Feb 27, 2021

The Despicable, Despotic "Consensus"

Mr. C and I watched Eric Weinstein interviewed about the Intellectual Dark Web last night. I highly recommend it. 

I'm not in full agreement with "progressive" Weinstein about everything. I think it's been clearly demonstrated that the only way to promote human flourishing (make real "progress") is to acknowledge broken human nature and try to tame it and direct it toward the good. There's nothing better for a) defining "the good" objectively (on the premise that there is objective truth and good) and b) inculcating virtues of chastity, prudence, self-control. . . than religion, and in particular, Judaism and Christianity. Weinstein seems to think human flourishing is dependent on technological and scientific advancement. As a mathematician and physicist, he would. But, I'd argue that's demonstrably untrue. Read Alexander Zubatov's We Are Living in the Ruins of Our Civilization

But, one thing Mr. C and I agree adamantly, passionately, vociferously with Weinstein about is the utter civilizational destructiveness of the "consensus," group-think orthodoxy that's taken hold of our society. As Weinstein says, "consensus" is all about incentives, and more importantly, disincentives to openly expressing novel ideas -- many of which turn out to be exactly the kind of innovative thinking that advance the common good. At minimum, even wrong ideas can stimulate the kind of conversations that lead to good and true ideas. But, only if we're allowed to have those conversations. 

While Mr. C and I are just now becoming fully aware of the strength of our aversion to the "consensus," we realize it started some time ago with the "scientific consensus" on Climate Change. The phrase always rubbed us the wrong way, given that "consensus" is not how science works. It doesn't matter what "most scientists" think if they're wrong. In the pursuit of scientific truth, a hypothesis is proposed and tested. If the hypothesis fails to pan out under scrutiny, it is adjusted and tested again. If testing seems to confirm the hypothesis, and repeated testing by independent parties comports with earlier positive results, it may become a theory over time. But, the inquiry never ends. The hypothesis/theory is either repeatedly challenged under new conditions or is disproven and scrapped. Climate Change "science" is a mess due to its untestability (complexity and expansive time spans) and corruption by political actors (ahem, Al Gore).  Computer models are not data, and computer models which fail to be predictive like the ones we have now, are only useful in that they show scientists they're on the wrong track. But try telling that to "believers" in climate "science."

So why has "consensus" thinking become so prevalent in our society? It's only recently infected the scientific community by comparison to public policy, economics, and politics. Think how long the progressive policies of FDR have been mistakenly credited with helping Americans through the Great Depression when the opposite is true. Progressive policies contributed to and prolonged the Great Depression. But that consensus has been held by people going back to my Greatest Generation parents and is still widely believed today. Same with LBJ's Great Society legislation, which decimated the black family and continues to damage black culture and the rural poor in America to this day. 

"Capitalism has failed" says AOC and her crony capitalist allies at Amazon, Google, and Twitter. Really? Failed who? But, that's the growing consensus, leading to America-privileged, young, white fascists in the streets threatening to burn it all down. Half the country has Marxist sympathies, if not professing outright allegiance to the most murderous ideology of the 20th century, evidence be damned -- or, at least, ignored or memory-holed. 

But, I haven't answered the question "why?" It's apparent to me the "consensus" is just one more bullying cudgel in the Left's arsenal. It's intended to shut up dissenters and stifle discussion. Because the Left isn't interested in persuasion -- it's only aim is power, which it currently has in abundance, God help us. It's what they mean when they say "our democracy" (is under threat from Trump and his supporters in dissent). It's what Hillary meant by her campaign motto, "stronger together" (subtext: join or die). It's why Michael Anton (and the rest of us election skeptics) is being persecuted for not agreeing to the 2020 election being "free and fair," despite acquiescing to the Biden presidency. Shut up. Shut up! Shut up!! 

This will not end well for any of us, even those who currently support the Left's effort to declare independent thinkers "domestic terrorists." The Left is insatiable in its quest for power, and ambiguity in defining its opponents will eventually lead to former allies becoming enemies of the state. It's impossible to keep up with the demands to conform when the definitions are constantly changing. They'll all become summer soldiers and sunshine patriots to the would-be tyrants of the Left sooner or later. 

The rest of us shouldn't be surprised by any of this, though. We know where we stand right now in relation to the lefty Elect, and our position is precarious, my friends. We're very near the precipice.


