The Folly of the Liberals and their Universities vs. the Sanity of Teresa of Calcutta

The incompetence of the federal Liberals under our ideological Prime Minister – his mind cobwebbed by all too many of the wrong ideologies – is on full display, with real-life consequences for millions of Canadians.

The trade talks with Trump are not going well, regardless of Krystia Freeland’s promise of a ‘win-win-win’ outcome just around the corner (I presume she is speaking of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico). This is Pollyann-ish, for one country’s advantage is usually another country’s liability, and Mexico has already made its own deal with the U.S., putting Canada’s relatively puny, dependent, socialist economy in a rather harsh light. Canada wants to protect dairy farmers, subsidizing their milk production, auto workers, subsidizing parts and labour, and ‘Canadian content’ for the arts, again, subsidizing such ‘content’ as Schitt’s Creek and Little Mosque on the Prairie, along with various Canadian songwriters, most of whose ‘stars’ live abroad, who are overplayed and overdone on the radio. Whatever one says of President Trump, I don’t think any of these priorities rank highly on his own list, and, in fact, I think he’d like to stamp them underfoot as socialist boondoggle, and let the market govern as it will.

We will see what comes of this, but Canadians should probably get used to some belt-tightening and loin-girding; perhaps we might soon be trying to smuggle ourselves into Mexico, rather than the other way around, and leave Mr. Trudeau and Ms. Freeland to their own devices. None of these misguided policies will trouble their comfortable lives, barring total societal collapse. But there are precedents even for that.

At least it’s warm and sunny all year round in the land and water of the cucaracha.

And what is one to say of the Keystone pipeline, now buried in its own mess of ideological obstacles, indigenous, environmental and otherwise? The federal government bought the whole doomed project from its original private investors for a cool 4.5 billion dollars, which is money they don’t have, taken from you and me. This, to be frank, is socialist theft, money that will never be recouped, and, like the billion or so burned up covering up McGuinty’s never-built gas plant fiasco, lost and gone forever. Criminals go to jail for stealing ten grand, which is 0.000002% of the amount the politicians have bilked us for to cover up their folly. But as I love to quote the much-missed Margaret Thatcher: The problem with socialism, is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.

See: societal collapse, above.

And speaking of folly, I was cycling around Kingston the last weekend of August, and had the misfortune of witnessing a number of (to my mind) unfortunate young people moving into their residences at Queen’s University. Almost everyone now seems to go to university, a veritable rite of passage, which would have struck our ancestors as very odd, for only a few are called and chosen to the academic life.

Anyway, I wondered what they are all expecting: Truth? Goodness? Beauty? An integral education, steeped in tradition and wonder? A morally uplifting environment, where they can truly grow into virtuous adults? Professors who care for them, in small classes, who ensure they learn, who are open to questions, discussion, dialogue, all in the same spirit of truth?

Alas, and alas again. They will find almost the precise opposite, bloated classes filled with hundreds of bewildered young adults, any number of whom will fail out or drift into inconsequential degrees in the great churning degree-mill that is our educational system; indifferent profs, a byzantine bureaucracy, totalitarian speech and behavioural policies, and an environment rife with immorality of the grossest sort. There are pockets of goodness here and there, and ancillary campus faith groups can do a lot of good, saving a few out of the morass. But that just goes to prove the point: such small voluntary associations and subsidiary societies cannot replace the university itself, which should function as an alma mater, a nourishing mother. Even those ‘saved’ will be missing most of what should constitute a true education. The humanities are gutted, and what is left enslaved to the latest ideology, queer and getting queerer. One might still hope the S.T.E.M. departments (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) remain neutral, but even here the ideology has crept in: atheism, materialism, functionalism, practicalism. And we wonder why beauty and moral truth, which always go together, are disappearing from the world. To put this in a nutshell, our physicians are now trained, even forced, to be murderers, or accomplices thereto.

How many of these students will not only graduate in profound ignorance of the greatest truths of our civilization, but will also lose what little faith, innocence, purity and other virtues with which they enter? (with most of these already vitiated in high school, or even, now, in elementary grades, or never given to them in dysfunctional families).

Let us be honest and face the likely truth: Most of these young people will never have heard of ‘chastity’, considering it perhaps some kind of mediaeval concept, involving protective metal belts for the wives of knights far-off on Crusade; rather, they will consider it ‘normal’ to fornicate, masturbate and engage in all sorts of other malfeasance with gay abandon (and I use that adjective in its original sense). Such behaviour, far from being condemned, will rather be condoned, even fostered, at least by their peers, all with ‘safe policies’ and ‘proper consent’ put in place, in an attempt to contain at least the legal fallout.

I recall even in by-gone days when I first drove to university, in my own ignorance (which is still with me, to some degree) witnessing a group of young louts hanging a sign from a bridge as cars drove into campus ‘Thank you fathers for your virgin daughters’, and we all may surmise what they meant by that. Those same louts would now be middle-aged men grown old in vice, unless they accepted the grace of repentance offered them through those years.

On the whole, things have only become worse since then, and I don’t think, and current statistics seem to indicate, all that many daughters (and sons) arriving in more modern cars are virgins; those few that are, will have a tough time leaving the same way. They will have to be ‘abnormal’ from the horde, acting, well, differently (which is to say, virtuously); and that, again, speaks volumes.

And to think that the future leaders, shapers and workers in Canada will all have been ‘educated’, for want of a more accurate verb, in these places. Like Trudeau, an image of what our universities now produce, they will scarcely even be aware of their ignorance and the sadness of their lives. How will such young people form functional families, even at the natural level?

With that looming ahead of us, Keystone and NAFTA seem like small potatoes.

I wanted to stand in the street and yell out a Jeremiad to them, these sons and daughters and their oh-so-proud dads and mums, as they hauled mattresses, lamps and desks out of stuffed U-Hauls, ‘Turn around! Go elsewhere, adopt a trade! Find a good and decent Catholic college (there’s still at least one in Canada), before it’s too late!’

But, instead, I cycled on, praying, hoping against hope that somehow, in some way, the truth would shine on their souls even in the midst of the dreary halls of a modern university campus, which scarcely anymore lives up to its name, and on through the darkness of the years lying ahead of them.

At the very least, I would here say, caveat discipulus.

Mother Saint Teresa of Calcutta, who did not go to university in any sense that we know that term (although she received a good and solid education, as everyone did in those days, was fluent in five languages, and had a good deal of practical knowledge, medical and otherwise), went to her eternal reward on this day in 1997, after spending decades helping the ‘poorest of the poor’ live and die with dignity. In one of those ironic, and iconic, contrasts that providence offers, her death was overshadowed by the demise a week earlier of the tragic Princess Diana of Wales.

Saint Teresa offers a pure and simple example of how to live a virtuous and saintly life, without compromise. Although we should all learn from her, that our hands must get ‘dirty’ with the work of practical charity, we still need the truth, and we must all to some extent be ‘theologians and philosophers’ in the Church and in society, well-immersed in all that the same Church has safeguarded and handed on through the ages. How we get that truth is itself getting more difficult, but that is all part of the adventure of getting to heaven, which in the end is really what it’s all about.

Saint Teresa, ora pro nobis!