The TAC Editors
I’m going to follow up my post on Live Action and Lila Rose with a more general post on lying, because it sparked quite a heated debate. At the outset I want to say that I don’t condemn people outright who believe it is morally acceptable to use deception to expose evil, but I do believe that they are wrong. Moreover, I believe that the ferocity of some people in defense of this position is completely unwarranted and unreasonable; there have been notable Catholic saints and thinkers on both sides of this question throughout history, and so it hardly seems right or fair to violently denounce a fellow Catholic for taking up one position or the other.
Some time ago I wrote a post expressing some of my reservations about the activities of Lila Rose and her organization, Live Action. In light of their most recent undercover sting operation, it is a good time to revisit some of the objections and debates that came up earlier. Initially I believed that Live Action’s activities were morally questionable in some cases, and definitely wrong in others.
I have to say that I stand by this assessment today, for several reasons I will state below.
First I want to make clear that I am 100% pro-life; I make no exceptions for rape, incest, or “to save the life of the mother”, for it is never permissible to kill an innocent human being to save another human being. At the legislative level I would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned, in which case many pre-Roe abortion bans would immediately regain their full force in many states.
But, when necessity compels, not those only who are invested with power of rule are bound to safeguard the integrity of faith, but, as St. Thomas maintains: “Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers.”(12) To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God, and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind. This kind of conduct is profitable only to the enemies of the faith, for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good. Moreover, want of vigor on the part of Christians is so much the more blameworthy, as not seldom little would be needed on their part to bring to naught false charges and refute erroneous opinions, and by always exerting themselves more strenuously they might reckon upon being successful. — Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christanae, 14
For those of you who have been told to keep your mouths shut and the collection plates full while all around you occurs a cavalcade of impiety, sacrelige, and heresy;
For those of you who have been wrongly and falsely identified as prideful rebels for daring to challenge those who abuse their authority;
For those of you who are told to “tone down the rhetoric” lest others who are on the fence about critical issues join the fight;
For those of you who understand your duties as Christians, Catholics, and citizens in the face of errors and evils;
For those of you who have been subjected to the subtle academic propaganda that implies that any claim to truth is a form of extremism or oppression;
For those of you who have been called intolerant, insensitive, or divisive for refusing to submit to lies;
For those of you who love God more than you love the world and the opinions of men;
These words of one of the Church’s greatest popes are for you.
“Christians are, moreover, born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God aiding, the triumph…” (From the same section quoted above)
Christ is in our midst!
My oldest son and I went to the March for Life in DC this year. This was the first time for both us. What an amazing experience! I had heard about it and watched the news about this event for years, but this year was the first opportunity I’ve had to actually attend it thanks to the efforts of my local bishop, Bishop Finn, and our diocesan Respect for Life office. For their leadership and hard work to make this possible for so many, my son and I are deeply grateful. I can’t thank them enough. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
I honestly can’t believe they’re doing this again. I oppose gatherings such as Assisi for many reasons that I could explain with a lengthy diatribe full of references and quotations, but I decided to go with withering sarcasm instead.
I believe these meetings are immoral and imprudent. Even if they’re called by the pope and supported by the hierarchy. And I think they would find some of the answers to their own questions about the crisis of the Church, of Christianity, and religious faith in general if they examined their personal reasons for being a part of, as well as the objective social effects, of such gatherings. It was quite disappointing to hear a man who has spoken out so many times about the dangers of relativism call for an event that practically embodies the abstract concept in the physical world.
I’m never going to be excited about major party politics. When we come to the finish line, I will hold my nose and vote for the lesser evil, since I don’t see the harm in using my vote. But I’m not going to sit around and speculate about which mainstream GOP or Democratic politician is going to be the frontrunner for 2012. I’ll let others worry about that.
I’d rather focus on the men of principle who sometimes get involved in these races, even though they have no chance of winning. Independent or “outsider” candidates and their campaigns serve a couple of vital functions: they bring viewpoints delegitimized and mocked by the main news sources on the left and right to the forefront, which in turn reminds us that we still live in a relatively free country and haven’t become a fascist dictatorship like China. They can also put some pressure on the major party candidates to take certain issues more seriously.
Recently Judge Andrew Napolitano, the only man on the major networks I can bear to listen to for more than a few minutes, invited Ron Paul and Ralph Nader on his show to discuss the issues and discover the extent to which “progressives” such as Nader and libertarians such as Paul can agree on them. I wasn’t surprised to discover that they agree on quite a bit, as you will see if you watch the video above.
Now that tempers are cooling a bit, and the slanderous narrative promulgated by far-left media sources in the wake of the Giffords shooting has largely been rejected by the American public, perhaps we should reflect upon the role of violence in our history, culture, and political disputes.
