Kudos to Rep. Chris Smith

A New Jersey representative was on the floor of the House last night clearly and passionately articulating the connection between state-funded health care and state-funded abortions. Sure, the House was empty and he was talking to two other Representatives. His arguments were no less compelling.

The number of abortions will dramatically increase under the coming state-controlled health care plan. This is something we need to amplify for public consideration; especially to those of a religious mindset who may be inclined to favor state-enforced health care.

I hope to find a video soon; let me know if you do!

257 Responses to Kudos to Rep. Chris Smith

  • If those making this argument would otherwise support the health care reform on offer, this is one thing. But if those making the argument are not inclined to support the reform, then they are using the unborn to score a cheap political point. Shameful, but par for the course for what calls itself the pro-life movement in the US. Remember, the NRLC has opposed universal health care for years, for reasons unconnected to abortion, and Judie Brown is happy to extol the virtues of torture.

    On the factual point: you need to study a little. About 90 percent of private insurance plans offer abortion coverage right now. the Hyde amendment prohibits medicaid from covering abortion. Nothing in the House bill suggests that the hyde amendment will be overturned.

  • What Tony of course won’t admit is that if National Health Care has abortion funding in it, it won’t pass. If it doesn’t have abortion funding in it, it won’t pass. Tony cares much more about National Health Care than he has ever cared about fighting abortion, hence the distemper of his comment.

  • The latest poll from Rasmussen on National Health Care: opposed 50%-35%.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2009/07/17/rasmussen-public-shifting-away-from-public-plan/

  • How about well-deserved Kudos to Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer (and Republican, too; so take that, Republican-haters!)?

    Ariz. Gov. Signs Bills Increasing Abortion Restrictions, Updating Existing Statutes

    16 Jul 2009

    Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) on Monday signed into law a bill (HB 2564) that mandates a 24-hour
    waiting period and in-person counseling with a doctor before women can receive abortion care, the
    AP/Yahoo! News reports. The law requires doctors to list risks and alternatives and describe the
    fetus’s probable characteristics. It also makes an existing parental consent law more restrictive for
    minors seeking abortion care and allows health care workers to refuse to dispense emergency
    contraception on moral or religious grounds.
    Planned Parenthood Arizona said the measure “creates barriers, increases costs and denies access to
    services and providers to women who seek abortion care.” Bryan Howard, the affiliate’s president,
    said, “Women will be forced to delay their care, in turn increasing their health risks.” In signing the
    measure, Brewer “set a new course” from former Gov. Janet Napolitano (D), who vetoed all bills that
    restricted abortion rights during her six years as governor, the AP/Yahoo! News reports.

  • Chris Smith voted for S-Chip, and voted for the cap and trade bill. Conservatives are calling for his head over that last one. They should be writing this bill to please Chris Smith.

  • The 24 hour waiting period is interesting. The right person has to get elected and the stars align to get a law passed that just says, hey before you go off and kill your child, sleep on it a night. Yet we’ve had waiting periods on the books for years concerning morally licit things like buying a gun. Those who support the latter are generally those who oppose or are indifferent to the former.

    We really are a disordered society.

  • Morning’s Minion:

    “But if those making the argument are not inclined to support the reform, then they are using the unborn to score a cheap political point.”

    This is not necessarily true. It could easily be the case that they do not support the legislation and they also recognize that the bill will necessarily increase the number of abortions, and that this is of paramount concern for them. To say that they necessarily are trying to score cheap political points is to have no faith in the sincerity or good intentions of your fellow humans.

    And did I say anything about private insurance? I don’t recall doing such a thing. I may need to study, but if you care to point it out I’d ask if you could do it politely. I do not enjoy the condescension.

    The Hyde Amendment prohibits medicaid from covering abortions, not this upcoming state funded health care plan.

  • Joe Marier:

    I care more about the unborn than I do about S-Chip. It takes courage to argue as he did; if he has other flaws, I will trade those for his passionate defense of human life in the face of great indifference.

  • I don’t consider voting pragmatically a “flaw.” Chris Smith represent Trenton, New Jersey. It’s a union town, he’s a union guy, he votes the union line. The one time he voted against NRLC was on a bill to use the government’s bargaining power for prescription meds. Like I said, Chris Smith is exactly the kind of person that the Democrats should be looking for support on this bill. The fact that he’s against it shows how anti-bipartisan this deal is, which is why it’s in so much trouble right now.

    (I might as well point out at this point that I have an extremely slight personal connection to Chris Smith. His daughter was on my big sister’s soccer team approximately 20 years ago. I was 8. No, I don’t think he’d recognize me.)

  • I wish I had the video so you could hear his arguments, but C-span hasn’t posted it yet.

    Michael – what would constitute evidence? Democrats have been billing abortion as an essential part of women’s health care for a long time. What makes you think they are going to exclude it now?

  • what would constitute evidence?

    Maybe a picture of your crystal ball?

    Seriously, just because the democrats include abortion does not mean abortions will go up across the board. Because of less worry about health care, abortions are also likely to go down. I don’t think these things are as easily predictable as you claim. And just because there are conflicting values underlying health care and the anti-abortion stance does not mean that we should cease to pursue the good of universal health care which is urged by Church teaching.

  • “If those making this argument would otherwise support the health care reform on offer, this is one thing.”

    Because “the health care reform on offer” is the only morally acceptable solution. We get it, though–can’t make an omelette without breaking a couple hundred thousand eggs.

    “About 90 percent of private insurance plans offer abortion coverage right now. The Hyde amendment prohibits medicaid from covering abortion. Nothing in the House bill suggests that the hyde amendment will be overturned.”

    Holy God, this is casuistry of a very high order. You have a future in the law, politics and marketing.

    Under the various versions on offer, Medicaid is *ended.* Period. All of the Medicaid laws will be superceded unless specifically incorporated or reauthorized. As Bob Casey Jr. pointed out, Mikulski just explicitly refused to incorporate the Hyde Amendment in the Senate version. You have pointed to no incorporation or reauthorization in the House version.

    This is not complicated. There is no charitable interpretation for your grotesque spin.

  • I have a crystal ball?

    History will prove one of us correct. I am confident that with increased access to abortion, abortion will increase. It’s a bet that I will take.

    (sidenote: Universal health care may be urged by the Church, but state-enforced health care is not. There are no conflicting values underlying the anti-abortion stance and universal health care, there is simply a difference in the means by which these ends should be attained)

  • I have a crystal ball?

    Sure sounds like it.

    “State-enforced” health care? What a strange term, as if health care were a negative thing.

    There are no conflicting values underlying the anti-abortion stance and universal health care…

    You are the one claiming that there are.

  • I actually intend the term to be descriptive. Health care is a wonderful thing; the new legislation is, matter of factly, a way of forcing a certain method of providing health care on the citizens of this country.

    My disagreement with you is about means, not ends.

  • …the new legislation is, matter of factly, a way of forcing a certain method of providing health care on the citizens of this country.

    Again, you have a completely strange (or better, backwards, or even better, perverse) way of understanding it. “State-enforced” health care is not a matter of “forcing” anything, but providing to all what all human beings deserve. The rich are always welcome to set up (er, retain?) their own system of privilege, an ekklesia of money if you will.

  • About 90 percent of private insurance plans offer abortion coverage right now

    If you mean elective abortions, then I call bullsh**.

    If those making this argument would otherwise support the health care reform on offer, this is one thing. But if those making the argument are not inclined to support the reform, then they are using the unborn to score a cheap political point.

    This is silly ad hominem stuff, not worthy of someone who pretends to be opposed to abortion. If you’re opposed to abortion in any way whatsoever, your first priority here should be lauding anyone who tries to block abortion coverage from being part of a “health” care plan. But your first priority, as always, is running down anyone who actually does anything to oppose abortion.

  • Zach’s blog has a perfect quote that sums up the view of certain partisan Catholics who frequent these parts:

    “Let’s take what is the most fascinating thing: that temptation in the wilderness, when the Devil offered Christ the kingdoms of the earth. He wouldn’t take them, of course (interestingly enough the kingdoms of the earth should be the Devil’s gift, which I cordially approve of, cordially agree with.) Now you see from the point of view of the sort of Anglicans, other clergyman, and so on, that I am talking about, that was an act of madness. Christ should have accepted the kingdoms of the Earth, and he should have set up excellent socialist, egalitarian, forward-looking, welfare-creating, governments in them – and then mankind would have lived happily ever after. That’s the view of the clergy today.

  • If you’re opposed to abortion in any way whatsoever, your first priority here should be lauding anyone who tries to block abortion coverage from being part of a “health” care plan.

    No, if you’re opposed to abortion, your first priority should be to try to stop people from having abortions, not blocking health coverage which is a basic human right.

  • Opposing coverage of abortion does not equal blocking health coverage.

    [ed. at S.B.’s request]

  • Stuart Buck – Zach is the one who is opposing the two.

    It would be interesting to see if the American Catholic staff thinks S.B.’s insult deserves to be deleted on not.

  • The comment about Zach is a complete non sequitur. Whatever Zach thinks, it’s completely irrelevant to the glaring absurdity in that MM pretends to be opposed to abortion (a grudging admission he’ll make occasionally) even while every other comment he ever makes demonstrates that he’d a million times rather make fun of people who oppose abortion than actually oppose abortion himself.

  • Actually, you know, I shouldn’t have said that. I apologize. The final sentences of each of the last three posts could be deleted.

  • Again Michael, the distinction I am trying to maintain is the distinction between supporting health care for everyone and supporting health care for everyone administered by the federal state. I am unsure what you mean when I say I am opposing two things – what are the two things I am opposing?

    An aside: I am continually bewildered by the “anarchist” who perpetually advocates the growth of the nation-state. Your particular policy preferences always favor the growth of the nation-state. It reinforces my long held opinion that anarchy is really just tyranny with a hipster-friendly name.

  • Zach: that is what puzzles me too. According to Michael I., the American government is responsible for nothing but evil aboard. Yet this same government magically becomes benign when its reach is expanded domestically. “Anarchist” my foot.

  • Again Michael, the distinction I am trying to maintain is the distinction between supporting health care for everyone and supporting health care for everyone administered by the federal state.

    Under the proposals being considered, “the state” would not be “administering” health care. They would be assuring health coverage.

    I am continually bewildered by the “anarchist” who perpetually advocates the growth of the nation-state. Your particular policy preferences always favor the growth of the nation-state.

    Anarchists are opposed to the state not because it is the state but because it is not really democratic. It is important to remember that there are reasons why anarchists oppose the state. Unlike libertarians, who are perpetually locked into and adolescent type of anarchism, real anarchists oppose domination. The state is a force for domination in much of what it does but can get things right sometimes too. Anarchists do not oppose the fact that the state provides mail service, for example.

    You also seem to forget that anarchists oppose capitalism. Corporate capitalism, in fact, has increasingly become more of a threat than the state from an anarchist perspective. When given the choice in the present day (that is, while we still live under the tyranny of states) between 1) for-profit health “care” which leaves millions of human beings without care and 2) a state-guarantee (that is a guarantee from the community) that human beings will be provided health care no matter how much money they have, any anarchist worth a damn will choose the latter over the former. The choice is simple. Capitalist health care is not freedom. It’s classist, death-dealing tyranny. A Canadian-style health plan is far from tyranny; it’s simply just.

    I continue to encourage you to read up on what actual anarchists think, especially WHY they oppose the state and capitalism. Both are not evils in themselves but are usually expressions of deeper evils.

  • rep chris snith is a true fighter for the unborn in America

    the republican party leadership removed him as chairman of the veterns affairs committee a few years ago and ever since thier party has suffered for real ledership Chris smith is the real deal

  • “Under the proposals being considered, “the state” would not be “administering” health care. They would be assuring health coverage.”

    Nonsense. The state will be determining which plans you can be a member of (“grandfathering” is extremely limited), determining what it will pay for and at what rates. As well as directly funding abortion, to touch briefly back on the topic. You’ve obviously never taken the slightest look at the Medicaid or Medicare regulations–“administering” is a too-mild euphemism for what the Feds do under HCFA. The “public option” (and the slow, steady strangulation of all the alternatives expressly contemplated under the proposed legislation) mandate a certain level of care–unless, like the President, you have the cash to pay for more. Everyone else can enjoy the ekklesia of waiting lists.

    The state could “assure” health coverage by doing as little (administratively speaking) paying out a stipend for insurance premiums for all of the uninsured, but that doesn’t allow for enough of a power-grab for hard leftists. Or you could expand S-CHIP further, or any number of other options that don’t involve nationalizing the health care of every single citizen over the next generation.

    Instead, there will be multiple counselling sessions from the state helping the oldsters sign those DNRs and dehydration orders, schaivoing them off the stage to save money.

    http://www.nypost.com/php/pfriendly/print.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nypost.com%2Fseven%2F07172009%2Fpostopinion%2Fopedcolumnists%2Fos_broken_promises_179667.htm

    Given your precommitments, your faith in the inherent goodness and trustworthiness of the American state apparatus is a bit of a surprise.

  • Given your precommitments, your faith in the inherent goodness and trustworthiness of the American state apparatus is a bit of a surprise.

    No, I’m quite realistic about it. But is that scenario better than your preferred one which puts its faith in the inherent trustworthiness of the capitalist system to take care of human beings? Yes, absolutely. The current system, and any minor modifications or “reforms” you might have in mind, have absolutely no concern for the human person whatsoever. To hell with it.

  • “But is that scenario better than your preferred one which puts its faith in the inherent trustworthiness of the capitalist system to take care of human beings? Yes, absolutely. The current system, and any minor modifications or “reforms” you might have in mind, have absolutely no concern for the human person whatsoever.”

    Nice confession of your total, willed ignorance about (1) my preferred scenarios and (2) how the government-run programs in America currently work and currently care for the human beings within it. Way to keep not engaging the arguments and posturing instead, kid.

    As a result, the predictably-juvenile “let it burn” sentiment is about as surprising as reports of morning light in the east.

  • michael’s determination to see his “opponents” as being driven by nefarious motives and bad faith is, at this point, beyond parody.

  • Way to keep not engaging the arguments and posturing instead, kid.

    Is this sort of tone helpful?

  • Rick Lugari —

    Didn’t you at least take a glance at the following, especially given one of the fiercest Culture of Death agenda that is currently being ushered in as we speak by your distinguished pro-abort president?

    It also makes an existing parental consent law more restrictive for minors seeking abortion care and allows health care workers to refuse to dispense emergency contraception on moral or religious grounds.

  • e., perhaps you misunderstood my somewhat snarky comment. I’m pleased by Brewer’s action. Every step we make in the right direction the better. It’s that we’re so far away from where we should be and that opposing forces are so significant that I find it somewhat sad that even the smallest restriction or even a 24 hour waiting period is a major victory.

  • e., Rick Lugari is about as far from being a pro-abort, or a supporter of Obama, as it is possible to be!

  • “Is this sort of tone helpful?”

    Physician, heal thyself.

  • Oh, and thanks for the concession.

  • Donald is MIA of course when commenters other than me are insulting. Typical.

  • Catholic Anarchist, I’ll let you know when any other commenter reaches 10% of the number of insults you have cast on this blog.

    As it happens we have taken action against other commenters ranging from banning to moderation to e-mails requesting a more civil tone. Most commenters can take a hint.

  • Thank you for the information, Catholic Militarist.

  • Thank you for your obtuseness Catholic Anarchist.

  • But Donald, we don’t need to be treated civilly because unlike Michael I., we have no concern for the human person. (As compared to all the one-half and three-quarters human persons running around these days.) No, only he cares. The rest of us are out feeding the cat caviar and smacking the help over the head with our diamond studded walking canes.

