Today the Western world is experiencing attacks on two of the main bastions of its cultural citadel. On the one hand, Christianity, which has underlain the whole development of Western civilization for the past fifteen hundred to two thousand years, is now under heavy fire from within the Western world itself. This attack has developed gradually for over a century, and it now seems to have reached a climax with the God-is-dead movement and the “God-might-just-as-well-be-dead” attitude of many others within the professing Christian Church. Likewise, the second typical Western phenomenon, democracy, increasingly suffers denigration and even positive assault, often by those who claim to be its staunchest supporters. Recent events in Czechoslovakia, a good many of the happenings during the American presidential elections, the activities of the New Left on campus and on main street, all indicate that democracy, like Christianity, is facing agencies that want to destroy it.
A question that forces itself upon us is this: Is there any relation between these two crises? Are Christianity and democracy so intimately linked that they rise and fall together? The Marxist replies with the stock answer that since Christianity and Western democracy are both the products of a bourgeois capitalistic society, they are certainly part of the same movement. Therefore if one goes down the other must soon follow. Some Christians, however, deny this interpretation. Numerous statements made in various Christian writings recently seem to reject democracy as non-if not anti-Christian, almost classifying it with Communism. They seem to place Christianity and democracy in antithetical positions.
In attempting to determine the truth of the matter, one might ...1
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