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Self, Sex, and State: The Three-Poisoned Gods of Our World

Anthony Esolen: “Self, Sex, and State” are no trinity, to be sure, but a triad. Find one, and the other two will not be far away.


  1. I have written before of the three-poisoned god of our world: Self, Sex, and State. These poisons dance about in a nice perichoresis of mutual corroboration. It is hard to tell which of the three is father or son or spirit proceeding from them both. If you look to sheer gigantic size, you might think that the first begetter was the State. If you look at the rotten hole of evil where a good heart should be, you might think it was the Self. If you look at actual begetting and a wrong approach to created order, you might think it was Sex.

Let us be as wise as serpents here, consider each possibility. Suppose the principle devil is State. Imagine it in the person of Milton’s Beelzebub, in the council of Pandemonium. He is about to recommend not open war, as Moloch advises, or hiding, as Belial advises, but a sly side-move against the new created world and man there placed:

                         With grave
Aspect he rose, and in his rising seemed
A Pillar of State; deep on his Front engraven
Deliberation sat and public care;
And Princely counsel in his face yet shone,
Majestic though in ruin.

You desire to increase your power, to grow the State at the expense of those you rule. How to do that? Satan’s plan, put in the mouth of Beelzebub, is to sever the new creatures from God, the source of their freedom and their strength. That must inevitably sever them from virtue both natural and supernatural.

To accomplish it, Satan appeals to Eve’s sense of Self, but in strange isolation, as if she were a kind of island-goddess to whom every creature must bow in homage. “Sovereign mistress,” he flatters her, begging her pardon for daring to address her, while suggesting that her beauty cannot be rightly prized by any of the creatures among which she lives, not even her loving husband Adam, bearer of the image of God:

                                           One man except,
Who sees thee? (and what is one?) who shouldst be seen
A Goddess among Gods, adored and served
By Angels numberless, thy daily Train.

Divide and conquer: so does Satan extend his realm, by every petty peacock of a king and queen self-ruled, and therefore self-enslaved.

Such enslavement in man is made manifest most clearly, the book of Genesis suggests, in sex: in what should have bound man and woman to one another, and each generation to those that came before and to those that will follow. “Be fruitful and multiply,” says God when he blesses the first human couple, but the fall turns what should have been pure blessing into a source of trouble, division, treachery, and violence.

The wisest king who ever lived did not withstand the temptation, for Solomon, Milton says, “beguiled by fair Idolatresses, fell / To idols foul.” A thousand wives had he, but his sons would fall out with one another and divide his kingdom. His kingdom – not Satan’s.

But we might begin with the idol Sex. We remove it from its natural order, and we make our children and our neighbors bear the cost of the ensuing chaos. Love is not Love, despite what the smug and silly sign on your neighbor’s yard says. “Spirits when they please,” says Milton, describing the fertility gods of the Phoenicians, “can either Sex assume, or both,” to “execute their airy purposes,/ And works of love or enmity fulfill.”

“Such love is hate,” says the poet Spenser. Sexual sin does its worst to keep children from growing up with a mother and father who have plighted their troth for life. Since man is by nature a social creature, when he sins against what binds him in wedlock and what binds the generations, he sins against society.

He calls it liberty when it is mere thoughtlessness and worship of Self. It cramps or tends to destroy altogether the liberty of his neighbors, because what strong and self-sustaining families no longer do, State must attempt. Every antisocial sin must give State leave to intrude where it does not belong, to provide a semblance of that order while families and the parishes, schools, and towns they build used to provide. He who sells wheelchairs is pleased to find cripples.

In the end, says C. S. Lewis, there are only two kinds of people: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, “Thy will be done.” In the dead hollow of every sin, there is a false Self, a wraith, a phantasm, an idol. “I am that I am,” says God, revealing to Moses his name beyond all circumscribing names. (Ex. 3:16)

But I am a creature: I am circumscribed. I derive my being from God, and at every moment my existence is sustained only by his will. When I set myself against God, I slip back toward non-being, toward the hollow that is well suggested by the Germanic word Hell. 

But as I fall, I assert my false independence with all the greater desperation. I must be my own, exist on my own. The magnetic poles that draw me are two. If I am soft and tender, I turn to Sex as the boldest expression of Self: sex, as I will, when and how and with whom I will.

