The Reason Why America Became Decadent

What happened? How did this country decay? How, in one person’s lifetime, did America descend from being a nation, if not Catholic, at least one which abided by the natural law in most cases, which had a sane and decent culture and way of life, and an abhorrence of socialism and communism?

There are a number of reasons for this, but the main reason lies within its own principles.

It goes back to the Renaissance. The spirit of humanism in the Renaissance was that man was not corrupted by original sin, and that, left to his nature and to his own intellectual lights, he could be virtuous and wise, and create a perfect world without religion. For this reason, it was common in paintings to see figures nude or almost nude. This was unheard of in the Middle Ages, but was seen often in ancient sculpture. Clothing, it should be recalled, came to us as a result of original sin. We were embarrassed to be naked because we were no longer in complete control of our passions.

The Renaissance, however, wanted to portray “man as man,” that is, man considered without original sin, in his pure nature, not in need of redemption or grace, but capable of succeeding on his own.

From these attitudes of the humanist Renaissance there grew up over the centuries, and particularly in protestant countries, a movement known as unbelief. This came in the form of rationalism, deism, and even atheism. It was radically opposed to Christianity in general, but especially to Roman Catholicism which it characterized as obscurantism.

Rationalism is the system which rejects anything which cannot be proven by human reason. Consequently, supernatural mysteries such as the Blessed Trinity, the Incarnation, original sin, and so forth, were rejected out of hand.

Deism holds that a supreme being exists, that he made the universe, but has no care about it. He does not make laws for humanity, and exercises no governance or providence over mankind. We owe him nothing except honor.

Atheism, of course, denied the existence of God altogether, as well as the immortality of the soul, the future life, and heaven and hell.

These movements gained traction in the seventeenth century, and became extremely popular among the upper class and middle class in the eighteenth century. “Philosophers” emerged in these two centuries who would systematize and develop these new ideas. Among them were John Locke, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, and others. Deism and atheism flourished in England particularly.

The prime movers of the American Revolution were freemasons and deists. Jefferson was rumored to be an atheist. All of them were great admirers of John Locke.

Locke taught that human beings are born with unlimited liberty, except in what binds them by the natural law. Locke’s theory of government was the social contract. He says that political authority is something created by the people, who give up their rights to govern themselves to a legislative body which governs for them. They do this in order to better preserve their own freedoms. The majority rules.

From this theory flow the ideas of the sovereignty of the people, and the right of revolution, that is, that the people govern, and that have the right to rise up, even through violence, against what they believe to be a tyrannical government, and dissolve its connections to it.

Catholic political philosophy differs greatly from all these ideas. It teaches, with Saint Paul, that all authority comes from God. It teaches that the State is not merely a creation of the people, the effect of some contract, but something that pertains to the very nature of man. Consequently, political authority is not derived from the consent of the governed, nor are the people sovereign. To the contrary, the ruler or government is sovereign because it is wielding the power of God to rule. In Catholic philosophy, it pertains to the people to determine how they will be governed, (e.g. to establish a constitution), and who shall govern them (e.g., by election, by hereditary monarchy, etc.)

Nor are people born with unlimited freedom. Our freedom is limited not only by the natural law, as Locke admitted, but also by the revealed law of God, i.e., by the laws of Christ the King, made known to us by His Church on earth, the Roman Catholic Church. People are, furthermore, born subject to their parents, and to the laws of their nation.

Nor are people free to rise up against their rulers. A mob of revolutionaries has no legitimacy whatsoever. It is to subject the government to the private judgment of individuals. It would be no different from a lynch mob’s hanging of a person whom it found to be guilty.

Nor is government by the consent of the governed, that is, it is not true to say that a law has validity because the people approve it. It has validity inasmuch as legislators, using the authority of God, prescribe something which is in accordance with the common good and with the natural law and revealed law.

