The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Although I am an ordained deacon of the Catholic Church, the opinions expressed in this blog are my personal opinions. In offering these personal opinions I am not acting as a representative of the Church or any Church organization.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Politicians, Truth, and Hypocrisy

Politicians are a unique breed, especially those who turn politics into a lifelong career. And don’t you just love those pols who speak of their dedicated career of “public service” when we all know their true goal is their re-election? I’ll admit, we all sometimes place our own needs over the needs of those we serve, but politicians seem to have turned this into a true science. They assume — too often, correctly — that we voters will forget their past indiscretions and self-indulgence and instead focus only on the government funds tossed our way. But their most serious sin, at least from my perspective, is their blatant hypocrisy. 

Things might be changing, though. We the People are starting to awaken to the fact that politicians are supposed to represent us, our beliefs, our values, and our need to live free.  Just look at President Biden's current support. Citizens have begun to recognize and resent all the hypocrisy and all the lies. Here’s a very recent example that has generated a lot of comment:


The other day President Biden, in response to the identification of a new COVID variant, which arose in and is now spreading throughout much of southern Africa, issued a travel ban. Here is his tweet informing us of his decision:

“The WHO has identified a new COVID variant which is spreading through Southern Africa. As a precautionary measure until we have more information, I am ordering air travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other countries.”  [2:38 PM.  Nov 26, 2021]

This seems a reasonable decision, as the president said, “until we have more information.” But how many Americans recall candidate Biden’s reaction when President Trump issued similar bans back in early 2020? On January 31, 2020, President Trump declared a public health emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic and temporarily restricted travel from China, where the virus originated. The very next day Joe Biden attacked President Trump by tweeting the following:

“We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency. [5:01 PM.  Feb 1, 2020]

In that same month, when President Trump added travel restrictions from several African and Asian nations — Nigeria, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, Eritrea, Sudan, and Tanzania — the Democrats declared the president’s decision was “driven by hate.” Candidate Biden’s tweet was particularly interesting in light of his current actions:

“Trump further diminished the U.S. in the eyes of the world by expanding his travel ban. This new ‘African Ban’ is designed to make it harder for black and brown people to immigrate to the United States. It’s a disgrace, and cannot let him succeed.” [10:16 PM   Feb 1, 2020]

The same day Kamala Harris hopped on the “Trump’s a racist” bandwagon by tweeting: 

“Trump’s extended Un-American travel ban undermines our nation’s core values. It is clearly driven by hate, not security.” [5:16 PM   Feb 1, 2020]

About a month later, on March 11, 2020, President Trump suspended travel from Europe, hoping to slow the spread of the virus. Once again, on the very next day, candidate Biden responded with:

“A wall will not stop the coronavirus. Banning all travel from Europe — or any other part of the world — will not stop it. This disease could impact every nation and any person on the planet — and we need a plan to combat it.” [8:05 PM   Mar 12, 2020]

“...impact every nation and any person…” Did I detect a little fear-mongering in there? 

Of course, Speaker Nancy Pelosi had to join the fray and label President Trump a cruel, bigoted, biased, callous person whose actions must be unconstitutional. Her actual statement is worth repeating:

“The Trump Administration's expansion of its outrageous, un-American travel ban threatens our security, our values and the rule of law. The sweeping rule, barring more than 350 million individuals from predominantly African nations from traveling to the United States, is discrimination disguised as policy.

“America's strength has always been as a beacon of hope and opportunity for people around the world, whose dreams and aspirations have enriched our nation and made America more American. With this latest callous decision, the President has doubled down on his cruelty and further undermined our global leadership, our Constitution and our proud heritage as a nation of immigrants.

“In the Congress and in the Courts, House Democrats will continue to oppose the Administration's dangerous anti-immigrant agenda. In the coming weeks, the House Judiciary Committee will mark-up and bring to the Floor the NO BAN Act to prohibit religious discrimination in our immigration system and limit the President's ability to impose such biased and bigoted restrictions. We will never allow hatred or bigotry to define our nation or destroy our values.”

Okay, what are the odds any Democrat, or any member of the mainstream media, will even hint that Joe Biden’s travel ban, aimed exclusively at Africans south of the Sahara, might be slightly hypocritical or worse, a racist policy designed to restrict immigration of black people? 

