Monday, July 21, 2008

Je me souviens

John Zmirak tells us why all Catholics should carefully observe the 14th of July:

Bastille Day marks the beginning of the greatest organized persecution of the Church since the Emperor Diocletian, and the explosion onto the world of ideologies that would poison the next two centuries: socialism and radical nationalism. Between them, those two political movements racked up quite a body count: In his 1997 book Death By Government, scholar R. J. Rummel pointed out that

during the first 88 years of this century, almost 170,000,000 men, women, and children have been shot, beaten, tortured, knifed, burned, starved, frozen, crushed, or worked to death; or buried alive, drowned, hung, bombed, or killed in any other of the myriad ways governments have inflicted death on unarmed, helpless citizens or foreigners.

And the first such modern genocide in the West took place in France, beginning in 1793.

It was undertaken by modern, progressive apostles of Enlightenment and aimed at Catholic peasants, and by its end up to 300,000 civilians had been killed by the armies of the Republic.

The differences, of course, are that the Diocletianic persecution only lasted eight years and was not terribly successful at creating widespread public distrust of Christianity. The Modernist/Enlightenment persecution, using techniques that would later be given the name "Gramscian", has lasted, on and off, for 200 years and has almost succeeded in eradicating Christian culture in western society, what we used to call "Christendom".

"a Catholic historian who teaches at a French university once told me over dinner, 'We are not to mention the Vendée. Anyone who brings up what was done there has no prospect of an academic career. So we keep silent.' "


The local government, to its credit, opened a museum marking these atrocities on their 200th anniversary in 1993 -- with a visit by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who pointed out that the mass murders of Christians in Russia were directly inspired by those in the Vendée.The Bolsheviks, he said, modeled themselves on the French revolutionaries, and pointed to the Vendée massacres as the right way to deal with Christian resistance.

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