On David, Goliath and Adequate Slingshots
(The Remnant, March 31, 2006)I recently saw David engaged in battle with the Philistines, and not in a dream but for real. Unfortunately, the Goliath confronted by this David, unlike his counterpart in the Old Testament, emerged from what ought to have been his rout miraculously unscathed. How could he have snatched victory from defeat? And what, if anything, does his triumph say about the value of the slingshot employed by the champion of the Israelites?
The David whom I observed in action was of the Allen White variety, that great traditionalist standard-bearer who teaches Shakespeare at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. His battlefield was the rotunda of the Low Library at Columbia University in New York City on the evening of March 2, 2006. Grounds for conflict were offered through the good offices of “The Kraft Family Fund for Interfaith and Intercultural Awareness” in a panel discussion entitled “Is Religion Political?”
Goliath lumbered onto the field of honor in the three-fold form of a female Anglican bishop, a special human rights envoy of the Bush Administration (Human rights? Bush?), and a Barnard College professor of religion. The two prongs of David's slingshot were Revelation and Reason. I sat in the front row, hoping to enjoy the spectacle of this cherished friend and defender of soul and body pummeling the heathen giant into the dust without getting any pebbles in my own eyes.
Rewarded my hopes were, as teach Goliath a lesson he did, at least according to all my admittedly traditional logical standards. David White confessed straightforwardly to believing that his was the True Faith, and that one element of this True Faith was the teaching that its lessons were essential to the health of a social order which had the power to assist or hinder man's path to eternal salvation. He argued that reason itself showed nature that it needed a supernatural life jacket in order to survive, and that it was irrational to refuse such an aid simply because it was tossed down from a higher realm.
In consequence, he concluded that the rational Catholic man could not help but seek to influence the political sphere. Failure to do so would proclaim a totally schizophrenic separation of Reason and Faith, of earthly and supernatural life, and a passive acceptance by thinking believers of their inevitable subjection to harmful anti-religious social forces. Moreover, being the man from Annapolis whom we Remnant readers all know and love, the good doctor delivered his rigorously coherent message with real, engaging rhetorical style.
In short, as far as I was concerned, he came, he saw, and he conquered. Many spectators attending the post-combat reception apparently shared my judgment as well, treating David like Othello returned to Cyprus after soundly trouncing the Turks. “Boy, did you steal the show!” some of the regular attendees at such functions boomed. “I haven't learned this much about my own Faith in decades!” a woman chimed in. “Could you send me a reading list for the future?” a young man sincerely requested. Goliath seemed to be hopelessly down for the count.
But, alas, we inhabit a land where the cooperation of active Faith and probing Reason is prohibited from having its logical consequences; where a David like ours is simply not going to be permitted to win the day, no matter how well he aims his slingshot. Certainly Goliath spared no efforts in making this clear to him and to the audience at large from the very onset of the skirmish. I cannot recall how many times I heard him/them lay down the usual emasculating ground rules in their customary mantra-like form during the entire two hour long program.
The three panelists regularly reminded everyone that all forms of belief were as free as eagles to soar in the United States, and as no where else in the world at any other time in human history. They would, of course, have said the same thing about philosophy, art, music, literature and greyhound racing or pizza twirling had these topics been at the center of discussion. Yes, they admitted, religion had legitimate political interests, and believers were completely at liberty to influence the public sphere in this best of all possible societies. So long, that is to say, as they voluntarily submitted to one painless set of all too familiar conditions: those imposed by “the Canons of American democracy, pluralism and civility”, backed by “the Genius and Will of the Founding Fathers”.
