The White Privilege of Lent

Yesterday, I learned that some Catholics had organized a recent conference that took a bold stand against the Alt-Right:

“I’ve written previously about how the Catholic historical experience with nativism can serve as a reminder that the church should be out front in confronting the racism and anti-Muslim bigotry that fuels contemporary strains of white nationalism. That experience is unusually relevant these days. Donald Trump won the White House in part by selling a restorationist vision for reclaiming America often rooted in racial appeals, and a nostalgic narrative that harkened back to a time when white hegemony, culturally, and politically, were assumed to be as American as eating apple pie and ice cream.

Several scholars, advocates, and researchers tackled this subject last week at an event, “How Catholics Should Respond to the Rise of the Alt-Right,” co-hosted by the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America and Millennial, a journal and blog edited by young Catholics. …”

I rolled my eyes. Quite honestly, I didn’t think their virtue signaling was worth responding to on this blog. Why respond to these people when Pope Francis is a SJW? Anti-Muslim bigotry? Ever hear of the Crusades? Ever hear of the Reconquista in Spain?

Today, I noticed that the same Catholic group, specifically this journal called Millennial, has an article about “acknowledging” their white privilege on Lent in Time magazine:

“”Rend your hearts, not your garments!” These are the challenging words of the prophet Joel that will greet Christians in churches around the world as they mark the beginning of Lent with the celebration of Ash Wednesday.

Lent, too domesticated over time, is nothing short a radical ancient invitation to reject the emerging dictatorship of superficiality that too often sullies our lives and our communities and to take up a new path that celebrates authentic encounter and encourages our own our conversion and a transformation of the entire human race. …

As a white heterosexual Christian man it’s a reminder that if I am to authentically honor the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ this holy season, I must acknowledge and reject the privilege afforded me for the sake of taking the path of Jesus Christ.

There’s nothing better for me to do this Lent than to abstain and fast from the sexism that too often colors my life.

Now, let’s set the record straight: there are those who are blatantly sexist and there are those who unintentionally perpetuate micro-acts of sexism in their everyday lives. I’m most certainly a sinner, but on my best days, I’m hopefully more of the latter than the former. And perhaps that’s more pernicious in a country where Donald Trump is President. …”

I’m not a Catholic.

I guess I don’t get it. I don’t recall Jesus Christ ever mentioning “racism” or “sexism” or “white privilege” or “human rights,” but whatever, who am I to disagree with Pope Francis? Protestants have always believed that Catholicism is full of things that have nothing to do with Christianity:

“In confronting the alt-right, then, we must stipulate each and every time that there is an imbalance in the discussion, that they do not share our commitment to democratic processes or values, and that this imbalance is the frame in which each and every particular discussion takes place. We must state, clearly, and each and every time, that debate presumes equal partners to the debate, and that we are committed to the belief in the essential equality of all, even while our interlocutors from the alt-right are not. When they traffic in lies, we must state, “That’s a lie” and demand evidence for the claim. We must beware of the tricky way they fabricate evidence. We must, each and every time, make sure that we do nothing to normalize their views, but identify just how hateful and beneath contempt those views are. We must, in short, be on our guard. Engage, but do so warily, and only when repeatedly noting the fact that the positions the alt-right espouses are not just wrong, but contemptuous of the means by which a liberal democracy sorts out the complexities of public policy, means that we value and celebrate, and which we accord to these provocateurs even if they wish not to accord them to anyone else. …”

What can you do but laugh at these goobers?

Pope Leo XIII denounced the heresy of Americanism. Pope Gregory XVI condemned liberal democracy. Where does these people get off condemning us for being contemptuous of liberal democracy? Are they familiar with their own traditions or are they really just this historically ignorant? What did St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas have to say about the “sin” of sexism?

Do these people know how ridiculous they sound? I find my thoughts drifting to Tertullian on women:

“And do you not know that you are (each) an Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives in this age: the guilt must of necessity live too. You are the devil’s gateway: you are the unsealer of that (forbidden) tree: you are the first deserter of the divine law: you are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God’s image, man. On account of your desert— that is, death— even the Son of God had to die.”

This is the fundamental reason I can’t take so many modern Christians seriously. I’ve had Southern Baptists tell me that “racism” is a sin. I have to remind them that they figured this out in the 1990s, fifty years after this nonsense started being propagated by the mainstream media, and that they were the last group in the entire country to do so. Their church was also founded in the antebellum era as a reaction against the power of the abolitionist movement in the Baptist church.

