Back at the founding of our republic John Adams famously prophesied that the Constitution was designed to govern a religious and moral people, emphatically adding that it was not fit for any other kind. Now, some two plus centuries down the pike his observation is being proven out in real time. Wokeism is plaguing and eating away at the foundations of American society. Confusion reigns in the public square because the American people, too many of whom have fallen away from religion altogether, are being relentlessly gaslighted by their own leaders and public officials, greedy to obtain ever more power and control over our lives, our families, even our inmost thoughts.
This unpleasant fact was forcefully brought home to me recently as I watched a televised interview featuring a state senator from a wealthy suburban Detroit district. Identifying herself as a typical educated white Christian female she went on to rail against those parents who were upset by their five and six year old children being exposed to LGBT sexual ideology in the public schools. She was utterly dismissive of the notion that any kind of sexual content presented to kindergartners might either be age inappropriate or something rightly reserved to parents to discuss with their own children. Instead she turned the table on the parents insisting that they were essentially hateful bigots for wanting to shield their innocent offspring from sexual indoctrination wrapped in the fig leaves of “education” and “equity.”
Such social dichotomy demonstrates just how out of touch the leadership class has become with the ordinary people they supposedly represent (and whose tax dollars they willfully extort to finance the promotion of their own agendas). And parents who dare question any plank of current woke orthodoxy are immediately tagged as deniers, extremists, racists, sexists, or homophobes. Fifty years ago when I was in high school parents and educators; Catholics, Jews, and Protestants alike all shared a general consensus regarding basic core values: being truthful, right vs. wrong, the Ten Commandments, etc. Agreement on what constituted basic human decency and responsibility was a part of our common patrimony. But as religion and morality were increasingly called into question in the wake of the 60s sexual revolution more and more people fell away from religious habits. The net result of those trends has been the very thing that President Adams feared, the inability to maintain a system of limited, accountable, and unobtrusive self-government. Suddenly it was those who were morally indifferent or religiously agnostic who were setting new standards and making up rules designed to exclude, or at least marginalize, those individuals who still insisted upon traditional values. Society basically inverted its entire structure to accommodate moral bankruptcy and vice while demonizing virtue. But as Scripture clearly warns us, “Woe to those who call good evil and evil good,” which is what wokeness is all about, an inversion of the truth.
Admittedly, to some extent all societies have found it necessary to tolerate some degree of vice because, in the practical sense, one can never entirely eradicate habits rooted so deeply in our fallen human nature. But over the past 30 years society has gone from discreet tolerance to the open acceptance and celebration of moral depravity. Gay culture (i.e a profusion of drugs and promiscuity) is increasingly portrayed as normal “healthy” mainstream culture to the point of being openly sanctioned and protected by our political institutions. To some extent a “look the other way” or better yet “embrace” mentality has even infected religious bodies, evidenced by the Church itself being caught up in numerous sexual scandals. And to cover their own involvement many clerics downplay any scriptural condemnations of homosexuality. To oppose or even question the legitimacy of any kind of sexual perversion nowadays is to be vociferously denounced as a “fanatic,” and “enemy of democracy,” or a “hateful radical fascist.” And yet the Bible notes that nothing is more offensive in the eyes of God than such “unnatural vice.”
If you have never read anything from the Dialogue of Catherine of Sienna you are depriving yourself of one of the great classics of Western spirituality. I highly recommend this work which is a series of revelations by God the Father directly to this great mystic saint in the 14th century. One section of that Dialogue reveals that even 600 years ago the Church was struggling with the same human problems which plague it today. Even then the Father was very distraught with his ministers who celebrated the Eucharist with their souls defiled by sexual sins. He calls them devils and worse than devils. How do you suppose he feels about many of today’s clergy and laity who so casually receive Communion unworthily and without benefit of Confession? God the Father tells Catherine bluntly: “Is this the kind of purity I demand of my ministers when they go to celebrate at the altar? This is the sort of purity they bring. They get up in the morning with their minds contaminated and their bodies corrupt. After spending the night bedded down with deadly sin they go to celebrate (Mass)! Oh tabernacles of the devil!
“I am letting you know, dearest daughter, that in this sacrament I demand of you and them the greatest purity that is possible to humanity in this life… But they do just the opposite to me, for they come to this mystery wholly impure – and not simply with the sort of impurity and weakness to which you are all naturally inclined because of your weak nature. No, these wretches not only do not restrain their weakness; they make it worse by committing that cursed unnatural sin. And if they were blind and stupid, with the light of their understanding extinguished, they do not recognize what miserable filth they are wallowing in. The stench reaches even up to me, supreme Purity, and is so hateful to me that for this sin alone five cities were struck down by my divine judgment. (Sodom, Gommorah, and three other cities of the Dead Sea plain See Gen. 19:24) For my divine justice could no longer tolerate it, so despicable to me is this abominable sin. But the stench displeases not only me, as I have said, but the devils as well, those very devils these wretches have made their masters. It is not the sinfulness that displeases them, for they like nothing that is good. But because their nature was angelic, that nature still loathes the sight of that horrendous sin actually being committed. It is true that it was they who shot the poisoned arrows of concupiscence, but when it comes to the sinful act itself they run away.”
I was stunned when I first read this passage considering that God the Father himself is telling St. Catherine that even the devils find the sin of sodomy so repugnant that they cannot bear to look upon it. How offensive is it then to God himself when his own ministers debase themselves in such impurity. The Father bemoans to Catherine how widespread this odious sin had become even in 14th century Italy. But it becomes especially loathsome to God when it is his very own clergy who blindly fall into it. “So you see, dearest daughter, how abominable this sin is to me in any person. Now imagine how much more hateful it is in those I have called to live celibately. Among these celibates who have been lifted up above the world, some are religious and some are trees planted as my ministers in the mystic body of holy Church. You cannot imagine how much more I despise this sin in these celibates – even more than in ordinary people of the world. They are lamps set on a lampstand, to be stewards of me the true Sun, giving off the light of virtue and of holy and honorable living. But instead they minister in darksomeness.” (From The Dialogue, The Mystic Body of Holy Church section, #124)
This is a 600 year old record of Divine hatred, not for his creatures but for a sin so abominable that even the devils are loath to look upon it. Does this make God the Father, who is all good and therefore despises whatever harms his own beloved creatures, a hater? Of sin yes, because of the indescribable harm it does to the sinner whom he so greatly loves. Because God hates any sin in the same degree that he loves the sinner, the greater his love is the more despicable the sin becomes to in his eyes. Sin is a great ugly scab which mars the beauty of the soul to which it attaches itself. Left untreated (through sincere contrition and sacramental Confession) it multiplies and weighs down that soul until it finally sinks its bearer into the depths. Ask yourself then how it is possible that so many woke clerics in the Church today such as Fr. James Martin or the many German bishops happy to bless homosexual unions can square their positions with God’s personal revelations to such a great saint and recognized doctor of the Church as Catherine of Sienna? Should we cancel God because his views don’t fit the modern outlook? First ask yourself, on the great day of judgment whose opinions and views will more likely prevail, God’s or Fr. Martin’s?
Wokeness is a one way ticket, not to greater freedom but to the enslavement of a free society, as John Adams feared might one day happen. The past two years have abundantly demonstrated this sad reality. But wokeness, as a foil for grave sins, has far more reaching eternal implications, the breaking down and capture of one’s soul by Satan. For in the end only two options are left on the table, the glorious freedom of heaven or the self-imposed bondage to be experienced forever in hell.
Francis J. Pierson + a.m.d.g.