Snakes in Paradise

Did a snake really wash – or swim – ashore in Ireland – a land that, according to pious tradition, has been without the slithering serpents since the time of Saint Patrick in the fifth century – just days before the first abortions spilled the blood of innocents in this once Catholic nation, a sin crying out to heaven for vengeance? Josef Ratzinger has written eloquently of the ‘sacramental’ nature of the Church, that God uses symbols to convey His grace eternal truths, and, we might add, also to convey His loathing and condemnations of evil, insofar as such can be applied to the ineffable Deity. But if serpents, and the evil they symbolize, were cast out once, they can be cast out again. We just need a new Saint Patrick.

And while on evil, the militant Islamic group Al-Shabaab has stormed a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya, killing at least 15 people, wounding dozens of others. Such terrorism is on the periphery for most of us, but the fear it instils is real indeed, with security points, bollards, with a brooding sense that the ‘blood dimmed tide’ is creeping closer. A friend of mine has just returned from Kenya, and was in Nairobi recuperating just before her departure. One wonders about traveling anywhere now. Pray for the dead, the wounded, the perpetrators, their families…

Islam spreads its principles sometimes by outright fear, sometimes by more insidious means. Have a listen to this recent CBC podcast on the polygamy being practised, surreptitiously, right here in Canada. On record is an imam offering to ‘bless’ a second ‘marriage’, in direct violation of the laws of Canada, which, as an official marriage commissioner, he has sworn to uphold. ‘It’s a garbage law’, the imam is on record as saying, vowing to take the fight to the Supreme Court, where he expects victory based on the principle of ‘religious freedom’ – often evoked by Muslims for themselves, and not so much for others. Just try the same thing in Saudi Arabia for any Catholic practices.

Inevitably, as things are now going, citing our amorphous Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the imam may well be right, and that the legalization of polygamy is just around the next juridical corner, as was homosexuality, contraception, abortion, same-sex ‘marriage’ and euthanasia, perhaps even paedophilia. Once the centre falls apart, what holds it all together?

Sure, the aptly named Winston Blackmore – who ‘married’ 27 women and has – well, what verb does one use, as ‘fathered’ seems too sacred in this case – 149 children, was convicted of polygamy, but given a laughable conditional sentence, six months house arrest, with some ‘community service’. In a Darwinian sense, Blackmore might be proud of how much of his dubious DNA is out there, but the man should be imprisoned, with one of those iron-clad mediaeval chastity belts locked around his loose loins as a precautionary measure, his children dispersed via adoption agencies to those able to raise them. I may be hyperbolic, but not by much.

The evils of polygamy, which extend through space and time into future generations, given concrete truth to the sins of the father being visited on his children, deserve an essay on their own. But for now, to ponder but one example amongst many that could be adduced, I was in the Holy Land in 2012, and visited a school for genetically damaged Muslim children, many of them deaf and mentally deficient, all caused by inbreeding. For with polygamy, you have too many siblings and first cousins, too much concentration of the same genetic material, and it becomes more difficult to find a spouse who does not share too much of your own DNA.

This is to say nothing of what polygamy does to familial cohesion, the jealousies, intrigues, the lack of care for children, for spouses, the whole lust and disorder and use of women.

As the family goes, so goes society’, wrote Pope John Paul II, so if we rebuild the family, society will follow suit. I already know of three Catholic weddings this summer amongst our alumni from the College; each one is a small but sure sign of hope and promise.