Thursday, March 05, 2009

Life in a Time of Decline

I was struck recently by the last words of German theologian Hans Urs von Balthasaar. As he lay dying, this man who many considered the most cultured man in the world, had this to say: "It can't go on much longer like this". He was referring, evidently, not to his health but to the state of the world.

A recent article brought von Balthasaar's words to mind. Designer babies are here at last, and not in China or Belgium but right here in the U. S. of A. From the article:
A Los Angeles fertility clinic is offering a new service that would allow couples to choose their baby's physical traits, including eye and hair color.The LA Fertility Institutes said it has already received half a dozen requests for the service and expects the first designer baby to be born next year.
It can't go on much longer. The article quoted the fertility doctor who runs the clinic, located in Los Angeles, as saying "I would not say this is a dangerous road. It's an uncharted road." Thanks, Doc. What's that shiny, inclined surface behind you? Might it be the slippery slope that you told us not to worry about?

Sure folks, nothing to worry about here. You're designing the master race in a strip mall in L.A., and we shouldn't worry? No, I'm sure that you are fully capable of discerning all of the possible ethical subtleties involved here. No reason to worry, at all. We'll all go back about our business and hope that the stimulus plan will restore the American dream's lustre. No moral abominations here, folks - we call it progress.

The kicker is that after years of ethical confusion caused by the wholesale slaughter of fetal humans, we are intellectually castrated. No one will articulate why exactly this is wrong. Is he hurting anyone? Is it "consensual"? Hey, what could go wrong? This has always been the threat of legalized abortion - the gradual blurring of the value of human life. If I can destroy pre-born humans, what can't I do?

A culture that places value on children according to their superficial traits no longer deserves to survive. God's hand is approaching the lever on our cultural toilet, and you can hear the first faint sounds of flushing.

So how are we supposed to make decisions in a time of accelerating decline? What is the use of staying engaged with a culture that has been flushing children down the toilet for the last thirty-five years?

Yeah, I know, I sound like a wack-job. Fuck it, man. There was a time when I over-estimated the ability of people to repent of stupidity. I thought that there was a way out of this mess that wouldn't be that painful. I am no longer victim to such illusions.

Here's my plan: I am going to invest in things that will last, things that will make life for me and my family easier in the years to come. I'm going to plant a garden; I'm going to stock up on non-perishables. I'm going to conserve resources and plan for... the worst. And you know what, I'm gonna buy a gun. Maybe several. Moving to Wyoming sounds really good right now, too.

The storm's brewin', and it may already be over our heads. I don't believe in the ability of the leaders of our culture to read the signs of the times, never mind the jamoche watching 'American Idol'.

I'll stay engaged. I'm not going to hide out in my bomb shelter, or move to Saskatchewan. But if you're not building a roof over your head when you know a storm's coming, then you're just stupid. I'm not sure how much my experience with Windows software is going to be worth when the rain starts falling. It may be time to learn some new skills.

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