Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values. Policies are being pursued that place on the same level a multi-child family and a same-sex partnership, a faith in God and a belief in Satan. This is the path to degradation.
One of the great ironies of history is that the most atheistic country in history is now headed by a man who makes the strongest case for Christian values. I don't know if Vladimir Putin is a good man or a Machiavellian villain saying what people want to hear, but I find myself agreeing with the things he says. Russia knows where atheism and the rejection of Christianity leads. They lead to social decay.
It is neither fashionable nor politically correct to write or say what I am about to say, but it needs to be said. Christianity is the reason why Western civilization is so great and superior to all other civilizations. Conversely, the rejection of Christianity is the reason for its present decline. Finally, the restoration of Western civilization depends on a return to Christianity. There is no other way.
This was the conclusion that Peter Hitchens came to in The Rage Against God. Peter is known as the brother of the late Christopher Hitchens, one of the Four Horsemen of Atheism. Peter was an atheist like his brother, but his experience of the moral wasteland of the USSR lead him to reject atheism and return to the Anglicanism of his youth. Simply put, society works better when it is a Christian society. The fact that a former atheist can give such a stinging rebuke to atheism should be a lesson to atheists, but it isn't.
The counterargument to Christianity is that somehow a better society can be had along secular lines. But there is no evidence for this. The French Revolution was a secular revolution that devolved into a reign of terror with many dying in the guillotine including many of the revolutionaries. Similarly, the Russian Revolution and the Maoist revolution in China had even more atrocities. The atheist likes to think that the secular society is a more humane, more reasonable, and less barbarous society than a Christian society, but the evidence shows otherwise.
Another counterargument to Christianity is that Christian societies have had atrocities like slavery, the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, etc. This is true. Christian societies are not perfect because humanity is not perfect. But this is not the fault of Christianity but humanity. As G.K. Chesterton put it so aptly, "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried."
Christian societies are better and more humane than secular or pagan societies. History is clear on this point. Certainly, there have been great pagan empires like the Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans, but they were also known for depravity, savagery, and butchery. Bigger is not better. If size is the measure of greatness, we should look to Genghis Khan and his savagery for our ideal. But the conquest of territory is a poor substitute for the conquest of hearts and minds. Christianity has conquered like nothing else in human history. People choose to be Christian even when it may cost them their lives.
When we speak of decline, we aren't actually speaking of a decline in power or wealth. The USSR was considered a superpower, but I think Mr. Putin would agree that particular greatness came at the expense of goodness. The decline was in the moral character of that country. Russia still suffers from those dark years of atheism as it is now a society of lazy drunks who spend their days guzzling vodka and waiting to die at age 60. For Russia to be reinvigorated, they will need a return to the Christian sensibility they had before Lenin. Putin knows this. He speaks not so much as a deeply religious man than as simply a practical man with a measure of common sense.
In Europe, secularism has lead the continent into an experiment with multiculturalism. No longer wishing to acknowledge Christianity as its birthright, Europe is now infested with a horde of Muslim immigrants who are beginning to destabilize those societies. This is another unfashionable and politically incorrect thing to write or say, but it needs to be said. Islam is a religion of evil. The Muslim religion is the most evil religion to exist in the post-Christian world. If you doubt this, try and consider what the second worst religion in the world is today. The best I can come up with is the Church of Scientology, but the worst thing that religion ever did was take people's money and ruin their lives. As far as I know, no Scientologist has ever beheaded another human being and uploaded the video to YouTube. Islam is an abomination on the earth.
The secularists cannot find a way to make those criticisms of Islam. They can criticize the Catholic Church for not ordaining women or for not allowing abortion, but the secularists are virtually silent when some Islamic barbarians make their women wear burkas or kill them for the most minor of infractions. It boggles the mind how secularists can strain the gnats of Christianity while swallowing the camel of Muslim atrocities. But this is because Islam has one singular and overriding virtue to the secularist and the atheist. Islam isn't Christian. The only religion that really bothers the atheist is the Christian religion. This is because the Christian religion is the true religion, and the atheist hates this. Consequently, the atheists find common cause with those who should be their worst enemies.
