by Thomas A. Droleskey
"My names is Alfred Bones, and I's been oppressed for over 200 years!"
Thus screamed a student, whose name has been changed for the sake of my own survival, of mine at Illinois State University in December of 1977 when demanding to know the answers to the final examination in my American National Government course before the examination was administered. The student had telephoned me at 2:00 a.m. a few hours before (that's before I got an unlisted telephone number) to demand to know the answers to the examination so that he could pass the course, something that his perpetual absences from class made an unlikely possibility.
Arrogant in spirit, this young man had been indemnified throughout his life for his irresponsible behavior by claiming that he was a "victim" of one sort of another, playing the "race card" to a hilt in this case. To his credit, my late department chairman, Dr. Hibbert Roberts, would have none of the victimology act, backing me up completely in my confrontation with the student who believed that he was "special" because of his race and could be exempt from having to attend classes and to actually study the material covered in course lectures so that he could he demonstration his level of comprehension of that material on an examination. Hib Roberts actually got a little bit of a chuckle when I responded to the student's comment that "he" had been oppressed for over 200 years by saying, "You don't look a day over 112."
Millions upon millions of people have taught to play the role of a "victim" throughout the course of their lives. The "victim act" has been pulled by all manner of people to excuse their commission of the most heinous sorts of crimes against others. It has been used to explain the killings of nearly sixty people and the injuring of over 2,300 others people in south central Los Angeles in a four day period starting on April 29, 1992, following the acquittal of three of the four City of Los Angeles police officers by a jury in Simi Valley, California, on charges of manhandling and using excessive force on drunken motorist Rodney King as he was resisting arrest on March 3, 1991. Over 3100 businesses were damaged in the riots, some irreparably. Some psychologists and talk show hosts came up with a justification for this violence: "black rage," a psychological condition produced in certain people as a result of living in what is said to be an "oppressive" and "racist" society. Not one single person was ever arrested, no less prosecuted, for the deaths that occurred in the 1992 riots in south central Los Angeles, meaning that those murderers are just as free to walk the streets as those who murder innocent preborn babies in our "civilized" "land of the free."
The "black rage" argument was proposed by radical attorney William Kuntsler and his associate, Ron Kuby, whose morning radio program on WABC in the City of New York with Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels vigilante organizations, will be replaced by the return of the serial blasphemer, Don Imus, next month, in their attempt to defend the Long Island Rail Road shooter, Colin Ferguson, who chose to defend himself, rejecting the "black rage" defense strategy. The fact that Kuntsler and Kuby even proposed the "black rage" argument to prove that Ferguson was not culpable for the shootings he did on the 5:33 p.m. train from Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan to Hicksville, Long Island, because of the "mental illness" induced by living in a "racist" and "oppressive" society outraged many people.
Victimology is an effort to shield oneself from personal responsibility for doing things that are objectively wrong (lying, cheating, killing) and/or as a means to shield oneself from criticism for positions taken in public life. "You're just criticizing me because I'm a black (or a Jew or a Latino or a pervert or a woman)." This is used as a slogan that is supposed to stop all rational discussion of the particular person's positions on matters of public policy, making it appear as though their own public policy positions are exempt from review and criticism because they are of a certain race or religion or ethnicity or gender or perverse "orientation." This is rank cowardice that is designed to intimidate potential critics into "standing down" lest they be accused of bigotry or hatred or intolerance or judgmentalness or insensitivity, thus giving them a "free pass" on anything they say or do. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and countless other race-baiters have used this strategy over the years before reforming their act as they gained "respectability" in the mainstream media and became figures who had, at one point or another, actual influence despite their past comments and actions.
Victimology is, of course, only another consequence of naturalism's deification of man. There is but one Victim, that is, the Chief Victim and Priest of every Mass, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Although guilty of nothing, He offered Himself up to redeem us on the wood of the Holy Cross on Good Friday, a bloody sacrifice to atone for the debt of human sins. That Sacrifice of the Cross is perpetuated or re-presented in an unbloody manner on altars of Sacrifice as an alter Christus, acting in persona Christi, offers the Mass. Sinful human beings are only truly victim-souls if they offer their sufferings and mortifications and penances and humiliations and injustices that they endure in this life to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, which suffered in a perfect communion of love with Him during His Passion and Death. A true victim is one who offers himself to Jesus through Mary in reparation for his own sins and those of the whole world.
