By: Tony Capobianco
“Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.” The preceding quote is from the poem "The Masque of Pandora" (1875), by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. A similar and ancient version of that phrase appears in the play, “Antigone” by Sophocles, written around 441 BC. The verse from Sophocles reads as follows, "evil appears as good in the minds of those whom god leads to destruction.”
What is madness? Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines it as,
The above quotes are very pertinent to the state of man in the modern world. Madness is ascendant as men mistake darkness for light as they prefer lies rather than truth. What do I mean by this? For starters, the very use of the word “man” as it has been used for centuries to represent mankind or the human race born of Adam and Eve is now said to be offensive to the sensibilities of many “enlightened” and “woke” moderns. Turn on the news on the TV and radio, read a newspaper, look at social media, or talk to people and it will become clear that insanity is more and more becoming the norm. Basic objective scientific facts are now called into question and are under siege as insanity drives men to pridefully strive to overthrow reality. There are a growing number of individuals who not only deny objective laws and facts of nature but seek to overturn them in favor of their own delusional fantasies.
Gender is called into question as madmen invent psychological and sociological constructs to deny basic biology. Those in error might say that gender is simply a social construct or that gender isn’t binary. Instead of recognizing that the gender binary (male and female) is an objective biological fact there are deluded individuals who simply say that the gender binary system is but one gender theory or type of gender system among many or that gender exists on a spectrum. If a binary system of gender is reduced to a theory or is said to simply be one type of a classification system for gender among many then in so doing it would seem that the objective is to reduce truth into a subjective formless cloud that can change shape with the blowing winds of the zeitgeist. Facts and truth are thereby oppressed by the tyranny of the spirit of the world.
How can I know that gender is binary and that this is an objective scientific fact? Two reasons. 1.) Divine revelation through Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition clearly attest that there are two genders, male and female. Genesis chapter 5 states “Male and female He created them.” 2.) The observable physical world and the study of biology clearly show that there have been only two genders throughout human history. I’ve had pets but I’ve never pondered what gender they were because this basic question has an easily identifiable answer. My cat or dog doesn’t need to tell me what gender they identify as in order for me to know what gender they are. Thankfully such a silly question isn’t necessary because in my experience, pets aren’t good at conversation. Farmers would have a rough go of it if they had to determine bulls from cows based on so called gender identity. Anatomy doesn’t lie. DNA doesn’t lie. I can call my female cat a male dog but merely changing the language doesn’t change reality. “Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina.” (From the movie Kindergarten Cop). What was once comedy in the movie “Kindergarten Cop” with Arnold Schwarzenegger now appears to be a much needed educational service for those who fabricate new systems of gender as they refuse to conform their minds to reality. The fact that what I’ve written here is controversial to some and that the social media giants may sensor this as “hate speech” is indeed headache inducing. Say it with me in the Arnold Schwarzenegger voice, “It is not a tumor!” (Kindergarten Cop)
The slaughter of babies in their own mother’s wombs is more evidence of madness. The womb of the mother is supposed to be a safe place for the baby to grow and to be nourished until the happy moment of birth. A mother’s womb is not supposed to be a chamber of death in which a cruel, evil, and unjust execution is carried out in the most gruesome manner. In the case of abortion we see that evil is called good by those who support and demand that this heinous act be legal and available to all women. Some even go so far as to assert that abortion is a universal right. When people speak of rights, do they ever consider the rights of Almighty God?
The misguided men and women that advocate for so called abortion rights use the slogans “pro choice” and “a woman’s right to choose” in an attempt to make abortion sound like a virtuous thing. Murder of the unborn can never be virtuous, it will always be deplorable and a tremendous injustice. The perennial teaching of the Church has always condemned abortion as a mortal sin and a particularly evil act. Science supports the Church’s teaching in that science shows that an unborn baby is indeed a human life that is distinct from the mother. Science shows that the unborn baby has its own distinct DNA from the moment of conception. Therefore science shows that the unborn baby is not simply a lump of unwanted cells in the mother’s womb but rather the tiny developing baby has the human DNA necessary to grow into a full grown adult in due time. The Catholic Faith, science, and common sense show that an unborn baby is a human life. I would also employ my ABC’s of Pro Life argument. The unborn baby is not an Accessory, a Banshee, or a Cat. A baby is not a disposable product. One wonders if fewer babies would be slaughtered within the wombs of their mothers if people thought that they were cats. Certainly PETA would be outraged. An unborn baby is a human being made in the image of God and that is a God given fact that no political slogan can make any less true.
