January 5, 2019
MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey
Did You Celebrate a “Politically-Correct” Christmas?
Before the recently-past Christmas Octave is completely out of mind and prior to returning our thoughts fully to more mundane and ordinary affairs of this “cold mid-winter,” I wanted to share one more essay I wrote, published by THE REMNANT newspaper. You may recall that it originally appeared as an installment of MY CORNER back on December 10. For publication in THE REMNANT (volume 51, number 22, the December 31, Christmas issue), I edited it slightly. And as it was a meditation on the Holy Christmas commemoration, I am sharing it with you now—I believe it is never out-of-place to remember and celebrate that incredibly history-changing and miraculous event that took place two millennia ago.
In this case, however, my object was to examine just one example of the continuing and frenzied attacks against anything associated with the observance and memory of that marvelous and shattering Happening.
The Enemies of that Event, indeed, are Legion, and these days they assault it in various and multifaceted ways: some are outright opponents, and these we know face to face, just as we know their frenetic hatred. Others, however, more devious, pretend to be defenders of the faith, but through their cowardice and treason pollute, dishonor, and deface it. Or, as the great English Restoration author Sir Thomas Browne commented (in his work, Religio Medici) over three centuries ago, due to corrupt zeal and perversion, they remain prisoners of error and actually enable the destruction of truth.
Yet, truth cannot be silenced, despite what our enemies do and say. As President Jefferson Davis once said (1873): “Truth crushed to earth is still truth, and like a seed will rise again.”
From Holy Scripture we have the iron-clad promise that in good time Our Lord, Who triumphed over the grave, will also triumph over Evil, and in Glory “shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming and his kingdom” [2 Timothy 4:1]
Here is my latest essay:
BANNING THOSE “HATEFUL” CHRISTMAS SONGS – WHAT WOULD DANTE SAY?
December 31, 2018 Volume 51, number 22
By Dr. Boyd D. Cathey
It was one of those little things—one of those sudden interruptions of a pre-planned schedule—that stops you in your tracks, that convinces you to alter what you had hoped to accomplish during the day. As I briefly caught a segment of “Fox & Friends” the morning of December 10, before switching the channel to hear some classic Christmas music and prepare my Christmas cards—there she was, Deana Martin, daughter of the late Dean Martin, interviewed about the recent spate of banning of the romantic Christmas song, “Baby, it’s cold outside.”
I did a double-take. I remembered vaguely the song. It was written back in 1944 by lyricist/composer Frank Loesser, and then featured in the 1949 musical comedy, the film Neptune’s Daughter starring Esther Williams, Red Skelton, and Ricardo Montalban. It actually won an Academy Award for best song that year.
It is not a song I find that attractive or appropriate for Christmas. Just a trifle, but that is not the point. In December 2018 it was being banned by radio stations as an example of “toxic masculinity” and “sexism.”
Dean Martin sang and recorded the song in 1959. “When I heard it,” Ms. Martin declared, “I said, ‘This can’t possibly be.’ You know, it’s a sweet, flirty, fun holiday song that’s been around for 40 years for my dad. He did it in ’59. But when I saw it, I tweeted, ‘I think this is crazy’.”
Here is a portion of a report featured on National Public Radio (NPR):
“…The call and response duet has a female voice trying to tear herself away from her date in myriad ways: "I've got to go away ... Hey, what's in this drink?" And finally, "The answer is no." But her declarations of "no" are far from final, with the male voice, wheedling "Mind if I move in closer ... Gosh, your lips are delicious ... How can you do this thing to me?"
Cleveland's WDOK put its foot down where the female voice could not, announcing its ban of the song last week. "I do realize that when the song was written in 1944, it was a different time, but now while reading it, it seems very manipulative and wrong," . "The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended, but in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place." Brian Figula, program director of saw and determined the song would have no place at his San Francisco station. He banned it on Monday.” [Amy Held, “'Baby, It's Cold Outside,' Seen As Sexist, Frozen Out By Radio Stations,” at:
The cries of “date rape” and “toxic masculinity” resounded on feminist Web sites, via Twitter, and Facebook. “Ban it!” they screamed. “It is an ugly example of historic male dominance and manipulation of women!” they wrote.
But just as the effort to exile one more piece of historic Americana gained momentum there was, as well, a backlash from angry listeners to have the song restored, and a few stations have, given the public outrage, altered course and brought the song back.
Nevertheless, this most recent example of what feminism has brought us got me thinking: just in the past several years there have been dozens of similar episodes, calls to ban or expunge songs associated with Christmas and the Christmas holiday. Those efforts have usually employed the twin accusations of “racism” and “sexism”—charges that have been weaponized by the post-Marxist Left and the Progressivists who now dominate not just the Mainstream Media, but the Democratic Party, and almost the entirety of academia and Hollywood. And in numerous cases, the results have seen familiar and traditional tunes, previously considered part of our historic musical heritage and Christmas season, disappear from the airwaves.