While people are, of course, victims of the words and actions of others, any injury or injustice we suffer in this life is to be embraced as an opportunity to unite ourselves more fully with the Cross of the Divine Redeemer. Doing this does not mean that the pursuit of justice to correct a wrong or to punish a malefactor cannot be undertaken according to the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law, making sure that malice is avoided and the punishment imposed is just and seeks the true reform of the wrongdoer(s) by means of an abiding cooperation with Sanctifying Grace and also in accord with the demands of natural justice and the temporal good of the civil polity. We must, however, forgive those who injure us and to will their good, which is their eternal salvation as members of the Catholic Church, remembering that we are forgiven by Our Lord Himself in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance and that nothing we suffer in this passing, mortal vale of tears is ever the equal of what one of our least venial sins caused Him to suffer during His Passion and Death and caused His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart to be pierced through and through with Seven Swords of Sorrow. We have been forgiven by the One Who offered Himself up to His Father in Spirit and in Truth on the wood of the Holy Cross. Who are we to nourish grudges for years on end for slights and injuries, whether real or imagined or exaggerated, no less to claim that our sufferings entitle us to be called "victims" who must be pitied and forever bestowed "privileges," including absolute immunity from criticism and absolute impunity for our sinful actions.
Anyone who enters the public arena better be ready for a good deal of criticism. While it may be necessary now and again to respond to critics, one must do so without invective and without harboring grudges ad nauseam, ad infinitum, certainly not raising a banner of victimology of one sort or another to attempt to immunize oneself from further criticism and analysis of his positions. The "politics of personal destruction" that was denounced by William Jefferson Blyth Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton as they engaged in it with a savage abandon has taken such hold in our naturalistic discourse that those who make the wildest accusations retreat into various bunkers, replete with protect armor, of victimology when anyone attempts to hold a candle to shine a light on the darkness of their words and actions. Such is being witnessed at present as the militant pro-aborts who are running for the 2008 Democrat Party presidential nomination try to find some way to blunt the seemingly unstoppable of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York), their fellow pro-abort.
The native of Park Ridge, Illinois, and a former "Goldwater Girl" who got her first taste of politics at the age of thirteen in 1960 as she found evidence of election fraud committed against the Republican presidential candidate that year, then Vice President Richard Milhous Nixon, Hillary Rodham Clinton is one of the most calculating employers of victimology, having learned all about the "politics of personal destruction" from the radical "community organizer," the late Saul Alinsky, himself back in the 1960s. The then Hillary Diane Rodham, gave the commencement address at Wellesley College when she graduated from there in 1969, having completed a senior thesis on Saul Alinsky and the effectiveness of his "organizing" methods to "empower" minorities and the poor. Although the then Miss Rodham, who started at Wellesley College in 1965 as the president of the Young Republicans organization on campus and attended the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida, as a supporter of then New York Governor Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller, expressed reservations about some of Alinsky's methods in her senior thesis, which was suppressed by Wellesley officials during the eight years of William Jefferson Blyth Clinton's scandal-marred presidency, she did learn quite a bit from her association with and study of Alinsky, including how to organize to achieve one's objectives:
"Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it."
Hillary Diane Rodham does nothing by accident. Each step of her adult life has been carefully calculated to put her where she is at present. She could have charted a course of her own in electoral politics in the early-1970s. She had worked as intern during her junior year at Wellesley in the office of the then Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. (R-Michigan), and spent time on the legislative staff of the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives, helping to research the procedures for impeaching a sitting president (research that would come in handy a little over a quarter of a century later when her own husband was impeached by the United States House of Representatives) and then working on the actual articles of impeachment that were approved by the Judiciary Committee before President Richard Milhous Nixon resigned on August 8, 1974, and left office the following day, August 9, 1974. Hillary Diane Rodham could have had a career in electoral politics of her very own. She would have been very successful in the 1974 general elections had she chosen to run for the United States House of Representatives that year, especially since she had played a behind-the-scenes role in the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon.
