A dreadful thought: will there be no persecution?

I have been more than usually anguished by the state of the Church lately, and I feel a need to ramble.

The idea had been wiggling around in the back of my head for some time, but it was only a couple of weeks ago that it really struck me with its full awful plausibility.  There will be no persecution of the Catholic Church in the West.  We’re going to give in to the sodomites without a fight and then congratulate ourselves for our sophistication and pastoral sensitivity.  Take a good look at your bishop and tell me this is unlikely.

“Where is the Roman Catholic Phil Robertson?” Jim Donald asks.  Where indeed?  The most painful thing in all of this is the shame.  If Catholic businessmen or clergy were being threatened with torture or the Gulag and they all betrayed the faith, one could understand while still disapproving.  But we are such cowards that mere social disapproval is enough to make us effectively renounce our Savior.  (And make no mistake:  accepting Leftist sodomy affirmation in defiance of scripture, tradition, and natural law certainly does mean switching teams.  It shows who your true master is.  If you give in on buggery, the Left owns you completely.)

At least the professional religious conservatives have Phil’s back, right?  Well, certainly not at Catholic-dominated First Things, where the responses were to criticize Robertson for his crudity (and, of course, “racism”) and to chide Christians for not agitating for sodomy rights in Africa.  (By the way, it seems that the Catholics at First Things are all abuzz pursuing an exciting new development of doctrine in which the inclination to buggery is not objectively disordered.  Thank goodness the Church has her conservative intellectuals, huh?)

Meanwhile, the question on the minds of our Church’s leaders is “How can we bend the rules so that unrepentant adulterers can receive communion?”

Fortunately, one Cardinal in all of Rome had time to support a demonstration in favor of the natural (patriarchal) family.

Father Z has a good idea:

Today we begin the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Let’s work together with out Protestant sisters and brothers in a common cause!

Let us be one!

In this light, I note with interest an article at Newsmax.

Oregon: Cake Refusal Violates Gay Couple’s Rights

A bakery in suburban Portland, Ore., violated the civil rights of a same-sex couple by refusing to bake a cake for the women’s wedding, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries said Friday.

These bakers are Christians, right?  They are separated brethren, right?

What better week to show our resolve and zeal for our Week of Christian Unity than for the bishops of these USA to line up behind the bakery in support of and defense of their religious freedom?

We welcome the support of Protestants in our own struggle for religious freedom, don’t we?

This is a time for robust ecumenism!

You have to hand it to them:  the conservative Protestants have really come through for us on the contraception mandate battles.  Even aside from any concern for the cause of Christ, one would think that any Catholic prelate, from the Pope down, with the least ability to feel shame would be eager to support Protestants being persecuted for their loyalty to revealed and natural law.  But in fact our leaders are utterly shameless.  No doubt in diocese across America, bishops are patting themselves on the back for being so pastoral as to avoid any unpleasant confrontations with their sodomy-indoctrinated flocks.

Why do I say Catholics should support Protestants under assault from the sodomo-tyranny?  Certainly not because I believe in some abstract principle of “religious freedom”, much less that government can or should be “neutral” in matters of sex, marriage, and religion.  I do however believe that people have the right and duty to speak the truth (not “the truth as they see it” but the real truth, and the sovereign can’t help but take a stand on what that truth actually is) and live consistently with it, and the truth is that sodomy is an abomination, and the androgynist ideology that promotes it is wicked and inhuman.

Mr. Donald likes to mock Catholics for optimism about the Church:

In the bay area, places that once were churches are now meeting places for lesbian feminists, bookstores for Marxist books, and such, and no one recollects how what once was church, is now no longer a church. The same will in due course happen to the Vatican. The pope’s letterhead for speaking ExCathedra will wind up on the desk of some Harvard functionary, who will, over time, use it less and less until it is forgotten and thrown out with the rest of the dead white male stuff.

I know I should argue with this, but really, what has the Vatican II Church done to warrant the slightest respect from anyone?

I remember I was sitting in Mass a year ago, listening to an old priest give a homily about how the Church has fallen on rough times and what we need is yet another round of diluting Catholicism and accommodating evil (not, of course, that he called it that, but this was the gist of it).  All I could think was, “How can you sleep at night, after what you and your kind did to the Church?”  How can that generation of priests (active c. 1960-1980) be so God-damned self-satisfied, given that they’re such complete and total failures?  They failed in the one thing that every other generation of the Church accomplished–passing down what they received.  Couldn’t they at least have the decency to be ashamed?  (Yes, I know I shouldn’t be so charitable as to assume the outcome they got isn’t exactly the one they wanted.)

