In the end—as in the beginning—every rational precept, every logical connection, every possible system of human or angelic thought, is predicated on a single truth: A is A. This ultimate and absolute equivalency is not merely inspired or revealed by the Divine Reason; it is the actual Name of God Himself. When He proclaimed to Moses, “I Am Who Am” (Exodus 3:14), He stated the axiom that is the cornerstone of all Creation. Because sin darkens the intellect, however, those who say with Milton’s Satan, “Evil, be thou my good”—the very ones who most desperately need the Alpha and Omega—have begun their search for meaning by blinding themselves to the bedrock principle that God is God. From this sandy foundation rises the inverted ziggurat that is our present Babel. It can, by its nature, only destroy—which leaves us to consider how much ruin it can perpetrate before it finally destroys itself.
The Venerable Fulton J. Sheen once outlined four stages in the history of the Church, roughly broken into 500-year chunks and defined by the distortions and depravities that assailed her in each period. The first three crises were (in brief) the Christological heresies, the Eastern schism, and the Reformation. The calamity he decried in 1974—now swollen to nightmare proportions—was, simply, the world. The spirit of the world, seeping into our every pore. Hyper-sexualized YouTube ads aimed at three-year-olds. Genders left blank on birth certificates. The growing, clamoring movement to render free citizens literally faceless, and minutely regulate the manner in which they are permitted to breathe.
Because A is, in fact, A, consequences do in fact follow choices, even if we don’t want them to. The logic whereby the selfsame city councilors can defund the Minneapolis police and also excoriate the Minneapolis police for a mysterious rise in crime, is the logic that burns a great American city—the logic that, claiming to champion minorities, predominantly lays waste to small, minority-owned businesses that will never be able to recover. The logic whereby man is not man, nor woman woman, is the intellectual sinkhole whereby the radical left is compelled to applaud a being like Fallon Fox, the mixed martial artist who “switched genders” and went on to pummel female MMA fighters by virtue of his greater strength. And, speaking of MMA—the lunatic rationale that led Disney, implacable shaper of our children’s dreams, to systematically depopularize the character of Luke Skywalker in service to an ideology, even at the cost of losing millions (Get Woke, Go Broke), also led them to uphold the ideal of the strong, independent woman by firing Gina Carano for having the strength and independence to formulate an opinion that differed from their own. Examples of this moral insanity proliferate too swiftly for enumeration, and rare is the day when some news item does not evoke C.S. Lewis’ “sure mark of evil: only by being terrible do they avoid being comic.”
Up to a point (the four most important words in ethics, as Deacon Jim Toner has often said), the initial fault for this crisis lies with Caucasians and Christians. The Lord God knows how brutally women and minorities were treated by some of our forebears, and even up to the present day. The oppressed, fighting for simple justice, are always on the side of the saints. The starving poor of Paris were justified in defying the monarchy; but, Original Sin being what it is (and nowhere more dominant than in those who deny its existence), the triumph of the hapless became the slaughter of the helpless with horrifying speed. American slavery should indeed be recalled with shame—but there are those who, tweeting languidly on the graves of their heroic fathers, caterwaul that America’s whole history is shameful. They label as fascist the country that defends them from fascism; they deface the statues of warriors. By the same petulant reasoning that absolutely denies the absolute, they insist that those who have suffered injustice need no longer trouble to be just. This is the ludicrous, pestilential spirit of the world: we face not a snarling lion, but a towering tsunami of maggots.
It won’t be long now before a child molester defends himself on the grounds that his victim self-identifies as sexually mature. The radical left will, no doubt, shuffle its feet and cough with embarrassment; but there is simply no clod or cranny of solid ground for them to stand on anymore. By what right do we impose our tyrannous bourgeois morality on this fifty-year-old man and this six-year-old girl? How dare we? If she doesn’t want to be a small child, why then, she isn’t. A is no longer A, you see.
I have two daughters, aged one and three. I would like to see their country return from this brink while there’s time. I’d like to see normal Americans acknowledge (not, perhaps, without anger) that the Emperor is not only naked, but skulking about the kindergarten. I hope for an uprising in which we do nothing more than stop timorously acquiescing to clumsy, obvious lies. The Truth can’t be bent or broken: A is A, and B is B, and C is C. If we can just hold onto that—then the Abecedarian Revolution is already underway.
J.B. Toner studied Literature at Thomas More College; He has contributed to First Things, Dappled Things, National Catholic Register, The Remnant, The Wanderer, Catholic Lane, America Magazine, and numerous secular venues.