By Charlie Johnston
When I saw this horrifying story of Anchorage, Alaska going after a battered women’s shelter for actually trying to protect battered women, it crystallized something I have been thinking about for a long time: anti-God left assaults are not just mounted against evidence, reason and faith, but are actually tactics in a war against reality, itself. And the right is largely useful idiots in service of this war when not actually complicit.
The judicial system is primarily for issues where the answer is not immediately obvious – and to give a full hearing to criminals even when the issues seem superficially obvious. When we have to go to the courts to determine whether it is appropriate for battered women’s shelters to protect battered women, we have badly lost our way. But so it goes with a culture that no longer knows what the definition of either “woman” or “is” actually is.
Our destruction of the very concept of male and female has potentially opened the doors to requiring such shelters to welcome the men who are batterers if they claim to identify as women. The “transgender” movement threatens to destroy the very concept of women’s sports by forcing women’s teams to accept men who claim to identify as women. Whatever fantasies woke children wish to indulge, men ARE the physically stronger sex. Much of our politically correct claptrap is having the effect of destroying real and important protections for women and children on behalf of lofty, but utterly errant, abstractions.
In some jurisdictions, officials will take custody of children whose parents refuse to allow a child to mutilate himself for a “sex-change” operation. Abortion advocates are sometimes divided as to whether to admit that the process kills a living human being or to argue, contrary to science, that it is not human at all. The former argues abortion is a right that trumps any right to life. The latter argues a baby is not alive until leftists say it is (or until it votes Democratic, perhaps).
People who are taken seriously by the idiot media routinely advocate for self-defeating contradictory things. Open borders advocates usually claim to be anti-human trafficking advocates, as well. But open borders are the single most enabling tool in a trafficker’s arsenal. You can’t be for both. At least not seriously without dealing with the internal contradiction. The cry to end temporary child separation from illegal aliens caught at the border has created a cottage child kidnap industry in northern Mexico. Since Mexican traffickers know America is too soft or insane or whatever to consistently verify the relationships between people crossing with children, adding a child to those they are sneaking in reduces the chance of getting caught.
Then there is gun control. Every time there is a mass shooting, the cry goes up for tighter gun control as the obvious answer. Never mind that the tighter the gun controls in urban areas, the greater the occurrence of gun violence. The only thing gun control does is disarm victims. Turns out criminals who are willing to shoot innocents don’t give a hoot about gun laws. What, then, do Republicans do? Instead of advocating for policies that would actually help reduce all violence, they walk around red-faced as if their support of gun rights contributes to the problem. They act like they just got caught at a nudie bar and are trying to shield their faces instead of making a full-throated cry to get the problem under control. You know what is depressingly common in almost all major shootings? One of three things: either there were a bunch of major red flags about the shooter that authorities ignored (the Parkland school shooter had 36 that were ignored, including frank threats to shoot up a school), the shooter had a violent rap sheet as long as your arm yet was not confined to jail already, or the shooter was a radicalized Muslim Jihadist. Vigorous crime control, not more gun laws, is the obvious answer. Obvious. So why are the guys on our side such mealy mouths on the subject? Don’t just defend the second amendment (though don’t quit doing that) – start demanding that the left get serious about crime control. And let the right be always serious about it. Why isn’t the Justice Department suing jurisdictions like Portland and Berkeley which turn a blind eye to Antifa violence and riots? That is a denial of ordinary peoples’ civil rights. Crime control WILL reduce violence – and rob leftists of their favorite irrelevant distraction. Who speaks for ordinary law-abiding citizens?
All the Democratic candidates for president espouse socialism, a system that has failed everywhere it has been tried – and usually involved the mass murder of millions of innocents. Why is this taken seriously? The new socialists like to point to the Nordic countries as successful socialist societies. I asked one if that meant he advocated privatizing social security. He was shocked. I pointed out that Sweden did that 20 years ago to avoid financial catastrophe. All the Nordic countries have substantial welfare states, but fewer regulations on business than in America. They vigorously de-regulated a generation ago because they were headed for financial ruin otherwise. We are not all obligated to be political and social activists, but we are all obligated to find out some basic facts so we can deflate the con-men in our midst. But we have become a “Tinkerbell” culture – wish a happy thought and it shall be so…forget about the hard labor of making things actually work instead of just wishing they did.