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Homily: Saturday, 34th Week in Ordinary Time (Year 1)

Readings: Dn 7:15-27; Dn 3; Luke 21:34-36

Here I am, only a couple of years from 80, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a time when anxiety and fear have filled the hearts of so many.

COVID has had its effect on a lot of folks, and yes, many in my age group have succumbed to the virus, but in truth most have survived. And yet, so many are overcome by fear. And now the world is panicking over a new variant out of Africa.

To add to our anxieties, we have obvious inflation and a rising cost of living. Then, as we look at our nation and the world, we see far too much division and hatred and threats. Yes, it seems to be a time of very fragile peace, a time of real uncertainty. And yet Jesus tells us, again and again, not to be afraid, but so many seem to ignore Him.

About 35 years ago, back when I was a business consultant, I used to travel a lot. One Sunday afternoon, driving my rental car through the hills of Arkansas, I heard a radio preacher tell his audience that we were only a few years, perhaps just months, from the tribulations and the Second Coming. As I recall, he was the minister of a Free Will Baptist Church. Let me paraphrase what he said that day:

“Jesus is coming, brothers and sisters. But first He’s gonna let the earth be scoured by Satan and his minions. Don’t you be afraid of them. Put away all those fears and get ready for Jesus. He’s coming soon, real soon, and you’d better stop all that sinning. If you don’t call on the Lord and repent, you just won’t be strong enough.”

I have to admit, I loved it. Of course, Jesus hasn’t returned yet, so his timing was off, by how much nobody but God Himself knows. But the preacher’s message was actually pretty good and mirrors the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel passage from Luke. How did Jesus put it?

"Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life...Be vigilant... Pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations" [Lk 21:34,36].

I’ll admit, many years ago, the first time I thought about those words, I had a hard time picturing those first-century Jews out carousing. In truth, though, I suppose they weren’t much different from us. Even The Villages has its share of carousing and drunkenness, and certainly its share of anxiety.

But we’re all disciples of our Lord, Jesus Christ, so we must allow Him to take away our fears. After all, the Gospel is the Good News, the promise of an eternal life beyond anything we can imagine.

If the gospel message is good news, then why do so many oppose it with hostility and even violence? Jesus warns us that we’ll be confronted with persecution, evil, false teaching, and temptation. But how does He tell us to respond to all this? With love, with truth, with forgiveness.

Only His Way, His Way of peace, His way of love, can defeat bigotry, hatred, and envy, and all that would divide and tear us apart.

Only God’s truth, His revealed Word, can overcome the lies and confusion in the world.

And only God’s gift of life, eternal life, can carry us to the salvation He promises.

Only Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life can dissolve all those fears that plague so many today.

I don’t know if you and I will see those tribulations… probably not. But we are still called to proclaim the Gospel wherever God has placed us – called to be to be witnesses.

Did you know the Greek root of the word martyr means witness? The Book of Revelations calls Jesus “the faithful witness ...who freed us from our sins by his blood" [Rev 1:5]. 

St. Augustine spoke of this too: "The martyrs were bound, jailed, scourged, racked, burned, rent, butchered – and they multiplied!" Christians multiplied because the martyrs witnessed to the truth, to the joy and freedom of the Gospel; and they did so through the testimony of their lives.

So maybe, instead of fearing the world and its evils, we should just be joyful that we have heard the Good News, received the gift of faith, and are called to share it all with others. What brings others to Jesus Christ and His Church is seeing Christians loving their enemies; seeing us joyful in suffering, patient in adversity, forgiving of injuries, and showing comfort and compassion to the hopeless and the helpless.

This, brothers and sisters, is our calling.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Justice Repeated

Since the acquittal of a Kyle Rittenhouse many, all too many, mainstream media “experts” have claimed again and again that if Rittenhouse had been black he would certainly have been convicted. Remarkably, though, on the very same day of Rittenhouse’s acquittal, there was another acquittal, this one in a Florida courtroom. 

In 2017, A. J. Coffee IV, 27, who happens to be black, shot and killed a member of a Sheriff’s SWAT team that had forcibly entered his home. The SWAT team had broken a rear window and extended a pole used to detonate a “flash-bang.” Coffee thought he was being robbed, believed the pole was a rifle barrel, and admitted he shot through the open window, but claimed he acted only in self-defense. His girlfriend, a 21-year-old woman named Alteria Woods, was shot ten times by an officer and died as a result of her wounds.