Among the many perfectly reasonable points made by Sarah Palin when she addressed the blood libel manufactured against her by the media was that there is no time in history we can compare the present one to in the vain hope of finding a more peaceful, less violent political tone. Andrew Jackson fought in 13 duels and even killed a man in one of them. He was far from the only US politician to engage in them.
Let’s make this short.
Sarah Palin uses the phrase “blood libel” in her response to the round-the-clock assertions that she was directly responsible for the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords.
Everyone accuses Sarah Palin of insensitivity and even in some extreme cases, anti-Semitism.
Every leftist or left-leaning publication declares – once again – that Sarah Palin’s presidential chances are ruined.
Are you bored yet?
Sarah Palin WAS the target of some kind of “blood libel”, for two reasons.
First, what else do you call it when one of the first articles to come out in a major publication is titled “Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ blood is on Sarah Palin’s hands after putting cross hair over district?” That was Michael Daly of the NY Daily News. And our old friends Krugman and Olbermann, not to mention dozens of other left-wing commentators, kept the libel going over the next few days.
No one thought that using the word “blood” while actually engaging in libel would be combined as “blood libel” because no one was thinking at all when they made these morally repugnant and shameless accusations. As everyone on the left is forced in the most begrudging manner to admit, Palin was probably only borrowing the phrase from earlier conservative commentators such as Glenn Reynolds.
Secondly, scores of leftists have expressed their desire to murder Sarah Palin in the most vicious ways, to spill her blood. This video contains graphic and vulgar language – it is a reel of tweets that display of the sort demonic rage and hate that Palin inspires in many leftists, who sound as if they really might not mind using her blood to bake a cake.
I think Palin’s response was about as rational as one can be under this sort of constant attack. The level of psychopathic dishonesty it takes to a) first make the shooting entirely about Palin and then b) criticize Palin for making her response mostly “about her” is unfathomable. It takes reserves of bad-will and malice that I am glad I wouldn’t know how to muster if I wanted to.
Whether or not I would support her as a presidential candidate, I have to say, on this matter, I am firmly with Sarah Palin. Sometimes you can just judge a person’s worth by the nature of those who hate her the most.
I will not tone down my rhetoric.
I will not apologize for my political views.
I will not give up my guns, or my right to purchase more.
I will not give up my right to free speech.
I will not take responsibility for the actions of a dope-smoking, devil-worshiping, Marx and Hitler-loving psychopath.
I will not take seriously anyone who blames an old political ad posted on Facebook for those actions.
I will reject as the contemptible hypocrites and cowards that they are those who refuse to acknowledge the hate and violence in the rhetoric of the left, including the violent phrases and metaphors used repeatedly by Barack Hussien Obama.
I will not listen to lectures on violence by anyone who supports increasing the coercive power of the state over the lives of American citizens, families, and communities.
I will not listen to lectures on violence by anyone who is a sycophantic apologist for the party that escalated the Vietnam War or cheered the bombing of Serbia.
I will not listen to lectures on violence and a “climate of hate” from people who have made the most horrible, violent, and threatening statements imaginable regarding Sarah Palin and her family. There is no hatred more intense in this country than the hate that leftists have for Sarah Palin.
I will not listen to lectures on violence by anyone who supports the “right” to violently dismember innocent unborn children in their mother’s wombs.
I will never again listen to calls not to “rush to judgment” when a Muslim fanatic murders American citizens from anyone on the left.
I will not trade God-given, constitutionally-protected liberties for a false and futile sense of security.
I will not accept the idiotic belief that more laws, more regulations, and more police can solve problems of the human soul.
I will continue to advocate for limited government, state’s rights, popular sovereignty, free markets, individual and family rights, religious liberty, and a Culture of Life.
I will not be silenced.
Who’s with me?
Michelle Malkin has done the work I wish I could do more efficiently, and provided a post that highlights dozens of examples of violent hate speech and images put out by the left.
All I will say here is that it is ironic that Sarah Palin is being blamed for a “violent” political mood when few public figures (or their families) have had more hatred, contempt, and violent/sexist insults slung at them.
One More Thing: It is hard to imagine a website more overflowing with savage hatred of political enemies than the Daily Kos. Just a few days ago, an enraged blogger at that site posted a vitriolic rant aimed at Rep. Giffords that has since been taken down but can be viewed here. Even if the idiotic theory that this gunman was “influenced” by a “violent” statement or image from the media were true, it would make more sense to blame this much more recent outburst of left-wing rhetorical violence against a conservative-leaning Democrat than it would a nearly year-old ad posted by Sarah Palin on Facebook.
