For new readers it might difficult to tell if Dr. Bill Cummings’ column “Is Christianity dying in America?” was written with glee or with slight regret, like the puzzling smile of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.” For those of us who have read some of his previous columns deprecating the Catholic Church, of course, it is not difficult to discern the gloating and streak of satisfaction, especially when he affirms that while it is not dying, “it’s declining for sure.”
The persistent attacks upon the foundation of an institution in which he formerly belonged, which educated and nurtured him as a former priest, and perhaps inspired him in his eventually becoming a successful motivational speaker and business executive is a sad state of affairs. And as he points out, Cummings, who strives to be a latter-day Voltaire, is not alone in his thinly veiled rejection of his faith: Christianity and the Catholic Church are indeed in a declivity ushering the decline in Western civilization and America, the pinnacle of that civilization.
Make no mistakes about it, concomitant with the decline in Judeo-Christian values, America is in moral and economic decline, assailed militarily by the worldwide fanatics of the Islamic State and Caliphate terrorists; challenged geopolitically by Russia and financially and in economic might by China (which is already conducting an undeclared cyberspace war).
Like it or not, whether one is a Catholic, Protestant or even a Jew, Christianity, particularly the Catholic Church, with all its faults is inextricably entwined with the past as well as the destiny of Western civilization. I wonder if those attacking our civilization from within, including the suave Cummings, have a future in mind for our civilization. Have they carried their arguments to their logical conclusion? Undermining the values of our traditional institutions with the moral, economic and financial collapse of America, what do they have in mind to replace Christianity and the West? We have three obvious choices:
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1. Surrendering to Islamic fanatics (the future majority religion) and allowing the establishment of sharia law.
2. Accepting the economic hegemony and protection of China, an atheistic proto-fascist, authoritarian state.
3. Embracing the present course with secular humanism as the guiding light of civil religion and its associated baggage -- i.e., positivism, bioethics, socialism and all the secular “isms” that collectivism entails. Will this option have the moral fiber to oppose the first, or the intellectual fortitude to combat the second? Good questions. Moreover, what would happen to people like Cummings, a charming but aging octogenarian who continues to utilize precious medical care, an irrational misallocation of resources better spent on younger people, according to his bioethics movement allies? Another good question. Let’s hope Cummings has some good answers.
Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D. is an Associate editor-in-chief of Surgical Neurology International and the author of “Cuba in Revolution -- Escape from a Lost Paradise.” His website is haciendapub.com.