Manliness Archives: Thrill Seeking in the Culture of Death
In some of the “worst of times” in which we are living, there is a destructive trend to grudgingly accept the post-modern idea that every person makes his own reality, that is no truth and that nothing has meaning. It is a Culture of Death.
Of course, as Catholic men, we know that everything has meaning, for everything was created by God for His great and glorious purpose. God doesn’t do things randomly and He doesn’t make mistakes. The God of the everything, revealed to man in Genesis, His purposeful Creation, a Creation He proclaimed good. That God would create all things, including the precious lives of each soul, is proof alone that the post-modern innovation that “Nothing has meaning” is false.
Men aspire to heaven. Men want to feel the peace and joy and thrill of meeting God. God created Man in His image, to aspire to perfection within the perfect purpose of God. Men have been charged with active and challenging lives to “Go forth and multiply” (Genesis 1;28) and to “subdue the land” (Genesis 1:26). Men are meant to live and be alive in a Culture of Life.
Part of the post-modern “accepted” non-truth, is that men are obsolete; feminists, to the extent that they cave in to their hormones and desire a child, will grudgingly accept that fact that men need to exist if only for a place to produce sperm. But even the basic biology of male virility is faltering in societies where men have become increasingly feminized: for example, in France where the birth rate has plummeted to below replacement values as feminists reject children and men go along, men’s sperm counts are plummeting too. This is the Culture of Death.
Post-modern Men have been weak cowards. Men in many ways have surrendered to the feminine assault in a very feminine way; they have been willing to go along to get along. Placated by pornography, and willing to live in an extended adolescent womb of a wealthy culture gone flaccid with ESPN, X-treme sports and violent video games, men are willing to sit back and let women dictate the new world order in which men are to be docile. Men have abdicated manhood, by running from marriage, contracepting or aborting their children, and yielding the culture to foolish and wicked people where evil grows ever most mainstream.
But men are men, and men are meant to take on challenges and risks. This is how God made men. All the post-modern tinkering with the culture, by supposedly all-knowing post-modern tinkerers, can’t change what is inherent in men.
If men come to believe that they are obsolete and that nothing has purpose, they seek meaning and the feeling of being alive. They simply can’t help it. Men will seek to at least feel alive, even in the Culture of Death.
Take for example, the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona Spain. Here, men attempt to run in front of a charging herd of young virile bulls in a false test of manliness and thrill seeking. Each year, the bulls gore and mutilate a number of men who foolishly seek the thrill of being “alive” by demonstrating their “manliness”.
Ironically, the running of the Bulls in Pamplona is part of a festival honoring the Spanish Saint, Saint Fermin. But in Catholic country that is now mostly only Catholic in Culture, honoring Saint Fermin is not enough; today, one must tempt death by running with the bulls.
These kinds of thrill-seeking antics are on display in lots of ways in the modern culture. For example, men flying in wingsuits (note: one doesn’t need to search very far to find videos of how these poor souls get an up-close-and personal encounter with death):
Or bungee jumping:
Or rock climbing:
All these thrill-seeking adventures are not manly in the least; they are imprudent for they seek to gain a thrill by tempting death; these acts are in fact sinful, for they are in some ways suicidal. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.
Catholic men need to turn away from a culture intrigued with tempting death and embrace life. Life lived in the fulness of the faith, where manly men embrace the heroic fullness of what it means to be a man in Christ.
Meeting Our Lord the Author of Life is the greatest thrill that a man can ever hope to experience, to meet Life Himself and to be drawn into eternal life.
Following the Perfect Man, is the true measure of manhood. Tempting death is not manly.