When I want to explore documented Catholic thinking I go to Tradition in Action. There I find Dr. Marion Horvat and Atila Sinke Guimaraes et al. Today, I gratefully looked back to lonely Gethsemane with two warrior Catholics, neither of whom fell asleep. Instead, they fight heroically to defend Christ and His Church. In my way, I do too.
As I read about TIA and its history, a trigger word jumped out from blurring lines of print. "Communism.” The murderous false construct that caused the death of millions. Bedded in lies, it gave life to a cruel radical form of Anarchy. I came dangerously close to its proponants, and lived to write about it. While Guimaraes' mentor was guiding him in South Amercia, I was muddling my way through a deadly process in small town U.S.A. The proponents of the process were watchful and manipulative. I was tolerated because I was essentially devoid of survival skills.
Young men and women, you, too, are being manipulated. The process is the same as it was in the fifties, sixties and beyond. It is a one-size-fits-all generational process. If you look back in time, or forward, or in the now, the process is the same. As you read these chapters, and use your reasoning skills, I think you will agree. I hope your goals will be rooted in God's laws. You will need Him. The seasoned TIA warriors would agree.
TIA’s Historical contexts were different than mine, but the need to resist godless communism, as we would resist all evil, was eerily reminiscent of a time, approximately fifty years ago, wherein I briefly fell into the political ranks of the clueless. God and a hostile black radical would shake me from my innocence and ignorance.
At the end of the fifties and the beginning decade of the sixties, I had worked with a friend who was a liaison for the Archdiocese of Detroit, Michigan. “Would you work for our committee?” she asked. My friend, Shirley, was trying to get a volunteer to commit to Archbishop Dearden's Committee on "human relations." “What is it about?” I inquired. “We need someone to organize a forum, specifically addressing racial inequities.” I declined, saying my husband did not want me to be absent from the house. As Shirley talked, I felt guilty. I was stepping away from a severe social injustice. Finally, I acquiesced. I would deal with my husband's ire later.
Spousal ire aside, everything went perfectly, so much that I was invited to attend “educational (indoctrination) workshops. I was told this was necessary, so that I could speak "intelligently" on racial discrimination issues. I was to act as Shirley’s point-woman.
My husband was not a happy camper. His animus grew once we began getting late calls, voices in the night menaced with the cruel slur, “Nigger lover!” The implied threat was enough for my husband. He demanded that I quit all church and community activities. I responded candidly, “If their (black) children are not safe, neither are ours.” With that he grudgingly backed down. I was right, but I was still operating from soft Catholic idealism rather than knowledge and experience born of scabbed-over wounds. God would eventually provide both.
My efforts were approved by our parish priests and a successful forum emerged from pure ignorance and idealism (mine). A relatively new anti-communist group, said to be the John Birch Society, passed out literature, as we left church one Sunday. They charged that our group had been infiltrated by communists. Later, they unsuccessfully attempted to break-up the event. An anti-communist and patriot, I was appalled at the suggestion of communist infiltration within my church, and dismissed the claim on its face. However, it would be the last time that I ignored smoke signals.
Before I attended the first "education" workshop, Shirley suggested that we needed a human relations council in the community. Things were moving fast. The phrase, "human relations," was a noble all encompassing one, implying that the Golden Rule should govern society. The concept went deeper than skin color or country of origin. The idea sounded good to me, and I joined in the effort to contact interested parties. I had long since dismissed the JBS's claim that Archbishop Dearden's offices and the HR Committee had been infiltrated by communists, but the thought would return over time, and in many contexts.
Again success - An ad-hoc meeting was held, and our town established its first Human Relations Council. However, I declined an active role. Home demands were pressing, and my husband wanted me there. I felt I was doing all that peace-in-the-family would allow. However, an unfinished commitment remained, that is, I was to attend the "educational" classes.
I wore the cord of the Third Order Capuchins around my waist, certain that I could overcome all evil tests, not realizing that Satan makes mincemeat of prideful novices. At twenty-something, I was unaware that God was about to open a window, while imperceptively closing another. The mission had changed, and so would I.