Hillary Diane Clinton made a very calculated choice: instead of running for office on her own she chose to follow her boyfriend from Yale Law School, one William Jefferson Blyth Clinton, to Arkansas, knowing full well about his, shall we say, straying eye. A girl friend of the then Miss Rodham's asked her why she would want to endure Clinton's endless womanizing. As is recounted in David Maraniss's First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton (Touchstone, 1995), Miss Rodham chuckled a bit in response to her friend's question and then said, "Bill Clinton's going to be President of the United States." Preternatural knowledge? One can't rule it out. After all, anyone who engages in "seances" (Eleanor Roosevelt Roosevelt, call your office) invites the devil and his minions into an intimate alliance with him, whether or not he realizes it. Hillary Diane Rodham gave up a lot to go to Arkansas back in 1974. She was sure that she had found her meal-ticket back to the highest place in all of Washington, D.C., the White House, taking but a mere eighteen years to reach the point where her fellow citizens would have, as she boasted early in her husband's 1992 campaign for the Democrat Party presidential nomination, "two for the price of one."
Having endured Clinton's philandering and living in the State of Arkansas, where she worked very hard to establish herself as an advocate, as she saw it for "children" (disregarding the inconvenient little fact that she also advocates the murder of innocent preborn children), Hillary Rodham Clinton (it took her awhile to adopt her husband's last name) was not about to let the facts of her husband's sordid private life get in the way of their going to the White House. The First Lady of Arkansas took it upon herself to steamroller Gennifer Flowers in early-1992, dismissing the latter's charges of an illicit relationship with her husband to be "trash for cash." It was the quintessence of the Alinsky approach: "Pick the target, free it, personalize it and polarize it." Although Hillary Diane Rodham may not have agreed with everything in Saul Alinsky's ideology, she certainly adopted Alinsky's methodology when her cherished goal of ultimate power in Washington, D.C., without having to endure the rough-and-tumble of electoral politics appeared to be in jeopardy. She was at one and the same time a victim of an serial-adulterer of a husband and an attack dog to save that same husband's career, having attached her own future to his in an almost Faustian manner.
Hillary Rodham Clinton's calculated use of victimology continued throughout her husband's regrettable tenure of office as the Chief Executive of the United States of America. Travelgate? Whitewater? Cattle-futures profits? Missing billing records of hers from the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Arkansas, that happen to show up in a White House reading room that she frequented? Hundreds upon hundreds of Federal Bureau of Investigation files on prominent Republicans and known Clinton critics that just kind of made their way to the White House from F.B.I. headquarters? Chinagate? Monica Lewinsky? All part of the "vast right wing conspiracy" that had targeted the Clintons and pursued them relentlessly and without any foundation whatsoever.
This calculated use of victimology was coupled with an obsessive vendetta against anyone who dared to raise these issues that would make the fictional Lieutenant Philip Gerard from the original The Fugitive television series, which ended forty years ago this past August 29, seem laconic by comparison. Independent counsel Kenneth Starr, whose indecision and waffling proved him to be a valuable asset to the Clintons, was savaged. So were Representatives Henry Hyde, Bob Barr, Bob Livingston and Dan Burton, among many others. The Clintons fought fire with nuclear missile strikes, engaging in a scorched-earth policy that took no prisoners.
None of this matters to anyone. None of this is, obviously, being raised by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's Democrat Party rivals for the party's 2008 presidential nomination. The pro-abortion Senator Barak Obama (D-Illinois), another admirer and an admitted discipline of Saul Alinsky (Senator Clinton hedges her statements about Alinsky in a very calculated manner), wants to run a "positive" campaign. He is not going to bring up any of the Clinton dirty laundry and how they have sought to crush women such as Gennifer Jones and Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick. Neither will the pro-abortion Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut), who happened to be the Chairman of the Democrat National Committee when Chinagate was taking place. None of the others (former Senator John Edwards, Senator Joseph Biden, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, former U.S. Senator from Alaska Mike Gravel) will do so. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has indeed worked very hard as a United States Senator from New York and has proved herself to be, speaking solely in terms of a knowledge of the legislative process of the United States Congress, a competent legislator, is "untouchable" on these matters lest her prominent supporters portray her as a "victim" of predatory male chauvinist politicians who "fear" a "strong" woman.
Indeed, Senator Clinton's opponents continue to be "worked over" by her surrogates for "piling on" against her, a woman, in a recent debate. Clinton's opponents focused on her unwillingness to state firm positions on many issues and her unwillingness to expose herself to questioning from journalists known to be tough interrogators who have the tendency to ask the sort of "follow-up" questions that she abhors. Howls and screams of protest from Clinton's supporters have gone up since that debate. Senator Clinton herself has been calculatedly oblique about the matter, letting others speak for her without chastising them for calling her a "victim" of the "good ole' boy network."