The USA is in the opposite situation of Europe. The USA retains a greater religious sense than Europe, but it is being invaded by Christians instead of Muslims. Americans hate Mexicans more than they hate Muslims. The Mexicans and Latinos they hate the worst are not the members of gangs like MS-13 or the drug cartels. They hate the Mexican families and the hard working men and women trying to improve life for their families. These are the Catholic families that attend Mass and pray the Rosary. The fear is that these hard working and virtuous people will inherit the material prosperity that Americans are no longer willing to work for anymore. This country supports cocaine snorting bankers with bailouts and welfare moms with food stamps but hates the guy who mows their lawn. The USA loves immigrants unless those immigrants happen to be Catholic.
The USA should be grateful that anyone would still want to come here. This country is becoming a wasteland in lockstep with the rise of secularism in government and the culture. Some fools believe that President Obama is a closet Muslim, but the atheists are more correct when they claim that Obama is more likely a closet atheist. The man and his family rarely attend church. His religion seems to be like the silverware set that is polished for company but kept in the cupboard most of the time. His moral flexibility is more nihilist than Christian. As for the wider culture, we have abortion, fatherless homes, and gay marriage. Men are now children who spend their paychecks on toys and videogames and find more pleasure in internet porn than in actual human relationships. Women are little better wishing for more time at the mall and the beauty salon than with the family.
I have heard about the decline of Western Civilization my entire adult life. Whether it is a biblical end like Sodom and Gomorrah or a collapse like the Roman Empire or just the zombie apocalypse, it seems that Christian civilization is always in danger of complete upheaval. The reality is that things are never as good or as bad as they can possibly get. Decline and renewal cycle like phases of the moon. Societies come and go, but Christianity endures. It is the only thing that does endure. The Church is buffetted on all sides by various enemies, but it does not yield. As Hilaire Belloc put it, "The Church is a perpetually defeated thing that always outlives her conquerers."
The thing that really matters is not so much national decline as personal decline. Societies are made up of its members, and we are not responsible for societies so much as our own choices and behavior. As they say, you are either part of the problem or part of the solution. When John the Baptist preached repentance in his day, his advice was always individual advice. Here is what John said to some soldiers,
Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, "And what about us, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages."
LUKE 3:14 NAS
John the Baptist could have told them a lot of things, but his advice was fairly basic. Don't rob people. Don't be greedy. Don't calumniate people. These are not heroic things. They are simple and basic human decency. Yet, we see police officers today doing exactly what John the Baptist told those soldiers not to do. Cops today rob people. They confiscate drugs from people to use themselves. They accuse people of crimes they did not commit and railroad them into prison. Consequently, people lose respect for the law because even the law enforcers break the very laws they are sworn to uphold. It is simply enough to refrain from doing evil. Yet, that is asking too much in our day and time when the cops are as evil as the lawbreakers.
There was a time when it was easier to be good. Nevertheless, it doesn't matter whether it is easy or hard. We are always to do good. People wish to make excuses for their own decline, but there are no excuses. How many social pathologies could be cured if men and women waited until marriage to have sex? I think most of our prisons would be empty. How hard is it to attend church on a weekly basis? Most of our churches would be full. What is so wrong in teaching your kids to have manners and refrain from stealing, using drugs, and fornicating? Why is this most basic and fundamental advice considered to be utter foolishness today?
Good people make good societies, and Christianity makes people good. Atheism does not do this. Islam does not do this. Those twin religions breed pathology and death. People need to be good again, and this means turning back to Christianity. If an ex-KGB scoundrel like Putin can see this, why can't everyone else?
I don't know where things will go from here. Things can either get better, or they can get worse. But let's not wonder or fret over why things are getting worse or wonder how they will ever get better. We already know the answer. It just isn't the answer we want. Christianity is what made Western civilization, and it is the only thing that can save Western civilization. And the best thing you can do as an individual is to repent and return to being a Christian. If everyone did this, the world would be a much better place.