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Showing posts from February 9, 2014

5 Thoughts For Today

5. It's all relative, until you get punched in the face. 4. I wouldn't sign any bills criminalizing homosexuality. That doesn't mean I think it's a good thing. But the  people who use the useless phrase, "gay people" to normalize homosexual practices are not unlike the people who can't distinguish between a temptation and a sin in their own theology on the other side of the question. 3. You can't simultaneously say, "I'm so much more than my gayness" and "It's who I am, it's not a choice." The gay activists are winning the culture war, so to speak, because they're using the prospect of violence against persons (which no one of good will advocates or supports) to equivocate on the term, "acceptance." 2. Are we ever going to have a frank discussion about the high incidence of sexual abuse among those who self-indentify as "gay"? 1. Then again, when have we had a frank national discussion abo

5 Thoughts For The Day

5. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 4. If it is broke, fix it. 3. If you can't fix it, get help. 2. If you don't want to get help, you can't whine that it's broken. 1. If there is no God, there is no morality. Why? Because every human thing is therefore subject to the charge of self-interest and arbitrariness, ad infinitum. This is why it's actually a short trip from the supposition of ecclesial fallibility to pure atheism. It's a little amusing to hear the atheists of the day proclaiming a "kinder, gentler" atheism, as if it matters. What do the words mean, ultimately, if there is no origin, no reference point from which the term derives its meaning? I could easily find fault with any group's definition, and so it goes. You may suppose to have done justly, but I may believe you have not. Even if terms are defined by mutual agreement, this is tenuous. Consent is soft ground for the noblest ideals. I see the will to power as the unav

The Worst Evil

If you listen closely to the arguments of our modern/post-modern "enlightened" society, you may hear a lot of talk of "dignity." "Death with dignity." That the good life should be free of hardship. "This baby won't have the kind of life she deserves." Let's think it through, shall we? Camera 3. [Turns] You're saying that the worst of all possible evils is pain and suffering. Strip it down, that's what you're saying. But this is wrong. To suffer, and to suffer well, is to hold a mirror to injustice, to make the evildoer look upon the innocence that he transgresses, to ask him if he can continue it. We'll come back to this. No, the greatest evil is not suffering, but death itself. To die, never to live again. Even worse, to live a life unworthy of goodness, unworthy of a human being. There is good done in this world. We know it: The man who carries groceries for an elderly neighbor. The Army squad leader who falls on a g

Blessed By The Deb

I thought I'd continue the friendship series here. I'm on a good roll. I know that some of you who read these might struggle with affirmation, and I sympathize, but your good is more important than your comfort. Deborah Allinder Lee is really funny. She's industrious, resourceful, talented, and a thousand other things. The truth is, though, in some ways, those are on the surface. Those are the things that make us who know her laugh, or give thanks. The deeper things are worth noting, too. She makes others feel safe. She understands what it means not to be whole in some way, and she lets you have the space to be a mess. I might say she could stand to give the same break to herself. But her cross is--like for any of us--her way of peace. I can honestly say that I see myself in a clearer way because of her. The lies that others have told me, and that I have told myself, are nothing next to her unconditional love. That is grace in a person's life, and it has spilled i

5 More Thoughts For Today

5.Taxation may, in any one case, range from unnecessary, to objectively harmful and unjust. But it is not per se theft. To argue this renders all the purposes for which any tax may be collected illicit, and any such concession to it merely one of acquiescence to superior force. 4. The very reason to discuss limited government is to outline the terms under which the limitation of individual freedom is just, necessary, and prudent, and when it is not. 3. We cannot call ourselves "pro-life," attempting to recover the dignity of the human person, and remain silent about the many forms and instances of sexual violence. Rape can never be justified, and it is never a just penalty or the natural consequence of other crimes. 2. Therefore, we cannot stay silent about those things which especially incline young men to believe that they are entitled to sexual pleasure at any time, at any cost, but without cost to themselves. 1. My opposition to the death penalty arises directly o

5 Thoughts For Today

5. I seriously want to know why people whose very purpose is to limit what counts as true knowledge and true science by way of highly questionable philosophical assumptions (or at least unacknowledged ones) get to call themselves "rational" or "enlightened". 4. Just save us time, and admit to being a materialist and a utilitarian. That way, when we wake up in a Stalinist paradise, I can say, "I told you so." If I'm not dead. 3. Abortion and homosexual acts are both grave offenses against the dignity of the human person, and thus, against God, who made us, and took on our human nature to redeem us. They are by no means the only ones, but they are real, and this needs to be said clearly. 2. Is the yet-born fetus a person? The whole abortion issue turns on this question, and this alone. Consequently, there can be no "exceptions" to a prohibition on abortion, if we are to answer in the affirmative. If we answer in the negative, then abortio

My BFF, Lindsay Michelle Stocker

I'm not really sure how it came about, but that's how friends go. But I can remember when Lindsay and another friend said they were going to start a JK Fan Club. As if I needed one of those! But some way, God in His mercy has given me this great friend. She listens to me, even when it's hard. She never judges me, no matter what I say. We haven't had a friend fight yet, and I'm not looking forward to it. But I know it will be OK when it does. I'm telling you all this because it's my blog; I can say whatever I want. And if you need a marketing consultant, Lindsay is definitely the person you need. The real reason Lindsay is such an amazing friend is that she builds people up; she gives people confidence when maybe they didn't have it before. Today, and every day, I am thankful for my friend Lindsay.

