|Bellocution lessons, Part 2: The death of reason
By Alisa Craddock
In a previous installment of Bellocution Lessons, you were introduced to the work of Hilaire Belloc, who foretold by half a century the unraveling of our civilization. We are witnessing the era of Modernism usher in the last assault on the Catholic Church in its effort to stamp it out by upending, not some, but all of its teachings and influence in our world. He correctly describes the method of advance and the character of this movement, which he calls "antichrist", in the final chapter of his book, The Great Heresies.
In Part 1, we examined a number of typical examples of commonly accepted, rational truths, and how even the simplest of them were under attack. The thing that is most distressing about this entire modernist "thing" is that it is so twisted, so perverted as to be emotionally, psychologically, even physically distressful. Why? Because deep within us, we know we are being forced to live a lie. We know, because the concept of justice is written on our hearts, and we see everywhere justice take a back seat to modernist goals. It is like living in a dysfunctional family. The child must try and survive emotionally, psychologically, and often physically in a family environment that he knows is all twisted, and where his attempts to find truth and peace are often punished cruelly. There is no rationality, no fairness, no consistency, no genuine love—just the unending power of psychological mind-bender. It has to use force. It could not control us otherwise.
Belloc: "Being Atheist, [modernism] is characteristic of the advancing wave that it repudiates the human reason… [it]… is indifferent to self-contradiction. It merely affirms. It advances like an animal, counting on strength alone"… "[T]he modern phase, the anti-Christian advance, has abandoned reason. It is concerned with the destruction of the Catholic Church and the civilization proceeding therefrom."
The perversion of sexual harassment laws to try and force people to accept homosexuality, and to punish those who speak out against it is a prime example of the abandonment of reason. Where sexual harassment laws were meant to eliminate exploitive or demeaning sexual behaviors in the workplace, the laws are being extended to protect homosexuals, gender confused individuals, and cross-dressers from criticism when they bring their perverse agenda into the workplace, a movement which defies all reason itself. And it is a sad fact that, as corporations hold our paychecks hostage to their "social engineering" personnel policies, the syndrome of the healthy child living in the dysfunctional family is repeated, for justice is swept aside, and truth is silenced under threat of punishment (by termination of employment, or a crushing lawsuit). When getting a just judge is a crapshoot, where can you turn?
Then there is abortion. Born out of a fake compassion for women, but really meant to control populations of non-white races, and legalized by a legal case based on a fabricated "gang rape" story that was sufficiently heart rending to "justify" the decision to legalize abortion, abortion clinics ironically routinely cover up statutory rape and incest cases of young girls exploited by older men or relatives, giving a lie to the image of "compassion" for women these clinics try to convey. But this is only a small part of the picture:
Belloc: [T]he Modern Attack on the Faith will have in the moral field a thousand evil fruits, and of these many are apparent today…
A thousand evil fruits. With each one you pluck and taste, many others, more poisonous than that one, grow up to propagate the tree of death. Let's take just one evil fruit, the one most non-Catholics, and a good many practicing Catholics, treat lightly. That one is contraception. What are its "evil fruits"?
There is no greater sign of the tapestry that makes up Catholic life than the affirmation of life as the greatest of good, and the bedrock of Catholic moral teaching. Until 1930, all church's calling themselves Christian rejected the use of contraceptives. The Church of England was first to relax the prohibition at their Lambeth Conference in 1930. Then in 1931, in a decision by the Federal Council of Churches, the concerns of the world tempted human wisdom to defy divine order with its endorsement of the use of contraception, followed in 1961 with the National Council of Churches even more liberal policy.
Make no mistake, the founder of Planned Parenthood, whose policies pushed the contraception movement, are not compassionate, but are utterly hateful and socially destructive:
"(Our objective is) unlimited sexual gratification without the burden of unwanted children… (Women must have the right) to live…to love…to be lazy…to be an unmarried mother…to create…to destroy…The marriage bed is the most degenerative influence in the social order. The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it." Margaret Sanger, The Woman Rebel Volume 1, Number 1First of all, the contraceptive pill and the morning after pill are not contraceptives in the strict sense of the word. Neither was the IUD. They did not prevent conception, they prevented implantation of the fertilized egg, so if one is pro-life, it is hard to rationalize this "exception". But that is just the beginning. The false sense of safety provided by the pill enabled promiscuity to flourish, resulting in an explosion of unwed pregnancies, cheating spouses, broken homes, devastated childhoods. I can think of no greater example of the "self-contradiction" Belloc spoke of than this consequence. Let's explore it further.
