Righting a Wrong World

The world appears to have been turned upside down: Catholic statues are vandalized, men think they are women, and killing a baby is seen as a "right." How do we turn it right-side-up?

Days before the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a marble statue of Our Lady of Fatima in Washington, D.C., was vandalized, according to Crux. The statue was near the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The vandal cut off Mary’s hands and nose. Her face was scratched and the cross on her crown was broken off. 

In February, St. Pius X Church in El Paso got hit by vandals and three angel statues suffered heavy damage, as reported by the Catholic News Agency. In New York City, a statue of Mary outside Resurrection Catholic Church in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Marine Park was toppled in October 2020. On September 11, 2020, a man climbed over a fence in New York City, grabbed a statue of Mary, and threw the statue onto the sidewalk. At approximately the same time the statue of Mary was being thrown on the sidewalk in New York City, a statue of Mary and a statue of Christ were knocked down by vandals outside St. Germaine Catholic Church in Prescott Valley, Arizona.

The list of vandalized Catholic statues is long, too long. If anyone is still not convinced that there is a war against the Church in America, take a look at the list compiled by The Hill. It covers only the height of the George Floyd riots. 

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Something is wrong. The world appears to have been turned upside down. What would your grandparents think of this? More importantly, perhaps, is what do the young people think? Is this the new normal? If not, where did we go wrong?

The obvious answer is not only a lack of faith in God but an outright hostility toward Him and His Church. It is a war on tradition. It is a war on Western civilization.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller understands the problem. “In reality,” says Müller, “by rejecting faith in God…we have turned into little gods who refuse to reach deep into ourselves and who end up redefining our identity according to our whim.” 

Sound familiar? Will Thomas, who now goes by the name “Lia,” swam for the University of Pennsylvania for three years as a man. He then decided he was she and was, against all reason, allowed to swim on the women’s team. Needless to say, he’s been shattering the women’s records at U Penn ever since. In short, Will thought he could redefine reality on a whim. School officials agreed. 

The reality of the situation, however, is that “Lia” still has the bone and muscle structure of a male. “Lia” is still Will, like it or not. 

It’s a mad, mad world. What do we have to do to get back to sanity? 

Psalm 99 shows us how: “Know ye that the Lord He is God: He made us, and not we ourselves.” This is a basic truth that must be broadcast far and wide. Our identity is in God, not our feelings. It is in our bodies, not our imaginations. It is in our capacity for faith and reason. 

Second Timothy 4:3-4 warns: “For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.”

Those times are upon us. Universities promote mediocrity and groupthink under innocuous titles like Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Critical Race Theory strips human dignity by reducing the person to the color of their skin. 

When abortion is hailed as woman’s “right,” you know you are living in a culture of death. 

And then there’s the pronoun game. People tell you what they want to be called: he, she, they, it, or whatever. None of this has to do with reality. It’s a game, a fantasy, played by those who would turn themselves into little gods. 

Transgender, transexual, you name it. If your parents told you when you were a kid that you could grow up to be whatever you wanted, I’m pretty sure they didn’t mean this. 

“Let me emphasize,” said Cardinal Müller, “our secularized societies are being dynamited from within by vulgarity and frivolity.”

Once again, Müller is spot-on. Pornography is ubiquitous. The LGBT movement is a political force. Drag queens are teaching our children that “There’s no such thing as boy and girl things.”  

It all looks pretty bad. Is there any hope?

Always.

In reflecting on Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Müller said, “According to that pope, the only possibility for contemporary man lies in taking the question of God as his point of departure and, from there, applying his entire capacity of reason.”

This is what hope comes down to: faith and reason. If you answer the God question in the affirmative after serious consideration, you are on the right track. The next step is to rely on your God-given capacity for reason. 

All too often, people revert to name calling and red herring diversions because they do not have a reasonable response to those who oppose their positions. Don’t let them get away with it. Stick to the argument that is based upon reason. 

Don’t be led astray by emotion or desire. Don’t be baited into another topic. Name calling and attempts to distract from the topic at hand are common tactics and are sure indicators your opponent cannot reasonably maintain his or her position. 

As for the statues? Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso said the statues are “things that can be repaired and replaced.” He went on to say, “We pray that whoever carried out this senseless act will receive the help they need.” That is an example of a reasonable response. 

Western civilization is based upon Logos. Logos is commonly translated from the Greek as “word” or “reason.” According to the Holy Bible, in the beginning there was the Logos. Jesus was Logos made flesh. We have the capacity to reason because we are made in the image of God. 

Stick to your faith and employ reason. Fides et Ratio. This is the way of hope. 

[Photo Credit: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception]

  • Jack Gist

    Jack Gist is a professional writer who has published essays, poetry, and fiction in journals such as Catholic World Report, Galway Review, First Things, The Imaginative Conservative, New Oxford Review, Academic Questions, St. Austin Review, and in other national and international venues. He can be reached at www.revivalwriting.com.

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