By Charlie Johnston
Today, we begin an important new fundraising drive in anticipation of the conference in the Black Hills at the end of next month. As you probably know, we have been plagued with problems with the donate function for a while. Unfortunately, several malicious actors made it their hobby to constantly attack us and try to keep the donations portal shut down. For the last four weeks, our IT team, working with our vendors and bank, have come up with a new donation portal with significantly enhanced security features. It will be much harder for malicious actors to attack the site and much easier for our security to trap the originating IP address of such attempted attacks – and to prosecute attackers, if necessary. Unfortunately, more than a few orthodox Christian and conservative sites have been under sustained attack this year.
We have tested the new donation portal repeatedly. It works. That’s not to say there won’t be an occasional glitch – and you have to make sure you have cookies enabled in your browser for it to work from your end (as you do for any online transaction).
After having been hobbled for months, we need to play catch-up. I look for $20,000 this week and to get $30,000 in June. Yes, I know we have money coming in for the conference, but that is held by the third-party site, Eventbrite, until five days after the conference and will be used to pay conference expenses. I hope that revenues will cover all the expenses, but I am not sure – and, honestly, don’t care as much as you would think. My major premise is to think universally while acting locally and forging connections with activists who will stand together for faith, family and freedom, come what may. Getting people of good will and good heart to come to the Black Hills and get to know each other personally excites me – and will strengthen the bonds of commitment between our volunteers.
Your most generous donation funds the effort to organize from the ground up across America. Besides the regional organizations, we have four national committees, working on medical education and supplies for tough times, sustainability during crisis (helping people develop the skills to survive and thrive whether living on extensive land or in an apartment building), communications (we have formed a ham radio network throughout the country and are now testing weekly broadcasts – which will be available to all after testing is complete), and prayer teams. After the conference, we will get heavily into forming a national education committee. Since the collapse of almost all public education into mere indoctrination at best – and a jobs program for lefties that doesn’t require actual work, at worst – we will heavily emphasize homeschool consortiums. The biggest problem with homeschooling is the time and commitment of individual parents, along with qualifications to teach various subjects. If we can get, routinely, 30 or more families to commit to working together to pool resources, time and talent, we can help people specialize so that we recreate a system that focuses on education with the work spread out – kind of like the old frontier schoolhouses. A component would be to help legally defend homeschooling against government assaults from those who have perverted education into a featherbedding operation of leftist activists.
Help get us on target. And if you have not signed up for the conference and can go, please do so today. We will send out an email tomorrow to all members of CORAC highlighting who the general speakers at the conference will be – and I will release the roster later this week on this site. Many folks have already made the conference a part of a larger family vacation. The Black Hills are a beautiful setting with many attractions and outdoor activities. It is a vacation – and a conference – you will never forget.
I get asked constantly how David Daleiden is doing and holding up. He is the quintessential happy warrior, committed to the cause of championing the rights of the unborn come what may – and loving every minute of it. He appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show last week to describe some of the latest in his battles – specifically with the University of Pittsburgh over its horrific research using aborted babies and the federal government’s role in funding and enabling it. I laughed and told him he is looking more distinguished and comfortable than ever. Ah shoot, I’m going to jump the gun here. David is scheduled to be one of our speakers at the conference – so if you want to know how he is holding up, register, come on out, and find out for yourselves. He will talk about persisting in fighting for what’s right even under intense pressure and persecution. That’s a subject he knows well. Once you get your sea legs, it is downright fun.
