The Weak Shall Inherit The Earth

The more I think about it, the more I am struck by how we live in a society and culture that not only tolerates, but actively promotes weakness of character.

We have an entire state apparatus set up to indoctrinate children from an early age that it’s okay to fail, that it’s okay to exhibit moral flaws, that everything goes (just think of hor primary education is structured; red pens? Never!) Our civil society has set up frameworks to protect people who exhibit character defects, with advocates going out of their way to extol concepts of “acceptance” and “toleration”. If any public official has the temerity (or, perhaps, the honesty) to say that people’s actions are wrong, that they ought take responsibility for what they do, that there are some things that are just not okay, then they are invariably hounded by the media as an antiquated relic.

Much of this I think is a negative side-effect of our democratic fetish, combined with the related increased reliance upon state control. No-one likes to be told they are wrong; rather, they want to be told it’s not their fault, that others are to blame, that what they are doing is acceptable – it’s human nature. Yet when we combine this with democracy, the result is sadly inevitable – people vote for what makes them feel good. They vote for the easiest option. For the candidates that free them from blame. And, if they fail in their pursuits, they just vote to strip the successful of their possessions and appropriate their funds. Concepts of responsibility, of character, of decency – they all fall away, and we have reached the almost laughable situation whereby we have taxpayer funded government programs telling people there is no such thing as shame.

For much of history, institutions – such as in, the West, the Church – has stood up to such forces, and reminded people of their obligations. But now, even they have cravenly given in. This weak-kneed, limp-wristed view of Christianity, whereby all that is required is to clap your hands repeatedly, or hold hands with your neighbor (decent behavior, following the Law of God, and moral behavior all cast asunder), has replaced the faith of old. The whole concept of fearing and trembling in awe of God seem to have gone by the wayside in this new world of ours, where God has been reduced to some abstract concept of “acceptance” and “love”. A faith based upon servitude and obedience, of realising that at times there are higher forces than your own sense of ego, seems to have been forgotten.

The other week I was listening to the stories of the ascetic desert fathers of time gone by, and thinking back upon the suffering that people endured for their faith. Just compare this to the shopfront Christianity we have now. Compare the saints of history, what they endured, what they went through, to what we impose upon ourselves now. And please do not think I am limiting this to the Protestants (although they are clearly the worst offenders), even the more conservative Churches are a pale imitation of what they once were. “The Church must change with the times”, the cry goes out, as man wants to subjugate the Eternal to his own ego. To force the Divine to accept his failings. And I, certainly, am just as guilty of this as anyone else, to my eternal shame.

I do not, of course, mean to turn this into a religious posting, for there are plenty of other things I could take aim at. Rather, I am simply using Christianity as a symbol of where we are heading (my apologies to my atheist readers). I could similarly talk about how our mental health industry has evolved to such an extent that it is no longer centered around assisting the truly ill, but rather, to absolve any individual from the consequences of their actions, to provide excuses, and to grant justification to people who want to act like d**ks. Or, to use another example, our system of welfare supports and, I would go so far as to say, encourages, people to make bad choices, and then protects them from the consequences. And, if anything, this is something likely to get worse as more and more welfare-dependent people with an entitlement mentality are born.

We keep hearing how much better the world is becoming, yet the more I look beneath the glossy surface, the more I lost faith. I see us losing what makes us human, and replacing ourselves with mindless, happy, robot-drones, who, as long as they get told they’re okay, as long as they partake in our consumerist society to sate their every whim (heaven forbid they actually think for themselves for a change), and as long as they have a government to give them money from people who are earned it… then that’s the way we shall keep going.

The more I look at it, the more I think the world is going to hell in a handbasket, and I see no way to break the cycle.


3 Responses to “The Weak Shall Inherit The Earth”

  1. getoffmylawn Says:

    I think there’s something to be said for teaching kids that failure is okay, as longas they learn from their mistakes. The polar opposite, where everyone wins and every child is unique and ‘special’, creates exactly the kind of self-absorbed conceit that cripples one in adulthood where failure is pretty routine.

  2. Tim Andrews Says:

    Oh sure, I certainly wouldn’t dispute that…

  3. Ben Says:

    You raise some interesting points around the secularization of Christianity and I share some of your concerns. Still, I know that there are millions of positive stories (aka individuals) that give me hope.

    Some other random thoughts:

    Media elites are always faking concern about pop music-friendly mega churches and certain scandals (real or imagined). And while there are legitimate reports I ask: Are they overheated? In America, where you live, I believe there are 425 churches with 3,000 “attenders” or more (0.11% of all churches). So even assuming that all of these LOUD churches are vulgar, are they really the heart of Christianity?

    In Australia too I think we do ourselves a great disservice when we focus on some dying denominations (which tend to be liberal anyway), while ignoring the growth of church-run school schools, Christian community groups, and numerous other expressions of Christianity that are more about community than organization. My brother-in-law for example helps the needy in Sri Lanka etc.

    Not that I’m a goody-good Christian (burp) but the glass (cliché alert) is not half empty.

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