Now the problem with this incomparably easy yoke and delightfully light burden, is, as Dr. White made abundantly clear, that bending to such dogmatic canons and laws, supported with reference to the mystic achievement and personal desires of a handful of American historical figures, makes soaring on distinctly Catholic eagles' wings an utter impossibility. In fact, it makes soaring of any kind disliked by late eighteenth century philosophes, planters, merchants and their subsequent admirers a hopeless dream. That was driven home during the Columbia session merely by the fact that the lady bishop and the religion professor, while mouthing the usual praise of pluralist diversity, could not, in the long run, really conceive of religion except under two forms. One was the “good religion” of individual believers capable of breaking through the chains attached by church or synagogue and treating the national Canon Law as bible, pope and God instead. The second form of religion basically swallowed up all seriously organized belief systems, lumped together as a single historical force-institutional Religion with a capital “R”. There were few distinctions to be discerned in discussion of the interaction of faith and politics rising out of this second authoritarian sewer. Druids, the hidden Imam, disciples of the Amida Buddha, Cotton Mather and St. Thomas Aquinas—all could be expected to foist their superstitious whims on society in one, unvarying and unacceptable “theocratic” fashion.
Perhaps someone else attending the panel session might object here that the third member of the troika, the human rights envoy of the Bush Administration, spoke of organized religion and religious influence with greater nuance than his colleagues. Yes, it was indeed the case that he differed in his contention that structured denominations could still be “good”, even if they were active politically for other causes than abolitionist, feminist, pro-choice and gay ones. But whence came this distinction? Perhaps his stand was the result of placing the canon dictating democracy or pluralism higher up in the hierarchy of values than that which ordained a civility firmly prohibiting expression of divisive viewpoints.
Perhaps it was due to a recognition of the Administration's need to cater to a diverse set of lobbies delivering it many needed votes. It was not, however, based upon a vision of society rooted in those solid Catholic principles, respectful of both nature and the supernatural, which guide the Roman Church's relationship to politics in a way that favors the objectively right and condemns the objectively wrong. His apparent willingness to treat pro-torture evangelicals as an understandable religious pressure group in a pluralist society seemed to indicate as much to me.
Maybe I have become too sensitive to the transformation of religion into that “sanctimonious nationalism” whose triumph Dr. White quoted T.S. Eliot as lamenting everywhere in the modern West. Still, I think that Goliath III also failed to root religious political influence in anything that could make the Catholic position truly soar; that he, too, would wholeheartedly reject Catholic political action if it looked like it just might succeed in giving anti-Christian democratic and pluralist desires the thrashing they deserved.
In any case, the obvious divisions on the panel pointed to Goliath's inability to establish any unified criteria for understanding what precisely was demanded of “good religion” under American Canon Law.
This exasperated our David, a true Doctor of Thinkology, shaped by the philosophy of Greece and Rome as well as the Faith of Holy Mother the Church. Hence, his refusal to be dragged into the evening's more specific “religion in politics” discussions, such as the one regarding the permissibility of teaching Intelligent Design, where the dogmatists of Democracy slugged it out with the ideologues of Pluralism over which axioms of Civility should count most in the life of a free society. Hence, Dr. White's call for a much more basic debate on how to learn to read, write, and study the roots of the whole western understanding of the relationship of God and man from scratch all over again. If only this were done, one could sense him itching to say, perhaps Goliath would rediscover Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle? Or the principle of non-contradiction? Or logic? Or the balanced guidelines to Church-State relations laid down by a Leo XIII as opposed to the truly theocratic vision of the Massachusetts Bay Colony? And thus finally give the discussion a truly firm intellectual diving board from which to leap into the sea of practical detail?
Of all the panel participants, it was the professor of religion who seemed most openly astonished by the fact that David was not playing by the holy ground rules of the ancient sacred crypts of Philadelphia. Like the Roman judge who stopped up his ears rather than hear Christian criticism of the imperial cult, he appeared utterly incapable of conceiving that anyone could have a complaint about “The System” as such. Failure to live up to The System's promise, well, that was alright. But The System itself? What else could guide people, especially now that Communism was dead? Augury? Poking with a stick in the entrails of a sheep? Reading tea leaves? Flipping a coin? How had David stumbled into such a bizarre position? In any case, the fact that the man from Annapolis had indeed been led down the wicked path marked Harmonization of Reason, Faith and Politics probably helped inspire this panelist's call for a much more militant program of public education: one that would forever prevent the recurrence of similar independent and uncanonical thinking in the future.
