Humpty Dumpty, the Corruption of Language, and the Destruction of Society

We know that the strategy of attrition used by 20th-century ideologies is the same today: wear people down through the repetition of the big lie or lies.

Left: Humpty Dumpty from "Through the Looking Glass" (1871) by John Tenniel (Image: WikiCommons); right: Random words (Andreas Fickl/Unsplash.com)

Almost everyone is familiar with Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass. In one of its most famous passages, Carroll neatly encapsulates the central issue in the use and abuse of language:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” ‘The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”

Alice knows words are sentinels for actual things. Humpty Dumpty wants words to mean whatever he says they mean. It is truth versus will. We will take a look at some modern Humpty Dumptys. However, this will not be a comedy. We will see how unfunny the corruption of language is in the form of two destructive 20th-century ideologies that shed light on one in our own time.

Self-identification and the meaning of language

I begin with a few anecdotes that illustrate the problem. Last year, I returned to school for a semester to audit a course on Aristotle’s Metaphysics at Catholic University under the great philosopher Msgr. Robert Sokolowski. Aristotle taught that the essence, or nature, of a thing is what makes it what it is, and why it is not, and cannot be, something else. Man can apprehend a thing’s essence or nature by naming it – by defining it with words. As an aside, in one class, he related the following incident. At a multidisciplinary conference some years earlier, Msgr. Sokolowski had spoken of a tree as being real. A lady scientist in the audience became upset by this and scolded him, saying that “a ‘tree’ is a signification we project on the other.” The name “tree” only indicated the signification he had given the object. In other words, the origin of the thing, the idea that the tree is “real,” only existed in Msgr. Sokolowski’s mind and not in the object that he had called “tree.”

I wish the scientist had been asked if she was real or simply a signification in the minds of others – or perhaps a signification in her own mind. Appositely, an Iranian writer in exile in the United States, Shahriar Mandanipour, recently wrote: “When defenseless language is being abused to fabricate lies, one must write to prove that the word ‘tree’ means ‘tree”’. The Iranian understands that a thing, such as a tree, discloses what it is, in its essence, to the person encountering it. Msgr. Sokolowski’s scientist apparently believes it is the person who discloses to the thing what it is through the signification he or she places upon it. Speech, then, is not a reflection of a disclosure but a means of control. It is not an exercise of apprehension, but of will.

A year ago December, I took a kamikaze run at the federal government by returning to it as the head of an agency that I had led 20 years earlier. It is an organization of some 1300 employees. When I entered the handsome building on Independence Avenue, there was nobody there. It reminded me of the Vincent Price movie The Last Man on Earth. He wakes up in his house one morning and goes out into the city. It is empty. Everybody is gone. That was my experience returning to federal government. I did finally find an office manager and one other woman and queried them as to where people might be. She answered, “Well, they have self-identified as vulnerable to COVID and are at home.”

The other woman nodded. “Yep, that’s it, they have self-identified as vulnerable.” I thought it was a laugh line, so I took a long pause. No one laughed. I said, “Aren’t there objective criteria by which to judge whether or not someone is vulnerable, such as a pre-existing medical condition?” No, I was told, it is self-identified as vulnerable. I then asked, “Do I have a secretary?” Yes. “Where is she?” “She self-identified as vulnerable.” “Well, what is she doing?” I queried. “She is working from home,” I was told. “Working from home?” I exclaimed. “I have not given her any work to do, so what work might she be doing?” No doubt, she self-identified as working from home. But who’s to say my secretary was even real, and not just a signification that had been projected on her, just as had happened to the “tree”.

This is a minor example of the self-identification syndrome, part of the endeavor to create ourselves in our own image through the concomitant corruption of language. More serious examples will be given later. First, we need to address further the meaning of language and what words do and why they are not simply projected significations.

In Genesis, it is man who names the animals. The power to name is the power to know. Reality becomes intelligible through words. Aquinas wrote, “Man named the animals. But names should be adapted to the nature of things. Therefore, Adam knew the animals’ natures.” The connection between words and things is real, metaphysical. Joseph Pieper put it this way: “Man speaks so that through naming things what is real may become intelligible.” In his use of words, man grasps things in their essences.

No one spoke more eloquently on the profound significance of words than Étienne Gilson and Max Picard. Gilson wrote:

Man alone has been created with a knowing mind and a loving heart, in order that, by knowing and loving all things in God, he might refer them to their origin, which is at the same time their end… His essential function is to lend his voice to an otherwise speechless creation, to help each thing in publicly confessing its deepest and most secret meaning, or rather its essence, for each of them is a word, while man alone can say it.

This beautiful reflection means that each existing thing is the result of Logos, the word of God. But man is the only creature in the universe that can speak the word that each thing is. Man is meant to lead the chorus of praise. That’s what words are for. It is a purpose that imparts a sacred character to them.

The 20th-century Swiss mystic Max Picard also spoke of the hieratic character of language:

The eternal and objective quality in language is the reflection of the divine Word by which the world was created and which is still actively at work in language. ‘The living Word which created and sustains the world,’ writes Potter, ‘still hovers in our hearts and on our lips.’ The original and eternal being of language seeks to be realized by men;… the goodness that strives to enter into human language and to expand within it.

Furthermore, Saint John’s Gospel states: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Through the Incarnation of the Word, creation becomes all the more sacred. Now the integrity of language has a supernatural sanction.

Since it is in the Word that words have their origin, the effort to depreciate words by severing their connection to reality ultimately depreciates the Word itself. The purpose of semantic suppression and linguistic jujitsu is to transform reality, or rather to create an ersatz reality, in order to accommodate certain preferred disorders. We don’t want what we do wrong to be wrong in reality. In fact, it’s what we convince ourselves of when we freely do it. Then we must convince others that our wrong is right – in fact, make them accede to this inversion of reality. This assault on the integrity of words is driven by what Eric Voegelin, a philosopher of the 20th century, called Gnosticism. He spoke of it as a spiritually pathological, magical reconstruction of reality, or of a “second reality”.

Here is how it works. Voegelin wrote that,

In the Gnostic dream world . . . non-recognition of reality is the first principle. As a consequence, types of action which in the real world would be considered as morally insane because of the real effects which they have will be considered moral in the dream world because they intended an entirely different effect. The gap between intended and real effect will be imputed not to the Gnostic immorality of ignoring the structure of reality but to the immorality of some other person or society that does not behave as it should behave according to the dream conception of cause and effect. The interpretation of moral insanity as morality, and of the virtues of sophia and prudentia as immorality, is a confusion difficult to unravel.

Voegelin spoke of the effects this has on language: “the obsession of replacing the world of reality with the transfigured dream world has become the obsession of the one world in which the dreamers adopt the vocabulary of reality, while changing its meaning, as if the dream were reality.”

Niccolò Machiavelli had this operational insight into the weaponization of words: “When it happens that the founders of the new religion speak a different language, the destruction of the old religion is easily effected.” The Machiavellian revolutionary, then, must inculcate new ways of thinking and speaking that amount to a new language. In the Discourse or Dialogue Concerning Our Language, Machiavelli compared using one’s own language to infiltrate the enemy’s thoughts with Rome’s use of its own troops to control allied armies. This helps us see how the current infiltration is operating and how far it has progressed.

Marxism-Leninism, Nazism, and the manipulation of language

In order to understand our own time better, let us briefly examine two 20th-century examples of the manipulation of language to create second realities. This, after all, is not the first time the world has dealt with a Gnostic imposition of a dream world. From Marxism-Leninism and Nazism, we shall also see that one cannot deny one part of reality without it affecting the rest of reality.

