My FB is still full of completely delusional people who seriously think secession is a brilliant idea that will be totally peaceful and not a bloodbath.
So far, there have been three schools emerging in the discussion. One is the school that envisions a sort of Catholic Benedictine Hobbiton that will just peacefully go somewhere out in the boondocks, brew beer, have kids, dress modestly (no pants ladies) and talk about high theology while we all read Chesterton. Think of it as Beacon House on steroids or the Napoleon of Notting Hill transplanted to wilderness of Wyoming. These keep pointing to places like the former USSR’s miraculous peaceful and insisting that history will just repeat itself, truth them.
Another group that has emerged has been the angry progressive, outraged about injustice to American Indians, fed up with our drone wars, militarism, and hedonist, democratic capitalist empire asserting itself at gunpoint around the world. Think of it as Occupy Wyoming. These too assert that secession will just happen peacefully… somehow.
Finally, there is the biggest and most aggressive contingent, the Tea Party gun zealots who have been having hysterics about HITLERSTALINMAOBAMA!!!! and his legions of gun grabbing goons who are coming in their black helicopters to kidnap our children and turn them into Janissaries of the Islamonazicommieatheistsharia New World Order and march us all into concentration camps. These tell me, as well, that secession will proceed peacefully–unless the authorities don’t *let* it proceed peacefully, in which case it will be necessary for all True Patriots to commend themselves to Divine Providence as our Founding Fathers did and take up the sword for freedom!
What this means in translation is, if no state legislature votes to secede, it will be necessary for “citizen soldiers” (aka “vigilantes”) to do one of two things:
1. form a compound bristling with arms in which the residents refuse to pay taxes till the Feds come to a) arrest them or b) immolate them and their families in a Waco-style gun battle;
2. Take the fight to The Man by committing acts of terror such as shooting up a mall, blowing up a Federal Building, or bombing some military installation or other symbol of Federal power.
All the forms of secession listed above have one thing in common: they will all end in some form of violence and could very easily end in some form of deadly force. What none of them will end in is… secession. That ain’t happening.
Some of my readers complain that my diagnosis of their delusional fantasy is really just a testament to my cowardice because I won’t go down “fighting for the right side.” Others appeal to the Founding Fathers and complain of Obama’s tyrannical acts (HHS Mandate, secret kill lists) as sufficient reason to go for this lunatic plan.
What nobody does is look at Just war teaching or anything the bishops of the Church have to say. They get all this stuff from teh interwebz and various samizdat written by libertarian kooks and fevered theorists and (most recently) nutjob fans of Medjugorje who have now passed from believing money-grubbing charlatans to spinning their quackery into apocalyptic nightmare scenarios compounded of Protestant endtimes lunacy, loopy Glenn Beck conspiracy theories, and crazy Catholic fever swamp panic. All this is egged on by cynical demagogues like Sean Hannity, who know perfectly well that secession is never going to happen, but who keep the base energized with this as the latest thing to scream about.
The problem, of course, is not that any state is going to secede. It’s that some new Tim McVeigh, impatient with the slowness of the American people to realize the Divine Plan, tries to hurry history along with another bomb at another Federal building or a some slaughter of IRS workers or some other outrage done for the love of the Real America.
The whole secessionist pipe dream is not–for 99.9% of the flabby daydreamers yakking about it out there, anything they will ever lift a finger to accomplish, of course. But it’s still an indictment, particularly of the Faithful Conservative[TM] Catholics who toy around with that crap. These guys lazily talk as though they somehow stand in the tradition of Martin Luther King (“Hey! He applied for a gun permit once since he, for some reason, thought some nut might shoot at him! So he favors our plan for armed insurrection!”) while never quite addressing the fact that King (and St. Paul) faced a world a helluva lot more hostile than that faced by the plump white suburbanites who lost an election and are now grumbling about making war on their fellow citizens. And, like St. Paul, King did not secede or preach armed insurrection. He evangelized that culture. What Catholics *should* be talking about is evangelization, not secession. We in fact live in an hour of plenty, after a century that has seen a 7000% growth in the Church worldwide. How *dare* we talk about despair, giving up, leaving, having no hope? That is the sin of sloth, not of patriotism and certainly not of courage. Before you start gassing on about the brave deeds you will do in the coming apocalypse, how about you secessionists put down the remote, close the laptop and maybe take half an hour for Eucharistic Adoration, or to work in a soup kitchen or start a Bible study?