Thursday, February 06, 2003

"Toying With An Amazingly Intolerant (and Misinformed) Liberal" Dept.

This is my response to the second "fisking" victim from yesterday. He responded to Jeanetta in her comments box. The following is his comments interspersed with my responses to them.

Did you know that heresy in greek means choice.

Yes I did. It means making a choice against truths that are held as divinely revealed by the Catholic Church.

This is the crux of the difficulties we face in our church today. Responsible dissent has been stifled.

There is no such thing as "responsible dissent". It is a lie fabricated by late sixties pseudo-Catholics and wannabe theologians. (Most of whom are not worth the gunpowder to blow them to the moon.) A theologian has a responsibility to pass on what the Church teaches. External assent is required at all times or else they are no better than Korah.

No one dare say the emperor has no clothes

Oh your logic, consistency, and grasp of the facts are as barren of substance as the "clothes" on Hans Christian Anderson's fabeled emperor. Without a doubt.

and too much of this insanity flows from Vatican I and Pio Nono.

Phuleeze, this old canard. Are you going to whip out the "Strossmeyer speech" too??? This is as predictable as the sun rising in the East...

When you have time log on to Lord Acton and his role on Vatican I. He is the one who gave us the dictum,"All power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely." He was referring to Pio Nono and Infallibility. Acton and Newman were nearly excommunicated for opposing the Pope and 61 Bishops left the Council in protest.

This is a lie sir, Newman did not have problems with the definition *after it was voted and promulgated.* He had problems *before* the definition because he did not think it was opportune and he was concerned about the Neo-Ultramontaine elements that were shaping the agenda of the Council. There were three drafts on papal infallibility, the first was Neo-Ultramontaine and favoured by Pio Nono. The second was very narrow and rejected as untraditional. (Coincidentally most Catholics today think this is the sense of the definition.) The third was more mid-range and was the one defended by the relator and voted on by the Council.

As far as Lord Acton goes, like Newman he fought against the definition previously. Unlike Newman, Acton was not a nuanced thinker. He was just as uncompromising as Pio Nono was; however since you agree with *his* brand of extremism you laud him. It also does not hurt to point out that the heretic Dollinger was Acton's teacher. But he was not as unforgiving as Acton was for he noted "[n]o one in the whole world knows me better than Acton and knows more about me. But the difference between us is that I am tolerant towards people while he is an absolutist in judging them and is totally intolerant". So while "absolute power corrupts absolutely", it can also be said that "intolerance is itself a form of absolute". You can surely do the math on that one and figure out where it inexorably leads.

Finally, some bishops had to return to their dioceses and the rest left not because they opposed papal infallibility but were opposed to the timing of the definition. (Like Newman was.) They also feared that it would create large schisms in the Church which - as we subsequently know now - never occurred. There was also the fact that they did not want to be on record opposing the pope by voting against the schema but could not in conscience vote for it. But once it was ratified, virtually all of them gave their assent to it because they recognized that the Holy Spirit had spoken through the Council. There is a HUGE difference between feeling that a definition is not opportune (as I feel for example about defining the Mediatrix doctrine) and opposing the doctrine itself. Apparently you cannot make that distinction or (if you can) you are choosing not to simply out of animosity for Pio Nono.

These men made a choice to stand up for the truth and were trampled by a Pope who was terrified of all things modern (like democracy)

Another standard revisionist account. I find it interesting that those who are critical of Pio Nono are inevitably ignorant of the kind of liberalism that he opposed. Yes, believe it or not democracy has its valid and its invalid formularies. I would suggest that you actually acquaint yourself with what Pius opposed before you write off his views with these kind of Sophisms.

and who issued a 200 item Syllabus of Errors

No, there were 80 propositions in the Syllabus.

which still stands as a beacon to his lack of vision and his anger at losing the Papal States.

