Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others

Friday, March 14, AD 2014


The Washington Times reminds us that many people who use the term “diversity” prize uniformity above all:


An event meant to celebrate diversity and combat racism at a Washington state community college has been cancelled after a flier emailed to guests said white people weren’t invited.

A group of employees, under the name “Staff, Faculty and Administrators of Color,” at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia sent an invitation to all 300 staffers to attend a diversity “happy hour,” a local news station reported.

School officials were asked to reply to the invitation to find out the confidential date and time of when the event would be held. According to the station, the invite made it clear white people were not invited.

“If you want to create space for white folks to meet and work on racism, white supremacy, and white privilege to better our campus community and yourselves, please feel free to do just that,” the email read.

Diversity and Equity Center staffer Karama Blackhorn helped write the invitation and said she stands by her opinion that staff members of color would have a more honest discussion about race without white people there.

“When trying to explicitly talk about race it can be a really difficult conversation for a lot of people,” she told the station.

“That space is not for white people. That space is for people of color,” she said of the center.

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4 Responses to Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others

  • “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  • “School officials were asked to reply to the invitation to find out the confidential date and time of when the event would be held. According to the station, the invite made it clear white people were not invited.”
    If the school operates on tax money paying for the utilities and all, and only black are invited it is definitely racist. What it does do is insinuate that because your skin is white, you are racist, a white supremacist who practices racism, This is false witness and discrimination. It is also a violation of the First Amendment guarantee of peaceable assembly. It is not peaceable assembly for any one to gather to discriminate, slander, bear false witness or incite to riot.

  • “If you want to create space for white folks to meet and work on racism, white supremacy, and white privilege …”

    I think this could have been phrased differently. “Work” may not have been specific enough.

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Tolerance and Graciousness in the Gay Marriage Debate

Thursday, March 6, AD 2014

A blogger named Dennis Sanders has written about the recent controversy in Arizona from the perspective of a gay man (“married” and “a man of the cloth”, he says). There are two main ideas in his piece, one that is the centerpiece and another that is peripheral but also important. The centerpiece is that “marriage equality” advocates (I will call them same-sex marriage, or SSM advocates) ought to recognize that the refusal of orthodox Christians to participate in gay weddings is not necessarily or even often attributable to hatred and bigotry. Though SSM advocates may not understand or condone the religious and philosophical arguments we put forward, it would be better for society if people on both sides could stop assuming the absolute worst of one another. The peripheral argument is that this proposed change of tone and behavior on the part of gay marriage activists is necessary if they are to be gracious winners in the culture war. It is Sanders’ belief, shared by many on his side of the argument, that they have won this war even if we on the other side have not surrendered yet. His language is civil and conciliatory, though one still cannot help but feel that the main point here is “let the babies have their bottles.”

As far as the first argument goes, I am all for it. Though I am sure that Mr. Sanders would be deeply offended or perhaps just annoyed at my refusal to recognize his relationship with another man as a marriage, I have always been a proponent of true and authentic tolerance. Sanders quotes another writer on tolerance, and both he and this writer agree with me: tolerance is only possible in relation to something or someone we dislike. I dislike the “marriage equality” movement immensely, not simply because of some passages from the Bible, but because of its concentrated philosophical and political attack on the natural law foundations of Western civilization. Its incessant self-comparison to black civil rights struggles is as fallacious as it is nauseating; its core assumptions, taken to their fullest implications, are anarchistic and nihilistic. It is precisely because the vast majority of ordinary people rarely take their stated beliefs to their logical conclusions that I am able and willing to tolerate most of those beliefs. I believe we can have a pluralistic society, governed by the 10th amendment of the US Constitution, in which different people in different polities can establish different laws and customs by which they live. Furthermore, they can and should peacefully co-exist within the same American nation. Such was, I believe, the vision of our founding fathers.

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15 Responses to Tolerance and Graciousness in the Gay Marriage Debate

  • I agree with every word in your essay, Bonchamps. Now, if we can only prevent the Supreme Court from rewriting natural law, our constitutional posterity will be spared much harm.

  • I agree with you in the long view Bonchamps. Those today treating believing Christians as pariahs will face the children, and grandchildren of those people, with ever waning ranks as ours wax. Philosophies at war with reproduction are doomed to be ephemeral.

  • I do not see the Russian government ever kowtowing to the homosexualist movement. Russia has a long distrust of the West – with some good reason, seeing how often Russia has been attacked through its history – Napoleon, World War I, and Hitler are just three of these events. Homosexualism is seen as a Western threat against Mother Russia and its Orthodox Church.

    I don’t see Hinduism and homosexualism ever getting along. Radical Hindus often attach Indian Catholics. They won’t put up with homosexuals demanding marriage.

    Islam will NEVER officially tolerate homosexualism. The stronger the movement grows in the West, the angrier the Muslim on the street will become, riled up by Muslim clergy who hate the US to begin with.

    The West seems to be hell bent on destroying itself. It will be the Church, the Remnant, that picks up the pieces and starts over again – just what happened when the Roman Empire collapsed.

  • So his idea is that they should recognize that we are not haters, and that they should be gracious winners.

    The law of nature says that eventually the tide will go out. People can only deny the truth for so long. I think people long for, reach for, aspire to Goodness and Truth and Beauty even if as individuals and communally we take long circuitous routes. Because I love some of those SSAttracted people I hope that when the tide goes out on them that we will truly be gracious.

  • I don’t think Hindus or Muslims or Russians or anybody else is immune to the type of emotional manipulation and thoroughly integrated and institutionalized propaganda we have been soaked in since the time of Kinsey if not before. Read “After the Ball..”

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  • What’s tragic about this is that 58% of RC’s support gay marriage. Check this article out –WHY DO A MAJORITY OF CATHOLICS THINK GOD IS WRONG ABOUT MARRIAGE?

  • “[A]nd no, it is not in Leviticus – those passages, as I have often argued to the point of exasperation, should never be used by proponents of traditional marriage”

    Bravo, Bonchamps!

    I have always contended that it was a dreadful mistake to conflate arguments over the morality of sodomy with the analysis of the legal and social rôle of marriage.

    The enormous opposition to SSM in a country so committed to the principle of laïcité as France can be accounted for by this exclusive focus. There, the Code of 1804 contains no formal definition of marriage, but jurists have always found a functional definition in the provision that “The child conceived or born in marriage has the husband for father,” which mirrors the doctrine of the Roman jurist, Paulus, “pater vero is est, quem nuptiae demonstrant.” [Marriage points out the father] (Dig. 2, 4, 5; 1). In other words, marriage establishes the juridical bond between fathers and their children and ensures, as far as possible, that the legal, biological and social realities of paternity coincide.

