When attempting to address Islam in modern politics, there are two trends that have to be fought. The first is the secular reaction, which, while swallowing a certain discomfort over Islamic culture, they freely admit they should be able to do as they like so long as they don’t harm us, immigrate and do whatever, since Islam is a “religion of peace”, which is simply not true if we critically examine its history and doctrine. I will speak of this another time. Then there is a second view, expressed often by conservative and traditional Catholics, who support the current wars the US and its allies are engaged in throughout the Levant, which they use to harken back to the Crusades. One of the greatest errors of this view, is to treat Islam as though it is socially and intellectually the same as it was in the 13th century, or in 1683. The problem with this view, is it overlooks 350 years of cultural and philosophical development, as well as the influence (either positive or negative) of the modern secular west on Islam.
Four years ago, I wrote a series of articles for the Distributist Review, called “Navigating the Electoral Milieu”, where I criticized more or less every candidate, with some praise for Ron Paul among my severe criticism of him.
Having briefly reviewed the Republican debates, I can only come to the conclusion (which I have maintained for a very long time) that our national political life is all a sham. There may indeed be sincere individuals who think they can accomplish some good, but the reality is they don’t.
The Republican milieu is not much different from the last time around. First off, we have Jeb Bush, if we want a replay of 8 years of W. He makes gaffes just as bad as his older brother (though not as puerile) and waffles frequently, knowing that the base is increasingly anti-war while all his backers are the military industrial complex. A lot of people think he is great because he is Catholic, as if that lessons the positive evil he will unleash as president. Then there is Huckabee, for what the third time now? He nicely invents himself as a true, prayerful conservative, nearly every time. Then there is Carson—what exactly is he running for again? Oh, the economy, right. Then we have Carly Fiona, we need a republican alternative to Hillary! Rubio talks a good game, but them he is open borders. Moreover he has no experience. He is a first term senator. Then again there is Obama—exactly. Do we want another one of those? Then there are a bunch of people I recognize, don’t know much about, except that when they talk they sound like everyone else.
On Independence day we decided to celebrate in an entirely different way, with a re-examination of the American Revolution against Great Britain, the factors involved, and numerous details not found in your history books. Charles Coulombe, a writer, researcher and fellow pipe-smoker joins us to shed light on the inconvenient details of early American history hidden from your history books.
NB: After the interview we discussed a matter which should have perhaps prefaced it: many people will be mad at this, especially if you are of tea-party persuasion. The charge of “treason” and “unpatriotic” behavior will be leveled, I’m sure. Patriotism, properly love of the land and countrymen, is a virtue, distinct from the thoughtless worship of the government. We both adhere to the former, as every good Catholic should since true patriotism is a virtue; while have nothing to do with the latter.
Resources for Charles Coulombe:
Muse in the Bottle (my personal favorite)
History of the Popes
The Pope’s Legion: The Multi-national Fighting Force that defended the Vatican
Haunted Places in America: A guide to spooked and spooky places
School House Rock: No More Kings
The Quebec Act
Freedoms given Catholics were Denounced by Declaration of Independence: or abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies”
[This is a whole bunch of nonsense, the word “Abritrary government” is an old WASP buzzword for Catholicism, they extended freedom in Quebec which the apostles of “Liberty” found intolerable]
Taxes were Higher after the American Revolution
Cost of the Seven Years War (French and Indian war)
John Hancock smuggled tea
Shays Rebellion over high taxes after the revolution
Unruly Americans (reference to taxes pg. 29)
For detailed analysis of anti-Catholic propaganda during the English Civil War, see: “The English Civil War: Papists, Gentlewomen, Soldiers and Witchfinders” by Dianne Purkiss. Excellent work.
First legal Catholic Church in the Empire since James II
Appointments in England, Scotland, Ireland, made by Henry, Cardinal Duke of York (brother of Bonnie Prince Charlie).
Rebels tended to be closer to the centers of power or wealth, whereas loyalists tended to be more poor.
War of the Regulators
American President more powerful than any monarchy
For more on recycling of the same propaganda during the American Revolution, see the documentation in Liberty the God that Failed, by Chris Ferrara.