These days, swallowed up in idiotism, I may even fashion my own “identity,” turning sex in upon itself in self-abuse of any of a thousand kinds. If I am hard and ruthless, I turn to State and its accoutrements. I worship power, wealth, and prestige of my own, or I bow to State as the extension of or the realization of sheer will. State will save us, State must be our cure. It hardly matters then in what form State appears.

No trinity, to be sure, but it is a triad. Find one, and the other two will not be far away.

COLUMN BY

Anthony Esolen

Anthony Esolen is a lecturer, translator, and writer. Among his books are Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, and Nostalgia: Going Home in a Homeless World, and most recently The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord. He is a professor and writer in residence at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts, in Warner, New Hampshire.

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2020 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

“The Devil and Karl Marx”: A Review

Robert Orlando: In his new book, Paul Kengor plunges a stake into the heart of the devil and Karl Marx. But as we know, such vampires are not so easily killed.


Paul Kengor is a teacher and writer who has always had an eye for the spiritual dimension in history, politics, and economics. (He was the perfect partner for me in our book and documentary film, The Divine Plan: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Dramatic End of the Cold War.)

Prof. Kengor’s new book, The Devil and Karl Marx: Communism’s Long March of Death, Deception, and Infiltration, is a hammer and sickle dismantling of the diabolical character of Karl Marx (1818-1883). As Michael Knowles writes in the book’s foreword, “Kengor knows, like few others writing today, that terms such as collectivism and individualism only take the debate so far. . . .Ultimately the fight comes down to spiritual warfare: good versus evil.”

Indeed, Kengor’s book is all about the clash of the modern, devilish forces of socialism and communism – the key Marxist systems – against the eternally divine force of faith.

The book opens with a portrait of Marx’s formative early years, an approach similar to Paul Johnson’s in Intellectuals: From Marx and Tolstoy to Sartre and Chomsky (1988). Johnson was accused of being moralistic for judging Marx’s ideas through the lens of his character. Of Marx’s writings, Johnson says their “actual content can be related to four aspects of his character: his taste for violence, his appetite for power, his inability to handle money and, above all, his tendency to exploit those around him.”

Professor Kengor goes even further, depicting Marx as possibly under the Devil’s spell. The young Marx wrote some very dark poems filled with the sort of anti-religious sentiments that would inspire his Communist Manifesto. “It is in part, a tragic portrait of a man,” Kengor writes, “but still more broadly so, an ideology, a chilling retrospective on an unclean spirit that should have never been let out of its pit.”

Here’s an example from Marx’s poem, “The Pale Maiden” (1837):

Thus Heaven I’ve forfeited,
I know it full well.
My soul, once true to God,
Is chosen for Hell.

Kengor (like Johnson) makes the case that Marx, a self-absorbed intellectual, never lived out his own convictions when it came either to money or the redistribution thereof, evidenced by his dismissive attitude towards providing for those under his care. For instance, Marx exhausted the resources and goodwill of his parents, and instead of becoming remorseful or apologetic, he defiantly disowned them once they were no longer of value to him.

When it came to money, everything Marx touched turned to straw. His combustible life was filled with tragedy, debts, and, with the exception of the death of his wife Jenny, an apparent lack of regret in the face of his greatest losses. Family suicides, sexual exploits (including the possible abuse of a family maid) enflamed his life with bloody anger and fueled his revolutionary spirit. In this troubled background are the origins of his communist worldview – a complete rebellion against anything traditional or sacred. Thus the title of Kengor’s book.

Although I agree with the inescapable connection Kengor makes between Marx’s life and his philosophy, I might not place so much emphasis on the man’s early life. Many historical figures were wayward in youth, even some of our saints. Paul the Apostle aided and abetted murder as he tried to violently eradicate the Early Church. We don’t define Augustine by the reckless years prior to his conversion. In fact, these men are saints precisely because they changed.

In Marx’s case, of course, he never changed. He drank the nectar of the devil (my words), and it poisoned him – just as communism poisoned so much of the world.

The middle sections of the book track the rise and fall of the Left’s great messiah and his closest apostle, Friedrich Engels. It continues with a history of Marx’s disciples, from Vladimir Lenin in Russia to Saul Alinsky in the United States.

Kengor also explains how these and other henchmen have assaulted the Catholic faith. Although vigorously opposed by Catholic leadership, Marxism would nonetheless gain a foothold in parts of the Church. Kengor highlights Pope John Paul II’s success in his confrontation with Marxism and communism. Having lived much of his life in a communist regime, St. John Paul knew well Marxist ideas, which enabled him to deal effectively with the liberation theologians in South America.

