Appeared in Spring 1991, Vol. XVII, No. 1

This title occurs within the larger theme of “The Church Militant and the Future of America.” Let us begin with some preliminaries. I offer for your consideration, first of all, the reflections of a Catholic layman, second an American archbishop, and last some recent statistical data. Let us start with an assessment of our present situation by Patrick Buchanan:

The hard truth with which conservatives must come to terms is that the resolution of America’s social crisis may be beyond the realm of politics and government, in a democratic society. If men have come to believe homosexuality is a “legitimate” and even commendable “life-style,” that abortion is a matter of personal choice, that “pornography” exists only in the eye of the beholder, no federal law will dissuade them. If a woman has come to believe that divorce is the answer to every difficult marriage, that career comes before children, that the day-care center is the proper place for infants and toddlers and the boarding school for the younger children, no democratic government can impose another set of values upon her. If half of America has given up “the old time religion,” no political party and no national administration can reconvert that half of the country … much of what fails America, then, is not a “problem” that can be “solved” by political action; it is a predicament with which we must learn to live.

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