Monday, August 20, 2007

The Line Has Been Crossed

I had enjoyed reading those esprit de corps military books like Beau Geste when I was a boy, and I had always thought that I would enter the military when I got older. But by the time I got out of high school, I considered myself a radical, due to the influence of a very charismatic, political science teacher and the book, All Quiet on the Western Front. It's just as well; had I remained a Beau Geste romantic and entered the military, I would have been quite disappointed because the line had been crossed.

What line? Well, the dates are not written in stone, but they are basically accurate. After World War I (1919), the European peoples (which include the American people) ceased to be Christian on a conscious level. But they still maintained the basic values of Christians; they behaved as if Christianity was true. If you had joined the foreign legion or fought for European values, you could have justified it by saying you were fighting for Christian civilization.

But by the 1960s people no longer acted according to Christian values. The chasm between a Christian's behavior and beliefs and that of a secularist was immense. I need only mention legalized abortion and sexual promiscuity as two examples of the chasm. A secularist of the 1940s was the progenitor of the 1960s secularists, but he would have more in common in the way he behaved with the Christian. Many older liberals were very uncomfortable with the sixties radicals, but what could they say when challenged? They had no metaphysical underpinning for their 'do nots,' which is why the sexual revolution gave way to the pragmatic sexual revolution; if you can't be moral, at least be safe.

I did get a shot at Beau Geste-ing it later when I was a policeman in my twenties. There were moments, on the midnight shift, when I felt I was a soldier of the night, standing against the barbarians with a few stalwart lads. It was a good feeling. But it was all airy nothings. My stalwart fellow officers would just as soon knock an abortion protestor on the head as a Negro barbarian. The shared ethos was not there. I came to feel more like a hooker than a soldier.

When the line has been crossed, there is nothing a man can do to support his society that feels noble. His work must be contra mundum in a society that has crossed the line or his soul will drown in the slush.

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