  • I have had my faithful man servant Gaston administer the staff beatings since I sprained my wrist playing polo in 2007. I tried caviar on my albino squirrel assassins, but they went on strike until I restored their walnut rations.

  • Michael — you might pause for a moment and dwell on who was invited to the revived Evangelical Catholicism blog, and who was obviously seen as more of an embarrassment.

  • Nice new handle, Stuart Buck!

  • I will say two things:

    First, I graduated with many people who specialized in studying political theory and philosophy. All of them have asked a variation of “what the heck” when I told them there was a blogger claiming to be the Catholic Anarchist who believed in government health care, usually followed by either “that doesn’t work” or “that makes no sense.”

    Second, threads with Michael Iafrate contributing usually end with people telling Iafrate he needs to stop insulting people while Iafrate insults them for telling him to stop insulting people.

  • But gadflies are needed on this blog.

  • First, I graduated with many people who specialized in studying political theory and philosophy. All of them have asked a variation of “what the heck” when I told them there was a blogger claiming to be the Catholic Anarchist who believed in government health care, usually followed by either “that doesn’t work” or “that makes no sense.”

    A few points:

    1) Anarchism is hardly taken seriously by political scientists or philosophers so the opinion of your friends does not matter much to me.

    2) There are multiple levels to the issues that you are leaving out when you say simply that I am an anarchist who “believes in government health care.” For example, the fact that I am against the existence of nation-states in the first place. You are leaving out any discussion of the present alternative to “government health care” (whatever that is) which is simply for-profit, corporate health care which is in many ways a totalitarianism worse than the state. You are leaving out the aspect of time as well. The fact is, I am for universal health coverage (distinct from “government health care,” whatever that means) in the present, a time in which the nation-state of the u.s.a. unavoidably exists. In a world without nation-states of course there would be no “government health care.” Another thing you are leaving out is any discussion of the reasons why anarchists oppose the state. They are linked to why we oppose capitalism. The fact that the state does not really care for the people under its influence in fact is a contributor to many anarchists’ suspicion of the state itself. Lastly, you are leaving out any discussion of anarchist tactics of direct action, as we see in movements like the Catholic Worker.

    3) Essentially you and your college friends are either simply equating anarchism and libertarianism or you have a simplistic understanding of what most non-adolescent anarchists believe.

    4) Did you read my post a while back on anarchism and health care? I dealt with this there.

  • Iafrate:

    I’m not sure why you assume that my friends would not take seriously the claims of anarchy. Regardless, they’re very well acquainted with the definition of anarchy which is “no government.”

    However, in attempt to move beyond what you consider the simplistic version of anarchy, I’ll ask you some questions:

    Assuming the goal of anarchists like yourself is to eliminate nation states, how does government health care advance us towards an anarchist society? Do you reject the notion that the nation state, through the dependence of the population on it for health, would in fact become stronger and less likely to fall?

    Are you opposed to all governments or simply nation-states?

  • But gadflies are needed on this blog.

    There is a difference between gadflies and mosquitoes.

  • I’m not sure why you assume that my friends would not take seriously the claims of anarchy.

    It obvious, considering they seem to have no idea that most anarchists are in favor of socialized health care.

    Regardless, they’re very well acquainted with the definition of anarchy which is “no government.”

    As you know, there are different understandings of anarchism. Most anarchists are against more than just the state, and we are also for various things too.

    Assuming the goal of anarchists like yourself is to eliminate nation states, how does government health care advance us towards an anarchist society?

    Socialized health care is an essential feature of any authentically human society. I would say mail delivery would also exist in an anarchist society, but I am not clamoring for the state to get out of the mail business.

    Do you reject the notion that the nation state, through the dependence of the population on it for health, would in fact become stronger and less likely to fall?

    No, I don’t think it makes the state “stronger.” It make society and the individuals within it stronger and healthier, for sure.

    Are you opposed to all governments or simply nation-states?

    “Government” can mean all sorts of things. No, anarchists are not opposed to “government.” Various ideas about anarchist societies include societal organization. That’s all “government” is. We are opposed to the state. We are opposed to certain forms of government. We are for true democracy.

  • Just because you’d like anarchy to be something else doesn’t mean I have to accept your re-defining of the word anarchy. I’m not sure what Gnostic sect my friends and I have to join to discover the true meaning of anarchy, but I think I’ll pass and just use the word anarchy as it’s defined, which is no government.

    As you know, there are different understandings of anarchism. Most anarchists are against more than just the state, and we are also for various things too.

    I’m sure they are against more than just the state, but they can’t be for the state and if they’re for state-run health care, they’re for the state and not anarchists.

    Socialized health care is an essential feature of any authentically human society. I would say mail delivery would also exist in an anarchist society, but I am not clamoring for the state to get out of the mail business.

    But ultimately if there’s no state, there’s no state-run Post Office.

    No, I don’t think it makes the state “stronger.” It make society and the individuals within it stronger and healthier, for sure.

    Really? You can’t see how government expanding taxes to pay for health care and starting to make medical decisions doesn’t expand government power? it might be worth the trade-off, but I don’t see how you can deny that the state grows more powerful as a result. Maybe the state should be more powerful than insurance companies, but the state’s still becoming more powerful.

  • Michael, I’m not “re-defining” anything. You may want to consult some actual anarchist sources. Infoshop.org is a pretty good source.

    In fact, that site’s FAQ has a good section on health care:
    http://infoshop.org/faq/secI5.html#seci512

    Also, see Steve Millet. “Neither State Nor Market: An Anarchist Perspective on Social Welfare.” In Twenty-First Century Anarchism: Unorthodox Ideas for a New Millennium, edited by Jon Purkis and James Bowen, 24-40. London: Cassell, 1997.

    I quoted a passage from it here:
    http://catholicanarchy.org/?p=656

    Also the recent book Anarchy Alive by Uri Gordon has some good stuff on the evolving definitions of anarchism.

  • Looking over the FAQ that Michael linked to, I must say there’s something mildly cute about the whole endevour. The last time anyone was paying much attention to anarchists was back in the late 19th century when they were galavanting about throwing bombs at people and imagining a collapse into a Rousseauian paradise of pre-cultural bliss. Now here we are a hundred years later, and we find that these idealists have worked around to imagining a whole new set of social institutions which are, in fact, not all that different or less intrusive than the real ones — except that they imagine (through the power of never having had to implement their plans in anything larger than a college commune) they could make it all much more pleasant and friendly through doing absolutely everything through direct democracy.

    In a sense, it’s rather encouraging that even those who believed in nothing have by now worked around to believing in the necessary organization of man into a polis — even if its a rather imaginative polis, kind of a political theory equivalent of Second Life.

    While I don’t think the kind of communal/direct democracy institutions would work for a minute, it’s very interesting from a natural law point of view that “anarchists” have worked around to developing their own ideas about political and social structures.

    For anarchy in action, see the freedom fighters of the New York University Cafeteria:

    (This being anarchy, language advisory, of course.)

  • No, I don’t think it makes the state “stronger.” It make society and the individuals within it stronger and healthier, for sure.

    And here is another example of why so many folks in political philosophy / political science consider “anarchy” little more than posturing and some variety of statism.

    This statement, that large-scale state intervention and coercion “strengthens” society and individuals, is straight out of the old trope of American progressivism that has evolved into modern liberalism and leftism. (To “socialize” is to “nationalize,” by the way, something anyone opposed to the nation-state should recognize).

    The point here is that “anarchy” is not taken seriously for very good reason: not only do those who claim it claim all sorts of things, making attempts at definition nearly impossible, but in pratical conversation the “anarchist” turns out to be in sympathy with – and thus often in fierce arguments with, just as the national and international socialists used to be blood enemies – the left broadly defined.

    Predictable and not very noteworthy.

  • believing in the necessary organization of man into a polis

    Darwin, this hits it exactly as to why anarchists, in so far as one may generalize, are so often in practice nothing more than destructive, juvenile marchers with various leftist causes – in some way seeking government organization while ignoring the “organic, slow” arguments of Red Tory / Wendell Berry types who might find some sympathy with a theory of anarchism.

  • Anyone else find it weird that that FAQ talks about all the wonderful examples of anarchy…in the Spanish Revolution? You know, the one in which the anarchists and communists slaughtered priests and Catholics?

    Anyway, it’s interesting that even there they talk about electing delegates to run the hospital, so that you see how such projects begin and then end up as republics.

  • Oh the wonders of procrastination!

    From michael’s link when asked about definition, we find this:
    http://infoshop.org/faq/secA2.html#seca27

    Anarchist viewpoints on ethics vary considerably, although all share a common belief in the need for an individual to develop within themselves their own sense of ethics. All anarchists agree with Max Stirner that an individual must free themselves from the confines of existing morality and question that morality — “I decide whether it is the right thing for me; there is no right outside me.” [The Ego and Its Own, p. 189]

    Thus I submit, if this inforation is correct, that it is not possible for a person to be both a Catholic and an anarchist.

    If this information is not correct, I would be curious why. If an anarchist does agree that this highlighted section is correct, I would be curious how this could be reconciled with Catholicism.

  • The fact that Noam Chomsky was even used as a source was enough for me to stop reading the rest of this thread.

  • That’s “Norm” Chomsky!

    I still think of the guy from “Cheers” whenever I hear of Chomsky.

    Too bad there isn’t a modern-day Bill Buckley to kick the a** of the Chomskys of today!

  • To be fair, it’s nice to get some some substantial info on what Michael means by anarchism. So I suppose we shouldn’t hit him too hard lest we provide the impression that being substantial only means making it easier to be pummelled.

    On the other hand, I do find the whole thing a little hard to take seriously.

  • One of the links Michael gives (the one to his own blog post) talks about making sure that there are no longer any relationships based on power, presumably replaced by ones of consent.

    I’ve read this story before: Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia. In it, he talks about it is unjust for someone to be forced into working at a radio station, even a communal radio station and even if he is deriving benefits, for to force him would make man a means to an end and be unjust. This is very similar to a relation of power. It’s not identical, but close enough for working purpose.

    Only thing is that Nozick is a libertarian, not an anarchist (he works from anarchy to government to see if in fact government could be justified. shakily he affirms). Interesting.

  • I agree with Darwin. Chomsky is a legitimate source for trying to prove that his version of anarchy is commonplace, which was part of my response to him.

    Still doesn’t mean I have accept it as true anarchy, but at least I’ll know what he means by anarchy. In the meantime, I’m annoyed at how accurate the first chapter of After Virtue was about the disintegration of philosophical terms.

  • Anyone else find it weird that that FAQ talks about all the wonderful examples of anarchy…in the Spanish Revolution? You know, the one in which the anarchists and communists slaughtered priests and Catholics?

    Is it any weirder than the folks here who seek to canonize Ronald Reagan et al. who supervised the slaughtering of priests and Catholics in Latin America?

    To be fair, it’s nice to get some some substantial info on what Michael means by anarchism. So I suppose we shouldn’t hit him too hard lest we provide the impression that being substantial only means making it easier to be pummelled.

    1) The best example of “what I mean” by anarchism is Dorothy Day and the CW mov’t.

    2) Citation of a passage from the FAQ does not in any way suggest an endorsement of the whole thing.

    3) Obviously I am Catholic first and thus I take what Tripp York calls an “anarchistic stance even with regard to anarchism.”

  • DarwinCatholic:

    It was substantive only to the extent of learning that the “anarchism” of Catholic Anarchist is not actually “anarchism” in its genuine, strictly ontological sense but rather a version so fiercely mutated, it cannot itself be even called that.

  • not actually “anarchism” in its genuine, strictly ontological sense

    What a funny phrase. As if there is one “genuine” or “strictly ontological” meaning of anarchism?

  • Denton, e., et al.

    You are obviously free to disagree with the positions of contemporary anarchism, and to point out the ways in which it might not represent the literal meaning of the word an-arche. (This is hardly limited to anarchism: you might also consider the deviations from true, literal “democracy” that american and other democracies represent.)

    But you do not have a leg to stand on when you say that the positions I have stated are not anarchist positions. These are things that anarchists believe. Whether or not you agree with them is irrelevant.

  • The best example of “what I mean” by anarchism is Dorothy Day and the CW mov’t.

    Good – now we are getting to it.

    Two things here:
    a). the inability/unwillingness to answer the question on “anarchist ethics” in relation to Catholicism, combined with the definitions provided from the link when questioned on definition,

    b). and the recognition of Day and the Catholic Worker Worker Movement as a guide to “anarchism”

    I think this points to either a misunderstanding/misapplication of anarchism (in relation to how self-described anarchists describe themselves) or some strange manner of posturing while still advocating for statist/nationalizing/socializing solutions – (large-scale state intervention and coercion “strengthens” society and individuals).

    I think the second. One reason is that Day and the CW movement understood themselves as “personalists” – – – not in any way resembling what michael has provided us in terms of definition. (And if I am wrong, please show me the parallels to Day/CW and the definitions from the link. Honestly – I’d like to see it.)

    This disconnect does not discourage one from continuing to view “anarchy,” “Catholic” or otherwise, as incomprehensible posturing.

  • Iafrate:

    I think it is fair though to criticize you for misusing or misidentifying yourself as an anarchist. We criticize people for abusing or misusing labels all the time: Catholic, liberal, conservative, socialist, etc. I don’t think anarchist is any different. I’ll accept that we have no grounds to argue that no self-identifying anarchist agrees with you (in part), but we can have grounds to say that they shouldn’t be identifying as anarchists. Or am I being unfair here too?

  • Iafrate:

    The dorothy day quote to which you refer is the one if your about section, right?:

    “The word anarchist is deliberately and repeatedly used in order to awaken our readers to the necessity of combating the ‘all-encroaching state,’ as our Bishops have termed it, and to shock serious students into looking into the possibility of another society, an order made up of associations, guilds, unions, communes, parishes, voluntary associations of men [sic], on regional vs. national lines, where there is a possibility of liberty and responsibility for all men.

    However, I’m not sure even this quote supports your position. Day specifically wants “an order” to be based on “regional not national lines.” I don’t see that quote leading to nationalized Obamacare.

  • jonathan – I disagree with the quote you plucked on “anarchist ethics,” and I also think there are many anarchists who would disagree with it.

    while still advocating for statist/nationalizing/socializing solutions

    See, I don’t see “government health care” as a “solution” at all. It’s simply much much better than what we have now. I do not advocate it as the final form of what our social responsibility should look like.

    One reason is that Day and the CW movement understood themselves as “personalists” – – – not in any way resembling what michael has provided us in terms of definition. (And if I am wrong, please show me the parallels to Day/CW and the definitions from the link. Honestly – I’d like to see it.)

    I don’t know what definitions you are talking about.

    I’ll accept that we have no grounds to argue that no self-identifying anarchist agrees with you (in part), but we can have grounds to say that they shouldn’t be identifying as anarchists. Or am I being unfair here too?

    I do think that it is strange to judge a political philosophy based upon your own definition of what it is “supposed” to entail, a definition that you are imposing upon it from outside with no reference to its own internal claims and commitments.

    The dorothy day quote to which you refer is the one if your about section, right?

    I didn’t refer to a particular quote, only that she identified as an anarchist. You are mixing up the conversation. I was replying to someone else.

    However, I’m not sure even this quote supports your position. Day specifically wants “an order” to be based on “regional not national lines.” I don’t see that quote leading to nationalized Obamacare.

    Again, I didn’t cite this quote to defend my position on health care. In fat I didn’t cite it at all. And who said I was particularly pleased with the particulars of what you call “Obamacare”?

