By Charlie Johnston
What a wonderful celebration of the centennial of the penultimate Fatima apparition! Our Archbishop consecrated the entire Archdiocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Some Parishes held their own special Mass – and 73 Parishes live-streamed the consecration from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Denver. I went to Mass at the Cathedral at 5:30 on Friday, then stayed in Eucharistic Contemplation until the Holy Hour preceding the Consecration began at 7:30. During that time, I prayed for each member of my extended family by name, thinking of our joys and sorrows together. I prayed for all on the TNRS Team by name – and all of the regional coordinators, fondly remembering our times together. I prayed for the Priests who have guided me, both as directors and as friends, and for the Bishops who have done the same. It was a wonderful time of recollection. I prayed for renewal, renewal of my own heart and of our poor battered, bleeding world.
The True Division
I had been unusually depressed the last few weeks as so many things seemed to be coming to a head. After the hideous massacre in Las Vegas, the usual suspects lined up to lecture us that the only moral solution to such tragedies is to disarm more victims. Bizarre…not even a rational approach, much less a moral one. The more a society shows itself to be unable to defend its citizens, the more critical it is that they be prepared to defend themselves. The NFL self-righteously protests a negligible problem while lifting nary a finger to help with a huge one. Whites killing blacks amounts to less than 1 percent of all annual killings. Blacks killing blacks constitute almost 60 percent of such statistics. (Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute has done exhaustive research on this subject). NFL players, particularly black players, could be powerful role models going into the inner cities in the off-season, helping to support black churches and encouraging people to get married, stay married, be there for their kids, and work hard at education. The reality is that, outside of inner cities, Black and Hispanic crime rates mirror that of the larger society. We don’t have a serious racial problem – we have a serious behavioral problem, centered in inner-city ghettoes that are centers of hopeless dependency and disorder. The anti-God left is doing its best to whip it up into a racial divide, perhaps to hide the fact that nearly all the hellish centers of such disorder have been governed for half a century by leftists who dream of bringing their “success” to the whole country. I am not sure whether to be offended by NFL players for their offense or to be sorry for them for being so easily used in what Dennis Prager calls the greatest libel since the blood libel. It doesn’t matter much to me: I ended 31 years as an enthusiastic fan last year when the NFL refused to let the Dallas Cowboys honor slain police officers while enabling Colin Kaepernik’s honoring of cop-killers and contempt for America. I won’t be going back to the NFL whatever happens, for the players have revealed how shallowly vapid they are and what contempt they hold for their fans. Perhaps a new Patriot League will arise, and then I can enjoy professional football once more.
The true divide can only be between people who try to live honorably and criminals. The justice system needs overhauling in a multitude of respects. Violent criminals are repeatedly released to go on to greater violence. Inner city murders of black folks are rarely solved – which leads criminals to think it is not taken seriously and they can get away with murder. They are right. It is unjust that a suburban white kid gets a competent lawyer, while inner city black kids usually get over-burdened and inexperienced public defenders. But if your sole solution is to give inner city kids better lawyers without addressing the toxic fatherlessness and Godless culture they are mired in, getting them better lawyers will only enable more violence. When I was doing radio back in the early 90’s I spoke with a prominent sociologist in the state one day. Citing statistics on recidivism among juvenile offenders, I noted that the only programs which showed some positive results were faith-based programs, so why did the state completely avoid such programs. To my astonishment, she agreed that they were the only effective programs, but because they brought up God, they were oppressive and could not be used. I asked in disbelief if she really would prefer to condemn young offenders to unremitting misery than expose them to God. “It’s only fair,” she said. It was one of those moments where I thought, “We’re going to need a bigger boat.” The reality is that to the secular left, God is not the answer: He’s the competition.
Then the Harvey Weinstein story broke. It proved that none of the Hollywood poseurs actually believe Donald Trump is a tyrant. Faced with an actual tyrant who had real power over their lives and careers, they cowered before him and covered for him. Like in their movies, they are not actually courageous, but can pretend to be courageous when playing to an applauding crowd. It struck me that hearts are being revealed. That process is nearly complete. Things are coming to a head. I haven’t even mentioned North Korea or the decertification of the Iran deal (though I am grimly amused to hear seemingly sober people solemnly say that if we don’t use the same plan that made North Korea a rogue nuclear state, we risk war. Do these people even listen to themselves?) The truth is that, while secular leftists claim the idea of sin is oppressive, they are actually expanding the definition of sin: they just want to be the enforcers. George Neumayr wrote a marvelous piece explaining how the left simply wants to replace the real God, who is steady, just and compassionate, with a statist god, which is shriekingly arbitrary and capricious. The left has succeeded in melding a libertinism that would make Caligula blush with a harsh puritanism that would shame John Calvin.
A quarter of a century ago I told my Priests that the Storm would be like a “global civil war fought on cultural lines,” and that “the Storm would break through North Korea but not be centered in North Korea.” Seventeen years ago I wrote that we had begun the process that would lead to the collapse of the rule of law – that law would become perverted to be just another partisan tool in the grasping clutch for power. Just three years ago I wrote a mournful piece on this site, stating that Republican control of Congress would not stop the trajectory of our disorder as there was no longer a political solution possible to what ails us. Over the summer, I thought longingly of setting up camp in the mountains near a stream and sitting out the Storm. I waited for the shrieking madness that followed Trump’s Inauguration to abate. Yet the Storm only gathers force, and the shrieking madness continues to rise. Things are gathering to a head.
