Friday, December 21, 2018

On The Other Hand

Once you get past the hot-button issues, (abortion, adultery, fornication, homosexuality) there are those for whom Catholicism is a fashion accessory for their place in the culture war. The only way they feel secure is the knowledge that these sins are more grave objectively than others. However, if you pile enough situationally grave sins together, you still end up in hell.

The problem for their erstwhile critics on the "cultural Left" let's call it, is that those sexual sins are actually sins. No amount of raging against Right-wing myopia changes that.

The reason I don't call myself "conservative" anymore is that politics is no longer about thinking through issues with a Christian anthropology, and doing the best for the common good; it's about indicating that I'm not Them. And yes, to my mind, the Right is worse about this than the Left right now.

And as soon as you call someone to virtue, either in rejecting these silly binaries, or in actually engaging seriously with issues they've ignored, you're "virtue signalling". Well, I'll just embrace that. Better to signal virtue than to embrace vice. When Jesus asks you what you said and did for refugees and Muslims (often the same people) are you going to shrug and say, "At least I was not an abortionist"?

As long as there's some foolish parent trying to make their 5-year-old into the opposite sex, there's probably enough noise to ignore the force of my objection. It still sits there, awaiting an answer. In the end, this is why I don't have the stomach for lectures from "conservative" Catholics; I never changed my position on the things I listed, and still, there's a will to ignore any moral intuition (not to mention, Church teaching) from anyone "impure".

Thursday, December 20, 2018

If I'm A "Socialist," We Are Doomed

I went back and found some old comments on a Facebook post I wrote last year at this time. I rather bluntly said that we shouldn't salute companies giving small raises and citing the tax cut, because if they had the means now, they had it before, in the absence of the law. (Which, to my mind, is utterly uncontroversial.) Wages are due in justice, not charity, and our first goal as citizens and policymakers is to make a just society, as best we can. To give every person what s/he is due. In practical terms, that means paying people working full time enough that public assistance isn't necessary.

Anyway, this guy named Ryan August said something like, "It's good to know there are socialist Catholics here to virtue signal," and I got mad, and deleted both of his year-old comments. As a side-note, there are plenty of people who won't make it across the Tiber, because they'll be d---ed if some pope tells them what to do with their money. Well, quite literally, it's your choice.

I thought socialism was, "A system whereby all the means of production are owned by the State, and the fruits of all labor is held in common, distributed to others, as needed." I'm not that. Here's the definition in the dictionary. I'm not that, either. But I can tell you, I'm not going to sit around in the face of obvious economic injustice, and say, "At least we're not socialist!" Or beg for a few scraps from our corporate overlords.

As long as we're being direct.

Buy The Book: Lovely: How I Learned To Embrace The Body God Gave Me, By Amanda Martinez Beck

OK, I admit it, we are friends. [So this blog continues its tradition of ping-ponging between mindless sycophancy, and complete savagery of, authors more important than you.--ed.] Exactly. And I have been lingering around the Facebook group around this theme for a couple years now. I know how Amanda thinks about things like body image, and I'm almost absolutely certain she is right.

I'm not even the target audience, most likely, but she assures me that any person can benefit from hearing her message that all bodies are good bodies. I know one thing for sure: I finished the free sample, and I wanted to read more.

I'm just guessing that the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ figures prominently in the discussion as it goes along. [Catholics capitalize things they think are important.--ed.] You faithful Catholics will probably go, "What about gluttony?" as soon as you read the title, and I know Amanda has spent a lot of time interacting with such objections in a Christian context.

There is no actual gospel of thinness, however.

Anyway, it will be a great read, I'm sure. One you should pick up if you have struggled to be satisfied with your body in any degree. I'm gratified that someone has taken the time to name one of the voices of self-condemnation we hear. Lies have no power, when we bring them out into the open, and talk about them.

The book, Lovely: How I Learned to Embrace the Body God Gave Me, is available in Kindle and paperback right now! Buy the book!