I have just published a new book called Letters to Sophie. This is a short (116 pages) easy to read tract containing 24 chapters, or “letters” addressed to a young woman living at some time in the future. The sub-title explains the book’s basic premise: Why God should matter in an age of deconstruction. Sophie, in her childlike innocence, knows nothing of those conflicts today which will inevitably form her future world and its ideologies. So how would you explain to this young woman of tomorrow the current battle for the soul of Western culture?
Th modern age has been a truly epic contest between the traditional values of Christianity and that creeping materialistic naturalism exemplified by Relativism. To date the relativists have consistently taken the offensive in the struggle while Christians by and large have been content to play defense. And while defense is an important element in any strategy, it doesn’t generally win wars or football games. Whether we like to admit it or not, the 21st century reality is that Christianity has already effectively lost the culture war, which might also explain why we now find ourselves in such a precarious political situation. What we are now seeing is simply the enemy’s “mopping up” operations. Continue reading
Nothing breaks my heart more than seeing the beaming, Godlike faces of young chidren being smothered under all those ubiquitous, loathesome masks. For even as vandals senselessly deface our historic monuments, parents and schools are actively defacing their own children, made in God’s own image, under the slimmest pretext of a viral threat. So perhaps one of the questions we should be asking today is this: “What constitutes a real threat?”
Growing up in the 1960s I well remember the threat of nuclear annihilation by the Soviets as our greatest fear. Yet in spite of that looming apocalyptic prospect, life still went on in its regular rhythm. Kids played, dinner bells rang, and we still had to get tomorrow’s homework done. The threat to world peace, though very real, was not an excuse to overturn one’s everyday existence. Society still functioned in its normal channels. Continue reading
If you’ve ever seen pictures of a Chinese festival you no doubt recall those huge dragons which can snake for several blocks as they wind through city streets. A closer look reveals hundreds of human feet underneath which propel the paper dragon along its course. (Sure, I know it’s really silk but we live in “virtual” times.) The people belonging to those feet remain hidden and anonymous so that all the spectators and frightened children see only see the dragon’s ferocious features.
The world today is being treated to another kind of paper dragon in the form of a coronavirus pandemic. This dragon is being contorted, manipulated, and directed by an unseen hoard of faceless bureaucrats and journalists whose sole aim seems to be capitalizing on the public’s fear and panic. Accompanying them is an administrative deep state which has by now become so entrenched that political leaders unquestioningly impose whatever draconian measures these mysterious figures may demand. It seems utterly surreal to watch formerly free societies buckle under their arbitrary, and often harmful, diktats like a bunch of new recruits in boot camp. Somehow I must have blinked when we adopted the North Korean rule of law but here we are, six months into a global boot camp with no end in sight. Continue reading
Will history remember this generation as the one which inherited freedom only to bequeath tyranny to succeeding generations? It increasingly appears that this may be the case. Our unfortunate legacy to the future seems to be an administrative “deep state” that reduces the free human spirit to servile conformity, not by brute force but through carefully planted threats and fears. A postulated health peril, grossly exaggerated and widely publicized, has now effectively paralyzed societies worldwide. The invisible menace induces countless people to passively tolerate the blanket suspension of their natural rights and liberties. The supposed enemy, a slightly altered yet otherwise ordinary virus, has been inflated, through tireless and repetitious propaganda by various agencies, into an existential threat to humanity itself. But what really seems to be in question is the survival of the human spirit, not the human race. Fear has become our true enemy, not some shadowy microbe, as I watch irrational fears reduce once freedom loving men and women into panicky animals sequestered in their holding pens. Continue reading
The recent disgraceful treatment of St. Junipero Serra’s memory reminds me of the main character in George Orwell’s prescient classic 1984 who worked in the Ministry of Truth. His particular job in that ministry was the constant revision of history to fit the official party line at any particular moment. The past was to be constantly readjusted so that it would always jive with the present political narrative. Welcome to our current Orwellian sequel, 2020. Today’s version of the Ministry of Truth goes by various names: Black Studies, Women’s Studies, or Native American Studies. These “truth ministries” are now a part of every major university. There, history is constantly being rewritten to fit a narrow, “victim – oppressor” narrative. Classroom study is further supplemented by disruptive activism (or virtual lab sessions) which includes pulling down or defacing monuments to any supposed “oppressor” from the past.
