You know, there is something in common that is shared by in-your-face-drum-beating Indians, self-flagellating Shia Muslims, ululating women in hijabs, hysterical progressive talking heads on cable TV, Ashley Judd yelling into a microphone, and Madonna wishing she could blow up the White House. That something is a lack of something, or more precisely a lack of everything. A lack of everything that is dignified, honorable, civilized, reasonable, human, and humane. Instead, these behaviors are hateful, hysterical, uncivilized, animalistic, pagan. Nothing could bring into sharper focus this diametric opposition of the heights to which civilization can elevate the human spirit and the pits of despair in wherein it started and to which it can so quickly revert if left unguarded than the incident with the boys from the Catholic high school in Covington Kentucky. To watch the juxtaposition of the boy, calmly smiling at the hysterical geriatric accosting him for no reason whatsoever, disrupting his rights to free speech and lawful assembly, was to see how essential civilized behavior is for human existence, how pitiful and utterly sad are the lives of people who cannot find within themselves the honor and dignity to be civilized.
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We are all made in His image. We are capable of reaching the highest peaks. We can be Einsteins and Shakespeares and Washingtons, but this is only our potential. We have to CHOOSE to realize it, we must want to become civilized, to live our lives with honor and dignity. I don’t care if the drum guy is Indian or Jewish; all I know is that he has made none of these choices and because of that he is a miserable old man who gets in people’s faces to make a buck. To any observer who is the beneficiary of six thousand years of human civilization, of slow but steady progress from the primal universe in which Cain slays Abel to the heights of human spirit that one can so easily find in the Bible, one thing was clear: God was shining through that boy’s eyes, but he was nowhere to be found in the drummer’s. And yet, not one of the people who have agency in our society, who have platforms from which they can reach hundreds of thousands and millions and tens of millions, none of them, neither progressives nor conservatives, saw what was so plain to see. On the contrary, they saw a vile privileged oppressor, a young man awash with hubris, haranguing a poor oppressed disadvantaged old guy who only wanted to beat his drum in peace. It is difficult to plumb the depth of infectious hysteria that was generated by these self-proclaimed guardians of the truth. Death threats to the boy himself, to any boys wearing certain items of clothing, to all Catholics, to all people of European descent flooded the media landscape. The Catholic church, with all its checkered history, with all the horrors that it has committed, but still the repository of a crucial piece of human civilization, did not rise to the defense of the innocent. On the contrary, it joined the hysterical chorus of denunciations, hatred, and insane hyperbole. In short, it betrayed its divine purpose, its sole mission of protecting the innocent, of telling the truth, even, in fact, specifically, when that truth is unpopular. Saint Peter would be ashamed of his spiritual descendants; if he is watching from heaven the shameful behavior of the school and of the Diocese, he must be rending his clothes and covering his head with ashes.
We live in a culture that elevates the profane, the inexcusable, the inhuman, and the inhumane, and seeks to destroy the divine, the holy, the civilized, and the compassionate. We equate the Aztecs, who tore the living hearts out of tens of thousands of victims to the Jews and the Christians. We sentimentalize indigenous societies that had pervasive superstition and cruelty and denigrate the great civilizations of the world, be it European or Hindu or Chinese, civilizations that gave our lives meaning, dignity, and honor, that freed us from superstition, from fear of evil spirits that wish to do us harm, and from hysteria, that most dangerous of all human traits. Of the three religions that sprung from ancient Temple Judaism, our society rejects the life-affirming, intellectual, reasoned teachings of both Christianity and Rabbinical Judaism and embraces the hysterical, life-denying, death-worshiping Islam.
The American Founding Fathers cherished above all their honor and their reason. The set out to build a new society, a new Jerusalem, upon these very foundations. They sought to reject the old pagan and hysterical elements that always lurk around the corners of Western civilization and which, they knew full well, were quite at home on the old European continent. They thought that on the virgin American soil they could build a society of reasoned and reasonable men and women. People who discussed and argued based on facts, not feelings or emotions; who could tell the difference between the holy and the profane, who, to put it simply, knew the difference between right and wrong. In that sense, the Catholic boy was their direct disciple; he stood there with quiet dignity, subduing his emotions in favor of a reasoned response: a smile. He didn’t back down, because running away in the face of aggression is weakness and weakness is irrational. He did what George Washington would have doubtlessly done: calmly stood there with a smile on his face, showing his hysterical interlocutor what being a civilized human being was all about.
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We need more men and women like that boy and far less hysterical shameless hypocrites for hire like the old drummer and his horde of media apologists and glorifiers. If our civilization is to survive, and you’d better hope it does because it has created and is maintaining every second of every day everything you cherish from your chicken nuggets to your asthma inhaler, we must reaffirm our commitment to civilized behavior as the guiding principle in our lives. We must return to the sources from which the great civilizations have sprung, the clear waters of holiness, of reason, of compassion, of decency, and of human dignity. If we fail to do so, the Zombie apocalypse will be a walk in the park compared to what comes next.