No doubt the cause seems already lost, and yet we must fight on.  I remember what I once wrote about the denial of Saint Peter:

Peter was no coward.  He was ready without a second thought to die defending Jesus from the crowd at Gethsemane.  But Jesus wouldn’t allow it.  And so it was:  the Master was in the hands of His enemies, the populace had turned on Him, His disciples had fled ignominiously, the movement–whatever it was–was over.  Nothing left for Peter to do but wonder whether he’ll be able to get that fishing gig back.  Then a servant girl sees him and says, “Hey, aren’t you one of the followers of that lunatic they just arrested?”  Peter was ready to be a martyr, back when it might have made a difference.  Now the fight is over.  Standing with Him now won’t help the Master; He’ll never even know.  Why throw my life away now, for nothing, he thinks.  “I do not know him.”

Afterwards, Peter remembered what Christ had predicted.  When Peter had professed his loyalty to Jesus, what Christ had cared about was not Peter’s loyalty when it mattered, but his lack of loyalty when it didn’t matter.  The latter was the kind of loyalty Jesus really wanted.  That was the real test–will you stick by the Savior when the cause is already lost and as far as worldly eyes can see your sacrifice will do nobody any good?  Not just loyalty unto death, but loyalty unto pointless death.  Can you sacrifice to God purely out of devotion to Him, not to advance the Cause?  The Cause you place entirely in His hands.

All Christians owe Peter their gratitude for his subsequent heroism in service of the Faith, not least in his making sure that this story of his own weakness would be preserved for our benefit.  Its application to 21st-century reactionaries is apparent.

34 Responses

  1. Wonderful insights about St. Peter, very helpful.

    I wonder whether your view of things is clouded by where you look for your evidence. Why, for instance, rely on FT for your sample, where the religious background of contributors is a hodge-podge, and ignore journals such as Crisis, an explicitly Catholic journal. It doesn’t have the same tradition of erudition as does FT, and it is by no means airtight in the arguments it presents, but maybe both erudition and faithfulness in these days is just too much to ask for. Here is the latest from there on the subject of Phil Robertson. By the way, do you suppose Phil Robertson has much to say on the importance or lack thereof of religious liberty? Do you suppose he has much of anything to address the souls of sexual deviants besides the need to “get saved?”

    Jim Donald, who appears to me to be the Rooster Little on behalf of the current pope and the Church, I can’t take very seriously so long as he continues his practice of using only one kind of evidence that suits his purpose, and ignoring the rest. He has only shown me one thing in all his talk about Pope Francis – that he (Donald) has no clue what the Pope believes.

  2. Some more encouraging news at another Catholic journal-type blog. It’s not difficult to find online, though truly the situation on the ground in any particular person’s (and no doubt yours Bonald) diocese is often very bleak.

  3. @Bonald. This post set me thinking as I was walking to work…

    It made me recognize that there is an interesting and significant symmetry between the appointment of Francis to the papacy and Welby to the Archbishop of Canterbury (the first and third largest Christian denominations) in the same year.

    Both were complete surprises as appointments – what does that tell us? That none of the strong candidates were electable, and the electors had to go a long way down the list to find somebody they could agree on.

    Why? Because both churches, taken overall and in their very different ways, are at a similar phase of just (but only just) having gone past the tipping point into leftist apostasy.

    (Recall that less than 2 years ago the laity of the CoE synod had – but only just – rejected women bishops, due to over-reach by the liberals. http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/church-of-england-liberals-have-failed.html)

    Therefore the majority of the electors (being anti-Christians) would obviously not appoint a real traditional orthodox Christian to the job; but because the churches have only just gone beyond the point of no return they did not (yet) want to try and appoint an obvious non-Christian to the job.

    Therefore both sets of electors converged on ‘nobodies’ who had at least a superficial plausibility as ‘real’ Christians yet were very strong leftists.

    Welby, for example, probably used-to-be a real (evangelical) Christian when he was at Holy Trinity, Brompton – which itself used-to-be a real evangelical Church – however both Welby and Holy Trinity have in reality since sold out to secular liberalism – yet not so obviously that the real Christians could be *sure* of their apostasy (and of course, they feel obliged to give liberal-fake-Christians the benefit of the doubt – and will presumably continue doing-so until it is too late…).