    There, for opponents of SSM, the important moral question has been the defence of the ethical principle, enshrined in the law of France, that a child cannot be the subject or source of a transaction. They can see that every jurisdiction that has introduced same-sex marriage has also permitted human gametes to be treated as articles of commerce or tolerated a market in babies, bespoke or prêt-à-porter, through surrogate gestation, assisted reproduction and joint adoption by same-sex couples. I would add that those Americans who have viewed with equanimity the development of this form of human trafficking by opposite-sex couples have cut the ground for a principled opposition to SSM from under their feet. Instead, they have allowed their opposition to appear both sectarian and homophobic.

  • Well said Bonchamps! I, too, am exasperated when I hear people fall back on back on “the bible says so.” Natural law arguments are accessible to every mind. Even the obstinately closed minded people don’t find good reasoning against natural law, so they are forced to dismiss what they know to be obvious. The obvious fact that man and woman, for example, are designed for each other.
    It is also irritates me when somebody says they believe it because they are Catholic. No, we believe what is true and Catholics are called to pursue truth aided by natural law. The radio host, SH, frequently makes statements that weaken the clarity of our case for the truth.

  • Kevin: “the clarity of our case for the truth”
    The truth of SSM is that no man can become a wife and no woman can become a husband by wanting to. The reality of SSM is that “We, the people”, who are all created equal, and therefore, ought to be treated equal and equal treatment is only possible in the truth, are being subjected to falsehood, perjury in a court of law, and being forced by the law to discriminate against the truth and allow the social lie that same sex orientation, an act of God and creation, legitimatizes and allows the free will act of sodomy and or masturbation and other self abuse. Sodomy is assault and battery of another person. One cannot consent to commit crime and remain in the truth. Sodomy is a crime, an assault and battery of the human body, and a violation of the truth of another person’s immortal soul.
    The truth of another person’s immortal soul is our truth, as truth belongs to all people, for all time.

  • Penguins Fan
    I do not see the Russian government ever kowtowing to the homosexualist movement.

    Russia is desperate for more people– especially young ones. Quoth a good doctor, Russia needs Russians.

    Similar mindset, different point of the process.

  • The problem with natural law arguments is that, as far as I know, they can’t really be argued. They are presented, and the person hearing them accepts them to the extent of his capacity. They can remind people of what they already know, or make them realize what they intuitively know, but they can’t touch those who dismiss them either out of lack of understanding or obstinance.

  • There’s an excellent First Things article out there that you should read, Bonchamps, if you have not done so already –

  • Thank you Jonathon for that article.

  • Very welcome, Anzlyne – I think it makes some excellent points.

Tolerance and the American Left

Friday, May 31, AD 2013

From Reason TV.  It is funny until one ponders that we live in a time where a broad swathe of Americans are able to be simultaneously unremittingly hostile to people who have the temerity to hold views differing from theirs on political and cultural matters, while also supposedly celebrating tolerance as a key part of their worldview.  George Orwell, a man of the Left, would not have been surprised by this:

In a Society in which there is no law, and in theory no compulsion, the only arbiter of behaviour is public opinion. But public opinion, because of the tremendous urge to conformity in gregarious animals, is less tolerant than any system of law. When human beings are governed by “thou shalt not”, the individual can practise a certain amount of eccentricity: when they are supposedly governed by “love” or “reason”, he is under continuous pressure to make him behave and think in exactly the same way as everyone else.

Liberal Tolerance

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14 Responses to Tolerance and the American Left

  • The theme of the anti-Koch outbreak was, “Save Our News.”

    Those people’s self-awareness is severely deficient.

    Apparently, they are not so moronic as to be unaware that the truth could stop the push for economic and societal regression.

    Note to the Koch’s: you can’t fix envy and stupidity.

  • “while also supposedly celebrating tolerance as a key part of their worldview”

    well the “tolerance” here is referring to innate characteristics (generally,) which political opinions aren’t. So it’s not inconsistent, it just comes to down to agreeing or disagreeing on different arguments.

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  • “well the “tolerance” here is referring to innate characteristics”

    Actually that is totally incorrect. Most Leftists preen themselves on being tolerant in general. Think the Coexist bumper stickers for example.

  • true to an extent. When people talk about “Islamophobia” for instance though they aren’t defending specifics of Islam, they’re talking in terms of prejudice against Arabs/others, real or not.

    I think (hope) most people would agree that tolerance in the most generic sense isn’t something to aspire to.

  • Not for most Leftists who appear to believe in toleration only in the abstract, unless it applies to people who agree with them or who belong to groups they have bestowed official victim status upon. Thus the Israelis, who by far run the most tolerant state in the Middle East are “intolerant” in the eyes of most Leftists while their PLO adversaries, noted for their ruthlessness against any individuals or groups who oppose them, enjoy victim status on the Left and thus can do no wrong.

  • that’s just a difference in how people view the conflict. When people think one side is in the right they’re gonna give them more latitude even if they commit horrible acts. That’s human nature.

    no one believes in tolerance in the abstract cuz it’d be incoherent. You’d have to tolerate whatever you define as intolerance which kinda defeats the purpose. Really it’s just a political term — everyone has their view of what their ideal society would be like, what it’d accept and reject, and that word’s a nicer-sounding way of putting things.

  • The Political left, in whatever form it takes, be it the dimwits who followed Robespierre, the Communists/Marxists, the Republicans of Spain, the socialist parties of Europe, the Nazi Party and our own Organized Crime Party (the Democrats) tolerate no dissent, no disagreement, no argument from their viewpoint.

  • “When people think one side is in the right they’re gonna give them more latitude even if they commit horrible acts.”

    The Left has a long, long history of tolerating monsters as long as they proclaimed the right slogans, and they do so while calling for tolerance.

    This risible site from The Southern Poverty Law Center underlines this adherence to tolerance as a prime political slogan of the Left:

  • no one believes in tolerance in the abstract cuz it’d be incoherent.

    Now that really is incoherent.

  • “The Left has a long, long history of tolerating monsters as long as they proclaimed the right slogans, and they do so while calling for tolerance”

    but isn’t this true across the political spectrum. People defended Franco, people defended Pinochet, a lot of Cold War politics was “enemy of my enemy” stuff. Which isn’t to say all examples are perfectly analogous. Just that people tend to be more about “understanding the context” when the politics being discussed match up more with their own.

