Satan loves chaos. Not only is chaos the opposite of order, it is a perversion of order. It is only natural then that chaos begets confusion. These two forces – chaos and confusion – are always united to destruction and death, which are sure hallmarks of the evil one’s handiwork. So, in the past few weeks and months as America has watched chaos and confusion reign on college campuses due to alleged instances of racism – notably at the University of Missouri-Columbia and Yale University – one will surely find a link to death and destruction.
But before drawing out that connection, first let me be clear: the chaos and confusion wreaked upon these campuses can no more be attributed to the student activists than it can be to the “institutionalized racism” as some might claim. Rather, the chaos and confusion is a direct result of a progressive social order, a “dictatorship of relativism,” which was so aptly described by Cardinal Ratzinger before he became Pope Benedict XVI. This chaos and confusion was sown by decades of liberalism under the guise of “academic inquiry” or “artistic expression.” The principles of this dictatorship are not hierarchical, for there is only one principle: me.
A recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal sums up the problem this way: “In the decades since [the 1960s], the academy – its leaders and faculties – by and large has accommodated many of those demands regarding appropriate academic subjects, admissions policies and what has become the aggressive and non-tolerant politics of identity and grievance.” In other words: give me what I want because I deserve it.
Our society is now reaping the rotten fruit of a self-centered worldview sown decades ago that, among other ills, dismisses Jesus Christ as nothing more than man with some laudable moral teachings, if he is acknowledged at all. This liberal, progressive, watered-down nonsense is a self-defeating proposition, for it is anchored to a foundation that shifts with the whims of personal desires; desires which are so often shaped by the vicissitudes of the world.
My fellow Catholic men, let us take St. Paul’s words seriously: “Be not conformed to this world; but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect will of God.”(Romans 12:2)
What then, we should ask, is the will of God?
Because volumes could be, and have been, written in attempt to answer that question, let us instead identify the opposite. Nowhere is the antithesis of God’s will better epitomized than in the gruesome tragedy of abortion. It is the anti-sacrament; the ultimate inversion of the social order according to the will of God. It is not “My Body” sacrificed for others; rather, abortion is “my body” selfishly adored.
For both Yale and the University of Missouri (or Mizzou as it is widely known), this is the connection between chaos and confusion, death and destruction: besides the recent racial turmoil, both institutions have dealt with public controversies involving abortion in recent years. In fact, the controversy at Mizzou has been a significant battle raging simultaneously, though in relative obscurity, while the more public racial drama has played out in the national media.
This battle stems from Mizzou’s involvement with the local Planned Parenthood facility in Columbia, Missouri. As you are hopefully aware, the sickening web of Planned Parenthood’s lies and deceit was brought to light thanks to a barrage of videos released by the Center for Medical Progress over the course of several months. In response, many governmental bodies around the country began to take action, including the Missouri State Senate, which formed an Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life.
This committee uncovered worrisome and possibly illegal ties between Mizzou and Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. According to Missouri law, doctors who perform abortions at abortion facilities must have staff privileges at a hospital within a 15 minute drive of the facility. Thankfully, the Planned Parenthood facility in Columbia did not have a doctor with the required privileges since 2012, and no abortions could be performed. Missouri law also prohibits public funds, employees, or facilities from being used for performing or assisting an abortion, or encouraging or counseling a woman to have an abortion. Yet, the investigation revealed, among other things, that an assistant professor at Mizzou used her work email to actively recruit a doctor who could begin performing abortions in Columbia.
Despite the irregularities, the university granted the requisite privileges to this doctor last year, and abortions were set to begin this year.
However, after much public scrutiny, Mizzou chancellor R. Bowen Loftin announced on September 16 that the university was canceling any existing contracts with Planned Parenthood. The next week he announced it was revoking the privileges previously granted to the abortion doctor. Just a few weeks later, local media speculated that Loftin’s job was on the line because of these decisions.
At the very same time, the voices of students who claimed they had been victims of racial discrimination on campus grew louder. Protests ensued. One student went on a hunger strike. By November 9th, both Loftin and system president, Tim Wolfe, had resigned due to pressure.
Then, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published the following on November 23:
“When the University of Missouri Board of Curators abruptly dismissed R. Bowen Loftin as University of Missouri-Columbia chancellor on Nov. 9, some Mizzou students and abortion-rights supporters saw an opportunity to try to reverse a controversial university decision” (emphasis added).
As of Monday, November 24, the Planned Parenthood facility in Columbia no longer performs abortions.
Creating chaos and confusion is the devil’s most powerful ploy. Although the media widely reported the racial issues on Mizzou’s campus, it is impossible to ignore the abortion issue. Can there be any doubt that the proponents of abortion have been delighting in the state of affairs on Mizzou’s campus? While this may seem like a pro-life victory for now, we have seen how the rapidly changing circumstances mean almost anything can happen.
In a 21st century culture that places comfort, pleasure, and selfishness ahead of sacrifice, charity, and virtue, chaos and confusion will unfortunately continue to be a fact of life, which is what Satan wants.