syria? Does that solve everything? I’m not sure what the solution is, but the terrorists and butchers need to have their funding cut off. I never said America absolutely shouldn’t have done it; I had heard the one of the cities selected (Japan) was just civilian.

        • Objectivetruth

          In the spirit of the Samurai, and in honor of the emperor, Japanese soldiers were indoctrinated to fight to the death. They were finding Japanese soldiers still hiding in caves on Pacific atolls 29 years after the war ended refusing to surrender.

        • R. Jared Staudt

          Either you can target civilians or you cannot. All of the criticisms listed here simply focus on the that it was easier to do something immoral to bring better results. The end does not justify the means. That is within my area of expertise!

          We’ve been told it was necessary and that is simply not true. Japan was at the breaking point already.

          There is more to read on this:
          This one focuses on Nagasaki: http://www.thenation.com/blog/162631/crime-nagasaki-forgotten-bomb-city

          http://www.reallifecatholic.com/blog/the-fruit-of-the-bomb

          Fulton Sheen is probably the best on this point. He links the dropping of the bombs to the moral crisis of our country: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coM_ZIc-N4M

          • Rob B.

            I agree that the dropping of the A-bombs was a moral evil. At the same time, I cannot agree that Japan would have surrendered without this event. In the end, Mr. Staudt should probably include the advent of “total war” as a general statement regarding our moral decline.

            • TheAbaum

              It’s too bad that the people who get their panties in a knot about the bomb don’t say a word about Pearl Harbor, the rape of Nanking,Bataan or the other things that directly led to its use.

              Oh what the heck, Pearl was a military target and it’s much better to be trapped below the deck of the Arizona than to be vaporized in a flash.

              • Rob B.

                Not to mention the medical experimentation on civilian populations…

                • TheAbaum

                  Yep, not a word against the adulteration of alcohol to enforce Prohibition or the more recent exposure to diesel fumes by the EPA-why is that?

                  Because the left has OCD.

          • Objectivetruth

            But Hiroshima was definitely a military target (see below). Possibly a loose and backwards version of Aquinas’ Principle of Double Effect could apply. The principle intent of the Hiroshima bombing was to destroy military complexes and industry, with the unintended negative effect of killing civilians. But definitely Japan’s ability to fight a war needed to be eliminated. Shame on the Japanese for positioning these military complexes in civilian areas probably fully aware they would be bombed:

            At the time of its bombing, Hiroshima was a city of both industrial and military significance. A number of military units were located nearby, the most important of which was the headquarters of Field Marshal Shunroku Hata’s Second General Army, which commanded the defense of all of southern Japan,[102] and was located in Hiroshima Castle. Hata’s command consisted of some 400,000 men, most of whom were on Kyushu where an Allied invasion was correctly anticipated.[103] Also present in Hiroshima were the headquarters of the 59th Army, the 5th Division and the 224th Division, a recently formed mobile unit.[104] The city was defended by five batteries of 7-and-8-centimeter (2.8 and 3.1 in) anti-aircraft guns of the 3rd Anti-Aircraft Division, including units from the 121st and 122nd Anti-Aircraft Regiments and the 22nd and 45th Separate Anti-Aircraft Battalions. In total, over 40,000 military personnel were stationed in the city.[105]

          • Objectivetruth

            You make it too clean and neat, Jared. I agree with you on means/extremes, but under your thinking if I’m the Japanese I’m situating all of my military might, hardware, manufacturing in civilian cities and the US will never attack us. And they did that for the most part, putting their own citizens in jeopardy.

          • Objectivetruth

            Under your logic if we went to war with China 90% of their military bases and manufacturing complexes are off limits because they’re located in high citizen areas.

          • Objectivetruth

            ….and define “civilian.” A Japanese city with 45,000 citizens working on Zeros at Mitsubishi plants are hardly non participants in their war effort to kill US soldiers.

          • TheAbaum

            “Either you can target civilians or you cannot.”

            Except that’s not what happened.

            They didn’t target civilians. If they were targeting civilians, a city like Tokyo, (population > 3M, not industrial Hiroshima ) or Kyoto (>1m, actually considered) would have been chosen.

