By Charlie Johnston
With the firehose of dysfunction spouting faster and harder every day, the theme in my travels this trip has been, “Waiting for the other shoe to fall.” People have a sense that we are very near the flash point that can set things off seriously. Small wonder. The tide seems to be going out for both Christianity and for human liberty. Every day I get a new decade’s worth of outrages in my email inbox. It’s getting hard to keep up.
With Mass attendance plummeting around the world the Vatican’s plan is to forbid the Mass that more and more people are clamoring to attend, the Traditional Latin Mass. Brilliant! Meanwhile, as China cracks down ever harder on orthodox Catholics and any religion not completely controlled by the Communists, the Vatican renews and touts its agreement with China. Sheesh, the Vatican is making the modern French military look like the hordes of Genghis Khan – and that is no small feat. The co-leader of the German Catholic Bishop’s “Synodal Path” has issued a call to ensure abortion access. We have long had too many CINOs (Catholics in Name Only), but to have them invading the leadership is terribly depressing. It is like we are living the movie, “When a Stranger Calls,” discovering that the threatening calls from the psychopathic killer are coming from inside the house.
In the last couple of years Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, Germany and more have lapsed into tyranny – and we are looking more than a little green around the gills in America. A revolutionary spirit is rising around the globe. Sri Lanka has fallen, Denmark may fall and Europe is looking like a tinder box. Like I say, it is getting hard to keep up.
The education establishment is doubling down on Critical Race Theory and the sexual grooming of small children, even as it is being overwhelmingly rejected by what were their longtime critical allies. As warnings abound about rolling blackouts across the nation because our power grid can’t handle the current pressure, Biden and Co. merrily keep pushing people to buy electric (coal powered) cars to add more pressure to the grid. This, as both J.D. Powers and the National Bureau of Economic Research have published studies showing that electric vehicles are worse for the environment than gasoline engines. (No surprise to me: I was a conventional environmentalist until I realized, in my early 20s, that these folks did not know what they were talking about. By my mid-20s I came to the horrifying realization that most of what they recommended was actually bad for the environment.) On both abortion and environmental policy, Joe Biden thinks he can just issue imperial decrees to defy the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the only crime the left takes seriously is disagreeing with them. The Justice Dept. and the FBI have replaced the Ku Klux Klan as the paramilitary wing of the Democratic National Committee. With Hispanics fleeing the insane Democratic Party in droves, Jill Biden thought the way to stanch the bleeding was to compare Hispanics to “breakfast tacos.” And she honestly thought this was a compliment. Led by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Democrats have launched a jihad against Christian Crisis Pregnancy Centers. They are openly embracing the demonic. Allie Beth Stuckey did a hilarious impression of Liz Warren going nuts at a Crisis Pregnancy Center. Even one of the most prominent lefty thinkers has left The Center for American Progress because he can’t take all the crazy anymore.
As the late economist Herbert Stein said in the ‘70s, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” That is true, but there are only three ways in which it stops: the people pushing the bad stuff back off; the people it is being pushed on stop it forcefully; or divine intervention puts an end to it. Only in the first case is the end of the offense relatively peaceful. Unfortunately, whatever jalopy it is the left has piled into to drive their insane absurdities has no brakes; only an accelerator. So they must be stopped.
Some suggest that we should all just be nice, keep our heads low and wait for God to fix everything for us by Himself. God does, indeed, hear the cry of the afflicted. But He almost always demands that they make their stand, that they accept some skin in the game for the disorder that they actually contributed to. From Gideon to Constantine to the Reconquista to the Battle of Lepanto the faithful have often won seminal battles against long odds – but only after they have taken up the battle. When St. Joan of Arc was first examined before joining the French Army, her interrogators asked why, if God wanted to save France, He needed her at all. Just save France. Joan responded with more wisdom than her inquisitors: “It is ours to fight the battle and God’s to grant the victory.” When a people have gone bad God rarely intervenes until they take up their own cause under His standard.
And then there is the civil strife that befalls a society when it has to rouse itself to stop the progress of offensive tyranny. This can be the most brutal and bloody of all. Authoritarians tend to get all the more fanatical and inhuman the more they fail, unable to accept that they could possibly be wrong; that they are not superior beings; or that there is anything in the universe greater than their claim on power. And so, globally, we are afflicted with our faith having grown cold, which has led to hideous and extensive social disorders and the instigators are incapable of stopping. Just in the last month the number of sober commentators openly speaking of the likelihood of civil war in America has spiked dramatically.
I know many good-hearted people desperately want to believe things are going to smooth out. Some dread the very idea of taking their own side in a fight. Others are so vested in the existing system and the memory of when it actually worked that, like a devoted daughter hanging onto a terminally ill parent, they refuse to believe a beloved could actually be gone. I sympathize with them, but there is serious work to be done to preserve as many lives as possible while working to get our society back to the land of the living.
When social strife becomes serious enough that full scale collapse and war looms people are almost always taken off guard. It follows a depressingly familiar script. The shell of old institutions may remain for a time, but at best they are impotent and, at worst, actively work against the people they are supposed to serve. For a time there are a whole raft of regional strong men, brutal and rapacious, who vie for power with each other. Unprepared people are limited to the choice of which warlord they will align themselves with, knowing that each is brutal and rapacious. But it is a matter of survival. Without God life is, as Thomas Hobbes pessimistically said, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”
This is largely the reason I formed CORAC – to give people a chance to work together, under God, to rebuild a culture of life and light if the darkness overwhelmed our existing system. I don’t want anyone to have to choose which warlord to serve. In catastrophic social upheaval it is always those vying for power who are the central players while everyone else is a pawn. I wanted a structure in place where those who wanted to live together in harmony and to otherwise be left alone would have a fighting chance – and could work together to show others in this strife that there is a better way. I wanted to structure it so that, if things miraculously smoothed out, it would be good of its own accord and would help strengthen the bonds of community, under God. If the worst happened, it would become a lifeline for many and a center of organization without succumbing to the violent nihilism of such turbulent times.