    Anyway, Welby will now lead the Church of England into irrevocable loony left secular liberalism (and schism with the real Anglicans overseas) – and Francis will do something similar to the RCC – so the *next* Cantaur and Pope will be out-and-out anti-Christian pro-secular leftists – since the remaining electors in both churches will be overwhelmingly of that kind within just a few years, such that by then they will be able to crush or ignore any opposition.

  4. Hello buckyinky,

    I suppose I should be careful that I don’t have to rename this blog “First Things Watch”. My reason for focusing on them is that I had long thought of them as the best religious conservative journal. Even when I started to realize how compromised it is by neoconservative liberal assumptions (and Crisis is equally compromised in this way, excepting of course the contributions from Orthosphere-founder Jim Kalb), I still respected it as the conservative journal that was high-enough quality even the Left had to respect it. I don’t think they really deserve this respect anymore, and I’m probably one of the last to rescind it. For example, they had a long-running series of blog commentaries on the first chapters of Genesis recently. This is a subject that interests me, but I didn’t bother reading their posts, because I just don’t care what those people have to say on spiritually weighty matters anymore. I don’t expect insight from them. Nowadays, I’m just skimming First Things as a meter for the ongoing dissolution of the intellectual Right.

  5. Great reflection on St. Peter.

    There is precedent for the Church just going silent on a basic moral issue: usury. Most people don’t even know what it is anymore (even among those who think they do).

  6. Hi Bruce,

    I agree that Western Anglicans and Catholics are in about the same state. The big difference is the global perspective. Where is the Catholic GAFCON? I remember thinking this after reading one of your Anglican posts last year. It was one of the big landmarks on the road to my current disillusionment.

  7. traditional orthodox Christian to the job

    You comment is essentially meaningless, as what you would described as a “real Christian” wildly varies from most others on this blog would consider a Christian to be.

  8. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

  9. I agree that the vast majority of the Catholic establishment is essentially worthless. It seems crystal clear to all that most conservative Christians simply want the gay issue to go away and they think pastoral accommodation will solve the problem. We now see commentators like Joshua Gonnermann, and Eve Tushnet, carving out a new niche among the religious right. These commentators try to come across as “faithful homosexuals” though what they really want is accommodation.Yet as you noted they are given a forum at places like First Things. I would also point out at several of the anti-Robertson posts at First Things appear to have been penned by Protestants not Catholics.

    There are a few bright spots that seem to be largely the result of the laity. There has been a flurry of Catholic anti-liberal writers like Jim Kalb, Thaddeus Kozinski, John Medaile and Chris Ferrera in recent years. What influence they have may be negligible, still it seems that during the 80s and 90s American Catholic anti-liberalism was largely extinct.

    One bit I must take issue with is the call to ally with Protestants. It seems to me that virtually all Protestants wear their right-liberalism on their sleeves as a matter of pride-


    Our great “allies” see you and I as extremists for not loving America enough. I do not see how there can be alliance with people who require you to basically scrap Catholic teaching of the necessity of the promotion of the Kingship of Christ.

    I am also getting tired of people who write off the Pope for his critiques of neo-liberalism. If you don’t like mass immigration, pro cultural rot propaganda by the media and international control freak elites then you ought to be very much opposed to neo-liberalism and join with the Pope. Yet neo-reactionaries extol the CEO as their model of kingship. Can there be any more thoroughly modernist ideal than that? The conservative movement lauds Mitt Romney’s “family values” well I guess if I were a finance capitalist vulture I could afford that many children too. You Bonald have spoken out against capitalism, but this issue seems to be a major point of division between Catholics and Protestants, Orthosphereans v. Neo-reactionaries.

    There is also the recent spectacle of the mainstream right coming out and supporting the spread of gay rights around the world. The hugely popular conservative pundit Glenn Beck (a Mormon for Bruce’s information) stands with GLAAD in opposition to Russian “fascist” anti-gay laws. After all it we all support liberty right? So there we have it an apparently devote Mormon, is actively supporting the spread of decadence around the world.

  10. Touchstone is much better. And it’s Christian, whereas First Things is Christian / Judaic / Liberal.

  11. The Mormon church did a 180 on gay rights and Glenn Beck is following the church’s lead.

    You don’t like people writing about the pope because you don’t want to believe thier conclusions could ever be right. Spend sometime examining how progressive take over orgazations and you’ll note all the same signs in the current pope that other groups have show as they’re are consumed from with in by the progressive virus.

  12. I admit that much of my basis for referring favorably to Crisis is that site’s willingness to include Kalb amongst their regular contributors (same with CWR). This, however, doesn’t seem a trivial thing, and suggests a move in the opposite direction from what you fear to be wholesale the case among Catholics.

  13. Yup.

  14. Yeah, Crisis has gotten much better now that Blum and Fahey run it. It was Blum who translated a lot of the works of your namesake Bonald

  15. I’m not sure that the Protestants are in any more trouble regarding right liberalism than the Catholics. You have people like Peter Leithart who are leading the charge against right liberalism.

    Ironically, Leithart blogs at First Things. But he is really worth your time. I particularly recommend his book Against Christianity.

  16. That is a very encouraging thing. Kalb writes on a high enough level of abstraction about non-technocratic forms of organization recognizing sex and ancestry that I suspect many of his readers and editors fail to realize how radical what he’s saying really is. It’s still very much worth doing. Maybe if some readers start thinking outside the liberal box on an abstract level, they’ll start to draw out the conclusions for themselves.

  17. Lydia’s denunciation of us did sadden me because she’s not somebody who I’m willing to just write off the way I do Zmirak. (I did have her in mind when I said that, in standing up for Protestants, we need not rely on some principle of general religious freedom.)

  18. Sometimes a Lydia denunciation can be as disturbing as the distant buzzing of a fly.

  19. @Red
    Perhaps you should have read what I said. I am annoyed by people who critique the Pope on economic related questions. I am quite disturbed by many of his other statements, as I have indicated on my own blog.

  20. Many people are rightly suspicious that this pope is criticizing capitalism from a straightforward left wing place, not from a distributist or crunchy con position. But you’re right that many criticizing him are just right liberals outraged at any criticism of capitalism.

  21. I hadn’t seen that post, since I gave up on that blog a while ago. I liked this paragraph, though:

    The last thing that we Christians need now is for more Catholics, who could be continuing the good work of making fruitful common cause with their Protestant brethren in the culture wars, to embrace ultramontanist ideas and reject religious liberty as an American mistake.

    “fruitful common cause in the culture wars”

    The culture wars have been very fruitful indeed in reducing the taxes of the rich. What have they done for the unborn or for public morality or for any of their ostensible goals?

  22. Take heart. I know that the neoreactionary consensus is that the ratchet only moves left but low church Protestants have moved significantly to the right in the last 30 to 40 years on abortion and marriage “complementarity”. Southern Baptist Convention leadership was very liberal until control was wrested from them in 1979 and 1980 over abortion.

  23. And, now I’ve gone and read that whole depressing comment thread. Ugh. Complete with quote from Dignitatus Humanea.

  24. I’ve been holding off on reading the whole Zmirak piece (although I’ve read so many excerpts there’s probably not much left to read), because one of the Orthosphere writers should respond to it, and I want to wait until I have enough free time to allow myself to get too angry to concentrate on work.

  25. My gosh… those links to the First Things posts and especially to the Elizabeth Scalia post are… nauseating.

  26. There also seems to me to be a growing number of Protestants who are rethinking their acceptance of contraception.

  27. Perhaps this strong delusion is a work of God to perfect the church:

    Relevant scripture:
    Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.
    (Isa 54:16-17)

    For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
    (2Th 2:7-12)

  28. […] A dreadful thought: there will there be no persecution. […]

  29. This has inspired me to sodomize. Next time I have “unnatural” intercourse, I’ll be doing it in the name of this specific blogpost.

  30. Join us in the Orthodox Church, brother. I was once a disillusioned papist too, 20 years ago. Find your nearest Russian church, drive there, “taste and see”.

  31. “This frying pan is too hot, that fire sure looks nice”

    (more or less stolen from Zippy)

  32. What do you mean Russian James? I thought you said Orthodox.

  33. The Russian church is the largest of the Orthodox churches, and the most reliably Orthodox, and the most likely to be a parish chock-full of converts. Check out a Greek or a Romanian or an Antiochian parish, if you prefer.

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