The Gospel Truth

A Quiet Dismount

August 6, 2015
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One of the great stories of my childhood was Washington Irving’s 1809 tale of the legendary “Rip Van Winkle,” the man who fell asleep for 20 years, only to awaken to a new world he scarcely recognized. I must have been asleep at the cultural wheel on Jan. 22, 1973 because the infamous Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which has accounted for the premature death of more than 55 million unborn children, flew right under my radar.

My first reckoning of the slaughter of the innocents did not occur until 12 years after that infamous decision. At a parish social after the 11 o’clock Mass, I noticed a tiny lapel pin on a friend’s jacket. When asked, he told me that his pin represented fully developed fetal feet at just 10 weeks of gestation. At that moment I saw no lightening bolts from the sky nor did I have anything as dramatic as a Pauline dismount. There was just this quiet moment of clarity that opened my eyes to the true meaning of abortion on demand.

I started reading everything I could on the subject. I got involved with the Archdiocesan Respect Life Movement in a myriad of different positions, including three stints as our parish co-coordinator. I wrote several letters to the editor. Some were published.

A short time later, I became a weekly radio talk show host.   For 20 years I verbally waged the culture war on air with abortion my salient issue. The publication of my 1999 book, “Liberalism: Fatal Consequences” with abortion as its linchpin followed. In 2008 I wrote a one-act play about abortion, “A Perfect Choice,” which was produced the next year on a local stage. I have also been an advisor to the Vitae Foundation and a board member of Birthright of St. Louis for a dozen years. All this happened to me just because I asked about those tiny fetal feet.

The hardest part of this battle for me has been trying to understand why all Catholics are not equally troubled by the abortion horror as I am. Perhaps the slavery issue may answer my question. The record of Catholics during the days of slavery is not a stellar one. Most Catholics, especially those in the South, were indifferent to the plight of the slave, just as most are indifferent toward abortion today. Like their antebellum forebears, too many Catholics blame abortion abolitionists for disturbing the peaceful order of their society.

Perhaps it was the conservative temperament of most Catholics then not to rock the cultural boat since reforming the earth was unimportant when compared with spending eternity with God. Of course that kind of thinking would be totally unacceptable today on issues as diverse as racism, the minimum wage, nuclear war, the death penalty and even global warming.

I think the real trouble resides in the fact that Catholics today do not fear the establishment as much as they did in the 19th century because we have become an intricate part of the power establishment. Catholic attitudes today spring more from the toxic fumes of an anti-religious secularism then they do from Church teachings on human life.

Most of our Catholic senators and congressmen follow their political consciences instead of their moral consciences. Many go out of their way to embed and expand the abortion privilege instead of screaming in outrage for its speedy repeal. In effect Karl and now Saul are more important than Jesus.

A repeal or even a Constitutional amendment seem like pipe dreams. We have tried the courts, constitutional amendments, political persuasion and public debate for 42 years, and the left, supported by millions of federal dollars keeps up the assault on innocent life with a determined consistency that defies all the Christian virtues.

Granted prayer, sacrifice and the public witness of millions have saved many unborn lives. But abortion is still an intricate part of the social landscape. Only a loud public outrage can make a difference. It is not there because Catholics are not united enough to lead that outrage.

My personal prayer is that every Catholic will think about those tiny fetal feet, feel their power and be moved to do something as I was years ago. If that ever happens, abortion may disappear from this country just as slavery did 150 years ago.

Are All Women Stupid Or Is It My….?

October 29, 2010

I used this expression for the hope of attracting curiosity seekers, who might think I have a death wish or something of that nature.

Actually I believe most women are smart…at least smarter than men.  The ones I knew in grade school were usually the best students.

Of the top 10 I think only lifelong friend, Bobby Valentino and maybe one other guy cracked that starting line-up.

However over the course of my life, I have noticed that something happens to many of them as they turn 15.

My observation reminds me of one of my favorite stories.

This guy is on his knees and he is praying to God:

Dear God, I want to thank you for making women sooo beautiful and sexy.

I want to thank you make them so soft and cuddly…but I have to ask you one thing:

Why did you have to make them so dumb?

A deep voice comes from behind the altar:

So they would like YOU!

That would even be funnier if it did not have serious applications for today’s women.

A lot has changed since I formed my understanding of the fair sex–and very little of it any good.

I think there is a deep strain of ignorance, stupidity or false pride that has permeated much of the feminine side of American culture.

I have always believed that women were the keepers and protectors of the culture.

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, is a vital truism that we seem to have discarded in the pangs of our own self-destruction.  And their view from the pedestal had fewer obstructions.