Trial of Charles I, claimed that he negotiated with the Pope
Rome ready to offer a red hat to Bishop Laud
Debate between Laud and a Jesuit named Fisher
Scots Highlanders tended to be English Loyalists
Letter of Continental Congress to England concerning the Quebec act (drafted by John Jay for the Congress)
Letter of Continental Congress to Quebec
Father (later Bishop) John Carrol excommunicated by Bishop of Quebec
Traveled to Quebec with Benjamin Franklin
St. Elizabeth Anne Seton
Scottish Episcopal Church
Lord Dunmore offered Freedom to any slave who would join the British Army
Blacks in the Colonies were pro-British
Samuel Johnson opposed Independence
Founding Fathers and Freemasonry
Catholic British Loyalists
Aude Sapere 004 – Scottish Independence
History of Scotland: Shadow King (overview of Jacobite Wars through Culloden – No longer available, probably copyright.
Continental Congress offered the Crown of the United States to Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1778
Just in case you are too young to remember Theodoric of York
Bishop Hay, vicar apostolic of Scotland
Many readers following papal affairs may be familiar with Sandro Magister’s blog. He is a veteran journalist writing for the Italian paper L’Espresso. He is also noted for having the cajones to criticize Francis and not fall in line like so many yes men, even though he is by no stretch a Traditionalist. His blog chiesa (linked above) also has good English translations, making commentary closer to the Vatican accessible for those who do not speak Italian. Continue reading
Today Bill Jasper, the senior editor of the New American, joins us to talk about a pending trade deal that you have never heard of called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and it could effect you in a dramatic way, from internet freedom, to your pensions, jobs, wages and many other things that you simply have not been told by the politicians of both parties. We discuss the details from leaked drafts of how the TPP fundamentally means the end of the little freedom we currently enjoy, and what you can do about it. Continue reading
There are lots of quotes running around from Pope Francis, which cause fulminations on Facebook, or other places. Now what Francis actually says is troubling enough, but too often, and perhaps because of his unprepared speeches where he confuses people, it is more believable when hoaxes appear as though they were what he had said. Continue reading
A breaking news item, at the minute of this posting, is the resignation of Bishop Finn from the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph. According to a news report:
“Bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph has resigned, nearly two and a half years after being the first U.S. bishop convicted of a misdemeanor in failing to report suspected child abuse by a priest in his diocese.
The Vatican confirmed Pope Francis’ acceptance of Bishop Finn’s resignation according to Canon 104 Article 2 in the Code of Canon Law in an April 21 statement, released at noon local time.
Article 2 of Canon 104, according to the Vatican’s website, refers to a situation when “a diocesan bishop who has become less able to fulfill his office because of ill-health or some other grave cause is earnestly requested to present his resignation from office.” [source]
So essentially, the loss of prestige and the apparent damage of the conviction have led Finn to resign. Nevertheless, this raises several questions, particularly with the interesting history of the division in the Kansas City diocese, and the hate that was vented against him for years by the heterodox. Let us start in a few places. Continue reading
We all knew this Synod was going to be bad. I have warned people privately that it would be a watershed moment of Francis’ pontificate. Lately I’ve been given to creating similes to correctly encapsulate Francis, and this latest one I think is the most apt, as we shall see. “Francis is to the Church, what Yoko Ono was to the Beatles.”
It was clear from the beginning that this synod was rigged to produce the effect that Francis wanted. A source I have, who is actually in Rome, told me that the African Bishops as a block loudly protested many of the Synod proceedings, but were shut down Ottaviani style. There is little better that I could say than what Chris Ferrara has said on the Synod:
Let us call this Synod what it is: a secretive, manipulated, progressive-dominated cabal, led by septuagenarian and octogenarian diehards of the conciliar “renewal,” who are rushing to finish their “work”—so rudely interrupted by Pope Benedict—lest death release the Church from their clutches before they are quite done.
So where are we at now? Let’s look at what is a synod, what this document actually is, its contents and then consider where all this is going.
What the heck is a synod?
A Synod is a gathering of bishops to discuss matters of faith or discipline, which can range from advisory to being part of the ordinary magisterium, such as some early synods. They fall short of an ecumenical council in their substance, and their authority is more or less what a Pope chooses to give them. Historically it was an easy way to discuss difficulties without recourse to an ecumenical Council, which in the early Church were called by the emperor, or by the Pope who then pushed for the Emperor’s consent, as was the case with Pope St. Leo the Great, who pushed the Roman empress Pulcheria for an ecumenical council at Chalcedon. Since Vatican II, however, the Synod has been little more than a mini-council continuing Vatican II, where all the Bishops get together and pat themselves on the back for what a wonderful job they are doing in the Church [sic]. Michael Davies, I think, correctly described this process as the abandoning of the Ecclesia Docens (Teaching Church) for the Ecclesia loquens (talking Church).