Still, the professor may have regretted making his strong feelings publicly known. After all, who could possibly want a knock-down, drag-out battle with such a likeable navy guy? Hence, after once asking Dr. White if the two of them really inhabited the same universe, he dealt with David's intolerable suggestion of an alternative to The System by means of the possibly subconscious tactic also taken by his co-panelists. This strategy was a bloodless Americanist version of a Stalinist liquidation. David's dangerously sacrilegious and un-Founderish arguments were to be defused not by shooting him or sending him to Siberia, but by blotting him out of the picture as much as the Old Guard was excised from photographs of the original entourage of Lenin; by politely refusing to recognize that he had said anything disturbing in the first place; even by very courteously acting as though he were not physically present on the stage with respectably orthodox Americanists at all. It would be tempting to watch the film taken of the panelists and the public's subsequent exchange with them. Maybe he has disappeared from that as well. Computers can achieve such results so easily these days.
Questions and No Answers
Eager for a little excitement, I opted to risk pebbles in the eye after all by bringing up the validity of the ground rules once again during the question-and-answer session. Why, I asked, was the Founders' will more authoritative than anyone else's? Mine, for instance? Or, much more importantly, that of other pagan gods who also had little fires burning before their statues in the capital cities of different lands? What if I did not think much of their genius, and actually found them, shall we say, a little insipid and provincial? And where did the canons of American democracy, pluralism and civility come from in the first place? Were they just…there, like innate ideas? Could they really never, ever, ever be subjected to any investigation at all? What if I, like Dr. White, thought that my Reason led me to realize the need for my Faith, and that the two, acting in tandem, trumped all their dicta? What, in short, if I were part of the Right to Catholic Life movement and not a Pro-Founder's Choice man?
The Seventh Seal had been opened. There was silence in the heavens. Once again, the second time in the same evening, the suggestion of an alternative to The System had been suggested. Dr. White's disease was clearly infectious. Surely some worried pluralist in the audience immediately ran to the library stacks to see if Catcher in the Rye had been seized and burned already. There was no way that my query was going to be accurately addressed. I got a friendly smile, a pleasant response to an issue I had no recollection of addressing, and was then liquidated, on the spot, lickety-split, just like the good doctor on the stage. Both David and I had now been spliced from the Kraft Family album.
Not that either of us was unfamiliar with this strategy. Traditionalists face it all the time. As Enemies of the People we know that we have no right to exist and take part in the banquet of life even if we are aware that we are around and munching at the hors d'oeuvres along with everyone else. This is why bishops mistake our petitions for props to shore up wobbly table legs; why progressive laymen stare blankly past us as we pass them the pepper; why ex-trads who think that liquidation is the ticket to finally “making it” with the conservative big shots in the room turn their backs on reactionaries of our ilk and make believe that they haven't a clue as to who we are and how we got in. Who can tell? Maybe sinners can learn from the liquidators and try to liquidate God on Judgment Day? Think of the divisiveness and unwanted unpleasantness which they could thereby avoid!
But wait. What about all those admirers toasting our man on the panel in the reception room after the slaughter? Obviously, they still saw David standing there with his slingshot, and triumphing in the bargain. In fact, they even saw me next to him and downed a glass or two at my side to prove it. But when I questioned the bedazzled fans regarding what they had indeed garnered from Dr. White's teaching, the results were startling. One of those who insisted that he had stolen the show placed a message in his Catholic mouth that could have been uttered by the Deist Benjamin Franklin. The woman who appreciated what he had revealed regarding the Faith explained that he was the first person to demonstrate clearly to her what an open and tolerant religion Catholicism truly was. And the young fellow who wanted a reading list shared with me his desire to use it to obtain a deeper appreciation of the freedoms that had made The System the envy of the Milky Way. I looked at David more carefully. Had he really become James Madison? Teilhard de Chardin? Yankee Doodle Dandy? Nope. Same old David. One of those generic religious bullies, like St. Augustine, the Mahdi, a Shinto priest or Zoroaster. Goliath had indeed won after all. I consoled myself by belting back another schluck of merlot, just as my fellow theocrats, Bin Laden and Carrie Nation, would have done.
