|The Life of St. Joan of Arc|
Stilke Hermann Anton (1843 AD)
In my last blog essay I pointed out the futility of defending America's Confederate monuments in the face of the growing NeoMarxist movement in the United States. This of course is being challenged by NeoNazi racist groups in the United States, as we would naturally expect, and vice versa. Nazis and Marxists have always hated one another, and the violence against each reached its peak during World War II between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Of course in the war against Nazism, America sided with the Marxists, even though the Marxists technically killed more innocent people, Hitler was deemed a greater threat, namely because of his close proximity to, and aggression with, Western Europe.
As uncomfortable as this may sound, had the tables been turned, in an alternate universe, and had it been the Soviet Union attacking France and Britain during World War II, America might have actually sided with Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union so long as the Nazis left Britain and France alone. I know, I've just committed "politically correct" blasphemy by stating such a thing, but I think it's true. America was in the European conflict of the War to help Britain and France. We would have allied with whomever it took to get that job done. Because you see, America's cosy relationship with the Soviet Union during World War II was no more than a strategic necessity. Had the tables been turned, we might have done the same with Nazi Germany. America's sole interest in World War II was making sure that America (and our primary allies of Britain and France) came out on top. President Roosevelt did what he had to do to insure that outcome, and if that meant allying the United States with the murderous, genocidal Joseph Stalin, then so be it. Even if he did kill more innocent people than Adolph Hitler. If the thought of this is starting to make you feel a little uncomfortable, then good! It means you're starting to understand history.
You see, my point here is to show that Marxism is just as evil as Nazism, and in some ways, its actually worse. In terms of body count alone, the Marxists killed far more people than the Nazis, and Stalin's genocidal efficiency would have made Hitler green with envy. Historically speaking, the Marxists were far more dangerous than the Nazis. For the Soviet Union acquired nuclear weapons and expanded their reach around the globe. This is what led to the Cold War. The Nazis could only wish for such things. Again, it was America's alliance with the Marxists against the Nazis that insured this outcome, but let's put things into perspective here. It was Marxism (the errors of Russia) that Our Lady warned us about at Fatima, not the errors of Germany. Both were evil to be sure. I bring this up to illustrate that just because NeoMarxists are protesting NeoNazis doesn't make the NeoMarxists any better, nor does it in any way legitimatise the NeoMarxist cause. They're both damnable heresies as far as Catholics should be concerned, and if allowed back into government power again, both will kill millions of people, just like their predecessors did.
So with that in mind, I want to share a little video here, which was witnessed by millions of Americans on nightly news and social media streams earlier this month...
In the above video, the large woman climbing atop the statue of a Confederate soldier is Taqiyah Thompson. She is a 22 year old student of North Carolina Central University. She is a NeoMarxist and leader within the Workers World Party, which is a well-known communist party founded in the United States back in 1959. You can read more about it here. This party supports the murderous and oppressive Kim Jong Un regime in North Korea. So let's be perfectly clear about something. While Confederate monuments stand for an ideal that can't be defended anymore, namely because the Confederacy lost the Civil War, and even though a few nasty racists like to rally around those monuments, that doesn't mean NeoMarxists are the right people to follow. NeoMarxists are in fact the worst people to follow, because their alleged crusade against racism and imperialism is really just a smokescreen. The Marxists of yesteryear did this too, using similar propaganda. It's a way to garner support by people who feel oppressed or marginalised. NeoMarxists, just like the original Marxists, really don't give a damn about Blacks and other minorities. They're just using them to further their Marxist agenda.
So now it appears the NeoMarxists are testing the waters in other areas they can protest, to further their cause. What are those areas? There has been some talk about tearing down America's national monuments to Washington, Jefferson, etc. So far that hasn't gained much traction, but one area that has gained some traction is the vandalism and removal of Catholic statues and monuments. Recently a statue of the Catholic heroine, St. Joan of Arc, was vandalised in New Orleans with the words "tear it down" spray-painted across its base. The perpetrator is believed to be a NeoMarxist with ties to the anti-racial group Black Lives Matter. More recently, similar anti-racist groups with ties to NeoMarxism protested statues of Christopher Columbus...
