An archetypal example of MAGA antichrist religion at work inside the Catholic communion

Here is John Zmirak, who once ridiculously claimed that “Amnesty Equals Abortion” (meaning “Have no pity for those brown kids on our soil because if you do, they will grow up to vote Democrat”), who passionately defended Lying for Jesus on the theory “Let us do evil that good may come of it”, who idiotically declared that Hillary Clinton was Diocletian in 2016 and that Trump was all that stood between Catholics and death camps, now continues the complete inversion of values for which MAGA antichrist religion stands by falling down in blubbering pity for the literal Richest Man on Earth.

There’s a veritable smorgasbord of idiotic self-pity and self-regard in this stupid, stupid piece, but before I get to it, I want to make something clear: I really don’t care one way or the other about Musk’s purchase of Twitter except insofar as it affects me personally, by which I mean, “If he starts charging a subscription fee, I’m gone.” I think of him seldom and he strikes me in much the way Henry Ford struck me, a guy with a knack for engineering and a moral idiot who thinks himself a pan-galactic genius because he has a bunch of money.

But for a Reactionary Catholic like Zmirak, with his instinctive regard for the custodians of money and power, Musk is seen as a quasi-sacral figure, like a Byzantine emperor. Zmirak instinctively and reflexively raises him to the dignity of a saint and martyr, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, a victim hounded by the very forces of hell for his righteousness, all because of a business deal in which (as Zmirak hopes) he will emerge as the Avenging Angel of all his spiteful desires against those Zmirak hates.

I mean, get a load of this bushwah:

I’m as excited as any other fan of the First Amendment to see Elon Musk take over Twitter. But then I was really pumped when Donald Trump won the election in 2016. Since then, I’ve learned that victories don’t mean much. Not when your enemies are as ruthless, entrenched, vindictive and sociopathic as ours.

We win battle after battle, then somehow lose the war. We play by the Marquess of Queensbury rules and knock our opponent out cold. But the ref revives him after a count of 20 or 30. He hands the guy a switchblade, so he can stab us in the gut. Then the ref awards him the match on points, disqualifies us for cheating, and tries to send us to prison. That’s American Civics 101, circa 2022.

The Game Isn’t Rigged. It Isn’t Even a Game Anymore

That’s how things went for the Solidarity movement when it took on Poland’s Communist regime. And it’s how things work now in the West. The game isn’t rigged. It’s not even a game, but a ritualized humiliation ceremony, carefully scripted and ruthlessly directed by sadists.

Please set aside 10 minutes and go read the comments of the indispensable Revolver News on why our Oligarchy will pull out every stop, twist every law, weaponize every resource it has from leftist judges to unfireable bureaucrats to stop Musk from succeeding. As Revolver writes:

[I]f Musk opts for the path of boldness and glory, he should be prepared for historic backlash from the regime. The entire system would mobilize against Twitter reflecting the same cancellation strategies the Regime systematically employs to control politicians, websites, major businesses, and even countries. Twitter would get the “George Floyd” treatment on steroids. The Regime would employ the “George Floyd” tool recently used to “cancel” Russia, but directed with laser-like focus on a single company and its lone brilliant, iconoclast leader.

It takes an extraordinary amount of chutzpah to move from charging those you hate with being knife-wielding butchers of your sinless, irenic self to mocking the murder of George Floyd and celebrating Putin’s vast act of mass murder, but this is all in a day’s work for the antichrist religion Zmirak champions. This is, after all, somebody who can lie to himself and all the world that “Trump was too sweet and naive” as he disappeared children into the maw of his prisons for refugees, protected Saudis who sawed a man to death, mocked the disabled and POWs, bragged about sexual assault and failed to overthrow an election only due to the stupidity of himself and his mob, not for lack of trying.

As is characteristic of his cult of People of the Lie, Zmirak concludes with a good solid act of projection, using accusation as confession, and declares that those who think Musk’s takeover of Twitter means “America Betrayed Them” when, in fact, his own evil cult has believed that America betrayed them on Election Day 2020 and have been scheming ever since then to make sure that no free and fair election is ever held again if they can help it.

