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So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.—2 Thessalonians 2:15

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Charles Manson, Agent Smith and Earl Smith... at the beginning of the end of civilization? A meditation.

This post deliberately wanders through a series of ideas that, seemingly unrelated at certain points in the commentary, are in fact wed together by the audience's ability to make connections based on a post-post-modern mindset that is no longer trapped in the outmoded relativism of the late 20th Century. For those unable to break free of the new-fascism, don't bother reading any further.

There is an interesting interview by Jonathan Merritt (RNS) with Earl Smith, a protestant prison chaplain, at the Catholic Register entitled Q&A with Charles Manson’s prison chaplain.

During the course of that interview, the following question and answer were given that can illuminate much of the motivation at the compromised heart of the politically correct gender and sexual political movements of our day.
May 23, 2015 (Number sequencing added by Catholic Sacristan for organizational purposes)
Merritt: Tell us about your relationship with Charles Manson. What was your assessment of his spiritual state?
Smith: After each conversation I had with Charles Manson, I went away in awe of (1) his ability to capture a moment and claim it as his. Charles Manson was exactly what he sought to be. Charles wanted people to see him, hear his name and fear him. The problem is that Charles is (2) a little person who sees his height in terms of emotional and psychological dominance. Psychological warfare was his means of survival. (3) He once told me: “This is my world, and I decide when you do what you do. The trees, the stars, the grass, they all belong to me.” Charles was interested in the manipulation of people for the sole purpose of seeing if he could manipulate them.
A brief descent in madness.


A mad society does not know it is mad.—Stephen C. Meredith,
The Three Fausts (p. 44, First Things, June/July 2015).

Society's movement away from a foundation on natural law to relativistic theory has permitted a steady descent into a madness. Those entangled in the madness which they themselves have created tend to be paranoid, afraid to lose the power they have worked so hard to usurp.

The lords of many modern social-political (sexual, gender, identity) theories make themselves, even more than their sophistic theories, the measure of all things. When someone comes along who defies and opposes their shaky worldview by affirming the dignity of man, for starters, they demonize that person they cannot argue into submission. They see people of faith, for example, as the enemy.

It's a small world after all... its a mad world after all... .

The mad men are characterized by an insatiable need for approval. They typically feel entitled to have their theories blessed, approved and implemented by the majority even if the common good suffers.

You would have to be half mad to dream me up.—the (Mad) Hatter from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

The self entitled, the mad hatters they are, who dream themselves into existence, want to consume anything and everything they lack. They lack hope, love and faith, so they want to consume others who have what they sense, perhaps unconsciously, what they need. They hate themselves for lacking what others have. They envy others and covet the virtues they themselves have driven out from themselves... or have allowed to be driven out of themselves by others. They feed on others and attempt to draw life from unwilling hosts [Cue scary music—enter the vampire].

The Christian response to such madness is to follow Christ the Eternal Logos, the very Voice of reason, and to say with Saint Ignatius of Antioch
I am the wheat of God. I must be ground by the teeth of wild beasts to become the pure bread of Christ.
The thought of being ground up by badly behaving men and women is not likely a thought one rushes to embrace, for such an embrace can entail a great deal of discomfort, to say the least. The followers of Christ do not stand alone, however, because the Holy Spirit is with them.

Christ is the yeast of the bread of the martyrs. The martyr saints allow us to see the Bread of Heaven, for they themselves have allowed themselves to be yeasted by Christ. He, by the power of His Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, raises them up to witness to the Gospel in this life and raises them up to eternal beatitude in the next.

Many online commentators are suffering heat for merely capturing and displaying the wicked statements of worldly priests and other badly behaving "Catholics" who, abetting the adoption of worldly theories, rush to litigate in a feeble attempt to suppress speech which exposes their theological and pastoral malfeasance.