Making Sense of it AllBut these are merely the basic facts of the evening. How does one ultimately explain them all: the silence, the liquidation, the enthusiastic transformation of black into white and up into down guaranteeing Goliath's victory? There is a simple answer to that question. They were all vital, aspects of a successful defense mechanism preventing the democratic, pluralist and people-friendly cover of a System manipulated by minority elites from being shot square in the eye by the pebbles from David's slingshot. Let us examine this machinery in more detail.
Small, powerful, single-minded minorities have often found that democracy can be a useful plaything. It allows them to mobilize the energy of careless majorities for the protection of their own narrow self-interests. Through fraud, corrupted elites and ideologically-blinded revolutionary parties have grasped how to create and maintain a public impression of responding to a democratic public opinion that does not exist or is even violently hostile to their wishes. Since the energy coming from real popular support is always a highly attractive commodity, however, the perpetrators of this swindle have worked regularly to re-educate the population to learn to desire what, in fact, they alone seek. Insofar as they are not successful in such “consciousness-raising”, the distortion and reshaping process can go on indefinitely, causing an ever greater gap between a fraudulently proclaimed popular will and the real thing. Insofar as their labors are victorious, and the voice of democracy does bend to such offensive brainwashing, an entire population can come to praise its tormentors as beneficent liberators and repress the very memory of its rape and subsequent lobotomy.
Modern game-playing with democracy goes back to the machinations of King Philip the Fair of France against Pope Boniface VIII in the late 1200's. It was Philip's advisors, disciples of a soulless legalism based on Machtpolitik, who discovered how specially prepared “popular assemblies” could be used to convince Frenchmen that the People were the outraged initiators and grateful admirers of what were really cynical statist maneuvers against the Church and the long-term best interests of the nation. Similar democratic tricks were again appealed to by Marsilius of Padua in his arguments in favor of a universal Emperor in the 1300's. Marsilius wished the masses to give public witness to their desire for a ruler who, in reality, would compel them to offer this “voluntary” testimony. He was not bothered by the obvious political lie at the heart of the operation because he was a power worshipping rhetorician motivated by an heretical contempt for true human dignity and a sophist's love for whatever “works”.
Marsilius' democratic hoo-ha was taken up in the sixteenth century anew. With good reason, too, for the Reformation Era was characterized by a yin-yang movement between reforming preachers and municipal councils, princes and kings who wished to “respond” to their subjects' desires by foisting upon them changes which the population had not anticipated, which it did not understand, which in most cases it bitterly lamented, and which it needed to be actively pressured to adore.
Phony democracy was taken up yet again by that strange alliance of eighteenth century Jansenists and secularists which built the modern Press, discovering as it did so how to invent causes célèbres (for example, the idea that Louis XV was kidnapping children in order to have a daily bath in their blood) to create a “public opinion” which could be exploited for its own goals. Rousseau and his spiritual disciples were its next proponents, all of them convinced that even one natural, “virtuous” individual alone could be transfigured into the true spokesman for the unnaturally superstitious, worm-like and silent masses.
This provided the grounds for endless charismatic figures and the parties founded by them to proclaim themselves the “vanguards” of their mute and unwilling victims. The most recent flip on the democratic con game has been that fabricated by the liberation theologians of our own time, both Marxist and Capitalist. All claim to know exactly what a free People needs and what it ought to want. All then beat the thick-headed popular skull into confessing its hidden better wishes through everything from agitprop in so-called “base communities” to advertising in television Blitzkriegs.
