My Thoughts

In reviewing an upcoming book of essays, I found this from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: “In the name of tolerance, tolerance is being abolished; this is a real threat we face.” What immediately came to mind was an exercise in free association, exchanging “diversity” for “tolerance”: “In the name of diversity, diversity is being abolished.”  But then, other words seemed to fit just as well: truth, unity, morality, liberty, freedom, religion, faith, family, humanity, or whatever else it is that we hold most dear.

How often in recent days have we heard in divers ways, “In order to build up, we must first tear down!” America once was a great nation of big dreams, a place where anyone willing to work hard could make their dreams come true. America was a land of opportunity not of handouts, a beacon of freedom for any and all peoples, unencumbered by bureaucrats and government overseers, free to accomplish great things. What was key was that men were free, free to do what they dreamed, constrained only by the God-given unalienable rights granted to all persons. Was it perfect? No system devised by imperfect human beings has been, can or ever will be perfect or perfectible; those who claim otherwise are fools and scoundrels, those who believe such foolishness are mad—and there used to be a place for such madness.

The founders held no delusions, made no promises of paradise, utopia, or heaven on earth. It was an untamed country demanding tough people from around the world in order to build a nation dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We have forgotten or otherwise tortured those words beyond the breaking point. Our education systems have filled our once inquiring minds with swill more deadly than all the pandemics to ever contaminate humanity combined. Remember the Biblical account of Babel (Babili), how one fine morning the citizenry rose unable to understand one another? You read it the Bible, in the book of Genesis, and you laugh at the fiction, but you would be wrong to think it cannot nor never will happen in the here and now. Our educational systems, according to Jason Hill, a professor at DePaul University in Chicago and the author of We Have Overcome, are dealing wholesale in systemic nihilism, “You are looking at a bunch of nihilists and anarchists wanting to destroy a system of the good and replace it with nothing.” That is what nihilism is, a system that believes in “nothing.” As Hill notes, Rutgers University recently declared that “grammar” is racist, as if there is anything that is not systemically racist these days. As a writer who is intimately aware of the importance of grammar, I find this deeply disturbing for “when you attack grammar you attack language, you attack man’s mind, his ability to reason, leaving him on the level of grunting farm animals. You leave man incapacitated, unable to reason, to think and then you take away his history.”

Though difficult to see close up, the further you step away from squinting at the fine print and take a broader view, reality rears back and slaps you silly and you find yourself in an argument with Humpty Dumpty and George Orwell. “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” Orwell quickly countered, “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidarity to pure wind. Truth, it’s the new hate speech. During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” Before Humpty can rejoin, Orwell restates the obvious, “Who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present, controls the past.”

Speaking of grammar, I cannot for the life fathom “Woke”. Grammatically, woke is a verb, the past tense of the infinitive wake, to emerge from a state of sleep. It is neither noun nor adjective; used as such it makes no sense, but then, I suppose, that is the intent by the so-called “Woke” mob. Somewhere I read that “Wokeness” has become the nomenclature for the ideology or mentality of radical leftist activists on college campuses, at protests, and on social media. Worse, it is becoming a dominant mindset in the American workplace, in both the public and private sectors, as a method to promote “anti-racism”—which is an entirely different can of word worms in and of itself. According to James Lindsay, “Wokeness is a fusion of the critical theory school of neo-Marxism, which is a form of identity politics, and radical activism that has a very particular worldview that separates the world into liberationists versus oppressors or oppressed versus oppressors. It marries that with postmodern theory, which holds that all applications of truth are actually applications of politics by other means.” In other words, truth is malleable, subjective and relative, based on power and who drives the narrative; the truth is replaced by my truth.      

A heaping plate of Humpty Dumpty and George Orwell, anyone? Wake up America!

Just my thoughts for a Friday, for what it is worth.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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