More ignorance. First of all, the Church still condemns the very pseudo-democratic models that Pio Nono was opposed to. And you clearly have no idea what he really opposed but instead see him condemning "democracy" and you supporting "democracy" and think the two are univocal rather then equivocal. That is your first egregious blunder. The second is your horrendous sense of history.

The Syllabus was appended to the Encyclical Letter Quanta Cura, which was published in 1864. (It was a summation of errors previously proscribed by Pio Nono dating back to 1846 in some cases.) The papal states were not lost until 1870. Not much more is needed to point out how inept you are to be throwing criticisms around.

Again, I am trying to point out that the very human side of the church is always with us.

Yes, lies, fabrications, and hysterical exaggerations are very human elements. You have done a good job of demonstrating them here.

But so is Christ as He promised even to the consummation of the world, so we have powerful reasons to hope. God does write straight with crooked lines.

Yes he does. But this "we have reason to hope" is rather ambiguous. What are you hoping for, a Church made in your image??? A foolish man you are if that is the case. The Syllabus is still in much of its parts relevant today. I would suggest that you educate yourself on issues before you put on the "apocalypse now" music. You remind me of a dyspeptic "trad" - except from the liberal fringe. Oh and before I forget, just as I remind "trads" that it is Blessed John XXIII, I remind you: it is Blessed Pius IX.

If this is the best that these folks can do, we are going to have to start "handicapping" matches. But I digress...

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"Hap-py Birth-day Ron-ald-us Mag-nus" Dept.

It is good to see a tribute to President Reagan on his 92nd birthday today from Blog from the Core. (I will in the spirit of the day today spare him the reiteration of last month why I took issue with his view that Bush is "Reagan II" - check the archives for that if interested.)

What surprises me is that more people have not written tributes. Do I have to spell it out for you all: Reagan was the best president of the second half of the twentieth century, one of the three best presidents of the twentieth century, and one of the seven or eight best of all time. (I figured once he was seventh but that ranking may be higher now that I have had time to better assess him.)

It is my belief that Sen. Barry Goldwater would have made for possibly our greatest twentieth century president - even better than Teddy Roosevelt who was the best president of the century. The problem was, Sen. Goldwater was an honest man going up against one of the worst politicians of that era: Lyndon Baines Johnson. Johnson was more a kingmaker than a king. (He never would have been elected president prior to assuming the job upon Kennedy's death.) Senator Goldwater was good friends with John F. Kennedy and noted that he would have won against Kennedy in 1964 because it would have been a debate on issues. The moment Johnson was sworn in as president, Goldwater knew that he could not win because Johnson was one of the dirtiest players in the game. Nonetheless, he gave it his best shot out of principle.

Literally days before the election (on October 27, 1964), a last minute impassioned speech was given by a newcomer to Republican politics on behalf of Sen. Goldwater. I want to post that speech now in its near-entirety. For it put Ronald Wilson Reagan on the national political map and led to him winning two terms as California govenor, missing the presidency by a gnat's hair in 1976, and two overwhelming election victories in 1980 and 1984. This is the man who put courage back into the American psyche after the debacle of Vietnam and the desolate economic wilderness of the post-Watergate era. Without further ado, I give you The Great Communicator himself and significant portions of his speech "Rendezvous with Destiny" delivered on October 27, 1964 and almost certainly written with his own hand.{1}

I am going to talk of controversial things. I make no apology for this.

It's time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, "We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self government."

This idea? that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream-the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, "The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits."

The Founding Fathers knew a government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing.

Public servants say, always with the best of intentions, "What greater service we could render if only we had a little more money and a little more power." But the truth is that outside of its legitimate function, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector.

Yet any time you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we're denounced as being opposed to their humanitarian goals. It seems impossible to legitimately debate their solutions with the assumption that all of us share the desire to help the less fortunate. They tell us we're always "against," never "for" anything.

