Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us. (1 Jn 2:18–19).
The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Th 2:9–12).
Do I think Trump is The Antichrist? Of course not. Do I think he is an antichrist? Of course. How much more on the nose does this crooked charlatan and the phony antichrist cult have to be? The man and his Cult (and it includes a lot of Catholics and Orthodox, by the way) are such painful caricatures that they might have been hired from Central Casting. Gotta love the whole “Pope Francis owes this emissary of God an apology” schtick.
The elections of Francis and Trump constitute a Kairos Moment in the history of the American Church. The choice of who to listen to could not be more stark and obvious. And the pretense of “confusion” about Francis, like the lies in defense of Trump by the Confused, could not be more transparently corrupt, evil, and demonic.
This isn’t even hard. If you are Catholic, Paul is clear:
Do not be mismated with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? .What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,
“I will live in them and move among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
.Therefore come out from them,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch nothing unclean;
then I will welcome you,
.And I will be a father to you,
and you shall be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God. (2 Co 6:14–7:1).
I see it a bit differently – Psalm 146:3 – “ Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.” and Matthew 16: 18 – “ And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” I know you have written about this before, what I don’t get is why Catholics can’t seem to understand this? Where did it fall of the rails for these folks?
I don’t know why and when some go off the rails, but I’m pretty sure many Christians* were never on the same train you’re on.
If I look at some of those pseudo-religious charlatans in that Lincoln Project video, I’m pretty sure they never believed a thing of what they proclaim to believe. They have always been accutely aware to religiosity sells well, though.
I do not consider myself much of a Christian – I have more faults than I can count. I grew out of looking at myself as saved, I pray that I am. I try to follow what the Bible, especially the Gospels teaches as well as What the church teaches. I learned to do that in elementary school – a Catholic School, “lost it” during early undergrad years and refound it during the early pontificate of Pope John Paul II. It isn’t “easy” I agree, but it does sell well. The train we in the US are on doesn’t arrive at the station to well, in fact I fear a grand derailment is on its way.
Paul of Tarsus declaims:
We may not agree on religious truth, but many unbelievers agree that truth, however elusive, is meaningful. When back in February Donald Trump sneered that “Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus…This is their new hoax,” I am pretty sure believers and nonbelievers alike can agree that this was a grotesque offense against truth. Surely consensus exists on many other of the president’s 20,000+ “false or misleading claims.”
I don’t find “Lies/cruelty/corruption don’t matter because abortion and ‘religious liberty'” a compelling moral argument, and neither does the guy who wrote Romans 3:7-8, or, very likely, the guy who is said to have said “When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
I didn’t have time to write about your column yesterday, and here you are with another one that knocks it out of the park on the very same subject. Love the quote from Paul, BTW. Quite prophetic. And it is just in time for THIS, written entirely without irony, let alone a glimmer of a well formed “Christian” “Conscience”— double quotes intentional.
Christian Post columnist John Reid writes:
“If you’re a Christ-follower who’s wrestling with whether to vote for Trump in 2020, I get it. I understood your plight in 2016 and I understand it now, though less-so now. I’ll admit that in 2016 I abhorred the man’s behavior and I certainly wasn’t confident that Donald Trump would be the conservative policy-pusher that the Christian-right wanted.
But I have no reservations now, and, my brothers and sisters in Christ, neither should you. I would never ask someone to vote against their conscience, but I would challenge them to reconsider how their conscience is framed.
Remember that by voting for Trump, you’re effectively voting for many more people. Sure, Trump’s name is on the ballot for president, but you’re also voting for Mike Pence. You’re voting for outspoken Christians like Mark Meadows, Mike Pompeo, and many other committed non-carnal Christ-followers.
“but I would challenge them to reconsider how their conscience is framed.” “Non-carnal Christ followers”! Well! There’s not a lot that this little atheist can add to that mountain of moral decrepitude. WEASEL WORDS FOR GOD. No offense meant to actual weasels. It’s one of my favorite observations. “Whenever the Bible says anything inconvenient, it is clear that it must mean something else entirely.”
“Christian” “Morality“— double quotes intentional and necessary— Doesn’t matter, unless You’re talking about Them Evil Geyz or Them Slutty Wimmens. Or possibly bill Clinton. AND HER EMAILS!!!!!! Then it matters, and so very, very much— well, THEIR morality, not the “morality” of us super-duper Christians. Jesus doesn’t matter, the Bible doesn’t matter, kindness doesn’t matter, not if you are a so called Christian with a hard one for power, money, dominion, and in the age of Jabba the Trump, revenge on the people you despise.