America’s foundational problems. America was born in the eighteenth century, when these ideas of Locke’s were in full swing. The central error is that America was conceived on the basis of creating a state based upon pure nature and reason. Implicit in this idea was the denial of the reign of Christ the King, the denial of supernatural revelation, and with it the denial of original sin and the effects of original sin.

This philosophy left America on its own, that is, without the Savior, without supernatural revelation, without the Catholic Church, and laden with the effects of original sin. It was, as the Founding Fathers called it, the Empire of Reason. It was the perfect political expression of Renaissance humanism: a state without God and without revelation, and therefore without redemption and without grace. It was a state of pure nature and ruled by reason alone.

It is the teaching of the Catholic Church that man, without grace, cannot long persevere in all the virtues, but will eventually fall into mortal sin. Nor can he return from mortal sin except by the grace of God.

History has proven that human beings, deprived of revelation and grace, have fallen into the most grotesque forms of barbarism and savagery. They have also fallen into gross ignorance concerning God and morality, as well as insane and ludicrous superstitions. It is a fallen race.

All of the leftists in Europe regarded the fledging American republic as the darling of a new world of politics. It was for this reason that the French leftists, later to be revolutionaries, flocked to Washington’s army in the 1770’s, so much so that he had to send many back. A primary example was Lafayette, an atheist and freemason.

America has no defense. American culture was generally observant of the natural law because its inhabitants observed it. There was nothing in its constitution, however, that required laws to be in conformity with the natural law. Nor did it define what the natural law was. Nor was God or Jesus Christ even mentioned in it.

When the wicked influences of the 1960’s invaded this country, therefore, America had no immune system by which to resist them. For who is to say what is the natural law? Transgenders would say that they are naturally inclined to change their gender.

The same may be said for those who contract same sex marriages. If the majority of the “sovereign people” think that transgenderism and same-sex marriage are natural, then these aberrations become law.

If America had been founded upon the laws of Christ the King, such a thing would never have been possible. America has no moral compass, and is now astray and lost in a forest of unnatural absurdities.

What also contributes to America’s cultural downfall are its three cherished “freedoms:” freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion. As I have said in a previous newsletter, these so-called freedoms are condemned by the Catholic Church. In what regards the press and speech, it is true that we should be free to say what we please, provided that it be in accordance with the moral law, revealed doctrine, and right reason. Just as no one has the right to spread a disease of the body, so no one has the right to spread error, which is a disease of the mind. Furthermore, although the Church teaches that false religions, for a proportionate reason, could be tolerated in any given country, there is no case in which someone would have the right to profess a false religion. For all human rights have their origin in God, and it is unthinkable that God could place a right in man to do something wrong.

It should be noted, as well, that toleration is not permission. Toleration is to say nothing in the presence of an evil. It is “to look the other way,” as the saying goes, but it is not a permission. Law can never authorize what is evil, since all law is a reflection of the eternal law of God.

It could be objected here that the United States has been always favorable to religion, never interfering with it, and exempting it from taxes.

True, but the point here is that this freedom of religion comes at the price of the government’s being free from religion. Religion in this country is a completely private affair.

The Empire of Reason has become the Empire of Insanity, Ignorance, and Moral Decadence. The dreamy, idyllic world which the eighteenth-century philosophes and deist freemasons concocted, a political state of pure nature, without God or religion, has become sick, having lost its common sense. Because man without grace has fallen, the natural law has been discarded, and the road to barbarism and chaos is wide open before us.

An example of this fall from reason is the fact that, in 1973, the Supreme Court decided that the Constitution gave all women the right to an abortion. The Constitution, however, is absolutely silent about abortion. Yet it took exactly fifty years, and sixty million murdered babies later, for the Supreme Court to figure out that the it was wrong.

So this “Empire of Reason,” this child of the anti-Catholic, anti-God, anti-Savior “Enlightenment,” has become an Empire of Error, an Empire of Absurdities, an Empire of Unnatural Vice, an Empire of Infanticide, and has fallen, without grace, face first, into a cesspool of moral muck. Let us pray that it come to its senses.