Father Ranger

Saturday, June 6, AD 2009

Monsignor Joseph R. Lacy

The men of the 5th Ranger Battalion could barely keep from laughing when they first saw their chaplain, Lieutenant Joe Lacy, a week before D-Day.  These were young men, in peak physical condition.  Father Joe Lacy was old by Ranger standards, knocking on 40, overweight by at least 30 pounds, wearing thick glasses and short, 5 foot, six inches.  He was described by one Ranger as “a small, fat old Irishman.”  No way would he be able to keep up when they  invaded France.

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6 Responses to Father Ranger

  • Later Monsignor Joe Lacy was a priest of the Archdiocese of Hartford CT. I believe he is mentioned in “The Longest Day.” Until this article, I did not know that he had received the Distinguished Service Cross. I do not doubt that few in our diocese did.

  • I am President of 5th Rangers Reenacted, a historical reenactment group that portrays 5th Rangers at various public events. I am privileged to portray Fr. Lacy.

    When Fr. Lacy reported to the Rangers a few days before D-Day, the commander of the Rangers looked at him and said, “Padre, you’re old and you’re fat. You’ll never keep up with us.”

    Fr. Lacy looked at him and replied, “You don’t worry about about that, I’ll do my job. You tell me where you’ll be at the end of the day and I’ll be there.”

    I have been fortunate to visit Omaha Beach twice and walk the area these brave men contested on June 6, 1944. Every man who landed there was a hero, some of their deeds were recognized, many are only marked by a simple marble Roman cross.

    The following is the citation for his Distinguished Service Cross.

    Headquarters
    First United States Army
    APO 230

    General orders No. 28
    20 June 1944

    Section I–Award of Distinguished Service Cross–Under the provisions of AR 600-45, 22 September 1943, and pursuant to authority contained in paragraph 30, Section I, Circular No. 32, Hq ETOUSA, 20 March 1944, as amended, the Distinguished Service Cross is awarded to the following officers and enlisted men:

    E * X * T * R * A * C * T

    First Lieutenant Joseph R. LACY, 0525094, Chaplain Corps, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action on 6 June 1944 at *******, France. In the invasion of France, Chaplain LACY landed on the beach with one of the leading assault units. Numerous casualties had been inflicted by the heavy rifle, mortar, artillery and rocket fire of the enemy. With complete disregard for his own safety, he moved about the beach, continually exposed to enemy fire, and assisted wounded men from the water’s edge to the comparative safety of a nearby seawall, and at the same time inspired the men to a similar disregard for the enemy fire. Chaplain LACY’s heroic and dauntless action is in keeping wit the highest traditions of the service. Entered military service from Connecticut.

  • Thank you for the info Ed! Men like Chaplain Lacy and the other Rangers who landed on the beach that day are torches who light the way for the rest of us.

  • I have read this article with great interest as like Ed Lane I belong to a Rangers Reenactment group- this time based in the UK. I am just beginning to resarch Fr Lacy with a view to portryaing him this side of the Pond. I find his story inspiring as I spent several years studying for the priesthood.

    I would like to ensure that the bravery of Fr Lacy and all the chaplains in WW2 is also remebered along with all those young men who gave their lives for our generation

    Fr Ranger- Lead the Way!

  • Indeed Rich! You might like this post on the original Ranger.

    http://almostchosenpeople.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/rogers-rangers/

  • http://5thrib.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=logout

    Please contact us at our web site. Hit the “Help” button to navigate.

    We will be glad to share information with you.

    I am a Postulant in the Holy Order of Deacons in the Anglican Communion.

The 65th Anniversay of D-Day – Memories of those who fought, and to whom we give thanks.

Saturday, June 6, AD 2009

On June 6th we commemorate the anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy — conveying our thanks to those who fought and died for the liberation of Europe, and the world, from the Nazis.

Many stories and reflections will be shared today. Here are just a few.

As remembered by Capt. John G. Burkhalter, former Miami minister and chaplain with the “Fighting First” division in France:

On one occasion we were near some farm houses and some large shells began to fall, so several of us near a stone barn dashed into it to get out of the way of shrapnel. Just inside was a mother hen covering her little chicks. When we hurried in she became frightened and fluffing her feathers rose up to protect her young. I looked at her and silently said, “No, mother hen, we are not trying to hurt you and your little family, we are trying to hurt each other.”

Nobody can love God better than when he is looking death square in the face and talks to God and then sees God come to the rescue. As I look back through hectic days just gone by to that hellish beach I agree with Ernie Pyle, that it was a pure miracle we even took the beach at all.” Yes, there were a lot of miracles on the beach that day. God was on the beach D-Day; I know He was because I was talking with Him..

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One Response to The 65th Anniversay of D-Day – Memories of those who fought, and to whom we give thanks.

  • Heaven help Michael I., Benedict sounds just like Donald on this subject.

    Really, the Vox Nova folks need to set the Pope straight. Giving thanks for the Allied troops? Saying Churchill and Roosevelt were motivated by Christian faith? Only warmongering Americanists say things like that.

    Again, bless the men who fought on those beaches. And thank the WWII veterans you know. They will not be with us much longer.

We Few, We Happy Few, We Band of Brothers

Saturday, June 6, AD 2009

At 6:30AM on June 6th, 1944 — 65 years ago today — American, British and Canadian soldiers assaulted the beaches of Nazi-occupied France in the first day of the return of the land war to Western Europe in World War II. In some sectors of the 50-mile-long section of coastline chosen for the landings, defense was minimal and soldiers slogged stolidly through the surf and onto land. In others, especially the American Omaha Beach, the first waves came under a withering barrage of machine gun and mortar fire which nearly completely wiped out the first waves.

The bravery of young men in such conditions, and the fears and sadness of their loved ones back home, constitute the sort of heroism, sacrifice and tragedy which have moved human hearts from the most ancient epics until the present day.

In one of the British landing craft, an officer played for his men a phonograph recording of the St. Crispin’s Day speech from Shakespeare’s Henry V. And so it seems a fitting tribute to the bravery of all the men from throughout the English-speaking world who huddled in their boats in the terrifying minutes before battle sixty-five years ago to post this, one of the greatest martial speeches in English literature, in the rendition from Kenneth Branagh’s outstanding production.


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4 Responses to We Few, We Happy Few, We Band of Brothers

  • And here is Olivier’s performance of the speech from his 1944 version of Henry V. The British government supported the production of the film to raise morale, and the “extras” in the film who portrayed English soldiers were British commandoes who went on to fight in France.

  • The Olivier and Branagh versions of Henry V strike me as one of the best pairs of Shakespearean adaptations to compare. Both are very good, though I must admit I prefer Branagh’s to Olivier’s.

    Olivier’s was made with hope of victory in WW2 in mind while Branagh had set out to make a “post-Vietnam Henry V”, and you can see it in the differences in how scenes were framed between the two productions. Branagh’s camera is always angled down, you almost never see the sky in the whole production. While Olivier’s frame always catches the sky.

    I wish I knew what recording was being played on record in the landing boat — I expect it would have sounded much more like Olivier’s rendition than Branagh’s, Olivier being the absolute top Shakespearean actor at the time.

  • I prefer Branagh’s as well, even without Doyle’s marvelous score.

    Interesting note about the extras, Donald.

  • Prayers for the brave souls who fought and died on those beaches and for all our WWII veterans.

    I haven’t seen Branagh in anything for quite some time. What a gifted actor, with a beautiful voice. Olivier, of course, was one of the greats. A much older neighbor once told me she had the good fortune of seeing Olivier’s black-face “Othello” in London in the ’60’s and it remained the most powerful performance she had ever seen in her life.

2 Responses to There's A Place For Us

5th June, 1989 A.D.

Friday, June 5, AD 2009

Tianasquare
Sometimes one image serves to sum up an event in the world’s memory.  For the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, that image is probable the one of the “tank man” — a lone protester who was photographed on June 5th, 1989 when he briefly stood, unarmed, before a tank column and stopped it.

There is not agreement as to who the “tank man” was, and most reports suggest he was arrested by the secret police and executed within the next two weeks.

In those heady days, it seemed possible that within a few years communist dictatorship would be nothing more than a memory, but twenty years later the communist oligarchs in China have learned to accomodate freedom and enterprise enough to remain in power.  And the tank man’s dream remains unrealized.

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4 Responses to 5th June, 1989 A.D.

  • “And the tank man’s dream remains unrealized.”

    I suspect that in the long run the Chinese will remember him and his dream well after the leaders who murdered him and so many others in 1989 are all but forgotten.

  • My 7-year-old son who wants to be a priest told me yesterday that he wants to be a missionary priest. I can’t remember his exact words, but it was something to the effect of wanting to preach about Jesus all around the world like Paul did, and then something about working against “those bad old communists”.

    Honestly, I don’t know WHERE he gets this stuff.

    😉

  • Donald, I pray you’re right about that.

    I watched much of the Tiananmen Square coverage from my father’s hospital room. Dad had had a severe stroke. One day, I was sitting there next to my unconcious father, watching the “tank man” brave the might of the Communist tanks, and I saw my dad’s hand move a little. I looked at him. His eyes were open and he was looking at the television screen. “That’s wrong,” he said. It was the last thing I heard him say. (And very appropriate, if you knew my dad. He was a news hound and could not watch the news without giving us a passionate running commentary on every story.)

    Several days later, my sister told me he had told his then 9 month old grandson, “I love you.” Those were his last words.

    I can’t see footage of Tiananmen without thinking of my father, a crusty old WWII vet who had fought against tyranny and hated it with all his being.

A Matter of Choice

Friday, June 5, AD 2009

Some time back there was a fellow in the news named Matt Dubay, a man who was claiming that Michigan’s paternity law is unconstitutional because it didn’t give him any ‘choice’ in whether to become a father.

The interesting thing about this suit is that it points out the inherent contradiction’s in the current legal understanding of sex in the United States. On the one hand, a woman must be given a ‘choice’ as to whether or not to be pregnant after she has already conceived, and so abortion is legally mandated. On the other hand, a man is considered to have already made himself financially liable for any children conceived from the moment that he has sex. Thus, in the man’s case, US law recognizes a traditional understanding of what sex is (an act that can naturally be assumed to be fertile) while in the woman’s case sex is merely considered an act which may bring on a transitional condition in which a woman has conceived yet has not yet decided whether or not she wants to actually be pregnant.

Clearly, being pregnant (and caring for a child) is a far, far greater burden for a woman than for a man, so one can see how (thinking with its heart rather than its head) our country got itself into this position. But it’s still a pretty untenable position to be in. Clearly, one must say either than sex is an act which has the inherent potential to create another human person, or it is not. One of these positions, of course, has the benefit of being true, while the other might be convenient for some, but is quite provably false.

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18 Responses to A Matter of Choice

  • The duplicity of the law simply reveals how far decriminalized (statutes can never “legalize” what opposes natural law) abortion strays from any semblence of logic, reason, or intellectual honesty.

    Such a schizophrenic policy emanates from the core principle of the culture of death: bodily autonomy. They claim an absolute right of total license with their bodies, even to the point of killing another human being.

