It is not news that the new Pope is Catholic. Nor, therefore, is it news that he teaches what the Catholic Church has taught for over two millennia–not even if these teachings offend your sensibilities. Continue reading
Here’s a long rant on liberalism and Leftism, considered as two clusters of traits that I don’t like. This post is a mess. After taking it down a few days ago in the hopes of cleaning it up and shortening it, I realize I’m just not going to have the time to do that, so here it is again, nearly unmodified.
Remember SlutWalk? From the Wikipedia page:
Participants protest against explaining or excusing rape by referring to any aspect of a woman’s appearance. The rallies began when Constable Michael Sanguinetti, a Toronto Police officer, suggested that to remain safe, “women should avoid dressing like sluts.”
It’s one of the peculiarities of the modern condition that advice of this sort is taken as an exercise in moral blame-assignment rather than simple, prudential wisdom. “X is a bad idea so don’t do it or Y might happen,” where, in this case, X = “Getting ruinously drunk in a sexually-charged environment surrounded by people you don’t know, then walking home alone through a bad part of town at 2 AM on a Saturday” but could just as well mean lots of other things, means just what it says and nothing more. And if Y happens, the fact that you’re not morally culpable for Y doesn’t mean X wasn’t, therefore, a bad idea.
Why, then, the leftist/feminist griping that this constitutes “blaming the victim”? Here’s a useful graphic of the typical SlutWalker demographic that gives us some insight into what’s going on in their heads:
The following is a segment, much rewritten, of an article on Rand’s Atlas that Modern Age ran some few years ago –
Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is, up to a limit, a true revelation of redistributive rapacity, even of the old call to sacrifice in its Twentieth-Century ideological manifestation; the novel is, up to a limit, a true revelation of ideology as a reversion to the most primitive type of cultic religiosity: Collective murder as a means of appeasing a supernatural principle. It is also – it is primarily – a sacrificial narrative, as most of popular, as opposed to high, narrative ever has been and probably always will be. It follows that the novel’s borrowed premise is sacrifice: Rand invites us to view with a satisfying awe the destruction before our eyes of those who have mistreated the protagonists, with whom she has invited us to identify – one of the cheapest formulas of commercial fiction. The standard Arnold Schwarzenegger or Clint Eastwood thriller achieves its effect by no different means. The catharsis in Atlas comes not at the end, however, but around two-thirds of the way through the story. It is the superbly stage-managed Winston Tunnel disaster.
This is not addressed to the leaders or ideologues of the pro-abortion movement. They, I suspect, are too far gone to be reasoned with, though I would be very happy to be proved wrong about that. Nor is it addressed to the increasing number of ethicists who argue that the killing of newborn infants ought to be legalized, since what I said about the pro-abortion movement’s leaders and ideologues goes double for them. (Including the part about me being happy to be proved wrong about them.) No, this is addressed primarily to those ordinary people who on balance consider themselves “pro-choice,” and who have repeated or accepted the common slogans and arguments of the pro-abortion movement without giving them too much thought. If you are one of those people—or, for that matter, if you know such people—keep reading.
Thanks to Larry Auster for pointing readers to this New York Times article on the Muslim riots, which contains one of the funniest lines I’ve ever read in a news article:
In a number of these countries, particularly Egypt and Tunisia, he [Rob Malley, the Middle East-North African program director for the International Crisis Group] said, “the state has lost a lot of its capacity to govern effectively. Paradoxically, that has made it more likely that events like the video will make people take to the streets and act in the way they did.”
Pause, my friends, and think about what a counter-intuitive world we live in. Lack of an effective police power can actually make rampaging mobs more likely rather than less likely. In case you’re not seeing the paradox, remember that, for Times readers, people only riot because they’re oppressed.
Chicago Cardinal Francis George has stepped in the ring on Chick-fil-A’s gay marriage controversy in a blog post, criticizing Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s statement that the fast food chain’s values “are not Chicago values.”
“Recent comments by those who administer our city seem to assume that the city government can decide for everyone what are the ‘values’ that must be held by citizens of Chicago,” George wrote on the Archdiocese of Chicago’s blog Sunday. “I was born and raised here, and my understanding of being a Chicagoan never included submitting my value system to the government for approval. Must those whose personal values do not conform to those of the government of the day move from the city?”
George went on to write: “Approval of state-sponsored homosexual unions has very quickly become a litmus test for bigotry. … Surely there must be a way to properly respect people who are gay or lesbian without using civil law to undermine the nature of marriage.”
Last week, Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno, 1st, announced he will block Chick-fil-A’s effort to build its second Chicago store in Logan Square because the chain’s top executive has made clear his opposition to gay marriage.
. . .
Moreno, who touched off the debate last week, fired back at George.
“It’s unfortunate that the cardinal, as often happens, picks parts of the Bible and not other parts,” said Moreno, who added that he was raised Catholic in western Illinois, attended a Catholic grade school and was an altar boy. Moreno said he now occasionally attends church.
“The Bible says many things,” Moreno said. “For the cardinal to say that Jesus believes in this, and therefore we all must believe in this, I think is just disingenuous and irresponsible. The God I believe in is one about equal rights, and to not give equal rights to those that want to marry, is in my opinion un-Christian.”
One question: who the hell is Joe Moreno?
Oh, he went to Catholic grade school? He occasionally attends church? He perfunctorily flipped through the Bible once, ten years ago, maybe? He unworthily receives communion the half-dozen Masses a year he attends? Whoever this guy is, he’s hardly a wellspring of theological expertise. He’s a jumped-up functionary in one of the most clinically corrupt cities in America. And his five-year stint as an altar boy hardly entitles him to be mouthing off against the bishop authorized by God to teach in His name and to carry on a magisterial tradition 2,000 years old.
“The God I believe in is one about equal rights,” he says! This is the God who had a chosen people, right? The one who burned Sodom to the ground? For Heaven’s sake!
How does one even begin to reason with such rank and thoughtless temerity? I supposed you don’t — you just pray for him.
There is a strange sentiment out there among fans of the ordinary form of the Roman Rite Mass that we must never disparage it because it is efficacious in conferring grace.
Greg Forster has written a very interesting three-part series at The Public Discourse giving an overview and interpretation of the history of Evangelicals’ engagement in politics. (Here are part one, part two, and part three.) Foster’s goal is to overturn the conventional wisdom about this story, allowing us to understand why religious conservatives have been so consistently ineffectual in politics and how to change this. I agree that the conventional wisdom needs overturning, but I don’t think he goes nearly far enough.