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Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Spare Me The Bastiat Quotes

It is indeed true that a socialist is never satisfied. It's also true that a raucous political discussion will always ensue concerning how much the government could and should spend regarding any one thing. I don't assume that a person who funds something differently--that is, less--wants children to starve in the streets. But at some point, Spock's clever dictum holds true: "What you want is irrelevant; what you've chosen is at hand."

You can't argue that a 31 percent cut in one year is a search for efficiency. It's a malicious rejection of the people who spent the money, and the purposes for which they spent it. And at such a point, you deserve whatever moral scorn your opponents heap upon you.

A true conservative might say that the federal government could operate at 95 percent of its funding level from the previous year. You could easily argue that there is always waste, and a few years of a generalized cut will come back to the people in beneficial ways.

But I'm not giving a brutal, half-cocked social Darwinist the benefit of the doubt, just because he has an "R" next to his name. Don't bring the Democrats up to me; I don't care what they do or don't do. We must ask ourselves what is necessary and important, and act accordingly.

Another View Of A Particular Objection

We Catholics say that submission to the Church is altogether different from the provisional Hobbesian submission to some body that every Protestant makes. We cannot revoke that membership in the true Body of Christ, for one. We may decide that we no longer believe something she proposes, but we know that in so doing, we threaten our souls. It's risible to suggest that any Protestant believes that his variance on a Scripture matter with Pastor Bob from First Community could cost him his soul.

In the end, the Protestant knows that Bob is fallible, and that every visible manifestation of ecclesiastical authority is likewise open to question. Why this realization doesn't send millions of people running into the arms of the Catholic Church, I'll never know. The prerequisite of believing in any Christianity at all is knowing that some things I wouldn't know at all, unless God revealed them. In light of this, one would think that a fraternal warning to the effect that you can't tell the difference between personal opinion and revelation in a particular system would be met with thanks, instead of mockery. To hear some people tell it, the whole claim of the Catholic Church is vain, because some guy on the internet was repetitive or mean.

For my part, it's very simple. Everything in Christian history prior to the Reformation is up for examination. I don't need to worry about after that, because that's a simple story; the Catholic Church asserts a thing, and someone else disagrees. Now, if Christians agree on a thing and have always agreed, it stands to reason that it has a common origin. Find the source. Be ready to submit your very being to it, if it turns out to be the Church.

To hear Ben Carmack and Triablog tell it, Catholic keyboard warriors just invented the Magisterium last decade or so, because we got bored with exegesis or something. But anybody with a few hours can find out that the history of the Roman Catholic Church demands to be accounted for. It will never be a pristine history, but the public facts must admit the possibility that Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church. An inquiry is simply that: the forthright consideration of the possibility.

Once that consideration turns to conviction, we joyfully and henceforth submit to the Church as to Christ Himself. I need not really answer the objection that the Protestant and the Catholic functionally do the same thing, because the Protestant's dogmas, and indeed, his church, did not exist. It's a theology in reaction, and I need not fear I have failed to submit to some organ of Christ that He hasn't bothered to preserve.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken

On Easter Friday, as many of you know, I was struck by a car while crossing a busy street near my home and office. That's an almost indescribable experience. Judging by the movies, the fog of war seems similar. I don't know. What I do know is that if you're blessed enough to be alive after something like this, you know your life will change. I have broken nearly every bone in my face. My left leg is broken. Who knows when my normal life will resume?

Honestly, though, who cares?

I have known pain and suffering. I won't sugar-coat it; I've seen, and vomited, my own blood. Surgery is still to come, and there is always risk, especially with a pre-existing condition like CP.

But I have seen the glory of the cross of Christ. Only he could make so much love and joy come out of this. There's a logic, a wisdom to it that I have no right to deny. I have become a focal point of reconciliation and love. What's a few broken bones and teeth, compared with that?

Faith, hope, and love are the indestructible virtues; they are called "theological" normally, but I beg your indulgence. If by these virtues we begin to see with God's vision, then the meaning of our whole lives becomes clear. No hardship truly stands against these.

One other thing: My power wheelchair saved my life. In these days least of all do I feel "confined" to it. I hope you can understand that we are not so different. Every life longs to burn brightly, every soul. The starting hand is different, as it were, but we all play our cards as best we can 'til the dealing is done.