After noting last week that OSHA was going to hold those woke employers’ who require the experimental gene therapy jab (commonly but errantly called a vaccine) as a condition of employment responsible for adverse reactions, the agency has had a change of heart. Since adverse deaths from the Covid shot are nearing 100 times that that have always forced a shutdown of a new, experimental drug, OSHA realized that it was hurting the leftist narrative – so it won’t enforce its usual regulations in this case – just like the CDC and the NIH don’t enforce the usual standards for adverse reactions. That doesn’t change the legal liability companies and institutions will have for adverse reactions if they make them a requirement for employment or admission, to civil rights lawsuits and even criminal lawsuits for violating the federal law that experimental drugs under emergency use cannot be required as a condition of employment or admission. Of course, government has largely become a criminal enterprise designed to bully ordinary people into submission, so we can’t count on a malicious government to defend our rights under natural law. If the government does not wake up, it may force people to exercise their right to “alter or abolish it, and to institute new government.” At least a dozen states have now adopted partial nullification of federal laws on Covid restrictions and gun rights. Just last week, the people of Pennsylvania stripped its governor of the emergency powers he abused during the Covid scare. They are the first state to do so, but will not be the last. Iowa just voted yesterday to enact the strongest anti-mandatory masking bill in the country, stripping local governments and school districts of the power to enact mandatory regulations. The people are just getting started taking back the power governments have usurped from them. Woe to those bureaucrats and officials who continue to try to force a free people to submit. If you ever wondered if you would have collaborated with the oppressions the German government imposed on its people in the 1930’s, now you know. There is still time to change your answer.
I am always startled – and somewhat bemused – when someone objects that God could not possibly do something in a way they can’t imagine because He has “never done it that way before.” The fact is, God is big on telling His servants and His people the “what” while rarely divulging the “how.”
When Abraham was 75 years old, God sent him to a “far country,” promising to give him descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky. God was not quite clear as to what country Abraham was supposed to go to, only that God would guide him. Abraham simply had to go forward in faith, taking the next right step. That doesn’t even begin to explain the business about how he was to be father and founder of a “great nation” when both he and his wife were well beyond their child-bearing years when he started out. Sheesh! I was an older man when I began my pilgrimage 10 years ago – but still 20 years younger than Abraham when he began his. God told Abraham the “what,” but the bridge between that and the unveiling of the “how” is where Abraham showed he truly trusted God.
When God told Moses to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt, they found themselves trapped at the coast of the Red Sea – with the Egyptian Army in hot pursuit of them. God had never before cut a dry path through a sea to facilitate the escape of His people, so Moses and the Israelites had no reason to expect He would do it now as the army bore down on them. Moses simply had to trust that God would keep His word. Moses had obeyed the “what;” the “how” was entirely in God’s hands. And God kept His word. Throughout their sojourn in the desert, the Israelites kept whining because they could not understand the “how” of many things – and Moses kept telling them to quit whining…that their lack of understanding of the “how” was God’s invitation to them to show they truly trusted Him.
When Jesus came, no one in Israel expected God to come, Himself, taking on our very humanity and achieving victory by conquering death, itself. So naturally the self-righteous prigs who thought they knew all there was to know about God, had God executed.
When St. Joan of Arc was sent to save France from extinction, God had never before sent a teenage girl to command the armies of a great nation to victory. Yet that is how He did it this time.
When our Lady, the Immaculate Conception, appeared at Lourdes, God had never before sent Our Lady to appear at a public garbage dump and make it a center of physical and spiritual healing. One of the bitter objections that skeptics had was that it was beneath God to make a garbage dump into a sacred spot. But God did not much care about their objections. God seems to delight in surprising us, establishing a pattern of doing things in a way He has never done before – to upend our expectations and to invite us to show Him we trust Him rather than just giving lip service to the concept.
With such an extended pattern of how He actually does things, how He is always startling, fresh and new, one would think we would get a clue and focus on the “what” while trusting Him to unveil the “how” in His own way and His own time. But no, in a time of crisis, we once again have all sorts of orthodox voices explaining their special knowledge of the “how” in detailed terms. It reminds me of Job’s seemingly pious friends or the Sanhedrin condemning Jesus because they knew better than God how God works.
I am not speaking of those Christians who are actually trying to rewrite Scripture in their own image, contrary to the teaching of Christ and the Apostles. I condemn them outright and have no time for them. They must repent or perish. Rather I am speaking of those genuinely orthodox folks who have made themselves into the sort of “super apostles” St. Paul speaks of with such disdain in 2 Corinthians. They do not argue that the Novus Ordo Mass is more easily abused than the Tridentine form; rather, they argue that the Novus Ordo Mass is, itself, an abuse. They do not argue that Pope Francis is often problematic; rather, they argue the Papacy has been vacant for many decades, thus contradicting Christ, Himself, that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church He founded. They come up with vast, complicated, fevered scenarios that explain exactly how we got here and how, in almost every detail, God is going to renew us. My stars! Even when I was openly speaking in mystical fashion, I focused on the “what” – the Storm that was coming; that it was not the end but a great renewal; and that it pleased Our Lord to send His Mother to finally conquer the great disorder that engulfs us – with the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. I emphasized “the next right step” as the only safe way to get to the unveiling of the “how” in which each of these things would be accomplished. In my worst moments, even in the two huge interpretive errors I made, I never spoke with the hubris that many of even these completely non-mystical orthodox scolds have adopted.
