“I caught him, with an unseen hook and an invisible line which is long enough to let him wander to the ends of the world, and still to bring him back with a twitch upon the thread.” — Father Brown in The Queer Feet by G. K. Chesterton.
The year 2008 was a very eventful year in my life. For the first time ever I was genuinely interested in Presidential politics due to my enthusiasm for the candidacy of Dr. Ron Paul. I registered as a Republican in Massachusetts because I wanted to vote for him in the primary. I was working with several like-minded friends and we endorsed him on our website. I marched in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in South Boston with an enthusiastic contingent carrying a Ron Paul banner.
Dr. Paul’s campaign uniquely and courageously emphasized two issues that had always been most important in my mind — abortion and war. He condemned abortion because it violated the right to life (as protected by the Constitution) of innocent babies and what’s more he had a practical plan for how to actually curtail it based on states’ rights. In addition Ron Paul was an anti-interventionist advocate of peace at a time when the U.S. government was hyper-interventionist and aggressively warlike.
Of course, Dr. Paul did not win the nomination, but in November 2008, for the first time in my life, I cast a vote for President by writing in his name on my ballot.
But something else happened that year which is even more significant to me, even astonishing, and the two events are connected. I decided suddenly and unexpectedly to return to the Catholic Church, after an absence of about 40 years, when I read an article on the lewrockwell.com website by a Dr. G. C. Dilsaver.
At this point some background information is necessary.
I was raised as a Catholic, but left the Church as a young man in the late sixties. I stopped practicing the Faith almost immediately upon entering college and became involved in left wing protests against racism and the Vietnam war. I barely went to class. I spent all my time organizing and demonstrating.
After college and with the end of the war and the “movement” opposed to it, I settled down a bit and got a job, eventually getting married and having kids. But for my entire adult life I never went to Mass except for an occasional family funeral or wedding. However I was marked by my Catholic upbringing and one of the teachings that stayed with me was the teaching about just war.
When I was a kid, my friends and I were fascinated by WW II. Many of our fathers had fought in that war and Hollywood promoted it endlessly in exciting movies about heroic American and Brit efforts to defeat “the Krauts and the Japs.” We saw every movie and TV show and even knew the details of the fascinating weaponry that was employed by the soldiers, whom we emulated in our play.
But all of us kids were Catholics, and I remember how one day I realized that made us different. In grammar school a nun told the class about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and how Catholic morality condemned those acts of war because the American decision makers had deliberately targeted non-combatants and the innocent. At one point we were even assigned to read John Hersey’s book, Hiroshima, and that was the beginning for me of a lifetime of skepticism about war and the U.S. Government. Those two bombings remain to this day as the two single greatest acts of terrorism in the history of the world.
Logically enough, regarding the protection of innocent life, I have always agreed with the Church condemnation of abortion as murder. I had accepted much of the sexual revolution but abortion seemed an altogether different matter. Abortion was killing babies, just like dropping the Bomb on Japan was killing babies.
Getting back to politics, I had a simple rule of thumb: Republicans are the party of war but they pretend to be against abortion and Democrats are the party of abortion but they pretend to be against war. As you can see I was contemptuous of the two party system, but I thought that Ron Paul was trying to break out of that trap. His short-lived campaign and the prejudice of the system against him simply confirmed me in my convictions about elections.
Of course at the time of his campaign in 2008, exhibit A for his indictment of the evil federal government was the Iraq invasion of 2003 (a clearly immoral war of aggression), and the subsequent ongoing, unconstitutional campaign known as the War on Terror.
Now I was once again involved in antiwar activities but something had changed since the sixties. Because the cold war was over and communism was dead, many Christians of a conservative or traditionalist orientation were now adamantly opposed to the War on Terror and critical of the powerful State which was prosecuting it. I began reading antiwar articles by people like Pat Buchanan, Joe Sobran and Bill Kauffman. I think that was when I first felt a “twitch upon the thread.”
As the election approached, I’ll never forget that day in late October when I discovered the article by G. C. Dilsaver. The article was called Christians and the Pro-life Ploy and it appeared on the website run by the Catholic libertarian and Ron Paul supporter Lew Rockwell. As I read, I did not feel a mere twitch. I felt like I was hit by a lightning bolt.
As Ron Paul had done, Dr. Dilsaver linked the two issues of war and abortion but he did so by making a deeply radical and thoughtful Christian argument. He criticized the pro-life Church leaders for being compromised because many of them advocated voting for John McCain over Barack Obama. They elevated the single issue of opposing abortion above all other issues while ignoring McCain’s support for vicious wars of aggression. They “compartmentalized their faith,” thereby leaving Catholics and other pro-life Christians vulnerable to being trapped by the fake conflict of the Republican/Democrat election circus. This constituted the “pro-life ploy.”