    Bottom line is you’re right that liberals aren’t tolerant of dissenting viewpoints. Claiming hypocrisy is a dead end though because that’s not what they’re referring to.

  • “People defended Franco, people defended Pinochet, a lot of Cold War politics was “enemy of my enemy” stuff.”

    The analogy fails. For example imagine the horror of any college or university hiring a self-proclaimed fascist, while Marxists are plentiful in these institutions. When is the last time you saw young Conservatives sporting a T-shirt with the image of Franco or Pinochet, while Leftists arrayed in garb with Che Guevara’s image on it have become so common as to be trite.

    There is nothing on the Right like this in this country.

    Leftist adoration of murderous totalitarians has been an ever present feature in this country since the creation of the USSR, while at the same time Leftists ceaselessly preach tolerance.

  • but isn’t this true across the political spectrum. People defended Franco, people defended Pinochet, a lot of Cold War politics was “enemy of my enemy” stuff. Which isn’t to say all examples are perfectly analogous. Just that people tend to be more about “understanding the context” when the politics being discussed match up more with their own.

    I do not know if you noticed this, but in the lapse of time between 1945 and 1990 authoritarian government was the norm in every corner of the world outside the British Isles, Scandinavia, northwesterly continental Europe, North America, and the Antipodes. Just doing business meant you dealt with various and sundry unsavoury characters. These exercises in reasons of state are completely irrelevant to the internal dynamics of a working political society.

    Re: Franco and Pinochet. There were a selection of countries where electoral institutions and such and the political class attending them proved unable to govern or unable to govern more justly than would an authoritarian regime. The catastrophic breakdown of order in the southern cone of South America after 1964 is an example of this, but Spain in the interval between 1930 and 1936 provides another one. Pinochet was regarded respectfully by William Rusher and S.H. Hanke because he was successful Chilean political economy on a sound footing, not because their ‘politics matched up’ with military rule. (The ugliest discrete violations of customary privileges and immunities in this country’s history would be the Trail of Tears and Executive Order 9066; with whose politics do those ‘match up’???)

    Seconding the moderator: the Communist Party in 1947 had 100,000 members and had insinuated itself into gatekeeper positions in at least a dozen trade unions, in the publishing business, and in film studios well. It was also a recruiting ground for espionage. A considerable fraction of the elite collegian population ca. 1968 consisted of reds and watermelons (“Ho, Ho, Ho Chih Minh, the NLF is going to win”) and much of our chatterati went over to the other side during the Cold War. Read Paul Hollander’s Political Pilgrims for a history or sort through the public utterances of characters like I. F. Stone, David Dellinger, Susan Sontag, and Victor Navasky.

    The closest thing to a starboard analogue to any of this might be the 2d incarnation of the Ku Klux Klan. The 2d Klan was a fad organization that had imploded almost completely within 15 years of its foundation and was never anywhere near the country’s cultural control centers. You could offer the Silver Shirts or the German American Bund; they only existed between 1933 and 1942, had about 40,000 members, and drew largely from marginal immigrant subcultures. The Abraham Lincoln Brigade had 2,800 members; the list volunteers for the Nationalist cause in the United States could be counted on your fingers.

  • JDP,

    FYI: Were it not for ubiquitous leftist lies, there would be no need to defend them. Franco and Pinochet saved their countries from enslavement, massacre, and sovietization.

Are You Now, Or Have You Even Been, a Christian?

Thursday, May 2, AD 2013

Some of us wondered last year what the Obama administration would do once it no longer had to face the voters.  One thing it is doing is to allow “Mikey” Weinstein to set policy in the military regarding the treatment of Christians.  Who is “Mikey” Weinstein?  A former Air Force officer and attorney he founded a group called Military Religious Freedom Foundation that exists to battle the influence of Christians in the military and alleged discrimination against non-Christians.   Weinstein has made a career out of bashing Christians in the military and using the threat of litigation to bludgeon those who oppose him.  Get a taste of the tactics of the man here.   To demonstrate how over the top this joker is, this is from a post he wrote at Huffington Post on April 13:

Today, we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation’s armed forces. Oh my, my, my, how “Papa’s got a brand new bag.”

What’s Papa’s new tactic? You’re gonna just love this! These days, when ANYone attempts to bravely stand up against virulent religious oppression, these monstrosities cry out alligator tears in overflowing torrents and scream that it is, in fact, THEY who are the dispossessed, bereft and oppressed. C’mon, really, you pitiable unconstitutional carpetbaggers? It would be like the utter folly of 1960’s-era southern bigots howling like stuck pigs in protest that Rosa Parks’ civil rights activism is “abusing” them by destroying and disenfranchising their rights to sit in the front seat of buses in Montgomery, Alabama. Please, I beseech you! Let us call these ignoble actions what they are: the senseless and cowardly squallings of human monsters.

In any sane administration this obvious anti-Christian bigot would not have anything to do with setting official policy, but we are not governed by a sane administration:

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18 Responses to Are You Now, Or Have You Even Been, a Christian?

  • I get it that this President hates people of faith. I never bought the “closet Muslim” allegation. All evidence pointed to Candidate Obama being a man of no faith in an higher power. It does not surprise me that the freedom to do whatever he wants, as long as he doesn ‘t awaken Congress to its constitutional duties, causes the President and his lackeys to behave in awful ways.

    What I don’t get is the military going like sheep led to the slaughter.

    Isn’t it still true that the non-coms set the tone? Navy Chiefs were this untouchable core of professionals who seemed to thwart every stupid act of their superiors and keep the ship on an even keel.

    Is this still true bit the loudmouths get the press? I sure hope so. I’d hate to think even they had been bludgeoned by a Leftish bunch of God-hating thugs.

  • “..a national security threat.” Honestly?
    This Weinstein fellow is nuts. When an actual national security threat is taking place it will be found to have originated from skunks that hate God fearing men. Say Weinstein.

  • Every person in the military is an adult. There are no minor un-informed children in the military. If an adult person wishes to opt out of a conversation about Faith, he is free to do so. He is also free to consider and parse what he hears and sees and learns. He has this ability of his rational soul. An adult person can reason. If the person is in the military, it is reasonable to expect that he is capable of rational thought and can choose his way among the many different choices he faces. Religion is man’s response to the gift of Faith from God. God and Faith may not be removed from creation or the military. Our Constitution says so.
    As far as soul rape, this can only happen to a minor, uniformed un-emancipated child. The charge of treason is for those who repudiate our founding principles.

  • Obama cannot afford to have God around, God gives us FREEDOM.