Excuse me! wrong word! I meant to type LOVE! You’ll know we’re Christians by our love— tra-la-la-la-la.
They could just tattoo “Whore for White Power” on their foreheads, except that it isn’t just about that, at least in polite sanctimonious society. I read a few comments on that column, and it is so amazing in the worst way how much circumference they Provide For themselves in their naked desire, errr, ummm, self-talk to give themselves cover for voting for this “adminstration”. Even while a few of these “Good“ “Christians”— double quotes intentional AGAIN— pointed out that he’s a blithering incompetent, left 140,000 Americans DEAD because of it, plus unknown numbers of Kurds— I’m sure there are others— and wondering why the hell morality and character don’t matter to people whose fecal bleating about those ideas were THE WORD O’ GOD when the Clintons were in power. And if that fails, there’s always “da widdle bebbies” and “Marxism.” In a pinch, they Can sanctify sociopathy, anomie, and alienation with words like MY RIGHTS—to shoot guns at children and infect everyone else with the current plague because they want a ggooddaamm bacon Sammich— hold the slovenian mayonnaise. I have known for fifty years that the whole right to life idea, let alone “Christian” “Morality” was a complete sham. Some Christians are starting to figure it out, when it isn’t too much trouble.
Making a deal with the devil seems to be THE “christian” “morality” thing to do. This little atheist thinks that if your political agenda can only be pushed by employing the Absolute antithesis of your dogma, You might just be the AntiChrist yourself! you might even want to examine your beliefs, and be honest about them.
Or maybe, probably not.
But here it is IN THE CHRISTIAN POST OF ALL PLACES. Nah, I am not actually Surprised. It’s exactly where I would expect to find it. One of many. But I don’t want to just pick on evilgelicals. They are such an easy target, it’s like shooting Slovenians in a whore barrel.
This is a Catholic blog, after all. So, here we go. The New York Daily News yesterday reports:
“Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick ran a depraved sex ring of underage boys at a beach house on the Jersey Shore, a disturbing new lawsuit claims. The suit, filed by a man using the pseudonym Doe 14, claims that in 1982 and 1983, when he was as young as 14 years old, he and other victims were taken on weekend overnight trips to a Sea Girt beach house.
“McCarrick assigned sleeping arrangements, choosing his victims from the boys, seminarians and clerics present at the beach house,” according to the suit filed in state court under New Jersey’s Child Victims Act.
McCarrick, 90, in 2018 became the first cardinal in nearly a century to resign from his position following his suspension for a credible sexual abuse allegation involving an altar boy in New York.”
Back to me.
Well, goshes. It just keeps getting better. The good cardinal was defrocked only last year, and still lives at his ease somewhere or other. Except that defrocking means nothing. Once a priest, FOREVER a priest. I have read that Bill O’Donahue, the one man Catholic League with a mimeograph machine in his basement, who is DIVORCED from his wife, knew about the rumors, but was too busy blaming innocent gay people for the depredations of Catholic priests to investigate. Not that he investigates anything but his own underwear and the contents thereof. But it is even better than that, because in the ‘90’s, if I recall correctly, Cardinal Predator was busy blaming innocent gay men for his own depredations.
Someone Wise, for whom I have a great deal of respect, once said, ACCUSATION IS CONFESSION. Ya think?
BUT IT GETS EVEN BETTER THAN THAT.
Multiple seminarians. multiple clerics, Multiple underaged boys. All over a period of DECADES. Like the former archbishop in West Virginia who pretty much preyed on anything with legs, except for tables and chairs, who made lavish gifts of 100s of thousands of dollars from diocese funds to other bishops and cardinals who kept their sanctified mouths shut about it. Chump change, chump. Like Cardinal Pell, whom the Royal Commission said MUST HAVE KNOWN ABOUT THE DEPREDATIONS OF HIS “ROOMMATE”.
HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS of people, must have known all about these three. Or if thousands to THREE is just too big of a ratio, throw in a few dozen more- Niemstedt, O’Brien, the former archbishop of Santa Rosa, the former archbishop Vandervog-something from Belgium who molested his own nephews and saw nothing wrong “in taking comfort with children”— however many you need to round out the total. There are always, always more.