Hillary Rodham Clinton has gone to great lengths during this current campaign to appeal to young women, in particular, that she is their role model. She wants to appear "strong enough" to be president yet "feminine enough" to evoke sympathy from other women when she is criticized too severely, criticisms that must be caricatured as "attacks." In other words, she is being Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton without a shadow of change. The method is the same as it always has been in the past. Her message, carefully crafted by a calculated political strategy based upon the results of focus group research, appears to "soften" just enough for the general election on November 3, 2008, but leftward learning enough to consolidate her base of support in the Democrat Party.
Assuming that Senator Clinton does indeed secure the presidential nomination of the Democrat Party next year, t is doubtful that any Republican opponent she faces in the general election a year from now will raise any of the matters listed above. The country has "moved on." Focus groups don't like nasty conflicts among candidates. Hillary Rodham Clinton has shown "character" over the years, it will be reasoned. Character? Character? What kind of character does it take for a woman to play the role of a victim when she enables her husband and his goons in their efforts to destroy the reputations of the women he has exploited for his own purposes? It takes a most calculating character to do this, one that can ignore this open letter sent to then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton by Juanita Broaddrick seven years ago:
As I watched Rick Lazio's interview on Fox News this morning, I felt compelled to
write this open letter to you, Mrs. Clinton. Brit Hume asked Mr. Lazio's views
regarding you as a person and how he perceived you as a candidate. Rick Lazio did
not answer the question, but I know that I can. You know it, too.
I have no doubt that you are the same conniving, self-serving person you were
twenty-two years ago when I had the misfortune to meet you. When I see you on
television, campaigning for the New York senate race, I can see the same hypocrisy
in your face that you displayed to me one evening in 1978. You have not changed.
I remember it as though it was yesterday. I only wish that it were yesterday and
maybe there would still be time to do something about what your husband, Bill
Clinton, did to me. There was a political rally for Mr. Clinton's bid for governor of
Arkansas. I had obligated myself to be at this rally prior to my being assaulted by
your husband in April, 1978. I had made up my mind to make an appearance and then
leave as soon as the two of you arrived. This was a big mistake, but I was still in a
state of shock and denial. You had questioned the gentleman who drove you and Mr.
Clinton from the airport. You asked him about me and if I would be at the gathering.
Do you remember? You told the driver, "Bill has talked so much about Juanita", and
that you were so anxious to meet me. Well, you wasted no time. As soon as you
entered the room, you came directly to me and grabbed my hand. Do you remember
how you thanked me, saying "we want to thank you for everything that you do for
Bill". At that point, I was pretty shaken and started to walk off. Remember how you
kept a tight grip on my hand and drew closer to me? You repeated your statement,
but this time with a coldness and look that I have seen many times on television in the
last eight years. You said, "Everything you do for Bill". You then released your grip
and I said nothing and left the gathering.
What did you mean, Hillary? Were you referring to my keeping quiet about the assault
I had suffered at the hands of your husband only two weeks before? Were you
warning me to continue to keep quiet? We both know the answer to that question.
Yes, I can answer Brit Hume's question. You are the same Hillary that you were
twenty years ago. You are cold, calculating and self-serving. You cannot tolerate the
thought that you will soon be without the power you have wielded for the last eight
years. Your effort to stay in power will be at the expense of the state of New York. I
only hope the voters of New York will wake up in time and realize that Hillary Clinton
is not an honorable or an honest person.
I will end by asking if you believe the statements I made on NBC Dateline when Lisa
Myers asked if I had been assaulted. . . .by your husband? Or perhaps, you
are like Vice-President Gore and did not see the interview. Juanita Broaddrick, Arkansas.
Juanita Broaddrick's Letter to Hillary Clinton, October 15, 2000
No, you're not going to hear any discussion of this letter, are you? Senator Clinton would claim that she was being victimized by the "Clinton-haters" once again. She has never had to answer, not once, not anywhere, for enabling her husband's and his goons' efforts to crush the women that she knew full well in 1974 would continue to be in his life despite his marital vows. Those women were and remain expendable to the calculating practitioner of victimology, Hillary Rodham Clinton. William Jefferson Blyth Clinton, whom, all the evidence suggests, she really does "love" (in the sense of naturalistic sentimentality, not in the sense, obviously, of willing the eternal good of his immortal soul, which is to die in a state of Sanctifying Grace as a member of the Catholic Church) and sometimes "hates" at the same time, was her ticket to power. She is not going to relive the past that brought her to this point in her life now in the year 2007. Utilizing the tools provided her by the psychologist Carl Rogers, Mrs. Clinton can say about anything in the past, "I'm 'comfortable' with what I've done."