  • Iafrate:

    Day’s use of the term “anarchist” is not employed in the same sense in your (let’s say) “more evolved” version; instead, it is meant more as a rhetorical device to connote allegiance not to any liberal, conservative, etc. agenda but to that which is beholden to the princciples espoused in Augustine’s De Civitate Dei as opposed to those inherent in De Civitate Dei; whereas your ‘anarchism’ still seems bent on the total annhilation of the nation-state (which is perhaps the only thing in your ‘anarchism’ that even remotely seems ‘anarchist’ to begin with).

  • correction — beholden to the principles epoused in Augustine’s De Civitate Dei as opposed to those inherent in De Civitate Mundi

  • Day’s use of the term “anarchist” is not employed in the same sense in your (let’s say) “more evolved” version

    I’m not sure I understand what you think separates Day’s version and my own. The only issue we’ve discussed here (I believe) is health care. Are you suggesting that Day would not have been in favor of a national health plan?

    But you are absolutely right: Dorothy Day’s anarchism was not completely like secular anarchism, or shall we say secular anarchisms. But there were clear overlaps and she made constant reference to secular anarchists. Anyone familiar with her life and writing knows this.

    Nor is my own anarchism tied to whatever form of secular anarchism you might point to. I will make reference to it here and there, but my own anarchism is simply Christianity and that allegiance relativizes my anarchism. Much like your own, I’m guessing, republicanism is relativized by your identity as a Christian. (I could be wrong about that of course. Plenty of folks at this blog are republican americans first and Christians second. But I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt.)

    …whereas your ‘anarchism’ still seems bent on the total annhilation of the nation-state…

    Well, yes and no. I don’t advocate the overthrow of the united states. But in the Kingdom there will be no nation-states. And we Christians seek to embody the Kingdom in whatever limited ways that we can. I don’t need to advocate or work toward the “total annihilation” of the united states. The u.s.a. will run its course and be destroyed like every other empire.

  • Another image for you students of Christian anarchism to work with:

    Anarchists are said to believe in a politics that is prefigurative to whatever extent possible. From a Christian perspective, it means a politics that is eschatological and apocalyptic. This is precisely the kind of politics that the Catholic Worker is about and that I am interested in.

  • Are you suggesting that Day would not have been in favor of a national health plan?

    If I recall correctly, didn’t Day refuse to participate in Social Security? If Social Security seemed like it turned over too much of Christian duty to the state, I would imagine that nationalized health care would as well.

  • Debating the Catholic Anarchist regarding Anarchism is an exercise in futility, although apparently fun judging from this thread. Anarchism is an amorphous creed, and the Catholic Anarchist is entitled to his definition just as much as any other anarchist. I’ve always found the Spanish Anarchists interesting. Violently anti-religion, they had a certain purity in their desire to remake the world which one can partially admire decades later and free from harm from their bombs, guns and knives. Durruti, one of the leaders of the Anarchists, if such a movement can ever truly have leaders, is one of the more interesting figures of the Spanish Civil War.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buenaventura_Durruti

  • If I recall correctly, didn’t Day refuse to participate in Social Security? If Social Security seemed like it turned over too much of Christian duty to the state, I would imagine that nationalized health care would as well.

    I’m not sure. Maybe she did write something about it. I wonder what she would day today had she lived to see the current crisis.

  • Anarchism is an amorphous creed, and the Catholic Anarchist is entitled to his definition just as much as any other anarchist.

    And this is not surprising, as none of us have political and religio-spiritual commitments which interact in precisely the same way as anyone else’s.

    For example, Donald, I have not encountered anyone with your precise configuration of monarchical Catholicism, fascism, and americanist militarism. You are unique; have to give you credit for that.

  • Catholic Anarchist, other than being the most complete jackass I have ever encountered on Saint Blogs, there is absolutely nothing unique about you.

  • This tells me pretty much everything I need to know about “secular” anarchism:

    http://bobbyinfest.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/spanishleftistsshootchrist.jpg

    What a hateful, inhuman movement.

  • Joe – That tells you all you need to know? Geez, I thought you were smarter than that. Guess not.

    Anarchism is not one thing but many.

    As usual, Donald is allowed to get away with calling his guests “jackasses.”

    The American Catholic: Where Charity and Love Prevail.

  • Golly, how could I have missed these silly claims?:

    The last time anyone was paying much attention to anarchists was back in the late 19th century when they were galavanting about throwing bombs at people and imagining a collapse into a Rousseauian paradise of pre-cultural bliss.

    On the contrary, anarchism has been quite visible especially since the irruption of the alternative-globalization movement. Anarchists have been quite visible and even at the forefront of such movements. Anarchist principles are at work in radical movements that do not explicitly identify as “anarchist,” such as the anti-war movement, the SOA Watch, etc.

    Secondly, you are relying on an inaccurate image of the bomb-throwing anarchist which is mostly a figment of middle-class american imagination.

    Now here we are a hundred years later, and we find that these idealists have worked around to imagining a whole new set of social institutions which are, in fact, not all that different or less intrusive than the real ones — except that they imagine (through the power of never having had to implement their plans in anything larger than a college commune) they could make it all much more pleasant and friendly through doing absolutely everything through direct democracy.

    In a sense, it’s rather encouraging that even those who believed in nothing have by now worked around to believing in the necessary organization of man into a polis — even if its a rather imaginative polis, kind of a political theory equivalent of Second Life.

    There is nothing new about anarchism’s various proposals for social institutions. The various anarchisms have never been without such proposals, nor did they ever “believe in nothing.” Your comments are entirely ahistorical and thus inaccurate.

  • Catholic Anarchist, after you accusing me of being a fascist, jackass is the mildest epithet I can think of applying to you. You are not a guest here. You are a malevolent troll who I tolerate simply because you are such a counter-productive advocate for your point of view. That, and the unintentional humor you supply to some of my colleagues at this blog.

  • As usual, Donald is allowed to get away with calling his guests “jackasses.”

    The American Catholic: Where Charity and Love Prevail.

    He’s just taking his cues from your group blog. Trying to make it feel like a blog home away from home.

  • Michael,

    I think this is the most interesting thing you’ve said in a while:

    “Anarchists are said to believe in a politics that is prefigurative to whatever extent possible. From a Christian perspective, it means a politics that is eschatological and apocalyptic. This is precisely the kind of politics that the Catholic Worker is about and that I am interested in.”

    In your definition of politics you lose all sight of what the word politics means. The words you use are so qualified they no longer are attached to our common language. You speak academic, not English.

    It’s evident that you are not ever really talking about politics or for that matter anarchy. In fact, it’s more appropriate to say you are talking about the revitalization of the Church. This is great – because this is where I agree with you. The revitalization of small community life, of parish life, is integral to healthy political life – but these communities are not political life. In fact, I would argue that they depend on something like the nation-state, or an organization that includes the rule of law and incorporates somehow others who do not share your Catholic faith, or any faith, for that matter.

    When it comes down to it, I don’t think you’re really ever talking about politics. I think this is why you speak past almost everyone with whom you speak.

    On a sidenote, I agree that we should be trying to usher in the Kingdom of God – that our personal goals and goals as a Church should be to “immanetize the Eschaton” – but this is not the task of the polis, i.e. the natural community. It is the task of the eccesia, the supernatural community.

    I really want to expand on this in the future – thank you for your provocative remarks.

  • “Anarchism is not one thing but many. ”

    Just like Satan! :)

  • “Joe – That tells you all you need to know? Geez, I thought you were smarter than that. Guess not.”

    I’m not sure how I ought to take being insulted by you. I’m tempted to view it as a compliment.

    I haven’t yet come across a secular anarchist group that hasn’t had as one of its slogans “No Gods, No Masters”.

    I can only imagine what they must think of a “Catholic” anarchist, since most of them see in anarchism a rejection of hierarchical structures – and few hierarchical structures (if any at all) are older, more prestigious, and more conservative than the Roman Catholic Church.

    But yes, I believe that picture is worth a thousand words – a group of inhuman savages shooting at a statue of Jesus. I would have sided with Franco before I would have sided with them. Disgusting.

  • I mean, just go to AK Press and find out what the title of their “definitive anthology” that “portrays anarchism as a sophisticated ideology whose nuances and complexities highlight the natural desire for freedom in all of us”.

    It’s called, “No Gods, No Masters”.

    http://www.akpress.org/2004/items/nogodsnomastersak

    Apparently the anarchists themselves have something to say about the place of religion within anarchist thought. You don’t like being defined by others – does a definitive collection of major anarchist works grouped together under a total rejection of God and Church count as enough of a ‘self-definition’?

    No Christ, and no Church, no clergy, no Mass. At best they might tolerate Quakers and Unitarians. As for anyone identifying themselves as a Catholic, who can doubt that the vast majority of anarchists would have them shot as potential enemies of the people?

    That is exactly what they did in Spain – they found out who the churchgoers were, and they murdered them. They found out who the priests were and murdered them. They found out where the nuns were and murdered them after raping and torturing them. They desecrated the Eucharist and performed mock masses. I hope every last one of them is burning in the blackest pits of hell.

    Finally, since everyone is talking about Dorothy Day and Catholic Worker, I’m pretty sure she came to identify with the distributism of Pope Leo XIII and Chesterton. And distributism is certainly not anarchism.

  • Darwin is right: Dorothy Day is famous for never getting a social security card. And she wrote against it in Commonweal:

    When Peter Maurin talked about the necessity of practicing the Works of Mercy, he meant all of them. He envisioned Houses of Hospitality in poor parishes in every city of the country, where the precepts of Our Lord could be put into effect. He pointed out that we have turned to state responsibility through home relief, social legislation, and social security, that we no longer practice personal responsibility, but are repeating the words of the first murderer, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

    So I’m guessing that it’s pretty darn silly (but par for the course, evidently) for some big-government-healthcare “anarchist” to claim that he’s just following in the spirit of Dorothy Day, who was so adamant on the point that we should turn to personal responsibility rather than state responsibility.

  • Zach – Thank you for actually engaging what I am saying rather than ridiculing it.

    Yes, my understanding of “politics” is different than common american usage, but it is not mere “academic” talk. This is how radical political movements of various kinds understand politics. Politics is not simply the doings of states, politicians, parties, etc. It’s simply the ways in which human beings organize their lives in the present and how they imagine their lives should be organized, how that organization should change, etc. I think you’re locked into a definition of politics that is too narrow (as it focuses merely on “official” politics) and which assumes the status quo.

    As for church vs. politics, yes, what I have said applies to the Church as the Church has (among other things) a political dimension. In its on-the-face worldly level, the Church is a society (or a society-of-societies if you will). But I could not compartmentalize the tasks of the Church against the tasks of politics in general, Christianly understood. As you probably remember from Gutierrez (you also find it in De Lubac and Rahner) we should not too strongly separate the spiritual and the worldly as if they were two “spheres.” I think such a dualism is active in your thinking.

    When it comes down to it, I don’t think you’re really ever talking about politics.

    I’m usually talking about theopolitics, and yes, that often throws people because it is not politics-as-usual. It’s the politics of the Kingdom.

    I haven’t yet come across a secular anarchist group that hasn’t had as one of its slogans “No Gods, No Masters”.

    Well, yes. That’s why I used the adjective “secular.” As opposed to religious anarchists who obviously would not use the slogan “No Gods, no masters.”

    I can only imagine what they must think of a “Catholic” anarchist, since most of them see in anarchism a rejection of hierarchical structures – and few hierarchical structures (if any at all) are older, more prestigious, and more conservative than the Roman Catholic Church.

    A lot of them think it’s quite bizarre. These same anarchists, though, also think any form of religious anarchism is bizarre. But many secular anarchists are quite open to the idea of religious anarchism, even Catholic anarchism due to their cooperation with Catholic Workers. The SOA Watch protests (which has its roots firmly in Catholicism and this is evident and public) each year draws a lot of “secular” anarchists who respect progressive Catholics and other religious groups.

    But yes, I believe that picture is worth a thousand words – a group of inhuman savages shooting at a statue of Jesus. I would have sided with Franco before I would have sided with them. Disgusting.

    Of course it’s disgusting. But what is it about this that you don’t understand?

    “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way.”

    Some anarchists have such feelings toward Christians. So do people of just about any other political persuasion.

    As an aside, what do you think about u.s. soldiers defacing Muslim holy places? Are they “inhuman savages” too, or are they just doing their job?

  • That is exactly what they did in Spain – they found out who the churchgoers were, and they murdered them. They found out who the priests were and murdered them. They found out where the nuns were and murdered them after raping and torturing them. They desecrated the Eucharist and performed mock masses. I hope every last one of them is burning in the blackest pits of hell.

    And Ronald Reagan?

  • So I’m guessing that it’s pretty darn silly (but par for the course, evidently) for some big-government-healthcare “anarchist” to claim that he’s just following in the spirit of Dorothy Day, who was so adamant on the point that we should turn to personal responsibility rather than state responsibility.

    Yes, she was against petitioning the state as if Christians (as individuals and as communities) could not take matters into their own hands and practice charity. But it would be a mistake to think that she therefore believed that the state had no responsibility for the welfare of its citizens. She was not only interested in personal charity, but social justice.

  • One more thing for Michael I:

    “[Historian] Stanley Payne claims, “during the first months of the fighting most of the deaths did not come from combat on the battlefield but from political executions in the rear—the ‘Red’ and ‘White’ terrors. Payne claims that the terror consisted of semi-organized actions perpetrated by almost all of the leftist groups, Basque separatists being an exception.[15] Stanley Payne has claimed that, unlike the repression by the right which “was concentrated against the most dangerous opposition elements,” the Republican attacks were more irrational, “murdering innocent people and letting some of the more dangerous go free. Moreover, one of the main targets of the Red terror was the clergy, most of whom were not engaged in overt opposition.”

    The terror has been called the “most extensive and violent persecution of Catholicism in Western History, in some way even more intense than that of the French Revolution”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Terror_(Spain)

    Why associate with this legacy of violent hatred for the Church?

    There are a lot of aspects of Marx’s critique of capitalism and method of historical materialism that I find very useful, but I don’t call myself a Marxist because I completely reject its political program – and its own legacy of violent hatred for Christianity.

    Might you not be in the same position? Ok, a few anarchist ideas might no be so bad. But to call one’s self an “anarchist” when the majority of anarchists justify and continue to work for the destruction of the Church seems irresponsible from a Catholic point of view.

    I think Distributism covers most of those anarchist strains of thought within the Catholic intellectual tradition of the 20th century. Pius XI told us that even the socialists made just demands that were shared by Christians – and that in making them, they did not need to call themselves or become socialists. The same, I imagine, would apply to anarchism. Some labels should just die.

  • Apparently the anarchists themselves have something to say about the place of religion within anarchist thought.

    There are no “the” anarchists. There are many many types of anarchism. You keep saying “they” like anarchists are one monolithic group with a party line and that is simply not the case.

    Finally, since everyone is talking about Dorothy Day and Catholic Worker, I’m pretty sure she came to identify with the distributism of Pope Leo XIII and Chesterton. And distributism is certainly not anarchism.

    She identified with both distributism and anarchism. I identify with Catholicism and anarchism and pacifism (there are tensions between pacifism and some forms of anarchism too). You identify, I’m sure, not only as a distributist, but probably as a republican or some particular political party? There are no pure identities, Joe.

