By Parnell McCarter


Western civilization over the last millennium has largely been a contest among secular humanism, Romanism and Reformed Protestantism.  The most successful form of secular humanism to take hold in that period is Americanism.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americanism_%28heresy%29 defines Americanism this way:  The Americanist heresy is defined as the endorsement of what were thought to be anti-Catholic principles embraced by the United States: absolute freedom of the press, liberalism, individualism, complete separation of church and state, etc. These were condemned by the popes of the time. The most notable and concise condemnation was in the Syllabus of Errors of Pope Pius IX.” And Pope Leo XIII criticized Americanism with the encyclical Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae .  The Pope cited his objections to liberalism and ecumenism, forms of which characterize Americanism.  Americanism is contrary both to historic Roman Catholicism and historic Reformed Protestantism.


Although the Roman Catholic Church abetted Americanism in the early years of the US republic, as a way to wean English-speaking America away from established Reformed Protestantism (a tactic it similarly used in other contexts, such as during the reign of King James II of England), the Vatican by and large has hated Americanism when it has undermined the Roman Catholic Church’s own authority.   And Americanism became so prosperous in the twentieth century that it significantly eroded the Roman Catholic Church’s power even in Roman Catholic nations.


At this point in world history Americanism is still king, but it is being significantly challenged, and is in fact in decline.   Patrick Buchanan has chronicled its demographic decline in his book The Death of the West.  It is also being enervated in its war with Islamism.  Plus other factors, not least of which is its own self-destructive nature, are sucking it of vital energy.  Even the Pope’s latest decision regarding the Latin Tridentine Mass (see http://www.puritans.net/news/trent060407.htm ) is a shot across the bow of Americanism.  It marks a resurgence of traditional Roman Catholicism.  And as http://www.religionnewsblog.com/6518/the-extreme-religious-sect-which-fuelled-the-passion-of-mel-gibson notes, “Is there anything to be feared from the Catholic Traditionalists, who are normally ultra-right-wing in their politics? Yes, says Professor Michael Cuneo, who studied their activities in his 1997 book, The Smoke of Satan. He thinks the Traditionalists “would like nothing more than to be transported back to Louis XIV’s France or Franco’s Spain, where Catholicism enjoyed an unrivalled presidency over cultural life and other religions existed entirely at its beneficence”.”


In my opinion, Romanism will beat secular humanistic Americanism, but ultimately Reformed Protestantism will prevail.  Truth can only be suppressed so long.