Many Catholics are "comfortable" with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton despite (or perhaps because) of her support for the slicing and dicing of innocent preborn babies under cover of law. This is especially the case with the professional leftists who populate the offices of the United States Conference of Conciliar "Bishops" in Washington, D.C., and those who serve in conciliar chancery offices around the United States of America. Many of these bureaucratic apparatchiks cut their ideological eyeteeth in Alinsky-based or funded organizations. Although Hillary Rodham Clinton is as careful now as she was in her long-suppressed senior thesis at Wellesley College to give oblique answers as to what she thinks about Alinsky, she does not mind it one little bit that thorough-going Alinskyites believe that she is one of them. She will not disabuse them of that notion whatsoever. Such ideologues have indemnified her in the past. They are doing so at present. They will do so in the future, ready to defend her as a "victim" of the "right-wing" when the truth is that she has left so many victims strewn in her path throughout her husband's career that it is a sign of the great bankruptcy of American electoral politics that no one is willing to bring this up and to force her to deal with her callous disregard for the lives of others.
Ah, then again, why should she have regard for the lives of others? She has no regard for the inviolability of the lives of the innocent preborn. Neither do her opponents for the Democrat Party nomination, at least one of which, Senator Joseph Biden (D-Delaware), was pro-life when first elected to the United States Senate in 1972 before becoming infected with the presidential bug early in his career (something that I asked him about publicly when he appeared at Allentown College of Saint Francis de Sales in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, April of 1980 during the last few weeks of my one-year teaching stint there). Those who have no regard for the inviolability of the lives of the innocent preborn, to say nothing of having no regard for the Social Reign of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen, will have little, if any, regard for any of the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law as they have been entrusted to the authority of the Catholic Church for their eternal safekeeping and infallible explication. What's the big deal about enabling a philandering husband and crushing the women he has exploited when you believe that the fruit of a mother's womb, an innocent baby, can be killed under cover of law?
Whether Hillary Rodham Clinton can use her calculated use of victimology to win the general election next year remains to be seen. My contention, far from infallible, of course, is that she and her husband are protected by the forces of darkness, making it easier for her to cast just as much of a mesmerizing spell on the American public as her husband, the second President of the United States to have been impeached and the second former President of the United States to have voluntarily relinquished his license to practice law because of obstruction of justice, walks tall and proud, unbent by any of the scandals he has caused or the people he has hurt throughout his life, making millions upon millions of dollars in the process. I continue to believe, therefore, that Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the next President of the United States of America.
Do I want this? Are you are out of your minds? An article of mine that ran simultaneously in The Wanderer and The Arlington Catholic Herald in 1994 wound up getting then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton disinvited from a conference at the University of Dayton, which is run by the Marianist Fathers. Mrs. Clinton had not accepted the invitation. The fact that it had been made to her by an ostensibly "Catholic" university was scandalous, demonstrating just how little many professional conciliarists care about raising their voices in opposition to the daily slaughter of the preborn and to those in public life who support this slaughter as a matter of "women's reproductive rights and health."
No, I am only noting what the political reality appears to be at the present time. A Hillary Clinton presidency will not change much of anything that is going on in Washington, D.C. A wholly-owned subsidiary of the Talmudic lobby, "President" Hillary Rodham Clinton will continue most of President George W. Bush's foreign policy, including making war upon Iran, if such a war is not begun in the final fourteen months, fourteen days of the Bush administration. She would continue the push for measures that would lead, at least in a de facto manner, to the further diminution of American national sovereignty and the North American Union. Sure, she would welcome illegal immigrants for a variety of reasons, most of them electoral and demographic. Bush has welcomed them to aid his corporate pals who are in need of low-paid workers as a result of the dearth of native-born Americans produced by contraception and abortion.
Oh, yes, Madame President Clinton would put limits on home-schooling, seek to mandate vaccinations without any religious exemptions, start up her now revised national health care system, and increase the power and the size of the Federal government, using appointments to the Federal judiciary to help her do so. How much has the power and the size of the Federal government increased under George W. Bush? A lot. There would be a change in some areas. Ever desirous of being re-elected, however, Madame President Clinton would probably "triangulate" much in the manner of her husband, seeking to "rise above" ideology while calculating how far to the left she could go and still get re-elected in 2012, if the world has not ended by then (one can always hope, right?).
