The Gospel Truth

Soul Food

May 8, 2013

I recently attended my granddaughter’s  concert at Visitation Academy in St. Louis.

The first song their choral group sang was the old Simon and Garfunkel hit, Bridge Over Troubled Waters.


Song fed my soul

That song and many other message-oriented songs are food for my soul.

They send me into a momentary reverie that touches my heart and elevates my spirit.

Some religious, spiritual or even classical hymns also send my soul soaring to unimaginable heights.

Music is one of the great feeding stations for a person’s soul and I am always pleased to have an opportunity to sup at a musical table.

People don’t talk very much about the human soul.

Since Charles Darwin and Karl Marx infected Western Civilization with the disease of dialectical materialism there has been a concerted effort among the left to eliminate any idea of the soul.

Professor Benjamin Wiker has a new book out, entitled Worshipping the State: How Liberalism Became our State Religion.


Best book of the year

The book underscores the fact that if acceptance of a human soul is ever eliminated from the culture, it will open the modern world to all kinds of moral evils.

Maybe that is already happening.

What would happen if there were no soul?

The Christian religion totally falls apart.

It would have no real reason to exist, except maybe feeding the poor.

Christ would then be reduced to a savior for people who don’t need one.

His cross could then be reduced to firewood for the poor and the Catholic Church would be not much more than the largest Bingo operator in the world.

Reduced to firewood

If a mere corporal body is the only thing that exists…like the lower animals, why should anyone treat them any better than animals?

If life is just material, then there is no God.

As Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote in the Brothers Karamazov if there were no God then nothing is forbidden.

There would be no right nor wrong, just the arbitrary will of governments.

This would eliminate any opposition to abortion, homosexual marriage, euthanasia and even Holocausts, such as the one that the Nazis created.

The Bible would be reduced to a work of fiction.

 It was the Bible where man received his original dignity.

In the Book of Genesis God created man and woman on the Sixth day and said this was very good.

This first book also says that God created man and woman in His image and likeness.

In His image and likeness

This is a revolutionary idea that has lost its meaning through thousands of years of history.

Think about this statement.

He made men and women with distinctive but complementary sexual organs.

However our sexuality transcends the organs.

Being a man or a woman encompasses much more than our respective genitalia.

At the Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn, a man and a woman, both nude, hula-hooped in silence for 35 minutes.

According to the New York Times article, to the small gathering, seated on the floor below, this was beautiful rendition of the beauty of the male and female bodies in a rhythmic motion that locked the transcendence from mere organic differences to something inherently uplifting and artistic.

Performers nailed the transcendence

Actor Maurice Chevalier once said about this: Vive la difference.

Unfortunately in our unisex culture we have forgotten his profound comment.

While the nude bodies of Adam and Eve reflected the beauty, power and majesty of God’s creative love, after the Fall that beauty and love became a vehicle for lust and shame.

The first parents had to cover their nakedness because they did not want God to see them in their shame because they had brought sin into the world.

They were human beings and it was their souls that had offended God, not their bodies.

Both had an integral unity of body and soul that was more like a liquid mixture that reflected both the material and the immaterial.

Throughout history that took mixture became bifurcated into a critical duality that has dominated religion, philosophy economics and politics ever since.

Throughout the early history of Christianity, many different cults of heretics emphasized the spirit over the body.

To many, including St. Augustine the human body, especially the mores seductive features of the female body, were the material of sin and self-degradation.

In a word the human body was evil and had to be hidden as much as possible.

This attitude dominated the Gnostics, the Cathars, and the Albigensians.

Died for their faith

The most successful of these heretics were the Cathars, who believed all visible matter was created by Satan.

This even included the human body.

Human souls were thought to be the genderless souls of Angels trapped within the physical creation of Satan cursed to be reincarnated until the Cathar faithful achieved salvation through a ritual called the Consolamentum.

Many Catholic leaders implicitly sanctioned this erroneous belief.

They did so because to them the soul lived for eternity while the body was destined for corruption and disintegration.

Salvation was the work of the Church and it was of the soul, not the human body.

The Enlightenment changed some of this as the Church lost much of its power and influence, especially during the French Revolution.

The Enlightenment emphasized man’s reason and the superiority of scientific fact over the superstitions of religion.

Darwin, Marx and later Freud, were the first ones to deny the soul.

Without the soul men and women had nothing to cling to in life but their bodies.

This led to the sex revolution where men and women sexually united in pairs, groups and as frequently as their stamina and organs could take.

The sex drive, now completely separated from procreation, became an end in itself.

The human body became a cult.

Bicycling, jogging, weight training, yoga, aerobics and all kind of transcendental mediation activities sprang up everywhere.

Their bodies are their temples

They were running, bicycling and training so as to extend their material lives as long as possible because they have been told by the powers that be that this was all that they had going for them.

Funny thing I always see people running on a Sunday morning.

They can get up to run but what about Mass or a Sunday service some place?

The end of the soul advocates received a great lift in 1996 when writer, Tom Wolfe, the author of The Right Stuff published an essay in Forbes Magazine Sorry but your Soul just Died.

His article defined the boundaries for the final battle by focusing on brain imaging, the new technology that watches the human brain as it functions in real-time.

Wolfe at White House.jpg

Lacked soul

While brain imaging was invented for diagnostics reasons, Wolfe underscored its importance for broaching metaphysical and eschatological issues, such as the complex mysteries of personhood, the self, the soul and free will.

Wolfe envisioned that neuroscience would have an enormous impact on how people viewed life, death and other human beings.

He predicted that this new science was on the threshold of a unified theory that will have an impact as powerful as that of Darwinism a 100-years ago.

The debate over man’s soul dates back to 17th century French philosophe Rene Descartes’ dictum Cogito ergo Sum. (I think therefore I am.)

Traditionalists have always regarded his maxim as indicative of man’s dual nature of body and soul.

This gave rise to the ghost in the machine fallacy, the notion that there is a spiritual self somewhere inside the brain that directs and interprets its operations.

Wolfe’s article challenged this idea, stating that neuroscience proved there is not even any one place in the human brain where consciousness or self-consciousness is located.

According to Wolfe science and pharmacology have replaced religious faith by altering the chemistry of the brain, which also dulled the moral sense.

Echoing Nietzsche, Wolfe predicted that the next generation would believe the soul, the last refuge of values, is dead because educated people no longer believe it exists.

It is also clear that the death of the soul movement is symptomatic of a larger scheme.

Cryogenics or the freezing of the dead so that medical science can later resurrect them is a part of transhumanism, a utopian attempt to establish man’s earthly immortality.

The first cryopreservation was in 1967.

First cryopreservation

To fill the void created by the death of the soul, these modern Doctor Frankensteins have sacralized the earth and made man’s body the object of immortalization.

So while they believe man does not have an eternal soul, his body through scientific discovery and manipulation can eventually achieve earthly immortality.

This effectively flips Christianity on its head.

It is another and maybe more dangerous attempt is to replace an eternal God with an eternal man, which is the fulfillment of the serpent’s promise of ye shall be like gods, in the Garden of Eden.

How important is it for us to understand and oppose this new attack?

If science can eliminate the immortal soul, then Christ’s death, Resurrection the Christian faith are all in vain.


About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at