Wednesday, October 15, 2008

How Would You Read This In Terms Of Abortion?

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

I'm curious: how does one secure the blessings of liberty to a posterity that one allows to be killed in the womb? Or even imagine that the author of that Preamble could possibly see abortion as consistent with his stated reasons for helping to ordain and establish the Constitution in the first place?

It's amazing how much self-delusion a person has to engage in to find legal and moral justification for such a barbaric practice...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Relativism And The Pursuit Of Novelty

"With truly lamentable results, our age, casting aside all restraint in its search for the ultimate causes of things, frequently pursues novelties so ardently that it rejects the legacy of the human race."

- Pope St. Pius X, Lamentabili Sane

"What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"? It has been already, in the ages before us. There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to happen among those who come after."

- Ecclesiastes 1:9-14 (RSV Bible)

In today's day and age, it is virtually impossible to go through an entire hour - to say nothing of an entire day - without hearing someone, somewhere, speak of the need for change, whether that change is of a personal, communal, social, political, economic, physical, psychological, or spiritual nature, and everything in between. It has gotten to the point where people speak of change simply for variety's sake. This is unfortunate because change, in and of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing. There are indeed many things in the present day that are in dire need of change, particular in the realm of morality. Of course, sometimes the only kind of change necessary is a return to the very things that those who clamored for change steered us away from in the first place.

The desire for change in man is natural. We are all in a naturally restless state that is born from a desire to be reconciled with God. As St. Augustine so succinctly put it: "My heart is restless, O God, until it rests in Thee." Ideally, we orient ourselves towards God throughout the course of our lives as a natural manifestation of our intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth; and if there were no other factors to stop us, that is indeed how man would always orient himself. However, there are indeed other factors, all of whom have their root in the same source: namely, the evil one.

How, exactly, does this tie in to the title of this post? Simple: the most effective way that the devil distracts man from his natural inclination towards God is through the spread of heresy. One particularly pernicious heresy, known as Modernism - which has its roots in the philosophical Liberalism that itself was an outgrowth of the virulently anti-religious secular humanism of the Enlightenment - was described by Pope St. Pius X as "the synthesis of all heresies" in his landmark encyclical, Pascendi Dominici Gregis. This description flows from St. Pius' assertion that Modernism embraces every heresy that came before. As such, it is difficult to give a succinct definition of the theory of Modernism. A good place to start is with the very definition of the word, which literally means an exaggerated love for what is modern, for modern ideas, and for the general "spirit of the age." This leads to a tendency to disregard all that has come before (a classic example being the way in which present-day "Catholic" dissenters disregard all that came before Vatican II even as they work to distort the documents of Vatican II itself to conform to modern secular notions), and with that the tendency to "rediscover" centuries-old notions and pass them off as new.

A natural - and highly unfortunate - consequence of such shortsighted thinking is the belief that truth must necessarily conform itself to the "spirit of the age." This is a form of Relativism, which denies the existence of objective, timeless truth - and thus necessarily denies the existence of the Eternal Truth - and which is very possibly the worst consequence of the Modernist heresy.

Which brings us to the point of this post. It is no coincidence that those who are most preoccupied with the pursuit of novelty are the very same who have yet to discover or acknowledge the fact that the most important truths are not subject to majority votes or recent trends in human thought. They seek novelties as a way to fill the void in their lives, to relieve the natural longing they feel but which they are either unwilling or unable to acknowledge. They continue to look for the perpetual quick fix, distracting themselves with things which for them are new. Again, there is nothing new under the sun, but this timeless truth is rejected by Relativists. If it is new to them, then it is new, as for them truth is based on personal experience - an idea very much in keeping with the spirit of the modern age. And as the novelty of one thing wears off, they abandon it to pursue the next new thing. Oscar Wilde - whose pursuit of novelty manifested itself in increasingly vulgar acts of sodomy, resulting in his eventual imprisonment and the ruin of his literary career - cynically quipped that he read St. Augustine's Confessions so he could discover new sins to commit (reading St. Augustine appears to have had some beneficial effect, as Wilde pursued one other "novelty" few other Relativists pursue: a deathbed conversion to Catholicism).

