I found myself in Book Warehouse the other day looking at the ‘Religious’ section. There was a whole shelf dedicated to the ‘new atheists’, a whole section on the Dali Lama, and a wide range of New Age pagan writers. Of Christian authors, there was barely any: two copies of Mere Christianity, and one or two other titles, and not a single Bible. Considering that a large majority of Canadians believe in God, and nearly a fifth of the population go to church, it seems odd that the ‘religious’ section of a conventional bookstore has almost nothing to offer concerning orthodox Christianity. On the other hand, it is not so odd when anti-Christ sentiment is widespread and increasing in news, music, movies, and politics. If this is the true state of Western culture, the West is running on borrowed time.
On a recent visit to Germany, Pope Benedict XVI commented on this aspect of Western cultural decay:
The conviction that there is a Creator God is what gave rise to the idea of human rights, the idea of the equality of all people before the law, the recognition of the inviolability of human dignity in every single person, and the awareness of people’s responsibility for their actions. Our cultural memory is shaped by these rational insights. To ignore it or dismiss it as a thing of the past would be to dismember our culture totally and rob it of its completeness. The culture of Europe arose from the encounter between Jerusalem, Athens and Rome – from the encounter between Israel’s monotheism, the philosophical reason of the Greeks, and Roman law. This three-way encounter has shaped the inner identity of Europe. In the awareness of man’s responsibility before God and in the acknowledgment of the inviolable dignity of every single human person, it has established criteria of law: It is these criteria that we are called upon to defend at this moment in our history.
New dark ages anyone?