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Showing posts from February 24, 2019

I Am Seeing A False Choice

It may not have been from a place of charity when the evocative phrase, "Republican Rite Catholic" was first deployed, but it's often apt. Just today, I was invited to choose between the transcendentals (goodness, truth, and beauty) and diversity, inclusion, and tolerance. Why not both? Let's say what this is really about, shall we? Those people over there want to lecture me about racism, and they can't even recognize a baby. Believe me, I've been here; I know what this feels like. You might even be able to say that a particular hierarchy of values is misaligned. It is an act of love, and deep respect, to submit yourself, even theoretically, to another person for correction. We're not seeing a whole lot of deep respect across politics these days. One cannot do much honest reflection when the only goal of politics is winning. Maybe Ian Barrs is right: There's no winning this culture war, in the arena of politics. It's going to be a longer game,

Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken: A Thought On One Common Response To Suffering

"If I'm gonna go, let me go. I don't want to suffer." Honestly, the people who say this have no idea what they are talking about. This is spoken by a fearful person, who hasn't actually lived. I gotta be honest. I wasn't close to death, really, but I know about this suffering people are afraid of. The death of the body is a fearful thing, though the death of the soul (that is, the second death) is worse. When you realize that you could die, there is a profound joy in the fact of not having died yet. I'm a Christian of course, but aside from thoughts about the eternal human soul, I have no religious thoughts, as such, to share. Some people have life "flash before their eyes," but others get plenty of time to imagine the world without them in it. Unless your picture is distorted by some other illness, the very idea that suffering is less preferable than death is patently absurd. I don't know how this idea has gotten a foothold! I have to beli

A Few Follow-Up Thoughts On Yesterday

I think one of the frustrating, damaging things about classical liberalism--and this has been noted before--is that it makes people lie about what they truly believe, in order to achieve majorities and pluralities that wield political power. The system--economic, social, and political--sells people on the idea that electoral legitimacy in itself stands in for deep satisfaction, for all that is good and right. When they've been strategically dishonest for too long, and hope is dashed, and we haven't revisited what our purpose is--much less how to get back there--people get enraged. In short, we're being trained to exchange questions of telos for questions of process. Notice how different people in the political system talk about ideas they disagree with: "extreme," "outside the mainstream," "out of step with ordinary Americans," etc. We're so used to it, we haven't thought about what it's training us to do: assign moral praiseworth

The Silly, Manipulative Deception Of Pro-Homosexual Activism

Here's the news today . I won't say necessarily that there are no conservative Protestants who treat a homosexual inclination itself as a leprosy, or that no one faces an unjust ostracism based on their experience of sexual attraction. In point of fact, despite some raucous debate among orthodox Catholics about the licitness of supporting clergy and potential clergy who experience SSA, I am comfortable with the Catholic reflection on homosexuality (that is, what the Church teaches). I don't necessarily agree with Fr. Z that a priest should "man up" and that he shouldn't ever say he experiences these temptations. If crosses were easy, Our Lord would have had no need for St. Simon and his consolation. Still, I think it's manipulative and dishonest to say that a vote against accepting gay marriage is a Christian refusal to "see" my LGBTQIA brothers and sisters. It begs the question, when the central question is, What do I believe about the moral l

Democrats And The Abortion Fight Lately

Of course, they blocked this attempt to protect infants who survive abortions. Let's set aside the anger over this, and think about it from their perspective (Shocking, I know). First, a few facts: 1. Most Republicans know that Human Life Amendments proposed in Congress are DOA right now, no matter how great the GOP does in any election, or how many members they have; 2. A pro-life politician's only effectual option is to chip away, not only at the right itself, but at the ideas that make it seem reasonable. That is, s/he knows he is working incrementally; 3. The pro-choice advocates and their elected representatives believe that the GOP is in fact working incrementally against the right to choose abortion; 4. Both sides fundamentally agree with respect to what the GOP is doing; [(2) and (3)] 5. Therefore, it is fundamentally dishonest for a pro-life lawmaker to claim, "This is not about abortion," as Sen. Ernst did. The only honest answer to, "He&#

Dogma And Unity, Continued

We have been talking about dogmatic certainty in Christianity, and across both paradigms, whether Protestant, or Catholic. Understand that the use of those particular terms may include those who use the Catholic interpretive paradigm but are not in union with the Catholic Church, or conversely, someone may use the Protestant interpretive paradigm without considering themselves to be Protestant. The respective terms are therefore broadly descriptive of methodologies for discerning truth revealed by God in Christ. The first assertion of the Protestant interpretive paradigm is that the purported authority of the Catholic Church, rooted in the Magisterium, the ecumenical councils, and fundamentally in the sacramental (perhaps better, but redundantly said, "sacerdotal") priesthood secured by apostolic succession, is unnecessary. We can call the bluff of anyone who makes the argument that certainty is unnecessary, because we know that the spiritual fathers of those who carry on