The difference between the false opposites of the naturalist "left" and the naturalist "right" are far less pronounced than professional politicians and fund raisers want us to believe. Indeed, both have this fatal flaw in common with the American founders themselves: that it is possible for men to govern themselves without a reliance upon and submission to the Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has entrusted exclusively to the Catholic Church, and that it is possible for men to be virtuous without belief in, access to and cooperation with Sanctifying Grace. From that one fatal flaw flows all--and I mean each and every single one--of the evils associated with naturalism of the anti-Incarnational modern civil state. Once you understand that, ladies and gentlemen, then you understand that the devil wins no matter who--and I mean no matter who--wins an election in the United States of America. Those who proceed from false premises will always wind up worsening things rather than improving them.
The true victims of the past two millennia have been those Catholics who have been martyred, frequently by the brute power of the civil state, for their steadfast witness to the truths of the Catholic Faith and to the Social Reign of Christ the King. Saint Alphonsus de Liguori wrote that over thirteen million Catholics were put to death by the authorities of the Roman Empire between the time of Nero in 67 A.D. and the Edict of Milan in the year 313 A.D. Millions upon millions of others have been put to death in the centuries since. These true victims who offered themselves to the Chief Priest and Victim of Calvary, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, did not feel sorry for themselves. They did not castigate their torturers or their executioners, although some exhorted their torturers and executioners to convert to the true Faith.
Consider this example from the life of Blessed Edmund Campion, S.J.:
What must the prisoners of the sixteenth century have thought when the doors of the Tower closed upon them? Few men--or women--ever came out of the Tower in those days to tell what it was like inside. Most who emerged came out to go to their death at Tyburn. When Father Campion knelt in his cell, praying for strength to be brave and loyal to Christ to the end, he knew enough about the treatment that was most likely in store for him to have every reason in the world to be filled with fear.
He had heard of the The Pit, in which a prisoner might be confined for weeks and months. It was a cave running down for twenty feet and in absolute darkness. He knew of Little Ease, a cell so constructed that a prisoner could not stand upright nor lie down at full length.
Another form of torture was The Scavenger's Daughter. This was a broad hoop of iron which ran between the legs and over the head and forced the prisoner to remain in a crouched-over, cramped position. When this was maintained for days or more, it frequently was impossible for the poor prisoner ever to stand upright again. Before Father Campion's vision rose, too, images of the iron gauntlets that fitted over the wrists and could be tightened with screws, and of the awful rack.
This last instrument of torture was a wooden frame with rollers at each end Ropes ran around the rollers and the ends of the ropes were fastened to the prisoner's wrists and ankles. Then, when the rollers were revolved, arms and legs were stretched, often so far that all the limbs become disjointed.
One of the cruelest of the rack-masters, as they were called, was a man named Topcliffe. He performed his horrible work some years after Father Campion had met his Lord at Tyburn. He once boasted, referring to another Jesuit he was going to torture on the rack, that he would "make him a foot taller than he was before."
Is it any wonder, then, that for Father Campion, and for hundreds of others like him in those terrible days, the Tower of London was not a pleasant or quaint place, but an abode of horrors? Is there any wonder that he, known for his bravery and his gallantry, now knelt in his dismal cell and repeated the prayer that our Lord had uttered to His Father during His agony in the garden" Not My will but Thine be done"?
Christ's hero did not have long to wait before his worst anticipation began to come true. The warden of the Tower was Sir Owen Hopton, who was seeking advancement in the Queen's service. As soon as he heard that the famous Campion, the biggest prize yet to be caught, would be committed to his charge in the Tower, he thought, "I'll show the Queen and Lord Leicester how zealous I can be in the performance of my duty. From the very start I'll be as severe as I can with the traitor, and when Her Majesty hears of it, she will certainly give me a promotion.
At the very moment when Father Campion was praying in his cell, Sir Owen was giving orders to have Little Ease mad ready for him. On the afternoon of July 22, the door of Father Campion's cell groaned open, and a jailer's voice growled. "Come along, seditious Jesuit, we have a little surprise for you."
Father Campion blessed himself, rose and followed down the gloomy corridors. Another door swung open and he saw before him the small room, absolutely bare and almost pitch-dark, even with the door open, which he knew to be Little Ease. Sir Owen stood to one side, elegant and disdainful, watching the weary, disheveled man gaze in fascinated horror at the dreadful room.