Fr. Serra, the great Franciscan missionary who founded nine missions up and down coastal California during the late 18th century, has been vilified and had statues vandalized and toppled amidst accusations of genocide and racism leveled against him. But the facts do not bear such charges out. Nearly 5,000 Christian Indian converts lived in relative security on mission lands because Fr. Serra fought diligently to protect them, not only from tribal enemies but also from Spanish civil authorities and colonists who, too often, cheated and brutalized the natives. Serra’s first sin, according to the identity politics view of history, was being a white European male who brought his Catholic faith to the indigenous peoples of California. He is charged with Christianizing pagan Indians, and for that grevious misdeed he will not be forgiven by modern day academics harboring deep hostility towards Christianity. Continue reading
This being my 101st official post (hooray!), I feel entitled to offer a humorous riposte to those people who glare and ask me why I’m not wearing a mask. Answer: “Because I’m better looking than you are.” But the real fact is that many of us simply refuse to drink the Kool Aid being poured down the public’s throat by Big Media that masks are critical to protecting everybody’s health. Lately even Dr. Tony Fauci has admitted that the masks are “largely symbolic,” a remark that the same media outlets don’t seem overly interested in reporting.
Face masks have by now taken on the role of “virtue signalling” as those of us who shun them have quickly learned. On more than one occasion now some perfect stranger has glanced my way with obvious scorn to elicit the peevish inquiry, “why aren’t you wearing your mask?” I suppose it’s because I have nothing to hide ~ after all, isn’t that the more common purpose of a mask, to hide one’s identity? As for any hard scientific evidence that, outside of hospital settings, masks reduce the risk of infection ~ there simply isn’t any. Continue reading
We have now entered into Phase II of the great Covid-19 social experiment on how social isolating, er… “distancing” combined with government mandated unemployment for 30 plus million workers can drive the more unstable members of society to unleash their brute animal instincts (also known as rioting). Pavlov would have loved to witness this party. It only takes a few months of non-stop fear mongering and media induced hysteria to turn people into frustrated, pent up animals.
As we have now entered into the riot phase of the grand Faucian experiment you are no longer required to social distance so long as you are hurling rocks and insults at the police or setting cars and buildings on fire. Arson is such a great release from two months on non-stop daytime TV! But do wear your mask because masks will keep you safe ~ not from the virus stupid ~ safe from being recognized or photographed by CATV and police cameras. One other positive benefit of the mask is that it hides at least parts of some very ugly mugs from full public view. Those people carrying looted big screen TVs out of Target are not exactly super-model types. Continue reading
What constitutes a true National Emergency? Lately it seems that faulty computer models emanating out of the NIH are sufficient justification for turning our daily lives into paroxysms of reactionary fear worthy of Chicken Little. All this induced anxiety seems to be the new normal as Big Data imposes its iron will upon every aspect of our formerly peaceful lives. We’ve become so comfortable with “virtual realities” that we are now apparently well primed for “virtual catastrophes” such as the corona virus pandemic. But have the American people by and large made a “Faucian” deal with the devil, willingly trading away their most valued freedoms for some illusory “safe place” to hide out in the current crisis? I fear that for today’s Americans the distinction between risk management and crisis management has become hopelessly blurred so that the faintest amount of risk is now posed as a definitive crisis. I would call such a trade-off not a crisis of public health but of public sanity.
The media has played no small part in this unfolding hoax. What they initially presented to us as a serious public health threat has turned out to be an entirely different thing: a crisis of public sanity. I say that because after eight long weeks of endless data pouring in it should be obvious by now to any unbiased observer that this novel corona virus, engineered in a Chinese bio-weapons lab, is hardly any more virulent than any other common flu strain. And yet people are wandering about looking like zombies with half their faces missing (behind a mask). They are forbidden to go to work, stand close enough to chat, or eat their lunch in a public outdoor space. They cannot attend Church services or visit their local pub or flower boutique, though they can still purchase “essential items such as liquor and marijuana! Continue reading
The surreal atmosphere of the present “crisis of fear” which is being relentlessly exploited by the media and its political allies brings into sharp focus the courageous reply of St. Peter and the apostles before the Sanhedrin as recorded in chapters 4 and 5 of Acts of the Apostles. “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God you must judge… We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 4:19; 5:29) Christians now find themselves in a similar situation with the sudden closing of churches by secular authorities, thus preventing us from fulfilling the divinely mandated obligation to worship God as a community.
This is no small matter because one’s duty to God actually supercedes any civil duties. Christ clearly drew this distinction when he said, “render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Mt 22:21) Therefore, obedience to Caesar does not excuse one from the far greater obligation of obedience to God. St. Thomas More expressed this relationship concisely and beautifully on the scaffold only moments before his martyrdom. “I die the king’s good servant, but God’s first.” Continue reading