How Long Can We Go?

Posted on 2023-12-20
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Boy, do I miss the days when the question, “Is the Pope Catholic?” was just rhetorical.

These last few months of Francis’ Papacy have reminded me of the closing sequence of The Godfather. In those scenes Michael Corleone piously stands as godfather at his nephew’s baptism, while his henchmen kill off all his opponents and irritants. Pope Francis removed Tyler, Texas Bishop Joseph Strickland from his See without giving any canonical reason. Then he had Cardinal Burke kicked out of his Vatican apartment. To top it off, the Pope broke bread with a bunch of transgenders he had invited to Rome. Now he gives his approval to blessing same-sex unions.

I will have a piece after the first of the year about the crisis in the Church, but I can’t blame Catholics in the pews for getting more and more dismayed and disheartened. I don’t think it was an accident that lightning struck the Vatican shortly after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation. The Church was about to enter her passion. It has become rough enough that even the pretzels (those folks who twist themselves in knots explaining what Francis ‘really means’ when he says or does something hideously anti-Christian) are starting to say, “Whoa!” Thirty years ago many Evangelical Protestants were flooding into the Church under Pope St. John Paul the Great. Now, prominent Evangelical leaders are concerned about the damage Pope Francis is doing to Christianity generally. Fortunately, already there are conferences of Bishops around the world that are refusing to buy into this. I think that movement will grow and pick up steam, This could be the “bridge too far” that gives voice to orthodox Bishops who, until now, have chosen to suffer in silence.

Be not afraid. The darkness will not prevail, though these surely are times that try men’s souls. Blessed are those who keep faith and fidelity to the teachings of Christ and the Apostles. As Our Lord said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” God’s promises are altogether true and His word stands fast forever. (If you click on no other link, please listen to this magnificent homily from the last Sunday before Advent by Fr. Robert Altier. It describes exactly where we are – and why we should lift our heads up. Hat tip to Deacon Tony from Texas for sending it to me.)


Once again, the Colorado Judiciary shows itself to be a parody of justice to the rest of the nation. Almost everyone knows that, years after the US Supreme Court said to knock it off, Colorado courts continue to collaborate with trans and gay activists to harass Jack Phillips, the Christian owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop in Lakewood (right next door to me). See, most of the judges in Colorado are activist political hacks who think their job is to give the most “woke” result possible and give it a legal-sounding justification. Actual jurisprudence can take a flying leap.

I am friends with a fellow who charged a woman in a civil suit in Colorado with wronging him. In the course of the suit, she acknowledged the wrong – but neither apologized for nor corrected it. The judge ordered the man to pay her legal expenses. His astonished lawyer asked how the judge could come up with that. The judge noted the woman had acknowledged the wrong. In no other court system in the nation could that happen.

Now the Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that Donald Trump cannot be on the Republican Primary ballot in the state because he engaged in insurrection. Never mind that he has never been charged with, much less convicted of, the federal crime of insurrection. The judges on the Colorado Supreme Court hate him with the fire of a thousand suns and care not a whit for justice nor jurisdiction so it was the only possible outcome. When the premier judges in the state are clown hacks, how can anyone ever get a fair shake?

How did the court system in my home state become such a woke joke? Very simple: universal mail-in voting and “merit selection” of judges. In 2013 Colorado went to universal mail-in balloting. Everyone gets their ballot mailed to them. This pumps out huge numbers of ballots to voters who do not vote – and many who do not exist, while utterly destroying any effective chain-of-custody. Not surprisingly, the only offices Republicans have been allowed to win since then are those that do not threaten Democratic rule. (Gotta let some Republicans win to keep the gag from being too obvious). In Colorado judges are all appointed by the governor. The only time they face the voters is in a retention ballot. This is what is called “merit selection.” If truth in advertising rules applied it would be called “don’t let those grubby, rube citizens have ANY say over who wears a robe and gets a gavel.” Voila, only allow Democrats to be elected to the offices that count and then only let those Democrats choose who they want on judicial benches and you have a system that Stalin would have endorsed.

Having ventured into territory that affects the entire nation, the Colorado hacks in robes will finally earn the rebuke from federal courts they have long been begging for. Meantime, my advice to you should you ever find yourself embroiled in a case in a Colorado court is to abandon all hope of prevailing. Just opt for damage control and get out as quickly as you can. That, of course, is if you are Christian or conservative. If you are woke, your case can be as ridiculous and evidence-free as you please and it will still be a slam dunk with these embarrassing hacks.


I am stunned to see a new Harvard poll out that says that the long-term answer to the conflict between Israel and Hamas is to “end” Israel and give all the land to Hamas and the Palestinians. I guess calling it the “final solution” would have been too obvious. While we were sleeping our colleges have raised a new and more virulent version of the Hitler youth. Yet another example of the compassion and tolerance of the left.

