Our Cyrus Has Come

“Enemy-occupied territory: that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.” — C. S. Lewis

“A Christian has only to be in order to change the world, for in that act of being there is contained all the mystery of the supernatural life. It is the function of the Church to sow this divine seed, to produce not merely good men, but spiritual men—that is to say, supermen.” — Christopher Dawson

The Left is terrified of you. Yes, you—the orthodox, Mass-going Catholic. They believe you’re going to take over the United States, oust them from power, and make this country safe once again for normal, God-fearing Americans.

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That’s the thesis of a recent profile in Vanity Fair on the “increasingly powerful” movement of conservatives and traditionalists within the Catholic Church. And, you know what? They’re right.

Now, if you actually read the article, pour yourself a glass of bourbon first. The author clearly doesn’t follow the Church very closely: she seems to believe that Catholics are motivated, ultimately, by libertarian economics. And she quotes as her authority an “independent scholar” named David W. Lafferty, who blogs for Where Peter Is, and who refers to the traditionalist movement as “Catholic LARPing.”

Bear that in mind, gentle reader. If you’re one of those moms who spends three hours every Sunday shuttling your eight children to and from a Fraternity parish, you’re just role-playing. If you’re one of those dads who works two jobs so your wife can homeschool the children, you’re only playing a game. When you decided not to take a family vacation this year so you could keep up your tithe, that’s just a bit of a lark. If you stagger up to your bedroom at eleven at night, set your alarm clock for five in the morning, and then say to your spouse, “Okay, time for compline”—why, you’re only having a bit of fun! Deep down, all you really care about is tax cuts for big business.

My friends, this why they’re afraid of you. You—you, dear reader—stand as a living repudiation of everything they believe. Our culture tells you to put your own pleasure, your own comfort, above everything else. But you’ve chosen a different path. You put family over self, commitment over pleasure, and God over the whole world.

Do you know what really terrifies them? The fact that you’re happy to do it—much happier than they are, as a matter of fact. You had the chance to live as they do. You could have spent your evenings sitting alone in a Brooklyn studio apartment, petting your cat and flicking through Tinder. You could have spent your Sundays quaffing mimosas at “drag queen brunches” and binging the latest true-crime series on Netflix. But you didn’t. You chose the hidden life of Our Lady and Saint Joseph—a life of quiet, ordinary holiness, knowing that God “has lifted up the lowly.” And, given the opportunity, you’d choose it all over again.

Have some compassion for those poor souls who fear you. They’ve been twisted by what Peter Vierek called our “morally illiterate culture of unhappy and untragic pleasure-seekers.”

I love that phrase: unhappy and untragic. On this side of the veil, the two are never far apart. These secular folks will never know the joy of holding their newborn baby in their arms, or the sorrow of losing their little one in a miscarriage. They’ve chosen to numb themselves with contraception and divorce, or else inoculate themselves entirely with sodomy and porn. And they hate you because you refuse to take your dose of that soma. You have the courage to really live in this painful, ecstatic reality. You make them jealous and ashamed, and they will never forgive you for it.

That’s also why they treat abortion as sacrosanct, almost sacramental. A pregnant woman is a living icon of God’s love for His creation, and the sacrifice that He made so that we unworthy sinners might live. And children represent innocence: a pure, unconditional love for—and dependence upon—their mothers.

That’s what love is: dependence. It means giving of ourselves for the sake of another. Mothers and children embody a love that so many of our countrymen are neither strong nor weak enough to bear.

That’s why the Left is afraid of you. You’ve chosen the path of dependence, of humility, of sacrifice. And, deep down, they know you chose rightly.

Traditional Catholics make up a relatively small segment of the U.S. population, probably less than five percent. And yet we do have an outsized influence in American politics and culture. That’s because, as Cardinal Newman realized 150 years ago, “There is no medium… between Atheism and Catholicism.” Those who pursue novelty, pleasure, and fashion will always tend towards godlessness; those who seek after the True, the Good, and the Beautiful will always feel drawn to our Holy Mother Church.

Yes, the Left is afraid of you. But should they be? Of course not! You don’t want to hurt them. You want to introduce them to Jesus Christ, so that they might find the same happiness and tragedy that you’ve found in Him.

But they don’t want to meet Him. Remember how Legion, as soon as he saw Our Lord, cried out: “I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” The very presence of Truth and Goodness and Beauty is unbearable to those fallen angels. And so the Lord of the World will turn every power and principality against us, as Father Benson prophesied over a century ago.