If you have ever had to read a Marxist-Leninist text, you will be familiar with the doublespeak of the dream language that the ideology used. According to the class theory of history, Marxism-Leninism would rescue the worker through the dictatorship of the proletariat and the liquidation of the bourgeoisie and the upper classes. Vladimir Lenin called for purging the Russian land of all kinds of “harmful insects,” of which it turns out there were many millions.

How would this be achieved? In The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx said Communists, “Openly declare that their ends can only be attained by the forcible overthrow of all existing institutions.” To attain this end, Lenin declared, “Everything is moral which is necessary for the annihilation of the old exploiting order.” He made explicit that, “The scientific concept of dictatorship means neither more or less than unlimited power resting directly on force, not limited by anything, not restrained by any laws or any absolute rules, nothing else but that.”

During the last days of the Soviet Union, I had the privilege of meeting Alexander Yakovlev. As a member of the Politburo, he was second to Gorbachev. After the Soviet Union fell, Yakovlev had a turning of the soul. He led the Commission for the Rehabilitation of the Victims of Political Repression in Russia, concentrating especially on what had been done to religious communities. Because of the Marxist-Leninist misuse of language, religion became the enemy. Yakovlev said that approximately 200,000 clergy were killed during some 60 years of Communist rule. Another 500,000 religious figures were persecuted and 40,000 churches destroyed. Half the country’s mosques and more than half the synagogues were also destroyed.

Yakovlev recounted that, “Clergymen were crucified on church’s holy gates, shot, scalped, and strangled. I was especially shocked by accounts of priests turned into columns of ice in winter. Building on the maxim that religion is the opium of the people, Lenin gave the order to carry out a campaign of merciless terror against priests, etc.” This gives us some insight into the real world consequences of the abuse of language and its use to create the illusion of a second reality, which is then forcibly imposed with terrible consequences.

I have been reading the diaries of Victor Klemperer, a Dresden Jew who miraculously survived his entire time in Nazi Germany. Klemperer’s earlier conversion to Christianity and his service as a decorated soldier in World War I didn’t affect the Nazi definition of him as a “Non-Aryan”. As a consequence, he was dismissed from his university. It may have helped his chances at survival that he was married to a Christian. In any case, as a professor of philology, he had studied language. His journals, I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years, chronicles the time from 1933 to 1945, in two large volumes. At the granular level, they show how the Nazi ideology seeped down into the interstices of society, transforming everything – the media, the arts, grocery stores, finances, department stores, medical care, how people dressed, what they were able to say, and especially how they spoke.

The Nazis’ perversion of the German language left very little untouched. Klemperer explains, “This new language adopted by everyone in a mechanical and unconscious manner, like a poison that one swallows drop by drop without even noticing it, was my only subject of study during these wretched years.” For instance, he notes that the German word for “fanatic” changed from one of opprobrium to one of approbation. Likewise, the words “brutal”, “ruthless”, and “hard” became terms of praise.

After the war, Klemperer wrote a book titled The Language of the Third Reich, analyzing the words that were used to corrupt the German mind. As a result, he said, “It is not only Nazi actions that have to vanish, but also the Nazi cast of mind, the typical Nazi way of thinking, and its breeding ground, the language of Nazism.” As early as 1923, Hitler had stated: “The Jew is certainly a race not human. He cannot be human in the sense of the image of God.” Simply change human to nonhuman and six million people disappear.

What did Hitler think he was doing? How had he thought of his race theory of history that so closely paralleled the Communist class theory of history in its dehumanizing operations? He would have told you at the time – indeed, he said so time and again, whether in Mein Kampf, in his dinner table conversations as recorded in Table Talk, or in his many speeches – that he was following the science, not his emotions. In 1938, he declared: “National Socialism is a cool, reality based doctrine, based upon the sharpest scientific knowledge. . .” What science was that? Darwinism, survival of the fittest, blended with modern day eugenics, some of which he got from the United States (e.g. Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard).

Hitler was well read in books justifying eugenics and eliminating the unfit. He installed a program to do precisely that well before the camps opened to eliminate the Jews and enslave the Slavs. He proclaimed, “The laws of life are eternal and we want to obey these laws and make the German people organized.” The Aryans were the ones to win the Darwinian struggle to the top as the fittest and they would prove it by eliminating the unfit and not letting anybody who was less fit than they to pollute their bloodstream. Charting the progress in this project was the largest daily newspaper in Germany, the Nazi Racial Observer.

Like the need for “absolute power” in Marxism-Leninism, Hitler declared in Mein Kampf, “Brute force can alone insure the survival of the race.” In 1933, Hitler became Chancellor. In 1935, Nazi Germany passed the Nuremberg Laws, stripping Jews of their citizenship and prohibiting the marriage of a Jew to a non-Jew. Then came Kristallnacht, the burning of synagogues and the smashing of Jewish store windows, and, then, the full horror show began. As early as 1920, Hitler had said, “you can[not] fight a disease without killing the cause, without annihilating the bacillus. . .” Just as Lenin redefined his enemies as “harmful insects,” so Hitler redefined the Jews as bacilli.

By 1935, what was one to do? There were courageous Protestants like Martin Niemöller and, of course, the great Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who paid for his opposition with his life, and an even larger number of equally courageous Catholics. But what about the guy in the street? What about you? What do you do when something like this happens? The attitude can easily be: “Well, we lost that one. We will just continue on as best we can. It is probably just this one thing. Too bad for the Jews.”

No, it’s too bad for you. That was just the start. The semantic infiltration goes to seize your mind and you had better conform to it, rally to it, and be changed by it. The government campaign to achieve this was called Gleichschaltung, or “Coordination.” This was handled by government institutions like the Reich Chamber of Culture to bring artists into ideological alignment, the Reich Film Chamber for movie rectification, the Reich Radio Chamber, the Reich Chamber of Literature, and the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda to do the same for the press. Even in areas of life untouched by the government’s “Coordination” efforts, people voluntarily took it upon themselves to “self-coordinate” – Selbstgleichschaltung. Why not report on one’s neighbors if they fail to give the Sieg Heil salute or are insufficiently enthusiastic? The ultimate cost of all this coordination was more than 30 million people dead in World War II.

The metaphysics of unreality and the corruption of language

From these historical examples, we know that the strategy of attrition is the same: wear people down through the repetition of the big lie or lies. We are undergoing a similar corruption of language. This explains the reason for and the operation of the inversion of language. It is what we are living through now. We are accosted by a dream world, or a second reality, constructed by LGBTQ, etc. movements, and all the alphabet disorders’ allies, who insist that any discomfort they feel, any kind of alienation they experience, is a product of our having produced it in them. So, what needs to be changed is not their moral disorders, but rather it is we who need to be changed. We must be brought into conformity with the dream world which they have constructed and in which they live.

Their demand is that we accede to this dream world, comply with it, and pretend along with them that it is real, which would make us, of course, complicit in the damage that it inflicts. The comedian, Dave Chappelle, had a dustup over his Netflix special last year when he said, “I know that trans people make up words to win arguments. This is a real thing.” Indeed, it is. The whole alphabet movement is a charade of made-up words. The word “homosexual”, for instance, was invented in the late 19th century precisely to promote the acceptance of sodomy. It took a while, but it worked.

