Update: I have been sent to the corner.
Okay, I am glad that a Catholic apologist gets some major exposure in the mainstream media, and I want to repeat again that I believe that those who are popularizing the Theology of the Body are good people and well intentioned. Nevertheless, I take exception to the presentation of Christopher West in this latest interview, precisely for the reasons given in my last post on the subject.
One commenter on that post asserted that the “naked without shame” doctrine contained in the popular catechesis of TOB is really only a “marketing hook,” and that very few, if any, believe that TOB is being proposed as a means of reclaiming original innocence, as suggested by the article I linked to by Father Brian Mullady.
In yesterday’s interview posted on the ABC News website Christopher West compares favorably Pope John Paul II and Hugh Hefner, founder and publisher of Playboy Magazine:
“I actually see very profound historical connections between Hugh Hefner and John Paul II,” said West.
And it’s not just the red slippers?
“No, it’s not just the red slippers.” Each man in his own way, West insisted, rescued sex from prudish Victorian morality.
On Hugh Hefner: ‘I Understand His Ache’
“I love Hugh Hefner,” said West. “I really do. Why? Because I think I understand his ache. I think I understand his longing because I feel it myself. There is this yearning, this ache, this longing we all have for love, for union, for intimacy.” Continue reading
We have all heard of the boiled frog analogy which is used often these days because of the media driven moral, political and cultural decline. The phrase “politically correct” has become almost an overused cliché for the same reason. It’s not that these ideas are overused in the sense that there are not abundant applications for their legitimate use, but because there are so many proper applications that their distinct connotation seems less and less meaningful. In other words, the frogs are pretty much done and ready to eat.
I again give the example of Miss California, because in spite of her faults, her situation underlines how far the media has taken their “laws” of acceptable speech. One may now be crucified, not only for a politically incorrect opinion, but more importantly, for even daring to give such an opinion as an honest answer to a direct question. It is as though the PC police think they have the right to random searches of our consciences, and more than that, to inspection on demand of what we are willing to say or not to say. They know what we think and we know what they want us to say, and we both know that the two are not the same. We are expected to tell them what they want to hear. They will indulge our opinions as long as we do not express them or act on them, but God help us if we bring our honest convictions out into the public forum, even when we are asked for our opinion.
As almost completely boiled frogs we have lost most of our sense of pain and are nearly paralyzed. Consciousness is slipping away and we find it hard to care enough to resist. It’s almost over. But even if we had been thrown into the lukewarm water just a second ago, we would still have to resist with all our might, because the whole modus operandi of political correctness is to lull us into complete inaction by means of an incremental continuum of euphemisms and self congratulatory, non-confrontational and passive admonitions of tolerance. To the extent that this is successful, the behavior of the masses in turn conforms itself to the goal of the social engineers. The only effective resistance is that which is total and unyielding.
The ironic and horrifying thing is that many people have gladly donated their froggy bodies to these “social scientists” for the progress of humanity. I remember on several occasions that in the deliberations of the Connecticut State Assembly on the question of same-sex marriage, any number of legislators would talk about the evolution of thought on the question of homosexuality and gay marriage. “We have come a long way from when we discussed the question of same-sex adoptions,” they say, “In a few more years, who knows where we will be questions related to homosexuality?” Granted some of those who made remarks like this were ideologues and propagandists with an agenda, but others, I think, were genuinely searching, though it seems to me that they knew they were going to be cooked. They were just grateful for the time to get used to the water.
I would prefer not to be the prophet of doom. If only we could be like the people of Nineveh and those in my position like Jonah, who though they prophesied the end and its inevitability, were almost disappointed when the people unexpectedly repented and put on sackcloth. God actually had to rebuke Jonah for his disappointment. I would like to be more encouraging, but that really depends on our willingness to face facts. We are almost cooked and unless we find the strength to jump out of the water, it really is over.
The only ones who can get out of the pot are people like Ezra Levant, who beat the thought police by not giving an inch, by fighting back swiftly and relentlessly. He beat the human rights commission in Canada, when they tried to shut him up for reporting on the Muhammad Cartoon flap back in 2006. He turned their attack on him into a direct offensive against the social engineers and the thought police and he did it by exposing their lies, on YouTube.
Take a look at his opening remarks to the commission about his case:
And at his response to the question “What was your intent in publishing the cartoons?”
Aside from prayer, this is the only thing that will work, but don’t use prayer as an excuse to do nothing.
Barbara Frale, the Vatican Achives historian who found the Chinon Parchment and has written an account of its significance, which is now in English (looks more sensational than scholarly), now claims that she has evidence of something that has long been affirmed of the Templars, namely, that they were in possession of the Shroud of Turin from the beginning of the 13th to the middle of the 14th centuries:
Barbara Frale, a researcher in the Vatican Secret Archives, said the Shroud had disappeared in the sack of Constantinople in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade, and did not surface again until the middle of the fourteenth century. Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, Dr Frale said its fate in those years had always puzzled historians.