In this case, we are dealing with liberals condemning us as Catholics. All of these concepts are drawn from trendy secular culture and would have bowled over 19th century Catholics.

About Hunter Wallace 12380 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. You are correct in your analysis. All one can say to this is, “anathema sit. ”

    Bergoglio is the pope of the antichrist, and his destruction of the church is creating fruit such as this -which bears no connection to the root, that was of the historic European Christian tradition. A couple of poignant comments from history:

    “flee from Rome, flee from Rome! “- Anon.
    “Come out of her my people, and to be separate. “-The Bible
    “Rome was the first protestant. “-The Orthodox Church

  2. As an old associate told me back in the Sixties, “No priest is a communist but there are a hell of a lot of communists that are priests.” It is well to remember, one of the first Orders the Cultural commies infiltrated was the Jesuits, the training ground for anti-White pope Francis.

    • The church survived the original persecution, Byzantine intrigue, Avignon, the Borgias, WW2. It will survive Francis the Talking Mule.

      • I you are a believer, you need to educate yourself about the heresy of Vatican II and incorperations of it that pope (((John Paul II))) carried out.

        • I’ve read the documents of Vatican II and find nothing heretical.
          That heretics upset everything in “the spirit of Vatican II” doesn’t change what the documents said.
          1. The church developed and has adopted and discarded practices as it seemed prudent and guided by the Holy Spirit, including the Tridentine Mass, but both earlier, later, and eastern rite forms.
          2. If the church was so strong before Vatican II, it would have easily resisted such a new and radical heresy. Instead, the ease and speed which the fall happened shows that the piety, holiness, and the rest was just a facade that fell at the slightest push.

  3. ‘I’m most certainly a sinner, but on my best days, I’m hopefully more of the latter than the former.’

    Phony humility and virtue signaling.

    Why should anyone listen to someone who even on his best days is slightly less a sinner?

    If that is truly the case the writer must be a terror in daily life and the efficacy and the value of his religion should be questioned.

    • The beauty of Protestantism is its simplicity, either you believe in Jesus Christ and are saved, or you don’t.

  4. Things they should give up for lent:
    Virtue signalling.
    Doubling Down.
    pointing and shrieking.

  5. I was raised Catholic. The rot set in under John Paul II, and began with Vatican II.

    I’m not Christian, but if one wants to profess faith in Jesus, I would suggest the Orthodox Church. There seems to be way less of this White Guilt Virtue Signalling bullshit going on in Orthodox Christianity.

    And Protestants are just as bad as Catholics right now, if not worse. The Southern Baptists apologized for slavery and racism a few years back, and if a SWPL tells you they are Mainline Protestant, you immediately know that they are a race traitor who likes to do missionary work in some African shithole and bring black babies back home with them.

      • “Tolerance” is a Trojan Horse. It is sad to see the state of the Church today, but that is what happens when you make tolerance your goal instead of saving souls.

        • The meaning of the word tolerance has been changed and subverted itself. If I tolerate something, it means I put up with it. It does not mean I accept or endorse an idea or culture, for example!

          • That is true, but tolerance, even in this older sense, should never be seen as a goal in itself. You learn to tolerate or live with something because trying to eliminate it will make things worse. But no society can tolerate behaviour or ideas which, were they to become universally or generally believed or practiced, would destroy that society. And unfortunately that is exactly what we have done in the name of tolerance.

      • The Roman Catholic Church has been problematic since the days of its founder Constantine.

        • Constantine didn’t found the Catholic Church. All he did was to stop the persecution of the Church and request the Church call a council to settle the Arian controversy. This founding story is a myth that only historical illiterates believe in. Anybody who takes the time to read the actual writings of the early Post-Apostolic, Pre-Nicene Christians will soon realize the Church that was around in Constantine’s day was the same one that existed in the first century.

      • Mel Gibson’s father, Hutton Gibson has fought against the Judaized Church since Vatican II.

      • Read a little history the Roman Catholic Church, it has been in hock to, and subservient to the Jews since the start. No fiction—that’s the way it has been.

    • I couldn’t agree more, Y Finkelstein. Thanks to the canonized pope John Paul II, the gates of Vatican, which earlier were just slightly ajar, got wide open to Judaism and the “disciples” of NWO. This was a disaster for Poland, but not quite an unexpected one as Karol Wojtyla not only had a Jewish mother but also surrounded himself with Jews.