The problem seems to stem from the women’s movement.

I do not mean the suffragettes or the Bloomer Girls of the early 20th century, who fought for the 19th Amendment, which gave women their right to vote.

No, I mean the feminist movement of radicals Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, who coined the non-sequitur, a woman needs a men like a fish needs a bicycle.

View Image

A new feminism

Their movement is best described as a cold-hearted conspiracy to destroy true feminism and alienate women, not only from their families but from their own bodies.

Professor Jacques Barzun once said to understand America, one must know baseball.

I say to understand women, one must read Gramsci–Antonio Gramsci, the Sardinian founder of the Italian Communist party.

Knew women

Gramsci, who wrote most of his important stuff while in prison, said that the best way to destroy the West–that is Western Civilization— is through its women.

He observed that Italian women were hermetically attached to their Catholic faith and the only way to foment a long march through their culture was to separate them from their faith.

And the best way to that was through sex.

This idea was adopted by the Marxist Frankfurt Institute for Social Research, a group of sociologists and think-tankers, who left Germany just before the onset of the pogroms and the death camps.

Many emigrated to the United States where they joined university faculties.

The most prominent was Herbert Marcuse whose gave us the best quote of the 1960s, make love, not war!

Betty was his protege

His star pupil and Marxist operative was Mrs. Friedan.

It was her book, The Feminine Mystique that launched a million divorces.

She sold women on the idea that they must compete with their husbands in order to have self-esteem.

Of course men had one very important weapon–they could impregnate their wives to keep them down on the suburban farm.

There was a movie,  I saw in 1964 with Polly Bergen as the heroine who was just about to be elected president of the United States when she had to announce to the country that she was pregnant.

Kisses for My President [VHS]

Set the Stage for Hillary

It was her unborn baby that had prevented her from being the Hillary Clinton of her generation.

Their wombs now became the greatest obstacle to their new quest for power.

Advance forward to 1973 and Roe v. Wade when seven men on the Supreme Court found the mysterious right in the clouds of constitutional law that gave women the right (privilege) to eliminate the little interlopers who would thwart their wills to surpass men in their boardrooms.

They were promised that they could, not only cleanse their wombs of an inconvenient child without a word from the father or a stain of guilt, but also find existential validation in the process.

This was the message of the New Feminists and millions of women bought it…and Western Civilization has paid a steep price for it ever since.

The feminist movement also caused men to delay marriage or just shack-up with their liberated girlfriends, much to the harm of marriage stability.

Don’t get me started on their trophy wives.

Who is behind this historic change in women’s relation to their own culture?

Why men of course!

Alfred Kinsey started it all with his book on sex but it was one of his early fans–Hugh Hefner who launched a magazine empire based on the pristine naked flesh of the girl next door that gave it momentum and longevity.

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Big influence on Hef

Hefner was a genius who not only legitimized prurient materials but gave us a cultural icon, the sterile bunny…one of the most profound oxymorons from the 1950s.

An oxymoronic icon

Hef’s women were gorgeous and desirable, not unlike the object of affection in the joke above, but they were designed only for pleasure and not the reproductive responsibilities of the family.

My question then is this what smart women do?

Has it really been worth to them, given the unintended consequences of more frequent divorce, irresponsible men, rebellious and sexually active children as young as 10-11, rampant STDs, and epidemic sterility?

I saw a line of combat soldiers walking a patrol in Afghanistan on the front page of the New York Times.  At least two of them are women.  The Times also had an article about service women, with missing limbs.

Last night I watched two women boxers pummel each other in a cage to the delight of men in the audience.

Women at war?  Women beating each other up?  Even women playing football?

What do these women want?

That’s what men do to each other.  Women are supposed to be smarter than that!

Contrary to the conventional wisdom, men and women are not fungible.

If culture were left to the men, we would all be back in the caves.  Perhaps that’s where these manly feminists are leading us.

Is this the kind of equality women signed up for?

Could this not be another throwback to Roe v. Wade?

Thanks to Gramsci women who once would only kill to protect their children are now destroying the fruits of their womb at home while killing enemies overseas.

I saw a sign in a parking lot in Falls Church, Virginia in 1963 that said if women ever get equal rights with men, it will be a step down for them.

I don’t know who wrote that but it has remained with me for nearly a half century as the most profound statement I have ever read.

So are all women really stupid?

Of course not!

But many, who have bought the feminist message of the 21st century and have sacrificed their innocence, family and self-respect on an altar of choice, are certainly no smarter than the woman who said, we have to pass it, so we will know what is in it.