However her study of the trial of the Knights Templar had brought to light a document in which Arnaut Sabbatier, a young Frenchman who entered the order in 1287, testified that as part of his initiation he was taken to “a secret place to which only the brothers of the Temple had access”. There he was shown “a long linen cloth on which was impressed the figure of a man” and instructed to venerate the image by kissing its feet three times
One of the allegations brought against the Templars by their enemies was that they worshiped the head of a bearded man. Frale seems to be declaring this allegation to be directed at veneration of the Shroud, a theory that has been espoused by others. That is not the only theory that has been put forward.
Here is some of the usual freemasonic misrepresentation of the Church’s position on the shroud:
The Shroud of Turin is a linen cloth that appears to have been used to wrap the body of a man who had been crucified, and ghostly images appear of a man with a bearded face. In spite of almost immediate pronouncements by the Catholic Church that it was a fake, the faithful believed that the image was of Jesus, and continue to do so today. Chemical analysis and carbon dating techniques used in 1988 provided results that the markings were paint and that the cloth dated from the 14th century, but those results were almost immediately called into question. The Shroud is, today, the property of the Vatican, which has always refused to declare it to be the authentic image of Christ.
The fact is, the Church has treated the Shroud as a holy relic all the time it has been in her possession and has allowed the faithful to venerate it as such.
The Catholic Church, owners of the shroud, have made no pronouncements claiming it is Christ’s burial shroud, or that it is not a forgery. The matter has been left to the personal decision of the faithful. Pope John Paul II stated in 1998, “Since we’re not dealing with a matter of faith, the church can’t pronounce itself on such questions. It entrusts to scientists the tasks of continuing to investigate, to reach adequate answers to the questions connected to this shroud.” He has shown himself to be deeply moved by the image of the shroud, and arranged for public showings in 1998 and 2000.
“What in the world happened to the Traditionalists?!?!,” asks one commenter:
As one might expect, Obama also lost the Traditionalist Catholics, obtaining two-fifths of their votes. Nonetheless, he did better with the Traditionalists than with the Centrist Catholics and markedly better than Kerry’s one-fifth in 2004. This result is a surprise, being the only instance where a group of Traditionalists voted more Democratic than their Centrist coreligionists. This change represents a modest closing of the God Gap among white Catholics (although McCain still did well among regular Mass attenders overall).
Opposition to the Iraq War may account for Obama’s gains among Traditionalist Catholics: In 2004 more than three-quarters supported the war, but a majority opposed it in 2008. The Catholic Church opposed the Iraq War and its leaders, from the pope to parish priests, regularly criticized it. In addition, prominent Catholics joined the debate on related policies, such as the interrogation, surveillance, and detention practices of the Bush administration. It is interesting, however, that such policies could influence these voters, given their other issue positions. For example, Traditionalist Catholics were staunchly pro-life on abortion and, like the Centrist Catholics, tended to hold conservative views on economic issues. And as in 2004, they gave lower priority to economic matters than many other religious groups.
If Centrist Catholics were a bright spot for McCain, then Traditionalist Catholics were a major disappointment. This outcome may reflect the often intense competition between progressive and conservative Catholic activists for the votes of the most committed Catholic voters. Overall, white Catholics made up one-sixth of the Obama vote and one-fifth of McCain’s supporters. If white Catholic ballots are added to minority and Unaffiliated voters, the total accounts for almost three-quarters of all Obama’s ballots.
No definition in the article is given for “Traditionalist Catholic.” It is only distinguished from “Modernist Catholic” and “Centrist Catholic.” Here are the published survey results. I assume the respondents were just given the three options undefined and were left to define and choose themselves.
In any case, the results are very curious indeed. Why would Catholic traditionalists compromise on abortion? One would think that those who are the least secular and the most “supernatural” in their outlook would buck the fear of being a “single issue voter.” All is not well among the “traditionalists.”
No, traditional forms, as important as they are, are not going to save us. Let us hope that inspite of our “orthodoxy” and “traditionalism” we are not whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear to men beautiful but within are full of dead men’s bones and of all filthiness (Mat. 23:27).
Couples who have more than two children are being “irresponsible” by creating an unbearable burden on the environment, the British government’s green adviser warned.
Jonathon Porritt, who chairs the government’s Sustainable Development Commission, says curbing population growth through contraception and abortion must be at the heart of policies to fight global warming. He says political leaders and green campaigners should stop dodging the issue of environmental harm caused by an expanding population.
A report by the commission, to be published next month, will say that governments must reduce population growth through better family planning.
Regardless of which ever way the evidence points for the human origin of climate change, I am personal convinced that the Al Gores of the world, like the crackpot above, are ideologues who want to use this scare to mandate their liberal Big Brother agenda. Only the government can save us from destroying the planet, they say: the perfect pretext for bigger government, more control and the use of coercive power to manage the opposition.