We are for a provision that destitution should not follow unemployment by reason of old age, and to that end we have accepted Social Security as a step toward meeting the problem. However, we are against those entrusted with this program when they practice deception regarding its fiscal shortcomings, when they charge that any criticism of the program means that we want to end payments....

We are for aiding our allies by sharing our material blessings with nations which share our fundamental beliefs, but we are against doling out money government to government, creating bureaucracy, if not socialism, all over the world.

We need true tax reform that will at least make a start toward I restoring for our children the American Dream that wealth is denied to no one, that each individual has the right to fly as high as his strength and ability will take him.... But we can not have such reform while our tax policy is engineered by people who view the tax as a means of achieving changes in our social structure....

Have we the courage and the will to face up to the immorality and discrimination of the progressive tax, and demand a return to traditional proportionate taxation? . . . Today in our country the tax collector's share is 37 cents of -very dollar earned. Freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp.

Are you willing to spend time studying the issues, making yourself aware, and then conveying that information to family and friends? Will you resist the temptation to get a government handout for your community? Realize that the doctor's fight against socialized medicine is your fight. We can't socialize the doctors without socializing the patients. Recognize that government invasion of public power is eventually an assault upon your own business. If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he'll eat you last.

If all of this seems like a great deal of trouble, think what's at stake. We are faced with the most evil enemy mankind has known in his long climb from the swamp to the stars. There can be no security anywhere in the free world if there is no fiscal and economic stability within the United States. Those who ask us to trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state are architects of a policy of accommodation.

They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right. Winston Churchill said that "the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits-not animals." And he said, "There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.

Does anyone care to tell me that the above speech is less relevant today than it was thirty-nine years ago???

Happy Birthday President Reagan. And thankyou for your tremendous service for the forces of good in the culture wars of America and throughout the world.


{1} Before he was president, Ronald Reagan wrote a lot of his own speeches.

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I am almost done with the critique of Eve Tushnet's arguments for not going to war. I worked on it a bit earlier and I do not intend in the critique to deal with anything General Powell's UN address earlier today revealed. I should have it done and able to be posted tomorrow evening on the birthday of Ronaldus Magnus.

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Wednesday, February 05, 2003

"Laying the Smack Down" Dept.

I have long believed that any decent conservative can effectively dispatch two or more liberals in a debate. Thus when we have one on one confrontations, they are less a dialogue and more a "fisking". (Blog term which basically is synonymous with "laying the smack down".) Here are two examples of what I refer to. The first is from our good friend The Mighty Barrister:

It’s been too long since I fisked a deserving target, so let’s have a go at Dr. Marcia Good Maust, a “health specialist” at St. Mary’s, which is somehow associated with Notre Dame (where the famous Fr. Richard Mc’Brien sends forth his liberal screeds).

The occasion of this fisking is that Notre Dame/St. Mary’s apparently paid to send five students and the good Ms. Good Maust to a NOW Student Conference, which was really just a cover for an abortion-rights indoctrination conference. In contrast, Notre Dame/St. Mary’s did not pay for students to attend the March for Life. A debate then ensued in The Observer, the official print medium of both institutions... For More Go Here

Our second one is from one of the weblogs I recently discovered that I am enjoying the content of:

[Ratzinger and JP II] have systematically gutted Vatican II and beatified some very unlikely heroes, Pius XII and Pio Nono.

Have you read any of those documents from Vatican II? Vatican II talked about preserving Sacred Traditions and called us to become holier in the face of a world becoming increasingly hostile to the Divine. And as for the situation with Pope Pius XII, revisionists really work on my nerves. Perhaps this quote from the New York Times on December 25th, 1941 will help you see why. For More Go Here

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Tuesday, February 04, 2003

To An Athlete Dying Young:

(By A.E. Housman)

Thanks to Michael S. for this idea...

THE time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay,
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:

Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.

So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.

Rest in Peace...


