The juxtaposition of two stories on the Irish Independent online in a pathetic way reflects something of the moral confusion our world finds itself in today. In one, Liam Fay fulminates against the Catholic Church and indeed against the very reality of religion itself over the mild remarks made recently by Fr. Kevin Doran in the exercise of his responsibility as a board member of the Mater Hospital. In the other, we learn of a woman suing her family for the pressure they put her under to abort her twin daughters. One is the harbinger of a new religious persecution in Ireland; the other further evidence of the diabolical and rampant selective genocide – now called gendercide – in progress on the subcontinent of India.
Fay’s intemperate rant was frightening in its intolerance of any tolerance other than his own narrowly based “scientific” view of the world and mankind. It was also frightening in its offering of further evidence of the relentless progress of what we are increasingly justified in calling the Cromwellian faction in Irish politics and media, the subject of a post here a few weeks ago.
The same strategy is evident in every line of Fay’s diatribe against Fr. Doran, the Mater Hospital, and the religious beliefs of the majority of the population of this planet. Fay is utterly blind to the reality that his own world view is determined by an utterly unproven tenet – that there is no God and that anyone who thinks there is a God has no right to live his live, organise his society and his world in the light of that reality. Fay’s totalitarianism tells the world that it must, on the contrary, organise itself according to his beliefs. Ultimately what he proposes as scientific is in fact a belief, and no belief is more dangerous and frightening than the one which proclaims itself to be scientific.
Tolstoy said it all about this type of thinking when he described the grotesque self-assurance of General Pfuel in War and Peace. It was the worst of all, stronger and more repulsive than any other, because he imagines that he knows the truth – science – which he himself has invented but which is for him the absolute truth.
The utterly dishonest programme of denigration of the religious and priests of this country, and of all and any who uphold and promote – for the sake of the common good – the social teaching of the Catholic Church, is plain for all to see and is typified by Fay. They are following in the steps of Thomas Cromwell, who knew that for King Henry VIII to succeed with his reformation and greed-motivated destruction of the monasteries, he would have to sustain it with strong yet simple reasons calculated to appeal to the popular mind. Some decent pretext had to be found for presenting the proposed measure of suppression and confiscation to the nation. For this reason the failures of a handful of religious houses was the device used to blacken the characters of the monks and nuns throughout the land. That sounds familiar in a modern Irish context.
This Cromwell did and followed on with one of the greatest acts of cultural vandalism and religious persecution in the early modern age. Fay, no doubt, would say “good riddance”.
Both these stories point to one thing: that the culture of death, a culture rooted in a philosophy of hedonism, is a reality in our world and the forces promoting it are formidable. While ultimately it has within itself the seeds of its own destruction – like communism before it, its very unnaturalness will eventually destroy it, – the longer it takes to stagger to its demise, the more innocent human lives will lie in its wake.