            So you render a charge not supported by facts.

            http://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=49

            http://www.dannen.com/decision/targets.html#D

            Second, you quote “The Nation”, which is infamous for a peculiar perspective and no friend of the Church.

            http://www.thenation.com/article/161478/catholic-church-amps-its-fight-against-aid-dying

            The talk you linked to was “Youth and Sex”, and so at best, anything there is an incidental comment, not an analysis that would support your thesis that this was a “war crime”.

            Then you write this:

            “We’ve been told it was necessary and that is simply not true. Japan was at the breaking point already.”

            My uncle wasn’t “told” anything. He lived it and damn near died in it. You are the recipient of oral histories (apparently self-selective), and there’s nothing in your intellectual arsenal to allow you to to make these charges. You have no education or experience in military matters and you don’t even seem to have a command of the facts and you don’t get to try the dead.

            You’re entitled to have an opinion that the the Bombs were unnecessary (if Japan was at “the breaking point”, why did they use their diminishing corp of aviators as human bombs, and why was a second one required to secure surrender?) but I won’t let this pass with disputing the argument or pointing out that it seems quite rooted more in personal indignity than a robust command of the facts.

          • Art Deco

            Prof. Staudt, The Nation is a polemical magazine edited by and for people who favored the enemy during the Cold War. You could hardly have selected a more inappropriate publication to use as a putatively authoritative source.

        • Joseph Quixote

          My Uncle also was also a man of incredible war time experience and a good and decent man. As he stated, “I fought across Europe from D-Day +3 with Patton until the fall of Berlin.” Three months later he was bobbing of the coast of Japan ready to go in if they did not surrender. He died a hard death, part of it was due to a Dear John letter. Your SUBJECTIVE experience does not trump the reality of the truth taught by the Church. The ends don’t justify the means Mr Abaum.

      • Objectivetruth

        Many historians believe that without the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, WWIi would have gone on several more years with An addition 200-300,000 American casualties. Because we would have to had invaded the Japanese homeland, they would have fought to the bitter end costing as many as an additional 500,000 (military and civilian) Japanese lives. The additional many years of war time expenditure economists wager would have destroyed the US economy, taking decades to recover.

      • Objectivetruth

        Use your imagination, Jared.

        Your a father of three sons in the United States in August, 1945. You’ve had your two oldest sons KIA’d in the last three years at Iwo Jima and Normandy. You still can’t get over the fact that you couldn’t even bury them, their remains were never recovered. Now your third son who just turned 18 is sitting at your kitchen table reading his draft notice. You’re fighting back horrid thoughts of this third beautiful child of yours, with a world of promise, in 6 months time being butchered to death by a Japanese bayonet in a fox hole in Okinawa.

        But you’ve heard rumors of a new American super weapon, a bomb that if used could end the war in two weeks. What’s your thoughts about the war then?

        Mine would be to drop the f***ing bomb and get this nightmare over with.

        • R. Jared Staudt

          See my response below. Once we start thinking that the end justifies the means we are in trouble far beyond this one instance.

          • TheAbaum

            You have no idea what you are talking about.

            • Joseph Quixote

              He speaks clearly and with truth. If you are a Catholic and you have a problem with it I suggest you read the Catechism. Specifically #2314

              • TheAbaum

                This didn’t exist in 1945, the deployment wasn’t “indiscriminate” and it says a “danger” exists in the use of these weapons, not an automatic attachment.

                Additionally, a “war crime” is a part of the international civil codex.

                Finally, he expresses an opinion, without authority.

              • TheAbaum

                No, he speaks confusion and without knowledge or authority and you are even less than convincing, because you cite as authority, something that didn’t exist when the decision was made.

                This is why I’m not a Protestant, following whatever newest self-proclaimed authority imagines their novel interpretation is final.

                • Joseph Quixote

                  I guess you know better than the Magisteirum don’t you. You go ahead and stand your ground rejecting any outside authority. Just like Luther.

                  • TheAbaum

                    Yes, I know the Magisterium.

                    He’s not part of it and has no authority of it.

                    Pay attention.

                    • Joseph Quixote

                      Of course he is not part of the Magisterium but his position supports it.

                      I will take the good professors viewpoint on this issue, he is the first person to be granted a doctoral degree from Ave Maria in theology, he is currently a professor at a strongly orthodox post graduate institution in theology, and he is also running a Catholic academic journal.

                      In the end the ends don’t justify the means unless you hold to Machiavelli’s writings in The Prince. If many U.S. soldiers had to perish fighting the Japanese they would have died a glorious death fighting for a good cause. And by the way you are not the only one who would have lost someone close to that invasion.

