In Sources of Renewal, Karol Wojtyla describes five dimensions of Christian attitude, of which ‘participation in Christ’ is the first. So far, I have been speaking only about this dimension of Christian attitude and will now move on to speak briefly about the other four dimensions that he describes. But before I do, it is good to consider again how the secular ascetic, in as far as it exists in Christians, can be undone.
The first place I look is to the media, which is the secular culture’s principal agent. Secularism has been around for some centuries now, but what is radically new in today’s secularism is the media, which it seeks to monopolise. It is important that we create space within our personal culture for a true human culture to take root and grow. This involves the maginalisation of contemporary secular culture in our own lives, starting with the agents of that culture.
If we get rid of our televisions not only would we not have its de-formative presence in our homes, we wouldn’t have to contribute financially to territorial television through the TV licence fee either. That’s called ‘voting with your feet’. The more people vote this way, the more state television will struggle.
Contemporary territorial TV companies such as the BBC increasingly subject human events and affairs to their own self-focus. News programs, for instance, which used to be produced with some measure of objectivity, are now expressions of secular media’s ideological imperative – there is no such thing as objective truth, God does not exist and you must focus on the free expression of the individual – such that TV shows, like the ‘News’ for instance, are either propaganda or superficial entertainment, or both.
We should search for media that is objective and genuinely formative, rather than accept the media which secular culture insists that we imbibe and conform to.
The virtual absence of Christian culture in our society is worrying; what have Christians been doing these past few decades! However, we should not take secular culture as our model, but envisage and build Christian culture – culture that is formative and enriching of life. For instance, parties and celebrations, which are so important in any culture, should be occasions in which the greatness of human life be honoured, enriched and enjoyed. So much ‘celebratory culture’ today is linked to the culture of death.
The media is called to be and to express true human good; a renewed media is one which is objective and therefore, formative; one which presents the full truth about the human person and human society. Would anyone like to work with me in developing an objective radio channel or newspaper?