Leftism as Substitute Religion

Friday, February 3, AD 2017

 

The howls of incoherent fury with which much of the left has greeted the advent of the Trump administration seems quite strange until we recall that leftism is essentially not a political movement for many of its adherents but rather a substitute for religion.  John Daniel Davidson at The Federalist understands this:

 

The consternation and outrage we’ve seen in response to President Trump’s executive order on immigration has little to do with the policy as such. Restricting immigration from certain countries is nothing new; President Obama did it, as did presidents Bush, Clinton, H.W. Bush, and Reagan.

Rather, it has everything to do with the elevation of progressive politics to the status of a religion—a dogmatic and intolerant religion, whose practitioners are now experiencing a crisis of faith.

Forget the executive order itself. Progressives have reacted with moral indignation and hysteria to everything Trump has done since taking office. His inauguration was enough to bring out hundreds of thousands of protesters across the country. In the 12 days since then, we have witnessed yet more demonstrations, boycotts, calls for “resistance,” comparisons to the Holocaust, media witch-hunts, the politicization of everything from Hollywood awards shows to professional sports, and real tears from New York Sen.Chuck Schumer.

One is hard-pressed to think of something Trump could do that would not elicit howls of outrage from the Left. On Tuesday, Senate Democrats boycotted confirmation hearings for Steven Mnuchin’s nomination to serve as treasury secretary and Rep. Tom Price’s nomination to be secretary of Health and Human Services, while continuing to try to block the confirmation of Betsy DeVos for education secretary and Sen. Jeff Session for attorney general. Even before Trump announced his Supreme Court pick on Tuesday night, Democrats had already announced they would filibuster the nomination, no matter who it was.

The obstinacy of Senate Democrats reflects the mood of their progressive base, whose panicked anger is the natural reaction of those for whom politics has become an article of faith. Progressives, as the terms implies, believe society must always be progressing toward something better. Always forward, never backwards. After eight years of Obama, they believed progressive politics in America would forever be on an upward trajectory.

The Left Has Been Moralizing Politics For A Long Time

Trump shook that faith. But his election also unmasked the degree to which progressivism as a political project is based not on science or rationality, or even sound policy, but on faith in the power of government to ameliorate and eventually perfect society. All the protests and denunciations of Trump serve not just as an outlet for progressives’ despair, but the chance to signal their moral virtue through collective outrage and moral preening—something that wasn’t really possible under Obama, at least not to this degree.

Not that they didn’t try. Recall that during the Obamacare debate in 2009 Ezra Klein suggested that Sen. Joe Lieberman was “willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score,” simply because he threatened to filibuster what would become the Affordable Care Act. This is the language of political fundamentalism—policy invested with the certainty of religious conviction.

Religious fundamentalism of course rests on immutable truths that cannot be negotiated. For Klein, that meant health care reform. The same rhetoric—“willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people”—would crop up again and again during Obama’s tenure, every time a Republican governor refused to expand Medicaid or a state attorney general challenged an EPA regulation meant to curb climate change. Policy debates took on a theological significance.

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11 Responses to Leftism as Substitute Religion

  • Why was this woman on the plane in the first place? Was her broom in the shop for repairs?

  • In my years at the Indan Point 3 Nuclear Power Plant, we saw this phenomenon manifest itself in the anti-nuclear protests outside the main gate. It’s eco-wackism, enviro-nazism, pagan worship of goddess Gaia, fundamentalist secularism, godless humanism, etc. One time I had an opportunity to talk to one of these people, a really smart and successful corporate laywer in Manhattan who lived on Long island and supported Mario Cuomo’s shutdown of the Shoreham nucllear power plant (his son Andy is now shutting down my Alma Mater of 18 years, Indian Point – I hate the Democratic Party!). I was able (in my example above) to bring him through all the safey features of the nuclear power plant, how reactor protection and engineering safeguards work, the physics of how the core shuts itself down on a power excursion, the methods employed in storing used nuclear fuel and plans for reprocessing, how we obviate plutonium proliferation – and on and on and on. He was very intelligent and understood every single little point – even the idea of radiation hormesis: that a little bit over a long time is good for you and a whole lot at one time bad. But the conclusion – nuclear is safer than natural gas and even wind – he rejected. It did not matter what the facts said. His religion – eco-wacko progressivism – said otherwise. To him Cuomo was right to shut Shoreham down even though electric rates on Long Island where he lived skyrocketed and natural gas spinning reserve makeup for low capacity factor wind pollutes the air. In his view we were hurting goddess Gaia by splitting atoms.
    .
    Folks, these people are nuts. They are freaking idiots. You cannot argue with them. You cannot reason with them. The time for debate and dialogue is long over. And when that happens, then society is in big, big trouble. God have mercy on us all.

  • Substitute religion or demonic possession? Seriously.

  • I wonder if this “progressivism-as-religion” model is an explanation for the left’s
    cozying-up to islam we’re starting to see. Each is helping the other wage its jihad.

    We’re seeing CAIR/Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood/Nation of Islam/BDS crop up more
    and more in partnership with Democrats. Hillary’s Huma Abedin has a Muslim Brotherhood
    background. Rep. Ellison has ties with CAIR, Nation of Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood,
    and a history of anti-semitic statements –yet he’s a contender for Chair of the DNC.
    Bernie Saunders and Sen. Schumer, both Jewish men, have endorsed him for the position
    despite his well-documented anti-semitic and anti-Israel history. Linda Sarsour, a pro-
    islam activist with ties to Hamas is an outspoken advocate of the implementation of
    sharia in the US and yet she was recruited to chair the recent DC “Women’s March”.

    Politics is making some strange bedfellows indeed. The adherents of the progressive’s
    cult are apologists for islamic terror at home and abroad, give an assist in undermining
    Israel and normalize anti-semitism, insist that islam is a “religion of peace” despite all
    evidence to the contrary, and demand ever-increasing importation of muslims from
    various terrorism-riddled states. The adherents of islam, in return, are throwing their
    considerable financial and organizational backing to the progressive’s cult. They’re
    no strangers to staging violent protests, and I’m guessing they’re useful when the
    left wants a riot to break out. (We’ve seen no shortage of those recently). I’m also
    guessing that the considerable sums CAIR, the Muslim Brotherhood and their ilk
    receive from their Middle East sponsors is most welcome in DNC circles…

    The two cults will be bedfellows for as long as each can help the other to gather
    power. Yet their ends are very, very different. The islamist’s beliefs about the
    role of women, the treatment of homosexuals, etc. — indeed, the very existence of
    human rights or the desirability of democracy in general — mean that the inevitable
    divorce between those two cults will be messy, messy indeed.

  • The world is round, spins on its axis and goes around and what goes around comes around. The Progressives will find themselves in the same place that they started. Now, that will cause an uproar as we are seeing.

  • Re: LQC

    LQC has got it right. Liberals are crazy, irrational, whatever. Why is that? They believe that Man can take care of himself without obedience to God. God punishes them by making them partially irrational so that their emotions and incorrect assumptions control them, e.g., tower of Babel, Nancy Pelosi, most Democrats, some of my kids.

  • LQC has got it right. Liberals are crazy, irrational, whatever. Why is that? They believe that Man can take care of himself without obedience to God. God punishes them by making them partially irrational so that their emotions and incorrect assumptions control them, e.g., tower of Babel, Nancy Pelosi, most Democrats, some of my kids.

  • “[T]he chance to signal their moral virtue through collective outrage and moral preening”

    As Hegel said of the French Revolution and its Politics of Virtue:-

    “Virtue is here a simple abstract principle and distinguishes the citizens into two classes only—those who are favourably disposed and those who are not. But disposition can only be recognized and judged of by disposition. Suspicion therefore is in the ascendant; but virtue, as soon as it becomes liable to suspicion, is already condemned . . . . Robespierre set up the principle of virtue as supreme, and it may be said that with this man virtue was an earnest matter. Virtue and Terror are the order of the day; for Subjective Virtue, whose sway is based on disposition only, brings with it the most fearful tyranny. It exercises its power without legal formalities, and the punishment it inflicts is equally simple—Death”

    What do they want, who want neither Virtue not Terror?” asked Saint-Just, “They want corruption” and Saint-Just was the man who believed he knew how to deal with them.

  • I think there is something diabolic about the Left with its fixation on abortion and hatred for Judeo-Christian values and Western Civilization. They are attracted to Islam in some perverse enemy of my enemy sentiment. It is an epidemic of soul-sickness. It is charitable to assume that few of them realize what they are about but the vacuum of their ignorance is filled with indoctrination. First we lost the schools.

  • Your article brings to mind a very specific prophesy in the Bible that refers to the topic you raise. St. Paul, just after calming his readers about any need to worry that the “day of the Lord is at hand” (2 Thess 2:2) goes on to speak of a mass “apostasy” (i.e., loss of faith, apostasia in the original Greek) and the revelation of the “lawless one” who “opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god and object of worship … claiming that he is a god [the rise of contemporary atheism and nihilism].” “And now you know what is restraining [the papacy?], that he may be revealed … whom the Lord will kill with the breath of his mouth [i.e. the Holy Spirit] by the manifestation of his coming” (2 Thess 2: 3-8). St. Paul even gives the reason that this would take place: “they have not accepted the love of truth so that they may be saved” (2 Thess 2: 10). This diabolical dimension explains the fury and Pharisaical self-righteousness of the left. They are under the spell of the Father of Lies who hides behind expressions like “mercy killing” to obfuscate the truth.

