Wednesday 16th April 2014

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

The Cultural Tsunami

February 14, 2014 Featured Today No Comments

By LAWRENCE P. GRAYSON

(Editor’s Note: This is the second of a series of four articles concerning America’s cultural and moral decline. Lawrence P. Grayson is a visiting scholar in The School of Philosophy, The Catholic University of America.)

+    +    +

America entered the 1960s as a well-established Christian society. Then, early in that decade, a series of social, military, and religious events occurred that changed the culture of the nation. Any one of these occurrences would have weakened the religious foundations of the country, but their emergence in rapid succession created a confluence that overwhelmed the existing order.
The nation became involved in the Vietnamese struggle for independence in the 1950s, first providing military advisers and then trainers to the South Vietnamese forces. In 1964, a series of military actions escalated the conflict into a proxy war between the United States and the Soviet Union, with large numbers of U.S. troops being sent to Vietnam. The war, which lasted until the U.S. military was withdrawn in 1975, was very unpopular with the American public and led to dissatisfaction with the nation’s leaders.
Discontentment took a violent turn in 1963, when President John F. Kennedy, who was young, charismatic, and widely admired, was assassinated. Two years later, Malcolm X, a leader in the black community, was shot while delivering a speech. This was followed in 1968 by the killing of Robert F. Kennedy, who was campaigning for president, and then of Martin Luther King Jr., a black civil rights leader. These assassinations added to the disillusionment of the American people in the governing establishment and to its ability to bring about political and social change.
Disenchantment was particularly strong among the children of the World War II veterans, who were then entering adulthood. While the veterans and their parents experienced the effects of the “Great Depression,” and so were concerned about improving their economic status, their children rejected a predominantly materialistic view of the American dream. A segment of this social group, known as hippies, rebelled against all established institutions, criticized middle-class values, adopted aspects of non-Judeo-Christian religions, experimented with psychedelic drugs, and promoted peace and sexual liberation.
The Vietnam War, which they strongly opposed, gave them a rallying point to promote their countercultural views. The movement hits it apogee in August 1969, when over 500,000 hippies attended the three-day Woodstock Music and Art Festival on a dairy farm in New York. Although only a small part of the nation’s population, the hippies were highly visible and vocal and served as an unofficial vanguard for a culture that was much less religious.
The loosening of sexual mores extended to the population as a whole. In 1960, the Food and Drug Administration approved the pharmaceutical company G.D. Searle to market the first oral contraceptive, which was referred to as “The Pill.” Even though its availability was limited in most states by statutes that restricted the advertising and sales of contraceptives, sales took off: By 1965, 6.5 million American million women were using it. This situation changed when the Supreme Court ruled that year that prohibiting the use of contraceptives violated a marital right to privacy and, in 1972, that unmarried people had the same right to contraceptives.
How accepting the public was of this development, even among Catholics, was evidenced in 1968 when the movie Prudence and the Pill, a comedy about adultery and unmarried sex, was shown nationwide without any noticeable backlash.
Attacks on religion extended to education. If God could be eliminated from the classroom, it would be easier in years to come, when these children became adults, to eliminate God from all public venues. In 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a strictly voluntary, nondenominational school prayer composed by the New York Board of Regents. Thus, an activity that had been part of American life since the beginnings of the nation’s history was deemed invalid. The following year, the Supreme Court ruled that reading Bible passages or saying the Lord’s Prayer in school was unconstitutional, even if all students who requested were excused. The Wall Street Journal commented that now atheism was “the one belief to which the state’s power will extend its protection.”
While these transformations were occurring in the social arena, the Catholic Church was also being altered in unanticipated ways. In 1962, Pope John XXIII convened Vatican Council II, in order to throw “open the windows of the Church.” When the council closed in 1965, recommendations had been made for modifications in many aspects of Church and liturgical affairs. While the council’s objective was to maintain the faith unaltered, but to enunciate it in ways that are relevant to the present time, when the recommendations were implemented many far-reaching changes were introduced in the “spirit of Vatican II.” The result was confusion among the laity and inconsistency in guidance by the clergy.
At a time when the social trends in America required a strong religious response, Catholics as a whole did not have the knowledge or conviction to stand apart from the general flow. When Pope Paul VI issued his encyclical, Humanae Vitae, in 1968, affirming the Church’s traditional position prohibiting all forms of artificial birth control, it was widely disregarded — in 1970, it was estimated that two-thirds of Catholic women in America were using contraceptives, and 20 percent of them were on the Pill.
Clearly, the U.S. Catholic Church was not in a position in the 1960s to be the bulwark against the secular and irreligious forces changing America. Rather, it would have to struggle to bring this nation back to its roots at a later time. But first it would contend with the continuing assault on Christianity.

