Riots, Technocrats, and Normality

We are fallen; we are in desperate need of salvation; we cannot manufacture such salvation for ourselves, no matter how talented we are at programming code, creating vaccines, and “fixing” things.

A scene from downtown Eugene, Oregon, on the morning of May 30, 2020. (Dakota Jennen/Facebook)

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has been already, in the ages before us. — Ecclesiastes 1:9-10

Yesterday afternoon, the weather here in Eugene, Oregon, was perfect: warm, with a breeze, inviting. The tennis courts at a nearby high school were finally unlocked, and so I was able to hit with a friend for an hour while two of my kids walked our new puppy on the nearby walking paths. It was, in short, idyllic and peaceful, with a welcome sense of normality to it.

Early this morning, just as the sun started to battle the clouds on the horizon, a fierce thunderstorm commenced. While most thunderstorms, in my experience, have a certain sound and feel, this one was quite different. At first, my wife and I thought people were dragging something metallic in the streets; then it sounded like gunfire and heavy artillery. It was completely natural, and yet seemed quite unnatural.

Then, checking the news soon afterward, we learned that there had been riots in downtown Eugene, less than three miles from our house, involving several hundred people. A number of businesses, including some we occasionally frequent, were looted and destroyed. “What began as a peaceful march hours earlier Friday,” reported a local news outlet, “had by early Saturday morning ‘morphed’ into violence and vandalism.” What began as peaceful protests (and Eugene has protests constantly in response to all sorts of events and people) in reaction the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis soon became ugly, nasty, and unnatural. And, yet, it also seemed, in a way, quite natural.

I say that in the context of the past three months, but also with an eye to the decades (and even centuries) prior, both of which have provided plenty of instances and evidences of social schizophrenia, moral incoherence, and a bewildering array of double standards.

Like many others, I thought that the initial responses to the coronavirus by local and national governments were generally understandable and within reason. But it was almost inevitable, given the technocratic mentality and control-freak nature of so many in the elite and ruling classes—with a direct nod to the insights of Angelo M. Codevilla—that serious problems would arise. As Dr. Codevilla told me in a 2016 CWR interview:

Above all, the ruling class defines itself by a set of attitudes, foremost of which is contempt for those outside itself. This contempt stems from the rather uniform education that the ruling class’s members absorbed from universities and which they developed by living in their subculture.  Believing themselves intelligent apostles of scientific truth, they regard others as dumb and in the grip of religious obscurantism. Religion is the greatest of the divides between the ruling class and those it deems its inferiors. Whereas they believe themselves morally good and psychologically sound, they regard others as suffering from psychological dysfunctions and phobias—effectively as bad people. The ruling class does not believe that those outside itself have the right or capacity to conduct their own lives.

All of that can be applied easily to the past few weeks and to the growing tensions over the loosening of pandemic restrictions, religious freedom, and simply making sense of what we really know (and don’t know) about the coronavirus. As for “intelligent apostles of scientific truth”, consider the rhetoric of software magnate Bill Gates, who wrote in late April that we will only “return to normal” when we “develop a safe, effective vaccine.” Humankind, Gates asserted with disconcerting confidence, “has never had a more urgent task than creating broad immunity for coronavirus.” Never! Never? Those are words from a man who is either a stranger to history and reality, or who thinks history and reality can be bent to his will.

The inanity and insanity of what has been transpiring was summed up well by Michael McHaney, a judge on the Illinois Fourth Judicial Circuit Court, in a May 23rd ruling on a lawsuit brought by a Clay County small business owner against Governor J.B. Pritzker, contesting Pritzker’s shutdown order:

Since the inception of this insanity, the following regulations, rules or consequences have occurred: I won’t get COVID if I get an abortion, but I will get COVID if I get a colonoscopy. Selling pot is essential, but selling goods and services at a family owned business is not. Pot wasn’t even legal and pot dispensaries didn’t even exist in this state until five months ago and, in that five months, they have become essential, but a family-owned business in existence for five generations is not.