  6. Stefan Molyneaux embracing classic Aryan dualism? (God vs the Devil)?

    Who’s next? Styxhexenhammer?

  7. Roman Catholics will smile in your face and then stab you in the back. They have a political history of it.

  8. There should be a mass exodus of all remaining Whites from the Roman church. The only form of Christianity I can think of that hasn’t been infiltrated by fags, jews and communists is the Eastern Orthodox church.

  9. I’ll admit that dwelling on one’s white privilege seems tedious—but it’s better than giving up pizza.

  10. I still haven’t seen a Black Lives Matter banner on a Catholic church. Let us pray that things stay this way.

  11. Commonweal Magazine is a masonic rag/site, part of the Rockefeller network, with its offices in Rockefeller’s “God Box” (The Interchurch Centre).

    They condemned Father Charles Coughlin and Senator Joseph McCarthy, and have been promoting White Guilt since before you were born.

    • Sophistry Slouching Toward Apostasy

      By Deacon Keith Fournier, August 28, 2013

      I read the 9,000 word essay entitled “The Things We Share: A Catholic’s Case for Same-Sex Marriage” last weekend. It was written by Joseph Bottum for Commonweal magazine.

      I read it several times. Each time it broke my heart at an even deeper level. The first thing I did was to pray about my response. I decided to wait until I could calm down a bit.

      I knew the utter despair that this essay would generate in the broader, faithful Christian community. I knew how dangerous the article would be in this critical time when the Church faces a growing persecution in the West, precisely because she is defending the truth concerning the nature of marriage and the family and society founded upon it.

      Most of my career efforts, as a constitutional lawyer, writer, and policy advocate, as well as a Catholic Deacon, have placed me at the intersection of faith and culture.

      I have never been a part of the “in crowd’, no matter what season of my nearly sixty years of life. I am a Catholic who simply seeks to live at the heart of the Church for the sake of the world.

      I do not hang out with those who self-identify as intellectuals. I like simple folks,the salt of the earth, like those with whom I was raised in a blue collar Boston neighborhood. Like those whom I now call friends in Southern Virginia.

      Though I have certainly spent much time in academic study, and even participated in the Academy, when I choose to hang out, I opt for a karate dojo or boxing ring over hobnobbing in Manhattan.

      Bottum’s article is an example of the kind of compromise which will come, even in our own “camp”. The author’s pretense of “intellectualism” is a dangerous rejection of the very structure of reality founded upon truth. It is long-winded and filled with guile.

      Bottum was an early Manhattan Declaration guy, considered one of the intellectual “elite” in some circles. This compromise, pretending to be reasoned insight, is corrosive and sad. May we be numbered among the foolish God chooses to confound the wise.

      This piece by Joseph Bottum is not new. He is just new in succumbing to the error which it represents. It could do more to undermine the Catholic Church than the growing hostility from the Cultural Revolutionaries who seek to enforce a moral and legal equivalency between homosexual and lesbian partnerships and married couples by a misuse of the mechanisms of the State.

      It will confuse many of the faithful. It will also give fodder to the enemies of the Church in their campaign against the truth as revealed by the Natural Moral Law about the dignity of the human person, human sexuality, marriage, family and the good society. They will point to this “conservative” Catholic in an attempt to paint the rest of the Church, and those who agree with her teaching, as out of touch or even dangerous.

      Bottum denigrates efforts to use a Natural Moral Law argument to defend marriage as what it is, a lifelong union between one man and one woman, open to new life and formative of the family, the first vital cell of society. How he does so is what is most infuriating about this essay. It is done in a manner which is haughty, condescending and intellectually dishonest, while pretending to be intelligent and artistic. In the middle of this 9000 word essay he almost hides his conclusion, even though he says he did not intend to do so:

      “I DON’T MEAN to hide this essay’s conclusions. Where we’re going with all this is toward a claim that the thin notions of natural law deployed against same-sex marriage in recent times are unpersuasive, and, what’s more, they deserve to be unpersuasive-for their thinness reflects their lack of rich truth about the spiritual meanings present in this created world. Indeed, once the sexual revolution brought the Enlightenment to sex, demythologizing and disenchanting the Western understanding of sexual intercourse, the legal principles of equality and fairness were bound to win, as they have over the last decade: the only principles the culture has left with which to discuss topics such as marriage.

