“A time is coming when men will go mad...."

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“A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us’.”

I sometimes reflect on these words – shocked at the fact they were spoken some 1700 years ago.

Uttered by the father of Christian monasticism (Anthony the Great, honoured as a saint by Catholics, Orthodox, Copts and others) we can only wonder whether he saw our times.

Gender confusion. People tearing down statues. And what will tomorrow bring?

It’s easy in such a time to feel like you’re the odd one out; believing in such quaint ideas as the uniqueness of man-woman marriage, the intrinsic value of human life, mere biological truth, or that the virtues underpinning Western civilisation are worth defending, rather than apologising for.

So, are you mad for believing such things? No, you’re not.

Aside from having the weight of evidence on your side (history and science just for starters), vast swathes of the world still hold to the same principles as you.
And here’s something truly remarkable. Some nations, learning from past mistakes, are now returning to those principles.

Within the last few weeks, significant steps towards enshrining the family have occurred in not one, but three countries: Hungary, Poland and Russia.

It might be easy to categorise them all as ‘Eastern European’, but that would be cheating. Their location, history, politics, and even religion, differ.

On the last point, Polish President Andrzej Duda is Catholic, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is Calvinist, and Russian President Vladimir Putin is ostensibly Orthodox.

What these countries really have in common is that each endured the scourge of Communism for decades.

This awful ideology, the cause of millions of deaths worldwide, proved incredibly effective at causing birth rates to plummet, divorce rates to increase, and the overall impact on the family to be catastrophic.

The same was obviously true of economies, but even economies completely destroyed in times of war have bounced back.

Restoring the family means changing culture – and that takes considerably more effort.

Noting this makes what we’re seeing in Central and Eastern Europe all the more amazing. So, what is happening there?

As you might have read recently, Hungary has made good on its proposal to legally set in stone a person’s biological sex at birth.

Despite attacks from the EU, the UN, and Amnesty International, the Hungarian Government and Parliament show no sign of backing down.

Meanwhile, Poland is in the middle of a presidential election. Incumbent President Andrzej Duda has used his campaign to decry the Rainbow Agenda as a “foreign ideology” and “even more destructive to the human being” than Communism.

“That was Bolshevism. It was the ideologizing of children. Today, there are also attempts to push an ideology on us and our children, but different. It’s totally new, but it is also neo-Bolshevism,” Duda said.

“The Polish family has preserved our values. The family is a special value, which demands special protection from the state … Marriage is a relationship between women and men, and so it will remain.”

Duda won the first round of elections just days ago and, according to polls, is slightly ahead of his ‘progressive’ main opponent the Mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, going into the final round of voting.

Lastly, Russia has just held a referendum on constitutional amendments.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, most media commentary has focussed on limits to presidential terms (allowing Putin to stay in power longer), so there has been minimal coverage of other changes.

The revised constitution backs up existing laws that declare marriage to be the union of a man and a woman, as well as referencing “the memory of our ancestors who transmitted ideals and faith in God”.

Whatever one makes of Vladimir Putin or of geopolitics, these changes would have been unthinkable a few decades ago in the “Evil Empire” of the Soviet Union.

My point here is not to point to any political leader, but rather to the people of these three countries; people who have endured hard times and bankrupt philosophies; people who are now seeking a path forward.

They know from firsthand experience that strong families build strong societies and nations.

To pretend otherwise is mad.



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