29

The Great Sin of the Left

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
—Matthew 5:44 (KJV)

The great sin of the left is not that they hate, they corrupt, they lie, they abuse, they traduce, they pervert, they abort, they philander, they euthanize.  It is rather, that by their sins they push us into the arms of The Enemy.   Their actions are so foul that they move us to forget what Christ told us: Love your enemies and bless them that curse you.

I keep trying to remember Matthew 5:44 as the feminists (or, to use Rush Limbaugh’s apt description: “feminazis”) claim that science should be feminist, as ignorant prelates argue that anthropic global warming is the pre-eminent danger and our sin if we let it happen,  as almost all of the Democrat party collude in maligning a good man and threatening his family.

So, Dear Lord, please give me strength to follow You and obey You in loving my enemies.  You forgave us; help us not in forgiving them, but in praying for their reformation.   (I recall Fr. Groeschel’s prayer for Madonna: that she be converted and go to a cloistered nunnery.)

 

 

11

Eat, Pray, Love, Sin

I recently viewed a 2010 film called Eat, Pray, Love based on the book with the same title. Julia Roberts plays Liz Gilbert,  a modern young woman that has what many young woman dream of – a handsome husband, a nice  home, a successful career – yet like so many others, she discovered a God-sized hole in her heart and began searching for more. Still young and newly divorced with no children, she was at a crossroads. Liz then risks her career and changes her life, embarking on a journey around the world that becomes a quest for self-discovery.

First she indulges in the sensual pleasure of eating good food and drinking good wine while living in Italy. Her attention then turns to prayer, but there is no mention or acknowledgement of all the magnificent Catholic churches in Italy. For some reason prayer is only found when she travels to India and begins practicing Hindu chanting, silence and meditation. Finally, fulfillment is achieved when she falls in love with a business man in Indonesia and begins formicating with him. This is why the title of this post ends with “Sin”. Seems to me a lot of secular movies and shows about self-discovery and finding the meaning of “true love” involve offending God via the sin of fornication. By the end of the film Liz also has a big revelation; she proclaims “God is in me, as me.” But what is that supposed to mean other than basically declaring “I am God”?

Overall, I thought the film was well done for what it is, but after viewing a film like that we might be left to wonder why so many who live secular lives in the West are allured by religions of the East. At the same time those individuals may show little or no interest in religions of the West, mainly any one of the many flavors of Christianity. Remember The Beetles with that Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi?

Perhaps it’s because Eastern Religions have a more relaxed and ambiguous moral code and set of beliefs when compared to Catholicism or even Christianity in general, so it might attract those who claim to be spiritual, but not religious; those who like things loosey-goosey.

Thinking more deeply, maybe it relates to the idea of “Absolute Oneness” In the West, absolute autonomy is a key “dogma”; this relates to the belief that no one can tell you what is right or wrong (for you). You need to figure that out for yourself and thus make your own meaning to life. In essence you become your own god, and since humans live in societies, you need to acknowledge the autonomous rights of others so we can all live harmoniously as co-equal gods. This is evident in our present day political discourse and could explain why the political left would like the government to control every key aspect of society, from education to industry to healthcare. How else can we achieve “Absolute Oneness” on Earth?

But how can one hold on to both absolute autonomy and absolute oneness? In this case it seems helpful to view God as something like “The Force” from Star Wars. The Force tends to be impersonal, without a strict moral code; it can also be manipulated to do our will. At the same time, The Force seems to be omnipresent and omnipotent and even has a will of its own according to Jedi Knight, Qui-Gon Jinn (@1min, 24s).

In Eastern Religions Nirvana (in Buddhism) and Moksha (in Hinduism) speak of breaking the cycle of birth, death and re-birth and reaching a transcendent state of bliss as an ultimate goal. The tendency in Eastern Religions destines man to become indistinguishable from the whole of being. Although many insist on absolute autonomy, being absorbed into an ultimate state of bliss after death mirrors the idea of living in utopia (or bliss) in this life as co-equal gods. In this sense, secular Western mentality is well-suited for Eastern Religion and the idea of “Absolute Oneness”.