Even though it has been established that Jared Lee Loughner, the man who shot Congresswoman Giffords and murdered/wounded several others on Saturday, has no easily discernible political affiliations, left-wing commentators are still using the incident to blame Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and others for creating a climate of political hate.
In their warped little universe, only the right-wing is motivated to political violence. Well, I want to remind everyone of a few examples of left-wing related or inspired political terrorism, violence and insanity that have taken place within recent memory.
Remember Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech killer? 32 killed, 25 wounded, April 16, 2007. Violent hatred of the rich and wealthy, could have easily been inspired by far-left class warfare rhetoric. Violent hatred of God and religion, could have easily been inspired by left-wing hatred of religion.
Remember Harlan Drake? He murdered pro-life activist Jim Pouillon on September 11, 2009, while he was protesting. Violence against pro-life political activists is routine, and violence against women by the disgraced butchers we call abortionists is also a common occurrence.
Who can forget the SEIU thugs who beat up a black conservative named Kenneth Gladney at a Townhall meeting in St. Louis back in August of 2009?
Or how about the Black Panther thugs who intimidated voters on election day and ranted in the streets about “killing crackers” and their babies?
Though it didn’t take place here in the U.S., I have to give special mention once again to the eco-fascist snuff film “No Pressure”, which was released and quickly canned in the UK. This is one of the most horrific and violent propaganda films I have ever seen, and far surpasses most American television shows and movies in terms of gore. Of course there is a long history of environmental and animal-rights terrorism from the left.
I refuse to engage in dialogue with anyone who thinks political speech on either side should be silenced because of any of these incidents or any that have occurred on our side of the spectrum. Your position is unacceptable, hypocritical, and morally contemptible.
Update: What will the shameless Democratic and left-wing hacks blaming Palin, Beck, and Limbaugh for today’s shooting say about images such as those covered here? One more thing: the shooter evidently had a problem with God, so I blame Christopher Hitchens. How’s that?
For those who haven’t heard yet, Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 11 other people, including a judge, were shot at public event in Tuscon, AZ. As far as I know, Giffords is alive and in critical condition. The judge, John Roll, did not survive.
Since this was apparently a politically motivated shooting – though details are still coming in on the shooter and his possible motivations – it has necessarily generated a great deal of political anger. Before I get to that, I think it is important to say first of all that each of us should say a prayer for Giffords, Roll, and the others who were gunned down today. Do it now, if you like.
Now to the business at hand.
All of us on the political right, and particularly those of us in the Tea Party, are going to have to bear the political consequences of this shooting, regardless of whether or not the shooter had anything to do with our movement. The left-wing mediasphere has wasted no time blaming the Tea Party and particularly Sarah Palin for Gifford’s shooting.
Yes, Sarah Palin is being singled out for blame because of the political ads she ran during the 2010 election season with the faces of various Democratic congressmen and women in crosshairs. But if she is to blame, so is the radical leftist and unbelievable hypocrite who runs the Daily Kos, Markos Moulitsas, who urged his readers to “target” and put a “bulls-eye” on Gifford’s district (she is, after all, a blue-dog Democrat). The truth of course is that neither of them are to blame.
It should be obvious to anyone who isn’t trying to use this tragedy to justify a wave of political repression that these images almost certainly had nothing to do with this shooting. No one who is mentally balanced would be driven to such a desperate act by merely seeing it, and someone who is already unbalanced could find a thousand different things to justify it.
We will also hear renewed calls for gun control, and undoubtedly AZ’s gun laws will be blamed for the shooting. Defenders of the 2nd amendment must stand firm in their resolve and not be intimidated. Our right to bear arms is constitutionally protected, and our right to self-defense is a natural right that does not come from governments but from God. Nothing can change that fact, though unfortunately there are many who will give into fear and panic and believe that restricting these rights will bring them all of the security they think they need.
Above all we cannot let this derail the movement for limited government and fiscal responsibility. We should consider moreover that as a blue-dog Democrat, Giffords is more and not less likely to cooperate with the Tea Party. She faced a very intense challenge from a Tea Party candidate in November, and I don’t think she would have been able to win the seat or keep it if she did not work with her opponents on key issues. That’s why she was on the Daily Kos’ “target” and “bulls-eye” list.
I have a feeling, though, that voices calling for political repression and censorship of “dangerous” political ideas will gain a great deal from this. I wonder, though, how many leftists blaming Sarah Palin for this have a problem with eco-fascist snuff films such as this, in which children are blown to bloody bits for failing to take simple measures to reduce their carbon footprints. I wonder if they would link such vile films to tragedies such as this one. Yes, we should “look into” the connection between global warming snuff films and global warming murder-suicides.