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Denver Archbishop Rallies Coloradans Against ‘Extreme’ Abortion Bill

Denver, Colo., Apr 16, 2014 / 12:32 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Archbishop of Denver on April 15 rallied opposition to a Colorado bill he says is “both extreme and dangerously ambiguous” in its ban on all abortion regulations and other…Continue Reading

CATHOLIC PARENTS BEG MASS. DCF TO LET THEIR HOSTAGE DAUGHTER CELEBRATE EASTER, FILE ‘HABEAS CORPUS’ MOTION

By: Raquel Okyay 4/16/2014 08:41 AM Parents of the ailing Connecticut teen held captive by Massachusetts authorities for more than a year are pleading with the bureaucrat captors to let them celebrate Holy Week and Easter with their daughter, whose health…Continue Reading

Common Core stirs controversy for Catholic schools

By Peter Doocy Published April 15, 2014 FoxNews.com Classrooms at some Catholic schools are undergoing a transformation, as decades-old traditions are being updated with Common Core state standards. Although the standards are not federally mandated for Catholic schools, dozens of dioceses…Continue Reading

Catholic League’s Donohue: Church’s Pedophilia Crisis Is Over

Monday, 14 Apr 2014 06:14 PM By Bill Hoffmann The Catholic Church has far less of a problem with the sexual abuse of minors than other major institutions, says Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil…Continue Reading

Catholic Malta Legalizes Same-sex Civil Unions

Staunchly Catholic Malta has legalized same-sex civil unions and has given gay couples the right to adopt children. The vote comes nearly three years after the Mediterranean island nation legalized divorce. The Maltese parliament legalized same-sex unions and gay adoption…Continue Reading

Remembering Terri Schiavo:

April 13, 2014 Remembering Terri Schiavo: Bobby Schindler comments on Pope Francis, Bishop Robert Lynch, and working on behalf of the severely disabled By Matt C. Abbott The following is an email interview I recently conducted with Bobby Schindler, brother of…Continue Reading

Parents Protest Speaker’s Talk On Morality At Another Catholic High School

For the 2nd time in recent weeks, parents of students at a Catholic high school are protesting that a speaker’s presentation on Catholic morality was harsh and insensitive. Parents of students at the Prout School in Rhode Island have expressed…Continue Reading

‘Pay for it yourself’: Canadian Catholics fighting renewed push for single publicly funded school system

Sarah Boesveld | April 12, 2014 When Leonard Baak’s son hit kindergarten age, his local public school in Stittsville, Ont., was so full it couldn’t even add any portables. So all the other parents in his neighbourhood did the natural thing and…Continue Reading

What Bishop Jugis did NOT say about Sister Jane Dominic’s talk

By Phil Lawler  April 10, 2014 5:05 PM Charlotte’s Bishop Peter Jugis has finally issued a statementregarding the unseemly controversy at Charlotte Catholic High School. In that statement the bishop clearly affirms the teachings of the Catholic Church. But he does not affirm…Continue Reading

Pope Francis Calls Abortion An ‘Abominable Crime’ In Strongest Remarks To Date

by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent Fri Apr 11, 2014 08:11 EST VATICAN CITY, April 11, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Human life is “sacred and inviolable” and “every civil law is based on the recognition of the first and most fundamental right,…Continue Reading

Jesuit Priest Championed Conservative Catholic Values In Era Of Change

By Jan Uebelherr of the Journal Sentinel The Rev. Cletus Healy warned about the evils of communism, presided over annual vigils at the gravesite of Sen. Joseph McCarthy and wrote “Stations of the Cross for the Victims of Abortion.” These were the passions of…Continue Reading

Fr. Dwight Longenecker on The Absurdity of Evil

By Fr Dwight Longenecker 4/8/2014 Catholic Online (www.catholic.org) This is the frightful absurdity of evil. This absurdity and rage is the demonic poison of hatred and pride, and the only antidote, I have come to accept-the only antidote for which…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Pope Francis . . .