The Judeo-Christian story doesn’t sync well with the view of God as a “force”. Would an impersonal life force ever concern itself with man and his little world, his cares or his sins? Would it make covenants with us or become a man like us and die for us; would it ever call us “children” and should we ever call it “Father”?

In Catholicism God is God and we are not. The creation can never be the creator and vise-versa. At the same time God is defined by knowing and loving. We can be known, loved and adopted into the family of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit—and even have Mary as a Mother! By calling God “Father” and “Almighty”, the Catholic Creed joins together a loving family concept that relates to “oneness” and the cosmic power that relates to “otherness”. This expresses accurately a main point of the Christian image of God. It resolves the tension between absolute distance and absolute proximity, absolute otherness and direct kinship, the greatest and the least, and the first and the last. God is both-and, not either-or. 1

Consider an analogy from lay apologist Frank Sheed.2 Imagine God’s grace as an electric current and an individual person as an old fashioned filament light bulb. With no electrical current the bulb has no light. Increase the current and we can see some light as the filament glows. Keep increasing the current and the glow intensifies more and more. If the current is strong enough, and the bulb can handle it, the light can glow so bright that we no longer can see the filament and surrounding bulb… all we see is light! Thus the bulb and the light appear to be one, but we know the light is not the bulb and visa-versa. In the same way God’s grace can flow so strongly through a person it gives the impression of absolute oneness, but the reality of otherness remains.

Now back to the film with a more positive note. At the end of the movie the main character, Liz, had a second revelation about what she called “the physics of the quest”. Basically she describes the existence of spiritual laws just as real as physical laws, like the law of gravity, and these laws can (and will) lead us to truth, but only to the extent that we are receptive to them.

Now that’s a powerful idea our modern and secularized world needs hear.

 

  1. Joseph Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity, (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004) p. 148-149.
  2. Frank Sheed , Theology and Sanity, (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1993) p. 403.
12

The LGBT Logic Pit

Here is an article that warns how accepting LGBT logic can lead to accepting polygamy, incest and even pedophilia. Of course, this is just a slippery slope argument and I was once told that slippery slope arguments are automatically invalid. If you let your kids play with matches, it could start a fire, which could cause property damage, and then someone getting hurt, and even someone dying, but this is just more nutty logic from a slippery slope.

Recently, I told a friend that the reasoning that tries to justify homosexuality can be used to justify pedophilia. I quickly had my hand slapped, so-to-speak, as the friend I was speaking with strongly objected saying, “How dare you compare consenting homosexuals to pedophiles!”

My response was that I was not comparing levels of consent, but comparing some basic premises about how to determine what is “normal” in terms of human sexuality. If people are “born that way” and/or “God made them that way” and they can’t help their sexual orientation, doesn’t that make it natural or normal…at least for them? If it is normal, then saying it is wrong or disordered would be an obvious contradiction. They key is the normalizing part of the logic.

So if an adult or older adolescent experiences sexual attraction to prepubescent children he or she can also say “I was born this way” or “God made me this way” and I can’t help it. Therefore, how can we say it is wrong or disordered? The base premises make it normal; and what evidence can we show to prove otherwise?

Unfortunately, I do think it is entirely possible that the logic used to defend gay rights and gay lifestyles can be stretched to include “access” to children as part of sexual “rights”.

May favorite part of the above linked article is the contradiction about biology. “…the public may be prepared to accept the concept that pedophiles (like gays) simply act as their biology determines them to act. You see, biology is unalterable (LGB), except, of course, when it is alterable (T).”

8

Proving The Court’s Point:

It’s buried right at the end of a rather biased article (the USCCB didn’t say anything; a committee chairman did) but this really jumped out at me:

Teachers’ unions could be “permanently crippled” by the decision, the journal Education Next reported, though the decision could provide an impetus for other changes.

A loss in teachers’ unions membership could result in a decline in revenues and ability to affect policy. The National Education Association has planned a 13 percent cut for its two-year budget, totaling about $50 million, with its estimated membership losses of 300,000 people, about 10 percent.

