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Strangers in a Strange Land Print E-mail
By David Warren   
Sunday, 18 November 2012

The sense of living in an occupied country has been growing on me for several decades now. I live in Canada, and am thus “a voice from Americas crazy attic” (Robertson Davies phrase, somewhat extended). I was born into a different kind of country. Yet all my life I have been watching the transformation, watching the politicians at work, watching the incremental social fallout, without fully grasping the extent. The oddest little event brings it home.

Take this one. Riding a crowded trolley through rush hour in Toronto, the thing is unexpectedly short-turned, spilling all passengers onto the street to wait for the next crowded trolley. About a dozen of them have no transfers, not having expected to need one. The driver, in a mood, will not issue them, saying the riders had to get them when they entered the transit system. This is nonsense, and he knows it. But no one complains. They file out onto the street, incidentally into a cold drizzle, and wait glumly.

I decide to make it an issue, argue with the driver on behalf of all those cheated of a fare. He tells me repeatedly, “Get out of my car.” I take down his badge number, ostentatiously, then the trolley number. He expresses his contempt more warmly, knowing perfectly well that a complaint not backed with full-scale media coverage will be laughed off by his union. Having achieved nothing, I step out.

Whereupon I find his customers are, finally, vexed. And that I am their target, because I made a fuss. They could cope with being cheated and abused, but not with someone holding up the trolley.

Later, I consulted my ancient mama. I asked what would have happened had a trolley driver tried that in, say, 1960. She said the customers would have made a decided fuss, that it was inconceivable they'd have taken it quietly, and that the driver would have been permanently out of his job within an hour. With the union's blessing.

Alexander Dubček, the reforming Czech communist removed from office by the Russians in 1968, is famous for his line, “We cannot change the people, so we will change the Party.” But you can change the people.

In Canada, for instance, a people who equated abortion with murder changed almost overnight into a people who recognized it as a womans right; a people who found same-sex marriage inconceivable changed into a people who accepted it as inevitable; and so on.

The transformation of Catholics from what they were before, to what they became after Vatican II, had already occurred; and the mainstream Protestant churches also emptied. The people changed.

For me, none of this was quite so shocking as what happened on that trolley. Perhaps this was because the much bigger events had been “mediated” as “news” – made abstract and thereby distant.


       Maine voters approve same-sex “marriage”: the first domino falls

A lady told me that shed gone through an abortion, as a statistic goes through an abortion. “Two is corrected to one.” She had convinced herself it was a “necessary procedure.” Shed been assured it was, yet hadn't felt the need of the assurance; she didnt think of herself as “weak.” Shed sleepwalked through the whole thing. Only after did it suddenly strike her, with the weight of the clanging gates of Hell, that, “Ive killed my child!”

But how many today could react that way? Weve learned to shut things out, in effect, how to be a statistic. Life itself is something to shut out, “if you're going to survive.” The very idea of personal moral obligation has come to seem quaint, and foolish.

Stick out your neck, and you get what you deserve. I look around now at my fellow urbanites and think, these are people quite capable of rioting, but not capable of making a fuss. Except, those few instances I've witnessed where rather than make a fuss, the customer suddenly went berserk; and no one showed the slightest disapproval. They just got out of his way.

I wonder how many Americans, on the morning of November 7th, got up feeling something terrible had happened. From a number of my Republican friends, I got this impression. It wasnt the same as 2008, when they got up feeling theyd lost the election.

It was instead a feeling of being surrounded by people who dont get the point, who didnt grasp the stakes, who let something pass. The people had now voted explicitly to go over the “fiscal cliff,” to accept ObamaCare as a new way of life, with the destruction of Catholic institutions, etc.

And thered be no going back. America was the last place on Earth where the people did not accept being pushed around, being changed by social engineering. Theyd taken pride in this.

But now America is an occupied country.

