The Impudence of Modern Thought

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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

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2 responses »

  1. Very much reminds me of the trend in literary courses- to either take a completely Freudian approach to the human psyche (alienating it from real human life, and any respectable psychology), or if it’s a historical survey to completely ignore any possibility that the authors and readers (GASP) actually believed what they wrote!

    Fun example from a course on Medieval and Renaissance British Literature was the playing down of the profound impact of Marian spirituality interspersed in stories of knights and heroism as simply an insertion by the Church authorities to present Mary only as a model for women so that women “wouldn’t get ideas” of acting out or violating the patriarchal (or as this professor really meant: bad Church) society.

    Perhaps most troubling though, is how easy the medicine seems to go down… Eventually though people always hit a point where medicine isn’t enough and a real meal is needed. Seeing some of the great cities evokes a different reaction than studying or listening to someone attempt to explain them. Praise God for the gift of being able to view and know beauty and truth in our souls… however fallen that may be sometimes!

  2. Maybe in some ways it’s good that it took me so long to find time to catch up on my blog reading because now I’d like to request a post on the Crusades. That is, since my theology teacher flat out compared them to the Holocaust…

    Nothing is more frustrating than when your religion teacher at a Roman Catholic university fails to teach Truth. I was speaking to my mother about this and how sad it is that by college it almost doesn’t even matter any more to most students because it’s stuff they’ve previously heard throughout their education.

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