Saturday, January 09, 2021

"Children, be on your guard against idols."

We know that we belong to God,
and the whole world is under the power of the Evil One.
- 1 Jn 5

This past week, Josiah Colt was one of the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol and broke into Congress. He has since apologized profusely, begging forgiveness for violating the 'sacred ground':

"While in the Chamber I told the other protesters that this is a sacred place and not to do any damage. Some of them wanted to trash the place and steal stuff but I told them not to and to leave everything in its place. We're still on sacred ground." - source

I was a bit cynical about his apology, perhaps he's hoping for a pardon from Trump?  More likely, he understands that he can be charged and prosecuted, or at best, find himself unemployed for a long time, after potential employers see his social media activity and current media exposure.  

Just yesterday, a friend who has a couple of websites and her own news aggregator site, posted a bit of fake news about the discovery of discarded ballots in Georgia.  There is a fair amount of documentation refuting that story.  I didn't comment but left a link to an AP article contradicting the story.  I'm not getting into linking all of these threads, I just want to note that my friend said she doesn't believe anything from the AP.  Trump campaigned on fake news - repeating claims that MSM was totally and completely fake news, implying that he and a few rightwing news outlets was the only source for truth, Trump picked up on every conspiracy theory and used them to promote his lies and half truths.  The result was a huge success with his followers and supporters.

“People were willing to die for this man and he just threw them all under the bus. That’s the only thing that’s shameful about the events of the past 36 hours,” Nick Fuentes.

Until, faced with the blow back after the assault on the Capitol, wherein 5 people lost their lives - for him (yet as of this writing, I haven't heard or read if he even extended sympathy for the deceased and their families) Trump turned on his supporters.  The last I heard, his last ditch effort to save his 'legacy' by denouncing those who attacked the Capitol, some of the MAGA people have turned on him. 

"After years of fidelity, Donald Trump's most ardent online fans have finally turned on him.
All it took was for the president to acknowledge the reality of his loss a little over a day after they, the MAGA faithful, stormed the Capitol in a violent attempt to stop the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win.".- Politico

Yet that won't deter his pro-life militia and Catholics for Trump, inspired by such luminaries as Archbishop Vigano, followed by Catholic sacerdotal-personalities Fr. Pavone, Z, Heilman, et al - along with the EWTN Night Gallery network of dark fantasies and pro-Trumpsters and anti-papists.

Children, be on your guard against idols.

Seemingly unrelated, yet returning to the title of this post, the final words of today's first reading at Mass made a deep impression upon me - a sort of wonderful reprimand after engaging with people online over the past few days, and watching news coverage almost non stop: "Children, be on your guard against idols." I've pondered it all morning, so now I would like to offer a couple of thoughts which compliment my own.

“Once capital becomes an idol that presides over a socioeconomic system, it enslaves us, sets us at odds with each other, excludes the poor, and endangers the planet we all share.”
- Pope Francis, Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future

"As Francis also says in Fratelli Tutti: “We need to learn how to unmask the various ways that the truth is manipulated, distorted and concealed in public and private discourse.”
Post-truth journalism is not just about narratives for financial profit; it can also be for political or ideological ends. Whole media organizations can degenerate into “an association of individuals united against a perceived common enemy,” as Francis puts in Fratelli Tutti referring to “digital campaigns of hatred and destruction.” - Austen Ivereigh

“Whoever takes refuge in fundamentalism is afraid of setting out on the road to truth. He already “has” the truth, and deploys it as a defense, so that any questioning of it is interpreted as an aggression against his person.”
- Pope Francis, Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future

Happy New Year as we return to Ordinary Time.


  1. I will never erase the images of these “patriots” storming, rummaging, & destroying the citadel of our Democracy. I spent a semester in my Junior year in college and walked these spaces daily. I have visited again with my children and most recently three years ago. It is sickening what they did at the behest of their leader. No apologies, no excuses. Sorry, they willingly did this. They are adults. I think of the Texas priest who recently defied his own church with prostitues. It makes me literally sick.

    1. I'll never forget those images either, nor the fact that a sitting president could and would incite an insurgency. It's been his strategy throughout his campaign and presidency. He's accomplished something Putin and the former Soviet Union never could. These so-called patriots imagine they were saving the United States from a socialist takeover. They actually may have facilitated the very thing they fear - if indeed they continue with their desire for civil war.

  2. As a Canadian looking on I can only say I am completely flabbergasted by the whole thing. The division among Americans confounds me. This need to pursue freedom and this fixation with self determination is contrary to unity. I'm not just talking about the idiots that stormed the capitol. I just do not understand the Americans mindset. Nothing against Americans - I have various family members that live there, were born there, American friends, etc. and I love them all dearly. I just don't get it - please enlighten me. Praying for peace in your country, your homes and your hearts.


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