                    • TheAbaum

                      In other words, he agrees with you.

                    • Joseph Quixote

                      I don’t support Professor Staudt because of his credentials, I simply support him because in the end the Church teaches that no matter what the number, if it was 10 MILLION people in exchange for ONE life it would still be immoral. It’s Catholic 101 Mr Abaum.
                      I would suggest that if you continue to hold to the idea that the ends justify the means you should take up the religion founded by a guy named Muhammad. He preached that it was O.K. to lie to people in order to spread his “faith.” Your logic points a clear philosophical path.
                      Curtis LeMay himself said that he would have been executed for his firebombings as a war criminal. Look it up.

                    • TheAbaum

                      I am done with you. You have the deadly dual fusion of arrogance and ignorance. You have no logic, just accusations hurled from a fantasy-land.

                      This is what LeMay said about the use of the bomb.

                      “As far as casualties were concerned I think there were more casualties in the first attack on Tokyo with incendiaries than there were with the first use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The fact that it’s done instantaneously, maybe that’s more humane than incendiary attacks, if you can call any war act humane. I don’t, particularly, so to me there wasn’t much difference. A weapon is a weapon and it really doesn’t make much difference how you kill a man. If you have to kill him, well, that’s the evil to start with and how you do it becomes pretty secondary. I think your choice should be which weapon is the most efficient and most likely to get the whole mess over with as early as possible.”

                    • Joseph Quixote

                      Arrogance and Ignorance, is certainly true because I am a sinner like all of us. The fact remains that the Church teaches the end does not justify the means. As for LeMay’s quote, here you go. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/bomb/peopleevents/pandeAMEX61.html

                    • TheAbaum

                      There is NO Church pronouncement on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

                      End of discussion, other than to point out that you are a liar.

                      LeMay’s FULL QUOTE:

                      .”I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal…. Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you’re not a good soldier.”

                      Try to learn to read a full quote before hurling moral thunderbolts from your couch.

                    • Joseph Quixote

                      If you can show me where the Church teaches that the end justifies the means then I am all ears. Until then I guess this is a waste of time.
                      It does not matter if it was Dresden, Tokyo or Hiroshima, the targeting of innocents to shorten the war or even to save lives is simply not moral.
                      Principles like this one are really simple.
                      Since you like to use whole quotes I will give you all of #2314 from the Catechism. (which you conveniently ignored earlier by stating that it did not exist yet, my response is that it is either God’s law or it is not)
                      #2314 “Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation. A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons-especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons-to commit such crimes.”
                      If nuclear weapons do not fit this bill than nothing does. Might does not make right Mr Abaum.

                    • TheAbaum

                      Apparently, you need to be disputed some more, liar.

                      Even if your malicious misconstruction the Catechism of an absolute prohibition against nuclear weapons were reasonable, IT DIDN’T EXIST in 1945. You don’t get to apply things from the future against decisions in the past, not in moral decisions or civil law. That’s why there’s a principle against ex post facto laws.

                      There were three choices here:

                      1.) Land invasion of a nation where the ruling elite was dedicated to the expenditure of every life, in the cause of a twisted form of honor. Perhaps the picture of Marines faced with raising an M-1 against elderly and child kamikazis is moral, or a land with 10 million civilian deaths. Years of newsreels showing this, a coarsening of the military tasked with going door to door to remove the final “forces” who would be human bombs.

                      2.) Dresden style incendiary bombings. Again millions dead, and ordinance delivered with far less precision than a single bomb. Millions dead, with extensive uncontrollable civilian casualties and horrific injuries, with no possible hope of any medical or even palliative care to an endless stream of second and third degree burns. We know that the Imperial ruling elite were apparently unimpressed with the preview offered, so we can again assume a futile last child standing resistance.

                      3,) Use of a single bomb, with targets selected with the explicit consideration of minimizing civilian casualties, even to the point of ignition point designed to reduce civilian casualties.

                      Those were the choices in 1945, and they were cemented by Japan’s refusal to surrender in July 1945. If there was a war crime, it was initiating a unwinnable war in 1941, and refusing to surrender, after the Ultimatum of Potsdam, even after Germany had done so, meaning.

