You can read here a beautiful article on “Crisis Magazine” on the attitude too often found among Catholics, and about which I have written on several occasions.
You will find the post instructive because it teaches once again how history repeats itself, in the sense that the same errors are made again and again, and with the same consequences.
You’ll find the Churchill quote particularly telling, and I think it fitting to report it in its entirety
If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.
Still, I do suggest you read the article in its entirety, as it has pretty much everything: the extremely fitting imagined “cartoon” is hilarious but very reflective of today’s reality, and the world war reminiscences of the author’s grandpa are also very, very real, though a stupid generation has already managed to almost forget them.Even the John Wayne citation is beautiful (the movie was, I think, “The Searchers”. DVD purchase highly recommended…).
If there’s a kind of “Catholic” I can’t stand, is the one who think it is enough to “piously abandon post”, clearly out of lack of the will to fight but masquerading it as charitable “respect” for other people’s wishes. They think one can be a Christian without having any conflict with anyone else. Far too easy. Christ came with a sword. The day they die, the Appeasing Catholics will discover the conflicts they have avoided come all back to haunt them.
And no, such an inaction is not being pious. It’s the desire to avoid at all costs those awkward or outright unpleasant conversations, and renounce to speak one’s mind when challenged. (“Do you mean I will go to hell?” – asks the divorced and remarried dissenting cousin – “I mean you certainly are at risk”, you answer. Nuclear conflict follows. Good. You might have given a little contribution to the saving of one soul, besides yours) with relatives and close friends, and showing oneself oh so tolerant, and thus worthy of praise in this heathen world of ours.
No one of us is required to die in the trenches (for now), though I’d say it’d be a life well spent. But what is required of us is that we speak frankly and do our best to influence the world around us; which doesn’t mean the waffle along the lines of “look at my joy in being a Christian”. It means telling other people they are utterly and completely wrong, and accept the discussion (or quarrel) that goes with that.
If one is so “respectful” of other people’s “feelings” or “conscience” that he leaves it unchallenged, he is being an accomplice; and if one is not mightily enraged at where the West is heading, I frankly doubt his Christian credentials.
I must admit that I recalled it differently: that John Wayne married thrice, always to Catholic women, and that his last wife was the one most directly instrumental to his conversion. Which seemed a bit odd to me, as it is not clear to me how a devout Catholic woman may marry a man who has been married twice (or once, in the case of the second wife) to Catholic women, has divorced and the first Mrs Wayne is still alive.
Still, I am not an expert and the matter is complicated; one would have to know more in detail how the Church considers the marriage of people who – like Wayne – did not consider marriage a sacrament, and/or didn’t even, perhaps, marry in church. I must raise a white flag here, though my first instinct would be that the Catholic second (or third) wife shouldn’t even think of it, full stop.
More important in our little story of today is that John Wayne did convert – as confirmed by various sources, including his son – and that one of his grandchildren has become a Catholic priest.
The reminiscences of Father Munoz are important because he recalls not only the fact that his grandmother – who never remarried as long as John Wayne was alive – never ceased to pray for our hero’s conversion, but also gives some moving details about John Wayne’s religious life, a mixture of Protestant “sola scriptura” principles and childish abandonment to God. I do not know many people who write letters to God, I frankly have no problems in imagining the man doing it. With the likes of George Clooney and Brad Pitt, it is a bit less likely…..
Still, this good man – sinner as he was, as everyone of us – did find the nerve to grow above his Protestant letter-writing and choose to do the right thing. I find it beautiful, as people like him are those most in danger of considering themselves – after a life willingly and unwillingly spent listening to people flattering them – worthy of being taken by God as an example.
Also interesting is what Father Munoz – very probably not knowing what he is doing – recalls about the values life of John Wayne: God first, family second, Country third.
I smiled while reading this, as it immediately reminded me of a very famous slogan of the Italy of the past: Dio, Patria e Famiglia. These values were instilled in millions of Italians, even after the war. They come, as you might have imagined, from the Duce himself.