On November 2, in this space, Austin Ruse reminded us that in state referenda, Americans had declined same-sex marriage thirty-two consecutive times. He wrote that even if one referendum was lost in so liberal a state as Maine or Maryland, the margin would still be overwhelming. It is an odd day when I disagree with Mr. Ruse, but that was one of those days.

My own sense was that, as soon as even one such referendum is lost, by the tiniest margin, anywhere, the game is over. The other side has won. Within a moment of historical time, a majority of Americans will now find same-sex marriage acceptable. They may not actually like it, but they will keep this to themselves. Irritation will now be focused upon those still trying to resist “the inevitable.”

And it is against this background reality that the Churchs mission now proceeds. Pope Benedict understands this, though Im not sure many of his bishops do: that we are now complete foreigners in this North American culture, as throughout the post-modern West; that we are Gershom, strangers in a strange land; that we are mustard seeds again.

 
David Warren is a former editor of the Idler magazine and, until recently, a columnist with the Ottawa Citizen. He has extensive experience in the Near and Far East. His blog, Essays in Idleness, is now to be found at: http://davidwarrenonline.com/
 
 
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Comments (41)Add Comment
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written by G.K. Thursday, November 17, 2012
Simply brilliant. You never fail to impress me, Mr. Warren, with your ability to pull together a personal event with the largest movements and issues of our time.

It is an interesting time. The Roman Catholic Church is larger than it has ever been in the history of the world, yet it now faces two determined foes: secularism (which you handle superbly in this post) and Islam (which you have written of in other posts). Human empires have risen and collapsed, and the Roman Catholic Church has grown. Other Christian groups have started, flourished for a time, then dwindled toward their end (there are more Roman Catholics than Lutherans in Wittenberg at the present time; the mainstream churches in the U.S. are dying out), and the Roman Catholic Church has grown. Atheistic totalitarian regimes have viciously persecuted her, yet the Roman Catholic Church has grown.

Now secularism has broken loose at last, unchained, ready to turn its jaws of government on the Roman Catholic Church. Will it surprise any of us if, in the face of this new threat, it grows?

This may seem like a paradox worthy of Chesterton! The paradox of the Holy Spirit working through the Roman Catholic Church.
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written by Randall, November 17, 2012
"It was instead a feeling of being surrounded by people who don’t get the point, who didn’t grasp the stakes, who let something pass. The people had now voted explicitly to go over the “fiscal cliff,” to accept ObamaCare as a new way of life, with the destruction of Catholic institutions, etc."

Yes, you have articulated exactly what I've been feeling since the election. And your final line, "we are mustard seeds again," is apt.
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written by Br. David, November 18, 2012
+PAX
Thank you Mr. Warren! I must say that I agree with you. That doesn't mean I like it though. I've been living outside the US for 10 years now. It seems as though a visit home to my parents would be like entering a foreign land. America certainly is an occupied country now. The Land of the Free is becoming a faint glimmer in history becoming another dictatorship under the guise of modernity. The Land founded upon freedom, and freedom of religion at that, is turning communist. We have all seen the horrors produced by such regimes that have annihilated God from discourse and reason. But somehow so vast a majority is blind to all that. We all need to pray very much.

In history, there was the Second Temple period for the Jews. We seem to be entering the Second Persecution of Christians.

Cardinal George said: "I will die in my bed. My successor will die in prison, and his successor will die a martyr if this trend does not change." (At least according to my memory).