The challenge from the trans movement could come right out of a Groucho Marx movie. In Duck Soup, when Chico is caught in a bald-faced lie, he responds: “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” The trans version of this would be, “Who are you going to believe, me or my lying chromosomes?” Because a boy is actually still a boy, and the girl is still a girl, though you will be suborned into admitting the opposite. Abraham Lincoln once asked: “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Five?” No, said Lincoln “Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

What are the metaphysics of unreality underlying this corruption of language? Where did it come from? We know where Aristotle, Aquinas, Gilson, and Picard came from – the metaphysics of reality. Jean-Paul Sartre’s paramour, Simone de Beauvoir, asserted that nothing has an a priori identity: “The basis of existentialism is precisely that there is no human nature.” Voila! Modern man decided that things no longer have essences; they are without natures. What, then, are names in relation to them? There is no longer an intrinsic connection between words and the world.

As Humpty Dumpty might say, reality becomes whatever we say it is. Naming is not knowing, but determining. In other words, since reality is nothing in itself, we get to make it up according to our druthers. We even get to make up ourselves. Since there is no human nature for de Beauvoir, there is no feminine nature either. Therefore, she said so presciently, “The mammary glands that develop at puberty have no role in the woman’s individual economy. They can be removed at any moment in her life.” When reality disappears, poof, a woman’s breasts disappear like magic.

“Nature,” De Beauvoir insisted, “is not something given.” How can this be? How can anything be anything if it has no nature? If “nothing has an a priori identity” and if nothing is “given,” why would surgery be necessary to change it? The authority of nature could not be more directly or aggressively contravened than by the surgical assault upon it. Suffering from what one is by nature is what these unfortunate trans people experience. The transgender person strikes back like a slasher against an attacker. Only when the attack is over can it be seen to have been against oneself — which is why, according to Walt Heyer, who underwent such a surgery, “41 percent attempt suicide.” There is an inherent logic to this. What is transgender surgery other than a partial suicide? A woman suicides her femininity, a man commits suicide of his masculinity. What is left is still a woman or a man, but now horribly mutilated. Many of them are then disposed to finish the job. In addition, according to Heyer, “90 percent have significant forms of psychopathology, 61 percent also have other psychiatric disorders and illnesses, 50 percent have depressive symptoms, 40 percent showed symptoms of anxiety.” No wonder. Metaphysical contradiction leads to self-contradiction, even to self-annihilation. It is in the gender abattoir that we can see what this truly is: a revolt against being.

In Virginia, teaching the trans ideology has been mandated in the schools. You must call a boy a girl and a girl a boy, if that is the identity the parents choose for their child or if the child chose it for itself. According to Policy 8040 of the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS):

LCPS staff shall allow gender-expansive or transgender students to use their chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their gender identity without any substantiating evidence, regardless of the name and gender recorded in the student’s permanent educational record. School staff shall, at the request of a student or parent/legal guardian, when using a name or pronoun to address the student, use the name and pronoun that correspond to their gender identity.

The children are encouraged to make these choices even in early grade school.

A young teacher in Loudoun County, Tanner Cross, refused to comply. He was told that a girl in his class had “transitioned” and was now a boy. He was to change pronouns accordingly and fall into line. He refused to do so. This is the reason he gave:

It is not my intention to hurt anyone, but there are certain truths that we must face. We condemn school policies that would damage children, defile the holy image of God. I love all of my students, but I will never lie to them regardless of the consequences. I am a teacher, but I serve God first, and I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it is against my religion. It is lying to a child. It is abuse to a child. It is sinning against God.

Tanner Cross had his Thomas More moment and he passed it. What he did created a stir in Virginia. As a partial consequence, there is a new governor and a new House of Delegates, and the trans policies are being walked back. Tanner Cross has returned to his work. So, it is not quite 1935 in America yet. We can still fight back, and the brave people who refuse to lie are the ones who lead. However, anyone who thinks that the denial of reality today is any less profound than it was in 1935 Germany is kidding themselves. Does this statement sound too extreme? Then try this: publicly state that surgically disfiguring yourself so that you can pretend you are a person of the opposite sex is both futile and wrong; or proclaim that giving an underage child hormone blockers to skew their sexual orientation is child abuse and immoral – and see how long it takes for you to be canceled.

In 2018, Benedict XVI warned about the power of “the global dictatorship of ostensibly humanist ideologies.” He said:

Contradicting them means being excluded from the basic social consensus. One hundred years ago anyone would have found it absurd to speak of homosexual marriage. Today anyone opposing it is socially excommunicated. The same goes for abortion and creating human beings in a laboratory. Modern society is formulating an anti-Christian creed and opposing it is punished with social excommunication. It is only natural to fear this spiritual power of Antichrist and it really needs help from the prayers of a whole diocese and the world church to resist it.

In a high act of Gleichschaltung, the Coordinator-in-Chief, President Biden signed an executive order upon entering office that required Section 1557 and Title IX be interpreted to include gender identity as a protected trait. According to Newsweek: “The reinterpretation meant that gender transition interventions, services, surgeries, and drugs on demand—even for children—were required regardless of a doctor’s medical judgment, religious beliefs or conscientious objections.” A U.S. District Court judge’s ruling blocked the Biden administration’s mandate. Affronted by this judicial assault on Coordination, the Biden administration is, of course, appealing.

This is how far it has gone. Consider the chemical castration of a child. Think of a parent who would do that to their child. Think of the school that would approve and encourage that it be done and insist on conformity from the other children to go along with the program. Think of a doctor who would perform this, and you see that all those sectors of society have already been infiltrated by the second reality. This is how deep the rot is. The media is on board; the corporate gurus are on board; the educational system is on board; even the military is on board.

Concerning the latter, I had a private conversation with a military officer. I asked him how the alphabet disorders go over with the troops. Apparently, the U.S. military never left Obama land during the Trump administration because the female adjutant in his unit, following the guidance of Simone de Beauvoir, had her breasts removed and whatever other horrible surgical deformations were required for her to return, supposedly, as a man – all expenses paid by the Defense Department (courtesy of the American taxpayer). When she returned in her new guise, the others in the unit were instructed by the commanding officer to refer to her as “he” – a clear example of “Coordination” or Gleichschaltung, as the Germans called it.

I also asked the officer, “How does it break down within your unit as to who accepts the trans dream world and who knows there is something wrong with it?” He answered: “It is not so much a matter of officers versus enlisted men. The demarcation line is between who has had a college education and who has not. The people with college educations are with the program. They do not see a problem. The people who have not gone to college respond, ‘You have got to be kidding; this is crazy.’” They have kept their common sense. Of course, they can only say this privately or they will be penalized. In an Orwellian touch, the Biden administration has established a Disinformation Governance Board in the Department of Homeland Security. This is from the same administration that has a Gender Policy Council. Big Brother is watching.

Here are examples of how self-coordination, Selbstgleichschaltung, is working today. Walt Disney Co. energetically self-coordinates. Disney executive producer, Latoya Raveneau, says that she advances a “not-at-all secret gay agenda” for children’s animation. “I was just, wherever I could, adding queerness. No one stopped me, and no one was trying to stop me.” Indeed, they were “super welcoming.” A senior Disney executive, Karey Burke, claims to have a child who self-identifies as transgender and another one who is “pansexual.” In a statement that epitomizes “self-coordination,” she said: “I hope this is a moment where…we just don’t allow each other to go backward.” When it comes to China, Disney self-coordinates in a different direction. For the Chinese market, it edits out all the LGBTQ-related content.