A family of six can pile in their car and drive to Carlyle Lake without contracting COVID but, if they all get in the same boat, they will. We are told that kids rarely contract the virus and sunlight kills it, but summer youth programs, sports programs are cancelled. Four people can drive to the golf course and not get COVID but, if they play in a foursome, they will. If I go to Walmart, I won’t get COVID but, if I go to church, I will. Murderers are released from custody while small business owners are threatened with arrest if they have the audacity to attempt to feed their families.

These are just a few of examples of rules, regulations and consequences that are arbitrary, capricious, and completely devoid of anything even remotely approaching common sense.

Along similar lines, Dr. Edward Feser, who has written several times for CWR, argues with his typical rigor and clarity that the lockdown “is no longer morally justifiable.”

The lack of common sense noted by Judge McHaney and the failure of clear logic pointed out by Dr. Feser are, however, part and parcel of the modern technocrats, who are simply disciples of what the French philosopher and Catholic intellectual Rémi Brague calls “The Kingdom of Man” and the “Modern Project”. The Judeo-Christian heritage, Brague explains in his most recent book, understood that man was created by God and was ordered by nature to God; the goal of the modern project, which really hit its full stride in the late 1800s and early 1900s in the West, was expressed in the 1700s by the French Enlightenment thinker Raynal, who said, “The human race is what one wants it to be; it is the way one governs it that decides it for good or evil … Human beings are what the government makes them.” Man does not have a universal and objective nature; his nature is mere subjective putty in the hands of the enlightened elites.

Much more could be said on that topic, but what does this have to do with looters and “protesters” destroying eateries and other businesses in Eugene, Oregon?

A key part of the answer is that those who are deeply invested in the modern project—whether as leaders or disciples or propagandists—are either clueless about or openly antagonistic to the truth about human nature. They insist (rightly) on denouncing racism as evil, but then (wrongly but without a hint of hesitation) live and act as though “evil” is just an outdated religious construct created to control the masses, as people are actually inherently good. But, of course, “good” is not really fixed or certain; in fact, it is a continually moving target, depending on the whims (or what Christians would call “the passions”) of the enlightened few. Gender ideology, as Dr. Douglas Farrow recently and brilliantly explained here at CWR a few weeks ago, is a prime example.

As Brague notes, the Enlightenment sought, “explicitly or implicitly, the goal of rehabilitating human nature” Salvation is no longer a concern, especially since it posits a transcendent horizon, “but rather of showing that man is already fundamentally good and, as a consequence, has no need of salvation.” In the words of Rousseau: “There is no original perversity in the human heart.” Put another way, there are simply errors or flaws that must be fixed, corrected, adjusted, tweaked, and so forth, all with scientific precision and scientistic bias.

What has happened, in short, is that words which once had substance—justice, for instance—have been stripped of their metaphysical and, ultimately, theological moorings. Most people know, instinctively (via synderesis, to use the traditional term) that murdering someone because of their race or opinion or money or any such thing is wrong. Period. They want justice. But what does justice mean to people who are locked in the secular cocoon, insulated from objective truth and eternal perspective? How can they keep from devolving into a passionate mob seeking revenge—or simply seeking a thrill and a pile of loot under the auspices of “revenge”—when they believe (rightly or wrongly) that “the system” is against them and so they must act? Without any link—by way of family, or culture, or social interaction—to a sense of supernatural vocation, they act naturally, as fallen creatures seeking to be, to belong, to battle—but fall more deeply into base passions and evil pathways, what Proverbs describes as “the way of error” (Prov 12:28).

And this in fact is normal. There is, as the author of Ecclesiastes wrote so many centuries ago, nothing new under the sun. We are fallen; we are in desperate need of salvation; we cannot manufacture such salvation for ourselves, no matter how talented we are at programming code, creating vaccines, and “fixing” things. Medicine for the body is wonderful; medicine for the soul is priceless and eternal. Only the Son—”The wounded surgeon” who “plies the steel”, in the words of T.S. Eliot—who came below from above (cf Jn 3:13), can make things new, destroying the power of sin by His death, crushing the power of death by His Resurrection, and gifting the power of divine life when the Holy Spirit is sent by the Father in the Son’s name (Jn 14:26). But, just as peaceful protests do not actually “morph” into violent riots, we must actively and consciously choose the grace offered, take up the Cross before us, and seek the Kingdom of God.


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About Carl E. Olson 1139 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?, co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Bishop Robert Barron/Word on Fire. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Imaginative Conservative", "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications.

43 Comments

  1. This article doesn’t say anything meaningful and doesn’t really go anywhere but it reeks of affected profundity. This the best you can do?

      • I picture a beautiful rectangular crystal bottle, slightly wider than it is tall, with beveled edges, and some classic typeface spelling out “Affected Profundity”. We will have it photographed in the style of Irving Penn, and all proceeds will go to the businesses damaged in Eugene.

    • Dear Carl !
      This was excellently written and I get every thread . The other fellow must be clueless ! You are spot-on ! I’d say the Holy Spirit guides and perfect for Pentecost . Keep at it and God bless !

    • Dear. Mr. Sampson –

      For your own sake, stop pretending that reality isn’t happening, because it renders you unable to recognize or convey anything profound.

    • If you choose to believe that a reminder of God’s gift of His Son, the antidote, in the face of what is an astute description of the origins of contemporary moral nihilism is a reflection that is “going nowhere,” then the dullness and sadness of what is described has clearly infected you sufficiently to where you clearly need to find some satisfying alternate means of coming to understand what the rest of us appreciate in Mr. Olson’s efforts.

  2. In all of this insanity, it is refreshing to see that there are those in the world who are perturbed by the fact that so many of these orders have no basis in reason. “Hell is the impossibility of reason,” so says the main character in the film Platoon. This article employs reason, thank God, so there is still hope. Thank you.

  3. Congratulations on the new puppy. No matter how difficult times are, dogs seem to make everything better.
    Have a blessed Pentecost with your family!

  4. Interesting ..
    ‘hellightenment ‘ .. a more appropriate term for the spirit of rebellion ,hatred for The Church , through the carnal spirits and the fire of lusts that can devour all Godly wisdom and holiness .. and got ‘imported ‘ , from the colonies and such too – being only toe deep in most of the history , not that focused on all the details , yet , Oregon and Eugene too with its( in) famous connection to a newage ‘Guru ‘ ..

    This site being of St.Ignatius too , hope the soldering aspect of consecrations to powerful holy figures – inviting , pleading in love , for St.Joseph , St.Michael – thus adding to the one to the Immaculate Heart , to drive out the impure spirits worn as girdles of lies , making it rather impossible for many , to carry on the assigned roles through baptism , of having the weapons for spiritual warfare ..
    so that the thunder of His praise would rise together , from loins filled with holiness , in His Blood and Water , shed on The Cross that would have filled His loins , to give us new births in His holiness ..
    Come O Holy Spirit ..and fill the hearts ..

  5. When ruling class and ruled rely on their own devices during a prolonged uncertain crisis such as Covid 19 – exclusive of a mediating transcendent truth, doubt, suspicion, finally lethal force and chaos are apt to result. What is considerably new under Qoheleth’s sun is the revelation of Christ. And the centuries long process of initial fervor to final languish and discard of faith. A culture particularly the ruling class that favors access to hairdressers not churches. Agony for the remaining faithful. And if not enough to suffer, the dismantle of Christ’s Mystical Body adds to the malaise and lends hierarchy inept. When the Church, the world’s remaining witness to truth disassembles itself and aligns with secular humanism it in effect diminishes its message, the very reason for its existence. If Man isn’t strikingly challenged to repentance for salvation his remaining option is self reliance, which spells calamity. Our Nation is at a peak of dangerous volatility. If Catholic hierarchy continues to impugn Pres Trump in their implausible alignment with the Left and its anti Life anti natural law credo it will self destruct. Bishops rally to your God given ordination to defend the faith.

