‘Where is Your God Now?’ The Atheists Sneer as We Mourn Our Dead

The USCCB and the Weaponization of “Dialogue”
November 8, 2017
Catholic League: Weekend Assaults are Telling
November 8, 2017

By John Zmirak, a Senior Editor of The Stream, Nov. 7, 2017

John ZmirakIt takes a lot to shock me. I’ve been at Operation Rescue protests where cops obeyed orders to brutalize pro-life teens and seniors. I saw a pro-abortion crowd shout down and silence Democratic Governor Robert Casey and Village Voice columnist Nat Henthoff. As a grad student in English, I took part in the pro-life “Summer of Mercy” at Baton Rouge abortion clinics — only to find most of the senior faculty of the department (people who could stymie my degree) lined up on the other side. One of them was carefully videotaping each of our faces. (I waved and carefully spelled out my name for him.)

But this weekend, after the slaughter in Sutherland Springs, Texas, even I found myself stunned. I summed it up briefly on Twitter:

John Zmirak @JZmirak  – Atheist massacres Christians, then atheists taunt Christians for praying about it. Yes, it’s our tolerant liberal society all right.


Hey Christers, where’s your God now? One of us sure got plenty of you yesterday. Oh, now give up all your guns to the atheist govt. Ok?

 And finally:

So now we should turn over all our guns to the nice folks who are twerking on Christians’ fresh-dug graves.

Ruining Popular Culture for Us

You’ve already probably seen some of the appalling outbursts to which I referred. Most depressing, perhaps, were those from celebrities whose work I had admired. Michael McKean from This is Spinal TapMarina Sirtis from Star Trek: Next Generation. I hope it doesn’t sour my next try at viewing their work.

To get a fresh take on how shocking the anti-Christian backlash has been while the bodies of the slain were still being identified by family members, try this thought experiment:

Imagine if an atheist ex-Muslim had shot up a peaceful mosque, including small children and pregnant women. Can you imagine any educated person chiming in to taunt grieving Muslims about the crimes of ISIS?

Heck, we get the Clockwork Orange brainwashing treatment every time a politicized Muslim slaughters Christians, Jews, gays, Yezidis, or anyone else on his (very long) enemies list: Beware of Islamophobia! Careful! Mass slaughters like this could lead customers to be rude to their Uber drivers! But Christian blood isn’t yet dry, and atheists are taunting us about the “futility” of our prayers.

To see a theological answer to this insult, read this profound essay at The Federalist, on how God answers our prayers even when we are martyred. It’s just that His answer is a deeply distressing “Join me. Up here. Today. Right now, ready or not.”

I was about to add something about a slaughter in a synagogue — but sadly, I think that the most committed Israel-haters out there might well go ahead and blame the crime on the IDF’s latest measures against Palestinian terrorists. The peoples of both real Covenants are fair targets, nowadays.

A Sickness in the Souls of Men

The hate out there is real. It runs deep. It’s not aimed at guns or gunowners, but God. It really exploded in the wake of last year’s election. The closest analogue I can find in our nation’s history for the sustained, politicized hatred we have seen since that election, which culminated after the recent bloodbath, is this one: Unrepentant white supremacists in the wake of the Civil War.

The hate out there is real. It runs deep. It’s not aimed at guns or gunowners, but God. It really exploded in the wake of last year’s election. The closest analogue I can find in our nation’s history for the sustained, politicized hatred we have seen since that election, which culminated after the recent bloodbath, is this one: Unrepentant white supremacists in the wake of the Civil War.

The Confederates like Robert E. Lee and James Longstreet who fought for Southern independence despite slavery generally went peacefully and urged reconciliation. Those who had fought for slavery’s sake, for the ongoing power to crack the whip and exploit their fellow men … they reacted much like the abortion lobby did after Clinton’s Appomattox. They formed the Ku Klux Klan to terrorize the freedmen. (The Klan was hooded, just like Antifa.) They called the new governments in their reunited states “illegitimate,” and “foreign-imposed.” One of them, Edmund Ruffin, a fireater who’d fired one of the first shots at Fort Sumter, blew his own head off rather than accept the Yankee victory.

And one of them wrote a song about which I learned while doing my doctorate on Southern literature. It is here, in this catchy, bloodthirsty song, that we sniff the same brimstone that rises from today’s sneering atheists:

Hate, Hate, and Hate

Here’s the money quote from the song:

I hates the Yankee nation
And everything they do.
I hates the Declaration
Of Independence too.
I hates the glorious Union
‘Tis dripping with our blood.
I hates the striped banner
And fought it all I could.

I caught the rheumatism
Campin’ in the snow,
But I killed a chance of Yankees
And I’d like to kill some more.
Three hundred thousand Yankees
Is stiff in Southern dust.
We got three hundred thousand
Before they conquered us.
They died of Southern fever
And Southern steel and shot.
I wish they was three million
Instead of what we got.

Doubling Down on Evil

Yeah, that’s the spirit we’re dealing with, of an embittered elite who know that their cause is fundamentally evil, but have chosen to brazen it out. Who know that the nation rejected them, so they’re committed to sabotage — to fake investigations, false charges, “sanctuary” policies that violate federal law and national sovereignty. America’s most dogged leftists will try their own local “Jim Crow” policies aimed at Christians and conservatives.

They will intimidate, harass, threaten, and try to destroy those who resist them — just as Southern elites did, eventually wearing down the North’s will to impose Civil Rights for another 100 years. (Their final blunder, which helped seal the victory of the Civil Rights movement, was bombing a church and killing little black schoolgirls.)

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We must be just as dogged as our enemies. We must stick to our guns, both figuratively and literally. And for doing that, prayer is not just useful. It’s crucial. (Pun intended.) We pray for their salvation, but also for their defeat. For their systematic political and cultural surrender, till their cause is seen by all as just as disgraceful as the Klan’s.

Yes, action and prayer. For we strive not against men, but with principalities and powers. How do we know that? By whom they target: the child in the womb. Babies with Down Syndrome. Christian families with their eyes closed in prayer. Just so in 1793, they hunted the peasants of the Vendee, and in 1936 the priests and nuns of Spain who served the poor.

It’s not really human to hate such helpless, harmless things. For that, you really need to summon your Lower Power.

John Zmirak is a Senior Editor of The Stream, and author of the new Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. He received his B.A. from Yale University in 1986, then his M.F.A. in screenwriting and fiction and his Ph.D. in English in 1996 from Louisiana State University. His focus was the English Renaissance, and the novels of Walker Percy. He taught composition at LSU and screenwriting at Tulane University, and has written screenplays for and with director Ronald Maxwell (Gods & Generals and Gettysburg). He was elected alternate delegate to the 1996 Republican Convention, representing Pat Buchanan.

He has been Press Secretary to pro-life Louisiana Governor Mike Foster, and a reporter and editor at Success magazine and Investor’s Business Daily, among other publications. His essays, poems, and other works have appeared in First Things, The Weekly Standard, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, USA Today, FrontPage Magazine, The American Conservative, The South Carolina Review, Modern Age, The Intercollegiate Review, Commonweal, and The National Catholic Register, among other venues. He has contributed to American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia and The Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought. From 2000-2004 he served as Senior Editor of Faith & Family magazine and a reporter at The National Catholic Register. During 2012 he was editor of Crisis.

He is author, co-author, or editor of eleven books, including Wilhelm Ropke: Swiss Localist, Global Economist, The Grand Inquisitor (graphic novel) and The Race to Save Our Century. He was editor of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s guide to higher education, Choosing the Right College and Collegeguide.org, for ten years, and is also editor of Disorientation: How to Go to College Without Losing Your Mind.