Typically after a Synod, the Pope commissions a document to more or less summarize what took place, and then writes a post synodal exhoration, like Pope Benedict’s Charitas in Veritate.
What is the document making the headlines?
The current document which we are talking about is the Relatio post Disceptationem, literally, the report after the debate, although, per what Pope Francis declared prior to the Synod’s opening, the original is Italian rather than Latin, which leaves me reading with my dictionary since my Italian, though decent, is not pitch perfect. However, I have noticed that the Vatican translators have done a good job, showing that when a document is to their liking, they will happily and promptly translate, unlike in Benedict’s pontificate. It is not infallible, nor is it an official act of the magisterium. It does, however, reflect the Pope’s thinking, and constitutes the direction which he would like to go. Which, moreover, begs the question, how did a 6,000 word document get written by 6 men and get translated very well into multiple languages that quickly? Unless, as many analysts reckon, it was preplanned.
Liberal groups are hailing this document as a wonderful step forward, while conservative and pro-life groups, even the head of the Polish Bishop’s conference, have called this document a betrayal. These are strong words against the document from groups that normally eschew the slightest criticism of the Pope, and we shall see why.
The Relatio, declares:
From the moment that the order of creation is determined by orientation towards Christ, it becomes necessary to distinguish without separating the various levels through which God communicates the grace of the covenant to humanity. Through the law of gradualness (cf. Familiaris Consortio, 34), typical of divine pedagogy, this means interpreting the nuptial covenant in terms of continuity and novelty, in the order of creation and in that of redemption. (no. 13)
What is this “Gradualness”? It would appear, the Relatio is saying juxtaposing two entirely contrary things. Continuity, and Novelty, which do not go together, at least in the same respect. How can marriage be interpreted in terms of both continuity (i.e. faithfulness to God’s commands) and novelty (changing them to suit man?). One might argue it means dealing with new novelties, but the next paragraph makes it abundantly clear that they mean novelties to suit man.
Jesus Himself, referring to the primordial plan for the human couple, reaffirms the indissoluble union between man and woman, while understanding that “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning” (Mt 19,8). In this way, He shows how divine condescension always accompanies the path of humanity, directing it towards its new beginning, not without passing through the cross. (no 14., my emphasis)
Notice the demonic inversion. They take what, in the clear meaning of the Gospel, is a rebuke against the Pharisees, and they turn it into “understanding”. Tolerance. This is just an act of poisoning the well, for, they are positing as a starting point the “tolerant”, “non-judgmental” and “pastoral” Jesus, like unto that creature we call the average post Vatican II bishop (at least the ones who don’t get fired, or receive Apostolic Visitations!). Moreover, no. 13 above quotes John Paul II’s Familiaris Consortio, itself a document following a family synod. Let’s see what his notion of “Gradualness” is:
Married people too are called upon to progress unceasingly in their moral life, with the support of a sincere and active desire to gain ever better knowledge of the values enshrined in and fostered by the law of God. They must also be supported by an upright and generous willingness to embody these values in their concrete decisions. They cannot however look on the law as merely an ideal to be achieved in the future: they must consider it as a command of Christ the Lord to overcome difficulties with constancy. “And so what is known as ‘the law of gradualness’ or step-by-step advance cannot be identified with ‘gradualness of the law,’ as if there were different degrees or forms of precept in God’s law for different individuals and situations. In God’s plan, all husbands and wives are called in marriage to holiness, and this lofty vocation is fulfilled to the extent that the human person is able to respond to God’s command with serene confidence in God’s grace and in his or her own will.” (Familiaris Consortio, no. 34).
So you see, what the manipulators of this Synod have done, before we even get to the troubled sections on homosexuality, is to twist the previous teaching of John Paul II, to make it look like they have a saint in their camp. This is for the obvious reason that the goals outlined by the “Synod Party”, as I have called them, are explicitly contrary to John Paul II.
