Loving truth and staying sane in a world gone mad

Even in the best of times politics is favorable to irrational hatreds, but the problem becomes worse when people reject natural law and transcendent loyalties, and so view the whole of life as endlessly changeable through collective action.

(Image: Peter Herrmann/Unsplash.com)

The Supreme Court’s vision of a society in which each defines his own “concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life” has been realized all too thoroughly.

What it means is that America has lost touch with reality.

It’s hard to know what to say about the situation. The usual point of writing for publication is to add to public discussion, but what if public discussion no longer relates to a common public world? Can it be said to exist?

It’s even hard to give concrete examples of the problem that others will accept, since people don’t agree about what’s real. For many people, transgenderism provides a wealth of examples. The New York City officials who threaten fines of up to $250,000 for “misgendering” don’t seem to agree.

The madness is social rather than individual. There are signs that mental problems are becoming more common in America, with later generations less stable than earlier, and young liberal white women—who are often acutely susceptible to social cues and so likely to be vulnerable during bad times—having the most difficulty.

But such findings are difficult to interpret, most of us don’t see much connection between political and other forms of craziness among our acquaintances, and the people who seem politically crazy to many of us include educated, accomplished, personally stable, and highly reputable figures.

What we are seeing, then, is less an epidemic of madness spreading from the personal to the public than a complex of influences that disrupt public thought as well as private life. The trends that are making sensitive young people come unglued—for example, the electronic disintegration of reality into a mass of images and soundbites in which anything can mean anything—are having the same effect on political discussion.

Take, for example, a recent piece by the New York Times editorial board, titled “Every Day Is Jan. 6 Now”, which treats the events of that day as an attempted coup that was part of a continuing attempt to abolish democracy by means ranging from voter ID to violent insurrection.

An unarmed coup that kills no one and has no plan and little apparent organization doesn’t strike me as much of a coup. Nor does widespread public concern about voting security seem much like an attack on democracy. To me, the NYT piece looks like a collection of silly fantasies intended to justify extraordinary measures against Republicans, and above all against a Trump victory in 2024. Rhetoric such as the claims that “the Republic faces an existential threat” and “the only thing that matters in the end is whether you get it done” suggests a willingness to do anything at all that could head off such a (presumed) catastrophe.

What these people say matters a great deal. They speak for the most influential news organization in America and probably the world, the one that sets the agenda for mainstream journalism and so helps establish an understanding of the world that much of public life is based upon. So if they say that half the country have aligned themselves with deranged criminals who must be defeated at whatever cost, that’s a big problem.

They would respond, of course, that Trump and his supporters are the insane fantasists driven by delusion and other bad qualities to extreme measures. Some readers will agree with that—it is a common view among presumably responsible and well-informed people including journalists, university professors, the elite bar, and national law enforcement agencies.

But that is the nature of our current madness: public reason and those who normally stand for it are no longer functional. Rational public discussion requires networks of trusted investigators and authorities. And when they’re no longer present it disappears.

So what to do? Our own views seem obviously correct to us, but our opponents see their views the same way. We can appeal to legal procedures such as elections, but mutual distrust means their outcome will be doubted. Or we can try an appeal to authority, which ideally serves as a common principle above faction. But in a deeply politicized society the authorities themselves become political. What they say becomes one more weapon in the struggle and so loses legitimacy.

That tendency has affected the authority of elected officials, cultural heroes like the Founding Fathers, and the institutional authority of experts, including people on the Times editorial board.

It can even affect the authority of the Church, at least as a practical matter, when her leaders allow personal political and social affiliations to affect their official acts and pronouncements.

The authority of Reason, Doctrine, and the Good, Beautiful, and True remains, but who can be trusted to present it accurately in a time in which everything is spin? Time, patience, and reason—in theory at least—together with love of truth and humanity, can overcome such problems. After all, man is a social and rational animal, and these things make for unity.