  • It is truly said that when one ceases to believe in God, one will believe in anything. You need only look at today’s left wing crazies to see the truth in this demonstrated.

Substitute Religions and Tolerance

Tuesday, January 12, AD 2016

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David Gelernter,a professor of computer science at Yale, has noted the snarling hatred that seems to dominate the left in this country and believes he understands its source:

Where does the asymmetry come from? American conservatives tend to be Christians or Jews. Liberals tend to be atheists or agnostics. (Yes, there are exceptions—to nearly everything, always; but that doesn’t mean we can stop thinking.) Almost all human beings need religion, as subway-riders need overhead grab bars. The religious impulse strikes conservatives and liberals alike. But conservatives usually practice the religion of their parents and ancestors; liberals have mostly shed their Judaism or Christianity, and politics fills the obvious spiritual gap. You might make football, rock music, or hard science your chosen faith. Some people do. But politics, with its underlying principles and striking public ceremonies, is the obvious religion substitute.

Hence the gross asymmetry of modern politics. For most conservatives, politics is just politics. For most liberals, politics is their faith, in default of any other; it is the basis of their moral life.

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24 Responses to Substitute Religions and Tolerance

  • The left succeeds in part by convincing Christians there is such a thing as a naked public square. There isn’t. Nature abhors a vacuum. The result is that Christians are too often cowed into not “imposing” their morality on society, while the left is free to impose its own “religious” values with near impunity. In the absence of Christians showing courage, I only wished the left actually believed in a wall of separation.

  • Caesar is God for many.

  • Joseph Bottum and David P. Goldman have seperately argued the case that progressivism/(illiberal)liberalism is what you get when you strip the gospel out of the social gospel movement.

  • I think Gelerenter’s point is jejune and also mistaken. The thing is, politics and religion are components or manifestations of a person’s self-concept – at least up to a point. Paul Hollander and Thomas Sowell have explored this – Sowell more deftly than Hollander. A ‘conservative’ is generally a person whose self-undertanding is not very sensitive to his disposition toward the world outside his mundane life.

    If you hang around comboxes populated by people who are committed Republicans or soi-disant ‘conservatives’, you do find some people who have an understanding of themselves as ruggedly independent in a world of freeloaders and losers (the distaff transposition of which is the person in a slow burn that someone somewhere is getting something they do not deserve); the thing is, combox denizens tend to be eccentric compared to ordinary Republican voters, much less Joe Blow off the sidewalks of Omaha.

    I think if you look at committed Democrats, you find three basic types: blacks whose thinking about the world outside of everyday life is dominated by affirmations and assertions of identity; working-class women with a seedy personal history who are irritated that other people might be ‘judging’ them; and bourgeois types who work in word-merchant occupations and / or are very taken with their formal schooling. All three trade in different species of intolerance. The last of these are the most consequential and, I’ll submit to you think of the opposition much the way school administrators think of high school students (except when they think of them as stupid and insubordinate employees).

    A great many of the ‘hot-button’ issues are seldom argued; they incorporate attitudes rather than viewpoints and those attitudes are class-delimited and define in-groups and out-groups. Our household Facebook account counts as a ‘friend’ a retired academic librarian. The man is not stupid – he’s a graduate of Bowdoin College, among other things, and he was almost certainly a scholarship student there. He’s the most capable workshop lecturer in his trade you’re ever likely to find. He’s not intemperate, either and seldom says anything trenchant face-to-face (one of his signatures and shortcomings). He makes political posts several times a week on Facebook, but none of them ever rise above trash talk of the sort you used to get from Molly Ivins or Barney Frank.

  • It won’t surprise anyone that the USCCB is leftist, but you have no idea. Bear will get around to posting an article in the next couple of days, but George Soros is in it up to his elbows.

  • The EEOC gets the nod from obullma to rep. two Muslims from delivering beer because it’s offensive to their religion, yet the bakers get smacked $130,000 plus, for refusing to bake the gay cake. Where is the justice? For the delivery men it’s ludicrous. Did they think they would ever have to deliver beer in their new American job? If they did they should of passed up the position. Who MADE them take the job? In the case of the baker its plain brut bullying from the slimy left.

    Mahad Abass Mohamed and Abdkiarim Hassan Bulshale are the above mentioned pair.

    Obama appointee allowed this case to go to trial. Jury awards $240,000 of our tax dollars to the two delivery men. Unbelievable!

  •  “ So why punish the handful of bakers who do not want to do so?  Because in leftist minds they are heretics and must by definition be punished. “

    While many of us conservatives might see the left posture as offensive, I am afraid that they see it originating as a defense. Though we think of the bakers as innocent of any attack on homosexuals, the Wounded Group definitely sees the negative reaction to them as an attack. They see their litigation as a civilized and now civilly sanctioned strike back in self-defense.
    They claim innocence: that they are born this way, even created by God this way, and worthy of the same respected status as any other consumer.
    They perceive their litigation or public pressure (as against Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich) as “long-run” defensive.
    So much do hey think the locus of hatred in this country is in the conservative camp, that they think it best to take the education/formation of innocent children away from hateful parents, and they are succeeding in doing just that. The resolution is a looong ways away.

  • Good point about the selective smackdowns Philip

  • “The thing is, politics and religion are components or manifestations of a person’s self-concept – at least up to a point.”

    For some people their political and religious beliefs are simply family heirlooms, how they react to their family will determine to a large extent how they react to the family religion and politics, assuming their parents had the same politics and religion. Others will view both religion and politics through intellectual prisms to determine if the religion is true and if the political beliefs are just. Yet others will gain their politics and their religion based on who and what they love and hate. Others give as much thought to religion and politics as I do to professional sports: almost none. Finally, we have those who have a burning passion for a religion, and those who sublimate this passion to ends other than religion, most notably politics. The last category usually falls along a right left divide.

  • These people are not only worse than a pack of thieves, they are worse than inquisitors of the Spanish Inquisition
    .
    Politics, the state, or the temptation for totalitarianism are tenets of their “religion.” And, “religious”: zealots cannot tolerate disbelief. So much so that they have allied themselves with other enemies of God and western culture/their natural allies: radical Islamists. We see it in their advancing Muslim culture and their persecuting Christians; and they’re blaming for Islamic terror massacres on the NRA, angry white men, and bitter clingers.
    .
    In short, we live in a dictatorship disguised as a democracy. The people have not yet realized that they do not consent to any of it. The progressives need to disarm the people before the people become aware of the elites’ sabotages and treasons.

  • Anzlyne.

    Could this type of lopsided treatment of Christians fuel the Trump popularity?
    My guess is that it isn’t hurting Trumps chances.

    After ALL; “America is not a Christian Nation..”
    Chia Obama said so. 🙂

  • In short, we live in a dictatorship disguised as a democracy. The people have not yet realized that they do not consent to any of it.

    No, we live in a spectacularly corrupt oligarchy at the linchpin of which would be the legal profession. The Democratic Party is the electoral vehicle of the Bourbon classes of the Regime, for the most part (though some boardroom looters are Republicans). A general reformation would require breaking the legal profession on the wheel (and I mean the Bar Association, the professoriate, the appellate judiciary, the har-de-har public interest bar, the U.S. Attorney’s office, Big Law, and counsel for certain regulatory agencies – not the guy who handles your real estate closing or defends you on that drunk driving charge). Read Hernando de Soto on how doing business in Switzerland differed from doing business in Peru and then ask yourself why so many people with ready cash are willing to sluice it to characters like the Clintons and Rahm Emmanuel.

  • I never thought of it that way: former Christians and Jews shed their religion to embrace politics instead. And politics serves as their religion. Makes perfect sense. That explains the near ferocity with which many politicians do battle. Some think they are controlling history.

  • Sal.

    The former Christians and Jews that have adopted their new God still call themselves Christian and Jews. That’s the fun part!

    Call yourself as you see yourself…. the conscience of the narcissist. Who needs humility? That’s just a weakness for the new mercy workers.

  • Ernst Schreiber wrote, “progressivism/(illiberal)liberalism is what you get when you strip the gospel out of the social gospel movement.”
    In France, Alain de Benoist and Charles Champetier have made the same point: “In most respects, it represents a secularization of ideas and perspectives borrowed from Christian metaphysics, which spread into secular life following a rejection of any transcendent dimension. Actually, one finds in Christianity the seeds of the great mutations that gave birth to the secular ideologies of the first post-revolutionary era. Individualism was already present in the notion of individual salvation and of an intimate and privileged relation between an individual and God that surpasses any relation on earth. Egalitarianism is rooted in the idea that redemption is equally available to all mankind, since all are endowed with an individual soul whose absolute value is shared by all humanity. Progressivism is born of the idea that history has an absolute beginning and a necessary end, and that it unfolds globally according to a divine plan. Finally, universalism is the natural expression of a religion that claims to manifest a revealed truth which, valid for all men, summons them to conversion. Modern political life itself is founded on secularized theological concepts.”