When will the madness cease? In my last essay, I pointed out that defence of Confederate Monuments will be impossible, since the Confederacy lost the Civil War and the whole cause has been so irrevocably linked with racism. The racist connection not entirely accurate, and it's not fair, but it is what it is. I pointed out that I have "bigger fish to fry" which explained why I was retreating from the Confederate argument to higher (more defensible) ground. Well, here it is. This is the higher (more defensible) ground. The attack against Catholic heroes, like Christopher Columbus and Joan of Arc, not only reflects a profound level of ignorance and brainwashing on the part of the protesters, but it also reflects a latent anti-Catholic bigotry that is typical of Marxism.
I'm sure that some will protest that remark. They'll do so by repeating the propaganda lies of Marxists which say that Christopher Columbus committed genocide against the Native American people. Let me help you out here with a little history lesson. One, that is Marxism. Two, that is a lie. Together they make a Marxist lie, and if you repeat it, you are aiding and abetting Marxism. That may not be your intention, but that is exactly what you are doing.
Now here's another history lesson about Christopher Columbus....
He was an Italian explorer financed by Spain. He was looking for a new trade route to the Orient. He didn't set out to find the American continents, they found him. Or rather, he bumped into them unexpectedly. He never did find that new trade route he was looking for, but he did discover two new continents that Europe was previously unaware of. Now it is true that Christopher Columbus wasn't the first European to discover the Americas. That honour actually belongs to Leif Erickson, a Christian Viking who discovered North America almost 500 years earlier. Erickson didn't stay long in "Vinland," or what is now northeastern Canada. He built a settlement, stayed for a few years, and then left just as mysteriously as he came, but the memory of his discovery was lost (or ignored) by most Europeans in the later Middle Ages. Columbus' voyage was financed by practical trade. The Spaniards wanted a faster trade route to the Orient and Columbus thought he could use the globe of the earth to get ships there faster. He was wrong, namely because Erickson's discovery of "Vinland" (as he called the Americas) was a whole lot bigger than any European ever expected. The hopeful trade route to the Orient was completely blocked by two enormous continents. So being a resourceful fellow, Columbus did what any explorer would do. He explored! He mapped. He documented. He informed the royal magistrates of Spain of his discovery. He was the European who discovered the trade route to the Orient was blocked by two enormous continents, and that there were inhabitants on those continents. He didn't go out and try to conquer them, and he most certainly did not commit genocide. He did, however, have some problems with governmental power. Or so it would seem from some recently discovered documents. Columbus was appointed governor of some of the small islands he discovered, and if the documents are accurate, it appears he did not handle power well. His alleged tyranny is indicative of men who are insecure leaders. Columbus was an explorer not a governor. He later begged the royals to send a replacement for him, which they did. Columbus was briefly imprisoned for his alleged tyranny, but later released to continue his exploration of the Americas -- this time as an explorer only. The only charge against Columbus that can rightly be made, if the reports are accurate, is that of local tyranny and colonial mismanagement. However, the charge of genocide is simply false. It is also propaganda.
It is true that in later years the Spaniards would engage in colonial oppression against Native Americans in Central and South America, but Columbus didn't cause that. He didn't approve of it, nor did he engage in it. To blame him for it is again a demonstration of lies and propaganda. History simply doesn't support such claims. You can't blame a man for something he simply did not do. The argument was that if Columbus hadn't discovered the Americas, then Spanish imperial conquest of the Americas would have never happened. Now let's just stop and think for a moment just how stupid this claim really is. We are being told that we should blame a man for genocide, because he discovered an area that would later be conquered by somebody else. Is that even logical?
The very definition of genocide is the wilful and intentional murder of millions of people by a direct act that intentionally causes that murder. It's sort of like the word suicide. Suicide is the murder of self, by a direct act that intentionally causes that murder. However, it is possible for somebody to inadvertently kill himself without committing suicide. For example; if a smoker develops lung cancer and dies, we don't say he committed suicide. Granted, his reckless and irresponsible lifestyle most likely caused his lung cancer, which led to his death, but he didn't intend to die. He wasn't actually trying to kill himself. It was, rather, an unintended consequence of his reckless behaviour. That is, by definition, NOT suicide. The same goes for genocide. For example; we could say that America's involvement in World War I tipped the balance of power in favour of the allies, resulting in the defeat of the Kaiser. This in turn brought about great economic hardship for Germany in the decades to follow, which resulted in the rise of Adolph Hitler, who killed millions of people. Now we could rightly accuse Hitler of genocide, but what about America? Our nation did, after all, play a great role in his eventual rise to power. Does that mean that America is guilty of Nazi genocide too? No. Because like the definition of suicide, it has to be caused by the WILFUL, INTENTIONAL and DIRECT act that causes the death(s). Only Hitler and the Nazis can be rightly blamed for that. The effect of America's involvement in World War I, which resulted in the rise of Hitler, was unintentional and indirect.