At a more local level, one of my wife’s friends was accosted by a neighbor, who came over and angrily demanded that she and her children apologize to her daughter because her daughter now thought she was a boy. This woman insisted that my wife’s friend’s children use the new pronoun, and now call Jill Jack. So, it is not necessarily the state police or the school board who move in and enforce “Coordination.” It is one’s neighbors whose minds have been conformed to the construction of the dream reality. In acts of self-coordination, they then attempt to impose it on those around them. School districts are also active. In Wisconsin’s Kiel Area School District, three eighth-grade boys are being investigated under Title IX for “mispronouning.” Apparently, this is now a form of sexual harassment. According to The Wall Street Journal, “these children used ‘her’ to refer to a classmate who wants to be called ‘them.’” They must be made to do this because the only way the dream reality can survive is by expanding.

Conquering to survive by appealing to the “purposelessness of things”

Napoleon made the famous remark, “I must conquer to survive.” Why? Because he was an illegitimate ruler. He came to power through a coup d’état. He knew that what legitimacy he could give himself would come only through successful conquest. So, he could never stop. The inversion of language also must conquer to survive. Its proponents have to keep pushing. They insist that you participate. You must join the lie or be ostracized. Otherwise, some kid like Tanner Cross is going to stand up and blow them away by speaking the truth.

Here are a few examples from other spheres of life that are under daily assault from the dream world. Some of them are amusing in a Humpty Dumpty sort of way, but unfortunately they are not fiction. For instance, the New York City Health Department form for new parents requesting birth certificates asks whether the person giving birth is male or female. Humpty Dumpty gets to decide. After all, explains Andrea O’Reilly, professor at the School of Women’s Studies, York University, Toronto: “Motherhood is… primarily not a natural or biological function.”

Several Christmases ago, an advertisement on the Hallmark Network showed lesbians kissing under the mistletoe. When the network pulled the ad, there was a concerted backlash, including from GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). The Hallmark Network caved under pressure. The president of GLAAD, Sarah Kate Ellis, said she was thrilled by the reversal because otherwise, as she explained to CNN, “for my wife and I to try to explain this to our ten-year-old twins is mortifying.” The mortifying thing in this sentence is not only its grammar but the fact that Sarah could not possibly have a “wife” because she is a woman, and the children could not possibly be “our” ten-year-old twins because only one of them could possibly be the mother, and the other one could not possibly be the father. Where, in fact, is dad?

In a more recent example, the Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg took paid paternity leave after announcing that he and his “husband,” James Glezman, “are delighted to welcome Penelope Rose and Joseph Augustus Buttigieg to our family.” The first thing to notice is that the family is a matriarchy because Buttigieg considers himself the “wife” in relationship to Glezman. But if Glezman is the “husband,” why isn’t Buttigieg named Glezman? Rather, Glezman took Buttigieg’s name, and the children have his name as well. So, it is a matriarchy. The next question is how could Buttigieg be on paternity leave when he is not the father, but is pretending to be the mother? The mother would be on maternity leave. The photo used to introduce the two men with their adopted twins is of them in hospital smocks lying in a hospital bed, holding the swaddled babies. Who stage-managed that shot? Had one of them just given birth? The optics of being photographed in that way were perfect for encouraging the delusion of the dream reality.

This raises the issue: where is mom? In all the media and political celebrations of how wonderful this was, no one asked the question as to where the real mother is and under what pretext the children were taken from her. Was she just used as a breeder? Or what, exactly? Nobody mentions her, as if her existence is an indiscretion. Mom has been canceled, just like the father of the GLAAD president’s twins.

Because this has been going on for so long now, it is not unusual for grown children from such arrangements to gain access to the files and track down who their real mother or real father is. When that happens, the first thing the grown child is likely to ask the missing parent is: where were you? Why didn’t you want me? The open wound is there. They are the casualties of the dream reality that has been created only by excluding at least one of the parents. However, these victims exist only in reality, and not in the dream world. So, they are generally ignored.

Sometimes, Gleichschaltung and Selbstgleichschaltung have synchronized movements. For instance, President Joe Biden was particularly proud of his inclusivity in the nomination of Rachel Levine to be U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health because Rachel is really Richard, before surgical intervention. (In the real world, Richard had a wife and children; in the dream world, he doesn’t.) Joining the official celebration of Richard’s transmogrification, USA Today, without even a touch of irony, self-coordinated by declaring Rachel “Woman of the Year.” Even though it got it wrong, at least USA Today made a stab at what a woman is. Otherwise, there could hardly be a “Woman of the Year.” During her Senate confirmation hearings to be a Supreme Court justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson did not do as well. When asked by Sen. Marsha Blackburn, “Can you provide a definition for the word ‘woman’?” Judge Jackson lamely replied, “I’m not a biologist.” Since Jackson’s husband was in the audience, perhaps Sen. Blackburn could have asked him if he knew.

I have encountered similar absurdities in online debates with homosexuals regarding their self-coordination. The dialogues are hilarious in a way, almost as if written by a satirist, but nonetheless serve as perfect illustrations of how complete the inversion of language is in the dream reality and how it ultimately affects everything else. At Mercatornet.com, I had an online exchange with a homosexual about the purpose of sex and procreation and, in this particular instance, the requirement of consummation for the validity of marriage. In civil law, it is or was nearly always the case. I said:

Homosexuals cannot physically consummate a marriage – which means and has always meant coital sex. Isn’t that obvious? How could you possibly deny it? (His responses are italicized.)

You ask how anyone could possibly deny that homosexuals are unable to consummate a marriage. It’s easy. The word “consummate” flexes a little just as the word “marriage” has done. Consummation means something slightly different for a gay couple than for a straight one. Does it matter? Do we even need the word “consummation” in a gay marriage?

Simply call a giraffe a donkey and, voila, it becomes one! Magic! Just like homosexual marriage.

Yep. That’s more or less the way it works, except that there has to be widespread acceptance of the word’s new or expanded meaning.

Do you really think your redefinition of reality actually changes reality? If so, you are living in a magical world—and I don’t mean Disneyland. Welcome to the world of Gnosticism and all its attendant spiritual pathologies.

According to my interlocutor, nothing has a purpose. The eye is not for seeing, he says. It simply sees accidentally. He has to say this because he needs to establish that our sexual organs have no purpose, either. They are not unitive or procreative. Of course, if were this true, my interlocutor would not have been present. Neither would any of us. He claimed:

Homosexual acts serve the same primary function for homosexuals as heterosexual acts do for heterosexuals. Arousal and release guarantee the smooth functioning of the nervous system… It is obviously not essential that semen end up fertilizing an egg.

But you obviously cannot deny that the purpose of the semen is to fertilize the egg.

Yes, I can deny that. I just did. Maybe it’s hard to grasp, or maybe you’re clinging to a popular, not a biological, understanding of the word “purpose.”

Here is another example – this one from Amazon comments in a negative reaction to my book, Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything:

Where I disagree is with the traditional assumption that natural entities have ‘in-built purpose.’ This is a mere assumption, not something that has been discovered. The assumption results from projecting the way we create our own artifacts onto the creative activity of nature. Without this assumption the natural law case made against homosexuality fails. To truly support his argument, Reilly would have to PROVE that this age-old assumption is the actual truth of living things. (I would assert this to be an impossible task as living things are as ultimately purposeless as everything else in the universe.)

