In generations past, the great majority of American children were raised by their mother and father, who lived in the same home. In such a culture, the rest of the community had little to do with the rearing and nurturing of the children. The bulk of the child’s maturation was due to the decisions and actions of the parents and the environment of the family home.
Slowly, we began to hand our parental responsibilities away. Daycare providers, nannies, organized youth sports, clubs, youth groups, television shows, video games and other services came to serve in loco parentis as actual parenting grew less common. It took about 50 years, but the process is now nearly complete with the smartphone.
As our culture has grown more unstable, our kids need parents more than ever, yet many parents are less a part of their child’s life than at any point in the history of the US.
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
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You may have heard of Charles Whitman. He stabbed his mother and his wife to death, then climbed to the top of the tallest building on the campus of the University of Texas and opened fire on dozens of strangers. That was in 1966. Since then, we have been reeling from an increasing frequency of mass murders and terrorist attacks. The Texas Tower shooting was five decades ago. Its next replication may be taking place as you read this.
Whitman was not the product of a culture which had stopped parenting its children; it is believed he suffered from delusions brought on by a brain tumor, but Whitman’s actions, and the actions of dozens of murderers since 1966, have inspired a long line of atrocities in the United States. Our homegrown killers have been supplemented by an increased amount of terrorism fostered by Islamic Fundamentalism and Radical Islam, fascist violence through Antifa and white supremacy as well as fits of deadly rage by men who are so mentally ill, they lose touch with reality and go on murderous rampages against imaginary aggressors. Thanks to our entertainment-style media, each new atrocity serves as a training video for the next killer.
Many Americans have decided the solution is more services, more laws and more assistance from the government (the state). This was a veiled theme of a children’s book written by Hillary Clinton about 25 years ago, and it is the blatant theme of big government ideologues today. The country is basically locked in a mindset which believes that the state can have a positive impact on youth and the culture. I don’t believe that has ever been true and it certainly is not true today. The state has applied so many bandages to the wounds caused by moral decline, most Americans don’t even consider the causes of the wounds. Meanwhile, we continue to grow weaker and more diseased as a nation.
There have been hundreds of articles and even more blogs and conversations which identify guns as the culprit of each new tragedy. Others say right-wing radicalism is to blame, others say it is racism, video games or centuries of misogyny. Answers much closer to the truth are the absence of fathers and abortion. But even these closely related symptoms are not the cause of our current problems.
The fact is, the root cause of all of this, dates back thousands of years, possibly before time itself. The root of today’s atrocities, tragedies and horrors, is sin. Sin has manifested itself in many forms since St. Michael cast Satan and his demons out of Heaven. A brief recital of this history was penned by none other than Mick Jagger in 1969 in a song named “Sympathy for the Devil.” Americans and Europeans have outdone themselves with sympathy for the Devil, and this is exactly why many Americans are so puzzle by his game.
“The Pill” was first legalized in 1960, but only for unmarried women (though some states still prohibited access to unmarried women). Apparently the belief that the pill caused the abortion of the fertilized egg (then understood to be the beginning of human life) was not a reason to restrict its use by unmarried women. Abortion was sympathetic if the mother was not married yet. It was a slippery slope.
Due to even more “sympathy,” we changed the medical definition for the beginning of human life. We changed it from the fertilization of the egg to the implantation of the fertilized egg in the lining of the uterus. This little change in wording allowed doctors and politicians to think about contraception in a whole new way. They now had about seven extra days to “prevent” a pregnancy. Seven days in which an abortion could not technically occur due to the new definition. Seven days in which we did not need to feel sympathy for a human life.
Therefore, in 1965, with the change in the definition of the beginning of human life, the Supreme Court legalized the pill for all women, regardless of marital status.
The culture of death may have been conceived long before the 1960s, but it was finally born in the 1960s and it grew up in the 1970s.
Following the legalization of artificial contraception, Americans embraced no-fault divorce. Prior to 1970, those desiring a divorce were required to prove a reason for the divorce. Reasons varied from state to state, but they often included infidelity, physical abuse, addiction and other problems. Some believed this was causing a lot of unnecessary stress and drama in divorces, so the idea of “no-fault” divorce was considered sympathetic. Slowly, each state in the union adopted the no-fault divorce statute. Today, you can get divorced without claiming any reason at all. Yet divorces are just as life-shattering and just as full of drama as ever. I give you this fact first-hand, as I practiced family law for many years before my conversion to a much deeper Catholic faith.