Rampant sexual immorality is further evidence of the current reign of madness. The primary purpose of the sexual act is procreation. Every species of earthly creatures perform reproductive acts for the continuation of the species. In regards to man, the Church has always taught that procreation is the primary purpose of the marital act. When the Church’s beautiful teaching on sexual morality is ignored or rejected then dangerous and repulsive results will follow. Fornication, adultery, pornography, self abuse, and sodomy are all objectively mortal sins. Yet society not only tolerates these mortal sins but it actually celebrates these evils as good. These sins potentially damage the body and if willfully chosen they put a soul in a state of mortal sin. Such sins often destroy relationships, marriages, families, and societies. Treating others as objects for our own selfish sexual gratification is disordered, evil, and uncharitable. To deny and reject the God given purpose of the marital act is to deny reality.
The inversion of Catholic virtues is another sign of that the world has gone mad. The Catholic virtues of prudence, temperance, justice, fortitude, modesty, humility along with the three theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity are no longer the foundation and guiding stars of the nations of the earth. These Catholic virtues were the foundation and guiding stars of what was once Christendom and they remain as such for those who choose to live in the City of God. St. Augustine divided the world into two cities, the City of God and the City of Man. The City of Man has grown, as was foretold in both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition in regards to the condition of man and the increase of wickedness as the advent of the Antichrist drew nearer. St. Paul spoke of this as a great rebellion or a great apostasy. St. Paul writes,
The denizens of the City of Man follow an antichrist spirit. Once again we see an inversion of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful along with an inversion of holy words spoken to us in the Gospels. In the Gospel According to St. John, Chapter 3 verse 30, St. John the Baptist says this of Christ, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” These beautifully inspired words of God are basic, fundamental instructions for every true disciple of Christ and His Holy Church to follow. Yet the reprobate City of Man which has the Devil as its spiritual father invert these words so that their antichrist creed states, “I must increase and He must decrease.” The Devil is ever the pathetic ape of God and so too, the Devils children emulate their wicked, twisted, and blasphemous master. The City of Man seeks to destroy the remnants of Christendom and the sanity that Catholic theology installed in the world. The City of Man arrogantly believes that it can eradicate the Catholic Church, the laws of nature, and the reign of Christ as it foolishly strives to build a city and a kingdom in its spiritual father’s image. The inhabitants of the City of Man may think themselves to be radically independent, original, and sophisticated as they fight to liberate themselves of the One True Religion and the One True God but in truth their master, the Devil has been there and done that with tragic results. Though they think themselves to be free, they are in fact slaves to Satan and the demons of Hell.
The City of Man has one Satanic Commandment: “Do what thou wilt, shall be the whole of the law.” The City of Man exalts its own set of pseudo virtues which are in reality vices as its foundation and guiding fallen stars. This reprobate city lists these counterfeit virtues and principles as follows: pride, immodesty, lust, immoderation, rash judgement, impurity, tolerance in diversity of sin, selfishness, supremacy of physical pleasure over spiritual health, anger, sloth, immanentism, and apostasy.
The pseudo virtues of the modern apostate world seem to be universal. This universality would also appear to be an aping of the Catholic virtues and the universality of the Catholic Church. The pervasiveness of these false virtues are so thorough that without God’s grace it would seem to be impossible to see that what the City of Man in the modern secular world puts forth as good and virtuous is in reality sinful and vice ridden. Prior to my conversion/ reversion I was seduced into accepting these pseudo virtues as good and liberating. TV shows along with movies, magazines, and public schools catechize the children of the secular world to accept the doctrines of the the City of Man. Indoctrination into a new world order is accomplished with little resistance as fewer and fewer people attend Church. The crisis within the human element of the Church has also exasperated this global crisis. Ten to fifteen minute homilies, far too often bad homilies, aren’t going to compete with the constant bombardment of children by the City of Man’s propaganda. The revolution marches on as few even realize that a great war has been raging for decades, nay for centuries. The casualties of this war are our brothers, sisters, children, fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and neighbors. Immortal souls are on the line and a great awakening is needed so that souls will see that eternity is on the line. It is a far greater catastrophe for a soul to be damned then to lose one’s earthly life in a calamity.
