Tag Archives: Catholic Church

The Vegas Massacre, Nihilism, and the Left’s Gun-Grabbing Demagoguery

Donnie: “They were Nazis, Dude?”

The Dude:   “They were nihilists.  They kept saying they believe in nothing.”

Walter:  “Nihilists?!  F*** me!  Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism; at least it’s an ethos.”

~ from The Big Lebowski

 

(Again, apologies on the untimely lateness of this post – I really have no time to blog.)

Of course, following the largest mass-shooting in American history in Las Vegas earlier this month (59 dead, hundreds wounded), the usual crowd of idiots and miscreants on the Left, without missing a beat, exploited the horror to play politics before the bodies were even cold – as is their ghoulish want.  One took it too far even for her own liberal company; a senior executive at CBS was fired following the dissemination of a tweet that she had no sympathy for the victims because she said country music fans are mostly a bunch of gun-toting “Repugs.”  (I doubt her masters at left-wing CBS were truly that appalled at her statement – though they knew bad pr when they saw it.)  And later, two Dem congressmen walked out before a moment of silence for the victims, saying it was “not a time for silence, but for action.”

Anti-gun “liberals” are always sanctimoniously lecturing us Repug deplorable types on how we need to lose the right to bear arms (the right to self-defense) because of the importance of protecting human life.  But apparently, for some anti-Second Amendment pols, the lives of those they supposedly so badly  want to protect  are not even worth a couple minutes of prayerful respect, lest it take precious time away from pushing their all-important gun-grabbing agenda.  Or, apparently, if the victims’ politics might differ from their own.  (There was similar crap following the attempted mass murder of a bunch of Republican congressmen which left Steve Scalise seriously wounded.  Since he had opposed proposed “gun-control” legislation, he was only getting his just deserts.)

Of course, this allegedly deep concern for the protection of human life among progressives immediately evaporates the moment the topic changes from guns to abortion.  The supposed inviolable constitutional “right choose” or “right to privacy” supposedly found buried somewhere deep in the emanations of the penumbra means people have the absolute right to kill unborn babies in the womb at any time for any reason.  And, not only that, but the we must all be forced to help pay for the killing with our tax dollars.  One bleeding heart leftist l I heard say that he struggled for years trying to find a reconciling compromise between the “pro-life” and “pro-choice” positions, but in the end he had to “respect the primacy of individual human choice” by supporting the absolute right to abortion on demand.  Unsurprisingly, this guy was also a passionate advocate of government gun-grabbing, and all sorts of other big-government restrictions on “individual human choice,” Second Amendment and all be damned.  But human life itself was one thing that should not trump human choice.  Or, as one meme succinctly put it, “I don’t listen to anti-gun arguments from folks who think it’s okay to kill babies.”

And, of course, we can expect another round of pious nonsense from the USCCB and other “progressive Catholic” groups about how we’re “not truly pro-life” unless we support the federal government grabbing everyone else’s guns.  Such statements conveniently ignore the Church’s long tradition of teaching on legitimate self-defense, and the Catechism even speaks of a duty to protect the lives of those under our care.  Second amendment rights help ensure the means to such defense and protection – which presumably is not limited only to cops.  I might start taking “gun control” arguments half-way seriously the day “anti-gun” politicians and celebs willingly disarm their own security details.   But apparently the right to self-defense doesn’t apply to Little People.

 

As for the vile mass murderer himself, we may never know his motives.  Was he merely a lone psycho, or part of a bigger plot?  There’s a lot of really weird stuff about the murder that just doesn’t add up, but at this point, it’s all idle speculation.  Whenever there’s a mass killing, the Left rushes to gleefully speculate on possible right-wing connections.  And according to the Left, this killing was really all the fault of the NRA, which is being labeled a “terror organization” (despite no evidence ever tying the NRA to any terrorists plots).  But on the right, after the killing, some were openly speculating about political motives.  Was the killing, as some others have suggested, a leftist attempt to “parody” the right, by collecting a ridiculous amount of weapons, then shooting up a country concert?  I admit, there was a certain part of me – not a particularly good or noble part – that was sort of hoping the killer would turn out to be a leftist or ISIS recruit in order that my politics might be vindicated.  But the reality is that it would be wrong to exploit a mass murder and the deaths it caused for the purpose of scoring cheap political points.

 

While I don’t think an ISIS connection may be totally ruled out, it remains likely that the killing has no political or ideological motive whatever.  And that is perhaps in a way the most horrifying possibility.  All of us seem to want to have some enemy extrinsic to the killer himself to blame – something out there we can blame, fight, and, God willing, defeat.   It may well be that the murderer was not trying to send any ideological message, left, right, or otherwise, but was simply looking to kill a large number of people before he quit this earth so he could go out in a blaze of infamy.  Many mass killing-suicides are non ideological, but simply nihilistic evil.  This kind of evil is something leftist ideology cannot understand – as for it everything is politics and politics is everything, and there are no problems  that bigger and better government can’t fix.  Such evil won’t be fixed by government “gun control” or other measures.  (There are no gun laws that in reality would have prevented this – especially when the killer has no respect for the law, and plans on killing himself anyway, and there are ways of killing crowds of people without guns – by home-made bombs, vehicles, etc.)

Following the rise of global Islamic terrorism, a common talking point of  the “new atheists” and the secularist, anti-Christian Left is that religion is the cause of most killing in the world, and that if people stop believing in God, the world will become a peaceful, rational place.  (This point is often amended to “believing in anything with certainty” after it is pointed out that atheistic Communists regimes have killed far more than religious groups.  Nether mind that such people rarely question their own pc liberal assumptions about the world.)  And never mind that religious mass-killings are largely confined to a particular strain of Islam.  All liberal fantasy to the contrary, there simply exists no substantial world-wide movement of persons killing, destroying and raping in the name of Christ.  Sadly, even the Left’s useful idiot in the Vatican, Pope Francis, has repeated such nonsense – equivocating Jihadist terror with random, completely irreligious crimes by persons who may have been baptized Christian, and saying global capitalism is really to blame.

