Ann Barnhardt and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn on Cowardice and Courage

This post first appeared here on August 1, 2012.

This is one of those times when I can add nothing, except to beg you to read every word and to pray that we will never be compelled to say, as Solzhenitsyn says, that “We didn’t love freedom enough” or that “we had no awareness of the real situation,” but especially let us not say that “We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.” Viva Cristo Rey.  This is taken in entirety, with general permission, from Ann Barnhardt:

If you forced me to distill everything that is wrong with this culture down to one word, to find one word that covered almost every sin in one fell swoop, it would be cowardice. I look at western civilization and I see cowardice EVERYWHERE. It is in the eyes and hearts of every adult. Its stench permeates everything.

First, the definition. Cowardice is, when you boil it down, total self-absorption. Cowardice is putting your own immediate and superficial desires above everyone and everything else. Cowardice is indifference to your fellow man, and to God, and as we have already established, indifference, not hate, but INDIFFERENCE is the opposite of love.

The coward cowers and fails to act because he puts himself first, thus breaking the two Great Commandments simultaneously: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and soul AND thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The coward gives both God and his neighbor the proverbial finger, pulls the covers over his head and retreats into his own navel, oftentimes rhetorically hiding behind the words “prudence” and “benignity”.

The word “Prudence” has been twisted by cowards into the lie that one should never act, but rather think and think and think ad infinitum until either they have talked themselves out of any action (which is always very easy to do) OR until someone else comes along and takes up the slack, thus making the question of their own action moot. In other words, STALLING.

Prudence is being able to discern the right, see the big picture and then DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE. Many people think that they can “legally” dodge this by simply doing nothing. Ah, but they forget that to NOT act is to act, to NOT speak is to speak, to quote Bonhoeffer. It is impossible to avoid action, because inaction is itself an action. When prudence truly dictates that something MUST be said or done, inaction then becomes a sin, no matter how one might try to justify that inaction as prudence. That sin is called COWARDICE.

Benignity means “kindness”, which is not the same as “being nice” or even being liked. True kindness sometimes requires sternness, or even ferociousness. If you walked into a kitchen and saw a three year old child just about to drink from a bottle of drain cleaner, would you not ferociously dive at the child yelling, “NO!” in order to save that child from poisoning and burning themselves? Anything less would be unthinkable. How could one react with silent paralysis to a child about to drink poison? How would that be kind? How would that be benign? It wouldn’t. It would be malignant malefaction devoid of prudence and charity, and utterly cowardly.

The other term that gets distorted by cowardice is “meekness”. The tragic coincidence that the word “meek” rhymes with “weak” in English has led many intellectually lazy people to believe very falsely that the words are synonyms. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Meekness is POWER UNDER CONTROL. Hence, Christ is perfectly meek, because as the Second Person of the Triune Godhead He is infinitely powerful, but yet so under control of His power that He freely chose to be crucified. An absolute monarch, powerful politician, powerful corporate executive, or law enforcement officer is called to meekness: power UNDER CONTROL. Power itself isn’t necessarily bad, as the absence of authority leads to anarchy and chaos. Power without the integrity of self-control is the problem. I think we can all agree that we have a serious, serious meekness deficiency in this culture, borne from cowardice, which recall is total self-absorption. A coward cannot be meek because a coward has no LEGITIMATE power to control in the first place. You hear me, Barack?

The reason we are in this mess, and the reason why I don’t see any indication of anything getting any better is because we are indeed a nation, and a civilization, of cowards. I see exactly ZERO willingness by anyone to offer any meaningful resistance to evil. I see zero willingness for anyone to do anything that might result in the least bit of discomfort, loss or material damage to themselves or their estate.

As an example, over the last couple of days I have been inundated with emails from people who remember the Mass before 1968, and they all say something very similar: When the changes came, we hated them and just KNEW that they were bad, bad news. We also KNEW which priests were gay, it wasn’t like they were trying to fool anyone.

My universal response to that is: WELL, WHY THE HELL DIDN’T YOU DO ANYTHING?

The answer is cowardice. People wanted to maintain their social standing, and so they chose the action of inaction. People wanted to just pull the blanket over their head, not get involved, and be considered “nice”. This is the ultimate self-absorption. If you people KNEW that the Church and the Mass were being profaned and you did NOTHING, then you will be held to account for that cowardice. You will be made to answer for the hundreds of millions, if not billions of human beings who were lost to hell because of the Marxist-homosexualist near-destruction of the Church and the Mass. You will be held to account for the horrific gutter dive that this culture has taken, because if the Novus Ordo Mass had been deep-sixed by the irate demand of the people before it ever got off the ground, this world would be a very, very different place. If the Marxist-homosexualists had never been allowed to rise to power by the silent assent of the cowardly people, God would still be shedding His grace on us, and tens of millions of dead babies would be very much alive today, and countless millions of people might not have been lost to hell.

