By Charlie Johnston
In the 1880’s, deceived by a string of mild winters and lured by promises that this represented a permanent climatic change, scores of settlers came to Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas to make a go of it. Unprepared for the hard winters that struck again in 1886, most were ruined and some were starved out. Almost four decades earlier, the same thing had happened in the Kansas and Nebraska plains. Each time, “scientists” had assured settlers that the climatic changes were permanent – and promised a land flowing with milk and honey all year long. For many, it was a fatal hubris.
At 63, I have lived through a host of environmental scares – from the “unstoppable new ice age” of the 70’s, to the depletion of the ozone layer, to global warming to climate change. I long ago quit putting credence into these hair-on-fire predictions that never come to pass. They always use it as a call to centralize power and money in a cadre of “experts,” (The same frauds who made the errant predictions in the first place) – and accept poverty and permanent loss of freedom or else we’re all gonna die. Yeah, right.
I am not a scientist, but I am a more-than-competent researcher. In dynamic systems such as our climate, things run in cycles. Night becomes day becomes night again, season follows season, a string of dry growing seasons is followed by a string of wet ones or, occasionally, perfect ones. Our terrestrial average temperatures are most affected by solar cycles that run in 1,500-year increments. There are complex feedback mechanisms that help the earth to respond to challenges. Five hundred years ago, short-sighted superstitious Aztec priests sacrificed young girls so the sun would come back and we would not be caught in permanent winter. They were the “experts” of their time – and carefully exempted their own daughters from the sacrifice. Now a new cadre of superstitious priest experts insists you must sacrifice your children’s freedom and prosperity to appease the wrath of Gaia while carefully protecting their own privileges. Nuts to that.
The reality is that, when it comes to the larger natural systems and cycles, we are not architects. God is. We are just custodians. We are to care for the good earth He has given us, but it is the rankest form of hubris to pretend we can control either the climate or even the weather in any large scale. Christians should know that and live it. We should care lovingly for this way-station God has given us, knowing it is not our final destination. If you have faith, you most assuredly should not be running around constantly with your hair on fire proclaiming the sky is falling unless everybody else gives you all of the power and most of the money.
Our long-time reader, Katherine, wrote a marvelous comment about what we Christians are called to and what we can have absolute confidence in. Here is that comment, in response to someone who was asking about how to deal with such primitive fear-mongering:
“Sometimes it’s enough to just explain our viewpoint well. It’s good to know facts and to be able to refute outright lies, but the heart of this matter is not about the ozone layer. It’s about who is ultimately in charge. Without acknowledging a creator, humanity becomes neurotic, fearful . . . we think that we are so smart that we can prevent and control catastrophe if we just do enough studies and control everything, gather all the tiny details and figure everything out by ourselves because we think the universe depends on us being in charge. We are not God, we can’t possibly know everything. But we all know what is at the heart of problems in the world. We can all agree that the heart of the problem is human greed, ignorance and pride. The thing is, we Christians believe that the politically correct way of going about stewardship of the planet only puts humanity deeper into these very flaws. Since we acknowledge a creator, to double down on the idea that we are in charge is foolishness and we believe that it will likely result in our own destruction and misery. If what really needs to change is the human heart, then grand scientific manipulations won’t help us anyway. It is good to honestly study the world and all of creation. We are connected to it, because we are also God’s creation, but we will not lose our peace and become fearful and thus prone to break God’s laws in order to buy security against coming catastrophes, real or imagined. Imagine how children would act if they believed that there was no grown up around to protect them, no adult to turn to. They would act according to how they thought was best, but there would be so much fear and so little understanding that whatever they could come up with would be more likely to hurt them than the disasters they are afraid of. Monsters, robbers, natural disasters . . . global warming is the monster that many are afraid of, but are we to act like children without a father, or children of a Father who guides us and protects us, even if we are not able to always directly observe or understand His protection and guidance? I don’t think God cares whether we believe global warming is a thing or not, only if the fear of disaster and the pride of self-importance has taken His place. I am more afraid of men blinded by pride and fear acting on behalf of the whole human race than I am of Global Warming or a coming extinction event. Also, from a purely scientific standpoint, there were several mass extinction events in the past, and in each case life came back in greater diversity. As a Catholic, I personally believe that each extinction was a phase initiated by our Creator as part of the preparation of the planet in order to gain the complexity of life needed to sustain humanity and also bring us joy and beauty. So something that would seem very, very bad, might be just the thing to bring about new life and hope in the end. I guess all I’m getting at here is that it’s OK to be concerned for the environment, sad at the extinction of species, want to take the plastic out of the ocean, wish for humanity to adopt a simpler way of life . . . it is not OK to take global worry onto your own shoulders as though there is no God. That way leads to coercion, manipulation, death and despair.”
