Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Reflections of a Father on the Grave of His Child

It has been a year since my wife and I lost our first child in miscarriage. Miscarriage is a strange event. One is often left wondering if there is something he could have done differently, some signs he missed, some action, in particular, he should have let well enough alone.

The universal human Fall has brought so much suffering, and the knowledge that a certain guilt lies upon us for even these losses brings us to our knees at the cross in sorrowful love, in pain and in thanksgiving.

And yet the burden is not less heavy. The imagined moments, the forecast memories that by all accounts we should have had the opportunity of making -- these flit like shadows toward a deepening twilight. A small boy runs through autumn leaves in an amber sweater. He shouts and cries, falls, rises giggling. The wind blows, a falling sheet of leaves, and he is gone.

My child is gone. His microscopic corpse is buried in a field beneath Christ crucified at a Benedictine abbey. There lies a stone far larger than the tiny casket handmade by monks.

All things are rent with bursting purpose, ruthless purpose tearing us apart. Purpose that seeks each of us out and cuts to the marrow, savagely bruising, scarring all barriers of emotion and flesh. My child honored with expense, with veneration, his life welcomed, shared, memorialized, his little body given a bed on which to wait, a place within the earth, a home. My own body always seeming less viable, less real, a shell I inhabit because I, unlike he, have been blessed with the curse of living.

I have been given the chance to waste the purpose with which my life is infused.

I have been honored with the dignity of accepting or rejecting the meaning of my child's death, his treasured remains, before the onslaught of the world.

I may choose.

I may become a German father, sitting in the deadening silence beside the tomb of my son while the dust of burned Jews bedecks the brick walls and gray rooftops of Auschwitz, of Dachau.

I have determined that I will not be this man. I will sound the horror of a thousand tiny humans dismembered and shipped to a landfill, folded into a mass grave of filth and disease, a pit of blood and poison -- children, beloved children of some kinder parent. The mangled bodies of unoffending innocents. Of this evil I will never cease to speak. I will wail and call from the rooftops into a lonely night of cold neglect until the sharpness of the air tears my throat and the sound of choking blood drowns out my words.

It is true that I am full of dire messages.

It is true that I never cease to think, to plan, to pray for the sudden and final end to this culture of hell, this draining of the very lifeblood of essential humanity. And in all of this my focus centers on abortion, the beloved of Moloch.

Never the less so because of my son. Never the less so because the life and joy that seems stolen from me, never to return, is the same life and joy that sinister faces shrouded in white rip from the wombs of miserable women, crushing their last hope in the murder of their children.

This offense, this desecration of the tomb of my son, I will no longer suffer.

I will inspire fear in every abortionist's heart of gris, heart of merde. For when we fail to form the front of our battle with the great determination of a banner uplifted for the right, we, too, desecrate the tombs of our unborn children, of our children so greatly loved, eagerly expected, lost. We surrender the purpose of their lives into obscurity! We debase their humanity.

When we fail to make the sacrifices discerned by our well-developed intellects as just, we submit to the malaise we decry in our modernist-progressivist contemporaries. We are not here to wait for the Second Coming. We are here, pricked, to slouch toward Bethlehem and be born.  

Charles is my strong warrior, my tiny intercessor. I will not refuse him the dignity accorded to others merely because of their age. Many will accomplish less in a lifetime than he.

But in all of this, I appeal to you, dear friends. If you cannot find in yourself the passionate intensity which, for vision, is necessary, pray for the intercession of my Charles, my great heart, Carolus Magnus.

And speak to me. I am his ill-suited successor. I am the old one who lingers on in the shadows of this earth as night falls, and, who, with the wisdom of death, welcomes with joy the glory of his destruction.

I will, if nothing else, like a gadfly prick you until, unnumbered as the simbelmynë, we defend the tomb of the unborn.


Friday, November 7, 2014

To God the Father

Eve After Falling Into Sin, Johann Koler, 1883

Love, again you have found me in the call of birds, the sound of wind thrumming in my ears.

I know that all the world was meant to be green in this way, that lushness was to overwhelm and sedate us into the dreamlike torpor of Adam.

Fill us with a potency. Make us leap from out ourselves towards you, nearer by death-and-life-giving.

Here in the barren land we wait for lushness, for fervent murmur of running waters, for the full welling of slow rivers.

Break us for our yolk.

Keep us till we sleep our fathers' sleep and give out the new full self.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Peaceful, Law-Abiding Outlaws

I have recently enjoyed two long email exchanges: one with an administrator at Abolish Human Abortion and another with a representative of Right to Life of M-----. The former was the result of an inquiry about starting a Houston chapter of the organization (toe-dipping, before I knew their biases), the latter a result of an attempt on my part to logically validate or invalidate certain methodologies and tactics.