  6. In part I agree with Chris Samson’ statement: This the best you can do?
    Maybe he more than I, was expecting something appealing to him and his social condition. As a Catholic Christian Editor, you must be more aware of people that you are intend to reach. Most of us did not go to first class colleges and universities. and our education is not as good as yours. I read in a little book about critical thinking that the first rule is to understand to whom the writer intends to reach. I did an experiment with some of the articles of your paper, I copied them and gave them to read to some of my friends and co-workers. The feedback was that they did not understand them. Many of them have a college degree or are attending one, some of them are devout Catholics.
    Concerning your social analysis of your article, I am aware that there are many problems endemic to our society. The three main ones that I am more aware of are Economic, Racial and Gender problems. Concerning the pandemic, individuals have lost their freedom and other fundamental human right, due to economic and political policies who always benefited and will continue benefitting the upper class. I think they believe in a pandemic that is totally out of their hands. Like the belief in the devil starting in the Middle Ages or, the burning of the Witches of Salem. They may not believe in the reasons for the pandemic but they only have to suffer the foreign consequences regardless. Those consequences are devastating for them and their families and will cause irreparable damage to them. I think this is a planned strategy by economists, politicians and medical institutions who are afraid of losing their control and grip the earth resources. The book Empire has an interesting analysis of the new world order.
    As a result, as a Food Product Demonstrator at a Sam’s Club store, I was observing the erratic behaviors of the club members. Unnecessary non basic items were disappearing. When I asked them about why they were buying those things, they told me, “if I was not aware of the oncoming disaster”. Little by little, I noticed their anxieties, fears, hysteria and other psycho-social disorders. I also saw the short- and long-term devastating consequences for the poor people like me with no idea to what they will do with this debacle. You can read the book Empire by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri who predicted the actual situation and its consequences in 2002.
    To add more wood to the fire was the death of another African American at the hands of a white person who in the moral standards that you proclaim and describe “Are wrong”. The same patterns of behavior have been repeated over and over because such behaviors are and have been functional for the upper class, as Fanon has described in his classic book The wretched of the Earth. These techniques have been tested over and over by the European colonizers in Latin America, Africa and other countries.
    The “modern” society thinks that true science is achieved by rational means. “Postmodern societies” contest and disregard with such assumption because modernism has failed to fulfill, the promised achievements their promises to benefit human fellow men. They are looking for new alternatives that are not as well structured as “modernism or modernity” and has not produced tangent results yet as David R. Dickens and Andrea Fontana have stated in their book Postmodern Theories of Society.
    As Christian people suffering from the pandemic, we are looking for more concrete down to earth, spiritual and socioeconomic guidance, to understand and deal with a pandemic that has been imposed to us by diabolical economic and political structures. Prayer, meditation, the eucharist are important and comforting but sometimes insufficient for people of little faith. I wonder what the first Christians will do in such situations? Perhaps is it time to review and follow our true Christian roots.

    • This the best you can do?

      I’m sure I can always do better. But, considering what I was trying to do in about 1500 words, I think I did just fine.

      I read in a little book about critical thinking that the first rule is to understand to whom the writer intends to reach. I did an experiment with some of the articles of your paper, I copied them and gave them to read to some of my friends and co-workers. The feedback was that they did not understand them. Many of them have a college degree or are attending one, some of them are devout Catholics.

      I’ve been Editor of CWR for over eight years, and I’ve rarely had anyone complain that they couldn’t understand what I wrote. And I do have a pretty good sense of who my audience is, especially after authoring/co-authoring several books and writing hundreds of essays, columns, reviews, and so forth. It could be that I’m not the problem here.

      • Mr. Olson, I have very much appreciated your writing and your editing for many years now. And I have never felt that CWR articles are beyond me.

        Please note, I am not someone with a degree in theology or philosophy — indeed, not any advanced degree at all.

        Worse, I actually live in Toledo, Ohio — hardly an intellectual hotbed.

        In fact — and I can scarcely account for this myself — I spent nearly 40 years in the marketing profession. So how intelligent can I be, really?

