It’s a strange time we live in when I often hear from cradle Catholics how they wish they had my “experiences” of other religious beliefs so that they could better appreciate their faith. I guess I can understand that motivation given what many people experience in contemporary Catholic churches – but I also think we’ve lost a sense of holy horror for (formal) heresy. It just sounds to me like the virgin-until-wedding-night guy now wishing he had “experienced” other women in order to better appreciate his beloved. I’m sure I’m just exaggerating, and my own convert-temperament is such that I get easily annoyed with other converts who have been Catholic for a quite short period writing the sorts of things out there about Pope Francis for example.
A Catholic warrior has passed away. So many others have commented already, but I must as well. I also never knew Zippy personally, and yet I am heartbroken that he is gone. Zippy’s writings were among the small handful of other works that knocked me out of my childish stupidity. I was reading his blog from my office when I emailed a local Catholic priest asking if I could begin RCIA. Zippy “red-pilled” me on so many of the most significant ills of modernity.
I once emailed Zippy that I was worried about giving him proper credit in my writings. Nearly everything I wrote was so clearly influenced by his work. His response was basically don’t sweat it as no person really “owns” the Truth anyway.
Zippy manfully stood for the True, the Good, the Beautiful. He was brilliant in his own way. Intelligent, fearless, immensely read, and laugh-out-loud funny. The blogosphere will be so very much less interesting without him. It was an honor to be a member for even short time of his “blogroll” and for him to occasionally read and comment here.
I will miss you, Zippy. I hope to be able to thank you in person one day. May Christ and His Immaculate Mother give solace to his family and may perpetual Light now shine upon him. RIP, Zippy.
My dad is a teetotaler with a capital T. In that “whiskey is the devils drink” and “if my son is so stupid to hang out at a bar where half the folks are drunk I have no sympathy for him if something bad happens to him at a bar” kinda way. There’s no point to my bringing that up, I guess. Other than perhaps to set some mood lighting for what follows, and I guess to say I was raised to not always be entirely sympathetic to people just because something bad happens to them. Or maybe I’m just a jerk.
I do not support the modern liberal hegemony or engage in its rituals. However, I do tend to keep a close eye on my own country’s liberalism in a prudential wise-as-serpents sort of way.
After having read a fair amount regarding an early 90’s carnival known as “the Anita Hill affair,” I do have one tiny request. Please. PLEASE do not make me listen for the next however many months in bizarrely-obsessed detail about what drunk teenagers did in a bedroom 40 years ago. Oh, please don’t.
“For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way
Yes, it was my way”
Even the most pious of Catholics suffer temptations and trials and often succumb to these temptations. Hopefully mortal sin never occurs, but even this is at least possible to those after God’s own heart. We must be ever on guard. But when pious Catholics do fall – or when it is pointed out to them they have been committing gravely evil acts even if unknowingly – they more often than not experience great pangs of conscience, remorse, distress, fearfulness, sadness. I take “Catholic guilt” to mean that Catholics living the right way cannot be happily sinning. These are not the folks I’m addressing in this post.
If we stipulate that certain acts (contraception, sodomy, abortion, usury, divorce and attempt to remarry, etc etc etc) are not gravely immoral, still there is a centuries long paper trail of the Catholic Church commanding those within her pale to abstain from these acts. So I suppose one Catholic response to disagreement with the Church could go: “Well, I disagree with the Church’s position on the immorality of (insert gravely immoral act), but out of deference to Her authority (I am a Catholic after all!) and respect for the fact that She has been waging spiritual warfare for the Good for millennia prior to my birth 5 minutes ago, I will neither perform nor promote this act. I’ll just shut up until the Church comes around.” Such a person would be wrong (the above examples are all gravely immoral), but at least he would have a modicum of integrity.
Contemporary society is not famous for its integrity. Or its ability to shut up about its own interests. And so one rather typical contemporary Catholic response to disagreement with the Church is more along the lines of: “I both disagree with the Church and loudly promote (and occasionally perform) from the rooftops (insert gravely immoral act). The Church needs to get with the program.”
Apparently, quite a few members of the Church have gotten with the program. And what to do with all that is a question for others to answer. But I’ll suggest that those publicly promoting rebellion against the Church for their own favorite behaviors – instead of at least shutting up – are less than ideal sources of advice on how to deal with active rebellion against the Church for other people’s favorite behaviors.
I’ve said before that there are all sorts of prudential reasons why one would not wish to live in or raise his family in the “city.” But there is a tendency, or so it seems to me, on the reactionary side of the blogosphere to turn such prudential decisions into ginormous prescriptions for rebuilding Christian society. For these folks “the city” assumes fantastical significance – like, say, how the Jews or the Deep State or the Rothschilds or the (fill in the Really Bad People) assume fantastical significance for other people concerned about the state of modernity.
From my perspective, that’s all rather silly. As one who – literally – grew up and was raised in and has his entire clan of kith and kin living in the Deep South middle of nowhere, these folks don’t have any clue what they are talking about. They are the agrarian-interested suburbanites equivalent of Catholic convert neurotics.
Modernity is a sewer of liberalism and moral debauchery. Remove all that, and the difference between the city and “the land” is nothing more than the size of the buildings and the available arts and entertainment. Modern people – whether they live in metropolises or pueblos – will just do anything in the world other than give up their own favorite liberalism and debauchery.
When conservative type folks wave the (literal or metaphorical) Gadsden Flag, they tend to believe that little snake to be exclusively their own. Don’t tread on ME and my behaviors which all normal right-thinking people clearly realize should not be restricted. Normal common sense people realize the little snake doesn’t go, shouldn’t go, slithering over to those weird freaks over there.
But in the political context of liberalism, everyone plays with the snake. Liberalism claims not to care if you are good; it merely claims to protect you from the tread. In liberalism, liberty is the norm. And all free acts are normal.
So conservatives are correct in a sense when they wish to only wave the flag over normal behavior. The problem though, in the context of liberalism, is that requires them to wave the flag over everyone’s behavior.
The fact, therefore, must be that the individuals, themselves, each, in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a contract with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist. -Thomas Paine
I’m on record admitting to be a big ole stick in the mud when it comes to conspiracy theories, generally. I do enjoy reading about them, and I can appreciate the imaginative grandeur of it all in a sci-fi channel sort of way. But conspiracy theories of the political variety are more than likely just to sadden me these days. Supposing that there really are underground freedom fighters waging war against the Rothschild alien warlocks who secretly control the world from their European lairs and pizza shops, what would this mean? That the Deep State is much deeper than most understand. It’s so deep that even rough-and-tumble underground freedom fighters are fighting to perpetuate its very existence. Every alien warlock be vanquished and America return to those Gadsden flaggy days of 1776, and the Deep State will proudly wave its banner proclaiming, “Mission Accomplished!”