Monthly Archives: March 2015

The Sixth Crusade

 

When General Eisenhower wrote his memoirs of the Second World War he titled his work, “The Crusade in Europe”. For him perhaps and for a surety, for the ones who bled and caused others to bleed, this was a concrete reality. I remember asking my deceased father-in-law why, when he was 30 years old with a wife and small child and a service exempt job on a military base, did he choose to go to Europe to fight in WWII. I will never forget the look he gave me, nor his succinct response. He actually jumped as though startled and beheld me much as an astronaut would when eyeing a strange new life form for the very first time. He slowly blinked and said in a voice like Cecil B DeMille, “Why, to save the World of course!”

He  fought with the fourth infantry all across the heart of Europe til the very end. Walter was the only man from his company to come home. The stories he told were mind boggling- so much so that many years later I took the time to transcribe what I could remember for his posterity. The best way to summarize these horrors for others is to tell them to watch “Saving Private Ryan”– then multiply it by a factor of three. One story he told was about liberating a concentration camp at the end of the fighting. Walter was a man who, ethnically German, always called the enemies “the Germans” never “the Nazis”: when he saw the camp, and what was in it, and how close it was to the town, he said to me,”Don’t let anybody fool you- those people in the town KNEW exactly what was going on in there. We should have killed them all”.

They went there to win, and win they indeed did– to rid the world of  a carbuncle upon its weary visage like one that had never erupted before. I am sure that he would be delighted to know that after the wreck that was the Second World War, and the scraping away of its terrible growth, even to the point of removing almost all of the scar it created on the rind of civilization, the root remained. And it begins to grow again.

The moral issues that were debated upon those miserable gut strewn fields seemed to be solved once and for all. The Godless States recoiled in ruin from the might and determination of those free, moral, and fundamentally charitable peoples that opposed them. The Good Guys it seemed, DO win when it matters most.

From a political standpoint however, it seemed that the only way to defeat the all-encompassing State was to become similar to one; and we dismissed the principle that States and Peoples, just as individuals are not mechanical, but organic. When they go bad, we cannot just start replacing parts and expect them to work properly. If their (or our) hearts are not properly disposed, if they are filled with envy, greed or hate; no amount of political restructuring or financial aid will help. If Goodness, Truth and Beauty, abandoned for comfort, security, and titillation become merely historical aberrations or the musty furniture of a forsaken past, the future becomes sooty and dim. For us now it remains to look beyond the hills from whence comes Our Help.

Another generation of Crusaders has come and gone .Their deeds mighty, their valor true and their hearts pure. Yet the lands in which they strived have reverted to the Enemy.


Society in Four Simple Sets!

 

The world is full of all kinds of folks: lets sort the herd and see what its composed of. There are the Talkers: these can be split into two categories; the ones who have something to say, (subset a) and the ones who believe everyone else exists to listen to them (subset A) . The next cut goes like this. There are those who act- they too can be refined as well into two categories: those who act for the sake of acting( subset B) and then there are those who act due to the fact that there are things that need to be done (subset b).

Subset A

This set talks mainly for the sake of listening to the fulsome tones of their own pie hole. Strange as it may seem, they are usually the ones who garner the most attention in the world. Look around and see- who do we end up hearing, because they are always flapping their gums? Who possibly can be so erudite that they are able to mechanistically reel out periodic blather containing consistent  merit and edification? Why of course,what they have to say is always “new” and “progressive” and certainly must be unique and worthwhile.  Well it is not. to paraphrase someone much wiser than I, “there is nothing new under the sun”.

Subset a

The people in this category– those who have something to say are generally ignored–  Trite and old fashioned ! Out of touch with “the way things are nowadays”!  How silly is it for any of us to take to heart such things as, “I AM the Lord, I change not”. Or, “I do not desire sacrifice, but obedience”. These folks don’t say much, due to the fact that the things they say are worth LISTENING to and pondering. They also don’t say much because… why should they bother?  No one listens anyway.

Subset B

Those who act for the sake of acting tend to turn action into a game, and all actions become codified and regimented into some sort of score card for self worth. They take a system such as free enterprise and turn it into a survival of the fittest, King of the Mountain contest we call Capitalism; or morph the agape ideals of ancient Catholic Christianity into an insane death dealing Dragon called Socialism. With these accomplishments come the sure knowledge that those who act for the sake of action are best suited to rule the rest. All they need is a bit of public relations and someone who can truly explain what’s in store for the rest of the world.  So… they seek out someone with an impossibly large smile, teeth beyond the reckoning of any dentist, and eyes that remain clouded in what some call mystery. The fact of the matter is those eyes, the windows of our soul, remain hidden for they are filled with deceit. We all have glimpsed a good representation of him at the gates of  Mordor: Tolkien named this being the mouth of Sauron. Ever so apt.

Subset b

Then there are these guys who are credulous, naïve, and without guile; the ones who listen to subset b and take it to heart.  The nameless blob that inhabits the world amidst the chaos of the great unwashed; hidden in the muck and mire of everyday living. Those fools who do the things that need to be done, as no one else will get off their lazy backsides. The ones who feed the fires of civilization with charity, mercy, love and hard work. These folks are the guts of the world: and most of us do not give one whit about them.

Why on earth should we?