Judas, We Hardly Knew Ye
Once again the idiots have come forward with the inane suggestion that we quash the horns of Judas and give him a halo. It's time we reacquaint them with the symbols of this "son of perdition" - a pitchfork, 30 pieces of silver and a hangman's knot - to drive home the point that they're barking up the Judas Tree. That would be the one he hung himself on in despair without remorse or admonition of his sin. In other words, to these "bright" scholars: who is going to tell them that one dying in mortal sin is in hell?
"One of the devil's most common ploys is to twist the notion of kindness and compassion into some pathetic, blind acceptance of sin and elimination of the need to recognize guilt and seek forgiveness. This is evident in the absurd claims of many that Christ would embrace the woman seeking an abortion and the sodomite and accept their conduct out of love. These fools cite Our Lord's defense of Mary Magdalene from the angry mob while ignoring His admonition that she "sin no more". They confuse Our Lord's love of the sinner with acceptance of the sin. Such is the treachery and moral sabotage of Satan!"
With the continued dilution and corruption of our Faith so evident in much of what The Vatican has allowed over recent years, I am not surprised to learn that many Vatican scholars such as Msgr. Walter Brandmuller and Vittorio Messori want to do an extreme makeover of Judas. Brandmuller is the head of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences and Messori is a prominent Catholic writer close to both Benedict XVI and the late John Paul II. Considering the much of the Novo Ordo damage to the Faith is based on an elimination of the concepts of evil, hell, and moral accountability, I fully expect these and other invaders of our Faith to soon declare Judas a saint!
Scripture and Common Beliefs
Scripture makes it very clear that Judas should be a persona non grata to anyone professing to be a follower of Christ. Our Lord stated, "Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born." Scripture and various writings tell us that Judas betrayed Christ for 30 silver coins and that he expected Our Lord to lead a revolt against the Romans. Judas has been synonymous with treachery and betrayal for two thousand years. Scripture also tells us that he hung himself and that his insides were eaten by maggots. In The Passion of The Christ, Mel Gibson portrays Judas as hounded and pushed by demonic children to hang himself. In Dante's Inferno, Judas is shown as devoured by a three-headed demon in the lowest level of hell. All in all, traditional perception of Judas would seem to make writing him a letter of recommendation for a position as sympathetic figure a bit difficult, but the devil is an equal opportunity liar.
Divine Mercy and Forgiveness Not Automatic or a Joke
I have written that Judas's greatest sin was not his betrayal of Our Lord, although that one is certainly a doozey. His greatest sin was not having enough love and faith in Christ's compassion and mercy to seek forgiveness, and therefore despairing and taking his own life, another grave sin. We are all human sin machines, spilling out offenses to Our Lord like they were out of style. None of us deserve salvation, yet Our Lord in His infinite mercy and goodness opened the door for that salvation through His ultimate sacrifice on Calvary. However, we must confess, have contrition, and regret our sins. We also must sincerely seek to prevent these sins in the future and avoid them as much as possible. Christ's mercy and compassion is not an automatic right or privilege that Our Lord owes us or that we can dare to demand from Him. Neither is that mercy and forgiveness some cheap medicine or whitewash that Our Lord spills on everyone to make everything just fine and dandy. Rather, that mercy and forgiveness must be sought and earned by us through our sorrow, contrition, and affirmative effort to make things right with God. In short, God is not a mercy peddler begging us to accept His compassion nor is He a mindless, all hugs hippie indiscriminately spreading that mercy like daisies at Woodstock. To depict Our Lord as either the peddler or the hippie is to blaspheme His Holy Name and everything He stands for. Given all of this, betraying Christ is a serious thing which we all do every time we sin and serious things must be accounted for, paid for, and dutifully eliminated from the ledger!
Despicable Revisionist Swipes
It has become unfashionable to demonize Judas in scholarly circles. In fact, there is a push to depict him as merely misunderstood, confused, naïve, and unfairly judged. Many present him as not deliberately evil, but just fulfilling his part in God's plan for salvation. These people will point to Christ's own words to Judas in which he said, "Friend, do what you have to do…the prophecy of the Scriptures must be fulfilled." Messori even states that the rehabilitation of Judas would "resolve the problem of the apparent lack of mercy by Jesus toward one of His closest collaborators." Messori has even told La Stampa that it is Christian tradition that Jesus forgave Judas and ordered him to purify himself with "spiritual exercises" in the desert! Fr. Allen Morris, Christian Life and Worship Secretary for the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales has actually stated, "If Christ died for all…is it possible that Judas too was redeemed through the Master he betrayed?"