May God have mercy on us all and give us the strength and compassion that we need.
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written by Aeneas, November 18, 2012
Wow.
What's wow? David's conclusions? No! What's 'wow' is how much the two of us are on the same page!
This was more than a turning point, this was a clear ringing sign that the enemy won, something I have long fbeared, long believed already to have occured, but still I was surrounded by the hope of others, and in turn it raised me up...perhaps my fears were just fleeting shadows? Now that is all gone, what I have feared really has come to pass, I know it has, I can feel it in my very bones.
I'm not being melodramatic, or pessimistic. I'm being honest here, and so is David. We are, if not now, then soon to be (soon as in if your in your fifties or younger, then it will be in your lifetime) foreigners in our own land. Strangers. And unwelcome strangers at that.
What leads me to despair even more is my age...unlike many of you here, who are older, (the median age probably being 40ish), and thus closer to their ending, I am a young man, only in my twenties, I have my whole life left ahead of me, and what a bleak vista that looks like now. I will live through all of this, and then some. I'm so young, and I already hate the way things are, that they will get even worse in my lifetime is unbearable to me.
Please, if anyone can spare a pray for me, I would be grateful. I know I'm going to need it.
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written by Jack,CT, November 18, 2012
Mr Warren,
Insightfully sad!I agree with your
assessment and I wander how many "MoMs" relize
later they are mothers despite there abortion,
and they always will be.You may exterminate a
life but you cant exterminate a soul.
I pray for all the victums and I pray for the
souls "living in sin" and hope they relize how
dextructive this is.I see societal norms such as
"same sex marriage" in "Liberal States (such as my
own,but not yet praise the Lord),We need to not be
afraid to say "Loud and Proud" we support the non-
negotiables,such as life and marriage.
I fear people are afraid to be put in a "Category"
of "Intolerant Radicals from the far Right"!
Thanks for a great piece from are friends in the "Attic"!
Jack
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written by Manfred, November 18, 2012
You have captured it brilliantly, Mr. Warren. You describe the frog in the warming, then boiling water. This governmental change will separate the wheat from the chaff among the people of America. AmChurch needs a good persecution. It has become bourgeois. One of my sons still attends the Novus Ordo parish (a block from our home!) the rest of my family and I gave up on thirty years ago. This morning he brought home a note from the pastor. It was a call to arms! The Church is under an existential attack-get back to confession-daily prayers including the Rosary-the Prayer to St Michael the Archangel will be said after every Mass-bring your loved ones back to the Church! In 1957,Sr. Lucia, the last Fatima seer, told a Fr. Fuentes that the Divine punishment was imminent.She described a"diabolical disorientation" being permitted. Isn't that the whole theme of your post? Keep your posts coming, please.
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written by Other Joe, November 18, 2012
They had to get a bigger ship.

It's now a fleet of fools.

All of my adult life I wondered what people were thinking in Germany in 1938. How had they gone from enlightened to craven without (as it seems) any serious discussion along the way? Then I speak to the local boosters for total state control and realize again that words and meanings have been so corrupted that dialogue is no longer possible. Evil has its genesis - in the beginning was the word and the word was twisted.

So here we are. The fools don't like it when someone rocks the ship. It makes them queasy. Wait until they see what the Perfect Storm is going to do to their equilibrium.
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written by Sue, November 18, 2012
Watching the Augustine movie helps me to "remember" that the Church has faced this precipice before. The Dark Ages cometh. And to "foresee" the beautiful cathedrals of some High Middle Ages-to-come in the mist of the future. Proving the circadian, as opposed to "progressive", nature of history.
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written by Mack, November 18, 2012
Too true, too true.

Let us face the future in our knee-pants, ball caps, and nose-rings, clutching our num-num water-bottles and our birth control devices, and staring mindlessly into little plastic boxes that light up and make noises.
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written by Bangwell Putt, November 18, 2012
I thought this morning of the Jews after the destruction of the Temple. Their new temple had to be within; their "uplifted hands" had to be the evening sacrifice.

We are not yet in that dire a situation, although already a priest can be very hard to find and the sacraments are not available.

Still, as the Jews did then, so we can do now. May "Christ dwell in our hearts through faith". May charity be the root and foundation of our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. Whatever it takes, God grant that we will persevere.