Musk may or may not assist them in their dreams of vengeance on an America that they believe needs a firm fascist hand at the wheel. Personally, I suspect he is going to disappoint them, not because he is decent but because he doesn’t care about them (particularly if he destroys bot access to Twitter, thereby destroying a huge vehicle of MAGA (and Russian) disinformation. But the core thing here, from my perspective as somebody who cares about the Catholic faith and opposes, from my marrow the cult of lies and antichrist religion that articles like Zmirak’s represents, is that Jesus is very clear in pronouncing a blessing on the poor and vulnerable (whom Zmirak hates) and who says, without any qualification whatsoever, “Woe to you who are rich”. It is one of the weird ironies of our time that Mammon-worshippers in the MAGA Cult keep invoking Chesterton as some kind of patron when he was extremely clear in his total skepticism of one of the greatest gods in their pantheon of idols:

Only the Christian Church can offer any rational objection to a complete confidence in the rich. For she has maintained from the beginning that the danger was not in man’s environment, but in man. Further, she has maintained that if we come to talk of a dangerous environment, the most dangerous environment of all is the commodious environment. I know that the most modern manufacture has been really occupied in trying to produce an abnormally large needle. I know that the most recent biologists have been chiefly anxious to discover a very small camel. But if we diminish the camel to his smallest, or open the eye of the needle to its largest — if, in short, we assume the words of Christ to have meant the very least that they could mean, His words must at the very least mean this — that rich men are not very likely to be morally trustworthy. Christianity even when watered down is hot enough to boil all modern society to rags. The mere minimum of the Church would be a deadly ultimatum to the world. For the whole modern world is absolutely based on the assumption, not that the rich are necessary (which is tenable), but that the rich are trustworthy, which (for a Christian) is not tenable. You will hear everlastingly, in all discussions about newspapers, companies, aristocracies, or party politics, this argument that the rich man cannot be bribed. The fact is, of course, that the rich man is bribed; he has been bribed already. That is why he is a rich man. The whole case for Christianity is that a man who is dependent upon the luxuries of this life is a corrupt man, spiritually corrupt, politically corrupt, financially corrupt. There is one thing that Christ and all the Christian saints have said with a sort of savage monotony. They have said simply that to be rich is to be in peculiar danger of moral wreck. It is not demonstrably un-Christian to kill the rich as violators of definable justice. It is not demonstrably un-Christian to crown the rich as convenient rulers of society. It is not certainly un-Christian to rebel against the rich or to submit to the rich. But it is quite certainly un-Christian to trust the rich, to regard the rich as more morally safe than the poor.

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11 Responses

  1. “Since then, I’ve learned that victories don’t mean much. Not when your enemies are as ruthless, entrenched, vindictive and sociopathic as ours. We win battle after battle, then somehow lose the war.”

    Because you’re fighting the wrong fight. Put not your trust in princes. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood. This is the Faith 101. Trying to pretend the Kingdom of God and the realms of men are the same thing always gets us into trouble.

  2. Zmirak is a typical example of an American whose mind inhabits a Europe that never existed. Dreher is one of them too. Perhaps Louisiana breeds more of them than other states.

  3. What does that say then, about the Catholic Church, with all its riches and splendor? I think there are times when the Church itself has prioritized its finances over its moral responsibilities, only to the eventual detriment of both.

    Maybe that’s the nature of human nature: the more you stand to lose, the more likely it becomes that you will act out of fear of losing what you have, instead of your moral convictions. The ironic part is that this allows people to deceive themselves into thinking they’re being “pragmatic”, when in reality they’re doing the exact opposite.

    Regarding Elon Musk himself, wasn’t he offered the opportunity to end world hunger for $6 billion? He backed out of that and gave it to some unknown entity instead of the UN, whom he had challenged in the first place to come up with a workable proposal. However, he had no qualms with spending $42 billion to basically troll people online.

    That’s an indictment on not just the mega rich, but of our entire political and economic system as well.

    1. The Vatican runs on a budget comparable to that of an American community college. Your average parish often struggles to meet the bills even in fabulously rich America. As to splendor, what most Americans mean is things like cathedrals in Europe (though there are a few impressive structures in the US while lots of parishes look like Pizza Hut. It was Dorothy Day, not exactly a fan of wealthy or lacey prelates, who observed that churches were one of the only places the poor could go to experience artistic beauty free of charge. The idea that Churches should sell off their art to a handful of rich people who would squirrel it away to their private collections would not have an appreciable impact on the poor except in one way: it would deny them what they could hitherto enjoy for nothing.

