Saturday, March 01, 2008

Good News for a Post-Christian World

The original Young Fogey shares this bit of wisdom:

Malcolm Muggeridge always talked about how Christendom was something that had ended — that we are now in effect back in the subterranean channels, having to do it all over again. And yet he was also, by nature, very happy and amusing. I should like to think that the inherent vibrancy of Christianity is waiting to be understood and appreciated. Mind you, I move among a set of people who are the intelligentsia. They are among the most deprived. If one were moving among most other sets of people, one would feel less loneliness in this matter. It is one thing to consult only with the faculty of Yale but quite another to consult the Civic Council of Columbus, Ohio. Christianity is more likely to be a staple part of their lives.

There is a sense in which being a conservative Christian and a traditional conservative (NOT a "neo-con") means that you are always going to be somewhat pessimistic of the times, and for good reason-traditional conservatism, like the ancient faith, understands that even in the best of times, human beings are flawed, and so in a sense, the times are always going to be "bad" until the fulfillment of the eschaton. We can make our world less wicked, but rooting out wickedness would require that we all wrench our hearts out, because that is where the line between good and evil runs. Traditional conservatism has no time for utopias. Government fascism, corporate fascism, communism, et al., are, in the end, (to quote the late Eric Voeglin) petty "immanentizations of the transcendent eschaton."

But then again, there is a lot to be hopeful about:

But on a personal level, I’m much more ebullient, and enthusiastic. How could I not be? As long as people are still singing the liturgy, writing books and making art and children, there is hope, and there is truth, goodness and beauty in the world.


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