Monday, February 03, 2003

"For Whom the Blog Tolls" Dept. on the Strain of Website Maintenance/Blogging:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

It seems that I am not the only one who has made a conscious effort to scale back my blogging. (Anyone who looks in the archives will see that I have blogged noticeably less than I did prior to about mid November.) Part of that is that I had so much editing to do with previous writings - including a couple of serious and detailed revisions - that blogging naturally became a case of doing less.{1} Right now it is simply a case of having so much on my plate that blogging will have to be scaled back - though I am not aware at this time how much or when this will happen.

I note that here lest anyone wonder if I go for a spell or three without blogging as to the situation: I will still be here I assure you. But after another family death,{2} after a while one becomes numb to the whole affair. Blogging is as much an exercise in discipline as it is focusing my mind on many issues including ones I do not like to think about but have to. Getting started is much easier than it looks but there is strain in maintaining a weblog long term.

I want to muse on this for a moment because there have been several good people who are suspending blogging or shutting down completely. As usual if anything said here helps that is great but if not, well at least it helps me organize my own thoughts so the exercise is not in vain.

To start with, there are advantages to knowing shortcuts as I do for this kind of thing. Much as I did when involved in forums and websites, there are ways to achieve the illusion of time being on one's side when in reality it is not. This is especially the case with someone such as myself who is competent with computer stuff but by no means an expert.

I used to compose my web posts to Microsoft Word so that I could work on them on and off throughout the day without concern for losing them or other problems that plagued forum participants.{3}

Though I got away from that kind of forum in 2002 - and in May of 2002 my harddrive crashed and I lost everything both business and hobby-related - that was my "big secret" for the many people who emailed to ask where I had the "time" to do so much. Conjurers tricks my friends, that was part of it. This is not to say that I did not work at these things of course because I did (and do). But to write a few books worth of essays in 2000 and 2001 - not to mention having more than enough material in dialogues for a half dozen books or so in a five year span on top of business matters and regular life: well when one does not have 24/7 time for writing or cannot type 200 words per minute, one has to find shortcuts. And they are always there even if sometimes it calls for creativity.

Believe it or not, I am quite the subpar typist - and I have to work on that because I have gotten away from proper typing in recent years. Though not the stereotypical two finger typist, I have fallen from proper form and resorted to four to six finger methods which does not make for speed in that realm.{4} When I am alert the speed is not bad but when I am tired or just waking up, my fingers can be somewhat clumsy.

I have nonetheless found many ways to make up the difference in the way I utilize my computer notepad, my bookmark files which are saturated with source links, and of course the ability to cut and paste - created on the eighth day by the Almighty (and it was good). But enough about me since I wanted to primarily address the exodus and/or scaling back of several noteables from websiteville and blogdom.

I did a scan of some of my semi-daily reads and saw that Mark Shea will be scaling back his blogging also so I am hardly alone in that regard. (Mark is one of St. Blogs' biggest Kahunas unlike this humble weblog.) My good friend Pete Vere told me by phone the other day that he is scaling back his involvement on some lists we are on and also on blogging for the time being at Catholic Light and Envoy Encore. (He needs a breather and wants to spend some more time with his family: two sentiments that I can certainly understand.)

I mentioned earlier in late December that John Betts was taking a few months off from blogging to focus on college courses. Likewise, Jeff Culbreath is training for a vocation so he will be seldom blogging in the near future. Now Jeff Miller is shutting his blog down too a few days after celebrating his six month anniversary at St. Blog's.{5} But that is not all.

Stephen Hand has closed TCR after a few years of marvelous work. (And one of my favourite "watering holes" on the web if you will.) And now someone whom I have never mentioned before but if ever a time warranted it this is the time. If St. Blogs' has a "Big Kahuna", it is arguably Amy Welborn who is closing down her weblog. If anyone at St. Blogs' deserves induction into a "St. Blogs' Weblog Hall of Fame" it is Amy. Hopefully she will take some time off and return to blogging in a few months or whatever time she needs. (I also hope that Stephen can return to running TCR after a good three to six months of deserved sabbatical.)

