First of all, it is the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke (i.e., Crown Prince) Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. This led, of course, to the Great War and a series of wars and cold wars that lasted for much of the 20th century and in my view effectively brought ‘Christendom’ in the West, already very thin and shallow, to its end. Margaret Macmillan had an excellent essay last weekend in the Wall Street Journal on this. Incidentally, the 1950s did not perceive itself as the Golden Age that so many think of it as now; anyone who has ever been to Disneyland, or has seen a lot of Disney movies of the era, will see that the era 1890-1914 [often called the Belle Epoque] was the 1950s’ 1950s, the era that people looked back to with nostalgia.
June 28, 2014, is also the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, the riot at the gay bar in New York City when the police tried to crack down. This is the most spectacular event at the opening of the Gender Revolution, which to my mind includes both the feminist and homosexual revolutions, and has as its thesis “men are infinitely substitutable for women, and women infinitely substitutable for men, in any role whatsoever.” Perhaps, as many say, this revolution was driven by technology; as most jobs became other than physical labor, women could do them as easily as men; one consequence was that starting in the 1970s, two income couple could outbid one income couples for a finite supply of housing; therefore most couples in many parts of the country had to become two income couples whether they really wanted to or not! I understand the idea of same sex marriage came later, and really exploded, as I have posted before after September 11, 2001, when the West was forced to define its values against Islam, and chose not historic Christian values but the values of the Gender Revolution and other modern values to define itself against radical Islam. I am not an enthusiast for same sex marriage by any means, but it is not destroying the family; the family had already been eviscerated by the Divorce and Sexual Revolutions [which preceded the Gender Revolution and were not the same, I argue] and even before that by the popular culture idolatry of Romantic Love, in which Romantic Love was seen as the only proper basis for marriage and relationships, and [in song lyrics especially, dating from well before the rock n roll era] the primary concern of life; many lyrics attributed to ‘the Beloved’ salvific qualities that we should attribute only to Christ. So as far as same sex marriage is concerned, and maybe the Gender Revolution in general, and maybe the Divorce and Sexual Revolutions as well, they were only a match set to a forest that was already parched. They were not the end of Christendom, but the consequence of its passing.