Worn out/disillusioned with apologetics and the culture wars

Okay, so, for the last year or so, I’ve really just become tired of arguing online and brooding over how our culture is going to/has gone to hell in a handbasket. I used to always be signing and distributing petitions from TFP and the American Family Association for legislation that will protect life, marriage, and religious liberty. My thoughts were never about “how can I be Christ to those around me?” But rather, “how can I prove that all these anti-lifers/sodomites/atheists/pagans/Protestants are wrong?” I’ve had to distance myself from many debates, mostly online. I almost never run into “those people” in real life, but I looked for hints of heresy in everybody. No love or good will for anyone, just Pharisaic witch-hunting.

It just goes to show you: “to those who only carry hammers, everything looks like a nail”.

Here’s what I think about the hot-button issues:

  1. We are slowly but surely winning the fight against abortion. More people are beginning to see the logical fallacies of allowing abortion, and pro-life legislation is being passed that is slowly choking the abortion industry. But ultimately, a culture of life will come from changing people’s hearts and minds, not the law of land.

  2. Defending marriage, on the other hand, is like the Vietnam War. It is incredibly difficult to defend on secular ground, and it often leads to debates over definitions which are only used to the convenience of each party. And noobody who is for “marriage equality” believes it will harm kids (a subject on which sociologists disagree and which debating could be as futile as trying to finish a Monopoly game) or open the floodgates to legalizing pedophilia. I had a debate with a friend who rejected this as a slippery slope fallacy. He then asked how a gay relationship can’t will the good of the other as well as a heterosexual one. My best answer was that men and women have fundamental complementary differences that only they can give and that the other sex does not have.

  3. Religious liberty: there are definitely reasonable people who see that the HHS’ demand that we fund teenage promiscuity is ridiculous. My gut tells me that people will eventually come to their senses and see how it violates religious liberty. But it will take a while.

Any thoughts?

All I can say is that I agree with you, it is very tiring. I’ve kind of just left it to other people, as it was starting to take a toll on my psychological peace. There’s just not much reason to wear yourself down when someone has no intention of changing.

Good post. While I haven’t “done” apologetics myself, I have followed the “apologetics subculture” on the Internet for quite some time, and I agree with most of what you say.

On point 2, I think those who want to defend traditional marriage should put their money where their mouth is. Servant of God Fulton Sheen once said that few things are as tragic as the thrice-divorced reading romances (The World’s First Love). Today, few things are as tragic as politicians who are divorced, serial monogamists or cohabiting, and still think they have the moral authority to defend Christian marriage. :frowning:

Someone as articulate as you should never give up the battle if that is where you are heading. Everyone is tired of the fight especially those of us who have been at it as long as we have. The most discouraging side to me is finding the people, I have known for years, are in support of just about everything I am not because of my faith which used to be theirs too. A friend asked everyone to send positive vibes her way as she is not into praying and she was discouraged after surgery. Her profile picture is an equal sign. She went to the same Catholic grade school and high school as me. I just don’t understand but I will not let my faith waiver.

I too feel this way.
I feel as if the HHS mandate, election, and other things have been battles we have lost and lost big. I see no reason to hope for the gay marriage debate or other things. With the election of the Pope many people were saying this and that about the Church and defending True teachings on marriage, celebacy, men only priests, True social justice, and Church teaching on Birth Control. I found that the hardest people to talk to about these things were Catholics.
I am plain old worn out and exhausted.

I myself get worn out by the rubbish arguments put forward by those who simply do not Will to come to the Lord. It’s very difficult seeing the same old nonsense put forward by yet another stranger, as a fresh new point against us. Sometimes I do just want to leave it to others…

The best form of culture war we can wage is prayer. God’s grace is the preliminary strike. I consider myself “Support & Logistics”. My War Effort is to say the Divine Mercy chaplet & the Rosary for the entire world, that by my prayers the Lord will flood at least one little soul with grace enough. This is how we win, not by numbers or even necessarily confidence.

Our first ancestors in the faith were only 120 in number… :wink:

Do not give up, but be prudent in who you speak with. I have not taken part in as many discussions as I once had because I realized that evidence and logic are not enough to convince someone who bases their opinions on emotional responses and what the majority seem to be saying through manipulated polls. At the same time, I still speak to people who seem to have an open mind and, while not able to convince everyone, I have made breakthroughs with several people I know.

What I remind myself is that even if I cannot do enough to ensure laws are passed that support the common good, I can still help others in their search for God, for Truth. We may lose the ‘war’ regarding laws in our land, but we can help win wars for individual souls.

Oh no, I’m nowhere near abandoning the faith and her teachings. If anything, I subconsciously add the “culture wars” into my daily rosary intentions. That’s about all I can take.

I’ve been in this for decades, ever since abortion was made legal by he stroke of the Supreme Court pen. It is easy to get discouraged, so you have to pace yourself. Remember St. Paul saw this world as “dying” even in his day.

My thoughts:
Reflect more on how you can be Christ to those around you and see Christ in those around you.

Until you can do that, perhaps it is better to stay away from on-line debates and arguments about apologetics and such. Stop looking for “witches to hunt” (from your words) and start looking for ways to be a better Christian yourself.

I’m glad to see a thread like this. I post less than I used to because of this issue.

The fact is, liberalism is sin. It’s idolatry of sexual perversion, and a heresy against natural law. And it’s already won in the West, just as Mohammedanism won in the Middle East and many other areas. I think it’s just going to get worse, because nations don’t repent from their sins until God punishes them. The Civil War was divine punishment for slavery. What will God do to us for our sexual impurity?

In the meantime, all I can do is strive to get to Heaven, and evangelize to others as Jesus commanded. I’m trying to quit thinking about the culture war, and I’m finding that it’s an addiction I can’t seem to quit.

I understand your weariness brother. I always go back and read this well worn poem when I feel this way.

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

God Bless.

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