American democratic pluralism is history's most successful example of this fraudulent but profitable caper. The People are repeatedly identified as the rulers of a United States whose pluralism specially dedicates it to the cause of everyone's distinct freedom and fulfillment. But the real rulers of America are not The People or their representatives in Congress.
America's governors are those easily identifiable elite groups whose spokesmen have arbitrarily gained control over the interpretation of the already arbitrary will of the Founders, and, with it, the basic definition of how The System's constitutional and pluralist apparatus is and is not allowed to function. Maintenance of a belief in the fiction of popular rule, the mechanical guidance of constitutional checks and balances, and the protective shield of pluralist freedom remains immensely useful to these elites.
Hence, the vast amount of energy expended by them, in their warring liberal and conservative ways, in drilling into the bamboozled masses a conviction of the permanent and universal value of “the American Canons” to government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Worship of such mystic, inspired and manipulated canons directs attention away from such elites' otherwise really quite transparent mastery. It insures their ability to trample the just freedom and desires of the vast majority of men, never to be held accountable for their crimes against nature and God, and—most importantly for our purposes—always to avoid a serious discussion of religion in politics.
Heaven forbid that such a discussion should honestly take place. It might just lead to a rediscovery of the exalted and quite unique Catholic viewpoint on Church-State relations, one which enables Reason and Faith to work together, destroy deceptive elitist games, and protect true social well-being.
Understanding GoliathWe are now at the point where we can fully understand Goliath's unearned victory at the Columbia conference. He won because of the immeasurable success of this amazingly transparent elitist brainwashing. The American population has so raised its consciousness to believe that a System working for the benefit of the few actually guarantees the salvation of all, that even many of those who are responsible for the indoctrination swallow their own propaganda.
If anyone comes along who fundamentally questions the ground rules and suggests possible alternatives to them, these true believers cannot conceive of him as being anything other than some monstrously aberrant or miserably misunderstood creature. This is why the panelists, who, despite their differences, all seemed to sense the direct threat to American Canon Law that Dr. White presented, felt constrained to liquidate him pure and simple. This is why the audience, which only indirectly grasped the danger, and had allowed itself to be seduced by his intelligence, wit, and rhetorical superiority, could only explain his attraction by transforming him into a foot soldier of the Regime and translating his words into its approved idiom. He had to be a democrat. He must be a pluralist. A man who integrates rather than divides. A Founder in his heart of hearts. He had to be David and yet not be David at one and the same time, thereby proving The System's ability even to resolve Hamlet's existential dilemma. If not, intelligence, wit, and rhetorical superiority would have been found to exist outside the Regime's borders. The impossibility of an alternate Canon Law would have become possible, and, with it, mere anarchy loosed upon the world! Our Davidic champion was doomed from the get-go. He needed a much more adequate slingshot to subdue the beast-that-walks-like-a-liberator.
What Dr. White was really defending was the Catholic understanding of the need to combine Faith and Reason to build the Regnum Christi. One of the first great thinkers of nascent Christendom to speak passionately on this subject was St. Isidore, Bishop of Seville (600-636) in a newly Catholic Visigothic Spain. This encyclopedic writer understood confusion over the identity of the real ruler of a given land to be the worst obstacle to such an exalted construction project.
It was only through exposure of the impotence of an imagined ruler, and identification of the truly governing sovereign that subjects could learn what honestly was or was not being done to make Christ their King and thereby aid or hinder their temporal and eternal well-being.
Bringing the true ruler into the light of day was, St. Isidore thought, the absolute prerequisite for pursuing the common good. Seeking to do so, however, could involve a very tedious battle versus deeply-rooted intellectual and spiritual delusions hampering the open admission of changed or unpleasant political realities. St. Isidore was very familiar with this problem due to the only recently concluded struggle to free the Hispano-Roman population from the age-old conviction that the emperor, now powerless and living in Constantinople, must perforce always rule an Iberia whose common good actually required recognition and conversion of the de facto Visigothic king in Toledo.