The purposelessness of the universe would seem a high price to pay for the rationalization of homosexual behavior, but it appears to be a necessary one. The “purposelessness of things” is the underlying metaphysics that allows for the Gnostic transformation into a dream world or a second reality – spelled out so explicitly, as we saw earlier, by Simone de Beauvoir. So why not lop off the mammaries and why not support Joseph Stalin, as she and Sartre did? So what if he had to eliminate millions of people. Those were “insects,” right?

The flight from reality will surely fail

However, using things outside of the purposes for which they are made despoils them. Everything has a purpose. A thing’s purpose lets us know what it’s for. Our corrupt culture is a denial of this reality. Thus, the misuse and abuse of things, persons, and selves. If you remove something from the natural order in which it finds fulfillment, it becomes self-destructive and self-alienating. In Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Father Zosima, an Orthodox Christian monk, warned:

Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect, he ceases to love, and in order to occupy and distract himself without love he gives way to passions and coarse pleasures, and sinks to bestiality in his vices, all from continual lying to other men and to himself.

This is the horror through which we are now living, but these derangements will not succeed in the long run. Dream worlds do not last. Such dreams invariably turn into nightmares from which people eventually try to wake themselves. After all, reality still exists; it cannot be banished. Logos will reassert itself one way or the other. How long it will take, how much damage the dream reality will cause, is up to us. We must confront the counter principles of existence with the real ones. Above all, don’t allow yourself to be “coordinated,” and, by all means, do not “self-coordinate.” As Alexander Solzhenitsyn counselled, “Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me. The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie.”

Reflecting upon his experiences in Nazi Germany where he had been imprisoned, Heinrich Romnen, one of the great teachers of natural law, wrote,

When one of the relativist theories is made the basis of a totalitarian state, man is stirred to free himself from the pessimistic resignation that characterizes these relativist theories and to return to his principles.

Like him, we must stir ourselves. In respect to the issue of natural law and natural reason in our decrepit day and age, Monsignor Sokolowski counsels, “We have to restore the very concept of natural ends.” We have the means at hands to do this in our own country’s foundation. They are called “the laws of nature and of nature’s God.” Further encouragement comes from Eric Voegelin: “The closure of the soul in modern Gnosticism can repress the truth of the soul, but it cannot remove the soul and its transcendence from the structure of reality.”

This is why the flight from reality will surely fail. Humpty Dumpty will have a great fall. We can help make sure this happens by something as simple as telling the truth. As Robert Cardinal Sarah advises: “When barbarians doggedly persist and use the most refined methods to destroy morality, the family, and the mystery, it is necessary to speak forcefully.”

(Editor’s note: This essay is a slightly edited version of an address given by the author in Chicago on February 11, 2022, to the Catholic Citizens of Illinois.)


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About Robert R. Reilly 17 Articles
Robert R. Reilly was Senior Advisor for Information Strategy (2002-2006) for the US Secretary of Defense, after which he taught at National Defense University. He was the director of the Voice of America (2001-2002) and served in the White House as a Special Assistant to the President (1983-1985). A graduate of Georgetown University and the Claremont Graduate University, his books include The Closing of the Muslim Mind, Making Gay Okay, and Surprised by Beauty: A Listener's Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music. His most recent book, America on Trial: A Defense of the Founding, is published by Ignatius Press.

45 Comments

  1. This is so long I don’t have the patience to read it. I’m sure I agree with most of it. A precis would be appreciated and more appropriate for a general audience. Just my opinion. Take it for what it’s worth.
    Today’s TCT is a succinct reflection on what children/we are being “taught” by Humpty’s acolytes. (Neat word, eh? I hope I’ve used it correctly).

  2. Thank you, Mr. Reilly for this effort to expose the treachery of language manipulation. With our eyes open, we recognize its essence and find deception and malevolence. Gleichaschaltung is a powerful word that captures what we see challenging our basic understanding of reality. It is nothing less than coercion. We are rendered unable to identify that which stands before us unless we are told. This begs the question, from what source? From whence does truth and reason speak? Joe Biden? Postmodern college professionals? Politicized newspeak? We know none of these are truth based. This chilling essay is a call to speakers of truth, the Gospel. I hope they are listening. I fear, they spend their time reflecting on what is the most advantageous Selbstgleichschaltung.

  3. Robert Reilly might be interested in George Orwell’s Essay “Politics and the English Language”. It is very short, 20 pages in a small pamphlet. It addresses just this topic of misused language and words and shows exactly how it is done. Highly recommended.

  4. With such a pervasive denial of reality, expect more mass murders as an expression of rebellion against the insanity of our culture. Changing gun laws could never be an antidote to societal psychosis – despite what Humpty Dumpty says.

      • It’s not a “blog piece”. It’s called an essay. We don’t expect people to read what they don’t want to read, but we also aren’t going to post nothing but 600 word essays written for the third-grade level. Judging by the comments, some folks are able to handle the rigors of a longer essay.

        • A subset of “essay” is “blog piece.” You also know that reading level isn’t determined by length but by vocabulary and sentence construction. Sometimes a public address doesn’t adapt as well to the essay form.

          I did find Mr Reilly’s secretary adventure amusing. Clearly an agency of 1300 employees doesn’t depend on any single boss to assign work or get it done. Did he not think he had a predecessor? Or did he think that before he was hired, 1300 people were just sitting around twiddling until the new boss came to town?

          I rather like the notion of a new America in which underlings get a measure of personal freedom to work where they wish. Even from home.

          Also, meiron, you may use my first name in conversation. It is a real name. Not a pseudonym. The name-calling is neither welcome nor mature.

          • “. Sometimes a public address doesn’t adapt as well to the essay form.”

            Sure. And sometimes they do. Sigh.

            The term “blog” has varied and widened over the years (as I know well, having been one of the first Catholic bloggers), but CWR is not, by nature, a blog. It is an online news/commentary journal.

            Do you try to be condescending and know-it-all, or is it just second nature?

          • Now that legal notice has been served with said reference to said name, I do hereby attest and consequently do hereby affirm that I have been duly notified, duly advised, and so I do acknowledge said clarifying and said notice so as to be therein consequently received. (Not necessarily to be honored or 100% complied with the force of Christian law as Gospel commandment, but nonetheless received).

            Perhaps one would understand that some have trouble typing lengthy names.
            Just as some see some ‘blog piece’ as ‘too long,’ typing a name of considerate length thwacks others as particularly irksome. Assigning and accepting nicknames generally signals an ease of personal amiability, but hey, I understand that others are easily touched in an inordinately sensitive and prickly manner. Mea culpa.

      • Reading skills suffer when one limits one’s reading to net-flash.

        Gilberta said the piece was “so long” she didn’t have patience to read it. She did not say it was “too” long.

        Further, Gilberta didn’t call it a ‘blog piece’ and didn’t say that she expected anything different.

        Accuracy in reading and in reporting leads to credibility. Right now, Flower, your level on the scale shows Low.

  5. Chillingly built monument to the destructive effects of language control. We see it everywhere. I recall thinking I would never use, for example “health insurance’ instead of “medical insurance’ as a term, and I still don’t. The meaning is very different. That was a term invented by a political party in the USA intent on changing our understanding of what we are buying and/or voting for at the time, because, after all, who is against health? And it has been a relentless attack of our language and meaning of all words since then, until we are now hearing supposedly a learned person proclaim that s/he does not know how to define, say, female, and others do not want such horrible words such as male or female on birth certificates , and we have biological males competing and winning against biological females, winning the awards, the finances, the college entrance, turning back the gains women have made in the last 50 years, all for the emotional meaning of a word.