                      Only an incredibly deluded or dishonest individual would misquote the Catechism and historical figures, misapply standards that didn’t exist in 1945 against decisions of that time, and completely ignore the role the aggressor nation’s rulers played in initiating a war with poor probabilities of success, continuing it when it was hopeless, even refusing to surrender after the first bomb was delivered and rolling the dice that it was sui generis.

                      Obviously you will never be convinced, but I assure you, you will not go undisputed in asserting this nonsense.

                    • Joseph Quixote

                      Do you feel that you are making good points in a discussion by calling those you oppose liars?
                      So you are telling me in your first paragraph that God’s law was decided after humans used the atomic bombs? God’s law is eternal and unchanging just like Himself. The church has never taught that the ends justify the means. If She did we would be no different from muslims.

                      Point #1 Land invasion surely would have cost the most lives for both sides, it is almost indisputable. That being said for those who died on the U.S. side they would have died glorious deaths for a good cause.
                      Point #2 conventional bombing targets civilians so it is a morally indefensible choice.
                      Point #3 atomic bombing targets civilians so it is a morally indefensible choice.
                      There is no other choice for Catholics. We must face the heavy toil of land invasion.
                      The ends don’t justify the means!
                      Two wrong do not make a right, the Japanese obviously were guilty of many war crimes, however by using nuclear bombs, (and indiscriminate conventional bombing) the U.S. also became guilty of breaking the moral law.
                      It does not mean that I am condemning the U.S. I still believe it is the last best hope for mankind, however the gospel does not promise that the United States will stand against the gates of hell. In fact (because of abortion) I would argue the U.S. lost God’s favor somewhere around the legalization of that scourge. Using the atomic bomb has opened up a Pandoras box of wickedness on the world.

                    • Art Deco

                      There is no other choice for Catholics. We must face the heavy toil of land invasion.

                      Reductio ad absurdum.

                    • Joseph Quixote

                      Good point. Perhaps the U.S. could have blockaded the country until the point of submission. An ugly proposition however, they would not have surrendered in my opinion until the number starved reached sickening numbers…

                    • TheAbaum

                      When you extract a quote and use it out of context, you are a liar.

                      You compound your lie buy presenting another one.

                      The targeting of the bomb was DESIGNED to MINIMIZE civilian deaths and you state that it “targets” civilians, not involves unavoidable civilian deaths, as does any other implement of war.

                      Nobody with a brain in their head writes “Using the atomic bomb has opened up a Pandoras box of wickedness on the world.” The bomb was the forbidden fruit and to assert it was is indefensibly stupid.

                    • Joseph Quixote

                      The ends don’t justify the means. I guess it bears repeating with you. You don’t ever respond to my points, you just re-assert your own.

                    • TheAbaum

                      You don’t have “points”, you have an etched in stone opinion, which is unassailable by facts, so you ignore the response and repeat the same tired cliches.”The ends don’t justify the means.”

                      That you find the use of the weapon personally unacceptable in some visceral way doesn’t make it a war crime.

                      At this point, I believe that what you want is the “last word” and so let me save you the time. If you post a million responses, the answer will still be the same.

                      The use of the bomb was not a war crime. It was carefully targeted to minimize civilian casualties, maximize the stoppage of the Imperial war machine and the rapidity of the end of the war. It saved millions of lives and was the MOST MORAL action available at the time.

                    • Joseph Quixote

                      I heard you the first time. We will have to agree to disagree.

                    • TheAbaum

                      The use of the bomb was not a war crime. It was carefully targeted to minimize civilian casualties, maximize the stoppage of the Imperial war machine and assure the most rapid of the end of the war. It saved millions of lives and was the MOST MORAL action available at the time.

                      We don’t disagree. You are wrong, and dishonest.

                    • Joseph Quixote

                      No Mr ABaum. You are most certainly the one who is wrong. You flunk Catholicism 101. The ends don’t justify the means despite your violent protestations that they do. Basically you miss the forest for the trees. On top of that your obviously unable to argue a point without attacking your opponent personally. You start to attack anyone who disagrees with you as being a liar, or that they have no shame or worse. It must make you feel better about losing arguments. As I stated earlier no matter if it was ONE person who had to die for the millions it would still have been immoral.

                    • TheAbaum

                      The use of the bomb was not a war crime. It was carefully targeted to minimize civilian casualties, maximize the stoppage of the Imperial war machine and assure the most rapid of the end of the war. It saved millions of lives and was the MOST MORAL action available at the time.