Coffee was charged with felony second degree murder and three counts of attempted murder of a police officer. But like the Rittenhouse jury in Wisconsin the Florida jury of Coffee’s peers accepted his claims of self-defense and acquitted him of all charges, except his illegal gun possession charge. The irony, of course, is almost overwhelming. Not only is Mr. Coffee black, but he was acquitted in a Florida courtroom.

I suspect you have not seen or heard much about A.J. Coffee’s acquittal from the mainstream media. But we can expect little more from such ideologues. Happily, though, once again, a jury did its job and justice prevailed. The nation should be pleased that Justice remains blind…


Sunday, November 21, 2021

Homily: Tuesday, 33rd Week in Ordinary Time

Readings: Wis 11:22-12:2; Ps 3; Lk 19:1-10

When I was growing up in suburban New York we had a wonderful tree in our front yard. A Japanese maple, maybe 30 feet high, it was the best climbing tree in the neighborhood. It had lots of branches, closely spaced so it was easy to climb. And about 15 feet up several branches formed a natural couch where I could stretch out comfortably and safely. In the spring and summer, I used to climb up there with a book, sit back, and read. Remarkably, even many of the local birds came to accept me and would often land on a branch just a foot or two away. I felt a bit like St. Francis perched up there. And because of the thick foliage that time of year I was virtually invisible, even though I could see and hear most that went on in the neighborhood.

My perch was my own personal hideout, my little neighborhood spy station. I was easily overlooked up there. That would’ve been neat if anything ever happened in our neighborhood, but of course nothing did. And whenever I read this Gospel passage from Luke, I remember sitting in that tree so many years ago.

Like me in the tree, poor Zacchaeus got no respect. He was short, but also a hated tax collector. Although a Jew, a son of Abraham, he worked for the Romans and made himself wealthy through extortion. In the eyes of his world, Zacchaeus had three strikes against him: he was short, he was rich, and probably a crook. They despised him.

But driven by the Spirit he just had to see Jesus. Thwarted by the crowd, he climbed a big sycamore, a fig tree, and gave himself a birds-eye view. He could have stayed on the ground and simply listened, hoping to catch a word or two as Jesus passed by. But there's something about seeing, about being up close and personal that connects you to the event, that makes you more than a face on the fringes. The crowd had failed to keep this public sinner away from Jesus, always an impossible task; for Jesus goes out of His way to attract sinners and the rest of humanity’s rejects.

But, of course, we’re all sinners, and Jesus still calls us all. He finds a way to help us find Him, just as He called Zacchaeus. How does Luke describe it?

“Zacchaeus…was seeking to see who Jesus was…” [Lk 19:3]

…asking the question Jesus later posed to the apostles, “Who do you say that I am?” [Mt 16:15]

This wasn’t mere curiosity. Zacchaeus climbed that tree, urged by the Holy Spirit, driven by a spiritual hunger to see Jesus, to see who He was, to know Him, to reach out to Him. And in those branches, hanging on for the Good News, he not only sees, but he is seen.

"Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house" [Lk 19:5].

Overwhelmed, Zacchaeus finds he is seen, known, and understood. Conversion has begun. For Jesus sees within each of us the glimmer of the divine, God’s mage and likeness, imprinted at creation, by a loving God. And that, brothers and sisters, is what this Gospel passage is all about. That’s what the entire Gospel, the Good News, is all about. It’s all about God’s call to conversion. Jesus calls out to us all:

“Repent and believe in the Gospel” [Mk 1:15].

And He loves to tease us, doesn’t He – even to scandalize us. He calls the most unlikely people: tax collectors, lepers, prostitutes, Roman soldiers, Pharisees like Nicodemus, pagans, Samaritans, the blind, the deaf, the halt, the lame, the deformed…a unlikely collection who will go on to become His disciples. Later, He even calls His sworn enemy to conversion, a man who persecuted those disciples, a Pharisee named Saul. Jesus overlooks no one. Unlike you and I, who love to pick and choose among those with whom we’ll associate or even tolerate, Jesus calls everyone.

