thest in seeing a supernatural dimension. Marriage is of “holyrnestate” and the marriage ceremony, for some Christians atrnleast, has a sacramental character. In rearing their children,rnChristian parents also bear responsibility for seeing to their religiousrninstruction, whether they carry it out themselves or turnrnsome part of this task over to churches that provide instructionsrnfor confirmation. For Lutherans and Catholics, a child’s firstrncommunion is a solemn step on the road to manhood andrnwomanhood, corresponding roughly to the Jewish boy’s BarrnMitzvah. By degrading marriage and assuming at least theoreticalrncontrol over education, the Jacobins were striking at thernroots of the natural social order, but they were also making warrnupon the sacramental character of Christian social life.rnFar from limiting their attack to Christian social institutions,rnRobespierre and his friends dismantled the French Church.rnNot content with nationalizing church property, the Jacobinsrnwent on to outlaw Catholicism, to establish an opera bouffernstate religion, the worship of the Supreme Being, and to make arnconcerted effort to exterminate French Catholics in thernVendee.rnHere then is the genesis of the modern democratic state,rnwhose fundamental principle is the unreasoning hatred of allrnthings Christian coupled with the rage to destroy every naturalrninstitution—marriage, the family, all the little communities—rnand replace them with scientifically designed simulacra thatrnmay look, at first sight, like the real thing but lack the substance.rnThe social institutions of modern democracy—the suburbanrnfamily sending its kids to public school, the YMCA, and LittlernLeague—is like the food they use on the stage: it is colored tornlook just like the genuine article, but the wine has no taste, thernwhiskey no kick, and the food no nutrition.rnThe United States were not established by Jacobins, and therngovernment set up in the Constitution was no modernrndemocracy, but over the past 130 years or so, the American rulingrnclass has steadily evacuated the old institutions and traditionsrn—the sovereignty of states, the liberty of individuals, thernsacredness of families—of all meaning and vitality until likernhollow trees they are ready to crack and topple in the first highrnwind.rnMost reactionaries have understood these developments andrnopposed them. What they have not always grasped is the religiousrndimension of the revolution, except in those obvious casesrnwhere the Jacobins have made war on religion itself: in thernSoviet Union, where churches were turned into museums; inrnMexico, where priests were hounded and murdered; in NazirnCermany, where ministers were either co-opted or persecuted;rnin France and Italy, where religious orders were suppressed; andrnin the United States, where children are forbidden to pray orrnproselytize in the schools built, staffed, and operated on revenuesrnfrom Christian parents.rnBut, quite apart from these more obvious manifestations ofrnanti-Christian sentiment, the broad social revolution being perpetratedrnby latter-day Jacobins in both political parties and byrnboth so-called liberals and so-called conservatives, is a movementrnto liberate Western man not just from Christian traditionsrnand institutions but from the Christ Himself. The modernrnstate, and the liberal philosophy that justifies it, is nothingrnless than the anti-Christ that has been foretold. We make thernmistake of trying to find the anti-Christ in an evil dictator or arnfalse prophet, when the anti-Christ is all around us, holdingrnpower today in government, setting the agenda in our schools.rnpreaching sermons from the pulpit, directing the lamebrainedrnactivities of conservative causes, inside our head thinking thernthoughts we think are ours. We can never entirely free ourselvesrnfrom allegiance to him, because we belong to a societyrnthat has become one great temple where he is praised and worshipped.rnWhen Catholic bishops speak the language of greedrnand envy, calling for social justice, welfare assistance, andrnwealth redistribution, he is writing their speeches; when conservativesrncall for empowerment, equality, and a recognition ofrndiversity, they do his bidding; when schoolchildren praise thernPresident for taking decisive action in killing Iraqi civilians tornteach Saddam a lesson, he is sucking nourishment from the patrioticrngore; when politicians defend their policies on therngrounds of jobs-creation and individual opportunity, he is smilingrnover their shoulder; and, just as we are laughing up ourrnsleeves at all these deluded fools, he—and the master hernserves—is laughing with us, proud of our damned pride andrnconceit.rnIf marriage is, indeed, arnnatural union sanctifiedrnin faith, then we should begin byrnrepudiating the government’srnclaim to regulate it.rnThere is grave danger in overestimating the strength ofrnmankind’s great enemy, but the greatest service we can do thernpowers of evil is to pretend they do not exist. The sunny optimismrnof the 18th century is a painted theater curtain drapedrnover the infernal darkness that was enveloping the Europeanrnsoul. The current form of this self-induced delusion is the convictionrnthat ours is a “Christian nation” whose only problemsrnare caused by bad leadership. The heart of the people is goodrnand true, we say, and as soon as businessmen and politiciansrnrealize that the country is being destroyed by the “unintendedrnconsequences” of their actions, a new Warren Harding orrnRonald Reagan will ride up in a Japanese car and restore us tornnormalcy. This, friends and readers, is never going to happen,rnbecause if anyone does come riding up to save the day, it willrnnot be one of the usual confidence men like Ross Perot orrnRalph Reed; it will be one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,rncome to teach us the hard lessons, to give us the wisdomrn—as Aeschylus would tell us—that comes from suffering,rnthe grace that comes by force.rnI invoke a pagan (not for the first time) because we need thernwisdom of pagans to survive in this anti-Christian world wherernChristian presumptions are perilous. By this I do not mean thatrnwe should no longer live and think as Christians, but that werncannot presume that the institutions of American life, that governmentsrnin particular are working on any recognizably Christianrnprinciples. If, on the contrary, our schools and legislaturesrnare antagonistic to Christendom, then we cannot make com-rnDECEMBER 1996/9rnrnrn