We live in an age of moral compromise. Only, it’s usually the moral people in the world who end up doing the compromising. For the most part, the other side has been sitting pretty and gaining in influence and power, year after year and decade after decade. We have our chiefs who are supposed to protect us from harm, but with some exceptions, they’re all out to lunch.
In December, Catholic blogger Steve Skojec came out with some heartbreaking statements about this ever-present on-going fight against modernism in the Catholic Church and in our culture. And looking at this big picture, we are just tiny people in a city being overrun by monsters who leave only destruction in their wake. We are otherwise helpless.
We want to believe this is a war. The truth is, if it were a war, both sides would be fully engaged. Instead, it’s mostly people treading lightly and speaking in code on one side, and on the other, they’re driving over us with Panzers and flying their flags in the public square. It’s entirely one-sided. And they gloat as they tell us they’ve already won, and that if we don’t toe the line, we’re nothing but dissenters. That we don’t really believe in papal primacy. That we don’t really respect the Church’s authority. That somehow, by clinging to the perennial faith against the advance of heresy and damnable error, we have become a rebellious enemy in the heart of the Church.
When I read this, I was stunned. Skojec is not the only one to make this kind of analogy about the culture war. I hear this same sort of comparison from leaders of the Intellectual Alternative Right. The Alt-Right recognizes that the political and cultural Right is disengaged. The same “lack of battle” from the supposed good guys in the Catholic Church are mirrored in American and Western politics and secular culture. It is as if most of our shepherds–even those outside of the Catholic Church–ain’t got no more fight in ’em.
Consider some of the statements by Alt-Right intellectual, author, game designer, and blogger, Vox Day. The following statement is from a February Periscope by Vox Day, shortly after the 2017 Berkeley riots:
What has been happening over the last 50 years has not been a battle. It has not been a conflict. It has not been a war. It has been nothing but a retreat on the part of the Right. This has happened because the Right has been led by cucks and cons–cuckservatives and conservatives–who have absolutely no idea how to defend, much less to retake ground.
Cucks and cons. These are the people who merit replacement. These nicknames are directed towards the people on the Right who have consistently compromised values for years. People such as this have promised to fight the Left, but they never deliver. These groups have merely slowed the Right’s retreat from the ever-advancing Left. Cuckservatives are always the first ones to sell out their values to avoid being labeled badly. As for conservatives, they have conserved nothing in all of this time. In fact, there is nothing left to conserve whatsoever. Conservatives have not even been able to conserve women’s bathrooms.
Vox Day’s observations go back quite a way, which help to identify him as one of the most prescient commentators on the Right. For example, in a 2006 World Net Daily article, The Vanishing Conservative, Day was prescient in foreseeing the Right’s realization that the conservatives and Establishment Republicans were nothing but passive “yes men” for the Left:
Most of the conservative actions taken in the last 20 years can be best described as holding actions, not actions intended to lower the rising tide of central government influence or combat societal devolution.
The malaise is movement-wide. Indeed, it is debatable as to which group is in worse shape, the “conservative” politicians or the “conservative” commentariat. While the leftward drift of the administration and the Congress have not escaped notice despite the best efforts of its cheerleaders to play it down; the abandonment of principle in favor of pragmatism has caused many in the so-called conservative media to do the likewise.
This species of weakness and dereliction that has happened in the secular world has been happening in the Catholic Church, as many of us traditional Catholics are aware. Traditionalist Catholics who try to look to the past for wholesomeness and decency feel alone. For decades, right-wing Republicans felt alone, too. Such people on the Right were nicknamed “Birchers,” and the easiest way to shut us up was to just accuse us of being racists. The isolation of these two groups, the political right-wing and the Catholic traditionalists, correlate somehow. They share a similar spirit of longing and feelings of betrayal.
Our “Kings” and Religious Shepherds Abandoned Us
We Catholics have shepherds. Those shepherds have apostolic authority. They are supposed to be carrying the torch of the apostles. We are supposed to be able to look to them for comfort. Many of our heroes from the past two millennia are bishops and priests. We go to their confessionals. They give us the Body of Christ. We address them as “Father,” or “Eminence,” or “Excellency.” Yet, many times when we need them, few of these prelates are imminent, and quite often they act neither excellent nor fatherly. Skojec continues:
I get it, Cardinals and Bishops. There aren’t many of you who care about how bad this has become, and in fact many of your brethren are complicit. I get that you feel as though the only way to be effective is not to become another Archbishop Lefebvre — marginalized because you stood your ground and wound up looking like a schismatic. You think your fight is most effective when you can stay close to the situation. When you have access to the Vatican and even the pope. When you can collaborate with your fellow bishops without being labeled disloyal; a dissenter.
Cardinals and bishops appear to be in cahootz with “the bad guys,.” They don’t want to be looked at as radicals. They do not want to be distanced by the power brokers, and they don’t want to be a pariah in the hierarchy. They fear being shipped off to Alaska, Africa, or wherever. The threat of being blackballed is ever-present in their minds. We therefore have a hierarchy that is afraid to act out against heresy and corruption. We have a hierarchy that tolerates a Lavender Mafia of sodomites and pederasts.
