|"Mind On Other Matters"/W.Clanton|
Civility in decline. Barbarism ascending.
A Naked Public Square?
The rise of unjust laws; the rise of fear.
In the previous century, film, print media and radio were fully exploited as propaganda tools of the state, not merely to "re-educate" the people but to enlist people to spy on each other and report incidents of any violation of national security. Which is to say, any speech or behaviour that threatens state control of minds and hearts was targeted as subversive. How often have we heard about North Korea's leaders executing people for behaviour that is "counter-revolutionary", activity such as reading the Bible?
Loss of Faith, Loss of Democracy
Borders and laws are like swiss cheese, and criminals know where all the holes are. More and more, our societies are beginning to resemble the violent and corrupt countries being abandoned by immigrants in their quest for a better life. People of virtue make societies safer: virtuous police officers, virtuous soldiers, virtuous politicians (yes, there are a few), virtuous teachers, etc. Americans are right to insist on limited government. The moment we believe that government can make a perfect world, we surrender our responsibility to participate in the creation of societies which promote the common good. Authentic justice and fairness in society depends on people raised by loving mothers and fathers to defend the inalienable dignity of every person from conception to natural death.
Destroy the Family, Destroy A Nation
The family, in Catholic thought, is the domestic church. Every family is like a church, a community that is born of love. The love of a man and a woman united in Holy Matrimony mirrors the love of the Holy Trinity. The devil will stop at nothing to destroy that which is holy. It should come as no surprise, then, that governments and militant groups attack the Church and insist that the Church's mission be restrained. The greatest threat to the atheistic secularist agenda is the family proposed by the Church: one mom and one dad, contraceptive free, and children raised in the Faith. The atheistic secularists are threatened by the Catholic Faith because it works, while their myopic view of man leads to dependance on the state and other false gods that only increase man's slavery to things less than himself: contraception, abortion, aberrant sexual behaviour which necessarily leads to diseases of the mind and body. In the words of Tolkien's King Théoden of Rohan to the evil Grima Wormtongue, Saruman's minion:
Théoden: Your leechcraft would have had me crawling on all fours like a beast!There is a leechcraft that mimics authentic virtue and attempts to push authentic virtue aside so that people, liberated from God's law, become prisoners chained to hedonism and materialism through their own and other people's lawlessness. That leechcraft is practiced by groups like Planned Parenthood (PP) which profits from the misery it and other lobbyists have created. PP has successfully conspired with governments to convince people to fear a loss of freedom and to purchase freedom by liberating themselves from the "tyranny" of responsibility. PP and atheistic feminists have waged a war against language that has emptied language of meaning, resulting in a redefinition of responsibility, tolerance and freedom. PP has appealed to the baser instincts in man to silence conscience and therefore destroy his freedom. The freedom PP proposes has a high price: the death of one's children; disease and death; and spiritual death. Tragically, far too many people have been willing to free themselves from their responsibilities by sacrificing their children on an altar of lies, greed and selfishness.
Remedy & Rejection
The Gospel inoculates hearts and minds against infection by ideologies that purport to free man and make him happy, ideologies which would turn people into beasts by stunting man's religious instinct for truth, which results in his being bound to the illusion that he can be happy if only he can control others (while avoiding the obligation to control himself). We cannot have minds liberated by the saving Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so saith the Christophobes. Thus, christians and the message of Christ are attacked in an attempt to purge societies of that thorn in the side of hedonism, materialism and entitlement—i.e., absolute objective truth. Unlike our wavering separated brethren who, having emancipated themselves from the Church's God-given and God-protected authority of the Magisterium, Catholics promote the unchanging message of the Gospel and the Truth, capital "T", that causes secularists and liberal religionists to go into a spittle-flecked nutty.
Ironically, as the voice of conscience has been stifled in man, as the inner moral law has been shouted down and suppressed, oppressive laws which claim to make society safer are on the rise. Unjust laws multiply in an attempt to correct behaviour, and not just behaviour but the way people think.
Christ is flogged, His sacred body beaten, torn and bloodied. He forgives his tormentors.
The Conversion of SaulBut Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting; but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul arose from the ground; and when his eyes were opened, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Anani′as. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Anani′as.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul; for behold, he is praying, and he has seen a man named Anani′as come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Anani′as answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to thy saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call upon thy name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Anani′as departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized, and took food and was strengthened.For several days he was with the disciples at Damascus. And in the synagogues immediately he proclaimed Jesus, saying, “He is the Son of God.” And all who heard him were amazed, and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called on this name? And he has come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests.” But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ. —Acts of the Apostles 9:1-22
Answering the Lady Galadriels' inquiry concerning the inclusion of the seemingly insignificant hobbit Bilbo Baggins in the quest to challenge evil, Gandalf speaks:
Galadriel: Why the Halfling?Gandalf: I do not know. Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay... small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps it is because I am afraid... and he gives me courage.