The interesting thing about civilization decay is that societies die by succeeding. Like the city neurotic who quests for the perfect career, apartment, arugula and futon, those societies which do everything that they are supposed to promptly self-destruct.
The reason for this is the Achilles heel of humanity, which is that what we want is rarely what we need, but we are afraid in social situations to change our desires lest we be seen as inferior. Social competition means that people are always trying to prove superiority to others.
Essentially, this situation is no different than a troupe of monkeys. A few have fought to the top, and the rest try to sabotage those in order to feel important and receive esteem from their friends. Very few do much other than feed themselves, and so the ones on top are often there because they do stuff like notice predators in advance of a fatality. To an outsider, monkey civilization resembles a great beast fighting with itself.
The problem with such a system is that most people in it will be zombies. That is, they rely on external measurements like what other people do or what you are supposed to do as a means of figuring out what to do, and since they trust in that they never question it until it fails. Sadly for them, certain ideas will seem to succeed for a long time until suddenly they fail catastrophically. Many people drank toxic water for years, experiencing no symptoms until the toxins built up enough in their tissues to kill them without warning. The same is true of unstable architecture: it works just fine, until it falls down in a handful of seconds. A plane can have a crack in its fuselage or wing for years until it finally is put under stress and an explosion results. The worst threats in life are traps like these.
Zombies surround us. They repeat the dogma that their television says is right, and use it as an excuse to beat down people smarter than them. They do exactly what everyone else does, even if it is abundantly clear that it is stupid, and they will break and panic with the herd if anything goes wrong. It is not so much that they are stupid, although most of them are not very bright, but that they are inattentive and morally not alert. Like zombies, they stagger onward seeking sustenance that never will make them full, and so they are constantly on the march, pathologically so. This makes them both terrifying and tedious.
Let us witness some Christian zombies and analyze their moaning:
They city Michael Emerson’s conclusion in Divided by Faith that, far from being a solution to racial segregation, the American creed of individualism is part of the problem. They summarize the â€œfundamental creed of the United States of Americaâ€ as the belief that â€œindividuals are endowed with rights and freedoms and that there should be liberty and justice for all,â€ and add: â€œAt least in its current interpretation, it simply declares that within limits, people should be free to do as they wish and not restrict other people from doing the same. Divided by Faith showed the ways and reasons that this creed has led to numerous religious affiliations in the United States, resulting in about 90 percent of worshipers attending racially homogeneous congregations. When religious people make choices based on their individual rights, they largely end up in homogeneous congregationsâ€ (4).
First a criticism, and then, with Niebuhr lurking in the background, two observations. The criticism: The authors make use of a questionable understanding of â€œrace,â€ one with a specifically American origin (for background, see C. Loring Brace, â€œRaceâ€ Is A Four-Letter Word, valuable and detailed though not convincing in some of its central claims). If a congregation includes people of German, Polish, Irish, and English origin, it is an â€œinter-racialâ€ church by some definitions. It certainly is inter-racial by comparison to 19th-century churches. Their book would have been strengthened if they had probed the meaning of the central concept of â€œrace.â€
Second, individualism is the cause of wanting to obliterate ethnic boundaries. Ethnic groups arose, by nature or God or both, for a reason. But this seems to be a boundary or limit on the individual and he wants to “break free,” so he smashes his way out by declaring race invalid and race-mixing to be a positive value, not a sign of failure as all sane people consider it.
Third, someone might want to point out the difference between ethnicity — German, Polish, Irish, and English — and race, with the knowledge that multiple groupings exist within a race. For example, Germans and English are enclosed in the Western European group, which is what we traditionally think of as “white.” Polish people are often hybridized with Asiatics, and Irish are hybrids with North Africans. Race is more complex than a single level of division, but all levels are important.
Finally, if the author of this article were honest, he would admit that the reason churches are mono-ethnic for the most part is that “birds of a feather flock together.” People like being with people like them who understand the world the way they do and share their values. There is no crime in that. Only leftist ideologues complain about such a thing, and this makes us wonder why a church would advocate leftism in any form. Not only because leftism destroys the things that serve as the basis for religion, such as transcendental logic and reverence, but also because leftism is destructive and forms a substitute for God.
Churches have followed the zombie train for many years. They see some people getting popular for being left-leaning, so in order to succeed, they do the “right thing” and turn left as well. Each year more people leave and the churches must scrape for parishioners they would have rejected in healthier times, and somehow put on smiles for the cameras as they announce their new, improved liberal ideas and also, ah that little thing, the increasingly falling rates of attendance. Liberalism is a dead end for churches. But they have begun the zombie ritual, and they just cannot stop themselves.