But, as others have pointed out, if the Vegas killer had been a religious, believing Christian, who took Christ’s teachings seriously, as well as final judgment, heaven and hell, it is unlikely he would have proceeded to murder and maim a crowd of persons made in God’s own image before taking his own life.  While not much is known about the killer’s beliefs, he apparently does not have any religious affiliation, and did not appear to be a religious man.  Most atheists, like most other normal people, will have no inclination to commit mass murder or other atrocities against their fellow man.  But for the minority that are so inclined, if there is no God, no objective morality outside our own feelings and human rules, there is no reason not to – especially if one is intent on annihilating himself and avoiding any earthly consequences, legal or otherwise.

As Nietzsche proclaimed, without God, all things are permitted.  In a world of moral nihilism, particularly if – as is likely – we’re in for tough times, things will likely get very ugly.

Meanwhile, the left will continue to play politics with this and every other horrific event.  First bumpstocks (a largely worthless item for most shooters) will be banned, and then more items, and then actual weapons.

In the same way the Left now plays politics with just about every damn thing in existence.  Disasters from mass killings to natural disasters (such as Hurricane Harvey)  exist to be exploited and used to damn your enemies.  Everything now is all politics all all the time, 24-7: crime stories, weather (you filthy climate-change denier!), sports (next up, my thoughts on the NFL nonsense).

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Leftist Power-lust Trumps All: Our Descent into Madness

Once again, the various events and challenges of life have taken from my ranting time, but God knows there’s been no shortage of things to rant about during that time.

Over the past eight months or so, I watched, at first with bemusement, the left’s increasingly deranged and demented hysteria following the election of Donald J. Trump to President of the United States.  But now there is nothing funny about the deepening madness as the increasingly violent rhetoric and behavior on the left, has led, unsurprisingly, to a bloody assassination attempt (oh, sorry – I was forgetting there for a second that crazed leftist maniacs don’t kill people; guns kill people!  Mea maxima frickin’ culpa), and the largest political coup / witch-hunt in American history threatens to tear about what thin shreds remain of our Republic.

I don’t have time to follow every depressing and sordid twist and turn of this ongoing perverse political saga – that I’ll leave to others – but it is an travesty and outrage on so many different levels.   The same folks who disregarded the actual letter of the law to clear Her Cackling Highness Hillary of her obvious blatant violation of the Espionage Act, and had no problem whatever with Benghazi, Fast & Furious, or use of the IRS to target political opponents – or the prior administration’s illegal spying on political opponents (too bad they weren’t equally vigilant about Russia’s activities) – keep desperately searching for something, anything, to nail Trump on so they can impeach him.  As Joseph Stalin infamously said, “show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime.”

I’ll start by saying that – as you may have surmised by last year’s posts from during the GOP primaries – I was never exactly a fan of Mr. Trump.  I supported Ted Cruz.  But my issues with Trump, besides his dubious honesty and constant flip-flopping, boil down to him essentially being on yet another big-government big-spending liberal.  But, all LSD-induced lefty hysteria to the contrary, he’s far from the Second Coming of Adolf Hitler.  (To be fair, so was Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama, though he was a soft-Marxist petty banana republic-style thug, which was bad enough.)

Still, for all his faults, Trump remains far preferable to Her Cackling Highness Hillary Rodham Clinton, who would have completed her predecessor’s packing of the courts (including the SCOTUS) with leftist activists, thereby destroying any conservative prospects in our lifetime.  I still thank God that she lost.

I’ve seen Trump’s politics referred to as “extreme right,” which is absurd.  In fact, overall Mr. Trump is the most left-wing Republican president we’ve had in a long time.  (Unsurprising, given that until recently he identified as a liberal Democrat.)  Despite all the left’s screams about “homophobia” and “reproductive rights,” he’s shown no concrete evidence of being a genuine social conservative, and his proposals for trade policies are not that different from Comrade Bernie’s.  That Trump is considered a dangerous ultra-conservative fanatic shows just how far down the rabbit-hole of radical leftist insanity the Democratic Party has gone.

I must say, though, that I’m touched at the sudden concern some of my friends on the left are suddenly expressing concerning  constitutional limits on executive power.  In fact, I’d actually find it heartening if it were at all sincere.  I’ve heard this concern about Trump’s alleged violation of the Constitution from folks who less than a year ago were deriding and pooh-poohing conservative concerns over government over-stepping constitutional limits.  Then, you see, the U.S. Constitution was simply a quaint and oppressive old paper written up by some Evil Dead White Slave-holding Males, completely irrelevant to our Complex Modern Times, and best completely disregarded, lest it stand in the way of our Dear Leaders paving the path to socialist utopia.  But, now, with a Republican in the White House, it suddenly matters again.  (Not that these folks could tell you anything about what the Constitution actually says, other than a vague notion that it somehow demands abortion and gay marriage.)

No, the Constitution matters no more the left than any other laws, to be twisted when convenient to attack and destroy political opponents, and disregarded completely with regards to one’s own “team.”  They really aren’t outraged at Trump because he’s particularly conservative or dictatorial, but simply because he stood in the way of Queen Hillary’s Destined Ascent to the Throne, which they believed her entitled to.  And if a real conservative (say, Cruz), rather than Trump, had beaten Hillary, the reaction would likely be even more vicious, ugly, and deranged.

Hopefully, the ugliness of the current situation will awaken all conservatives to the true nature of the left.  They are the enemy, plain and and simple.  Like the Terminator, they cannot be reasoned, bought or bargained with.  Endless compromise will get us nowhere.  Their goal is absolute power, and they seek to destroy everybody and anybody who stands in their way, and they will stop at nothing to achieve this end.  We need to stop playing their games and fight back – hard – lest we lose this fight forever.  (A good place to start is by supporting the Article V Convention of States.  Texas is in, y’all!)