    @David Spaulding: “thug” was the face of Weinstein. The brown shirts are coming.

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  • Another perfect “setup” by our Emperor who will ignore this idiot allowing him to spew his venom randomly and never be brought to task for having appointed him.
    He is a master at having others do his dirty work under the cover of media inattention to the obvious damage to our society or the desired divisiveness among the people. He loves chaos, confusion, and turmoil which will require new laws and/or regulations that can call on government to further intrude into our lives.

  • but Bill Sr. wait….

    Please don’t forget to include the throngs of twits that bow down to this “joker” and gave him another four years to plague our nation with his viruses. After all he did have help.

    2016 seems so distant.

  • @philip: What good will 2016 do? Seriously, no Republican right now looks like they could win. Even if they did, they’ve just spent the past couple of weeks showing how “tough” they are by loudly insisting that we trash our whole judicial system AND torture a man without even the scant justification that he might know something useful. Even if they don’t persecute Christians, they’re setting up a thugocracy that will surely be turned against us.

  • I assume he’s referring to the Boston Bomber. I have not heard a single conservative advocate torturing the man, although I’m sure you can find one on twitter here or there. But facts rarely get in the way of a good rant.

  • Howard.

    Excuse me sir, what torture-what man are you referring to? And by the time 2016 comes around my poor guess is that the hole oblunder dug U.S. into will be filling in with past supporters of o-care-less healthplan.

    Just a guess.

  • Lawyer question for those of you in that particular venue:

    1) Given that the 1st Amendment contains not only the “Establishment Clause” preventing a state-declared religion, but also the “Free Exercise Clause” preventing the government from stopping religious expression…do not these same guarantees apply to our servicemen? I know that there are some limits, such as free speech prohibitions against the Commander in Chief, but how would this work out for a chaplain? This reminds me of this particular issue, where individual Marines (not the fort) built a memorial.

    2) Could it be argued that atheism/”freedom from religion”-types, who argue that religion has no business being in the same room as anything with respect to the government are, in fact, promoting a belief system? Further, when they do so and get governmental cooperation in their efforts, that this results in a state-established religion of atheism? I call atheism a religion because atheism cannot be viewed as the “absence of belief” in the same way as you can say that “darkness is the absence of light”. Atheism is as much an act of faith because it claims to be a rational, evidence-based system and yet also claims a universal declaration that is not based on any empirical evidence. A more concise, though less elegant, way of saying that might be “any system which requires the logical proof of a negative and has no concrete evidence is an act of faith.”

    I’ve spoken with a personal friend who’s a lawyer as well as one who’s affiliated with Alliance Defending Freedom, and the latter suggested that an Establishment case is different for the burden of legal fees than a Free Exercise case…I’ve never known how to follow up on that or how to see what kind of legal scholarship needs to be undertaken to turn this tide.

  • “but also the “Free Exercise Clause” preventing the government from stopping religious expression…do not these same guarantees apply to our servicemen?”


    “I know that there are some limits, such as free speech prohibitions against the Commander in Chief, but how would this work out for a chaplain?”

    A very murky area since the courts have usually been reluctant to get involved with the management of the military. I can easily see however a conflict between free exercise and the authority of the Executive over military chaplains getting to the Supreme Court in the next few years.

    “are, in fact, promoting a belief system?”

    Most certainly, especially since the case law tends to take a rather expansive view of what constitutes a religion.

    “Atheism is as much an act of faith because it claims to be a rational, evidence-based system and yet also claims a universal declaration that is not based on any empirical evidence. A more concise, though less elegant, way of saying that might be “any system which requires the logical proof of a negative and has no concrete evidence is an act of faith.”

    Well put. Atheism is as much a religion as any theistic religion. Atheists have been inconsistant in this area. On the internet most atheists, usually the ones filled with an evangelical zeal that would put most street preachers to shame, loudly proclaiming that atheism is not a religion. However, in court atheists often have claimed that atheism is a religion and therefore entitled to First Amendment protections.

  • I am a Catholic in the military and I have to say that my religion has always been respected. The repeal of DADT had basically no practical effect on me, for instance. There are some worries about the chaplains, tho’.

    That being said, where did they get they get this guy!? And what are they getting at, appointing an atheist to a religious freedom thing? It makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER. I think that this guy could use to have a couple of chats with a therapist, or something. He seems quite unhinged.

    They need to be VERY clear about what constitutes “proselytizing.” Is it a charge that can be levelled against anyone who has a conversation involving religion, or does it involve distributing pamphlets? People need to realize that when people are asking questions about religion, it’s the duty of a Christian with even a modicum of piety to follow up on them. I’d also like to know what a “fundamentalist Christian” is. Is it a Christian more orthodox than the President? Does having a southern accent make you more likely to be one? (I am beginning to suspect that a lot of this has to do with regionalist bigotry, and less than we think with religion per se. That’s the sense I get from some atheists I know, at any rate. Incidentally, I don’t have much of a southern accent.)

    I honestly don’t think that the gov’t can really force service members to ascribe to to the present administration’s ideology, precisely because that ideology is inimical to the principles of military service, and to some extent to the existence of government, period. Consider that quote from Anthony Kennedy about everyone having an absolute right to define reality however they like. Obvious, if anyone REALLY believed that, that person would have to consider laws immoral, since they impose a certain view of reality on someone. Also, consider the prevailing ideologies of our foreign enemies, Iran and North Korea in particular. Is it really politically advisable to alienate Christians when our chief enemies are Muslim or atheist officially? NO. If the people currently in power really have the guts to alienate Christian service members in this situation, I might have to grudgingly admire them for sticking so firmly to their false principles.

  • …we are not governed by a sane administration…
    Donald R. McClarey

    Alas, so true. How did Catholics vote in the last election? The last 10 presidential elections?

    All evidence pointed to Candidate Obama being a man of no faith in an higher power.
    David Spaulding

    Alas, that is also true. How did so many Catholics fail to see that in 2008?

    Many of the bretheren are weak. Who can strengthen them?

  • Thank you for your service, John H. Graney.

    My son, John, is also serving.

    St. John 15:18-25: “The world hated me (Jesus) . . . before it hated you.”

