250 years later, appeasement or resistance is again an open question. The growing tyranny today is not as obvious: no Royal Marines in redcoats march in America’s town squares. But perhaps you noticed something else in our town squares last week. Flags, and I don’t mean American flags. At the local Bart station, for example, rainbow flags hung proudly from every corner. Large rainbow decals had been placed on every train car. A rainbow-festooned guard stood on the platform silently waving his or her (the agent had suppressed its sex) flag in our faces. He or she wasn’t smiling. I felt as if I were in a movie about 1942 occupied Warsaw. The flag-wavers seriously won’t tolerate any difference of opinion. Corporations and workstations that do not display these colors will be questioned. How much longer before priests or anyone else who dissents from the party platform is arrested?
Rainbow flags are no longer about gay rights, which have for many years now been accorded to people identifying as gay or lesbian. Rainbow flags, along with exhaustive media campaigns, have become a means of coercing people into submission to the social dogmas of our elites. Paramount among those dogmas is the assertion that God does not exist, and that every person has absolute free choice. What was once the gay rights movement has become the transgender movement, which has become the transhuman movement. Finally the “sexual revolution” has shown its true colors. It insists that “choice,” the highest good, must remake human nature. But the problem with this dogma is that only the elites can afford “whatever they want.” The rest of us who cannot afford to create our own realities are provided with devices and pharmaceuticals that maintain the delusion of absolute personal autonomy, and we are “happy.” The capitalist elites in America and Europe are attempting what the Marxist elites attempted in Russia 102 years ago, and what the emperors did in Rome 2000 years ago.
Cardinal Robert Sarah, who grew up under Guinea’s Marxist dictator Sékou Touré, spoke recently in Paris. “As once during the decline and fall of Rome,” he said, “so today the elites care for nothing but increasing the luxury of their daily lives, and the people have been anaesthetized by ever more vulgar entertainments.” Critics of the Roman Empire called it “bread and circuses": the emperors kept the plebs happy by providing them with food and entertainment. Nero, meanwhile, owned half of Rome and built houses larger than many provincial villages, all for himself. Today, as long as I have unlimited access to the internet, I will not complain that the Silicon Valley elites consume fifty times more of the planet than the rest of us. But this kind of social arrangement cannot last. The tensions between the superrich and the ordinary American, and the anxieties of those at war with their own human nature, will destroy the individual and the society at some point. “I am convinced,” Cardinal Sarah continued, “that this civilization is living through its mortal hour.” Have we indeed chosen death over liberty?
I hope not. I hope someone will rescue western civilization from its death throws. In 1935, almost every leader of the European democracies professed admiration for two strong leaders: Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. In those years before the Second War, Winston Churchill was the only major statesman to clearly see and bravely oppose the growing tyrannies in Russia and Germany. Both Soviet Communism and German National Socialism denied, he said, the nature of the human person, whose innate dignity and liberty are not fabricated by the government but given by a Higher Power. Who is our Winston Churchill today? What gifted statesman can see through the current propaganda? Again, Cardinal Sarah in Paris last week: “We will not rediscover an understanding of the dignity of the human person unless we recognize the transcendence of God. Man is only great and most noble when he falls on his knees before God. The great man is humble and the humble man is on his knees!”
Do we create our own reality, or do we receive it from God? Do we order our lives together according to natural laws, or do we fashion a social order entirely based on human agency? Those societies that have attempted to order themselves without reference to God have quickly become tyrannical: National Socialism in Germany, Soviet socialism in Russia, and capitalist communism in China.
The avalanche of “Gay Pride” propaganda last week made me realize how late is the hour. First, I had to wonder who is paying for all this propaganda? Second, I realized that it’s not about gay rights but about control. And while most Americans feel uneasy about the obscenities paraded down main street in the name of “gay rights,” most of us have been appeasing the growing tyranny for many years. Few are willing to confront the menace.
Human societies cannot long sustain themselves without bending a knee to a Power beyond themselves. Although Cardinal Sarah is not the gifted statesman who can overcome the growing tyranny, he at least refuses to appease it. He courageously exposes the true colors of relativism’s dictatorship and points us to the only One who can help us regain our freedom. Cardinal Sarah’s entire discourse can be found at this site.