And the sooner Catholics realize (as in fact Popes repeatedly warned us in times past) that the political Left is not our friend and ally, but our evil and ruthless enemy, the better.   But sadly, many pious souls will not until they inevitably come for them.  Too many have been seduced by the lies and false promises of socialism.  Until then we can expect our bishops to do nothing more than issue endless blandly “non-partisan” statements combining nice sentiments about the value of human life and family with calls for open borders and and an ever-bigger, gun-grabbing welfare state.  And so-called “orthodox Catholic” bloggers and pundits such a will continue to actively support politicians such as Clinton and Sanders, while making statements like Mark Shea’s idiotic claim that his “Catholic Pro-life conscience” compelled  him to support Hillary Clinton.  That’s right, the woman who said religious beliefs opposed to “reproductive healthcare” (aka abortion) “need to be changed.”  God help us.

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Jihad Comes to Texas

Last week, Islamic Jihad came to the Lone Star state (sort of) when two would-be Jihadists armed with AK-47s, pistols, and over 100 rounds of ammo attacked the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, TX, which was hosting a “Draw the Prophet” art exhibit organized by Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative.  (The center was the site of January’s “Stand with the Prophet” event which I had mentioned in my previous rant “Standing Against the Prophet.”)   Unfortunately for the “Prophet” and his “religion of peace,” the attempted at Jihad came to a quick end when the gunmen were shot dead by a hero cop with a Glock pisto.  Despite the two Jihadist wannabes being the only fatalities, the Islamic State (which claimed credit for the attack) bizarrely declared it a “victory for Islam.”  (Guess those guys still got their 72 virgins, so score one for them.)

Members of the Left (once known for being an advocate of absolute free speech, especially when the speech offends religious sensibilities) were for the most part either silent, or placed all the blame on Geller and her group for indulging in “hate speech” and needlessly provoking Muslims.   Some even claimed that the exhibit as “hate speech” (aka speech leftists don’t like) was not in fact protected by the first amendment.

That’s quite a different tune than that sung by the left concerning speech or artistic expression offensive to Christians.  In such cases, it is not “hate speech,” but free speech that must be allowed, and even tax-subsidized.  Remember the controversy over Andres Serrano’s “Piss Christ” back in the late ‘80s?  Any opposition to funding that little piece of artsy blasphemy with tax dollars was strongly decried by liberals as un-American censorship, and a sure path to fascism.   Would many liberals be so adamant about supportive of publicly funding a “Piss Mohammed”?

Why the double standard?  Well, of course, there’s the obvious (though un-pc) difference that pissing off (figuratively or literally) Muslims involves a real risk of getting gunned down or blown up, while pissing off Christians does not.  It might at most result in an upset letter to the editor.  (All ridiculous pc claims that Islam is no more violent than Christianity to the contrary.)

Ironically, it’s typically expression offensive to Christians that liberals praise as “bold,” while insulting Islam is slammed as hateful bullying and bigotry.  But try to argue with a bleedin’ heart on this point, and they’ll typically start spouting incoherent babble about “Christian White Privilege” and such.

While this failed attempt at Jihad in Texas may not amount to much, the harsh reality is that in other parts of the world, followers of the “Religion of Peace” continue to murder, rape, and oppress Christians on a major scale.  Once upon a time, Popes called Christian men to crusade to defend innocent Christians against Muslim aggression.  Today, many Church leaders, like their secular liberal politician counterparts, are strangely quiet.  Apparently, more politically correct first world concerns, like “climate change” and finding ways to make “gays” feel more welcome in church, are more pressing priorities.

While some “liberals” may try to argue that Muslims and other “oppressed minorities” somehow have a right not to be publicly offended, the religious liberties of Christians as well as Muslims are falling under ever greater threat.  Legal experts say that if the Supreme Court declares “gay marriage” to be a “constitutional right,” as many say is inevitable (despite the fact that the Constitution says nothing about marriage whatever, and nowhere grants the federal government the power to define marriage), churches and religious institutions opposed to homosexual “marriage” may lose their tax exempt status, and face lawsuits.  Believe it or not, once upon a time, the job of the Supreme Court was actually interpret and uphold the Constitution, rather than dictate the demands of social liberalism to the masses.

And Democratic presidential Anointed One Hillary has stated that “religious beliefs” that oppose “reproductive rights,” including abortion, “must change.”

Of course, such measures will be supported and applauded by many bleeding heart “Catholics.”  Can’t let issues such as human life get in the way of “social justice,” aka leftist socialism.  God help us all.

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Standing Against the “Prophet”

Over a week ago (since I didn’t finish this rant in a timely fashion), I attended the local March for Life in Dallas (where the original case was heard that would lead up to the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.  Of course, the predictably spineless Republicans in Congress failed to push a bill banning late-term abortions (otherwise known as infanticide).

Later that same day in nearby Garland, another demonstration occurred, a “Stand with the Prophet” rally of Muslims, against the urgent threat of “Islamophobia” to America and the world.  (No, I didn’t make it to that one.)

Of course, the “Stand with the Prophet” march, and the counter-demonstration in favor of free speech, got all the media attention.  And for good reason, because irrational fear of Islam (much like that other great phobia of our times, that of the homo variety) is an issue of far greater importance and urgency than the murder of millions of babies.

After all, the rising bloody tide of violence and hate of Islamophobia (so the event’s organizers inform us) is indeed horrific, and a threat to us all.  I mean, just  look at the recent murder and mayhem caused by Islamophobes in France, and earlier in Australia.  Oh wait. . . .