I think of Kengor as plunging a stake into the heart of the devil and Karl Marx. But as we know, vampires are not so easily killed. Marxism in the 20th century used class warfare, and that was mostly a failure. In the 21st century, Marxists are employing identity politics, lately with some success. But the aim is the same: to sow cultural destruction. If this doesn’t make you angry, you’re not breathing.

Bizarrely romantic revolutions – from Mao’s China to Seattle’s Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone – Marx’s ill-conceived utopias aren’t just destructive, they’re murderous. The death toll of communism worldwide exceeds 100-million! Kengor calls it “nothing short of diabolical – truly a satanic scourge, a killing machine.”

Without question, America has had its share of betrayals and unrealized ideals, but what other country has made such progress with the rule of law, individual freedom, and shared prosperity?

Marx believed religion was a drug (the opium of the people) used by the wealthy to maintain disproportionate power. In retrospect, of course, communism peddles its own drug: an idealized global world, in which inequality disappears in the obliteration of all human distinctions. Kengor sees the seeds of our current flirtation with Marxism in the promotion of sexual freedom, “that plagues us to this today.”

Scripture teaches that, after the Resurrection, Lucifer was left only with the power to accuse, with rhetoric his only weapon. This is why Satan and Marxists prey on the most vulnerable: those least sure of their own identity. Satan comes as “an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:1), but he and his disciples, Marxist groups such as Antifa and the founders of the Black Lives Matter organization, bring only darkness.

Paul Kengor shows us the light.

COLUMN BY

Robert Orlando

Robert Orlando is a filmmaker, author, and entrepreneur. He’s the founder Nexus Media, and his latest films include The Divine Plan, and Citizen Trump. He also has a new book, The Tragedy of Patton: A Soldier’s Date with Destiny, forthcoming in November. His work has been published in HuffPost, Patheos, Newsmax, and Daily Caller. As a scholar, he specializes in biography, religion, and military history.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2020 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Florida Middle School Teacher promotes Satan — parents outraged

President-elect Donald J. Trump wishes those attending his thank you tour a Merry Christmas. The birthday of Jesus Christ is recognized throughout Western cultures and is the foundation of our Constitutional Republican form of government. In God We Trust appears on our currency and is on many public buildings.

Even in a secular France there is a movement to have a Nativity Scene in each city and town square.

However in Boca Raton, Florida there is one man, Preston Smith, who has erected a Satanic display in in the name of freedom of religion.

In a column “Man behind Satanic pentagram in Boca Raton is a middle school teacher Boca Middle School PTSA wants teacher removed” Charlie Keegan from WPTV Channel 5 reports:

The man who installed a satanic pentagram in Boca Raton is a public school teacher, the Palm Beach County superintendent of schools confirmed today.

The school district did not answer a previous attempt by NewsChannel 5 to confirm.

Parents said Preston Smith teaches language arts at Boca Raton Community Middle School. The president of the school’s parent teacher association said she doesn’t want Smith to continue teaching at the school, but added she can’t speak on behalf of all parents.

“A teacher we entrust our children with should not be putting a sign like this anywhere,” explained Kim Bremer.

Earlier this month, the city of Boca Raton gave Smith permission to install a Satanic display at Sanborn Square downtown. That is the same park where other religious organizations install a nativity scene and menorah during the holiday season.

Smith is a known activist for separating religion from government. He argued if the city allows one religious display on public property, it has to allow them all, even if they are offensive.

Read more…

Don’t Believe The Bigots

Despite the ongoing onslaught of lies the progressives promote against the truth concerning anything, including American history, the United States of America was founded upon Judeo/Christian Ethics.  In many circles, there was a heavy emphasis on the blessed leadership, protection, wisdom and mercy of God almighty, through his son Christ Jesus.  Great men of adventure, dating all the way back to Christopher Columbus dedicated land in this hemisphere to the God of Abraham, Isaic and Jacob.  As time progressed, there came to the fore a series of events that would build toward what would later become the United States of America.

Such a venture was an almost non-stop cascade of herculean actions which took an unlimited amount of faith, grit and intelligence to accomplish.  There were also the horrendously scorched summers that the Europeans were not accustomed to.  In addition, many of the first wave of early pilgrim settlers were wiped out through disease, starvation and bad decisions until wisdom finally prevailed and changed their fortunes and halted their demise.