Blogs and websites can be a good exercise. Though I was running on empty in much of 2002, blogging reminded me of previous ideas for writing and also generated not a few new ideas for later in 2003.{6} But this gets back to the activity of blogging and Amy is to some extent the prototype for the "active blog". (Much as Stephen's TCR was the prototype of the "active website" - though Stephen for a while ran his "not a blog" weblog too.) Which brings another thought to mind.

I do not understand the kind of "all or nothing" approach that many people have about these endeavours. Amy Welborn (who coined the Protocol that has become a mantra at St. Blogs' - see my side margin for details) was known for blogging thirty to forty odd times a day or more. (Usually links but she would comment on plenty of stuff too - sometimes at reasonable length.) That does not include her involvement in the comments box option which she chose to go with on her weblog.

On a blog as popular as hers is, you get twenty or more comments - sometimes a lot more - on some topics.{7} Thus, managing the comments boxes as well as blogging a hellacious amount of entries: heck is it any wonder that people who blog so much over the span of six months or a year or whatever get burned out??? I am not at all surprised by that phenomenon.

Jeff Miller did not blog nearly as much as Amy did but he seemed to do several in a day too on average. I am not being critical of course - since I have had days where I blog up a storm of sometimes lengthy cogitations - but I think many people fall into the pattern of thinking that if they do not blog for a day or two that they are somehow "guilty" of "letting down the cause". In reality nothing is further from the truth - or at least *should* be further from the truth. I can only speak for myself here but I believe my attitude on this is one that people who blog or run websites should have.

First of all, unless they are getting enough tips in the jar to buy a new computer as Bryan Preston of the JunkYard Blog was able to do recently, they should never look at being tipped for writing in this enterprise: at least not in silver and gold unless they are publishing books or articles for periodicals.{8} There is also the subject of frequency of blogging or website updating.

Speaking only for myself, I do not feel a sense of guilt if I go for a day or two (or three or whatever length) without blogging. Initially I did but then it dawned on me (and fortunately this happened *very* early in the life of this blog) that the moment I worry about that is the moment any edge I have (if I even have one) is blunted. It would then become a case of doing what is needed to "verify" visits and the like.

In that frame of mind, I would be installing a counter and several other features to "track" the number of people who visit. Some people do this and of course they have a right to do it but I believe it is excessive and ultimately self-defeating. For I know this blog is read cause I get email about it. (Not reams of it but handfuls here and there.) Also, people link to the weblog and/or to individual posts.

I doubt even 1% of a blog's readers actually email people so one can judge their exposure probably by multiplying their emails by 100 or so - probably more. Again, it is not something I can think about or want to because it plays into the "sweeps week" mentality which assures the endtimes of any site or weblog. (Or a kind of "built-in obsolete" feature which is not a good idea at all.)

I do not know what subjects elicit the most readership and which do not and frankly, I have no interest in finding out. For the moment I do that is the moment my impulse to blog my mind becomes to some extent compromised. Which brings up another subject altogether.

I remember the first time I did not blog for a few days and I thought "geez, I am not giving anyone stuff to read". You blogging or website voyeurs out there may find this conclusion strange (even self-absorbed) but I assure you that one cannot blog or run a website and not have some sense of the "me" element involved.

Blogging is an activity that can give people a sense of exaggerated self-importance. There is also the issue of content. I try to keep the subjects mixed and I try to balance my (occasional) scathing anathemas and excommunications with positive stuff both theological and political/social issues. Some people handle primarily news items, some theological, others spiritual. And of course others mix it up a bit but each has a pattern that reflects to some degree their personality or interests or both. Anyway, before this musing goes into the murky realm of incoherence (if it has not already), I want to wrap this entry up in brief.

I hope after whatever degrees of rest they need that Stephen, Amy, Jeff, and Jeff return to the blogosphere (and that Mark and Pete continue to contribute to the economy of ideas) even if at a reduced degree. The Faith teaches us the virtue of moderation and if a sabbatical or scaling back helps in achieving that, it is a good thing.