Insight into the madness of the modern world can be gained by returning to the line from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “The Masque of Pandora”, in which he wrote, “Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.” Reading that line of poetry while ascribing context gained from Sacred Scripture can be of benefit to us. Sacred Scripture tells us that the gods of the pagans are demons and therefore we can view the gods spoken of by Longfellow as demons. Catholic theology makes clear that the Devil and his demons hate mankind and that they desire to destroy us. If Satan and his demons want to make us mad, how would they go about it?
I think that the answer to that question is contained in the above passages of this article. It would seem that the demons couldn’t do much better in making their plan of destruction through madness a rotten reality than to replace Christendom and the Catholic Church with a new world order. It would seem obvious that the demons would want to drive man to reject not only God but also reality itself. Exorcist, Fr. Ripperger often says, “Sin makes us stupid.” So would it be surprising that the demons tempt us to sin in an attempt to get us to become dumber and thus more ready to be deceived? If the demons can tempt us to replace the true Catholic Virtues with the pseudo virtues of the City of Man then vice and sin would become not only tolerated but accepted and celebrated. The Church passes on divine revelation from generation to generation and will do so until Christ returns but this does not mean that a majority of people will accept divine revelation. The demons strive with all of their power, to the extant that God permits, to stop or hinder the passing on of the Sacred Deposit of Faith. Where possible, they relentlessly seek to corrupt the Sacred Deposit of Faith. Sanity recognizes reality as it really is. The demons seek to make us reject reality in favor of a delusion and belief in such delusions is insanity.
If men refuse God’s grace to see the truth it is because they do not love the truth and because they prefer to believe lies. When man sets himself up as the judge, creator and master of reality he does so in a state of madness because to do so is above man’s nature and powers. The desire of man to be as gods goes back to the Original Sin in the Garden of Eden. Sacred Scripture speaks of an Operation of Error,
Sanity and reality are necessarily bound to God. To conform one’s mind to the mind of Christ is to conform one’s mind to the truth and to conform one’s mind to the truth is to conform one’s mind to reality. God is the Creator of all things visible and invisible. Nothing was made that was not made by God. The fact that you exist right at this moment as you read this article is only possible because at this very moment, God is willing you to remain in existence. If for a moment God stopped willing the universe to exist, it would simply disappear. The following quote from Frank Sheed illustrates the insanity of denying God,
The state of the modern world is sorrowful. Even the secular statistics regarding mental health indicate the fact that mental illness and insanity are growing at an alarming rate. Suicides, depression, bi-polar, and the abuse of illegal drugs by people attempting to self medicate are on the rise. Sins of the flesh, sins of impurity are seen as pseudo virtues by the secular world and yet these sins are detrimental to the psychological, physical, and spiritual well-being of people. Our Lady of Fatima said that more souls go to Hell over the sins of the flesh than for any other sin.
Nevertheless it is not all doom and gloom. The Church teaches that God grants each soul the graces necessary for salvation. We do not know what period in life that those graces will come and we are obliged to cooperate with those graces if we desire to obtain the eternal beatitude. If we do will that we will enjoy eternal beatitude after the completion of our pilgrimage on earth then we must live the Authentic Traditional Catholic Faith. We must habitually remain in a state of grace by eliminating all mortal sins from our lives. We must pray for and practice the virtues as taught by the Church as we make the virtues good habits. We must reject the pseudo virtues of the City of Man. We must reject the spirit of the world. We must reject Satan and all of his pomps and works. We must grow in sanctification. We must trust in Christ, hope in Christ, serve Christ, and Love Christ. We must remain in the safety of the Ark of His Holy Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation. It behooves us to remember that even if 99% of the world apostatizes and chooses to serve and live within the City of Man, such a statistic has no impact on our salvation. We must choose to live and die within the City of God. We must not fear oppression or those that can cause us physical harm or physical death because no one can make us commit mortal sin and thereby separate us from Our Blessed Lord. No power on earth nor the fiends from Hell can separate us from the Love of Christ. In his Epistle to the Romans, St. Paul writes,
Sheed, F. J. (2014). Theology and sanity. London, England, UK: Catholic Way Publishing.