For an extra dose of doom and gloom, here's the Weekend Long Read at American Greatness:



Feb 22, 2021

The Imprudence of Joining the Mob

I know of no Trump supporter who believes President Trump is a paragon of virtue, despite all the accusations of a Trumpist cult of personality. I'm sure there are people who love him for his Honey Badger ferocity toward the globalist, status quo swamp creatures and are therefore forgiving of much of his boorishness. I might even be one of them. Does that make me a cultist? I appreciate the man, but I don't worship him, so I think not. However, this post is not a defense of Trump from Trump critics Left and Right. It's a criticism of conservatives who foolishly feed the Left's narrative and are therefore a drag on the efforts against the corporate fascist takeover of the country, at best, or are complicit in it at worst.  

None of us like to have our actions described as foolish or a betrayal to the cause. But, conservatives, particularly religious ones, have a realistic take on broken human nature, and understand that we all have failings which mature and virtuous people have to fess up to at times. Three of the most important words strung together in the English language are, "I was wrong." This understanding of the human condition is the very ground of the separation of- and limitations on- the powers of government enshrined in the American Constitution that conservatives claim to love so dearly.

Which is why Ben Sasse, Mitt Romney, and Liz Cheney among others were so very wrong to align with Democrats on the impeachment and removal of former President Donald Trump. In fact, anytime a conservative finds himself in agreement with the Left on any issue, he should reconsider his position or finally admit he's changed his affiliation, a la Arianna Huffington and Joe Scarborough. I can think of nothing which leftists have gotten right, from solutions to racism (personal virtue) to social justice to immigration to abortion to the minimum wage to climate change to free speech to gun rights to foreign policy. . . There's nothing notable leftists and conservatives can or should agree on. 

There's nothing leftists have admitted as failures of their ideas nor is there any destructive policy for which they've suffered political consequences either, no matter how damaging to people they're ostensibly trying to help. Thomas Sowell identifies the root of this obstinate denial of reality as the enormous "ego-stakes" of intellectuals, whose "end product is ideas." And as Fr. Longenecker says, you know the People of the Lie by their refusal to ever admit they're wrong and by their masterful non-apology apologies. Think Andrew Cuomo's "I'm sorry people were lead to believe I did anything wrong" with regard to nursing home COVID deaths in New York. Shamelessness is a feature of the Left, not a bug. 

Now, I understand Decorum Conservatives' discomfort with Donald Trump's rude New York manner and his difficulty (ahem, understatement alert) in fitting into the "presidential" mold. I was one of them, too, when this whole thing began. And I know of the DC's distaste for MAGA Trump supporters' reluctance to ever criticize the man. But, I think we have reached the point where it must be acknowledged Donald Trump received a tsunami of criticism, repeatedly daily -- hourly, minutely! -- from the People of the Lie. You could even say the frenzy of criticism -- obscuring anything he ever accomplished, which was a lot -- was/is an ugly mob of sanctimony and deceit (Russia Hoax, Charlottesville, fascist dictator, Capitol "insurrection," . . .). And it's never wise to join a mob, even one with which you agree ideologically. Just ask the Capitol trespassers. 

Speaking of which, have you ever known an insurrection to take place within the velvet rope lines of a Capitol building? Did those "insurrectionists" look like your typical MAGA patriots? Did you see Viking Man occupying the dais and think to yourself, "Yep, there's yer standard Trump supporter in action?" My engineering background makes me a "show-me" skeptic about most things. But, witnessing the repeated lies about Donald Trump (plus "climate change," Bill and Hillary's innocence, "systemic" racism, failures of capitalism, America as a 1619 slave state, "peaceful" BLM/antifa protests . . .) leads me to believe nothing presented by the corporate fascists in media, academia, Big Tech, and government upon first (second or third. . .) inspection. After the last five plus years (decades) of leftwing lies aimed at grasping at power, and largely succeeding, I'm in agreement with Jesse Kelly that The First Step Towards Righting America is Refusing to Believe the Left About Anything.

It's finally coming out that the "five people murdered" at the Capitol on January 6 stemming from the "deadly insurrection" for which Donald Trump was impeached weren't actually "murdered." Surprise! Even the Capitol Hill cop who died (cause of death remains unannounced, suspiciously) was confirmed not to have died from blunt force trauma (the fire extinguisher lie). You would think it significant that he died the next day, after texting with his brother the night of the 6th. But, that little factoid has been obscured, too. 