The same can be said of Christopher Columbus. Yes, his discovery of the Americas did lead to the imperial conquest of Amerindians by Spain, and some possible genocide of some Amerindian tribes, particularly the Aztecs, but that was an unintentional, unforeseen and indirect consequence. He didn't do it himself. Nor did he support it or cheer it on. In fact, his later life was racked with pain from a disease he likely contracted during his voyages, and he died in Spain, oblivious to the horrors suffered by some Amerindians.
I say SOME Amerindians, because not all of them were treated badly by the Spaniards. The Aztecs were far from the "innocent" and "peace loving" people today's NeoMarxists depict them as. In fact, they were an imperial power themselves, conquering neighbouring tribes. They regularly enslaved other Amerindians and used some for human sacrifices to their gods. It was one such display that ignited the war between the Aztecs and Hernan Cortes. In fact, Cortes didn't conquer the Aztecs on his own. He was assisted by other Amerindian tribes who allied with him, namely because they had a score to settle with the Aztecs. These native allies were treated well by the Spaniards, and benefited greatly from their imperial conquest. Some NeoMarxists today might call these natives "traitors" to their own kind, but let us not forget that the Aztecs had for centuries been pillaging their tribes, raping their women, enslaving and sacrificing their people which they took as prisoners. No, things weren't nearly as black and white as today's NeoMarxists would have us believe.
Let us not forget that the Spanish colonial method was considerably different than the French and British colonial methods. The French actually got along quite well with Amerindians in North America, and the British generally respected them as sovereign people. It was the French-Indian War (or "Seven Years War") between the French and the British that brought an end to this friendlier relationship with natives in North America, but my point here is that we can't paint with a broad brush. There were differences between the colonial powers in their dealings with the Native American civilisations and tribes. By far, the worst reputation was among the Spaniards, but even they changed their ways eventually, namely after an apparition of the Virgin Mary (Our Lady of Guadalupe) told them to.
As for the charge of genocide among Amerindians, even that is not as black and white as today's NeoMarxists would have us believe. Again, actual history is an inconvenient thing for them. The overwhelming vast majority of Native American deaths in the colonial period was due to smallpox not imperialism. Smallpox is an often-fatal infectious disease that doesn't care about your race, ethnicity, religion or geographical location. The problem was that everybody was getting it all over the world, and that includes Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. It is typically spread by casual face-to-face contact, or contact with bodily fluids from infected persons. The 16th and 17th centuries were periods of prolonged smallpox plague throughout Europe, and because Europeans were exploring the Americas at that time, the infection spread to the Americas too. Smallpox claimed the lives of millions of Europeans. In various places throughout Europe, smallpox killed off between 50% to 60% of the regional population. In the Americas, however, it was a staggering 90% of Amerindians on both continents. Why? Was it genocide? Did some mad scientist from Europe concoct a smallpox bioweapon and have it lobbed at unsuspecting Amerindians via 16th-century canon fire? Probably not. More likely it was spread by casual contact between European colonists and Native Americans. Once infected, the Native American immune system (having been isolated from the rest of the world for so long) was completely unprepared for the aggressive virus. It spread through their population like wildfire, killing 9 out of every 10 people, all across the two continents. So staggering was the loss, that Columbus recorded two continents teaming with people in the early 16th century, while the British and French colonists (relative latecomers) reported that the North American continent was mostly uninhabited by the late 16th to early 17th century. One can only imagine the horror these Amerindians suffered from a disease their immune systems have never encountered before.