And what did we hear about it? The sound of one hand clapping. Oh, yes, and a lot of sanctimonious drivel about how my marriage, my very existence, is a threat to everything good and holy. And how wimmens who wish to control their reproductive lives and their family size were whores, but not Slovenians you can see naked on the internet. And how the Demonrats, as personified by good men like Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden, really just want to murder your babies and sell the baby parts. Where do you think they get baby back ribs from? QAnon knows where.
What do I Hear? What this tells me yet again is what we already knew. Lots of predators…
and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of prey…
and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of people who knew all about it, MUST have known all about it, and looked the other way…
often at your perfectly non-predatory gay couple down the street who bothered no one and did nothing, whose “real crime” was saying “all lives Matter! OUR lives matter”. Whose real crime was being uppity, not knowing their place— and scaring the living bejesus out of the homeau-hatin’ homeaux who infest the church like maggots.
Well, it looks like I wrote yesterday’s response today. I’ll leave you with my campaign message:
“Vote for Herrod! I know you have misgivings, but Herrod keeps our religious hierarchy where it should be, with its foot on the throat of the peasants, expecting wimmens, and above all Dem Ickeeeee Geyz.” DIG?
I know there are good Christians, some of them my friends, some of them posting on These Very Pages. But the absolute moral rot, especially the rot of damning innocent others— especially in conservative religion and not just the Catholic Church— has been apparent for a very long time to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention.
Gotta wonder what Mr. non-carnal Christ follower has got stashed in his closet. You can set your watch by this guys.
…by these guys.
WordPress is a nightmare for the typorrheic.
I had the same problem with Herod.
Could you just come out and say what’s on your mind, and quit beating around the bush?
Assuming you’re talking to me, which due to WordPress deficiencies, I can’t be sure…
If I said what I really think, Mark would probably ban me. And I would lose my connections to a number of people I think well of, even if I disagree with them.
So you’re mad. Disgusted even. Doing admirable English language pirouettes. Just please do try to remember that Catholicism is not your enemy. You allude to thoughts that would get you banned here…Even the broken men and women who have behaved terribly toward you are not the enemy. Hate, and selfishness are the enemy. Catholics/Christians don’t have an exclusive on that. Being a dupe for hate can be found the world over. It is THE enemy.
We’ve know that the Uncle Ted types have existed in the church hierarchy for a long, long time. Decades and decades. The old boys were real chameleons. So slick. I’ve personally spoken with Mahoney, Curry, and Ziemann. My father was *continually* enraged because of it all. Obsessed even. He wrote letters, penned articles, signed petitions. He was an excellent wordsmith. (He loved showing Protestants how wrong they were with his vast storehouse of apologetics skills as well). When it came to his other favorite war–all the gays that had infiltrated the Church–at first he brushed all gay men with the same pot of tar. When he died in his 80s he finally softened up near the end, and would admit to my sister and I, that gay people weren’t reprobates like the priest-traitors. Cancer made him realize how futile being a culture warrior was, but when he was in the throes of it–(remember, much of his outrage was absolutely justifiable!), I would just look at him, and his bulging veins sometimes blurting out, “Oh my GOD, is it WORTH it?? I’d thank God I was up to my neck in other things, because NO cause, as worthy as it may be –is worth marinating in negativity for.
I wonder how many activists have allowed the truth to become an obsession that in small bites would eat them alive.
My comment is for Ben, my favorite person in Oakland.
You guys should meet up for socially distanced picnic in the Muir Woods. 🙂
First, thank you for your kind words. I am wondering if you are the new identity for an old friend?
Second, I don’t hate anybody. I do not allow hate to poison my life. I will admit to this, though: there are a few obituaries I will read with great pleasure.
Third, thanks for the pirouettes comment. I was having some fun with my anger.
Fourth, I do not consider the church an innocent in this. It surely is not, except in the sense that the church does not exist except for the people in it. The church has perpetuated a false narrative for for at least 800 years, which is about the timeframe for when the sodom story Was re-interpreted into a diatribe about homosexuality, when it was nothing of the sort. The church, as represented by so many of its minions, has been responsible for a great deal of the pain, suffering and death that so many gay people have suffered for so many centuries. And because of its refusal to look at reality, it is also responsible for a great many of its predator problems, especially as people like Nienstedt Busy playing the “mouth of Sauron“ while he was busy preyying with Anything with legs. I wrote extensively and Mark’s previous blog about the connection between the child molestation problems in the church, and it’s anti-gay attitudes. One Has to be a gay person to see that, I think. It’s not that others are in capable of it, but they are not quite “woke”.
