January 23, 2008
When I read that a conspiracy of leftist students and secular professors who claim that they are still traumatized by the Galileo trial—what a pack of flaccids, no wonder they’ve got such a low birth-rate—had successfully censored a talk by Pope Benedict XVI at their university in Rome, I contemplated creative acts of vandalism. I’ll be removing to Rome at the end of January, to teach for a semester at Thomas More College’s sophomore Rome Semester. That would give me three long months in which to find amusing ways to repay the students and faculty of Sapienza University, which was founded in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII, then stolen by the irreligious nationalist invaders in 1870. (My good friend Charles Coulombe, is just now finishing a history of the “international brigade” of Catholic volunteers who converged on the Papal States from 1860-1870 to resist these invaders—the heroic “Papal Zouaves”; pre-order it here.) To read the pope’s censored speech, go here.
The students, according to one news report, plastered the walls of the school with anti-clerical slogans and organized a “‘homo-cession”—a parade of homosexuals and lesbians—to protest Church teachings.”
For instance, I could sneak into Sapienza’s library and install a porn filter on the computers. That would gore the ox of the sort of undergraduate wanker who defends freedom of thought by preventing dissenters from speaking. If the filters hold long enough, the level of frustration might just build up until the campus explodes, ala Paris 1968. Look for hordes of skinny, self-righteous chain-smokers whose moms still iron their socks to storm the streets as if they were Marching on Rome—then rush home in time for mama’s puttanesca. (The Austin Chronicle reports that “more than three in four Italian men older than the age of 30 live at home with their parents. This practice is dubbed ‘mamisma.’”)
It might also be entertaining to replace the pope’s address with a talk by a candid Islamic imam, who’d explain in detail how his religious tradition deals with free-thinkers and finocchi. That should give each multiculturalist a glimpse of how much his 1.23 children will enjoy his college years under sharia.
As for the faculty, 67 of whom signed a protest letter asserting that a papal visit would “offend and humiliate us,” I’d like to teach them the meaning of those words. Had I Taki’s funds, I’d flood their campus with dour, tenured feminist “scholars” of science, who denounce the practice of objective research in terms like these: “Mainstream science is a product of patriarchy.” Let’s turn loose a herd of these heifers to clog the cafes with angry anti-smokers, storm the sets of Italy’s topless TV game shows, and give the Sapienza professoriate a real taste of anti-rationalism in action.
Then I’d hand out free copies, in Italian, of Raspail’s Camp of the Saints. While that novel’s plot focuses on a Third World invasion of the West, its villains are not the foreigners, but the spoiled intellectuals who sneer at their ancestors’ hard-won civilization—and in an adolescent fit of pique, pull the whole thing down.
All tempting thoughts… and very much in the spirit of Rome’s own “prankster saint,” Philip Neri. But carrying through any of these creative, educational acts in today’s EU might get me deported—or land me in a holding cell in Brussels. I’m not kidding; for explaining that Christian theology has no room for homosexual “marriage,” the gentle philosopher Rocco Buttiglione was driven out of politics—and, a friend of his tells me, has to live in an undisclosed location, thanks to all the death threats. Coming, you know, from those champions of rationality and freedom.
Instead, between tours of Renaissance churches and visits to shrines lined with the bones of Capuchin friars, I’ll do the most radical thing I can think of: Attend the Latin Mass, early and often—and offer prayers of gratitude for the great Pope Benedict.