Dismantling Christianity and Western civilization — and replacing them with what?

Journal/Website: 
Macon Telegraph
Article Type: 
Editorial
Published Date: 
Wednesday, August 26, 2015

For new readers it might be difficult to tell if Dr. Bill Cummings’ column “Is Christianity dying in America?”[1] 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.”[2,3]

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.[4,5]

Make no mistake 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 (ISIS) terrorists; challenged geopolitically by Russia and financially and in economic might by China (which is already conducting an undeclared cyberspace war).[6]

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:

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. (Our farsighted local politicians already require Mandarin to be taught in our public schools in Bibb County, Georgia, “in preparation for what the future may bring.”)

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.[4,5,7,8] 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.

References

1. Cummings B. Is Christianity dying in America. Macon Telegraph, August 23, 2015. Available from: http://www.macon.com/incoming/article31924911.html

2. Cummings B. Questioning faith. Macon Telegraph, July 6, 2014.

3. Cummings B. English religious texts are not the ‘originals,’ have ‘obvious contradictions.’ Macon Telegraph, July 19, 2015.

4. Faria MA. Religious morality (and secular humanism) in Western civilization as precursors to medical ethics: A historic perspective. Surg Neurol Int 2015;6:105. Available from: http://haciendapub.com/articles/religious-morality-and-secular-humanism-western-civilization-precursors-medical-ethics-hist

5. Faria MA. A defense of Western culture and civilization without apologies. HaciendaPublishing.com, November 16, 2014. Available from: http://haciendapub.com/articles/defense-western-culture-and-civilization-without-apologies 

6. Faria MA. China — spies, sexpionage, and cyber wars against America. GOPUSA, March 1, 2013. Available from: http://haciendapub.com/articles/china-%E2%80%94-spies-sexpionage-and-cyber-wars-against-america

7. Blaylock RL. Collectivism, secular humanism, scientific positivism (scientism) and centralized state power — Part 2: Centralization of power. Hacienda Publishing.com, August 14, 2015.  Available from: http://haciendapub.com/articles/collectivism-secular-humanism-scientific-positivism-scientism-and-centralized-state-power-0 

8. Blaylock RL. Collectivism, secular humanism, scientific positivism (scientism) and centralized state power — Part 1: A most dangerous admixture. Hacienda Publishing.com, August 14, 2015.  Available from: http://haciendapub.com/articles/collectivism-secular-humanism-scientific-positivism-scientism-and-centralized-state-power-%E2%80%94

Written by Dr. Miguel Faria

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.

An edited version of this editorial was published in the Macon Telegraph on August 26, 2015.

This article may be cited as: Faria MA. Dismantling Christianity and Western civilization — and replacing them with what? Macon Telegraph, August 26, 2015. Available from: http://www.haciendapub.com/articles/dismantling-christianity-and-western-civilization-—-and-replacing-them-what 

Copyright ©2015 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.


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A conversation with Colonel Chenoweth

Colonel Avery Chenoweth: I started reading David's first article but found it so verbose (as Alexander Pope so famously said: "Words are like leaves, and where they most abound, much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found") immediately came to mind.  I stopped at the third paragraph. So, when the second came out, I did more or less that same thing. I guess I am getting biased about this sort of give-and-take—or am bored with the whole argumentation.

Dr. Miguel Faria: Alexander Pope has had some great lines. He was the most feared journalist in his time. His satires (e.g., Rape of the Lock, The Dunciad, etc.) bit his opponents to the bone. One of my favorites:

"A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again." Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism, 1709.

We are abound by poorly educated dunces who have opinions about everything and very little knowledge to support and defend them!

Col. Chenoweth: My mind is more on Islamic terrorism and that threat to Judeo-Christianity than worrying about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Things like Hillary Clinton saying Islam is just a religion so we shouldn't attack it — Islam is, of course, a “theocracy" and an evil one at that. She has no inkling that the Islamic onslaught into Europe will spill its doom by the end of this century—and I don't think this third Muslim historic assault on the West can be stopped. Sweden is now hopeless, as France is with the Muslim no-go zones and rampant Sharia law. England—forget it! Germany is now sorry it accommodated them. 

Dr. Faria: Much has been said about Edward Gibbons’ alleged attack on Christianity in his monumental Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and his blaming the collapse of the Western Roman Empire on the Judeo-Christian ethic. I have read his magnum opus twice and his inference on this is very mild and in passing. What he does very presciently say is that barbarism still exists, lurking in the shadows, and it was even them simmering in the Islamic East. Consider that by his time Ottoman Turkey the greatest Islamic power then was “The Sick Man of Europe.” As you suggest we have been fighting IS with one arm tight behind our backs, considering our president and presumed Democrat presidential candidate. As the political philosopher Sir John Harrington (1561–1612) stated: “Treason doth never prosper... why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason."