    St. Matthew 5:10: “Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

  • Here is the Defense Department’s response to the conservative outcries in the Internet on Weinstein’s meeting with the Air Force Judge Advocate General:

    My question is this: why even meet with a person like Weinstein if he has no credence, for in so meeting with him he is given credence? This is the same sort of thing that the US NRC does with anti-nuclear propagandist like Annie Gundersen, RFK Jr., and others: meet with them, then issue a statement proclaiming how the activists don’t speak for the Commission, and follow that up by tightening regulations so much that the technology becomes uneconomic. Watch and see now how the Air Force will tighten up in like manner religious expression by Evangelical and orthodox Catholic Christians while Muslims and sodomy-supporting Episcopalians get a free pass. This is an old tactic that the left has successfully used to stymie the use of nuclear energy in this country, and they are using it now against the far more important issue of freedom of Christian religious expression.

Religious Freedom and the Forces of Tolerance

Monday, July 30, AD 2012


I have long thought it axiomatic that in our contemporary society the most smugly intolerant individuals tend to be on the political left.  Ross Douthat has apparently noticed that also, and in his most recent column lays out what that means for religious freedom:

To the extent that the H.H.S. mandate, the Cologne ruling and the Chick-fil-A controversy reflect a common logic rather than a shared confusion, then, it’s a logic that regards Western monotheism’s ideas about human sexuality — all that chastity, monogamy, male-female business — as similarly incompatible with basic modern freedoms.       

Like a belief that the gods want human sacrifice, these ideas are permissible if held in private. But they cannot be exercised in ways that might deny, say, employer-provided sterilizations to people who really don’t want kids. Nor can they be exercised to deny one’s offspring the kind of sexual gratification that anti-circumcision advocates claim the procedure makes impossible. They certainly cannot be exercised in ways that might make anyone uncomfortable with his or her own sexual choices or identity.       

It may seem strange that anyone could look around the pornography-saturated, fertility-challenged, family-breakdown-plagued West and see a society menaced by a repressive puritanism. But it’s clear that this perspective is widely and sincerely held.       

It would be refreshing, though, if it were expressed honestly, without the “of course we respect religious freedom” facade.       

If you want to fine Catholic hospitals for following Catholic teaching, or prevent Jewish parents from circumcising their sons, or ban Chick-fil-A in Boston, then don’t tell religious people that you respect our freedoms. Say what you really think: that the exercise of our religion threatens all that’s good and decent, and that you’re going to use the levers of power to bend us to your will.       

There, didn’t that feel better? Now we can get on with the fight.

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5 Responses to Religious Freedom and the Forces of Tolerance

  • I am surprised that the NY Times moderated allow people supporting Mr. Douthat to voice their opinions. But of the comment reproductions provided above, I did not see a clear cut example of that. Ido agree with one commenter above who maintained that the liberal left does understand religious freedom and all too well, for which reason they seek to marginalize or eliminated it.

  • Quote one of those responders: “Your freedom stops where other people’s rights begin.”

    I was taught that in high school “Social Problems” class. And I believed it. Unfortunately the question is now begged- “What are we defining now as people’s rights?”

  • Some people define a fake wife and a phoney husband as husband and wife. What could be wrong with that? Some people define tax money as “government money”. Government in and of itself cannot own anything. All belongs to the people in trust for all generations, our constitutional posterity. For the HHS mandate to respect all citizens, it must provide Catholic patients with Catholic hospitals with Catholic doctors, a chapel, a chaplain and freedom to come and go unmolested. Imposing confiscatory fines is molestation of a finacial nature intended to suppress and destroy a belief in the persons’ soul, establishment of Satanism, the belief that the person has no soul, a lie.

  • “From Socrates to Galileo to Darwin (himself a believer), the rational have been persecuted for using their brains, but they have slowly managed to open our minds. Please don’t try to drag us back, and please do take your own advice and try some intellectual honesty.” Poor Socrates was an accomplice to his own murder by imbibing the hemlock, because he said he would. Illegal crimes cannot be legalized by fiat, or by saying its legal, when it is not legal. Poor Galileo tried to preach science as religion. Science is science and religion is man’s response to the gift of Faith from God. To deny God and the gift of Faith from God is intellectually dishonest and totalitarian, because it is a lie. Ahah, Darwin refused to believe in the human being as composed of body and human soul, endowed with unalienble rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Even if these founding principles were wrong, these are still our founding principles. Accept them or go find another country to your liking. BTW Russia refused entrance to Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the American atheist. A land of sovereign persons is infinitely desirable to a land of an abominable lie.

  • “As for the implication that “repressive puritanism” and “family breakdown” are the only two choices, please, give us a break. Where is family breakdown most rampant in the US? Yes, you got it: the 22 most religiously conservative states. Same for teen pregnancy, welfare use, illiteracy, and drug abuse. Maybe, as a believer, you need to look after your own house before coming after the rest of us.”
    Our house is in disarray because our government has redefined virginty as non-existent, innocence as non-existent and the human being, composed of human body and rational, immortal soul (you know, the rational soul with which a human being reasons) as non-existent. Our government has redefined pornography, a lie about human sexuality as free speech, the age of informed sexual consent at twelve years of age, without so much as putting the issue on the ballot for the voice of the people to be heard and the will of the people to be respected. But the government wants us to pay for all this with our taxes. Taxation without representation. Put it on the ballot for heaven’s sake. It is called FREEDOM.

George Washington and Catholics

Thursday, November 5, AD 2009

America has been blessed by God in many ways but I suspect no blessing has been greater than His granting us George Washington to lead us in our struggle for independence and to be our first President.  Catholics have perhaps more reason than other Americans to keep the memory of Washington alive in our hearts.  In a time of strong prejudice against Catholics in many parts of the colonies he was free from religious bigotry as he demonstrated on November 5, 1775 when he banned the anti-Catholic Guy Fawkes celebrations.

“As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d for the observance of that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the Effigy of the pope – He cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers in this army so void of common sense, as not to see the impropriety of such a step at this Juncture; at a Time when we are solliciting, and have really obtain’d, the friendship and alliance of the people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as Brethren embarked in the same Cause. The defence of the general Liberty of America: At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused; indeed instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these our Brethren, as to them we are so much indebted for every late happy Success over the common Enemy in Canada.”

Order in Quarters, November 5, 1775

– George Washington

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25 Responses to George Washington and Catholics

  • President Washington is by far my favorite president. I know that he was a mason and consequently has been a figure of esteam for masons I have met in the past. So with what was written above and what I researched myself – I still get confused as to how he could have been so pro-catholic and be a mason… anyone have input on this?

  • Very interesting — had no idea about this. I linked over at Inside Catholic; thanks for sharing!

  • In spite of those historians who happen to believe that Washington’s primary reason for this ‘politically-correct’ move then was purely for pragmatic reasons and not actually due to any genuine consideration for Catholics in general, I personally happen to admire Washington nonetheless for his wisdom and exceptional leadership.