Is this genocide? Hardly. It's called a pandemic -- a plague run wild. Did the Spaniards intend to infect Amerindians with this plague? It's doubtful, since it ravaged their Amerindian allies just as badly as their enemies. This was the 16th century after all. The concept of germs was not well understood. Many Europeans still attributed disease to "evil spirits" at that time. So it's highly unlikely that this was a bioweapon for intentional mass destruction. Rather, it was an infectious disease that killed both Europeans and Amerindians indiscriminately. The higher mortality among Amerindians was the result of an inferior immune system which is the natural consequence for any group of humans who remain separated from the rest of humanity for too long. The charge of genocide against European colonists is artificial and contrived. Yes, atrocities happened. Yes, imperialism was a bad thing. Yes, hindsight being 20/20, Europeans should have gone about things much differently. But genocide is an unfair and inaccurate claim. The European colonists did not INTEND to wipe out 90% of the Native American populations by a disease they had no control of, didn't fully understand, and killed millions of Europeans as well. If we abuse the word "genocide" to apply to the spread of smallpox among Amerindians, then we would likewise have to abuse the word "suicide" to explain a similar loss of life by the same disease in Europe. It just doesn't make sense. Let's use the words correctly please! But NeoMarxists rarely ever do that.
The protests against Christopher Columbus might be chalked up to historical ignorance if they were isolated. However, the vandalism of statues of Joan of Arc reveal a much more sinister pattern. Whatever did poor Joan of Arc do to Amerindians or Blacks in America? The answer is nothing of course. She lived in northern France decades before Columbus re-discovered America in 1492. She never met an Amerindian, nor an African, and she certainly did nothing to harm them. She is a canonised Catholic Saint and a symbol of faithful Catholic resistance against unjust imperialism. She is just as much a religious figure as she is a national symbol of France. There is nothing about her that can in any way be misconstrued as a symbol of racism, imperialism, genocide or hatred. Yet she is a target of NeoMarxist propaganda. Why?
One can only assume that the reason is because she's Catholic, and she represents a strong and valiant Catholicism that doesn't capitulate to the onslaught of oppressive forces of the time. She resists them, and maybe, just maybe, that's what scares the hell out of NeoMarxists. That's why she's considered a threat. That's why they want her monuments torn down, and they're willing to recruit the useful idiots in Antifa and Black Lives Matter to make it happen. I think what we are witnessing here are the first scouts of a much bigger army coming later on. Currently NeoMarxists are busy tearing down Confederate monuments, but in the long-run, their eventual plan is to tear down monuments to Catholic heroes and Saints.
Do you doubt what I'm saying here? Think again. Even Saint Junipero Serra, who did nothing but help Native Americans, is under attack by NeoMarxists as well. In San Francisco the word "Murder" was painted on a statue of him outside one of his Spanish missions. The notion that Saint Junipero Serra was anything but a gentle missionary to Amerindians in California is pure Marxist propaganda, once again designed to drive a wedge between minorities and their Christian past, so as to condition them to accept a Marxist worldview.
This is consistent with what we saw recently with a small Antifa protest of Church Militant's men's conference in Detroit, Michigan. Again, we have NeoMarxists, this time protesting an event wherein Catholic men are encouraged to become good husbands and fathers, as well as faithful Catholics and responsible citizens. What's wrong with that? It doesn't fit the NeoMarxist ideal, and it once again represents a strong and valiant Catholicism that doesn't capitulate to the onslaught of oppressive forces of the time. Right now these incidents of NeoMarxist protest and vandalism are small, but in time, once all the Confederate monuments are torn down, they will focus their attention toward monuments of a Catholic nature. Christopher Columbus and St. Joan of Arc will most certainly be the first to come down in riotous acts of vandalism.
Some of my readers have asked me why I have retreated from Confederate monuments. I explained in a previous essay why that is. They're indefensible. So I have simply retreated to higher and more defensible ground. I am a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus, and I will stand for the monuments of Christopher Columbus and St. Joan of Arc. Likewise, I will stand for the monuments of America's Founding Fathers as well, simply because I am an American and will not stand by quietly to watch them be destroyed. Yet it is Joan of Arc that I particularly rally behind on this, because she is a Saint, and because she represents everything that we, as Catholics, must do now. We must stand by our Church, and the civilisation she created (Christendom), against the forces of NeoMarxism and NeoNazism, which are really nothing more than two sides of the same coin. The fact that they hate each other should be of no concern to us. We stand against both, and yes, they both stand against us as well. Nazis have always hated Catholics, just like Marxists have. The fact that Marxism and Nazism are at war with each other is their problem not ours. We should stand against both, and we will. Saint Joan of Arc, pray for us!
Shane Schaetzel is an author of Catholic books, and columnist for Christian print magazines and online publications. He is a freelance writer and the creator of 'CatholicInTheOzarks.com -- Apologetics and random musings from a Catholic in the Bible Belt.'
BOOKS BY THIS BLOGGER...