You mean to tell me “Islamophobia” was not to blame, but rather the more fanatical practitioners of the “Religion of Peace”?  You hateful bigot!  Yes, just as they were responsible for the 9-11 attacks here in the U.S., countless other terrorist activity around the world, and the bloody savagery and aggression of ISIS.  Not to mention the large-scale slaughter, rape, and enslavement of Christians by Muslims in Africa.  (The media only pays attention when white people in affluent Western countries are victims.)

Atheists and other secularist types (as well as plenty of bleeding heart Christians) insist that such behavior is hardly unique to Islam, but happens just as often among members of all religions (especially Christianity), at least among conservative members who really seriously believe their own religion.  Which explains all the suicide bombings by Traditionalist Catholics, and deadly hostage situations perpetuated by Orthodox Jews.  Let’s not even get started on the global scourge of Amish violence.

The media just keeps quiet about these things because of its right-wing pro-Christian bias.

Suggest that Islam may in fact be responsible for a far greater share of the world’s violence, and you’re a racist bigot.  (I’ve heard leftist types actually argue that Islam is in fact a race.  Hey, they said it, not me.)

After the terrorist attacks in France, the world seems to at last be waking up to the reality of the ugly nature of Islamism, though it seems largely clueless as to how to deal with it.  (I’ll let others debate whether Dear Leader should have marched with other world dignitaries in France or not.  Yes, it was merely a probably ineffectual public gesture, and I’m sure he had important golfing to do.)

In any case, we’ve come a long way since the time of Obama’s first election, when the left assured us that Islamic terrorism was all Bush’s Fault, and would no doubt soon dissipate as our Dear Leader spread peace, luv, and hopeychange around the world.

Also, looking increasingly ridiculous are the various forms of unseemly “ecumenical” ass-kissing towards the so-called “religion of peace” which Catholics have engaged in since Vatican II.  This nonsense has led to all sorts of confusion among the faithful, some believing (wrongly) that the Church actually endorses the religion of Mohammed, and many Catholics ardently defending the false religion against any and all criticism, or babbling pious poppycock about Islam being “another path to Jesus.”  Of course, never mind the reality that Islam blatantly denies key Christian doctrines, including the divinity and crucifixion of Christ (according to Islam, Jesus was really a prophet who preached Islam, and prophets are invincible and cannot be put to death by their enemies), and was originally spread mainly by violent military conquest, much of the conquered lands being formerly Christian.  (Most of the Middle East and North Africa was Christian, and the Muslims did not convert the people in those places through peaceful dialogue.)

In fact, Islam has been the greatest external enemy of Christendom through the bulk of its history.  It deserves to be taken seriously, and ultimately, the only end to the Islamic threat will come through conversion to Christ.  This won’t be done, however, by singing Kumbya and pretending we really all believe the same thing, which will accomplish absolutely nothing.  Muslims know better than that, and the first step to any progress is to acknowledge the truth.

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The American Republic, R.I.P., and Useful Idiots

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kool Kwanzaa, Super Solstice, and Fantastic Festivus (Did I cover all my politically correct bases there?  Would hate for the Diversity Police to come after me) to all my dear “Gregorian Rant” readers.

I’ve been away from ranting for awhile, as I’ve been too busy with life outside teh interwebz, but hopefully I’ll be able to revive the Rant.  No shortage of crap to rant about lately, but thought I’d focus on the amnesty issue.

It’s now officially official.  Our constitutional republican form of government in the United States of America is dead.

In a move which even Obama himself earlier said is outside his constitutional powers as President, he issued a despotic “executive order,” which would effectively issue amnesty to over 10 million illegal aliens living in the U.S.

After winning both houses of Congress in a landslide, the Elephants joined with the Jackasses (in another heartwarming display of bi-partisanship) to agree to spend another $1.1 trillion of taxpayer dollars in the “CRomnibus” (sounds like a monster from a bad sci-fi flick) bill, which includes full funding for Obama’s executive amnesty, as well as Obamacare, and countless pork barrel and pay-off spending.

The GOP “leadership” stands exposed as the complete frauds they are, having lied to their conservative constituents in their promises to defund Obamacare and oppose amnesty, when they intend to do neither.

The refusal of the Republican establishment in Congress to use their constitutional power of the purse to oppose Obama’s lawlessness is more than simply a matter of spineless cowardice (though they are spineless cowards).  After all, even cowards can sometimes be goaded to courage if pressed hard enough.  The Chamber of Commerce crony capitalists, who have the GOP establishment bought and paid for, love amnesty because it lowers the cost of labor.

Of course, this despotic violation of constitutional separation of powers was celebrated by those predictably pious cheerleaders of the almighty socialist state, the American Bishops.  The liberal Archbishop of Chicago, Blasé Cupich, loudly praised Obama’s unlawful executive actions, even saying that the aspirations for people to immigrate illegally were “placed in their hearts by God.”  So now, apparently, illegal immigration is God’s Will.

Funny how the same bleeding hearts who howl like banshees about the evils of “mixing religion and politics” whenever conservatives vote according to their religious conscience regarding matters such as abortion and marriage, have absolutely no problem when clergy and other public figures wrap themselves in “God” to promote favorite lefty causes such as amnesty and global warming.

The good archbishop and other progressive Catholics who insist that liberal Democrat policies are nothing less than Catholic Teaching in action, or even the Will of the Almighty Himself, conveniently forget the cautions of St. John Paul the Great against the welfare state and unchecked immigration.

If they were wise, the Catholic bishops would think twice before throwing their enthusiastic support to Obama’s dictatorial activity, which will likely come back to bite them.  They should have learned something from their support of socialized medicine and the contraception mandate.  The reality is that amnesty will undermine efforts to improve the lot of the poor and underprivileged in this country, by lowering the price of labor, and increasing competition for labor, keeping more citizens unemployed.

In addition, as I covered in an earlier Rant, if the Democratic plan to use amnesty to change to demographics to create a permanent Democratic majority works, Catholic pro-life and pro-marriage efforts will be seriously undermined.