                    • TheAbaum

                      The use of the bomb was not a war crime. It was carefully targeted to minimize civilian casualties, maximize the stoppage of the Imperial war machine and assure the most rapid of the end of the war. It saved millions of lives and was the MOST MORAL action available at the time.

          • Art Deco

            There are never any means without an end in mind, Prof. Staudt. Put your bloody cards on the table and tell us what your counterfactual scenario is.

            • Giauz Ragnarock

              I’m not sure anyone could ever be so insane, but the main antagonist of the manga/anime “Hellsing” had this to say (just thought it would be interesting to add to the conversation):

              “You should be aware, fräulein, that there are some people in this world, some irredeemable louts, for whom the means do not require an end. I speak, of course, of myself.”

              – The Major

        • TheAbaum

          “Use your imagination, Jared.”

          That would involve opening his mind and clearly from his “see my response” responses, it’s closed tight. Generally, readers of “The Nation” never let that sort of thing get in the way of a good rant.

      • Watosh

        Unfortunately in modern war civilians are considered part of the enemies war potential and thus we are justified in killing them. This is progress! This idea is reflected in a number of comments by Catholic readers on this subject. Civilians are not necessarily innocent in our thinking so we can bomb them with a clear conscience.

        And what exactly constitutes a war crime? At the Nuremburg (sp?) hearings, launching an aggressive war was judged to be the worst of all war crimes. And today if some African potentate initiated an aggressive invasion without any cause on a neighboring country that caused hundreds of thousands of deaths of the inhabitants of that country and millions of displaced persons and left that country splintered and subject to massive civil unrest, we would undoubtedly loudly demand that potentate be tried in an International Tribunal as a war criminal. But when George Bush did that the vast majority of peace loving, good Americans accepted this as just a mistake by Bush. So I ask what exactly are the criteria for accusing someone of a war crime? Does being an American render one immune to prosecution for war crimes? Does Catholic thinking now believe that sometimes the end does justify the means? Why do some Catholics accept killing civilians, and yet feel superior to some Catholics who see no reason to stop someone for killing their unborn if that is what the perpetrators believe is okay?

        A prospective juror in a death penalty case is often questioned as to whether they believe in the death penalty because whether they do or not may affect their judgment.Well in that vein I ask my fellow Catholics do you believe an American Official can be guilty of a war crime? Drones kill innocent children, but we seem to tolerate that rather well since it is not American children who are blown apart. Not much protest from Catholic Americans like Joe Biden anyway.

        • carl

          False, U.S. citizens, Anwar Al-Awlaki’s and his teenage (16) son were murdered by Obama’s drone program.
          I think most American’s are stuck in a rut of not having any empathy unless they are stoked up by the liberal media and left wing politics. For example look how enhanced interrogation was advertised as the greatest moral evil since slavery! And these same three water boarded terrorists are alive and well in a tropical paradise in Cuba—pray rugs and all.

          • Watosh

            Now someone said that killing civilians is a war crime, and I tend to agree with that, but in line with this I pointed out that the line between civilians and military has all but disappeared, since in WWII civilians were targeted in our bombing raids on the grounds they worked in factories that turned out military products, and so contributed to the enemies military potential. That was my statement.

            Now Carl comes and flat states that what i said was FALSE, BECAUSE, CARL GOES ON TO STATE, an American citizen was murdered by Obama’s drone program, a statement that would seem to substantiate what i said. Carl’s logic escapes me, how does that make my statement that in modern warfare, killing civilians is permissible?

            Again Carl sounds like a serious Catholic but one whose right wing beliefs trump his Catholic beliefs. Catholic teaching regards torture as wrong. The right wing, tough guys all, in contrast to the liiy left wing types , which there are, have nothing but scorn for those who feel torture, under the verbal camouflage of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” is wrong. Well I lived during WWII and I know how we regraded the use of enhanced verbal interrogations by the Japanese, and the corn we Americans then had for the Communist Russians using enhanced interrogation techniques for securing confessions drink their periodic purges. Which is all enhanced interrogation techniques are good for, a recent Congressional study has concluded that enhanced interrogation techniques did not provide any useful information against terrorist activity. But the right wing ideology has captured many conservative oriented Catholics just as the left wing ideology has captured many of the liberal Catholics. I offer Carl’s statement of approval for torture as evidence of this.

