Via the fascineting e-Book, Dope Inc. , linked also in a previous OWS post…
In his City of God, the great humanist St. Augustine described the degeneration into cultism that brought on the destruction of Rome, in terms that have direct bearing on the post-1963 degeneration of the United States:
The stage plays, those exhibitions of depravity and unbounded license, were not introduced in Rome by men’s vices, but by the command of your gods. Far more justifiably might you have paid divine honors to your Scipio than worship gods such as those, for they were not more virtuous than their high priest.
Are your minds bereft of reason? You are not merely mistaken; this is madness. Here are people in the east bewailing Rome’s humiliation, and great states in remote regions of the earth holding public mourning and lamentation — and you Romans are searching for theaters, pouring into them, filling them, behaving more irresponsibly than ever before. It is this spiritual disease, degeneration, decline into immorality and indecency that Scipio feared when he opposed the erection of theaters. He saw how easily ease and plenty would soften and ruin you. He did not wish you to be free from fear.
He did not think that the republic could be happy while walls were standing, yet morals were collapsing. But, you were more attached to the seductions of foul spirits than to the wisdom of men with foresight. That is why you take no blame for the evil you do, but blame Christianity for the evil you suffer. Depraved by prosperity, and unchastened by adversity, you desire, in your security, not the peace of the State, but liberty for license.