  • To me everything is politics. Politics has to do with the relationship between people and how these people view themselves and the world. If you believe in God you will believe that we should all follow God’s rules. If you don’t, you will be a secularist who believes an elite (replacement for God) should determine the rules. One of the major differences between those that believe in God and those who don’t is that is that God believers base their judgements on long established moral criteria while secularists constantly review their moral criteria to fit some new theory emerging from academia.

    Nowadays I think must folks lean secularist especially the clergy of the Catholic church and most particularly Pope Francis. The overall trend is the erosion of individual freedom and control by the state. The reason for this is that most people have become distanced from God and dependent on the nanny state which is a substitute for God. God is irrelevant in this situation.

    The main hope is that perhaps enough folks have become fed up with this (Obamaism?) loss of freedom and economic progress that they will elect someone like Trump or Cruz who is capable of fomenting a revolution.

    This debate is sure to continue. I am looking forward to what the Bear has to say.

  • “Michael Dowd

    To me everything is politics. ”

    I understand your point, religion and politics overlap, but that’s sort of like saying that the entirety of a human is chemistry. We can’t confuse the cake with the ingredients. There is a difference.

  • “To me everything is politics.”

    Only beause we live in an age of m(cr)ass (over)communication, increasing democracy (in the Aristotelean sebse) and commingling of the public & private spheres.

  • Michael Dowd, I disagree. Politics fundamentally deals with government. Yes, you can argue that even parish councils are government and therefore political, but most of the time they really aren’t (witness the lack of campaigning for them).

    When government is limited people spend little time with politics, and yet feel satisfied with that limited involvement – most of life being nonpolitical. When government becomes dominant people either avoid politics entirely (success requires too much of an investment) or become immersed in it. When government becomes oppressive politics is either abhorred or becomes literally everything. “The private life in Russia is dead ” – Pasha Antipov “Strelnikov”, Doctor Zhivago – aptly describes the Communist version of political oppression.

    No, in a healthy society most human interactions are outside politics.

  • TomD wrote, “Politics fundamentally deals with government.”
    Does no one read Carl Schmitt anymore?
    The political comes into being when groups are placed in a relation of enmity, where each comes to perceive the other as an irreconcilable adversary to be fought and, if possible, defeated. “Every religious, moral, economic, ethical, or other antithesis,” insists Schmitt, “ transforms itself into a political one if it is sufficiently strong to group human beings effectively, according to friends and enemy.”

    “The political is the most intense and extreme antagonism,” Schmitt wrote. War is its most violent form and Schmitt, in effect, inverts Clausewitz’s famous dictum that “War is merely the continuation of policy by other means.” For Schmitt, politics is the continuation of war by other means.

    Scathing in his rejection of Liberal Democracy, he denies the possibility of neutral rules that can mediate between conflicting positions; for Schmitt there is no such neutrality, since any rule – even an ostensibly fair one –represents the victory of one political faction over another and is merely the temporarily stabilised result of past conflicts.

    Internal order can only be imposed as the necessary means of pursuing external conflicts. For Schmitt, a world state is impossible, for” humanity has no enemy.” – It could not unite people, for there would be nothing to unite them against.

  • I don’t know anything about Scmitt. Is he a total secularist? It would seem his eternal cycles of war would eventually be subsumed into religion.
    We do of course have a meaning and purpose- Love. And see more than the secular cause and effect.

  • Anzlyne wrote, “I don’t know anything about Schmitt. Is he a total secularist?”
    Quite the reverse. He was a Catholic and a Throne and Altar Conservative, who hated the French Revolution, the Rights of Man and parliamentary democracy.
    He quoted with approval the English writer Bagehot, who declared that “The nature of a constitution, the action of an assembly, the play of parties, the unseen formation of a guiding opinion, are complex facts, difficult to know and easy to mistake. But the action of a single will, the fiat of a single mind, are easy ideas: anybody can make them out, and no one can ever forget them. When you put before the mass of mankind the question, ‘Will you be governed by a king, or will you be governed by a constitution?’ the inquiry comes out thus—’Will you be governed in a way you understand, or will you be governed in a way you do not understand?’”
    Hence his famous dictum, “Sovereign is he who decides on the exception.” The sovereign is a definite agency capable of making a decision, not a legitimating category (the “people”) or a purely formal definition (plenitude off power, etc.). Sovereignty is outside the law, since the actions of the sovereign in the state of exception cannot be bound by laws since laws presuppose a normal situation. To claim that this is anti-legal is to ignore the fact that all laws have an outside, that they exist because of a substantiated claim (endorsed by the facts) on the part of some agency to be the dominant source of binding rules within a territory. The sovereign determines the possibility of the ‘rule of law’ by deciding on the exception: ‘For a legal order to make sense, a normal situation must exist, and he is sovereign who definitely decides whether this normal situation actually exists.’”

  • It will be interesting to see how the good professor is treated by his increasingly rabid colleagues – and more importantly – the feral students of Yale.

    Academics and their charges are the most intolerant and aggressive zealots since the Cromwell used Puritanism to purge their intellectual opponents.

  • I just meant that
    He doesn’t seem to allow for an intervention of Grace… only speaking in tactical dialectical human terms – which points out how difficult it is even for him to be a “sovereign” individual. free of cultural influence

Politics as Religion and Moral Code

Monday, September 22, AD 2014

 

 

Kirsten Powers, who is rapidly becoming my favorite liberal, is a liberal who actually prizes tolerance and intellectual diversity, and she is noticing that she is becoming a rather rare bird among her ideological colleagues:

 

This week, a trail-blazing woman was felled in the new tradition of commencement shaming. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde withdrew from delivering the commencement speech at Smith College following protests from students and faculty who hate the IMF. According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, this trend is growing. In the 21 years leading up to 2009, there were 21 incidents of an invited guest not speaking because of protests. Yet, in the past five-and-a-half years, there have been 39 cancellations.

Don’t bother trying to make sense of what beliefs are permitted and which ones will get you strung up in the town square. Our ideological overlords have created a minefield of inconsistency. While criticizing Islam is intolerant, insulting Christianity is sport. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is persona non grata at Brandeis University for attacking the prophet Mohammed. But Richard Dawkins describes the Old Testament God as “a misogynistic … sadomasochistic … malevolent bully” and the mob yawns. Bill Maher calls the same God a “psychotic mass murderer” and there are no boycott demands of the high-profile liberals who traffic his HBO show.

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12 Responses to Politics as Religion and Moral Code

  • The “Politics of Virtue” goes back to the French Revolution.
    Then, the question was, “What guarantee does the man of virtue, the republican citizen, have that he is really acting for the public good. What are the guarantees against self-delusion and hypocrisy?”
    The only test possible was a person’s own sincerity. Citizens must be judged, not according to the outcome of their actions but by their subjective convictions alone. The result of this purely subjective conception of virtue was ta relentless search to unmask those hypocrites who pursued their own private ends under the mask of public spirit.
    As Hegel put it, in one of his better moments, “Virtue is here a simple abstract principle and distinguishes the citizens into two classes only—those who are favourably disposed and those who are not. But disposition can only be recognized and judged of by disposition. Suspicion therefore is in the ascendant; but virtue, as soon as it becomes liable to suspicion, is already condemned . . . “
    According to Hannah Arendt, this desire to root out hypocrisy stems from the Revolution’s own “favoured simile” of itself as tearing the mask, the persona, off a corrupt French society to expose behind it the uncorrupted natural man.

  • Democrats have grasped the Truth and are acting in service to it. Their plan for the polity is beyond debate; it is received Science. And so they ritualistically dismiss normal debate as being mere politics. While Democrats are busily engaged in saving the polity… Republicans are being “political,” playing games in a low and unserious way. Sand in the gears of Progress.

  • “Democrats have grasped the Truth and are acting in service to it. Their plan for the polity is beyond debate; it is received Science. And so they ritualistically dismiss normal debate as being mere politics. While Democrats are busily engaged in saving the polity… Republicans are being “political,” playing games in a low and unserious way. Sand in the gears of Progress.”
    .
    Nicely Screwtaped.

  • Don’t bother trying to make sense of what beliefs are permitted and which ones will get you strung up in the town square. Our ideological overlords have created a minefield of inconsistency.

    Yeah, right. They are more predictable than the rising of the sun. Conservative, Christian, believe in traditional morals, or someone who calls out Islam – you get protested. Liberal, atheist, (or pseudo-religious) who bashes Christianity and traditional morality – you’re all in. Not that hard.

  • Democrats do not even know that they are being intolerant, closed minded and divisive. They actually think that they are being tolerant, open minded and inclusive. Not only do they not know the truth, they do not wish to know the truth. What can one expect of the party that supported slavery, advocated Jim Crowe laws and opposed equal rights for minorities.

