Reform in the Church may come from either of two directions. Our shepherds, ignited by the Spirit, may lead and teach and live with such righteousness that the flame spreads, and the whole Body of Christ is revived and sanctified. Reform may also come via the anawim (the "little ones"), the rank-and-file saints who, bit by bit, make the whole lump better by their holy lives.
The reader is invited to offer arguments, but I believe reform in the secular, cultural sphere will come, if it comes at all, only in this latter, grassroots way. Having severely criticized our political and secular leaders, I don't honestly think they are the problem, nor will any real solutions come from the top down. The horror is not that Barack Obama believes abortion and infanticide to be OK; the real horror is that such a man is a serious candidate for President. That leaders like Obama and Pelosi and Clinton are acceptable to voters reveals our culture to be a very troubled one - in the mainstream, not just on the fringes.
I'm old enough to remember when a divorced man would have had trouble gaining political favor. Today John McCain is seen as an example of moral rectitude, and, relatively, this is probably an accurate perception. The bar is much lower; in fact, it has dropped so low that one may wonder whether the bar even exists any more. Many and loud are the voices who applaud this development as "open-minded" and "tolerant". If someone like Obama is acceptable today, perhaps a future round of political candidates will feature a cross-dressing, pedophiliac, ax-murderer whose significant other is her horse.
The point is: our culture has drifted far leftward and far wayward in recent decades. I have serious doubts whether it will reform before it collapses. But if our culture is to reform, it will do so, I believe, in a grassroots manner. At the heart of this conviction is the following understanding of what culture is, and how it moves:
Cultural values and expectations are quite democratic, based merely upon what is considered normal by the mass of its members. Human culture is, in simple terms, the amalgam or accumulated weight of all the people within it and their respective values and personal character. Like water in an aquarium, culture is the medium within which we all live and move. If one fish gets sick, the water in the entire aquarium is adversely affected. Then, if more fish get sick from the polluted water, the condition worsens. Like a sick aquarium, goodness and decency become much more difficult in a polluted culture like our own. But unlike the aquarium water, human culture can be purified as well as polluted by its individual participants. If I raise my personal bar, that affects others around me, and the cultural bar is nudged a tiny bit upward. When I fail, the bar drops a bit.
I would find this cultural tug-of-war quite hopeless and distressing except for one thing: God helps us to cheat. That's what grace is, a way to tilt the scales in an undeserved way. Grace, so that, even when we sin, we may nudge the bar upwards by seeking His forgiveness. Grace, through the Word and Sacraments and prayer, to gain strength that we would not otherwise possess.
There's nothing wrong with employing God's undeserved grace in the effort to nudge the cultural balance, as well as in each person's quest for spiritual growth. If my guess is right, there's really no distinction, anyway: Become holier and better and closer to God, and the culture automatically improves a little. And, in this contest, it's OK to cheat.