        Yet, somehow, despite my vacuity, I found your article incisive, insightful and one of the most pointed critiques of our present state of affairs I’ve seen.

        In fact I have come to treasure the discourse I find on CWR. I find that your writers are both provocative and cogent, unlike those I find on most other “current events” websites. So much of what one finds online is utterly banal and almost determinedly superficial.

        In fact, that’s how the complaints above strike me — as bemoaning the originality and the depth of CWR’s output. “How dare you! Your pieces actually challenge your readers and make us think! How dare you! What an offensive, elitist thing for you to do!”

        I, by contrast, heartily thank you for maintaining your high standards, for respecting and supporting your excellent writers, and for offering a consistently — and wonderfully — high quality product for people whose hope it is to apprehend the truth.

        Let me repeat: I have come to treasure the quality of thought I have been exposed to on CWR. Thank you for doing what you do, as well as you do it.

        And I pray you’re able to continue doing it for many, many more years.

    • “Maybe he more than I, was expecting something appealing to him and his social condition. ”

      How would Mr. Olson, or any of us, be expected to know anything about his social condition? It’s not as if he did anything but make a snide comment.

      Before you criticize Mr. Olson’s writing, you might tend to your own. His I can understand. Yours – not. I can’t figure out what the point of your comment is supposed to be (beyond criticizing Mr. Olson).

      “To add more wood to the fire was the death of another African American at the hands of a white person who in the moral standards that you proclaim and describe “Are wrong”.”

      What “are wrong?” The only two plural nouns in that sentence are hands and moral standards. Which of those are you saying “are wrong?”

      “As Christian people suffering from the pandemic, we are looking for more concrete down to earth, spiritual and socioeconomic guidance,”

      We, who? You’re certainly not speaking for me.

      “to understand and deal with a pandemic that has been imposed to us by diabolical economic and political structures.”

      It has been imposed on us by a coronavirus. It has been spread by the shameful actions, or inaction, of the Communist government of China, with the complicity of the World Health education, and by the ease of international travel.

      “Prayer, meditation, the eucharist are important and comforting but sometimes insufficient for people of little faith.”

      So? Are you saying that he needs to tailor his articles to those of little faith and ignore those with greater faith?

      “I wonder what the first Christians will do in such situations?”

      Since the first Christians died long ago and are no longer on earth, there is no possibility that they will be in such situations or that they will do anything. As to what they did do during epidemics, you need only read some history books to find out.

      “Perhaps is it time to review and follow our true Christian roots.”

      By which you mean what, exactly? I certainly can’t tell from your comment.

  7. Riots have remedies. Of course we could garrote the unruly peasants as Luther urged the princes, or we could set up guillotines in every town square as mandated by Robespierre. Luther prior to Wittenberg a pious Augustinian friar Robespierre prior to Revolution a conscientious lawyer devoted to the underprivileged. Robespierre turned to Rousseau’s doctrine of Man emancipated from the limitations of tradition discovering within himself the confidant free spirit. He allegedly slept with Rousseau’s the Emile under his pillow. Then came the Revolution and anarchy. If the underprivileged won’t listen to reason, perhaps the guillotine will convince. Luther unable to feel justified by his actions dismissed them altogether. Faith suffices. Then the Peasant Revolt. Actions now somehow mattered. Where did they go wrong? Ironically both German peasant, French anarchist, as well as the ruling class despots were largely subjectively convinced. Conscience informed by Synderesis as you indicate, the reflexive awareness of the natural law common to all is knowledge of right and wrong. Right and wrong, good and evil determined by God the author of the natural law written in the heart of Man. When we deny that universal conscientious knowledge to form our personal opinions we inevitably open ourselves up to conflict with others. Catholicism Christianity in general teaches those natural law principles. Regrettably Christianity today is held in low esteem. So low that salons and saloons are thought more vital.

    • I agree with your comments about riots and other social problems. In the Christian tradition is not either or, The question is how we are responding to the inequities of the present as Christians. Do we need seriously confront the social institutions and their unjust and evil practices? What do the gospel and the social doctrine of the Church tell us to do? What kind of Catholics are we and what is our present responsibility?

