Monday, July 03, 2006

The Strategy of Our Opponents

A quote from a book called Without Roots that I picked up from the library written in part by Pope Benedict (then known as Ratzinger).

a) The first reason was articulated by Nietzsche when he wrote, “Christianity has thus far always been attacked in the wrong way. As long as one does not perceive Christian morality as a capital crime against life, its defenders will always have an easy game. The question of the truth of something entirely secondary as long as the question of the value of Christian morality is not addressed.”

Here what we are actually addressing, in my opinion, is the decisive reason for the abandonment of Christianity: its model of life is apparently unconvincing. It seems to place too many restraints on humankind that stifle its, joie de vivre, that limit its precious freedom, and that do not lead it to open pastures- in the language of the Psalms- but rather into want, into deprivation. Something similar happened in antiquity, when the representatives of the powerful Roman state appealed to Christians by saying: Return to our religion, our religion is joyous, we have feasts, drunken revels, and entertainments, while you believe in One who was crucified.

The Christians were able to demonstrate persuasively how empty and base were the entertainments of paganism, and how sublime the gifts of faith in the God who suffers with us and leads us to the road of true greatness. Today it is a matter of the greatest urgency to show a Christian model of life that offers a livable alternative to the increasingly vacuous entertainments of leisure-time society, a society forced to make increasing recourse to drugs because it is sated by the usual shabby pleasures. Living on the great values of the Christian tradition is naturally much harder than a life rendered dull by the increasingly costly habits of time. The Christian model of life must be manifested as a life in all its fullness and freedom, a life that does not experience the bonds of love as dependence and limitation but rather as an opening to the greatness of life.

In battle it is always a good idea to understand the strategy that an opponent is going to use. Our opponent’s main strategy is not to attack our doctrines through reason. Instead, they aim at dismantling the universal hierarchy of values that our faith professes. Secular values are exalted above religious values and the sacred is demeaned. We need to be vigilant in recognizing these maneuvers because they can be so subtle at times that we don’t even see it and at times we even participate in it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nietzsche was an asshole! His writings are so inflammatory and destructive; if this is philosophy, I want no part of it.