By Charlie Johnston
It is ironic that the most smugly self-righteous generation in our nation’s history will likely be looked at with revulsion by future generations for having knowingly perpetrated one of the great atrocities of history. Despite science proving that a child is fully human from the moment of conception, this generation insists on the “right” to kill that child. The abortion industry, like the cotton industry in the south two centuries ago, has become such a big financial interest that its benefactors insist on promoting and expanding it, the former by killing babies, the latter by enslaving black people.
This weekend is the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. Despite the large, annual crowds, the establishment media gave the goofy, vulgar, anti-Semitic “Women’s March” more coverage than the last decade of Marches for Life – even though the attendance at the life march exceeds the attendance at the Women’s March by an exponential factor. The coverage for the Women’s March was fawning, that for the Pro-Life Marches indifferent or snide – and critical. This is because the establishment press is part and parcel of the
slave, I mean abortion, power in this country. It maintains that if you are pro-life, you are anti-woman. Once upon a time, German authorities insisted if you defended Jews, Gypsies or Catholics, you were anti-German. The ash heap of history, soon enough, will have a huge new addition.
There has been substantial good news in the pro-life movement this week. The Fifth Circuit ruled yesterday that Texas CAN bar Planned Parenthood (PP) from Medicaid reimbursements. It went further and noted that, though PP consistently insists that the videos that David Daleiden’s Center for Medical Progress (CMP) captured of abortionists speaking bluntly and ghoulishly about abortion are heavily edited and doctored, a forensic examination showed they are neither doctored nor edited deceptively. (Daleiden provided both edited and unedited versions of almost all his videos.) A year and a half ago, unable to make their case in the public square, PP got a pro-abortion judge who has deep ties to the industry, to forbid the showing of even a small clip from unreleased videos from a National Abortion Federation (NAF) conference of a few years ago. The court went aggressively after Daleiden AND any other entity that kept the three-minute video up. I got a threatening notice. I would have kept the video up anyway, but it was banished from almost every source I could find. Fortunately, National Review’s Alexandra DeSanctis HAS kept a copy of that video embedded in an article she wrote a few years ago. I hope that video clip can make the rounds again, perhaps under the hashtag of #ReleaseTheVideos. If the left can’t defend what they say and do, they just get a judge to keep you from hearing or seeing it for yourself.
This generation, besides willfully perpetrating a genocide (more black babies were aborted in New York City in 2012 than were born), seeks to crush the Bill of Rights because it interferes with their drive for power. Maybe it is not ironic that these monsters are so smugly self-righteous. So were those who swept the Nazis to power, the Russian Revolution, and the bloody French Revolution. In each of these cases, a major component of the movement was college students and other young activists. If today’s young people really do want to be moral, I wonder if they ever pause to think about how many times in recent history great atrocities were committed by people who were brought to power, in large part, by self-righteous young people.
I know this: today’s generation does not have to worry much about future generations pulling down statues honoring them: when the fever lifts, few such statues will be erected in the first place. The time is coming – and sooner than anyone thinks – when people studying their ancestry will be as ashamed to find an employee of Planned Parenthood in their history as they are to find a slave-trader.
It strikes me that Robert Mueller was not granted subpoena powers so much as he was issued hunting licenses – to get anyone associated with Donald Trump by any means necessary. I know officials must profess their undying love for Mueller lest they trigger the shrieking mob of Democrats, Never-Trumpers and media. I think he is the dirtiest, most corrupt cop in our nation’s history to hold such a high-ranking position.
In 398 A.D., St. Augustine wrote that, “In her mind and her rational intelligence, (a woman) has a nature the equal of man’s…” (Confessions, Book 13, Section 32). He, like all Christian thinkers, was an early feminist – though a realistic one. He did not pretend that a woman is every bit as strong and physically gifted as a man. No, he was in the truth business. At the time Christ came into the world, women were treated as little more than chattel, part of a man’s possessions by almost every culture in the world. In an age when women were still heavily dependent on men, Augustine noted the simple truth that men would be foolish and wrong to arbitrarily dismiss the intellect and wisdom of women, which is equal to men’s.
From the first, Christianity emphasized the equal, but complementary, worth and roles of men and women. It was Christ, Himself, who first forbade husbands from casting off wives they had wearied of through divorce (divorce was NOT an option that could be initiated by women). It was not just a ruling on marriage – but a ruling on the equivalent worth and dignity of the two sexes – and was, indeed, incredibly radical in that culture. With Christ, the question ceased to be how many sheep, goats, cattle, women and children a man could amass. Rather, it was how, in true covenantal partnership, men and women could lift each other up and form families that endured and grew. This required honest observation of the nature, strength and differences of the two sexes. Men, who were stronger, were called to protect, defend and provide for the weaker, but more nurturing, sex – who had a genius for establishing a healthy home.
Movies which show 100-lb. women tossing 225-lb men around like rag dolls are all the rage in Hollywood these days. They are pure fantasy, but they have an impact. The difference between a 100-lb. woman and a 140-lb. man these days is that the man, however fit he is, knows that if he tries to outmuscle a 225-lb. man he is going to get crushed. We live in a technologically sophisticated culture of plenty, which makes possible the pretense that men and women are equivalent in every way. If we suffered some setback that caused society to become much more primitive, the most effective thing that would keep women from becoming, once again, chattel to men (or even worse, something to barter with) is a commitment to Judeo-Christian ethics and truth. Strange to me to see so many “feminist” women so eager to attack, during sunny weather, that which is their greatest protection in stormy weather. How often we call forth our own doom thinking it only applies to others.
