1917 - 2017
From Sense to Sensibility
In some respects, the death of Princess Diana on 31 August 1997 approximated the impact of President Kennedy’s assassination on 22 November 1963. As with JFK, most people can remember where they were when they heard the shocking news.
Personally, I was in Australia, enjoying lunch with family at a Catholic club, when a 7-year-old niece casually informed us that Diana was dead. Incredulous chuckles all round. "Women were talking in the Ladies," she shrugged. ‘Well, there you go,’ I mused in sardonic silence. ‘No fabrications or idle gossip in that repository of truth!’
I was soon congratulating the little one on her ‘scoop’: the initial disbelief quickly replaced by another kind of incredulity, as I watched the televised outpouring of public sentiment from a Canberra couch. Burgeoning day by day with rising intensity, the buttoned-up British suddenly — wildly — unbuttoned themselves before the world.
Après moi le déluge took on new meaning as the tsunami of emotion unleashed by Diana’s demise nearly swept away Buck Palace! Accused of the new capital crime of being insufficiently upset, indignant arbiters of politically correct sentiment left Queen Elizabeth in no doubt that she no longer met their ‘fit and proper person’ test for monarchy.
As the cards and cuddly toys mounted, and flowers piled up by the tens of millions around London, the cringing “People’s Princess” mantra coined by the newly-elected Blair fanned the emotive flames.
They were still raging long after my return to England, during which time merely to label it all 'sincere but bonkers overreaction' was to invite nervous feet-shuffling or a sharp rebuke. As this rather creepy situation dragged on, there was a general sense that the Di-syndrome was here to stay: that self-respecting measures of self-restraint which once dignified spontaneous waves of national shock and mourning, holding them in check, had been swept away once and for all by this self-indulgent flood.
A watershed of sorts, it set the precedent for the similar mass outpourings we experience today after tragedies large and small. Now jointly orchestrated by the mainstream media and the petty tyrants of social media, woe betide those who don’t surf the wild waves of passion they whip up and police.
Fast-forward 20 years to the aftermath of the recent Manchester bombing, for instance. Where did you register on the Griefometer? Were you sad enough? Sufficiently outraged and on-message to avoid being grief-bombed to acceptable levels of emotional response and perception?
For simply asking how the usual reflex reaction of "militarising the country and dotting it with armed men in camouflage battle dress (designed to help them hide in forests) is a rational response to the atrocity in Manchester?" Peter Hitchens found himself under fire from the mob:
I have noticed that any dissent from the standard view of these events is met, on social media and elsewhere, with attempts to claim that my views show some sort of disrespect to the victims and their grieving families.
I will not give in to this nasty dictatorship of grief.
I am just as distressed by the horrors of Manchester as anyone else. I refuse to be told I'm not sad enough, because I don't conform to the Government's thought-free response to it, which has now been failing for many years. Nor should you be. [Mail on Sunday, 28/5/17]
Increasingly, this is where we find ourselves: coralled in thought-free zones of irrationality — where the will, both individual and collective, dominates the intellect.
Not many dared, for instance, to steady the febrile post-bombing narrative with rational queries: such as why parents allowed young children to attend Ariana Grande concerts in the first place?
A lewd pop star, her "every song", stresses Ann Barnhardt,"has exactly the same theme: the physical, mechanical act of sex, including manual, oral and anal sodomy." Her stage shows visually reinforce and glorify these perversions. Yet pointing this out, as parents gushed about 'cute' Ariana-worshipping 8-year-olds, incurred a violent response.
The West: Luther Writ Large
Amid the untold commentaries penned during and after the 1997 phenomenon, which portended the emotional incontinence to come, few bothered to investigate its original source.
The immediate cause seemed obvious enough: the never-ending royal soap opera — "Diana vs. Charles-and-the-Establishment" — was combustible fuel.
But the distant cause was carefully avoided because it pointed a damning finger at the roots and legacy of Protestantism in general, and its founding father in particular.
A sincere but sadly misled Protestant of 1689 Glorious Revolution-stripe, I doubt that even the brave, independent-minded Mr Hitchens would have ventured down that rabbit hole. For it tunnels all the way back to the now untouchable figure of Martin Luther: the patron saint of 'modernity' whose slow-burning touch paper of doctrinal and moral anarchy is finally set to blow the modern world — fashioned in his incoherent image and likeness — to smithereens.
As I write, the Mayor of London is pledging to remove the term "ladies and gentlemen" on public transport because the idea that people are either male or female is offensive.
Lawyers in the United States, meanwhile, are using same-sex marriage laws to argue that monkeys should be legally considered to be people for the purposes of copyright. Coalition for Marriage reports that
Campaign group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are suing a British photographer on behalf of a crested black macaque monkey which appears in one of his photos. PETA’s lawyers have suggested that if a definition as fundamental as marriage can be redefined to include same-sex couples, so authorship should be expanded to include animals. The photographer’s royalties would then go to the monkey.
This Sanity Gap widens by the day, as one jaw-dropping absurdity after another is legalised and enforced. And yet, rather than air and discuss the cataclysmic Lutheran effect in all of this, we find 500th anniversary celebrations of its cause. Even the best 'conservative' commentators alarmed by the rising dictatorship of the deluded join in the suicidal excitement. Why?
The reason revolves around unwitting self-identification with the apostate monk. For, when all is said and done, the West itself is Luther writ large: the embodiment of his rebellious non-serviam persona and spirit. Therefore, to join the dots from 1517 to 2017 — to expose the real Luther and admit the devastating impact of his revolution — would be akin to punching oneself in the face. It would require the raw honesty of any recovering addict: in this case confronting the bogus freedom Luther offered, which has spawned societies hooked on sexual sins and every kind of degenerate self-indulgence.
Alas, debilitated and enslaved by these addictions, spiritually exhausted by them and now religiously illiterate, to face the theological roots of its own demise is way beyond the strength or ability of Western peoples.
The Big Idea and the Big Lie
The "addiction" is rooted in Luther's Big Idea (aka sola scriptura): to empower each and every person with their own set of papal keys; to be self-arbiters of faith and morals.
Though manifestly anarchic, this seductive notion has been lauded ever since as the triumph of ‘Protestant liberty’ over ‘Catholic oppression’: the Big Lie that sustains the Big Idea.
Unable and unwilling to make the connection between the tyrannical political correctness they abhor, and their facile acceptance of the anti-Catholic narrative they imbibed with their mother's milk, commentators are congenitally blind to the Catholic antidote — the only cure for the escalating madness they articulate and fear.
Typically, at the conclusion of a recent feature article on the menacing rise of the Thought Police in every sphere of British life, historian Dominic Sandbrook reflexively presented Luther as the enlightened antithesis of modern-day intolerance:
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the moment that, more than any other, ushered in the modern world. On October 31, 1517, the German monk Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, challenging the corruption, self-interest and authoritarianism of the Catholic Church, and starting the Protestant Reformation.
By daring to speak his mind, Luther set off an explosion of discussion and debate.
From his lone gesture of defiance you can trace a line from the Reformation to the Scientific Revolution, the 18th-century Enlightenment of new ideas and social philosophy, and finally the age of tolerance and freedom we are lucky enough to inhabit today. [Daily Mail, 17/6/17]
In fact, as author Edmund Mazza notes, Western tolerance kicked off over a thousand years before Luther, when the emperor Constantine, a Catholic convert, took the unprecedented decision to allow his pagan subjects to worship in their old way rather than coerce them into worshipping with Christians.
This liberating force of Catholic faith and teaching, however, does not fit the anti-Catholic clichés still parroted and passed on to the British public.
Compounding this ingrained prejudice, Mr Sandbrook's eulogistic Luther-"explosion" falsifies the reality. Jacques Maritain records the "epidemic of despair that swept across Germany from 1530": "everywhere an increase of melancholy, of gloomy sadness, of agonies, of despair, of doubt of the divine grace, and of suicides...."
Until then, says Maritain, nothing like it had been seen. Moreover, there was "a very bitter irony" in the fact that the preachers "cannot boast enough about the consolation which the new 'Gospel' brings, as opposed to the agony produced by Catholic doctrine, and yet they are compelled to draw attention publicly to the increase of sadness and suicide…." Sandbrook's contradictory position to a tee! Plus ça change...
In order to maintain the Big Lie before this real history, Sandbrook paints a fanciful picture of liberating "discussion and debate" supposedly opened up by Luther. But the immediate and contemporary truth is otherwise.
At the time, as a result of the mass despair and violence immediately after Luther, tyrannical authoritarianism was imposed in Protestant Germany for reasons of public safety. While today, the death of reasoned discourse and debate, especially in universities (as Sandbrook himself describes), can be traced back to Luther's sola scriptura, which reduced doctrine and morals to forms of private sentiment.
The primacy of the Intellect thus excised from Christian thought and life, a Dictatorship of the Will began the inexorable descent to today's "deconstructionists," who deny all objectivity and reality itself (as Fred Martinez explains herein). These have dominated diverse fields of the humanities and social sciences for a generation, contributing hugely to the hyper-irrational, hyper-sensitive, cry-baby culture we currently endure: where he who spits his dummy furthest, stamps his feet hardest, and shouts loudest about his personal "reality," rules.
This is the "explosion" Luther has finally ushered in: the antithesis of "discussion and debate"; the end of "freedom and tolerance."
By turning a blind eye to historical events to fit his prejudicial view of Catholicism, historian Sandbrook cannot see Luther's powerful personality and catastrophic errors reflected in the PC oppression he dutifully records. "What a grim irony," he concludes, "that, even as the world prepares to mark the anniversary of the Reformation, new zealots are trying to slam the door on free speech."
The real irony, of course, is his celebrating both the revolutionary cause of that dictatorial door-slamming, and its rebellious progenitor!
The Plain Truth
In lauding this 500-year meltdown, Mr Sandbrook exemplifies his generation.
A modern-day 'conservative' — at once pro-traditional 'values' yet pro-‘gay marriage' — he is oblivious to the manifest contradictions in his own soul. He personifies the incoherence of a Western world in which the emotive/subjective holds sway over the rational/objective: the result of sweeping away doctrinal and moral benchmarks laid down with divine authority by the Catholic Church.
Sandbrook cannot make that causal connection to the institutionalised irrationality he decries because he does not know the unvarnished truth: about Luther himself, and the coherent and civilising Faith behind the clerical corruption Luther exploited. Ultimately, it is this studied ignorance that allows him to present the abnormal and absurd (sodomy and sodomitic 'marriage') as "tolerance and freedom," and himself and the modern world as enlightened.
Simply to ignore the dark side of Luther and his revolution is never enough to satisfy the animus towards Catholicism, however. To further sustain the Big Lie, they endlessly recycle long-debunked black legends of the Church into the bargain.
On cue, having recounted several recent PC witch-hunts, Sandbrook muses: "you might think we were in Spain during the darkest days of the Inquisition, when Catholic fanatics searched the land for Jews and Muslims."
Dear Lord! Even the arch-bigoted BBC has debunked that lie! Would it be asking too much of Mr Sandbrook to google The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition, watch the superb 1994 BBC documentary online, and resolve to reconsider the veracity of the Whig history he slavishly regurgitates?
To that corrective end, he might benefit from reading my own critique, Luther, Anglicanism, and the End of History. Written 20 years ago, he will find there a more detailed explanation of why Luther, though not a modern man any more than he was a Protestant in its modern sense, is the spiritual father of the self-destructive modern age: why contemporary phenomena like the "atomisation of society" and the "Me-Now" self-absorption of emoting baby boomers and succeeding generations, were preceded by religious individualism, a quintessential Lutheran concept.
The article also explains how the advent of the Self, the eclipse of reason, the origin of activism and the "social gospel" have all derived in a wholly theological way from Luther. All of which are dragging pseudo-civilised 'modernity' down to ever more hysterical and lethal levels of intolerance, state control, and insanity — precisely the opposite effects to those attributed to Luther by his anniversary cheerleaders.
In the years since that critique we have printed many articles articulating the naked truth about Luther and his Luciferian revolt. Most recently in the August-September and October 2016 numbers, wherein James Larson laid out the Catholic faith vis-à-vis Lutheran errors on Justification and other key doctrines. He also detailed the 50-year ecumenical subversion of Eucharist doctrine and the Mass, led by the popes themselves, with a view to sacrilegious inter-communion between Catholics and Lutherans.
As for Luther himself, the ensuing article in this edition provides a brief summary review of all we have set forth in greater detail elsewhere regarding his wild temperament and diabolic views.
Among the latter, his total rejection of reason characterises the man. Accordingly, it has also come to define the erstwhile Christian West now refashioned in his image and likeness: a world where the Di-syndrome (unrestrained mass emotion) and the Die-syndrome (self-centred emotional appeals to murder the pre-born "safely" and the elderly, disabled and inconvenient "humanely") are merely two sides of the same irrational Lutheran coin; the perverse currency of the quantum shift from orderly Catholic sense to untrammelled Protestant sensibility.
Francis: Luther Incarnate
Meantime, our oxymoronic protestant pontiff celebrates the Protestant revolt with the same suicidal fervour as everyone else: lavishing praise on Luther ("He did not err [on Justification]. He made a medicine for the Church"?!), while depicting him as "a reformer" rather than a revolutionary.
A delighted Swedish 'Catholic' professor also pointed out that the common prayer Francis eagerly recited last October in a Swedish Lutheran cathedral "paints a picture of Luther as a religious hero who found the way to a more true form of Catholicism."
Why are we not at all surprised by this rank sell out? After all, the papal outlook and temper are eerily similar to Luther's: volatile, reckless, authoritarian, divisive, anti-intellectual, heretical.... Seemingly unaware that his hero Martin beat him to it, Francis even makes the Luther-like boast: "It is not excluded that I will enter history as the one who split the Catholic Church." [Der Spiegel, 23/12/16]
Marcello Pera for one harbours no doubts about that eventuality! An Italian philosophy professor and Ratzinger-Benedict collaborator, Pera excoriated Francis and his papacy on multiple fronts during a scorching 10 July interview with Mattino di Napoli. An "apparent hidden schism exists in the Catholic world" that the Pope is "pursuing with obstinate persistence and determination," he fumed.
To that schismatic end, Francis preaches a feel-good social gospel right out of Luther's playbook because, like Luther, he is "little or not at all interested in Christianity as doctrine, in its theological aspect," as Pera lamented. Indeed, on the morning of 17 February 2014, Francis himself plainly confirmed the fact when he told Father Michael Rogers, S.J.: "Studying fundamental theology is one of the most boring things on earth." Luther himself could not have put it more brazenly, or scornfully.
The schismatic feel-good gospel not only seeks out unrest in souls, but demands and foments it.
"The Church knows that... all men, all women have a restlessness in the heart whether good, bad or ugly, but this unrest is there," Francis sermonised last May. "Listen to this unrest. One must listen to what people feel, what the heart of these people feel,... the Church must find the unrest of the people." And since objectivity and doctrine are anathema, once "found" and "felt", the "bad or ugly" can then be legitimised by every heretical and sacrilegious means available — to include Communion for adulterers, and the integration of the sodomitically-"gifted" into parish life — just so long as "the heart of these people feel"good about themselves; since, for Francis, as for Luther, sincerity is all.
For a Catholic, on the contrary, it is not sincerity which counts, but salvation.
In September 1997, for instance, the sixty million flowers were sincerely bought and placed. Yet a truly Catholic heart and mind saw beyond the earnest intent to the tragedy of shepherdless sheep wandering aimlessly about the capital; overwrought, yet unable to channel their grief and goodwill into prayer and sacramental rites of objective benefit to the deceased.
A sea of lost souls adrift in a vast ocean of perishing bouquets, the heart of Christ was surely "moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned." [Matt. 9:36]
Twenty years on, His own Vicar on earth has now abandoned them to the conceits of our 'enlightened' Lutheran age. While Pascale insists that sincerity is never enough — that "to think well" is essential to live morally and righteously before God — Francis commends instead, to the unchurched multitudes and his own flock alike, the fuzzy warm glow inside — which relativises truth, rationalises behaviour, and cancels out sin.
And so, after half a millennium, the man in white — that papal bulwark of absolute Truth and Tradition despised by Luther — has joined the Lutheranised mob: swapping moral sense for morality-as-sentiment. The final obstacle to Masonic dreams thus removed, what is left but heightened social disorder requiring heightened measures of oligarchic control?
"I can't picture what will happen in five years," a blogger recently surmised, "but it seems hard to imagine that worse violence won't break out in Europe and that there won't be some in the Catholic hierarchy who trace it to the abandonment of a rational faith."
All well and good. But if so, they must then finger the primary culprits: Martin and Francis; the apostate monk, and his papal incarnation.