We see the effects that the pursuit of novelty has wrought on modern society. People who pursue cheap thrills find themselves over the course of time having to do more and more for less and less satisfaction. The Howard Sterns of the world - the so-called "shock jocks" - have to commit increasingly more outrageous acts just to maintain the attention of a quickly jaded audience. The pursuit of sex for pleasure's sake results in the dissociation of the unitive (love-giving) meaning from the procreative (life-giving) meaning of sex, and in the process both of these aspects of the sexual gift are severely impaired (one need only see the skyrocketing divorce rates and nearly 50 million aborted babies in the last generation alone to see just how devastating the introduction of the pill and so-called "worry-free sex" has been for modern society); and as the pleasure derived from so-called "recreational sex" becomes less and less satisfying, sex between uncommitted partners has taken on more perverse forms as people try to get more "creative" in order to achieve the same fleeting sense of satisfaction. This because man has become convinced that the most important aspect of the sexual gift is the physical pleasure it gives (the selfish aspect), rather than the emotional bond it creates between a married man and woman and the manifestation this bond takes in the creation of new life (the selfless aspects). Two guesses as to who did the convincing...

What, exactly, does St. Pius refer to when he speaks of the rejection of the legacy of the human race? He refers to the gift of redemption purchased through the Precious Blood of Christ, and the promise of salvation that this gift entails. Rather than pursue the fleeting novelties the devil throws in our path to divert us from our goal, let us pursue the One novelty that is eternal, and never fleeting. Let us pursue the path that leads to reconciliation with God. Let us not waste the most precious of all gifts, purchased for us freely by the One who loves us most. And if we are to pursue any change in our lives, let it be a change that leads to further sanctification, for any other kind of change is of this world, and by definition fleeting. God bless!

In Jesus and Mary,

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pray, Pray, Pray...

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
If present trends continue, on the morning of November 5, 2008 America - and the world - will awaken to find itself facing one of the most dire of moral crises we have seen in a very long time. I am not prepared to say that the United States as we know it will be destroyed, but if Barack Obama wins the Presidency, the Democrats reach a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, and Nancy Pelosi is allowed access to this nation's purse-strings with NO restraints on her, we will be in a world of trouble. America has faced greater trials, to be sure: we have, after all, survived a Civil War. But one thing the United States had in 1860 in far greater quantities than it has in 2008 is the strong moral and religious fiber that allowed it to overcome its problems and move forward. With the havoc that Modernism, Communism, Relativism, and various other -isms have wrought in the world's political, philosophical, and religious ideologies, man simply is not as inclined to turn to God in these times of crisis as he was more than a century ago (mind you, Catholicism is not a religious ideology of this world, but the world has succeeded in creating widespread confusion about what the Church teaches and Who is at the root of those teachings).
Even if the 2010 midterm elections prove disastrous for the Democrats and Republicans are swept into power in both houses of Congress, consider the kind of damage that the unholy Trinity of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi can cause in two short years:

- All abortion restrictions will be overturned courtesy of the demonically misnamed "Freedom of Choice Act"

- Ruth Ginsburg, John Paul Stevens, and possibly even David Souter could retire within those two years, leaving Obama to name their replacements, who are sure to get sped through the Senate with little to no vetting, costing the pro-life movement what is likely to be the only opportunity to achieve a pro-life Supreme Court majority for the next generation.

- It is very likely that an effort to codify gay marriage into federal law will be attempted, and the next two years would be the best chance for such a codification to succeed.

- Embryonic stem cell research will receive massive federal funding, ensuring that this practice will continue well beyond our lifetimes.

- There is a good chance that Obama and Congress will attempt to pass numerous pieces of subversive legislation of the sort that will make it easier for groups like ACORN (which Obama worked for during his community organizing days, and whose members he helped train in the very tactics that have gotten many of them indicted for voter fraud in 7 states) to act in secrecy and with relative impunity, paving the way for massive voter fraud in future elections which will lead to a built-in handicap working against Republicans and conservative initiatives at the ballot box.

