- Fight? Or Flight?
- Pro-Lifers Weigh In On Virginia Por-Abortion Revolution
- News Roundup
Fight? Or Flight?
“I have been condemned to fear for the whole of my life” Soviet defector Anatoly Kuznetsov told the New York Times a half-century ago. “From the age of five, I have been living in a state of fear . . . this is not just my personal lot; it is the fate of all who are born in this Russian land . . . All of them – those who command and those who are regimented. Those who punish and those who are punished are afraid. Because they are afraid of each other. And those who fear most of all are the dictators themselves.” (New York Times, August 17, 1969)
Scripture tells us that God did not create man to live in a constant state of fear.
“Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
“Be not afraid” – these are the words of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary; of Jesus to the apostles in the stormy sea; and of Mary to the children at Fatima.
God tells us not to fear because He knows how easily we can fall under its spell. One of the most primitive reflexes of the brain’s limbic system is “fight or flight.” The unknown surprises us. Fear envelops us. A rush of adrenaline prepares us as we make our split-second decision. Confront the threat, or flee? Our very life depends on those few seconds.
Or not. In the current unpleasantness, for instance, that split-second has stretched to become weeks. It might go on for months. Meanwhile, we ponder. An opportunity for contemplation has been imposed upon us by an unseen force. What is the threat? What should we fear? Are we fighting? Or fleeing?
The Wuhan Virus can kill us. So we flee it. We wash our hands, wave from a distance, don a mask. Are we smiling? Who knows? We’re masqueraded in a permanent Halloween. Doctor’s orders. Expert’s orders. Governor’s orders.
They order and we obey. Which means that the threat to the physical health of a small number has eclipsed a larger threat to a much greater number – and threatens permanently to infect all of us.
Fear As A Power Factor
As Kuznetsov observes, we are afraid of each other – or at least we should be, according to the “authorities.” But, as he also testifies, there are some who long to command, and fear is their weapon of choice. After all, you don’t have to be a Soviet commissar to lust after power. Didn’t Augustine tell us that the City of Man, commanded by Satan, was driven by the libido dominandi?
Well, the power-hungry aren’t all in Russia, either. Right here at home there are plenty of folks who are just itching to run other people’s lives. Right now, some of them are using the Wuhan Virus and its cloud of our unknowing to run an experiment – not an effort to find a cure, but an effort to keep us sick – all of us.
Consider the budding tyrant’s methods. First, he reminds us: “Be afraid! You might die!”
Fair enough. But good priests want to offer the Sacraments to a sick and suffering faithful. They aren’t afraid of dying.
Enter the second method. “Shame on them! They might kill somebody!”
No martyrs need apply.
Fear and shame, shame and fear. Kuznetsov’s wannabe commissars are watching us laboratory mice (for they see us thus) closely. How far can they go?
As their experiment plays out, the power mongers are pleasantly surprised. Some even gloat. Behold! We’re not fighting. We’re not even resisting.
We’ve surrendered. And they know it.
But wait – they’re from the government. Aren’t they here to help?
Let’s face it: there do exist men who are more interested in maximizing their power than in helping others. These men will avail themselves of every opportunity to gain and keep power.
But they can’t be blunt and honestly tell us, “I want power, obey me!” Even now, that won’t work. As Socrates taught us, they have to persuade the public – the very public they wish to oppress. So they consult Machiavelli. And suddenly the new policies that will consolidate their power are “for our own good.”
Resist? Wait, they tell us we might die. Do they really care? Of course not. Abortion is “essential,” remember?
Simply put, a lot of actors do not have as their highest priority the protection of the innocent and the health of the threatened. These guys come from mindsets that have killed millions without losing any sleep at night, and the entire world right now is up for grabs.
That’s is their playbook.
Astride The Widening Divide
Inundated by data, models, and endless chatter, the landscape changes constantly. No matter. The distemper of the times refuses to budge. For all the unknowns, we know, and what we know does not please us.
It’s still “us” and “them.”
In coming days we will distrust authority more than ever. From the media to the experts to the politicians to the bishops to the notion of “authority” itself, we will take a rain check. Not that power won’t continue to assert itself – it always does. But now we know why.
Months ago, thousands of Virginians rallied, confident that our allies in law enforcement would defy a sadistic blackface governor’s unconstitutional order to seize our guns.
No longer. Too many videos of police chasing down lone joggers, arresting stray pedestrians, harassing churchgoers and handcuffing sidewalk prolife prayer warriors have saturated our screens. The message: “We’re just following orders.”
“It’s for your own good.”
Of course, that’s what the Soviets told Alexander Kuznetsov. He wasn’t convinced.
The Virus And Beyond
This time warp seems to wear on like an induced coma. When we wake up, some things will abide, some won’t. The Church, the economy, our work, education, even our community life will be challenged.
And there’s politics. Our lives have been politicized as never before. Saturated. For the moment, millions are paralyzed in fear – ours and theirs. The Kuznetsov Effect might be only temporary, but it is real. And it is unhealthy.
We now have “experts” telling us that we can’t go back to work, or to church, or out to lunch until we have met their demands. How to comply? They will test us, and give us a permit to leave home.
Put it in our wallet? But how will strangers on the street know not to fear us? Better to wear it like a badge. But badges can be forged. Best to put it on a computer chip, manufactured by the dependable Bill Gates, to insert just above the wrist on our right forearm. That’s the ticket!
And without it, we can’t leave home.
The Communist Party of China has inaugurated a state-of-the-art Social Credit System. Everyone is monitored in word and deed – and increasingly, in thought. This system has great appeal among those who would be our masters. The unruly Deplorables must be brought to heel. And fear seems to be working quite well… for now.
