Every religious conservative of a certain age knows William Butler Yeats poem "The Second Coming" and can recite its best-known line of all: "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world." We know and love that line because it expresses how things have always seemed to us. Morals and the weather, at any rate, have been getting worse for what seem like millennia. I suspect that, to people like me, things always seem to be getting worse—and today, apocalyptically so. Yet we rarely imagine that other kinds of people will go all apocalyptic on us—at least those indisposed to "drink the Kool-Aid."
Yet they do get premonitions, even secularists like Roger Ebert, the movie critic. See this from his blog last week; the post has already garnered hundreds of comments. The only post of mine that's ever come anywhere close to that number of comments was about the prospects for Orthodox-Catholic ecumenism, and that's only because most of the Orthodox rejected my moderate optimism with contumely. I suppose that anything likely to happen only close on to the Parousia—such as Orthodox-Catholic reunion, or the collapse of the ecosphere—is going to excite a lot of emotional speculation; but I can find nothing to disagree with in Ebert's post, save his lingering, implicit, touchingly naïve belief that a political solution is possible.
Those who believe in prayer, pray that we get more Eberts. Even when he's wrong, he's headed in the right direction.