The triumph of the Recovery was marked most clearly by the burning of the Episcopal bishop of Maine.
She was not a particularly bad bishop. She was in fact typical of Episcopal bishops of the first quarter of the 21st century: agnostic, compulsively political and radical, and given to placing a small idol of Isis on the altar when she said the Communion service. By 2055, when she was tried for heresy, convicted, and burned, she had outlived her era. By that time only a handful of Episcopalians still recognized female clergy, it would have been easy enough to let the old fool rant out her final years in obscurity.
The fact that the easy road was not taken, that Episcopalians turned to their difficult duty of trying and convicting, and the state upheld its unpleasant responsibility of setting torch to faggots, was what marked this as an act of Recovery. I well remember the crowd that gathered for the execution, solemn but not sad, relieved rather that at last, after so many years of humiliation, of having to swallow every absurdity and pretend we liked it, the majority had taken back the culture. No more apologies for the truth. No more “Yes, buts” on upholding standards. Civilization had recovered its nerve. The flames that soared above the lawn before the Maine State House were, as the bishopess herself might have said, liberating.
She could have saved herself, of course, right up until the torch was applied. All she had to do was announce she wasn’t a bishop, or a priest, since Christian tradition forbids a woman to be either. Or she could have confessed she wasn’t a Christian, in which case she could be bishopess, priestess, popess, whatever, in the service of her chosen demons. That would have just gotten her tossed over the border.
But the Prince of This World whom she served gives his devotees neither an easy nor a dignified exit. She bawled, she babbled, she shrieked in Hellish tongues, she pissed and pooped herself. The pyre was lit at 12:01 PM on a cool, cloudless August 18th, St. Helen’s day. The flames climbed fast; after all, they’d been waiting for her for a long time.
When it was over, none of us felt good about it. But we’d long since learned feelings were a poor guide. We’d done the right thing.
Was the dissolution of the United States inevitable?
Probably, once all the “diversity” and “multiculturalism” crap got started. Right up to the end the coins carried the motto, E Pluribus Unum, just as the last dreadnought of the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Navy was the Viribus Unitis. But the reality for both was Ex Uno, Plura.
It’s odd how clearly the American century is marked: 1865 to 1965. As the 20th century historian Shelby Foote noted, the first Civil War made us one nation. In 1860, we wrote, “the United States are.” By the end of the war, the verb was singular: “the United States is.” After 1965 and another war we disunited—deconstructed—with equal speed into blacks, whites, Hispanics, womyn, gays, victims, oppressors, left-handed albinos with congenital halitosis, you name it. The homosexuals said silence = death. Nature replied diversity = war.
In four decades we covered the distance that had taken Rome three centuries. As late as the mid-1960s—God, it’s hard to believe—America was still the greatest nation on earth, the most productive, the freest, the top superpower, a place of safe homes, dutiful children in good schools, strong families, a hot lunch for orphans. By the 1990s the place had the stench of a third-world country. The cities were ravaged by punks, beggars, and bums; as in third century Rome, law applied only to the law-abiding. Schools had become daytime holding pens for illiterate young savages. First television, then the Internet brought the decadence of Weimar Berlin into every home.
In this Year of Our Lord 2068—and my 80th year on this planet—we citizens of Victoria have the blessed good fortune to live once again in an age of accomplishment and decency. With the exception of New Spain, most of the nations that cover the territory of the former United States are starting to get things working again. The revival of traditional, Western, Christian culture we began is spreading outward from our rocky New England soil, displacing savagery with civilization for a second time.
I am writing this down so you never forget, not you, nor your children, nor their children. You did not go through the wars, though you have lived with their consequences. Your children will have grown up in a well-ordered, prosperous country, and that can be dangerously comforting. Here, they will read what happens when a people forgets who they are.
This is my story, the story of the life of one man, John Ira Rumford of Hartland, Maine, soldier and farmer. I came into this world near enough the beginning of the end for the old U.S. of A., on June 28, 1988. I expect to leave it shortly, without regrets.
It’s also the story of the end of a once-great nation, by someone who saw most of what happened, and why.
Read it and weep.