  • Day was no fan of Big Government in any of its forms:

    “During the heyday of modern American liberalism, the 1930s, when Big Brother supposedly wore his friendliest phiz, Day and the Catholic Workers said No. They bore a certain resemblance to those old progressives (retroprogressives)–Senators Burton K. Wheeler, Gerald Nye, and Hiram Johnson–who turned against FDR for what they saw as the bureaucratic, militaristic, centralizing thrust of his New Deal. The antithetical tendencies of the Catholic Worker and the 1930s American left were juxtaposed in the November 1936 issue of the Catholic Worker. Under the heading “Catholic Worker Opposition to Projected Farm-Labor Party.,” the box read:

    Farm-Labor Party stands for: Progress Industrialism Machine Caesarism (bureaucracy) Socialism Organizations.

    Catholic Worker stands for: Tradition Ruralism Handicrafts Personalism Communitarianism Organisms.

    And never the twain shall meet.

    An anarchistic distrust of the state, even in its putatively benevolent role as giver of alms, pervaded the Catholic Workers, as it did the 1930s right.

    Nor did she exhibit the loathing of America Michael I. routinely treats us to. In Day’s own words:

    “If you want to know the kind of politics we seek, you can go to your history books and read about the early years of this country. We would like to see more small communities organizing themselves, people talking with people, people caring for people … we believe we are doing what our Founding Fathers came here to do, to worship God in the communities they settled. They were farmers. They were crafts-people. They took care of each other. They prayed to God, and they thanked Him for showing them the way–to America! A lot of people ask me about the influence on our [Catholic] Worker movement, and they are right to mention the French and the Russian and English writers, the philosophers and novelists. But some of us are just plain Americans whose ancestors were working people and who belonged to small-town or rural communities or neighborhoods in cities. We saw more and more of that community spirit disappear, and we mourned its passing, and here we are, trying to find it again. ”

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0GER/is_2000_Summer/ai_63500751/pg_7/?tag=content;col1

  • Ok, a few anarchist ideas might no be so bad. But to call one’s self an “anarchist” when the majority of anarchists justify and continue to work for the destruction of the Church seems irresponsible from a Catholic point of view.

    No, from your Catholic point of view.

    How is it that you are able to say, with seriousness, that “the majority of anarchists justify and continue to work for the destruction of the Church”?

    Keep in mind that my Catholic anarchism is not unique to me. I did not make it up. There is a tradition of Catholic anarchists and a tradition of Christian and other religious anarchists. Take Day. From Dorothy Day’s Catholic point of view, she identified openly with anarchism and associated with anarchists (and Marxists for that matter). She did so in a time when anarchism was not as marginal as it is today and in a time when myths about “bomb throwing anarchists” were much much stronger.

    So some questions for you:
    1) Was she “irresponsible” for doing so? Why?
    2) What was it that made her do such a thing, in your opinion?
    3) What do you think Dorothy Day saw as the common ground between Catholicism and anarchism such that she would openly identify as an anarchist?

  • Day was no fan of Big Government in any of its forms

    Of course.

    I’m really not sure why a situation where the state says that all of its citizens will have access to health care somehow equals “Big Government,” but most of you folks have no problem whatsoever with the structures of militarism that we have in the u.$.a. It blows my mind.

    An anarchistic distrust of the state, even in its putatively benevolent role as giver of alms, pervaded the Catholic Workers, as it did the 1930s right.

    Yes, of course.

    Nor did she exhibit the loathing of America Michael I. routinely treats us to.

    Misrepresentation. There are American traditions that I respect, admire and am shaped by: the American radical tradition, various aspects of Appalachian culture, various expressions of American popular culture, etc. The idea that I “loathe” america is a misrepresentation based on your own fantasies and need for an enemy.

  • A few things.

    “You identify, I’m sure, not only as a distributist, but probably as a republican or some particular political party? There are no pure identities, Joe.”

    I do not identify with any political party, least of all the Republican party. There is no party in this country that reflects my views. If I lived Britain I would be a Red Tory. Maybe one day we will have a truly Conservative party in the United States, one that doesn’t so uncritically and eagerly embrace liberalism and the legacy of the so-called “Enlightenment”.

    As for Dorothy Day, a man who worked with her, Jim Forrest, recounted in 2008:

    “Do you like thinking of yourself as an anarchist? There is a lot in Dorothy to cheer you along as she consistently called herself an anarchist. The word had Greek roots, she explained to me one day. An anarchist was a person without a king. She told me that having Jesus Christ as one’s king was enough of a challenge, and that his kingdom was not of this world.”

    As much as I respect her life and work, I have to wonder how accepting a heavenly or supernatural hierarchy – not to mention the earthly Catholic hierarchy – is at all compatible with anarchist thought. It seems a fairly sizable number of prominent anarchists, past and present, share that view.

    So, I don’t believe her views are somehow above criticism.

    Continuing on, Forrest recalls:

    “Trying to better understand what Dorothy meant by anarchism, I got a subscription to a British journal called “Anarchy.” When I showed an issue to Dorothy, she warned me that reading such publications was a waste of time because most people who called themselves anarchists were atheists and also tended to be people who preferred publishing manifestoes and arguing with each other to helping people in need. ”

    It sounds to me like Day didn’t hold the anarchist movement in very high regard. Forrest then says the only anarchist she suggested he read was Kropotkin. So why even bother with this label?

    I think she – and you – would have done better to follow Pius XI’s advice with regard to socialism. The Church recognizes truth wherever she finds it, even in socialism, even, perhaps, in anarchism. But as Catholics we aren’t defined by some political ideology. And I’m sure Day understood that.

    “Some anarchists have such feelings toward Christians.”

    Some? As if secular, God-hating anarchism were some minor sect within the greater anarchist history and movement. As if the only anarchists who ever made a serious bid for power – on two occasions in Spain – did not single out the Church as its primary opponent, moreso than the wealthy landowners, capitalists, and government officials.

    I’ll agree that not all anarchists harbor hatred for the Church (not vaguely defined ‘Christians’, some of whom they may find tolerable while harboring a special hatred of the Church). But it is more than “some”.

    As for US soldiers defiling Islam and the actions of Ronald Reagan, what do I care? I’m not making an argument for them, they have nothing to do with this discussion. Invoking the sins and crimes of others is just a way of avoiding your own, or those of whom you wish to legitimize. Completely and totally irrelevant.

    Even if I kept a candle lit 24 hours a day in memory of Ronald Reagan it wouldn’t change anything I’ve pointed out here.

  • Joe – I am aware of Forrest’s position and the debates surrounding Day’s (and other CWs like Ammon Hennacy) use of the term “anarchism.” And I’m aware of the lengths to which her anarchism extended, where it would not go. Where her anarchism conflicted with her Catholicism, the latter won out. I would argue that is the case with me as well.

    The Church recognizes truth wherever she finds it, even in socialism, even, perhaps, in anarchism. But as Catholics we aren’t defined by some political ideology. And I’m sure Day understood that.

    So do I.

    One thing I don’t think you get is that for me, taking Catholicism seriously turned me into an anarchist. I’m not merely throwing two things together.

    If we judged the Church by the standards by which you judge anarchists, we’d be in a lot of trouble.

  • As for US soldiers defiling Islam and the actions of Ronald Reagan, what do I care? I’m not making an argument for them, they have nothing to do with this discussion. Invoking the sins and crimes of others is just a way of avoiding your own, or those of whom you wish to legitimize. Completely and totally irrelevant.

    It’s not irrelevant. You’re not currently making an argument supporting u.s. soldiers and their actions, but you often do. Their actions are analogous to those of the violent anarchists you cite. I’m not “avoiding” anything. I’m engaging your questions and concerns. Why not engage mine? Please answer the question.

  • The idea that I “loathe” america is a misrepresentation based on your own fantasies and need for an enemy.

    Gee, where on earth did I ever get that idea from? From your own words. This is the first time I’ve ever seen you express anything other than disgust for your own country.

  • Gee, where on earth did I ever get that idea from? From your own words. This is the first time I’ve ever seen you express anything other than disgust for your own country.

    Feel free to quote me.

  • Buck: “Michael — you might pause for a moment and dwell on who was invited to the revived Evangelical Catholicism blog, and who was obviously seen as more of an embarrassment.”

    Since Buck always likes to personalize things, I would like to point out that the banning of Buck from Vox Nova received the support of those who left and those who stayed behind, with general agreement that the quality of the comboxes improved with his departure.

  • Good God, Dale Price is displaying a shocking ignorance of health care economics — ALL insurance plans (public or private) set limits on what can be covered and what they will pay for. The problem in the US is that the predomination of private plans and the profit motive (minimizing what our friends in the insurance industry call “medical losses”) turns out to be incredibly espensive and inefficient. It also leaves 47 million with no insurance, 25 million with inadequate insurance, leading to massive rationing by cost.

    The advantage of a public plan would to to bring down costs by exploiting economies of scale, by minimizing overhead. It could also use its monopsony power to get a better deal on products and services (a clear problem in the American medical industry is the fact that doctors and medical practioners have become profit maximizers, instead of being paid a salary or sharing income).

    I’m actually a big fan of single payer because the overwhelming international evidence shows that it gives better health outcomes for a lot less cost, and everybody is covered. It’s an example where subdidiarity actually would assign authority to the top level. It also manages to secure more emphasis on primary care and thus a more personal doctor-patient relationship than we see in the US.

    I find it laughable that the usual slogans are dragged out here — “big givernment” and all that, owning more to Reaganistic nonsense than any real application of Catholic social teaching. I see no criticism of “big” insurance companies denying coverage and claims at a whim simply because they are seeking to maximize profit and appease shareholders.

  • MM: Dispense with your usual misrepresentation, smear and distraction tactics and try addressing what I *actually said*.

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/07/17/rep-chris-smith/#comment-16738

  • Joe,

    Nice to see more Red Tories! I hope the name gets out there more – I think it is a useful terminology.

    michael,

    Is it not odd that the place you offered for understanding anarchy in its definitions states that “all” anarchists share an underlying principle/sentiment, and yet you disavow that in favor of following an “archist” who did not understand herself as having hardly anything in common with anarchist theory and practice as it seems that so many self-described anarchists understand it?

    MM,

    Since Buck always likes to personalize things, I would like to point out that the banning of Buck from Vox Nova received the support of those who left and those who stayed behind, with general agreement that the quality of the comboxes improved with his departure.

    Wrong. It was a very vocal minority of four, a grouping that did not include the founder of the site.

  • It takes quite a bit of intellectual dishonesty for Iafrate to read what Dorothy Day said about not turning to the government for things like Social Security, and then insist that she really meant the exact opposite, i.e., that we SHOULD campaign for the federal government to be responsible for everyone’s bills.

  • Since Buck always likes to personalize things, I would like to point out that the banning of Buck from Vox Nova received the support of those who left and those who stayed behind, with general agreement that the quality of the comboxes improved with his departure.

    Actually, I don’t get that about Stuart Buck at all. I think the problem is that he challenges the fallacious arguments and unsupported conclusions. That certain members of VN complain about people making things personal is laughable.

  • You’re not currently making an argument supporting u.s. soldiers and their actions, but you often do. Their actions are analogous to those of the violent anarchists you cite.

    I’m not sure that you’re successfully keeping track of who you talk with about what. While Joe is certainly not an absolute pacifist, you and he probably agree quite a bit about both Latin America and Iraq.

    Sometimes a “you are with me in everything or you are against me in everything” approach to things ends up in friendly fire more than anything else.

  • For example, Donald, I have not encountered anyone with your precise configuration of monarchical Catholicism…

    Ummmm…Iafrate, I hate to break it to you, but the Heavenly Kingdom just happens to be just that — a “Kingdom” which configuration is precisely monarchical; which apparently means that Christ is Himself actually a heinous fascist, as the case might very well be pursuant to your rather unique ‘anarchist’ viewpoint.

  • Sorry, Jonathan, but –if I recall correctly– you were the only person who argued in his defense. And since you yourself were turfed out for expressing racist views, I think your objectivity could be tainted here.

  • With Minion’s accusation of racism, I think all this thread needs to complete its collection of insults are “republicath,” “sexist,” and “Calvinist” unless we want to stray into vulgar insult territory.

  • What’s a “republicath”?

    If it’s a Catholic that pines after the once noble notions of res publica, then count me in!

  • I think the fact that the founders of the blog in question abandoned ship without so much as a “So long, and thanks for the all the fish” indicates all you need to know about the remnants of said blog.

  • Sorry, Jonathan, but –if I recall correctly– you were the only person who argued in his defense.

    You do not recall correctly.

    And since you yourself were turfed out for expressing racist views, I think your objectivity could be tainted here.

    Wrong again. I happily left for reasons very similiar to the reasons for leaving expressed both publicly and privately by at least four other former contributers.

    The hostility, derision, animosity, and unwillingness for charitable back and forth in favor of name-calling and the determination to assume the worst of your “opponents” has been widely noted, here as elsewhere, by a variety of people with a variety of backgrounds and opinions.

    That sort of destructive witness does nothing but poison the well and indeed make for “vulgar insult territory.”

    That sort of e-representation, especially anonymously, is laughable and pathetic. (I do not wish to derail this thread, so hopefully this topic will change and I’ll try to stay out of it, the past being the past).

  • “So long, and thanks for the all the fish”

    This thread needed a good Hitchhiker’s reference.

  • “I think the fact that the founders of the blog in question abandoned ship without so much as a ‘So long, and thanks for the all the fish’ indicates all you need to know about the remnants of said blog.”

    Save that isn’t even true; which is what is funny. We got more than fish, btw.

  • Guys,

    I’m going to strongly suggest the avoidance of inside baseball, especially when it involves the airing of dirty laundry which none of the rest of us have any ability to verify anyway.

  • Paul Zummo is such a charitable man, is he not? And I hear he has a Ph.D. He must have had to be very strict in source notation, in his accomplishments.

  • Could somebody kindly inform me as to why the topic concerning “Kudos to Rep. Chris Smith” suddenly turned to a discussion of some obscure blog about which practically most, if not, all the audience (including myself) hardly know anything about?

    Also, what’s with the perjorative “e-representation” dig?

    Sheesh.

  • Michael I:

    “It’s not irrelevant. You’re not currently making an argument supporting u.s. soldiers and their actions, but you often do.”

    Who do you think you are talking to here? I don’t think you could find one post I’ve ever made apologizing for the actions of US troops, let alone enough to substantiate the charge of “often”.

    “Their actions are analogous to those of the violent anarchists you cite.”

    Again I ask, who cares? What does it have to do with the topic at hand?

    “I’m not “avoiding” anything. I’m engaging your questions and concerns.”

    I don’t see how. My only concern is with why anyone would want to try to reconcile anarchism with the Catholic Church, which is the oldest embodiment of hierarchical authority on the planet which takes every chance it gets to remind us of the legitimacy of the State.

    I also wonder how the few who dissent from the majority of anarchists who hate the Church and want to destroy it can justify calling themselves anarchists. I still haven’t see that explanation – from Day, or you. I’m looking for it. As I browse through an archive of her writings, I still haven’t found the essay that mentions the word ‘anarchy’ or ‘anarchism’. But I’ve only looked through a dozen out of over a hundred. I’ve seen distributism mentioned a number of times.

    What should I read to get a sense of what Day’s vision of anarchism was. Specifically anarchism, I want to see the word anarchism, her definition of it, how it applies to what she does and what she believes. And if she never made such a statement, then perhaps it was irresponsible to adopt the label.

    As I see it, an anarchist who isn’t working for, or even advocating in theory, the illegitimacy and overthrow of the state or the Church isn’t much of an ‘anarchist’, either in my book or that of most anarchists. People can call themselves whatever they like, I suppose.

    I mean, it seems to me that the logical implication of ‘Christian Anarchism’ is Protestantism – a total rejection of the authority of the Papacy and the clergy. To be a Catholic is to accept the legitimacy, the necessity, of hierarchical order – in the Church, and in society as well.

