An update on my piece on the inauguration of our nation’s second Catholic President and the reaction of America’s Catholic bishops. Yesterday, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, issued a statement noting that “as pastors, the nation’s bishops are given the duty of proclaiming the Gospel in all its truth and power, in season and out of season, even when that teaching is inconvenient or when the Gospel’s truths run contrary to the directions of the wider society and culture. So, I must point out that our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender. Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences.”
Archbishop Gomez’s statement is not the one I would have written, and it is unclear how many of his brother bishops have joined their voice to his. Indeed, some other bishops are criticizing him for it. Still, Archbishop Gomez deserves credit for pointing out, in language that is blunt for an American bishop, that our second Catholic President is opposed to the Church on matters of importance. Indeed, matters whose importance is “preeminent,’ as Archbishop Gomez’s statement also makes clear.
England was once a free country. If only the cops were as interested in stopping “Asian” grooming gangs from raping white British girls as they are in stopping innocent, law-abiding ladies from drinking coffee on a bench at the beach.
I am a Catholic, from a long line of Catholics. My eight great-grandparents came from five different countries on contemporary maps, and counted six different native tongues between them, but all except one were Catholics from birth, and the lone exception become a sincere and committed Catholic. Their actions show that they felt far more attachment to their Catholic faith than to the lands they left to come to America or to the languages they or their children chose not to pass on.
So I suppose I should feel at least some tribal pride at the inauguration of our second Catholic president. But I feel the precise opposite.
Joe Biden ran for and won the Presidency as an ardent champion of unrestricted abortion on demand. He has pledged to use the might of the federal government to coerce nuns to underwrite contraception, including what they regard as abortifacients, in violation of their conscience. He has welcomed the societal redefinition of marriage as a positive good, and advocated for transgenderism for second graders. In all these matters, he is contradicting clear Catholic teaching.
Yet he will be fully welcomed today by the great bulk of Catholic bishops, including the Cardinal Archbishop of Washington D. C., few of whom have said anything of note about Biden’s unstinting support for what the Church considers the unjustified taking of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives, year in, year out.
You have made your choice, your Excellencies. Just don’t expect the rest of us to pay much attention to your pronouncements on political matters from now on. If Joe Biden makes the cut, so do we all.
Was it for this That on that April day we stacked our arms Obedient to a soldier’s trust? To lie Ground by the heels of little men, Forever maimed, defeated, impugned?
—Donald Davidson, “Lee in the Mountains”
There are times when I feel as though I’ve awoken in a madhouse, a madhouse that cannot possibly be the country I was born into.
Following Donald Trump’s heroic news conference in New York the week of the Charlottesville riot, and his subsequent “tweet storm,” in which our president, in defending historical monuments, displayed more common sense and sanity than our media, political, academic and economic establishments are accustomed to, I could only conclude that to display sanity these days is an heroic act in itself. I walked away from the computer screen long enough to scan the bookcase in my son’s room and pulled from the shelf a volume I had treasured as a boy, a beautifully illustrated biography by Henry Steele Commager and Lynd Ward entitled America’s Robert E. Lee. I had often borrowed it from the library of my elementary school and had found a copy of it decades later in a used book store.
The book ends with Lee at Appomattox:
“So ended the Army of Northern Virginia—Lee’s army . . . As he sat astride Traveller his men crowded around him, many with tears streaming down their cheeks, not cheering, but saluting the leader who had never failed them. Then he turned, and rode off into history.”
Lee’s portrait hangs in my office. A boxed set of Douglas Southall Freeman’s monumental Pulitzer Prize winning, four volume biography, R.E. Lee stands atop my book case, a prize I happened upon on a trip long ago. Lee’s greatness was once acknowledged by Americans North and South. President Eisenhower described Lee as “one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation . . . Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his faith in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history.” Indeed, for decades, Lee has often been listed as one of the most important leaders in American history.
Lee fought his war for all the right reasons, as a war for independence, much like that fought by his father, “Light Horse Harry” Lee, a century earlier, and he fought with honor. His Army of Northern Virginia remains legendary in the history of American arms. In victory, he was magnanimous, in defeat, he called for reconciliation. The post war social compact upheld the honor of both sides. Lee and all who fought are an essential part of the American story.
And now the great man, who, unlike many others who have left their mark on history, was also a good man, along with practically all our monuments dedicated to heroes of an often tragic past are under assault by the vilest of Bolshevism’s bestial epigones. They hate the South because they hate America, for that is the point. They hate Lee because they hate honor and despise the Christian faith. Their fanaticism is a sign of the demonic.
