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Leviathan Groaning

February 24th, 2012

by Anthony Esolen

On June 25, 2009, a seven year old boy was abducted at gunpoint from his terrified parents. They had just boarded a plane to fly to the country where the boy’s mother had been born, and where her kin still lived. They were leaving their own country for good, because they had grown weary of the harassment they suffered there from a syndicate of well-placed thugs. They themselves had broken no law.

The boy’s name is Domenic Johansson. He is now going on ten years old, and he has seen his mother and father only very briefly since. The thugs, officials of the Swedish government, have allowed the parents very little opportunity to visit. Domenic’s mother has suffered a nervous breakdown, and is now quite incapacitated. The foster-woman into whose care Domenic was given has informed the boy that she will never let him return to his mother and father, no matter what any court might say. Domenic, once a cheerful little boy, looks haggard, crushed, dull, as if the heart had been ripped out of him.

What was the crime committed by Christer Johansson and his wife? They did not run drugs. They did not steal. They did not cheat the government of its yearly right to a third of their corn, milk, potatoes, and apples – or whatever it is that the Lords and Ladies of Stockholm now exact from their tenant citizens. Or what was the moral sewer wherein they were raising their little boy? It could not have been a sewer of fornication; the Johanssons are married, and the Swedes have turned fornication into their national pastime. It could not have been the dry gulch of nihilism; Christer Johansson did not work for Swedish television. The crime was simply that the Johanssons, a devout Christian couple, had pulled Domenic out of the state school and were educating him at home. It was, we should note well, perfectly within their rights by the Swedish law then in force to do this. It was also within their rights as specified by the European Union.

The Swedish government has attempted to cover their tracks by finding Domenic’s father guilty of being “narcissistic.” Their evidence for this supposed narcissism is Christer’s stubborn insistence that he knew better than the thugs what was best for his son. Narcissism indeed – if that were a crime, or if that disqualified people from being decent parents, then the Scandinavian countries ought to get together to address an enormous crisis. They should run barbed wire around one whole country, say Norway, ship to that land of ice all the people in Scandinavia who look at themselves in the mirror too complacently, and turn Denmark into a vast orphanage.

What makes for such cruelty? I cannot imagine the black heart of a man (or, alas, a woman) who struts before a simple little family, and steals their child away. That person, we would say, should be hauled before a court of law and then be banished from civil society. He – she – should be granted plenty of spare time to think again about the cruelty, while staring at the blank walls of a prison cell. How much worse it is, however, when the abduction involves an entire social organism: the long arm of a dull-witted and compliant police force, the convoluted brains of a corrupt judiciary, and the seething metaphysical hatred burning in the heart of politicians, who cannot abide a single little reproach, not even in the form of a happy little boy, against their claims to know what is best for everyone. So far from repenting in sackcloth and ashes, the Swedish thugs have compounded their sin by breaking their own laws, denying the Johanssons their right to choose their own legal counsel. The Swedish education domina has even written, openly, brazenly, that all homeschooled children should be abducted.

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