Making our stand
By Alisa Craddock
A few days ago a friend of mine sent me an email making its way around the web that was titled “The New Fashion Rage in Mug Shots.” I quickly located it by that title on the web, (I just have to share it with you). I had a good laugh over it, but it exquisitely illustrated a point I have pondered lately with some bitterness.
Do you remember that fantastic Stephen King novel that was made into a miniseries called The Stand? If you’re not familiar with it, let me give you the bones.
A deadly virus escapes from a lab, and spreads like wild fire throughout the country and the entire world, killing all but a small remnant of the population. Here in America, the survivors see in their dreams an ancient old black woman, Mother Abigail, who lives in a small, cabin next to a corn field in Nebraska, and she says in their dreams, “You come see me, you and all your friends.” They know her name, and they are drawn to her night after night in their dreams. As they encounter each other, and learn they are having the same dream, most embark on the journey, like salmon returning to the stream where they were spawned, somehow instinctively knowing where to go and how to get there. As they get nearer, they converge with each other in an ever-growing caravan.
Others choose a different path. They ally themselves with a handsome, laid back fellow who calls himself Randall Flagg, but who is, in reality, an imp of the devil. He draws people to himself also, not in the corn belt of the heartland, but to Las Vegas, symbolizing an American Babylon. Not all the people who go there are bad people. Some are just lost people who don’t believe in anything except humanity, and think to rebuild under Flagg’s leadership. Some are criminals—and they seem to be controlling things. Some are deviants. Some are crazy. All are misguided. Flagg has brought order (of the totalitarian variety) and has laid his plans, and so they follow him, some knowing what he is, some just because they want the power, some because their lack of faith gives them no other option, some because they don’t know what else to do, who else to follow.
And so the battle lines are drawn: The people in the north move down to Colorado, and establish a community there, and prepare for the battle that is to come with the people in Las Vegas. They are warned about the imp by Mother Abigail, and they know he is plotting their destruction. A judge, a retarded man, and a young woman are sent separately to be the eyes and ears of the people of the good community, so that they will bring news of what is happening and how to prepare. Four men are sent with no provisions but the clothes on their back into the lair of the lion, so to speak, to bear witness and to make their Stand. One falls by the way, one is shot while in custody. Two are left to suffer a kind of crucifixion, to be gibbeted as punishment and a warning.
But in that instant, the mighty hand of God comes down into the square. “Amazing Grace” the Witnesses say in rapturous amazement. Mother Abigail says “You did good, boys. Come on home.” And they say “Take us home, Mother” and the mighty hand of God explodes the bomb, which is seen by the surviving member of the team from a distance.
The just prevail. The unjust perish.
I could not help thinking of this grand story as I pondered the array of criminals, deviants, “victims”, atheists and pagans, the avaricious, the envious, the lustful, the lazy, the naïve, the misguided or misbegotten, and the just plain crooked, who have allied themselves with the Obama camp, who not only support the president, but whose constituency he aggressively seeks, and who represent, in some cases, the network of unelected, unaccountable (except to him) czars he has placed in power to carry out his agenda. Like Randall Flagg, he has gathered to himself the “worldly” element among us, and his plans are not charitable.
If you’re white, patriotic, and Christian, apparently, you are the enemy. If you’re a white male, after years of being demonized in our education system and films, you are now regarded generally as a pariah (unless you happen to agree that you’re a pariah, in which case you are acceptable, and may even be useful). If you are a patriot, you may be an “enemy of the state” because you are a threat to the complete Leftist domination that is planned for you. If you are a Christian, especially a Catholic, you are like the Jews in Hitler’s Germany—the cause of all the problems in our society, all the discord--even within your own political party, should you happen to be a Republican. The white males will be left out, the patriots will be detained and investigated, the Christians, well, this must be handled with more delicacy, because you can’t treat the just unjustly without drawing unwanted attention to yourself.
It is distressing that so many of our Jewish brothers and sisters and the organizations that speak for them seem oblivious to the reality that attacks on Catholicism and the Pope (including their own, such as those which occurred after his recent visit to Israel) are not unlike the kinds of attacks leveled against Jews prior to the Holocaust. I am reminded of the universal maxim (universal because every religion seems to have a version of it, but this one from Judaism) which says, “What is hateful to you, do not do to another.” We Christians say, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It’s the “bottom line” of charity. But what is happening to Catholics at the hands of some Jews is anything but charitable. The demonization of Jews led directly to a series of anti-Semitic laws, and then ultimately to the rounding up and murder of 6,000,000 Jews. The anti-Semitism which preceded the Holocaust created the hostile and suspicious climate in which the Holocaust was able to be perpetrated. Given the history that the Jews never cease reminding us of, and the anti-Jewish propaganda that led to it, (and the subsequent paranoia over any sin, even of omission, that might be regarded as anti-Semitic), one would think there’d be more empathy among Jews for Catholics (who are now the ones in the crosshairs of the secular world), especially after the heroic efforts of Pius XII who saved so many, and whose reputation is now being calumniated by the same Jews who try to portray the Church as evil.