As we enter a new year, I want to offer some thoughts on both recent events pertaining to the struggle to roll back abortion and the Culture of Death, as well as the historical significance of these ongoing efforts. In a sense, I will be delivering first the somewhat bad news, but then the encouragingly good news.
The disappointment lies in the political defeats of the 2010 election season, though to be quite honest, I and many others fully anticipated these defeats. In Nevada, Missouri, California, Florida and Montana, and there may be other instances I’m not aware of, propositions that would establish that life begins at conception (known as “personhood” or “human life” initiatives/amendments) failed to even appear on the ballot. Activists could not obtain the required number of signatures in these states.
The one personhood/human life amendment that did make it to the ballot, Colorado’s Proposition 62, was rejected by 70% of the voters in that state. One bright spot was to be found in Alaska, where a parental notification measure was passed with 55% of the vote. These defeats echo a similar wave of defeats suffered in 2008 across several states. Though this strategy has obviously failed, in almost every instance pro-life activists are preparing for another round of personhood propositions in 2012.
Please understand that I have nothing but admiration and respect for the pro-life activists who engage in these campaigns. They give up time and money to participate in the greatest moral cause of our generation, and for that alone they are to be commended.
But it is now time for the leaders and activists in the pro-life movement to reject the “personhood” ballot initiative movement. These efforts have failed more than once, they have diverted scarce financial, political and human capital away from more realistic pursuits, and the continued defeats could easily lead to a chain-reaction of demoralization within and desertion from the pro-life ranks.
I know a lot of my co-bloggers are football fans. Personally, I couldn’t care less about professional sports. How many of you will refuse to watch a Super Bowl that runs this ad?
I also love the YouTube comments that insist that “Jesus has a sense of humor.” Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t, but I wouldn’t want to test that assumption by mocking the Eucharist. In the future I think it would be worthwhile to explore the psychological mind-game that secularists play with Christians: having a “sense of humor” by acquiescing to the obliteration of all that is sacred is proof to them that you can play in their sandbox. Take anything too seriously, treat anything with too much reverence, and you may as well be a yodeling suicide bomber.
Of course Islam must be respected, because Islam responds to mockery with violence and force. Is this what I wish for Christianity? Not exactly. Getting mocked by the world is part of the deal (I wonder if any of those Roman soldiers said to Jesus at one point during his Passon, “hey, where’s you’re sense of humor!”). So is bearing it patiently, and forgiving it. But it would be nice if Christians cared enough to respond to such provocations by at least taking their business elsewhere. They won’t. Because today’s Christians, by and large, don’t care about Jesus, his name, or his sacraments half as much as the average Muslim cares about Mohammed. It’s Jihad vs. McWorld because McWorld vs. Christianity is already over – McWorld won that one.
I have to give the commercial one thing, though: the idea of introducing ridiculous and absurd gimmicks in the hopes that it will keep the attention of shallow and faithless people has been a popular idea in certain Catholic circles for several decades now. Doritos and Pepsi replacing bread and wine seem like the logical end of this mentality. If I were to one day emerge from my traditionalist hidey-hole and attend a mainstream Novus Ordo service, I wouldn’t be the least bit shocked to find people queuing up for Doritos and Pepsi, or perhaps pizza rolls and Dr. Pepper while Kid Rock or Lady Gag-me was blaring in the background.
Mark Shea and I’m sure plenty of others found my Christmas rant to be over-the-top and ludicrous.
Do I care? Not really. In my view, if you don’t sound a little over-the-top, you aren’t paying attention. But I realize it isn’t for everyone. I think plenty of people understood the point being made, and I stand by it: only a fascist psychopath has a problem with the phrase “Merry Christmas.”
Anyway, I’m happy to be here as your local over-the-top crank. I’ll leave the banality to others.
…Just because the government expends so much energy determining the rate of inflation does not mean it is tallying it in the smartest or most accurate way. The reigning methodology is, well, clunky. It costs Washington around $234 million a year to get all those people to go and bear witness to a $1.57 price increase in a packet of tube socks and then to massage those individual data points down to one number. Moreover, there is a weekslong lag between the checkers tallying up the numbers and the government announcing the changes: The inflation measure comes out only 12 times a year, though prices change, sometimes dramatically, all the time. Plus, the methodology is archaic, given that we live in the Internet age. Prices are easily available online and a lot of shopping happens on the Web rather than in stores.
But there might be a better way. In the last few months, economists have come up with new methods for calculating inflation at Internet speed—nimbler, cheaper, faster, and perhaps even more accurate than Washington’s…