  6. The world the flesh and the devil conspire, by blind consent, to orchestrate a triple destruction of the human. The chemical mis-mapping of sexual arousal in the flesh onto a false source/image/idol; the greater riskier intoxication of daring to carry this fantasy of private chemical dream ‘outside’ into the theatre of others attention and potential attraction; and the ecstatic eclipse of the Sun; the self-identity that ascends spiritually to a cosmic throne of pride; the mind replacing humblest creature rectitude with the ultimate counterfeit of actualized perversion. The magnitude of falsity is confirmed by the violence of its defense; which is denial of the real, attachment to the unreal, and the blasphemy of forbidden (lived) ultimacy. The Divine Will is infinite life; the human will is misery, weakness, suffering, hell and death. The heart choice is Heaven – be ordered to reality; or flesh, ordered to the non-reward of insatiable intoxication.

    The Church could not have received a more monumentally tonic oration in this distressing week pondering the size of the crisis unveiled by Matt Walsh’s film and Abigail Shrier’s book and the phantasm edging toward every catholic persons doorstep. Bravo Robert! Thank you so much!!

  7. Recalling Alexander Solzhenitsyn and the resilience of truth, Russian folk literature offers a proverb that will outlive the malignant dark side of modernity: “One word of truth outweighs the whole world.”

    And as for transgenders, Biden—the “follow the science” guy—should look up from his teleprompter…

    Noting the afflictions suffered by gender-transitionals (reported above), we also find that the authors of a 2019 study, which claimed so-called gender-transition surgery may improve the long-term mental health of recipients, actually issued a CORRECTION, nearly a year after publication. The authors of the study—Richard Bränström, Ph.D., and John E. Pachankis, Ph.D.—report that: “the results demonstrated no advantage [indeed!] of surgery in relation to subsequent mood or anxiety disorder-related health care.” https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2020/08/04/researchers-reverse-gender-surgery-offers-no-advantage-to-mental-health/

  8. All that we need to do to be allowed to live is that we agree to pretend that reality isn’t happening.

    The head of the self-declared “Conservative” Political Action Committee, or CPAC (what’s his name, is it Matt Clapp?), celebrates that the male swimmer from U PENN who couldn’t compete well against fellow male swimmers is now defeating actual women swimmers…in his role play for the NCAA as a fake female. This is for the same reason that the City of New York manipulated its own contest and over-ruled NYC voters and chose to erect statues of “men-pretending-to-be-women” to promote “woman-hood” in NYC…BECAUSE (as one witty reporter observed, using words basically to this effect) “No one can do being a woman better than the three male queers pretending to be women.”

    Thus, the “C” in CPAC actually stands for “CONFORMIST,” and what we pay lip service to as “The Good, The True, and The Beautiful” is NOT being “conserved.”

    Because we all must all pretend reality is not happening…or else.

  9. Excellent! Mr. Reilly gives me comfort to know that there are still some who see the issues faced by all of us today.

  10. “By knowing and loving all things in God, he might refer them to their origin, which is at the same time their end” (Gilson in Reilly). A marked difference of the Precious Blood poured out in pure love, and Adolf’s propagation of blood lust, Journalist William Shirer’s [The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich] description of Nazi worship of Aryan blood, the Blood Flag, from which all Swastika banners are touched and sanctified.
    Robert Reilly gives much space to the Hitler phenomenon. Rationale here is found in Leni Riefenstahl’s The Triumph of the Will. Voluntarism in both Fascist Nazism and liberal democracy. The latter acknowledged by Lewis Carroll’s Humptey Dumpty’s, “It means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less”.
    Yes. Nazism and today’s Liberalism have this essential feature in common explaining why the latter can be so ruthless in exerting their convictions as the former. If Nazis can depict Jews as cockroaches in propaganda films liberals can depict conservatives as deplorables [and worse] a danger to self assumed rights. When God is refused entrance into the human psyche other forms of worship enter. Why worship? Due to man’s inherent nature to focus on a raison d’etre.
    “By knowing and loving all things in God, he might refer them to their origin, which is at the same time their end” (Gilson in Reilly). Idolatries persist sans this decision. Cardinal Sarah quoted at the end if his [Reilly’s] indictment of the Wayward both German and American [et al] counsel’s we must respond forcefully when the liberal despots and their moral carpetbaggers [now mainly nominal Catholics in Congress the worst of the worst] behave as self righteously hostile toward the righteous as did Hitler’s street gangs and Gestapo [the arrest en route of Peter Navarro handcuffed put in leg irons at the airport an example of liberal Nazism].
    “Without love [Fr Zosima’s warning] he [the man who lies to himself] gives way to passions and coarse pleasures, and sinks to bestiality in his vices, all from continual lying to other men and to himself”. This Orthodox monk a man of in depth prayer and worship of the Father perceives the refusal of the infinite good that is God revealed in Christ itself a lie, inevitably countenanced with myriad lies [He was a liar from the beginning] in imitation of the heavenly lair cast into hell. Lies, error, abominations become truth to be not simply protected, rather enforced, thrust upon the innocence of children parents mostly helplessly complaining some forcefully exerting their prerogative to fight for independence from evil. Reilly then ends with Cardinal Sarah’s expeditious call to arms for the faithful. We are then aware or our mission, a calling to risk, likely accept retribution for evidence of our love and faith in Christ.

    • Related to Reilly’s essay and theme of lying to oneself, is this, “So let us consider in a little more detail what Stalin actually studied. He had already spent five years at the religious school of his home town, Gori. Here he was known already for his devoutness, attending all church services, even leading the singing in the choir. At the seminary, the earlier years of study included both ‘secular’ and theological subjects: Russian literature; secular history; mathematics; Latin; Greek; Church Slavonic singing; Georgian Imeretian singing; Holy Scripture” (Roland Boer Stalin as a theological student in Theological History).
      Stalin and Hitler the two major protagonists in the great war were both inclined toward a religious life. Adolf attended several primary schools. “For six months, the family lived opposite a Benedictine Monastery at Lambach, and on some afternoons, Hitler attended the choir school there. Hitler later wrote in Mein Kampf that at this time he dreamed of one day taking holy orders” (William Shirer the Rise and fall of the Third Reich).
      There’s a myriad of views we can elicit from this, that two of the world’s greatest moral criminals early on thought of serving Christ. We may readily point to Judas Iscariot who betrayed Christ although he was among the chosen. He must have initially had good qualities. Hitler became enamored with the mythical Nordic grandeur of Wagner. Stalin, a Georgian took exception to Russian Orthodox equal fealty to both God and Tsar. He turned to the Bolsheviks. Boer cites the dynamic between transcendence and immanentism, between sanctification and demonization. As communist hierarchy he was referred to as the priest.
      What this indicates is refusal of a transcendent good, the Christ event leads to good transcribed as Humpty Dumpty would say, is “just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less”. The greatest evil among the evil had their start with acceptance of Christ followed by hateful repudiation.

      • Hitler and Wagner…in the 2014 movie, “The Theory of Everything”, we hear how Stephen Hawking conflated metaphysics with mathematics, claiming to have proved that the physical universe is self-creating from nothing.

        We also learn that while working out the math, Hawking enjoyed listening to Wagner. Hence, the mathematical equivalent to Hitler’s behavior and Stalin’s political remark that “a single death is a tragedy, but a million deaths is a statistic.”

