January 4, 2023

The Death of Eternal Truths and the New Paganism

As the West loses its links with traditional wisdom, it breaks loose of its philosophical moorings.

Last week, Pope Benedict XVI died at the age of 95, nearly a decade after stepping down as head of the Catholic Church. His life was marked by adherence to a belief in an eternal truth above all. As he stated in a 2008 meeting with Catholic educators at the Catholic University of America, “Truth means more than knowledge: knowing the truth leads us to discover the good… (W)e observe, with distress, the notion of freedom being distorted. Freedom is not an opting out. It is an opting in — a participation in Being itself. Hence authentic freedom can never be attained by turning away from God.”

There is a truth; that truth must be pursued; the only substitute for truth is falsehood. Human beings have sussed out eternal truths over the course of millennia, and to discard those truths in favor of subjectivism is crippling. Those eternal truths are rooted in the belief that God made us in His image; that He granted us roles and responsibilities; and that true freedom lies in making choices within the boundaries of those roles and responsibilities.

What happens when we discard those truths?

Disaster strikes.

First, we lose belief in something Higher; then we lose belief in ourselves.

We are seeing the consequences of this two-step process before us in real time.

In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt spelled out what happens when we turn our gaze inward rather than outward. Generation Z, he said, has been sucked into a vortex of narcissism and jealousy and isolation. According to Haidt, there has “never been a generation this depressed, anxious and fragile.” For girls, particularly, replacement of roles with constant self-assessment has been a pathway to hell: “You post your perfect life, and then you flip through the photos of other girls who have a more perfect life, and you feel depressed.” The new cultural ideology “valorizes victimhood… You’re not going to take chances, you’re going to ask for accommodations, you’re going to play it safe, you’re not going to swing for the fences, you’re not going to start your own company.”

Civilizationally, the loss of inherited wisdom and traditional values has resulted in new, ersatz gods to worship. The most obvious god is the pantheistic god of nature, revenging itself on us for our capitalist excesses. Why else would “60 Minutes” feature widely discredited false green Paul R. Ehrlich, author of “The Population Bomb”? Ehrlich famously stated in 1968 that billions would die of starvation in the 1970s and 1980s; now, half a century later, he explains, “Humanity is not sustainable. To maintain our lifestyle (yours and mine, basically) for the entire planet, you’d need five more Earths. Not clear where they’re gonna come from.”

Never mind that Ehrlich is wrong. The real question is why he is still respected. The answer, of course, is that every religion requires its prophets, and the neopaganism of environmental catastrophism is no exception.

As the West loses its links with traditional wisdom, it breaks loose of its philosophical moorings. The consequences will be dire unless those moorings are reinforced. And they can only be reinforced by those who have the courage to defend eternal truths — not merely hide behind the tolerance of pluralism, a repository for the cowardice of conservatives who correctly stand with free speech but incorrectly think that stance sufficient to win the day.

In the end, either the truth will win out, or it will be destroyed. As Pope Benedict XVI told the Bishops of the United States in 2012, “The Church in the United States is called, in season and out of season, to proclaim a Gospel which not only proposes unchanging moral truths but proposes them precisely as the key to human happiness and social prospering.” Defenders of traditional values of all stripes are called to the same quest.


Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service, are proud sponsors of the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Folds of Honor, Honoring the Sacrifice, Warrior Freedom Service Dogs, Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, the Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation.


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Join us in prayer for our nation, that good and righteous national leaders would rise and prevail, and that division would be healed so we would be united as Americans. We pray also for the protection of our military Patriots, first responders and their families, and comfort for veterans who are suffering.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.