A few hideous pieces of information came to my attention through Twitter (where else?). Each made me look into the abyss of the human soul.

Do we pay a price for acts of great impiety?

The first piece featured a feminist named Helen Joyce. Helen recounted some of the attacks against her by trans activists. More profoundly, she explained why the attacks would never cease. Parents “transitioning” and mutilating their children have committed the ultimate act of impiety. Such an act having been committed, they face two options: Recognize their own demonic nature or destroy those who point a finger at them. Guess which one is more likely.

Incident two involved leftist Israeli parents using their children as Little Pavliks in the service of campaigning against judicial reform. The video was too large to upload, but the picture below gives you the idea. Passing the microphone between them, the youths scream slogans separately, until a unison chanting of “DE-MO-CRA-TIA!”

While not as awful as mutilating one’s child, this too leaves the trespassing parent with two choices: Recognizing their own ideological zeal for which a child is used, or despising even more all who are in their way.

A third element involved the decision of some Israeli doctors and nurses to go on strike to protest the government’s intent to pass a limit to something called the “reasonableness standard.” In this case, while emergency services continued, patients were left languishing on account of canceled surgeries, elective procedures, appointments, and therapies.

What goes within the mind of a doctor who was supposed to work in the service of compassion and mercy, yet decides instead to exploit his patients in the service of promoting an ideology?

This too, seems to me, is a threshold that once crossed, leaves a person only dark choices – recognize one’s own impiety or press on with ever more zeal.

You may remember that sentiment from elementary school. If you ever participated in bullying, say, picking on a child and calling him “stinky,” you probably remember the sensation. You point your finger at the victim, scream “Stinky!” and then you see the miserable look on his face. At that point you have a choice – you can repent, or press on with more viciousness. Most children do press on, screaming “Stinky!” again and again, despite the tears and protestations of the victim. In this way, they normalize the act of trespassing. Stinky is crying, they are laughing and somehow there are no consequences at all. “We can do it as much as we want, haha! Stinky is bad, not us!”

And yet we lose something when we act viciously.

Children can probably recover, or at least make penance when punished by the teacher. But adults who commit acts of impiety, normally without penance, lose a piece of their soul. For a little while it may not be noticed and may even feel exhilarating, just like the frantic enthusiasm of children bullying a friend. Gradually, however, something is lost – the doctor shunning her patients may find herself becoming harsh, unable to identify with lovely things. Nothing remains that binds her to the oaths she had long ago taken. Each lily or delicate rose will signal to her, “You are not like us!”

The mother “transitioning” her child will never find peace through the sweet treasures of our civilization. Every image of the Madonna will pierce her soul with judgment, every chapter from Anne of Green Gables or Little Women. Every melody by Mozart will carry the same coded message – this is not for you.

Oscar Wilde described this process ingeniously in The Picture of Dorian Gray. Each act of impiety further disfigures Dorian’s picture. Very quickly he can no longer look at it, no longer look into his own soul. Eventually, nothing is left but a syphilitic monster, completely unrecognizable.

Could Dorian have stopped at some point? Perhaps but only at the very beginning. Once Dorian shuns his own picture and orders it to be locked up in the attic, he shuns his own conscious. From that point, he is ruined forever.

Acts of cruelty do come with a cost.

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