By Charlie Johnston
“Great ones of the world, will your hearts always be hardened? Your Life has come down from heaven: will you not now at last rise with him and live? But how can you rise if you are in high places and your clamour reaches heaven? Come down from those heights, for then you may climb and, this time, climb to God. To climb against him was your fall.” – Confessions, St. Augustine, Book IV, Chapter 12
As the nature of God is, through the love that processes through the Trinity, to create, so the opposite nature of the satan is to attempt to negate what God has created. With our sexual nature, mankind is privileged to participate with God in the very act of creation – of a human with a soul. This enflames the satan with jealousy, for he is barren and loathes it. It is, in part, why he loves to enflame disordered sexual lusts in man – to make a mockery of our creative potency and to demonstrate that we are unworthy of the dignity which God has bequeathed us; to mutilate and hideously disfigure that dignity.
So the first three questions I ask myself when trying to discern primary demonic influence in the midst of ordinary disorder are: Is it barren of its very nature? Does it actively attack the very idea, the conception, of creation, itself? Does it involve sexual disorder? There are subordinate questions I consider – but if at least two of the three big ones are affirmative, I presume I am dealing with a minion of the satan.
Many current commentators note the irony that the atheist left is, by far, the most bigoted section of modern society. Certainly, there is an irony in the contrast between their words and their actions, but they are remarkably consistent. A hundred years ago the left sought power by dividing people up along racial and religious lines. At that time, the para-military arm of the Democratic Party was the Ku Klux Klan. Now, they are still seeking power by dividing people up along racial and religious lines – while adding various categories of sexual disorder to the mix. Now Antifa is their para-military arm. Same tactics, different victims. Clever (in a low, cunning sort of way) to call their serial depredations, “tolerance.”
This is because the left is constantly playing a zero sum game. It cannot imagine a scenario in which all can be at peace with each other. There must be oppressors and oppressed, victims and victimizers. They are like psychotic firemen – constantly setting ablaze our society and our peace in hopes of heroically rescuing us. It is always, in the end, about them. They cannot imagine something as mundane as building a house or offering a kind, encouraging word to all. Like the satan, himself, they have to add a lot of pyrotechnics to their virtue-signaling to hide their utter incapacity to create anything of worth.
This is why their economics, while promising so much, always ends in misery and poverty for all who embrace it. They are utterly incapable of even imagining how to create prosperity. They can’t create anything themselves, so they certainly can’t show or encourage anyone else how to do so. Like a band of thieves, all they are capable of is dividing the spoils of what they have looted from their betters. Their ultimate attack is on creation, itself; their rage is reserved for those who create and, most particularly, those who would help others learn to create. The atheist left denies the better nature of mankind, wallows in the basest instincts, and demands the right to apportion the misery that is the only thing they are capable of “creating.” Do you see why I get so very agitated in speaking of them? I always get agitated when witnessing the demonic disfigurement of the human person.
The atheist establishment media is trying to make the scandals in the Church into a mere partisan, ideological battle. They unintentionally highlight a salient fact: The abusers almost exclusively come from those who have tried to deny and pervert the teaching of Christ and the Gospels, from those who have abandoned the faith to use the Church to promote their political preferences. It is almost exclusively the orthodox men of the cloth who have spoken foursquare against child-rape, molestation of adults, and covering it up. It is the orthodox clergy who are at the forefront of demanding full investigation and accounting. The press is chock full of anti-Catholic and anti-Christian bigots. Small wonder they should make common cause with the anti-Catholic bigots who have infiltrated the clergy. In one of the most hideously Weinsteinesque moments so far, Chicago’s Cardinal Blasé Cupich said we should not worry about child-rape or rampant active homosexuality in the clergy; we have important things like climate change and immigration to worry about. Then he helpfully declared all critics of Pope Francis to be “racists.”