      • Rigoberto your views on a Christian response are justified. Leadership is a requisite. Unfortunately we don’t have a consistent message or means to communicate in our pluralistic opinionated Church. Each of us individually can however do much by spiritual means, and of course Laity have the freedom to advise, address needs to pastors and bishops in accord with canon law.

  8. Chis Samson may be expressing the desire for someone to reach him and probably your writing style is not appealing to Mr. Samson’ ear and heart. I can say the same about the other people which whom I shared the CWR articles. My psychologist friend may agree with me too, concerning the kind of materials postmodern folks read and understand. I did not criticize your writing style. I am just aware that the kind of audience to whom you write may be different and the articles are less appealing to many common folks of the postmodern era.
    I do not intend to put you down or on the defense.” I am not the problem here”. Or “if you said so. Whom am I to question your pointless comment?” I know self-acceptance is a gift from the Holy Spirit. If I read the CWR is because I like the content of it, some of the articles help me to understand where I need to be as a practicing Christian Catholic. I will pray for the gift of humility for both of us and as Pope Francis frequently says “Please pray for me I am a sinner”.

    • I appreciated both of your responses. As an African American “cradle” Catholic, I am searching for the Catholic Churches’ and my Catholic brethren’s response to not only George Floyd’s murder but the many unjust killings of fellow African Americans. I do not see many Christians – Protestant or Catholic – speaking out against the racial injustices in America, the divisiveness of President Trump who has ushered in a “new day” of acceptable racism in America. I guess simply put I’m looking for Christians who will not accept the status quo when it comes to racism – will not turn a blind eye or remain complicit in their silence. It is difficult belonging to a predominantly White Church where you do not always feel embraced. Of course, I have chosen to belong to a predominantly Black parish and therefore I am fully loved and embraced and have an awesome priest who is an advocate for social justice. However, I have attended mass in other churches and am reluctant to extend my hand during the peace of Christ for fear of rejection which has happened on to me on several occasions. I digress. I am nonetheless committed to being Catholic.
      My mother who grew up Catholic in the segregated South has taught me that her faith is not based on the actions and attitudes of those in the Church which itself use to relegate black members to the back of the church during mass. Therefore, my faith as a Catholic will not be shaken. I simply remain disappointed by people’s response and lack of understanding to the plight of minorities in this country. They come across hypocritical, judgmental, incapable of compassion and understanding. Just plain unloving – leaving me to question whether they serve God or just the idea of God? Does one walk in the love of Christ or the righteous of religion?
      This article started off on an interesting note, but did not offer the hopeful response to the present situation I was seeking. It doesn’t make it good or bad, just still looking…

      • Carla, I consider you a sister so I can be clear and open. I have spent alot of time and years looking at all this prejudice and I find that many Christians accept everyone as Jesus asks us. I came of age in the 60’s and am completely familiar with the black experience. I am the friend of the black people. I don’t go to demonstrations or riots to show my love of God, but I have to say I have experienced the strongest racism from black people toward me. Especially one memorable time when my car broke down and I had to use the phone in a black people’s bar. It did not bother me to go in there but it did them. Whenever I have needed a friendly hand from a stranger, it most always is a spanish person. I tried to have a friendship with a very intelligent lady who treaated me like dirt and whenever I was around she loved to talk about white trash. I have been discriminated against as a woman and assumed to be a dumb blond many times. I think much comes your way because people are fallen and broken and they try to put someone beneath them and the color of skin is very easy to see and quick for those slow minds who dont want to bother with thinking. Why spend any time with it? I had surgery and there were four surgeons, two were black, one being a woman (2 strikes against her !!). And as I slipped into unconsciousness I thought well finally racism is gone!! Wrong, I spent 2 years praying with Christians at a planned parenthood near a college and we tried to tell black girls that Margaret Sanger was a racist. They didn’t care or even understand.
        I thought but did not say, Black lives matter. In all that time no person of color came to pray with us. You could not find a person who cared more for Mr. Floyd than I, it hurt so much, and when he wanted his mother it broke my heart, but we have to see it as an evil thing that is all around and stop identifying with it. We are one in Christ and no one can take that away. Something wicked this way comes and wants so much to divide us. He prayed that we all be one. I’m with HIM. God Bless us every one.

        • Good comment – but the reason I had to respond is that we watched “Something Wicked This Way Comes” with our children – in the 70’s, and I saw you used the phrase. Good memories, home schooling and teaching them the Trivium, and Quadrivium – and the True Faith – thanks to the Daughters of St. Paul, and a good Eastern Rite parish. Through the prayers of the Mother of God, may our Savior save us! Rick from Oregon

      • “However, I have attended mass in other churches and am reluctant to extend my hand during the peace of Christ for fear of rejection which has happened on to me on several occasions.”

        Carla, you could easily have been at my church and I could easily not have shaken your hand. Not because of your presumption that it must be racism, but because I think it’s modernist nonsense, and I don’t shake hands in church; not with strangers, not with family, not with friends. I also don’t hold hands during the Our Father, or hold my hands up in the air as if I were the priest, for the same reason.

        Why must the Church or any of Her members publicly announce a position on the terrible death of George Floyd? Manifestly, it was an evil thing. There is no possible excuse for the action of the policeman who did it. It was an abuse of power, it was an act of personal evil. I don’t know or even know of anybody who thinks that it was acceptable. What is the point of insisting that every person and every institution and every church and every group individually state the obvious?

        “The many unjust killings of fellow African Americans.”

        In 2019 235 black people were killed by police. I don’t know whether the police in question were black or white. I don’t know how many of those who were killed were endangering others at the time they were killed.

        In 2018 (the last year for which I can find statistics), 7,407 black people were murdered in the United States. Approximately 93% of them were murdered by other black people. That’s 6889.

        But even that number is minuscule in comparison to the number of black babies who are aborted. I saw one estimate that it is an average of 900 babies every single day (other estimates were even higher). That’s over 328,000 babies in one year, killed by their own mothers.

        The President whom you accuse of divisiveness and of ushering in a “new day” of acceptable racism in America is trying to stop abortion.

        “They come across hypocritical, judgmental, incapable of compassion and understanding. Just plain unloving – leaving me to question whether they serve God or just the idea of God? Does one walk in the love of Christ or the righteous of religion?”

        And you accuse them of being judgmental? For pity’s sake, *listen* to yourself.

      • In other words, you are looking for a church filled with progressives who will cater to your social and political agendas. Good luck with that. Your post reveals that you are doing the very things you accuse others of doing, you are being the very thing you accuse others of being. Pull the log out of your own eye, repent of your own sins, and get your own moral and spiritual house in order first. That’s a more constructive response than pointing fingers. You might just find that the world looks very different from the vantage point of humility.

  9. “Murder”? I stopped reading there. This is why the so-called Right in this country – especially Establishment Conservative Inc. – is less than useless. They all just accept the mass-media and Antifa approved-Narrative. The autopsy report showed no traumatic injuries in keeping with strangulation or asphyxiation. It’s likely Floyd actually died of a heat-attack – unfortunate, but not something the police could have predicted or prevented. But, the approved Narrative – which useful idiots on the right play along with – has already decided this is just a straight-forward case of police brutality based on stills from an edited video, so no further investigation needed, let’s just go burn cities.

  10. Feast of Mother of The Church today ..Mother of our domestic churches ..
    Mother of the temples of The Spirit that our bodies are to be ..and a Mother that rightfully ought to have authority over all her sons , an authority to command us in love , command our bodies , mind and soul , all of creation even to praise God, in holiness …to help us all avoid all misuse of power , at all levels …
    Humans are often accused of lust for power and true indeed too , once the death spirits of fear are invited in , through whatever means , thus loosing the grace and capacity to heed The Mother’s voice .

    Rosary invocation that invites in The Mother , thus to prepare hearts for being more open to the graces of the Holy Mass .. to bring all the wounds there , to accept His merits as mercy and holiness, to thus forgive and be forgiven , to join with The Mother and The Spirit and command ..to praise more..

    May many heed Mother Church that asks us often enough ,to come to The Mother , to kneel at her feet ..that The Spirit is given the rightful power , to reach in to drive out deep seated hatreds and fears and bitterness of all pain , through countless sins against life , against purity and dignity of relationships , even related generational spirits ,
    to instead focus on powerful images , such as that of The Mother of Sorrows , the devotion given as remedy for the Rwandan genocide ..to trust that , through her , with Her, The Spirit desires to share His power with us , to command evil darkened hearts too , to receive His love as mercy , in The Lord , to become pillars of fire in The Spirit , as She is for us .
    Glory be !

  11. In California, we were told that we needed a temporary lock-down to ensure that we had sufficient hospital bed space. As it turns out, this was a false pretext. The truth is that we’ve had an abundance of bed space, yet the lock-down continues.

  12. When I was a college student I was in a riot which celebrated the Football victory of ASU over USC to win the PAC-10 Conference. Why? Because the student mob was full of adrenaline and Satan is more than accommodating to encourage mob mentality. It was turning into violence and chaos but the Tempe police had the strength of will to pepper spray the most vocal and rowdy – riot over. Yesterday, my teenage sons (19, 16 and 13) asked me at 5 pm if they could borrow the car, I asked them why? And they said their friends texted them that a demonstration was in progress downtown. I asked them if they felt that strongly against recent police action and they said “Sort of”, they mainly wanted to get together with their friends from school that they haven’t seen since February. I get it – but I was there too when a a peaceful gathering became a release of angst against adults telling them what to do all the time. So I told them, ‘No car’, they all sighed a collective “awww” and then forgot all about it – (Thank the Lord it started to rain real hard, too). So in the end what’s new – like the Emcee in the movie Cabaret, Satan has good laugh at how easy it was to the tempt the gullible, says “Auf wiedersehen… a bientot”, bows and walks away in disgust.

  13. Thank you Carl Olson for an excellent article well written. I’ve been thinking a lot about these issues. The great divide in our culture is to say the least, alarming. The Covid 19 crisis (and the nonsense that resulted–as you cogently point out) and the recent rioting/insurrection lead me to the conclusion that we are in for rough times indeed.

  14. The sad events related to the St.John Paul 11 center visit too – tried to look at the images of the shrine to see , where was a large Vilnius image of The Lord ..

    and what a powerful occasion it would have been , for the world to see the tender compassionate Fatherly gaze …

    The Blood and Water , of purity and deliverance , to wash off all sorts of death spirits , to instead bring the new Life in The Spirit , of His goodness and hope for healing ..

    Hope the K.O .C would be able to make reparations for same through out , to be blessed more , as Columbus was inspired through The Mother, to reach out, to the ends , to lands afflicted and run by violence ..
    to be led instead , to RACE –
    Run for Abba , in Christ Ever –
    for His praise , to help nations and hearts to know of His goodness ,
    to help restore the lands that were filled with the
    ‘ Race ‘ – of being Run Around ,( by the ) Cruel Enemy –
    as was the case of Mexico as well many a lands afflicted by pagan spirits .

    Instead , to convey , in fidelity , The Lord’ s call –
    ‘Bring them to Me ‘. to His Heart of holiness and mercy , to trust in Him , asking Him to pour in His holiness , into all wounds ..
    to help restore what was lost in The Garden ..

    may be in the silence of Adam , who might have neglected to share with Eve ,
    his call and responsibility with her , in love ,to have been tilling and guarding ..
    Thank God that Mother Church and many a holy soul through her , make up for same .. often in the silence of adoration ..

    Glory be to The Most Holy Trinity ..

  15. I’m surprised that I haven’t seen any posts – here or anywhere – connecting the spike in Covid-19 cases with the riots around the country, so let me be the first to point out the rather obvious fact – actions have consequences.

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