My friend, Kyle McCarter, was confirmed as America’s Ambassador to Kenya shortly after the new Senate was seated. I wrote a piece on how Senate Democrats had tried to hold him up because he was a believing Christian and a conservative state senator, despite his and his family’s long history of missionary work in Kenya. That piece was actually picked up by some press outlets in Africa. Many of you called and wrote senators to advocate on behalf of McCarter. Thank you. He is now our Ambassador in Kenya.
Over the last year, I got to know and came to deeply admire a prominent Texas lawyer, Trey Trainor, who Pres. Trump nominated to the Federal Election Commission a year and a half ago. Alas, Trainor’s nomination was stonewalled for similar reasons – he is a serious, believing Christian and a rather brilliant conservative. Trump re-nominated him earlier this month. I pray the Senate will confirm him forthwith.
The crisis in our Church is primarily doctrinal. The sexual abuse and systematic cover-ups are merely the most obvious symptoms of this doctrinal crisis. In the late 90’s, talking with a Priest friend, I naively asked what difference it made if a Priest felt attracted to the same sex: after all, all had a vow of chastity. In itself, that was true – but it showed how little I really understood the problem.
For several generations now, dissenters in the hierarchy have been trying to correct what they think are the errors of Christ; to remake the Church in their own image rather than seeking to conform themselves to the image of Christ. What was a muffled battle has now become an open assault on the faith – with many enemies attacking from within. This is a hard thing for most of us. Fortunately, the great majority of Priests and those in the hierarchy are NOT enemies of the faith. Unfortunately, many of those are too timid to boldly defend the faith from the assaults either from without or from within. Some of the faithful have become fearful that the Church may not survive the twin assaults of a hostile culture and a hostile contingent of anti-Catholic bigots in the hierarchy.
For the first 300 years of Christianity, to publicly confess Christ as Lord was a capital crime throughout the Roman Empire. Even so, the faith grew and flourished. Men and women would give their lives to live this doctrine which gave profound, transcendent meaning to life beyond the transient scrabble for power and influence that so pre-occupied the Romans. We will survive, we will thrive, we will flourish as we each recollect that we are called to boldly proclaim Christ and His teaching even unto death. We have to choose – and that is what God is reminding us of every time He allows things to grow dark around us.
On Oct. 1, 2015, a lunatic at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, went around asking students if they were Christians. If they said yes, he shot them. He killed nine and wounded eight others. It is reasonable to assume that the first one killed did not know the safe answer to the madman’s question. Those that followed did, though. And many professed Christ, anyway. This was Oregon. This was a community college. I would venture that many, probably most, of those Christian martyrs did NOT know they were Christian until moments before they chose martyrdom. When our love grows cold, when we become so lukewarm we fear to proclaim what we believe lest someone speak ill of us, God allows the darkness to surround us to force us to choose Him – or remain in that darkness.
God is calling us out of the catacombs, that we may help our fellows come out of the intellectual and ideological ghettoes they have condemned themselves to. Oppression sparks holy boldness and conviction, which sparks renewal. I eagerly await the arrival of the great harvest of men and women who will discover, when forced to choose, that they are Christian – and will proclaim it fearlessly.
I am a parishioner at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Arvada, Colorado. We have a young Pastor, Fr. Nathan Goebel. He has a lively sense of humor and is very good with the many young families who make up much of the Parish. He has addressed the scandals which are rocking the Church with forthright candor and an unambiguous call for reform. But he did something special this last week that touched my heart and deepened my admiration for him.
One of my constant frustrations with the institutional Church has been that it has so degenerated into a mere bureaucratic lobbying agency, offering banal pronouncements demanding the government do the good works that IT should be doing. Over the last few years, as I travelled around the country speaking to different groups, I became appalled at how high tuition rates are for Catholic schools. In one Diocese in the Midwest, I discovered that the average tuition per student was over $10,000. It quietly outraged me. How, I wondered, could Catholic leaders encourage families to be fruitful and multiply while simultaneously having tuition rates that they knew most big families could not bear? It reminded me of one of Jesus “Woe” sequences to authorities of His day: “…you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens…” (Luke 11:45)
Fr. Nathan announced a new initiative last Sunday. Acknowledging the sacrifice that parents make and the faith they live in sending their children to Catholic school, he is raising money so that the Parish, itself, will pay for one month of tuition for every child enrolled in Catholic school who is a member of the Parish. And he intends that this be so for at least the next four years in which he is Pastor. Wow! No lobbying, no lectures, just let’s get up and do this. He set up a target of $25,000 by next Sunday – and promised he will cut off his mullet (I told you he is young) if that target is met.
Fr. Nathan is always friendly to me, but we are not pals or confidants. I know he was tipped off before he became Pastor that this was the Parish of “that Charlie Johnston.” I have no clue what he thinks of me. But I can tell you what I think of him: flat-out admiration for his direct approach to helping lift up those souls given into his care. He truly has the heart of a Pastor.
About a month and a half ago, a friend of mine in media let me know that a person prominently affiliated and identified with the Kansas City Chiefs is a fan of this site. My friend wanted to arrange for us to get together the next time that person is in Denver or I am in Kansas City. I enthusiastically agreed – and told him that was great, because it gives me a good excuse to become a football fan again. Ever since, I have been rooting for the Chiefs. This Sunday, the Chiefs play the New England Patriots for the American Conference Championship. The winner goes on to the Super Bowl. I only have one thing to say: Go Chiefs!