As James Jatras has pointed out, the aim of the fanatics and their enablers is nothing short of achieving the “death of a nation,” replacing it with “a new, borderless, multiethnic, multilingual, multi-religious, multi-sexual, ahistorical, fake ‘America’ now aborning in violence and lawlessness”:
He who says A must say B. When one accepts demonization of part of our history and placing those who defend it beyond the pale of legitimate discourse, one should hardly be surprised when the arrogant fury of the victors is unleashed. That takes two forms: the nihilist street thugs of “Antifa” and “Black Lives Matter,” and the authorities (both governmental and media, a/k/a the Swamp) who confer on them immunity for violent, criminal behavior. The former are the shock troops of the latter.
No rational arguments can penetrate the ideologically thickened skulls of fanatics. Others have already noted the hypocrisy, the Orwellian distortions of reality (not only about what happened at Charlottesville, but about what President Trump said concerning the violence there), and the mendacity and hatefulness of those who would destroy monuments in Taliban-like fashion, erasing our country along with our freedoms and civilization itself. George Neumayr has commented in The American Spectator that he wonders “what entitles this generation to speak so confidently about past evils given its inability to recognize present ones,” including being “awash in the blood of millions of aborted children.” That’s something I’ve often wondered myself. How can these people sit in judgement on heroes of the past as they tolerate even a trade in body parts from aborted babies? The blogger “Roman Dmowski” has made a similar point:
“We live in a country with over a million abortions a year and gay marriage. Is that somehow better than the generation that fought World War II and also didn’t want school bussing? I don’t think so.”
As the Left and, indeed, the establishment as a whole, continues to hyperventilate over the election of Donald Trump, Charlottesville has given them a pre-text for what Mr. Neumayr has called “an orgy of self-righteousness,” including toppled statues, vandalism, and a call to assassinate the president, an orgy that the “stupid party” (aka “the GOP”) seems eager to participate in:
“Naturally, ‘conservatives’ and members of the stupid party are joining the lynch mob instead of stopping it. By the way, what exactly do ‘conservatives’ conserve anymore? It is difficult to say, except maybe their seats on Meet the Press and Morning Joe. Turn on the TV and you are likely to hear some ‘conservative’ rebuking Trump for his ban on transgendered troops, extolling the glories of gay marriage, and casting Robert E. Lee as a traitorous dirtbag. Rich Lowry wants to see the Confederate monuments ‘mothballed.’
. . . The press had grown accustomed to Republican presidents who suffered under what might be called a conservative inferiority complex. Trump, fortunately, isn’t touched by it and is willing to call the self-appointed ruling class on its propaganda and lies.”
Post-modern people lack the tragic view. They fail to grasp that there are many problems in this world that cannot be fixed, that utopia is a satanic temptation, and that all human societies are flawed. Slavery was not unique to America or to whites or to the South, blacks sold and owned slaves, and the ever present tensions between races and the “gaps” between them cannot be wholly avoided, or closed by acts of legislation or political fanaticism.
David French, Rod Dreher, and other Never Trump Christians have been quite vocal of late bemoaning Donald Trump and those Christians tacky enough to have voted for him and insensitive enough not to have repented of being a “Trumpist.” Being an unapologetic supporter of Trump is an unforgivable sin in the eyes of both the secular left and the Never Trump right. It also precludes an invitation to be part of the “conversation,” the contours of which are set by the left and are elastic enough to encompass “conservatives” who denounce Trumpism, and all its works, and all its empty promises.
So, the Christian Never Trumpers are denouncing away, declaiming that Trump accomplished nothing and indeed made things worse, ushering in a leftist persecution that never would have come otherwise. Let’s leave aside for a moment the fact that the secular left had already begun using state power to attack the autonomy of Christian organizations under Obama, and also all the positive developments made possible because Trump controlled, however fitfully, the levers of power of the administrative state for four years.
The incontestable fact remains: Trump appointed one third of the Supreme Court and a roughly comparable percentage of the federal judiciary as a whole. If the Never Trumpers had had their way, those positions would have been filled by Hillary Clinton. Those judges, and their support of the Constitution, are the strongest barrier there is to leftist tyranny.
So, fair is fair: if Trump voters are to be damned for all they’ve done, Never Trump Christians should act as if they had their way and Democrats had the opportunity to fill all the judicial vacancies filled by Donald Trump. They should voluntarily submit to any edict advancing secularism without recourse to the federal judiciary or reliance upon its decisions.
If they aren’t willing to do this, they should shut up. Or at least have the decency to stop all the virtue signaling at the expense of their co-religionists who were, and are, more clear-headed about the realities of political power than they are.
Whatever happened during the mostly peaceful protest at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, impeaching President Trump on January 13 wasn’t completely unnecessary. Just seven days remained in his term.