Zacchaeus finds himself in the gaze of his Savior and realizes that his life so far has been a sham, far too small to hold all that Jesus has to offer. For Jesus brought and promised a priceless gift:

“Today salvation has come to this house…” [Lk 19:9]

Coming to see Jesus, to receive Him, is an experience that changes our whole way of seeing. How blessed we are to be able to see and receive right here in the Eucharist.

Climb the tree of life, brothers and sisters, where you will discover, that all along, you have been seen and known and understood and loved beyond all measure.

So, for us salvation sometimes means climbing a tree. After all, that’s exactly what Jesus does for us on the Cross.


Saturday, November 20, 2021

Rittenhouse Acquittal

If you read, watch, or listen to the mainstream media you will realize that none of their commentators, editorialists, reporters, anchors, or legal experts actually watched the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. If you, on the other hand, took the time to follow the trial, you’ll likely conclude the jury delivered a just verdict. I’ve rarely seen a more obvious case of self-defense and for that we can thank the actual witnesses and the many videos taken that evening in Kenosha. Of course, the prosecution’s extraordinary blend of incompetence and malfeasance didn’t help their case.

The most remarkable aspect of the case, however, involved the media’s blatant lies regarding the defendant and his actions. Perhaps the most amazing example came from the UK’s leading on-line news source, The Independent. Even after the verdict, after all the evidence had been presented at trial, The Independent declared that Kyle Rittenhouse “shot three black men with rifle.” Of course it’s purpose in printing this lie was to create division along racial lines by ignoring the truth that all three men shot that night were white, not black. Here’s a clip from The Independent’s “story”:

Even much of the American media, through their distorted reporting and commentary, encouraged the depiction of Kyle Rittenhouse as a white supremacist intent on killing blacks. Unstated, of course, was the truth about the three men from whom Rittenhouse had to defend himself. These men were not victims, but were in fact all criminals. Their criminal pasts do not mean they deserved to be shot. No, it was their actions that evening that led to their sad fates. Who were these three men? 

Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, was a registered sex offender, a convicted pedophile who sexually molested and raped many young boys. He had an open case for bail-jumping and another open misdemeanor case for battery and disorderly conduct (both, domestic abuse). He was the man who chased Kyle Rittenhouse through the streets of Kenosha. Anthony Huber, 26, had several disorderly conduct convictions as a domestic abuse repeater for strangulation, suffocation, and use of a dangerous weapon. He also had a forfeiture case as a result of drug abuse. He was the man who bludgeoned Kyle Rittenhouse over the head with a skateboard and attempted to take his rifle. Gaige Grosskreutz, 28, had a range of felony convictions, including strangulation battery against his grandmother, burglary, and use of a firearm while intoxicated. As a convicted felon, he was illegally armed with a handgun which he pointed at the head of Kyle Rittenhouse, when he was shot and wounded. Note that all three were white, all convicted criminals. 

These were the men killed and wounded that evening by Kyle Rittenhouse. They were violent men, and like many of the rioters in Kenosha, were determined to burn down the city’s businesses and hurt any citizens who resisted them. These were the people who told Kyle Rittenhouse they intended to kill him. Kenosha was just an example of what BLM and Antifa hoped to accomplish across the entire nation. In this, they were encouraged by the mainstream media and many of our politicians. Even presidential candidate Joe Biden, long before the trial, before any evidence was known, had labeled Kyle Rittenhouse a “white supremacist.” That was, of course, a lie. 

Well, guess what? The nation won yesterday. A jury of Kyle Rittenhouse’s peers defied the hostility and threats of the mob, the media, and the self-serving politicians. God bless them and God bless America!

Saturday, November 13, 2021

“Catholic” Universities

Every so often I come across news stories about some aspect of the Church, stories that too often lead to scandal. And if they scandalize me, a deacon of the Church, I can only imagine their effect on others, regardless of their religious affiliation. This past week presented me with a pair of these offensive stories, each centered on a university that defines itself as Catholic.

Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles provides us with our first story. It seems this Catholic, Jesuit university permitted a student group to hold an on-campus fundraiser for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. In fact, in 2020 Planned Parenthood performed more than 354,000 abortions — that is, they murdered that many innocent unborn babies — a total representing nearly 40% of all abortions in the U.S. last year. Yes, indeed, Planned Parenthood seems to enjoy profiting off the killing of babies.