We have bogged ourselves down in court cases to determine the equivalent of whether water is actually wet and then wonder why the flood is overtaking us. Meantime, bureaucrats and petty elected officials impose rules on us without our consent – acting as our masters instead of our servants. People just shrug and go along.
Do you think we are at least consistent about the sexual exploitation of children? Not if it involves Planned Parenthood, which has been caught frequently covering up the sexual abuse of minors – without any serious consequence. If Jeffrey Epstein had just been a bit more slippery, he would have immigrated to England and claimed to have converted to Islam. England has been blighted with Muslim “grooming gangs” which sexually exploit girls as young as 11 years old. The degenerate British police do little to nothing to stop this, but they DO crack down hard on anyone who criticizes Islam on social media.
Ambitious bossy people who lack competence to deal with any real problems in their jurisdiction frequently make up what the great Victor Davis Hanson calls “cosmic social justice” issues to mask their impotence. They passionately advocate for things that are beyond their control while ignoring the real problems that actually are their responsibility. It is a cheap scam to amass power. It does not trouble me that politicians make such efforts; demagogues have always been among us. What really shakes me is that so many normal Americans and other citizens in the western world are embracing the demagoguery. John Adams famously said that our Constitution would only serve a moral and religious people, that it was entirely unsuited to any other.
Our system of government – and western civilization generally – are not in need of a little tinkering around the edges. We need major, invasive surgery. It starts with embracing the Judeo-Christian principles that slowly built western civilization. It involves an absolute refusal to treat publicly espoused absurdities as anything but absurdity – and the public shaming and rejection of all who espouse them. We have a responsibility. We still have the capability of restoring society to health, but it shrinks every time we just shrug our shoulders at new offenses – or go merrily along advocating for things that have little relationship to a problem, much less the capacity to solve it.
I guess I am a little frustrated right now. If we have lost the capacity to vigorously reject even obvious nonsense, how can we even begin to deal with real complex problems? If we have become so stupid that we are easily seduced by charlatans who insist that a horse chestnut is actually a chestnut horse, how can we maintain the freest society ever devised? If you take all of human history and lay it out on a football field, the portion occupied by people who have lived in freedom and prosperity would occupy the equivalent of about half a postage stamp. Now a substantial portion of the electorate clamors violently to get off that postage stamp.
I always knew the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I never expected the road to be lined with spectators cheering their destructors on. Unless God breaks and rebuilds us, I don’t see how we get back to health. We have lost the capacity and will for self-government…and don’t even have the capacity to recognize what it ought to look like.
Okay. Rant finished. I needed to get that out of my system.
I am disappointed, to say the least, that the appeals court in Victoria, Australia, did not overturn the conviction of Cardinal George Pell. This is not a case where there is reasonable doubt, but one in which the charges against him COULD NOT POSSIBLY have occurred. American courts have grown increasingly politicized in the last few decades with arrogant parodies of judges assuming executive and legislative authority they do not have to make political judgments that are contrary to the law. But it is hard for me to imagine an American court so brazenly ignoring the flat-out impossibility of charges in order to vent their anti-Catholic bigotry. At least we still require the fig leaf of basic plausibility.
I hope the Vatican is quietly doing a flurry of diplomatic maneuvering to right this flagrant injustice. Yet I fear that, in the Vatican, Pell is considered guilty of the crimes of being orthodox and of having been actually serious in his efforts to reform the Vatican financial system. So I fear the muted response from the Vatican is just that, a muted response on behalf of a man they know to be innocent but is hated because he is a genuine reformer who takes Scripture and the Magisterium seriously.
