The New Paganism – Part II

 

THE “new atheism” has had a profound effect on this generation. The often nugatory and sarcastic quips from militant atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens etc. have played well to a “gotcha” culture cynical of a Church robed in scandal. Atheism, like all the other “isms”, has done much to, if not eradicate belief in God, certainly erode it. Five years ago, 100, 000 atheists renounced their baptisms beginning the fulfillment of a prophecy of St. Hippolytus (170-235 A.D.) that this would come in the times of the Beast of Revelation:

I reject the Creator of heaven and earth; I reject Baptism; I refuse to worship God. To you [Beast] I adhere; in you I believe.De consummat; from the footnote on Revelation 13:17, The Navarre Bible, Revelation, p. 108

If the majority have not renounced their baptisms, many cultural “Catholics” live as though they have—what is called “practical atheism.” Atheism’s cousin is moral relativism—the idea that good and evil are whatever one makes them to be based on one’s feelings, the majority consensus or political correctness. It is the pinnacle of individualism whereby all that’s left as “the ultimate measure,” says Benedict XVI, is “only one’s ego and desires.”[1]Cardinal Ratzinger (POPE BENEDICT XVI) pre-conclave Homily, April 18th, 2005 Pope St. Pius X called it “apostasy”:

Who can fail to see that society is at the present time, more than in any past age, suffering from a terrible and deep-rooted malady which, developing every day and eating into its inmost being, is dragging it to destruction? You understand, Venerable Brethren, what this disease is—apostasy from God… When all this is considered there is good reason to fear lest this great perversity may be as it were a foretaste, and perhaps the beginning of those evils which are reserved for the last days; and that there may be already in the world the “Son of Perdition” of whom the Apostle speaks. —POPE ST. PIUS X, E Supremi, Encyclical On the Restoration of All Things in Christ, n. 3, 5; October 4th, 1903

It is this apostasy (“rebellion”) which is the Seedbed of Revolution. Over a hundred years have passed since those ominous words. We have clearly entered into the final stages of the collapse of the old order whereby “archaic” notions such as natural law, moral absolutes, and personal sin are quickly becoming artifacts of the past.

 

INTENDED TO FAIL

However, Satan knows full well that atheism and individualism will ultimately fail because the human heart is created for the supernatural, created for communion. That ancient serpent was witness to that first community of humans when God created Eve for Adam, Adam for Eve, and both of them for God. Jesus points to this divine design-for-communion in summarizing the entire moral law in two commandments:

…love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 10:27)

Hence, the Great Vacuum that Satan desires to fill is a result of that deprivation of communion with God through the loss of faith, and second, the loss of communion with one another through individualism.

We cannot deny that the rapid changes occurring in our world also present some disturbing signs of fragmentation and a retreat into individualism. The expanding use of electronic communications has in some cases paradoxically resulted in greater isolation… Also of grave concern is the spread of a secularist ideology that undermines or even rejects transcendent truth. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, speech at St. Joseph’s Church, April 8th, 2008, Yorkville, New York; Catholic News Agency

Satan’s ancient plan is not to abolish man’s deepest desire for communion but to provide a counterfeit. This has been largely prepared through the twin sisters of materialism and evolutionism that emerged from the Enlightenment period. They redefine humans and the universe as mere random particles of matter. These sophistries, particularly in the West, have by and large changed man’s focus from the transcendent to the temporal, the supernatural to the natural, to what can only be seen, touched or rationalized. Everything else is, well, a “God delusion.”[2]a phrase coined by atheist Richard Dawkins

But Satan is “a liar and the father of lies.” [3]John 8:44 The intention all along has been to redirect man’s deepest longings for the supernatural to somewhere else…

 

THE NEW PAGANISM

Thus, humanity has arrived at the nexus of a broad rejection of the Judeo-Christian God. In a text that is remarkably prophetic, St. Paul writes:

Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes… They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator… Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions… (Rom 1:19-26)

Paul has, in a nutshell, described the progression of atheism toward individualism where the new trinity of “Me, Myself, and I” becomes the center of devotion. But then he reveals how individualism, in turn, leads back to supernaturalism. Why? As explained in Part I, man is inherently a religious being. Interestingly, statistics show more and more people consider themselves “spiritual” as opposed to religious.[4]cf. pewresearch.org This shift away from traditional religion, but not spirituality, has given way to a new paganism evidenced in the recent astronomical rise in the occult, witchcraft, astrology, and other forms of pantheism. And just as St. Paul predicted, this trajectory has resulted in widespread hedonism as clearly evidenced in worldwide events such as parades attended by millions that exalt, celebrate, and even simulate sexual immorality. Or debaucherous events like Burning Man in the Nevada desert, which attracts tens of thousands each year. But most obvious: the global orgy of pornography presented on the largest stage of all, the World Wide Web.