Col. Chenoweth: Even Indian-Muslim Fareed Zakaria this morning on CNN made a stupid comparison with the minority of jihadist Muslims against the remainder of the other 1.5 billion peaceful ones.  Good grief! The enormous majority of Muslims throughout the world (Sunni) are poor, ignorant, hand-to-mouth, simple-minded (if not inbred) mouthers of the Koran, with no idea at all (even with TV) of the rest of the world, or even where or what the United States is (are), or what freedom, civilization, culture are. They only recite some meaningless words from a Seventh-Century ignorant camel driver who hallucinated on donkey dung and set half the world's population on a deadly assault on righteousness, morality, freedom, and all things to the betterment of the civilized world.

Dr. Faria: Incredibly, The Macon Telegraph have an editorial board member, Tom Scholl, supposedly a former Protestant minister, who defended the fairness and goodness of Islam and argued that we should enforce sharia law in the U.S. as more equitable than the Western rule of law and presumably the U.S. Constitution! Amazingly he was given space for a 3-part series which I believe ran on Sundays. I was then helping my youngest daughter on a school project on comparative religion and Islam and took the opportunity to write on the subject, including a brief history of Islam to counteract his bizarre series. My article was selected for publication by realclearhistory and linked to our haciendapub website:

http://www.haciendapublishing.com/randomnotes/relevant-and-brief-history...

Col. Chenoweth: And, the NY Times (which I get on Sundays) [after St. Bernardino], stupidly suggests more gun control and worse to me, inclusion of females in combat.

Dr. Faria: The first I think is intended to disarm the law abiding so that the defenseless citizens fear the State (contrary to Thomas Jefferson' admonition) and the second to demoralize the “evil” military. Once again, Sir John Harrington’s words come to mind with the liberal lapdog media.

Col. Chenoweth: “This country is only barely beginning to open its eyes with the latest home-grown Islamic terrorist attack. This is what all Christian and Jews should be arguing and fighting against—not one another. I can only criticize Christianity by not firmly standing up against Islam and preaching that in its churches. Islam—and a misunderstanding of the First Amendment—have put us on the defensive. We need another tough crusade.

Dr. Faria: What you argue is true but people like Dr. Bill Cummings and the bully Sandefur are doing the opposite to bring dissension for their own personal and political reasons; their drivel must be counteracted with facts and logic. Mr. Richardson in the Telegraph would not published my last cannonade on the subject. We published it in haciendapub and a large number of Telegraph readers came over and read it. It was a popular read with over a 1000 reads in a few days after publication:

http://www.haciendapublishing.com/articles/dr-miguel-faria-responds-mr-n...

With opportunity seemingly open temporarily to young journalists like David in the Telegraph, they must be encouraged, supported, and hopefully led into the conservative camp. The mainstream media is overloaded with liberal journalists! As far as Christianity fighting Islam, we are impaired by the alleged “wall of separation” and the liberal lapdog media. Only the Catholic Church has the will and the intellectual capacity to fight the rush for change down the precipice of ignorance. Unfortunately we have gone from two brilliant Popes (e.g., John Paul II and Benedict XVI) to a “media-pandering” populist Pope Francis. And forget the Protestant denominations; what they may have in ardor, they spoil in political correctness and deficiency in intellectual ammunition. My take on that is on the URL below:

http://www.haciendapublishing.com/randomnotes/philosophic-ramblings-part...

And yes we do need a Crusade!

Dr. Miguel A. Faria is the President of haciendapub.com

Colonel Avery Chenoweth, Sr. is a three-war Marine Reserve colonel, a military historian, writer, artist, former TV advertising executive and TV-film director in NYC, and former general manager of two Christian television stations. He is a polymath and polyglot: French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Biblical Greek. He and his wife Lise are retired in Perry, Georgia.

http://www.haciendapublishing.com/articles/unspoken-specter-ignorance-co...

A reply to Dr. Bill Cummings

A Brief Reply to Dr. Cummings latest column of September 6, 2015, “DR. CUMMINGS: Please don’t read this.” First, I commend Dr. Cummings for the warning to the readers, but I’m disappointed about his choosing to patronize those for whom he issued the warning: “ If you feel that you…have the ‘truth’ all tied up in a neat package and you don’t want to untie that package and take a look, you have no valid reason to dip into this column.” In other words those who choose not to read his column are essentially close-minded idiots who do not want to consider his “truths.” I do feel that my categorization of him as a latter day Voltaire is accurate, even if Dr. Cummings is not aware of the implications of his continued hammering and attempts to undermine the faith of Christians every Sunday, except for those columns on “motivational leadership.”[1] The development of Western civilization is tied to Judeo-Christian teachings and the Catholic Church — that is a fact. Religion, as he well knows, is a question of faith, not positivism or the logic of scientism philosophy[2,3] I agree that we should address questions of history, philosophy, justice, but I believe Dr. Cummings intentions are not the search for historic truths that have already been ascertained by historians and exploited by politicians, but undermine the faith of Christians, bring disquietude to those afflicted with uncertainty - all this at a time of uncertainty for the future and a Jihad of fanatics have been launched against the West and the Christianity he undermines.