But such influences have limited practical effect. Life must go on, and we can’t constantly be putting our fundamental beliefs in question. So people usually stick with the basic views and loyalties they already have, with a few fiddles and fudges to deal with awkward problems, and sometimes a tendency to radicalize or moderate positions when circumstances seem pressing.

Since principled unity can be hard to come by, we normally try to maintain peace through compromise. But that becomes difficult as trust vanishes. Those who are more moderate than the Times editorial board can try to appeal to a supposed non-radical silent majority, but such people can be hard to find and organize in an age of loud voices, propaganda, and extreme views.

Even in the best of times politics is favorable to irrational hatreds, because it involves compulsion regarding matters that touch us closely. The problem becomes worse when people reject natural law and transcendent loyalties, and so view the whole of life as endlessly changeable through collective action. Such views radically increase the stakes in political disputes, with the result that they easily slide into something very much like civil war.

So what to do in a situation that, at least among the people who are politically most engaged, looks less like anything described in a high school civics textbook and more like a house of mirrors in which the possibility of rational discussion regarding a common public reality has disappeared?

Three basic suggestions might be useful here.

First, we must avoid hatred. We must pray for our opponents, that they—along with us and our friends—may be given the gift of prudence, and converted to all that is good, beautiful, and true. It may help to remember that it is unlikely they are simply being perverse, and should not usually be blamed personally for what seems worst on their side. Very likely, their overall position makes sense of their very different understanding of the world, which is likely to have intelligent and seemingly trustworthy advocates.

Second, we must avoid factionalism. That means holding our own position with integrity. We cannot live by lies—our own or those of other people. So we must give primary authority to truth, and be willing to consider other arguments and evidence, even though loyalty to what seems obviously good and real (as well as exercising caution in accepting the conclusions the loudest voices are pushing) is always prudent. Avoiding factionalism, for many people, will involve reducing involvement in political back-and-forth and putting their efforts where they can do more good.

Finally, we need to remember that our trust is not in princes and our hope is not in this world. The radically secular point of view that turns politics—human will backed by force—into a religion is false and unreliable. The tyrants who accept that view and follow through on its implications never last long, no matter how much damage they cause in the short run. And we should never join them.


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About James Kalb 126 Articles
James Kalb is a lawyer, independent scholar, and Catholic convert who lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is the author of The Tyranny of Liberalism(ISI Books, 2008) and, most recently, Against Inclusiveness: How the Diversity Regime is Flattening America and the West and What to Do About It (Angelico Press, 2013).

40 Comments

  1. Sorry, Mr. Kalb, I fear you are way too late for avoiding factionalism. That’s here to stay until one side mercilessly crushes the other (an important lesson of history). Serious thought must be given to dividing the nation. If, as it appears they do, some want to live in a one-party, authoritarian state, let them have at it. Let’s run the experiment that the elites and their fawning followers want. Let’s see if barren sex, unbridled crime, racial retribution, redistribution, total surveillance and conformity can produce the utopia they envision. (It will be interesting to see which side most of our bishops choose.)

    • But there’s the problem of what to do if people are insane. Crushing them mercilessly doesn’t seem helpful even if possible since it means you accept their world. Consider the consequences of counter-extremism against Bolshevism.

      • But, maybe “they” are not simply insane…Maybe they’re something worse, the Western version of jihad terrorists? Of which, this….

        The jihadist network clearly knows that killing of innocents [or, say, killing coherent thought and human civilization] is immoral, but they are experiencing a horrified “desire to escape reality or transform it along the lines of a second reality more congenial to the PNEUMOPATHOLICAL terrorist imagination.” (The capitalized term applies to a spiritual sickness rather than any psychological or psychiatric disorder or perverse rationalization at least calculated to achieve justice, if by whatever means.)

        They KNOW what they are doing; “They are not psychopaths who cannot distinguish good and evil or innocence and guilt” (Barry Cooper, “Jihadists’ and the War on Terrorism,” The Intercollegiate Review, Spring 2007).