  • “Many modern liberals use their politics as a substitute religion and a substitute moral code.  Rejecting God and embracing materialism, and usually being bone ignorant of History, they often have no other means to give meaning to their transitory, as they believe, lives.  Hearing alternative political views is, for many of them, literally hearing heresy and immorality being preached.  Having the “correct” political beliefs mean that you are a good person, even if you treat other people wretchedly.  Challenge their politics and you strip from them their guide through this Vale of Tears.  Politics are to be debated, but a religion is to be believed in, and a moral code is to be obeyed.”

    Many–as in 99.999999%

  • Very interesting Michael P-S “Citizens must be judged, not according to the outcome of their actions but by their subjective convictions alone”
    /
    Over and over in the book of Judges, we read that the trouble Israel suffered came at the time when everyone “did what was right in his own eyes”
    Luke 11: 35 “Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness.”

  • Remember Nietzsche thought of most of us as herd animals when it comes to our moral sense …if we are, perhaps there is a certain safety in that. My own thought is that liberal thinkers are more likely herd animals than conservatives thinkers.
    Liberal thinking is common although liberal thinkers like to think they are different than the rest.
    Remember, a few years ago those of us who were young liberals thought of rebelling, and coloring outside the lines. 😉 I think we found out that such art did not convey much.
    /
    There is a certain mediocrity in liberal thinking… because it gets defined down and down again to be accepted by everyone. No great advances, but a decline into indistinction.
    The definition of liberalism as belief in progress literally means nothing since it doesn’t tell us what the object of the progress is- we are to assume that it is something good, and that we can work together to bring it about, without knowing the particulars.

  • Anzlyne
    “Citizens must be judged, not according to the outcome of their actions but by their subjective convictions alone”
    One recalls the homely remark of Wittgenstein, “What is the natural expression of an intention?—Look at a cat when it stalks a bird; or a beast when it wants to escape.”

  • Does no one read Carl Schmitt anymore?

    Schmitt argues that every realm of human endeavour is structured by an irreducible duality. Morality is concerned with good and evil, aesthetics with the beautiful and the ugly, and economics with the profitable and the unprofitable. In politics, the core distinction is between friend and enemy. That is what makes politics different from everything else.

    The political comes into being when groups are placed in a relation of enmity, where each comes to perceive the other as an irreconcilable adversary to be fought and, if possible, defeated. “Every religious, moral, economic, ethical, or other antithesis transforms itself into a political one if it is sufficiently strong to group human beings effectively, according to friends and enemy.”

    Of course, he denies the possibility of neutral rules that can mediate between conflicting positions; for Schmitt there is no such neutrality, since any rule – even an ostensibly fair one – merely represents the victory of one political faction over another and the stabilised result of past conflicts.

  • Religion is a relationship with God. Politics is a relationship with man. Separation of church and state demands that the two be recognized for what they are.

  • Orwell said, “Politics are essentially deceit and coercion.”

    To wit. Café Hayek recent quote of the day: “from page 82 of Alain de Botton’s delightful 1993 volume, On Love (original emphasis):

    “’Amorous politics begins its infamous history in the course of the French Revolution, when it was first proposed (with all the choice of a rape) that the state would not just govern but love its citizens, who would presumably respond likewise or face the guillotine.’”

ObamaCare as Cargo Cult

Sunday, November 3, AD 2013

Obama and Friend

 

Daniel Greenfield at Sultan Knish nails it:

Our modernity is style rather than substance. It’s Obama grinning. It’s the right font. It’s the right joke. It’s that sense that X knows what he’s doing because he presents it the right way. There’s nothing particularly modern about that. In most cultures, the illusion of competence trumps the real thing. It’s why so many countries are so badly broken because they go by appearances, rather than by results.

The idea that we should go by results, rather than by processes, by outcomes rather than by appearances, was revolutionary. For most of human history, we were trapped in a cargo cult mode. We did the “right things” not because they led to the right results, but because we had decided that they were the right things. There were many competent people, but they were hamstrung by rigid institutions that made it impossible to go from Point A to Point B in the shortest possible time.

And we’re right back there today. The entire process of ObamaCare was the opposite of going from Point A to Point B. It was the least competent and efficient solution every step of the way. There was no reason to think that its website would be any better. The process that led to it being dumped on the American people was completely devoid of any notion of testing or outcomes. It was the right thing to do because… it was the right thing to do. It was cargo cult logic all the same. So was its website.

Healthcare.gov, like ObamaCare, was going to work because it was “good”. Its goodness was by some measure other than result. It was morally good. It was progressive. And so the deity of liberal causes, perhaps Karl Marx or Progressia, the Goddess of Soup and Economic Dysfunction, would see to it that it would work. Karma would kick in and everything would work out because it had to.

This brand of magical thinking was once commonplace. It still is. And it’s why things so rarely work out in some of the more messed up parts of the world. But the sort of attitude that would once have made anthropologists shake their heads is now commonplace here. Savages in suits, barbarians with iPads are certain that things will work because they have appeased the gods of modernity with their fonts, they have made a website that looks like a functioning website. And like the cargo culters who built fake control towers expecting planes to land, they thought that their website would work.

Competence is built on the unhappy understanding that things won’t work because you want them to, they won’t work if you go through the motions, they will only work if you understand how a thing works and then make it work by building it, by testing it and by expecting failure every step of the way and wrestling with the problem until you get it right.

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6 Responses to ObamaCare as Cargo Cult

  • Hah I was JUST about to email this link to you. Especially as one who works as a “fixer” of stuff in a day job, this article really spoke to me. It also brought to mind say… Mark Shea’s post way back when on biometric guns. How did he respond? Why almost like a voodoo priest: chanting a mantra and excommunicating unbelievers.

    In fact not just him, but several believers (protestant and catholic alike) I’ve noticed have this belief:

    Healthcare.gov, like ObamaCare, was going to work because it was “good”. Its goodness was by some measure other than result. It was morally good. It was progressive. And so the deity of liberal causes, perhaps Karl Marx or Progressia, the Goddess of Soup and Economic Dysfunction, would see to it that it would work. Karma would kick in and everything would work out because it had to.

    The only catch is that they believe God will work it out (and we do know He’s real). How can you respond to such? How can you even have a debate? “X won’t work.” “X will work! It’s good and God will make it work!”

    As someone who’s watched far better people than me pass on way too early, I doubt them. If God won’t preserve the best of us from the trials and mortality of this life, why would He preserve our foolish plans?

  • As Ben Franklin noted Nate, God helps them who helps themselves. God gave us brains and when we fail to use them He usually allows us to suffer the consequences.

  • Don, if you’re ever around, you’ll have to let me buy you a drink. 😉

    You’re spot on of course. It’s just… one wonders how to even suggest that idea to people. Heck I’ve seen even where people might get it, they then retaliate with something like “Well we’re called to die for our Lord.”

    …REALLY? Not only has (apparently) God called us to be dumb, but now martyrs? I think He told us to die if necessary, not to seek it out.

    Actually it calls to mind that joke about the guy waiting for God’s help during a flood. (who here knows it?) Only now it seem less of a joke and more the S.O.P. of many Christians.

  • TMLutas also has a great examination over just HOW BAD this thing is. (and as someone who has written website code in the past, I can assure you: it’s even worse than you think)

  • obma messing everything up, when him and his wife sign up i will think about it. dont screw with our constatution, i have rights and a lawyer. we should all think about what we want, not what some guy in office for 8 years wants, i have the freedom to pick what i want and i will. after he leaves how much money will he make per year off the american people, and in 5 years how much will i pay then can obama tell us that no he can not.

Ryan and the Catholic Left

Tuesday, August 21, AD 2012

 

 

 

The reaction of the Catholic Left in this country to Paul Ryan has been completely predictable.  This is a movement, with honorable exceptions, that long ago fell into lockstep behind the “abortion now, abortion forever” policy of the Democrat party.  When a pro-life Catholic like Paul Ryan arises they must strive, by any means necessary, to drag him down to their level as dissenters against basic Catholic teaching.  Bill McGurn in the Wall Street Journal has a brilliant column looking at this phenomenon:

Say this for the liberal impulse in American Catholicism: In its day, it leavened the faith. Against the church’s tendencies to clericalism, it promoted the contributions of the laity. Against suspicions in Rome, it championed the American experiment. In particular, the liberal impulse advanced the idea of religious liberty for all that would ultimately triumph in the 1960s at the Second Vatican Council.

No longer, alas. Today the liberal impulse in American Catholic life has substituted political for religious orthodoxy. In retrospect, the turning point is easy to spot: liberal Catholicism’s acquiescence in the Democratic Party’s drift toward supporting abortion at a time when church leaders had the influence to stop it.

So here we are in 2012, when all but one of the active senators and representatives who are members of the official Catholics for Obama campaign team enjoy a 100% approval rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America.

This fundamental dissent from a basic church teaching is now a fact of modern Democratic Catholic life. The result for our politics is an extraordinary campaign, in the 10 days since Paul Ryan became the Republican candidate for vice president, by those on the Catholic left to strike a moral equivalence between Mr. Ryan’s reform budget and Democratic Catholic support for the party’s absolutist position on abortion.

