Saturday, March 13, 2021

Milo Yiannopoulos

Gay conservative bad boy Milo Yiannopoulos has announced that he has returned to the Catholic faith and abandoned the gay lifestyle, crediting the intercession of St. Joseph for what he calls his “U-turn.”  John Henry Weston’s interview of Yiannopoulos can be found on LifeSite News.

I have to admit to not knowing a lot about Milo Yiannopoulos.  I have long been aware of him, his homosexuality and his conservative politics, but I have never been a fangirl.  I have not read many of his writings nor listened to any of his talks except the LifeSite interview.  As Yiannopoulos is a fellow creature, made to God's image and likeness and whom Christ died to save, I do hope he is sincere in his conversion.  If so, he still has a long way to go.  This is clear from the LifeSite video, in which he portrays himself as a crusader, a knight in shining armor on a mission to rescue other young men trapped in the homosexual lifestyle and to take down those responsible for promoting that lifestyle.  Although his professed desire to help others and conquer evil is laudable, even the post-conversion Milo pretty evidently still has a monumental ego, and still attaches a vast deal of importance to his own powers and his own self.  These are typical wounds that a life of vice leaves behind.  There is also the fact that Yiannopoulos is still living with his male sex partner, a situation he compares with an invalidly married couple living as brother and sister for the sake of the children.  To be fair, he admits the comparison is awkward; but regardless, even if there is no longer anything sexual going on, the public persistence in these living arrangements is still an open scandal.

Of course, when our Lord delivers a man from a life of crime, He is perfectly capable of healing all the secondary effects of that life.  But very often, He does not.  Certainly, He does not do this in the ordinary course with Baptism, which cleanses us of original sin but still leaves us with the wounds left by original sin so that, with the help of His grace, we can battle through them and gain merit.  Life is tough enough with just the effects of original sin to deal with, but years and years of entrenched mortal sin on top of this seriously distort the intellect and leave major scars on the soul.  Just as there must be a period of physical recovery for a body that emerges from a life-threatening illness, so there must also be a period of spiritual recovery for a soul that emerges from a long state of habitual sin.  Even after a person has repudiated a long-standing vice, he still has a lot to learn, and, above all, to un-learn.  To a man who steps from a prolonged period of absolute darkness into the light of one candle, that one candle seems as bright as the sun.  Yet, however much of an improvement one candle is over total darkness, it is still not, and can never be, the sun.  You cannot see as far or as clearly by the light of one candle as you would by the light of the sun.

Milo is still in recovery and, whether he wants to acknowledge it or not, really should be treated as such.  We have to also step back and consider the quality of our own judgment in this matter.  We ourselves suffer terrible wounds, not only from our personal sins but also as the result of being governed by little men in both Church and State who care only about fattening their own purses and don't give a damn about our welfare.  So badly are things going, with one anvil after another being dropped on us by our rulers from on high, that we prize highly the paltry crumbs of comfort that in better times we would have ignored.  So bereft are we of real shepherds and true fathers, that we are apt to make heroes out of persons who, in better times, deserve to be nobodies, simply because they happen on some occasion to refrain from hurting us in some way.  As Proverbs 27:7 puts it: "A soul that is full shall tread upon the honeycomb: and a soul that is hungry shall take even bitter for sweet."

So at this stage, we still need to pray and do penance for Milo, as for all others similarly situated, and to refrain from making a hero out of him before he is ready to be a hero.  We would be doing both ourselves and him a great disservice by fawning over him, showering him with plaudits, hanging on his every word, and otherwise feeding his ego.  Before he can become a crusader and do good to others, Milo has to attend to his own wounds.  Otherwise, his crusade becomes just another distraction for him to avoid his real business of growing in holiness.  

And he and we both need to remember that our real Savior is not Milo Yiannopoulos, nor any other mere mortal, but Jesus Christ.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Those That Are Going In, You Suffer Not to Enter

I have been thinking about the following verse from Scripture a lot over the last year, and it comes to my mind with every new anvil our shepherds in the hierarchy drop on us.  Matthew 23:13:

“But woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men, for you yourselves do not enter in; and those that are going in, you suffer not to enter.”

Everything from the campaign to abolish the traditional Mass after Vatican II to locking our churches in our faces and cutting us off from the Sacraments during the coronapanic seems to come under the heading of this verse.