        So, maybe it’s not about our own risks of hatred or factionalism, or about eschatology. The lunatics—and worse—are in charge of the asylum. Sometimes maybe a strait (also straight!) jacket?

          • Agreed, the fireman does not negotiate with the fire. If there still is a fireman…

            Take for example, a major West Coast city where a repeat-looter was very recently caught by security guards pushing a 70″ TV out the front door of a Target store. The “security” guards were restrained from actually DOING anything, and when the city police arrived, they issued, what, a “no-trespassing” citation. Such is the “discussion.”

            The city can be identified by its end-to-end graffiti adorning the freeway retaining walls. Part of the graffiti, now, is the layers of grey paint that cannot keep up with events. This is the same city where several blocks and even a Police Precinct Station were occupied by the mob in June 2020, and at the beginning of which the mayor could be heard live: “we gave you free junior college education, what more do you want?” and who likened the surge to a block party. The Capital Hill Occupation Protest (CHOP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitol_Hill_Occupied_Protest

            Entitlement coddling and such from the Left, and now worse, which surely set the stage for what had been unimaginable in this country since the War of 1812, the events of January 6 at the nation’s capitol. (And, yet, excluded from in Pelosi’s Congressional investigation.)

  2. “They would respond, of course, that Trump and his supporters are the insane fantasists driven by delusion and other bad qualities to extreme measures”

    History shows us that where injustice reigns division remains

    “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”

    This statement answers the fundamental questions, the ones that have provoked the spiritual search since humans first walked on this planet as it confronts the ultimate reality of each individual’s short physical appearance in the Cosmos, which ends in our physical death. Jesus is saying I myself am the Truth that leads to life the ultimate reality of eternal life in our Creator.

    The future of the planet and discord amongst and within nations is ongoing, we are not to worry as
    “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”

    Within all of us is a divine spark, timeless is this spark that dwells in the heart/soul, so small yet encompasses all, waiting for the Wing (Higher Consciousness) of the Dove to be fanned by the Truth of love. The divine spark is the essence of our individual spiritual reality and is ignited if we honestly confront His living Word within our hearts as this will induce us to acknowledge our human weakness/sin in humility before our Father in heaven. This causes the divine spark within us to be amplified as in at that moment in time we harmonize with our Creator/Truth the essence of Love and in doing so we receive the reciprocal love of His Holy Spirit permitting us to penetrate the fog of deception (Sin) and grow spiritually (Grow in Wisdom as He did) while becoming gentle and humble in heart which is reflected in this Our Lords teaching

    “Take my yoke (One Iota) upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

    We as Christians need to be seen by mankind in being honest with ourselves by acknowledging openly our warts and all, in doing so we will be seen to be walking in obedience to the Truth (Way) if we do this His Light/Breath will dwell within us manifesting itself as humility a disarming action in the simplicity of being honest, as His Holy Spirit now dwelling within us will encompass those we encounter along the Way, leading them to follow His Way of Truth/Love onto the spiritual pathway of humility as they also drink from the new wine (Truth) of His Holy Spirit then they too will become ‘new skins’ for Him to dwell within.

    Only then will it be possible to put aside historic attitudes of condemnation, misogyny, bitterness, even wars as all these sins commence from the war/discord/conflict of contamination within each individual heart which is reflected in the contamination of our planet.

    I have made the statement below which bears witness to the Truth on this site and many others several times over the last two years no one ever responds whereas frivolous (words without action) questions are debated endlessly.

    “A humble heart (Church) will never cover its tracks or hide its shortcomings, and in doing so confers authenticity, as it walks in its own vulnerability /weakness/brokenness in trust/faith before God and mankind. It is a heart (Church) to be trusted, as it ‘dispels’ darkness within its own ego/self, in serving God (Truth) first, before any other”

    So, is the Holy Spirit active in those who read this statement and remain silent?