Though we have gotten here in ways that I often did not expect, we are in the “world gone mad” I was shown way back in the early 60’s and that seemed so utterly unbelievable to me. Heaven knows, if a modern-day Rumplestiltskin went to sleep in 1962 and woke up today, he would think he had been transported to a Bizarro universe where the elites all think good is evil and evil, good. So many have completely lost the capacity to ever find happiness, only perpetual grievance and rage. They rage against God, they rage against family…which are the real keys to finding happiness. I have to concede the devil has done his work effectively. I promised long ago that if these times came I would defend the faith, hearten the faithful, and defend the faithful. I know that however unfaithful we are, God is ever true to His promises. A century ago, Our Lady promised that, “in the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” I haven’t made my last mistake. But God willing, so long as I draw breath, I will do my best to defend the faith, hearten the faithful, and defend the faithful, for I know His promises are altogether true.
Travels With Charlie
I will spend all of November in the Southwest and on the West Coast. I currently have events scheduled in Houston, Santa Fe, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco. While I am willing to do formal presentations, it is not necessary. I just finished a swing of home visits in Kansas City; Springfield, Missouri; Lake Charles, Louisiana; San Antonio and Dallas. I am more interested in encouraging people to be watchful, to not despair, and to be prepared to hearten their neighbors and help each other in extreme circumstances. This simple way, always focused on the next right step while acknowledging God, is the way we act as heralds of Rescue and hope. If you would like to arrange a visit, whether formal or informal, contact Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I had an amazing encounter during my presentation in Lake Charles a few weeks back. There was a young moderately autistic woman there. (She could have been 14, she could have been 24: it can be hard to tell with autistic people). She was a pretty girl. As I began speaking, she mirrored my every move and facial expression. She did not do it with a half-second delay; she did it simultaneously with me. It was amazing. After a few minutes, her mother moved to stop her. I told her Mom that if there were private reasons she had for discouraging this, that was fine, but if she was just worried about offending me, I found it charming. She asked if I was sure. So the girl, April, mirrored me throughout my talk. Afterwards, I told her how very good she was at it and she gave me a big hug. It was interesting how soothing it seemed to be for all of us.
Many of you know that Nancy Davidson, a long-time commenter here and one of my coordinators in South Dakota, recently passed on after a brief bout with pancreatic cancer. I spoke to her by phone after she received the diagnosis and sent her a note. I was only able to speak to her once before it got too bad. Her dear friend, Kris Rehfeld kept me apprised of her condition. When I got home there was a letter in the box for me from Nancy, penned just before she died. It was the only time I have ever gotten that particular sort of letter from beyond. It was filled with complete trust in God – and the next right step for each of us. I pray that Nancy is already in heaven and, if she is, I know she is interceding right now for every one of us in the TNRS family.
I had another surprise in the mailbox. A Christian artist from Montgomery, Alabama, sent me the gorgeous abstract painting of Our Lady of Fatima that appears to the side here. She is Joanie Conoly. She said that my work had inspired her to do paintings of Our Lady and, knowing my devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, she sent this to me. Sadly, pictures do not do her work justice. In photos, the paintings appear a bit flat and mundane. In real life, they are absolutely gorgeous with rich texture and delicately precise detail. I was flabbergasted by how beautiful it is. It now hangs in a place of honor above the fireplace.
The Video Short Planned Parenthood Does Not Want You to See
Imagine an undercover journalist got film of a criminal gang planning a hit – and speaking about it all in an open, public place. When the journalist turned the film over to authorities, what do you think would happen? They would arrest the criminals, right? Well, not if you are in the bizarre world of California. When David Daleiden got film of abortion activists talking with each other like murderous Dr. Mengele’s at a National Abortion Federation (NAF) Conference in California a few years back, San Francisco Federal Judge William Orrick slapped a gag order on the videos. His reasoning was that what the abortionists said was so toxic that, if it became public, it would endanger the safety of the abortion activists. By that reasoning, any nefarious scheme caught on tape could be censored. In America, we have traditionally sided with the whistleblowers who expose nefarious schemes rather than with the nefarious schemers. But Judge Orrick and his wife are radically pro-abortion and have ties to the abortion industry. Orrick seems to have chosen to use his position to act as muscle for the abortion industry. Welcome to the collapse of the rule of law.
When the California Atty. Gen. chose to indict Daleiden and his partner, Sandra Merrick, for taping these exchanges (charges that have NEVER been filed against anyone else taping in a public place in California before: in fact, Planned Parenthood worked with the California Legislature to change the laws to make these charges possible), the San Francisco Superior Court made the videos part of the public record. So Daleiden’s attorneys provided links to them. Orrick was outraged. No stinking little state court was going to defy his mighty power. They began threatening Youtube and every outlet that had the videos embedded with contempt sanctions if they did not pull them down. In fact, I got a threatening letter as I had published a link to a Youtube video of the short preview. It worked. Every public site pulled the video. What Planned Parenthood and its allies most dread is you seeing what they say and do when they think no one is listening.
Enter Congressman Mark Walker of North Carolina, Chairman of the Republican Study Committee. He put the video preview up on an official public government site right here. Now I am not embedding the video on my site, simply linking to a public government site. So if that parody of a judge, William Orrick, wants to cite anyone for contempt, he will have to cite the U.S. House of Representatives, which has a little more heft than a stinking little state court (even if it doesn’t always act like it) You can go to the government site to see what Planned Parenthood wants to hide from you. And keep in mind…this is just the tip of the iceberg of what Orrick has hidden on the abortionists’ behalf.