Here’s why they impeached him: to set the stage for criminalizing dissent.
The story out of the House vote on the preposterous resolution that passed with aid and comfort of enemy Republicans was not that Trump was impeached. The story was this: They’re coming after anyone who opposes the Biden regime. As ABC’s political director said, the country must be cleansed of Trump supporters.
For some time now, the powers-that-be have denied the American ethnos, what we call “the American Remnant,” any positive identity. They acknowledge only a negative identity for our people: We are slandered as a pack of “racists” who, even without being conscious of it, supposedly cause stress, anxiety, and even premature death among “people of color.” The left has fetishized blacks as eternal victims, granting them sacred status. The message of Black Lives Matter is that black lives count more than white ones. Stating that all lives matter is a grievous sin in the post-American landscape of 2021.
The reasons blacks have been accorded special status and weaponized by the enemies of the American Remnant have deep roots. For now, suffice to say that the left has used blacks in white guilt propaganda as a battering ram to break down resistance among our people to globalism, which is projected by those who despise us as the end of History with a capital “H.” Both the neo-liberals and hard left agree on that.
In my lifetime, the key historical moment in undermining our people’s sense of positive identity was the “civil rights revolution” of the 1960s. Integration, particularly of our schools, was a key aim of that revolution, and it facilitated the erosion of the American Remnant’s sense of positive identity.
In the past, pundits on the right spent a lot of time and energy attacking relativism, the idea that there is no objective right or wrong, truth or untruth, only varying perspectives, varying situations. In the post-modern world, the language and symbols that express those various perspectives are instruments of power.
The left was not entirely wrong about that.
Take the teaching of history in integrated schools, which pointed out a flaw in the mainstream right’s argument.
At one time, American students learned about a pantheon of heroes that included a number of slaveholders and certainly some hard-nosed, even ruthless men. Now, none of them can pass muster under the ideological precepts of today’s globalists and their hard left shock troops. Iconoclastic attacks on monuments to our heroes bear this out.
In permitting the left to rewrite history textbooks, what the right forgot was that education was not merely about passing tests or mastering “the material.” Education originated as a means of socializing members of tribe and nation. It was a means of transmitting a heritage and confirming a positive identity. Under the old view of education, the fact that Andrew Jackson owned slaves was not the most important thing about him. What was most important was “Old Hickory’s” heroism in battle, and his role in the building of our country. Now, it appears that Jackson will eventually be replaced by Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.
Something similar can be said about any number of American heroes from Washington to Charles Lindbergh. When whites and blacks were taught in segregated schools, there was no controversy over how such heroes were portrayed. Then came the civil rights revolution. The inculcation of white guilt, which focused on putative American failings, followed. Given the circumstances, it was inevitable that American history would eventually be portrayed through the prism of the so-called “1619 Project.”
Under the new rules of integrated, anti-American education, the only point that really mattered about Washington was that he owned black slaves, while Lindbergh was tagged as an anti-Semitic isolationist.
White guilt was effective in beginning the transformation of how the children of the American ethnos were taught and what they were taught. The old ways did not last long in an integrated school environment. They could not.
Integration meant that whites had to give up their positive heritage. The very act of forcing the two races together was meant as an acknowledgement of wrongdoing by whites. Blacks were cast as the victims, whites the sinners asking for forgiveness.
Two narratives, one white, one black, could not co-exist. One would prevail. As in all black-white mutual relationships since the 1960s, it is whites who are expected to yield—and widely prevalent “virtue signaling” means that many whites happily do so.
I do not begrudge blacks their heroes. Malcom X was a proud black man who called on his people to stand up for themselves. MLK was the inspirational leader of the civil rights revolution. There are other aspects of the character of both men black people would rather ignore.
That’s the way of the world. People need their heroes.
We should remember that as we consider how our people might survive and preserve their heritage in what will likely be an increasingly hostile future.
It is clear that to many Republican politicians and conservative scribblers, the 75,000,000 of us who voted for Donald Trump are every bit as deplorable as he is. That is why they are so eager to impeach Trump days before he leaves office, without giving any thought at all to what the millions who voted for Trump want. There would be no need to remove Trump from office mere days before his term expires if they trusted us.
But nothing, right now, is more important to the politicians and pundits who would be forced to hold real jobs if not for us than to literally disenfranchise us: to make sure we never have the chance to vote again for Donald Trump. In their view, we made the wrong decision before, and they don’t trust us not to make the wrong decision again. Hillary Clinton told us what she really thought of us with her mouth; they tell us what they really think of us by their deeds.
Remember this the next time one asks for your vote or your money.