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written by W. P Dias, November 18, 2012
Mr. Warren, you have made the point that this happened in Toronto, an urban area. I have noticed this too, in the United States where rural migration to urban areas has resulted in this transformation of Individuals into Obedient worker bees in a hive of Peers at all levels of urban society, yes, even the Predators. I have lived in rural areas most of my life with a couple of short forays into urban environmenments where the uniformity of everyone is what has sent me back to rural villages/towns. The small congregations in the churches in the smaller towns are far less prone to the blandishments and susceptibility to the 'Angel of Satan' that St. Paul refers to when talking about his 'Thorn in the flesh'
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written by Robertus, November 18, 2012
An excellent article, Mr. Warren! The more our culture seems awash in the rhetoric of rebellion and sexual "liberation," the more people seem willing, even eager, to submit meekly to the all-powerful state. It is ironic, although I think the twe phenomena are connected.
But, as Christians, we must have hope: we cannot imitate the character of Denethor from the "Lord of the Rings," who, looking into the palantir, saw the forces of Morder arayed against his kingdom and despaired. We must be Gandalfs, Sams, Frodos, Aragorns, continuing to fight when all seems lost, although we can be assured that our deliverance will come.
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written by G.K. Thursday, November 18, 2012
@aeneas

Buck up. Remember what your namesake did at the Fall of Troy: he saved his family from the ruins and moved on. It did involve suffering, but you are many times more blessed than any pagan -- you have the presence of Jesus Christ in your life.

Persecution will be serious and painful. Many Roman Catholics if they wish to remain faithful will be placed in very tough economic circumstances very soon. This is usually the government's first line of attack, through economic regulation. Expect the RCC to lose its tax exempt status, and perhaps be transferred out of the hands of the Successors of the Apostles (the Bishops) to a government appointed lay board (as presently in Communist China). This was tried already in Connecticut!

But it will also be a time of growing faith. You'll see. Persecutors always think they will destroy the RCC. It has never worked that way ... Even in England, where one of the most vicious persecution of all times took place, at this point the RCC is the fastest growing Christian group, far outstripping the dying CofE. And with the establishment of the new Ordinariate, it will grow even faster.
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written by Steve S, November 18, 2012
As another reader commented here a few weeks ago, our victory is in Christ, so we have no need to despair, as tempting as that is when we observe the slow but steady decline of our culture and society. Christ reminds us in today's Gospel: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." Let us then hold fast to Christ in the midst of the madness.
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written by Andrew, November 18, 2012
An excellent article. As an American living in Canada I feel I've had the experience of watching all this from an inside and outside perspective, watching the land of my birth and most of my life whatever else good or ill can be said about it seemingly give away its freedoms on the slope to a dictatorship while people on both sides of the border are not only indifferent but singing joyous songs even as the water overtakes the ship.

Perhaps it is just that I don't know enough Canadians or about them, but I was surprised how many were so outspokenly in favor of Obama with ten times the energy than they show for their own elections and politics. Only I couldn't ever find a reason why Canadians were in support of Obama so strongly except that they didn't like Romney because he was rich or other reasons, while they just automatically liked Obama. At worst Obama was the lesser of two evils, but no one actually seemed to know anything of Romney except that he was bad. The only fact that matters. My guess is they absorbed the attack adds meant to brainwash Americans from the US channels or internet. Perhaps if Canadians could get roused up about the trolley and other Canadian issues that apply to themselves rather than safely to Americans, some positive (although perhaps worse) things could be done here.
It is indeed a heavier defeat than in 2008, but we will never make any ground no matter who is in office or what side of the border if we don't find a way to soften our hearts and our neighbors'. Press on.
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written by Aeneas, November 18, 2012
@G.K. Thursday
Thanks for the strong words, sometimes a kick in the pants is all you need to get up.

Dark(er) times are coming, that much is true.
I hope your right.
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written by G.K. Thursday, November 18, 2012
@Br. David,

Importantly, Cardinal George finished his remarks likes so:

“His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.”

The Roman Catholic Church has seen persecutions come and persecutions go. Don't lose perspective, God is never out-done by any human organization. Be a faithful Catholic and let God do the rest. It may take a century or two, but even history, with its paltry point of view, will look upon these persecutors as scoundrels.

