Immediately following the news that the Hawaii missile attack warning was just a false alarm, PornHub traffic from the Aloha State jumped 48% higher than normal levels. While men of older generations would take a sigh of relief, hug family members, and thank God after such a scare, men of today ran to their laptops to play another ‘ole game of pocket pinball. Delightful.
If this shows anything, it is that men of today have much different priorities than did men of old. Rather than prioritizing family, country, and — in particular — God, men of today prioritize themselves. We put our desires above all else and seek pleasure at all costs. We are hedonistic narcissists.
It is worth noting that this mindset is not new. Self-worship drove King Herod, Hitler, Stalin, and even Lucifer. When God is removed from the hierarchy of beings totem pole, man rises to the top; man is “the measure of all things”; man is god. And if man is god, he is the arbiter of truth; he is in full control of what is deemed “right” and what is deemed “wrong”. Moral truth becomes subjective, and mass genocide becomes no more inherently evil than helping granny cross the street.
It’s why an increasing amount of people believe that right and wrong are just matters of personal opinion. It’s why we hear so-called “Catholic” politicians say they are “personally opposed” to abortion yet applaud a woman’s “right” to brutally dismember her preborn child up until the day of delivery. It’s why a 40 year old dude with mutilated genitals can take a dump next to a 12 year old girl in a public bathroom. We hear people sanctimoniously call anyone who doesn’t condone these things intolerant bigots. We’re told to be tolerant of everything except for those who are intolerant. We live in a world that loves the sin and hates the sinner.
As Venerable Fulton J. Sheen said, “tolerance applies only to persons, but never to truth”. There is nothing more precious than the truth, and there is nothing more evil than its denial. The toleration of fallacies and immorality is not a virtue, but a vice. G.K. Chesterton said that “tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions”. A man without convictions seeks to do anything that he so pleases; and if everyone else tolerates it, he is allowed to do so. As Matt Walsh writes in The Unholy Trinity, “it takes nothing to tolerate and accept”, while it “takes effort and work to not tolerate something”. Tolerance is an easy principle for lazy men. The four cardinal virtues (prudence, fortitude, temperance, justice) and the three theological virtues (faith, hope, charity), however, are not so easy. It is difficult to be courageous or faithful or prudent or charitable, and when you preach to others to practice these virtues, you are expected to live to those standards as well, or you will be ridiculed as a hypocrite. If you preach tolerance, however, you can live in any way you desire as long as you are tolerant of the sins of others.
We often hear Hollywood stars and other celebrities lecture America on how “intolerant” we are, as if the segment of our population with a near 100% divorce rate should act as our moral authority. These people who tell us to let others live how they want to live at the same time condemn all the sleazebags in their industry who sexually assault everybody and their mothers. Can we really expect anything else? We tell men there is no right and wrong, and then condemn them for acting wrongly. We tell men they don’t need to be protectors of women, and then condemn them for harming women. We tell men to tolerate the actions of others, and then condemn them for their own actions. As C.S. Lewis writes in The Abolition of Man, “[w]e make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”
Worst of all, these are the people we view as role models. After all, where else are we to look? While there are plenty of great mothers out there who embody what it means to be a good woman, more and more fathers are absent at home, and boys are left learning how to be a “man” from singers and rappers who promote drugs and degrade women. Young men grow up not with the desire to be courageous and honorable, but with the desire to get laid whenever possible.
When thinking of what a true man is like, you probably picture a jacked dude with a thick beard smoking a nice Cubano and sipping on whiskey while hunting a bear. While this is absolutely manly, the true crux of manliness lies in ones integrity to hold true to what he believes and stand firm in justice against the tyranny of relativism. The epitome of a manly man is none other than the Divine Logos Himself, Jesus Christ. Jesus is not the free-loving hippie that many churches portray him to be. He was not “tolerant” of the merchants in the temple when He overturned their tables and drove them out. Neither was He “tolerant” when He said “if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away”. Rather, Jesus possessed real virtues. He stood firm in truth and love in the face of lies and hatred, and He held his ground all the way until the cross. He gave his life so that we may live, and that right there is the manliest thing one can ever do.