One of my favorite poets, who was also a great prophetic author, is James Dickey. In his book Deliverance, which was made into a film starring Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight, he writes about the system failing. Years later, a policeman told me something I already knew for myself: that the day was fast approaching when people wouldn't be able to rely on the police and we would be reduced to a fight for survival.
I realize for some of you, this will just sound like doom and gloom. But believe it. We are already seeing mob violence and the targeting of police.
Prepare now. Both spiritually and physically.
It can no longer be denied that America has become a "seething cesspool of filth and corruption." America has become a haunt of demons and of every foul spirit. Today, even those who present themselves as "Catholic" have lost the sense of sin. Archbishop Fulton Sheen warned that, "Man is powerless to resist evil if he does not recognize it as such, and deceives himself when he becomes indifferent to evil; his whole personality immediately begins to dissolve, for the power of conscience is inseparably bound up with the denunciation of evil. And this is precisely what our world is doing today; the very beliefs on which the best culture of the world was built are now called in question. Even the distinction between good and evil is lost, and now only a sense of civic loyalty remains. The prophet Isaias sounded such a decadence in his day: 'Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.' If we called sin by its name it would lose all of its seductiveness. Hell can be made attractive, only by surfacing it with the gold of Paradise." (Essay entitled The Sense of Sin).
Today, evil is called good and good is called evil. Catholics faithful to the Magisterium are portrayed as "divisive" and "offensive" even as active homosexuals are celebrated and told to have "pride" in their behaviors.
On April 6, 1941, Bishop Fulton John Sheen gave a sermon on his radio show "The Catholic Hour" in which he reminded listeners that, "The basic spirit of the modern world for the last century has been a determination to escape the Cross." He told his audience as well that, "There is no such thing as living without a cross. We are free only to choose between crosses." And then he asked them: "Will it be the Cross of Christ which redeems us from our sins, or will it be the double cross, the swastika, the hammer and sickle, the fasces"? Bishop Sheen believed, as I do, that America is at a crossroads. In his own words, "We in America are now faced with the threat of that double cross...Our choice is not: Will we or will we not have more discipline, more respect for law, more order, more sacrifice; but, where will we get it? Will we get it from without, or from within, Will it be inspired by Sparta or Calvary? By Valhalla or Gethsemane? By militarism or religion? By the double cross or the Cross? By Caesar or by God? That is the choice facing America today.
The hour of false freedom is past. No longer can we have education without discipline, family life without sacrifice, individual existence without moral responsibility, economics and politics without subservience to the common good. We are now only free to say whence it shall come. We will have a sword. Shall it be only the sword that thrusts outward to cut off the ears of our enemies, or the sword that pierces inward to cut out our own selfish pride"?
Thus far, America has chosen the double cross. Fleeing from the Cross of Christ and the supernatural kingdom established by the Son of God; one of sacrifice and sanctity, America has chosen to pursue a terrestrial kingdom of pleasure and power founded upon a distorted idea of what constitutes liberty or freedom. But this city of man, which has certainly achieved astounding advancements in various spheres while increasing the affluence of some, has also contributed to a climate where men are regarded as mere machines whose only value is to be found in what they produce or consume. This in turn destroys the individual’s sense of personal dignity and responsibility. Americans, in their tragic desire to flee from the Cross of Christ, have rushed to embrace this distorted notion of "freedom" and have forgotten that, as created beings, they only possess contingent rights. That is to say, rights which are accorded by Almighty God. Consequently, in their zeal to promote the fallacious idea that the basis of public morality should be whatever the majority of citizens are prepared to accept, they have also forgotten that man does not possess, and never will possess, the right to perform or engage in any act which is displeasing to God.
And where has this flight from the Cross of Christ led us up to this point? Was Bishop Sheen being an alarmist? In the words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, taken from his Commencement Address at Harvard University entitled "A World Split Apart": "Destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space. Society appears to have little defense against the abyss of human decadence, such as, for example, the misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, motion pictures full of pornography, crime and horror. This is considered to be part of freedom, and theoretically counterbalanced by the young peoples’ right not to look or not to accept. Life organized legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil."
Getting back to Bishop Sheen. What did he mean when he said that, "Our choice is not: Will we or will we not have more discipline, more respect for law, more order, more sacrifice; but, where will we get it"? I believe Pope Benedict XVI was providing us with a hint toward an answer when he spoke of the "dictatorship of relativism." Americans who have gleefully embraced the tenets of liberalism have not learned the lesson the concentration camp and the gulag. These unfortunate souls refuse to acknowledge that atheistic ideology (and make no mistake, the current idea of "freedom" which has taken root in America is itself rooted in atheistic ideology) always, and without exception, gives birth to sheer violence. This is the lesson of atheistic humanism. A lesson which the majority of Americans would rather not think about.