The Greatest

Boxing is probably my second favorite sport, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that my favorite fighter is Muhammad Ali. Rarely has such a skill set been seen among heavyweights, if ever. And he came to us in the TV age, at the height of American post-war decadence, on the eve of our times of turmoil. He was in many ways the first sports superstar in the way we know it today: ubiquitous, a topic of conversation. Sports matters precisely where it intersects with life lived, which perhaps tells us nothing. Yet if it does, Ali certainly did that. You can read all over that he was polarizing, and I guess that's so. The liberal consensus of the time says that he got a raw deal in '67, and he did. That same consensus gives blacks a free pass on some of the extremism and hatred of the Nation Of Islam, because, after all, (or so the thinking goes) White America gave them a full measure of it, beginning from the time we landed until now. This is mostly true. Don't think for a se

That They May Be One

“Not to spoil the party but we do have the ecumenical creeds. The Apostles' and Nicene creeds exist as essentially definitions of what it means to be a Christian. That's why many of us recite them every week-- to reaffirm our identity and to reaffirm   our unity with all other Christians who confess this faith.” Not to spoil the party, but no, we don’t. The ecumenical creeds were given in a context, and if we should say that we agree with them, we are saying we agree with the context in which they were given, and on the terms with which the men who composed them proposed them. The very fact that I am Catholic, and the person who said this is not, is all the proof I need for what I have just said. The meaning of the creeds is itself in dispute between us. If this is not acknowledged, there is significant risk of false ecumenism, of which there is far too much in these days. I suppose it is a forgivable conceit, depending on when and why the person holds it, but this creedal

Moral Imperative And Cultural Narrative

So there's this . In some sense, the two American political impulses are locked in a perpetual unwinnable death-match, the reforming impulse and the conserving impulse. The extreme of Conservative America always builds monuments to itself in the past; the extreme of Liberal America denigrates the past to celebrate itself in the present. One sells the idolatry of "progress," while the other sells the idolatry of nostalgia. I have never minded these "liberal" films; I only mind when it is pretended that the imperfect narrative is itself a lie. Progressivism run amok is bitter and destructive; these people mistake cynicism for courage. Isn't the story of the Scriptures the story of a highly imperfect people under the loving tutelage of a holy God? Their imperfection does not invalidate the fact that they are His. Indeed, recognizing a need for growth does not require denouncing one's very existence. On the other hand, there is nothing truly conservative

I Have No Credibility On This Issue

I have utterly no standing to complain about the crass commercialization of St. Valentine's Day, since I literally bought into it. Ahem. If I say any more...well, you know. I would say I'm impulsive, but I'm not. Direct? Indeed. Unabashedly prodigal in my expressions of appreciation? Yes. I can still remember Valentine's Day, 2002. It's not my fault I have a thing for words, and beautiful women. I wrote a poem. It was a bad poem, but a poem, nonetheless. Money doesn't grow on trees, you know. But words well up in our hearts. I'm no longer as young as I used to be, but The Game is still the same. Let her know that the world is a dreary place without her, and see if she thinks the same of you, maybe enough to spent a solid 50 or 60 years talking it over. Even when you "win," gentlemen, The Game never ends. Why would I want the sexual conquest of many women, when the mystery of one is enough to occupy a man for his whole life? Tell me that, worl

Don't Judge Me

I'm deeply sympathetic to this : " If Ken Ham is getting rich telling things he knows to be false, he's a shameless fraud. But the bulk of creation's fundamentalists are deeply sincere. And, better than that, they are willing to be, in St. Paul's words " fools for Christ's sake ." They do not live for the world's esteem. And so when the world next discovers a sophisticated ideology to get around "Thou shall not murder," I'd rather have one cussed fundie next to me than the whole army of eye-rolling Christians lining up to denounce him." In case anybody cares, this sentiment is the main motive I had for "criticizing" Christ and Pop Culture awhile back. There's currency right now in not being " those Christians." But with Sola Scriptura and the loss of the dogmatic principle, it is significantly dangerous for Christians in Protestant communities right now. Most changes are subtle enough that most people

You Don't Have To Be Confused

5. Grace builds upon nature, but does not destroy it. This is why the Christian is not afraid of conclusions from the natural sciences. 4. On the other hand, if the work of empirical or other sciences is understood to rest upon naturalistic metaphysics, that line of philosophical reasoning must be rejected. 3.The Magisterium is the guardian of all knowledge, because, whether natural or supernatural, it belongs to revelation. 2. Your IQ test is broken. 1. Oops, I did it again.