    As the above statement confronts this reality
    “A world (& Church) that’s morally (and physically) collapsing is in dire need of returning to the Gospel Truth. Pope Francis often reminds us of this”

    Please consider continuing via the link
    https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2021/08/29/the-strange-case-of-bishop-saunders-leaves-many-questions-unanswered/#comment-277697

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

    • “I have made the statement below which bears witness to the Truth on this site and many others several times over the last two years no one ever responds whereas frivolous (words without action) questions are debated endlessly.”

      Maybe there’s a reason why no one is listening or responding to your long-winded, rambling posts. Maybe that says more about you than anything else. Just maybe, it’s you, not us. Something to think about.

  3. A good piece, with the issue – the situation, the problem – clearly stated. Methinks that it is time to take the ‘S’ words out of retirement – Silly, Stupid and Sad – and put them back into the firing line.

    Start with the NYT – Describing their piece as a “collection of silly fantasies” is a good start. The very making of such statements is stupid, and the very fact that such a previously eminent and respectable publication has (long ago) sunk to this level is sad.

  4. “…looks less like anything described in a high school civics textbook…” Kalb

    That presupposes that civics textbooks are even used in high school any longer. I recall an observation shared with me wherein from one school year to the next without any fanfare or announcement “civics” was quietly replaced with “social studies.” A quick internet search reveals amazingly consistent definitions of both to wit: “Civics is the study of rights and duties of citizens within a sovereign nation. Civics often involves the study of citizen’s interaction with government and the role of government in citizens lives. Social Studies is the study of human interaction in a societies and cultures.” Two very different programs.

    If in elementary or high school I ever took a course entitled “Civics” I do not recall it but I clearly recall taking “Social Studies.” (And admittedly this is just my anecdotal experience. I am not in the education field.) It seems to me that those are two very different approaches, and probably not by accident to effect different outcomes in establishing an understanding of how we are to develop and think as citizens. Are we seeing the fruit of this playing out in today’s political discourse?

  5. So what to do? (Kalb). National law enforcement agencies have taken the radical bait. When the agencies meant to secure justice are the unjust the madness may have reached its ebb. We already see a turnaround among Dems, liberals, maybe Bill Maher a bellwether realizing their survival requires order.
    James Kalb’s three points can work [there always hope, prayer is a powerful force] if there a person or persons who can lead. A man of high ideals and impeccable moral character [Aquinas mused they’re extremely hard to find] to rationally convince.
    Similarly we’re at the highmark of extreme danger when an ideological messiah appears who assumes to restore order as did Adolf amidst the dissolute chaos of Weimar Germany. A Roman Pontiff of strong moral character could restore us and the world to sanity.

  6. Catholics are not joined at the hip with the man-made government in Washington, DC. It matters not what is said and done in Washington because Catholics are followers of Christ and not that golden calf in Washington. Catholics get their direction from the Church, not Washington DC. We need more people in Church.

  7. “What these people [writers at NYT] say matters a great deal.”

    To minds incapable of independent and reasoned thought it matters.

    Countervailing forces include prayer-time rather than screen-time. Eternal Tradition and Scripture, running fast from interminable synodal dis-syntheses. Homeschooling. Large families. Cooperating and furthering communities of like-minded individuals. Family, Family, Family. Developing God-centered existence, attending to His truths. Worshipping the Good and the True, in justice, with light. Developing virtue by knowledge and practice. Reading classics of humanities (Great Books). Etc.

    Resolved in courage, strong in faith, taught by Love.

  8. Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions on this issue. Confusion and factionalism seem to be in the lead right now. I have been trying to follow your 3 suggestions in my own way for awhile now – thanks for a better definition of them. Prayer to Our Lady for her help and regular participation in the sacraments are vital as well.

  9. Identity politics is the mother’s milk of factionalism. Identity politics gatekeepers/spokespersons can personally benefit greatly by sowing discord. For them domestic tranquility is bad for business.