"Well, then, Mr. Campion," he said mockingly, "where is all the bravery you protest in your lying Brag? If the sight of our Little Ease affrights you so much, how pale do you think your face will become when you see some of the other means we have here to break the spirit of rebellious citizens like you and your fellow-priests?"
"Fear is not the same as cowardice, Sir Owen," responded Father Campion with a calm dignity, and a trace of his famous smile began to show on his haggard face. "I never said, nor could I, for I am a man, and not an angel, that I would not feel fear at what lies in store for me. But I did say, and with the grace of Our Lord, I will prove it, that I would not be broken in spirit and betray either my Lord Christ or those Catholic friends who have sheltered me and to whom I have brought the Holy Mass and the word of God."
"Humph! Well, we shall soon see. In with the man, and let him think over his deeds and his boasts for a while."
"By what right am I subjected to this torture? cried Father Campion in a commanding voice. "I am an Englishman, I have not been tried, I have not yet been found guilty of any crime. Torture is for criminals--if indeed it is for anyone who is a human being. I demand to see the writ of the Privy Council which gives you the authority so to treat me."
"You can demand until you are blue in the face, my good Papist," snarled Sir Owen. "I am the master of this Tower, and who's to know that I have given you a little taste of discipline? He nodded his head to one of the jailers. The man stepped behind Father Campion, grabbed him by the shoulders and pushed him, not too gently, into Little Ease. The door was slammed shut; the darkness closed in on the figure of Edmund Campion huddled in a cramped, bent-over, standing position.
For three full days and part of a fourth, Father Campion got to know the "little taste of discipline" Little Ease could administer. When his legs and back began to tremble and twitch from the strain of trying to stand, he would slump to a crowded sitting position, and when he could bear that no loner, he would struggle to stand again. Would the hours never pass? How many hours had to pass before he would either be released or lose consciousness? And yet, he prayed not to lose consciousness. He prayed that he might remain in control of his mind and will so that he could consciously offer his suffering in reparation for his own sins and for the conversion of his beloved England. [Father Harold C. Gardiner, S.J., Edmund Campion, Hero of God's Underground, Vision Books: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1957
This stirring letter written by a Claretian priest Spain during the Spanish Revolution (1936-1939) just before he (and others with him) were martyred demonstrates the difference between victimology, whether calculated or habitually programmed, and being a victim for Christ the King:
We all die praying to God that the blood from our wounds may not be a vengeful blood, but that it run red and full of life in your veins, to stimulate your growth and development all over the world. Good-bye,d ear Congregation! Your sons, the martyrs of Barbastro, salute you from prison and offer you our sorrow and anguish as a holocaust to expiate our faults, our weaknesses, and as a testimony of our faithful, generous and eternal love. The martyrs of tomorrow, the 14th, are mindful of the fact that they die on the eve of the Assumption. What a remembrance that will be! We die for the right to wear the cassock and we die on the very anniversary of the day on which we were clothed in it. (Quoted in Warren H. Carroll, The Last Crusade, Christendom Press, 1996, p. 110.)
Dr. Carroll goes on to quote a member of the civil guard's testimony to the constancy of the Faith of the Claretian martyrs of Barbastro:
These [blasphemous expletive deleted] fools! No one could shut them up! All the way they sang and praised Christ the King. One of them fell dead when he hit him with the butt of a gun, and this is no lie. But the more we hit them, the more they sang and shouted: "Viva Cristo Rey!("Quoted in Warren H. Carroll, The Last Crusade, Christendom Press, 1996, p. 110.)
We must strive to be victims for Christ the King and for Mary our Immaculate Queen as we make reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary for our own sins and those of the whole world. No Catholic, including this one, is proud of his sins. Indeed, we abhor them. We do not blame others for our sins. We do not seek to destroy those who may have firsthand knowledge of our sins of thoughts, words, and deeds. We take full and complete responsibility for our sins, recognizing that we are absolutely no better than anyone else. We must give thanks to God that it is by His own gratuitous gift of the Holy Faith and of the graces that He won for us by the shedding of His own Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces, that we have even a little bit of a chance of undoing the damage that our sins have done to our souls--and for the bad example, if not outright scandal--we might have given to the souls of others--by living penitentially, especially as we fulfill Our Lady's Fatima Message in our own lives on a daily basis. Yes, we must strive to be victims for Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen as we pray as many Rosaries as our states-in-life permit.
