Think Of The Homeless

There are over 30 million Americans who live on the streets of our nation. Can you consider giving something to a shelter near you? Your fellow human beings need socks because they walk everywhere. Food and shelter are great too, if they will take them. So please give.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reviews by Hubie Goode: Are We Really in the Dawn of a New Age?

Are We Really in
the Dawn of a New Age?

At the beginning of the twentieth century there was a prevailing question kicking around the western world, namely, had our existence entered a new age? There was this palpable sense of wonder and potential that all of mankind had entered into a new and abundant breadth of vision. All of nature seemed to be flowering into something it wasn’t before, leaving behind the dark ages and entering into a euphoric optimism about the new “fabulous century”.

This new attitude of mankind grew from many streams of influence, these streams were believed to be genuine and world changing by the great thinkers and every day man on the street alike. The influence that those of that time observed appeared significant and world changing and in truth, there was some accuracy in that idea. But few of those influences in the course of history have provided those changes as they were believed to provide, or would provide.

The influences were many, and in the nineteenth century the west was moving from a feudalistic attitude and practice to the great change in culture called the Industrial Revolution. Knights and catapults were replaced by steam engines and the classes that streamed to work on rail roads across America. The horseless carriage, the machinery and the primary machinery to make secondary machines, all seemed to make enough of a bright promise that centuries of old ways of doing things were tossed aside like so much chum. Modern machinery turned the back breaking work of thousands into a simple one man operation on a machine. Naturally, of course, to see this was to anticipate that a time of unprecedented leisure was coming upon the world. Contemplation would now be the work of mankind as now machines were here to do the work of many.

This hope of an easier future for mankind was one of the perspectives that made ignoring the sweatshops and other exploitations of labor which became common place in those days all the more comfortable. Idealism was now the linchpin of popular thought (what was cool) and the false parachute of the poor was an assumption that all their troubles would soon be over anyhow as mechanisms became the “servant android” of society. Hope found in the “well to do”, feasted upon the patience of those who were downtrodden and exploited.

These times were also generally peaceful days, and it was a “knee jerk” response, if you will, to glorify the growth of industry as the prime provider of those good times. The Civil War had brought about some of the worst carnage and in-fighting ever seen in America, and in many places of the world at that time, and it was all quickly forgotten as it was sublimated to the collective consciousness of the society at large. It was, instead, relegated to the realm of the heroic and seen as a precursor that brought about the new industrial age, and therefore, it was not so much a tragedy in retrospect as much as it was a necessary evil.

Let’s be honest, every election year we are reminded of the forgetfulness of the populace at large, as we vote for one party and then the next as we are disappointed again and again with promises of change while we still talk about the war and the economy and jobs and such, only to vote for whomever once again promises change. This is also a historical fact as each generation often forgets the horrors that came before it from failed policy and the inherent flawed traits of mankind which consistently fail to live up to the ideals set forth. This makes it possible to repeat the mistakes of former societies and nations as people insist that ideas and policy are progress and not the death trap that past societies experienced with the exact same proponents. Homosexuality and abortion being prime examples.

The world of the twentieth century was one filled with anticipation due to the philosophies that had become popular at that time. The early 1900’s saw Darwin’s ideas become popular, and evolution was well on its way to capturing the imagination of academia and the thoughts of the common man. There was a grand social belief that all of society had begun to rise up from the gross and animalistic life of the last several hundred years and mankind was now flowering into the sublime and even perhaps, the angelic. Anyone could deceive themselves into believing that natural selection could, and indeed had, selected them. Natural man could see himself as the new custodian of history as each person looked around himself and said in his own heart, look at what great things man has done.

Social Darwinism was gaining fast ground as it convinced the populace that no problem was beyond their reach to solve. Humanity had a potential within it that could do anything if given enough time. Naysayers and pessimists were left behind as it was stipulated that nature itself had made it possible for progress and fulfillment to be accomplished beyond all of mankind’s wildest dreams.

At about this same time, the Christian religion was being discarded as a litmus for corrective theology and found itself to be inadequate to stem the rising red tide of humanism. The strong preaching of cardinal Christian doctrine relating to original sin would have indeed proffered much, but unfortunately, Christianity at large had abdicated its role and began to cooperate with the golden apple promises of the humanists. Teaching on cleansing through the Blood of Christ was now seen as more and more anachronistic in favor of salvation through restructuring of the society as a whole. Some of this change was seen by the common populace as a natural changing of the guards in much the same way we traded steam engines for the old horse and wooden trailer. Education and inspiration were now all that was needed to bring mankind into a new world, man was no longer a shamed sinner in need of a savior, all he needed was the improved works of his own hands and the potential of his mind. The parallel between machines of the day and clay images of yesterday suffered a grand cognitive dissonance.

This is not to say that the attitude of the religious establishment at that time was not all that understandable, for there had been significant revivals of religion in the past. Those revivals however, were never characterized by intellectual or theological content. Many people were brought to the knowledge of Christ, but they were delivered there by simple preachers with a simple Gospel for the common people. The era just before the turn of the twentieth century brought about an earnest faith within those saved, but it did not provide a broad view of God and the World and the relationship they shared. The common people of the time had great revivals but the ranks of academia of those days were negligibly involved.

As a result, the great missing link in Western thought is the Christian viewpoint. Today’s populace considers economics, government, education and thousands of other things with hardly a glance at what God himself would say on the matter. Unfortunately, the lack of a focus upon that question, “What does God say about this?”, has lead to some frightful disasters or “weeds” as it were in the garden of promise that was foreseen for the twentieth century. It has brought into existence the greatest intellectual confusion, moral myopia, and flat out carnage that has ever been seen by man. We hardly need to be reminded that science without God had produced a world where one country with the right weapons of mass destruction can bring about a war that could decimate the Earth many, many times over.

Also at this time, the ideas of Karl Marx, and his promise of a new philosophy, new thinking and a new future were taking root. These new thoughts also promised a new society to contain this increase in knowledge, an increase that would have boggled the minds of western Europe only a few hundred years before.

How was it that these new ideas were so readily and speedily ushered into our social agendas in such a short amount of time? Emergent ideas usually took a very long time to make their ascendancy in years past. But suddenly, comparatively over night, liberalism, humanism, and a new fluid way of thinking took foothold.

Simply put, these ideas found their way into the forefront of the American Educational system. These complex set of new ideas, thoughts, notions, philosophies and ways of thinking moved into what was at that time the world’s greatest instrument for the dissemination of ideas, the American public school system.

I’ll talk more about how this all happened in the next installment.

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