One aspect of a new American Civil War that we’ve touched upon very lightly is what the combatants believe in. In the Civil War of 1860-1865, both North and South were predominantly Protestant Christian, with Catholics, Jews, Muslims, pagans and atheists participating. The primary crisis of conscience centered on the theology of slavery. Slavery does exist in the Christian Bible and in the Septuagint. But, is slavery acceptable to God? Similarly, in a modern civil war, the primary crisis of conscience centers on the twinned questions ‘who is God?’ and ‘what does it mean to be a god?’ Answering those two questions informs behavior, and therefore the conduct of war. The history of the Twentieth Century informs us of the effects of faith and religion on warfare today.
American warriors are familiar with the Just War doctrine of Saint Augustine. Just War is divided into two parts: right to go to war, and right conduct in war. The first part is political and rightly should be the topic of debate. The second is, for Americans, a non-negotiable. The tenets of right conduct are: 1) the Principle of Distinction, which is recognizing who is and isn’t a combatant; 2) Proportionality, which is using just the right amount of force to achieve an objective; 3) Military Necessity; 4) Fair Treatment of Prisoners of War; and, 5) Not to employ any means of combat that are evil in and of themselves (“malum in se”), such as Tamerlane-like massacres of entire cities.
What we’ve seen on the Left is the joyful acceptance of the Doctrine of By Any Means. As the doctrine’s title says, any means to end is acceptable. “It’s only a fair fight if you’re buddy’s winning” is one way to think about it. For our purposes, we are not going to examine the nazis of Germany and the communists of the USSR, China and America. Instead we will look at Mexico in the time from 1924-1929. Most Americans don’t know Mexico’s history beyond Cinco de Mayo (created in an American bar, just like Saint Patrick’s Day) and Taco Bell (created in New Jersey. New Jersey people!).
An early hero of Mexico’s freedoms was Father Hidalgo. Executed by Spanish troops in 1811, Father Hidalgo and the Catholic Church were seen as pro-people, pro-freedom of conscience. With the introduction of the French, and their alleged Enlightenment (never have thoughts grown so dark as in the Enlightened Age), a virulent anti-Christianity was given structure. Following the execution of the so-called Emperor Maximillian in 1867, the first president of Mexico, Benito Juarez, as his first official act, confiscated (stole) the property of the Catholic Church in Mexico City.
The anti-Catholicism and anti-Christianity waxed and waned up through the troubles of the Mexican civil war of the early Twentieth Century. Mexican political leaders had three characteristics in common: they were Free Masons, anti-catholic, and corrupt. These characteristics, and America’s very-hard-won freedom of religion inspired an enduring, century-long exodus from Mexico, Central and South America to the United States. These characteristics were enshrined in the Mexican constitution of 1917. The long and the short of this constitution was that Catholics were not permitted to engage in essential rituals like receiving the sacraments and attending mass, to speak, to vote, to hold property. These denials of inalienable rights were ruthlessly enforced. By any means necessary.
In 1924, General Plutarco Elias Callez (pronounced Ki as in kite, yez – Ki-yez), was elected on a Bernie-Bros platform of redistribution of wealth and greater democratic reforms (and then founded what we know today as Mexico’s dominant political party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, or PRI) which is a member of the Socialist International). Part and parcel of Callez’s socialist government was a rigid anti-Christianity which took the form of an extreme form of anti-clericalism. This resulted in some 17 states in Mexico not having any priests or churches. Even to speak in protest meant 5 years in prison. How very enlightened. With no brakes on the train of governance, Mexicans become even more oppressed.
Eventually, Catholic Mexicans had enough and revolted. The Cristero War was a bitter war which, like its Russian counterpart, and foreshadowing socialist military conduct in the Spanish Civil War and World War II, saw the Mexican army abandoning right conduct in combat and instead resorting to any means necessary. Massacres, mass rapes and other tactics were the rule for the socialists.
The Cristeros were supported by Irish patrons and the Pope (at least for a while). The Mexican government was supported by the United States (war is bad for business), and especially the Ku Klux Klan (funny how the KKK and socialists are always buddy-buddy, but in public they treat each other as the crazy uncle locked in the basement). The Cristero War ended with a peace brokered between Pope Pius XI (likely his Cardinal Secretary of State) and the American ambassador to Mexico, Dwight Morrow. To celebrate the new-won peace, Callez had a little under 7,000 leaders of the Cristeros executed.
In an American Civil War, the Left is dominated by Socialists. The history of Socialist conduct in war is bleak. Socialism is anticlerical, and by that standard where-ever there is no God, there is no mercy – whether Left of Right, and that leads directly to by-any-means conduct. By any means necessary is license to commit mass murder, rape, theft and other crimes without distinction between combatants and civilians (and permits crimes against one’s own supporters in the absence of enemies). Andersonville will be seen as the threshold, a ‘hold-my-beer’ moment, in the treatment of POW. More importantly, freedom of conscience to be Christian or Jew will be a capital crime. This has been true in decade after decade of the Twentieth Century, and today’s Left is as militant in its anti-Christianity and anti-Semitism as at any time in history.