  • Masons in this country have to be distinguished from Masons in Europe. Masons in the US have largely been free of the anti-clericalism that infested European Masons. In the time of Washington in America, Masonic lodges provided an opportunity for men to get together to eat, drink, engage in boisterous good humored conversation and participate in “secret” rituals. In short to be boys again with the addition of alcohol. Masons would often help fund good works in the community such as relief of the local poor, etc. I doubt if Washington took belonging to the Masons much more seriously than most people today view belonging to the Rotarians, the Lions, etc.

  • So is Donald implying that the Masons in America were more of the “Skull and Bones” secret society version?

  • Nope e. I am stating that they were more like modern Rotarians, with announced meetings and known meeting places. The only thing “secret” about the Masons was their ritual flapdoodle.

  • Does the KofC count? ;^)

  • e., stop mentioning the KofC, or you might be paid a visit by one of my squirrel albino assassins. 🙂

  • “Very interesting — had no idea about this. I linked over at Inside Catholic; thanks for sharing!”

    Thank you Margaret!

  • Freemasonry is not anti-Catholic. Catholicism is anti-Masonic. Freemasonry welcomes men of any religion. Freemasonry stands for abosolute freedom of conscience, and encourages members to honor their commitments to their own religion. Freemasonry is spiritual, not religious.

    There is a difference for some members of the Freemasons from social clubs like the Rotary or Lions. Freemasonry o ffers a potential opportunity to study spirituality differently than most do. Many members take advantage of this, many do not.

    All of this said, there is no central authority that defines what Freemasonry is or believes: it is what the individual Mason, Lodge and Grand Lodge make of it. There is no set Credo.

    There is no contradiction between Pres. Washington praising Catholicism and being a Mason. There is no big surprise about Pres. Washington having respect for the Roman Catholic Church. Among British upper classes, the reformation was still being debated, and American gentry were part of that debate.

  • “There is no contradiction between Pres. Washington praising Catholicism and being a Mason. There is no big surprise about Pres. Washington having respect for the Roman Catholic Church. Among British upper classes, the reformation was still being debated, and American gentry were part of that debate.”

    Very interesting. Would you kindly provide references that would corroborate this?

    “Freemasonry is not anti-Catholic. Catholicism is anti-Masonic. Freemasonry welcomes men of any religion. Freemasonry stands for abosolute freedom of conscience, and encourages members to honor their commitments to their own religion. Freemasonry is spiritual, not religious.”

    If true, this would make some sort of sense out of why Mozart himself was a mason (at least, some claim he was).

  • Steve,

    Masonry is anti-Christian in many ways–as it violates and encourages man to take part in rituals that go against what Christianity teaches–e.g. blood oaths.

    It is forbidden in Catholicism for good reason.

    – Freemasonry teaches about a resurrection to an afterlife whether or not the Mason accepts Jesus Christ.

    – Freemasonry believes that all religions lead to one God

    – Masons do not pray in Jesus’ name.

    The primary reason for the Church’s opposition to Freemasonry is that Freemasonry promotes indifferentism. Indifferentism is the heretical belief that all religions are equally legitimate paths to God. Freemasonry promotes indifferentism in many ways, such as by inviting all religious writings to take an equal place on the Masonic altar with the Sacred Scriptures, and promoting a common religious worship through esoteric ritual. The other reason why Masonry is incompatible with the Christian faith concerns Masonry’s requirement that its members swear oaths of self-donation to the organization and its principles under symbolic, blood-curdling penalties of self-mutilation and death.

  • It is silly to say Freemasonry welcomes men of all religions, when it encourages beliefs and for men to take oaths against and in violation of the practice of their religion.

    I think particularly of the masonic belief that there is a knowable Truth (the knowledge that is God) that can be achieved solely through man’s reason.

  • Buffalo Bill converted to Catholicism on his death bed and asked for a Catholic funeral. The Masons in Denver stole his body over the protests of his wife and had a great public parade and a completely non-Catholic funeral. This was reported in the papers in Denver at the time. I have always thought of this when trying to evaluate Washington’s connection with the Masons. If I wouldn’t trust what they said about Buffalo Bill why would I trust them on Washington.

  • Freemasonry is undoubtedly anti-Catholic. The Popes have repeatedly emphasized the incompatibility of Masonry with the Catholic faith (Paul outlines a few very clearly above). Additionally, there are numerous writings and actions that attest to its anti-Catholic nature.

    While it is true that the men at the local lodge may not know or realize this, it does not change the history regarding Masonry and what it stands for.

  • In 1776, the Continental Congress asked Carroll, his cousin Charles Carroll, Samuel Chase, and Benjamin Franklin to travel to Quebec and attempt to persuade the French Canadian population to join the revolution. Although the group was unsuccessful, it made Carroll well known to the government of the new republic. Carroll was in fact excommunicated by the local Quebec bishop, Jean-Olivier Briand.[4]

    If we were to assert that under no circumstances had a Mason been found willing to take arms against a bad government, we should only be declaring that, in trying moments, when duty, in the masonic sense, to state means antagonism to the Government, they had failed in the highest and most sacred duty of a citizen. Rebellion in some cases is a sacred duty, and none, but a bigot or a fool, will say, that our countrymen were in the wrong, when they took arms against King James II. Loyalty to freedom in a case of this kind overrides all other considerations, and when to rebel means to be free or to perish, it would be idle to urge that a man must remember obligations which were never intended to rob him of his status of a human being and a citizen. [201]


    The Kadosh (thirtieth degree), trampling on the papal tiara and the royal crown, is destined to wreak a just vengeance on these “high criminals” for the murder of Molay [128] and “as the apostle of truth and the rights of man” [129] to deliver mankind “from the bondage of Despotism and the thraldom of spiritual Tyranny”. [130] “In most rituals of this degree everything breathes vengeance” against religious and political “Despotism”. [131]

    One of his fondest wishes, however, came to naught: the use of vernacular languages in the liturgy. In 1787 he wrote “Can there be anything more preposterous than an unknown tongue; and in this country either for want of books or inability to read, the great part of our congregations must be utterly ignorant of the meaning and sense of the publick office of the Church. It may have been prudent, for aught I know, to impose a compliance in this matter with the insulting and reproachful demands of the first reformers; but to continue the practice of the Latin liturgy in the present state of things must be owing either to chimerical fears of innovation or to indolence and inattention in the first pastors of the national Churches in not joining to solicit or indeed ordain this necessary alteration.”[13]