Isn’t it wonderful, that right values go beyond national boundaries and political tendencies and write themselves down directly in the heart of the people.
I’d like to think of both men now happily in paradise, though purgatory appears to be, on a more sober reflection, a far more likely outcome at least for the Italian chap. I would personally sign for that with joy, both for him and for myself.
With your permission, I allowed myself to pray for both.
Well, for the three of us, really…
If you ask me, only one of the two can be true:
1) some people live on the moon.
2) some people find it convenient to talk as if they did.
The latest example is the utter lack of realism in the Christian-Muslim “dialogue”. The naivety of his most ardent proponents it even surpasses the “ecumenical” process a’ la ARCIC.
A beautiful example of this delirious mentality is the (thankfully) retired nuncio of the Vatican for several Muslim countries, El-Hacheb. The chap seems to live in that beautiful world in which children start to march all together for world peace and behold, it becomes a reality. Among the measures our chap would like to see more seriously implemented are schools filled with Catholics and Muslims. Let us mix all together, ponders the man. That in this way a serious Catholic teaching becomes impossible (because it makes the occasion of conflicts even nearer) doesn’t seem to worry him as his implied solution seem to be to dilute Catholicism to make place for “diversity”. Catholics will become a little more Muslim, and Muslim will become not one bit more Catholic but hey, it sounds so good.
This ecu-maniacal thinking is deluded because it starts from the assumption that if Christian and Muslim would only know each other better, they would avoid being in conflict. This is more than naive, this is outright moronic and the fruit of total disregard of the simple reality under the sun.
Christians and Muslims have been living together in several countries for many centuries now; the idea that conflicts be caused by not knowing what the other thinks is more than outlandish and the fruit of the same delusion which has caused the creation of that other child dream made expensive reality, the United Nations; namely, the thinking that just because people talk, wars stop happening.
Christians and Muslims fight each other because they know each other good enough, not because they don’t. The real facts the ecu-maniacal sissies do not want to understand (or conveniently pretend not to understand) is that Christianity will never be compatible with Islam, and Islam will never be compatible with Christianity.
Besides being theologically incompatible, an even bigger obstacle is that they are both expansive: both want to convert the world, an exercise in which – say – Jews and Buddhists are not interested in the least. The reasons of conflicts between Christianity and Islam is built-in in the way both religion work, and no amount of daydreaming and wishful thinking will ever change an iota in that. Christianity and Islam can, at best, avoid actual war and they actually do it most of the time. But even that might not be possible, or not be expedient and this is another reality conveniently forgotten nowadays.
But then again, the former nuncio also wishes for summer camps where the young of both religion meet and spend some day together, which gives you the measure of his detachment from reality. Muslim parents sending their daughters in a holiday camp with Christian boys? “That will be the day”, I hear the Duke saying…..
The simple fact is that for too long the pretension of childish dreams of “peace” has been conveniently used to mask cowardice; that ecu-maniacal efforts and fantasies of “dialogue” have been used to disguise the unwillingness to become vocal and aggressive in defending Christians in predominantly Muslims countries; that the fundamental nature of the conflict between Christianity and Islam makes the end of such a conflict utterly unrealistic; that only a moron can give any credibility to a “dialogue” with members of a religion which allows them to lie to further its interests.
It is high time that we stop burying our head in the sand, abandon the convenient blindness of political correctness – what is political correctness if not the demand that one be blind, lest he be offended by what is plain to see? – and start to hammer into the heads of the Christians that Islam and Christianity are fundamentally incompatible and there is no place for any coexistence of the two. Not from a theological point of view (because we must work to convert the whole world, not to convert the non-Muslim one) and not from a practical one (because Islam has the same ideas we have, and there’s only one planet to convert).
This conflict is here to stay. It is inherent in the way the two religion work. Nothing short of the eventual defeat of Islam will change it.
We need to wake up to this elementary truth.