Shocked nineteenth century Catholic thinkers surveying the damage done to Christendom from the time of the legalists down to their own day slowly came to realize that the West had fallen prey to St. Isidore's “worst case scenario”. Modern man's denial not just of the interaction of Faith and Reason, but of the very possibility of either of them reaching any valid conclusions regarding the common good had made the hunt for the Regnum Christi a dead letter.
In addition, the Enlightenment's love for concocting ideal political systems indifferent to diverse historical developments and problems, had given much greater scope for the construction of fictional beneficent popular governments hiding a nation's real and determinedly anti-Catholic and irrational authorities. Counterrevolutionary thinkers thus came to understand that they were obliged to sound the Isidorean alarm, illuminate the population concerning its political delusions, and identify the real masters of the West for correction or punishment haste posthaste. But the problem here was determining which weapon to employ to do so, a difficulty which was two-fold in character.
The first of these difficulties was the fact that the intellectual madness underlying the modern fraud was mindbogglingly general. False and self-destructive ideas had penetrated into every sphere of knowledge, the mid-century editors of the great Jesuit journal, La Civiltà Cattolica noted, “with the social sciences above all else feeling the effect of the universal upheaval” (“Il giornalismo moderno”, I, I (1850), 14-15). This meant that “almost everything will have to be reconstituted all over again, in so far as almost everything has been worsened and violated…” (Ibid., 14). Hence the need to provide for a “consistent, regular and logically linked diffusion of Catholic social doctrines” (Ibid., 11; “Il fatto ed il da farsi”, I, xi (1852), 129-137), to build “a new font of apologetic arguments little known in the past because there was little discussion of society and that little discussion was itself bad” (E. d'Azeglio, Carteggi, p. 470), in order to “procure the triumph of the social applications of Catholic truths, in theory no less than in practice” (“Le nostre speranze”, I, v (1851), 10; also 12-14). This enterprise, absolutely essential to a long-term cure of the modern disease, would be a protracted and laborious one indeed. In effect, the services of a battery of even more encyclopedic thinkers and writers than St. Isidore himself was essential.
The second complication was produced by the very nature of the fraudulent co-option of “The People” and the popular will to serve the hidden interests of anti-Catholic elites. This co-option had changed the nature of the political game enormously. Every political and social issue, for good or for ill, had now been dragged by the secularist enemy into the piazza. The sheep had been politically mobilized by the wolves, and this had given the predators a greater strength than ever before in history. What all this meant was that the work of exposing the fraud could not be a purely gentlemanly academic matter, supplemented by quiet political activity in a few Hispano-Roman aristocratic villas and court circles close to the Visigothic throne.
Opponents of the French Revolution had found that they had to draft and then propagandize all men of fighting age in order to contest the massive armies first conscripted and indoctrinated by the Jacobin Republic.
Nineteenth century Catholic thinkers now saw that they had to do something similar. They had to capture the spirit of the mass of people, whose consciousness had been twisted to do the work of its manipulators, and by means of tools initially sharpened by their enemies themselves.
Hence, the recognition by men like Taparelli d'Azeglio, one of the finest of the Civiltà editors, of the need to complement essential scholarly work for the Truth by attacking Goliath through the use of a second Davidic slingshot. What was needed was a vast amount of that hard hitting journalism, written in the popular idiom, which radicals from the time of Luther onwards had found to be immensely productive. The mass of men, and, interestingly enough, even the contemporary elite, which in many respects was gradually becoming just like the mob it was seeking to shape, could not often respond to any other stimulus any longer.
People in a democratic world had to made to feel solid Catholic arguments “with that vividness with which things are grasped by the hand and seen by the eyes”. If not, the informed teachings of the great scholars would be buried in the libraries for the few to ponder. How much, Taparelli asked, by way of illustration of his point, did the influence of the vaunted Age of Reason actually arise from its rational argumentation? Very little. Voltaire and the Encyclopedia gained their impact not because of any superior knowledge of Newton, but because they had learned how to summarize their visions in simple catchy phrases and satirize and caricature their opponents.