Nothing is being done to root out any Leftist corruption at all. The furniture is merely being rearranged. The goalposts are being moved. But other than that, nothing constructive at all is happening to fight modernism and evil.
Right now, America has the Trump phenomenon, and Europe is experiencing the rise of right-wing politicians. It’s a breath of fresh air to the normies and an irritation to the Left. But looking back before 2016, haven’t we witnessed the same kind of corruption and evasiveness as witnessed in the Catholic Church? Have we not borne witness to politicians moving the goalposts, just as bishops and cardinals have done? Don’t we see that the modernists in the Church are on the same trajectory as the “cuckservatives” in our political culture? Vox Day explores the depths of betrayal we’ve experienced in Western Culture:
[C]onservatives don’t understand how to fight or how to win. Nothing – literally nothing – is more important to them than to be seen taking what they foolishly believe to be “the high road”. –“CNN cans Aslan”
[T]ime has already run out on conservatives. They had 37 years, the Presidency, the House, the Senate, nine Supreme Court nominations, and two economic booms with which to fight the cultural war. And they did absolutely nothing. –Ruffled bowties
No wonder people have increasingly little use for Republicans. They stand for nothing but the status quo. They promise nothing but the status quo. They offer nothing but the status quo. They are, quite literally, hopeless. –“So much for Republican loyalty”
You could take out some of the words in these statements from Vox Day, put in different words relating to the Catholic Church, and the paragraph would still make sense and be relevant. Western civilization has been under assault on more than just one front. And it appears that our leaders have allowed the corruption to overtake them first. Our political and religious leaders were the first to succumb to temptation and sedition.
Our Generals Are Afraid Of War
Now pay attention to the angst and frustration of Steve Skojec from March of last year, in his podcast, Those Who Should Speak Remain Silent. Skojec is a man who wanted to get out there and lay the groundwork for prelates, bringing up the hard topics and putting them into the public sphere so that they could be tackled by the appropriate men in the Church hierarchy.
“After three years of this papacy and its constant escalation…where is the coalition? Priests, bishops, theologians, where are you? Have you not had enough time to build a network behind the scenes? I wanted to lay down suppressing fire. I wanted to get topics out into the open for you. Because…I’ll take the hits. People hate me? That’s fine. I’m very used to being hated. It’s sort of a feature of my life. It’s one of those things that happens when you’re outspoken and aggressive. But I’m willing to take those hits to my credibility, which by the way I built up for years in mainstream Catholic publications. I wasn’t writing for traditionalist publications. I wasn’t doing work from the fringes. I was writing for mainstream Catholic magazines. And I’ve had people who used to consider me a friend or enjoy my work flat out turn on me, viciously, because of the kinds of things I say now.”
The hierarchy has let down Skojec and all of the actual practicing Catholics. Skojec was ready for battle, but the men who should be our generals have turned their horses around and left us to be defeated and overcome by our enemies.
The laity, often, are forced to fight the cultural war in the Catholic Church without the assistance of the hierarchy. Laymen have to be outspoken and loud to provide any kind of a tangible opposition to the evil that is now permeating the Magisterium. The cavalry is not riding to the rescue for us. We are in the trenches and on our own. And, in fact, the laity has to watch out to make sure their “allies” back in the bunker don’t shoot them in the back of the head while they’re out fighting.
Now, to be sure, there are sometimes a few voices out there coming from leadership. Now and then, the Catholic faithful who haven’t sold out to modernism have a representative. But, by and large, we are left on our own. As a result, Pope Francis’ appointed men regard anyone who speaks out against corruption as a “cesspool of hatred, venom and vitriol.” It’s very strange, considering how this pope is wanting to make the Church more democratic and regional.
Again, this is not dissimilar to what has happened politically and culturally in the secular world. For years, Vox Day, a leader on the Right has mapped out this same pattern with Establishment leaders on the cultural and political right:
“Do you want to know why the Right is losing the culture wars? Because conservatives simply refuse to fight them. For all that they decry the French as cheese-eating surrender monkeys, the WWII-era French Army offered considerably more resistance after the Maginot Line was bypassed than the conservative movement does in the culture wars.” –“Conservatives simply won’t fight”
“It’s well known that fence sitters are cowardly, but their intrinsic dishonesty in equating both sides is arguably more contemptuous. […] The noble sirs always attempt to portray their fecklessness as Olympian discernment. In truth, they’re simply dishonest cowards who feel safest when attacking from behind.” –The only reasonable position
Both of these paradigms–the political and cultural Right, as well as the Catholic Church–are experiencing weak leaders. No one is willing to take the punch to the face. The laity are the ones who are now left with cleaning up the mess as our political and magisterial giants stomp around in their playground–the world we have to live in–and tear everything up.
Just as it has been with Establishment Republicans, hardly anyone in the Catholic Church has been willing to defy the bad guy. They do not want to rock the boat. They do not want to jeopardize their careers or bring attention to their own circle of friends. The wolves are now our shepherds, because our shepherds have abandoned us.