Far fetched? Look at the recommendation of the commission above: “governments must reduce population growth through better family planning.” I don’t know what it is like in Great Britain, but here in the United States the government provides “better family planning” by mandating abortion on demand and by turning a blind eye to the abuse of women and girls.
We start with criminalizing incandecent light bulbs and mandating untested alternative fuel solutions and end by coercing those who have traditional values and want large families.
If at this stage our anger is directed at President Obama, our anger is misdirected. Obama is not the enemy. He needs and deserves our prayers, not our condemnation.
As Catholics, we are not guiltless. It seems to me that when President Kennedy compromised Catholic teachings and accommodated political pressures in order to be elected to the highest office in the land, he set the tone for many Catholic leaders to follow and to compromise their Catholic principles to get ahead.
In our Supreme Court and in our Congress, we have a plethora of so-called Catholics who are failing to live their Catholic identity. Over 50 percent of our electorate voted for a president who is one of the most pro-culture-of-death candidates from a major party to run for the highest office of the land.
Yes, we can thank one-half of our Catholics for bailing out on their faith!
But most damaging, he said, was the document “Faithful Citizenship” that “led to confusion” among the voting Catholic population.
“While it stated that the issue of life was the first and most important issue, it went on in some specific areas to say ‘but there are other issues’ that are of comparable importance without making necessary distinctions.”
Archbishop Burke, citing an article by a priest and ethics expert of St. Louis archdiocese, Msgr. Kevin McMahon, who analysed how the bishops’ document actually contributed to the election of Obama, called its proposal “a kind of false thinking, that says, ‘there’s the evil of taking an innocent and defenceless human life but there are other evils and they’re worthy of equal consideration.’
“But they’re not. The economic situation, or opposition to the war in Iraq, or whatever it may be, those things don’t rise to the same level as something that is always and everywhere evil, namely the killing of innocent and defenceless human life.”
Archbishop Burke also cited the work of the official news service of the US Catholic Bishops’ Conference, that many pro-life observers complained soft-pedalled the newly elected president’s opposition to traditional morality.
“The bishops need to look also at our Catholic News Service, CNS, they need to review their coverage of the whole thing and give some new direction, in my judgement,” he said.
Perhaps now you can understand a bit better why pro-life Catholics (Catholics who actually vote pro-life) are so upset. Actually, you aren’t being persecuted. These good pastors have the eternal welfare of all their sheep at heart.
Brian Brown from the National Organization for Marriage has directed me to a new blog which is well worth your attention. It is called Moral Accountability and is the work of Robert P. George and his colleagues. There Matthew J. Franck critiques the latest mental gymnastics of Doug Kmiec.
Writing in Commonweal, Kmiec complains that he has been vilified by the right without justification, that basically all the opposition to his support of Obama has taken the form of name calling. Here’s a taste:
Noting my continued good health, the editors of Commonweal invited this essay which I submit even as I acknowledge the wisdom of Sr. Pius’s eighth-grade counsel: “Douglas, just offer it up!” That was good advice; and indeed I have at times considered the blog calumnies hurled at me as penance for occasions when I have put on a bit of a false front. We all want to be perceived as intelligent, kindly, and well considered, and we all occasionally speak too glibly for our own good-as I did, for example, representing Obama on the campaign trail while chastising him for his criticism of Justice Clarence Thomas; or suggesting, out loud and even on camera, that his one-time pledge of support for the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) during the primary was “boneheaded.” These are not politic statements, but unlike most blog entries, they represent honest, substantive dissent illustrating how it is possible for a person to be capable of admiring both Barack Obama and Clarence Thomas, and of supporting Obama while rejecting legislation that would in any way limit religious freedom or insult the church. (My message to President Obama on FOCA, by the way, will remain what it was to candidate Obama: FOCA runs contrary to the pursuit of the common good.)
Just a couple of things. First off, Mr. Kmiec is dodging when he says that Obama’s support of FOCA consisted of a “one-time pledge.” Senator Obama was cosponsor of the bill which was introduced into the senate April 19, 2007. Then, on January 22, 2008, 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Senator Obama released a statement in which he promised as president to see FOCA passed: Continue reading
We needed a researcher to tell us this?
Notice that for the professor a long courtship is more than one date. The saints and holy doctors discouraged truly long courtships because they often lead to unnecessary occasions of sin, but I definitely would agree that courtships should be longer than one date.
Besides having the advantage of helping a person make a better decision about one’s mate, such “long” courtships (more than one date) have the advantage of allowing enough time for a sacramental marriage ceremony, which, if you follow the logic, would also allow the couple to enter into their union in the state of grace and benefit fully from the sacrament before the marriage is consummated. Oh, by the way, that would also mean that the union would please God as well.
Isn’t it neat how that works?
An ancilliary thought to this is how the modern media and academia has convinced the poor slobs in front of their computer monitors and t.v.’s that they really don’t know anything of value unless it is confirmed by a double blind study. This fact is a fundamental element of the very successful challenge of secularism to traditional values.