Thus the column in the National Catholic Reporter characterizing Mr. Ryan as a “champion of dissent” regarding the church’s social teaching. Or the headline at the website Jezebel, “Badass Nun Says Paul Ryan is a Bad Catholic.” When this sort of thing seeps into the mainstream, it takes the form of the recent article in the Washington Post that found moral parallels between the two vice-presidential candidates: Mr. Ryan is a dissenter from “social justice,” while Vice President Joe Biden, also Catholic, dissents on issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion.

***********************************************************************************

Mr. Ryan’s own bishop, the Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino, addressed the subject with his most recent column in the diocesan paper for Madison, Wis. The church, he wrote, regards abortion as an “intrinsic evil” (meaning always and everywhere wrong, regardless of circumstances). In sharp contrast, he said, on issues such as how best to create jobs or help the poor, “there can be difference according to how best to follow the principles which the church offers.”

“I’m not endorsing Paul Ryan,” the bishop told me later by phone. “People are free to disagree with him, and disagree vehemently. But it’s wrong to suggest that his views somehow make him a bad Catholic.”

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71 Responses to Ryan and the Catholic Left

  • Why would anyone waste eyesight on abortion catholics’ calumnies?

    If it weren’t for calumny, detraction, and distortion, they would have nothing.

  • The thing that I find most discouraging is the priests who are in the democrat party. I was shocked to find such a thing when we recently moved to Maryland. I wrote to one of them who proudly stated his party affiliation in his homily. I pretty much tried to say that it’s confusing to children when us moms try to explain that democrats stand against the church for things like abortion, gay marriage, etc., then to hear a priest say he’s a democrat. His reply was that he’s proud to be pro-life AND pro-social justice, then he went on to bash republicans (I never told him my party affiliation, so I could be an independent for all he knows) and then say that I re-affirmed his convictions to stand with the democrat party. This was almost a year ago. I was so upset that I threw out his letter, but I really wish I kept it. Pray for the souls of our priests who put politics ahead of Christ, and don’t understand about the company you keep. People can say that Jesus hung out with sinners, but He was human AND Divine, so He couldn’t be swayed toward evil.

  • I just couldn’t bear to watch more than a minute and a half of the liberal idiocy in the 1st video. BTW, subsidium means re-enforcement or relief from the rear; it does not mean help from government above.

    And these people are students of higher education? Thank God I learned on the job in a nuclear submarine at test depth!

  • The thing that I find most discouraging is the priests who are in the democrat party.

    Even people drawn from the most sophisticated component of the public often prove almost incapable of regarding the opposition as is. They see caricatures and only caricatures. Thus the Republican Party – an ominibus of people with interests and preferences which place them at odds with the dominant mode within the Democratic Party, the education sector, the legal profession, and the media – is transmogrified in their mind as the electoral vehicle of late 19th century robber barons.

    And, of course, you get people in all denominations who went into the ministry for the wrong reasons – the social workers and aspirant den mothers.

  • “Why would anyone waste eyesight on abortion catholics’ calumnies?”

    Unfortunately, there are the calumnies of the pure Catholics to deal with.

  • I’m not the Catholic Left. I’m just poor and Catholic.

  • The GOP nominee supports intrinsic evil. Not only that, he is a member of a blasphemous religion, a religion that he is showcasing at the convention.
    http://catholicbandita.com/newsmax-romneys-mormonism-will-be-center-stage-at-rnc-convention/

    You’ve all drunk the Kool-Aid. The fact is that America did not survive the first four years of Obama. That is the reality of the situation. Piling on with blasphemy while attacking the bishops because they defend the preferential option, while claiming you are “more Catholic” than the Catholic Left? God, help you.

  • There is more to Catholic than mouthing the word. Catholic is living one’s life through and with and in Jesus Christ. Abortion, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.” Same sex marriage: “It was not so from the beginning”. Prayer ban: “The Father and I are ONE.” Catholics who would bother to destroy the only honest, pro-life candidate America has, Paul Ryan, are “useful idiots”, in the words of Lenin, and how aptly they are described supporting the communist agenda in the White House.

    The Declaration of Independence tells us to rely on Divine Providence. Doing the right thing, respecting “the laws of nature and nature’s God”, peaceably assembling before God with the accent on peaceably, (not “occupy Chick-Fil-A” with a demonstration of violating God’s will for human marriage,) honoring almighty God, cherishing life created equal by “their Creator”, and trusting in God the way our money tells us: “IN GOD WE TRUST”, will bring us back to where harmony begins, where the hymn of the universe is heard in the mountains and danced in the water and proclaimed in the air. Let man be free. FREEDOM

  • Lisa Graas says:
    Tuesday, August 21, 2012 A.D. at 9:58am
    The GOP nominee supports intrinsic evil. Not only that, he is a member of a blasphemous religion, a religion that he is showcasing at the convention.
    http://catholicbandita.com/newsmax-romneys-mormonism-will-be-center-stage-at-rnc-convention/

    You’ve all drunk the Kool-Aid. The fact is that America did not survive the first four years of Obama. That is the reality of the situation. Piling on with blasphemy while attacking the bishops because they defend the preferential option, while claiming you are “more Catholic” than the Catholic Left? God, help you.

    Yes, Lisa, God does help us. America has not survived the prayer ban, ostracizing “their Creator” and His unalienable rights from the public square, from every human mind, body, and immortal soul. The name of the game is save the human soul from extinction in the political arena. The human body will follow. Are you in?

  • @AD: A++: ” . . . – social workers and aspirant den mothers.”

    Elsewhere I saw someone call them (Abortion catholics/cathi-Liberals) the “democrat party pretending to pray.”

    My “point” (not the one on my head!) is that these brutes are democrats first and Catholics somewhere farther down in their “priority lists.”

    It’s in the Gospels (which they subvert to support their political prejudices). One cannot serve two masters.

  • “You’ve all drunk the Kool-Aid. The fact is that America did not survive the first four years of Obama. That is the reality of the situation. Piling on with blasphemy while attacking the bishops because they defend the preferential option, while claiming you are “more Catholic” than the Catholic Left? God, help you.”

    Your ardent support of Santorum in the primaries Lisa and your current position are logically inconsistent. You have become unhinged and I would very much appreciate it if you would no longer comment on my threads on this blog.

  • There at least two bishops with the courage to defend Ryan against the bogus charge from the Catholic left (which include several bishops) his own Bishop Morlino and Archbishop Sam Aquila of Denver:

    http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/paul-ryans-bishop-defends-him-amid-attacks-on-his-application-of-church-tea/

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/column.php?n=2268

  • Taxes belong to the taxpayer even as the taxes are administered by the administration. The taxes rightfully belong to the people first. Put it on the ballot. The USCCB is begging from the wrong people. So are the protestors in the video. It is the people in the pews who fund charity and the government. Remove the funding from the government and all evildoers will leave. Evildoers are too cheap to work for the common good probono. Michael Newdow, the atheist, the American Civil Liberites Union removing God from the heart and soul of America are all funded by the taxpayers who are left in the dustbin by them. All legal fees for civil rights cases are paid for by the citizens’ taxes, citizens who have literally been skrewed over with ssm and abortion, the HHS mandate, Obama’s 923 Executive Orders usurping unauthorized power and property that is not Obama’s and you name it. FREEDOM

  • I deleted your last comment Lisa. You no longer may comment on my threads.

  • We have to be really careful about denouncing the Catholic left. We should be investing our effort into instructing them. Jesus’s last prayer at the Last Supper was for unity. If fellow Catholics can’t demonstrate unity in spite of their political differences, what chance does the country as a whole have?

    One thing we can do to comfort the Catholic left is to distance ourselves from the conspiracy nuts and the libertines. Like it or not, along with the fiscal conservative Tea Partiers, the socially decadent and those who oppose charity on principle have found their way into the more mainstream conversation. There are forces on the right who oppose religion and put property rights over human rights. Not everyone on the right – that’s the lie that the press will repeat. But there is an element on the right that is that way. It’s tactically intelligent as well as ideologically consistent for the right to follow Buckley on this and challenge the anti-religious right.

    As a side note, Lisa mentioned Mitt’s Mormonism. This is the first time in our history that neither ticket put forward a mainstream Protestant. That’s interesting.

  • A few days ago, commenters raised the example of Chile’s economic growth, development and prosperity.

    Herein I neither fabricate nor consult, ex cathedra, the infallible GU Faculty.

    From March 2, 2010: WSJ: “How Milton Friedman Saved Chile” Bret Stephens –

    In 1973, the year the proto-Chavista government of Salvador Allende was overthrown by Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Chile was an economic shambles. Inflation topped out at an annual rate of 1000%, foreign-currency reserves were totally depleted, and per capita GDP was roughly that of Peru and well below Argentina’s.

    Chile had intellectual capital, thanks to an exchange program between its Catholic University and the economics department of the University of Chicago, then Friedman’s academic home. Even before the 1973 coup, several of Chile’s “Chicago Boys” had drafted a set of policy proposals which amounted to an off-the-shelf recipe for economic liberalization: sharp reductions to government spending and the money supply; privatization of state-owned companies; the elimination of obstacles to free enterprise and foreign investment, and so on.