    “Why not engage mine? Please answer the question.”

    What was it again? What about Reagan? What he did was wrong. US troops defiling Islam? Also wrong. Is that all?

    As for this:

    “If we judged the Church by the standards by which you judge anarchists, we’d be in a lot of trouble.”

    I disagree. The standards by which I judge anarchists are those that the majority of anarchists wouldn’t dispute. If they aren’t proud of the fact that their ideological forebearers mercilessly and irrationally slaughtered thousands of innocent Catholic clergy and laypeople, they’re willing to justify it as a necessity of the revolution.

  • My only concern is with why anyone would want to try to reconcile anarchism with the Catholic Church, which is the oldest embodiment of hierarchical authority on the planet which takes every chance it gets to remind us of the legitimacy of the State.

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this I agree with most profoundly.

    One need only read/hear the speeches of current and past popes concerning the matter of the State (and even the Catechism, for that matter) to see this is so.

    Even further, St. Paul himself had stated as much in his own epistles, which some here should re-read for their own edification.

    To think that the Apostle to the Gentiles would have actually promoted such a notion as anarchy — for that matter, even our Lord Himself who spoke of rendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s — is sorely mistakened.

    If this is what Our Lord had actually wanted, he would’ve manifested Himself as the kind of worldly Saviour the Jews had originally anticipated, such as the one which would have been the more appealing to such historical figures as even Barrabas himself.

  • Joe – That Catholic Worker online archive allows you to search by keyword. Try that. On my own website I link to one specific article. You don’t seem to be trying very hard if you can’t find any of Day’s writings that mention anarchism. In this thread alone we have cited some, as well as Jim Forrest’s critique of her anarchism.

    As I see it, an anarchist who isn’t working for, or even advocating in theory, the illegitimacy and overthrow of the state or the Church isn’t much of an ‘anarchist’, either in my book or that of most anarchists.

    Well there is a difference between believing in the illegitimacy of the state (which both Day and I do) and working for the overthrow of the state. Most anarchists today are not interested in the latter, but rather are interested in prefigurative/direct action politics which I mentioned above which tries to operate outside of the state.

    I mean, it seems to me that the logical implication of ‘Christian Anarchism’ is Protestantism – a total rejection of the authority of the Papacy and the clergy. To be a Catholic is to accept the legitimacy, the necessity, of hierarchical order – in the Church, and in society as well.

    That certainly does seem logical. Which is why a lot of Christian anarchists are Protestants. Catholics do accept hierarchical order — at least in the Church. But the hierarchical order of the Church is, at its best, very much UNLIKE the hierarchical order in the world’s politics. The purpose of the hierarchy of the Church is to serve. This parallels our understanding of the Lordship of Christ: his Lordship is not like the lordship of the world. Our Lord is the slaughtered Lamb, not a worldly monarch. The problem, of course, is when the Church DOES act like a worldly hierarchy, and the anarchists are absolutely correct when they critique this side of the Church and its abuse of power. When the Church’s hierarchy is used in service, in imitation of her Lord, it would make no sense for anarchists to have any problem with it.

    This leads me to point out another assumption of yours: you mentioned that I am trying to “reconcile” Catholicism and anarchism. Yes and no. I think Catholicism and anarchism can offer each other mutual critique, actually. Like theology and culture generally speaking. No, I don’t think the two can be perfectly reconciled or mapped onto one another. I am fine living in the ambiguities and tensions involved in human life, both within the Catholic faith as it is as well as in the interaction of faith and culture(s) such as anarchism. You are more interested in building a perfect, logical system with no ambiguities or paradoxes. That might be a nice thought experiment but to me it does not reflect life, nor does it reflect the actual spirit of Catholicism which embodies tensions, paradoxes and even contradictions.

    Is that all?

    No. Are u.s. soldiers who desecrate Muslim holy places “inhuman savages” like the anarchists who posed for a picture aiming guns at a statue of Jesus?

    The standards by which I judge anarchists are those that the majority of anarchists wouldn’t dispute. If they aren’t proud of the fact that their ideological forebearers mercilessly and irrationally slaughtered thousands of innocent Catholic clergy and laypeople, they’re willing to justify it as a necessity of the revolution.

    I think some anarchists would be proud of this history, but most today would not. In my interactions with actual anarchists (which I’m guessing are more extensive than yours), I know not one who is proud of such historical episodes.

  • I agree with what this anarchist author says, for instance:

    “Indeed, there have been a fairly large number of admirable religious anarchists, individuals such as Leo Tolstoy and Dorothy Day (and the members of her Catholic Worker groups, such as Ammon Hennacy), though to most anarchists the advocacy of freedom on Earth while bowing to a heavenly tyrant (no matter how imaginary) seems an insupportable contradiction.”

    http://www.seesharppress.com/anarchismwhatis.html

    So again, why bother with it? Maybe it’s possible to synthesize anarchism in Catholicism, but is it necessary? Is it worth the effort? I used to think it was with Marxism and Christianity, a la Liberation Theology – then I realized that you can put oil and water in the same jar, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to mix.

    I don’t think there was enough anarchism in Day’s ‘Catholic Anarchism’ to warrant the label. At least as of right now. I’ll keep looking, though.

  • Just as a side note: read GK Chesterton on civilization, and you will see an anarchist writing on the glories of anarchy.

  • My only concern is with why anyone would want to try to reconcile anarchism with the Catholic Church, which is the oldest embodiment of hierarchical authority on the planet which takes every chance it gets to remind us of the legitimacy of the State.

    Every chance it gets? What texts are you reading?

    The Church is the “oldest embodiment of hierarchical authority on the planet”? Which planet are you talking about exactly? Earth?

    There are parts of the world where “states” do not exist. Are you seriously saying that the Church would teach the people in these parts of the world that they better hurry up and build a state?

    This discussion is so ahistorical it isn’t funny. The Church simply takes nation-states for granted because they exist. If humanity moved on to other forms of social organization, beyond the state so to speak, the Church would not instruct us to get back to states.

    I’m interested in exploring the question on Dorothy Day’s anarchism some more, especially with regard to the health care question. I hope to do it in depth at one of my blogs in the next month or so. I find it extremely bizarre to invoke Day as, essentially, a libertarian as the story has gone in this thread. It’s a profound misreading of Day.

    I’m also intrigued by the contradictions here: some are saying Day was not a real anarchist. Others are saying she was a real anarchist and I’m not. I can’t keep it all straight. What is clear is that few have read Dorothy Day and even fewer have read much anarchist theory or have had much contact with actual anarchist activists.

  • Clearly, Henry, yours is a prime example of eisegesis.

  • read GK Chesterton on civilization

    Ever read him on anarchy?

  • G.K. Chesterton an anarchist?

    LOL

    You should try reading him though, you may be disillusioned to find that GKC was far from an anarchist, even making them the villains in the Ball and the Cross (where he treated Tolstoian ideas with contempt) – but at least you’ll be in for some great thoughts and writing.

  • JohnH

    I’ve read him on distributionism, which is really it’s own form of anarchy. Note: William Morris is seen by Chester-Belloc as one of their kind, just there was no name for the category. Note: William Morris among other things is an example of anarchist writing. Note: Chester-Belloc isn’t too fond of “civilization” but would rather, like Tolkien later, to have people free to guide and direct themselves outside of the economic materialism, from which the State (in all factions) comes into power.

  • Rick

    As Tolkien himself would point out, there are different kinds of anarchists, and when he described himself as one, he said “not the bomb” kind. Chesterton was strong against anomialism. But his discussions on civilization is exactly the kind of thing anarchists talk about.

  • And this, btw, is why Day would point out Belloc and Chesterton in her own writings, while also calling herself an anarchist.

  • Michael I.:

    “What is clear is that few have read Dorothy Day and even fewer have read much anarchist theory or have had much contact with actual anarchist activists.”

    It is because I have read some anarchist theory – that FAQ, for instance, which every anarchist I’ve ever met has recommended – that I make the claims I do. Anarchists are overwhelmingly hostile to religion.

    I used to belong to a socialist organization, and I used to mix with assorted radicals on the left, including anarchists. Personal experience confirms for me what their own writings proclaim – they absolutely hate religion, and no religion more than Catholicism.

    As for this:

    “Every chance it gets? What texts are you reading?”

    Are you kidding? How about every encyclical on social questions ever written. The legitimacy of “the State” is never questioned and constantly reinforced, provided that it is serving in its proper role and not doing too much – OR too little.

    “The Church is the “oldest embodiment of hierarchical authority on the planet”? Which planet are you talking about exactly? Earth?”

    I don’t know, Michael, what Church are you talking about? It has been a hierarchy since its inception, and I can’t think of any dynasties or institutions that go back further than it. And again, most anarchists agree with this assessment.

    So its a case of everyone, Catholic and anarchist, being wrong except for you?

    “There are parts of the world where “states” do not exist. Are you seriously saying that the Church would teach the people in these parts of the world that they better hurry up and build a state?”

    Not necessarily – the Church does not place statecraft at the top of its priority list.

    But it does recognize states as legitimate institutions, and if these ‘stateless’ regions were suffering from serious social problems that the existence of a state would solve, my bet is that the Church would teach the people in those parts exactly that.

  • I’m interested in exploring the question on Dorothy Day’s anarchism some more, especially with regard to the health care question…. I find it extremely bizarre to invoke Day as, essentially, a libertarian as the story has gone in this thread. It’s a profound misreading of Day.

    I don’t see why rejecting nationalized health care would necessarily mean being a libertarian. For instance, the Amish reject both Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid and also commercial health insurance. They do this because they are intensely localist and agrarian in their approaches to these things.

    Being herself localist and agrarian, I would assume that Day would have had similar problems with all of the above.

    Now, it sounds like you’re saying you don’t see nationalized health care of the sort MM supports (and which many consider to be the ultimate goal of Obama’s health care measures) as actually good, but as provisionally better than the regime of commercial insurance.

    I suppose I can see how you would do that while still identifying with Day, but it seems to me that to do so implicitly violated the whole idea of localism or regionalism. The push for nationalized healthcare and the rejection of local solutions which can help with local needs as not going far enough, is based on a statistical/mass society approach to problems. “47 million uninsured” is clearly not a problem which coming up with alternative methods of funding local clinics and hospitals to make their services available to all who need them can solve. But then, “47 million uninsured” is a problem which assumed a nation-wide, statistically motivated mindset.

    Someone who is truly localist would, I think, focus on local solutions to local problems rather than moving towards a nationalized approach which would necessarily make local solutions even more difficult to achieve and instead wed individual welfare more closely to the national government.

    The Church is the “oldest embodiment of hierarchical authority on the planet”? Which planet are you talking about exactly? Earth?

    Are you aware of any hierarchical institutions which have been in existence for more than 2000 years and are still around today?

    There are parts of the world where “states” do not exist. Are you seriously saying that the Church would teach the people in these parts of the world that they better hurry up and build a state?

    I suspect that part of the confusions here is that different participants in the conversation are using different definitions of “state”. As I recall, you use a rather narrow one and say that states have only existed for a few hundred years. Most people would consider the first “states” to have emerged in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, and would consider the local worldly authorities (even if they are essential tribal in nature) to constitute the “state” in areas which lack formal political structure.

  • “…to most anarchists the advocacy of freedom on Earth while bowing to a heavenly tyrant (no matter how imaginary) seems an insupportable contradiction.”

    So again, why bother with it?

    Well, as you know, the God we believe in is not a tyrant. The god that this anarchist writer rejects is also a god that I reject. He and I agree.

    It’s no different from attempts to dialogue with atheists of various kinds, or with the natural sciences in which atheists tend to dominate.

    I’m also not sure why you think I’d be uncomfortable being part of a marginalized religio-political viewpoint. So what if “most” anarchists think religious anarchism is a contradiction? They’re wrong.

    Maybe it’s possible to synthesize anarchism in Catholicism, but is it necessary? Is it worth the effort?

    Again, you’re missing the point. I’m not really “synthesizing” anything. My Catholicism has led me to anarchism. I don’t really need to put any “effort” into making it cohere.

    I just finished the book Living on Hope While Living in Babylon: The Christian Anarchists of the 20th Century by Tripp York. Quick read. The “Christian anarchists” he discusses are Dorothy Day, Clarence Jordan, the Berrigan Brothers. I have some issues with the way he frames his ecclesiology, but the first chapter “A Christian Anarchist Politic” is quite good, as are his chapters on each of the personalities I mentioned. Might give you a better sense of the “flavor” of Christian anarchism and they ways in which anarchism does and does not mesh with Christianity.

  • Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.

    Benjamin: Yes, sir.

    Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?

    Benjamin: Yes, I am.

    Mr. McGuire: Anarchy.

    Benjamin: Just how do you mean that, sir?

  • The only thing about Chesterton’s distributism is its rather unfortunate and even ineluctable resemblance to socialism; but anarchist?

    Hardly, if at all.

  • “That Catholic Worker online archive allows you to search by keyword. Try that.”

    That function was hidden at the bottom of the page so I didn’t see it before. I will try it – and we’ll see what we find.

    “To us at the Catholic Worker, anarchism means “Love God, and do as you will.” from On Pilgrimage – July/August 1977

    That’s pretty vague.

    “Even those dread words, pacifism and anarchism, when you get down to it, mean that we try always to love, rather than coerce, “to be what we want the other fellow to be,” to be the least, to have no authority over others, to begin with that microcosm man, or rather, with ourselves.”

    To have no authority over others? And what about the authority of the Church?

    “To talk economics to the rich and Jesus to the anarchists gathered in convention these two days (and have to write this column) is a job. Besides, I did not “talk Jesus” to the anarchists. There was no time to answer the one great disagreement which was in their minds–how can you
    reconcile your Faith in the monolithic, authoritarian Church which seems so far from Jesus who “had no place to lay his head,” and who said “sell what you have and give to the poor,”–with your anarchism? – On Pilgrimage – May 1974

    No time to answer then, and apparently, no time to answer even in the writing of that article. There are a few more.

    I was hoping this would be the lead-in to an explanation but no:

    “I wish people would not be so afraid of words, such as the word anarchist.” On Pilgrimage – February 1948

    One more try:

    “I must in all humility, as publisher of the Catholic Worker, try to comment on it and explain again what anarchism and pacifism means to me, and what I think it meant to Peter Maurin.” – The Pope and Peace, 1954

    She doesn’t actually define anarchism. She is rather wistful in her writing, and not systemic. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn’t help when we are trying to ascertain her actual beliefs and the extent to which they are really ‘anarchist’.

    But she DOES go on to articulate a theory of distributism and subsidiarity that I wholeheartedly agree with:

    “Everything needs to be broken down into smaller units to be workable and according to man’s nature, whether it is States, cities, factories. A union, a cooperative, is no better than the men in it, than the locals or cells which make it up.”

    Is this ‘anarchism’? Can one be an anarchist and still advocate for a ‘small state’? Doesn’t that make someone more of a libertarian than an anarchist? Isn’t that precisely why there are distinctions between libertarianism and anarchism?

    Finally, on your comment:

    “You are more interested in building a perfect, logical system with no ambiguities or paradoxes. That might be a nice thought experiment but to me it does not reflect life, nor does it reflect the actual spirit of Catholicism which embodies tensions, paradoxes and even contradictions.”

    First, that’s not what I’m interested in, though I do believe clarity and consistency are important.

    Secondly, the social teaching of the Church is a perfectly logical system with few (I won’t say no) ambiguities and certainly no paradoxes.

    Finally, ‘contradictions in life’ cannot be invoked as an excuse for sloppy and vague theorizing.

