Yesterday, Democritus, Cicero and I met in a Valparaiso coffee shop situated in a bookstore. When the meeting ended, the much younger Cicero was verbally assaulted by an elderly woman who had apparently sat nearby toward the end of our discussion.

When Cicero attempted to engage her in some pleasant communication, she began to assail the two of us as some sort of Nazi supporters. The substance of her sharply worded rants was of our party’s redistricting attempts fomenting a coup.

“I’m over here for a reason! My grandmother was a prisoner in Nazi Germany, and now they’re (you’re) trying to take it over the same way! It’s always the same with you people.” Her attack continued with how she immigrated with her mother and what terrible persecutions she had endured along the way.

As Cicero confronted her with a few facts, she blasted him with, “I’m 73!” I responded that I am about to turn 75, but to no avail. The woman kept ranting in his face and infrequently mine, deaf to our words directed as response to her hate-ridden invective. I walked behind her and past Cicero informing him, “Let’s just get out of here” and led him away from her, the woman still spewing her contempt of this thirty-something youngster and his black-shirted, clerical-collar friend (me).

We talked of it briefly before departing, the younger man easily shrugging it off. But not so this antique priestly sort. It has become increasingly common for complete strangers in nearby coffee shops to intrude upon conversations at neighboring tables without invitation.

An overly aggressive student some months ago simply flopped himself down across the table I shared with two other fascist miscreants announcing, no, blurting out, “This is what we do! We meet together to discuss the ideas that will save democracy from fascism!” His message was that we needed to get on board with his brand of fire-breathing Leftism, branding himself with the “Social Justice Warrior” identity in so many words.

If the medium has anything to do with the message, his medium was his enormous upper-body physique and the repetitive browbeating finger-banging on our table to the point of spilling the coffee. The ‘Don’t-F___ -With-Me” mannerisms revealed the self-righteousness evident in so many emotion-based ideologues I have noticed over the past decade or so.

As politics is and has been a ‘bloodsport’, antagonistic respondents are nothing strange. What is recent is an aggressiveness that borders on mental illness as witnessed in these coffee shop encounters. These add to the evidence for the need of a complete revamping and reconstruction of the very civilization once holding us together. It is coming apart.

The suggestions lie with you who are still healthy in mind and spirit, in your own coffee shops…

Father David+


  1. Author

    Yes, the Nazis hated Marxists just as much as they hated what little “right wing” presence there existed.

    The proof of that is the expulsion of the atheist Marxist philosopher Herbert Marcuse and his companions en masse from Germany in the 1930s.

    The Confessing Church among the Lutherans and some Swiss Reformed saw much persecution. As I knew some of their sons and daughters in my congregations among not a few ‘war brides’, I heard their stories firsthand. The hanging of the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer for his participation in a plan to assassinate Hitler is a major example.

    The sum? If you were not a Nazi, keep your mouth shut, fall in line, Sig Heil on command, and we may allow you to live longer.

  2. This is a culture war where the battlefield is the perception of reality. And, in this war, the media acts with weapons of mass destruction. The woman in question is simply lost in her own universe. Dialogue is pointless.

    The fallacy of the so called anti-nazis of today is that they are convinced they recognize the real nazis. They don’t realize that nazis can call themselves anti-fascists. A wolf in sheep clothing is still a wolf. They also don’t realize that the nazis in Germany in the 30’s also presented themselves as a force of good, indeed a savior of the nation. And plenty otherwise smart people believed them.

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