That’s why the Left calls us fascists. It’s why they say that, simply by refusing to pay for women’s birth control or bake a cake for a gay wedding, we are committing “violence” against them: because it’s true. It’s painful for them, knowing we refuse to validate their life-choices by making ourselves as unhappy and untragic as they are.

Remember, Joe Biden is not our enemy. Kamala Harris is not our enemy. We have only one true Enemy, the Devil. Never forget that. Never forget that Our Lord died for Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, too. He wants nothing more than for Joe and Kamala to know, love, and serve Him in this life, so that they might be happy with Him together in the next. And we desperately want the same for them.

Yet there’s no denying that, should Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris win this election, they will serve those forces which seek to destroy us. President Donald Trump may have spoken better than he realized when he warned that the Democrats want “no religion.” They want to “hurt the Bible, hurt God.” Progressives themselves may not realize it, but that’s exactly what they want to do.

For Catholicism isn’t just a theory that some theologian conjured out of the ether, like Unitarianism. It’s the fullness of God’s truth. It’s revealed through His Word (the Scriptures), taught by His Bride (the Church), and sustained by His grace (the Sacraments). Those who reject the Faith may simply be misled, but those who fight against the Faith are, indeed, fighting against God.

We have a saying at Crisis Magazine: “All warfare is spiritual warfare.” So, when the gauntlet is thrown down, it’s only natural that we Catholics should rush to the front lines. That’s why we’re here. We’re Heaven’s shock troops—guerrilla soldiers from the City of God fighting in the streets of the City of Man.

Not even Tolkien could have imagined a man like Donald Trump appearing, like some latter-day Cyrus, to lead us Catholics in this great battle against the Evil One. It’s too spectacular for fiction. Yet here he is: Donald the Great, come to deliver the faithful from our long exile. And, though not a Catholic himself (at least, not yet), he commands us to “rebuild the house of the Lord.”

The Jews knew a good thing when they had it, and to this day they honor Cyrus as an agent of Divine Providence. We Catholics are a bit slower on the uptake. The lords of Babylon have set up Catholic puppets to keep us docile and obedient: Archbishop Wilton Gregory, Nancy Pelosi, David W. Lafferty, and—yes—Joe Biden. And Babylon has its own shock-troops, of course: Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and their ilk. The Catholic puppets soften us with nice-sounding words about compassion and justice… always with the understanding that, if we don’t fall into line, our churches will be burned, our businesses ransacked, and our Constitutional rights suppressed.

Yet I believe that America’s Catholics will rise to this historic challenge. We’re made for adventure, and this may be the greatest adventure of our lives.

For what do we stand to lose in this election? Not only the lives of 60 million more babies (as if that weren’t enough!). Mr. Biden has also vowed to ensure that religious institutions like the Little Sisters of the Poor would be forced to pay for contraceptives. He would use Covid-19 as an excuse to suppress the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and “contact tracing” to hunt down and punish those who refuse to stay home. No doubt he would turn a blind eye to those iconoclasts who intend to make good on their promise to destroy images of Our Lord, Our Lady, and the saints of God.

What’s more, Catholic schools that refuse to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that “align with their gender identity” would find no support in the federal government. Nor would businesses that refuse to participate in same-sex weddings. It’s entirely possible that the Catholic Church itself would be legally sanctioned for refusing to perform such blasphemous imitations of the Sacrament of Matrimony. Organizations that promote traditional Catholic teachings like the Knights of Columbus may be designated as hate groups. You can certainly kiss your homeschool co-op goodbye.

Those cowards and pleasure-seekers who have infiltrated the Church would run scared if they faced such insurmountable odds. But not us. True Christian men and women rejoice at the prospect of proving ourselves in this field of battle. Never has there been a more exciting time to be a Catholic. Cyrus calls us to war; so, put on your armor and rush to his standard. Do our ranks seem thin? No matter: our God is great indeed. The Enemy fears us, and rightly so—for, if He is for us, who is against us?


  • Michael Warren Davis

    Michael Warren Davis is a contributing editor of The American Conservative and the author of The Reactionary Mind (Regnery, 2021). He previously served as editor of Crisis Magazine and U.S. editor of the Catholic Herald of London. His next book, After Christendom, will be published by Sophia Institute Press. Follow his Substack newsletter, The Common Man.

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