Post-Christian America? by Gunnar Gundersen

Msgr. Charles Pope: Do You Desire Heaven? Really?
November 16, 2019
Pope Francis Proposes Adding ‘Ecological Sin’ Against ‘Common Home’ to Catechism, by Dorothy Cummings McLean
November 16, 2019

*Image: Noah’s Ark playset by an unknown folk artist, c. 1828 [National Museum of American History, Washington, DC]. On the Sabbath, 19th-century children were allowed to amuse themselves only with “Sunday toys,” simple playthings that taught biblical or moral lessons.

By Gunnar Gundersen, The Catholic Thing, Nov. 16, 2019

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Gunnar GundersenThe recent Pew poll detailing the erosion of Christian faith in this country unleashed a slew of commentary discussing “post-Christian” America. And even before this recent round of dire predictions, the term “post-Christian” has been used by various commentators. Notably, it is used by Rod Dreher in the subtitle of his book The Benedict Option. But can a Christian nation ever become really post-Christian?

We tend to discuss the religious state of America the same way we do social fads. Like powdered wigs or VHS, we will just kind of move on – society will just forget. America will experience Christianity fatigue.

But Christianity is not a theory – it is an encounter with a Person – the Alpha and the Omega. Christ is the end of all things. It is not possible to just move on once you have accepted Him.

As Pope Benedict XVI points out in Spe Salvi, a society that rejects Christ does not simply move on. Rather, this kind of society, echoing Kant, must be in opposition to Christ. So instead of post-Christian, a society that has rejected Christianity, must necessarily become anti-Christian: “There is no doubt, therefore, that a ‘Kingdom of God’ accomplished without God – a kingdom therefore of man alone – inevitably ends up as the ‘perverse end’ of all things as described by Kant [reign of the Anti-Christ]: we have seen it, and we see it over and over again.” [23]  …