Democratic Senators Kamala Harris and Maize Hirono have chosen to make membership within the Knights of Columbus a variant of a hate crime. Judicial nominee Brian Buescher’s pro-life bona fides notwithstanding, his cardinal sin against the bureaucracy isn’t his judicial temperament, but rather the fact that he is a practicing Catholic.
The post-Kavanaugh Democratic Party is showing few signs of remorse after the vicious slander of a good man on national television, an act that was more Salem witch trial than vetting process.
Yet as if to remind us all that secular religions have more force today than sacred religions, Harris and Hirono have absolutely zero qualms about imposing a religious test on prospective nominees — provided they are used to exclude those who might question their worldview of tolerance (or else).
There is something deeper at play here.
Many commentators lament the fact that Americans no longer know how to discuss ideas in the public square. In short, we stopped teaching grammar, logic, and rhetoric and traded it for the so-called liberal arts education.
Classical education focuses on what is called the trivium, whereas the liberal arts education
focuses primarily on what is called the quadrivium — music, arithmetic, astronomy, and geometry.
Thus over the last four generations, we effectively reversed education in this country. Rather than learning how to think before learning what to think about, we have raised an entire polity to do practical, mercurial tasks with rhetoric, logic, and grammar being the reserve for the truly educated person.
No small wonder that we grip our identities with such fanatical fervor. We look for reasons to disagree as a means of sharpening who we are rather than seeking areas of agreement and looking for ways to contrast and communicate our differences in such a way that respects the dignity of the human person.
When those identities come into conflict? The result is simple. Two identities whose sole purpose is to define themselves in contrast to the other often results in conflict, violence, or worse. Fellow travelers turn into social abstractions, perceived opposition can be destroyed, and the more abstract the person — a politician, a child yet to be born, the poor, the marginalized, the sick and the weak — the more perceived legitimacy one has to eradicate what is hostile to the body politic.
Thus the little white blood cells of secular religions seek out the pathogens to the state, no less different than Stalin and his Black Marias frog-marching dissidents to the gulag in the Soviet Union.
Perhaps Harris and Hirono haven’t come to such conclusions — yet. But if history is any indicator, the only reserve that perpetuates civility and civilization in the public square is a proper education, not the servile substitute we seem to be drowning in over the last four generations.
Our problem is threefold. First, we continue to be pulled apart by the extremes. Second, the number of individuals who truly have an education to pass down are growing increasingly rare. Last and perhaps more important, there is a spiritual contest involved here where Catholics in the public square are increasingly targeted by the secular religions of every stripe.
Harris and Hirono, along with other leftist leaders such as Cory Booker and Dianne Feinstein are going to remind us constantly that “the dogma lives loudly” within us. So be it…and let’s have the courage to be martyrs in the public square for our faith. Not that we should go out of our way to seek martyrdom, but let’s not be afraid to see what is going on with clear eyes either.
Senators Kamala Harris and Maize Hirono seem to be the ones full of hate.