It is one of the more impressive, concise comments on the matter I have seen. We are not the Titans – just the janitors.
I spoke recently of the many people I speak to these days who are in such despair that they are leaving the Church. There was a piece in American Greatness a couple of days ago by Elizabeth Fortunato that encapsulated a lot of what I hear. Oh Shepherds, I appeal to you! Do not kid yourselves that if you just give lip service to problems, they will go away. Ignoring the crocodile in the room won’t make him go away; it will just whet his appetite.
Meanwhile, some of the radical sedevacantists are feeling their oats – and persuading people that the papacy has been vacant since Pius XII, that all Novus Ordo Masses are de facto invalid, and that there is nothing right in the Church at all.
Ah, the devil misses no opportunity to pull people away from the faith. For a century, he persuaded people never to criticize clerical authority no matter how compelling the evidence. This allowed a culture of corruption to grow and flourish, attacking the faith on a retail basis in all who had been abused. In the revelation of a vast culture of corruption, now he’s going wholesale: he raises up “reformers” who choose to ignore where Christ vested both authority and responsibility for running the Church. These sedevacantists think they are the most Catholic of all. Rather, they are not Catholic at all. They are just an exotic form of Protestant who do not even have the honesty to admit to themselves what they are.
Over 2,000 years we have had the Borgia and Medici Popes, we have had pitched doctrinal crises, we have had widespread corruption and worldliness in the clergy at times. We have survived it all and prospered, just as Christ promised we would. You know who didn’t survive these trials? Two sorts of people: first, those from whom the abuses came who did not repent of their abuse and; second, those “reformers” who decided that the problems were so bad that their own plan of how to vest authority superceded Christ’s command.
I respect honest Catholics, honest Orthodox, and honest Protestants. I do NOT respect those super-apostles (2 Corinthians:11) who think to substitute their judgment for that of Christ and so, try to destroy the faith from within. They are as toxic as those clerics who assault Scripture and the Magisterium openly. I am candid – and welcome candid comments about the problems, controversies and abuses within the faith. When it crosses over to denying the legitimate authority of the faith altogether, I will not have it here.
We are all under assault from those who attack the foundation of the faith, and the devil is very cleverly hiding some of his servants deceptively as super-orthodox for the same reason as he inflames the enemies of the Magisterium inside and outside the Church: to pull people away from the faith altogether that they may be lost to eternity.
We walk a knife’s edge now, assaulted on every side. We must have fortitude, prudence and patience. Our Lord promises though, that “he who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:13) Time to prove our mettle.
Next week is likely to prove a very consequential one in David Daleiden’s battle with Planned Parenthood(PP), the National Abortion Federation(NAF), and the California Judicial system. Frankly, the advocates of the culture of death have been floundering badly there, so I have been reticent to write much about it. Never interrupt an opponent who is self-destructing is a principle I live by. Things have gotten so bad that the three biggies; PP, NAF, and federal judge William Orrick appear to be scrambling to try to scapegoat one another for the impending meltdown. I suspect PP will somehow manage to put the biggest onus on NAF. These guys have no loyalty to their allies when the chips are down.
Daleiden did a marvelous interview with Breitbart a few days ago. While I link to it, I have to put up my favorite excerpt from the interview:
“We’ve seen how it persecutes basically everybody at this point — both right-of-center, middle of the road, it doesn’t matter — if you don’t subscribe and bow down and burn incense to their politically correct orthodoxy and dogma they will persecute you, whether it’s Pinterest and Facebook and the social media giants, whether it’s Kamala Harris and Xavier Becerra and their jackbooted thugs at the attorney general’s office in California, or whether it’s any number of crazy things that come out of the de facto capital of the California political establishment, which is San Francisco,” Daleiden said.
“They’re not about freedom,” continued Daleiden. “They’re not about liberty. They’re not even about being liberal. They are about power and control, and they have a very narrow view of what a good [and] evolved person is to be in 2019, and they will be ruthless in trying to enforce that, which is what they’re doing to me and what they will try to do to many others.”
I had hoped early in the summer that revelations of her abuses as Atty. Gen. coming this fall would put an end to Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign. Alas, it looks like she has already torpedoed herself. But perhaps the coming revelations could be the coup de grace.
Pray that the culture of death may be toppled and the culture of life newly ascendant. You will begin to see some real fireworks on it next week.
One of the men I most admire in these times is Dan Lynch. For nearly three decades he has steadfastly manned his post, working to spread devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of America, and Jesus, King of all Nations. He has begun a series on the Mystery of the Divine Indwelling, which I much admire. I hope you will take a look at it.