Every time I hear someone say, “Well, I can’t DO THAT. I can’t SAY ANYTHING. I can’t stop paying taxes. I can’t get crossways with the IRS. I can’t cancel my cable. I can’t get on my boss’s bad side. I can’t jeopardize my job. I can’t jeopardize my reputation. I can’t jeopardize my income. You just don’t understand. I just CAN’T,” I have just one question in response. It is very easy, and only requires a single number is response – not even words. Just one number. The question is, exactly how many human souls are you content to see lost in exchange for your personal comfort and ability to navel-gaze uninterrupted? I need a number. No prose. No bullshit excuses. Just a number. If you are willing to admit that you are willing to see a billion people lost, then say it. If you’re willing to see 3.5 billion people lost, then say it. If you’re willing to see the entire surface population minus yourself lost, then say it. But don’t bullshit me by saying “zero” and then cowering in fear and refusing to so much as lift a finger or say ONE WORD in the face of this evil.

Fish or cut bait, people.

Do you know why Ayn Rand (Alisa Rosenbaum was her real name) became an atheist? Do you know why that clearly intelligent woman became so utterly convinced that there was no God? It is because she witnessed the revolting, repellant cowardice of the Russian Orthodox clergy in Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution. Seeing those men capitulate to evil in order to save their own skins was so abhorrent to behold that young Alisa became convinced that there was no way that the Church or the God of that Church could possibly be real or true. It was the observation of cowardice that drove her into atheism, and then into her own sad life of sin and self-centeredness, all in the name of “rational self-interest” and “happiness”.
Human beings are hard-wired to loathe and shun the coward. There is no character trait that is more universally and instantly repellant to both males and females than cowardice. It takes massive brainwashing to overcome this most visceral of human responses. Why is this?

From the female perspective, a woman identifies and rejects the coward because the coward will not protect her. The coward will abandon her and their children. So how is it that any inner city black man today gets laid? Because the Marxists have brainwashed the black culture into embracing male cowardice. The men are given false substitutes in the form of sports and gangs (because nothing is more GAY masculine than running around in a shirt with another man’s name emblazoned across it), and the women are trained by the rap/hip-hop culture to expect to be used and abandoned as mere masturbation vectors. And when conception actually happens, we have the ultimate act of cowardice to fall back on: abortion.

From the male perspective, cowardice is repellant because it is the coward who will either betray you, or fail to come through and get both of you killed. Judas Iscariot was the biggest coward in history. Read John 6. When Jesus told the huge crowd of disciples about the Eucharist, that they would literally have to eat His Flesh and drink His Blood to have His Life within them, they all freaked out and got up and left. Judas was humiliated at being associated with Jesus from that moment forward. He was livid that the potential revenue stream of thousands of followers was drying up. He was livid at the loss of power that he was watching as a member of Jesus’ inner circle of apostles. He thought Jesus was going to overthrow both the Herodian dynasty and the Roman occupation and that he, Judas, would be made a prince. When Jesus revealed the Eucharist to the people and they all left, Judas, self-centered and desperate for worldly wealth, power and approval, which is to say an abject coward, decided at that moment, purely because of the Eucharist, to betray Christ.

But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning, who they were that did not believe, and who he was, that would betray him. John 6:65,

Jesus answered them: Have not I chosen you twelve; and one of you is a devil? Now he meant Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon: for this same was about to betray him, whereas he was one of the twelve. John 6:71-72.

At this point, I am sadly reminded of the priests and bishops in the U.S. who have betrayed and continue to betray Christ because they are embarrassed by Him and His Truth, livid at Him for getting in the way of the government revenue stream, and humiliated and ashamed of the Eucharist itself. Oh, to be a fly on the wall at a Georgetown party when Joe Biden or John Kerry sidles up to Archbishop So-and-So, leans in close, smiles wryly and says, “You don’t actually believe that a cracker and a shot of wine turns into God, do you?”

If the coward doesn’t betray you outright to your enemies, he will at the very least fail to come through in combat, and get you both killed. To my eye, that covers pretty much everyone else. Even the clergy and people who are not Marxists are paralyzed and give every indication that they cannot be relied upon to march into combat. Some even hiss their contempt at courageous men in the hopes that God won’t recognize their cowardice if He has no courageous contemporaries to compare them to. I believe the technical term for that is “relativism.” Or perhaps they feel that they will be able to talk their way out of their sin by claiming “prudence” or “benignity.”

Yes, let’s just stall and hope and pray that someone comes along who will take up our slack and do the right, do that which we are too chickenshit to do.

Be careful what you pray for. You might just get it.

I’ll conclude with some quotes from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:

To stand up for truth is nothing. For truth, you must sit in jail.
You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.

The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. One word of truth outweighs the world.

In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.

If I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible what was the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: ‘Men had forgotten God; that is why all this has happened.’

A decline in courage may be the most striking feature that an outside observer notices in the West today. The Western world has lost its civic courage . . . . Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling and intellectual elite, causing an impression of a loss of courage by the entire society.

And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.

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About GruntOfMonteCristo

Fearless and Devout Catholic Christian First, Loving Husband and Father Second, Pissed-Off Patriot Third, Rocket Engineer Dork Last.
This entry was posted in Freedom. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Ann Barnhardt and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn on Cowardice and Courage

  1. floridaborne says:

    The part about cowardice rings true.
    Our country has a participation award mentality. That falls right in line with cowardice.

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