There is a lot of irony in this. It is Francis who canonized John Paul II, and now it is he and his regime who are discarding the late “sainted” Pontiff’s teaching, because it is inconvenient to the “new Gospel”. What was the point in canonizing JPII except to baptize his personalist and phenomenological writings? Well, that gets sticky as well. The point of canonizing JPII had nothing at all to do with the glory of the Church, or his sanctity, or any other consideration. It was purely a canonization of Vatican II, whose spirit, according to Cardinal Kasper, is alive and well at the Synod.
So the “official” Synod language has moved to gradations of following God’s commands. Just as was declared in the first week “We must not talk about living in sin, that is harsh language.” The teaching of John Paul II, on that rare occasion it was clear, namely on life and family issues, is cast aside for the emotive feeling of those who disobey Christ’s commands, amplified by the media presentation and the pet beliefs of the minority of cardinals handling these things.
What I want to do, however, is avoid the scandalous passages on homosexuality. There are numerous other websites doing that. Anyone with a clear sensus catholicus knows there is a great difference between treating homosexuals with respect in a civil and public sphere, and at the same time to welcome them into our homes and communities as though their behavior were perfectly acceptable in light of the Gospel.
The real problem is that no one is talking about the fact that the “homosexual identity” is a completely modern creation. People who engaged in homosexuality in antiquity, or the middle ages, or the renaissance, did not identify as “gay” or anything like it. They were often married (to women), and homosexual acts were something they engaged in on the side in limited circumstances. This is more or less how sodomy occurred, and its enforcement historically was sporadic based on how public the business became, not only in Europe, but even in Medieval Islamic societies. There was no such thing as a “gay identity”. The emergence of that said identity, apart from any question of the orientation (which the Catechism teaches in unity with the tradition are disordered) has been something totally different from how homosexual activity affected society in the past. The “identity” has arisen with an animus against western tradition, the institution of marriage and the Church.
What is clear about the “homosexual passages” of the Relatio, is that the man who wrote the document, Cardinal Edö, is scrambling to show how he didn’t write it, didn’t know anything about it! Maybe that’s true, but there is someone who did know something about it, and approved it, as he approved the 6 commissioners who wrote the document, that is Pope Francis himself. Anyone who would do anything but lay the blame for this debacle at the feet of the Pope is simply delusional. Those responsible for the Relatio, are canonically speaking modernists. They are actually trying to harm the Church. As some have noted, the purpose of the homosexual clauses are not to force them into the final document or make them binding somehow. The clear majority of the Synod will not allow it. What they want to do is wound the Church’s unity, and push the majority who are opposed to them on the defensive. This is exactly the tactic followed at Vatican II in the rejection of the preparatory schema. For, all opposition to those passages in the Relatio document (a novelty because usually you don’t release anything until the end) will be read in light of what already came out, and appear reactionary or damage control. The spirit of the world has already seen the first, and it will be treated as doctrine when it has as much weight as a fart during a sermon. (Sorry for being crass, but the analogy is nice given the contents of this document).
Moreover, not only will they put pressure on the Synod Fathers, but it will aid in overlooking the debate on communion for the divorced and remarried (i.e. those who, by the words of Christ Himself, are committing adultery), or to be used to force a concession on the matter. The fact is this synod is an act of manipulation, and a very obvious one at that.
Demonization of Africa
In any other context, the attack on Africa and Africans would be held as racist, unacceptable, immoral, etc. But when it is coming from the Cardinal patron of homosexual and the divorced and remarried, namely Kasper the friendly wolf, it is perfectly acceptable.
Indeed, in an interview today, Cardinal Kasper said:
Cardinal Kasper: The problem, as well, is that there are different problems of different continents and different cultures. Africa is totally different from the West. Also Asian and Muslim countries, they’re very different, especially about gays. You can’t speak about this with Africans and people of Muslim countries. It’s not possible. It’s a taboo. For us, we say we ought not to discriminate, we don’t want to discriminate in certain respects.
ZENIT: But are African participants listened to in this regard?
Cardinal Kasper: No, the majority of them [who hold these views won’t speak about them].
ZENIT: They’re not listened to?
Cardinal Kasper: In Africa of course [their views are listened to], where it’s a taboo.
ZENIT: What has changed for you, regarding the methodology of this synod?
