I’ve noticed something as I sit in my architecture courses… every time the role of religion-in-the-city-throughout-history is mentioned, it is somewhat glossed over. It makes me laugh and cringe at the same time. The Church has played an enormous role throughout the past two millennia. Glossing over this fact just makes you look like… well, a rather ignorant modernist. Sometimes beyond ignorant, if you decide to outright deny it. For example, we were discussing the 19th century urban re-design of Paris. Amongst the many coloured lines were two big, bold, red lines. The legend, when explaining these red lines, read “Big Cross” (in a language which resembled French but wasn’t quite). My professor then proceeded to tell us that he’s pretty sure it’s not religious. I was about to break into hysterical laughter–of COURSE it’s probably religious. It’s PARIS. Paris tries to think it’s Rome.
Speaking of Rome, that came up in the same lecture–the urban re-design of Rome in the 16th century. Of COURSE there are churches on every corner. Of COURSE the Pope wanted to build more churches or try to bring the focus back to them. Rome is the seat of the Church… but somehow this point is constantly missed and glossed over.
The Catholic Church exists, and it is alive today, and it was extremely prominent in Western culture. Those who deny Her blatant and heavy influence on history and today’s society are doing something more than simply being “politically correct”–they are truncating history down to the “culturally friendly” parts and ignoring the honest and sometimes ugly truth: the Church is powerful.
Yes, I said it. Powerful. And while power corrupts, the Church is not a human institution–oh, but we threw that idea out in the trash along with our morals and our children. The big bad Catholic Church ought to be ignored and left alone–She’ll die out in time. Have you SEEN how old those Massgoers are? Especially at those Traditional Latin Masses! And oh, those Marchers for Life are even worse! (My favourite is hearing that the Marchers for Life are “all old men.” Giggle, snort.) The result of this horrific “ignore it and it’ll go away” mindset is that so much of history has been edited down to ignore the Church–or, if there’s something you can’t ignore (like the Crusades, the favourite Church-basher’s argument) to pitch the Catholic Church in a horrendous light. (I may do another post on the Crusades. Comment if you think that’s a good idea or not.)
Long story short: we are living in a culture so hedonistic it has attempted to erase the Good out of itself–and out of its past. Congratulations, Western civilization. You’re throwing away the Truth and replacing it with Ego. Looks like it’s all over and Ayn Rand has won.
Related Link: Wherin We Discuss Art