Try and bring your once or lukewarm Catholic friends and neighbors back to being firm in their faith. It may not work, but you will be doing the work of God in trying. It is meritorious work.
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written by Deacon Ed Peitler, November 18, 2012
Our weapon is truth. Our only weapon is truth. You see the lies of the secular left will continue until they are confronted with the truth. What is the great strategy of the left? To shout down those who disagree with the lie, suppress the truth, and to substitute their lies for the truth. They pervert the meaning of words in order to accomplish their ends. It is for a very good reason that Satan is called the father of lies.

There have been 53 million babies aborted since Row v Wade. Unfortunately, many of these can be attributed to multiple abortions for a single woman. There is a principle of psychology called cognitive dissonance. These millions of women and their accomplises must continue to deny the reality of what they have done and defend it to the death. They do this by backing the Obamas of this world. They simply cannot face the stark reality of what they have done. The same goes for the many, many Catholics and others who have contracepted their way through their marriages. They need to continue to defend those elements in our society which are the greatest proponents of contraception - planned parenthood and their accomplises. The same goes for those who have same sex attraction. They need to support politically those who advance this lifestyle. And there are the many millions of couples who live together a sexual relationship outside of marriage. And we are silent to it all.

How to make the truth work for us? We need to gently, charitably, but with the full vigor of the truth behind us, speak truth to their lies. When the Church - and this means all of us - openly confronts (no, I do not mean to be angrily confrontational) those who have participated in abortion, contraception, same sex behavior and fornication with the truth, we perhaps might begin to see some conversion of heart among them.

Because they have so thoroughly intimated the rest of us into acquiscing to their lies, we help insulate them from what they need to face if they are ever to experience a real conversion of heart. But how many of us fear being called "intolerant?"

Many have called for clergy to do this from the pulpit and they are corrrect in this. But there are far many more lay persons who are able to take the truth to those who feel compelled to hide from the truth and justify their lies. Yes, writing on blogs and elsewhere helps to instruct but the truth is consumed mainly by the already-converted. Instead, a person to person dialogue must be initiated with these others, asking them some of the most difficult questions: "Have you ever had an abortion?" "Do you contracept in your marriage?" "Are you attracted to the same sex and act this out in your relationships." "Are you living with someone who is not your husband (wife?" (Remember Jesus' statement to the woman at the well..."And the one you are living with is NOT your husband."

Of course these are personal questions, but are we truly concerned about our neighbor's salvation? Asked in a caring but direct way, perhaps those who need to defend the lie will have a chance to consider an alternative reality. Without the asking, our secular culture will conspire to maintain the lie.

Our only hope and our only weapon against Satan is...truth. The God's-honest truth.
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written by senex, November 18, 2012
GK--and others: When you speak of a larger US Catholic population, i.e., 45 million in 1960 and 78 million in 2010, that is misleading. In 1960 about 70% regularly attnded Sunday Mass; in 2010 the rate was between 20 and 25%. That translates into a smaller practicing AmChurch. The non-Mass goers should not be counted because they cannot be counted on. To be honest, the USCCB should readjust their numbers to reflect reality.
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written by G.K. Thursday, November 18, 2012
@senex

I'm writing of the Roman Catholic Church as a whole, not simply in the U.S. In the U.S. you're right the numbers reveal both growth (in terms of total baptisms) and decline (in attendance at Mass). One of the difficulties, that I've pointed out in other comments is answering the question "who is a Catholic?" You'll note that I am always careful to write "Roman Catholic" rather than simply "Catholic" because I wish to be as clear as I can be without becoming extremely wordy who I am referring to.