Once the pill was introduced, legal abortion was inevitable. Probably nothing had a greater influence in guaranteeing the decision known as Roe v. Wade than the legalization of the contraceptive pill. As I have said before in other columns, over half [the figure is around 60% now] of all abortions are performed on women or girls who were using some form of contraception at the time they conceived. The unreliability of the contraceptives is compounded by the unreliability of those using them. So we have millions of children being casually conceived, only to be savagely ripped into pieces, their little bodies writhing and recoiling in the womb as they thrash about, the saline burning their paper-thin flesh and their internal organs, the suction tearing them apart, so that Mommy can go on with her self-indulgent life, unburdened by the demands of childrearing or the stretch marks and discomforts of pregancy. Margaret Sanger's vision is more than realized. But at what cost?
Alternatively, we see babies being born to mothers who have no husband. The children are growing up without the firm hand of a father to guide them. Young boys aching inside for a father figure to identify with, often end up in gangs, or grow up angry and resentful and get in trouble with the law. A study several years ago of inner city children found that, of those who grew up with a single mother who remained single, over 90% would get in trouble with the law before reaching adulthood, while only about 6% of children living in the same neighborhood conditions but living in a stable 2-parent family got into trouble. About 70% of men in prison grew up without a father. This is, perversely, also the fruit of Sanger's vision. The very thing supposedly intended to end childhood misery actually was the cause of it. Destruction of the natural family has had far greater consequences for children than preservation of it, even among those growing up on the edge of poverty.
For women, the consequences of contraception have been equally devastating. Sexual liberation has cost women dearly. The expectation of sex as a part of dating has changed the focus of dating from one of seeking a good spouse to seeking a good "lay", from a mature adult seeking to know each other for true compatibility in marriage to perpetual adolescence marked by physical intimacy without knowing, understanding, respecting, or committing to the other. Men are less likely to marry, and less likely to remain committed when "good sex" is the primary focus of relationships, and when it is so readily available. Sex gets to be routine. There has to be something more, but by undermining family values and encouraging childlike irresponsibility, our society has deprived children of solid, wholesome environment. They are not growing to emotional maturity, but instead become self-seeking narcissists.
The obsession with being sexy and thin in order to compete sexually is a direct result of the objectification of women that resulted from "sexual liberation". The emotional cost of these shallow, selfish encounters is tremendous, especially I think for women, because women aren't made that way. They have been conditioned to live in the culture they were born into, but women aren't the ones with the biological urge to spread their seed around. They are emotionally and chemically made to bond with a man. The culture that says a woman must behave like a man to be equal to a man compels her to go against her nature in an effort to compete for a mate. Men, too, have suffered, being forced by feminist ideologies into the fringes of family and social life. But with emotional immaturity, narcissism and selfishness being the mark of our "me first" generation, it's a wonder any marriage survives, and in fact, over 50% don't, to the detriment of the children, and our society which suffers as a result.
But perhaps the most evil fruit of all that came out of the anti-life attitude is even more far-reaching and costly, for it is an attack on our very humanity:
"The characteristic [evil fruit], the one presumably the most permanent, is the institution everywhere of cruelty accompanied by a contempt for justice… [Before Christendom] what we chiefly discover is this: That in the realm of morals one thing stands out, the unquestioned prevalence of cruelty in the unbaptized world. Cruelty will be the chief fruit in the moral field of the Modern Attack…
When there is a fundamental shift in our attitude toward life and its sacredness, as has been initiated by the imposition of contraception, does it not follow that a certain callousness will set in? Do we not see this callousness reflected in the anti-life policies being foisted on a weary world--. troubles compounded with troubles, until we no longer care about the sufferings of others? Until we become indifferent to injustice? Until dying or killing seem like mercy? Remember the slow, tortuous death of Terri Schiavo. Where was justice then? Whatever discomfort I as a Catholic might have accepting parts of Catholic history, it is nothing compared with the cruelty perpetrated in its absence, and the frightening future I see before us. Some Protestants and anti-Catholics will remind us of the cruelty perpetrated by the Church in the inquisition, the confinement and censoring of Galileo, the Crusades, and so forth, but as Belloc reminds us:
The reply to this objection is that there is a capital distinction between cruelty exceptional, and cruelty the rule. When men apply cruel punishments, depend on physical power to obtain effects, let loose violence in the passions of war, if all this is done in violation of their own accepted morals, it is one thing; if it is done as part of a whole mental attitude taken for granted, it is another.