Once more, the U.S. Bishops are useful idiots, pious  pawns and dupes of those in positions of worldly political power.

And even if they think Obama is right in principle on amnesty, Catholics should be hesitant to support this kind of unchecked executive power by the president, and the precedent it sets.  The next unconstitutional “executive order” (whether by Obama or a future president) may not be so to their liking.

If this amnesty order goes unthwarted, the Democratic Party leaders, who want to ensure their party’s permanent unchecked rule, win.  As do the GOP-supporting big business leaders who want cheap labor.  It’s the rest of us that lose.

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The Great Religious Right Schism & Other Fantasies

You gotta hand it to the folks in the “mainstream” liberal press.  Their consistent ability to cram enormous amounts of nonsense, distortions, and falsehoods into brief articles – especially with regards to religion, especially with regards to the Catholic Church – is nothing short of amazing.

This piece I stumbled across last week from some guy named Peter Weber is pretty typical.  It’s titled, “Why Pope Francis Won’t Cause a Schism in the U.S. Religious Right,” and the gist of it was that the current Pope’s allegedly liberal “pro-choice,” “pro-gay” positions had failed to create a rift between faithful Catholics and conservative Evangelical Protestants on hot-button “culture war” issues such as abortion and “gay marriage.”  Shocking.

Perhaps it’s just me, but I detected a hint of disappointment in the piece’s title.  Maybe even a tear or two.  You see, it seems those darned orthodox “conservative” Catholics will just stubbornly cling to their unenlightened positions against abortion and “gay marriage” regardless of what the Pope says.

After quoting some rather ignorant statements of alarm at the Pope from some conservative Evangelicals, Weber quotes some typical delirium from lefty gay-activist “journalist” Andrew Sullivan, who crows, “The Catholic hierarchy has been knocked sideways by the emergence of Pope Francis and his eschewal of their fixation on homosexuality, contraception, and abortion. That fixation — essentially a Christianist and de facto Republican alliance among Protestants and Catholic leaders — has now been rendered a far lower priority than, say, preaching the Gospel or serving the poor and the sick. Francis has also endorsed secularism as the proper modern context for religious faith.”

(Ooh!  There’s that scary, scary word, “Christianist”!  If you’re pro-life, or don’t want “gay marriage,” you’re some blood-crazed fanatic eager to lop the head off of Infidels.)

And never mind, of course, that not a word of Sullivan’s gushing is actually true, but more on that later.

Weber disagrees with Sullivan’s liberal triumphalism, concluding:

“The long papacy of happy culture warrior John Paul II didn’t turn Ted Kennedy or John Kerry or Joe Biden or Nancy Pelosi — Catholics all — into anti-abortion activists. And Pope Francis’ shift away from cultural politics won’t convert John Boehner or make any of the conservative Catholics on the Supreme Court — Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas — less eager to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

True (excepting, I’d argue, the eagerness of Roberts & co. to overturn Roe v. Wade).

But Weber (like most of his media brethren) remains completely clueless.

Both Weber and Sullivan, like most in liberal press, are unable to see Catholic moral teaching in any context other than American “liberals vs. conservatives” politics.

They apparently labor under the delusion that opposition to abortion and homosexual activity is a recent invention of the Republican Party, rather than what the Christian Faith has always taught for 2000 years, as found in the epistles of St. Paul and in the Didache.  (And, unlike the GOP “leadership,” the Church is actually serious about what it says.)

Besides the fact that personal papal interviews contain zero magisterial authority, and, as I noted previously here, Pope Francis did not change or do away with any of the Church’s moral teachings, which remain clearly stated in the Catechism.  (Excellent article in Catholic Culture by Phil Lawler here.)

The notion that Pope Francis reversed the Church’s teachings on abortion, etc., and that pro-life Catholics are now just as much in dissent from Church teaching as Pelosi, Kerry & co. were back in the pre-Francis days, is a heaping load of absolute and total excrement.  Sorry, if you ain’t pro-life, you still ain’t Catholic!

Those who think the current Holy Father is “pro-choice,” “hates dogma,” or wants the Church to just shut up about abortion and other moral issues, need to read his recent address to Catholic physicians, where he spoke of the importance of the right to life of all persons from conception, proclaiming:

Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord . . .  And every elderly person, even if he is ill or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the “culture of waste” suggests! They cannot be thrown away!

Hardly the words of a Pelosi-esque “pro-choicer,” or of one who thinks the Church needs to “get over its fixation” on abortion.  Of course, those words of Pope Francis got almost no “mainstream” media attention.

Much as lefties may eagerly anticipate it, a socially-liberal Catholic Church leading the faithful to the light of acceptance of abortion and sexual immorality remains a deluded fantasy.  As it always will be.

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Habemus Papam! (Holy Smoke and Yet More Papal Bull)

Wednesday, white smoke issued from the Sistine Chapel, and soon after it was declared that former archbishop of Buenos Aires Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio had been elected Pope, taking the name Francis.  Thus ended weeks of nail-biting suspense on the part of the mainstream media concerning whether the next pope would be a “progressive” who would change the Church’s teachings on contraception, homosexuality, abortion, and the priesthood, and bring the Church into the glorious new modern era of gay marriage and womyn priestesses – or another nasty old “conservative” who would keep the Church mired in the Dark Ages of Oppression and teach what the Church has always taught for 2000 years.  I suppose the whole suspense wasn’t quite so nail-biting for me, as my money was always solidly on the latter.