Unfortunately, a large segment of the "catholic" population pays no attention to their presumed Roman Catholic faith. That's why they vote willy-nilly for all kinds of kinds of candidates who simply appeal to their self-motivations. Basically there are three ways of being identified as "catholic" these days: 1) Canonical/Liturigical: someone was baptized as a Roman Catholic, but they may not practice in any way; 2) Self-Proclaimed: someone self-identifies as "catholic" but may or may not practice the faith except in a self-defined desultory way; 3) Faithful: someone lives out the faith in a wholistic manner, following the authentic teachers of the Roman Catholic Church (i.e., the successors to the Apostles, the Bishops) in communion with the See of Peter.

People falling into categories 1) & 2) may feel some kind of attachment to a mental image they have of the true Roman Catholic Church, but what they practice is really their own self-defined religion (and this can be true even of vowed religious and/or priests). As St. Augustine wrote to Faustus (head of the Manicheans, who claimed to be following the "true" teachings of Christ): "Undique tergiversatio vestra contunditur. Aperte dicite non vos credere Christi Evangelio: nam qui in Evangelio quod vultis creditis, quod vultis non creditis, vobis potius quam Evangelio creditis." (trans. "Your evasions are met in every way. You ought to say plainly that you do not believe the gospel of Christ. For to believe what you please, and not to believe what you please, is to believe yourselves, and not the gospel.") Contra Faustum Manichaeum. Liber Decimus septimus, Caput Tertius (Book 17, Chapter 3)

Only those in category 3 have a genuine Roman Catholicism which is not ashamed of its faithfulness to the tradition that Jesus entrusted to his Apostles, and, through them, to the hierarchical Roman Catholic Church.

Aidan Nichols O.P. writing of the state of the faith in England, said "Such ‘post-Christians’ come in three varieties. First, there are those who were christened and at one time believed and practiced the faith but have since fallen away in what the Lineamenta [for the Synod of Bishops held in autumn 2012] terms ‘silent apostasy’. Secondly, there are those who may be christened but have never really had the Gospel preached to them, and are accordingly baptized pagans. And thirdly, there are those who come from historically Christian families which have abandoned contact with Church life at some point over the past generations."
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written by Tony Esolen, November 18, 2012
Dear David -- I too offer my thanks.

My family and I spend our summers in Nova Scotia, so we get the stereoscopic view of the downfall of civilization. On the Saturday evening of our trip back home, we stopped at a small church in Saint John. Let this stand as Exhibit 1,354,557. It was a beautiful church -- or had been, before the ravaging in the 1970's; the beauty of the architecture and the stained glass windows remained, but everything else was destroyed. The "music" was sentence-less wailings by four young people up front. An old lady, finding out that we were Americans, spoke up cheerfully on how much she loved Obama, and didn't like Romney, because he was rich. She hadn't a clue that Obama was on the offensive against her own church -- or she didn't care.

We are a country that finds it charming when some stupid high school celebrates a boy with deep psychological problems, naming him "prom queen" -- and are threatened by the Boy Scouts, and simply disgusted by Norman Rockwell. This wholesale inversion cannot last long; it is inherently unstable. Let the destruction come soon, since it must.
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written by David Warren, November 18, 2012
Up here in the Great White North, I have found that lapsed Roman Catholics may take great umbrage at the employment of such terms as "nominal," "cafeteria," even "lapsed." Several have condemned me as a "mere convert" when I have taken some doctrine or other "too literally." They, who apparently go back many generations, will not be told what's what by some upstart or arriviste.

In thinking about this I have come to realize that we are using the term "Catholic" in quite different senses. For me it refers to something like a religion. For them, however, it is a tribal thing, an ethnicity: often qualified for precision as, "Irish Catholic," "Polish Catholic," "Italian Catholic," "French Canadian," &c. That is what makes them "authentic" & therefore qualified to speak on behalf of Catholics generally -- in the same way as, for instance, only women may speak about women, or only blacks may speak about blacks. Thanks to their "feelings" they are able to apprehend Catholicism from the inside.