I think in the end there must be a general line in the Church, general criteria, but then the questions of Africa we cannot solve. There must be space also for the local bishops’ conferences to solve their problems but I’d say with Africa it’s impossible [for us to solve]. But they should not tell us too much what we have to do. (Source)
If that is not one of the most arrogant and condescending remarks from a Churchman, I don’t know exactly what is. Further, it is proof that what the modernists most criticize they are the most guilty of. You have seen it in Francis, warning people not to be obsessed with themselves, then he goes out of his way to get a biography of himself published. He lashes out about not judging, and judges all the time! The modernists criticize the pre-Vatican II Church for being closed minded, unwilling to look at other opinions, and though this is false, it is exactly true of the modernists post-Vatican II. Why must the Africans “shut up”? Because they are more orthodox and faithful to the gospel, at the very least on these points.
The Francis regime and their manipulators knew that coming in. This is why the beginning of the Relatio declares:
Some cultural and religious contexts pose particular challenges. In African societies the practice of polygamy remains, along with, in some traditional contexts, the custom of “marriage in stages”. In other contexts the practice of “arranged marriages” persists. (Relation, no. 7)
Now, is that strictly true? Is it true amongst Christians in Africa? Here I know several people from Nigeria and Kenya, who are in a position to know about a lot of these issues. The fact is amongst Christians in Africa, this is a minority problem. Polygamy in particular, is more of a problem among the Muslims, since it is permitted by their religion. Many African cultures have a latent cultural Islam left over from the middle ages, even though they are pagan rather than Islamic.
Nevertheless, it is a preemptive strike against African bishops. You can’t tell us what to do, you have these problems! This should shatter the myth of openness and inclusion.
I could go on, but this has already exceeded what I intended, and it is probably wearisome. I have several other posts coming on these topics soon. To wrap it up however, it is worthwhile to revisit prophecy. Bishops will oppose Bishops, and Cardinals will oppose Cardinals. Here we are.
“And the church more or less shrugs and say, “Look, we don’t take our agenda from the polls. We don’t take our agenda from what the world is saying. Our agenda is given to us by the God who made us, and we must be faithful to him instead of what we’re– what we’re hearing’ from the world.””
-Cardinal Timothy Dolan (source)
Michael Voris, you can love him, or you can hate him, and some people do hate him. I would put down good money that the hierarchy does not care for him all that much. Yet recently, he kicked off a bit more of a response from defenders of the bishops’ failed leadership and policies.
For the record, I do not care all that much for Voris’ style. It speaks to some people and is probably good for them, but I don’t have time for bullet points, even when he’s right. I’m a theologian, I look up propositions in the manuals, in St. Thomas, trace their reasoning and source, and apply it to today’s problems. In this case, however, I feel he was right on the money, and his response is something that, frankly, every Catholic should feel. I am talking about Voris’ response to Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s decision to continue supporting and even lead the St. Patrick’s day parade, when that same parade has decided to allow practicing and proud homosexuals to march and display their banners, ostensibly in honor of St. Patrick.
In response to the decision, Dolan noted:
“I have no trouble with the decision at all,” Cardinal Dolan said at an evening news conference announcing his appointment as grand marshal. “I think the decision is a wise one.” (Source)
There are many other things we can note about Dolan, but Voris does it well himself:
Now, Voris uses some strong language, which is rather offensive to the church of NICE. He tells Cardinal Dolan that he is “in the grip of the devil”, and “wicked”. Well, strong as it is, it is not far off the mark. I think myself that it has come time to call out the type of things that are going on the Church for what they are, they are evil.Meet Timothy Cardinal Dolan
I recall the first time I became aware of who Cardinal Dolan was during his installation in Milwaukee after that godly loving sodomite, Archbishop Weakland, had produced so much destruction there. Dolan gave his first sermon wearing a cheese head.
Dolan came from the St. Louis diocese, and for a while was in charge of the North American College in Rome, until he was elevated to become the Archbishop of Milwaukee to replace good ol’ Rembert, known for his cathedral wreckovation and squandering hundreds of thousands of dollars of diocesan money to keep old boyfriends quiet. At first Dolan appeared to step into the mold of his predecessor, but then appeared more conservative. I suppose many breathed a sigh of relief that he wasn’t gay. While from all appearances he attempted to help abuse victims while in Milwaukee, and we should not doubt his legitimate charity and concern for them, there are a number of anomalies.