        • Christopher Dawson held that with Soviet Communism a religiosity set in, example the adulation of Lenin’s corpse. Certainly Himmler [another former Catholic] and his fantasy of Germanic mythical ascendancy, the ritualistic ambiance at SS headquarters Wewelsburg Castle evidence of turn from worship of the true God, to another form of opposite worship, idolatrous and evil.

  11. These nonsensical things don’t “just happen.” There is almost certainly a conspiracy at work and I know the likely perpetrators. It is likely that the “trans movement” is a manufactured “divide and conquer” strategy.

    If I recall correctly, in “Nineteen Eighty-Four” there was the “two-minute hate” which was directed at Emmanuel Goldstein of the “underground resistance” Brotherhood. The Brotherhood might not have even existed, but it was useful as a means of entrapping dissidents to the totalitarian government – like Winston.

    The “trans movement” like the “gay marriage movement” appears to use the similar tactics. A “test case” is created by – for instance – a sodomite deciding to target a – self-identified (Only Catholics are Christians.) – Christian baker who the sodomite knows or highly suspects – in advance – will refuse to serve him. Then the sodomite goes to some lawyer and a lawsuit starts with a corrupt/evil/colluding state taking a side. Evil/corrupt judges who are all the result of ABA (probably a conspiracy) accredited “law” schools manage to “push” the case which likely ought to have been easily dismissed to the United States Supreme Court. The conspiratorial goal is to create new “law” in the form of an evil judicial ruling.

    Such was the case with regards to gay “marriage.” It was a court of nine unelected justices which “decided” – under color of law – to the analogical effect that the sky is green and not blue and “struck down” (Where in law is this “authority” given? Why isn’t this question considered in mainstream media?) all positive affirmation in law that marriage was only possible between a man and a woman.

    Shortly after the “test case,” those on the “anti-trans” side will decry a new “movement” that is a dire threat to our rights to free speech. The fact that the “movement” is secretly funded by billionaires and others through anonymous donations to foundations, isn’t widely considered to be important to publicize in mainstream media on either “side.”

    Still much less is there any media consideration about what ought to be done (e.g. RICO Act). After all, “the free market” means license to – for instance – financially support a criminal conspiracy (e.g. NOW) which believe in the “right” to murder one’s unborn child. Complicity and formal cooperation with the sins of murder – apparently – aren’t something that people believe important to rectify.

    Thus, are real-life “Emmanuel Goldsteins” created. However, in this case all that is needed is a few fraudulent litigants and a gullible/complicit media. The difference is that the real-life “Emmanuel Goldsteins” have consequences in the form of – among other things – legal battles, unjust employment discharges, and judge-made “law.”

  12. Knowing that certain denunciation awaits me at the hands of those much more erudite than I, nevertheless I humbly say the following:

    1) Permit me to offer this observation from P. G. Wodehouse – “All work and no play makes Jack a Peh Bah Pom Bahoo”. True yesterday, true today, true tomorrow.

    2) Watch ‘The Aristocats’ a 1966 movie from Walt Disney – when Disney MEANT something.

    3) Find the film of the BSO on November 22, 1963, when the awful news got there. What did they do? They immediately played the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony – the funeral march.

    4) Extra credit – watch the movie ‘Babe’, make note of the music being sung and played throughout and then play the 4th movement of Symphony #3 by Camille Saint-Saens – Opus #89. The Organ Symphony. Play it LOUD.

    Some things/people are meant to be taken seriously, some are not.

    I am NOT saying that the madness that confronts us every day is not to be taken seriously.

    • Such an interesting post Terence. I’ll reread it. My mother often spoke of November 22nd. She was young, in South London at the time, she never forgot hearing that news.

  13. I see others have more stamina than I do. Maybe I’ll have another go at it.
    George Orwell’s essay is certainly relevant. Not sure I’ve read the whole thing. Babylon Bee is a healthy antidote to the lunacy we swim in. Live Not By Lies, Rod Dreher, with a nod to Solszhenitzen, is worth it for the title alone. There is help!

    • Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language” is a must-read. So are CS Lewis’s “Abolition of Man” and Joseph Pieper’s
      Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power”.

  14. It is not only the leftists and liberals who are guilty of corrupting language. Rightists and conservatives are equally guilty of this. The misuse and abuse of language by way of manipulating words to misrepresent reality which is basically lying and deception is practiced by all sharing in the reality of fallen humanity. For the rightists and conservatives in the U.S. today, one notable example of this corruption of language especially among Catholics is the misappropriation of the term “Pro-Life” when in reality the big majority (not all) of the so-called “Pro-Lifers” care and fight for the rights of the unborn only and not for the born. As Catholics, these so-called “Pro-Lifers” do not adhere to or promote the full Pro-Life teaching and message of the Church which includes especially the Social Teachings of the Church underscoring the active care and fight for all of human life from womb to tomb and including the matrix of life, planet Earth, itself. To stop this corruption of language and be accurate with language use it is best to stop calling these so-called “Pro-Lifers” as such and instead call them for what they really are as “Pro-Birthers” or “Anti-Abortionists.”

    • “one notable example of this corruption of language especially among Catholics is the misappropriation of the term “Pro-Life” when in reality the big majority (not all) of the so-called “Pro-Lifers” care and fight for the rights of the unborn only and not for the born…”

      Hmmm. Is this really the best that folks can do? Even though it’s incredibly broadbrushed and quite false? So tiring.

    • Ma!

      The article is about the manipulation and degradation of language.

      Thank you for attempting to give us a contemporaneous view of how such leftists undertake such manipulations and degradations.

      Too bad Mr. Olson didn’t detect your sarcasm.

      He should have realized that no rational person would actually try to make such a ridiculous argument as the one you posted.

    • So your position is that pro-life Catholics have coopted language so that the ‘pro-life’ description is corrupt? If you truly believe that, God can help you see the truth, but first you’ve got to get real woke, open wide, and look into His insightful eyes to see yourself as He sees you.

  15. Pretense. All of this comes down to the collectively enforced pretense of the emperor’s imagined new clothes. The simplicity, purity and innocence of a little Child is all that is necessary to bring the naked emperor crashing down in righteous shame and humiliation.
    For our part, we must maintain a forceful stance that does not accept the pretense. Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is there a right or guarantee of freedom of either legislative or judicially enforced pretense.
    We must simply and repeatedly refuse to play along.

  16. Stick around on this site. If you do, we’ll introduce you to the Catholic Church you obviously know little about but which you hold much hate toward. Please, stick around. A mind is a too beautiful thing to waste.

      • I love the Catholic Church. I deplore the “Pro-Lifers” who are prime Catholic examples of the corruption of language this article talks about as they knowingly or unknowingly neglect to embrace in their spirituality and social and political engagement the full range of the Church’s Pro-Life teachings that embraces human life from womb to tomb as well as the matrix of life itself. I can imagine you even as an ordained Catholic just focusing on the womb as a “Pro-Birther” and “Anti-Abortionist” and not knowing or taking the Social Teachings of the Church to espouse the full Catholic Pro-Life stand.

        • “I can imagine you even as an ordained Catholic just focusing on the womb…”

          This is the basis of your judgment? Your imagination? You’re not on very solid ground here. You are making wide, sweeping accusations, while ignoring the fact that being anti-abortion is just like being anti-rape, anti-murder, or anti-sexual abuse: it’s not only a completely legitimate position, it doesn’t need to have a bunch of qualifiers added to it. Good grief.

        • Ma!

          I sincerely apologize for my comment above. I couldn’t imagine that you were actually serious when you made your utterly ridiculous, deeply illogical statement about Catholics who are pro-life.