  10. “An unarmed coup that kills no one and has no plan and little apparent organization doesn’t strike me as much of a coup.”

    Except that people did die. Crimes were committed. A violent mob didn’t need to have anything more than vague marching orders from a despot. It was designed to erode public trust. A long game aiming at 2024 or 2028.

    “Nor does widespread public concern about voting security seem much like an attack on democracy.”

    I think the greater concerns are about voter suppression, which this country does, alas, have a history of providing.

  11. “It is unlikely they are simply perverse. Very likely, their overall position makes sense of their very different understanding of the world” (Kalb). Intent of this judgment of America’s collective insanity is sterling. Benevolent. The moral responsibility of crazies’ for the perverse is another matter. As such, differences for madness exist, differentials referencing an interconnectedness of related mental states. “In most legal systems, criminal responsibility requires both a bad act and a culpable state of mind. Mens rea. While the gradations of mens rea vary, the most severe criminal statutes demand the defendant acted with intent to the resulting harm” (Ethical Issues in Criminal Responsibility. Science Direct). A premise widely known to legal scholars in determining responsibility for persons diagnosed with a mental disorder including insanity is whether that person made efforts to remove evidence [frequently connected to an alibi]. Evidence of knowledge of right and wrong.
    The crazies James Kalb refers to, who are “unlikely perverse because of their different understanding of our world” would likely not be subject to legal reparation for the damage to the nation, the violent rioting, attacks on persons, police, businesses and so on, if the crazies were law abiding professors, politicians, elected legal officers. Although, ethically, if not in accord with civil law they are quite responsible for perversion of the moral as well as its repercussions in the civil juridical order. The point made here is that any form of viable reconciliation between the two fixed positions, those who adhere to “Reason, Doctrine, and the Good, Beautiful, and True”, and those who instead refute natural law and Reason, the Good is that the radical liberals are obliged to recognize and acknowledge their responsibility for the wrong they’ve inflicted on the rest of us. If they cannot be convinced of their wrong they’ll very likely not agree to reconciliation.

    • While Mens Rea [here physical destructive acts as well as morally destructive] appears evident by admission of reasons for justification, systemic racism for one as purported by violent actors in the streets and those in academia, law enforcement, justice, politicos the arguments for justification themselves demonstrate sanity insofar as responsibility although both the violent and the ideologue have disordered ideas. It’s this disorder, the reversal of right and wrong that we are required to present to the perpetrators. The eternal standard the means do not justify the end should be a starter. That requires viability of a good end and admission of wrongful means. Responsibility.

      • Jeremiah 6:1 Flee for safety, O people of Benjamin, from the midst of Jerusalem! Blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and raise a signal on Beth-haccherem, for disaster looms out of the north, and great destruction.

        Psalm 78:70-72 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the nursing ewes he brought him to shepherd Jacob his people, Israel his inheritance. With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.

        Zechariah 14:5 And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

        2 Chronicles 20:20 And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.”

        1 Corinthians 1:27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

        We acclaim God for His word. Context is vital and yet, God’s word spreads itself to broader expanses.

        God imbues you with wisdom to proclaim His mercy.

        Praise the God of Israel.

  12. Crimes were indeed committed. Bashing windows and cops are crimes. But there are worse crimes every week, and the only people who died were Trumpists – including one woman who was shot dead by a cop for no obvious reason.

    Vague claims about vague marching orders from a “despot” who couldn’t control his own administration aren’t impressive. And so far as I can tell, “voter suppression” is name calling. What proposals are going to keep qualified voters from voting?

    • “‘voter suppression’ is name calling.”

      No. Name-calling is labelling a specific person with a label. Voter suppression happens when counties and states fail to provide adequate access to voting in non-white neighborhoods.