Not to take a story exclusively from the New York Times, I instead am going to what is available of documents that have been released. Interestingly, as the diocese filed for bankruptcy, Dolan at the same time asked for and received permission to move over $57 million dollars to a cemetery trust fund to hide it from victims. Thus in one courtroom they are arguing that they are bankrupt, and in another that they are not. When groups criticized Dolan for this he dismissed it as old falsehoods. Yet, how false was it? The documents proved this was true. Now, to be fair, if we were to put ourselves in Dolan’s shoes, we might look at the situation this way. The diocese has obligations to retiring clergy who did not commit horrible crimes, to charitable works, payment of staff, health insurance, and the legal obligation to maintain cemetaries? We want to protect that don’t we? Why should everyone else suffer on account of these monstrous clergy. Such an argument has its merits, if that is in fact the reasoning, but in light of what went on the demands of justice require it be set aside.
For, if it is a matter of paying diocesan obligations, one could require Weakland to start recuperating the vast sums he spent on his boyfriends, pinch pennies, eliminate waste, the types of things bureaucracies hate doing. It should be simple, indeed, to realize that those who have in fact been abused by priests deserve some kind of compensation, as a modicum of justice. There is one diocese in this country that never had these sorts of problems and that is Lincoln, Nebraska. The reason is, Bishop Flavin, who was extremely progressive btw, heard that two of his priests had abused children. He investigated it, found out it was true, defrocked them and handed them over to the civil authorities. Then he went to the families and said, ‘what can we do to make this right?’ No shuffling priests around, or ignoring victims, or hiding money in trust funds. And… Lincoln Nebraska has never had a sex abuse lawsuit.
While that logic seems ineluctable to us, it is a bit much for a post-Vatican II bishop, as is seen in conservative and liberal bishops alike. There are other irregularities.
Dolan claimed many times that he was not aware of any cash payments for clergy to get them to leave without fighting their laicization. Yet he was present in diocesan meetings when they talked about doing just that. (Source) Again, this is not the MSM attacking the cardinal, maybe some of their spin is, but the documents show he was aware, which is a bit reminiscent of Cardinal Law claiming he knew nothing about the commission set up in the wake of the Rudy Koss scandal, even though he chaired it. Again we have to put ourselves in the bishop’s shoes for a moment. Here is an easy solution, give the priests money up front to get out of town, and we can take care of this faster. After all, we are canonically responsible for providing for these priests. Yet let’s back track, just a bit.
While Canon law requires dioceses to materially support their priests, this does not hold to priests who are under serious penalties, or are in the process of being laicized. Moreover, the bishops have shown themselves quite willing and able to cut off priests whom they suspend for other reasons. While it could be Dolan, or whoever made the decision, thought it was more expedient, it ignores two things: a) Priests who rape children deserve a hefty pyre where they will meet a fiery end to this life, before a fiery beginning to the next, not hush money, b) the perception will be, and in fact is, that they are being given some type of bonus. If it weren’t for the very strange statute of limitations on child rape, they would be transitioning to a jail cell anyway, so the concern should be with making this right however much they can with the victims, not helping priests who are guilty of the most monstrous crimes against children find funding as they “transition to a new life”.
As the Cardinal Archbishop of New York and the most recent president of the USCCB, Dolan is remembered for leading the fight against the HHS mandate and re-iterating the Church’s opposition to civil unions. He has acquired a reputation as a jolly bishop, happily leading the Church along. Curious stains on that particular legacy are that the Archidocese of New York, under his leadership, actually paid for contraception coverage and had complied with state law (under protest), though it was now fighting the same requirement on the national level, and that he had established a homosexual parish, St. Francis Xavier Parish in Manhattan, while he is preparing to close down one of New York’s more beautiful Churches, also being the only one where a daily Traditional Mass can be found, namely Holy Innocents. (Source)
We might also add that as Dolan is leading the fight against Obama, he happily invites him to the Al Smith dinner and allows photos having fun with the most anti-life President in years. He could have done, as Pope Benedict did when Nancy Pelosi, met with him, to forbid photographs to at least avoid the appearance of scandal. Yet he did not.