    As for your question about the US soldiers, yes, if they are deliberately violating a site considered holy to Islam – for the sole purpose of insulting Islam and assuming no military necessity – I’d say that is an act of barbarism and hatred. In other words, if the same hate motivates the US soldier as it did the Spanish anarchist that shot at Jesus and tortured priests and nuns, then obviously what I say about one applies to the other.

  • In the last generation, Chesterton, Belloc, Eric Gill and Father Vincent McNabb were the great distributists who opposed the servile state, the “providential state” as Pius XII recently called it. Of the four only Eric Gill was a pacifist and anarchist. The others would have feared the word, “anarchist,” and understood it only in its popular connotation. I myself would prefer the word “libertarian,” as less apt to offend. – Dorothy Day, The Long Loneliness, p. 187.

  • e. if you knew what anarchism is, and the kinds of anarchism, you would understand; again, Tolkien is of the same tradition, and he calls himself such.

  • again, Tolkien is of the same tradition, and he calls himself such.

    In what work does Tolkien call himself an anarchist? Is this somewhere in the published volumes of his letters?

  • Henry:

    Not according to certain esteemed members of an Anglo society which just happens to be dedicated to Tokien’s writings; perhaps you may need to re-read what you have read, dear sir.

  • See http://www.pscelebrities.com/whitelightblacklight/2007/06/tolkien-anarchist.htm

    Of course, it seems clear that Tolkien meant actual anarchy, i.e., the absence of anyone bossing anyone else around, not the faux anarchy of leftists who want a trendy name to describe their passion for expanding opportunities for the government to boss people around.

  • In what work does Tolkien call himself an anarchist?

    See here

  • Blackadder:

    FYI, a preference for anarchic monarchy is not actually anarchist.

  • Joe – So you have sufficient texts now that show Dorothy Day referred to herself as an anarchist. Good. That’s a start I guess. I think she defines it sufficiently, at least as sufficiently as any anarchist would. Anarchism is not a system or blueprint for society but a tendency.

    To have no authority over others? And what about the authority of the Church?

    Again, you are simply not reading her carefully or are intentionally reading things into her words from your own stance of suspicion and need to be right. You might consider what she might mean by “authority over.” Authority is exercised in various ways. Anarchists recognize authority (or else they would not cite other anarchists as authorities) but not authority over which is mere coercion. If you’re doubting Dorothy Day’s belief in the authority of the Church, you’re being silly. Now, the quote does not seem to me to be talking about Church authority. Church authority is not authority over, not at its best anyway. So there is no contradiction between anarchist views of authority and the belief in the authority of the Church.

    Is this ‘anarchism’? Can one be an anarchist and still advocate for a ’small state’?

    You’ll notice she did not advocate for a “small state” but that states be broken up into smaller units.

    Doesn’t that make someone more of a libertarian than an anarchist? Isn’t that precisely why there are distinctions between libertarianism and anarchism?

    There are many reasons for the distinction. The major reason is that libertarians are at root individualists. Anarchists can be individualists but the dominant tradition is more communitarian.

    Secondly, the social teaching of the Church is a perfectly logical system with few (I won’t say no) ambiguities and certainly no paradoxes

    Baloney.

    Finally, ‘contradictions in life’ cannot be invoked as an excuse for sloppy and vague theorizing.

    If you believe that you can come up with a theory that will take all of reality into account, you’re dreaming. My insistence on paradoxes and ambiguities is precisely based in the catholic (small-c) both/and. Henri de Lubac is good on this.

    …I’d say that is an act of barbarism and hatred… then obviously what I say about one applies to the other.

    But you didn’t explicitly say that the soldiers in question would be “inhuman savages.” You spoke here only of their actions. Yet you denied the very humanity of the anarchists in question. I just want to make sure that you would use the same dehumanizing language to refer to “our boys” when they commit analogous actions. So, let me get this right. You are saying that u.s. soldiers who desecrate Muslim holy sites are inhuman savages, right?

    Blackadder – I hope you are reading that passage with attention to the historical context. And that you have noticed that in that passage Dorothy Day does not say she is not an anarchist. (Noam Chomsky calls himself both a libertarian socialist and an anarchist interchangibly). It would be plain stupid to read that passage and assume her views coincide with today’s american libertarians.

  • Michael,

    I agree that Day was an anarchist. In fact I largely agree with what you say about anarchism at least as a descriptive matter.

  • Well, it is indeed weird that folks should seek to canonize Ronald Reagan; even weirder to do so in the case of Norm Chomsky!

  • BA – Good. It was obviously difficult to tell where you were coming from with the quote.

    Tito – Before I go off, let me just make sure you said what I think you said. Did you just accuse Archbishop Oscar Romero of “hiding weapons underneath the blessed sacrament” (please explain what the hell this means), committing acts of terrorism and executing human beings?

    If so, I hope that the folks at The American Catholic can finally see just how dangerous and reckless Tito is.

  • Iafrate,

    I’ve done some investigating on the subject and was equally surprised. I’ve interviewed many Salvadorans and everyone of them knew that Archbishop Romero was hiding weapons in the church. Some priests even hid them underneath the blessed sacrament. Now I didn’t say Romero did specifically, but many of the “rebels” were priests who were spurred on by “liberation theology” and did atrocious things such as hiding weapons and terrorists within the walls of the churches.

    It seems that Archbishop Romero is not the “saint” that dissident Catholics continue to rant about.

  • Iafrate,

    We already know from previous threads how Tito’s ill-advised enthusiasm sometimes seems to get the best of him; what seems to be the more disturbing is how one seems to mistake Chomsky as one possessing some infallible papal authority all Catholics must pay obeisance.

  • e.,

    That is a calumnious statement.

  • Tito,

    Just trying to live up to the Hargrave contention, my friend (although, I must admit, his subsequent replies to Iafrate seem spot-on).

  • Tito – Of course there were priests who participated in various Latin American revolutionary movements. That is one discussion. But you have now said TWICE that Romero was hiding weapons in his church.

    I’d like to register a formal complaint with this blog for such a scandalous, unfounded comment. I’m not surprised that one of your readers is already rushing to Tito’s defense. Your blog attracts some real winners. I’d like to think some of the other bloggers here are sensible enough to know that there is a problem here. Silence is complicity.

  • e.,

    No worries, just had to defend myself.

  • Michael Iafrate,

    I highly doubt that Archbishop Romero will ever get a hearing into and investigating of his cause for sainthood. But I can guarantee that it will be Dead On Arrival when the investigation begins and find the evidence for what I have heard and posted about.

  • The above comments are so hilarious; on the one hand, Tito claimed I was attacking him while, on the other, Iafrate claimed I was defending him.

    What’s so ironic is the fact that Iafrate, for all his venom, was actually correct in his assertion in spite of Tito’s rather unfortunate misperception.

    In any case, I would like to lodge an official complaint concerning not this specific sorry predicament but as regarding this blog’s continued insistence to entertain such remarkably repulsive guests as Iafrate (present company — i.e., myself — except, of course!).

  • Tito – Romero’s process has already begun.

  • The above comments are so hilarious; on the one hand, Tito claimed I was attacking him while, on the other, Iafrate claimed I was defending him.

    What’s so ironic is the fact that Iafrate, for all his venom, was actually correct in his assertion in spite of Tito’s rather unfortunate misperception.

    Tito is not very bright. What’s your point?

  • Your blog attracts some real winners. I’d like to think some of the other bloggers here are sensible enough to know that there is a problem here. Silence is complicity.

    LOL Yeah, just the other day I saw digbydolben here filling the combox with his love and sanity and McClarey humoring him. Then Naus came by and he and Darwin struck up a pleasant conversation about the merits of Thomism.

  • Michael Iafrate,

    It won’t last long if that’s the case.

  • Tito – You might also want to consider that Pope Benedict said he has no doubts that Oscar Romero is a saint and that his cause will progress.

  • Rick,

    I’ve been out of the loop for a couple of weeks, which posting was the thread on Thomism on?

  • Tito,

    It was a joke. Naus was not here.

  • Michael Iafrate,

    If that was an ex cathedra statement then I will. But since it wasn’t then it’s wait-and-see.

  • Mark,

    If that was the case, then I’m too gullible a Christian to believe some things that people say.

  • I’ve interviewed many Salvadorans and everyone of them knew that Archbishop Romero was hiding weapons in the church. Some priests even hid them underneath the blessed sacrament. Now I didn’t say Romero did specifically, but many of the “rebels” were priests who were spurred on by “liberation theology” and did atrocious things such as hiding weapons and terrorists within the walls of the churches.

    I’m a little confused. In the first sentence it sounds like you’re saying that Romero did hide weapons in his church, then in the second you deny that you’re saying that. Which is it?

  • Sorry Tito, I was being sarcastic. Naus isn’t exactly one pleasant conversations or Thomism.

  • BA – If I am reading him correctly, Tito is saying that Romero hid weapons in his church and that some priests (but maybe not Romero) hid them “underneath the blessed sacrament.” It’s no wonder you are confused. Tito has no idea what he is talking about.

  • Blackadder,

    Since your incapable of figuring out that Romero hid weapons in the church, but not under the blessed Sacrament, I’ll try to explain it again.

    Archbishop Romero did not hide weapons underneath the blessed Sacrament. Though there were some priests that did, but not Archbishop Romero.

    Let’s try this exercise.

    Did Archbishop Romero hide weapons underneath the Blessed Sacrament?

    No.

    Did Archbishop Romero hide weapons inside his church?

    Yes.

    I can draw diagrams for you or use hand-puppets if my rudimentary English skills are insufficient for your delicate sensibilities to discern?

  • Tito:

    You’re forcing me to agree with Iafrate, which is a disorienting experience, to say the least. Count me as another who expects Romero to be canonized.

  • Tito:

    Do you have any sources that we could access for that Romero claim? I know you said you’ve interviewed people from El Salvador, but has anyone else published similar findings?

    As of right now, Romero has been granted the title “Servant of God” and apparently his works passed a Ratzinger-headed CDF audit, so I think in fairness we need a little more.

  • Tito:

    To be fair to Blackadder and even the infamous Iafrate, I could not determine your meaning in the aforementioned subject comment as well; although, if it helps any, as regarding Romero specifically, I too do not embrace him as a saintly figure but rather a scoundrel.

  • Michael Denton – Salvadoran enemies of Romero and of liberation theology (social justice oriented church movements in general) said all kinds of things about Romero and any priest or religious who spoke out against the right wing governments and the country’s elites. That Tito heard such fairy tales somewhere along the line is not very surprising, but the continued parroting of these stories is a scandal.

    I continue to call on the other bloggers here to condemn Tito’s reckless claim which he has now made three times.

  • Did Archbishop Romero hide weapons inside his church?

    Yes.

    Unless you have some evidence in support of the charge, I’m inclined to agree with Michael and the others that this is a reckless thing to say.

  • Dear Vox Nova readers. Just a friendly warning that the majority of Vox Nova writers/posters are pro-abortion. They voted for President Obama. They don’t believe in protecting the unborn and this is diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Catholic Church. In a sense they are excommunicated because of their actions. Especially Mr. Michael Iafrate. He is a Catholic in name only and doesn’t believe most of what the Church teaches. You’ve been forewarned.

    Iafrate,

    Is it any weirder than the folks here who seek to canonize Ronald Reagan et al. who supervised the slaughtering of priests and Catholics in Latin America?

    You mean the priests and Catholics that would hide weapons underneath the blessed sacrament, participate in terrorist raids, and execute innocent people? Just like Bishop Romero as my friends from El Salvador alleged? Yes, according to my friends from El Salvador they were slaughtered because they themselves did the very same slaughtering that the freedom fighters have been accused of.

  • One day when I was speaking about how excited I was to see Romero being considered a saint, my Salvadoran and Honduran friends laid out to me what was behind the attacks on priests such as Archbishop Romero.

    They detailed to me the many cache of weapons, the hiding of Marxist campesino rebels, and the underground activities of various seminarians and priests that did fundraising activities for the Marxist rebels.

    I came away disillusioned. But I wanted more information. As I got a hold of other Salvadoran friends and acquaintances each one of the said more or less the same thing.

    They even said that the public relations campaign that is determined to make Romero a saint was a big lie. They lost many relatives and friends to the very same Marxists that were being aided by Romero and other priests. According to them it’s an open secret that Romero was a Marxist that did clandestine activities to aid the Marxist rebels.

    That is where I got my information from.

  • As Romero and the liberation theologians were suspected targets of the military, and their churches were raided and trashed by the military (you know, the right wing allies of Carter, Reagan, and Bush I) all the time, it doesn’t even make sense that Romero would hide weapons in his church. It would have been profoundly stupid, even if he were on the side of the guerillas.

  • It’s a free country thank goodness that we can hold different points of view.

    It’s another thing for Michael Iafrate to continue to insult others (specifically me) with epitaphs.

    Par for the course.

  • Dale, Blackadder, et al,

    I think with the Magisterium.

    If the congregation is to go forward and canonize Romero, then I will have to agree and say what I heard were disingenuous lies.

    But for the moment, I have to side with my Salvadoran and Honduran friends about the character of Archbishop Romero and the many actions he took against the free people of El Salvador.

  • Yes, Tito, those sources sound quite reliable.

    I have not yet seen an American Catholic blogger willing to denounce Tito’s reckless claim. The best we have is BA who is “inclined” to do so.

  • Insulted you with epitaphs? Hmm.

  • They detailed to me the many cache of weapons, the hiding of Marxist campesino rebels, and the underground activities of various seminarians and priests that did fundraising activities for the Marxist rebels.

    What does this have to do with Romero? Did anyone tell you that they had personal knowledge of Romero hiding weapons in a church? If not, if it’s based on who knows how many layers of hearsay, then their testimony is not credible.

  • Michael Iafrate,

    I will take the side of my friends who lost close friends and relatives in the Marxist uprisings in Central America over your utopian Marxist ideals any day of the week.

  • I at least hope somebody here at the American Catholic is willing to write Tito blogging epitaph.

  • Iafrate:

    Salvadoran enemies of Romero and of liberation theology (social justice oriented church movements in general) said all kinds of things about Romero and any priest or religious who spoke out against the right wing governments and the country’s elites.

    I imagine that’s true. This is why I wish I could see a source, to try to determine if this is the case.

    I continue to call on the other bloggers here to condemn Tito’s reckless claim which he has now made three times.

    I do think the charge is reckless and ought not to have to have been made unless Tito is able of supplying proof. As I said before, Ratzinger himself, no friend of Liberation theology, seems okay with Romero and I trust the Holy Father’s judgment very much. Not knowing much about Romero myself, I defer to him unless there is reasonable evidence to disagree, evidence which Tito ought to supply. If he does not or can not, I think he should apologize and recant.

  • BA,

    Again, they told me Archbishop Romero hid weapons in his parish. Which would make sense since why would the death squads kill an innocent priest?

    El Salvador’s a small country, but I will not get into questioning my sources. Maybe it was hearsay, maybe they witnessed it themselves. The simple fact of the matter is is that all of my Salvadoran friends say the same thing (more or less).

    So I will take their word for it against anyone else’s who’s only credibility is “because I said so”.

  • It’s a free country thank goodness that we can hold different points of view.

    It’s another thing for Michael Iafrate to continue to insult others (specifically me) with epitaphs.

