Just what exactly is a culture war?
It’s about competing forms of authority, and how they inform and shape human freedom.
Today that war is waged within the once sacred, confined domain of the family, sexual ethics, law, technology, even education. I dare to say that their is no formal place, either physical or intellectual that has not been touched by secularism. The battle is no longer an extrinsic one, but a fertile conflagration within the fecundity of humanness itself. Assisted, not thwarted by technology.
Numerous times throughout the 20th century the American people called upon its younger generation to avenge a wrong in foreign nations, secure that confrontation would assure a balance of power favorable to American interests. For whom then, if not for us, was Hamlet written? To whom, if not for us, did King Lear direct the question ‘is there any cause in nature that makes these hard hearts?’ And of what age if not our own atomic one did Albany make his prediction :
It will come,
Humanity must perforce prey on itself,
Like monsters of the deep.
Unless we have lost ourselves; ours is a time that would have sent the Greeks to their oracles. We fail at our peril to consult our own. The Church under John Paul II has taken a very clear stand as to where it is on such a battlefield. Under his guide, the Church accepts the criteria laid down in ‘Gaudium Et Spes’ (The Pastoral Constitution Of The Church In The Modern World.) It remains dedicated to human freedom. It remains on the side of contemporary man. But their are qualifications to such an embrace, now that certain dominate aspects of contemporary culture seek to maintain autonomy absent grace.
It is most interesting to notice the clarity of perception that John Paul possesses as he measures the destructive ailments that gather within the west. He knows that any miniscule error in an early measure will have disastrous consequences later.
For John Paul II, the domestic challenge facing the west remains the most formidable challenge the Church or western civilization has faced since its violent confrontation with Romulus, Reimus and the false gods of antiquity.
The west has usurped a divine like vocation in striving to breakdown and reconfigure the bonds of human solidarity.