It's obvious Dr. Cummings believes that morality requires no God or religion, and we are better off without them. This is the essence of secular humanism. I have written two articles explaining this, and incidentally both articles originated in constructive debate,[4,5] so just because some readers might not want to read his columns, it does not follow that they are closed-minded.

As to Dr. Cummings' specific theologic and rhetorical questions, Father Allan J. McDonald of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Macon has done an excellent job answering them in a superb critique that far surpasses mine here.[9] As for myself, I have answered those questions in their totality in the aforementioned articles.[4,5]

Finally I do want to address the bioethical issue of calling Dr. Cummings “an aging octogenarian.”[1] Taken out of context and completely in the opposite meaning than what I intended (and Dr. Cummings knew this meaning because I have corresponded with him on this issue) sounds horribly mean-spirited and insensitive. I wish he had explained to the readers the real meaning, and that is that his allies — i.e., the secular humanists and the leaders of the bioethics movement — would have decried his utilization of “scarce health resources” for the treatment he described in one of his columns at Monroe County Hospital because of his age. I oppose this discrimination. In other words, I have been writing on the fact that older people have a right to seek medical care and should not be discriminated because of age. Dr. Cummings and those who read my editorials in Surgical Neurology International, my two recent columns in the Telegraph, or the articles in my website know this.[6-8] I’m appalled that Dr. Cummings did not clarify this and instead continued in the misleading thread of the letter of Mr. Neil M. Cullinan, which I have already addressed. Sincerely, Dr. Miguel A. Faria.

References

1. Faria MA. Dismantling Christianity and Western civilization — and replacing them with what? Macon Telegraph, August 26, 2015. Available from: http://www.haciendapub.com/articles/dismantling-christianity-and-western-civilization-—-and-replacing-them-what

2. Blaylock RL. Collectivism, secular humanism, scientific positivism (scientism) and centralized state power — Part 2: Centralization of power. Hacienda Publishing.com, August 14, 2015. Available from: http://haciendapub.com/articles/collectivism-secular-humanism-scientific...

3. Blaylock RL. Collectivism, secular humanism, scientific positivism (scientism) and centralized state power — Part 1: A most dangerous admixture. Hacienda Publishing.com, August 14, 2015. Available from: http://haciendapub.com/articles/collectivism-secular-humanism-scientific...

4. Faria MA. Religious morality (and secular humanism) in Western civilization as precursors to medical ethics: A historic perspective. Surg Neurol Int 2015;6:105. Available from: http://haciendapub.com/articles/religious-morality-and-secular-humanism-...

5. Faria MA. A defense of Western culture and civilization without apologies. HaciendaPublishing.com, November 16, 2014. Available from:http://haciendapub.com/articles/defense-western-culture-and-civilization-without-apologies

6. Faria MA. Bioethics — Part 2: Is it compassion, personal autonomy, or ulterior utilitarian motives at heart? HaciendaPublishing.com, August 24, 2015. Available from: http://www.haciendapub.com/articles/bioethics-%E2%80%94-part-2-it-compas...

7. Faria MA. Bioethics and why I hope to live beyond age 75 attaining wisdom!: A rebuttal to Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel's 75 age limit. Surg Neurol Int 2015;6:35. Available from: http://haciendapub.com/articles/bioethics-and-why-i-hope-live-beyond-age-75-attaining-wisdom-—-rebuttal-dr-ezekiel-emanuels

8. Faria MA. Slouching Towards a Duty to Die. Medical Sentinel 1999;4(6):208-210. Available from: http://haciendapub.com/medicalsentinel/slouching-towards-duty-die

9. Fr. Allan J. McDonald. Southern orders. Answering Dr. Bill Cummings. September 6, 2015. Available from: http://southernorderspage.blogspot.com/

Destiny of Western civilization

Comments in the Macon Telegraph on this article, August 26, 2015

Fred Dixon: I read Dr. Cummings article, but was unable to comment at the time. Regarding the Catholic confessional and the fear of dying without the opportunity to confess because of the missed opportunity to attend Sunday mass, an interesting dichotomy occurs with what maybe be a majority of Catholics (i.e., Nancy Pelosi the Kennedys, etc.) who oppose or violate any number of tenets of the Church, such as abortion.