I'm not defending what happened that day as a good thing or even morally acceptable. I am saying the reaction to it, like the whole of Trump's presidency, was hysterical and is being used as a cudgel to beat President Trump and his 74 million voters into submission. I'm also saying, given the events of the 2020 summer of lawlessness, and the corporate fascists' tacit if not outright support for it, the Capitol trespass was totally predictable. Whenever tens of thousands of "mostly peaceful" protestors take to the streets, there will always be a few lunatics who make everything worse. And I'll add, it could have been a lot worse (and would have been if it had been Antifa's protest). After all, it's not like four Puerto Rican separatists stormed the Capitol and shot up a bunch of congressmen, as happened in 1954. The only gun I know of that was discharged was the law enforcement officer's pistol that killed Ashli Babbitt, tragically, but not without justification. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Which brings me finally to the politics of prudence and Rand Paul, as discussed by Jeremy Carl's excellent, In Undermining Trump, GOP Senators Rejected the Politics of Prudence. Would you have guessed Senator Paul, who's been an outspoken supporter of the President at key moments and who has literally been attacked in the streets of DC for it, would have a lower "Trump Score" (538's measure) than Ben Sasse, based on his voting record? Have you considered also that Rand Paul got more of what he wanted from President Trump policy-wise (troops out of Afghanistan, tax and healthcare reform, . . .)? I'm libertarian-sympathetic, but not a Rand Paul libertarian (I don't think), in that I'm not a free-market fundamentalist and I don't think all wars are unjust, but rather I'm concerned with how they're conducted and what the end goal is. But, the wisdom of Rand Paul in knowing his enemy (the Left) and refusing to kneecap his party's leader makes me admire him and want to take a closer look at his positions. I have no use for the "Sanctimonious Seven." As Carl says,

Contra the NeverTrump Lilliputians, getting along with Trump required sacrificing neither one’s integrity nor one’s vote. It simply required using political intelligence and prudence—understanding where, and how, one could push on an issue without feeding the ravenous Anti-Trump media, which is always happy to trade a patina of temporary “respectability” (witness their recent fawning coverage of Cheney) to any politician willing to undermine the core interests of GOP voters.

Trump supporters should get a good laugh out of Liz Cheney being the new media darling.  We might if she and the other useful idiots weren't so damaging to the cause, pissing away our liberties for their sanctimonious virtue signaling. I repeat, it's never wise to join the mob -- particularly if it's a lefty one. 

Feb 5, 2021

'Immortal Combat' Addendum: Reflections on the Gospel of Mark

 A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark                                                      6:7-13

Jesus summoned the Twelve two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick -- no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them." So they went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them. 

The Gospel of the Lord


The following is a meditation by Sister Ruth Burrows, O.C.D. She is a Carmelite nun at Quidenham in Norfolk, England. I found it well-aligned with Fr. Longenecker's book

Nothing for the Journey but Jesus

Deep in us all is the will to power, the will to control the world, to control people in order to serve our own ends. Our own ends may seem modest indeed, little more than self-preservation; nevertheless the ego standing behind this modest need has a rapacity far outstripping its claim. It is a mistake to think it is only powerful personalities that are involved. The drive may be more obvious in them but it is there every bit as much in the weak. . . The way to God for all of us requires on our part an unselfish generosity in the efforts we must make towards it in accepting the work of God, who reaches down to our entrails to wrest us from our selfish selves.

In reality these two aspects intertwine. God is always working to bring us to an awareness and acceptance of our poverty, which is the essential condition of our being able to receive him, and the petty frustrations, the restriction, the humiliations, the occasions when we are made to feel poignantly and distressingly hedged around, not in control of the world, not even in control of that tiny corner of it we are supposed to call our own, are his chosen channel into the soul. It is the one who has learned to bow his head, to accept the yoke, who knows what freedom is. 

No one who has read the Gospel seriously can think that this counsel of Jesus means a passive, cowardly "I'm-a-door-mat-walk-over-e" attitude. He always remains our example. He accepted as none other ever can the essential poverty of the human condition and the working out of that in everyday life. . . Only living faith can see this. It means really embracing Jesus, really believing in the Son of Man.