Why do so many of our shepherds shut the kingdom of heaven against men?  Because so many of them, not believing, do not enter in themselves.  They will not suffer us to enter in because they do not love us.  

Believers do not force belief on unbelievers; or at least, if they do, it is an excess not in conformity with the Catholic faith.  On the other hand, unbelievers cannot abide belief and do all they can to stamp it out.  If they are out of power, then their efforts are aimed at subverting and undermining believers; once they are in power, then their efforts are aimed at compelling unbelief by main force.  In our time, both Church and State are dominated by the godless, whose goal is to force everyone to be like themselves.  They use their power and authority to smash and destroy, and rob their subjects of everything that is good, true, beautiful, worthwhile and that makes life worth living.  Some of them are deluded enough to think they are rescuing us from backward superstition, and believe our reluctance to be so rescued makes their mission all the more urgent.

Obviously, our Lord foresaw all this, which is why He said what He said.  And He predicted woe upon these unbelievers, if they fail to straighten up.

Which brings us to another thing that keeps coming to my mind: Psalm 36:35-36.

I have seen the wicked highly exalted, and lifted up like the cedars of Libanus.  And I passed by, and lo, he was not: and I sought him and his place was not found.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

The Debt We Owe to Cartoons


In an age when children of single-digit age can easily access porn and are groomed in school for early sex via "sex education" programs, we are suddenly worried about the "rape culture" "promoted" by Pepe le Pew, a cartoon character that generations of kids have watched without growing up to become rapists.

It makes sense that the New Puritans, out to scrub our culture of anything that is human and worthwhile and that keeps us in touch with our patrimony, should target cartoons.  It is in no small part owing to cartoons -- especially Looney Tunes cartoons -- that generations of kids have been kept in contact with touchstones of Western civilization: history, literature, classic cinema, classical music and even opera.

Back in the '70s and '80s, the days of my far-off youth, Looney Tunes cartoons from the '30s through the '60s were a staple.  Television stations broadcast them uncut and unexpurgated.  Even the cartoons where characters shot themselves in the head, took poison, or -- gasp! -- smoked and drank; even the old World War II propaganda cartoons; even the cartoons with racial caricatures and stereotypes; even Pepe le Pew and his romantic misadventures: all of these I watched regularly.  It never occurred to me, from watching these cartoons, that I should play with guns and explosives.  It never occurred to me that persons of other ethnicities were inferior to myself.  Somehow, to this day, I have never smoked; I seldom drink; and the "N" word has never become a part of my working vocabulary.  In my eyes, so little resemblance did the caricatures of black people in cartoons bear to real black people, that it was years before I finally realized that they were supposed to depict black people.  The last thing on earth I got out of Pepe le Pew was that rape is okay.  What I got out of Pepe le Pew's encounters with the ladies was that he was totally clueless and his methods were highly ineffective.

The real takeaway that I got from cartoons was my cultural heritage.  Cartoons, even more than school, gave me my first tastes of great books, great films, great music, and history.  In some cartoons, the characters from books on a shelf came alive at night and did zany things together.  There were books I read primarily because I had seen the titles on these cartoons.  Cartoons introduced me to classic movie stars like Bogey and Bacall, James Cagney, Bette Davis, Peter Lorre, Sidney Greenstreet and Erroll Flynn.  There were bits of classical music that became familiar to me because I heard them in cartoons.  Who doesn't remember the Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny takeoff on Wagner?  A lot of themes and characters in cartoons didn't make sense unless you knew some history.  Cartoons had a lot to do with sparking my interest in World War II.  

In short, the cartoons from the salad days of Looney Tunes represented the interaction of Christendom and the playful part of the popular imagination.  They were the great things of Western civilization applied to daily life.  Not everything about them was good or perfect, by any stretch, and there is no question that they contained themes that were -- and should be -- over the heads of us average kids.  But they were not sterile or banal.  They dealt with difficult subjects, mostly in a lighthearted way, without being preachy.  They came from a world where there was room for fun and laughter and parody and satire, instead of the bestial seriousness sought to be cultivated by today's cultural commissars.  

These days, nobody is allowed to laugh at anything, especially our Elders and Betters who profess to be Servants of the People but who actually rule over us with an iron rod.  The campaign to re-shape our ethical system into one where pornography and the slaughter of the unborn are moral, but beloved cartoon characters are not, went too far the day it started.  If we hope to reverse the tide, or at least preserve anything worthwhile for our posterity, now is the time to push back.