I admit to being a rather lazy Catholic, and having done little research on most of the contenders for the papacy,  I was completely unfamiliar with Cardinal Bergoglio.  When scouring the news on teh interwebz for information on the new pope after first learning of his election, most of the “mainstream” news stories seemed to read mostly: “sex abuse, sex abuse, sex abuse . . . scandal, scandal, scandal . . .” (and liberals accuse the Catholic Church of being obsessed with sex).  Of course the commentary from the readers’ peanut galleries was even more depressingly predictable.  While some progressive souls took initial comfort that Bergoglio was apparently a “moderate” and a Jesuit, they soon expressed profound disappointment on finding that (in the words of one gent) he was yet another “dour homophobe” who had – gasp!—opposed the legal institution of homosexual “marriage” in Argentina.   (That profoundly inane pc epiphet “homophobe” again.  The Church has always taught that any “heterosexual” behavior outside marriage is mortally sinful as well, yet it would be just as moronic to decry the Church as “forniphobic” or “heterophobic.”)

This brings up a rather interesting issue regarding all the self-described “Catholic faithful” who are so insistent that the Church needs to change her moral teachings to match their own opinions.

If the Church can simply change her teachings on faith and morals to jive with whatever happens to be popular at the time, then what moral authority would the Church possess at all?  If Church teachings on faith and morals are changeable, and based on popular opinion – rather than on timeless eternal truth –  what’s the point of belonging to the Church in the first place?  The belief that Church teaching can be changed on whim implies that the Church’s teachings are not based on any divine authority, but merely human opinion and politics.  If you feel a need to belong to an organization governed by democratic principles and preaching sexual libertinism coupled and salvation through humanitarian good works (conveniently done by the government), there’s already such an organization for you.  It’s called the Democratic Party.  Or if you really insist on the whole churchy thing, the Episcopalians will be happy to take you in.

Before some of you get all upset, I’ll make it clear that the following is purely hypothetical, and I have faith that it will never happen; but the moment a Catholic Pope reverses the Church’s unpopular teaching on contraceptives, or abortion, or homosexuality, or any other moral matter, I will promptly leave the Church and no longer consider myself Catholic.  No, not because I place my own personal rightwing troglodyte prejudices over the teaching authority of the Church, but because such a reversal would prove the Church’s moral teachings to have no divine authority built on the Rock of Peter and the Fire of Truth, but to be built on the shifting sands of human opinion.  If Church moral teaching is nothing more than a weather vane blowing in the winds of popular opinion, there is no reason for me to subjugate myself to it.

On the other hand, if you are an unbeliever, and consider the Catholic Faith to be a bunch of superstitious nonsense, then, really, why should you even care what the Pope teaches?  I myself am not inclined to insist that Mormon leaders, or the head of the Church of Scientology, change their teachings to be closer to my own beliefs.  Indeed, I think effort would be better spent trying to get people out of those absurd cults, and to know the actual truth.

But I suppose the reality is that liberals both outside and inside the Church – having no tolerance for any beliefs or viewpoints outside the dictates of political correctness- want to turn the Catholic Church into nothing more than yet another mouthpiece for liberal political opinion.

Another thing I find both amusing and confounding is how those demanding change in Church teaching seem to always explicitly or implicitly blame the evils of sex abuse and its cover up in the Church on the Church’s rigid “conservatism” and doctrinal orthodoxy, and talk as though somehow more liberalism in the Church, with a good dose of “gay marriage” and womyn priestesses, would fix the problem.  However, many of the bishops most guilty in the cover-up of priestly sexual abuse were anything but conservative.  The disgraced Cardinal Mahoney, for instance, pretty much epitomized “liberal Catholicism,” and has been a bane of “conservative” and orthodox Catholics for decades.  As had the notoriously liberal and heterodox Archbishop Weakland of Milwaukee, who was involved in one of the first of the major sex scandals to come to light.

While there are shrieks of condemnation and gloom-and-doom for the Church from both the left and the hysterical “rad-trad” right, I think we can rest assured that, for whatever the pros and cons of his reign, will continue preaching the exact same Faith and moral truths that his predecessors have since St. Peter.  May God grant him a long, holy, and glorious reign.

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Guns & Religion

Since the Newtown school killings, and the capitalizing on this horror by Barrack Obama and other politicians to push for further restrictions on the right of citizens to own and bear arms – including a proposed ban on so-called “assault weapons” – it seems that quite a few Catholic churchmen and media figures have been quick to jump aboard the “gun control” bandwagon – sometimes going so far as to paint those of us Catholics who oppose such “gun control” policies as dissenters opposed to “Church teaching,” or being “not pro-life.”  Not surprisingly, quite a bit of controversy and drama has arisen among Catholics over this issue.

The drama intensified following a (highly misleading) CNS story alleging that the Catholic Church teaches that “firearms in the hands of civilians should be strictly limited, and eventually completely eliminated,” and came to a head when Vatican media spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi made statements in his weekly editorial supporting Obama’s “gun control” initiatives as a “step in the right direction” towards the goal of eliminating civilian gun ownership.

Popular left-leaning Catholic blogger Mark Shea followed with a defense of Lombardi and attacks on the “gun culture” and “nutjob secessionists” who support a right to bear arms for self-defense.

Last weekend, while visiting family out-of-state, I saw in the local diocesan paper a CNS story celebrating Vincent DeMarco’s organization’s “faith-based” efforts to get “gun-control” legislation enacted, as well as a column by the local bishop, which, among other things, accused those in favor of allowing people to own “assault weapons” of being “not pro-life.”

So, from listening to much of the mainstream “Catholic” media, you would quickly conclude that Catholic moral teaching is solidly against civilian ownership of firearms, and that any Catholic opposed to restrictions or bans on the right to own and bear arms is a dissenter from Church teaching, and at least border-line heretical.

The truth is that, on the contrary, the Church has no binding moral teaching against the ownership of any type of firearm by private citizens, nor are Catholics in any way obligated to support the various “gun control” measures proposed by Obama and other leftist politicians.  Neither Fr. Lombardi, nor any of the other Vatican officials cited has a shred of binding magisterial authority.

