Economic Progress, Righteousness, And The Kingdom of God

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“…the contraception mentality is the single deepest issue facing Western society.”

  • Fr John Hardon, SJ

The title comes from a popular song, which is actually a quote from the bible: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” 

If you will notice, the title should have been in the reverse i.e. God first and economic progress last. Unfortunately, these days the word: progress, has essentially become more material and self-centered than spiritual and other-centered.  Progress has also become of paramount importance, not only in the economic but in the other spheres of life.

 This is because in an ego-centered age, the “I” or the “ego” as Freud would call it, comes first before anything and anyone else like God and other people.   

But is there really “progress” in today’s world?

In Europe, major economic players before like Greece and Portugal have already declared bankruptcy and been given aid. Spain is having its critical unemployment problems especially among the youth sector and may probably be the next one to fall.

I am not familiar with Greece and Portugal. But I am certain that western thought started in Greece, like the principles of democracy for example. And Portugal used to be a world power in the early 16th century. In other words, these countries used to be powerful in the broadest and deepest sense of the word.

Although Spain’s glory as an imperial might was short lived, the Spaniards were best known for their propagation of the Catholic Christian faith in Latin America and Asia. In fact, the Catholic Spanish influence in the Philippines lasted for centuries until Hollywood took over and handled the reins.

But where have all the Catholic Spaniards gone? I am saying this because Spain is one of the western countries where abortion has been legalized and where the use of contraceptives has become a way of life. And the same thing can be said with the other European countries – plus the United States of America.

The 64 dollar question is therefore posed: could there be a relationship between contraceptives and progress? Or better yet, how does a contraceptive mentality affect economic progress?

First of all, a contraceptive mentality is an offshoot of a mentality that focuses “only” on the “self”. What is good or bad for me is what matters.  How about God? Sadly, He is out of the equation. But come to think of it, it used to be when empires and kingdoms in Europe sought the guidance of the divine.

In France for example, Joan of Arc – both a French saint and a hero, epitomized this divine and monarchial relationship. Just recently, even the French leader Nicolas Sarkosy openly prided about the French Catholic tradition. And by all means, it was a commendable act of his because there is wisdom in taking stock of one’s historical roots, lest one be condemned to repeat it, for better or for worse says the philosopher Santayana.

Although sometimes it is prudent not to compare, there are times too when we cannot help but compare, especially civilizations that existed then and now.

 Going back to the Spaniards – the closest to the Filipino culture, a couple of centuries ago, they came to our shores majestically clad with the cross on one hand and the sword on the other. Now, at their own shores, nudist camps abound; most profess to be Catholics but are not practicing; and worst most of its citizens are unemployed.

 I was just thinking, were the Spaniards better off before than they are now?  They used to conquer worlds far and wide in the name of the cross and true civilization. Now, they could not even conquer their own selves and have become entangled with the culture of death via the countless abortions they have probably performed.  

 Moreover, in the U.S. lawmakers have defended abortion laws like the Rowe vs. Wade that has made possible the contraceptive way of life in the name of “human rights”. But is this the same spirit that permeated the American society before when they initially proclaimed the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? 

The gallant efforts of the American liberators during two world wars are a living testimony to the true ideals of the Americans of yore. In fact these years were even called the glorious years of America.

Today, a single rogue named Bin Laden who has wreaked unimaginable havoc on American soil was only captured after almost a decade with no hint whatsoever on when the war on terror will come to an end.

Sometimes we wonder if the revelry made in New York after the death of Bin Laden was the same as the huge celebrations of the common folks in France when it was liberated by the Americans in 1945.  Before, people rejoiced because an evil German Reich has been defeated. Today an unarmed Islamic rebel has been shot in the face and there is joy in the land? Was there ever a defining victory in the death of Bin laden in the first place?

President Obama said that justice has been served to the thousands who died during 9/11 terror attack. But did he ever think about the millions of babies who have died because of the terror that these unborn and innocent Americans beings-in-the-womb have suffered and even coming from their very own mothers/fathers – whose acts are borne of a contraceptive mentality that is neither glorious nor heroic?

Economically, I doubt if the U.S. and the likes with a pro death/contraceptive/ ego-based mentality can ever make an authentic progressive rebound.

Unless people return to their primordial and constitutional faith in God and righteousness, there will never be any progress. Not for the U.S. Not for mankind.

Before God can even bless America, America must first re-turn to God.  

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