The web that is woven over all nations. (Isaiah 25:7)

 

THE NEW AGE

This reemergence of paganism often falls beneath a broader banner called “New Age,” according to the Vatican’s prophetic six-year study on the subject.

In the great wave of reaction against traditional religions, specifically the Judaeo-Christian heritage of the West, many have revisited ancient indigenous, traditional, pagan religions.Jesus Christ, The Bearer of the Water of Life, n. 7.2 , Pontifical Councils for Culture and Inter-religious Dialogue, 2003

This comprehensive study explains how ecology is, to one degree or another, at the heart of this movement through various forms of “implicit pantheism.” But it goes further: it is the beginning of a global transformation.

What has been successful is the generalisation of ecology as a fascination with nature and resacralisation of the earth, Mother Earth or Gaia, with the missionary zeal characteristic of Green politics… the harmony and understanding required for responsible governance is increasingly understood to be a global government, with a global ethical framework… This is a fundamental point which pervades all New Age thought and practice.Jesus Christ, The Bearer of the Water of Life, n. 2.3.1

Thus, what appears to be a disconnected mish-mash of beliefs is becoming a deliberately coordinated “global spirituality, incorporating all existing religious traditions.”[5]Jesus Christ, The Bearer of the Water of Life, n. 2.3.1 At the heart of this neo-paganism is the ancient satanic lie in the Garden of Eden: “you will be like gods.” [6]Gen 3:5 But far from being an elevation of human dignity in the Christian sense, it is a reduction of the human person to the same level as every other part of creation—the microbes, the dirt, the snakes, the trees, the humans—it is all One, interconnected by “cosmic energy.” “There is talk of God,” says the study, “but it is not a personal God; the God of which New Age speaks is neither personal nor transcendent. Nor is it the Creator and sustainer of the universe, but an ‘impersonal energy’ immanent in the world, with which it forms a ‘cosmic unity.'”

Love is energy, a high-frequency vibration, and the secret to happiness and health and success is being able to tune in, to find one’s place in the great chain of being… The source of healing is said to be within ourselves, something we reach when we are in touch with our inner energy or cosmic energy.Jesus Christ, The Bearer of the Water of Life, n. 2.2.2, 2.2.3

Those who think the New Age was just a 90’s thing are mistaken.

Some might be tempted to think that “…the so-called New Age movement was just a fad, that the New Age movement is dead. Then I submit it’s because the major tenets of the New Age have been so firmly engrained in our popular culture, that there is no longer any need for a movement, per se.” —Matthew Arnold, former new ager and Catholic convert

This is clearly evident in the startling emergence of biocentrism: the belief that the rights and needs of humans are no more important than those of other living things.

Deep ecology’s emphasis on biocentrism denies the anthropological vision of the Bible, in which human beings are at the centre of the world… It is very prominent in legislation and education today… in the ideological theory underlying population control policies and experiments in genetic engineering, which seem to express a dream human beings have of creating themselves afresh. How do people hope to do this? By deciphering the genetic code, altering the natural rules of sexuality, defying the limits of death.Jesus Christ, The Bearer of the Water of Life, n. 2.3.4.1 

Indeed, in Argentina, an ape was granted the human rights of “life, liberty, and freedom.”[7]scientificamerican.com In New Zealand and India, three rivers were granted human rights and are to be considered “living entities.”[8]theguardian.com In Bolivia, they went much further granting natural human rights to Mother Earth. ‘The law,’ reported The Guardian, ‘had been heavily influenced by a resurgent indigenous Andean spiritual world view which places the environment and the earth deity known as the Pachamama at the centre of all life.'[9]cf. The Guardian

Pachamama. Now there’s a familiar word that recently, and controversially, entered Western Catholic vocabulary. Fr. Dwight Longnecker writes:

…the cult of Pachamama is very fashionable not only among tribal peoples in the jungle, but among the intelligentsia and the social elite. Reports from Colombia, Peru and Bolivia are of government leaders–most of them left wing–who are clearing the government offices of all vestiges of Catholicism and putting up pagan images and hiring shamans to be on their councils and offer rituals rather than the usual Catholic priest to pronounce a blessing.“Why Paganism and Pentecostalism are Popular”, October 25th, 2019

But it’s not just restricted to South American countries. In fact, Mother Earth is at the very heart of an agenda for a godless global governance that is rapidly taking shape…

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

 

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1. Cardinal Ratzinger (POPE BENEDICT XVI) pre-conclave Homily, April 18th, 2005
2. a phrase coined by atheist Richard Dawkins
3. John 8:44
4. cf. pewresearch.org
5. Jesus Christ, The Bearer of the Water of Life, n. 2.3.1
6. Gen 3:5
7. scientificamerican.com
8. theguardian.com
9. cf. The Guardian
Posted in HOME, THE NEW PAGANISM.