It is difficult not to have respect for an organization like Abolish Human Abortion, whose leaders at least declare a no-compromise approach to the fight against organized genocide. They call themselves "abolitionists", and vigorously proclaim an "anti-abortion" message.

Likewise, one would be hard-pressed to discredit the legal work of the various Right to Life state organizations. In fact, I would go so far as to say that anyone who claims to be pro-life and yet discredits the important legal work of National Right to Life or its subsidiary chapters would be dishonest in his/her approach to this holocaust.

"Our way or the highway"

However, as my discussion with AHA developed, rather than being questioned about my pro-life -- or anti-abortion, in this case -- convictions and activities, I found myself pushed into an arduous and elaborate defense of my Catholic faith. It turns out that AHA will not accept anyone into its ranks who does not submit to its unique interpretation of the Gospel sola scriptura, and so its proposed message of 'no quarter and no compromise' is diluted by a strange compulsion to press its ideological Christianity on allies and fellow Christians. Rarely is it more evident that a corporation (a group of persons) may have religious convictions than in this instance, and rarely are those religious convictions more inappropriately applied.

Regardless, it would seem to me irresponsible to totally reject AHA's role in the fight against abortion. Displaying the truth by holding signs and offering alternatives is always necessary, as is constant prayer. But the effectiveness of one's mission to stop abortion, to "stop the unjust aggressor", might be questioned if he/she is constantly criticizing loyal and indispensable brothers-at-arms. But we need people to stand up and fight the good fight, to tell the world that they can no longer stop their ears and avert their eyes from over 40 years of mindless slaughter, and so we can support AHA as a valid moral voice insofar as it is doing just that.

The Myth of Time

My conversation with the very polite representative at Right to Life of M----- began with a question I had posed about RLM's position on civil disobedience. The policy of RLM states that they make no judgement about others who may participate in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience, and it also affirms that the mission of RLM is to pursue constitutional amendment. My goal was to clarify the implications of the phrase "make no judgement". While it is logical and reasonable to focus on the singular mission of one's organization, I wanted to be sure that RLM understood and endorsed the necessity of other forms of action, specifically the "nonviolent direct action" of Martin Luther King's conception.

In other words, I wanted to be sure there was no latent disapproval of nonviolent direct action within the organization. I wanted to be sure that RLM stands for life and allies itself with all of those who do so in a morally licit manner.

My contact at RLM was very legalistic in his language when providing details about the official policy, but, ultimately, he gave the following explanation (emphasis mine):
"RLM does not condemn non-violent civil disobedience, but we will not engage in it, approve it, or support it in any way. [...] It's impossible to run an effective organization that can not stay singularly focused on their mission. Unity is worthy, but our mission is not to unite or divide the prolife movement, it's a human life amendment to the U.S. Constitution."
"What is worth condemning is abortion. But we say our four decades of wisdom means that we will not support methods outside of the law. No one strategy is equally valid to another, some are better than others. You are free to disagree, but we believe abortion will end significantly quicker by working through the system, as opposed to civil disobedience."
I will preface the following by saying that my contact at RLM was, by this time, very familiar with my desire for a complete and accurate understanding of the mission, values, and opinions of RLM. He began the above paragraph with this statement: "I see that you are someone with great concern for precision."

A House United

We must fervently agree with RLM when they say that "It's impossible to run an effective organization that cannot stay singularly focused on their mission." We must fervently agree. We must say that to lead a flock of cats would be exceedingly difficult, and that in order to succeed, an organization must remain committed to its purpose, pursuing every means by which that purpose may be accomplished. For RLM, and for National Right to Life, this purpose is the criminalization of abortion through legal means.

We must not seek to direct these organizations away from their paths, so long as those multitudinous tributaries and hunting trails meet in the great roadway of Justice.

We must also fervently agree with RLM when they say that "unity is worthy" and that it is only through unity, through a "singular focus" on the common "mission" that we may obtain the necessary goal of equal rights for the unborn, for it is impossible to run an effective organization that cannot stay singularly focused on its purpose.

Thus, neither can we run an effective pro-life movement if all of its moving parts, all of its constituent organizations, are not wholeheartedly in mutual support.

We must be precise, and we must be careful when we define our mission, our purpose. We must say not that our mission is "a human life amendment to the U.S. Constitution", for while this would be a great milestone in the quest for justice, in 40 years it has not been attained, and time, a neutral reality, does not heal wounds. Thus, we may justly pursue legal intervention as one of the many means by which we call upon the world to render justice unto its most fragile wards, but we may not claim that this method is supreme -- even implicitly, even by "making no judgement" -- posing as if we have some authority to expend as many lives as necessary so long as our indirect means of legal action remain intact.

It is reasonable, in this sense, to approve of legal action and legal goals insofar as the manner in which this is done does not conflict with the overarching mission of saving lives and restoring dignity. It is reasonable to approve of legal action if the manner in which this is done does not conflict with the eternal law.

We must remember that we are not the lawbreakers. We must remember that there exist many barbaric inconsistencies within the current 'legal' system, such as the illegality of murdering individuals who have been born and the converse legality of murdering those who have not, such as the double-homicide count if a pregnant woman has been killed and the converse legal protection of late-term abortionists, such as the illegality of racism and the converse taxpayer support of racist eugenics organizations that kill an overwhelming majority of minority children.

We must remember that we live in a barbaric society where true order has forsaken the legal system. We must remember that any action we commence within that system, while possibly beneficial, creates a false dialogue in which good and evil are set upon a plane, in which the champions of right and the carrion birds of wrong are given equal say. But we must use all means that are morally licit, and so we uphold and we praise the work of organizations like the National Right to Life.

However, we cannot condone any suggestion implied by any organization that MLK's "nonviolent direct action" is, at its worst, immoral or, at best, unnecessary. Just as the human laws of the land are now tools of barbarism, so now those things which are considered barbaric by the barbaric law are the very righteous tools by which barbarism will be overthrown and a tranquil order take its place.

Some may say that the situation today is different from that of the Civil Rights Movement in that those who seek to protect the unborn are not the victims of abuse, and have less license to rise up in civil disobedience. There are many people today, who, in consonance with the Zeitgeist of tolerance, wish to seem like reasonable persons. They ask, "Why can't we all just calm down and have a rational conversation?"

And I answer that there is a certain point at which rational conversation becomes futile, and that point is reached when one party to the conversation is no longer speaking rationally. Killing human beings for profit, pleasure, or convenience is not a rational activity. Moreover, it is irrational to have a conversation about persecution without the voice of the persecuted being heard. It is irrational to remain calm about countless vicious atrocities that are committed day after day within the boundaries of the law.

Furthermore, I answer that we have more of a right to defend the unborn with the sacrifice of our very persons and property because we have more duty to do so. No, we are not fighting for our own rights in an unjust society as many American blacks did in the 1960s (and valiant and praiseworthy was their struggle). Rather, in an even more radical gesture, forsaking our present remaining ease and comfort, forsaking all the rights that we enjoy, we answer the ancient call of love by willingly placing ourselves in harm's way for the sake of these little ones who have no voice and no strength to defend themselves. Just as God raises the battle standard when we let it fall, so we rise to fight for the unborn children. We rise in their stead.

Duty does not disappear when strength is lacking. Either the oppressed can stand or they cannot, and when they cannot, we stand or we fall for them. We need not refer to any other than Jesus Christ, the greatest revolutionary of all, God Himself, who sacrificed his very flesh for the lives and redemption of others, saying, "Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).

I will conclude by saying that, as yet, no reasonable person has proven the ineffectiveness of "nonviolent direct action", but rather a great many reasonable persons, 50 years ago, proved its great effectiveness in pushing negotiations to a positive tension so that certain just demands be answered or the entire social framework devolve into chaos. Their righteous demands were answered, but entropy must continually be countered with order.

Let no one discountenance nonviolent direct action. Or if someone should, let this individual then answer why the Islamic State should not be stopped with decisive action. Let this person then explain why Boko Haram should be addressed with passive, non-confrontational measures. Let him explain why, when the soldiers of the Allies encountered the concentration camps, they should not have invaded and destroyed them, but rather should have held as many 'rational' conversations with the Nazis as possible while the wrongs continued. Let him decry Jeanne d'Arc or Christ purifying the temple.

And when this reasonable person has answered these several challenges of thousands more, let him say again why we should not offer ourselves in peaceful demonstrations as holocausts for a graver wrong, a more horrific indignity, a vast and bloody genocide. Let him, surely a reasonable person, explain why every able man should not take part.

Finally, let no reasonable person denigrate any of the necessary means by which abortion must be fought. Let no reasonable person, in a weak moment of pride, preach sole validity for his method alone and the rejection of all others (or worse, pass no judgement at all) -- not Operation Rescue in the 1980s, not legal organizations nor evangelical groups now. We all need each other.

We are brothers.

We are brothers.

We are brothers.

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. Let us all together wear our various scars.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

La Pequeña Burguesía

The poor can afford to be honest.

Like the dead, they've no pretensions to preserve. Robbed of all, they are safe.

