During a C-Span conference on the 50th anniversary of his "Suicide of the West," Burnham's son lays out several of the laws by which he was brought up. The final one:
There will always be a Skid Row.
It long ago struck me that the only Christian doctrine that required no faith to believe in is Original Sin. It is apparent to any adult not trapped in a delusional bubble that the human condition is inherently marked, structured even, by scarcity, contingency and flaw. (To quote John Kekes). That sense may have led an earlier observer of human nature and society to observe, "The poor you have always with you..." Matthew 26:11
My own version of this doctrine has promoted in me an attitude towards people that combines, at my best, both unjudgmental suspicion and individual compassion.
To echo an old existentialist theme, and an even older Gnostic one, the world in which we awake to find ourselves is not one that we have created, but one within whose already established and unchanging structures we must find a way to live. In one of my deviations from Christian doctrine: we did not create death by our sins; the Creator who made life made it mortal. aeons before our arrival. We cope with this. We are not responsible for it.
Since the embrace by Rome of Vatican II's ludicrously ungrounded Lumen Gentium, with its 60's hubris and effervescent optimism about "the dignity of the human person," and its suicidal ecumenism, it has lost touch with the inescapable limits of terrestrial life, as revealed by history. And has cut off its own reason for existence: a call to salvation, a salvation of which it is the only authentic bearer.
To put it bluntly, if Catholicism is not The Only True Church --its rock-bottom self understanding since forever-- then, as Flannery O'Connor put it, "To hell with it." In a crypto-Constantinian fit, it now seeks to ally itself with Marxism's ghostly love-child, Third World globalist populism, like Damien Thorn, the covert son of Satan in the Omen series, the budding AntiChrist.
When celibate Roman Pontiffs have pontificated about the details of proper sexual intercourse, our enlightened voices laugh in contempt. When another Pontiff, who has never worked for a living a day in his life, writes the breathlessly awaited GlobalWarmingClimateChange encyclical, Laudato si', grandly prescribing how to change the incredible complexity of the global economy as if it were a recipe for cookies, and instructing us in the proper use of air-conditioning (section 55), our elites raise incense in acclaim*.
How the mighty have fallen.
*The cultured despisers of Christianity are less likely to applaud sections 120 and 155, where he condemns abortion and condemns genderist ideology, which minimized or tries to erase the masculine-feminine opposition, with the implication that Pope WhoAmIToJudge? is no fan of gay marriage..