    It’s insulting to charge Archbishop Romero with hiding weapons in a church without credible evidence that he did so. You are often quick to charge others with calumny when they criticize you. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

  • Darwin,

    Yes, it is in his letters:

    “My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning the abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) — or to ‘unconstitutional’ Monarchy. I would arrest anybody who uses the word State (in any sense other than the inaminate real of England and its inhabitants, a thing that has neither power, rights nor mind); and after a chance of recantation, execute them if they remained obstinate! If we could go back to personal names, it would do a lot of good. Government is an abstract noun meaning the art and process of governing and it should be an offence to write it with a capital G or so to refer to people. […] Anyway the proper study of Man is anything but Man; and the most improper job of any many, even saints (who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on), is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity. At least it is done only to a small group of men who know who their master is. The mediaevals were only too right in taking nolo episcopari as the best reason a man could give to others for making him a bishop. Grant me a king whose chief interest in life is stamps, railways, or race-horses; and who has the power to sack his Vizier (or whatever you dare call him) if he does not like the cut of his trousers. And so on down the line. But, of course, the fatal weakness of all that — after all only the fatal weakness of all good natural things in a bad corrupt unnatural world — is that it works and has only worked when all the world is messing along in the same good old inefficient human way. […] There is only one bright spot and that is the growing habit of disgruntled men of dynamating factories and power-stations; I hope that, encouraged now as ‘patriotism’, may remain a habit! But it won’t do any good, if it is not universal”

    J. R. R. Tolkien. The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien. ed. Humphrey Carpenter (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981), 63 -4.

    E. – I’m a scholar on Tolkien, having given scholarly presentations on him in the public. Unlike some, I’ve even researched those whom he most associated himself with, like the Pre-Raphaelites, especially William Morris, and the words above make perfect sense if you study Morris.

  • Blackadder,

    Just as quickly as you were to accuse me of the same.

    Takes one to know one it seems.

    Or is it ok to say “it seems”?

  • why would the death squads kill an innocent priest?

    !

  • Iafrate:

    On a side note, did you see that on my blog I posed a few questions to you? I figure you’ve been busy in this thread, but I hope they don’t go unanswered though I’ll understand if they do.

  • Tito:

    Blackadder would seem to have a point.

    I might think Romero a scoundrel for personal reasons; however, to launch an accusation as scandalous as that would require certain corroboration with something a little more than what largely appears to be hearsay.

  • Does anyone ever get the feeling around here that we’re living in a tea pot and a very large storm is raging?

    Tito says that he’s talked to multiple Salvadorans, whom I assume he has personal reason to believe reliable, who have told him that it was generally understood that Bishop Romero was hiding weapons. We know on the one hand that Romero was declared a Servant of God and that his writings passed the “audit” for beatification, but on the other hand that he has not actually been beatified. On the other hand, we know that some liberationist priests were indeed involved in weapons smuggling and fighting.

    I’m not really sure how any of us are in a position to know either way, and personally I don’t feel that I need to have an opinion.

    My instinct is to be skeptical of “no one knows this but someone told me” kind of things, but I don’t see how I could be asked to “condemn” Tito’s statement since I really have no way of knowing if his sources are right or wrong. I trust the Church to be able to get to the bottom of it, and I would tend to take the approach of not speaking out either way since I don’t really have any knowledge about it. While there are very few causes for sainthood that I have an opinion on one way or the other, I’m not clear that it’s wrong for a Catholic to have strong opinions on such a matter so long as they accept the Church’s final judgment when it comes.

  • Denton,

    Am I suppose to get my Salvadoran friends to comment in this thread to satisfy your curiosity?

    Be very careful in demanding apologies.

    My humility and charity goes only so far as humanly possible.

    Just because I recognize my mistakes in the past does not behoove you, or anyone else, to make demands for each and every time you disagree with my opinions, thoughts or ideas.

    That is both uncharitable and disingenuous.

  • Just as quickly as you were to accuse me of the same.

    Takes one to know one it seems.

    Actually I took care not to accuse you of anything until I had determined 1) the exact nature of the charge you were making, and 2) the evidence you had to support it.

  • Tito:

    Romero is a servant of God; he wrote AGAINST Marxism. There were lies spoken of him when he was alive (and he mentioned it). Will you believe Jews if they said “Jesus is of Satan” just because they were there in Jesus’ time? Seriously, the Church, and Romero’s legacy, has shown differently. As for “arms”, Peter had a sword. But now, what are you, a pacifist who demands no arms? I didn’t think so. Nice try.

  • Blackadder,

    If I could transport my friends into your living room with a translator I would happily do so. But since said technology has not been invented yet you can clamor all you want until the cows come home about evidence.

    I hope not to shatter your world with this, but not EVERYTHING is on the Internet.

    There are things called primary sources, ie, people, who can repeat to you what was told to me about the true nature of Archbishop Romero.

    I have yet to see during a court trial someone opening up their laptop and pointing into the screen and saying “There! It’s on the Internet, case closed, I win”.

    Until that happens I guess you will have to suffer along with the rest of us peons that not everything can be found on the Internet.

  • Henry:

    Again, anarchic monarchy is not the same as anarchist; especially given Tolkien’s religious leanings.

  • Tito,

    I’d back of your claims here, if I were in your shoes.

    And do not take it as personally as some would make it.

  • Like others, I am appalled by the anti-Catholic statements from Tito. There’s really no other word for it. Popes Benedict and John Paul have both acknowledged Romero as a martyr of the faith, and his cause seems pretty well advanced. And yet Tito makes the same allegations as the right-wing death squad leaders who actually killed Romero and so many others who campaign for social justice.

  • Henry Karlson,

    I read and hear what you say.

    As I stated earlier, if he were to be canonized a saint, I will willingly (with a lot of prayer, reflection, and meditation) bend to the Church’s pronouncement and joyfully embrace Archbishop Romero as a saint.

    I do so humbly knowing that many things remain a mystery to me. But until that happens, I will have to side with what I know. I wish I had more information but that is where I stand.

    I can respect you and others such as Dale and Blackadder on siding with where the process stands thus far. I hope that you can respect where I am coming from as well.

  • Tito:

    I think if you make a public charge, then you need public evidence. You have publicly charged Romero of aiding the Marxist cause. You should be able to prove to the public that this charge is founded based on public evidence.

    You are free to believe your friends, but just b/c you believe your friends doesn’t mean you should make that public, especially considering the serious nature of the charge (i.e. that Romero aided in the killings) unless you have better evidence.

    I do not demand an apology for every time someone disagrees with me. I rarely if ever call on Iafrate to apologize, and God only knows how many times we’ve disagreed. I also disagree with you quite frequently but rarely call for an apology.

  • Tito:

    I’m not entirely sure that Blackadder’s contention rested on the evidence necessarily being found via the Internet; I myself was thinking along the lines of corroborating evidence needing to be furnished to substantiate the accusation you seemed to be hurling on what folks here keep touting as “the servant of God”.

  • MM:

    I hadn’t seen that Romero was declared a martyr of the faith, as what I read indication that we could receive the title of “Blessed” upon that pronouncement.

    Do you know of where JPII or B16 made that statement? They both liked him very much I think, but I don’t think they’ve proclaimed him a martyr just yet but I could be wrong.

  • Morning Minion:

    “Right-wing death squad leaders”?

    Why, don’t let your left-wing political leanings cloud your rather conspicuously impartial reasoning there, bub!

    Sheesh!

  • Michael Denton,

    I’ve stated my case enough times on this thread.

    Archbishop Romero hid weapons inside his church according to hearsay AND eyewitness testimony of my Salvadoran friends.

    Maybe they are lying to me. Maybe they are telling the truth.

    I side that they are telling me the truth.

    If they are lying then maybe the trauma of the war caused them to lump every priest with Marxist sympathies into that lump. I-do-not-know.

    What I do know is that I take their word for it that Archbishop Romero hid weapons in his church and he died for his Marxist cause.

    That’s where I am at.

  • Can Tito actually be judged a liar should he happen to believe quite genuinely that his friends are telling the truth and, thus, he accepts them at their word?

  • Mark DeFrancisis,

    Thank you for your opinion.

    I stand with my Salvadoran friends.

    I am man enough to admit my mistakes, and if Archbishop Romero is made a saint, I will admit that I was in error. Until that happens I willingly and confidently stand by what my friends tell me.

  • Blackadder,

    I will concede that my English writing skills are not up to par at times. Forgive me on this, English is not my first language and I still struggle to this day with sentence structure (no matter in English or Spanish).

    So if I had inferred directly or indirectly that Archbishop Romero purposely hid weapons underneath the Blessed Sacrament, it was not intentional. But if it was read as is, then mea culpa.

    I will try to write better in the future.

  • And yet Tito makes the same allegations as the right-wing death squad leaders who actually killed Romero and so many others who campaign for social justice.

    Yes. Not only did Tito say that Romero was hiding weapons in his church, he suggested that Romero deserved to be killed for doing so.

    They both liked him very much I think, but I don’t think they’ve proclaimed him a martyr just yet but I could be wrong.

    Obviously nothing official. But we do have this:

    “Archbishop Romero was certainly an important witness of the faith, a man of great Christian virtue who worked for peace and against the dictatorship, and was assassinated while celebrating Mass. Consequently, his death was truly “credible”, a witness of faith.”

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/b16brazint.htm

  • Michael Iafrate,

    he suggested that Romero deserved to be killed for doing so.

    I did not say that.

  • Michael I,

    I don’t have as much time as I would like to reply in full, since I’m at a place where the connection is sporadic. For now, two things. First, Day included “states” on her list of things that should be broken down:

    ““Everything needs to be broken down into smaller units to be workable and according to man’s nature, whether it is States, cities, factories. A union, a cooperative, is no better than the men in it, than the locals or cells which make it up.””

    Earlier in that same letter she speaks admirably of the Italian city-state. Breaking down a state into smaller states is still leaving us with a state.

    I maintain that Day’s anarchism, from the letters and articles I have read thus far – and I am willing to change my mind upon seeing more – is not well defined, and is rejected by the mainstream of anarchist thought. I maintain that she does not appear to have successfully overcome what I believe are mutually exclusive positions.

    And you’re right to note the distinction between actions and persons. I don’t know whether it was ignorance or hatred that led US soldiers to defile Islamic sites. But I do know it was an absolute hatred for subordination to moral authority that led the deranged Spanish anarchists to commit the atrocities they did.

    Perhaps it is your ‘desire to be right’ that keeps leading you to associate me with blind patriotism in spite of the numerous criticisms of US imperialism I have made on this forum, and which I know you have seen.

    More later, when I am at a secure connection.

  • E.

    Read what Tolkien wrote… “or” the “or” is important. And he did think monarchies tended to be more anarchist than the modern, democratic state. I agree with him.

  • I am not surprised that Darwin is defending Tito. MM is right to call Tito’s claim anti-Catholic.

  • I did not say that.

    I said you suggested it.

    And you’re right to note the distinction between actions and persons. I don’t know whether it was ignorance or hatred that led US soldiers to defile Islamic sites. But I do know it was an absolute hatred for subordination to moral authority that led the deranged Spanish anarchists to commit the atrocities they did.

    So you aren’t willing to say the same thing about u.s. soldiers. That’s what I thought.

    Are you at least willing to condemn Tito’s lies about Oscar Romero in this thread?

  • Michael,

    I’m not willing to say it about US soldiers because I don’t know the details of that situation. That is the only reason. You tell me of the specific cases, and I’ll make the call.

    I am willing to say it – but I am not yet able. I think you know the difference.

    As for Tito’s statements about Oscar Romero, I don’t believe he is lying about what people told him – I would say that the burden of proof is on his sources to prove their case. Personally, I don’t find it likely. Oscar Romero died a hero and a martyr, and I will be happy when he is made a saint.

  • Iafrate:

    That seems all too harsh and can even be rightly deemed as calumnious; Tito might very well be a number of things but, seriously, “anti-catholic”?

  • A congressman who in order to get a few words defending life on record before before the state imposes a system on the people that would make them fund the killing of the most innocent, has to speak after hours in an empty building. Someone on a Catholic blog decides such an action is worthy of praise and sharing with others. In a sane world you would think there would be a modest amount of people that might reply with a “good for him” or “nice, thanks for letting me know about this”.

    Comments are at 220 and they started out with ridiculing those who oppose abortion even when (or especially when!) the state facilitates and participates in it. So much for a sane world…

  • Henry,

    Interesting. I’d read that volume of letters (though it’s been fifteen years) but I hadn’t recalled that one.

    I guess how seriously one takes Tolkien’s comment, and whether one considers this to bear any similarity to the anarchist movement as it exists today, depends on one’s point of view. I guess I’m having a hard time seeing how monarchy is “more anarchistic” than other forms of government when it is in fact more hierarchical. I would tend to see Tolkien’s viewpoint as simply being deeply conservative (and conservative on a long timescale) but I can see how those with other points of view might see common elements with their own viewpoints.

  • Darwin

    If you want to understand, you would have to read William Morris (and possibly Ruskin before him), and use that as the lead in to Chesterton and Belloc. You will begin to see the kind of anarchy (which is anti-state) that Tolkien is about; the state as we know of it today is what anarchist oppose (not religious values, not morality — indeed morality is often used to judge the state, nor even hierarchy itself). The medieval monarchy wasn’t concerned about the individual outside of politics; modern democratic states wants to snoop on all. These is something here which Tolkien (and many others before him) latched in. Indeed, democracy, since power is in the many, is itself greater in arche because of it, if you think it through.

  • I guess I’m just a little confused here. So Chris Smith is an anarchist who hid guns in a Church, and then he created a blog that no one reads but which infuriated Stuart Buck – so had to ban him?

    I don’t know if he deserves kudos for all that.

  • Thank God for Paul Zummo!

  • Paul,

    …and Naus commented about all that to boot.

  • On the Romero question,

    Were I in Tito’s position, I wouldn’t have said anything — because for good or ill I’m a more cautious and image conscious person than Tito is. However, no, I’m not going to condemn him for relaying what his friends told him, nor do I think it anything other than rude and ideological for you to be calling him “anti-Catholic” for what he said.

    This is where I think sometimes people get a bit too caught up in their ideologies to appreciate the human experience. Tito tells us that he’s had conversations with several Salvadoran friends — people who’d been directly affected by the war there and had had friends and family killed by communist groups there — and that they told him it was widely known that Bishop Romero had been helping to hid weapons. Now for me, hearing about this at the distance of the internet, it’s pretty easy to think (as I pretty much do): Look, they knew they were good Catholics and they had friends and family killed by the communists, they knew that Romero was a hero of those who supported the communists, and they heard rumors that he’d been hiding weapons, and so it seemed likely to them to be true. Why would they assume the best about someone who was a hero to the people who had killed their friends and family?

    However, for someone who knows these people personally and likes and trusts them and hears the stories about what their friends and families went through, I think it would be pretty natural to believe them. Maybe there are some people who would start screaming at them, “How dare you believe that anti-Catholic, fascist, militarist propaganda,” to their faces, but a normal, humane person who knew them would probably tend to believe them.

    Now look, I trust the Church to get to the bottom of this, and I suspect that what the Church will determine is that (however unsavory some of the people who thought him an important symbol) Romero was a good man who should be revered as a martyr.

    But I don’t see the need to conduct a cyber-lynching because Tito believes his friends — it strikes me as a pretty natural response on his part. Just in the same way that it strikes me as natural and appropriate for people with friends who are either Palestinian or Israeli, who hear about the suffering of their friends and their families, to sympathize with those friends’ side in that conflict.

  • …and all based on hearsay, too!

  • More for MI:

    I’ve been looking for yet more explanations of Day’s anarchism. I read this:

    http://www.catholicworker.org/dorothyday/daytext.cfm?TextID=500&SearchTerm=anarchist

    Once again, she poses the question of what is meant by ‘anarchism’ and does not really define it, or how she can belong to the ‘authoritarian’ Church while being an anarchist without (what I would consider) a clear answer.