    As for Chile, Pinochet appointed a succession of Chicago Boys to senior economic posts. By 1990, the year he ceded power, per capita GDP had risen by 40% (in 2005 dollars) even as Peru and Argentina stagnated. Pinochet’s democratic successors—all of them nominally left-of-center—only deepened the liberalization drive. Result: Chileans have become South America’s richest people. They have the continent’s lowest level of corruption, the lowest infant-mortality rate, and the lowest number of people living below the poverty line.

    And, please God, in 25 years, let someone write a newspaper or magazine article entitled, “How Paul Ryan Saved the United States of America.”

  • I believe that the U.S. Constitution forbids a “religion test” for candidates. A candidate’s religion, or how the candidate responds to the gift of Faith from God, (some atheists say that they have not been given a gift of Faith, but that impugn’s God’s veracity and is false witness in a court of law) be it Mormonism, Catholicism and/or Protestantism may not be used in a political way to improve or disenfranchise the candidate. The candidates’ sovereign personhood endowed at conception by “their Creator” is the defining charachteristic. Obama does not believe that he is a sovereign person from conception, but that his citizenship gives him sovereign personhood. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

  • In addition to Morlino and Aquila, Cardinal Dolan also defended Ryan in an interview with Kathryn Lopez, saying, in essence, that although he disagreed with Ryan on specific budget items, Ryan was free to disagree with him on those issues and remain a Catholic in good standing.

    As for “drinking the Romney Kool-Aid”, I sure as heck haven’t (and I’m not altogether sure what “drinking the Kool-Aid” has to do with a thread about the calumnious assault by the Catholic left – and by some prominent folks on the “pox-on-both-your-houses” Catholic right, of whom I count myself a member – on Ryan’s Catholic bona fides). No Kool-Aid stain on my mouth, as I won’t be supporting the Romney/RYAN ticket.

    But I can nevertheless acknowledge that Paul Ryan is the most serious Catholic outside of Al Smith to ever grace a major-party ticket. And Ryan is every bit the solid Catholic candidate that Rick Santorum is, with the added benefit of never having sold out the pro-life cause to support Arlen Specter.

  • T. Shaw: “And, please God, in 25 years, let someone write a newspaper or magazine article entitled, “How Paul Ryan Saved the United States of America.”
    Several rosaries in Latin.

  • To the fellow who posted a comment as “edmund burk” (sic), yes, I did delete your comment. In my threads no candidate may be attacked for his religious views, as that is too close to simple bigotry for my taste, and because attacks on Romney are not germane to the subject of my post.

  • Thank you, Donald. But I will admit that I am even more unhinged than Lisa Graas, just on the opposite side of the spectrum. Hopefully, that self-knoweldge will help me to keep my freaking fingers off the darn keyboard in my more unhinged moments.

    BTW, I have several friends whom I met at work under a previous employer who are devout Mormons (or LDS members as they like to call themselves). They are hardworking, honest, dedicated, loyal, full of integrity, self-sacrificing individuals – everything we as Catholic Christians ought to be and often are not. Two LDS missionaries – both young women who I think called themselves sisters – visited me at my apartment a few months ago. We spent two or three hours discussing the Bible, the Book of Mormon and related subjects. It was a most excellent and informative discussion, one that I greatly enjoyed. I invited them to stay for supper, but they had to leave. I made them pray the Our Father with me before they left. I have always liked debating my LDS friends in a civil, respectful manner. And if I am again visited by LDS missionaries, I shall shall them the same respect and civil dialogue that they have always and everywhere given me.

    I cannot say the same for the liberal Democrat Catholic left. There is nothing civil, charitable or respectful about them. Any discussion always devolves into a shouting argument. How can it be that with LDS folk whose theology I find completely wrong (and frankly, in some parts, downright weird) I get along so nicely, and with liberal Catholics whose theology shouldn’t be that far off from what I was taught in RCIA, there is nothing but acrimony and argument?

    I am voting for Romney / Ryan in part because Romney IS an LDS member and from my experience I know that LDS members live good, clean, honest, hardworking lives (of course, that doesn’t explain Harry Reid, also an LDS member, but we all got our problem children), whereas I am voting against Obama / Biden in part because Biden is an apostate / heretical faux-Catholic Christian who ought to be excommunicated publicly post haste!

    BTW, when I asked my LDS friends why the Quorum of Twelves didn’t excommunicate Harry Reid, they said for the same reason that the Pope didn’t excommunicate Nancy Pelosi. I had to laugh with them at that one. But I digress.

  • Is it axiomatic that whatever follows: “You’ve all drunk the Kool-Aid” is going to be more kool-aid-y than what precedes it?

  • I flinch every time I hear that expression. People remember what it refers to, right?

  • Not entirely sure but the expression has taken on a life of its own. I’m guessing Manson related or something along those lines?

  • How any thinking Catholic can side with the Republican Party is beyond me. These are the same people that kept Catholics out of jobs, out of restaurants, out of work for years and years. Do you suddenly think you got more palpable to these people because they saw the error of their ways? Come on people, think.

  • Mary Ann,

    For your sake stay away from Louisville/Bardstown Kentucky where most if not all Catholic Priests are liberal and democrat. We are in far greater numbers than you.

  • Thank you Mr. Lambert, this thread needed the comic relief that your appeal to tribal loyalty to the Democrat Party supplies. The idea that some Republicans discriminating against Catholics in the distant past justifies allegiance to a party today that has virtually declared war on the Faith is too risible for words.

  • “These are the same people that kept Catholics out of jobs, out of restaurants, out of work for years and years.”

    Lies!

    “For your sake stay away from Louisville/Bardstown Kentucky where most if not all Catholic Priests are liberal and democrat. We are in far greater numbers than you.”

    Godless liberal Democrat threats. I don’t know about Mary Ann, but I’ll go to an Eastern Orthodox or Orthodox Anglican parish before I visit one of your communities of apostasy, heresy and rebellion.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    The distant path is my lifetime. If you want to call that the distant past, fine. There is a reason that doors and church’s all over the country have closed. It can’t be blamed on 30 years of Liberal Teachings in the Church. Can it?

  • “For your sake stay away from Louisville/Bardstown Kentucky where most if not all Catholic Priests are liberal and democrat. We are in far greater numbers than you.”

    Considering what a red state Kentucky is I would say they have been remarkably ineffective.

  • Mr. Primavera,

    I will pray for you in my rosary tonight.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    Louisville and its environs is anything but red. The Protestants, of course, are red…..but the Catholic areas truely aren’t.

  • “The distant path is my lifetime. If you want to call that the distant past, fine.”

    Delusional is a bad way to go through life Mr. Lambert. I am 55 years old and I have never encountered the slightest prejudice for my Catholicism from my fellow Republicans. Liberal Democrats on the other hand that I have encountered often have expressed great contempt for the Church.

    “There is a reason that doors and church’s all over the country have closed.”

    Non-sequiturs are a poor substitute for argument.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    You may call names all you want. It is your blog. I am simply giving you the truth. I suppose you’ve lived the gifted Catholic life then, having never felt the burn of hatred against the Church. Never encountered KKK members ready to beat you because you are wearing a cross. Is it just because we wanted to stay to ourselves that we developed our own grade and high school sports leagues?

    As far as Churches and the Church

    Has the Conservative part of the Church held sway for the last 30 years? yes

    Have there been massive Church closings in every area in the last 10 years? yes

    Are there significantly less Catholics today than 30 years ago? no.

    So you tell me Mr. McClarey, Why have all the Church’s closed.

  • “Never encountered KKK members ready to beat you because you are wearing a cross.”

    The KKK was a Democrat terrorist organization Mr. Lambert that was long protected by the Democrat party in the South. Did you really not know that?

    “So you tell me Mr. McClarey, Why have all the Church’s closed.”

    What that has to do with your pro-Democrat talking points Mr. Lambert is beyond me, but the main causes of the closing of Catholic churches have been urban Catholics moving to the suburbs and a shortage of priests. The shortage of priests has been largely caused by poor catechisis and the embrace of heterodoxy by too many clergy and laity.

  • What in heck do the democrats’ KKK allies have to do with all this?

    Not only do Liberal, CST catholics aid and advance abortion, they provide material assistance in massive governmental corruption and economic devastation, e.g., FNMA and FHLMC.

    “Government without justice is mass brigandage.” St. Augustine

  • Not unlike many Catholic leftists, Mr. Lambert appears to have problems with the truth. Unless Mr. Lambert is in his 90s, he certainly has no recollection during his lifetime of any “KKK members [i.e. racist members of the Democrat Party] ready to beat [him] because [he was] wearing a cross”.

    And, like Don, I am at a loss as to what Mr. Lambert’s Total Recallesque memories of his past persecution by the Klan has to do with the Republican Party.

  • JA: Truth: Crosses are okay with Protestants. It’s the Crucifix that sets us apart.

    Please lighten up on Lambie. Liberal are stupid.