      • Art Deco

        If your alternative would have been an invasion of the Japanese home islands, I’d be wary of tossing about inflammatory terms like ‘war crime’.

        • Michael Paterson-Seymour

          Japan is an archipelago of islands, with very limited energy resources. Have you considered that a naval blockade, supported by the Soviet Union with its Pacific bases, would ultimately have rendered further resistance impossible?

      • Art Deco

        There was already a ghastly civilian death toll in both theatres of operation, brought on by the use of conventional weaponry. Why was bringing the war to a swift conclusion not an imperative? (And do not try pulling any rabbits out of your hat with fictional peace deals supposedly spurned).

  • portlandCatholic

    1968 Priests across America publicly dissent from Humane Vitae
    I was not aware of this. What happened to these priests as a result of their public dissent?

    • Art Deco

      Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle administered canonical penalties to 19 priests in the Archdiocese of Washington who dissented. This is the story of how the Holy See undermined him.

      http://catholiccitizens.org/platform/platformview.asp?c=33156

      I have had occasion to wonder if Francis is competing with the memory of Paul Vi to see who can be the most disastrous Pope of the last 200 years.

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        I have long been struck by the similarity between what George Weigal calls the “Truce of 1968” and the “Peace of Clement IX” during the Jansenist controversy?

        In both cases, after the Church had been riven by a decade-long dispute, a papal document was issued that was intended to be definitive.

        In both cases, the original quarrel was immediately forgotten and argument raged over the scope of papal authority to decide the question. In the Jansenist case, peace, of a sort, was achieved, when Pope Clement IX brokered an agreement that neither side would argue the question, at least, from the pulpit.

        The “Peace of Clement IX” lasted for about 35 years and ended in 1705 when Clement XI declared the clergy could no longer hide behind “respectful silence.” Eventually, in 1713, he issued Unigenitus and demanded the subscription of the clergy to it. There was enormous resistance, with bishops and priests appealing to a future Council (and being excommunicated for their pains, in 1718). As late as 1756, dissenters were still being denied the Last Rites.

        Will the “Truce of 1968” end in a similar fashion?

    • musicacre

      …and after a few years, no one was allowed to publicly dissent from their public dissent…..because of course, it became the new normal.

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  • John Albertson

    A good example of our cultural decline close to home: the scandalous history and whitewashing of “Father” Maciel and the Legion of Christ. A recent essay on one of its wayward priests, Thomas Williams, was published on the Crisis Magazine website and, in a mega-second, was removed with no explanation. So much for the “openness” which our Holy Father Pope Francis says is a way to reform corruption in the Church.

  • The Mystery of Iniquity.

  • Sally H

    Take out the atomic bomb droppings. My father and a million other Americans and millions of Japanese would have died during the invasion of Japan had we not stopped the war by dropping them.

    • R. Jared Staudt

      See my response below, especially the video from Fulton Sheen.

      • TheAbaum

        Repeating yourself doesn’t make it better. Although I have reservations about youth football. you should have spent some time at HNJ playing for the Jets, I think a couple good shots knocking you on your keister and time under my late friend Coach Sallusti would done you some good.

        • Joseph Quixote

          What good would that have taught him? Pray tell.

  • Ciarán Ó Coigligh

    Thank you, Professor Staudt for this excellent article. The timeline is particularly helpful. Hopefully others will be encouraged to develop just such a timeline for other countries, not least my own country, Ireland, where the media, academic and political elites as well as the entertainment industry adopt and promote that which the USA and GB propose.

  • JD

    Jared, I’m perplexed by your implication that GMO crops have somehow contributed to our moral decline? As someone involved in production agriculture I’m continually amazed at how many well meaning Catholics consider GM technology immoral and are somehow oblivious to the implications it has on the world’s food supply. As if we weren’t already manipulating crop and animal genetics through selective breeding? I’d love to read a well reasoned article explaining this point of view.

    Otherwise, very nice article, I appreciated it.

    • Rob B.

      I think the issue at hand might be the idea of man playing God at the genetic level. Manipulation through selective takes time and, more importantly, discipline. Now, we’re snapping our fingers and creating brand new species. What might such hubris lead to?

      • JD

        Rob, new species are not being created, existing ones are being modified, most commonly corn, soybeans, cotton. GM technology also takes discipline, there’s no “snap of the finger” creations, and moreover it involves no more hubris than selective breeding. I would encourage all to please research this issue, specifically how world food supplies have increased with GM use.

        I understand the concern of “playing God.” But God did give us dominion over the plants and animals, did He not? It seems an arbitrary argument to me that we cannot use our God-given knowledge to better feed ourselves through GM, but everyone’s okay with manipulating the earth through building, mining, etc. It seems like a knee-jerk reaction to our sins against human life that we somehow are equating plants and animals with humans.

        • Rob B.

          You seem to have far more faith in the beneficence of science and scientists than I do. To my mind, many scientists seem far more interested it doing what they can as opposed to asking whether they should…

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            I don’t get your complaints. Jesus can only be disapproving of things if people are disapproving of them? Jesus is god in your beliefs for crying out loud, but he can’t so much as leave a post-it that he’s OK with the genetic engineering we have done for a long time but not with the newer stuff?

    • Carl

      “1994 West does not intervene to stop the genocide in Rwanda; First sale of GMO food (a sign of our broader genetic manipulation of organisms, which has included animals and even human beings)”
      JD, I don’t understand your confusion. The printing press precipitated the protestant reformation, the printing press is not evil, the immoral use is.
      Nuclear fusion is not inherently evil, atomic bombs used on Japan were.
      Human Dignity and respecting your fellow man is great, normalizing porn, immoral behavior, or codifying same sex marriage is wrong in the name of love and respect.

  • Spudnik3

    I think the ” drastic, recent shift in popular opinion over gay marriage” is instructive. This shift wasn’t random. It was the result of an unprecedented propaganda blitz involving both government education and corporate media. Lately the message is everywhere: “Gay is good. Only unthinking haters disagree.” And so a few things are deserving of analysis.

    1) Why are government and corporate media working together so closely on this? Why has it become such a priority? (My own take: it involves an implicit denial of a transcendent Deity who speaks objectively to the human race, leaving the corporate-government nexus as the highest authority by default.)
    2) Why was this propaganda blitz so successful? Why no pushback, no questioning, so little resistance? Do we as a society have a vacuum where a core set of values should be? And how does a society continue without that? (I think the oligopolic concentration of media plays a role, yet people can find alternate media when they want to.)
    3) How is it that so many Americans are fooled by political leaders who make the merest statements and gestures to the effect that they are Christians but act as if God doesn’t really exist outside our imaginations? (See also: perplexity in the British press at the possibility that PM David Cameron might actually BE a Christian as opposed to just posing as one.)

  • I had written to my Bishop expressing a concern on the liturgical reflections in the missalette used by our parish. Borrowing from the Vatican, there were these continual ‘radical feminist themes’. E.g. the female was just as quick to be applied to G_d just as the male was banished from him (Holy Spirit, she, Jesus, God’s beloved child, etc.).
    It then occurred to me why we are battling the morals. If Faith be the root and truck, Hope the branches, and charity the fruits, we had long lost the faith (not preached at the pulpit, quality of Religious Ed, allowing its watering down and corruption by secular soceity, damage wrought by modernists in the church, etc.)
    I remembered the LORD’s words about finding Faith on earth when he returns.

  • Humblesoul8

    Hallmarks of the Brave New World of Huxley coming to fruition. For those who think this is enlightenment…those who think it is illuminating to increase death of children, elderly and the medically fragile better know their history this is the past recycling itself with greater power and control. WWII saw many of these same surges along with an indoctrination of might makes right. It would be less dark if this “progress” did not also include persecution of those following traditional lifestyles which clearly identifies the target. We should be more concerned about our manipulation of genetics we are playing God in absence of any faith.

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  • Gary Cangemi

    People of faith need to stand up for their beliefs like never before and hold fast in the face of this onslaught of social re-engineering. We are being demonized and marginalized for daring to profess what we’ve always believed was right and wrong. I’ve never fully understood the meaning of moral courage until now. I never imagined I would ever live in such a time as this.

  • guest

    One of the saddest and perhaps unique aspects of this cultural decline is that in a large part it has been led by five people who have served as Supreme Court Justices. These five (not always the same people) have — almost by themselves — turned public opinion by rejecting every law passed that sought to stem the immorality that is eating away at our culture. Their rulings have sanctioned what the majority previously considered immoral.. Instead of enforcing the law, they are enforcing the zeitgeist. So eager have they been to embrace dramatic cultural change that many of their rulings are made in cases where no case or controversy existed.

    • Currently 6/9 Roman Catholic and 3/9 Jewish. Guided by Judeo-Christian Principles?

  • AntiNihil

    The “Supreme Court” is de-legitimated ethical-morally in every sense, any naïve ears present… “Conservatives” in America need to grow some spine in the ascetic dispassionate combat against the modernist Nihilism over-swamping all humankind… To speak in Patristic terms, “American legality” is a SCYTHIAN LEGALITY – and logic dictates the rest: virility is dormant in American manhood, ideally… No more linear, conventionalist token-foolery, no more meretricious circulated hetaera within our offices of power, POTESTAS – the “opposite of a revolution” shall shatter the decadence as lightning from heaven above, revitalizing the truly meta-ethically principled core fundaments of our “framers”…

  • John Piazza

    It has been said that if Satan came to your door and knocked you wouldn’t let him in but if he spoke to you at the bus stop or the grocery store or was the coach of your child’s team, with subtlety and patience he would win favor in your eyes (and mind and heart) and you would gladly welcome him into your home. Dare I say, from a Protestant’s view outside the window looking in, the same seems to be happening to the Catholic church (it happens in Protestant denominations, also). Not that Pope Francis is Satan, but his easing of long held absolutes and their stinging repercussions, has begun to make the Catholic church look more and more secular. Which is what Satan wants. To be Holy means to be separate from. Not separated from but there should be a noticeable distinction between the life of a believer and that of a non-believer. Mr. Staudt would say that cultural change has come slowly as our understanding of behavior has changed (“…show a determined and coordinated decline of our culture, rooted in our changing understanding of…” ). I’d argue that it is not our understanding that has changed, a deviant behavior is a deviant behavior, but instead it is our desire to not be seen as intolerant or old fashioned or worse, to be designated as a Christian. It’s manly to be drunk, to have outbursts of anger, to create disputes or to go carousing. Who wants to be the sissy that demonstrates love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self-control (Gal 5:21-22)? NewOne, are we a people who would take a bullet for our faith? Would we talk to our neighbors about our faith, not our church but our faith? Would we put our faith into action as James tells us, to personally do something to help stop human trafficking for example? Would we stand up for God and say Hollywood, enough is enough? More people went to see the Lego movie than went to see “God Is Not Dead”. Are we not told to be bold (Prov. 28:1), to be a light (Matt 5:14-16). When people see us, do they recognize us as believers, separate and different, or just nice guys? Do we influence and impact society? Do we create change within society as a whole and our neighbors as individuals to the glory of God? Or is society intimidating us?

    • Very well said! I would just add for more accuracy to be Holy means being set apart for G_d.

      • John Piazza

        Sorry for being naïve but why the G_d?

        • Aloha @john_piazza:disqus Something I picked up from a Jewish lady’s post sometime ago. I took it as respecting the LORD’s name. cf. also Pope Benedict’s directive not to use ‘YHWH’ (http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/yahweh_not_to_be_used_in_liturgy_songs_and_prayers_cardinal_arinze_says/)
          and use instead ‘[the] LORD’. Thank you for asking.
          To the simple, it is very plain that there is something terribly amiss with, if not with the papacy, its current direction. As you put it so well, paraphrasing, why would anyone want to go where we know the protestant denominations ended up? It makes no sense.

          • John Piazza

            Aloha? Are you in Hawaii? Nice! So, in your opinion, understanding that all religions are man-made, where have protestant denominations ended up?

            • Yes I am. Not all are man made nor are all purely of human origin. G_d, who is true, there is and therefore the following must be true: man is by nature religious, and there can only be one true religion at any one time (follows from the truthfulness and nature of G_d). Abraham’s faith, the Old Covenant, contained the new and was its type. The New reveals the Old and is its fulfillment and subsists in its entirety in the One, Holy, catholic and Apostolic Church. As opposed to true religion is paganism in one form or other: idolatry induced by the evil one and evil spirits who want to be worshipped as god in place of G_d.

              • Blessed John Henry Newman (His reaction on becoming a Catholic. Apo. 339-40) | The Mind of Cardinal Newman | Catholic Truth Society booklet: “[In] the Catholic Church […], and I gazed at her almost passively as a great objective fact. I looked at her: at her rites, her ceremonial, her precepts; and I said, ‘This is a religion’.”

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