Sin was not less in the past, it is a mockery of the propitiation of Christ to claim such a thing and anyone who claims to be conservative while saying there was less sinful behavior in the past is lying and dissembling monstrously. But it’s pretty common, especially for conservatives who like to claim people were better off in the 1950s/1850s/etc.
Secular outcomes make a lie of this though. Poor women’s babies are living in extremely high numbers, higher than the richest women’s babies from much of the 20th century. Poor mothers are making it through childbirths that would have formerly killed them. Poor children in America and increasingly the world over run the risk of being very fat at all, which would have astounded people from even fifty years ago, much less two hundred.
And the wealth, the ‘stuff’, the ‘electronic opiates’. Are these things not sinful because we live in such plenty? Of course not, they are often occasions to sin and monstrous pride. But the idea that in the past, when wealth for the masses was just a pipe dream, everyone was holier is a part of this wealth-thinking. People can construct castles of fantasia about the past and never get confronted with their lies, as we all drown in the blizzard of ready factoids and distractions.
Returning to normal life is not about returning to a time when there was less sin among the children of Men. It’s about returning to a time when people understood that despite being born into a world of sin, there were still echoes of the Divine to model and live by each and every day. It’s about not getting caught up in eternal possibility and choice addiction, but about accepting and living within the limits of the Real.
So, the attempts to sell people on a holier, happier, healthier past when the data and our sinful natures say otherwise should stop.