      “And so, I argue, a concern about the government’s recognizing of same-sex marriage ought to come low on the list of priorities as the church pursues the evangelizing of the culture. For that matter, after the long hard work of restoring cultural sensitivity to the metaphysical meanings reflected in all of reality, Catholics will have enough experience to decide what measure of the deep spirituality of nuptials, almost absent in present culture, can reside in same-sex unions.”

      What is evident is that this Catholic intellectual named Joseph Bottum, who once sat at the Editorial pinnacle of one of the communications pieces of the new intellectual class (First Things magazine), does not understand the teaching of his own Church on the ontological nature of marriage as between one man and one woman. Nor does he respect the teaching of that Church on the dignity of the human person called to marriage, the family and society based upon it, the common good derived and advanced from it and the happy and virtuous life it promotes.

      Marriage as low on the list of priorities? What the Church teaches and defends about marriage is, along with what she teaches about the dignity of every human person, at the very top of the list of priorities. That is why Jesus Christ taught so clearly about it. It touches the meaning of human life, love, community and the structure of reality! It opens up God’s self revelation and perfects His image as present in men and women who are called to the communion of love it portends and promotes.

      Bottum references what he calls thinness in the Natural Law arguments which have been raised to defend marriage by the Church. Then, he simply dismisses the entire Natural Law teaching of the Catholic Church on marriage. This reference to thinness is an academic ploy. Academics speak of thin and thick presentations of philosophical or theological positions. Part of the difficulty Bottum refers to requires a bit of historical context. The crisis affecting contemporary Catholic Moral Theology finds its roots in the separation of subject and object which infected Western Philosophy following the influence of the philosopher Rene Descartes and his progeny.

      The way of understanding the world, and our role in it, prior to what could be called the modern era (the post Cartesian age), viewed human reasoning in continuity with the reasoning that was already present in the universe. Reason was not understood in a solely intellectual or cognitive notion. Rather, when a human being reflected, they participated in Divine Reason. Indeed the entire universe was quite reasonable, in as much as it participated in God’s reason. With this separation of subject and object there emerged several views of what was meant by the phrase the Natural Law. Each was built upon different notions of nature and reason. Thus, when one hears the phrase, Natural Law, one needs to ask which concept of nature, reason and natural law is being promoted.

      One can trace the idea of a natural law back to classical Greek thought. However, there currently exist two prevalent though varying views of Natural Law theory in contemporary Catholic and broader Christian circles. Both claim to find at least some ground in the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. First, there is what is popularly referred to as the new natural law theory. This school of thinking is identified with Germaine Grisez, John Finnis, Joseph Boyle and William E. May. One of its most popular contemporary spokesmen is Robert P. George.

      This theory offered a response to theories called proportionalism and consequentialism which eroded the claims of the existence of objective moral truth and norms to guide human behavior following the Second Vatican Council in the Catholic Church. It was an effort to again articulate natural law thought in what was first called a naked public square by Richard John Neuhaus, the founder of First Things, in 1986. With the understanding that the first principle of practical reasoning is to do good and avoid evil, Grisez asserted that reason (meaning that concept of reason as a work of the human intellect) will lead the human person to discover that there are certain self-evident goods, which all men and women can discover. These basic human goods direct human choice.

      Their existence is part of the basis for the view of the natural law which Bottum now calls thin, even though he once promoted it in the magazine he edited. Grisez offered this basic principle of morality: “In voluntarily acting for human goods and avoiding what is opposed to them, one ought to choose and otherwise will those and only those possibilities whose willing is compatible with a will toward integral human fulfillment.” According to Grisez, this first principle of morality requires that a person respect integral human fulfillment. These basic human goods are not commensurable. They are “pre-moral”, and capable of being discovered by anyone, at any time in any age and any culture. Their existence and the fact we can all find them and agree upon them is what gave a structure to this new natural law theory.

      It was labeled the new natural law theory by its opponents because of its strong variance from the understanding of natural law offered by St Thomas Aquinas. On Thomas’ view, the natural law was a participation in the Eternal Law through which God governs the universe. God does this by Divine Reason. The things of creation that are ruled by this Eternal Law are all reasonable, in the sense that they participate in Divine Reason. However, with the separation of subject and object, reason itself was redefined after Descartes. It came to be seen as either a work of the subject, discharged by the intellect, or it was posited as somehow found in what was viewed by Cartesian thinkers as nature, meaning either things – or even the human body treated as a thing.

