Liberalism is spread around us like a network. Its web is being constantly spun around about us, as spiders weave their meshes for insects. Where one is brushed away two are multiplied. What is the reason of this?
Philosophy teaches us that the same sources which produce, preserve and increase things. Per quae gignitur, per eadem et servatur et augetur. What then are the permanent causes of Liberalism?
1. Corruption of morals. The theater, literature, public and private morals are saturated with obscenity and impurity. The result is inevitable; a corrupt generation necessarily begets a revolutionary generation. Liberalism is the program of naturalism. Freethought begets freemorals or immorality. Restraint is thrown off, and a free rein given to the passions. Who thinks what he pleases will do what he pleases. Liberalism in the intellectual order is license in the moral order. Disorder in the intellect begets disorder in the heart, and vice versa. Thus does Liberalism propagate immorality, and immorality Liberalism.
2. Journalism. The influence exercised without ceasing by the numerous publications which Liberalism spreads broadcast is incalculable. In spite of themselves, by the ubiquity of the press, people are forced to live in a Liberal atmosphere. Commerce, the arts, literature, science, politics, domestic and foreign news, all reach us in some way through Liberal channels, and come clothed in a Liberal dress. Unless one is on his guard he finds himself thinking, speaking and acting as a Liberal. Such is the tainted character of the empoisoned air we breathe! Poor people, by very reason of their simple good faith, (138) more easily absorb the poison than anyone else; they absorb it in prose, in verse, in pictures, in public, in private, in the city, in the country, everywhere. Liberal doctrines ever pursue them, and like leeches fasten on them never to relax their hold. Its work is rendered much more harmful by the particular condition of the disciple, as we shall see in our third count:
3. General ignorance in matters of religion. In weaving its meshes around the people, Liberalism has applied itself to the task of cutting them off from all communication with that alone which is able to lay bare its imposture the Church. For the past hundred years Liberalism has striven to paralyze the action of the Church, to render her mute, and especially in the old world to leave her merely an official character, so as to sever her connections with the people. The Liberals themselves have avowed this to be their aim. To destroy the religious life, to place every hindrance possible in the way of Catholic teaching, to ridicule the clergy and to deprive them of their prestige. In Italy and France today see the thousand and one artificial arrangements thrown around her to hinder and hamper her actions, to render her opposition to the flood of Liberalism ineffectual. The Concordats, such as are observed (139) at the present time, are so many iron collars which Liberalism has placed around her neck to stifle her. Freemasonry in Europe and South America are constantly seeking to bind her hand and foot that she may be put at its satanic mercy. By open and secret means this organization has sought to undermine her discipline in every country where it has obtained a footing. Between her and the people it seeks to dig a deeper and deeper abyss of hate, prejudice, and calumny. Naturalism, the denial of the supernatural, it inculcates everywhere. To divorce the entire life of the people from her influence by the institution of civil marriage, civil burial, and divorce; to teach the insidious doctrine that society, as such, has no religious relations or obligations; that man as a social and civil being is absolutely independent of God and His Church, that religion is a mere private opinion to be entertained or not entertained as one pleases, such is the program, such is the effect, and such in turn is the cause of Liberalism. But the most pernicious, because the most successful and lasting, propagator of Liberalism is:
4. Secular education. To gain the child is to secure the man. To educate a generation apart from God and the Church is to feed the fires of Liberalism to repletion. (140) When religion is divorced from the school Liberalism becomes its paramour. Secularism is naturalism, the denial of the supernatural. When that denial is instilled into the soul of the child the soil of the supernatural becomes sterilized. Liberalism has realized the terrific power of education, and with satanic energy is now striving the world over for the possession of the child. With what success we have only to look around us to realize. In its effort to slay Christ it decrees the slaughter of the innocents. "Snatch the soul of the child from the breast of its mother the Church," says Liberalism, "and I will conquer the world." Here is the real battle ground between faith and infidelity. Who is victor here is victor everywhere.