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Big Lies

March 28, 2002

Adolf Hitler, who must at least be given credit for political savvy, understood the power of the big lie. Ordinary people tell little fibs every day, he observed, and they expect public figures to tell little fibs too; but they don’t suspect lying on the grand scale. They fall for the really audacious lie that flies in the face of reason, common sense, experience, and the testimony of the senses. As Groucho Marx put it: “Who are you gonna believe — me, or the evidence of your own eyes?”

When the World Trade Center collapsed in a terrible cloud of dust, I naively assumed that every sane American would finally see the cost of U.S. policy in the Middle East. I couldn’t have been more mistaken. I didn’t count on the Big Lie.

It was soon forthcoming. Benjamin Netanyahu and his allegedly nonexistent “amen corner” in this country quickly assured us that Muslim hatred of America had nothing whatever in any way, shape, or form to do with American support for Israel.

Nobody laughed.

Yet this was a falsehood so brazen as to stun the reason and confuse the mental faculties; you could hardly believe what you were hearing. Hitler and George Orwell would have accorded it rueful admiration. Even Communist propaganda never contradicted the obvious more boldly.

[Breaker quote: A 
principle of propaganda: Deny the obvious]And it has worked. Today Israel’s “amen corner” is calling for an American war on Israel’s enemies. And, we are told, this has nothing to do with Israel!

Nobody is laughing.

A propagandist who knows his business knows when to deny the obvious. He knows that in politics, there is no such thing as “undeniable.” Ask Bill Clinton.

Consider the scandal of “pedophile priests” in the Catholic Church. Strictly speaking, a pedophile is one who is sexually attracted to young children of either sex. The great majority of the victims in this scandal haven’t been young children or girls. They have been adolescent males. The problem is not pedophilia, but homosexuality.

The news media are in heavy denial about this. They haven’t reported the real scandal in the Church: the growth of an aggressive homosexual subculture — an extension of what W.H. Auden called “the Homintern” — within the Church, especially in the seminaries, which has produced a disproportionately “gay” priesthood.

Time for the Big Lie. The enemies of the Church, many of them nominal Catholics in the media, are blaming these sacrilegious violations of Catholic standards on — what else? — Catholic standards themselves. Not homosexuality, but celibacy and Catholic sexual morality are to blame!

The truth is exactly the opposite. Catholic authorities in this country have long since ceased enforcing the old rules. Fearful of being called “homophobic,” they have permitted the Homintern takeover and in some cases, trapped by their own indulgence, have covered up for homosexual priests who preyed on teenaged boys when they should have been punishing the offenders. Like most weak men in authority, they hoped that the problem, if discreetly concealed, would just go away by itself. Instead, it increased until it exploded.

If they were candid, the bishops should be saying to the liberal culture and its “news” media: “This is what we get for taking your advice! This is what we get for appeasing the homosexuals! This is what we get for neglecting our ancient Catholic principles!” That would be both a frank confession and a warranted accusation.

Now that the bishops’ permissiveness has blown up in their faces, the Big Lie has it that the Church has been too strict!

Nobody is laughing.

If there were even a grain of truth in the Big Lie, the problem would have been much more acute in the many centuries when Church discipline was far more rigorous than it has been lately. Sodomite priests would have been a chronic problem, a recurrent scandal, and even a stereotype of Catholic-baiting.

But some Catholics are being paralyzed by the Big Lie. Instead of asking how on earth celibacy has been discredited by priests who violated every principle of Catholic morality, they nod in passive assent when the Catholic media whores draw exactly the wrong lessons from this horrid experience.

The real lesson, as usual, is that the Church was right the first time. The legacy of Christ and his holy martyrs includes the conviction that truth must be upheld in spite of all worldly temptations and social pressures.

Joseph Sobran

Copyright © 2002 by the Griffin Internet Syndicate,
a division of Griffin Communications
This column may not be reprinted in print or
Internet publications without express permission
of Griffin Internet Syndicate

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