What all of these things show about Dolan, is that he is a company man. Of course he is more concerned with paying out pedophile priests than victims, or using Obama’s assault on the Church to bolster the Bishops’ “authority” even though his own Archdiocese does the same thing. Like Bernadine, Weakland, Law, Grahmam, and many other of the most disgraceful bishops to ascend to the office, Dolan is a team player, though it must be admitted his crimes are nowhere near the stench of the Bishops named before him. The problem is team USCCB is not always team Jesus, particularly where Catholic moral considerations are concerned.
It is also well known that a significant number of Bishops are gay, or sympathize with active homosexuality, and what is worse a large number of priests are gay. So again, Dolan doesn’t want to rock the boat. At least O’Connor, though he was no paragon of conservative Catholicism, had the backbone to oppose active homosexuals appearing in the St. Patrick’s day parade as a self-identified group. Not so Dolan, the team player, which probably is part of the reason he said “Bravo” to an openly gay football player on Meet the Press (which is linked at the top). Go along with the world even though it is entirely at odds with the Gospel. This is the career that Dolan has displayed, behind the jolly veneer. He is not satan in disguise, he is not malicious (it would appear) or evil, he is a fallible man who is doing wicked things.
The authentic Catholic uprising
Enter Voris, with a stern, serious and loud defense of what a Bishop should be doing. He wasn’t the only one. While Dolan has previously organized the so-called “fortnight for freedom” and other defenses of so-called “religious liberty”, Monsignor Charles Pope, a priest who dared to criticize Dolan was silenced, even though his piece dealt with issues much wider than Cardinal Dolan. So much for religious freedom. Its all fine and good when utilized to make people vote Republican, but as soon as someone in any position of authority takes a second look at our Catholic leaders, it is shut down. Likewise anyone appearing to have any sway. Therefore it is no surprise that the lapdogs of the Bishops should take aim at Voris, who is not a priest, and not employed by a diocese. They managed to shut down Mother Angelica in the 90’s but today the technology has made control impossible.
Now Voris’ comments, while appearing to be a bit histrionic, are what any Catholic 100 years ago would have said about such a spectacle. I think he is exactly right, not because Dolan is having tea with the devil between 4 and 5, but rather, because in his desire to be a company man and please everyone, he has forgotten the role of a Catholic Bishop (especially one in his position as a prince of the Church) and has given scandal. Moreover, he has rejected the same criticism from sources he declares to be charitable.
Thus we should look at the work of one Deacon who particularly took Voris’ appraisal amiss. Deacon Ditewig, PhD, offers the following appraisal:
Where to begin? While reasonable people might certainly disagree with the actions of any bishop, just as one might with any leader, one must certainly stop there, without going on to try to infer motivation or motive. I am sure that if Cardinal Dolan were asked about these things, he would completely and fully reject all of these assertions, and with good reason. To lump together, as Mr. Voris does, sexual orientation and sexual activity is to miss an important distinction made in the teaching of the church. Nowhere has Cardinal Dolan ever sanctioned sinful behavior by anyone, nor does the record indicate that he has ever given anyone a “free pass” on sin of any kind. There is no substantiation of any kind for a claim that the Cardinal has lost his faith, or that he is not striving to provide for the cura animarum of the people of New York — all the people. To spring from a criticism of certain decisions into a full blown attempt to characterize another person’s intentions and motivations — much less that state of that person’s soul — is not only fatally flawed logic, it is seriously deficient in Catholic morality. (Source)
This is a bit shocking, actually, coming from a PhD. Firstly, Voris is not equating the sinful behavior with the orientation. Cardinal Dolan is fully pleased with being the grand marshal of a parade that will now include out and proud practicing homosexuals marching under their own banner, just as he has already approved Masses for the same. At this point we are beyond any question of orientation vs. behavior. Second, while in truth it is not a sin to “be gay”, so to speak, that is to have such an orientation, the said orientation is in fact disordered. That is why we must have compassion and prayer for homosexuals, not persecution. Yet, it doesn’t follow that we must approve of their behavior, particularly when they celebrate their behavior. I don’t think anyone would countenance the association for employers who defraud laborers, or the association of those who abuse orphans and widows celebrating their sins in a parade ostensibly made to honor St. Patrick. Why do we tolerate that for the other sin crying to heaven for vengeance?