What people like Messori, Morris, and Brandmuller seem to forget, or perhaps ignore, is the fact that Christ's sacrifice wiped out our original sin and paved the way for our salvation. It did not automatically wipe out every sin we have or will commit! Through His death on the cross Our Lord cleaned our moral slates and provided us with the chance to keep those slates as clean as possible on the road to salvation. Christ performed a moral liposuction, removing the fat of sin from our souls and giving us a new chance to stay morally slim and trim and thus earn our eternal reward. However, just as liposuction does not therefore mean that I can therefore return to my poor diet and lack of exercise without regaining that fat, neither does Christ's sacrifice therefore mean that I have carte blanche to sin with an automatic get out of jail free card. Both staying slim and salvation require hard work, dedication, and focused commitment. Only a fool or a liar with an agenda would argue that liposuction or the Cross represent no hassles and a license to go out and eat or sin at whim.
Familiar Twist on Kindness and Compassion
One of the devil's most common ploys is to twist the notion of kindness and compassion into some pathetic, blind acceptance of sin and elimination of the need to recognize guilt and seek forgiveness. This is evident in the absurd claims of many that Christ would embrace the woman seeking an abortion and the sodomite and accept their conduct out of love. These fools cite Our Lord's defense of Mary Magdalene from the angry mob while ignoring His admonition that she "sin no more". They confuse Our Lord's love of the sinner with acceptance of the sin. Such is the treachery and moral sabotage of Satan!
Here We Go Again
As if it were not enough to argue that Judas deserves to be seen with kindness and compassion and that he was not directly evil but merely misunderstood, we add the recurrent cherry on the sundae of sin…anti-Semitism claims. Many of the same so-called Bible experts who attacked Mel Gibson and his film as being anti-Semitic likewise argue that demonizing Judas leads to anti-Semitism and vice-versa. They cite medieval plays showing Judas with a hooked nose and many distorted Semitic features. In short, we should be kind to Judas because to be otherwise is to perpetuate hatred of Jews (?).
The Tool of Salvation Argument
The devil is much like a desperate door-to-door salesman pulling out one gadget after another in a pathetic attempt to convince you to buy something, anything he sells. In this way the boss of hell reminds me of politicians pretending to be noble or honest or specifically Democrats trying to sell the idea that ripping a baby to pieces is actually a virtuous, moral, and sacred right. Many of those who want to fix Judas's image argue that he was an innocent or confused guy who was merely a tool used by God in His plan for our salvation. It would therefore follow that one cannot condemn Judas since he was used by God to reach a much higher good. This would be like saying that Hitler should be viewed with compassion because, after all, did he not teach us many things about evil, madness, tyranny, the depths of genocide, and even how to make an effective speech?
Furthermore, the Anti-Christ will supposedly make Hitler look like a schoolgirl, yet will he not usher in Christ's return and is he not a significant figure or tool in the machinery of prophesized salvation history? I guess we should personally thank Hitler and the Anti-Christ for their contributions to mankind and render them innocent of their sins because, after all, will they not go down as tools of history? Yes, the devil is creative, but his imbecilic arguments only make sense to moral imbeciles, confused souls, and treacherous liars.
We live in an age that passionately seeks physical and moral makeovers. This society seems obsessed with hiding defects, errors, deficiencies, and accountability. It wants to make saints of sinners and sinners of saints in its sad attempt to justify evil and banish goodness. The pathetic, scandalous, blasphemous, and absurd attempt to rehabilitate Judas is a prime example of just such ridiculous evil and distortion. The agents of evil and perdition will have us believe that there is no hell, no sin, no evil, no accountability, and no punishment for those things. They will tell us that much of what is called evil is merely a "failure to communicate" as the famous Hollywood line says. Mankind is not separated into those seeking salvation and those earning perdition but rather those who understand and those who misunderstand. By the time these fools are finished with our Faith, Judas will be a saint and Judgment Day will see God tells those at His right that they "get it" and those at His left that they need "a better explanation of things". If these evil ones do get Judas to be declared a saint, the most appropriate feast day would be April Fool's Day.
Editor's Note: Heaven is once again under attack by those who would seek to ignore and overthrow God's majesty and authority. Gabriel Garnica, educator and attorney, submits regular insights and commentaries to remind and help guide readers toward a deeper and more assertive faith. Touching on topics and issues ranging from personal faith, doctrine, education, scripture, the media, family life, morality, and values, Gabriel's notes are music to traditional ears but unpleasant tones to those who have bought into the misguided notions so prevalent and spreading in today's Catholic world.