I hope people will go back and read this prophetic article. Dilsaver didn’t pull any punches and his many blunt and startling assertions came at me in rapid fire:
“Our nation is not vicious because it allows abortion, rather it allows abortion because the nation is vicious.”
“Yes, the Democrats and Republicans are two sides to the same ticket: and that ticket is a one-way ticket to fascism.”
“Both parties on the vast majority of issues, on their all-pervasive worldviews, are incompatible with, indeed hostile to, the Christian worldview.”
“Moral decadence always comes in the wake of war.”
“We have abortion because of the break-up of the family and the ensuing moral decadence, not because of Roe v. Wade …. Yet it is the family that is ever the last bastion against tyranny.”
“The USA is the most powerful and hence the most dangerous nation in the history of the world. Its potential for evil is absolutely unprecedented. If there is not a reversion to the constitution then totalitarianism is inevitable.”
The conclusion of the article was stunning:
“Whoever occupies the Whitened Sepulcher House this January is a tool of the powers and principalities of this world and of the devil. And all who facilitate the legitimacy of this sham election are, at best, the devil’s dupes, at worst his minions.”
To paraphrase Samuel Johnson: when a man knows he is facing the devil, it concentrates his mind wonderfully. I now knew there was a spiritual war going on, not a mere political or cultural conflict. A war against superior powers beyond our world. And without Christ’s Church to fortify us for this war, we didn’t stand a chance. We were dead men walking.
This article was and still is the most expert, practical advice I have ever seen, on how to be an intense, thoughtful Catholic who incidentally happens to be American, rather than a confused and compromised American who incidentally happens to be Catholic. I knew right then and there what I had to do. A voice inside me said: “the Church is your home and your true identity is Catholic. You need to return.”
I soon talked with a local pastor and started going to Mass. Eventually I went to confession and at that point I wanted to tell somebody who would appreciate what had happened. So I contacted a Catholic email friend who was an antiwar blogger. “Steve, an amazing thing has happened. I have returned to the Church, and on Sunday I received Communion for the first time in about 40 years.” His reaction was startling. “Doug, your email brought tears to my eyes. It’s a miracle.”
I was overjoyed to go to Mass and receive the sacraments again, but I wanted to do something to help spread the Faith since that was what I thought Christians were supposed to do and I knew the Church was under attack. Since I had been an activist pretty much all my life I thought I could help by doing some organizing. A joyous energy and sense of liberation sustained me for the next 12 years. I also had a sense of personal failure and regret for what might have been that contributed to my motivation.
I tried many things with varying degrees of success. I had many email and phone discussions. I started several Catholic meetup groups and a club for readers of the New Oxford Review that met at a pub in Boston. I volunteered to do some blogging at a site called Catholics Against Militarism. At the college where I worked I became an advisor to the Catholic student association. I attended a sidewalk protest against Planned Parenthood and tried to convince the picketers that their greatest enemy was the murderous Federal government.
Perhaps the most notable activity I was involved in came about in 2018 when I joined a group called Catholic Quest which was led by a generous couple who had been organizing beautiful Christian events in the Boston area for years. We came up with the radical idea of a one year program to celebrate and promote Humanae Vitae. That’s the encyclical that reiterated and reinforced the Church’s teaching against birth control, the “original sin” of the sexual revolution.
better late than never
Not surprisingly, over the years, I had become much more conservative and skeptical about the benefits of sexual “liberation.” Having kids has a lot to do with that. In addition I think I always had a built-in appreciation for the importance of family values (especially for the working class), due more to my personal experience growing up and spending Sundays with Italian grandparents and lots of aunts and uncles and cousins, rather than anything I learned in Catholic school or at Church. And once I became a practicing Catholic again, I only had to do a little bit of reading and research to come to a full realization of the massive destructiveness of the sexual revolution. It became crystal clear to me that the Catholic Church was right about birth control and that legalized abortion followed inevitably after the Pill.
After the Humanae Vitae program was over we moved on to tackle the newest and most bizarre manifestation of the revolution — the transgender phenomenon. It seemed to me that this was a turning point in the so-called culture wars because transgenderism was a clear move in a totalitarian direction. The Satanic state and culture now demanded that ordinary people must deny reality itself. (“learn my pronouns, or else!”) If they can make you say that Mr. Jenner, the 1976 men’s Olympic decathlon champion, is now a woman, they can make you do anything. Surely people, especially Christian parents whose children were endangered, would resist ferociously.