Means that yes, they were in fact using “agency fees” to lobby for political ends, not (as legally required) only for union services.

7

Government as Teacher

We like to think we’re all independent thinkers, and we are to a point, but I’m afraid our thinking is influenced by outside powers and principalities whether we like it or not; whether we know it or not.

The government is one of those forces; it’s a teacher of sorts with great influence and I’m not talking about public school systems necessarily. Government can shape our ideas in other, less obvious ways… and ideas have consequences.

When same-sex marriage was instantly made legal in all 50 states, it gave a high level “nod” to break (or keep breaking) the intrinsic link between marriage and procreation. Once people are taught to remove the rational basis for a norm, their adherence to that norm will certainly erode.

Soon after the ruling, I remember the local public library featuring books about “my two mommies” or “my two daddies” on prominent display. I also remember a local greeting card store suddenly having a “same sex” section with the anniversary cards. I thought, “Why have a special section just for this?” There is no special “opposite sex” card section. Many of the anniversary cards are not specific about any kind of sexual preference. They say things like, “To the one I love” or “For my spouse” so why a new special section. It was as if the official federal government “go-ahead” now made it ok to push things further along. If it’s legal, it can’t be that bad and the controversy is now behind us, right?  So what will be next—a same sex section in the family planning aisle of your local drug store? I think not.

I feel the same about legalizing drugs. I’ve heard arguments on both sides, but I can remember my own personal situation as a young man in college. Back then, I could not say I was a faithful Catholic in any respect. I would drink alcohol, but stayed away from any kind of illegal drugs. I wouldn’t touch the stuff even when some of my friends did. Why not? I had no moral issue with it. I did worry what my family might think if I were caught, but the main deterrent was simply because they were illegal. I feared any run-ins with the law or anything criminal on my record. If certain drugs were legal at the time, I guarantee I would have at least tried them. I can’t say where that might have led and I don’t think I’m alone in this respect.

Euthanasia is another idea in the realm of ideas. Even where euthanasia is legal, I would classify it as something “voluntary-passive”. In other words completely voluntary, but not applauded, encouraged or coerced by the government or others. In time, it may become something “voluntary-active”; meaning still voluntary, but now applauded, encouraged and coerced. Government programs could be put in place to “teach” us what is “best”, not only for ourselves, but for our immediate families and society. As a people we have an obligation to encourage what is “right” and promote the common good. The “right to die” can now slowly morph into the “obligation to die”.

If you think this is not possible or too Orwellian, think of cigarette smoking. People are still free to smoke cigarettes today, but government anti-smoking campaigns, legislation and taxation have done a good job of breaking the will to smoke. The same can be done for those who insist on living for “no good reason”. Persistent social and financial pressure to do the “right thing” can break the will to live.

This is depressing stuff, but the reason I wanted to post about governments as teachers was because of THIS ARTICLE which gives a ray of hope in a weary world. Apparently the government of Hungary has been pushing (and thus teaching) a pro-family agenda creating an environment where marriages and families are flourishing and abortion numbers are dropping.

How so? Per the article, “The Fundamental Law (Hungary’s constitution) attaches special importance to the family, protects the institution of marriage, and states that the foundation of family lies in marriage and in parent-child relationship. It declares that Hungary shall encourage the commitment to have children.”

They do this by helping parents harmonize their career and child rearing, plus other special benefits like maternity support, paid childcare leave, family tax benefits, tax benefits that encourage young couples to marry, no-charge holiday camps for children, decreased utility costs, etc. Aside from the tax breaks, it sounds like a lot of big government spending programs, but if they’re going to spend, I’d rather it be on families & marriage as oppose to some other entitlements and special interests I can think of, but won’t mention here.

And remember… you will know them by their fruits. I found these stats from the article to be the most impressive:

                                         2010                   2017               % Difference

Number of abortions:      40,449                28,500             30% less!

Number of marriages:     35,520                50,600            42% more!

Number of divorces:        23,873                18,600            22% less!

How do these fruits compare to the fruits of our government programs in the U.S.?