Horses and Carriages

I don’t know whether I buy completely into Mary Eberstadt’s arresting title.  How does anybody “lose” God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth (as the Nicene Creed impressively denominates Him)?  He just kind of went south?  Let that go.  We get the general, and indisputable, idea, which is that relationships between God and the Western sphere of Planet Earth have seen far better days, and we ought to do something about it if we can.

We very well might manage significant repairs, provided we catch on to what Mary Eberstadt is up to here.  How the West Really Lost God is no syrupy lament for the days when we all said “Merry Christmas” to one another, under the very eye of the ACLU, nor does the author carry on and on about Liberal Creeps Who Don’t Believe the Word of God.

She posits, instead, a sociological disaster of recent origin.  For various reasons—the development of the birth-control pill was early and crucial—the family structures that supported organized religion began to deteriorate.  The whole institution of marriage as understood normatively in the West came in for heckling and questioning.  Why all these kids?  Why any at all, when they just cost money and get in the way?  Birthrates fell.  Father no longer knew best.  His authority as head of the family waned; often enough, his...

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