    What I take away from this particular writing is that those who follow in full the example of Christ have no need of ‘laws’. So there is a sort of ‘anarchism’ among true believers. She also quotes the Second Vatican Council on following one’s conscience.

    But how does that translate into a political philosophy? In practical terms she only seems to be calling for a smaller state, for nothing less than the application of subsidiarity, which only marks out the proper role of the state, but does not rule it out, either on practical or moral grounds. Pius XI, for instance, saw the role of the state as coordinating the efforts of lower, smaller organizations. Can that be called anarchism of any kind? If it can, then I’ll admit I was wrong.

    “If you’re doubting Dorothy Day’s belief in the authority of the Church, you’re being silly. Now, the quote does not seem to me to be talking about Church authority. Church authority is not authority over, not at its best anyway. ”

    I doubt doubt her belief – I doubt whether or not her view is consistent. I know you understand that distinction as well. Sincerity, which she had in abundance, is not the same as consistency, which I am not convinced is there.

    Church authority is not “authority over”? I disagree. And if you look at how the Church interacted with say, Franco’s Spain, it didn’t waste any of the opportunities that were granted to her by the regime, especially control over the educational system. It took full advantage of the “Spanish State”.

    How any of that is compatible with anarchism is beyond me.

  • DarwinCatholic:

    Just simply have Tito crucified as the crowd wishes, for goodness sakes, and be done with it!

    Meanwhile, can you and the rest allow The Hargrave versus Iafrate debate to continue?

    It’s perhaps the only substantial debate being had on this already severely compromised thread.

    Entertaining to observe a debate between the recovering socialist versus the somewhat questionable anarchist and the facts they respectively deploy against the other.

    Thus far, Hargrave seems to be winning.

  • Paul,

    Thanks, we needed that… ;-)

    Should we just re-title this post: “Thread for a dozen people with too much time on their hands”?

  • E,

    Its a strange day when you and I are on the same side.

    Anyway, I don’t know how much longer I can continue until later this evening – I’m stuck at a little kids table two feet off the ground because its the only place I can pick up a signal. Its not very comfortable :(

  • This thread just keeps rolling on and is about as off topic as any thread could be. However, if the author of the post has no problem with it, I certainly don’t.

    A few observations:

    1. I have never seen any evidence that Oscar Romero was giving military aid to the Marxist rebels in El Salvador. I do know that some priests did do this in El Salvador, but if Romero did that it is news to me, and I do not believe that he did. Pope John Paul II was deeply unhappy with Romero’s embrace of liberation theology and may have planned to replace him prior to his sacrilegious murder.

    Some of the controversy surrounding Romero’s beatification process is set forth in this article.

    http://cafetheology.org/2007/08/05/controversy-surrouns-beatification-cause-of-slain-salvadoran-archbishop-oscar-romero/

    2. Tolkien an anarchist? Actually he was a reactionary of the deepest hue who despised most of the modern world. However he was also something of a crank, so perhaps there was a bit of the anarchist in him.

  • “MM is right to call Tito’s claim anti-Catholic.”

    Oh, good–I’m back to disagreeing with him again.

    Say, MM–since you have time to bounce in and fling verbal grenades, would you take the time to actually address my point about the Hyde Amendment?

  • I can not voice an opinion on Romero. I will trust in the Church’s judgment on his case.

    However, it is rich that Michael I. and MM suddenly become Defenders of the Faith when Romero’s actions are brought into question. They offer no such respect to U. S. military chaplains who are in the process of canonization. Fr. Cappodanno is a Servant of God too, Michael I.

    Ideology is everything with those two,…,

  • I haven’t addressed your point, Dale, because it’s not really worth addressing. You have shown from your comments that either you do not understand the proposed healthcare reforms, or you wilfuly distort them for ideological ends. OK fine, I’ll do it.

    You claim that the public option would “mandate a certain level of care–unless, like the President, you have the cash to pay for more. Everyone else can enjoy the ekklesia of waiting lists.”

    You seem not to make the simple logical leap that all health insurance plans lay out what can and what cannot be covered, and whay they will pay. You seem not to understand the economic argument that public options can be more efficient by taking out the profit motive (remember how they make their money: deny claims and weeding out the sick), by fostering economies of scale, and by using monopsony power to bargain with suppliers and service providers. This is the lesson from all over the world — you can cover everybody, do it at far far less cost than the US, and not suffer in terms of health outcomes. And the “waiting list” canard again displays your ignorance — there is NO evidence that waiting lists are generally shorter in the US. In fact, it is far easier to get treatment when needed in really good systems like France.

    You go on: “The state could “assure” health coverage by doing as little (administratively speaking) paying out a stipend for insurance premiums for all of the uninsured, but that doesn’t allow for enough of a power-grab for hard leftists. Or you could expand S-CHIP further, or any number of other options that don’t involve nationalizing the health care of every single citizen over the next generation.”

    Again, you don’t understand the issues, do you? The point is not simply to cover everybody. The US already spends 15 percent of GDP on healthcare, twice as much as the average advanced economy. I’m sure the government could subdsidize everybody under the current system, but at what cost? 20 percent of GDP? 25 percent? The point, my confused friend, is to contain the escalating costs of health care, and I mean total costs, not just the public part (much of the cost comes through lower wages right now). I find it highly ironic that the same people who rail against runaway spending are the first to oppose cost containment if it goes against their precious free market liberalism. The public option is the single largest contributor to bringing costs down over the medium- to long-run.

    It seems clear to me that you do not support this healthcare proposal, irrespective of its position on abortion. If I’m wrong about this, tell me, and I’ll take that back. So, you see, I find it very difficult to take people like you seriously in this debate. You are waving the unborn child in the faces of those of us who take the right to healthcare, a tenet of Catholic social teaching, seriously. You are using the unborn child for your own political ends, and I find that shameful.

    As for the proposed legislation, nothing so far mentions abortion at all. I personally would vigorously oppose any insurance covering abortion, public or private. The Guttmacher institute suggests that 90 percent of private plans cover abortion in at least some circumstances. Should those who receive subsidies be forbidden from enrolling in these private plans? And will the public option itself cover abortion? The bottom line here is that we simply do not know. But this I do know- we don’t need charlatans using this to derail the all-important healthcare reform process.

  • Donna, since when did I only *suddenly* become a defender of the faith? I know it is standard in the pseudo-conservtaive bubble to equate orthodoxy with allegiance to a political agenda, but I stick to the tenets of faith, thank you very much.

    And I agree with you – Vincent Cappadanno may well have been a saint. The Church may some day publicly come to that determination (although personally I don’t think it too likely). But I believe just as Thomas More understood when he met his maker that his burning heretics was gravely wrong, so too does Cappodanno come to the realization that the Vietnam war and the US tactics in that war were also gravely unjust. And Thomas More remains a great saint.

    But for me to say something on the scale of Tito, I would have to announce, without evidence, something outrageous, such that Cappadonno deliberately shot unarmed civlians during the war.

  • To be fair to Mornings Minion, unlike Michael Iafrate (who has staked out several areas of Church teaching he does not agree with) I’ve never heard MM dissent from Church teaching. It’s just that he’s so completely and unrelievedly tribal in his partisanship that he often comes out with these “it doesn’t matter what’s sacrificed” lines of thinking — as when he suggests above that anyone who thinks that it might possibly be a bad idea for abortion on demand to be funded by the government as a victory prize for the Democratic Party is a “charlatan” if they aren’t already on board to support “the all-important healthcare reform process”.

    Now, I’d say that makes his priorities deeply screwed up in a fashion which is not reflective of a Catholic understanding of the human person and society — but it’s certainly not doctrinal dissent.

    (And MM, you do realize that implementing ObamaCare will do nothing to bring down US healthcare costs to the realm of those of Canada and France, right?)

  • I’m not willing to say it about US soldiers because I don’t know the details of that situation. That is the only reason. You tell me of the specific cases, and I’ll make the call.

    I see. So you know the details of the situation that you see in the photograph you posted such that you can call the subjects in the photo “inhuman savages”?

    But I don’t see the need to conduct a cyber-lynching because Tito believes his friends — it strikes me as a pretty natural response on his part.

    Believing his friends is one thing. To bring up his insane belief about Romero in a thread that has nothing to do with Romero is dangerous, reckless and ridiculous.

    Pius XI, for instance, saw the role of the state as coordinating the efforts of lower, smaller organizations. Can that be called anarchism of any kind?

    It really depends what one means by “state” in this case. Anarchists, again, are not about constructing abstract blueprints.

    Church authority is not “authority over”? I disagree.

    You think Church authority is “authority over” in the sense of coercion, as I said earlier? Really? What do you base this on?

    I’m not saying that the Church has NEVER acted in a coercive way mind you, but that when she has done so it was against her best self.

    And if you look at how the Church interacted with say, Franco’s Spain, it didn’t waste any of the opportunities that were granted to her by the regime, especially control over the educational system. It took full advantage of the “Spanish State”.

    How any of that is compatible with anarchism is beyond me.

    Where have I ever said that the historical actions of the official Church have been anarchistic?

    However, it is rich that Michael I. and MM suddenly become Defenders of the Faith when Romero’s actions are brought into question. They offer no such respect to U. S. military chaplains who are in the process of canonization. Fr. Cappodanno is a Servant of God too, Michael I.

    I’m not sure of the relevance of my view on military chaplains, saints-or-not. Should the man become a saint, it would not be because he was a millitary chaplain, but despite that fact (as is the case with most if not all of our “military saints”). Regardless, my views on this are not analogous to Tito’s in the least. I would not argue that Cappodanno should not be made a saint based on complete lies about him, as Tito has done with Romero.

    …who has staked out several areas of Church teaching he does not agree with…

    “Several”? Fantasies.

  • Apologies in advance to the moderators of this site, but I am deathly sick and tired of Tony’s crap.

    It seems clear to me that you do not support this healthcare proposal, irrespective of its position on abortion. If I’m wrong about this, tell me, and I’ll take that back. So, you see, I find it very difficult to take people like you seriously in this debate. You are waving the unborn child in the faces of those of us who take the right to healthcare, a tenet of Catholic social teaching, seriously. You are using the unborn child for your own political ends, and I find that shameful.

    Two words, Tony: Screw you. This is why you are such an unrelenting asshole to interact with. You know precisely *squat* about my motivations, yet you presume to supply them for me. GET BENT.

    A dear friend of mine, Christina Denwiddie, DIED AT AGE 32 BECAUSE SHE DIDN’T HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE. Cancer. Age 32. That could have been detected and cured because she didn’t have health coverage. We named our unborn daughter after her because we miss her so much. BECAUSE OF THAT HORRENDOUS, NEEDLESS LOSS, I BELIEVE FULLY WITH THE CHURCH THAT HEALTHCARE IS A HUMAN RIGHT. Don’t you ever–EVER–presume to understand my motivations without asking me, you smug bastard.

    I await your apology.

  • The notion that 90% of private plans cover abortion is absurd. I’ve never heard of such a plan. The only thing this statistic can possibly mean is that private plans usually cover the situation that my wife found herself in several years ago, with a stillborn child, a miscarriage. The doctors removed the child. They called that operation an “abortion.” But it had absolutely nothing to do with killing the child, who was already dead.

    But here’s a news flash to the political hacks: If Obama and his minions succeed in getting the government to pay for abortion, as is their announced intent, it will NOT be merely the 1-in-a-thousand operation that removes an already-dead baby.

    And talk about shameful motivations: Folks like Dale Price support health insurance but object to abortion; that’s a motivation that is clearly consistent with the Catholic faith. But in response, folks like Morning’s Minion here are so desperate to ignore the abortion issue that they lie through their teeth — whether it’s about what private insurance already covers, or what Dale Price’s motivations are, or whatever else comes to mind.

  • The Guttmacher Institute suggests…

    “The Guttmacher Institute” is a subsidiary of Planned Parenthood. Not exactly an admission against interest.

    Mornings Minion, ‘taking out the profit motive’ may have advantages in certain social situations. Pareto efficiency is seldom one of them. Also, insurance companies earn their keep by selling risk-pooling services. No sale, no revenue. Absent regulatory controls inducing perverse behavior, they have an incentive to charge premiums calibrated to risk, not to ‘weed out the sick’.

  • Man, I thought I was being harsh to Morning’s Minion, but that’s what I call a smackdown.

  • Not able to reply to this thread any more. This exchange has been enlightening in so many ways. I welcome email from any of you to continue the conversation, as always.

  • Michael Iafrate,

    What?

    You ran out of ready-on-hand Marxist quotes in your grab-bag of liberation theology?

    And I was looking forward to another round of fun and merriment with my brothers and sisters in Christ!

  • Tito – Could you explain for us the difference between an Marxist and an anarchist?

    Still no one from the American Catholic has denounced Tito’s statements about Oscar Romero. You are all complicit in spreading these lies.

  • Michael I.,

    Thank you for making me smile today.

  • Iafrate:

    Nobody has denounced Tito’s statements about Oscar Romero?

    Either you have categorically ignored a number of comments made by several interlocutors here who have indeed done so or you are rather remarkably deficient in both reading and other purported cognitive abilities.

  • Um, I’m going to reply here, if thats alright.

    “I see. So you know the details of the situation that you see in the photograph you posted such that you can call the subjects in the photo “inhuman savages”?”

    Yes, I do. I know the details of the Red Terror, and I’m pretty sure that people shooting at a statue of Christ would also be those participating in the summary execution of Catholic clergy and laypeople. It doesn’t take a genius to put those two things together. And yes, they are bloody, inhuman savages – succumb to the “inhuman humanism” Benedict spoke of in the latest encyclical.

    “It really depends what one means by “state” in this case. Anarchists, again, are not about constructing abstract blueprints.”

    Everyone constructs blueprints. The difference is between those that are well drawn, and those that, under a pretense of not having actually been drawn, end up muddled and distorted.

    “You think Church authority is “authority over” in the sense of coercion, as I said earlier? Really? What do you base this on?”

    I didn’t see the word coercion in your earlier statement. This is another quibbling of words, though. Of course if you are a Catholic, you submit to the authority of the Church. The Church does have authority “over” you, as long as you remain within it.

    Whether or not we are coerced doesn’t seem to have anything to do with whether or not, in order to remain a Catholic in good standing, one must conform to certain rules set by people who are far above us in the hierarchy.

    “Where have I ever said that the historical actions of the official Church have been anarchistic?”

    I see. So let me get this straight: Catholicism and anarchism are somehow compatible – in fact, the one leads to the other. But the “official Church” that has existed for 2000 years just never saw the wisdom of this.

    The “official Church” – as opposed to what? The “true Church” where the anarchists gather?

  • Dale Price–

    If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. In other words, cease coming up with your ever-so-smug rhetorical barbs that seem only designed to show how delightfully clever you are, facts be damned. You personalize everything, and seem inclined to choose the low road with great regularity. I still remember your little hissy fit with Michael Sean Winters. You also have a little thing with consistency — in this thread alone, you accuse others of being “juvenile” and make an unprovoked attack on Vox Nova. Interesting, that’s all I will say.

    Don’t worry, I’m not going to follow your foul-mouthed tirade. I will instead stick to the facts. I was addressing the words you wrote on this thread on healthcare, not the thoughts in your head. If you don’t want to be misinterpreted, stop writing stupid things. If you are upset at being taken to task, show a bit more modesty and stopping mouthing meaningless punch lines. Welcome to you own little emperor-has-no-clothes moment.

  • I am closing down this thread as of now.

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