Men Are At War With God

Mary Eberstadt

Solzhenitsyn famously defined the principal trait of the twentieth century in four words: “Men have forgotten God.” So far, the twenty-first century might be summarized in six: Men are at war with God. Awakened from agnostic slumber by new forms of temptation, chiefly the sexual revolution, humanity is at war with God over a question that reaches back to the beginning of time: Who, exactly, should have power over creation?

Christianity and Judaism teach that the answer is “God.” The ­culture dominant in the West today teaches the opposite. It says that the creation of new life is ours to control—more precisely, that it is woman’s to control. It says that we can dispose of life in the womb for any reason whatsoever, from simple whim to a preference for a boy rather than a girl. It goes further, saying that we can erase life on the basis of rationales that continue to expand. In Belgium, a middle-aged woman was recently euthanized because she was distraught over the surgeries done and chemicals taken in the vain hope that she could change her sex. She was seduced by the prevailing culture, which says that we can re-invent ourselves in new genders, cosmetically accessorized by surgeries and chemicals.

How did we reach the point where our society repudiates creation? Let’s begin in the present. Many voices, both supportive of and opposed to identity politics, have discussed what this new code of conduct is doing to us. We need to ask a different question: What is the nonstop obsession with identity telling us—about ourselves, our civilization, and the wounds that our complicity with the sexual revolution has caused us to inflict on ourselves?

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