Postcard from Arkansas

By Tom Quiner

Quiner’s Diner is taking a much-appreciated vacation in Arkansas, so we won’t be posting as often as usual this week.

The photo above is the view I have from the deck on my cabin . I have a tall stack of books next to me, as this is very much a reading vacation for my wife and I.

It is also a thinking time.

I can barely pick up a cell phone signal and have difficulty accessing the internet, so I’m not very up to date on what is happening in the world the last four days.

Nonetheless, I’ve been thinking about the riots in London before I left.

Great Britain has erected a social-welfare structure that is the envy of American liberals. And yet their populace rages.

The mindset of democratic socialism is “what’s in it for me?”

The same dynamic is at work in America. A great war wages in America over the size and scope of government. The Party in power has expanded government dramatically, some would say precipitously.

If it weren’t for the restraint of the Party out of power, our government would quickly expand to the size of Great Britain.

Is this a healthy thing?

Like Britain, we are breeding a generation being raised in broken homes.  As Peggy Noonan said in her column last week:

“Some of these young people come from brokenness, shallowness and terror, and are bringing  those things into the world with them. Here are some statistics of what someone last week called  a new lost generation. In 2009, the last year for which census data are available, there were 74  million children under 18. Of that number, 20 million live in single-parent families, often with only  an overwhelmed mother or a beleaguered grandmother. Over 700,000 children under 18 have  been the subject of reports of abuse. More than a quarter million are foster children. “

What characterizes this generation? A warped value system, and my generation deserves some of the blame. What is this value system?  It is this:

“My individual freedom supercedes yours’.”

“My desires mandate new rights.”

“Children can and should be sacrificed at the altar of my wants and needs.”

What is lost in all of this is the value of self-sacrifice.

Someone asked if this were 1939 and the Germans attacked and Britain had to go to war to survive, could the current crop of tattooed, rioting thugs save the Queen?

Does anyone really think they’d have a chance?  They know nothing of sacrifice. They loathe sacrifice.

America isn’t much better. We have aborted 53 million American babies since Roe v Wade. If we can’t muster self-sacrifice for our kids, what on earth will we sacrifice for?

Ultimately, the real battle in America, and even throughout the world, is over religion. Here in America, two dominant religions are waging a great war with each other: Christianity and Secular Humanism.

Christianity puts God at the center of our lives.

Secular humanism puts the individual first.

Christianity reveals that truth is absolute. Secular humanism insists that truth is relative,

Christ is God to the Christian.

Mother Earth is God to the secular humanist.

Marriage is all about the potential of creation to the Christian.

Marriage is all about desires, whatever they may be, to the secular humanist.

Secular humanism is winning with the assistance, I’m ashamed to say, of Catholic politicians like Tom Harkin, Kathleen Sibelius, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, and the late Ted Kennedy.

Each of these politicians have publicly staked out adversarial positions to their Church’s core convictions. Their work in the public arena is systematically establishing Secular Humanism as a state religion, complete with a new set of sacraments.

The “right” to an abortion replaces baptism as a sacrament.

The “right” to marry someone of the same gender corrupts the Christian sacrament of marriage.

This battle makes me think of a similar religious battle that took place in Poland beginning in 1945. What were the competing religions?  Communism and Catholicism.

I’m reading George Weigel’s new book, “The End and the Beginning” about Pope John Paul II’s battle with communism. Weigel states:

“Among the enemies of Soviet communism, real and imagined, none was more feared by the KGB and its predecessors than the Catholic Church, which was regarded as a prime ideological enemy …”

Christianity is very much viewed as a prime ideological enemy to the secular humanists, wouldn’t you say?

Weigel continues:

“There was a ruthlessness about the communist persecution of Catholicism that was fed by a deeply ingrained paranoia – which in turn may have reflected the fact that Marxism-Leninism was itself a quasi-religious system (if of an ultra mundane sort), complete with a doctrine, a theory of morality, an idea of salvation, a concept of the “last things,” and a martyrology.”

What does this mean, according to Weigel?

“Communism and Catholicism could not peacefully coexist.  In a confrontation extending over the medium and long haul of history, someone was going to win and someone was going to lose.”

In 1989, God gloriously won as Communism crumbled.

The viciousness  and effectiveness of Secular Humanist’s attacks on Catholics, Baptists, and Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christians has been a wake-up call to the Christian world.

The war over American values continues.

In light of the social pathology permeating America, pathology which is a direct by-product of the religion called Secular Humanism, give me Christianity.

Where does Secular Humanism lead us? Simply look to London for the answer.