FRONT ROYAL, VA — The rubble hasn’t cleared, but some realities have
come into view.
On the Friday before the election, President Obama proposed
a new civic virtue for our body politic. It’s called “revenge.” And
it’s nothing new. Revenge has been around for a long time. Way back
in the book of Exodus we read “an eye for an eye.” But long before
that, revenge took root.
When Lucifer rebelled against God, he was expelled from Paradise. “I
beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven,” Christ tells his apostles
in the Gospel of Luke. That astounding observation qualifies for the
most credible category of historical testimony – it comes from an eyewitness.
And how did Satan respond?
Satan responded with revenge. He first tempted Eve, and he now tempts
all mankind. “If I can’t have Heaven,” Satan says, “then nobody can.”
Not surprisingly, Holy Mother Church disagrees. The Catholic catechism
counsels us not to revenge, but to charity. “Our Lord asked for peace
of heart and denounced murderous anger and hatred as immoral,” it says.
It’s interesting that this passage occurs in a discussion of the Fifth
Commandment — Thou Shalt Not Kill.
Why? Because Revenge kills the soul.
But why revenge? And why now?
Karl Marx made envy and revenge the engines of history. Stoking the
fire of these capital sins, the class struggle foments unending hatred
and violence — Marx called it the “permanent revolution.” The passions
of hatred and violence always flow from lies — and they are powerful
lies. Satan knows them well.
And so do politicians. During the campaign, we repeatedly heard threats
of widespread violence if the “wrong” man won. The campaign is over,
but the threat remains, and, when it does come, that violence won’t
happen by chance: it will come when professional agitators stoke the
cauldron of anger, envy, and hatred until it boils over into all-out,
blind revenge. Greece, writ large.
I marvel that, when Obama urged his followers to revenge, Mitt Romney
responded not in kind — with a call to anger, resentment, and violence
— but with a call to love. Caritas. “Love of country,” he called it.
That was probably his finest hour.
Why love? Love unites. Hatred divides.
How ironic that the man who began his political career with a call
to “spread the money around” now admits his true motivation. Not charity:
that’s when you spend your own money. No, hatred: that’s when you demand
your enemy’s money — and hold him hostage until he pays you off.
Deep down, it’s just plain blackmail. Elect me or you’ll be sorry.
Clearly, Obama’s public call for revenge was unscripted — a candid
slip of the forked tongue. But it offers a rare glimpse behind the
façade into the burning cauldron of hatred and resentment that motivate
all tyrants who embrace the love of power — the libido dominandi, the
fundamental lust of the City of Man, whose ruler is Satan, and whose
eternal destiny lies in the flames of Hell.
Ruminations Amidst The Ruins
The Church: Clearly her enemies, both within
and without, will be emboldened by the election returns. The enemy
within will marvel at how easy it was to create “Catholic” front groups
that trashed Church teaching with abandon, untouched by hierarchical
hands. In fact, the Rubble knows of only one chancery that has firmly
ordered a group to remove the word “Catholic” from its name in the
past year — and that move came because RealCatholicTV.com was too orthodox.
Confusion abounds. The Church goes to court to defend truths that
it refuses to teach — namely, that homosexual acts and contraception
are wrong. Meanwhile, the president who is being sued by over 100 Catholic
institutions receives a majority of the Catholic vote.
The enemy without will ramp up its attacks, now that the Church appears
to be helpless in the face of a hostile and murderous government. Helpless,
but not hopeless — and yet, prayers are in order. Cardinal Dolan’s
jovial welcome at the Al Smith Dinner helped Obama more than Chris
Christie’s hurricane hug did. The Church has risen to the defense of
marriage and religious freedom. Will it preach publicly about the evils
of divorce? Of sex education? Of taxpayer billions spent on “family
planning”? (After all, the U.S. has been handing out free contraceptives
at home and abroad for decades.)
Perhaps our bishops could publicly oppose no-fault divorce, and stop
handing out annulments like penny candy.
In this Year of Faith, will the Church preach the Faith — all of
it, including the unpopular parts — even if telling the truth with
fortitude (a cardinal virtue, deo gratias) endangers the billions of
taxpayer dollars that the Church receives each year from the government?
Even if it means losing the Church’s tax exemption?
What price truth?
The Fattah Factor: Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA), won re-election this
week with 89% of the vote in his urban Philadelphia district. Fattah
probably represents more welfare recipients than most members of Congress,
so he can speak on that issue with some authority.
Last April, Fattah made a little-noted observation on Al Sharpton's
TV show. "Those people who are unemployed, they’re not going to
be voting for the party who wants to cut their benefits," he said.
A suitable corollary: the more unemployed — that is, the more poor
— the more votes for more benefits. That principle has been known since
Aristotle. It has worked, ever since.
Retreads: “I think 2016 is probably the
next generation,” Newt Gingrich said the day after the election. Well,
the old-timers didn’t fare too well this time around either. In Senate
races, Indiana’s Dick Lugar, Wisconsin’s Tommy Thompson, Nebraska’s
Bob Kerrey, and Virginia’s George Allen all insisted on trying for
a last hurrah — and lost seats that “the next generation” might have
won handily (Lugar lost the primary, but his spiteful diehards played
the spoiler card and elected a “pro-life” Obamacare-supporting contradiction
to represent the Hoosier State).
Sex. And Sex. And Did I Mention Sex? I never
thought that an American election (outside of Las Vegas), at any level
of government, could be won by running on a platform of free, uninhibited,
and promiscuous sex, funded by the taxpayer. That old stick-in-the-mud
George Orwell had Big Brother frowning on copious copulation — Julia,
Winston’s secret paramour at the Ministry of Truth, wore the mandatory
red sash of the Junior Anti-Sex-League — but for Obama and liberated
America, the Ministry of Love is a Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic.
The Twin pillars of the New America: There are some twenty million
government workers in America who are supported 100% by the taxpayer.
There are well over 100 million Americans who receive government benefits,
which benefits are also 100% taxpayer supported. Neither the government
workers running the programs nor the beneficiaries of those programs
have any incentive to shut the water off. Quite the contrary.
With that in mind, it is no surprise that the Washington D.C. area
is now the richest in the country. Here the Fattah Factor operates
on the other end of the financial spectrum: millions more in the “private
sector” who are making millions off the government — and their name
is Legion — have nothing to gain and everything to lose from a return
to limited, constitutional government pursuing the goals of peace and
From Under the Rubble archives
From Under the Rubble is copyright © 2012
by Christopher Manion.
All rights reserved.
Christopher Manion, Ph.D., served as a staff director on the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee for many years. He has taught in the departments
of politics, religion, and international relations at Boston University,
the Catholic University of America, and Christendom College, and is
the director of the Campaign for Humanae Vitae, a project of the Bellarmine
Forum. He is a Knight of Malta.
This column is distributed by Griffin Internet Syndicate and FGF Books,
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