(With the firing of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, things have taken a new and dangerous turn. Former CIA Director John Brennan was unhinged in his reaction, with former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power warning how dangerous it is to anger Brennan. Up until the firing came, McCabe seemed unworried about anything but losing his pension. The thing is, McCabe thought he was the Deep State equivalent of a Mafia “made man,” and thus untouchable for any offense he committed. The howls of outrage you heard Friday were the first real stabs of fear from the Deep State “made men,” finally terrified that their status may not make them immune to the law, but actually make them targets for the potential criminality in the coup conspiracy they participated in. It is astonishing to me that the fraudulent investigation continues, while the real investigation into the coup conspiracy grinds on ever so slowly. But it is grinding surely…and it is a relief to see that the conspirators are finally genuinely fearful that their efforts to topple someone else may end by toppling them. But that relief is modified by the reality that as the noose tightens, desperation grows. The conspirators have never shown any concern for any but their own power and careers, so we grow ever closer to a starkly dangerous moment.
The media and all the Democrats are in a tizzy over a company Trump hired to mine Facebook data. Never mind that they considered it genius when Obama did it on a much larger scale with both Facebook and Google. Data-mining is as old as politics. Only the technology has changed. In a campaign, you gather as much information about the voter base from publicly available sources as you can, then organize your resources to try to persuade them to vote for you. It is market research and advertising. Facebook’s most valuable asset is its database – and it has made no secret that it sells and profits from it. The press screams about the right to privacy when Republicans do normal political tasks that they applaud Democrats for doing. You have no right to privacy when you voluntarily enter a public space. Facebook IS a public space. If this controversy serves to propel anti-trust legislation against the social media giants, that will be a great benefit and I am all for it. I can understand a little public confusion from ordinary folks who don’t ponder that your right to privacy evaporates when you enter a public forum, but I am utterly disgusted by some Republicans who choose to play the chump, hoping to get a good headline from the New York Times or Washington Post. Those few Republicans who are screaming for an investigation are chumps. They know how innocuous this is – and they have done plenty of data-mining themselves in every campaign they have ever waged. This is just an effort to distract people. The next big scandal will probably be the revelation that the pollsters Trump hired “disclosed” the opinions they solicited from people to him. Someone get the smelling salts.
I will have the piece on “The Ballad of the Ordinary Man” up by next Monday. I have one more piece that is a pre-requisite to that one that must go up. Meantime, I repeat this piece from last September. The False Gods are shaking – and shrieking as they fall.-CJ)
By Charlie Johnston
“There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.” – David Foster Wallace
Some people on the right are completely dissatisfied with Congress. Others are completely dissatisfied with Donald Trump. Others are dissatisfied with various branches of the federal government. People on the left are dissatisfied with everything. Fair enough. What do you think God might be trying to tell us with this historically low approval of everything relating to government?
Founding Father and second U.S. President John Adams warned us bluntly when, after the adoption of the Constitution, he said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” While red-state Americans are still largely religious (if not as moral as once we were), blue-state Americans are not irreligious: they have simply replaced God by making government their god. As with ours, their god is a jealous one: it will have no other god before it. So we do not have a battle between faithful people and dissolute slackers. Rather, we have an existential battle between adherents of two altogether incompatible Gods; the true God and a false god. For most of our history, our disputes were policy disagreements between moral and religious people. Sometimes, the disputes involved different interpretations of what God meant by what He said. As Abraham Lincoln said, in his Second Inaugural Address, about the North and South, “Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other.” But whatever disputes there were about the nature of God or interpretations of His commands, almost all agreed that His commands were binding – and that He is author both of man and of the rights of man. All expected to give account to a just God for their actions in this life.
Because the Christian God emphasizes free will, rather than forced conversion, the nation was the most tolerant of religious minorities of any in history. Whatever problems there were in living this tolerance because of the cussedness of man (and there were many), it was a foundational principle of the new nation. It worked, so long as what religious – and irreligious – minorities wanted was tolerance. It was unprepared for the rise of a large, irreligious and immoral minority which was implacably hostile to religion, itself, declaring it the enemy.
In Fyodor Dostoevsky’s master work, “The Brothers Karamazov,” Ivan Karamazov’s central insight is often paraphrased as, “If God does not exist, everything is permitted.” Life is just a vicious grapple for power, wealth and influence – and all means, no matter how underhanded or dishonorable, are legitimate. Honor, itself, is a meaningless concept. Society degenerates into a primitive tribalism engaged in a constant struggle for power. Unless one faction becomes powerful enough to impose its will on all the others, it is just an unending battle between roving bands of rival warlords. The Marxist Dialectic demonstrates how such a philosophy destroys the very basis of language, itself, by how it redefines truth and lies. In the Marxist Dialectic, truth is whatever advances the cause of Marxism and a lie is anything that damages the cause: objective fact has no bearing whatsoever in the matter – except to confuse the useful idiots. All is the will to power. Religion and morality are the only constraints dangerous to this worldview.