Early next week, I am going to write up a list of Bishops in America I trust. Some may surprise you. I take into account the difficulties they have to deal with. While I agree with most on most things, there are some with whom I have sharp disagreements. Honor and trustworthiness are not exclusive to any partisan divide (though I am adamant that they must uphold the teaching of Christ, the Scriptures and the Magisterium.) These are all Bishops whose work (if not whose person) I am familiar with. Not included on the list will be Cardinal Donald Wuerl or ANY of the “McCarrick Mafia,” (those Bishops elevated at the behest of disgraced Archbishop Theodore McCarrick). These include Cardinal Blasé Cupich, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Bishop Robert McElroy, and Cardinal Kevin Farrell. As far as I’m concerned, these men should be de-frocked and sent to attack the teachings of Christ on their own time and their own dime. Even so, with daily revelations hitting, it is good to contemplate and speak of those noble prelates who are keeping faith and working for actual reform – and to make common cause with them.
Hollywood has a new movie coming out about the first landing on the moon. Being Hollywood, they have sought to erase the “American” part of the American effort in this quintessentially American achievement – even omitting the iconic scene of Astronaut Neil Armstrong planting the American flag on the moon. They also have tried to remake Armstrong as a girly-man social justice warrior (SJW). This has not amused Armstrong’s old friend, General Chuck Yeager, who says the Armstrong Hollywood portrays is not the Armstrong he knew.
Just more Hollywood barrenness. It turns out that so-called “toxic” masculinity is a helpful, even indispensable, ingredient in a lot of big endeavors. Since the atheist left has such a paucity of such men, it insists on imputing achievements to their guys that don’t actually exist – and posthumously imputing girly-man status to actual macho heroes who accomplished something real.
I am so sick of all the TV shows and movies where you can easily predict that the villain will be the preacher, the businessman, or the normal family; while the day will be saved by the large-spirited Jihadist, the transgender activist, or the hooker with the heart of gold. If you actually used these criteria in your normal life to make threat assessments, you would not survive long. And trust me, neither do the Hollywood executives who peddle this pap actually use it in making threat assessments in their private lives.
I think the Catholic hierarchy has another two to three weeks to address the crisis before us with direct and vigorous resolve. Nobody cares about (or believes) the Catholic Press Releases from PR Central. In older political days I used to hang around busy coffee shops to get a sense of how people were really thinking. It served me better than most polls. The coffee-shop take on these scandals is entirely fed up. The hierarchy is on a far shorter leash right now than almost any of them know.
I am very glad that a growing number of Bishops are stepping up to the plate to demand investigations and accountability – and to demand that the investigations be led by lay figures. But there is still a lot of smoke and obfuscation coming from the usual suspects. If Catholics are not assured that this will NOT be swept under the rug – and that right soon – attendance will begin to plummet precipitously. I have largely accepted that many people are going to go away for a while. The Church will be purified in a brutally ugly and combative process. In the process, we will all be purified. There came several times in ancient Israel where the hierarchy had become corrupt. The 34th Chapter of Ezekiel is a long lament over such corruption:
“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel,
in these words prophesy to them to the shepherds:
Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the shepherds of Israel
who have been pasturing themselves!
Should not shepherds, rather, pasture sheep?
You have fed off their milk, worn their wool,
and slaughtered the fatlings,
but the sheep you have not pastured.
You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick
nor bind up the injured.
You did not bring back the strayed nor seek the lost,
but you lorded it over them harshly and brutally.
So they were scattered for the lack of a shepherd,
and became food for all the wild beasts.
My sheep were scattered
and wandered over all the mountains and high hills;
my sheep were scattered over the whole earth,
with no one to look after them or to search for them.”
God ever renews His Church. This is the first stage of the latest renewal. Lift up your heads, for our redemption is truly at hand. I respect those who actively defend the men accused. But for those who argue that we should never criticize a cleric, no matter how egregious the offense or compelling the evidence, I say begone. You have done enough damage in enabling this toxic environment at the expense of those clerics who have tried to keep faith with the Lord and with His people.