Some do consider Catholicism to be a religion, however; or at least, some kind of brainwashing cult; & they self-identify as "Recovering Catholics," omitting the ethnic tags.
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written by Graham Combs, November 19, 2012
I saw this infantilization in New York in the 80s and 90s and especially in the publishing industry among our elite-educated editors and writers. I believe that the English-speaking peoples as a whole are now a beaten-down populace. From the age of eight I grew up just across the river from Windsor, Ontario and developed an affection for Canada and its people. Now they would dismiss me as a Catholic and a "teabagger." I used to drive to Toronto to see plays available only in New York and London. No more. I watch the National and I see aging men and women talking as if it were still 1968 and they still had hair. Canadian radio and TV are simply unbearable. Except for the classical station and a wonderful Sunday morning choral music broadcast. God has been virtually eliminated from Canadian public life as far as I can tell. Even on the classical station a host refered to a series of Agnus Dei recordings as "hymns to the universe." Yikes. It's just another freak show like America and England. Mr. Warren describes precisely what metropolitan Detroit was like the day after the election. Real gloom among the informed. Sunny, giggling childlike obliviousness among everyone else. Today's WSJ front page says it all: investors are backing away from the economy. It was easily predicted. You never know what a two year old will do next and they're just getting out of the way of our man-child American life.
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written by Laura, November 19, 2012
@Brother David: Where, outside America, do you live? What has been happening to our country is more than I can bear. I am very afraid for my old age, which I am entering. Is there a country where I can finish my life in peace? You must have found a place that at least has some sanity, if you come here and see the dissonance that has arisen from the destruction of this country.

This article perfectly and succinctly sums up exactly the horror of the election.
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written by Mariusz, November 19, 2012
I am glad (well, sort of) to see that there are more people sharing my personal sense of a quickening doom. Well, bring it on, as a Catholic I'm not afraid of dying but I certainly would hate to live in the crappy new world. As for the contrast between the States and Canada (I am the citizen of the latter) - the US will end with a bang, Canada with a whimper. That's all.
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written by Blake Helgoth, November 19, 2012
Great post! Indeed, I have seemingly awoken from a great spleep over the course of th past year. I now see that we have very few friends in politics, or in the public square. As you say, the schocking thing was that so many voted for Obama after 4 year of it! Almost as though they are zombies. What I also realized, as did you, that the pesecution is coming. I understand now that we are a very small minority and the way we do not see things is not even slightly close to how the majority of people around us perceive the world. The odds would be against us if it was not for the Lord!
Lately the Lord has been reminding me that our apostolic efforts must come from a deep spiritual life. If we do not take the time for mental / contemplative prayer, we have already forfeited, for the battle is the Lord’s. Without the deep life of the Spirit, we have no weapons for which to win this battle. Eventhough it seems we mut take up arms and run forth into to battle at this moment, that we have wasted too much time already, I would suggest that this is the moment we should retreat into prayer, so that, strengthened by the Lord we will be able to sustain the long fight that is coming; that illumined by His light we may see clearly the way forward. As a side note, may I reccomend the ‘Soul of the Apostolate?’ An excellent book for these times.

..., Low-rated comment [Show]
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written by Jeff Job, November 19, 2012
Soul of the Apostolate revolutionized my Christian perspective. I guess I was a pelagiun without realizing it. Talk to Him about men before you talk to men about Him. It is Christ in us, not us with a side of Him!
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written by Pattie, RN, November 20, 2012
@david warren

I have observed the same change....Roman Catholic used to be a religion that was manifested in daily life and a firm set of beliefs. Now, we seem to have joined our elder brothers in faith, the Jews, in becoming a mere cultural or familial designation, not a faith. (My numbers may not be correct, but I read that only about 20% of the population in Israel are "religious Jews", and that the rest are atheists who call themselves "Jews".)