The petty tyrants of today will fade from view soon enough. God is more powerful than any of the fools who think that their grand ideas and schemes can "save" society and make our own lives "easier" and "more comfortable" (sort of like they want to create a huge "national hospice" for us). A country that has killed over fifty million innocent preborn human beings by surgical abortion alone, no less the truly countless number of souls its wars have taken out of the Catholic Church and placed into Protestant "churches" and Masonic lodges, owes God a tremendous debt that might be repaid only by the extinction of its national existence.
We must, therefore, embrace the Cross as never before, hoping that our lives of prayer and penance and fasting and mortification and almsgiving and total consecration to Jesus through Mary will help, especially by means of Eucharistic piety and our devotion to Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary, to plant just a few seeds for the day when all men will hail the Chief Victim and Priest, the One Who become Man for us to die on the wood of the Cross so that we might know an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Paradise.
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us now and the hour of our deaths. Amen.
All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Luke the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Charles Borromeo, pray for us.
Saints Vitalis and Agricola, pray for us.
Saint Hilarion, pray for us.
Saint John Cantius, pray for us.
Saint Peter of Alcantara, pray for us.
Saint Hedwig, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us.
Saint Francis Borgia, pray for us.
Saint Edward the Confessor, pray for us.
Saint John Leonard, pray for us.
Saint Dionysisus (Denis), Rusticus and Eleutherius, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Placidus and Companions, pray for us.
Saint Bruno, pray for us.
Saint Wenceslaus, pray for us.
Saint Jerome, pray for us.
Saint Remigius, pray for us.
Saint Clotilde, pray for us.
Saints Cosmas and Damian, pray for us.
Pope Saint Linus, pray for us.
Saint Peter Nolasco, pray for us.
Saint Raymond Pennafort, pray for us.
Saint Raymond Nonnatus, pray for us.
Saint Thecla, pray for us.
Saint Matthew, pray for us.
Saint Eustachius and Family, pray for us.
Saint Leonard of Port Maurice, pray for us.
Saint Joseph Cupertino, pray for us.
Saint Januarius, pray for us.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
Saints Cornelius and Cyprian, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us.
Saint Giles, pray for us.
Saint Stephen of Hungary, pray for us.
Saint Rose of Lima, pray for us.
Saint Nicomedes, pray for us.
Saint Joseph Calasanctius, pray for us.
Pope Saint Zephyrinus, pray for us.
Saint Louis IX, King of France, pray for us.
Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, pray for us.
Saint Bartholomew, pray for us.
Saint Philip Benizi, pray for us.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, pray for us.
Saint John Eudes, pray for us.
Saint Hyacinth, pray for us, pray for us.
Saint Agapitus, pray for us.
Saint Helena, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Irenaeus, pray for us.
Saints Monica, pray for us.
Saint Jude, pray for us.
Saint John the Beloved, pray for us.
Saint Francis Solano, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint Dominic Savio, pray for us.
Saint Scholastica, pray for us.
Saint Benedict, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, pray for us.
Saint Antony of the Desert, pray for us.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Bonaventure, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Francis Xavier, pray for us.
Saint Peter Damian, pray for us.
Saint Turibius, pray for us.
Saint Francis Solano, pray for us.
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Monica, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saint Anthony of Padua, pray for us.
Saint Basil the Great, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us.
Saint Isaac Jogues, pray for us.
Saint Rene Goupil, pray for us.
Saint John Lalonde, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel Lalemont, pray for us.
Saint Noel Chabanel, pray for us.
Saint Charles Garnier, pray for us.
Saint Anthony Daniel, pray for us.
Saint John DeBrebeuf, pray for us.
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Dominic, pray for us.
Saint Hyacinth, pray for us.
Saint Basil, pray for us.
Saint Benedict, pray for us.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Sebastian, pray for us.
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Gerard Majella, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Saint Genevieve, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us.
Saint Rita of Cascia, pray for us.
Saint Louis de Montfort, pray for us.
Blessed Humbeline, pray for us.
Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Venerable Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Father Miguel Augustin Pro, pray for us.
Francisco Marto, pray for us.
Jacinta Marto, pray for us.
Juan Diego, pray for us.
Father Maximilian Kolbe,M.I., pray for us.
Father Frederick Faber, pray for us.
The Longer Version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII, 1888
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Verse: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
Response: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
Verse: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
Response: As we have hoped in Thee.
Verse: O Lord hear my prayer.
Response: And let my cry come unto Thee.
Verse: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls.