FROM THE PASTOR
October 19, 2014
by Fr. George W. Rutler
While serving as chaplain in a large mental hospital, I quickly learned that one can be both mentally ill and highly intelligent. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and their superior in malice, Chairman Mao, were intelligent men who vandalized the attics of culture because they had some vestige of culture and hated it.
Thus it is with those who think of themselves as the culturally elect in our day. Politicians and the media that comment on them are the first generation of our society to have been badly schooled without being aware of the fact. Napoleon had the same problem, which is why Talleyrand lamented that a man so highly intelligent had been so poorly educated.
Atheists, who are politely called “secularists,” are different from the saints who are “in this world but not of it” because they are “of the world but not in it.” This explains why their solutions to the world’s ills are so wrong.
Much of the media are reluctant to report, let alone express outrage at, the beheading of Christian infants, the crucifixion of Christian teenagers, the practical genocide of Christian communities almost as old as Pentecost, and the destruction to date of many churches in the Middle East. Why is this moral obliviousness (a sanitized term for what Lenin called “useful idiocy”) so instinctive? Very simply, many disdain Judeo-Christian civilization and its exaltation of man in the image of God with the moral demands which accrue to that. Their operative philosophy is that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
The Nazis were promoted by many European aristocrats and, until the Nuremburg Racial Laws of 1935, even some prominent Jewish and other minorities, because the Nazis were seen as a foil to the Bolsheviks and a means to social reconstruction. Conversely, the Stalinists were supported by many Western democrats because they were perceived as the antidote to the Nazis. The U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1936 to 1938, Joseph Davies, wrote a book, Mission to Moscow, that whitewashed Stalin’s atrocities. In 1943, with the cooperation of President Roosevelt, Warner Brothers made it into a film that was hailed in The New York Times by Bosley Crowther as a splendid achievement. If the Nazis seemed an antidote to the Bolsheviks and vice versa, the bacilli unleashed nearly destroyed the world. Satan is a dangerous vaccine.
There are some today in public positions who underestimate terrorism, in some instances calling it “workplace violence.” They are like Ambassador Davies, who said: “Communism holds no serious threat to the United States.” Those who see good and evil as abstractions do not expect hatred of the holy to take its toll in reality. The Qur’an (Sura 4) says of Jesus, “. . . they killed him not.” St. Paul says, “For many walk, of whom I have told you often (and now tell you weeping), that they are enemies of the cross of Christ” (Philippians 3:18). To deny the contradiction is to deny reality.
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Filed under: Fr. George W. Rutler |