About a century ago the German Army took over the little country of Bohemia in Central Europe. A wealthy aristocratic family who resided in the capital of Prague saw the writing on the wall and took measures into their own hands to ensure that their two teenage boys would survive. The boys' parents liquidated the families' assets and, once converted to gold coin, deftly sewed these coins into hidden compartments in the long coats of the two teenagers, James and John. And so armored, the two boys would flee under the cover of night from their German-occupied city with a sizable stash of gold, false papers and a fabricated name.
Both boys, James and John, being tall, blue-eyed and light-complected, from day one of their flight passed themselves off as being Polish and not Bohemians. They found their deception easy. The boys made their way west across the continent and, once in France, they spoke French, as their French grandmother had taught them when they were little boys. Journeying west through France, the boys made it a point to play up in French how very Polish they were. Their fabricated Polish-sounding last name, Kalchik, to the French who knew no better, sounded Polish, and James and John worked it to their success.
When necessary the boys spoke Bohemian to one another; but this they played off as well. To any inquisitive eavesdroppers, they said that what they spoke was Polish. These simple deceptions proved to work easily and well for the two young Polish aristocrat refugees. In time, James and John made their way across France to the coast and boarded a steamer to the United States. Paradoxically, no one ever questioned why the boys were never separated from their heavy, dark, long coats.
The boys' trip across the Atlantic proved uneventful, except for a couple of frightful storms, during their crossing of the Atlantic. But once landed in New York, like other displaced refugees from Europe, James and John were herded off to Ellis Island, where they were required to present their documents: James Joseph Kalchik, 18 years old, Polish national from Warsaw, no visible signs of disease or illness; and John Joseph Kalchik, 16 years old, Polish national from Warsaw, no visible signs of disease or illness. Admission for entry granted!
Life for the young Kalchik boys would prove blessed in their new home in Michigan. It was much different from their youth in Prague. They would end up building homes and barns, and even constructing a sawmill on the parcel they bought. And after each secured a spouse, each boy wound up having more than a dozen children apiece. Blessedly, the "Kalchik" family thrived in the new world. Unfortunately, the remnant left in Prague was a different story, and after disease and war, the family was greatly decimated, and to this day, it is unknown to the American family if there are any survivors.
As a young boy, I remember fondly my grandmother talking about these "Kalchiks," this boisterous family she came to be an integral part of through marriage. She was an orphan and only had her sister Emma for family, but the "Kalchiks," with their large tract of land, a sawmill and solidly Catholic faith proved to make up bountifully for the losses she suffered as a toddler, by the early deaths of her own parents.
Grandma Kalchik would point to the icons of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary hanging in the farmhouse dining room when talking about the boys' escape from Europe in their cherished long coats:
You know when they finally got to New York they bought these two icons here on the wall, to ask God's protection and blessing for them and the new families they were starting. Uncle James said the trip over on the steamer was horrible, they went through a couple of horrific storms and to his dying day, never, ever, wanted to cross the Atlantic again, not even to find out if any family had survived the ravages of the war and disease.
I recall as a little boy asking my grandmother pointedly, if what James and John did was sinful: making up a name, pretending that they were a different nationality. I believe it was the first time I used the really big word "nationality" in any conversation and feeling proud about how I was using it correctly. To me, in my smugness, I knew our families' real nationality was French and Bohemian; we were not just some Pollacks.
My grandmother, quick as always and wise enough to know her answer needed to be qualified, lest her grandchildren interpret her answer to give them free rein to lie said: "Some people have no right to the truth — the Germans who occupied Bohemia did so by force and murder. The Kalchiks' survived the war in large part, because they kept the truth, which they valued, to themselves. Pray for those who were not so blessed to survive!"
To change the subject, grandma led us in a long Rosary for the dead — seated below the very same icons of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary purchased all those decades earlier.
This week, there has been a lot of chatter about vaccine passports. What absolute nonsense. For starters, I am not going to have anyone inject anything into my body manufactured as a by-product of abortion. Second, under no circumstances will I let myself be used as any sort of a lab rat in some super-sized experiment. For us, as individuals made in the image and likeness of God Himself, it is not morally permissible for us to let ourselves be used as if we were just some sort of animal. I feel like shouting from some rooftop like the victim did in The Elephant Man: "I am not an animal!"
Tragically, at this point in our history, few people are giving any difference or moral consideration to how vaccines are being made for the China virus, let alone the use of the entire population of our country in some sort of super-sized experiment. Oh, I remember, now; I can't use the term China virus, I have to call it COVID-19, because not to do so would be racist! I heard that on CNN.
But back to "vaccine passports" and other such nonsense. As my sainted grandmother said all those decades ago: "Some people have no right to the truth!" I for one, will not participate in any program mandating the self-report of vaccine information, disease history or other such personal information to board a plane, go to a show, shop for groceries, to live my life. As a descendent of survivors who escaped fascists in Europe, I protest even the discussion of blatantly disregarding people's civil rights, as if people were animals and not made in the image and likeness of God.
Tragically, people no longer care about the civil rights of individual human beings, just like they now don't care about using the cells of a murder victim for vaccine manufacture. This is no different from what Hitler was condemned for doing in concentration camps! All of it is ghoulish and all morally reprehensible. We are now living in a time when people are no longer considered human with qualities and characteristics of the Divine, but merely as some sort of animal.
Lastly, in the last great fight against fascism, those sainted individuals who came up with manufactured names and papers proved to save millions of lives in the war. I am confident the Almighty in our current conflict will aid the faithful in this battle, and the first punch in this fight to swing is remembering: "Some men do not have the right to the truth."
By, the way, I will always keep my real surname to myself. Kalchik is Polish, and if you go far enough to the east in Europe you will find the Kalchik river in Russia.