From the Magnificat magazine, Thursday, February 4, 2021

Why No One is Afraid of Joe Biden's "Catholicism" -- Except Faithful Catholics

Have you ever wondered why there's no outcry about Joe Biden's "Catholicism" by non-Catholics and, in fact, his administration touts his strong "faith" at the daily press briefing whenever a Catholic outlet asks about a deeply anti-Catholic policy? "He goes to Mass regularly with his family! Why, he even attended Mass this very morning!!" Right before he signed the EO to force every American to pay for abortions at home and overseas, including his fellow Catholics. Formal cooperation with evil much there Joe?

Kamala Harris had a big problem with Trump's nominee to the federal bench who was a member of the "extremist" Catholic group, Knights of Columbus. Of course, the Knights of Columbus is a global charitable organization founded to serve the working poor and immigrants. It is probably one of the largest, most genuinely beneficial charitable institutions in the world. But, it is anathema to VP Harris.

When Amy Coney Barrett was nominated to the Supreme Court, Democrats characterized her as one of The Handmaids Tale's oppressed breeders, in addition to being a racial imperialist for adopting two black children from Haiti. Barrett's excellence as a wife and mother, a professor of law, and a jurist could not overcome her insufferable orthodox adherence to a faith that teaches the dignity and infinite preciousness of every human life from conception to natural death, the biological reality that He made them man and woman, the radical self-donation of man to woman and woman to man in holy matrimony (without withholding anything, including the God-given faculty of reproduction), and the Real Presence -- body, blood, soul, and divinity -- of Jesus Christ in Eucharist -- unlike Joe Biden's "Catholicism." 

I don't know Joe Biden's interior life; only God knows that. But, his public life would seem to indicate he's a modernist heretic -- by Catholic standards. What is modernism? It's the Mother of all Heresies. It is rooted in subjectivism. It's a close cousin of relativism and the postmodernism which absolutely denies the existence of absolute truth, unironically. And, like feminism (which is really leftism dressed up in a vulva costume), it finds its home in leftism. Its basic tenet is that there's no immutable truth. The one "ism" it assuredly isn't is Catholicism. No, the princes and principalities of this world aren't threatened by Joe Biden's "Catholicism" in the least.

But, Joe Biden isn't the modernist heretic that distresses me and other adherent Catholics the most. It's the modernist bishops and priests that make us want to rend our garments. And I have one in particular in mind: Joe Biden's bishop, Cardinal Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington DC.  

Even some Catholics might wish to believe our objection to Gregory is political in nature. He was an outspoken critic of President Trump and aligned himself with Joe Biden early and often. I'm not inclined to review the specifics, but I will say I object to his behaviors on these matters based on prudence and justice, it's true.

Others might believe we find Gregory repulsive because of his personal corruption and his association with the disgustingly wicked, now laicized former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was Gregory's mentor. I am disgusted by any prelate who would spend diocesan funds to build himself an extravagant palace and then have to sell it after the public outcry. [I'm equally disgusted that Pope Francis would elevate such a man to Cardinal after the facts were known to enhance his own "diversity" virtue by appointing the "first" African-American Cardinal, when Pope Francis overlooked the opportunity to elevate the eminently worthy (but too conservative?) "first" Native-American Archbishop Charles Chaput)].

But, what I find horrifying about Gregory is his unconcern with Joe Biden's soul as his appointed shepherd. It is literally a priest's vocation to guide souls to heaven. It should be his avocation, too. Something he enjoys doing. At best, Gregory appears to be indifferent to the state of Joe Biden's soul. He offers him Communion knowing that receiving Eucharist in a state of mortal sin (like formally cooperating in the grave evil of abortion) is eating judgment upon oneself. Gregory balances his supposed disagreement with Biden on abortion with his agreement with him on open borders immigration. As if denying people unfettered access to our country is in any way the moral equivalent of murdering nearly a million unborn babies every year. It's particularly repulsive that a black man would make light of abortion given that Planned Parenthood has killed more blacks than any other organization in American history. It's a genocide.

If Gregory were just lukewarm it would be bad enough, and worthy of him being spat out. But, it's much worse than that. He's bringing scandal to the Church:

Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor's tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense. Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion. Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to 'social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible.' 