  • It is time mr lambert, to square our shoulders, grow up and be responsible for our own actions, and not hide our own predilections and interests and grudges behind what a bishop or a priest or a whole neighborhood says..
    We have to listen to our bishops, but we also have to know our faith ourselves.
    We can recognize truth. If we are Catholic we have to be a good Catholic even if nobody in our neighborhood is, even if our priest or our bishop is not.
    Frequent prayers for light and exam of conscience help me quite a bit. Maybe you already do that. Mr. Lambert. i mean no disrespect to you or your priests who support the democratic party which is officially against Church teaching .. but shake the cobwebs out of your thinking. These issues supported by the Democratic candidates (abortion and homosexual marriage) are not difficult to understand.

  • It is time mr lambert, to square our shoulders, grow up and be responsible for our own actions, and not hide our own predilections and interests and grudges behind what a bishop or a priest or a whole neighborhood says..
    We have to listen to our bishops, but we also have to know our faith ourselves.
    We can recognize truth. If we are Catholic we have to be a good Catholic even if nobody in our neighborhood is, even if our priest or our bishop is not.
    Frequent prayers for light and exam of conscience help me quite a bit. Maybe you already do that. Mr. Lambert. i mean no disrespect to you or your priests who support the democratic party which is officially against Church teaching .. but shake the cobwebs out of your thinking. These issues supported by the Democratic candidates (abortion and homosexual marriage) are not difficult to understand.

  • You may call names all you want. It is your blog. I am simply giving you the truth. I suppose you’ve lived the gifted Catholic life then, having never felt the burn of hatred against the Church. Never encountered KKK members ready to beat you because you are wearing a cross. Is it just because we wanted to stay to ourselves that we developed our own grade and high school sports leagues?

    Just to add precision.

    http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-2730

    Don’t meet many centenarians, Mr. Lambert.

  • “These are the same people that kept Catholics out of jobs, out of restaurants, out of work for years and years. Do you suddenly think you got more palpable to these people because they saw the error of their ways?”

    If you are going to judge political parties by what they did many years ago, then Democrats are the same people who held slaves, enforced Jim Crow and not so long ago had a former KKK member in Congress, a man who used the term “white n****r” and was excused by the other members of his party. In the present, these are the people who condone leaving living babies in closets to die. And you’re upset because some WASP’s once hung signs on the window saying “No Irish Need Apply?” or didn’t let your great-grandparents eat at a restaurant? At least they were permitted to BE BORN!

    The great laugh here is the secular left hates Catholicism, hates all Christianity with a passion. Read any article about Catholicism in, not only HuffPo and Daily Kos, but one in the NYTimes or Washington Post and read the comments – the outpouring of venom and contempt that comes from the left. (Oh, sure there are still some Jack Chick types on the right – they are a small minority compared to the Bill Maher left.) Do you know how they see you, Mr. Lambert? As a useful idiot, a tool. They’ll tolerate your religion if you agree with them and are willing to overlook that little tiny matter of abortion, but disagree with them on anything, and they’ll turn on you and rend you like a wet paper towel. I know what they are like, since I was once a secular liberal myself. Believe me, you will never be “palatable” to them. They’ll use you to further their war on religious rights, while laughing at you behind your back and making fun of all the “pedophile” priests who foolishly back them.

    Paul Primavera: I have only known a few Mormons in my life, but my experience with them is the same as yours. While I disagree with their religion, I found them hard-working, kind, respectable people, people who were raising their children to be good citizens, people I am not ashamed to call my fellow Americans. Ironically, while Mr. Lambert carefully nurses grudges from bigotry aimed at Catholics decades ago, he himself has no compunction about airing his own prejudices. Is it OK to despise Mormons because it’s a “fashionable” prejudice? Funny, being anti-Catholic was fashionable among the Boston Brahmins a century ago (and still is – in case you don’t know, most of those Harvard and Yale educated snobs now vote Democrat.) You decry old bigotries, but don’t recognize your own. Pot. Kettle. Black, Mr. Lambert.

  • Right sounding words for Chris Lambert and his mentioned cohorts.
    Anzlyne, there has also been the gift from Jesus of the Pope(s) whose words spoken/written regularly through the years and years to benefit and clarify either the misguidance of poor catechetics or inattention to Gospel readings day after day through the years and years to help with growth in holiness and strength to do properly what we can for the Catholic Church.

  • Donna, V.,

    Thank you for the confirmation.

  • I will third the kind words for Mormons. Of the 30-40 Mormons well known to me, all were good people who were solidly committed to living upright lives.

    Mr. Lambert’s tone gives me a feeling he is playing with you. He threw that KKKrappe all over the wall just to see who would stop to admire it. It seems to be just a game to him.

  • “Not unlike many Catholic leftists, Mr. Lambert appears to have problems with the truth.”

    It may be a problem with the truth. Alternatively it may be simple ignorance. I remember one Dem co-worker stating that Lincoln was a Democrat. He couldn’t believe that a Republican would seek to free slaves (they are after all about getting those chains back on as Biden informs us.) Once I pointed it out on the internet he struggled with the reality that struck his ignorance.

    Again, I suspect Mr. Lambert is a victim of the public schools rather than malicious.

  • Finally I don’t feel alone. Why to you think I find it so hard to go to confession? Because of the feelings I have toward the liberals. I’ve been donating and helping the pro life since it started. Church members and even my family, including a nun are canceling my vote. I go to confession and state that my most serious sin is what I feel toward liberals. The priest says call or write to my brother. I do but don’t really feel any better. I have the feeling the priest isn’t really sincere in what he is saying. I have the feeling he is a liberal as well. Perhaps this is the reason so many are leaving the church. I love my faith and would never give it up even I get so discouraged. I now have hope. Ryan has given me that. Finally, the priests and bishops will have to defend our faith. They must lead by example! It is wrong for them to give the Eucharist to Catholics that are not in good standing. It is wrong for them to give communion to Nancy Pelosi, Biden and the many other “catholics” that are mocking our catholic faith. We must all pray that this election will save all people of faith or we will become a country of empty churches as we see in Europe and many other countries.

  • “I now have hope. Ryan has given me that.”

    Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation. His spirit shall go forth, and he shall return into his earth: in that day all their thoughts shall perish.

    Blessed is he who hath the God of Jacob for his helper, whose hope is in the Lord his God.

    If your hope comes from Paul Ryan, you are being unfaithful to Jesus Christ. I’m quite serious, and this is far more important than who wins the presidency in November.

  • Tom,
    I think you are overreacting. There is hope and there is hope. Scripture is addressing supernatural hope. Just because one craves hope in the worldy sense does not mean that he is deproved of hope in the Scriptural sense. That said, I agree that we should all remember that all men have feet of clay, and one should avoid admiring anyone disproportionately.

  • I stand by what I wrote. Anne says Ryan has given her hope in the Church. This is wrong, and dangerous.

  • “I now have hope. Ryan has given me that. ”

    I daresay Anne that encountering good people who are Catholics has converted more people to the Faith than all the sermons that were ever preached. Don’t be depressed by the clergy and laity who have substituted liberalism for the Faith and who have wreaked such terrible harm over the past four and a half or so decades. Admittedly they are depressing to contemplate, but they are merely barnacles on the Church given to us by Christ. Never lose hope and never lose the Faith.

  • good morning PM yes. thank you

  • I agree with Anne’s 9:47 am entry:

    http://commentarius-ioannis.blogspot.com/2012/08/what-is-wrong-with-roman-jurisdiction.html

    http://commentarius-ioannis.blogspot.com/2012/08/personal-note.html

    The Roman Church in America, with its embrace of liberalism, progressivism, and Marxist social justice, has left Catholic behind long ago.

  • Why do liberal Catholics hate atheist Ayn Rand? Not because she was an atheist. Indeed, they freely embrace the wealth redistributionist philosophy of atheist Karl Marx. Rather, they hate her because, for all her wrong-headed ideas, she was right in insisting that you own the fruits of your labor and no one (including the government) has the right to take those fruits away and give what is rightfully yours to those who didn’t earn them.

    Why do liberal Catholics hate Mormon Mitt Romney? Not because he is Mormon. Indeed, they freely embrace the liberalism of Mormon Harry Reid with narry a second thought. And not because Mitt Romney once supported abortion in Taxachusettes. Indeed, they freely embrace abortionist Catholic Nancy Pelosi with nary a second thought. Rather, they hate Mitt Romney because he worked honestly and hard to get where he is at, because he has five children and was loyal to his wife for all of their marriage, and because he is everything that a righteous businessman should be, and they can’t stand that.

    Liberal, progressive, Democrat = hate. Period.

  • For the record: My mother and her sisters were chased home from their Catholic school in Waterloo Iowa in the 1930’s by KKK screaming at them “Catlickers Catlickers”! They woke up one night, imagine this now, 5 little girls all alone while their mother was at work to raise them alone, with a cross buring in their front yard. They suffered severe mental anguish. no cell phones, I don’t think they even had a telephone in their house. They were chase and harassed constantly. No one came to their defense. In our neighborhood here the clan was huge and there were no african americans, only Catholics. My father-in-law who was a Democratic assemblymen for this district left the Democrat party(or as he put it they left him) because he was ostrized for being “pro-life”. I personally have stopped doing any service work with my parish as I too am made to feel that I cannot have conservative views. I don’t think politics should be spewed when working on quilts, or in the middle of RCIA or other social service meetings. I have been point blank told my views are not “kindly looked upon”. That I should join a conservative church. I go to Mass and Communion that’s where it’s at. I go alone to the food shelves and different charities and do my service as well as my prolife actvities. After my mother died, I went to a weekly Lenten “prayer” group as I felt I needed some solace and community prayer at that time. It turned into a support Hilary Clinton rally every week. I just quit.