Sometime later, 56 men gathered in Independence Hall in Philadelphia and said “no more” of the boot heel of tyranny under Britain’s King George and declared independence.  As a result, there was a collective wave of laughter throughout the British Empire.  After all, Great Britain was the world’s super power at the time.  So it was unfathomable to those in England that those colonial rabble rousers could present much of a challenge to the mighty Brits.

However there were four things the Founding Fathers of the United States possessed that the proud red coats did not seem to poses or exhibit.

  • Faith
  • Sense of purpose
  • Destiny
  • Mission of Liberty

For just as during the time of the prophet Nehemiah, there were those lousy skeptics and discouragers who sought to prevail against what some might describe as a rendezvous with destiny.  As the men focused more on the job at hand than the irritant discouragers, they prevailed, setting yet another example of not giving in to those who oppose what you are destined to achieve.  You can refer to Nehemiah 2: 17 to 20 in the Amplified or King James version.

Of course, Nehemiah and his friends rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem.  They clearly were victorious.  But eventually, the glory of their victory faded into a defeat for their nation.  Primarily, because the people turned away from God, who was their source of success.  In addition to that mistake, the parents and others including national leaders did not properly pass on the concept of victorious living to the succeeding generations.  Throughout the annals of history, mankind has either experienced or caused revival then fell away to defeat or decline, followed by revival again, then yet another tumbling away from the greatness of victorious living.  Yet we were meant to be continuously victorious in living all aspects of greatness, victory and positive achievement, not just a partial life of existence.

For example there is more to salvation than simply being saved from Satan’s vow of damnation with him.  Much like the founding fathers did, I believe God wants us to live complete lives of continuous advancement, vitality, victory and liberty, which they understood comes from our creator.  Our liberty and unalienable rights do not come from government or bastardized rights called civil rights either, no matter what certain people may say.

The United States was and is still meant to be the beacon of light to the world.  The light of true liberty should be so bright that rest of the world would desire to emulate the concept in their respective nations.  Through true liberty, America was once known as the envy of the world do to almost unlimited opportunities and even her cities were world renowned for their civility.  I believe America will experience a soon to come revival.  But before that can really occur there may be some sort of setback, possibly on the scale of the 9.11 attacks in 2001.  Why? Because many stupid and detrimental decisions (like the Iran deal and speeding up the growth of immorality) have been made by the current regime that has America vulnerable to possible enemy attacks or economic collapse.

Also, unfortunately our nation has become stuck in a quagmire of declining greatness because the good aspects of our past are purposely not taught to most students.  So as a result, the foundations of individual and societal greatness based upon God’s principles have not been built upon, and now our republic is in a heap of hurt.

But despite the mangled mess of today, I believe our republic will arise from her current moral, economic, political, educational and spiritual stupor.  Even though America is currently in a seemingly bottomless pit of decline, believe it or not there is much hope.  First of all, God wants us to do away with the curse of mediocrity that breeds stagnation for both individuals and the nation as a whole.

We don’t have to hold on to the brokenness that has led to the prevailing scourge of mediocrity that has led to stagnation, decline and pervasive misery.  Just as the Founding Fathers and the people of ancient Israel turned to God, especially after making wrong decisions and paying for them, let us humble ourselves and seek God’s forgiveness, wisdom, guidance and mercy.  He will then hear from heaven and forgive our national sin and heal our land.  It can’t hurt to give it a faith filled try. I believe our future generations and the republic itself is worth the effort.

God Bless You, God Bless America and May America Bless God.

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Satanic Cult Partners with Planned Parenthood — A match made in Hell

PARTIAL BIRTH

Example of Planned Parenthood method of slaughtering babies.

Satanic cults embrace human sacrifice so it makes perfect sense that the Satanic Temple of Detroit would support Planned Parenthood.

In April I wrote a column titled “Time to Remove Satan from the Public Square“.  I wrote that “Satan takes away the ‘essence of what it is to be human’.” Since publishing my column there have been two very public examples of Satanic cults and witchcraft embraced by two progressive groups, supporters of Planned Parenthood and LGBT activists, respectively.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Satan worshipers launched a counter-protest against pro-lifers outside the Detroit and Ferndale, Michigan Planned Parenthood locations Saturday.