Cardinal Gregory not only refuses to counsel Joe Biden on the gravity of his scandalous behavior and formal cooperation with evil (with the implied risk of excommunication), he invites him to receive Eucharist -- the Source and Summit of the Faith. It's prelates like Gregory who will be the demise of the American Church (Christ promised the gates of hell would not prevail, but He didn't promise to preserve the Church in the West, and by all appearances, He isn't saving Christendom from itself). It's Cardinal Gregory who has succumbed to modernism and its lefty politics. Joe Biden's isn't the only soul Cardinal Gregory should be worried about. He should look to his own as well.

Jesus came with a dividing sword. There are those of the Kingdom and those of the world. Joe Biden and his "shepherd" have joined the world, and that's why no one of the world is afraid of Biden's "Catholicism." Only faithful Christians are scandalized by it. 

Feb 2, 2021

Why I Reject the Doctrine of Sustainability, and You and the Church Should Too

Back in May [2015], I noticed an article on CRISIS magazine’s website that I knew I wouldn’t have the
proper time to devote to reading. It was titled, What Does “Sustainability” Really Mean?, so I added it to my menu bar for later perusal. It was worth the wait.

“Sustainability” is one of those watchwords which has found common usage across the political spectrum. On the left, it typically raises concerns about the environmental impact of humans using limited natural resources like water and fossil fuels. On the right, there’s more worry over the sustainability of a government or economic system burdened by $18 trillion of debt. Having read William M. Briggs’s excellent article hasn’t changed my mind about the latter, but it has given me pause about the concept of sustainability generally. There’s just so much we simply don’t (and can’t) know.

What are the known unknowns? Well, for starters, how much of the finite resource is currently available? Then, what will be the demand for the currently desired effect in the future (somewhat population dependent — another unknown)? Finally, will there be a replacement technology developed or some other factor which changes the rate of usage? Here’s how Briggs puts it:
The calculation is complicated. To decide if a non-renewable resource is unsustainable depends on how much of it there is, the changing rate of its use, and the number of people expected in the future. It also hinges on whether the non-renewable will remain non-renewable, that a substitute for the non-renewable will not be discovered, and that the effect caused by use of the non-renewable will always be desired. We must know all these things, else the point at which we run out of the non-renewable will be unknown. If we do not know all these things, it is wrong to claim use of a resource is “unsustainable.”

Ah, problems with limited information and an inability to predict the future duly noted. But, how does this relate to the Catholic Church, you may ask?

People. The Church’s concern is with people and their relationship to the Divine — something any fair-minded observer of the environmental sustainability movement will admit is incompatible with its goal of “minimal impact” on Pure Nature. In the New Manicheanism of environmentalism, people are the problem of evil. All would be right with Nature if it weren’t for dirty, rotten, filthy, wasteful people. Ptui!

It’s somewhat shocking then to learn that the Pontifical Academy for Science (PAS) has used the term “sustainable population” unironically. By doing so, it accepts the false premise that people and nature are separate with opposing interests, and it calls into question the PAS’s dedication to the idea of just Who Is the Author of Life. Whose side are they on anyway?!

This is where Malthus is usually invoked. But Briggs is helpful in explaining how we get Malthus wrong:

It is not that more people are encroaching upon more food sources, it is that more food leads to more people. Plentiful, cheap, and nutritious food caused, or rather allowed, the increase. Think: if there is not enough food, there cannot be an increase in population! It follows there cannot be “too many” people.

Briggs further explains there cannot be too many people in either the scientific or eschatological sense. He quotes Father Schall:

The root of the “sustainability mission,” I suspect, is the practical denial of eternal life. “Sustainability” is an alternative to lost transcendence. It is what happens when suddenly no future but the present one exists. The only “future” of mankind is an on-going planet orbiting down the ages. It always does the exact same, boring thing. This view is actually a form of despair. Our end is the preservation of the race down the ages, not personal eternal life. 
“Sustainability” as it is commonly used by environmentalists is not just incompatible with the mission and ethic of the Church, it’s incompatible with the truth. Which is really a way of saying the same thing.

Pope Francis uses the word “sustainable” in its various forms over two dozen times in his environmental encyclical Laudato Si. This is a mistake. Sustainability is a false doctrine which should be rejected by the Church.

It will take me at least another six months to figure out if conservatives should also reject the idea of economic/fiscal sustainability. A little help?


