How did we miss it? Yet it has happened. We urged each other to “Never forget!” But did we ever really think we could be so callous, so loose with the truth that it would give way to what we are witnessing? Far-left mobs rally in favor of the Hamas murderers and against Israel on campuses across the country, including at my alma mater, UNC Chapel Hill.
We must engage in earnest contemplation of the events transpiring before us — if independent thought still remains within our grasp.
Contemplate our current reality
Selective warnings for specific citizens — Jews, for example — to avoid public spaces is an unacceptable deterioration of “public safety” and a disconcerting low in our nation’s history. This perilous trajectory won’t self-correct. University leaders who permit their campuses to be commandeered by extremist elements, exploiting naive and ill-educated students to propagate hate-filled rhetoric without resolute condemnation, are displaying a woeful, and indeed sinister, weakness.
The perilous descent into collective madness, known as groupthink, inevitably ends in disaster. Filling the chasm between the repudiation of foundational principles—like those in Aquinas’s Summa—and the rot of once-majestic civilizations, lies a divine constant: our society is anchored in the God of the Jews and the teachings of Jesus Christ. As public intellectuals such as Tom Holland and Roger Scruton (1944-2020) have affirmed, this Judeo-Christian framework elevates all individuals, irrespective of their faith or lack thereof.
The probability that those brandishing hate-filled placards have pondered this enduring legacy is low.
Consider the foundation of humanity: Marriage
Society’s cornerstone is the nuclear family, through which the fruitful love of a man and a woman produces, then nurtures, that society’s next generation. The more this cornerstone is rejected, the less civilized a nation will become, as the youth are raised not by those demonstrating love, self-sacrifice, and commitment, but by those demonstrating the pursuit of pleasure, convenience, and self-centeredness.
It is a very short walk from this self-centered chaos to resentment of those who — by following the truth and the “best practices” of long-standing cultural customs, like pursuing family life — find success.
Government’s role is to safeguard the societal bedrock of the family by meting out justice and promoting communal welfare. All societal structures emanate from this familial nucleus, as elaborated by seminal thinkers like Samuel Rutherford and John Locke, whose insights are rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition.
The ignorance of these enduring truths by those inciting animosity is not only tragic but perilous for all. They have truly come to believe that success is a sign of injustice and “inequity,” making the slaughter of prosperous, healthy families by homicidal mobs more than understandable — so understandable that they are willing to go out and march in support of the killers even before any response by the victims.
Our toleration of linguistic and behavioral absurdities has eroded our social fabric. Justice Clarence Thomas, in his dissenting opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, presciently warned that to deny the truth is to gamble not just with our heritage but also with the well-being of future generations.
Acknowledge what we might yet achieve
Tolerating lies has a calculable progression toward endangering the innocent. However, the enduring laws of divine forgiveness remain ever accessible: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32 KJV).
This doctrine of theology is, thus, to know God is to locate truth, and to receive that truth is to escape the innate chains of our own prejudices. In a word, it is to be at liberty with one’s self and others. That central teaching remains as potent today as when Augustine articulated it, Aquinas expounded upon it, and Martin Luther nailed its veracity to the church door. It has always served as a branch of hope for the fallen. It’s the initial step back to level ground — the hallowed terrain where truth invariably fosters freedom. This is a lesson each of us must internalize, yet its transformative impact remains as pertinent now as ever.
O how we need to be free. Then will we exalt others as higher than ourselves, weep with those who weep, and, if necessary, offer our very lives as a token of love for those we do not even know. Truth has produced such generations before.