    What’s interesting here is that for so long, the pro-abortion movement depended on the lie that a fetus is not a human person. Ten or fifteen years ago, I was certain that advances in ultrasound technology would bring a swift end to abortion. But a funny thing happened along the way: The lie that a fetus is not a person so fully entrenched our national twin addictions to sex and convenience that even now that it’s overwhelmingly clear when life begins, we still will not bring an end to abortion.

    More and more frequently, the pro-aborts admit that abortion takes a human life. As a culture, we’ve simply declined to the point where we don’t care about killing as long as our personal appetites are satiated.

    As Dr. Nathanson said, “If you elevate autonomy to a deification status…then people are going to make choices which are irrational…”

  • This is a case where I believe technology has made things worse. In the “good old days”, there was no such thing as a paternity test. An allegation of paternity was evaluated on probability. So if the couple had been say engaged, the allegation of paternity would have been convincing. On the other hand a one night stand would not have been sufficient grounds to establish paternity.

    What we have presently is what amounts to a claim of marriage. Consider that in modern times with both couples working, there typically are no obligations for spousal support and even when granted they are typically ended within 5 years. So in a typical divorce, the argument is over child support. (Yes, division of community property is there, but in the case of out-of-wedlock pregnancy, there is typically very little community property.) As much as other people are prone to disagree with me, I think ending child support outside marriage would be better for society. Perhaps allow fathers to make a paternity claim to get visitation rights and obligations of support. In the end though, the greatest beneficiary of the child support regime has been government, since the payments have moved a number of children and their mothers out of poverty.

  • MZ,

    good points actually. In principle, I agree with you on eliminating out-of-wedlock support, but in practice, it would add to the economic argument for abortion.

    We’re caught between a rock and a hard place on policies to both discourage out-of-wedlock children by increasing the stigma and/or reducing support, while at the same time trying to reduce abortion (aside from important efforts to outlaw it).

  • Mothers shouldn’t be able to kill their children by abortion and Fathers should not be able to renege on their duty to support their offspring. The law is right when it mandates child support. It is terribly wrong when it allows the destruction of innocent human life in abortion. Of course the wish to evade child support and the desire to kill an inconvenient child in abortion both spring from the hard-hearted self-centeredness which is one of the hallmark features of the times in which we live.

  • You can either make the family the guardians of children or you can make the mother and the sperm donor guardians of children. We used the former approach for a long time, entrusting single mothers to the support of her parents. We have tried the latter approach in the name of women’s liberation and feminism for the past 2 generations. We know that this hasn’t benefited children. Abortion is more common today than it was two generations ago, indicating that child support hasn’t saved pre-born lives.

  • I know a fellow who had his lawyer write to his girl friend when she became pregnant. He disclaimed any obligation for the child because she could have the child killed legally.

  • Ending child support would merely lead to more kids on welfare or growing up in extreme poverty, and doubtless increase the rate of abortion to some degree. I see no reason why a man engaging in sex does not have a moral duty to support the kids he produces. He certainly has a legal duty and that is not going to change, and most certainly should not change in my opinion.

    Gabriel that letter would have the same legal effect as the attorney sending the lady in question a blank sheet.

  • I see no reason why a man engaging in sex does not have a moral duty to support the kids he produces.

    How thoroughly feminist of you. Of course there is no such thing as supporting the kids, because the kids don’t enjoy agency. In fact once the kid gets agency, the support is removed. The question is why is a woman entitled to a third of a man’s paycheck for sleeping with him?

  • There’s good points on both sides. The problem is we have an inconsistency between the legal rights and obligations of men and women with regard to sexual behavior.

    I think the problem with trying to resolve this without eliminating abortion as an option is that it’s playing with dynamite. Eliminating legislated support for unwed mothers by their bio-dads and/or the government will encourage abortion. Abortion being much worse than unwed pregnancy, I think it’s not the right thing to play with.

  • Feminism has nothing do with child support. A man and a woman when they create a child have duties to that child and that includes supporting the child financially. The common law action of bastardy to establish financial support of a child born out of wedlock had nothing to do with feminism, which wouldn’t arrive on the scene for several centuries, and everything to do with a child not living in poverty because he had the misfortune to be born to parents who were not married. Between a man who wants consequence free sex and a child who needs money to be taken care of, I am always on the side of the child.

  • Not to mention cases in which a woman insists on having an abortion over the objections of a father who IS willing to take responsibility for the child. In this case the father is denied HIS “right to choose” to be a father.

  • In this case the father is denied HIS “right to choose” to be a father.

    Ridiculous.

  • Not to mention cases in which a woman insists on having an abortion over the objections of a father who IS willing to take responsibility for the child. In this case the father is denied HIS “right to choose” to be a father.

    This can even happen in a marriage.

    Shoot, five years ago it was happening on TV shows– promoted as a “great” choice.

  • How can you claim to be for family values and support dead-beat dads?

  • What is pro-family about enabling serial single mothers?

  • And what about serial single fathers – men who have fathered numerous children by numerous mothers? Should they bear no responsibility?

    Abortion is already a boon for irresponsible men. Freeing them from having to pay child support would really be icing on the cake. There would be no downside at all to siring children out of wedlock. Whether she has an abortion or not, he gets off scot-free. Heads I win, tails you lose.

  • Abortion is a boon for irresponsible men because they know they are unlikely to be stuck with a child; enforced child support for out of wedlock children (in some cases, *after* it has been proven that the guy paying couldn’t be the father) does exactly the same for women.

    Remove either one, and the supply of the relevant sex willing to risk supporting a child for some 20 years (as parents can be held responsible for college loans) goes down.

    Least impact on existing kids with highest impact on the future would to make a deadline estimated conception date, after which men have the same rights as women re: rejecting child responsibility.

    Everyone here know of that case with the guy who has some 21 children by multiple, unmarried women?

    How likely do you think it would be that they would risk pregnancy if it were actually a risk, instead of a paycheck?

    The eternal problem with gov’t helping those in need: there will always be someone willing to game the system.

    I’m not big on men being able to reject responsibility for their actions, but I’m really tired of women being excused from responsibility for their actions, too. I know I’m better than that, and barring some very powerful proof, I’m going to assume other women are, as well.

  • On a side note: serial illegitimate fathers are the ones who are *least* impacted by child support laws. You have ten children by ten women, you report that you make $500 a month– or that you’re totally unemployed and on state assistance– they can’t take more than you officially make.

    When I was in the navy, I knew a guy who was *proud* that he gave “as much” as $400 a month to his “baby momma.”

    He only knew of the one biological son, and she had children by four other men; he was far and away the one sending in the most cash.

$668,621

Friday, June 5, AD 2009

Household Debt

Hattip to Daniel Indiviglio at the Atlantic.  USA Today is reporting that the share of the Federal debt for each American household is $546, 668 with private average debt of 121, 953.  Of course these numbers do not include the average household share of liabilities incurred by states and local levels of government.  Does anyone believe that we will ever climb out of this debt abyss except through the terrible remedies of hyper-inflation or debt repudiation?  As I have often stated on this blog the debt that we are amassing is fiscal lunacy and our economy will soon smash into a brick wall of government debt.

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3 Responses to $668,621

  • It certainly is insanity Don.

    I can’t for the life of me believe that the administration thinks it can create this debt and then unload it 4-8 years later on Obama’s successor to pick up the pieces. A debt of this size I imagine would come to roost within a few years.

    Unless this is exactly what he wants… everyone and everything indebted, thereby creating a nation where the average citizen is completely dependent upon government for his sustenance.

    Bankruptcies in every sector of the economy would be much preferable. This debt load needs to be liquidated with real assets sold off. Monetizing the debt via money creation will carry a real and dreadful hyperinflation.

    This is why I lean in favor of commodity standards in currencies. None of this would be possible if money were pegged to real things. As long as we are on a fiat currency we’ll be stuck in the boom-bust fantasy land.

    If only I had enough fiat money to buy gold!

  • Read the history of Weimar Germany.

  • I think the fellow at USA Today misplaced a decimal point. There are (I think) around 114 million households in the United States. If I am not mistaken, the ratio of the federal public debt (a stock datum) to annual domestic product (a flow datum) stood at 1.19 in 1945. I do not believe it has as yet ever been higher. That would translate to $17 trillion at the present time, or about $150,000 per person.

    One question of interest is the effect of structural surpluses on economic performance over periods of time exceeding one business cycle. Fiscal stimulus through tax rebates, tax cuts, or public expenditure has been a policy tool for containing economic contractions. In said circumstance, you would be speaking of manipulating aggregate demand over a time frame of a year or two. There would certainly be transition costs in making the necessary adjustments in baseline of taxation and expenditure in order to run budget surpluses as a matter of course, but would economic performance thereafter be diminished as against a hypothetical situation where the budget was balanced over the course of the business cycle as against the reality of the last five decades, where we run a deficit nine years out of ten?

    Consider the following parameters: population stasis, complete price stability, and rates of improvement in real income near historical means (about 1.3% per annum). Recall also that the United States government paid off the whole of the national debt during the period running from 1792 to 1835. A commitment to run a budget surplus of 2% of domestic product per annum (2.4% during years of expansion and balanced during recession years) would allow for the liquidation of a debt of 119% of domestic product over that sort of time frame. Of course it would require that our politicians be very different sorts than in fact they are.

Jesuitical 5: Obama as "the Spirit of Vatican II" President

Thursday, June 4, AD 2009

John O'Malley

The fifth installment of my series pointing out the follies of some Jesuits in this country.  Father John O’Malley, SJ, of  the theology department of Georgetown has a piece in America, where else?, in which he hails Obama as a President who embodies something called “the Spirit of Vatican II”.  Actually I think Obama really embodies “the Spirit of Jesuits Trapped in ’68”.    Father Z does the necessary fisking of the article here.  Carl Olsen has some pointed comments on the same subject here.  Rich Leonardi of Ten Reasons points us to thoughts about the meaning of Vatican II by the late, and very great, Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ, which appeared in America in 2003.

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12 Responses to Jesuitical 5: Obama as "the Spirit of Vatican II" President

  • This is amusing, while the article is based on “style” as substance in which there are legitimate comparisons between the Council language Obama’s rhetoric at times, it wholly ignores Obama’s rhetoric at other times which is entirely different.

    While Obama gives some speeches that are “civil” he gives many others in which he demonizes the opposition in sometimes insidious but often openly contempt fashion. That is not civility. To speak one way about pro-lifers in a Catholic college, but in an opposite way at a DNC rally, or even to the mainstream media, that is the height of contempt, not only for the opposition, but for everyone, treating us as the proles of Communist countries were.

  • No institution is doing a better job of spreading the post-Christian virus than GTown. No Catholic religious order is more zealous in this mission than our Society of Jesus. Thus the Theology Dept. of this once fine institution is a host body. As I value my daily time only the fisking from Mr. Olsen was worth my view and a worthy one it is. Confirms my belief that when folks unhinge themselves to One True God, they hook up with other gods, the most popular one being Gummint. As O’Malley chooses to make a strange god of Dear Leader, he only expresses what many of his D.C.-based libs believe in their heart of hearts. But perhaps his words of worship are already stale. This past weekend, read something from noted lib Ted Rall already calling for Dear Leader to step down from the throne. Gitmo Angst and other stuff made him unhinged. Perhaps Theology Professor O’Malley should read this essay and update his theories. False gods often have limited shelf-lives.

  • Today the Commonweal blog is casting Obama as St. Francis of Assisi. Better than making him Jesus, I guess. But these people have a sad awakening coming.

  • This article was the most silly thing I have read ever in America magazine. WHich is saying a lot

    These line floored me

    “Is it not ironic that not a bishop but the President of the United States should today be the most effective spokesperson for that spirit”

    Breathtaking just Breathraking. Can one imagine the yelling and wailing if a conservative journal implied that Bush was a better spokeman for American Catholic than the U.S. Bishops

  • “But these people have a sad awakening coming.”

    Quite true Ron. No politician could possibly live up to the type of adulation that has been bestowed on Obama.

  • Isn’t “The Spirit of Vatican II” that anti-orthodox priest in Japan?

  • Yes, foxfier, that would be Fr. O’Leary. (An “O'” usually denotes the bearer of a fine Irish name, but I’m beginning to be wary of “O’s” with an S. J. after their Celtic monikers.)The last I saw of O’Leary, aka “The Spirit of VII,” he was telling the VN posters that abortion, including late-term abortion, is justifiable in some circumstances. He got that pearl of wisdom from Andrew Sullivan’s blog. O’Leary, like O’Malley, delights in telling us we should really forget all that stodgy old Vatican stuff and just get cool with the progressive program.

  • In August 2004 I saw first hand modern Jesuit thinking and its hideous anti Catholicism. Taking my daughter to freshman orientation at the University of San Francisco, the openning convocation was full of self (false) praise of the value of Jesuit education. What it lacked was single prayer for hope, encouragement, or thanks to our Lord. As I told the assistant Dean of Students while leaving, that I a lay person and the product of a good Marian education would have gladly offered one if the Jesuits were too embarassed to offer even one. But the next days Mass for students and family was even more hurtfull by these non-catholic humanists. During the homily, a young woman just graduated actually gave a speech on how she lost her faith and possibly her eternal happiness with Jesus as she was inspired by her Jesuitg education to convert from Catholicism to Islam. I am not afraid of the truth, those are facts and that is what is tolerated in the Jesuit community under the guise of being secular and seeking justice.
    I always thought that seeking Jesus, the way, the truth, and the light was what we humans were about.

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Sotomayor, No Content Of Character Here

Thursday, June 4, AD 2009

Sotomayor Racism

Imagine a white male conservative making the same comments that Judge Sonia Sotomayor made:

A wise White man with his experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Latina female,”

The mainstream media (old media) would have a field day recounting how racist Republicans are.  It would be nonstop media coverage not seen since Trent Lott’s infamous statements.

Now here are Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s comments.  Keep in mind that when she said these comments that she was dead serious:

A wise Latina woman with her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male,”

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15 Responses to Sotomayor, No Content Of Character Here

  • A wise woman will more often than not reach a better conclusion than most males.

  • Gabriel,

    A wise woman will more often than not reach a better conclusion than most males.

    and conversly a wise man will more often than not reach a better conclusion than most females.

    Now, to be clear, we’re talking about the proper understanding of “wise”. Here’s another thoughts:

    An “educated” man or woman will more often than not reach a worse conclusion than most anybody.

  • Gabriel,
    Indeed, but a “learned” person has a better chance of becoming a “wise” person than most.

  • Mike Petrik,

    Indeed, but a “learned” person has a better chance of becoming a “wise” person than most.

    not typically in this day and age, maybe before the “enlightenment”.

    am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.
    — William F. Buckley

  • Matt,
    I intended my post as a response to yours, and without getting into the relevance of the so-called enlightenment, my point was to distinguish the “learned” from the “educated.” I suspect you would agree with that point, properly understood.

  • Sorry Mike, I though you were equating learned with education. So if you agree that the 2000 professors of Harvard are neither wise, nor learned no matter how educated they are, then we’re on the same page.

  • At the risk of being accused of making sweeping generalizations, I agree completely — at least in principle.

  • Imagine a white conservative saying: “A wise Italian woman with her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male.”

    I doubt there would’ve been much protest.

    I’m not very familiar with La Raza. How many whites have they lynched?

  • –Imagine a white conservative saying: “A wise Italian woman with her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male.”

    May I then in the same spirit nominate my wise grandmother for the USSC. She’s an Indian fisherwoman but (per Asimov) as indeed all grandmothers, is in fact Jewish.

  • RR,

    If you ever read anything from La Raza you would be appalled at the literature out there.

    As far as I can recollect, I haven’t read any Italian-American literature calling for the annexation of the eastern United States to Italy and calling themselves the Master Race.

  • I have no love in my Hispanic heart for La Raza, MEChA, et al. I also am not naive about the meaning of identity politics, in particular Affirmative Action (see my recent post at Vox-Nova: http://vox-nova.com/2009/06/02/experiencing-affirmative-action/).

    Add to that, I do not know Sotomayor or what she meant by this statement. Having said that, none of us “know” her intentions or the meaning of her language here.

    The point where I dispute this post (and others like it) is that there is only one meaning to her statement. There is a connotation of racism, to be had, for sure.

    However, I think that there is also another meaning that is hardly controversial, albeit politically incorrect. Namely, that the our life experiences shape our ability to interpret the world, in this case, the law.

    This is why a Catholic perspective, to me, is a richer view to look at thing with when compared to narrower views–for this very reason I supported the nominations of Alito and Roberts, and was deeply criticized for it.

    So, while lumping in the implication that she is racist may still be a possible way to interpret what she said and her affiliations with the organization that smack of supremacy (although for complex, yet still misguided in my mind, reasons) are troubling, there is no reason to think that this interpretation has some kind of monopoly over the possible meaning of her words.

    Perhaps I am wrong, but the content and tone of this post suggests that this is the “real,” “only” way to see her comments. And that clearly seems to be untrue.

  • Sam,

    The context of the post is very limited, for that matter all posts are, since it can be difficult to understand the context of where the person is coming from as well as the words themselves.

    With that said, a lot of people in La Raza and MEChA as well, can be discerned as well meaning. Just as those that may have joined the Nazi party in the Weimer Republic of the 1930s.

    I.E., not all people are bad by association.

    With that said, considering the educational and intellectual background of Miss Sonia Sotomayor, it can be construed as a very poor judgement on her part for being affiliated with such organizations. As well as her work in college for calling for Puerto Rican independence.

    For all we know, she may well be a very patriotic American and is embarressed by her poor choice of words. Unfortunately she does not have the character to admit the errors of her way since she is determined to be a Supreme Court Justice.

    If she were to recant and be apologetic, I would certainly be one of the very first to accept it and maybe even accept her as a Supreme Court Justice, but her admitting her mistakes is not part of her character. Sadly. She is of this world and not Christs.

    I am beyond “ethnic” politics, at least I think so. If the nominee were of “Latino” ethnicity but of a practicing Catholic, I would be celebrating the fact that she is Catholic. Not that she is “Latino”.

    I have no doubt that she will be confirmed, regardless of her less than stellar career as a district judge, since it seems to guilty white liberals that ethnicity and empathy trump experience and character.

    My posting was basically for historical posterity. So when people look back and see the baffling and poor writing of Miss Sonia Sotomayor, they will see why she was placed on the bench.

    Simply because of the color of her skin and her gender. Not because she was qualified.

  • Tito, thanks for acknowledging the limits here. But even given the limitations you mention, I don’t understand the meaning of many of the words you are using (e.g. liberal, the problem with PR independence, belonging to the world vs. Christ) and the concepts that follow.

    The biggest problem, however, is that you seem to have missed a major consequence of my comment. Namely, that your interpretation of Sotomayor here, posted for posterity, could in fact be completely wrong. Which would mean she would have no reason to apologize int eh first place. Instead, she would only have to say what she meant in a way that a bit more clear.

    So, the needed apology would only be if you are right here, but—and this was my point—you may be quite wrong and neither one of us can possibly know that for sure. But, while you say you have serious limits, being wrong isn’t really one of them here.

    No, my point is not saying that guilt by association is true (of course it isn’t), it is saying that, given what she said, there are other possible interpretation that should keep our decisions on the matter (i.e. what she said) open ended for now.

    There is a decidedly partisan tone to your argument, as I read it, that seems to prevent you from granting that limitation. Without doing so, I fear you are simply asserting something as plausible for your cause as the other are plausible for the other side of the aisle. My point is this: both sides are bankrupt, we do much better thinking free from them, and, if we do, then, we cannot say the things you are saying here or the other side is saying there—you are both wrong, for now.

  • Forgive the grammar and misspellings, I think the basic ideas are still intelligible, though.

  • Sam,

    I respectfully disagree with your sentiments.

    I am not a registered Republican and have rightfully castigated people such as Rudy Guiliani and Sean Hannity for being less than truthful in their faith.

    I am a history buff and always take care with what I write knowing that history will prove me right in the end (at least I think so). In addition, you pointing out the fact that this is an opinion is like accusing the President of being partisan. Of course it is my opinion, that is why I wrote this piece.

    I do presume, based on the mountain of information that I have, especially since I feel that I am a patriotic American and disavow all calls for the dissolution of union when it comes to Puerto Rico. If Miss Sotomayor would apologize for her un-American statements in supporting anarchy and her racist remarks, then I would be supportive.

    But considering her lack of faith and her lack of character, I highly doubt this will occur. Though I would be happy to be corrected here.

    Grammar and misspellings are easily forgiven. Please forgive me as well for the same.

    For posterity’s sake, I opine that history will judge Miss Sotomayor harshly. May she return to her faith and find solace in the Lord with His mercy so she can deal with the shame and rightful scorn that will be placed upon her during her time (assuming she gets confirmed) as a Supreme Court Justice.

Overwork in the Age of Multi-tasking

Wednesday, June 3, AD 2009

The weekend’s WSJ had an interesting article about work hours — the hours that people think they work, and the hours they actually do.

Over the past two decades of rapid technological deployment and globalization, it has become an article of faith among the professional set that we work sweatshop hours. Sociologist Juliet Schor started the rumor with her 1992 book, “The Overworked American,” which featured horror stories of people checking their watches to know what day it was.

Then God created the BlackBerry and things got worse. In late 2005, Fortune’s Jody Miller claimed that “the 60-hour weeks once thought to be the path to glory are now practically considered part-time.” In late 2006, the Harvard Business Review followed up with an article on “the dangerous allure of the 70-hour workweek,” calling jobs that required such labor the new standard for professionals. The authors featured one “Sudhir,” a financial analyst who claimed to work 90-hour weeks during summertime, his “light” season. He’s got nothing on a young man I met at a party recently who told me he was working 190 hours a week to launch his new company.