But for how long? Kuznetsov, again: “You know, your masters fear you more than you fear them.”
Well, what are we waiting for?
Ralph Northam expands abortion on demand gutting protections for unborn children and their mothers
Marjorie Dannenfelser, presidet of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony list, report on what amounts to be a revolution in our own Commonwealth of Virginia.
For millions of Christians in America, Good Friday is the most somber holy day of the year. It is a time for solemn reflection on the most unjust execution of all time: The crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In 2020, many were also feeling the ache of separation from their communities and family members because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a sacrifice endured because state leaders, among others, have told us that’s what is necessary to protect the vulnerable and save lives.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam chose to observe Good Friday by signing into law a radical expansion of abortion on demand, gutting hard-won protections for unborn children and the health and safety of their mothers. The new law not only repeals key informed consent provisions, but for the first time, it permits non-physicians (such as nurse practitioners) to carry out abortions. Religious leaders called Mr. Northam’s choice of timing a “particular affront to all who profess the Gospel of life.”
This isn’t the first time Mr. Northam’s outrageous conduct has sparked widespread disgust. Last year as Delegate Kathy Tran proposed an even more radical abortion bill that, by her own concession, would have legalized abortion on demand even at the point when a woman is in labor, Mr. Northam was asked if he supported this effort. In defending it, Mr. Northam — a pediatrician — went even further and described how a baby born alive during an abortion could be left to die:
“The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother” about whether or not to provide life-sustaining medical care to the helpless child.
Mr. Northam’s Good Friday assault on life should set alarm bells ringing across the nation, the same way his shocking endorsement of infanticide did. It is a sharp reminder that elections have consequences and that Mr. Northam could only sign this horrid legislation because the narrow Republican majority in the legislature that had held the line for years was recently swept away. Abortion extremists can impose their twisted vision only if we who stand for life fail to use the tools of democracy that are the birthright of every American.
The stakes couldn’t be higher this November. Every Democratic contender for president in 2020 has favored abortion on demand through birth, and even infanticide, paid for by taxpayers. Presumptive nominee Joe Biden is no exception. Both Mr. Biden and Mr. Northam w ere once perceived as moderates, but those days are long gone as they race leftward to appease an increasingly radical base. Ever since Mr. Biden reversed his position on the Hyde Amendment, a long-standing federal policy estimated to have saved more than 2.25 million lives by preventing taxpayer funding of abortions, he has fully embraced the abortion lobby’s extreme agenda.
And while a majority of Americans want abortion limited to — at most — the first three months of pregnancy, Democratic Party leaders in both houses of Congress have repeatedly blocked compassionate legislation to protect babies who survive abortions, as well as to stop late-term abortions after five months of pregnancy — a point when science shows unborn children can feel excruciating pain.
In stark contrast, President Trump has governed as the most pro-life president in history. Acting on the will of the people, he has done everything in his power to stop taxpayer funding of the abortion industry. He has had two outstanding U.S. Supreme Court justices and nearly 200 federal judges confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and potentially many more. At every opportunity, including two State of the Union addresses and virtually every rally, he has used his platform to call out Democrats’ extremism and urge Congress to send popular pro-life bills to his desk. He has even invited abortion survivors to meet with him in the Oval Office.
Democratic Party leaders have betrayed the most innocent among us, their pro-life constituents, and about one-third of rank-and-file members of their own party. Susan B. Anthony List’s canvassing team will be working nonstop through Election Day to educate and mobilize millions of voters in critical battleground states, including the pro-life Democrats and independents, to re-elect President Trump and win a pro-life Senate. This November don’t let extremist politicians wash their hands and move on — hold them accountable at the ballot box.
Links to stories covered in the News Roundup
Pope Francis May Rosary Request
The month of May is approaching, a time when the People of God express with particular intensity their love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is traditional in this month to pray the Rosary at home within the family. The restrictions of the pandemic have made us come to appreciate all the more this “family” aspect, also from a spiritual point of view.
For this reason, I want to encourage everyone to rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home in the month of May. This can be done either as a group or individually; you can decide according to your own situations, making the most of both opportunities. The key to doing this is always simplicity, and it is easy also on the internet to find good models of prayers to follow.
Letter from Archbishop Naumann et al re: Ethical virus
Dear Commissioner Hahn, As our nation works to defend itself from the deadly Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), we write to express our gratitude to you and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for all of its efforts to combat the virus and to ask for your help to ensure that Americans will have access to vaccines that are free from any connection to abortion.
Renewing the Consecration of the United States to the Care of Our Blessed Mother
As the world continues to face the ongoing effects of the global pandemic of the coronavirus, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the USCCB has announced that the U.S. bishops will join the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on May 1 in renewing the consecrations of the two nations to the care of our Blessed Mother.
Father Pokorsky on Live-Streamed Masses.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, bishops have canceled the public celebration of the Mass in obedience to government authorities. Live-streamed Mass on the internet has become the “new normal” of worship for the duration. But this quasi-liturgical innovation may have problematic long-term ramifications.
The Mass is forever the “source and summit” of the Christian life and thus spiritually essential. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” (John 6:53) At the Last Supper, surrounded by his first priests, He commanded them “Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19)
Some Catholic parishes “may not be able to re-open” once public health crisis ends, Bishop Scharfenberger says.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – In mid-March, the coronavirus crisis forced the Diocese of Buffalo to hold masses without congregations present. The Most. Rev. Edward Schafenberger, Albany’s bishop who is temporarily in charge of Buffalo’s diocese, says some parishes may never hold a public mass again.
“It would depend upon the parish’s own unique circumstances,” Scharfenberger said Friday. “It’s not too dramatic to assume that some just may not be able to re-open again. There may need to be some sort of mergers.”