... Archbishop Chaput is a key figure at this moment. He is a senior churchman who is resolute in his practical application of his Catholic faith. That resoluteness is vital for all who love freedom of religion—which depends in America on the Roman Catholic Church holding the line on key ethical positions. If Rome crumbles, we will all suffer the political consequences. We need to support those leading churchmen who are prepared to take the hard stands. (Though as the archbishop once said to me, it is never difficult to do the right thing, merely very exhausting.)
... In this book, he offers both an analysis of how we have come to the cultural and political situation in which we now find ourselves, and hope for the future. Not hope of the naïve variety, which overestimates the outward strength of Christianity—but hope that sees in the Christian tradition the means for regrouping and rebuilding in the wake of the moral devastation we are witnessing.
... it is clear that the archbishop sees the sexual revolution as central to our current situation. He is surely correct in this, and his identification of Wilhelm Reich as the key ideologue is important, as is his use of Augusto Del Noce, perhaps the most important modern philosopher whom Protestants have never heard of. Way back in 1970, before anyone was even talking about it, Del Noce predicted gay marriage as the point upon which religious freedom would founder. The archbishop also draws constructively on Alasdair Macintyre, emphasizing that our culture has lost any coherent basis upon which to debate and adjudicate matters of public policy.
... I was decidedly rebuked by his claim that pessimism is not an option for Christians, and that cynicism and despair are the besetting sins of our age. Hope is a virtue. Realism is appropriate. Pessimism and its counterpart, optimism, are irrelevant and illegitimate for Christians.
The archbishop offers not just critique, but also positive proposals. One of the most moving sections discusses the way in which the sexual revolution and the overweening arrogance of science have destroyed the mystery of life and reduced sex to a casual recreation. He declares, “The crime of the modern sexual regime is that it robs Eros of its meaning and love of its grandeur.”
This brings to mind the battle at the gates of Vienna on Sep 11, 1683 when the church stopped militant Islam from entering and destroying Europe. American civilization now faces the threat of moral collapse empowered by the sexual revolution. Indeed, if Rome falls, we will all suffer the consequences..