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Pass it first

Now that’s really stupid!

Check out this message about Roe  v. Wade:

The Attack of the CINOs

August 11, 2010

No, this is not about an old horror movie I found on cable.

It is about the belligerent, scandalous attitudes and policies of some of my fellow Catholics.

I believe they have poisoned the body politic with a venom worst than an army of scorpions.

I am talking about what my wife calls Catholics in Name Only.

The Republicans have their RINOs and now we have our CINOs.

The old term has been cafeteria Catholics, those who regard the individual teachings of the Church as they would food on a buffet line.

The sad fact is that virtually every Catholic in Congress is a CINO on the life issues.

By life issues, I am not talking broadly about the late Cardinal Bernardin’s seamless garment, which is probably the biggest single cause for this untenable situation with our Catholics in government.

I mean the big three–abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research.

The new dodge of Cinos is the freedom of conscience gambit that grew out of the turmoil in the wake of Vatican II nearly 50 years ago.

The latest to use this clever bit of verbal legerdemain was Senator Richard Durbin recent admissions.

This past month, at their Faith Media Roundtable, several US Senators shared their views on the intersection of religion, politics and much more.

Illinois Senator Durbin explained his strong support for abortion rights by relegating it to a matter of his personal conscience.

Gone seemed to be any pretense of his being pro-choice, that is personally oppsed but publicly unable to force his morality on Americans.

No, the  Senate Majority Whip, a practicing Catholic, has a new Bush to hide behind–his right to dissent from his Church’s traditional teachings.

I am always amazed at the verbal gymnastics that some people  in public life will go to hide the truth of their lives from the public and maybe from themselves.

The truth of Dick Durbin is that he can not face the fact that he has put his soul in jeopardy by following the political dictates of Machiavelli, instead of the teachings of Jesus Christ, as presented by the Catholic Church.

I say this without the presumption that Mr. Durbin is a lost soul, only that he is taking a serious chance with his most prized possession in supporting and advancing such an unmitigated evil in American society.

While there is breath in his body, there is always the hope that he will admit his public moral degradation and repent for all the harm his support has wreaked on the unborn, the most endangered members of our human species.

abortion picture 13


I say all this because Durbin’s position and that of all other Catholics, such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former presidential candidate, John Kerry and several others, who have chosen to sit in his bark, which is not of Peter but of Satan.

All this being said, let me play the role of the Devil’s Advocate, a fitting analogy for my point.

I will allow the Senator his reliance on his conscience–how it was formed I have no idea since it is a such variance with the Church’s long and consistent teachings on life.

Perhaps he slept through most sermons that addressed the 5th Commandment—Thou Shalt Not Kill.

If Mr. Durbin is entitled to freedom of conscience, then other public figures should be allowed the same luxury.

This idea is self-evident in a society that coddles its criminals with all sorts of psychological excuses for some of the most heinous and brutal crimes under the sun.

Only Catholic priests and conservative figures, such as Mel Gibson are to be judged by traditional moral and legal standards.

I wonder if the Senator would allow secular historical figures of past history the same luxury, such as Roman emperor Caligula, Blackbeard or Billy the Kid.

Most likely he would follow the title of writer Nate Hentoff’s book from years ago, aptly entitled: Free Speech For Me: But Not For Thee.

That is a typical liberal idea–do as we say, not as we do.

But for argument’s sake, should not the important idea of freedom of conscience apply to say–Adolph Hitler?

Why should Senator Durbin and his fellow Catholics deny their prized freedom to a fellow Catholic, like Hitler?

I have read a great deal about Hitler and his personal motivations and his desire to resurrect Germany after its near destruction in World War I.

Hitler thought Germany had been sold out by the Dolchstoss or stab in the back.

I think it fair to assume that Hitler’s conscience told him that the best way to restore Germany to its past national glory was to rid his country of all the inferior races, cultures, and defective human beings, whom he classified as Untermenschen, a sort of underclass, he deemed unfit to live.

The term he used was Lebens unwertes leben-life unworthy of life.


This is is the same rationale we have been fed since Roe v. Wade in 1973.

We have been told that the fetus is not human and is not worthy to see the light of day.

We could play this same scenario with Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong and many others who have had the blood of millions on their hands.

If Mr. Durbin wants to use such a term of relativity–that is where  there are no absolutes, then I am free to extend his idea to all others who might also find room in his bark.

This would make the Senator a commissar in the dictatorship of relativity.

He will deny any such comparisons, in the spirit of Hentoff”s book title above.