Leftist Hollywood, which is rabidly secular, and has no small number of Jewish moguls, gays and gay sympathizers, abortion advocates, and communists (some all in one) keeps cranking out more and more anti-Catholic movies, Talk-show celebrities and comedians (The View, Penn and Teller, Bill Maher) keep publicly excoriating the Church, without having a clue what they’re talking about, I might add. But that doesn’t matter. Just denouncing the Church because it won’t bend on abortion and homosexuality serves the purpose, whether their denunciations have any basis in truth or not. The purpose is secularization.
The education system of the country also conditions the children for a secular worldview. They instill atheism and scorn for traditional values in young people who imagine themselves enlightened, “open-minded” “free thinkers”, but who are cookie cutter replicants of their Leftist instructors whose ideology they have been spoon fed. How can a child know how the world is meant to be when they are violated from cradle to credit card with ideology parading as virtue. One thinks of Orwell’s 1984 and the “Ministry of Love”, a torture room where you are brainwashed into loving Big Brother.
Until recently, the government (Federal and State more than local) have remained neutral in this issue (which is to say, they refused to defend Christianity as a public good which serves a societal interest, especially Catholicism, and have sat in silence while allowing an anti-Christian and especially an anti-Catholic sentiment to build through their quiet complicity, their atheistic “diversity” and “tolerance” behavioral programs, and the corruption of the airwaves with filth and political correctness. But the anti-Catholic agenda has recently received a stamp of government approval at the hands of the ever-reliable 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The case stemmed from a 2006 anti-Catholic resolution by the Board of Supervisors of the City of San Francisco, which referred to the Catholic Church as “hateful and discriminatory," "insulting and callous," and possessing “a level of insensitivity and ignorance which has seldom been encountered by this board…" because the Church refused to allow Catholic Charities in that city to give adoptive children to homosexual couples. The resolution described the Church as a “foreign country”, and accused her of meddling in the affairs of the city, and condemned the Vatican’s position that placing children with homosexual couples constituted a form of violence against them. (The violence, in most cases is spiritual and psychological, but is more often than is generally known, also physical and/or sexual abuse). The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for the City of San Francisco, saying that the resolution served a secular purpose. Let that sink in a moment. Because it speaks volumes that the court endorses bigotry because it serves a secular purpose.
How long, I wonder, before the Federal Government also sponsors and ratifies state-endorsed bigotry. Pres. Obama has already made it clear he intends that faith-based charities that receive federal money will be subject to federal anti-discrimination laws in their hiring of administrators for organizations like Catholic Charities. If the Church refuses to hire a practicing homosexual, will the Congress enact a resolution to condemn the Catholic Church for not bending on its moral precepts. The Catholic Church cannot and will not compromise. Nor is she meddling in the affairs of the city as the resolution stated—it is the other way around: The city is trying to force the Catholic Church to reject its own teachings. Otherwise, they would simply continue their own secular practice of placing children with gay couples, while allowing the Church to continue with its own practice of placing them with married couples. Gay couples wishing to adopt would simply go to the secular adoption services. But then, how many young mothers would give their children up for adoption if they thought their child might be placed with a homosexual couple? However people feel about letting homosexual persons live as they wish, most believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, and even more believe children should be raised by a mother and a father.
Other signs of the times are the effort in March by two (gay activist) legislators to interfere with the Catholic Church’s authority to govern itself. They introduced Bill #1098 to “revise the corporate governance provisions applicable to the Roman Catholic Church and provide for the investigation of the misappropriation of funds by religious corporations.” The bill tried to compel each parish to elect a lay-board of directors to run all parish functions, stripping the priest of all authority over his own parish. This is, of course, a blatant violation of literally all the provisions of the First Amendment. When the clergy alerted their parishioners, they came out in force in an organized rally, and the bill was withdrawn. So now some legislators want the Church to be penalized for supposedly violating the states lobbying laws. It’s like a demented wife beater who beats his wife, then beats her again for trying to defend herself.
Why, one might wonder, is the Church attracting so much attention, so many attacks, so much abuse? The Lord himself said it, “If they hate you, it’s because they hated me first.” And as in “The Stand”, the people of God, the people of life, are coalescing into one camp, the people of Confusion and Sin, the lovers of darkness and death, in the other. And not only in the secular world, but even within the Church. The letters of 83 bishops to the President of Notre Dame condemning his decision to invite Pres. Obama, the most pro-abortion president in history, to speak at that Catholic College had the effect also of exposing those who, by their silence, were shown to be sympathizers.
Is it a coincidence that Stephen King chose Boulder (perhaps representing The Rock upon which The Lord built his Church—the Faith, the firm foundation of Truth) as the place where the people of God would gather? I think not. Even now, the lines are being drawn. Because the sheep are being separated from the goats.
Alisa Craddock is a columnist and activist in the culture war, a convert to Catholicism, and describes herself as a Christian Libertarian. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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