I don't know what the answer to this issue is....we can hardly issue Vatican-stamped ID cards to "real" Catholics, but we need some way to note those who beleive in and are practising their faith, and those who find it an historial marker.
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written by Br. Daniel, November 20, 2012
Well said, Mr. Warren! I first read this post a couple of days ago, and have been mulling it over since then. Like some of the other earlier commentors, I was immediately struck by how exactly this piece echoed my own feelings since the election. It is as though we have been on a sputtering airplane that was barely managing to stay aloft, and now we've entered the tailspin...

How fortunate that our hope is not in any political structure or economic system, but in Jesus Christ, and Him crucified!
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written by Roadie, November 20, 2012
@Laura,

Here is a publication that can help you decide: International Living. It's not religious, but you can find all the particulars of a country.
Me, I think either Uruguay or Panama would be the place.
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written by Dennis Sinclair, November 20, 2012
Kumar, once you start calling others bigots because you cannot refute what they say, you have no standing.
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written by Ralph W. Davis, November 20, 2012
"Jedem das Seine" or, "You get what you deserve."

The motto above the little main gate of Buchenwald concentration camp.

Weeping for my country.
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written by Marianne, November 20, 2012
I do not accept the media's brain-washing that this was a complete defeat of the good. Obama won by a very SMALL percentage. The media is part of the Democratic Party and they would like to convince us all that everyone is on-board with socialism, redistribution of goods, gay glorification, and hatred of the Catholic Church. Don't let yourself be brainwashed by their lies.
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written by Mike, November 21, 2012
Interesting you should use the year 1960 to compare with today. Firstly, I don't think there's any particular reason to believe that people would be any less reluctant to stand-up against a bus driver back then compared with today. After all, don't many older people bemoan the lack respect for authority today compared with back in the days of their youth? On a bus, the driver is the authority figure, and from what little I can remember as a young child in the 60s, I doubt the scenario would have played out much differently.

Secondly, consider if the passengers were black people trying to board the bus in many parts of the American South -- areas where Biblical Christianity was the order of the day. The driver wouldn't need any excuse to order them off his bus, and there wouldn't have been a darned thing anyone could have done about it.

That's the problem when you yearn for days past in a nation like America -- the myth of Golden Age of Christian values runs headlong into the reality of institutionalized racism and widespread sex discrimination to boot.
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written by Mariusz, November 22, 2012
@Mike,

You are comparing apples with oranges. Institutionalized racism and "widespread sex discrimination" (whatever that's supposed to mean) existed alongside with the respect for Christian values and a better social order. America in the 1960s wasn't an utopia (for which you seem to ask) but, generally, it was a better place to live than America of today.
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written by JamesD, November 23, 2012
Blame lies squarely on one organization. The Catholic Church, including Pope Benedict (who gave President Obama his photo op). The one organization that can fight this satanic battle has given up and gone home. Until the Pope decides to rule as the Lord's Prime Minister, things will go from worse to worst. The answer lies with the Pope, and he will not act. He can start by consecrating Russia to Mary's Immaculate Heart with all of the Bishop's of the world.
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written by Hilary White, November 24, 2012
Ugh, Toronto street cars! How I hated them. And their effing short-turn...
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written by Subvet, November 27, 2012
I'm a 60 yr. old man with three small children. While I wish these things had come at an earlier time in my life, I pray that God's will be done. I also pray daily for the safety and wellbeing of my children, articles such as this one drive those prayers.
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written by CoastRanger, November 27, 2012
I've felt like an outsider in American culture for the last thirty-five years but always believed the culture could be re-won. Now, I'm not so sure.
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written by Stan J, December 01, 2012
hi Subvet -

I feel your angst. I'm just sorry I did not have more children. The Lord needs more on his side. The mindless masses are cranking them out and submitting them to the public schools and major media to be conditioned as useful idiots. Where do you think all those who voted for Obama came from? More people of faith should consider home schooling. It was daunting for my wife and I, at first, but we eventually realized its rewards. And yes, some "parochial" schools could be as damaging as the local public school, so, beware?
Good luck and God Bless!

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