Last summer, I took my son on a trip to see the numerous civil war battlefields that were across the South. We went to Shiloh, Chickamauga and Stones Point Battlefield outside Murfreesboro, Tennessee. One of the things that I kept in my heart was not only the numerous graves in these places, but the memorials that were scattered throughout the parks. As we went through the Vicksburg park, I ran across the memorial to the soldiers and sailors of the State of Arkansas. It stated:
To the Arkansas Confederate soldiers and sailors. A part of a Nation divided by the sword and reunited at the altar of Faith.
What held this nation together for so long was the common faith that was held by the people of the United States. Although the country was decimated, there was unity due to the Faith. Now, we are a nation that is devoid of Faith that it has been eroding for almost a century. Peter Hitchens in his commentaries faulted the Church for taking sides in the horrible conflict of the First World War and its reputation took a tremendous hit in Europe. He stated specifically:
Civilized countries become less civilized when they go to war…I would add that, by all but destroying British Christianity, these wars may come to destroy the spirit of the country. Those who fought so hard to defend Britain against its material enemies did so at a terrible spiritual cost. The memory of the great slaughter of 1914-18 was carried back into their daily lives by millions who had set out from quiet homes as gentle, innocent, and kind and returned cynical, brutalized, and used to cruelty.”
In a similar way, we left the moorings of the Faith by putting faith in “democracy” to save us all.
Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddhin stated that the root causes of the loss of faith were the the French Revolution and the exaltation of reason. They thought that they were the sole arbiters of right and wrong. They were no longer united in faith but divided by race, class and social standing. Nationalism rose, proletarian revolutions sprouted up in the nineteenth century and became full-blown in the twentieth century where mass slaughter was the rule of the day.
We might think that we are now safe from the ravages of war and famine here in America and that all we need to do is love each other and buy things like smartphones and new cars. Human history has a nasty habit of repeating itself and with the battle in Charlottesville taking place a few days ago, we may see a return to unrelenting barbarism.