      Your reference to Ms Babbitt is unfortunate. She was shot early in the insurrection when credible reports suggested the rioters had concealed weapons. She failed to heed the audible and lawful warnings of both Capitol Police and the Secret Service–people tasked with ensuring the safety of elected representatives. Maybe a taser or pepper spray would have sealed the breach in the chamber. Any compassionate person would lament the persistent use of deadly firearms by law enforcement. I am sure you and I would both support better police training and a more limited use of guns against citizens.

      I do agree with you that unrest is social. I’d say white men and upper economic classes seem most worried, given the backlash against civil rights efforts the past few years. Certainly most of the Capitol rioters were white.

      • Again, what proposals are there that would keep qualified voters from voting?

        Also, what’s the evidence Byrd reasonably believed Babbitt was armed and dangerous, or that he warned her? The whole thing seems to have been videotaped.

        • 1. The closing of vote centers. 2. The failure to extend voting to weekends. 3. The failure to make Election Day a holiday. Overall, the premise that the US is plagued by widespread and organized voter fraud is a total myth.

          As for the case against Ms Babbitt’s shooter, it was investigated, as we all know. Now, in this instance you stand with many Blacks who have been outraged at the majority of police shootings in which the killers (in their eyes) have gone free under a strong presumption of good intent. If you have spoken out in favor of BLM, then I think you would have an integrity in a consistent ethic of life on this matter. Regardless, I think non-lethal means should be attempted in all confrontations. The powers that be would seem to disagree with us.

          • What country would you present as a democratic ideal with regard to voting? It seems to me in most places considered democratic people show up on election day, present ID, vote, and that’s it. That’s not considered fascist.

            So far as I can tell the investigation of thbelievee Byrd/Babbitt shooting consisted of an announcement it was justified. For a long time Byrd’s identity was even suppressed. But what do I know? If it was just like a lot of other situations (as you seem to say) then please tell me where I can see comparisons. This is an important issue.

          • As long as the ID has no cost; this is one issue. When the federal government insists on fancy cards at their prices, they are effectively levying a poll tax when they associate it with voting.

            Now, for same-day registration, a citizen should be able to present any reasonable identification which verifies who they are and where they live. They and every voter signs a legal oath stating they are eligible to vote.

            It helps when Election Day is a holiday, so no workers are obliged to work. It also helps when polling stations are open from Saturday through Tuesday to give people who have to work a reasonable set of options.

            Other democracies have aspects we would do well to adopt. It’s worth a study, and likely putting non-party persons in charge of voting.

            Unless you were involved with the investigation of Ms Babbitt’s shooting, you don’t really know, and neither do I. Whenever a peace officer kills a civilian there are investigations. These usually aren’t made public, other than the final result. I don’t know why you would expect this one to be treated different from, say, Tamir Rice.

        • Thank you for mentioning this poor woman. Her death was treated as insignificant particularly by people who attached massive reverence to the death of Mr Floyd. Neither should have died but according to some only one life was worth creating full scale destruction of ordinary peoples businesses.

  13. We definitely live in an upside down world where transgenderism and homosexuality are coming to be revered! Children in elementary school are being coddled and taught that if you feel you are a different gender than the one of which you were born it is okay to have surgery and change it! The whole institution of marriage is being ripped apart, now it’s okay for a man to marry a man, a woman to marry a woman and if a person is confused about gender just become what you feel like! Now it is coming into the church by European cardinals calling for the church to change its teaching on homosexuality and transgenders, allow priests and bishops to embrace this life if they have these tendencies and the European churches especially Germany are embracing this!!! Also it is being said that teachers and staff of Catholic schools should not be fired for being and living a homosexual or transgender lifestyle!!!!! This is so SICKENING!!!! The Bible has a lot say about the immorality of this and Sodom and Gomorra were destroyed because of it but now the ones who adhere to this want you to think that if you agree with scripture you are either wrong or have interpreted it incorrectly!!

