“Woman is weak and looks up to man to provide for her, just as the moon receives its strength from the sun. For this reason she is subject to man and should always be prepared to serve him.” St. Hildegard of Bingen (Book of Divine Works IV, 65)
Woman’s role is described in Scripture,[i] which has been a guide for human behaviour down through the centuries. Saints and popes have written about it,[ii] teaching the meaning of Scripture for the benefit of all men and women. Other interested individuals have also added to the discussion about woman’s role,[iii] up until our time when feminist and other ideological positions have superseded rational, thoughtful discussion about how best to order our lives. Continue reading
“Protection for the right to life of every innocent human being in existence at fertilization, no exceptions and no compromise.”[i]
“You can’t have a little bit of abortion…life must be protected in total.”
“The only way we are going to root out the evil of abortion is with the truth, that an innocent human being is killed…”
These are the words of March for Life founder Nellie Gray spoken in an interview aired on EWTN in 1994.[ii] In the interview Gray discusses the problem of compromising by allowing exceptions in abortion legislation. She calls out those in the pro-life movement who have bought into the abortion agenda by supporting abortion in cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. Gray also states that because of an attitude of compromise within the pro-life movement, it has gone “downhill.”
Muslim immigration into Europe and to a lesser degree North America is the focus of the new populist, nationalist political movement which has gained momentum in the last several years. An appeal to the defense of Europe’s “Christian heritage” is part of the movement’s platform.
Nigel Farage wrote in an introduction to UKIP’s 2015 “Christian Manifesto”: “We need a much more muscular defense of our Christian heritage and our Christian Constitution. Ours is fundamentally a Christian nation…”[i]
Leaders in the movement in what were once Catholic countries have made similar comments. Sebastian Kurz said in a television interview, “What has shaped Europe, what has shaped Austria? We have a culture shaped by our Judeo-Christian heritage and the Enlightenment – and this culture needs protecting…”[ii] Marine Le Pen said at a rally back in 2012, “The principles we fight for are engraved in our national motto: liberty, equality, fraternity…That stems from the principles of secularization resulting from a Christian heritage.”[iii]
Le Pen and Kurz speak in contradictions rather than about the truth of European history. Such statements about acknowledging and protecting Europe’s “Christian heritage” are political slogans based on vague sentiments, and when you scratch the surface, they fall apart. Underneath the sloganeering these politicians may have a nagging intuition about the truth, but instead of exploring this intuition, they stick to the safety of their political platform.
In a recent article written by journalist Claire Berlinski about the ongoing sexual harassment “hysteria,” The Warlock Hunt, Berlinski pleads with women to stop the hunt because they might lose the freedom and power they’ve gained from feminism and the sexual revolution. She writes:
Like so many revolutions, the sexual revolution risks coming full circle, returning us right where we started—fainting at bawdy jokes, demanding the return of ancient standards of chivalry, so delicate and virginal that a man’s hand on our knee causes us trauma. Women have long been victims, but now we are in so many respects victims no longer. We have more status, prestige, power, and personal freedom than ever before. Why would we want to speak and act as though we were overwhelmingly victims, as we actually used to be?
According to Berlinski, men of the “old world,” by which one may assume she means the pre-feminist world, were “brutes” and of course, “women don’t want the old brutes back.” She writes: “No woman in her right mind would say, ‘I want the old world back.’ We know what that meant for women. Nor would we even consciously think it.”
Putting aside the fact that Berlinski deals in caricatures—damsels in distress and brutes—as opposed to the flesh and blood reality of the past, how can she be so sure that women don’t secretly and genuinely desire that “old world?” (And if they don’t, do women, at this point of their feminist indoctrination, know what is good for them?) In other words, is woman’s so-called freedom and power making them happy?
In an attempt to counter the erroneous feminist allegation that women were oppressed in the medieval Christian social order,[i] some historians turn medieval queens into feminist heroines. Such historians replace a negative view of women’s role and status in the medieval period with a positive view, but fail to shed the trappings of feminist ideology.
“To the best of my knowledge, I am the first mom to hold the job of the White House Press Secretary,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated at a press briefing several months ago. The implication of her statement was that this is progress and a victory of some sort.
A victory of what sort?
That Republican women are working moms too? That Donald Trump is pro-woman, a feminist even? That pro-family values now pervade the White House?
Why is it progress and a victory that a mother of three young children has taken on a demanding job at the White House? Isn’t the purpose of a mother to take care of her children? In a rational social order then, a mother would not be made White House Press Secretary. Our social order, however, is driven by liberal ideology.
Right-leaning liberals (a.k.a. “conservatives”) in America are upset that the left-leaning liberals want to tear down Confederate memorials. The issue of taking down such memorials is another arena for the internecine battle of Left vs. Right in America.
There is, for a Catholic, an important thread that is completely left out of this conversation about raising up or taking down memorials to America’s past, however.