I am in the midst of intensely working to fortify CORAC, not so much an overhaul, but organically taking it to the next level so it may serve more people more effectively and serve as a landing place for those who are committed to renewal and genuine defense of each other and the principles of faith, family and freedom without degenerating into a savage contest for power and revenge. It can be a lifeline for those who join – and for the whole society. But I understand the challenge. This is something new. I know of no organization in history that successfully held the line as society crumbled around them. Even those with the best intentions (and there are precious few of those in history) degenerated into just another variety of warlord, joining the contest for power while jettisoning their commitment to God and their fellows; or refusing to join the fray at all and so perishing in their impotence while errantly calling that impotence and refusal to engage, “faith.”
I am thinking of the things necessary for people of goodwill to survive and thrive in a society gone terminal. By necessity it must, for a time, get much more local. As currency collapses, people will need a means of exchanging value. Barter always grows naturally during a deep and prolonged crisis, but it is inefficient. If you are a fisherman and need a doctor, you have to find one who likes fish. I am thinking of how to instruct people on how to form local currencies in conjunction with each other during hard times. We have to have a system in place that can grow and thrive even if there were a formal division in the country and even if it broke into openly violent strife. I hope to launch a substantial expansion of CORAC by mid-fall, covering a lot of bases so we can survive and thrive together.
I launch today our summer fundraiser. Please check out the website. As we approach our two-year anniversary it is astonishing to me how much we are doing. We have videos and classes in homeopathy, communications, foraging, home skills, catechism classes, education, emergency preparedness and prayer teams. There is no charge for membership or for any of the classes or videos. With all of this, we still keep our monthly nut below $10,000. Some think I am just cheap – and certainly I have more than a little Scottish in my ethnic heritage. But there is more going on here. Just with the collapse of currency alone, all the organizations that are a mile wide and a centimeter deep will collapse with the first serious winds of strife. I WANT to keep us lean and mean, with people joining because of love for God and for each other – and with a commitment to standing boldly for faith, family and freedom. That is fruit that will last.
So I ask, even in these increasingly difficult times, won’t you dig deep and send what you can to help us keep this going and growing? As bad as things are, I think this is the best insurance policy against social collapse out there. I won’t ever quit working until I am dead or until the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart has come and I can retire. Stand with me and help. But if you are really hurting, please just lend your talents. It would hurt my heart to know that any child had missed a meal because his family had sent us money they did not have. As St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta used to say to my late friend, Fr. Regis Scanlon, “God has plenty of money.” If God has chosen to let you hold some of it in trust, please share some with us. If not, please share your talents and prayers with us.
Whatever may come, we are going to get through this under God – and with fortitude, we are going to bring many who are currently scoffers into new and joyful communion with Our Lord. Yes, society is crumbling. We are only a flash point or two away from real strife, But I tell you God is doing something new this time: He is offering a way of renewal in the midst of the strife – and that way is you – with all of your fellows who stand with fortitude and resolve for faith, family and freedom.
I get asked about how people can get more of the Brazen Serpent Prayer Cards everywhere I go – even as I am giving them out. If you want an extra supply of the cards, go to Full of Grace USA. That supply house has them available at $2 each. We keep our Regional Coordinators and Team leaders supplied with them to give away, but many people want extra or are not in a position to get them quickly. You are. Just go to Full of Grace USA.
The prayer was designed to help people suffering adverse events from the Covid shots, which are deadly. Though public officials keep doubling down on encouraging people to risk their lives and their health for this experimental gene therapy, reality is intruding. The façade cannot hold much longer – and then the credibility of the public health establishments and governments (already in freefall) will lay in a ruined heap.
In a larger sense, though, this prayer is designed to help us recollect that God is the Master of all healing and to help put us back in right relationship with Him, neither scorning the natural means He provides in such abundance, after discerning their efficacy, nor thinking that man reliably has the answers. A good doctor is a great blessing, but he is our health advisor, not our master. We have one Master – and He is God.
I will speak Thursday evening at 5:30 pm in Yuba City, California. Yuba City is one of my favorite spots in the country. It is part of the Sacramento area – and so long as you ignore California state legislators – it has some of the most faithful and joyous Christians in the country. I guess that makes sense: to keep your faith in this leftist, statist spot you have to be strong, brave and true. Then on Saturday morning, July 30, I will talk in Salem, Oregon at 11 am. I have had some wonderful times in Portland over the years, but with the madness that has gripped some of our coastal areas, I am not even stopping in some of the cities I have loved. Last week I spoke in Redwood City, just about 30 miles south of San Francisco. The way I looked at it, we got all the atmosphere with none of the crime.
And in case you missed it, here is the podcast with one of the hardiest Catholics in all of California – David Daleiden – in the aftermath of the overturning of Roe v Wade. The worm is turning already, but the way before us is still far and snaky.
If communication goes out for any length of time, meet outside your local Church at 9 a.m. on Saturday mornings. Tell friends at Church now in case you can’t then. CORAC teams will be out looking for people to gather in and work with.
Find me on Gab at Charliej373 or at the CORAC group.
Find me on Twitter at @Charlie62394802
The Corps of Renewal and Charity (CORAC)
18208 Preston Rd., Ste. D9-552
Dallas, Texas 75252