That’s a crucifix pendant. It’s a large one as such things go, because it’s meant to be worn outside the clothes. I don it when I leave the house.
Does anyone else out there wear a crucifix pendant? Or a Miraculous Medal? Perhaps one of those cute “bracelet rosaries” that have recently become popular?
These are commonplace among Catholic believers. I don’t mean to denigrate them by referring to them as fetishes. Yet for many, that’s the role they fill.
The word fetish has several meanings. Here are the ones listed at Dictionary.com:
- an object regarded with awe as being the embodiment or habitation of a potent spirit or as having magical potency.
- any object, idea, etc., eliciting unquestioning reverence, respect, or devotion: e.g., to make a fetish of high grades.
- Psychology. any object or nongenital part of the body that causes a habitual erotic response or fixation.
The first meaning is the one relevant to today’s tirade.
An inanimate object is being used as a fetish when its owner treats it as a form of empowerment or protection. An unfortunate number of persons wear religious symbols or icons for that reason. However – assuming the object in question won’t stop bullets and isn’t usable in combat – religious symbols don’t have any such power. Their proper use is to function as reminders of the faith the wearer follows, including its prescriptions and proscriptions.
Our fetishes are often the mirror image of our fears. Were we without fears, we’d seek no protection. When a fear impinges, we tend to reach for the fetish item relevant to it. It’s a behavior related to superstition, though not the same.
A society clouded over with fear will sometimes recur to its fetishes. Such fetishes usually have a traditional aspect. They seldom afford any protection.
My mention of Walpurgisnacht below started me thinking about Americans and our fetish behavior. A couple of our fetishes have come in for some rather harsh testing. A couple of others are about to be proved worthless.
I own a number of firearms: shotguns, rifles, and a triple-MIRVed Minuteman missile (counterforce-targeted) that’s currently too expensive to fuel. I don’t get to practice with them as often as I’d like. (Regarding the missile, I’m sure you can understand why.) However, I don’t consider them protection. I keep them unloaded…well, except for the missile…and therefore, were I under imminent threat of harm, I’d have to load one of them before I could bring it to bear. Upon being asked to “Wait just a moment while I fetch the ammo for this thing,” most attackers would decline to cooperate. So my firearms’ value as protective devices is zero.
However, my guns aren’t fetishes. If I were to cherish then as protection, then they would acquire a fetish nature. That’s how fetishes come to be: a dubious expectation of the object eclipses its objective properties.
The armed forces of the United States are acquiring a fetish nature. Their value as protection for America’s peoples and borders has been declining for some time. One reason is the emphasis military planners place on fighting wars in distant lands, for causes unrelated to any American value or interest. Another is the refusal of the political Establishment to wield our armed forces as defenders of our nation rather than as tools with which to implement social policies and influence other nations. We who support America’s military are increasingly without the protection it could provide us.
There are three documents at the foundation of the American polity:
- The Declaration of Independence;
- The Constitution of the United States;
- The original Bill of Rights.
We tend to wave those documents at one another when we feel threatened by political developments, especially under the current regime. But how much protection have they afforded us in recent years?
What, no hands in the air? Then let’s jump to the chase: none.
The members of the ruling class have decided – in several cases, explicitly and openly – that they need not respect the constraints those documents established. For example, it’s been one Hell of a long time since the enumeration of powers in the Constitution was regarded as binding. It’s been even longer since the Tenth Amendment was treated with any respect at all. Appealing to those documents when facing hostile government action has proved their impotence. The erection of the Disinformation Governance bureau within the Department of Homeland Security is merely the most recent demonstration.
The political framework expressed in our much-revered founding documents no longer has any force. It is unwise to fetishize it…yet many do so, each and every day.
Paper constitutions raise smiles on the faces of those who have observed their results. – Herbert Spencer
It’s in the nature of paper to be permeable. Ask any woman who’s put her faith in a restraining order, only to be victimized by the very person against whom the order was aimed.
Paper cannot protect us, no matter how elegant or forceful the words upon it. They who rely upon the protection of paper have made a bet they’re sure to lose. The proof is before us; it would be prudent to take it seriously.
There will come a time, quite soon by my reckoning, when the Usurpers and their hangers-on will wield actual, deadly force against Americans who are merely exercising their rights. The establishment of the Disinformation Governance bureau is the clearest indication we’ll ever get that those rights, most emphatically including the ones “guaranteed” by the Bill of Rights, are not respected by the powerful, if indeed they ever were.
The defense of your life, liberty, and honestly acquired property lies in your own hands. You might get some support from your neighbors. Look nowhere else. In particular, do not fetishize the great documents of our nation’s founding. Today they have no force that the political Establishment intends to respect.
Have a nice day.