"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Saturday, February 04, 2006


"Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil..." Such was the promise with which serpent seduced Adam and Eve into rebellion against God. It is the primal motivation for sin. In the first sin's effects, we all share; it is from them that God himself suffered torture and death to redeem us. The first sin is also what the modern, secular West is about: under the name "freedom," the grab is for autonomy. That word comes from the Greek for being a "law unto oneself." That's what a god is. That's what the real enemy of humanity, in the mythic guise of the serpent, claims to be. Eve joined the party and Adam went along, evading responsibility as men are wont to do. What they didn't know is that striving to be gods ends up making us beasts. I call it "devolution," both to distinguish it from evolution and to remind, by allusion, where evolution without God brings us.

Every generation includes storytellers and preachers who repeat the lesson. They have done so because it is constantly forgotten. But today, forgetting is no longer an alternative. Things have gotten so egregiously bad that the alternative to absorbing the lesson is willful blindness.

Devolution's most pointed manifestation is the defense of abortion. The legality of that crime is considered essential for women's "autonomy," understood as the very heart of personal dignity. But that's just the ideological figleaf. With rare exceptions, the reality of abortion is killing whose purpose is to eliminate what is seen merely as an otherwise substantial cost of indulging lust. To paraphrase Tina Turner, what's personal dignity got to do with it? This is bestiality far worse than what is still (but doubtless not for long) disapproved under that name. The murder is covered by a lie; such a combination is the serpent's specialty. See John 8: 44. But as a pure spirit, Satan is motivated by pride alone, not lust. He seduces us into pride through lust: "she saw that the fruit was a delight to the eyes..." Hence the "autonomy" exercised in abortion.

Millions of abortions are only the clearest instance of such "autonomy." And the defense of them is only the clearest revelation of its cause. But the result is far more general: the impending suicide of the West.

The native populations of the developed countries are now in a decline masked only by the immigration of spiritually healthier people. Mediately, that imbalance is due more to contraception than to abortion. But though not an act of homicide, contraception and abortion have a common premise: the assumption that we are the masters, not merely the ministers, of life. Viewed alongside the rates of "no-fault" divorce and cohabitation in lieu of marriage (never mind gay "marriage," that harbinger of no-fault gay divorce) and it is evident that we are destroying the family. For the most part, we don't care to see it. We are gods, after all, knowing good and evil and disposing our future accordingly. Very well then: if present trends continue, our future will be no future at all. Devolution indeed.

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