I always knew that, as the Storm set in, the power of deception – the ability to actively imitate what is authentically orthodox – would become one of the satan’s most important tools. But I misunderstood what I knew once more: I expected that the frauds would primarily be evil men who were knowingly in the devil’s service pretending to be orthodox. I was wrong. It turns out that most are genuinely orthodox men who, unhinged by their fear and their grief over what is happening to the faith and the faithful, are pretending to a deeper knowledge of the mind of God than any can possibly have. A man I once admired – and still have much hope in – wrote an overheated book positing a 700-year conspiracy that, in its tendentious flaws and false assumptions, makes the fraudulent forgery of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” look almost sober by comparison. We have some public exorcists tendentiously condemning anything they don’t like as satanic in origin while demonstrating little familiarity with actual demonic activity.
You might think there is no harm in being hyper-orthodox, in following the lead of “super apostles.” You would be wrong. If you are relentlessly focusing on preparing for the attack that the super-apostles know will come from the mountains to your right, all the devil has to do is mount the attack from the plains to your left and you will be routed. If you are focused on the sort of disorders the devil is minimally involved in, you give him a lot of room to work where you are not paying attention. In either case, you are counting on your own cleverness instead of trusting God – and that is one of the prime things the satan seeks to accomplish in order to devour you. If someone wants to speak to me about abuses in the liturgy, I am glad to listen and participate. If they want to explain to me how the liturgy, itself, is an offense, I close down rather than listen to this falsely pious friend of Job. If they want to speak of serious problems with the hierarchy, I am glad to listen and participate. If they want to tell me there has been no valid Pope since Pius X, I am not interested in what they have to say. They are not reformers, but destroyers, and risk making themselves unwitting tools of the devil. When Martin Luther, the founder of Protestantism, spoke in protest of abuse in the hierarchy of his time, most of those abuses were real, for it was a time of great corruption in the hierarchy. Luther’s protest sparked real reform in the hierarchy: Clement VII was a notably pious and honorable Pope who worked to reform and re-unite Christianity. Pope Paul III followed Clement and established real and deep reforms. But Luther had set up shop for himself and would not turn back, regardless of the real reform he triggered.
The hierarchy was divinely appointed by Christ, Himself. It is manned by some who are ever sober and sound like St. John the Apostle; some who are erratic but filled with great love like St. Peter; and some who are betrayers like Judas. It was so when Christ appointed it. Why should we be surprised that this Divinely appointed hierarchy has similar human flaws to when it was founded? And why would anyone think that the way to reform it is to overthrow it altogether, contrary to Christ’s clear will? That is the hubris that substitute’s man’s judgment for God’s – and I will have no part of it.
Since God is always startling, fresh and new, can’t we finally figure out that when He acts, it is rarely as we expected? It is not God’s plans that are deficient, but our expectations. He clearly shows us the “what.” Let us devote ourselves to that, doing the little we licitly can through my way of the next right step. Then, like children on Christmas morning, seeing all the presents wrapped beneath the tree, trust that, though we don’t know what they are, our heavenly Father will reveal them to us in His good time – and that like our earthly fathers, He will not have a serpent or a stone embedded there to hurt us. We do not know the “how,” only the “what.” People who insist they do know the “how” are as reliable as children shaking a wrapped package and stating with certainty what it must be. God is the ONLY bridge between the “what,” which is our starting point and the “how,” which is where he leads us. Humbly taking the next right step on that bridge is the only safe way to get there – and is where faith and trust are actually forged.
“Wait on the Lord,
Be of good courage and he shall strengthen thine heart:
Wait, I say, on the Lord.”