The Church teaches, rather, that all people have a right to self-defense against an aggressor, using lethal force if necessary.  Furthermore, the Church teaches that persons have a “right and grave duty” to defend those whose lives are entrusted to them against aggressors.  (This would include men protecting their families from attackers.)

The following is from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:

If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful. . . . Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.66

2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.

The prior-mentioned CNS article quotes from the last sentence to claim that Church teaching restricts use of arms to employees of the state, or holding “legitimate authority,” but the dishonesty of this assertion is clear from reading the passage in context.  The last sentence refers to police work and such against “aggressors against the civil community,” but there is nothing in that passage to negate the use of arms by civilians to defend their lives or those of others.

Some argue that so-called “assault weapons” such as the AR-15 (which are no different than semi-automatic hunting rifles, except for their military-looking aesthetics) or high-capacity magazines are unnecessary to defend oneself.  While this may be largely true when dealing with, say, a single mugger, there are real documented situations in which more ammo may have to be expended when defending against multiple armed attackers.

Many people in debates on the subject have brought up Korean shop-owners using semi-automatic weapons for defense during the infamous “Rodney King” riots in L.A. in the early ‘90s.  This should serve as a reminder of how quickly order can break down even in a supposedly “civilized” major city.  I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to believe that even larger breakdowns in public order may occur in the foreseeable future due to political unrest, or natural, man-made, or economic disaster.  While most of us would hope to never be in a situation where use of such weapons is necessary, I think the old Boy Scout motto (before they went all gay) can still apply:  Be Prepared.

The bottom line is that I don’t believe it’s the place of the government to dictate to law-abiding citizens exactly what kind of weapon and how much ammo is necessary for defense in every conceivable situation, and there’s no pressing need for the State to hack away at the right of citizens to bear arms for self-defense.

As I’ve said before, existing gun laws have proven woefully ineffective at preventing violence by the “bad guys,” who will find ways to unlawfully obtain guns or to commit massacres without firearms.  (The largest mass-killings on American soil in recent times, 9-11 and the Oklahoma City bombings, were committed without guns.)

All “gun-control” legislation will do is further compromise the ability of private citizens to defend themselves against aggressors.

As Catholics, we believe the Church teaches infallibly only regarding matters of faith and morals, when taught dogmatically through the magisterium.  Vatican officials and media spokesmen have no magisterial authority, nor do the prudential or political opinions of individual churchmen, including the Pope himself.  The idea that government “gun-control” measures and disarming of private citizens is necessary is a prudential judgment, and a poor one at that.

Over the past several decades, the US Bishops and other churchmen have jumped onto a number of left-leaning political causes, including “gun control,” amnesty for illegal aliens, environmentalism, and greater government regulation of the economy – usually touting ever-bigger and more intrusive centralized government as the cure to all our ills.

Many in the Church seem to have a naïve, overly-benign view of the modern state – which is in reality hardly amicable to the Church’s interests.  Thus, our good bishops were shocked when the socialist medicine policies they have long ardently supported came back to bite them in the collective ass with the HHS mandate denying Catholics freedom of religious conscience.

In these spiritually-ignorant times, the majority of Catholics and non-Catholics alike are not well-informed enough to distinguish from infallible moral teachings, and prudential political opinions.  Thus, the dabbling of Church officials in “liberal” secular politics has the unfortunate effect of creating confusion regarding actual Church teaching on faith and morals, which gets lost amidst the political noise.  For the average “low-information” pew-sitter, Catholic moral teaching on matters such as abortion, birth-control, and sexual behavior carries no more or less weight than political opinionizing on gun control and the like.

I say it’s past time church officials got out of secular left-wing politics, and returned focus to the timeless moral teachings of the Church – on which there is so much ignorance and confusion.

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A Defense of Legal Recognition of Marriage from an Evil Statist Theocratic Catholic Bastard

(Note:  This piece was originally published in the blog, “. . . the hell with it” in which I guest-blogged in response to an article by ‘Johnny Peters” as part of a debate on the Church, the state, and marriage  You can read both articles and the following commentary/debate here.)

 

In this piece, I will argue that the state should  in fact recognize and promote marriage, as taught by the Church, and that the law should recognize the true definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.

Contrary to our gracious hostess’s statement on this blog, I could care less whether or not the state has a vested interest in recognizing marriage between one man and one woman.  Rather, I believe that society–that all of us–have a vested interest in marriage being thus correctly recognized by the law.  In accord with the consistent social teaching of the Church, the state has a duty to promote the common good, whether it happens to benefit those in power or not.

While Mr. Peters has given us a rousing libertarian rant against various abuses of power by the state, from Mayor Bloomberg’s War on Soda-pop to Prohibition, he fails to adequately address Catholic social teaching on the proper relationship of the law to marriage.

As Catholics, our primary concern should not be with what Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Barrack Obama, NOM, the ACLU, or any other politician or political lobby has to say about this issue.   Rather, we should be concerned with what Jesus Christ’s One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church has to say about it.

The Church’s teaching on legal recognition of marriage, and on homosexual “civil unions” is not arcane or esoteric, but is pretty straightforward and direct, and can be easily read by all in this 2003 document written by a certain Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in the office of Prefect of the Congregation for the Defense of the Faith:  “Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons.”

There isn’t space here to go into this entire document in depth, but I strongly recommend that every Catholic with an interest in this debate read the entire document.   Cardinal Ratzinger’s learning, wisdom, and holiness far exceeds my own, and it is best to read it in his own words.   However, I will quote the document’s conclusion here:

 The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.

Many Catholics today decry state recognition of marriage as “giving the state power over a sacrament,” and talk as though this is similar to the state deciding who should be baptized, or allowed to receive Holy Communion.