Originally published on Ricochet on October 16, 2015 under the title, Why the Doctrine of Sustainability is Anti-Catholic and the Pope Should Reject It.

Feb 1, 2021

‘Immortal Combat,’ Triumph of the Secret Son: One Priest’s Insight into 2020 (Part 3)

Fr. Longenecker managed to give me a whole new perspective on the Gospel texts by explaining the frequently-told narrative of the secret son conquering evil by his hiddenness, his humility, and, ultimately, his self-sacrifice. Recall the many stories where the “secret son” triumphs in this way: Luke Skywalker, Clark Kent, Frodo Baggins, Peter Parker, . . .even Neo of The Matrix and Dorothy of Oz and Kansas. 

Of course, the comparisons with Jesus are limited since He is the Divine Son disguised as the son of man. Fr. Longecker explains that we so often get Jesus wrong because we look at what He did (and end up fashioning Him to look a lot like us with all our good intentions), rather than who He is. And as Fr. L says, if you really want to know who someone is, the question to ask is, “what would they die for?”

Jesus died to take away the Sin of the World described in the earlier chapters of Fr. Longenecker’s book (and in my previous posts). As John the Baptist says, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” The Sin of the World being our (misuse of) power, the resultant pride and prejudice, and Resentment, Rivalry, and Revenge. Fr. L says, “He was the One who was to come. The Suffering Servant. The scapegoat. The Passover Lamb. . . He was Isaac’s substituted ram. He came into this world to be the wounded warrior. . . .He came secretly and silently, and kept the secret silence of His mission right up until the final week of His life.”

Think of all the times in the Gospels when Jesus would heal the sick, cast out demons, and even undergo the Transfiguration, and would ask the witnesses not to tell anyone. He spoke often of His “hour” not yet come. Until reading this book, I was always mystified that He’d speak of this to His mother before performing His first miracle at the wedding feast of Cana. What “hour” was He referring to if it wasn’t His public ministry and accompanying miracles? Why so secret about who He is (Is)? Well, as it turns out, when you’re fighting ultimate evil -- sin and death -- you’d best do it undercover until you’re ready for the Big Reveal. In Jesus’ case, it would occur in His Passion and Resurrection. But, He had to die in order to triumph over Death. It’s what He lived for. It’s who He Is.

Given who He Is, what should our imitation of Christ look like? Nothing like Antifa and BLM, that’s for sure! Think of the many great saints in their hidden labors: the hermits hiding in the desert or mountainside caves devoting their lives to prayer; the priests consumed with provision of the sacraments to poor sinners, and the nuns serving the materially poor and sick; the laborers in the field laying down their lives for the Kingdom -- “the harvest is great and the laborers are few.” Even Old Testament saints who became famous in salvation history started out in secret. Moses was hidden in the rushes of the Nile as an infant and, even though he became a Prince of Egypt, he ended up a shepherd whose real mission began with an encounter with the Burning Bush. Joseph, the favored son of Jacob, was sold into slavery by his brothers and was presumed dead until his family discovered he’d found favor with pharaoh (and more importantly, God) and was providentially positioned to save them from famine. 

The examples are too numerous to cite (and God’s greatest creation deserves a post of her own), but for us the message is clear:

“To engage in the battle, we will not trumpet our plans or complain about the evil in the world or the Church. We will not organize activists, publish papers, or plan a great campaign. To start, we will roll up our sleeves and do what we can with what we have, where we are. [Saint Theresa of Calcutta’s “do what’s in front of you."]

We will go incognito. We will be princes of the kingdom disguised as paupers -- God’s secret agents in the world. This is how we will fit into His battle plan.”

What does it mean to “walk in the Way of the Lamb?” In the faith in which the “central image” is of the “crucified man?” “Because the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus demolishes the Sin of the World from the inside out, the Church keeps the image of that profound and astounding victory as her central focus.” Living according to the Law of Self-giving means “giving our lives as a secret and small sacrifice.” When we live in, with, and through Christ, we can be assured that every authentic prayer and good work is part of His triumph over evil.

To engage effectively in Immortal Combat, our daily prayer should be, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, Living Lamb of God, have mercy on me, a sinner! Here I am, standing before You. Just as I am, without one plea, O Lamb of God, I come.” 

