The cool thing about online newspapers is that the comments from readers are instantaneous and fascinating. Immediately you can take the temperture of the readership and sense the mood of the general populace. This ignorance and bigotry and hatred against Christianity, and Catholicism in particular is stunning.
Here, for example, is just one comment taken from a column written by Rev.George Pitcher–one of the religion correspondents at the Daily Telegraph: He’s replying to another commenter who has referred to the Bible and says:
Also, you refer to the Bible as a source of your evidence. Would this be the Bible written around 300-320AD by the religious leaders, having pursuaded the Roman Emperor Constantine to follow God rather than the traditional Roman Gods (so that they could wield more power in the Empire). That is, a book written 300 years after the events its depicting. If we re-wrote the story of the reign of William of Orange, would you believe that?
The commenter takes the name “Skeptic”. He’ll forgive me if I’m skeptical of the skeptic. Notice how he writes with an arrogant know it all pose, but what he writes about the Bible is total and utter foolishness. Is it possible that such gross ignorance parading as intelligent skepticism is out there? If this is just one sample, what other incredibly dumb propaganda are the masses soaking up? Enormous amounts I’m afraid. Everything from Michael Moore movies and the DaVinci Code to the ravings of Hitchens and Dawkins spew lies, half truths, twisted and distorted accounts and unreasonable, sentimental and downright stupid claptrap.
The underlying problem is that the philosophers have, for years, been undermining the idea that there is any such thing as truth, or if there is truth that we can know it. Consequently, there are many who have been educated to believe that truth is relative and we can’t know it, but there are far more at every level of society who have absorbed a relativistic viewpoint in a much more vague and unconscious way. These are the vast masses whose world view and philosophy is unknown and unspecified even to themselves.
Lost in the swamp of relativism, they are hit with ‘truth claims’ from a vast array of sources through the mass media and have no authority structure and no intellectual equipment to discern truth in any way. They are left, therefore, to pick up scraps of information and decide through their feelings or through peer pressure what they think might be true. Bewildered and confused on the one hand, they are also conditioned through ‘individualism’ to be ‘self confident’ and ‘assertive’. Thus the boor is not only ignorant but arrogant.
What we have is a sort of institutionalized stupidity. It actually seems right and good to be dumb and not think things through. What frightens me most about this state of affairs is that a vacuum has been produced which is ripe for tyranny. Relativism undermines all authority and a populace without a firm authority longs for authority. All we need, therefore, is some big guy to step up and be that authority. A populace who does not have the equipment to figure out what is true is longing for someone to tell them what to believe. A populace who have become too lazy to figure out what is true for themselves will long for the easy answer–an ideology and the leader of that ideology who will give them something to believe in and something to live for. A populace who have become too lazy to work and too self indulgent to care about self discipline will long for a leader who will either pay them not to work or give draft them into the military where their lives will have meaning ane purpose and discipline.
Should such a leader arise, buckle your seats belts, we’re going to be going through some turbulence.