    But instead of addressing the immorality they say let’s end the Extraordinary Latin masses that is the problem!!! I am so glad I am older and don’t have another 40-50 years to put up with this madness and don’t even want to think how much crazier this world will be in another 40-50 years if it lasts that long!!!! I will live my Catholic faith by what has always been not where it is going!!!!! Lord have mercy on us! Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us!!!!!

  14. Mr. Kalb, in 1981, following the first Synod on the Family, St. John Paul published Familiaris consortio. Among the many very valuable words in that Exhortation, two sections caught the eyes of earnest family life ministers, and even the USCCB dept of Education (before M&F realignemt into secretariats). It was nos. 65 and 70-71. In effect it says (a) to accompany couples and families through their life cycle; (b) no plan for organized pastoral work must ever fail to take into consideration the family. Perhaps if these two prescriptions by St. John Paul had become integrated into parish ministry, Pope Francis would not have needed to call another Synod 35 years later.

    The wisdom in St. John Paul’s ideas is that a parish need not hire a full time staff member, add to their budget, or increase calendar/space competition. Adopting a family perspective strategy, it needs to accompany, evangelize, catechize and strengthen the domestic church where it already intersects in sacramental catechesis, and to form catechetical partnerships with parents in routine faith formation. But I suspect most parishes barely get the engaged married, underwhelm and bore parents at infant baptism, and rescue them from there on out by allowing them to drop off their children at the church once a week, thus colluding with lukewarmness.

    Our households spend more hours DAILY on various screens (where they are being well “evangelized” by the Evil One) than they do in a week at a parish. One solution to the demonic anomie you so well describe Mr. Kalb is for the Church to courageously transform its core ministries so as to honor the vocation, mission, and dignity of marriage and family life, and raise up happy, healthy, on-the-path-to-holiness couples, parents and families.

    The domestic church, in serious trouble, is the organic foundation of the organism known as the Body of Christ. This other Vocation at the Service of Communion (CCC 1534) needs to be renewed. There is such inconsistency in preparation models/content for marriage and infant baptism (the two sacramental building blocks of the domestic church), that it might take a revolution to jump start such a renewal. However else the Church might act in this cultural environment, its long term mission needs married couples as priests, prophets and kings in their families and communities, and to live up to their second promises at the baptism of their children. St. John Paul gave us the framework. That’s what I believe, and I’m sticking to it.

  15. James Kalb, I join you in your work of building the Kingdom of God. As a fellow citizen of it, I am finding the “watch and pray” admonition more and more essential to salvation. We can all be easily deceived by the multitude of “false prophets.” I laud your message because I recognize the Truth. The truthful are prophetic!

  16. Well said. I must add that that’s the cancer democracy is suffering from – the cancer of freedom, freedom to forget the natural law and truth and get aligned to destructive entities. Agreeably, “that is the nature of our current madness: public reason and those who normally stand for it are no longer functional.” Sad. But there can still be a way out that transcends even the three ways suggested in this article because the three ways of avoiding hatred, avoiding factionalism and recourse to religion are themselves abused by the perpetrators of anti-truth. The problem stems from families, and what the families feed their children. I agree with Mark Bauerlein that “The Millennials are right to be angry. Too often, though, they are angry at the wrong things… What they should be angry about is growing up without grownups around them who would stand firm for traditions and canons and norms of taste.” So let the parents and guardians be the best models and guides to the young ones before we create a monster of the future with not only stupefied but dangerous adults. (https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2022/01/17/the-decline-of-reading-and-the-rise-of-stupidity-an-interview-with-mark-bauerlein/)

  17. God restrains a large amount of evil, yet it persists and grows day by day! He wants all to come to the knowledge of saving grace and he uses evil, for people to search for good. We combat evil with good (spreading the Good News).

    God is just and merciful and shows us the way through reading the Bible and thru our prayers. Further, He gives us warnings and He gives knowledge and peace in our hearts to those who search for him.

    2 Timothy 3:1-5 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

    2 Peter 3:3-4 Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”

    1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,

    Luke 21:36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

    Knowledge is good, godly wisdom is better.

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