It was a curious declaration; I would certainly invest in a start-up that had invented a way to augment the 168 hours that a week actually contains.

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3 Responses to Overwork in the Age of Multi-tasking

  • My guess is that in addition to the factors mentioned in this article, part of the discrepancy is due to the fact that each additional hour of work is probably more taxing than the previous hour. If you are running ten miles, the tenth mile is likely to be significantly harder (and perhaps feel longer) than the first. The same goes, I suspect, for hours worked in a day or week.

  • Once, when I was working as a paralegal, I had to get something out of the office of a young attorney who put in excessively long hours even by DC law firm standards. His office door was partly open and I tapped on it before sticking my head inside. He looked the very picture of lawyerly diligence, hunched over his desk, head resting on his hand. He appeared to be so focused on whatever he was reading that I hestitated to say anything – and then I heard a loud snore,…,hope he didn’t include the naps in his billable hours;-)

    I think that if it were possible to gauge the number of hours Americans actually spend working vs. the time spent at work, you’d see quite a discrepancy. How many goofy or inspirational emails and video clips do you get forwarded to you in the course of a day at work? Personal emails, personal calls, chit-chat with co-workers, etc. Some of that is what makes the day bearable, of course – we are not robots. But we all know people who, er, spend a wee bit more time on personal stuff and entertainment than they should(like a former boss of mine who was excellent at farming her work out and spent the better part of Friday morning doing the WSJ crossword puzzle.)

    Of course, I’m an exception, nose to the grindstone every second of the day;-).

  • This reminds me of the time when virus attacks were more frequent. Then the newspapers carried banner headlines on the billions and billions lost due to lost “productivity”, thankfully these billions of dollars were apparently made up for without much fuss in the succeeding days. I knew a Frenchman who insisted that one should not work extra hours. He claimed that work should be done in the alloted time. Anything further showed a lack of competence. incomete

14 Responses to DC Metal

  • Thanks for the laugh! That video was funny.

    I don’t understand the problems the diarist has with building smaller cars, though. Does the Catholic Church have a problem with small cars? WWJD (What would Jesus Drive)?

  • It’s difficult to shoehorn four children into a Focus.

  • Then you must have less children!!!!!!!!

  • Clearly, Jesus would drive a beat up old pickup with the apostles all riding in the back. James and John’s mother would then show up and ask if one of them could ride shotgun.

    And lo, when you enter into the Chevy, who will sit at the right hand of the Son?

    I was always kind of charmed by those post-war German micro-cars, having a fondness for small cars. Still, there’s no point in making cars that people don’t want, it’s simply wasteful. The evidence doesn’t seem to point to a situation where everyone wants tiny cars but Detroit refuses to make them. Rather, the reason why they don’t make more small cars is because there’s a limitted market fo them.

    That may change, but in the meantime there’s the danger that the administration is pushing GM to make a car that will simply push them deeper into trouble.

  • What would Jesus drive?

    Let’s see. A guy with long hair and sandals who goes around preaching peace and love with a bunch of other dudes with long hair and sandals. I’m guessing he’d drive this:

    http://www.idcow.net/idcow/products/ym2032.jpg

  • Suffice it to say, Jesus would’ve needed to drive something large enough to accomodate 13 fully-grown men on numerous round trips between Gallilee and Judea.

    But then, I’m guessing those who ask the question in the first place are probably likely to peg Jesus as the sort who would’ve used public transportation to get him and his disciples from Point A to Point B.

  • “It’s difficult to shoehorn four children into a Focus.”

    Hell, it’s difficult to get four children into a minivan when each one of them is required by law to have his or her own car seat/booster seat. We could easily fit a 5th and maybe even a 6th kid into our minivan if it weren’t for the booster seat requirement for the older kids.

    It’s pretty much gotten to the point where larger families (i.e. more than 4 kids) have to take 2 cars to get where they’re going.

  • DarwinCatholic,
    When I visited Europe I loved seeing those teeny little cars, too! I would never buy one – it just wouldn’t be safe, and no room for kids, groceries, mutt!

    I do think more people want fuel efficient and safe cars. There is a concern that the smaller cars are not safe because there are so many large trucks and SUVs on the highway that upon impact would destroy the small car, regardless of how many airbags it has.

    For me, I want to see more people buy smaller, lighter cars so we don’t have those worries (being trampled by the Suburbans, etc), but it’s also like circumcision. I want more people to reject circumcision so that the boys who aren’t circumcised become the majority (disclosure: my son is not circumcised).

  • Jesus and his twelve comrades were all illegal immigrants engaging in border crossing protests to emphasize the sinful structures of society! They drove around Palestine in a low-rider pickup camel with flames painted on the side.

  • Viona,
    I do think more people want fuel efficient and safe cars. There is a concern that the smaller cars are not safe because there are so many large trucks and SUVs on the highway that upon impact would destroy the small car, regardless of how many airbags it has.

    When you have only 2 feet of steel in front of you a concrete wall is deadly too, not so much with 8 feet of American steel. Big and small cars can be fuel efficient, but small cars just can’t be made as safe as big cars can. I’ll stick with big, safe and efficient… with the emphasis on safe.

    For me, I want to see more people buy smaller, lighter cars so we don’t have those worries (being trampled by the Suburbans, etc), but it’s also like circumcision. I want more people to reject circumcision so that the boys who aren’t circumcised become the majority (disclosure: my son is not circumcised).

    I also want more people buy smaller, lighter cars so that my wife and child will be even safer in her truck. Thank you to all of those people buying smart cars for making the road safer for them.

    I’m with you on circumcision by the way, but we certainly don’t want the government to levy heavy taxes on those who chose to circumcise, right?

    Jay,

    VW van is dead on!

  • i,

    You’ve read Miguel Diaz.

  • Jay: I think you’re right. But the van needs a groovy paint job with gospel verses written in Day-Glo orange and purple.

    When my dad nagged my big brother to get a haircut back in the late ’60’s, my brother’s best argument was to point at the print of the “Last Supper” we had hanging in the kitchen and say “Dad, do you see any buzz cuts there?”

Did Francis Schaeffer advocate the "violent overthrow" of the U.S. government?

Tuesday, June 2, AD 2009

In a Vox Nova post, Gerald Campbell claims the following of Francis Schaeffer:

In 1982, Frank’s father (Francis Schaeffer) wrote a book called A Christian Manifesto in which he called for the use of force if all other means of stopping abortion failed. He compared the United States and its practice of legalized abortion to Hitler’s Germany and argued that whatever means might have removed Hitler could be used to stop abortion here. In 1984, Frank Schaeffer wrote A Time for Anger. in which he argued the same point. His book became a national best seller with the help of the evangelical movement. Dr. James Dobson alone gave away 100,000 copies.

Gerald is not only wrong, but I believe — having corrected him once already on this very matter — he joins Frank Schaeffer in wilful slander of his father.

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31 Responses to Did Francis Schaeffer advocate the "violent overthrow" of the U.S. government?

  • Campbell twisting the truth so as to demonize pro-lifers and defend his pro-choice position? Ain’t the first time.

  • This piece is just crap. No one suggested Francis Schaeffer advocated the violent overthrow of the U.S. government. Period.

  • Gerald,

    If you knew your piece was “just crap”, why did you write it?

  • This piece is just crap. No one suggested Francis Schaeffer advocated the violent overthrow of the U.S. government. Period.

    Um, you did.

    In March 2008, you linked to and cited approvingly the opening lines of an article you previously linked to, and republished in condensed form, by Frank Schaeffer (“Frank Schaeffer Decries Double Standard” Vox Nova March 17, 2008).

    When Senator Obama’s preacher thundered about racism and injustice Obama suffered smear-by-association. But when my late father — Religious Right leader Francis Schaeffer — denounced America and even called for the violent overthrow of the US government, he was invited to lunch with presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush, Sr.

    I responded and corrected you in the comments, as well as Catholics in the Public Square.

  • Campbell:

    Provide your proof (citation and direct quotations, preferably with PDF scans or some other means of verifying your accuracy) that the following claims are correct:

    Schaeffer “called for the use of force if all other means of stopping abortion failed.”

    Schaeffer “argued that whatever means might have removed Hitler could be used to stop abortion here.”

  • Very brave of Frank the Younger to blast Catholics without noting that the Orthodox refer to abortion as murder.

    See, e.g.: http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8083

    Yet not a word about that. Oh, and it’s nice to see him continuing his Pope Formosus act with his father’s corpse.

  • The ONLY reason I disagree with the idea of a ‘revolution’ to stop abortion is because it is NOT like the Holocaust, or to use a more accurate modern comparison, China’s forced abortion policy. It is something desired and sought out by large numbers of Americans on a regular basis, something woven into our cultural fabric as a result of consumerism and materialism (as JP II argued again and again).

    That said, every individual abortionist is still a murderer, as are those who solicit his services, and even while addressing the root cause of abortion we should strive for just laws that recognize the dignity of the unborn and meet out the proper punishment.

  • Joe,
    Your last comment represents my views as well, and expresses them perfectly.

  • Anyone see Gerald’s refusal to take Blackadder’s views into account, instead obstinately declaring twice that he still believes Frank Schaeffer’s interpretation (for no reason that he seems to be able to explain).

    If you’re going to play the part of a peacemaker who is against harsh rhetoric and just wants everyone to get along, it isn’t exactly persuasive if your case rests on demonizing and misrepresenting what other people said.

  • Yep, I saw that, S.B. Well, I have to concede “partisan” and “peacemaker” share a couple of letters.

    “Calumny: It’s OK when I do it.”

  • Franky Schaeffer has made a career out of his father. First by trying to follow in his footsteps and second by spitting on his grave. He is for the moment a useful tool for the far Left and they are welcome to him.

  • Kind of odd when you think about it. Franklin Graham is the very visible face in front of Billy Graham Ministries- taking it where his father stopped due to infirmity. Joel Osteen’s father was just a pal of Kenneth Copeland in the 70s. Now the church is a Sunday teevee staple and eminates from the former home of the NBA Houston Rockets. Not sure what’s going on inside the noggin of Frank the Younger and why he’s ripping on Pop. Better that we don’t know.

  • Just one question: why should anyone care what Francis Schaeffer thought about anything?

  • Joe Hargrave,

    The ONLY reason I disagree with the idea of a ‘revolution’ to stop abortion is because it is NOT like the Holocaust, or to use a more accurate modern comparison, China’s forced abortion policy. It is something desired and sought out by large numbers of Americans on a regular basis, something woven into our cultural fabric as a result of consumerism and materialism (as JP II argued again and again).

    in that sense it is in no substantial way different from the Holocaust. In spite of the fact that it is perhaps slightly more popularly supported than Hitler’s Holocaust, it is in reality quite similar in that many of it’s supporters are wilfully blind to the true nature of it.

    The reason that armed rebellion is not justified in this case is pure and simple. It would violate Catholic teaching of just war on certainly one and probably two or three points.

    1. All other means have not been exhausted
    2. It will cause more harm than good
    3. It has no reasonable chance of success

    That said, every individual abortionist is still a murderer, as are those who solicit his services, and even while addressing the root cause of abortion we should strive for just laws that recognize the dignity of the unborn and meet out the proper punishment.

    Amen brother.

  • Matt,

    I disagree, and I’d like to do so without the usual animosity.

    A while back a book came out arguing that the Holocaust was the result of the ‘anti-Semitism of the ordinary German’. Most historians panned the book, and rightfully so – most Germans did not know about the Holocaust until it was too late. They certainly had no idea when they elected Hitler that he would murder millions of people in death camps. It isn’t as if it were part of the Nazi party program.

    Abortion is not motivated by an ideological hatred of the unborn, it is motivated by personal, selfish reasons that find rationalizations in ideology. The Holocaust was imposed by the Nazis from above; abortion is chosen by the people from below. Most people don’t want to murder their children – they just want to not have them, and it so happens that murdering them is the the most expedient way to abandon parental responsibility.

    So, I do see a difference there. There are root causes of abortion that require a much different strategy than would be the case if the government were forcing women to get abortions, in which case, I would argue, we would have a right to revolution.

    As for the criteria for just war, if the government were carrying out a Holocaust – an actual Holocaust, like the Nazi Holocaust – I would take up arms against it and, if I am wrong to do so, take it up with God when I meet him.

  • Joe,

    A while back a book came out arguing that the Holocaust was the result of the ‘anti-Semitism of the ordinary German’. Most historians panned the book, and rightfully so – most Germans did not know about the Holocaust until it was too late. They certainly had no idea when they elected Hitler that he would murder millions of people in death camps. It isn’t as if it were part of the Nazi party program.

    Perhaps they didn’t actively believe that he would murder millions, however, they know that the Nazi’s believed that Jews were subhuman, and that they would be subject to all sorts of oppression and violence before he was elected, and they knew that all sorts of horrible things were going on to the Jews.

    Abortion is not motivated by an ideological hatred of the unborn, it is motivated by personal, selfish reasons that find rationalizations in ideology. The Holocaust was imposed by the Nazis from above; abortion is chosen by the people from below. Most people don’t want to murder their children – they just want to not have them, and it so happens that murdering them is the the most expedient way to abandon parental responsibility.

    So, I do see a difference there. There are root causes of abortion that require a much different strategy than would be the case if the government were forcing women to get abortions, in which case, I would argue, we would have a right to revolution.

    The unborn are the victims being forced into the the death rooms, just like the Jews were. It matters not a wit that the mother is participating in it, it is still state supported, state protected.

    As for the criteria for just war, if the government were carrying out a Holocaust – an actual Holocaust, like the Nazi Holocaust – I would take up arms against it and, if I am wrong to do so, take it up with God when I meet him.

    Even given that we live in a democracy, and that the rebellion would do more harm than good, and would not be successful you would attack the government?

    Are you rejecting my assessment of the conditions of just war, or are you rejecting Catholic doctrine on Just War???? Tell me how you answer the test of doing more harm than good, or the impossible chance of success?

  • Matt,

    There is a difference with respect to strategy, is what I am saying.

    Overthrowing the Nazi regime would have meant ending the Holocaust.

    Overthrowing the US government would not mean ending abortion because it is something the people want. If the majority or even a large minority wants it, there are few ways to prevent it, and getting rid of the current government isn’t one of them.

    That is why ending abortion is ultimately about changing the culture, though we must also work to change the law as well. Unlike some in our camp, I would put changing the culture as a higher priority than changing the law.

    As for your final questions: to the first one, yes. But the proper word is not ‘attack’ – the proper word is ‘resist’. Like the Warsaw uprising or the revolt at the Sobibor death camp, we have a right to resist, to preserve not only our own lives both those being immediately threatened, as millions of Chinese babies are in China, for instance. If we don’t have a right to fight to defend our own lives or the lives of our neighbors as they are being exterminated, then we may as well have no rights at all. I won’t live in such a world. I will change it or die trying.

    As for your assessment of just war – I’m not sure that resistance against wholesale slaughter warrants any reference at all to just war theory. Self-defense is a legitimate right. If we were invaded tomorrow by China or Russia, we wouldn’t have to consult the Church as to whether or not it would be ok to resist the invasion. Likewise if the state has a policy of genocide, it has effectively declared war on its own people. If your argument is that we must stand idly by while millions are exterminated by the government lest we violate just war theory, I reject that argument.

    And if that is in fact what the Church argues, then, like I said, I will take up my transgressions with what I believe to be a just God in the hereafter. I have my limits. It would indeed be insane and imprudent to fight a civil war over legal abortion, but it would be plain crazy not to resist a policy of genocide.

  • So, if instead of rounding up the Jews, the government simply declared open season on Jews. Anyone could grab one and kill him, would that qualify as “a genocide” that is then exempt from just war theory? or is it only “resistance” to the government which is exempt from these principles?

    If we were invaded tomorrow by China or Russia, we wouldn’t have to consult the Church as to whether or not it would be ok to resist the invasion

    no, we don’t always need to “consult” the Church, but we certainly need to apply the moral principles which the Church provides in any situation. Certainly if Russia or China invaded, just war principles could be met, because the resistance would almost certainly be successful. But what if the imbalance was so great that no chance of success existed? Would it be morally acceptable to commit suicide?

  • Matt,

    It’s a good question – in spite of the snide tone. There’s no need for you to reply to this as if we’re fighting yet again.

    It’s still not quite the same as abortion, because not ‘anyone’ can grab any woman and force her to abort. Abortion is allowed by the government, yes, but it is the power differential between the mother, and sometimes the father, and the unborn child that is really the mechanism causing the abortion.

    What legal abortion does is offer people a way to abandon their parental responsibilities. Thus it is a much more personal thing than one ethnic group wanting to cleanse another ethnic group. That we could stop in various ways, through military intervention, diplomacy, or whatever. You can’t do that with tens of millions of individual family units.

    So legal abortion is not tantamount to a declaration of ‘open season’ on the unborn – it is still, at least in some states, considered homicide if an act of violence against a pregnant woman ends up killing her wanted child. What we have here is something very specific – a law that allows individual mothers to kill their children.

    As for the last paragraph, I absolutely reject the notion that the morality of our resistance depends upon our chances of success, which in any event are hard to know with absolute certainty. My intention in resisting would not be to commit suicide, but to do what is in my power to resist evil. I would not go out of my way to seek my own death, I would try to survive for as long as I could and, perhaps, turn a situation where to odds are against me into one where they are not against me.

  • Thanks Christopher for again reminding us that this guy is to put it in a polite way eccentric

    I very much think the earlier article you link and his comments today are very telling

    In 2008

    “Today we have a marriage of convenience between the right wing fundamentalists who hate Obama, and the “progressive” Clintons who are playing the race card through their own smear machine. As Jane Smiley writes in the Huffington Post “[The Clinton’s] are, indeed, now part of the ‘vast right wing conspiracy.’

    “Both the far right Republicans and the stop-at-nothing Clintons are using the “scandal” of Obama’s preacher to undermine the first black American candidate with a serious shot at the presidency. Funny thing is, the racist Clinton/Far Right smear machine proves that Obama’s minister had a valid point. There is plenty to yell about these days.”

    Yes that is the same Clinton that is Obama ‘s Sec of State. Who knew Obama put in his Cabinet and in fact in one of the most important positions in the U.S. Government a person behind the “hate machine”.

    The piece today

    “Regardless, the same hate machine I was part of is still attacking all abortionists as “murderers.” And today, once again, the “pro-life” leaders are busy ducking their personal responsibility for people acting on their words. The people who stir up the fringe never take responsibility. But I’d like to say that I, and the people I worked with in the pro-life movement, all contributed to this killing by our foolish and incendiary words.”

    Wow so many hate machines!!! One gets a sense that anything is a hate machine that dares disagrees strong with the Frank Schaeffer. I think it is apparent who is throwing “incendiary” words around.

  • You can’t do that with tens of millions of individual family units.

    You don’t need to. Abortion is only possible because the government allows and protects the operation of abortuaries. Close them, and abortion is over. That is a significant portion of our non-violent “war”.

    As for the last paragraph, I absolutely reject the notion that the morality of our resistance depends upon our chances of success, which in any event are hard to know with absolute certainty.

    It depends entirely on the alternative. If it’s subjection vs the loss of an entire people, surrender would be the only morally acceptable action (again, where there is no reasonable possibility of success).

    My intention in resisting would not be to commit suicide, but to do what is in my power to resist evil. I would not go out of my way to seek my own death, I would try to survive for as long as I could and, perhaps, turn a situation where to odds are against me into one where they are not against me.

    I am not speaking here of the morality of an individual or unit accepting a “suicide” mission but the certainty that resistance would lead to a greater harm than good, and having no reasonable chance for success.

    Sorry if you confuse my blunt approach for “snideness”, if I was sensitive I’d probably accuse you of the same for saying something about “consulting the Church in order to act”.

  • So now Gerald (in the VN thread) is claiming that he objects to forthright descriptions of abortion because he’d rather change hearts:

    No one said that the truth should not be told about abortion. It should. What was said is that truth should be told with a view to a practical end.
    * * *
    If one wants to defend innocent lives in America, the best way is to change hearts and minds.

    The obvious problem is that Gerald admittedly never tries change people’s “hearts and minds” so as to oppose abortion . . . he couldn’t name even a single such effort when directly asked. To the contrary, he’s constantly trying to “change hearts and minds” in favor of pro-choice policies, i.e., arguing that letting women choose abortion is “reasonable and ethically defensible,” or that abortion “should be decided at the level of the women, the doctor, and the pastor. This is subsidiarity.”

    What explains this phenomenon of seemingly intelligent people acting like such dimwits? It’s one thing to argue that letting people choose abortion is ethical, but it’s just stupid to pretend that your aim in making such arguments is to persuade anyone that abortion is wrong.

    Again, one doesn’t see this phenomenon on the right . . . I’m not aware of any commentators who constantly make arguments about how having the death penalty is ethical and wise, and who never utter even a single word that is critical of the death penalty, but who then turn around and expect everyone to be stupid enough to believe that their objective is to “change hearts and minds” against the death penalty rather than in favor of it.

  • S.B.:

    Not only that, but the “hearts and minds only” campaign effectively argues for the repeal of the few provisions on the books which attempt to put the brakes on abortion, i.e., parental notification, waiting periods, medical certification (however weak).

    In what other social problem does anyone make this argument? Try it with drunk driving, exploitation of migrant workers, employment discrimination, and the sheer vacuousness shines through.

    More to the point: where has it ever worked?

  • I’m curious as to why Catholics care one way or another what Francis Shaeffer thought about anything.

  • Francis Schaeffer was a very thoughtful man who deserves the bulk of the credit for rallying evangelicals to the pro-life cause (e.g., the Southern Baptists were initially pro-choice after Roe). He also deserves enormous credit for broadening the intellectual horizon of American evangelicalism.

    Here’s an overview of his life and work.

    http://www.markheard.net/heardtribute/archive/schaeffer1_c_today1997.html

    http://www.markheard.net/heardtribute/archive/schaeffer2_c_today1997.html

  • I’m curious as to why Catholics care one way or another what Francis Shaeffer thought about anything.

    Dymphna,

    Thanks for commenting.

    Well, I certainly can’t speak for the rest of my colleagues. But as for myself, being the author of the post in question, several reasons:

    As a Christian philosopher and theologian, Francis Schaeffer had a great influence in the 70’s and 80’s. He’s credited with inspiring Christian political activism, particularly in response to the moral scandal of legalized abortion. He also provided a ‘counter-cultural’ Christian witness and renewal to many who were aimless and wandering in those years. My parents in what you might call their ‘hippie’ years spent time with him at his Swiss retreat in La’Bri, and (by way of reading my father’s books) he subsequently played a role in my own religious development.

    Curiously, the Catholic Anarchist and Morning’s Minion (residents of Vox Nova) might something to appreciate in Schaeffer — such as his critique of American consumerism; his ‘preferential option for the poor’; his ecological-mindedness (see Pollution and the Death of Man: A Christian few of ecology) … that is to say if they only got over their phobia towards Christian Evangelicals. 😉

    There is a recent biography written about him that captures what I and no doubt others find inspirational:

    The man who cared enough to tutor a little boy with Down Syndrome is also the man who told his church in St. Louis that he would resign if a black person ever came to his church and felt unwelcome. The budding intellectual who answered the existential questions of college students in Europe is also the agitator who took up the cause of the unborn and became arguably the finest shaper of and advocate for a potent evangelical critique of modern culture.

    Why should Catholics care one way or the other about Francis Schaeffer? Or C.S. Lewis for that matter? Or any other Protestant or non-Catholic writer? — That’s a question you’ll have to discern for yourself.

    But even as a convert from Protestantism, I still retain my interest and appreciation for those who have played a role in forming and inspiring me as a Christian.

    And insofar as I have an interest in ecumenism, particularly in the collaboration between Catholics and evangelicals in responding to the relativism and secularism of our nation, I find Schaeffer’s witness relevant today.

    That said — with respect to the current topic, when somebody misrepresents Schaeffer’s thought and engages in falsehoods (whether it’s his own heterodox son or a fellow Catholic like Gerald Campbell), I feel obliged to correct the record.

  • Even if he did advocate it – so what? Are you folks so wrapped up in an American Exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny mentality that you can not forsee any circumstances under which we should hit the reset button? The world existed prior to the USA and will exist after it is long gone. There is only one earthly institution against which Hell will not prevail.

  • awakaman,

    Even if he did advocate it – so what? Are you folks so wrapped up in an American Exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny mentality that you can not forsee any circumstances under which we should hit the reset button? The world existed prior to the USA and will exist after it is long gone. There is only one earthly institution against which Hell will not prevail.

    No awakaman, we are so wrapped up in Catholic teaching that we would not endorse an unjust war, which a rebellion in a democratic nation would be. Our system of government has flaws, and is in need of reform, but it is still a democracy.

  • Hargrave, Petrik, Thank you.

  • Matt,

    “Abortion is only possible because the government allows and protects the operation of abortuaries. Close them, and abortion is over. That is a significant portion of our non-violent “war”.”

    Even if it took a Supreme Court ruling, against the will of the people at the time, to legalize abortion, now we can see that it does have much broader (but not absolute) support from the population. That is what really continues to make it possible.

    Since we live in a democracy, a democratic republic to be more precise, that counts for something. It means that the law at least in part depends on the will of the people, which in turn depends upon many things, most importantly, the culture in which they live.

    So I will continue to maintain that this is an important distinction between abortion, and the Holocaust, or abortion and any other policy where the state and not individuals are the actors – it is a distinction important for strategy and tactics.

    As for the just war stuff – again, if you are being faced with a war of extermination, which is what genocide is, it would be suicidal and probably therefore immoral not to resist. And even if it is not ‘your group’ targeted with elimination, I still think it would be unconscionable not to resist with them.

    So, yes, a policy of genocide would not only mean that resistance is allowed, but in fact a duty. But we do not have that now. We have a cultural disease that no amount of killing will put a stop to.

  • Matt:

    Wow someone on this blog recognizing that there is such a thing as an unjust war. However, using your reasoning the American Revolution was an unjust war.

The Abortion Issue as Pressure Without an Outlet

Tuesday, June 2, AD 2009

I have an reflexive admiration for writers who writers who actively think through questions and come to conclusions which are not necessarily indicated by their initial commitments — even though this effect is usually achieved by the writer disagreeing with me on at least some basic elements of worldview. Megal McArdle, who blogs for The Atlantic, is often one such, and she has a very interesting set of posts dealing with the murder of abortionist George Tiller.

The War on The War on Abortion

A Really Long Post About Abortion and Reasoning By Historical Analogy That is Going to Make Virtually All of My Readers Very Angry At Me

One More Post on Abortion

There are a couple more as well, but these struck me as the most fascinating. McArdle is basically pro-choice, and an economic libertarian, though in most ways was more an Obama supporter than a McCain one. But her take on this is event is a characteristically interesting one:

if you actually think late-term abortion is murder, then the murder of Dr. Tiller makes total sense. Putting up touching anecdotes about people he’s helped find adoptions, etc, doesn’t change the fact that if you think late-term abortions are murder, the man was systematically butchering hundreds of human beings a year–indeed, not merely butchering them, but vivisecting them without anaesthetic. I’m sure many mass murderers have done any number of kind things over the course of their lives, to which the correct response, if you’re trying to stop the murders, is “so?”

Imagine a future in which the moral consensus has changed, and our grandchildren regard abortion the way we regard slavery. Who will the hero of history be: Tiller, or his murderer? At the very least, they’ll be conflicted, the way we are about John Brown.

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25 Responses to The Abortion Issue as Pressure Without an Outlet

  • When I read this, it said to me that that if you believe that abortion is wrong – is murder – then it is noble to stop it by any means necessary. What a frightening thought! It is linear thinking like this that allows the Animal Liberation Front radicals to bomb Universities where there is animal testing and primate research. It is wrong-headed!

    I also watched Fr. Pavone’s video that was kindly posted a couple days ago. He needs to spend a few years in prayerful contemplation, I think.

    It must be hard to think so firmly in black and white. Or maybe it is easier, I don’t know. I believe in the morning-after pill and think if it was more widely available we would have fewer abortions. I cannot imagine a world where the law makes young girls who have been victims of incest or rape criminals. In Brazil a nine year old girl was molested and raped by her stepfather and became pregnant. The doctors claimed she would be at risk of death if she attempted to give birth so they followed through with an abortion. The Catholic Church ex-communicated the doctors and the mother, but, tellingly, did not ex-communicate the step-father. Here is a link.

  • In the days of Christ, there were Insurgents among the Jews, correct? They are even mentioned some in the New Testament. The Romans probably did some unjust things and these revolutionaries responded besides the fact that some of the local authorities, Kings and Sanhedrin were not necessarily kind either.

    So in this way, I think the situation of today compares to that one. Yet, Jesus tried to be peaceful and loving.

  • I cannot imagine a world where the law makes young girls who have been victims of incest or rape criminals.

    Nor can I. Nor do I advocate for one. Nor has, to my knowledge anyone here. The reaction of the prelates in Brazil was wrong. Especially with regard to the stepfather, who in a more civilized time would have been hanged by the neck until dead for his crime.

    I also cannot imagine a world where the law enshrines as sacrosanct the process of dismembering viable infants in the womb for the flimsiest of “health” reasons.

    That’s because I don’t have to imagine it–I live in it. And you defend it.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/99-830.ZD2.html

  • No, TomSVDP, Jesus WAS peaceful and loving.

  • Just an amazing post with amazing commentary, DC.

    The problem with taking the problem of abortion completely beyond the influence of regular Americans through democratic processes is that it can elicit an extreme response that seems like the only available reponse.

  • Personally, I think they should have hanged the father in that case, but I’m old fashioned…

    You are, however, significantly mis-reading Megan McArdle. Perhaps it would be easier to go over and read the three posts I linked to in order — they’re long posts and I was only able to quote the highlights.

    She does, however, bring up two important concerns that I think you’re failing to understand. First, we _do_ tend to admire people who resist what they see as evils through sometimes violent means. So for instance, in the recent Tom Cruise movie, the German officers who plotted to assassinate Hitler were the “good guys” not the “bad guys”. John Brown, who abolitionist though he was was also a bit of a wack job, is at least seen as a prophetic figure, if not a wholly good one. Given our cultural tendency to admire revolutionaries, that someone out near the fringes would take such an action is not surprising.

    Second, it is an observable fact that if you impose a detested political situation on a population and provide them with no way to change it through the peaceful political process, that violence will begin to occur. That doesn’t make it right, but it’s observably true. We are all familiar with this from watching the Middle East routinely engulfed violence on television. We should hardly be surprised if it applies in our own country as well.

    Megan deserves more thought than you’re giving her. The Atlantic is one of the more thoughtful mainstream outlets out there (to my mind, signficantly better than The New Yorker or the New York Review of Books) and Megan is one of the more interesting of their in-house bloggers. And on the moral question of abortion itself, you agrees with you more than with me. It’d be wise to get past the intellectual gag reflex and read what she has to say fairly.

  • DC,
    I will give it another read. I don’t want to interpret her unfairly. You went to a lot of work putting the diary together and it deserves a careful read.

  • viona walsch Says:
    Tuesday, June 2, 2009 A.D. at 12:44 pm

    No, TomSVDP, Jesus WAS peaceful and loving.

    ———————

    That is your righteousness revolting as it is. Now, let’s look grammatically at my sentence:

    ” Yet, Jesus tried to be peaceful and loving.”

    Now, you wish to change this grammatically to how??

    “Yet, Jesus WAS to be peaceful and loving.”

    Buzz off!

  • Ms McArdle is right. Roe was robbery. Period. The Court dishonestly removed a policy matter from the political process by simply declaring one side had one based on ficticious constitutional penumbra. If they had let the political process work normally, laws would differ among states but overall would be more restrictive — probably much like most of western Europe. Pro-life forces would continue their effort to tighten laws by persuading voters and their representatives of the righteousness of their cause. As it stands now, such efforts are largely feckless due to artificial and unfair judicial constraints. The other side one by cheating. It is hardly surprising that the cheated side gets angry, and that is why Ms. McArdle is right.

  • Information about the bishops in Brazil comes from Reuters, a source not known for its impartiality. I believe that we should not get our panties all into a twist about events in other countries, about which we are liable to be misinformed.
    The Church is not against abortion when the mother’s life is in danger. It tells the doctors simply that they must try to save both.
    The father would not have been excommunicated. Sin is not a cause for excommunication, or we would all be excommunicated.

  • May God have mercy on the souls of those associated with the website who’s hate-filled rhetoric (e.g., Tiller the Killer) is in part responsible for Tiller’s murder. His blood is on your hands. Hypocrites.

    [Editor: I’m leaving your comment up, Dave, as an example of how reflexively unthinking commenters can be, but if you have further content-less comments I’ll delete them to avoid tedium.]

  • Mr. Austin,
    I didn’t realize Reuters was biased. The article was also in the New York Times and several other papers.

    Tom,
    I am sorry I offended you. I wasn’t making a grammatical change to your comment, but only commenting on it. Your response is not appropriate.

  • Viona,
    Reuters is famously biased. Second only to the NYT.

    Dave,
    Tiller was a killer. Just in case you didn’t know.

  • The thing is, Dave is right – except for the part about being hypocrites.

    We are partially responsible, in that we speak the truth about abortion. I say, so what? It is more important to call abortion what it is than to worry about what happens to the abortionist. What would the Daves of the world have us say? That abortion isn’t murder? If it is wrong to summarily execute Tiller, it is also wrong to tell lies so that people like him aren’t killed – even though I am quite sure that people are capable, all on their own, without our help, of recognizing that what Tiller did was infanticide, a crime against humanity.

    Here’s a thought – if being in a business that half the country, possibly more, regards as child murder is dangerous, get out of that business. Stop chopping up babies as if they were pieces of meat.

    Unfortunately whats going to happen is what McArdle predicts – an irrational, hysterical, and senseless reaction that will be taken out on the victims of abortion by fighting even harder it. You just have to look at the commentary, both from the paid writers and bloggers of the left, and from their mobs of vicious com-boxers following in their wake, to realize what is coming next.

    It isn’t going to be a ‘dialogue’ about abortion, that’s for sure.

  • Darwin, you are exactly right about the democratic process here.

  • How many of Tiller’s procedures would have been illegal in many European countries?

    Moral conservatives and their critics often cite a scholastic dictum about laws not being so restrictive that they encourage disrespect for the law. Sometimes laws can be so permissive that they too encourage disrespect.

    It’s also possible that the media fail to relieve pressure on the abortion issue by ignoring it (though some certainly increase the pressure).

    People are going after O’Reilly for hitting Tiller hard before his lamentable murder, but if more “respectable” outlets were critical of Tiller then that could even have a moderating effect. If you have an ally in the MSM, you’re more inclined to think the system has a chance of changing. And that ally will be a person of moderation, not a fire-starter.

    McArdle’s ability for intellectual sympathy may advance this irenic attitude, even if she isn’t an ally of pro-lifers.

    I’m wary of saying that pro-lifers need to reexamine themselves because of what one violent man did. That would define an effort by its extreme.

    However, considering the cautionary example of “Bleeding Kansas” in the 1850s, I suggest we remind everybody who compares pro-lifers to American abolitionists:

    Abolitionists, and the reaction to them, helped cause a civil war that left 600,000 dead. We need better examples than them.

  • Good point, Kevin. And here’s another thing to consider: the recent jury nullification that acquitted Tiller of his blatant skirting of the minimal restrictions on medical referrals was another example of the failure of the current system.

  • Viona, you imply that victims of rape and incest would be turned into “criminals” if abortion were made illegal.

    Well, back when abortion was illegal, it was always the doctor or other medical “professional” who performed an abortion who was punished, NOT the woman who sought one. If anything the woman was seen as a second victim — someone whom the abortionist took advantage of in her desperation.

  • Well, back when abortion was illegal, it was always the doctor or other medical “professional” who performed an abortion who was punished, NOT the woman who sought one. If anything the woman was seen as a second victim — someone whom the abortionist took advantage of in her desperation.

    This is simply wrong. I can point to several states that have laws on the books with penalties for women who commit abortion.

  • “Studying two hundred years of legal history, the American Center for Bioethics concluded: “No evidence was found to support the proposition that women were prosecuted for undergoing or soliciting abortions. The charge that spontaneous miscarriages could result in criminal prosecution is similarly insupportable. There are no documented instances of prosecution of such women for murder or for any other species of homicide; nor is there evidence that states that had provisions enabling them to prosecute women for procuring abortions ever applied those laws. The vast majority of the courts were reluctant to implicate women, even in a secondary fashion, through complicity and conspiracy charges. Even in those rare instances where an abortionist persuaded the court to recognize the woman as his accomplice, charges were not filed against her. In short, women were not prosecuted for abortions. Abortionists were. The charges of Planned Parenthood and other “pro-choice” proponents are without factual basis. Given the American legal system’s reliance on precedent, it is unlikely that enforcement of future criminal sanctions on abortion would deviate substantially from past enforcement patterns.” Women and Abortion, Prospects of Criminal Charges Monograph, American Center for Bioethics, 422 C St., NE, Washington, DC 20002, Spring 1983

  • This is almost exactly the argument that Mary Ann Glendon (of Notre Dame fame) makes in her classic Abortion and Divorce in Western Law (Harvard, 1987). Abortion advocates constantly complain that Americans should follow the European example and avoid heated arguments over abortion. Glendon shows that European countries almost all formulated and revised their present abortion laws (more restrictive than our own) by democratic means.

  • This is simply wrong. I can point to several states that have laws on the books with penalties for women who commit abortion.

    As recently as 1989, adultery was a class b misdemeanor under the Penal Law of New York (and may still be). I am not sure I have ever heard of anyone being indicted for it. Prosecutors have a good deal of discretion. (I think it legitimate to prosecute women for procuring abortions).

  • Here is WI code on the matter:
    (3) Any pregnant woman who intentionally destroys the life
    of her unborn child or who consents to such destruction by another
    may be fined not more than $200 or imprisoned not more than 6
    months or both.
    (4) Any pregnant woman who intentionally destroys the life
    of her unborn quick child or who consents to such destruction by
    another is guilty of a Class I felony.

    http://www.legis.state.wi.us/Statutes/Stat0940.pdf

    One could point to Guatemala to find an example of a woman being prosecuted for abortion. The greater difficulty has always been finding evidence thereof. My understanding is that in former times, the charge of witchcraft was more often brought because the charge was easier to prove.

  • MZ,
    Your statement about laws is not incompatable with Elan’s statemtent about enforcement. Lots of crimes are on the “books,” but not subject to prosecution. Look it up. Notwithstanding the laws, research finds only one — one — women in America that was actually prosecuted. One. Again, look it up. I’m way too busy to find it, but have reserached the matter in the past.

  • I’m not advocating for Tiller’s murder, but in response to:

    “Jesus was peaceful and loving.”

    That is true, but Jesus’ love is often misconstrued as broad tolerance for everything. Don’t forget Matthew 10:34.

    “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword.”

Age of Martyrs

Tuesday, June 2, AD 2009

 

Hattip to Southern Appeal.  The executions of Saint John Cardinal Fisher and Saint Thomas More as portrayed in The Tudors.   It was largely because of the courage that these men showed, and the courage  hundreds of other men and women demonstrated who were martyred under the Crowned Monster Henry VIII, his son, and Bloody Elizabeth, that a remnant of the Catholic faith survived for centuries in England, Wales and Scotland, in the face of bitter persecution, until Catholic Emancipation in 1829.

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4 Responses to Age of Martyrs

  • I posted a similar comment over at Feddie’s, but it is unfortunate that they got More’s line wrong: it is “… the King’s good servant AND God’s first.”

    It is important to remember that the obligations are not mutually exclusive. More believed he was serving the best interests of King and country by remaining faithful to God and the Church. In the same way, we best fulfill our patriotic obligations when we remain faithful to what God asks of us.

  • Much prefer the portrayal of Thomas Moore’s martyrdom in A Man For All Seasons.

  • I loved that movie, “A Man for All Seasons”. Thank you for reminding me of it, Anthony.

  • I loved that movie, “A Man for All Seasons”. Thank you for reminding me of it, Anthony.
    Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

Book Review: Empires of Trust (Part I)

Tuesday, June 2, AD 2009

It may seem like overkill to write a multi-part book review, but historian Thomas F. Madden’s new Empires of Trust: How Rome Built–and America Is Building–a New World explores a thesis I’ve been interested in for some time, which has significant implications for our country’s foreign policy and the wider question of what our country is and what its place in the world ought to be.

The US has been often accused, of late, of being an empire. Madden effectively accepts that this is the case, but argues that this is not necessarily a bad thing at all. Among his first projects is to lay out three different types of empire: empires of conquest, empires of commerce, and empires of trust.

An empire of conquest is one spread by military power, in which the conquering power rules over and extracts tribute from the conquered. Classic examples would include the empires of the Assyrians, Persians, Mongols, Turks, Alexander’s Hellenistic empire, Napoleon’s empire and to an extent the Third Reich, Imperial Japan and Soviet Union. Empires of conquest are spread by war, and conquered territory is ruled either by local puppet rulers or by a transplanted military elite from the conquering power.

An empire of commerce is interested only in securing enough of a political foothold in its dominions to carry on trade, and is less concerned over political control or tribute. Examples would include the British and Dutch empires; in the ancient world the Pheonicians and Athenians; and later, medieval Venice. Empires of conquest are typified by a network of far-flung colonies directly controlled by the home country, at locations which are strategic for exploiting natural resources or trading with regional powers. They are less focused on conquering large swathes of territority than with controlling enough of a foothold (and enforcing enough stability in the surrounding area) to carry on their commerce.

The book, however, is primarily concerned with a third type of empire, the empire of trust, of which Madden gives only two examples: Rome and the United States. The term “empire of trust” itself requires some unpacking.

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3 Responses to Book Review: Empires of Trust (Part I)

Rhetoric and Violence

Monday, June 1, AD 2009

As several commenters have pointed out in other threads, there were two potentially ideologically motivated murders in the last 48 hours.

On Sunday morning, a well-known late term abortionist was shot and killed while attending services at his Lutheran church.

On Monday morning, a man opened fire on the recruiters at an Army-Navy career center in Little Rock, Arkansas — killing one and injuring a second. (The military being a needed and honorable profession, my prayers are all with these men and their families.)

Suspects for both crimes are now in custody and doubtless the machinery of justice will do its work in due time.

However, only the first of these is considered national political news, and while many are calling for soul searching on the part of the pro-life movement (or in some cases for government surveillance and downright suppression on it) few seem to be making similar calls in regards to the anti-war movement.

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27 Responses to Rhetoric and Violence

  • D,

    The only thing I object to is the notion that killing Tiller – or the recruiters for that matter – is necessarily ‘eye of an eye’.

    A killing can be as much preventative as it is retributive. I’m not saying that makes it right, necessarily, but there IS a difference and in some cases, a moral difference. Perhaps not these cases.

  • Those who give a great deal of thought to class dynamics might observe that the elite which is responible for writing the news is much more sympathetic to the anti-war movement than to the pro-life movement — and further that a 60-year-old, white, upper middle class abortionist is part of their class, while military recruiters are not.

    Indeed. That violence is used to settle disputes between the lower classes is deemed tolerable, but violence used against the elite is the beginning of the end of society.

  • Excellent post Darwin.

    The narrative is clear that abortion is the elephant in the room that the left will do everything they can to ignore it if not to miss an opportunity to demonize the pro-life movement with.