    John Carroll was not consecrated bishop until August 15, 1790. While it would be more than a hundred years before Leo XIII condemned Americanism as a heresy, Bishop Carroll already seemed to desire “the Church in America to be different from what it is in the rest of the world” (Leo’s words in Testem Benevolentiae ). Carroll agitated for a vernacular liturgy, bishops elected by their people (no “foreign” appointments from Rome), and a pope with little practical authority over the Church. He also crossed the Bishop of Quebec, the saintly Bishop Briand, by escorting Benjamin Franklin there on an anti-English embassy that failed. (Recall that our Puritan forefathers had seriously offended the Catholic Québécois by declaring England’s toleration of the Faith there to be an “intolerable act”!) Perhaps most damning of Carroll’s integrity as an ecclesiastic is this fact, related in the New Catholic Encyclopedia , Volume 6: “The papal condemnations of Freemasonry were not promulgated in the American colonies by Bishop John Carroll. In fact his brother Daniel was an active Mason and a practicing Catholic. Bishop Carroll wrote to a layman in 1794 regarding the lodge question: ‘I do not pretend that these decrees (against Freemasonry) are received generally by the Church, or have full authority in this diocese.’” Thus was established, early on, the American tradition of ignoring Roman decrees.,+or+have+full+authority+in+this+diocese%22&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&ie=UTF-8
    Your Eminence, when Father John Carroll, who was to become the first American bishop and the first Bishop and later Archbishop of Baltimore, accompanied John Adams and Benjamin Franklin to Québec to ask that the Canadians join in the American Revolution, the then Bishop Briand of Québec forbade his priests to have anything to do with the visitors and he actually excommunicated John Carroll. Bishop Briand had his reasons, in that the British had guaranteed the Catholics of Québec freedom of religion, a freedom which was not guaranteed at that time in the original thirteen rebellious colonies, where Catholics were often discriminated against. Bishop Briand saw no reason for Canadians to join the American colonies against the British, and he was very annoyed that a Catholic priest should be among those seeking to encourage Canadians to risk their religious liberty in what he considered to be a dubious cause. So he excommunicated Father Carroll – and there is no record of which I know that such an excommunication has ever been lifted.

    These articles are why I am not enamored of Washington or our first bishop. John Carroll was rightfully excommunicated. What right does a priest have to solicit aid for a political revolution? His first duty is the salvation of souls. Especially without first speaking with the bishop of the diocese. Free Masonry is duplicitous and from careful reading (which is necessary when reading anything written by influential Masons) it seems that Washington only opposed the celebrations since the French Catholics may be offended may refuse aid. Masonry is indifferent to all religions so the attendance of varying churches is more indicative of indifference- not necessarily favor. Neither did the Continental Congress ever repay the French government the loans it made. Not only that but they shared in the general delight when the monarchy in France (their former allies) fell. It is unfortunate since the French king was a better man and more honest. Not only that but our government congratulated the new Russian government when the Czar was deposed (also a former ally). He was a much better man than Wilson. Not all the monarchs were the tyrants we have been told they were in public schools. Not all the presidents were as virtuous as we have been led to believe. Our country has been heavily influenced by Masons from the beginning. Even many of our clergy. Read history. All practicing and high ranking Masons were not what they seemed. There are three words that come to my mind that applies to Free Masonry and those sufficiently initiated. Perfidious, evil and duplicitous. No doubt I will be heckled.- after all it does sound sort of incredible until you study it. However, save your breathe and read the sources at length and do some serious/ impartial research. Then see if you can find a copy of “Catholicism in New England” By the Rev Arthur J Riley. It may be hard as it is a dissertation for his degree in the 1930s but it is written well and is a treasure trove of documentation about a part of our history that most don’t know about. Best regards.

  • Robert, in regard to your comment:

    1. The excommunication imposed against Carroll by the Quebec Bishop was clearly done for purely political purposes as the Bishop was a supporter of the British and had no impact on the standing of Carroll with the Church. It was a misuse of the authority granted to the Bishop.

    2. Considering the fact that Leo XIII noted John Carroll had been set up as first Bishop in the US by “apostolic authority” I doubt if he shared the same animus you feel against John Carroll.

    3. Anti-masony tends to quickly fall into tin foil hat territory. The Church had good reason to oppose free masonry in Europe, but too often this worthy effort is seized upon by paranoid conspiracy mongers.

  • Actually if you would read the rest of the New Advent article and the sources you would see you are clearly wrong. I used no sources that were particularly conspiritorial and do not normal countenance such views. Unfortunately after a review of the facts there is no other answer. Carroll denied the authority of the Vatican in his diocese- that is clearly different from asking for a pastoral concession. Mason have historically been conspiritorial and never have disavowed their connection with the Latin Orient. They merely discountance their methods if you read closely.

    No the excommunication was done because he sought to enlist the Canadians in a foreign war that was not necessary. There was danger to life and limb of the members of his flock without suffiecient cause. Carroll came in like a wolf- over the walls and used his status as a priest to try to persuade the Canadians to join. He never deigned to approach the Bishop of Quebec first. Hence it was more of a pastoral than political issue for the bishop. He was a vagus in doing so.

    Most likely the Vatican felt the selection could have been worse. If you read you will note that there was sufficient concern on the part of the American clergy not to offend the protestants, etc in this country. If the Vatican appointed someone it was strongly possible the American government would have objected. as a matter of fact they sought information from the government as to whatwas acceptable. If you had read you would have noticed that he was elected and confirmed by the Vatican- not appointed as was normal procedure. It was obvious to the pope that if he objected that the American clergy were not steadfastly loyal to Rome and that Catholics in this country would have been persecuted even more in this country. There was no other real option.

    Please trouble yourself to read all the sources. I know it is inconvenient but you claim the arguments are inadequate but have countered none of them. Instead you have merely presented personal opinions which you honestly admit are such when you say “I do not think”, etc. I respect you honesty as such. However you have implied I am a nut and have not deigned to offer a different interpetation or refutation of those articles. Please trouble yourself to do so. It is only intellectually honest as I am certain you will concede.Thank you.

  • Robert in regard to the excommunication you merely support what I was saying. A Bishop has no right to excommunicate anyone because they take a differing position on a political issue unrelated to the Church and that is precisely what the Bishop of Quebec did.

    The Vatican had no problem approving Carroll as Bishop. I have found nothing in the historical record indicating otherwise. The Vatican approved the procedure of the election of the Bishop by the clergy prior to the election being held.

  • Whispers in the Loggia had composed an entry that pays fitting tribute to the great man who was the Father of American Catholicism:

    In the Beginning….