While the Church has in fact elevated Catholic marriage to a sacrament, marriage is in fact an institution of the natural law, and is a good in the natural order.   Marriage between a man and a woman simply provides the best situation for the procreation and raising of children, and is the most fundamental unit of human society.  As such, it is in everyone’s interest to promote and support it, as the Church recognizes.   Study after study confirms that it is best for children that they be raised in stable homes with both a mother and a father, and our society is currently suffering from the effects of fatherless homes and broken homes associated with the decline of marriage.

Thus, marriage between man and woman is not only a religious concern, but rather a good essential to the proper functioning of society, which deserves to be supported by law and government, just as the law should support such goods as human life and property rights.

While much more could be said about the above-cited CDF document, two main points are relevant to this particular debate.

First, law-makers have a duty to ensure that the law “recognize, promote, and protect marriage.”

While there can certainly be legitimate debate about how the law should best do this, this is obviously contrary to the law not recognizing marriage at all, as Mr. Peters proposes.  If the law does not even recognize marriage in the first place, then it follows that it can do nothing to promote or protect it.

Secondly, it is wrong to give legal recognition to homosexual unions, and “place them on the same level as marriage.”

While Mr. Peters claims to be opposed to state recognition of homosexual unions, this is exactly what his proposal to “get the state out of marriage” would in fact entail.  If legal recognition of the marriage contract were scrapped, as Mr. Peters proposes, and replaced entirely with contracts by private attorney, then the state would indeed place homosexual unions and marriage on the same level.  (And I hardly think it beneficial to married couples if, after getting married, they have to make a separate visit with a lawyer simply to receive any legal recognition as being related to one another.)

A marriage between a man and a woman, in Mr. Peters’ brilliant proposal, would receive exactly the same legal recognition as a private contract between two or more cohabiting homosexuals, or any other grouping of persons having nothing to do with marriage.  Such a move would utterly fail to promote and protect marriage in any way, but would utterly devalue it, as to make marriage legally meaningless.

Likewise with Senator Paul’s absurd proclamation (reverently quoted by Mr. Peters) that “There should essentially be no limits to the voluntary definition of marriage.”  If there are essentially no limits to the legal definition of marriage, “marriage” becomes essentially meaningless.   This “voluntary” redefinition of “marriage” to mean anything and everything you want it to mean, would in reality force the state to recognize as “marriage” not only homosexual “unions,” but any other couplings or groupings of persons (or animals?  inanimate objects?  Let’s not be limiting!) that one can come up with.   In Senator Paul’s brave new world, states would have to legally recognize your “marriage” to your gay lover, or your sister, or your grandmother, or your Rottweiler (or all four if you’re feeling particularly adventurous)  No limits, baby!

But, the libertarian opponents of legal marriage will say, so what if the law gives no special status to marriage between man and woman, and places it on equal footing legally with contracts between homosexuals or others?  After all, it’s not the place of the law to promote moral values!

But this is where Catholic social teaching differs sharply from secularist libertarian doctrine.  The Church has always recognized and taught that it is the responsibility of law and government to promote the common good and natural law morality, rather than oppose it.  Thus, “legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity.”

Laws both reflect and affect the moral values of a society, and people’s ideas of what is right and wrong.  The Church teaches that the law has a “teaching” function.  If you doubt this notion, consider whether you think it is easier or harder to convince people in our country that abortion is wrong and evil after it has been officially legally enshrined via Roe v. Wade as “a woman’s constitutional right to choose.”  Or you might consider whether you think the outlawing of slavery has had any effect on people’s general attitudes toward “the peculiar institution.”

If the law does not recognize and promote marriage, but regards it as having no more value than homosexual shack-ups, it sends the clear message that marriage is of no value.

Now that we’ve shown that the Church teaches that the law must recognize and protect marriage, and that abolishing all legal recognition of marriage is contrary to the Church’s teachings, let’s deal briefly with a couple of Mr. Peter’s objections.

“The Church shouldn’t need permission slips from the state to perform marriages!”

Fair enough.  I don’t have a problem with getting rid of state marriage licenses, though I don’t think they’re quite the horrific oppression Mr. Peters apparently thinks they are, given the big scheme of things.   The law should still recognize and promote marriage though, and this can be done without marriage licenses – as the law did in fact recognize marriages before state licenses were introduced.  I think a written document with the signatures of the spouses would do fine.  Just so long as the state only recognizes marriages between a man and a woman, as nothing else is, or ever can be, a marriage.

“Catholic churches will be forced to perform gay marriage ceremonies!”

This is simply a hysterical slippery-slope non-sequitor.   This scenario would be a direct violation of the first amendment’s religious liberty clause, which even the most liberal lawyer would have trouble weaseling around.  And yes, I realize religious liberty is under attack, but we should stand and defend religious liberty on its own grounds, rather than duck and run by failing to promote and defend marriage.   While the law recognizes the right of persons to get married, no one has a “right” to get married in any particular church, synagogue, or mosque.   Religious clerics are not forced to marry any (heterosexual) couple in violation of their religious beliefs.   Time and energy would be much better spent defending first amendment religious liberty rights, than trying to abolish all legal recognition of marriage.

(Besides, I’m sure the local liberal Episcopalian church would be more than happy to oblige any homosexual couple looking for a quaint and atmospheric location for a “wedding” ceremony that would beat the local Catholic architectural monstrosity hands-down.)

The Church always calls on us to stand up and defend what is right and just, to be a shining light on the hill, rather than run for the cover of darkness at any sign of a tough fight.  She doesn’t call on us to stand up for what is right only when we deem it politically expedient or popular, or “on the right side of history.”

The Church continues to exhort Catholics to do all we can to ensure that the state and the law defend and protect all innocent human life, born and preborn.  She does this regardless of the fact that the government of our country (and many others) has failed miserably in this regard over the past forty years or so.

In the same way, the Church calls on law-makers to defend and protect the good of marriage.  We Catholics should step up our efforts to evangelize society, and take a stand for what is right, rather than declare surrender, and pursue a legal agenda blatantly at odds with the Church’s teaching.

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