Years ago, I recall similar efforts: Remember the old familiar religious hymns, “Onward, Christian Soldiers” and “From Greenland’s Icy Mountains”? Both were denounced as “colonialist,” “fostering Western imperialism,” and “racist.” The late Bishop Vincent S. Waters, Catholic Bishop of Raleigh, more than fifty years ago would host Saturday breakfasts to which a wide variety of religious and secular leaders were invited. I was a regular attendee, and at one of those breakfasts he had me seated right next to the Reverend W. W. Finlator, pastor of the Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. Pullen Memorial was arguably the most liberal congregation in Raleigh, maybe in all of North Carolina. It had seceded from the Southern Baptist Convention, and its minister, Reverend Finlator, was by any definition, a vocal denizen of the “religious left”—an oxymoron, if there ever was one.
Back in 1970 I think my dear friend, Bishop Waters, had seated me there on purpose, for as soon as our conversations began, Finlator and I were at crossed swords, and, in particular, about music; first about the use of the traditional Latin liturgy (which I staunchly favored), but then turning to those hymns sung in many Protestant churches, and the efforts to purge them because somehow, somewhere, they might offend an Aborigine or Bantu in the jungles of darkest Africa. Like most Progressivists Finlator believed that Christianity in its public worship and manifestations and how it crafted its message, must change with the times. Truth was dependent on the spirit of the age and needed to reflect that in both its approach and its message.
For me this was—and is—the total inversion of the truth of that message, of the Gospel, and, effectively, of the consistent and never-changing teaching of the Church.
Reflecting now on the more recent controversies over those favorite songs we sing at Christmas and the attacks made on them as “racist” or “sexist,” the conversations I had with W. W. Finlator have come back to me.
The same #Resist movement that has spawned violent demonstrations about our historical monuments, most specifically those honoring Confederate veterans—the same #MeToo frenzy that demands the emasculation of men in the name of “women’s equality”—the same Progressivists who demand that those Nativity creches in front of public buildings be removed—the same zealots who file lawsuits to ban prayer before a school board or town council meeting—those folks are all part and parcel of the same hounds of Hell who loathe the very mention of traditional religion, who cannot sleep as long as one symbol of historic Christian faith—one symbol vaguely connected to or representative of Western Christian heritage—remains in public view, or in earshot. They may direct their emphases to this or that despised aspect of our traditions, but they emerge from essentially the same infernal source, and their disfiguring lunacy is both a self-consuming madness and utterly destructive of the civilization and its culture which we have inherited.
Just a few days ago I came upon what may capture the eventuality of this infectious and rancid brew—a fetid “rough beast” that encapsulates it all. A professor of clinical psychology and “sexuality studies,” Eric Sprankle, at Minnesota State University-Mankato,
“…has accused God of sexual misconduct for impregnating Mary, the mother of Jesus, without her 'consent'. Eric Sprankle, an associate professor of clinical psychology and sexuality studies at Minnesota State University-Mankato, criticized the Biblical Christmas story, saying the Christian deity was 'predatory' . 'The virgin birth story is about an all-knowing, all-powerful deity impregnating a human teen,' Sprankle wrote on . 'There is no definition of consent that would include that scenario. Happy Holidays.” [
Thus, an all-powerful Male, indeed a deity, forced Himself on an innocent teenage girl, “without her consent.” If this isn’t “rape” and “toxic masculinity,” then, pray tell, what is? “To put someone in this position is an unethical abuse of power at best and grossly predatory at worst,” the professor wrote.
The article from the London Daily Mail goes on to identify just who this Professor Sprankle is: “Sprankle is an apparent Satanist, whose Twitter bio includes the phrase 'Hail Satan' in Latin. He has also posted pictures of the Satanic Christmas decorations in his home, and complained about the abundance of Christian student groups and lack of Satanic groups on his university's campus.”
So, there you have it—the ultimate expression of the ultimate destination where this multifaceted movement for “liberation” is urgently headed. But the “liberation” proposed and advanced is our delivery into the clutches of pure Evil which emits from the very Bowels of Hell.
The great poet Dante Alighieri, in his The Divine Comedy, imagined as perhaps no other secular visionary what that Evil entailed. In Part III, “Inferno,” in the lowest level of Hell he describes the frozen lake in which the souls of the worst of the damned remain imprisoned for eternity, ruled by, “the Emperor of the Realm of Woe [who] stood forth out of the ice from midway up his breast.” Indescribable pain and hopelessness, utter and uncontrollable frenzy and madness, and unalleviated and concentrated hatred for the Good—characterize the souls, the subjects of that dark lord. And that same fate is held up, cleverly disguised as a tempting bauble, to inveigle us all.
The Apostle in I Peter 5:8 describes and warns us of this: “Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.” (Douai-Rheims Version: this verse is used as verse in the liturgical Office of Compline)
The surest way to reject the “roaring lion,” this Hydra-headed Behemoth and its diverse and multifaceted modern incarnations intent of gorging on the entrails of Western Christian civilization, is to forcefully reject it and send it reeling back to the lower level of Hell from whence it came.