Fifth, this predator problem— which, by the way, was only an illustration of my point And not my actual point— is not a problem of decades, but a problem with centuries. There is an excellent book on the subject from an actual incident 400 years ago: “for fallen order“ by Karen Liebreich. It is in Chaucer and Boccaccio: 800 years ago. Saint peter Damien wrote about it 1000 years ago. The problems of the church have nothing to do with gay people, and everything to do with sexually confused men, closet cases, predators, pedophiles, and a host of other reprobates, to use your father‘s words, who sought refuge in the church, and found a welcoming culture. That was my actual point: the legions of people who knew all about the predations of people like McCarrick, And looked the other way. That was the point of my comment about Cardinal Pell. While Ziemann— Thanks for reminding me of his name – Was playing footsie with that central American priest, he was also busy damning gay people.
These predators, sexually confused men, closet cases, and reprobates have absolutely nothing to do with my life as a gay man, or the lives of 99.9% of the gay people I have known in my nearly 70 years. They are in a class all by themselves. In one sense, they are victims, too: victims of lies, victims of bad biblical interpretations, Victims of merely social prejudices that hide behind “ sincere” “religious” “beliefs”,victims of a culture that pretends to be sanctified, but achieves only sanctimony.
Your father was extremely incorrect When he said that he did not Classify gay people as reprobates in the sense of the priest-traitors. We are not reprobates at all as a class, though there are assuredly some gay people whom I wish never identified as gay. Those priest-traitors were, as I said, in a class all by themselves. Faithless priests, lying priests, predator priests, hypocritical priests. whether they were praying on little boys, grown boys, grown men, little girls, grown girls, grown women— it had nothing to do with sexuality, except as an expression, and everything to do with faithless, lying, predator, and hypocrite.
Mark, my post won’t show up. I don’t know why.
There it is.
@Ben, yeah it’s me Anna Lisa. I have served so many tacos and burritos at all hours of this summer (and as many summers that stretch out into the distant past) that I made that dumb name. It is supposed to have a question mark at the end but lousy Word Press hates it when I add the darn question mark. I hope to send some of my more stubborn kids over here to have a good lecture from Mark Shea now and then, and the name Anna Lisa is a dead giveaway. Teens and twenties have this need to distance themselves from the all seeing eye of their Mom, so yeah. Tacoanybody. :/ I also used to go by Momster. lol.
Anyway, to cut to the chase, yes, you are right, my Dad was dead wrong. He was dead wrong about a bunch of stuff and dead right about a bunch of others. But to get to the heart of the matter, I believe that it was actually his libertarian philosophy that colored everything and everybody else in his life. He was like a lion when it came to his own family–so much so that he kind of ruined a few people on the inside, who allowed themselves to be ruined, by being the object of his coddling. Ironic for a libertarian. At the end of the day, his (at times) brutal streak for everyone else that was not his family or inner circle probably stemmed from the very basic place of loss– having an absent, then dead father and being basically an only child who didn’t have to share. Ayn Rand seemed to fill some void at a critical point in life, when the world seemed old and tired to him.
I am, from the bottom of my heart sorry for many things that I too was wrong about, but find a great sense of relief and liberty after distancing myself from toxic conservativism, and all of the brutality that comes with it. I didn’t embrace brutality, I embraced *fear*. At the end of the day, if you believe in a sometimes brutal god, this is the absolute, ground zero root of the problem. Many Christians remain in the thrall of this heresy. We project our OWN qualities upon our creator, thus giving ourselves permission to behave in the way we *believe* (he) behaves. There are all kinds of things that we believe consciously or unconsciously that are false. I remember reading that a baby up until the age of three, can’t anticipate the return of his mother when she leaves. For him, she is simply gone. I’m afraid to say that this is the story of Christendom. There is so much wrong, existing like a weed, next to so much right. I remember feeling offended when Teresa of Avila likened herself to a worm. (Ah the vanity of youth!). Yes. We creep like worms upon the face of this earth, and little by little by little change by way of some mysterious grace to become better. It makes me wonder what we will be when this whole thing ends. Maybe it never ends. Maybe there is nothing fixed or static. I believe in goodness, and that this supreme goodness prevails either way. Our souls respond to goodness no matter how much darkness tries to substitute it with fools gold which diverts our way.
