Featured Articles


Christopher Isherwood wrote his novel, Goodbye to Berlin, which later became the movie Cabaret, in 1939. Isherwood’s novel depicts his beloved Berlin change from a libertarian’s delight to becoming prey to Hitler’s boot boys. His work demonstrates how a city’s decadence quickly transforms into a place where tyranny and fear dominate. The licentiousness of the city’s underground becomes the target of those who claim to be morally superior. Their method of control involves complete loyalty to the Fuhrer. One man dominates their thoughts and actions. They believe the salvation of their country lies in following this man’s beliefs. Ultimately, his dictatorship leads to 6 million Jews being murdered. Gipsies, homosexuals and anyone who does not meet the criteria of this new Germany are exterminated. Germany is made great again at a bloody price. 

Isherwood captures perfectly how one man can change a nation. His novel is a warning to us all.  If we don’t learn from history we will repeat the same mistakes. It’s easy to convince ourselves that we’re not so easily hoodwinked yet the signs of drifting towards a dictatorship are right in front of our eyes. We’re facing a time when there is a power-hungry man who can and will destroy the fundamental principles of our democracy. No matter what is thrown at him, he seems to evade what most of us think of as justice. He proves that if you have enough money you are treated differently.  

You can be a misogynist, racist, and an aspiring dictator, and find yourself elected into the highest seat of government. It doesn’t matter that you’re the first president to be impeached twice, have no experience in governing, be convicted of a felony, and you can still be eligible for leading a country that espouses to be morally upright. ‘Truth and justice’ in the American way is no longer determined by a moral compass but by those who want to cleanse the country of those they find distasteful. Ironically, the moral majority finds a man who enjoys the pleasures of sex workers, enjoys the benefits of tax evasion, and demonstrates little or no regard for true Christianity to be a good role model.  

When it comes down to it, the teachings of Christ are relegated by those who support this man to the trash pile. What’s more important to them is how this man can serve their purpose.  Instead of drawing on the sayings of their savior, they prefer to use the Old Testament to justify their vote. Their theology is very fluid, depending on what they hope to achieve. Despite their defense of the bible, they are willing to ignore his worst offences so long as they can get from him what they want. This sort of pragmatism isn’t exactly what we’d expect from people of faith. There is no grace in advocating a gospel that discriminates against others. You cannot pair the actions of those who think this way with Christ. It simply doesn’t work. 

What we have learned from the recent changes in Ireland is that religious institutions can be instruments of abuse. The Catholic Church has been forced to deal with its lack of due diligence when it comes to those who have misused their power. It’s a terrible thing when change only happens because those who have been mistreated have had enough. For years, the Catholic Church knew of the crimes committed by their priests and refused to do anything about it.  They would turn a blind eye, relocate the offender and blame the victim but times have changed. The election of Pope Francis heralds a different kind of leadership. His papacy is for many a sign of hope.  He has made the Church face up to its lack of accountability.  Will his attempts to rectify the wrongs of the Church, only time will tell. When religion becomes a discriminating force, it destroys the best of who we are. Once it begins to legislate what we read, think, or who we choose to love, we can be sure it’s going to support someone like the former president of America. 

I find it funny that this man chooses to lie and change facts without any challenge from his base. He can incite violence without any criticism from those loyal to him. It amazes me that he can even ridicule and defame those faithful to him and still they support him. The Republican Party has rejected its former principles to validate a liar and a cheat. They don’t mind the erosion of human rights so long as it gets them into positions of power. What was an honourable institution, the Supreme Court has also been exposed as a tool for the Republican Party. When a Justice accepts money or gifts from a wealthy billionaire, they are no longer unbiased.  When a Justice flies a flag outside his house supporting a right-wing group, they are no longer trustworthy.  

The changes we are seeing in the highest positions of government are worrying. We shouldn’t allow the criminal actions of the former president to be standard for normal behavior. Once normalized, these corrupt actions corrode moral sensibility and the worst of our humanity emerges. Isherwood saw how one man made the world an evil place. Could it happen again in our time, yes! We are seeing the signs of how things could be in the future. We have a convicted felon running for president whose mission is retribution.  He will enact his revenge on those who have opposed him, rewriting the sayings of Jesus to allow for this sort of eye-for-an-eye reasoning. Once he’s elected to the highest rank we’ve sealed our fate. The rot has set in and worse will follow if we do not act now.