Götterdämmerung, a word suggested by a Scandinavian myth, means "twilight of the gods." With religious belief and birth rates at an all-time low, Europe, a culture whose roots are profoundly Christian, is fading into oblivion. If current trends continue, Western traditions, practices, and laws may soon be replaced by Islamic ones. Is there hope for renewal, or is this the end of Europe as it has stood for millennia?
As a national election looms in the U.S., the debate over same-sex "marriage" rights grows more and more contentious. Traditional marriage—as it has been defined for centuries—is under siege throughout the Western hemisphere. But attempts to defend marriage as a union between a man and woman are often met with angry retorts of "don’t impose your morality on me." Can we build a convincing secular case for marriage? Yes. With an essay by Donald DeMarco.
Execute the sick, the elderly, the disabled. Suppress religious practice and free speech. These were official policies of Germany’s National Socialist government in the 1930s and 40s. But in the face of Nazi oppression, a patriotic German bishop spoke out forcefully—at great personal risk—for the dignity of the human person. The story of Clemens August von Galen bears deep significance for Western cultures quickly losing their understanding of the value of human life at every stage.
"Religion . . . comprises a series of wistful illusions," wrote Freud a century ago. Today many people subscribe to a similar view, one that attributes the source of the religious impulse largely to human psychology. They claim that religion, like biology, follows an evolutionary pattern. But nowhere in the history of religion does such a pattern appear. So, the question remains: Does our need for God come from ourselves or from him?
"Let us then not be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Be the cross our seal, made with boldness by our fingers on our brow and in everything; over the bread we eat and the cups we drink, in our comings and in goings out; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we awake; when we are travelling, and when we are at rest."
~ St. Cyril of Jerusalem in his "Catecheses" (xiii, 36), on the sign of the cross, a practice familiar to Christians in the second century and which had passed into a gesture of benediction by the fourth century, as many quotations from the Fathers show