Clad in black robes, members of the Satanic Temple of Detroit drenched bound women with milk, simulating water-boarding to “illustrate the theocratic agenda imposed upon female bodies.” The milk symbolized breast milk, one of the protest organizers explained on Facebook.

The group attached a symbol of their temple to the American flag and held up a sign that read, “America is not a theocracy. End forced motherhood.”

Read more.

Below is a short video of the Detroit Satanic Temple’s tactics in support of Planned Parenthood, which is in fact a war against Christians, Jews and humanity itself:

queer devil worshiper

Colby Gaudet, queer Devil worshiper.

In my column “Homosexuals and Transgenders Embracing Witchcraft” I noted:

It’s not enough that homosexuals and transgenders hate Christians. Now we learn that young members of the LGBT community are embracing witchcraft. Moira Donovan in a column titled “How Witchcraft Is Empowering Queer and Trans Young People” on Vice.com reports:

…Witchcraft is seeing a resurgence among queer-identified young people seeking a powerful identity that celebrates the freedom to choose who you are.

Soft-spoken and covered in tattoos, Colby Gaudet doesn’t exactly fit the stereotypical image of the witch. But Gaudet’s been known to launch into a ritual when the moment is right. And identifying as a witch appeals to Gaudet’s self-professed “strange exhibitionist quality” by playing with people’s preconceived notions of tattoos, of Gaudet’s non-binary gender identity, and of how a witch should look.

Non-binary? Really? There you have it. LGBT youth embracing witchcraft to justify their unnatural sexual behaviors. They certainly have sided with the right guy – Satan. Their “powerful identity” is with the devil.

The old crone at the edge of the village has been replaced by the queerest of witches. The Satanist in black robes has embraced Planned Parenthood, which sells aborted babies for profit.

A match made in Hell.

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Jonathan Cahn’s Warning on America’s Turning Away from God

On April 29, 2015, members of Congress, Christian leaders and people of faith joined together to honor President George Washington as a man of Christian faith in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall. At this event Jonathan Cahn,  author of “The Harbinger“, spoke about what Washington stood for and how America has turned away from God.

As George Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Please watch this important lesson about America’s past with a warning to America and its leadership:

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Pope Right: Hell Not Forever, Incompatible with a Loving God! Where Did We Get that Idea?

Pope Francis has sparked another debate with controversial remarks at the Third Vatican Council. He says, the concept of hell where people burn eternally cannot be Christian–it goes against the concept of a loving and compassionate God.

That idea is being challenged by other Bible scholars, not just the pope.

When God told Adam that if he ate of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” that he would “surely die” (Genesis 2:17) He did not mean live forever in torment. This idea is an invention of the devil to paint God as a devil.

God says He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. It’s a biblical concept that God does not destroy and that we destroy ourselves by the choices we make. How important it is to choose wisely.

The word “hell” is found 54 times in the King James Bible. It translated from the Hebrew word “she’ol” meaning the grave 31 times, and from the Greek word “hades,” also meaning the grave 10 times. The Greek word gehenna is the source for 12 uses of hell and the word means a place of burning (only 12 out of 54 places in the Bible).

The Bible teaches that the wicked will be burned up and leave them “neither root nor branch,” Malachi 4:1. God says, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked,” Ezekiel 33:11.

That was before churchmen got into the act by promising to pray people out of hell or purgatory (no such word in the Bible) for money. Poor translation of Revelation makes people think the fire is forever when it is the consequences (death) that lasts for ever.

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus has been used by many preachers to teach eternal torment.

The idea of a conscious existence between death and the resurrection was held by many in Christ’s day. He knew this and framed His parable to teach truth related to their preconceived opinions–that no man is valued for his possessions–all that we have belongs to us only as lent by the Lord. A misuse of these gifts places us below the poorest and most afflicted man who loves and serves God.

Christ desires us to understand that it is impossible for men to secure the salvation of the soul after death.

“The living know that they shall die, but the dead know not anything,” Ecclesiastes 9:5. The belief in consciousness after death sets us up for deception by evil spirits that can personate departed love ones–like the evil spirit personated Samuel, brought up by the witch of Endor at Saul’s request.

EDITORS NOTE: Dr. Ruhling is a physician whose special interest in retirement is Bible prophecy, especially the wedding parables, and he offers more information at his website: http://TheBridegroomComes.com