Theologian Alice von Hildebrand, wife of Dietrich von Hildebrand and a harsh critic of Hitler’s Nazi Germany, joined the program last night. She spoke with Glenn about the evils of the past and how to avoid them in the present. The interview covers the importance of faith and family, and how the world can turn back on the path of righteousness. Don’t miss this interview with a truly remarkable woman.
Watch the full interview on TheBlaze TV, below is a highlight from the episode.
Glenn: We have started a movement called Never Again is Now. We promised each other that we what would not let genocide happen again, that we would stand up to insane things. They are happening again in the world. We’re trying to find ways to give people courage to stand up and do what you and your husband did, to stand up against all odds and say this is truth, that is not. What advice do you have?
Alice: You know, two things: Number one, to reestablish the greatness of the family which is being destroyed. You see, one of the things which is so heartbreaking is that if you commit yourself, you don’t commit yourself. You’re playing a game. Instead of understanding, you know, I happen to know quite a few people who have a very happy marriage, and what does it imply? They have tasted the true sweetness of love, which is two things: Number one, that you see a beauty in another person. In some way, you’re given the asset of seeing this person is beautiful.
Of the sight of beauty—I’m quoting Plato—wings grow to our soul, and my heart is such because you are beautiful. The very moment that you are beautiful, I start loving you. Sometimes this vision is serving. Sometimes it is given in faith when I believe that all men are creatures of God.
But the second thing is the very moment that you love, you want to give. You give yourself. Today, you say to myself, how much can I get out of it? And you can’t relate that you have to give more of the other person than you give. This ruins it completely and totally. We no longer have forgot and understood the beauty of self-giving, a generous, noble self-giving. As a result, the relationship between a husband and wife is closely determined by pleasure.
Now, pleasure is something that we share with animals, but if you are human, now, this is way of formulating it. Maybe you find a better way. Pleasure should be baptized, and I mean by baptism that instead of grabbing it, you receive it as a gift. The moment that you receive as a gift, you know what you do? Thank you.
You know, I’m old, and I need help constantly. The beauty of old age is I say thank you at least ten times a day. And to feel happy over it, thank you, which I’m indebted to you, and I’m grateful and appreciative of your love and kindness. If you spend a day without saying thank you, your day is lost. So, this is so crucial in human relationships, generous giving and not calculating—I give you 40, but I expect you to give me 60. Otherwise you break up.
Number two, the beauty of love, which is essentially fruitful. The moment you see love, you see fruitfulness. What is today is we no longer want this fruitfulness because, as I say once again, as much and as little as possible. Therefore, you take artificial birth control. Now, what it’s doing is to ruin the noble generosity of self-giving. In other words, this general self-giving is eliminated more and more. The child is a burden. It costs money. It’s effort and fatigue and the rest of it, and so you don’t want it. So, we are destroying the family.
Feminism comes in and injects a poison, men and women are identical, which is the greatest nonsense because they are the beautiful word, complementary. In other words, men have qualities, imperfections that can make a woman be more herself and less of herself.
Now, the very moment that men and women instead of being complete become rivals, this is what happens when I go to business—Hillary Clinton would like to become president of the United States and to order and to command. All right, femininity, the great enemy of the devil has been destroyed. The very moment that femininity, that men no longer receive from women what they can expect from them, understanding, feeling to them, generosity, in this very moment, they become effeminate.
And I do not know—if I’m wrong once again, tell me—whether feminism is not responsible for the spreading of homosexuality, and homosexuality is a tragedy, a horrible tragedy because it is a denial of the complementarity between men and women.
What happened in Ireland shows the evil is so widespread, even in countries that traditionally follow the natural law because it’s a question of natural law. It’s not a question of revelation. You see, the question is we are partially blind, all of us, and to long to see, to desire to see, God make me see because, as I mean, as I said, this physical blindness for which I’m not responsible, but all of us without exception have blind spots. We must have the courage of realizing it and to change myself before trying to change the world. All revolutionaries wanted to change the world, but they refused to change themselves.
Glenn: Except for one, Jesus. Except for one, Christ.
Alice: The one. Of course. Of course.
Glenn: A pleasure.
Alice: But I mean, don’t forget, he was God. The most amazing you see—now, look, unless you’re on your knees, you will never accept Him, but once you’re on your knees, obviously you see, and therefore like the man of Jericho, we should say, “Lord, make me see.” And you will. Therefore there is salvation.
I believe the situation to be very, very grave and very serious. I mean, just imagine the president that we have elected, we have elected, the majority, declaring officially that he is in favor of abortion, in other words, declaring himself that he is anti-life, and he goes on and on and on. This is fearful because it spreads all over. I say rebuild the family. Believe in it yourself. You know, one beautiful marriage is a challenge for them.
And then number two, education. Education begins in grammar school. If already in grammar school a child is not taught reverence, reverence for authority, reverence for tradition, reverence for—in this very moment you are just going towards an abyss. Now, I personally believe that some saintly people can still help us, you know, through God’s grace and intervention, but I believe the hour is grave, and if we don’t see it, we’re heading towards an abyss.
Glenn: Yes, we are. The name of the book, My Battle Against Hitler, and Memoirs of a Happy Failure, available everywhere.