The student group sponsoring the fundraiser call themselves Women in Politics and obviously support abortion. A group of alumni and students petitioned the university, urging it to cancel the event, calling it “an egregious violation of LMU’s Jesuit, Catholic identity.” The petition went on to state that “As a Catholic university, LMU has a responsibility to stand up for Catholic values.” Samantha Stephenson, an alumna involved in preparing the petition, said Women in Politics should support charities that “more effectively support women’s dignity…not at odds with the Catholic Church.” Stephenson also quoted Pope Francis, a Jesuit, who recently stated:
“Is it right to eliminate, to take a human life to solve a problem? Is it right to hire a hitman to solve a problem? That’s what abortion is.”
Thank you, Pope Francis, for showing us that Planned Parenthood and their ilk are nothing more than a collection of hitmen whose victims are the most innocent among us.

In response, a statement from the university’s administration argued that the fundraiser, although held on campus, was not a “university-sponsored event,” and went on to state that “The events, actions, or positions of student organizations, including Women in Politics, are not endorsed by the university.” The university’s statement also informed the world that it remains fully committed to its “Catholic, Jesuit, and Marymount heritage, values, and intellectual traditions.” Its demonstration of this commitment is apparently carried out in secrecy because it’s certainly not done publicly. Oh, yes, the school’s statement continued by declaring the activities of its student groups as “living examples that LMU embraces its mission, commitments, and the complexities of free and honest discourse.” 

To read more about this travesty, click here: Loyola Marymount University and Planned Parenthood.

I think we can dismiss the idea that Loyola Marymount University remains a Catholic university. It has instead caved to the reigning zeitgeist, a culture of death supported by far too many Catholics on the political left, including more than few Jesuits. As a result, this Catholic university is actively supporting the nation’s largest abortion provider. One recalls Jesus words…
“He said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the person through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin” [Lk 17:1-2].
And that’s just for those who cause little ones to sin. What about those who murder the most innocent little ones among us?

St. Louis University is a Catholic university that is also — surprise, surprise! — a Jesuit university. The school’s Students for Life chapter made a pro-life, cross-shaped, flag memorial on the campus of this Catholic university. Although the memorial was approved by the university, some students apparently did not agree. As always today, there are videos. They’re rather disturbing, so I won’t include the videos here, but if you like you can watch them on other sites. 

The students who objected to the memorial decided they had to destroy it. Two young women, identified by the media as Fiorella Michelis and Olivia Jarrell, began to kick the flags, pull them up out of the ground, and stomp on the memorial. They also confronted Nick Baker, a Students for Life member who objected to their actions. 

When Baker told them the Students for Life had created the memorial, one responded with, “So, you just love disrespecting women.” The other added, “Yeah, a man who has absolutely no right telling women what to do with their bodies or trying to shame them or trying to make them feel guilty about their decisions that they have absolutely all the right to do.” 

They objected also to the effects of the memorial on those women who have had abortions: “If a woman was walking by who had an abortion, how do you think she would feel about this?” 

A male student replied saying, “I’m sure she wouldn’t feel great, but that’s why we need to reach out to them and help them.”

The two women students also demonstrated that their remarkable vocabularies matched their destructive actions and the ideology behind them. One of the students approached Baker and said, “People hate you. You’re a disgusting misogynist, and you know karma is going to f*****g get you. You’ll see that when you die and hopefully you f*****g go to hell.” She then added, “You can see my pictures, you can see how pretty I am, how good a life I have. And what do you have? You’re a f*****g loser, and you think you can tell other people what to do with their f*****g bodies.”

When Baker told her that most Students for Life members were women, she replied with a remarkable non-sequitur, “You just really enjoy your life, ‘cause I’ll enjoy mine. And I’ll f*****g keep killing babies.”

“…keep killing babies.” I don’t know about you, but all I hear here is Satan speaking through these young women. How very sad. 

Several other students tried to destroy the memorial but left when confronted by Students of Life members. 

The university issued a statement: It is conducting an investigation, and it “takes seriously any alleged violation of our Community Standards, and has policies and processes in place to address concerns when they are reported.” Hmm…after reading that little piece of administrative cover, I suspect nothing will happen.

Monday, November 8, 2021

The Holocaust: Then and Now

Back in the early 1950s, our family lived in Heidelberg, Germany, where my father, an Army officer, was stationed. Because Dad was a reserve officer who had been recalled to active duty, the Army didn’t include his family in this move to Germany. But Dad decided he wanted his family with him. He booked us on the Holland-American Line’s New Amsterdam, covering our travel expenses himself. We also couldn’t live in Army housing or attend Army schools, so we lived “on the economy” in a small, bare-bones apartment and attended German schools. It was a wonderful experience, one I’ll always cherish. I especially liked my teacher, Frau Scharmer, a lovely young woman in her 20s who ran her small school in her home, where she taught about 10 little German kids, an English girl, and me. We were all 6 to 8 years old.

Dad occasionally took us on brief trips around Germany. In late 1951 and early 1952, our family vacationed in Bavaria, spending Christmas and the New Year in Berchtesgaden, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and Munich. One day Dad took us to the former Nazi concentration and death camp at Dachau, a horrendous place tucked into a quiet Munich suburb. Although I have only partial memories of our year in Germany, I can recall almost everything about that day at Dachau — the ovens, the so-called barracks, all of it. As you might imagine it was a moving and memorable experience for a youngster, and I thank my dad for allowing me to see first-hand what happens when we reject God and accept evil as the norm. Those who don’t believe Satan exists need only pay a visit to one of these death camps. They will be changed.

Opened by Hitler in 1933, Dachau (above) was the first of the Nazi concentration camps. Although designed as a political camp to remove from society those who opposed the Nazis, it was no summer camp. Of the 160,000 people who were sent to Dachau, over 32,000 were executed or succumbed to disease. Often enough those diseases were the result of medical experimentation. Dachau was also the camp to which Hitler sent the clergy who resisted his unholy regime. Records indicate that 2,720 Catholic and Protestant clergy were imprisoned at Dachau but 95% of these were Catholic priests, and over a third of them died there. If you’re interested, there are two wonderful books about these priests who lived and died at Dachau. Priestblock 25487: A Memoir of Dachau, written by Fr. Jean Bernard, tells the author’s story of his own experience as a priest at Dachau. Another book worth reading, The Priest Barracks: Dachau 1938 - 1945, by Guillaume Zeller, offers more complete coverage of life and death at Dachau, particularly among those Catholic priests imprisoned there.

A few years ago, in a conversation with a Jewish friend, he remarked how thankful he was that nothing like the Holocaust could ever happen again. I, of course, disagreed and told him it has already happened many times, and continues to happen today. Jews might not be the target, but the methods and results are identical. The communists of the former Soviet Union created the gulags to destroy those who resisted communist rule. They imprisoned and executed Christians, Jews, Muslims, anyone who placed God above the state. Millions died. The Chinese Communist Party has done the same for decades and continues to do so today. The Chinese communists’ latest victims are the millions of Uyghurs interred in concentration camps where they work as slave laborers, are tortured and subject to forced sterilization. And don’t forget the Cambodian killing fields, another example of widespread slaughter by the political left. Never forget, Hitler was a socialist, a national socialist, but a socialist nonetheless. In truth, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao would have disagreed on very little. Each was a mass murdering materialist, a psychopathic egoist who rejected the idea of a loving God who cares for those He created. Each had replaced God with himself, the embodiment of the state.

The reality is that socialists, once they obtain power, cannot accept resistance to their policies. At first they stigmatize those who disagree accusing them of any number of secular sins. With the media in their pocket, this becomes much easier. If you disagree, you must be racist, or sexist, or homophobic, or fascist, or a religious zealot, worthy only of disdain and of social and political cancelation. This, of course, is never enough because those who desire freedom just won’t shut up. The next step, then, is to criminalize politically incorrect language as “hate speech” so the offenders can be fined or imprisoned. Justice, as exercised by those in power, then becomes the means to ignore the real crimes of supporters — e.g., BLM, Antifa, and all the rest — and punish the non-crimes of opponents. Eventually, because the desire and cry for freedom cannot be silenced, the ideologues resort to “re-education” camps where their opponents can be permanently silenced. 

Years ago a Jewish friend gave me, whom he considered (undeservedly) a righteous Gentle, one of several armbands that his uncle had given him. His uncle, who had no other family, had managed to survive the camp at Sachsenhausen. Framed, the armband hangs on the wall of my office where I see it every day. 

The Holocaust happened because the world, including most of its victims, just stood by idly and watched, sure it could never happen.