  • Jeanne, I have one phrase for you:

    Illegitimi non carborundum!!!

  • Thank You Jeanne Rohl. I think some people had not been aware of how active the KKK was in the midwest in the 10s 20s and 30s. My father witnessed a cross-burning in SW Iowa, a maternal uncle in NW Iowa was KKK for a while. There was not a Catholic church yet in my little town at the time my parents were married in 1940. As I was growing up I had a lot of ‘splaining to do- I learned about defending the faith when I was 10.

    But now the prejudice against my “thorough” Catholicism is not from the Assembly of God or the Methodists– it is from liberal Catholics.
    I can’t be discouraged though when I think how well, how magnanimously really, our parents handled it all. With love and even humor.
    What a mixed up 100 years he 20th century was… at one same time one uncle was KKK, another on the paternal side was bolshevik in the 40’s.. Always thinking, my family, and seriously needing the guidance of the Church.

  • Yes, the Klan’s popularity and influence peaked in the early 20th century. I have many fundamentalist and evangelical friends down here in GA, and while all have mistaken understandings of our Church and Her teachings, I’ve not observed any animus. My liberal friends, au contraire. In the end it is about sex, abortion and feminism. My liberal friends who are hostile to the Church basically believe that the virtues of chastity, respect for life, and family integrity are simply tools to keep women in their place. The irony is palpable and would be hilarious if it were not tragic.

  • “For the record: My mother and her sisters were chased home from their Catholic school in Waterloo Iowa in the 1930?s by KKK screaming at them “Catlickers Catlickers”! They woke up one night, imagine this now, 5 little girls all alone while their mother was at work to raise them alone, with a cross buring in their front yard. They suffered severe mental anguish. no cell phones, I don’t think they even had a telephone in their house. They were chase and harassed constantly. No one came to their defense. In our neighborhood here the clan was huge and there were no african americans, only Catholics.”

    No one is denying that the Klan was active against Catholics as well as blacks and immigrants in the American heartland in the early part of the 20th century. In fact, probably most of us have people in previous generations of our family who had personal recollections of the Klan. But the Klan’s heyday was in the 1920s, and by the early 1930s, the Klan was in serious decline. There may still have been pockets of Klan activity against Catholics, but it was seriously curtailed by the 1930s. Again, neither I nor anyone else here would deny that the sort of things that happened to your mother happened. What we are denying are 2 things:

    (1) That unless Mr. Lambert is himself 90 years old, he has no personal recollection during his lifetime of being persecuted by the Klan; and

    (2) That persecution by the Klan has anything whatsoever to do with the Republican Party.

  • Darn double negatives. That should say:

    “… (1) That unless Mr. Lambert is himself 90 years old, he has ANY personal recollection during his lifetime of being persecuted by the Klan; and …”

  • St Augustine, invoking Revelation 2, says “The first love here alluded to is that which was proved in their tolerating for Christ’s name’s sake the false apostles. To this He commands them to return, and to do their first works. Now we are reproached with the crimes of bad men, not done by us, but by others; and some of them, moreover, not known to us. Nevertheless, even if they were actually committed, and that under our own eyes, and we bore with them for the sake of unity, letting the tares alone on account of the wheat, whosoever with open heart receives the Holy Scriptures would pronounce us not only free from blame, but worthy of no small praise.”

    [The quotation is from Saint Augustine’s 43 Epistle</, chapter 8, verse 22; which can be found at newadvent.org if I screwed up the hyperlink.]

    Am I the only one who cringes when I hear good followers of Christ talk about "liberal" parishes and finding a "conservative" one?

  • The Klan had such power at the Democrat convention in 1924 that they were able to defeat a proposed plank condemning the Klan, and then staged a major celebration called the Klanbake:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1924_Democratic_National_Convention

  • Anne – No one “cancels” a vote any more than someone’s bad deed cancels a good deed. The good act has merit. It is your responsibility; indeed, the only thing you have responsibility for is your own action. Pray for those who act wrongly, but don’t ever believe that you’re burdened by their actions.

    As for the priest, he can be as liberal as the day is long, but it doesn’t negate his sacramental power. Don’t let that worry you either.

    It’d be great if we had strong leaders and a faithful body of believers, but that’s pretty much never happened in the history of the Church. It’s always a struggle. Many of the saints had to put up with worse bishops than you and I will ever see. There’s never any reason to get discouraged, though.

  • Hmmm,

    Like it or not, we live in a modern or “post-modern” world. No area of life is unaffected by the intoxicating idea of “progress.” So naturally the Church will be divided between those who are proud of her history and want to preserve it and those who are ashamed of it and want to build a new legacy based upon new values, such as radical egalitarianism.

    I’m not saying we have to like these differences. But they do exist and pretending they don’t doesn’t help matters. When you read the Papal encyclicals of the last 200 years or so, you see the popes themselves making distinctions between faithful Catholics and those who pose as faithful Catholics but who advance a poisonous agenda at odds with the Catholic faith.

    I don’t know if I would use the phrases “liberal” and “conservative”, but these are the words most accessible to the average person.

  • My own friend doesn’t use the term “liberal” for herself, but calls herself a progressive Catholic. I want to remember to tell her Chesterton’s line about not having an issue with progress, but it’s the direction of the progress that is concerning! Her term for me is conservative, which is ok with me, but I do think just “Catholic” carries all the meaning.

  • @Anzlyne,

    Interesting way to make a point. With 2000+ years of history behind us, it is perfectly understandable to see true Catholic faith quite conservative…. which it IS.

    @Pinky,
    An engaging perspective, but I would use different words. We have strong leaders and a
    faithful body of believers, but they comprise the “faithful remnant” rather than the full complement of the Church. It will be a long struggle, but one fine day it will suddenly get easy (we dunno the date). Until then, saints are obliged to put up with, and help, bishops afflicted with weakened faith. Never forget, with grace ANYONE can become a saint, and all are called to do so.

    Turning to your conclusion, you’re my guy: “There’s never any reason to get discouraged, though.”

  • “Like it or not, we live in a modern or “post-modern” world. No area of life is unaffected by the intoxicating idea of “progress.” So naturally the Church will be divided between those who are proud of her history and want to preserve it and those who are ashamed of it and want to build a new legacy based upon new values, such as radical egalitarianism.”

    Truly some of our shepherds have abused their flocks for the sake of the “progress” based upon human wisdom. This “progres”s consisting solely of material ends and ignoring the vast spiritual poverty that they themselves have sown. They have abandoned many of their flock and unjustly condemned others for the sake of this human “progress.”

    This calls to mind yesterday’s Mass reading:

    “The word of the Lord came to me:
    Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel,
    in these words prophesy to them to the shepherds:
    Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the shepherds of Israel
    who have been pasturing themselves!
    Should not shepherds, rather, pasture sheep?
    You have fed off their milk, worn their wool,
    and slaughtered the fatlings,
    but the sheep you have not pastured.
    You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick
    nor bind up the injured.
    You did not bring back the strayed nor seek the lost,
    but you lorded it over them harshly and brutally.
    So they were scattered for the lack of a shepherd,
    and became food for all the wild beasts.
    My sheep were scattered
    and wandered over all the mountains and high hills;
    my sheep were scattered over the whole earth,
    with no one to look after them or to search for them.

    Therefore, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
    As I live, says the Lord GOD,
    because my sheep have been given over to pillage,
    and because my sheep have become food for every wild beast,
    for lack of a shepherd;
    because my shepherds did not look after my sheep,
    but pastured themselves and did not pasture my sheep;
    because of this, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
    Thus says the Lord GOD:
    I swear I am coming against these shepherds.
    I will claim my sheep from them
    and put a stop to their shepherding my sheep
    so that they may no longer pasture themselves.
    I will save my sheep,
    that they may no longer be food for their mouths.”

  • Amen, Phillip: “This ‘progress’ consisting solely of material ends and ignoring the vast spiritual poverty that they themselves have sown.”

    Revelation 3:14-22 is also quite pertinent – given his invitation to Obama to attend the upcoming Alfred E. Smith dinner, Cardinal Dolan and the rest of the USCCB should give heed.

    14* “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. 15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. 17* For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. 19* Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'”

  • the bottom line is this. If you’re not a pro life candidate then you probably don’t really care about others anyway.You’d be willing to use the’ charity’ of government to get votes and attack truly charitable organizations. You will be pro gay marriage and euthanasia-not to mention cloning and embryonic stem cell research. You will then attack Republicans for not caring about the poor-only the wealthy(that infamous upper 1%). Of course you will forget that envy is a vice just as much as greed is and that in order to help the poor they must be born first. So the first question i ask about ANY candidate(either party)is very simple. Are they truly pro life. Everything else generally falls into place.