And why is this effective? Because “faith” is ultimately more than trying hard to convince oneself of something incredible, or assenting intellectually to certain doctrines, or trusting in God’s protection and provision, although it’s those things, too. But, it is through repentance -- admitting our brokenness and need for redemption -- that power, pride, prejudice, Resentment, Rivalry, and Revenge are destroyed. It’s what Christ did on the Cross by becoming the Sin of the World in our place. We imitate Him by laying down our lives in repentance and love. 

Fr. L describes the ten Swords of the Spirit a Christian is given for the fight in this Immortal Combat, which I will briefly review:

  1. Sacraments: the seven Sacraments are “outward signs instituted by Christ for imparting grace.” Christ came to establish a Church and the ordained ministers of that Church have as their vocation the duty and the privilege of sacrificial service to the faithful. In the case of marriage, sacrificial service is to our spouses and families. This is how we participate in the Cross and resurrection of Christ.

  2. Sacred Scripture: Fr. L encourages us to read the Bible daily and memorize Scripture, “for the words of Sacred Scripture are powerful weapons in the spiritual battle." “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people and set them free. "

  3. Small: Be small and hidden, for only those like little children will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Be small as a mustard seed, because smallness makes us authentically who we are. And by becoming who God made us to be, we become powerful.

  4. Secret: Fr. L says the real action takes place in secret, even though the Church has a very visible, public presence. “This secret life is the true life of the Christian warrior. It is there, in secret, that we draw closer to the Lord Jesus. It is in contemplation and the mystery of the Mass that we come to identify with the Crucified and so become living conduits of Christ’s victory in the world.” This is a winning strategy because Satan doesn’t “do” secret. He can’t fathom humility.

  5. Sacrifice: Satan is also baffled by the Law of Self Sacrifice. “When we live out the Faith in a practical, sacrificial way we are living out the victory of the Cross, and each action of self-sacrifice, no matter how small is one more stroke of the sword of sacrifice in the everlasting battle."

  6. Simplicity: Fr. L says simplicity is a form of honesty. “Simplicity of speech allows no lies.” And, “simplicity of life is the art of loving all things according to their worth.” "The saint is not an extraordinary person, but an ordinary person who has become all that God created them to be.”

  7. Steadfast: “Nothing great was ever accomplished quickly.” “What is required of us is patience, hard work, and the ability to never give up. Ever.” “Being steadfast in the midst of hardship, disappointment, and failure is the mark of a saint. This is the sign of what the Church calls ‘heroic virtue.’” 

  8. Silence: The faculty of speech is given for expressing truth and reason. When no one is listening (for instance, in discourse with a committed leftist), the answer is silence. Silence is also the means of contemplative prayer and “abiding in the truth of Jesus Christ who went to the Cross mute as a lamb to the slaughter.”.

  9. Supernatural: Immortal Combat is supernatural by nature -- a fight with principalities and powers of the world. We need to keep this in mind. We should remember, therefore, that “we can do nothing by our own strength,” but only through grace."

  10. Suffering: One of my favorite stories of Pope Saint John Paul the Great was when he was working his way down a reception line of young priests, one of whom had a broken ankle in a cast. He asked the Holy Father to pray for him in his suffering, upon which JPII thunked him on the head and said, “Don’t waste your suffering.” Fr. L says, “it is in suffering that we are most fully unified with the Crucified.” It is only through Jesus that we find meaning in our suffering -- for the redemption of the whole world.

The central division between the secular humanist Left and the religious Right is this: the Left is full of self-righteousness (they are as gods, deciding right and wrong and imposing their "moral" authority on us) and is therefore undeterred in the exercise of raw power over others. The activism we saw in the streets in the summer of 2020 and the unapologetic hypocrisy of the Democrats now in power is because they're so very convinced they're right and it's up to them to fix the world -- to immanentize the eschaton. The religious Right believes the world is only improved when we fix ourselves first -- when we submit to a Higher Moral Authority. These two worldviews are utterly incompatible, and the Left is currently exercising all manner of power over us, which leftists simply are incapable of recognizing as persecution of innocents.

The good news is Truth and Charity win out in the end. The Light has come into the world, and darkness shall not overcome it. Keep the faith.

UPDATE: Adding this 8.5 minute video of Jordan Peterson and Dennis Prager in which they agree with me about the right/left difference.