          But now, after your addendum above, I see you were serious.

          So now let me ask you. I’m a pro-life Catholic. I oppose abortion always and everywhere.

          Since this fact apparently gives you a psychic window into all of my other opinions, preferences, principles and convictions — since, in fact, you clearly know everything there is to know about me — tell me this, please:

          When I choose a paint for my living room, should I go with the darker gray or the lighter gray?

          I’m hoping the fact that, according to you anyway, you deplore me, will not prevent you from giving me your honest opinion.

        • Among many Church teachings, the Church considers it a work of mercy to bury the dead. That requires knowing the difference between one who is alive and one who is dead.

          Guess what? I just now did.

  17. Feast of St.Anthony – Patron of innocent purity , love of Word of God , one of the 7 Patrons of the Congregation to which St.Faustina belonged ..
    Could only read through about half of the article – had to stop in reading through the narration of the flood waters of depravities ..
    Grateful to have come across only recently about the ministry of
    Rev.Fr.Jim Blount , revealing how much God is moving too , such as through the Precious Blood prayers revealed to a 17 y.o Nigerian before he was even baptised .. dramatic healings and delivernace too , with a few prayers of the anointed priest.. can see how many who are in sinful situations could find hope in same ..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUlhLrJI_lg

    Fr.Jim mentions we are in ‘unusual’ times of much evil coming to a head , how the country is or going to be attacked -as was revealed to Gerge washington by Bl.Mothe ! Would like to think that the ‘ attack ‘is already under way such as nararted in the article .. that we are closer to victory , inlcuding through the powerful weapons and devotions of our times , to defeat Satan and his lies , his ‘religion ‘ of carnality and its depravations under very many packages .
    It is an Old religion – that depicts gods themselves being afflicted by fallen traits, that carnality is all that heaven is all about .. that poor humans have no recourse other than go with the fallen traits , thus also hate , despise and abuse the body and what it stands for ..
    Church just celebrated a convert from one such background – St.Devasahayam,who hails as from the ‘ends of the earth ‘,who held onto the faith and love for The Lord in the midst of atrocious tortures .. God’s sense of humor too that it is a son from the ‘ends of the earth ‘, Argentina , who presided over the Cannonisation 🙂 ; it was a Jesuit priest who had instructed the St ; the area also with history of connections to the blessed ministry of St. Thomas, St.Francis Xavier… There is the miracle of a rock producing sounds like bell ringing when struck , interpreted as to how God’s bells are ringing , calling all His children from the far corners , far awayin sinful lives too unto the Kingdom … interesting detail that the Dutch Catholic captain who was defeated in a battle by the local king asked him to train the king’s army , which led to him meeting the future saint ..
    Holy Father too trusting how persons who have fallen still could have much to contribute , often giving a hand to such to rise again as he points to same being the way of the Holy Spirit ..
    May many who have fallen into all sorts of pits of confusion be blessed to rise up in the Power of The Precious Blood , dead to all that is dead and sinful ,rising again to live in the newness of the holy innocent Love in the Holy Spirit !
    FIAT !

  18. I have no intention of justifying my adherence to Church teachings regarding charity and justice. It would be self-serving and quite opposite the self-abnegation expected of Christians.

  19. In writing, always use quotation marks with “transgender” (also “trans,” “trannie,” etc.) to signify that it is a faux term since nobody can change their genders. In conversation, be sure to make it clear that the term is not accepted and won’t be acknowledged for the same reason. Don’t ever give in on this, even for so-called politeness reasons. Apply the same approach to the despicable, anti-freedom-of-speech insistence that people must deny objective reality and refer to other people by their “chosen pronouns” that do not coincide with their biological/gender realities.

    Also, nobody has “transitioned” or is in the process of “transitioning” from one sex to another. Such is impossible, so this must also be resisted and made clear that it is merely a fantasy that also attacks objective reality.

    The roots of the term ‘gender’ come from the Latin ‘genus’, which means kind, or kind of thing. As such, one objective and legitimate application of the term ‘gender’ is the classification (kind of thing) of organisms based on their biological sex. This being so, everyone is a particular and non-changeable gender or kind of thing, which is either the biological male gender or the biological female gender.

    Moreover, ever since the 12th century, the word ‘gender’ has been properly recognized and used as a synonym for the biological sexes, and this understanding/usage was made even stronger in the 15th century. As such, this rightful understanding of gender must not be surrendered to the “transgender” movement since they and their fellow travelers use their preferred yet still false definition of gender as a social construct and/or feelings a person has that may or may not coincide with their biological sex/gender to further promote their despicable agenda. Moreover, the word ‘gender’ has also been used as a grammatical term or category, BUT it is not limited to this usage, and so this false approach that wrongly separates biological sex from gender must also be avoided. We must always insist that gender and biological sex are synonymous to further demonstrate the folly of the “transgender” movement that proudly proclaims biological sex and gender are different. Many years ago the late, great Reverend William Smith frequently advised that “all social engineering is preceded by verbal engineering.” The more we give in to the use of such malevolent and false terminology used by “transgender” advocates (no matter how many doctors, psychologists, church leaders, and so on believe otherwise), the more we help to normalize the abuse of properly recognizing God’s creative order of male and female.

    Male sex = Male gender. Female sex = Female Gender.

    See https://www.etymonline.com/word/gender#etymonline_v_1349

    By the Bye:

    People who claim that they are “transgender,” and that they “transitioned” tell the rest of us ad nauseum that gender is not really or ultimately about biological sex, and the fact that gender has been rightly used as basically a synonym or meaning virtually the same thing as biological sex should no longer be done.

    But if they really believe that their claims are true, then why do the vast majority of these mentally ill people go out of their ways (includes physically mutilating themselves in one form or another) to appear more like the biological sex that they insist has nothing to do with their declarations to be the opposite gender than what their biological sex actually reveals?

  20. As a former broadcast journalist, trained to achieve real communication with the clearest possible language in the shortest possible time, I found Mr. Reilly’s essay unnecessarily long and professorial. I absorbed and agreed with his essay, but learned long ago that no argument becomes better by getting longer. Therefore, I offer the following observations making the same case in far fewer and very well chosen words.

    “This above all, to thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou can’t not then be false to any man.” — Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”

    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” — Voltaire

    “To live in truth is the basic minimum of human dignity – even if the price to defend the truth could be costly. You must always remain faithful to the truth. You must defend it to the end.” Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluzko

  21. In the AV 1611 Bible, the spelling for “carnal” is “carnall.” The spelling for “assuaged” is “asswaged.” So, language is organic, and becomes politicized. J.R.R. Tolkien had the corruption of language in mind, as noted by Professor Tom Shippey. With the kind of degenerate behavior that is manifesting in our modern American society, we will see more of our language undermined and corrupted.

  22. Exellent piece. The glistening millions of tentacles of this monster will require millions of whacking hacks to subdue it, so no, this article was not too long. Big subject. Perhaps we who agree with Mr. Reilly and are too tired to read his piece in one sitting could manage to come back to it, reflect, and consider how the facts of our lives have been touched by this supreme challenge – to live in the truth! (With the help of God!)

  23. Folly is a powerful lure. Giving up God opens us to all sorts of mischief.

    1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

    2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,

    Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

    Hebrews 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

    2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

    May the Lord be with us all.

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  2. Humpty Dumpty, the Corruption of Language, and the Destruction of Society – Via Nova Media
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