As I am not Catholic, perhaps I misunderstand, and that it is permissible to believe in or even accommodate deviation of one of the sacred tenets, and not need absolution as long as one does not actually perform the act. Shouldn't they just become some sort of "Humanist", and come out of the closet, so to speak?

Wally Walters: Superb. Mr. Cummings needs to report to checkout lane because he has been served.

Expect some blowback, doctor. He and like-minded anti-theist ilk live for this kind of stuff. I guess they have little else in their lives.

Kennedy, Pelosi, Biden et al are "cafeteria Catholics" who are only ordering the jello. P.S. One can confess one's sins at any time.

Dr. Bill Cummings: Dr. Faria, might we ask you the same question: "What is your picture of the destiny of our Western civilization?"

Dr. Miguel A. Faria: We are, hopefully, in a REVERSIBLE decline in Christianity, morality, America, as well as Western civilization itself — a decline contributed to by persons unwittingly, wittingly, actively, or tacitly helping foment that decline. I think my views are obvious from my brief article, but if, Dr. Cummings, you are sincerely interested in learning more about my views you are welcomed to two articles I have written on the subject. One of them[1], the subject was considered so important for an international audience that I was asked to write it in reply to letters on the subject and wrote it for SNI, an international, peer-reviewed journal for neuroscientists and neurosurgeons. You are welcome to comment on them[1,2] and I will post your remarks.

References

1. Faria MA. Religious morality (and secular humanism) in Western civilization as precursors to medical ethics: A historic perspective Surg Neurol Int 2015;6:105. Available from: http://haciendapub.com/articles/religious-morality-and-secular-humanism-...

2. Faria MA. A defense of Western culture and civilization without apologies. HaciendaPublishing.com, November 16, 2014. Available from: http://www.haciendapub.com/articles/defense-western-culture-and-civiliza...

Additional remarks appear under the article: Faria MA. Bioethics — Part 2: Is it compassion, personal autonomy, or ulterior utilitarian motives at heart? HaciendaPublishing.com, August 24, 2015. Available from: http://www.haciendapub.com/articles/bioethics-%E2%80%94-part-2-it-compas...

Update— Religion

Letter to the Editor

“Church not in decline—There are over 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide encompassing every race, ethnicity and socioeconomic group on planet Earth. Every second of every day, a Catholic priest is openly and secretly celebrating Mass somewhere on Earth. This includes places like Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Iraq and Somalia. Dr. Cummings in his August 23 column, “Is American Christianity dying” said, “If Catholics go to church, it’s because they have to” is the most ridiculous, asinine and irresponsible statement ever made.… In the small Catholic Church I attend, it’s not unusual to see whites, blacks, Chinese, Europeans, Hispanics, Koreans, mixed marriages, tradesmen, laborers, doctors, teachers, police officers, etc. with their children kneeling together under the same roof being shepherded by a black priest from Africa whose village and family live in constant fear of attack. And Cummings asks, “So how do we explain the fact we still have so much segregation in our churches.” Lord have mercy.”--- Travis L. Middleton, Macon Telegraph, August 31,2015.

The world's fastest-growing religion is ...
By Daniel Burke, CNN Religion Editor, April 3, 2015

"(CNN). Yes, despite predictions that religion will go the way of dinosaurs, the size of almost every major faith -- sorry, Buddhists -- will increase in the next 40 years, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Research Center. The biggest winners, Pew predicts, will be Islam and Christianity.

Growth of Religion

"Islam, the world's fastest-growing faith, will leap from 1.6 billion (in 2010) to 2.76 billion by 2050, according to the Pew study. At that time, Muslims will make up nearly one-third of the world's total projected population of about 9 billion people.

"Christianity is expected to grow, too, but not at Islam's explosive rate. The Pew study predicts Christians will increase from 2.17 billion to 2.92 billion, composing more than 31% of the world's population. This means that by 2050, more than 6 out of 10 people on Earth will be Christian or Muslim. And, for perhaps the first time in history, Islam and Christianity would boast roughly equal numbers..."

So while Dr. Cummings and I were arguing about the decline in Christianity (and Western civilization) in mostly the US and Western Europe, which is all too real — Christianity and the Catholic Church, in particular, are growing in the rest of the world, including the vast empires where atheistic totalitarianism had subjugated the people and stamped out religion before the collapse of Soviet communism! But Islam is indeed growing faster by either devotion or conquest. But many things can happen before 2050, hopefully good things for humanity! — MAF



Diary of Dreams performs at the 2016 M’era Luna festival in Hildesheim, Germany. M’era Luna, “one of the biggest dark music events in Germany,” is held each year on the second weekend in August. Close to 25,000 people attend the festival annually to hear gothic, metal and industrial music performed on two large festival-style stages.