A strange component of all this is that the less objective knowledge some people have, the more forceful and violent they are in pushing their errant beliefs. There has always been an element of this among people who want to play smart on the cheap, but I honestly am not aware of any time where it was so systemic.

Meanwhile, in cities across the country lefties are dismantling successful public schools and programs because they are “not fair.” In 2nd grade, I was assigned to be the narrator at our school’s Christmas Pageant (remember those? I know…those of you under 50 can’t because the left killed them). Watching a child’s Christmas Pageant this year, I realized why it was such a hit: having a tiny kid who can read smoothly with inflection had to be absolutely adorable. Thank God that was then: now I would be sent to the corner with a dunce cap for making other kids feel bad.

We truly do have a lot of wood to chop.


More and more serious commentators are worried that, if present trends continue, we are going to lose our country. As I have been saying for a few years now, we have already lost it. A very real insurrection took place in the wee hours of Nov. 4 when Democrats used massive vote fraud to manufacture enough ballots to illegitimately install Joe Biden in the Oval Office. The leftists promptly got to work trying to establish a one-party state whose rule could not be brooked. The country was lost on Dec. 11 when the Supreme Court refused, on procedural grounds, to examine the evidence of massive fraud propping up this insurrection. Everything since then has been death throes.

The problem for the authoritarian left is that they moved before cementing their authority. There are too many of us and not enough of them. They keep trying to crack down with new depravities to force us to get in line – and every time they do they lose more of their own. Some of their own luminaries are wondering why so many of their former comrades are moving right. Most well-timed authoritarian movements gain ground as they go, simply from the human propensity to want to be on the side that is winning. The harder the modern left tries the more supporters it sheds. With great sturm und drang it is dying before our eyes. But it has taken over almost all of the institutions of the republic – so it is taking them down with it.

Now the left is openly thinking about civil war as the means to get all us recalcitrants in line. Of course, they have long ago lost (or abandoned) the capacity for critical thinking. As Kurt Schlichter amusingly explains, this, like everything else in their imagination, will not work out as they planned. But it does reveal that they would rather kill and subdue rather than live with the possibility of loss of their power and influence. That is what happens when you make power and influence your god.

The atrocities Hamas visited upon innocent Israeli civilians on Oct. 7 laid bare the progressive soul in a way that is stark. The left chose to side with the rapist, torturing, murdering savages who even took glee in roasting infants alive. It was not a great leap for people to see that, if they support that in the name of equity, that is what they would do to all of us if they got the chance. And so, as Victor Davis Hanson starkly puts it, our choice now is between civilization or its destroyers. I choose civilization.

The leftist barbarians are not going to go gently into exile. If we are ever going to have a healthy, pluralist society again, we must thoroughly banish, discredit, jail and defeat the barbarians. We are witnessing the ugly closing of the old era. What the new era that follows it will look like is entirely up to us.


By now it is clear to all but the most obtuse that the Russian-Ukraine War will end with Ukraine ceding much or all of the Donbass and Crimea (which identify as Russian anyway) to Russia in exchange for peace and a guarantee of the integrity of historical Ukrainian borders. It was not necessary for over a half million Ukrainian and Russians to die for this: it could have been accomplished 20 years ago – or 10 years ago – or two years ago, for that matter. It was American intransigence that prevented such a settlement.

All the happy talk about Zelensky being the new Churchill, Ukrainian troops decimating baffled Russian troops, and democracy being at stake in this battle of Eastern European strongmen has been overtaken by reality – which is what I told you it was from the start.

Zelensky is no sophisticated and elegant western statesman, nor is Putin a snarling beast bent on world domination. Both are strongmen in societies that are not free and lack the political infrastructure in which a genuine democratic statesman can flourish. Putin wants what has been continuously Russian for nearly 500 years. Zelensky was seduced by the notion that infusions of weapons and cash could make his small nation, rife with corruption, into a major player on the world stage.

Hopefully, negotiations to end this can be held forthwith to end the meat grinder. If America had a mediocre foreign policy establishment, Russia would already be our most important ally in the effort to block China and fight Islamic Jihad. But like the advisors to King Canute, these clowns think that if they command the waves to rise the waves must obey. Stupidity has consequences. A LOT of people have paid with their lives for our stupidity.


A couple of administrative notes…

Good old Dr. Joe Brickner and I will do another Seven Questions podcast next week, just in time for New Year’s prognostications. If you have a question you would like me to grapple with on-air, send it to

We are planning out my schedule of visits to Florida and up the east coast after the first of the year. If you care to have me come and ramble on for a while in your community, check in with my scheduler, Gina, at I will be available on and after Jan. 8, 2024. Unlike the Allman Brothers, I was not born a ramblin’ man – but I have grown into it.

If communication goes out for any length of time, meet outside your local Church at 9 a.m. on Saturday mornings. Tell friends at Church now in case you can’t then. CORAC teams will be out looking for people to gather in and work with.

Find me on Twitter at @JohnstonPilgrim

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