But that is what I would expect him or any other liberal worth his salt to do.  Like the scorpion, it is in their nature.

I suggest the Senator find a new boat because his current vessel holds as much water as his reliance on his freedom of conscience.

Is Liberalism A Mental Illness? Part I

February 11, 2010
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The above title is a staple attention-getter I often use more in jest than anything serious.  My quick draw addition to a recent blog response to the Erstwhile Conservative prompted a hit a serious nerve, an end-of-debate kind of response that made me consider the gravity of such a charge.

Now I am not a doctor, let alone a psychiatrist. I haven’t stayed at a Holiday Inn in over 35 years, so I do not pretend to know or understand anything much about mental illness.

I seem to get in trouble every time I try to use such terminology in my writings.  For example in an article for the St. Louis Review a year or two ago, I used the term spilt personality with regards to the Catholic Church and Vatican II in the early 1960s.  I got a few hostile comments as to my equating it with schizophrenia.

I do have three History degrees and have taken a couple courses on philosophy and psychology.  I do know that mental illness is intimately tied to reality and the perception of reality.

In my opinion those perennially optimistic or pessimistic people are borderline people who are susceptible to going over the edge when it comes to reality.

My glass is neither half full or half empty.  The reality is that it is at 50% of its capacity.  If I am thirsty than it is half empty.  If I am near the satiation point–well you get my drift.  It is a subjective decision that should be made where all such choices present themselves.

Insanity has been described as trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  This is a sign of a mind that has a very weak perception of reality and could lead to a complete divorce from the real world.

Now as for liberalism as a way of thinking or even as a way of life let me first add that in real terms both liberal and conservative are basically meaningless terms.

I use them only because it takes too long to explain the changes that history and current events has enacted on their original meanings.

Liberalism has had a number of different meanings since the 19th century when it was mostly used in reference to economics.  My astute late roommate at Holy Cross told me that Barry Goldwater, the avatar of 20th century conservativism was a 19th century economic liberal.

Based on the word for “free” it heralded the virtues of laissez faire or government “hands off.”  That is a very good description of what the Ron Paul kind of conservatives want and maybe even Sarah Palin.

Political liberals today with the sole exception of abortion, want as much control as they can get by hook or by crook.  Big Government is their means to affect a social and economic revolution that wishes to concentrate power in their hands in perpetuity.

Members of the court have been citing it for years now as precedent, implying that its tenets can never be changed.  I think that makes them conservative in that regard.

People, who oppose this blight on the nation’s conscience that has far surpassed the Dred Scott decision in its entrenchment of man’s inhumanity to members of the human species, cannot be called conservative—perhaps moral traditionalists is a better nomenclature.

Those who want to conserve this alleged right do so in the name of progress, not tradition.  They want their reforms to be the orthodoxy of the present and future.

When I was in college, I visited a friend in Virginia.  He gave me a great tour of the nation’s Capitol.  On the way out of the Senate building, I bumped into a Catholic priest.  I don’t even remember how that happened or where he was from but in the course of our brief conversation, he gave me a motto, which I carried around proudly for several years.

My attendance at the Cross worked itself in the conversation somehow…it always does even this day…and I told him how I have heard lectures by Barry Goldwater and Father Hans Kung, the erstwhile German theology professor.

My enthusiasm for both speakers prompted him to say, “Oh you must be conservative in politics and liberal in religion.”

I thought for a second and then nodded in polite assent.  That’s what I was and tried to be until I started to understand the painful realities of Vatican II and Kung’s heterodox positions on a number of issues.

Conservatives are very good on precedents when it comes to law.  Roe v. Wade has been regrettably the law of the land since 1973.

As the abortion debate heated up for me in the mid 1980s I realized that it was impossible to have a bifurcated approach to issues from both perspectives.  That’s where the schizophrenia I mentioned early started to breed its toxic cells.

There had to be a consistent strain of thought that saw things through the prism of reality based on reason. With that I will leave yet begging for an answer to my original question:

Is Liberalism a Mental Illness?

Blogger’s Note: On Saturday evening March 6th between 7-9 PM, First Run Theater will present Bill Borst’s new one-act play, A MOMENT OF GRACE as part of its annual audition readings at DeSmet High School’s Thomas Hunter Theater.

It is a prolife play that centers on a random meeting in a faulty elevator where the issues of life, death and suicide are exhaustively explored.

Local professional actors Kevin Beyer and Michelle (Borst) Hand will read the parts    Admission is free.