Many have compared this to the Dreyfuss Affair, which brought deep discredit to both the French justice system and the French military for a good chunk of the early 20th Century. Alfred Dreyfuss was falsely accused of passing secrets to the Germans. It was another case where there was no credible evidence. Dreyfuss was a Jew, though, and it allowed French elites to vent their raging anti-Semitism.
The truth is that it is the Australian system of justice that stands in the docket in this case, even though it is Cardinal Pell who is imprisoned because of it. I love Australia. Australians are the third largest national group among my readership and I have met several of my Australian readers who come to presentations while visiting America. One even scheduled her visit to America specifically to coincide with one of my presentations in southern California. I have looked forward to someday visiting Australia. Now, though, it has demonstrated that its official anti-Catholic bigotry is so virulent that it will railroad an obviously innocent man with “evidence” that is impossible just because he is a prominent Catholic. I reckon I better stay away – for the same reason that Jews of any prominence were well-advised to avoid France at the turn of 20th Century.
I do wish that the hierarchy of the Church I so deeply love was not so reminiscent of a criminal enterprise these days. Oh yes, it is only a handful of Bishops who are actively waging war on the Magisterium and the faithful, while covering for each other’s depredations (though the numbers seem tilted dramatically in favor of the depraved at the Vatican, itself). It still incenses me that in 2002, when the sexual abuse crisis first crested in the United States, Bishop Theodore McCarrick postured as a full-throated “reformer” at the very same time that he was molesting young men and older boys. Even so, that could be dealt with were it not for the “code of omerta” – or silence – among Bishops who would never think of committing such depredations. To remain silent while knowing of such offenses is to become a co-conspirator with the offenders. Who speaks for the faithful?
Now we go headlong into the “Amazon Synod,” ostensibly to consider routinely ordaining married Priests and, perhaps, women – just for that region, don’t you know. Smarter men than me, such as Cardinals Burke and Mueller, seem to think it is just the opening shot in overturning settled Catholic doctrine. Now even a Missionary Bishop from the Amazon says that synod plans do not address the actual issues facing Catholics in the Amazon – reinforcing the suspicion that this is not about the Amazon at all, but just another stalking horse for an assault on the faith and the faithful.
I am a little weary. Of late, I have been spending a lot of time engaged in a sort of spiritual triage. I quietly counsel many lay people to hold to the faith – but with each new offense and the reality that the hierarchy seems unlikely to do anything of substance to turn the tide against the sexual abuse crisis, more people are leaving – with some leaving Christianity, altogether. It is not just confined to lay people. I have been in discussion with several Priests and one religious who are considering abandoning their vocations. So far, no one has jumped ship among those I have talked to, but none of them are seeing any light at the end of the tunnel, either.
I can understand the reluctance of many Bishops to speak and act with real vigor when much – or most – of the assault on faith and morals, Scripture and the Magisterium, is coming from the Vatican, itself. Would that institutional zeal were matched by zeal for the Magisterium and for the faithful in the pews! The Bishops’ authority is primarily on faith and morals, with the little actual temporal authority they have related to the mechanisms for exercising their primary authority. As many have said, the Bishops are not just middle managers who run branch offices of the Vatican. They are independent authorities in each of their Dioceses, in communion with Rome, but not ruled by Rome. Yet if they will not take the initiative to defend the faith and the faithful – and to hold offenders to account, who will? I am coming to have more sympathy for proposals such as this offered by Dr. Adam A.J. DeVille over at the Catholic Thing. I worry that the sort of local synods he suggests might quickly start trying to dictate on matters of faith and morals rather than staying within legitimate confines. But if the hierarchy won’t act to defend the faith and the faithful, someone must.
Fr. Regis Scanlon makes the pointed observation that the anniversary of the penultimate apparition at Fatima, October 13, comes smack dab in the heart of the Amazon Synod. I concur with his analysis of the situation.
I hate that some of the top authorities in the Vatican and in the hierarchy seem to be anti-Catholic bigots working from the inside. But the silence of the shepherds is killing us.