When it comes to the Catholic faith, it seems as though we are left with villains who will have no problems with overtaking any pockets of wholesomeness. All they have to do is set their sights on our communities, snap their fingers, and destroy us. Where are our advocates who will protect us? We have very competent and educated people in our ranks, mind you. But their response to the outright heresy coming from the top is very lackluster. Does anyone remember the four Dubia cardinals who wrote that forgettable letter to Pope Francis about Amoris Laetitia about a year ago? No, I don’t remember any of it, either. “Don’t worry guys, our boys in charge have written a letter on our behalf! I’m sure everything will be fine, now!”
In the Church–as it has been in politics–our backs seem to be up against the wall. We are our only allies. Isolation is the theme of the day. Skojec notes this phenomenon last March, lamenting the fact that he feels like a lone voice of reason in a land of madness when it comes to Church corruption:
“I know people who, off the top of their head, will blow you away with their theological exposition of what’s going on. They can reference the doctors and the fathers and the Scriptures. They know it inside and out. They are articulate spokesmen for Christ, and they’re in the closet. And I’m so sick of it. I’m so sick of feeling alone. I’m so sick of getting up every day and knowing I have to somehow find the way to strike the balance between providing the edifying content that I would like to provide, and dealing with whatever the crisis du jour is (because there’s always another one, and it’s with the “Magisterium of the Media” that we just float all these damned stalking horses and all these errors out through the media, and convince the world that the Church is changing her teaching because everybody believes that the pope has some kind of a magic talisman around his neck that makes every utterance he says the Word of God. Which couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Skojec is not the only one sick of the inaction. Catholic laity the world over have tired of the fecklessness and weakness of inactive shepherds. Our leaders of the Church are, as Vox Day would put it, dishonest in the way they equate sides. And just as the Right has grown contempt for weak political leadership, so also does the passivity of Church leaders cause laity to grow weary.
Negligence Equals Betrayal
Catholics are taught to constantly repent of their sins of “what we have done, and what we have failed to do.” Because, indeed, you can sin by failing to do something. By not doing what your station in life calls you to do, and by neglecting your duties, you can cause harm to other people.
When it comes to the Right, Vox Day concludes that the inaction and negligence of our supposed leaders is betrayal. The Establishment Right’s apathy and “open door policy” to the Left is a stab in the back. The men who we thought were on our side are not on our side at all. They are unwilling to take the risks–the persecutions–that come with speaking out. They fear to carry the political cross that their station gives them. And so, we are sold out, as Vox Day explains:
“You can always tell with whom the cuckservatives truly identify. They never miss a chance to signal their virtue to the Left, and demonstrate that they are not like us. Well, that’s absolutely fine. We know their worth; they’ll do us more good on the other side anyhow.” –CUCK, he cucked, worriedly
“Forget the cucks, forget the Churchians, forget the equalitarians, forget the Constitutionalists, forget the conservatives, forget the nice people, and forget the tolerant. They are worse than useless; they are the Sarumans who counsel submission and surrender due to their lack of courage and their fear of being called bad things.” –The #MilRight is inevitable
“Conservatives are social cowards who are manifestly unwilling to fight for their sacred principles against internal enemies. Sure, they’ll bravely fight external enemies to the death so long as they have the State’s blessing, but they cave every time they don’t have its approval. That, in the end, is the fatal weakness of the conservative movement; the need of its members for the approval of authority. As long as the Left can wield the trappings of authority, conservatives will fall in line.” –Young Americans for freedom
Just as the Establishment Right and Left wrap themselves up in a blanket of political authority, so also do the Leftists in the Catholic Church wrap themselves in the mantle of the Magisterium. So many people are afraid to call a spade a spade because Catholic leaders have the authority of leadership, even though they abuse that power constantly. And so, we are treated to a horrific theater in which we witness a coup takeover of the Church from the inside.
In Western politics, we have witnessed a conquest of the Right by Neoconservative Zionists and other sneak thieves who have wormed their way into the movement. But we have also seen this occur in the Catholic Church. This playbook is being shared by many bad people in many different fields of our civilization. It is happening everywhere, from our entertainment industry, to our literary houses, to the health industry, to our work places, to our politics and religion.
What we should do is recognize our fellow travelers, exchange notes, and triangulate our position. Different groups who are on the right side of history have been tackling these problems in different ways. That is the nature of tactics. Yet, if we draw ourselves back and try to see the big picture, we can discern that we are in a world war of sorts. In World War II, battles occurred in many nations throughout the world; so, too, in our case with the culture war, we see battles occurring in different quarters of our society.
The more we build bridges, the more we can share intelligence and tactical approaches. This perennial battle with evil can be exhausting, what with our 1-step-forward-2-step-back strategy. Perhaps we have allies out there who have found better methods for going for the enemy’s jugular. It couldn’t hurt to look. If we do this, then perhaps there is a foreseeable day when Leftism in the Church will be reversed, and dignity and clarity will be restored.