We had a big event planned for April 2020 featuring an author who had a simple message for Christian and other parents who were frightened by gender ideology: get your kids out of public school and get them out NOW!
You know what happened next. Along came Covid, and everything stopped.
We couldn’t go to Mass since it was shut down for being “non-essential,” while liquor stores, grocery stores and hardware stores were open. Abortions were considered essential of course and Planned Parenthood clinics remained open. I think I was in a state of shock. Our event was cancelled and the people I was working with asked me in a zoom meeting if I had a plan, and perhaps for the first time in my life, I did not!
But Evil never rests and it never goes into lockdown or quarantine. It seems like during the age of Covid the downward spiral into depravity has accelerated.
Here’s a partial list of some terrifying developments nationally and locally so far during the age of Covid:
the Bostock decision by the “conservative” Supreme Court helped legitimize transgenderism.
the anti-Christian Equality Act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Stay tuned.
the demonic “draft our daughters” movement got a boost as the House also voted to require women to sign up with Selective Service.
in Massachusetts we had the passage of the infanticidal Roe Act.
the city council in Somerville MA gave legal recognition to “polyamory.”
also in Mass, we have a new push to legalize “medically assisted suicide.”
and, God help us, we have a new mayor of Boston and city employees can now get 12 weeks paid time off after having an abortion.
“from the darkest hour arises the brightest hope”
In many ways the Covid crisis provided a window into the soul of our nation and it was a very dark vision indeed. We had old folks trapped in charnel house nursing homes, lockdowns destroying family businesses, vaccine coercion of dedicated pro-life Christians (even enforced by “Catholic” colleges and some bishops), suppression of free speech of those who challenged the state approved narrative, and a general atmosphere of fear and division deliberately promoted by the governments and media. The “land of the free and the home of the brave” now had mandatory masking of 2 year old babies. In a disturbing and eerie parallel to the culture’s prevailing abortion/divorce mentality, much of Covid mania involved sacrificing the well-being of children for the imagined safety or self-centered satisfaction of adults.
The one bright spot in this overwhelming Covid darkness is that more and more people may now be ready to face reality. And, praise God, Dr. G. C. Dilsaver has a lot to say about the current situation that can help us deal with that reality. He is saying something that no one else is saying.
In his latest book, Crucial Christianity, Dilsaver puts forth ideas and arguments that need to have widespread circulation and discussion among Christians everywhere. He explains that the nations that constituted Christendom for hundreds of years have apostatized and become fully anti-Christic. These nations are largely inhabited by “technarcistic man” who denies the reality of death and suffering, refuses to accept the Cross of Christ and instead turns to the false gods of science, technology and the state. No wonder this man places his fate in the hands of apostate Catholics like Fauci and Biden.
But do not despair and do not be afraid. Although there is no going back to the traditional Christendom, Dr. Dilsaver argues that we can and must undertake to build a new Christendom for the 3rd millennium, based not on kings or states or popes or bishops but on the sociopolitical competency of a newly mature laity which now has unimpeded access to pure and unsullied Church teaching and dogma. This Magisterium is protected by the Holy Spirit and cannot change and cannot be taken away from us by weak or unfaithful bishops. The new domestic Christendom will be based on the central importance of the Christian family, led and protected by the father and with the mother as the heart of the home. Communities of families will be the foundation of a new society and will act when necessary to preserve their legitimacy and authority in defiance of the Satanic State and culture.
“Rather, in this third millennium, the Holy Faith must find both its dynamic leadership, primary identification, and impactive dynamics in the Christian family. This will entail creating nothing less than a grassroots Christian order that is a separate and self-sufficient power structure unto itself, with values, laws, and governance that transcends, and truly countermands, that of the perverse popular culture and the Satanic State.”
If like me you have been feeling under siege in your Christian beliefs, and you don’t know what to do, then read this book carefully and please help spread the word about it. It is deep but it is also very practical in that it will allow us to construct inspiring and realistically militant battle plans for a Christian restoration. If these plans are based on what Doc calls Crucialism, that is a Faith which is both stripped to the essentials and focused on the Cross, then our task won’t be easy (in fact we will be considered outlaws), but we will bring renewed hope to a despairing world as we assert our inalienable right to do our Christian duty to God and to our families. Brothers and sisters, let’s get on with it!
Here are some helpful links to check out as a quick warm up before reading the book.
Get a free pass and listen to interviews with Dr. Dilsaver on the Mike Church Show