- Taxes. Taxes. Taxes. Did I forget to mention the possibility of taxes? Any financial crisis we think we might be facing today will pale in comparison to what is sure to follow if jobs are lost courtesy of over-taxation of businesses, if gas prices shoot up due to newly-imposed drilling bans, and if the disastrous subsidies for ethanol-based fuel continue to drive food prices through the roof.

- Government oversight over private enterprise will grow, as will government oversight of first amendment rights. Can you imagine Democrats having no obstacle to passing laws that would make it possible for Catholic priests to get arrested as accessories if they preach against homosexuality during Mass and one of that priest's parishioners subsequently commits any act perceived as criminal or discriminatory against someone they may or may not have known to be homosexual? When government imposes itself in any area of private life, history has shown that it is not so easily pushed out again.

- The abominable "Fairness Doctrine" - designed specifically to drive conservative talk radio (the one media outlet liberals don't have a monopoly on apart from the Internet) out of business - is sure to be revisited and snuck through Congress with as little fanfare as possible.

The list goes on and on. We know from personal experience, history, and Catholic teaching that if you give the devil an inch, he will take a mile (and then scream to the press that you shortchanged him and have you successfully branded as the greedy one). So why allow a foot in the door (to the White House) to a man (Barack Obama) whose path to the top was inspired by a man (Saul Alinsky) who once acknowledged the need to thank Lucifer for showing radicals how to successfully get their way against "the establishment"?

Look, I'm no fan of John McCain. I voted against him in the primary; and if I thought he would win Florida handily in the national election, I would probably write in someone else's name (Bobby Jindal or Sarah Palin, anyone?). But for those of you who are easily taken in by platitudes about "hope" and "change" and are seriously considering voting for Barack Hussein Obama, think long and hard about what your vote could potentially visit upon all of us.

Let us be eternally grateful that the one battle that really matters has already been won; and let us pray and do our part to make sure that as many people as possible convert to the winning side. God bless!

In Jesus and Mary,

Friday, October 3, 2008

Thought For The Day

The difference between a fool and a wise man is that a fool thinks he's a wise man, whereas a wise man knows he's a fool.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Bill Maher Effect: When Fools Impart Their Imagined Wisdom

I first posted this on my Facebook page a few months back, when Bill Maher was suffering from spotlight withdrawal and so decided to launch into yet another of his characteristically infantile rants against Catholicism (in this case, repeating the provably false allegation that Pope Benedict XVI was a Nazi in his youth and painting all priests as unrepetentant child molesters). I repost it now in anticipation of the storm of criticism he is likely to receive for his coming straw man amateur video, Religulous:


You know that adolescent relative who didn't get spanked enough as a child who feels the occasional need to do something infantile just to be the center of attention? You know, the spoiled brat who feels the need to occasionally lash out at those who didn't give him everything his little heart desired during the "Mine! Mine! Mine!" phase of his life (a phase which may or may not still be in progress)?

You ever notice that little juvenile delinquent smiling to himself when everyone suddenly makes a big fuss over him after he goes and does something stupid?

Take a look at Bill Maher, and you might recognize him.

Let's not kid ourselves. He is absolutely reveling in all the attention he's receiving. The worst that'll happen to him is that he'll get fired by HBO (I wouldn't hold my breath), in which case he'll quickly land on his feet with some other far-left broadcasting entity with an ax to grind against Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular (and likely owned by Ted Turner).

Don't get me wrong. I support the current movement to boycott HBO and have Bill Maher removed from the air. I'm just saying that we should remember to keep this in the proper context. The only people who take Bill Maher seriously are those who were predisposed to take the latest of Maher's many anti-Catholic diatribes seriously (they can usually be identified by their Oscar trophies, their Nobel prizes, and the prescription anti-depressants they consume at 10-20 times the recommended dosage).

Let's do our part to dwindle Bill Maher's available outlets for his illogical, slanderous drivel and hold his employers accountable for giving him said outlets. But let's not lose our heads in the process. To do so is to ascribe a level of relevance to Bill Maher that he neither possesses nor deserves. And that is exactly what he wants.