There is perversity in pointing a finger at the Church for its moral failings, which we all have, while adopting policies that are cruel and uncharitable and pretending that they are humane and virtuous. Though our civilization, culture and government alike, have perpetrated this social nightmare upon us, social anarchy cannot long exist, and as Belloc points out, "Some code, some set of morals, must, in the nature of things, arise, even if the old code is on this point destroyed". It will be cruelty in the enforcement of the New World Order that will be the chief fruit, "cruelty accompanied by a contempt for justice", to repeat Belloc's warning. Nazi Germany was a laboratory in which we see this process in action. William Federer's excellent article, The Court Ordered Death of Terri Schiavo describes most excellently the very process about which Belloc warned. Federer writes:
"Even before the rise of Adolph Hitler's Third Reich, the way for the gruesome Nazi holocaust of human extermination and cruel butchery was being prepared in the 1930 German Weimar Republic through the medical establishment and philosophical elite's adoption of the "quality of life" concept in place of the "sanctity of life." The Nuremberg trials, exposing the horrible Nazi war crimes, revealed that Germany's trend toward atrocity began with their progressive embrace of the Hegelian doctrine of "rational utility," where an individual's worth is in relation to their contribution to the state, rather than determined in light of traditional moral, ethical and religious values." Euthanasia was first promoted as an act of mercy.
He goes on to quote Malcolm Muggeridge, observing from Europe at that time, that "It took no more than three decades to transform a war crime into an act of compassion, thereby enabling the victors in the war against Naziism to adopt the very practices for which the Nazis had been solemnly condemned at Nuremberg." Malcolm Muggeridge, "The Humane Holocaust," The Human Life Review, Winter, 1980
Terri Schiavo was only one case, but it was the test case, the defining moment for us. The state successfully supplanted a Christian idea of human worth with a godless, utilitarian one, and it does not bode well for us. There have been plenty of other cases here and in the rest of the world, of euthanasia, of forced abortion, of slavery and torture, of genocide, and what it foretells is something that will result is nothing less than a worldwide version of Nazi Germany, directed at all "useless eaters", political enemies, and at Christianity, the voice of humanity's conscience screaming against the outrage against justice perpetrated by a godless state..
Belloc: The proof lies in this: that men are not shocked at cruelty but indifferent to it. The abominations of the revolution in Russia, extended to those in Spain, are an example in point. Not only did people on the spot receive the horror with indifference, but distant observers do so. There is no universal cry of indignation, there is no sufficient protest, because there is no longer in force the conception that man as man is something sacred. That same force which ignores human dignity also ignores human suffering.
Christ asked, "If we do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?" If the Christian world was already becoming indifferent prior to Nazi Germany, if the most Christian nation in Europe permitted the Holocaust to happen, what will happen in a world with its Christian conscience stripped away?
Now, though I have laid a great deal of the blame on the introduction of the pill and the sexual revolution, Belloc points out that "those who would point to the modern break-down of sexual morals as the chief effect of the Modern Attack on the Catholic Church are probably in error; for it will not have the most permanent results." I don't disagree with him, because I have always believed that the promotion of promiscuity was a means to an end, that is, to create the conditions sufficiently chaotic and deleterious that a new order could be imposed upon us, and our consciences would be sufficiently confused to actually see that new order as a Godsend. But even the Marquis de Sade, that most repulsive of libertines, recognized the value of promoting and accommodating sexual license as a means for governments to control population:
"…Whenever you withhold from man the secret means whereby he exhales the dose of despotism Nature instilled in the depths of his heart, he will seek other outlets for it…it will trouble the government. If you would avoid that danger, permit a free flight and rein to those tyrannical desires which, despite himself, torment man ceaselessly…he will go away appeased and with nothing but fond feelings for a government which so obligingly affords him every means of satisfying his concupiscence." (Marquis de Sade, "Justine: Philosophy in the Bedroom).
It seems perverse to quote one such as Sade in defending the Catholic Church and her moral teaching, but his words are illustrative of the attack upon her, and there is wisdom to be found by looking at virtue's opposite, by viewing with wariness the exhortations of one who was intimately acquainted with the darker nature of fallen man, and who was villainously anti-Christian. St. Augustine, too, acknowledged that concupiscence made us slaves, and it isn't illogical to expect that slavery might be deliberately imposed upon us by encouraging promiscuity, so that we too won't "trouble the government."
Alisa Craddock is a columnist and activist in the culture war, a convert to Catholicism, and describes herself as a Christian Libertarian. She may be contacted at alisa.craddock at hushmail.com.