Quick Takes – Collapse of Marriage, The Secular Inquisition, and Imperial Precedent
Another “quick takes” on items where there is too little to say to make a complete article, but is still important enough to comment on.
The focus this time: Decline and Fall.
First, a little mood music:
A professor of sociology has opined how spiffy it is that marriage is dying as a social institution:
“As much as I admire happy couples and families, I think this may be one of the few times in history when so many women could choose from such a full range of life choices without penalty or stigma. Since few people ‘have it all,’ why not choose being single if that’s the best option?”
This is but the celebration of the destruction of one of the key pillars of society and a prelude to our decline and fall:
“[M]arriage developed in human society in answer to a need which is fundamental to most of our species. Whether you approach it from a biblical perspective or an anthropological one, the vast majority of us have a deep seated need to be with someone. To love someone and be loved in return. And, yes, to create new someones who will grow up with the same needs. It’s a survival mechanism which, in many ways, defines us.
“Further, our ability to advance as a society – from the local level to the global one – seems bound to our built-in tendency to pair up and create families. These families, in turn, bond together to form communities where they share their faith, their fears, their dreams, and their mutual need for protection and security. No taskmaster forced us into these arrangements. We fell into them naturally all over the planet.”
Social collapse happens over time, and more and more abandon those mores that built up what we have, and adopt more destructive tendencies.
It doesn’t help marriage in society when the courts are used to destroy it and to silence dissent, including that of religious preachers.
“[C]ity officials in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, informed Donald and Evelyn Knapp, ordained ministers and proprietors of the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, that they would be required to perform gay weddings or face fines or possibly jail time under the city’s ‘public accommodations’ statute. Their religious views are expected to adjust to the edicts of the state.
“So it’s official: a new religious orthodoxy is sweeping across the nation, imposed by government and backed by force. It’s a religious orthodoxy required by secular authorities for a secular purpose, but no matter. Heretics will be found out and forced to recant.
“No one ever expects the Secular Inquisition.
“Except that we actually did expect it. In fact, it’s inherent in the fundamental basis of the left’s arguments for gay marriage.”
It is not enough to simply encourage society to decay, the Left must proactively destroy it.
Perhaps, one of the most striking parallel between the decline and fall of Rome and the current Presidency is that of Commodus:
“Fighting barbarians is not appealing to political leaders. Skirmishes and drone warfare bestow little and rare glory. A defining victory, to be celebrated with pomp and speeches, is unlikely. And the persistent but inchoate threat is tiresome, draining attention and resources. The temptation to abandon the fight with barbarians, and to return to the familiarity of domestic affairs, is always great. It is much easier to subcontract the fight to others and hope to divert the attention of barbarians to other targets.
“Obama’s rapid withdrawal from Iraq and disengagement from the Middle East in general is therefore understandable, even though it’s a justified target for criticism in the recent memoirs by former officials of his administration. The allure of proclaiming peace and the appeal of focusing on domestic undertakings trumps the unrewarding slog of negotiating with allies and chasing barbaric groups in distant valleys. But the risks are big and, now, they are on the front pages.
“Obama is not the first one to have withdrawn from a fight. Commodus did it before him. As recounted by Herodian in his Roman history, Commodus, Roman Emperor in the second half of the 2nd century AD, inherited a war with the barbarians along the Danube River from his father, the prudent Marcus Aurelius.”
There are consequences when a country is “lead from behind”:
“Of course, the abdication of leadership on the frontier has its security consequences. The Roman army, and presumably the allied forces with it, were not eager to remain on the frontier. ‘All the soldiers wanted to leave with him [Commodus], so that they might stop wasting their time in the war and enjoy the pleasures at Rome.’ Wars cannot be led from well-appointed tables in Rome.”
While America’s fighting forces are far more dedicated than Roman soldiers, the political leadership, and perhaps some military leadership who wish to turn the armed forces into a Social Justice experiment, have amply been demonstrated.
Are we still that shining city upon a hill? Or are be in inexorable decline towards a fall.