    His legacy plugged by no less than The Pope Himself — who recalled him with “admiration and gratitude” in addressing his many heirs last week — the father of American Catholicism, John Carroll of Baltimore, took center stage in a major lecture given Tuesday night in the cathedral he envisioned, but never saw completed: Charmopolis’ Basilica of the Assumption.

    Held to commemorate both the bicentennial of Carroll’s elevation as the nation’s first archbishop and the impending reception of the pallium by his 14th successor, Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, on-deck for the talk was one of the bench’s handful of historian-prelates, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee.

    Held to commemorate both the bicentennial of Carroll’s elevation as the nation’s first archbishop and the impending reception of the pallium by his 14th successor, Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, on-deck for the talk was one of the bench’s handful of historian-prelates, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee.

    (To think: 25,000 Catholics in thirteen colonies at The Founding… 22 priests… not a lot of money… and a whole lot of misunderstanding and discrimination… and you think we had it bad?)

    On a related note, Carroll was also the launch-pad of O’Brien’s homily at Baltimore’s bicentennial liturgy earlier this month.

    Bishop Carroll took possession of his See in December, 1790 and his inaugural sermon makes clear his state of mind. Of his appointment he said, “I have always dreaded it.” And given the immense challenge that faced him it is easy to see why. “Everything had to be raised from its foundation,” he said with scant resources at hand and a Catholic people among the poorest in the city and countryside. He specified the challenge in his sermon: canonical structures, schools, native clergy, a newly-founded seminary, schools and the evangelization of her near and distant flock.

    His goal, he said, was “to have nothing in view but God and your salvation.” He went on to say, “My heart sinks almost under the impression of terror which comes upon it. In God alone can I find any consolation…He will not abandon me…Pray, dear brethren, pray incessantly (for me.).”

    Pray, they must have. And no, God did not abandon him.

    As founding bishop, this premier missionary and persevering evangelizer of our new nation truly laid the foundation of Catholicism in America . He convinced Rome and some skeptics at home of the compatibility of Catholicism and a free democracy. A friend and confidant of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and a supporter of many civil causes and institutions, what Washington is to our country, John Carroll is to the Church in our country. In his 25 years of shepherding, the Catholic population of the expansive Church of Baltimore doubled as did our number of native priests. He founded three colleges and two seminaries and strongly promoted the foundation of many religious orders, receiving the vows of the now St. Elizabeth Seton. He would go on to encourage and support the establishment of both the first distinctly American community of religious women and of the first Catholic school in our land…

  • As I recall, the Vatican approving locally selected bishops (rather than centralling appointing bishops) was more common in the 18th century than it is now. And if one goes back a few centuries more, it was in fact the norm.

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  • There are, however, some intriguing hints — and at the very least Washington (known to offer up his suffering and to have a woman “say the beads” for him) was far more spiritual than most of our history teachers taught

    Most tantalizing was a report in volume 4, number 12 of an old nineteenth-century veterans publication known as the National Tribune. Now known as Stars and Stripes, the publication quoted a man named Anthony Sherman as describing a vision that allegedly occurred in 1777.

    It was said that as the chilly wind murmured through leafless trees, Washington, who was known to wander alone praying, spent nearly the entire afternoon in his quarters, allowing no interruptions. “When he came out, I noticed that his face was a shade paler than usual, and there seemed to be something on his mind of more than ordinary importance,” claimed Sherman, who reputedly fought alongside Washington.

    Returning just after dusk, he dispatched an orderly to the quarters of the officer who was presently in attendance. After a preliminary conversation of about half an hour, Washington, gazing upon his companion with that strange look of dignity which he alone could command, said to the latter: “I do not know whether it is owing to the anxiety of my mind, or what, but this afternoon as I was sitting at this table engaged in preparing a dispatch, something seemed to disturb me. Looking up, I beheld standing opposite me a singularly beautiful female. So astonished was I, for I had given strict order not to be disturbed, that it was some moments before I found language to inquire into the cause of her presence. A second, third, and even a fourth time did I repeat my question, but received no answer from my mysterious visitor except a slight raising of her eyes. By this time I felt strange sensations spreading through me. I would have risen but the riveted gaze of the being before me rendered volition impossible. I assayed once more to address her, but my tongue had become useless. Even thought itself had become paralyzed. A new influence, mysterious, potent, irresistible, took possession of me. All I could do was to gaze steadily, vacantly at my unknown visitant.”

  • Read the CDF document, Quaesitum est (1983) on Freemasonry. It’s clear enough. No one is condemning the wonderful work the local lodges do. What I’ve been reading in the above personal opinions seems similar to what I’ve read from those who know exactly what Vatican II says, even though they haven’t read the documents nor the commentaries written by those who were there.

2 Responses to Tolerance in the Land of Lincoln

  • I’m pleased that the young lady dealt so well with the harsh criticism from her peers. When I was that age I don’t think I could have. Her experiment was good, though I could have told her the outcome beforehand. It’s that strange irony of the American left, they brand themselves as the tolerant and loving but are actually the most intolerant and hateful.

  • Perhaps it would be more charitable to say that the left’s use of “tolerance” as a slogan is misleading, misapplied, or simply inaccurate. Very, very few people actually believe that we should tolerate anything. At the far end, the only thing not to be tolerated is intolerance, but further in the spectrum, there is more reason.

    Tolerance, of course, cannot include actions that are despicable. Degrees might come into play for some people, but the rape of a 7-year-old can never be tolerated. It would be hoped that most agree that rape in general can never be tolerated, but certainly the molestation of an innocent child is so reprehensible that it could never be tolerated. (And notice that there needs to be a distinction between the criminal and the crime; we could, if the rapist shows true repentance, tolerate him; but his crime is never, ever to be tolerated.)

    Tolerance, as the left uses it, isn’t necessarily about trying make relativism a way of life, isn’t necessarily about accepting anything, but supporting those minority groups with a different outlook that have been classically suppressed, oppressed, or unjustly forced into dark corners. Lately, they’ve taken that a step further in seeking acceptance for some behaviors that are morally questionable at best, gravely disordered usually, and sometimes even intrinsically evil.

    So I’ll throw the left a bone and accept that they don’t really mean tolerance when they say it, but use it because the term sounds good. The problem that they don’t realize is that tolerance in and of itself is neither good nor bad. Some things should be tolerated–differences of opinion, for example–while other things should never be tolerated. One has to be firmly grounded in moral theory, with an objective standard to weigh against, in order to start flinging slogans of “tolerance” around.