Lydia McGrew points out that now that the US Military is set to open all its combat roles to women, it is only a matter of time before young women are required to register for the draft. She wonders whether, or how, a woman who objects to military service for those of her sex might establish an efficacious objection of conscience to her own military service. The prospects are not encouraging.
Reactionaries’ hopes for the future are increasingly being shouldered by the Russians:
Kissing his boyfriend during a protest in front of Russia’s parliament earned Pavel Samburov 30 hours of detention and the equivalent of a $16 fine on a charge of “hooliganism.” But if a bill that comes up for a first vote later this month becomes law, such a public kiss could be defined as illegal “homosexual propaganda” and bring a fine of up to $16,000.
The legislation being pushed by the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church would make it illegal nationwide to provide minors with information that is defined as “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism.” It includes a ban on holding public events that promote gay rights. St. Petersburg and a number of other Russian cities already have similar laws on their books.
The bill is part of an effort to promote traditional Russian values as opposed to Western liberalism, which the Kremlin and church see as corrupting Russian youth and, by extension, contributing to a wave of protest against President Vladimir Putin’s rule.
Anyone have the over-under for the start date of the Russian Spring?
A French cabinet member announced that the government will monitor certain groups for “religious pathology,” including a traditionalist Catholic organization, and will shut them down if it is discovered.
“The objective is to identify when it’s suitable to intervene to treat what has become a religious pathology,” Interior Minister Manuel Valls told a conference on the official policy of secularism, according to Reuters.
“The aim is not to combat opinions by force, but to detect and understand when an opinion turns into a potentially violent and criminal excess,” he said at the Dec. 11 conference.
Valls’ remarks come in the wake of President Francois Hollande’s announcement Dec. 9 that he would create the “National Observatory of Secularism” to promote France’s policy and to “formulate propositions for the transmission of ‘public morality,’ giving it a dignified place in schools.”
According to Reuters, Valls offered radicals Islamists, traditionalist Catholics, and ultra-orthodox Jews “who want to live separately from the modern world” as examples of religious extremists.
My favorite part:
“Secularism is not about simple tolerance … it is a set of values that we have to share.”
Pilfered shamelessly from our friends at Rorate Caeli:
Although he again lost Protestant voters to his GOP opponent, Obama held onto his advantages among Catholic and Jewish voters. He won 70 percent of the Jewish vote, down from 78 percent in 2008, and he won Catholic voters 50 percent to 47 percent. Romney carried Protestant voters by a 13-point margin, 56 percent to 43 percent. (Source: Politico)
The shepherd hamstrings his own sheep, and the wolves devour them more easily.
Although I usually vote, I sympathize with people such as Bruce Charlton who regard voting as a bad system. There is no good reason to think that the masses will choose well, and only if all the candidates would do a good job can we give full approval to an election.
It seems to me that one basic reason we choose our leaders by voting is that we (meaning the zeitgeist and the average person of the West) don’t trust any other method. In ancient times the next leader was chosen because he was the son of the current leader, or because his tribe defeated the current king in battle, or because he was selected by a council of elders, or, rarely, because he was divinely appointed (as was King Saul in the Old Testament.) Because we don’t trust these methods, we resort to voting. Continue reading
His main reason? That the political process and the political candidates are so tainted with immorality (e.g., the at least de facto approval of abortion and homosexuality) that to vote for just about anyone is to participate in evil.
Before disagreeing with him, I will express what’s right in Proph’s position. We must acknowledge that American society is fundamentally disordered, and that much evil and foolishness has enthusiastic institutional support, even from many self-styled conservatives. We do not have before us a truly (or even adequately) conservative candidate or party having any chance of victory, and to think otherwise it to be seriously deluded. From the standpoint of proper traditionalist conservatism, we have only bad candidates. Continue reading
A simpler alternative to the USCCB’s “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” presented in under 500 words:
“Man is a social animal,” and his good is naturally bound up with the good of others. Thus he has duties not only to himself and to God but to family, neighbors, and the wider society. This entails an obligation to act as a co-steward of the common good through participation in civic life and social institutions. Where men are enfranchised, this obligation produces a duty to exercise, and to exercise well, the right to vote (CCC 2240).
But this duty is not absolute and, like virtually all other duties, is conditioned by a number of considerations, including the all-overriding obligation to avoid sin and complicity in evil. Insofar as, in the modern age, it is virtually impossible to cast a vote for a major-party candidate who does not support some form of moral evil, we are absolutely enjoined on moral grounds for voting for such a candidate without sufficiently grave reason.
Faithful Catholics who oppose the reelection of Barack Obama are to be commended for their dutiful attentiveness to the core social teachings of the Catholic faith, especially its opposition to abortion. I can envision no scenarios in which a vote to reelect the current President falls short of being morally grave matter. But the extreme moral depravity of the agenda of the current President is not sufficient to justify an unconsidered vote for his chief opponent, who is himself a supporter of several grave moral evils (including, among other things, torture, unjust wars, and the abandonment of children to the care and upbringing of unrepentant perverts). Such a vote can only be justified if those moral evils are neither the motivating impetus for that vote nor proportionally greater than any good that might come about as a result of his victory. In other words, far from it being assumed that a vote for Gov. Romney is morally justifiable on the grounds that he is the “lesser of two evils,” the mere fact of his being evil means it must be presumed that one cannot vote for him without sufficiently grave reason.
Given his shameless duplicity on the issue of abortion, his personal financial support for the eugenic slaughter of his own grandchildren, and, of course, his appalling record in having supported a bill nearly identical in scope and consequence to Obamacare, it is very unlikely that such a proportional greater good can be found to justify a vote for him, without the benefit of soul-endangering intellectual contortions.
It would seem, then, that Catholics (and men of good faith everywhere) are absolutely enjoined on moral grounds for voting for either major-party candidate. Those who choose to exercise their right to vote should, therefore, either vote for a morally commendable third party candidate (if one can be found), write-in such a candidate of their own choosing, or else spoil their ballots. The same principles apply in general to all candidates down-ticket, as well.
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.
The Chik-fil-A fiasco reminds us all exactly how not to fight the culture wars (a topic previously touched on by Bonald). Here’s a telling example of the kind of limp-wristed apologies being coughed up in support of Chik-fil-A: