The Battle of Lepanto
If women are the heart and bearers of culture, then men are its elaborators and defenders. Today this “masculine genius” has been lost in many versions of contemporary Christianity. If we are truly to have the complementarity so vigorously called for by Bl. John Paul II, it cannot be an either/or dichotomy. Young men, so often abandoned by our system and our society, need once again to hear stories like the salvation of Christendom at Lepanto. They need to hear the positive Christian message about those who serve in the military and in public life (Luke 3:14, Matthew 8:5-13, and Acts 10). They need to know both the heroism that turns the other cheek, together with the knowledge that I cannot turn anyone else’s cheek for them. This is the message of sacrificial headship (Ephesians 5:23-29). If the weak are oppressed, they need defense. If there are malefactors, then one can bear the sword of the state against them (Romans 13:4). The defense of the weak and the oppressed is the holy Christian duty of the strong. It is the antidote to Nietzsche, and the cure for the genderless pseudo-philosophies of post-modernity. It is something to be celebrated, especially for boys and young men; it is a path to holiness, and the key to the flowering of a new Christian chivalry for our contemporary times.