January 2, 2020
MY CORNER BY Boyd Cathey
From The Dissident Mama – A Personal Appraisal and Interpretation
Some writers are fortunate enough to have essays written about them and their work after they pass from the scene. A few receive an appreciation while still living. Today I am truly honored to have been the recipient of two such encomia—praise which I did not seek or solicit, and which I am not at all certain I deserve.
Nevertheless, I want to offer them to you, not so much because they “talk highly” of me or my writing, but rather because in so many ways they capture and convey what I have been writing and saying for so many years about the Southland, about its heritage, and about how that fits into a broader defense of Western Christian tradition—a tradition and an inherited culture and civilization which is under severe assault and extreme pressure in today’s world.
As 2020 commences it is perhaps appropriate that we take stock—that we take a look globally at just where we are, politically, culturally, religiously.
All our basic and fundamental social institutions are under tremendous stress, if not outright attack, not just legally and politically, but far more insidiously, in how they are defined and how they affect us. Our very language is altered to reflect this radical transformation: words and phrases are banned, old words are recast and redefined, implicit (and often explicit) speech codes have more effect than anything that the older “less free” society of our grandfathers experienced. And this linguistic terrorism—for that is what it is—is inculcated into our young from the very beginning, in the primary grades, via television and Hollywood, by unthinking parents, by friends.
And the family? Has not our society redefined that also? Any two people who “love each other” for a while and who cohabitate (shack up) for a time, with or without children? No matter what sex, or any “intermediate” sexual orientation. No permanency, and certainly nothing sacred or sacramental. Very little sense of responsibility: if a fetus happens because the necessary birth control didn’t work, very simply abort it. No problem; nothing must stand in the way of the pleasure, the sexually stimulated moment. How many tens of millions of lives has our society, in its lust for pleasure, snuffed out since 1972?
All the nations of Western Europe protest proudly how “democratic” they are. In the United States we never cease talking about how precious “our democracy” is (just witness the ceaseless verbiage spewed forth during the recent impeachment hearings). In the rest of the world no country ever boasts of being an authoritarian state: when was the last time we heard a nation’s leaders waxing eloquent about how totalitarian they were? Even the most autocratic Islamic state now declares itself “democratic.”
Has not that word lost its savor and meaning altogether?
Democracy—the rule by the populace, as defined by the ancient philosophers—does not exist anywhere, save perhaps still in a few Swiss cantons, or on the lowest levels of governance in some faraway communities in Wyoming or Idaho. The rest is fraudulent, bought and paid for by major financial interests and lobbies, and on a supra-national level by the likes of globalists such as George Soros, whose Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) now reach into nearly American city and county of any size, handsomely funding candidates who will do his bidding. Just ask the voters of Virginia.
The established church—at least in America and Western Europe—seems to have surrendered to the most diabolical and anti-Christian forces: the major Protestant denominations have all joined in the mad rush to become more “woke” and more revolutionary, adopting the slogans and platforms of the Progressivists who seek nothing less than the abolition of historic Christianity and the civilization which is based on it.
In large part, the visible Catholic Church—once the stalwart opponent and beacon of Christian counter-revolution against demonic Progressivism—has followed the leftist course mapped out at the Second Vatican Council, with its present supposed head acting as a cheer-leader for revolutionary change on every level. Opposition to his lunacy is rising, but the formal elements of power are now in the hands of Progressivists.
Perhaps only in Eastern Europe and in Russia do we see a coherent resistance, religiously and politically, to the madness that afflicts “the West.” Ironically, it was the separation from America and from Western Europe—the Iron Curtain—that in a way saved those countries from the poisonous infections coming from our nation which had already rejected in large part its patrimony on the battlefields of 1861-1865, and had become the “Typhoid Mary” of Progressivism. For nations like Hungary, Poland, and also Russia, the Iron Curtain acted as a kind of prophylaxis, keeping out much of the contagion that overwhelmed Western Europe after World War II and the resultant Marshall Plan for “reconstructing Europe.”
Thus, when the yoke of Communism was lifted, it was to national identity, to national heritage, to pre-Communist religious faith, that many of these nations turned. They had largely escaped the forty-five years of “Americanism”—in the worst cultural sense—that Germany, France, and Italy had experienced.
Yet, it is this same narrative, this same defecated and globalist “Americanism” that today’s conservative movement—Neoconservatism—continues to push on the rest of the world, just like their uncomfortable bedfellows a bit further to the Left. Both the Establishment conservatives AND the open Left share the same postulates and objectives, differing only in degree and expression.
The lessons we glean, then, may come from Eastern Europe and from Russia, and they remind us of who we were as a people, of the inheritance which in so many cases we have discarded. Those former Eastern Bloc nations, in particular Russia and Hungary, stand as “signs of contradiction,” and offer to us lessons, if we would only examine them.
Despite the Swamp and the Deep State—despite the future technological tyranny which stares at us in the face—despite the assaults in every aspect of our lives—despite it all there is Hope and the vague but very real awareness that we are human, creatures made by God, and that our role is to stay the course, remain true to the faith and to our God-created natures.
My favorite Psalm is number 26, in particular these words (vs.3): “Si consistant adversum me castra, non timebit cor meum. Si exurgat adversum me praelium, in hoc sperabo”: Even if entrenched armies were to stand against me, my heart would not fear. If a battle would rise against me, I would have hope….
Let me wish you all the assurance of Hope and a very happy and blessed New Year!
And I pass on The Dissident Mama’s latest columns.
Pluck for 2020
Wednesday, January 1, 2020
Happy New Year! We Christians are still celebrating Nativity: the 12 Days of Christmas, which for the Orthodox, concludes with Theophany. What an incredible way to ring in 2020, a new decade, and a year that is sure to be one heckuva roller-coaster ride politically and culturally. Our faith is the only thing that can truly undergird us during such times.
The follow-up to my " book review speaks to this. It's a bit of a personal essay about Dr. Boyd Cathey's influence on me both as a Southern-tradition apologist and as a writer. Find out why it is his pluck and his pen that so inspire me.
But as I worked on the post, another article unfolded: a comparison between Russia and the South. It's something I've actually been wanting to write for a year now, but alas, time management is not my strong suit. Still, I think it's a pretty thought-provoking essay. I hope you agree.
In closing, I will leave you with the words of Russian Orthodox archpriest, St. John of Kronstadt. With a life of worldly conformity, "the flesh blooms but the soul withers; the flesh is abundant but the soul is starving; the flesh is dressed up but the soul is ugly; the flesh is fragrant but the soul smells; the flesh is joyful but the soul is in trouble; the flesh is in the light but the soul is in darkness."
With a little pluck and a lot of faith, we can bring the soul into the light in 2020. Christ is born. Glorify Him!
Boyd Cathey: Christian warrior & mentor