Unreal Nation

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44)

I live in a country that gave birth to an organization conceived in lies and dedicated for the purpose of murder. It is called, with a wry irony that escapes us, “Planned Parenthood.” If you are a young woman and you go to “Planned Parenthood” and say, “I am with child, and I need help to bear it and to care for it, because its father and I are not married, and I am poor,” the people at “Planned Parenthood” will not assist you one bit. They will not give you food or clothing for the baby. They will not put you in touch with people who open their homes to unwed mothers. They at “Planned Parenthood” will do nothing for your parenthood at all.

They will kill the baby in your womb, that they will, and make a nifty living from it. We now learn that they have studied at the Josef Mengele Institute of Medicine, with internship at the local junkyard. They dismember babies with especial care, so as to trade in their brains, transmissions, livers, pistons, hearts, pumps, flesh, upholstery, kidneys, and catalytic converters. “It’s a blob,” they say, when they are before the cameras, or when they are persuading the nervous mother to go ahead with what everybody knows is a lie. “It’s a boy!” they say, as they see his cute little boy-parts in cute little isolation on a glass dish.

Most of the media, that vast windowless Ministry of Truth, ignore the lies. Why not? The man who runs the news agency rocks the bedsprings with the woman at the foundation that funnels a half a million dollars to the liars. They funnel that money because they are concerned about the poor, in the way that their pricy lawn specialists are concerned about weeds.

And man, though he was set in honor, would not understand: he was likened to the witless beasts, and has become like them…. They have been herded like sheep into hell, and Death feeds upon them. (Ps. 48:13, 15; Vulgate, my translation.)

I live in a nation conceived in liberty, raised high in empire, and fallen into moral lassitude, impotence, and automatism. God help me, but I still believe that my countrymen are better than the follies they believe. But no puddle in the alley behind the fire escapes is so muddy, so rank, and so shallow as are their souls of my countrymen, if I am to judge by their own unwitting testimony.

Let me give an example. A young man at Yale is engaging in a protest against pornography. Porn, as you may know, is a kind of wire service whereby people pay for regular and meaningless electric jolts to the more reptilian centers of their constitutions. The consumers, an apt noun if ever there was one, then try to flog their dead souls into some caricature of a genuine human feeling. So one of the future leaders of my nation enters into a conversation with the protestor.

“You mean that you actually are opposed to pornography?” asks the beardless Cicero-to-be.

“Yes, we are. It reduces human beings to commodities. It’s a sacrilege against the holiness and the beauty of the human body. It destroys many a marriage. It’s essentially loveless and heartless.”

“That’s interesting,” replies young Abe Lincoln with a leer, and then he plays his ace of trumps. “But what do you use when you [vulgar term for self-abuse], huh?”

The young man shakes his head. “I don’t do that.”

Incredulity. What, is not everyone a slave to the automatic—the jiggered robo-lusts of the sexual revolution? “You lost me there!” laughs Danny Webster.

It has come to this. Someone’s kid has to simulate sexual intercourse in order to help work off the sweaty ennui of a student at Yale, who has not the courage nor the honor nor the inner spiritual liberty to hold the hand of a real woman, and to sing in his heart for the gift of her hand.

And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot, for it is sealed. And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. (Isaiah 29:11-12)

I live in a nation whose form of government is predicated upon a trust in the intelligence and the good sense of ordinary people, to accomplish the ordinary ends of life for themselves, their children, and their neighbors.

Therefore all oversight of local schools has been snatched from them; sweet and community-building customs have been discarded or suppressed; and children are taught to despise what their forefathers believed and said and did, or rather they never really learn what they believed, they never hear what they said, the worst construction is placed upon what they did, and sins they never committed at all are attributed to them, so as to clear the way for the new and improved—toothpaste, elections, deodorant, marriage.

More than a hundred years ago, in my nation, teachers who breathed the true air of democracy wished to bring to ordinary people the best of a classical education. Why should a carpenter or a mason or a housewife not also thrill to hear the words of Mark Antony, demagogue extraordinaire, on the steps of the senate house: “When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept; / Ambition should be made of stronger stuff.” The men and women of Chautauqua wished to raise themselves and their fellows to those heights; nowadays professors at Princeton and Yale scoff at the very idea of greatness. You are far more likely at Princeton to take a course in tawdry novels for teens than in Shakespeare.

There is nothing so stupid (a woman walking around with a mattress on her head, to protest rape), so fatuous (“poetry” found by rearranging words on the cover of a pack of matches), so nasty (a portrait of the pope, made of rubbers), and so perverse (any current television show), that cannot find its way into the august halls of education, that fraud of the age, that mechanism for making the wealthy as ambitious and soulless as possible, and keeping the poor as dependent and ignorant as possible.

When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error. (Romans 1:21-27)

In my nation we deny truths that lie in front of our eyes. Any fool can figure out that a man is not a woman, a cesspool is not a womb, a drug that thwarts the natural action of an organ is not medicine, an orphan is not a privileged member of an alternative family, pictures of people doing vile things are not the same as speech, and a law whose substance no one can know (because it is too vast, or vague, or incomprehensible) or rely upon (because it is subject to the caprice of inventive judges) is not a law at all. Any fool; but we are not any fool, just as Michelangelo was not any artist. We have judges who legislate, legislators who defer to bureaucrats and judges, and executives who do what they will. We call it “democracy” because the technology of elections is still in place, a monstrous Rube Goldberg array of machines, fed by thousands of polls and billions of dollars, cranked and kicked and oiled and fueled by a swarm of parasites, all to spit out a president whose platitudes are as flat as Kansas, with never a tornado-tossed house to fall upon the Great Leader’s head and set the Munchkins free.

We have “Boy” Scout leaders who don’t know the meaning of the word “boy,” we have physicians helping people kill themselves, we have priests turned atheists as did Eli’s sons, we have a Common Core of emptiness; even our madness has gone mad, so that the man who has accepted the madness of Monday finds himself unforgivably sinning against the madness of Tuesday, as varieties of madness increase and multiply beyond the enumerative powers of the alphabet.

All to be expected. Lies disintegrate. Shall we believe the lies? I can call poison sweet, but it will still kill me. I can call sand bedrock, but it will not stand:

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which build his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house: and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:24-27)

Anthony Esolen

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Professor Esolen taught Renaissance English Literature and the Development of Western Civilization at Providence College for two decades. He will begin teaching at Thomas More College in the fall of 2017. Prof. Esolen is a regular contributor to Crisis Magazine and the author of many books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization (Regnery Press, 2008); Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child (ISI Books, 2010) and Reflections on the Christian Life (Sophia Institute Press, 2013). His most recent books are Reclaiming Catholic Social Teaching (Sophia Institute Press, 2014); Defending Marriage (Tan Books, 2014); Life Under Compulsion (ISI Books, 2015); and Out of the Ashes (Regnery, 2017).

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