But I believe for a writer (and at least four of those I mentioned are writers) running a website, interacting with mail, blogging, and other endeavours is a good stimulus for writing. As one who is planning some currently uncertain degree of scaling back from blogging, I say this as much for myself as for anyone I have referred or alluded to above. Hopefully what is noted here can provide food for musings and is to some degree beneficial. And before I close, I have another "secret" for you.

I went against the grain on every convention I normally follow with this entry. I wrote this from scratch, did so without the use of my notepad or archived sources, without cutting and pasting, without jottings or a pre-planned approach of any kind: indeed without any gadgets or tricks whatsoever. In the process, it took almost ninety minutes to write out on the "blog this" screen including minor adjustments where I messed up the HTML and had to fix it. Thus it is not as "polished" as a normal blog entry of length or one of my essays/message board posts/comments box entries. I hope however for that reason it is more "human" if you will. And if y'all do decide to not return to the economy of ideas on the web, be assured that this is one individual who has appreciated your contributions even if seldom it was commented on. God bless.


{1} Hopefully the average post for post in that interim remained reasonably good.

{2} This time my dog but hey: it adds to the list of about a dozen family members/friends of the past three years including my father, two close uncles, a grandmother, and three step-grandparents.

{3} I also saved a lot of them to harddrive so I had a lot of material for essay writing or for reiterating the same arguments with minor modifications in the usual cycle of apologetics: the same topics come up again and again so why reinvent the wheel right???

{4} Usually thumb, index, and middles fingers of both hands - though I use the ring finger of my left hand often to compensate for the tendency to use only thumb and index fingers of my right hand unless I think about using the other fingers: this is a bad habit that I need to overcome admittedly.

{5} They are three of my favourites. Unlike Jeff Miller whom I came across at St. Blogs', Jeff Culbreath and I - along with John Betts - were mostly familiar with one another from our days at Steve Ray's board before they messed that place up.

{6} Unlike 2002, I do intend to write some actual essays this year - at least three not counting some smaller projects planned with one of my friends.

{7} Not a few times I saw an entry at her site with fifty, eighty, even ninty plus comments. And those who comment in comments boxes are a small percentage of all readers of a blog: probably at most 5% and even there the number is probably liberally skewed to the upside.

{8} There may well be spiritual benefits in the form of people's prayers and that is probably the currency that should be most sought after if any is to be looked for in these endeavours as "primary currency" if you will.

[For an update on these bloggers, see this post. -ISM]

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Points to Ponder:

I'm reminded of Archbishop Sheen's frequent comment, that there are but a handful of people who hate the Catholic Church, while there are millions who hate what they mistakenly believe her to be. I think there is something similar at work in this crisis of the faith: many, many Catholics are rejecting teachings of a Church that they've really never come to know. The obstacles of ignorance, of contrary cultural values, of misunderstandings, of counter-example by other Catholics, and of emotional or psychological stumbling-blocks (I think these latter need to receive much more attention than they currently do) all have a large role in the acceptance that people are able to offer the whole faith at a given point in their lives: thus, the partial rejections (or, perhaps better, the partial withholding of assent) do not automatically equal mala fides. The standard moral principle applies: as these obstacles to full knowledge and freedom of action increase, the subjective culpability incurred for rejecting the teachings decreases. Conversely, as we work to remove these obstacles, their freedom and knowledge are able to grow, and they will be readier to give the complete assent of faith.

In many ways, this is a missionary endeavor. We need to ask ourselves what the general obstacles are in our culture that keep people from rendering full assent. The obstacles, we should note, are not only outside the Church (bad values, secularization, hatred of authority): many are inside (poor catechesis, haughty churchgoers, bad liturgy, heartless priests, institutional stupidities, scandal). Our approach needs to address not only the obstacles to the mind, but also the stumbling blocks of the heart. [Fr. Jim Tucker of "Dappled Things"]


Points to Ponder:
(...Ozzy Osbourne censor activated!!!...)

