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Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

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Monday, February 06, 2017

decay of catholic conservatism


Fillonistes have fallen into sentimental rhythms about their fallen hero. In Causeur, for instance, there’s an article about the "lynching" of Fillon.This follows the tone of aggrieved persecution found elsewhere.
It was written by a Catholic conservative, Emmanuel Dubois de Prisque, of the Thomas More institute. Poor Saint Thomas Moore, to have a polemicist of such low water adorning himself with your name!
Evidently, the old exercise, recommended by all the martyred saints, of imagining the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ has become desuete. In its place has arisen a verbal inflation that has less to do with the piety and long meditations of the Saints and more to do with the spiritual non-exercise of celebrity loudmouths on news shows.
Lynching takes its name from a practice widespread in the racist US.
First, the skin was beaten, and bones were broken in abundance. Then of course came the castration, with rusty knives. Then the hanging, with the crowd often setting the lynched man on fire. Sometimes this was varied by pouring hot tar over the victim, which inflicted, in his last hour, the pain of 3rd degree burns without relief.
So, let us test the appropriateness of the lynching image. Has Fillon been beaten or kicked or clubbed? No. Have his bones been broken? No. Has a hot tar been poured over his head and torso? No. Has a rope squeezed closed his respiration, and has he been hung so that the vertebra of his neck broke? No.
He’s been asked embarrasing questions about the million Euros earned by his wife for doing nothing. Questions that are especially pertinent seeing that Fillon is running on a platform proposing firing 500,000 public servants who do things. Not intangible things, either.
His explanations have been consistent with the ridiculous image of lynching conjured up by the soi disant Catholic de Prisque – evasions and bluff, larded by resentment that a person of his power could even be asked these questions.
Someone like Georges Bernanos, a true Catholic polemicist from the past, would surely have held up the Causeur article for universal ridicule and seen in its microcosmic rhetorical corruption the vaster moral corruption of which it is a symptom. As the ideal of equality has been given the boot, a new caste-like ideal of inequality has inserted itself into our practices of justice and our system of ethics. We are encouraged to be, ninety nine percent of us, bootlickers and asskissers, while admiring the stratospheric antics of the celebrated and the wealthy.
I can predict with some confidence that Fillon will continue to live the most protected of lives and will die in a clean bed. A lynched man on the other hand in 99 percent of cases has lived a hard life and become the object of the bigoted wrath of a crowd not because of the privileges he has amassed but because of the prejudices and inequality to which he has been, forever, a victim.
Catholic conservatism is in trouble.