      1. Sorry but that’s something of a non-sequitur.
        If I say “I have never prioritised to accumulation of wealth”, and someone points out that I have a ten-foot-high solid gold sculpture of myself in my dining room, it is no answer for me to say “That thing is functionally worthless because no one would buy it off me.”
        The value in this case is not its market resale value but how much of my own wealth I chose to sink into it. It shows what my revealed preferences were in the past. Indeed, my spending resources on something that cannot be sold off in future to buy food or other necessities would indicate more extravagance rather than less.

  4. From what I’ve seen, individual priests and parishes can be a mixed bag. Sure, you have a lot of situations like the ones you describe, but then you have something like this:

    “Bransfield, Wheeling Hospital, and the Idolatry of Greed” by Mary Pezzulo
    https://www.patheos.com/blogs/steelmagnificat/2019/10/10818/

    As for the institution itself, I honestly don’t begrudge the Church for having and commissioning works of art. However, on numerous occasions I’ve gotten the impression that its operating more like a private company trying to maintain the bottom line, instead of an entity that is mission-driven, first and foremost.

    For example, there is the legal maneuvering its been involved to avoid accountability. I read how they won a court case that gave a Church-affiliated institution (a school I believe it was) the right to outright lie about their safety practices to detect and mitigate potential abuse. I mean sure, they “won”, but at what cost?

    Then there is the closing of parishes; what’s up with that? They’re not acting like someone who is providing an essential service, like the Postal Service, the Police or Fire Department, but instead, they’re behaving like a fast-food franchise that is closing down their less profitable locations.

    Of course, the irony is that when they do try to reach out, as they did with the Amazon, you have that fraction of the Church that completely misses the point…

    1. Certainly, as the abuse scandal eloquently testifies, many Catholics care more about the institution than about human beings, and money figures in that hugely. At the same time, I am skeptical “We must protect our Mary statue properties” is what really drives that. I think it tends to be far more about personal relationships with perps. “We can’t let them punish Fr. Whosit, who has done so much good and brought in so many souls and so much money” seems to be the source of the trouble. Much of the art in the Church is not so much commissioned by as a gift to the Church. It varies in quality from from kitsch to Michaelangelo and requires a lot of maintenance and upkeep, which is usually a net loss since parishes are not museums. There are awful prelates like Bransfield, but what is really striking is how uncommon guys like him are in terms of sheer selfishness. Most of the corruption seems to me to spring from a fundamental mistake that the institution takes precedence over the victim, not that the bishop personally takes precedence over everybody in the world. It’s still a huge sin, but a more understandable one than the sheer narcissistic sociopathy of Bransfield. And meanwhile, as you note, there are lots of Catholics who really do live costly, self-sacrificial gospel lives.

    2. The problem is that people can endure. So when faced with a choice between supporting the material needs of a parish and supporting the community, a lot of decision makers will support the material needs for the simple reason that parishioners will forget that they were neglected for a while but they won’t forget that the church roof was leaking and water deposited within the wood of an altar which later rotted and had to be removed.
      And if the decision maker mentions that the money had to be spent elsewhere and the choice made was morally superior, they will be criticized as softies.

      So as not to present a problem, but maybe a solution, there is a third way, at least in places which ran opaque finances to date, so I guess it doesn’t really apply to USA where money rules all daily affairs, but at least in Poland, transparency about parish finances led to increased charity by parishioners.

  5. You and Zmirak are like twins albeit at opposite ends of the political spectrum. Stylistically you’re both brutal warriors. You’re either both right or both wrong in terms of style, so you have a lot in common on that score. You both see the world as manichean and feel no compunction. Not saying you guys are wrong! – I suck at discernment – but it’s so interesting to me to see Christians who don’t play nice or see any merit in the opponent’s argument. I guess what’s hard for me to figure out is where anger is righteous and where it turns unrighteous. And of course what may be good for you and Zmirak might not be good for the average Christian to model. God calls people to different roles I know.

    Perhaps that even extends to politics. Perhaps God doesn’t call us to be consistent individually but that the Body of Christ as a whole be complimentary if not consistent. So if Dr. Cornel West isn’t pro-life or doesn’t care about due process for 1/6rs, that’s because his role is to advocate for Blacks and pregnant women. Others defend the unborn and due process, but their role isn’t to lobby for BLM or greater controls over police.

    I suppose it’s just prideful to want to be right on all issues, and completely unrealistic to expect someone else to be politically consistent. We’re not wired that way. We’re wired as tribal people not disembodied brains that calculate and measure issues like Spock.

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