A Saturday Morning Stroll

January 22, 2010

The recent seismic disaster in Haiti should cause all of us to pause and consider the fragility and fleetness of life.  As the poet John Donne wrote centuries ago, every man’s death diminishes our own lives.  When the bell tolls for one or for 250,000 Haitians, it signifies that some day a bell will toll for us.

At Holy Cross my alma mater in Worcester, Massachusetts, it has been standard policy for many years to send a simple postcard, tolling the bell for a newly deceased classmate.

I have always dreaded receiving these messages of death.  While the harmless looking cards might signal the loss of a friend whom I had lost track, they also contained the unwritten message that someday, Holy Cross would be sending a card with my name on it.

Most people don’t like to think of death, especially their own.  I think Woody Allen had it right when he said: I don’t mind dying. I just don’t what to be there when it happens!

I doubt if any Catholic or Christian can ignore thinking about it.  It is part of the ritual of our faith.

On January 22nd of every year the Catholic Church takes part in a national memorial service all over the country to recognize that a “culture of death” that has regrettably become part of the American heritage, embedded deeply, not just in the Federal Constitution but also the mores of the land.

Two years ago my wife and I journeyed to Washington to march on the 35th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision that established abortion as part of our culture.

The weather was overcast and a bit chilly but the rain and snow held up for the entire afternoon.  It was just the two of us, and 350,000 of our closest friends that marched up Constitution Blvd. toward the Supreme Court Building.

We walked right in front of the Archbishop of St. Louis, Raymond Burke as he led about 60 seminaries in the Rosary.  I came perilously close to tripping him as I veered into his path at one point.

It was so refreshing to see the young and old, walking together for a cause that truly exposes the evil that has slowly been poisoning the soul of America’s true humanitarian spirit.  The overwhelming response to the devastation in Haiti just underscores the deep contradiction that abortion has caused in America’s soul.

Like the millions of stricken Haitians, the unborn are a part of our human family.  They are an endangered species that has fewer rights than the bald eagle or the snail darter.

As the march ended and we were working our way back to the historic Willard Hotel where we were staying, the sun peaked out from the clouds… as if God was giving us His thanks.

My wife later told me that this march was one of the most memorial things she had ever done as a Catholic.  That’s saying something because we were married in the Church, had three children and four children baptized and two Catholic weddings.

My wife and I usually do the local march in St. Louis.  This January I had to leave her home.  After a Mass Archbishop Robert Carlson led us over to the Planned Parenthood “killing center” on Boyle and Forest Parkway.

It wasn’t a bad day–a little chilly.  We have made this eight block walk in all sorts of dismal conditions.  One year there was a light snowfall we walked to Forest Parkway.   My wife had several snowflakes randomly decorating her hair and earmuffs.

I think at that moment she looked more beautiful to me than any other time I could remember to that point.  I wish I had the foresight to have taken her picture.

This year as I strolled along the route, trying to keep up with the prayers coming through the hand-held radios, my mind started wandering.  I could feel this wonderful and exhilarating sense of peace and unity. I was among the best and nicest people I had ever know.  What a great way to spend a Saturday morning!

Over the 24 years I have been associated with this cause, these people have filled me with a sense of compassion, dedication and humility that I have never had before.

I felt warm just by being around them…no matter what the temperature. I have watched them age, some could hardly walk and yet they still come every year.

When we got to the site, we lined up on the west side of their building and said another Rosary.

A recent issue of the Sunday Visitor featured the story of a nine-year-old girl who joined her mother at an abortion protest, not unlike this one, at the notorious site of the late Dr. George Tiller’s abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas.

Before his murder last year Tiller performed late-term abortions.  I have even seen pictures of his oven that he used to dispose of his victims.

When one “client” eased by in her car the little girl asked her not to kill her baby. Perhaps it was her innocence or the pleading eyes of the little girl, or maybe the grace of God— perhaps they were the same thing but she decided to spare her child and drove away with the life within her intact and uninterrupted.

Rumor spread quickly our ranks that the protestors that do this every week had similarly saved another life. Maybe it doesn’t sound like a lot but to those two babies it is everything.  Life is truly a gift from God that we all have to cherish and respect in all its stages.

I used to have a bumper sticker “Chose Life” for years.  A friend told us that her daughter–pregnant and unmarried— saw it in my driveway and decided to keep her baby.  We just never know when what we do will positively affect another person’s life–in this case two people’s lives.

As I was standing there, I noticed that Planned Parenthood had a sign about their “quality, affordable health care.”  It sounds like “Obama Care,” has now become “Obamabortion Care.”  If pregnancy is a disease, I guess we are all a little bit sick.

About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at