I *do* understand outrage. I have to fight myself not to let it color my existence. Just yesterday, I was reading about a man on his deathbed describing joy and misery as raw energy charges, misery being negative, BUT(he insisted) we have been given the power to convert it into positive energy. Great energy for good. I believe this. I refuse to be a casualty of my frequent temptations to pessimism.
Lately I’ve been watching an Italian series set in the fifties and sixties, based on a memoir, called “My Brilliant Friend”. The story takes place in a suburb of Naples. It is absolutely excellent, but I had to take a break from it last night. The way women were treated, and the way they enabled this bad behavior stuns me. A gay man wouldn’t have stood a chance, when children were sometimes beaten within and inch of their lives, and everybody considered it normal.
I thought it was you, and actually, the taco was a dead giveaway. I have to fix dinner for my neighbor, but I’ll have to respond to your comment later. I can say this much, however. You are absolutely right about the toxicity of some emotions. Anger is not a bad thing at all, but when it becomes toxic, all it does is drive everyone away that cares, and makes the life of the person who has so much toxic anger much, much less than it could be.
My brother, my sole surviving relative, is a perfect example of this. He’s been angry ever since he was a child, and with a great deal of reason for it. But nevertheless, it has poisoned him, probably irretrievably. He’s 74 now, and not at all likely to change. I tried to open up the door to reconnect with him a few months ago when Our sister died, but as I expected, the anger he has been carrying for60 years prevented it.
When I was young, I thought I was not an angry person, because in our family, the thing to do was to learn to suppress your anger so that nobody knew it. When I was in my early 30s, I discovered exactly how angry I was, and how much it was affecting my life, but nowhere near to the extent that it has done for my brother. If you measured him at 100%, I was probably at 25%. But that was enough. A year in therapy taught me that I was indeed an angry person, And that I needed to recognize it and deal with it if it was not going to do to me what did had done to my brothers, my father, and probably my mother.
Thank you. Your words resonate with me. My family makes an Isabelle Allende novel look bland. I am unfortunately not kidding. I could really, really use a good solid year of therapy!!
A interesting new moniker- I wonder if mind should be beeranyone? I noted the word fear in your post. It made me think of Frank Herbert’s book Dune. In he says “fear is the mind-killer.” And indeed it is, fear takes from us our ability to know family; to love family and to have compassion. Fear leads us to reject many, many people.
Fear I think in terms of God leads us to believe that o lay the pure are “bound for heaven”; fear forces us to run from the real message of Jesus and to reinterpret it so that either we are rejected by God, or that we must reject the world to be accepted by God.
I see in all people the countenance of God; a countenance that I have to accept and to the best of my ability love. It took the loss of our granddaughter last year to drive this home. I would add that acceptance doesn’t mean agreement; it means recognizing that God put us here for a purpose and I have to accept that God values each of us with the purpose.
“Fear is the mind killer”
Oh my dear God, yes. You are right.
Than you. Again.
(So happy for you your daughter and son-in-law and the new grandbaby!!!!)
I’d like a taco, please. 🙂
*thank you, again
Trump openly admires the ideology of Norman Vincent Peale who adopted Prosperity Gospel New Age arts from Ernest Holmes and Charles Fillmore. This is such a red flag that you would assume seasoned Catholics would see. But so many are duplicitous in their condemnation of the Amazon ‘pagans’ while falling all over the New Age occultist ideology of Trump.
Thank you. It has been saddening for me to see many good Christians fall for Trumpism. Trumpism is not a Christian movement. It isn’t quite Libertarian or Big Business Republican – they rail against ‘elites’ selectively yet often enough. I see it as a Gnostic, Manichean (in the “us vs them” sense) movement. It is divisive, and thus, in that sense, diabolic. As you point out, it uses Christianity cynically, picking and choosing viewpoints that will enrich them in the World. Trumpism’s closest political relative is Nazism, and indeed you see that like Nazism, it has a slimy “New Age” vibe that often goes with it.