  • I had just finished reading the report about the recruiter’s murder and was struck about the difference in language, tone, and emphasis between the that report and the ones on Tiller. I think you’re right that that difference suggests that this situation is being used for ends outside of justice for Tiller’s murder.

  • I had not heard of the second case, and yes, it is as wicked as the killing of Tiller.

    And yes, there is bias all the time. The people in rural and exurban communities are the first to defend their right to own guns, paying no heed to the implications of widespread availability of firearms in inner cities.

    You may be right about the media bias on this matter. I have always noticed a bias on Israel-Palestine. We always hear of Israeli deaths, and yet Palestinian deaths are downplated because the “conventional wisdom” is that Israel is somehow more in the right. For instance, how many media outlets have reported the Jewish settlers rampage this weekend, attacking Palestinians and burning their farmland?

  • MM,

    You have an interesting point, but lets keep to the topic here concerning the disparity of reporting between these two incidents that some on the extreme left are already hailing as an “eye for an eye”.

  • And yes, there is bias all the time. The people in rural and exurban communities are the first to defend their right to own guns, paying no heed to the implications of widespread availability of firearms in inner cities.

    Perhaps because they are dubious about the empirical relationship between the prevalence of gun ownership and rates of violent crime, the capacity of gun registration statutes to contain gun ownership among the wrong sort, and the relationship between the prevalence of sporting weapons in rural areas and small towns with muggings in city slums. Not only are they dubious, but econometricians who study these effects are dubious.

    You may be right about the media bias on this matter. I have always noticed a bias on Israel-Palestine. We always hear of Israeli deaths, and yet Palestinian deaths are downplated because the “conventional wisdom” is that Israel is somehow more in the right. For instance, how many media outlets have reported the Jewish settlers rampage this weekend, attacking Palestinians and burning their farmland?

    That ‘conventional wisdom’ might be based on the observation that the political objects of the local Arab population have been, in general, an ethnic cleansing extravaganza.

  • I have some real doubts as to whether my family’s deer rifles are responsible for kids getting shot in Chicago.

  • What a horrific tragedy! I will pray for these brave recruiters and their families. What senseless violence!

    However, I could find nothing online that pointed to an ideological motive. The news has said that assault weapons were found in the car, but that there is no known motive at this time.

    As Catholic, and like our Pope, I did not support the war in Iraq. I find it dubious that such a crime would be perpetrated by war protestors.

  • Steve,

    You’ve obviously been duped by a biased media.

    Viona,

    Of course. Only pro-lifers have such people on the fringe of their movement.

  • However, I could find nothing online that pointed to an ideological motive. The news has said that assault weapons were found in the car, but that there is no known motive at this time.

    Hmmmm. Someone drives up to a recruiting station and opens up on it with an assault rifle, but it’s not remotely possible that the person doing this considers the military or recruiters in particular to be evil? Not remotely possible there’s an ideological motive involved?

    Well, I don’t know… I do know that I’ve read self described pacifists denouncing recruiters as “scum”, “modern slavers”, “child predators” and “hitmen”. And, of course, all sorts of very graphic denunciations of the war itself and the suffering of Iraqis, Afghans, and others.

    Yet while you showed up very, very sure that the pro-life movement was at fault for Tiller’s killing, you seem a little more hesitant here. Any suggestions as to why?

    Is it possible that you’re okay with graphic denunciations you agree with, but hold that those you disagree with should not be able to express their beliefs fully without being denounced inciting violence?

  • Slight correction: the dead soldier wasn’t a recruiter, he was just out of basic– I’m going to guess the Army does the same thing as the Navy, and offers X-days free leave after basic to go help recruiters by offering a fresh perspective on what possible recruits will go through.

    Going to your old High School is another thing that’s encouraged during the week or so. (I got ten days, plus two for travel. Loved it!)

    I am darkly amused that every story I’ve read so far has emphasized that no-one has even a slight notion what could possibly be the motive, while all the Tiller killing ones announced it was the work of a pro-lifer….

    Recruiting commander Lt. Col Thomas Artis says the victims had just completed basic training and were spending two weeks in Little Rock training to recruit in their home area, showing the difference that less than two months of training made in their lives.

  • Well perhaps the shooter was a faithful member of the Religion of Peace:

    http://arkansasmatters.com/content/fulltext/?cid=226222

  • Phillip,

    Oh my goodness.

    Has President Obama called up the National Reserve? Is this being labeled as a “terrorist” act? Have they called them out as Muslim fanatics?

    Interesting how the two stories diverge in content and vitriol.

  • Thanks for the correction, Foxfier.

    I suppose we shall all have to wait and see whether there is a national call for people to pull back on rhetoric about the US’s involvement in the Middle East which might cause young Muslims to want to shoot up recruiting stations. Or will this remain “non-ideological” and “not religiously motivated”?

  • I don’t think it’s fair to categorize the anti-war movement as predominantly Marxist or Anarchist. In fact, the anti-war movement is heavily based on classical and principled pacifist thought, which does NOT encourage violent revolution. This horrible action AGAINST pacifist thought hurts the anti-war movement tremendously and is not seen as something light to be brushed off as you suggest.

  • Mary-
    Please read more carefully; he said :
    Whereas given the Marxist or anarchist leanings of many of the most hard core members of the anti-war movement

    Which is not making a characterization of the entire anti-war movement; the same flaw of reasoning, reversed, has folks acting like the Montana Freemen are the same as limited-gov’t conservatives or even libertarians.

    I can understand getting wroth, but it’s misplaced wrath, based on something not said.

  • I think Foxfier is still arguing that Mr. Roeder is not a true blue member of the anti-abortion movement. Strangely, on the dashboard of his car was found the home phone number of a top operative at Operation Rescue, a woman who had been jailed previously for bombing a clinic.

    He was a well-known protester and Operation rescue member. Let’s hope he was not also a catholic.

  • So well known that the only evidence anyone can call up is someone who remembers him from a dozen years ago (where he said he loved her work in justifying deadly violence for political goals) and two postings at a blog from two years ago, and now an unsupported claim that one bomber had the phone number of another?

    BTW, you never answered Darwin’s question– why are you so unwilling to make a better-supported leap to motive in the case of dead young soldiers than in the case of a dead abortionist?

  • However, only the first of these is considered national political news, and while many are calling for soul searching on the part of the pro-life movement (or in some cases for government surveillance and downright suppression on it) few seem to be making similar calls in regards to the anti-war movement.

    Good catch, Darwin.

  • Foxfier: Well, having just read through these threads, I think we know why Viona is so quick to jump to conclusions and wholeheartedly condemn in one case and so very er, “nuanced” when it comes to the other.

    In her eyes, Tiller was performing a necessary, “pro-woman” service – never mind that he hacked up the bodies of as many or more females as males. (It never seems to sink into thick feminist skulls that, world-wide, abortion is one of the most anti-female forces in the world. The male to female sex ratios in China and India are becoming seriously skewed as a result of girls being aborted at much higher rates than boys. “Freedom to choose” for many third-world women means freedom to rid themselves of their “worthless” girl babies in favor of much more valuable sons.)

    Those soldiers – well, they might have gone on to kill people overseas (since, for some reason, Obama didn’t bring all the troops home 5 minutes after he took office), so, well, it’s regrettable, but their lives just weren’t valuable in the eyes of the pro-abort left in the same way that a man who performs third-trimester abortions is.

    And all good pro-abort progressives know that the pro-life crowd is full of violent nutters, and anti-war protesters are always on the side of the angels and would never hurt anyone. Just ask Bill Ayers.

  • “And all good pro-abort progressives know that the pro-life crowd is full of violent nutters, and anti-war protesters are always on the side of the angels and would never hurt anyone. Just ask Bill Ayers.”

    The miserable thing is that a lot of pro-life people would say the same about anti-war protesters.

    I feel truly isolated, being both anti (this particular) war and pro-life at the same time. Either a whole bunch of people like what you have to say, or everyone hates you for different reasons.

  • It’s curious to me that while the pro-life movement actively responds to this incident rejecting and decrying it…the media portrays it as “being on the defensive”. There is absolutely no response from the Islamic community when an Islamic man kills a US soldier in cold blood, and yet, there is no media asking about it.

  • Joe Hargrave, do your beliefs extend to standing up for life in cases like the death penalty, cases like Terry Salvo, etc. as well?

  • Here’s an article with some background on Raeder:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/02/us/02tiller.html?_r=1&em

    It sounds like a case of mental illness, rather than overzealousness.

  • What I mean to say is that it sounds like he became unbalanced, which resulted in his becoming violently fanatical about certain issues … not that he was overzealously pro-life, which resulted in violence.

  • Joe: I disagree with you about the war, but I respect your opinion, and I certainly wouldn’t lump you or most anti-war people in with the Bill Ayers of this world. (I wish many anti-war people would also do me the favor of not assuming that I favored this war because I want us to get our hands on oil any way we can, or because I love seeing innocent Iraqis get killed. It is difficult, sometimes, to see the good intentions of those you disagree with when they are imputing the worst of motives to you – not that you yourself have done this.)

13 Responses to Nope, There Are No Limits To What People Will Tolerate On a Pizza

  • Considering how disgusting Dominoe’s is, you have to slather quite a lot on there to make it edible.

  • When I was an undergrad at the University of Illinois where cold pizza from the night before was a food staple, we used to say that the only bad pizza was one crawling away under its own power!

  • I like the idea of wrapping it up and deep-frying it — that might actually be good

  • I’m from New York, so I am a bit of a pizza snob.

  • I’m from Chicago, so I can out-snob Paul.

  • Anyone remember the take that MAD Magazine did on the various uses for Pizza?

    (Maybe I’m outa line here – it was back in the early 60’s – showing my age) 🙂

  • I remember that too Don!

    Pizza has to be pretty bad for me not to eat it. I can only recall one instance and that was a frozen pizza which literally tasted like cardboard. Even then I had a pang when I tossed the remaining pizza into the trash.

    I’d probably even try the Krusty Krab Pizza:

  • I am a pizza purist – mushrooms, sausage and onions are the true and correct pizza toppings, although you can make an argument for pepperoni and I don’t turn up my nose at extra cheese either. Get outta here with your spinach and ham and shrimp and (ugh) pineapple.

  • Don: yes, cold pizza was my undergrad breakfast of choice too. And chili.

    There’s a diner called “Real Chili” near the Marquette campus and they actually sell bumper stickers: “Real Chili: It’s not just for breakfast anymore.”

    A couple of years ago, I was on the MU campus, and went into Real Chili for a bowl. Serious heartburn ensued. Ah, for the cast-iron stomach of youth!

  • Anyone for a mayonnaise sandwich? On seven-grain bread, of course.

  • Sorry, not doing too well ‘muscling past that gag reflex’–and I haven’t even started the video yet.

  • I’m from Detroit, home of Domino’s and Little Caesar’s so I technically can’t outsnob anyone, but I can ditto Mike. Chicago style pizza rules.

  • I like Sauerkraut on pizza, I think that is one of the more unique toppings out there.