Pope Francis: Weekly General Audience

pope268

2014-04-16 Vatican Radio (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis held his weekly General Audience on Wednesday – the Wednesday of Holy Week or “Spy Wednesday” as it is called in many parts of the English-speaking world. The Gospel reading of the day recounts Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, which sets in motion the events of Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. In his catechetical…Continue Reading

Featured Today

Politically Correct Hypocrisy On Parade

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK I have met liberal Democrats who insist that the inclusion of liberal Democrats Alan Colmes and Bob Beckel on the Fox News Network cannot be taken as proof that the network is, as advertised, “fair and balanced.” They insist that Beckel and Colmes are chosen to make liberals look bad, as…Continue Reading

Rome Media Symposium . . . Shine The Light Of True Religious Liberty

By ALAN SEARS (Editor’s Note: Alan Sears, president of the Alliance Defending Freedom [www.adfmedia.org], offered the following welcoming remarks to those attending the ADF’s March 24-27 Catholic Media Symposium in Rome. Raymond Cardinal Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, also spoke at the event.) +    +    + Good evening friends. It is an honor to…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… The Justina Pelletier Case And The Abusive Child Protective System

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s “Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic” column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Will “Health Care” Kill American Medicine?

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY My mother, a doctor’s daughter who became a doctor herself, sometimes accompanied her father when he made house calls in the Livermore Valley of California during the Great Depression. Her job was to open and close the gates at the ranches and farms they visited. In those tenuous times, as she…Continue Reading

A Government Admission Of Wrongdoing

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO Last week, National Intelligence Director Gen. James R. Clapper sent a brief letter to Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in which he admitted that agents of the National Security Agency (NSA) have been reading innocent Americans’ e-mails and text messages and listening to digital…Continue Reading

Reminder

Your Prayers Are Requested . . .

We sadly report that our longtime news editor, Paul Likoudis, has been diagnosed with colon cancer. He will be incapacitated for about six months as he undergoes chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. His From the Mail column will be suspended. We ask your prayers for Paul’s full recovery. If you would like to help Paul with his overwhelming medical expenses, a…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Pope Benedict … On Wisdom

VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) — Here is the translation of the Holy Father’s new catechetical series on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, given during his weekly general audience on April 9. Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning! We begin today a series of catecheses on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. You know that the Holy Spirit constitutes the soul,…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Parents Must Teach Chastity As Does Pope Francis

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Recently Pope Francis urged chastity for prevention of HIV as Pope Benedict was also known to do, and, as a result of which, opprobrium and vituperation were rained down upon him. The two Vicars of Christ agree in this matter because the teaching comes not from men nor from them but from God. The chastity…Continue Reading

Mary’s Perpetual Virginity… Who Were Jesus’ Brothers?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 Just as Jesus came not to destroy but to fulfill (Matt. 5:17), the New Testament is consistent with the Old, and in Jesus’ time brother had also a variety of meanings. For instance: In Matt. 5:22 (Sermon on the Mount), brother means a fellow man, purely and simply, because of our common origin…Continue Reading

Catechesis In The Twenty-First Century

By Don Fier “In order to arrive at a systematic knowledge of the content of the faith, all can find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church a precious and indispensable tool. It is one of the most important fruits of the Second Vatican Council.” With these words in his apostolic letter Porta Fidei announcing the upcoming Year of Faith…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. When was it decided that Sunday is the Sabbath and not Saturday? Is it in the Bible? — R.E.G., Nevada. A. Yes, it’s in the Acts of the Apostles where it says that “on the first day of the week when we gathered to break bread [i.e., celebrate Mass], Paul spoke to them because he was going to leave…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bernadette Soubirous

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of mankind, God has chosen the lesser person to be His messenger, prophet, or king. He chose, Moses, the stutterer, to lead the Jewish people out of the slavery of the Egyptians. He chose Ruth, the pagan Moabite, to be an ancestor of Jesus. He chose King David, the youngest of Jesse’s sons, to…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Julie Billiart

By CAROLE BRESLIN Across North America there are churches and schools named after St. Julie Billiart. They carry on the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur founded by Julie and her friends during the turbulent years of the late 18th and early 19th century of the French nation when Catholics were being persecuted. Throughout the history of…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading