A reader sends the link above and notes, “I notice that Kopp was being lionized in a series of issues of “Catholic Family News” available at its web site as “A Traditionalist’s Tale”. (Editor’s note: Go here, here and here.) Wonder what they’ll do now that he has confessed? I hope that Marra and Malvasi are the only co-conspirators. Marra, by the way, is the daughter of William Marra, who was a philosophy professor at Fordham and who became a Traditionalist hero toward the end of his life.”
Also on the Lidless Eye front, Sandra Miesel writes me to say, “My CRISIS article got slammed in THE REMNANT for 15 Dec. by Gruner’s top gun. I haven’t seen the thing yet but I’ve apparently rattled cages. I iz quietly proud.”
The thing that makes the True Catholic Reactionary Dissent crowd so prima facie incredible to me is rather similar to what has always made Calvinism so prima facie difficult for me to believe. Calvinism in its purest forms has always impressed me with it’s metallic logical perfection combined with a remarkable inhumanity. The most crushing conversation I ever witnessed with a Calvinist was the time a young seeker (who was waffling between Catholic faith and the persuasive logicality of Calvinism) asked the simple question, “Does God love me?” The Calvinist, after a great deal of puffing and blowing, was utterly powerless to answer that question. He wasn’t sure if the Divine Computer has slotted the kid for Reprobation or Election in order to make the Heavenly Software run and so could give no answer. If you are saved then we’ll know God loved you. If you aren’t, then we’ll know he didn’t. But we can’t know now whether God loves you or not. Catholics, of course, just said, “Hell, yes, God loves you!” They didn’t even have to think about that one.
A similar logical perfection and heartlessness afflicts Reactionary Dissent. After you’ve made all the impeccable logical arguments that show how your arguments for Reactionary Dissent are obviously flawless and watertight, the question that still looms for me is “Then where is the love of God in your life?” One of my Reactionary Dissenting readers said it very clearly in a moment of unintended lucidity the other day: “Believe it or not, I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to be ‘reactionary’. I envy your faith and trust. Heck, I envy myself of a couple of years ago when I was going to a rather ordinary parish and thought everything was hunky dory. Sometimes I wish I never read Pius IX’s syllabus of errors or Pius XI’s Mortalium Animos. But what’s done is done.” or, as he summed it up later, “You must be a lot less cynical than I am.”
This speaks volumes. It’s like the Judge Pontius Pilate saying, “What is truth?” The proponent of The True Faith confesses that he has no faith or trust and he is a cynic. The emissaries of the Hope of God sees no future for the Church. The apostles of the love of Christ are pretty much a ceaseless fount of bitterness. I’ve literally never met a *happy* member of the Reactionary Dissent crowd. Attempt to raise such topics as the fruit of the Spirit and you get snorts of derision from such people. Love is a delusion of the 60s always sneered at as “luv”. Joy? What’s there to be joyful about? The Church has been betrayed by liberals! Peace? Another buzzword of liberalsm. Patience? We’ve been patient for forty years!, etc. The Pope *still* lives as though he believes the words with which he began his pontificate: “Be not afraid!” No clearer measures of the (at bottom) anti-Christian spirit which animates dissent (whether from the Reactionary or Leftist) is the snort of contempt and derision which greets that expression of Hope in the Lordship of Christ. The message of Dissent is “Be afraid! Be very afraid!”
I can safely say that I have never met one member of the Reactionary Dissent crowd who believed, in anything like a living way, in the reality of faith, hope, and love. At the day to day lived level, Reactionary Dissent has abandoned Christ’s demand for faith, hope and charity and replaced it with cynicism, despair, and rage. And it is in the tragic position of now *enjoying* this. Very toxic.
This is, of course, similarly true for members of the liberal dissent crowd in other ways. They generally get rid of the virtue of mercy by saying there’s nothing to forgive, just as they get rid of the possibility of peace by claiming there is no conflict. But most of my readers do not feel this temptation as strongly as they feel the temptation to Reactionary Dissent. So I try to scratch (and outrage) where my readers itch.
Hate mail welcome.