That is why our politics is so impotent now. It was designed to arbitrate claims between different groups who subscribed to the same foundational principles – and to enforce the rights of those minorities who simply sought tolerance (real tolerance – not the redefined version that the anti-God left uses to try to impose its will on all). It was never designed to mediate a death struggle between people of faith and those trying to destroy faith. It is wholly incapable of this, for those of faith are constrained by concepts of honor, fair play and the traditional meanings of words like ‘truth’ and ‘tolerance.’ Their opponents are free to abuse power in any way that is effective in accomplishing their goals. The main difference between the modern iteration of tribalism and its ancient forebears is the modern tribalists’ pretension to enlightenment in justifying their grubby cause.
This battle has resulted in the erection of many false gods. There are the gods of sex, money, power and notoriety. But the granddaddy of them all is government. The anti-God left does not see government as a means of mediating competing claims from various groups of free, sovereign people, but as the means to impose its imperial will upon all. Gain control and it is self-will triumphant. It has resulted in the perversion and near destruction of many ancient philosophical concepts. The one that bothers me the most is the new, hideously impoverished definition of “love,” which the left defines as “preferred form of genital stimulation.” Gone is the understanding of love as so willing the good of others that you will sacrifice your own wants and even needs to accomplish it, replaced by a banal determination to get whatever pleasure you want, whenever you want it. Whenever some chump leftist tries to justify that definition by asking, “What’s wrong with love,” I feel physically ill.
One might take some satisfaction in knowing that, if the anti-God left actually succeeded, it would not find peace and love – only endless violent struggle within its own factions. Self-will run amok is never satisfied. Fat lot of good that would do our children and grandchildren, though. I have no desire to consign them to the misery of such an ugly new world because I was too timid or lazy to man my post and, instead, betrayed my God and them.
The point is that this is an existential struggle. It cannot be mediated. A religious and moral people cannot co-exist with an anti-God left committed to its destruction. One or the other must prevail.
John Hawkins did a nice piece in Townhall that neatly summarized the problem. (Warning: while I admired the article, I found the picture accompanying somewhat offensive). Fr. Bill Bowling, Pastor of St. Augustine Church and Holy Name of Mary Church in Lebanon, Kentucky, recently wrote an incisive piece, quoting St. John Paul the Great, on his Facebook page:
“What is the “mark of the beast?”
(Rev. 13:16-18) “Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or on the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let him who has understanding reckon the number of the beast, for it is a human number, its number is six hundred and sixty-six.”
Gradually, we are seeing the unfolding of this beast system on earth, and technology seems to be the most proficient means of promulgating this beast system which overtakes the economy, culture, and sense of morality in order to captivate the whole people of the world. It sets itself inexorably against the Church in order to eliminate it from the earth. Only now is the technology available to make real what St. John described in the Book of Revelation. See the prophetic words of St. John Paul II regarding the unfolding of this end times mystery.
(John Paul II, Dom. et Viv., 56) “Further on this second beast is identified with the false prophet because his role consists in leading men astray and getting them to worship the first beast. Because he has real (but evil) power he is able to work prodigies similar to those performed by the prophets (for example, Elijah, who brought fire down from heaven: cf. Kings 18:38) and can even seem to vie with the power of the life-giving Spirit by breathing life into the images of the beast. He symbolizes those regimes and ideologies which reject God and put man on a pedestal. Materialism works in the same deceptive way as the beast does, for “though it sometimes also speaks of the ‘spirit’ and of ‘questions of the spirit’, as for example in the fields of culture or morality, it does so only insofar as it considers certain facts as derived from matter (epiphenomena), since according to this system matter is the one and only form of being. It follows, according to this interpretation, that religion can only be understood as a kind of ‘idealistic illusion’, to be fought with the most suitable means and methods according to circumstances of time and place, in order to eliminate it from society and from man’s very heart.”
Do not take the “mark of the beast.”
(Rev. 14:9-11) “If anyone worships the beast and its image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also shall drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and he shall be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever; and they have no rest, day or night, these worshippers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”
This brings us to the real choice we have today: to bow down to the golden calves and Baals the anti-God left insists we worship with them, or to proclaim the one True God with relentless fidelity – and relentless charity in victory, not neglecting the battle that is necessary to secure the blessings of faith, liberty and freedom to our descendants. The True God will prevail, as He always has. He is not on our side: we must choose to be on His. Remember His words from Deuteronomy 9:4-6:
“Do not say in your heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land’; whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is driving them out before you…Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.”
Finally, get out of your mind childishly sentimental notions of Rescue. Remember that when Moses rescued the Israelites, shortly after they began their long pilgrimage, they stood at the shores of the Red Sea with the Egyptian Army in hot pursuit. Remember that when Jesus came and spent three and a half years explaining to His disciples that He had come to rescue all of mankind, that Rescue took the form of a brutal crucifixion. Jesus only let His disciples wander in confusion and panic for three days, not 40 years, before showing them the rest of the story and His transcendent power. The point is, Christian Rescue is not for the faint of heart nor the sunshine soldier. It will not be as you – or I expect – but it is certain. It is not a reward for your goodness, but the time to prove your steadfast fidelity.
So gird your loins and proclaim the one, True God, whatever the cost. Not only is it the side that will win; it is the only possibility that will give your children and grandchildren a chance at a happy, prosperous life. Do not worry if your primary motivation is love for your children: self-sacrificing love is always love of God, Himself.