Individualism and Society

Here are some wise words by Harold O. J. Brown, of the Howard Center for Family, Religion, & Society.

The whole article can be read here.

Where individualism reigns, society ceases to exist. Nowhere is this more evident in the beginning of this new century than in the transformation of sexual morality in Western "Christendom." One of the most fundamental imperatives for living beings is the perpetuation of the species, of the race. It is contrary to natural law to suggest that the woman, the bearer of the new generation, should be able to dispose of it at will without any restraint by her spouse or by her parents. The traditional covenants, marriage and family, mean nothing to the individualist. The elevation of abortion to a fundamental right through Roe v. Wade and a series of concurring Supreme Court decisions breaks totally with the biblical and natural principles of reproduction as a human duty.

"Be fruitful and multiply" is God's first command to human beings (Genesis 1:28). Homosexual behavior does not reproduce, and abortion negates reproduction that has already taken place. A society that not merely tolerates but extols and praises both - as our society does - has clearly repudiated the reality of nature as well as the teachings of religion. No animal species exchanges reproductive sexual behavior for sterility. Only homo sapiens are clever enough to see this as a "right" to be enjoyed and praised. Throughout the Western world, the rate of human reproduction is not sufficient to preserve the society. The individual has no duty to society, no more than to God. She or he is autonomous, a law unto self. Individualism taken to this extreme is solipsistic. When solipsistic man dies, he dies alone. There is no one to mourn him, for there will be no one to come after him.

When there is no common sense of the good, traditional virtues are mocked or banned, and traditional vices go from disapproval to tolerance to acceptance to dominance. Tradition becomes a disqualification, rather than a reason for approval. Tolerance of the old style is rejected as implying acceptance, not disapproval, as indeed it did. What it means today is approval, acceptance, and preferential treatment. Tolerance comes to mean approving that which in principle was intolerable. And as Jean-Paul Maisonneuve said, it becomes the worst kind of intolerance.[6] The tennis players are ruining the putting greens.

"Professing to be wise, they became fools," St. Paul wrote (Romans 1:22, NASB). In the final paragraph of The Crisis of Our Age, Pitirim Sorokin asks that the grace of understanding be vouchsafed to us, so that we may make the necessary decisions to escape the fiery dies irae and be able to continue man's divine creative mission on earth.

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