Sunday, September 16, 2007


The Archbishop of Cologne had the unmitigated gall to use "degenerate" to describe modern art. It is a term that Germans apparently still associate with Nazis' taste in art.

What the Archbishop actually said was this: "When culture is disconnected from divine reverence, the cult descends into ritualism and culture degenerates. It loses its centre." He later expressed regret for any misunderstanding. Well, if the shoe fits.

His words bear a striking similarity to an observation made by Gil Bailie regarding the symptomology of the recrudescence of the pagan in terms of sexuality, and with good reason:
Once (sexuality) is awakened the path one takes can lead either into a pagan carnival which turns later into a hellish nightmare, or it can lead on the road that Dante took to the mystery of true transcendence. So, what we have to do when we critique the modern sexual hysteria is we have to be careful. It’s not a question of “sex” at all. It’s a question of something more profound than that. It’s a question of a mimetic problem in the first instance, and at a deeper level it’s a question of an ontological problem: the lack of ontological moorings [Gabriel Marcel], and its effects on our lives and other realms.

On the other hand, we have to say that in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the expression of sexual love is a sacrament. It’s highly regarded. It is considered part and parcel of a religious life, so we have to clarify this. . .In a certain way, we have to become the defenders of sexuality in our world. We have to say, “It’s more important than that!” because we so easily trigger this cliche’ which is: “O well, there are those people who want to shut down the operation and those people who want to turn it loose. . .” Sexuality has tremendous power. . .because it has to do with bringing life into the world. It has to do with the great mystery of creation. It’s a very powerful thing . . . the human level that’s beyond just its natural, instinctual power. At the level of human psycho-genesis it is a very powerful phenomenon. And it will be religious one way or another.

If (sexuality) has no true transcendent context, it will eventually squirm and worm its way into a kind of pagan revival, which starts out in a carnivalesque atmosphere and ends in a hellish nightmare. . . That’s what is happening in some places in our world. OR, we have Dante’s example for what might happen otherwise.
The way of multicultural, pan-sexual political correctness -- blessed be the rights of the individual, may they live forever -- is a path fraught with land mines, pitfalls, and trip wires. And all of them with the express but never acknowledged purpose: to find new victims for the Sacred. Pity the poor Archbishop for telling the truth. He may lose his PC membership card. [HT: Real Clear Religion]

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