As religion declines, crime rises It's no coincidence that lawlessness and violence thrive in secular societies CHARLES MOORE The Daily News
Theories abound as to underlying reasons society's moral fabric is in tatters. Here's one of mine: decline of religious faith. Hordes would disagree with that. But one thing that can't be disputed is that when Christianity had more cultural traction, and most people showed up in church - however hypocritically in some cases - the positive moral influence spilled over into broader culture. Without reference to divine authority, the values-consensus necessary to maintain social order disappears. Moral breakdown in radically secularizing societies is predictable, and inevitable.
To be sure, through the past two Western millennia, a majority have probably never been more than nominally Christian. But whether or not they personally attempted to live by Christian moral standards, until very recently nearly everyone assented to those precepts as the benchmark by which right and wrong can be tested and measured. And most believed in some sort of ultimate accountability. The survival of civilization rests on this dynamic.
By denying divine causality, authority and purpose, secular modernism and postmodernism removed the foundation for public morality, leaving maintenance of social order dependent upon the residual moral capital of the Christian era. By the late 20th century, that momentum had pretty much spooled down. We witness the consequences every day on newspaper pages and TV screens.
email@example.comCharles W. Moore is a Nova Scotian freelance writer and editor whose articles, features, and commentaries have appeared in more than 40 magazines and newspapers in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., and Australia.