      Neither of these approaches to reason and nature accurately represent the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. He used the phrase Natural Law to speak of the participation of all in the Eternal Law, the Divine Reason, through which God governs the world. This Natural Law can be known and should inform all positive law, if it seeks to be true and just law. Catholic proponents of the natural law thought of St. Thomas include classical Thomists like Ralph McInerney. Perhaps the latest and clearest contemporary response is found in the excellent treatment of the subject offered by F. Russell Hittinger in his work entitled The First Grace: Rediscovering the Natural Law in the Post-Christian World.

      Joseph Bottum is aware of both of these two strains of Natural Law thought. In his intellectual sounding rhetoric, by claiming that the thinness of the natural law arguments have failed, he simply dismisses Natural Law entirely as a basis for defending marriage as what it is in the contemporary struggle we face in the West. He says the Church and other Christians who oppose the notion that homosexuals or lesbians are capable of entering into marriage, or attaining the ends of marriage, based upon the Natural Moral Law argument, should just drop their efforts. This is where Joseph Bottum may be moving beyond sophistry and slouching toward apostasy.

      Sophistry is a method of argumentation which uses lofty words to present a seemingly plausible but incorrect and misleading argument. Apostasy refers to the rejection of fundamental Christian doctrine and dogma. The teaching of the Catholic Church on the nature of marriage is unequivocal and will not change. Its rejection by a culture, or even by a Christian intellectual, is nothing new. However, when a Christian intellectual does so, he or she is skating on very thin ice. Those cultures and those mistaken intellectuals of the past have disappeared. However, the Catholic Church and her teaching continues. Truth endures.

      The Christian claims concerning life and marriage are not outdated notions of a past era but provide the path to the future. Homosexual or lesbian couples cannot bring into existence what marriage intends by its very definition. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Catholic Church explained the truth about marriage well in 2003. Here is an excerpt: “The Church’s teaching on marriage and on the complementarity of the sexes reiterates a truth that is evident to right reason and recognized as such by all the major cultures of the world. Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It was established by the Creator with its own nature, essential properties and purpose.”

      “No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman, who by mutual personal gift, proper and exclusive to themselves, tend toward the communion of their persons. In this way, they mutually perfect each other, in order to cooperate with God in the procreation and upbringing of new human lives.”

      Nor is the position of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church on the truth about marriage simply a religious position, in the sense of intended only for those who profess religious belief. The Catholic Church insists upon the existence of a Natural Moral Law which can be known by all men and women through the exercise of reason. Though affirmed, fulfilled, and elevated by Christian teaching, the truth that marriage can exist only between one man and one woman is not based on religion or revelation alone, but on this Natural Moral Law. It is cross cultural.

      The Catholic Church will never abandon the truth that Marriage and family have been inscribed by the Divine Architect into the order of creation. Marriage is ontologically between one man and one woman, ordered toward the union of the spouses, open to children and formative of family. Nothing else is a marriage. Family is the first vital cell of society; the first church, first school, first hospital, first economy, first government and first mediating institution of a truly human and just social order. Heterosexual marriage, procreation, and the nurturing of children form the foundation for the family, and the family forms the foundation of civil society.

      This is not only a Christian position. It is the ground upon which every great civilization has been built. It is the source for every great and authentic human and civil rights movement. The Natural Moral Law gives us the moral norms we need to build societies and govern ourselves. It should also inform our positive law or we will become lawless and devolve into anarchy.

      For the positive law of the United States to now insist, backed up by the police power of the State, that we pretend otherwise, or face the consequences, is to enforce a dangerous social experiment. It is also manifestly unjust and overtly anti-Christian. To confer by governmental fiat the benefits that have been conferred in the past only to stable married couples and families to homosexual paramours is bad public policy and can never serve the common good.

      To state all of this is to serve the common good. It is to stand up for the rights of children to have a mother and a father. It is to promote the first school of virtues called the family. For Joseph Bottum to abandon the truth, by writing a winding 9000 word essay in Commonweal magazine, does not change the truth. Join me in praying for him to recover his clarity and once again turn his substantial gifts back toward defending all that is good and true.

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