Manson as captured by Earl Smith

Unlike the Son of Man Who is Son of God and Who is the measure of authentic humanity, Charles Manson is the poster boy for the depravity and madness that inevitably results from an embrace of the godless ideology of relativism or one of its crazed offspring.
In truth, there are only two kinds of people; those who accept dogma and know it, and those who accept dogma and don't know it.”—G.K. Chesterton.
Every atheist is as much a religionist as anyone, with the exception they have replaced God with the man in the mirror.
Like Charles Manson, the proponents of contemporary relativistic socio-political sexual theor/y/ies possess
1) the ability to capture a moment and claim it as (theirs).
Few can deny the success with which groups like Planned Parenthood, NARAL and the like have co-opted the conversation and redefined language to make vice appear as virtue. These culture of death groups have co-opted social institutions, e.g., public schools and universities, to their advantage. A generation or more of public teachers (and many teachers in Catholic schools) have been almost fully indoctrinated into the new social norm: freedom = freedom from (responsibility and authority). The new found "freedom" is merely hedonism wrapped up in an annoying sense of entitlement, and it is slavery not authentic freedom. The colourful flag bearers of this contemporary form of slavery thirst for power, and specifically exploit the will against the intellect to dominate and profit from that domination.
Like Charles Manson, the proponents of contemporary relativistic socio-political sexual theor/y/ies are 
2) little (people) who see (their) height in terms of emotional and psychological dominance. Psychological warfare (is their) means of survival.
Certain political sexual movements have made the claim that their only goal is to achieve equality under the law. That goal as stated misrepresents the actions being taken in various high courts to marginalize rational dissent by those seeking to establish a new status quo. Institutions and individuals who want to live the Faith in public, a faith which requires the conservation of traditional marriage, for example, are routinely threatened by groups that demand not only acceptance but approval of lifestyles which people of faith cannot in good conscience embrace. Thus, the inalienable right to freedom of conscience is a threat to those who want to impose their sexual and gender ideologies on the majority. The great irony, of course, is that the call for tolerance is being used to marginalize people who do not share irrational ideologies being foisted upon them in the name of tolerance. The intolerance of the tolerant minority merely mocks justice and authentic freedom.
The degree to which certain groups attempt to bully others into submitting to a political agenda that promotes sexual licence, for example, is a measure of the insecurity of those who seek to dominate others purely by force. Instead of using reason to persuade, the gender ideologues demand that the state and courts coerce others into conformity. Little do the exponents of certain sexual and gender political theories realize that they are marginalizing inalienable rights and contributing to a deeper descent into fascism.
Like Charles Manson, the proponents of contemporary relativistic socio-political sexual theor/y/ies are usurpers and abusers of authority. Manson convinced others to kill for him. Now, corporations and special interest groups use government funding to carry out the work of marginalizing human life. The arrogance with which groups and individuals usurp legislative authority by exploiting the courts to further their immoral agendas is summarized in the declaration that...
(3) “This is (our) world, and (we) decide when you do what you do. The trees, the stars, the grass, they all belong to (us).”
Most modern relativistic theories inhibit relationships inter-human and human-divine. The rupture between man and God is not news. However, even though the news is well know, modern man has yet to recover the meaning of the sin/redemption narrative found in Genesis and throughout Holy Scripture.
Modern man is at war with himself and thus he is at war with nature. Relativists miss the icon—or is it more accurate to say 'idol'—of man's fall. The natural order, that is creation, is damaged.
Contrary to the charge typically levelled at religionists, i.e., that the Christian religion is about the domination of creation, the secular religionist is guilty by far of a faulty stewardship because his nature is fallen and he doesn't realize he is projecting his brokeness out into the natural world. Point of fact, the rupture between man and nature is man's doing.
Man's alienation from himself and the natural order is symptomatic of a fundamental rupture or disassociation created by sin. Is it any wonder that the secularist, bereft of a supernatural orientation, is prone to an exaggerated humanism which places man in tension with the environment? Christians respond that it is precisely because of man's sin that man is alienated from God and the natural world which God created good (Genesis 1, 2 and 3).
Is it not also curious that those who attack Catholics and other religionists claim that religion is the root of all environmental evil? They set up the straw man that human beings are overpopulating the planet and raping and polluting the environment to feed, clothe and entertain themselves. Rid the planet of human beings; problem solved, at least according to the anti-humanist mindset. Perhaps the advocates of population control and euthanasia should volunteer to be the first to leave the planet if they are so concerned that their presence is hurting the earth.
The heralds of the overpopulation apocalypse, however, are rarely eager to acknowledge responsibility for their own actions which constitute a threat to the environment and human well being, but they are willing to lie to protect themselves and to indict the innocent and to tell people of faith what to do and when to do it. They behave like the violent Agent Smith in the Matrix series. Smith, an anti-christ of sorts, demanded that "This is my world. My world!" He turned everyone into copies of himself. That's the way evil works. Evil can only survive by tempting others into evil. Otherwise, evil is sterile.
Evil has no being. Evil is a parasite. Christ overcomes the parasite by taking it (sin) in and destroying it by his death. Because He is God, He rises from the dead.
Neo overcame the man of sin when the evil Smith tried to make him into another copy. The Matrix isn't a perfect story from a Christian perspective, but the writers did get right to some extent the idea that Christ takes on sin and destroys it.
Whose world is it anyway?

The Lord Jesus responds to the worldly secularist by stating the following:
Now is the judgment of the world; now will the prince of the world be cast out.—St. John 12:31
I will no longer speak much with you, for the prince of the world is coming, and in me he has nothing. But He comes that the world may know that I love the Father and that I do as the Father has commended me.—St. John 14:30-31
I speak the truth to you; it is expedient for you that I depart. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go I will send Him to you and when He has come He will convict the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment; of sin, because they do not believe in me; of justice, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; and of judgment, because the prince of this world has already been judged.—St. John 16:7-11.

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We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, He draws us to Himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.