They wander the streets: "Are you hungry?" "Yes." "I have a banana and some pretzels." "That sounds great." "Here you go." "God bless you. Have a great weekend." The best interchange we have all year, the most human.

The wealthy are frightened of reality, and shore up every scrap of philanthropy against their ruin. Their philanthropy masks their egotism, and provides a platform for their soap-boxing. Wealth provides a help for every kind of depravity. When one is wealthy and comfortable, why should he question his own motives?

It is far easier to make exorbitant claims when no one can effectively remonstrate. Safe in our death-defying capsules of Self. Unassailable idiocracy.

The poor can afford to be honest. They can accept truth regardless of its source. They can think a nun the greatest soul alive. They can praise a priest.

The poor suffer the universal victimization of human sin. They are its representatives, its constant proof, and they need no other label to be recognized. They live the utterly real.

But the prison of the rich is ivory. It's gate the gate of sawn ivory.

Teach me, you who are rich, how one rejects wisdom. If a man were to give his life for yours, how would you rationalize his stupidity for doing so, and simultaneously assert your own righteousness?

The rich may become great because the burden of proof always rests upon them. Martin Luther King was rich for a black man, but his case was poor and thus proveable.

Today, the imposters of his cause do not prove their case, but instead use the golden fist.

Mi pequeña burguesía, tu vida es una mentira. El reloj del universo para ti no espera. Despierten.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

'The Tranquilizing Drug of Gradualism'

Revised and redacted from MLK's "Letter from Birmingham Jail"

I must make two honest confessions to you, my sisters and brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the pro-life moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the pro-life movement's great stumbling block in this stride toward the protection of life is not the NARAL activist or the Planned Parenthood lobbyist, but the pro-life moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another person's very right to life itself; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who would seem to be constantly telling the endangered unborn child -- as he goes to the execution chamber -- to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn't this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn't this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn't this like condemning Jesus because his unique God-consciousness and never-ceasing devotion to God's will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber. 
I had also hoped that the pro-life moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for the lives of the unborn. I have just received a letter from a pro-life brother in Texas. He writes: "All Christians know that the unborn will receive equal rights eventually, but is it possible that you are in too great a religious hurry? It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth." Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Public Service Announcement: Moral Requirement

Part 1

Part 2

See the Operation Rescue documentary here.


A small group of young black men is surrounded by a large group of young white men who have indicated that they wish to do significant harm to the former. 

The small group of black men are fortunate in that they are well-fed, strongly-built, and accustomed to frequent persecution. These attributes would be a great consolation to these young men if their opponents were not also well-endowed and of greater number.

On the fringes of the conflict stands a small group of not unable white men who happen to be of the anti-racism persuasion. However, they linger in the corners and flit between shadows as the victims valiantly defend their dignity and valiantly fall, one by one. 

One would undoubtedly say that the anti-racism group had committed a moral failure by neglecting to provide assistance to their brothers in need. Nevertheless, their crime is not unforgivable, the encounter likely being non-lethal and the targeted group having some means of self-defense.

Let us now not break step, but turn directly to the picture of pro-life activism in the current decade. Of what does it consist that worthily addresses the daily perpetration of countless irreparable evils?

Imagine a large group of pregnant women sitting in the waiting room of an abortion mill. They have already been addressed, one by one, by a solitary man who has indicated that he wishes to murder their children. They are sitting here awaiting the hour of bloodshed.

The children, whose death is imminent, are unfortunate in that they are weak, small, and accustomed only to the soft beat of their mothers' hearts, the peaceful bower of the womb. These conditions are of no consolation in the face of sharp instruments created to inflict the greatest harm possible upon their tender and fragile bodies. 

Watching by the gate of the mill, quite near and totally aware of the violent upheaval of nature about to occur, stand a group of able-bodied adults who claim to oppose abortion, who enjoy declaring their fervor. They stand by as the frightened unborn dart from side to side of their sacred havens now violated and profaned, treated as a chamber of execution in the most heinous rape unimaginable. 

Their persons are torn to pieces as they die in newfound pain uncomprehended.

One could not say otherwise but that the "anti-abortion" group had been ought else but complicit in their inaction, in their political correctness of moral abdication. Can their crime be forgiven? The encounter they witnessed could not have been other than lethal, and they but spoke and prayed while blood gushed forth from innocence.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Satire and Evil (and Good), Pt. 2

Note: At one point in this video, I mention amendments to the satire posted earlier. Not all of those amendments -- if any -- will go into effect. To injure the rhetorical effect of the satire by rendering it facile would be to diminish the necessary seriousness of approach to this difficult issue.