Yesterday, Mom, wise woman, said: “There are many signs of the end the age, not perhaps the End, but an end. And, of course, one end will be the End. Maybe this one will be the End.”
If you are not given to Christianity, then eschatology, a discussion of the End of things may make little sense. If like two and one half billions of people, you are a Christian, then you might pause. Biblical truth is true in every age: virgins keep conceiving and bearing sons, slaves find exodus, and miracles save God’s people. If not a Christian, consider this: men die. If men die, the ideas they sustained run the risk of dying with them.
For over a decade, I noted that 2016 would likely mark the beginning of the end of the World War II consensus. Why predict this?
Men cannot hold sway much more than seventy years and so in the roughly seventy years, things must change. Great men arise in a moment of change, they must. Men like Lenin, Hitler, Mao change things for the worse. Of course, the leaders we get in a crisis can be better, we do not always change for the worse, sometimes the old order is renewed or merely modified.
Yet sometimes an end comes. For all my life, until just about now, I could look to older and wiser people who had defeated the pandemic of their time, the Great Depression, Nazis, and the Communists. They also saw us through the Civil Rights Movement and left us a religious nation.
They are almost gone. This is, however, the way of the world after sin. Humanity broke the cosmos and now we are part of a reparative process. One generation passes and our time comes.
We endure and by God’s good grace keep trying at repairs. The City Of God, the ultimate repair made manifest, is ahead, but we work now. The Kingdom was and will be, but also IS. Hurrah!
This work on imperfections is needed in every society: even beautiful, broken, lovely, wicked, glorious America. Think of our history. We were born in colonialism and slavery, but also in revival and liberty. We keep pushing forward. The society that came out of 1861-1865 was not the society that entered that moment of change from the Revolutionary War era fourscore and seven years before. The World War II generation recreated that society, mostly for the better, and now is going to eternal safety. We now face the death of this Greatest Generation and so must choose for our time. We are surely at the end of an age.
Who will lead us?
We can chose celebrity or charity: we cannot have both. Charity demands sacrifice, while celebrity cannot even accept a flaw in a high definition photo shoot!
As I understand what she says, here is Mom’s history, her divine, holy recollection:
The 1960’s brought two changes: the civil rights movement and the sexual revolution. The first was an overdue extension of the work of the Republic. We failed in Reconstruction. The citizens of the United States did not repair the injustice to the other children of God: those that had been enslaved. The sexual revolution rode piggy-back on that goodness. If the “traditional” had been wrong on race, what about sexual ethics?
This was spurious, sexual differences are real, essential to being human, while “race” is a made up category. Classical literature knows nothing of the color line, but glories in the differences between men and women. So it is with almost every high culture in almost every place at almost every time. American slavery was a peculiar institution, male and female, are fact, for all time.
Mom saw all this happening in her youth: the good changes used to justify the bad. It is always so. Any progress is mixed with decadence always.
God sees. We need not despair.
Mom pointed out that at several times in her life racial justice was sidelined by other issues.
Whenever needed racial reconciliation work would begin, then Mom would see the modern Susan B. Anthony tell Frederick Douglass to go the back of the bus. That happened in the nineteenth, twentieth, and now the twenty-first century. Dad and Mom were there when it happened. Progress of race would begin, but then the white people would change the subject to something else.
This is an old story in the United States: racial justice deferred while something else distracts the majority.
Male and female will exist to the end of history. Race? That category is false, built by white supremacy.
Let us kill racism and not be distracted.