What are we to think of the distressing events of Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia?
My first impression is that they are part of our nation’s continued descent into violent mayhem. I also sense that the affair is being managed by oligarchs with agendas — not the people that show up at events like this, but the rich men who bankroll the street warriors. Crises, real or contrived, are often how they press their advantage.
As with so much of our national discourse, the discussion surrounding this incident misses the point. The “alt-right” neo-pagans and white supremacists on one side, and the “antifa” and “BLM” progressivists on the other are really flip sides of the same bad coin: a vision of society that asserts man’s rights (as perceived by the warring ideologies) while ignoring the rights of God. It is a domestic American version of what happened to the Continent in Wold War II: German Socialists and the Russian Socialists attempting to divide Europe between them, with the populace forced to take one godless side or the other.
Professional provocateurs on both sides of this current false dialectic show up at these events to make a scene, to get attention, and (if they get lucky) to punch a hated rival in the face or cause senseless property damage. Nothing good could actually get accomplished, for both parties have false principles.
One wonders about that strange order given to the police to stand down, and thus allow violent leftists and violent “alt-right” protesters to clash. This vacuum could only have been a catalyst for greater violence than otherwise would have happened.
Is that what was intended by the order? If not, what was the purpose? I do not have the answers to these questions, but they should be asked of those who do.
Whether a greater police presence would have prevented a madman from plowing his car into the counter-protesters is not for me to say. The man’s cowardly act of brutality, during which he committed second-degree murder, must be condemned for what it is: a reckless, hateful sin against the fifth commandment of God.
And we can be sure that this was not the only part of the decalogue to be violated.
The Confederate monuments, which haven’t harmed anyone for the century or so they have been standing, are mere occasions for these groups to vent their hate, but none of this is really about the monuments. Just as many of the vulgar anti-Trump rallies by abortion-loving feminists were less about Trump and more about feminist agitation.
There are those who wish to defend the Southern monuments, just as there are those who wish them torn down. That, I do not deny. But a conflict over monuments was not what was going on Saturday in Virginia.
While neither extreme on display at Charlottesville represents anything like the American mainstream, that mainstream is still less interested in the rights of God and more interested in the rights of man (according to various misunderstandings of those rights). Witness the blasphemy, crudity, and flaunting of divine law in the entertainments imbibed by the masses.
The vast majority of Americans might not side with either of the belligerents in Charlottesville, but neither are they especially on the right side.
Yes, we should take sides; for, while the factions we saw fighting it out in Charlottesville are not worthy of the allegiance of a baptized soul, there is a side to choose: the side of a Christian (i.e., Catholic) America, which respects the Social Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King and all that implies. Until His rights are respected, we can fully expect more Fergusons, more Charlottesvilles, and more Berkeleys. We cannot expect peace.
May God help us, for only He can.