As the nation was making marriage into something more like a test drive than a lifetime commitment, we were also turning sex into a social activity which sometimes caused an “illness” known as pregnancy.
It is not that the promoters of the pill were surprised by the unplanned pregnancies. They actually had a backup plan called abortion. The Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973 (Roe v. Wade) because we had to be sympathetic for women who ended up with an unplanned pregnancy. It is as though we had no real clue how it was happening so often. The frequent failure of contraception gave rise to abortion being called “essential healthcare,” even though logic told us that abortion was never essential or caring.
Therefore, by the end of 1973, we had artificial contraception, no-fault divorce, a revolution in which we were all taught about free love, and abortion. That’s when the Hollywood pornography industry enjoyed its “golden age.” We all know that if the 70s were pornography’s golden years, it has gone double-platinum through the smartphone which is in the hands of nearly every American child over the age of 9 years. What kind of a parent would deprive his or her child of a smartphone? We have to be sympathetic to the child’s need for entertainment, don’t we?
Added to all the insanity of the 1970s, was the Vietnam war, student protests, racial tensions, the beginnings of an LGBT movement, illicit drugs and the uncovering of political corruption at the highest levels of the federal government.
Pleased to meet you.
Hope you guess my name.
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game.
Catholics are fully aware of the nature of his game. We know it because of Sr. Lucia dos Santos, the oldest of the three Fatima visionaries. Sr. Lucia was the only one of the visionaries who could see, hear and speak to our Blessed Mother during her apparitions in 1917. Later, our Blessed Mother told Sr. Lucia, “The final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan will be about Marriage and the Family.”
By 2018, single mothers had taken on the task of raising one half of America’s children as fathers took on the task of either paying child support or becoming skilled deadbeats. To help the single mothers, the state has stepped in with everything they need, except a father. It is as sympathetic as the government can be.
Knowing this and seeing the mutilation of morality in the 1960s and 1970s, the only thing surprising about the legalization of same-sex “marriage” is the fact that it took so long to get here. Between 1969 and 2014, few people believed that the legalization of same-sex “marriage” was even remotely possible, but a small group of activists yearned for it. Within two years, authentic marriage was handed, on a platter, to the most anti-Christian administration in U.S. history, courtesy of the U.S. Supreme Court. The supporters of authentic marriage not only lacked sympathy, we were labelled as hateful.
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The daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod, so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Having been prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” Although he was grieved, the king commanded it to be given because of his oaths, and because of his dinner guests. He sent and had John beheaded in the prison. And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. (Matthew 14:6-11)
America, meet reality. The cause of our problem is not guns, video games, racism, etc… Our problem is the disappearance of married parents raising their own children. As parents become increasingly rare, the state fills the void, but insufficiently. Children need both parents but they are usually getting only one and that one is usually mom because the courts do not sympathize with dad. It is impossible to fill this void left by an absent father with the state.
We do not need more state involvement in our child’s life, but that is all we are going to get if we fail to reverse the damage done via contraception, no-fault divorce, abortion, pornography and LGBT advocacy. Keep in mind that it is the state which has legalized and/or legitimized all of these things. The legalization of euthanasia and the recreational use of marijuana are like victory laps for the culture of death.
Folks, we know how we got here. We went way overboard on sympathy. It is time to start taking America back again through marriage and family. We can be confident because Sr. Lucia has more to tell us about the message she received from the Virgin Mary: “Don’t be afraid, because whoever works for the sanctity of Marriage and the Family will always be fought against and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue. Nevertheless, Our Lady has already crushed his head.”
“Don’t be afraid… Our Lady has already crushed his head.” God is merciful, but he is not sympathetic.
The disease is violence, murder, despair, and death. The symptoms are divorce, fatherlessness, immorality and rage. The virus is sin and the host is culture.
The first step is to identify the enemy, and we already know who that is. We have also identified the enemy’s tactics. Jesus Christ has given us all the weapons we need in order to win the war. Satan can howl and sing all he wants.
Just as every cop is a criminal.
And all the sinners saints.
As heads is tails.
Just call me Lucifer.
Sympathy is pathetic. Let’s get to work with prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29).
Editor’s note: Pictured above is “Salome with the Head of John the Baptist” painted by Caravaggio, c. 1607-10.