Catholics had to gain a knowledge of the same “tricks”. Their consciences could remain clear despite the roughness of tone and the bitterness of the laughter employed, so long as they both were rooted firmly in the truths their new St. Isidores were elucidating and defending. (“Il fatto ed il da farsi dalla Civiltà Cattolica”, I, xi (1852), 21). 14; “La buona e la rea stampa”, III, iv (1856), 525-543; “Gl'indifferenti per la buona stampa”, III, xii (1858), 652-654; “Libertà ed ordine”, I, ii (1850), 628; “La nostra epigrafe”, I, vii (1851), 25-26; A. Bresciani, Opere, xvi, 186; B. to his father, 17 February, 1852; “Il giornalismo moderno”, I, I (1850), 5-11).
Popular Catholic journalism of this sort was obviously not without its dangers, all of which were already identified by the 1850's. It, too, could develop its own self-interests, putting “whatever works” into its slingshot to shoot at the enemy. It could build up to chuck into Goliath's eye an arsenal of rumors or exaggeratedly simplified theological headlines or devotional solutions to complex problems ultimately harmful to the cause of Christ. It could fuel a democratic insubordination pregnant with problems for a hierarchical supernatural institution. All of these troubles were real ones, and had to be fought through the same tools that any given individual or society fights against such allurements: Faith, Grace, and Reason.
Silencing Opposition Through “Virtue”One complaint regularly tossed against nineteenth century popular Catholic journalism which the editors of La Civiltà Cattolica found truly disingenuous was that of “lacking prudence”. They did not, of course, deny that the virtue of prudence was important, or that the Press could sin against it. They merely rejected the idea that the cultivation of prudence was in any way a real interest of the Masters of the West.
Under the rubric of prudence, what the demagogic manipulators of the principle of popular sovereignty and of constitutions wanted was, quite simply, for the journalists popularizing the deeper scholarly work of contemporary St. Isidores to keep their mouths firmly shut and allow their games to continue totally undisturbed. After having found the key to calling up the democratic masses for their own nefarious purposes, they wanted to prohibit anyone Catholic from interfering with their fun. Their “prudence” was a call for nothing less than laying down the new slingshot crucial to laying Goliath low.
ConclusionThe situation that our David faced, one hundred fifty years after the editors of La Civiltà Cattolica thought that western life had already reached its nadir, is much worse than they ever expected. Breaking down the psychological hold on the American population of the Canon Law which reigns but does not really govern it makes the uncovering of Spanish Roman misconceptions on such matters look like kid stuff in comparison.
Worse still, the Bride of Christ having allowed herself to be dragged into the fraud, three new aspects of the problem have opened up: an enthusiastic handing of the believing sheep over to the wolves; an official liquidation of the best arguments on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church, due to the imprudent offense they may give to our democratic and pluralist predators; and creation of an environment in which the disillusioned faithful feel placed between the devil of insubordination and the deep blue sea of submission to modernist oppressors.
It was inevitable that the slingshot of an academic like David White would be insufficient to bring the Philistine down, essential as it nevertheless was for him to go into the lion's den, and with good effect.
It is highly unlikely today that the second slingshot of hard hitting journalism dear to the nineteenth century activists can reverse Goliath's triumph either—crucial though this also remains, especially in the absence of any state voice on behalf of the Regnum Christi.
A third slingshot, backed by fasting and prayer, is probably indispensable to giving men the eyes they need to see and the ears they need to hear: one made out of blood. Given the current militancy of the supporters of American Canon Law, and the self-deception of Catholics who willingly offer themselves up to be sacrificed on its altar, it will be our own that manufactures it. But, after all, it is from the blood of martyrs that the Church grows.
Return to main page.