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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?
~ Maximus, martyr, saint, about A.D. 250, in answer to the demand of the civil authorities for sacrifice to the pagan gods; a test in common use as belief in a single Godhead was known to be definitive in the early Christian community; thus any Christian might be called on to seal with his blood his faith in the One God. (See: The Blessed Trinity)