"Religion is the opiate of the masses," said Marx. Well, Marxism is the opiate of f*****g morons." -Damian Penny


Sunday, February 02, 2003

On Quizzes and Running Down America:
(by the "people of peace" falsely so-called)

I took the Wild Monk quiz (courtesy of Bill Cork), the results of which I will reveal in a moment. Bill Cork himself apparently is among the most ruthless of warmongers or a patriot hawk depending on your political viewpoint. As he notes at the above link:

I scored 97 out of 100, which places me in the "Patriot Hawk" catagory, along with 27% of the other people who have taken it. Not all the questions are about war. Some are about the 2000 presidential election, September 11, and the war in Afghanistan. Peter Nixon scored 69, he tells us, or "Center-Right."

While not the patriot hawk or warmonger that Bill apparently is, I did score an 88 with a "10" on the "rational" scale. (Bill did not reveal his "rational" score.) Apparently 20% of those who took the test scored in the same range that I did. So rest assured my readers, I am not the "extremist" that Bill is as I rate at the outermost limits of the next category. (Which is "realist" if you are conservative and "capitalist stooge" if you are liberal.)

Nonetheless, though I can sympthize for people who in conscience have problems with going to war, I have *no* sympathy for those who try to run down our country by any means fair or foul. (That includes so-called men of peace like Nelson "try my petrol-soaked tire necklace, wanna match???" Mandela.) This is summed up perhaps best in the following early 1970s country ditty written by Merle Haggard:

I hear people talkin' bad,
About the way we have to live here in this country,
Harpin' on the wars we fight,
An' gripin' 'bout the way things oughta be.
An' I don't mind 'em switchin' sides,
An' standin' up for things they believe in.
When they're runnin' down my country, man,
They're walkin' on the fightin' side of me.

Yeah, walkin' on the fightin' side of me.
Runnin' down the way of life,
Our fightin' men have fought and died to keep.
If you don't love it, leave it:
Let this song I'm singin' be a warnin'.
If you're runnin' down my country, man,
You're walkin' on the fightin' side of me.

I read about some squirrely guy,
Who claims, he just don't believe in fightin'.
An' I wonder just how long,
The rest of us can count on bein' free.
They love our milk an' honey,
But they preach about some other way of livin'.
When they're runnin' down my country, hoss,
They're walkin' on the fightin' side of me.

Yeah, walkin' on the fightin' side of me.
Runnin' down the way of life,
Our fightin' men have fought and died to keep.
If you don't love it, leave it:
Let this song I'm singin' be a warnin'.
If you're runnin' down my country, man,
You're walkin' on the fightin' side of me.

Yeah, walkin' on the fightin' side of me.
Runnin' down the way of life,
Our fightin' men have fought and died to keep.
If you don't love it, leave it:
Let this song I'm singin' be a warnin'.
If you're runnin' down my country, man,
You're walkin' on the fightin' side of me.

Remember this when you start flapping your gums you peacenik idiotarians: if people like you got their way in the 1930's and 1940's you would either be speaking German today or be a lampshade. Think about that the next time you go to your little "anti-Bush" rallies because that is all they are. I go over this here in brief so I will not reiterate those points in this entry. I hope to finish this evening an expose on Eve Tushnet's rationale for not going to war for posting tomorrow. Unlike the communist-sympathizing anti-Bush crowd she at least makes an informed stand. I will go over why I believe her stand is wrong in that entry should I finish it this evening. (If not I will finish and post it during the early part of the week sometime.)

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Bryan Preston's commentary on political and social issues (as well as occasionally on religious issues) is always one that We at Rerum Novarum take note of - publishing bits and pieces worth noting. Today his comments on the Columbia disaster are worth noting particularly since he works for NASA.

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