A Republican congressman shot; a Republican Senator threatened with death if he doesn’t vote the left’s way on Obamacare; an elite software developer who spent almost a half-a-billion dollars promoting gay marriage calling for the “punishment” of Christians who refuse to participate in gay weddings (he describes them as “the wicked”); a failed talk show hostess promoting a game pushing the President off a cliff; a grade-D comedienne posing with a mock, severed-head of the President; a Democratic operative pushing a #HuntRepublicans Twitter theme; a reproduction of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar depicting the assassination of a Trump look-a-like; a major-media outlet, CNN, threatening to expose a private citizen to ridicule and potential violence simply for committing the thoughtcrime of posting a video poking fun at the network.
These are just a few of the many examples of the thirst for suppression and violence which characterizes the totalitarian impulse inherent in our secular, progressive elite.
Yet, as distressing as the individual actions of secularists may be, a far more startling piece of news has apparently slipped under the radar regarding the macro-, or mass, opinion of secularists. According to a new poll, almost half of all millennials believe the State has the right to take from a family any child who seeks to ‘transition’ to its opposite gender if the parents object to the transition. Think about it: almost half of the upcoming generation is perfectly prepared to destroy a family should said family stand in the way of their predilection for perversion. They see nothing wrong with this; they believe it a positive good. And, like the 20th century totalitarians who came before them, they will not hesitate to undermine and even destroy one of the primary institutions—the family—standing in the way of achieving their ideological goal.
There has been much talk in recent years of the ‘soft totalitarianism’ of today’s liberal democracy. The hope seems to be such ‘soft totalitarianism’ will always obtain under our liberal, secularist political order. But we should be prepared for a change. The violence and hardness of heart of secularists is definitely increasing. Indeed, we have been ‘slouching toward Gomorrah,’ as the late, Robert Bork put it, for quite some time now. We should consider the very real possibility that the totalitarian impulse of the Left is about to get—and, indeed, is getting—‘harder.’ The poison of our contraceptive culture, horribly expressed by legalized abortion, has had almost fifty years to penetrate and harden the hearts of its supporters. For many, abortion has become a sort of secular sacrament. Even videos showing abortionists joking about selling body parts have failed to move mass opinion, so hardened has the dominant culture become. We should not expect those who so regale in the termination of an innocent life to draw some sort of line when considering taking or destroying the life of those they’ve arbitrarily deemed, “guilty” of violating secularist protocol.
Devout Catholics have recently been debating a so-called Benedict Option. We should consider in such debates whether such an ‘Option’ will even be possible under a secularist regime which more and more seems committed to violence to achieve its goal. The mere existence of Christian truth, even if isolated in the mountains of Wyoming, the plains of Kansas, or the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, is likely to draw the wrath of secularists who have already determined, ‘they will be as God.’
It is here that the true challenge for devout Catholics will become paramount, for the easy course to be followed by our fallen human nature will be to strike back, to lash out. This we cannot and mustn’t do. We must be, as Our Lord and the early Church martyrs were, “meek and humble of heart (Mt 11:29) We must look to Him and them for our examples. And it’s not going to be easy.
In his seminal work, The Life of Christ, the Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen in discussing Our Lord’s, “Sermon on the Mount,” offers a parable on Our Lord’s admonition to ‘turn the other cheek’ which speaks to what we are likely to be called to do.
He tells us to imagine:
[I]f one preaches hate and violence to ten men in a row, and tells the first man to strike the second, and the second to strike the third, the hatred will envelope all ten. The only way to stop this hate is for one man (say the fifth in line), to turn his other cheek. Then, the hatred ends. It is never passed on. Absorb violence for the sake of the Savior, Who will absorb sin and die for it. The Christian law is that the innocent shall suffer for the guilty.
We are called to be that ‘fifth man,’ to be those innocents who suffer for the guilty.
The world teaches that to be ‘meek and humble of heart’ is to be weak and passive. Just the opposite is the case. It will take great spiritual strength, utilizing the grace of the sacraments and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, much prayer, and much fasting, to bear holy witness to the timeless Truth of the Magisterium: that all life, even life in the womb and life in its end state, is sacred; that marriage is a holy sacrament between one man and one woman; that you cannot separate the unitive and procreative purposes of human intimacy; indeed, even that there is a God and He has revealed to us the means of salvation and true joy.
Proclaim these truths justly and with love, and we will face the wrath of the demons which oppress the secularists in the same way even the mere presence of Our Lord so excited the demons in the region of the Gerasenes (Mt 8; 28-34). Already, we see such proclamations of truth happening. In just the short time in which this article has been composed, protesters have twice interrupted the aforementioned play depicting the assassination of the President. In just the last few years Christian bakers, photographers, and others have valiantly refused to bow down and offer the incense of acquiescence to our modern-day Caesars. Each of us, in some manner, is called to do the same. But, in order to do it well, we must, first, be very clear about the state of our culture, and, second, drive from our hearts even the thought of violence as commanded by Our Lord. Love of Truth, love of God, and the fortitude to stand for both must rule our hearts.