What the good deacon here misses, is that the decision to allow out and proud homosexuals to march under their own banner in the parade, constitutes a celebration of their sins, not a mere acknowledgement of the fact that these people suffer under such inclinations. I knew a fellow that was gay in college, and we talked and he knew I wasn’t of the type that would hate him or judge him for having such inclinations. He was a pretty bright guy, but he suffered with it. I prayed with him, I didn’t judge him, as others might have, and he struggled a lot. That is not the type of person who is to be marching in the St. Patrick’s day parade. Rather it will be the type of people who need reproof for their behavior, not the tacit support of the Cardinal Archbishop of the diocese. That is just the problem. By continuing the parade, in all its normal debauchery, with this added, is in fact to give a tacit approval of this behavior. It would be different if it was a chapter of Courage, founded by the late Fr. Harvey, of Catholics, or anyone else, suffering under such an affliction hoping to overcome it. That would constitute not the slightest scandal or offense. Nevertheless, the good deacon continues. [my comments in red]
The last point I wish to highlight is the claim made in the crawler at the bottom of the video. It is an advertisement for a paid subscription to the site, which professes to be “100% faithful to the Magisterium.” I must confess that when I first saw that claim, while watching the video and its assertions about Cardinal Dolan and other “wicked bishops,” I laughed out loud. How a person could claim to be completely faithful to the teaching authority of the Church while at the same time denigrating those men whose ministry includes being authoritative teachers of that Magisterium is simply nonsensical. [Being authoritative teachers like when they approve Gay parishes to have Masses for practicing homosexuals! Even Alexander VI didn’t stoop so low!]
What are we to make of all of this? Let’s review some basics.
The Magisterium is not simply a “who”; it is a “what.” Magisterium refers to the teaching authority of the Church, a Church we believe guided by the Holy Spirit [Not absolutely, but rather protected in solemn definitions in faith and morals. There is nowhere in Catholic doctrine where we teach that the Church is guided in all her doings by the Holy Spirit, or was Pope Alexander VI guided in the banquet of chestnuts but I digress…]. Every person, in some way or another, and in the broadest sense of the term, participates in this teaching authority, constantly learning and sharing this faith. Think of parents, for example, teaching and forming their children in faith, as they are charged at baptism; they are part of the magisterium in this broad sense. [A very broad and non-theological sense! This is one of the biggest stretches I have ever seen, and it entirely confuses the Ecclesia docens with the Ecclesia discens, to the point where the proposition is incorrect…] But in a very specific and particular way, the highest human teachers in the Church are the College of Bishops, always in communion with each other and with the head of the College, the Pope [This particular formulation is problematic, because its ultimate conclusion is erroneous at best if not in fact heretical. He equates the college of Bishops with the Papacy itself, as though the Pope were merely a first among equals. The Pope is the highest human teacher, with or without the Bishops. After his personal office then come the college of Bishops, when they teach on a matter of faith and morals whether together or dispersed throughout the world. This is the great problem with post-Vatican II ecclesiology, it hopelessly pales in comparison to the careful and clear explications of pre-Vatican II tracts De Ecclesia]. Unless and until an authoritative judgment is made by the College (always in communion with the Pope), or by the Pope himself, that a bishop is no longer part of that College, then the bishop in question remains an authoritative teacher. [An authoritative teacher is different than the magisterium, but I’ll go into that later] It is not within the competence of someone else (like Mr. Voris, or myself) to judge when a bishop is no longer teaching authentic or faithful doctrine. [Actually it is, when said Bishop departs from what has always and everywhere been believed by the Church, if it is demonstrable and public]. In fact, I will go further and suggest that, if there should be a presumption of veracity and accuracy in presenting the Church’s teaching, that presumption goes to the bishops, not to anyone else. Put simply, Mr. Voris is neither qualified nor competent to make the judgments he is attempting to make.
It may or may not be the case that Voris is competent to make the claims he makes, but nevertheless, the Deacon is quite out in left field. Firstly Voris is criticizing prudential determinations, and calling on the Cardinal to step down. He is not declaring him a heretic or deposed. What Deacon Ditewig is setting up is a supremacy of the Bishops, quite contrary to the mind of the Church and the tradition. For, both in the Theological manuals, and in Vatican II’s document Lumen Gentium, #25, the Bishops are part of the Church’s infallibility when they teach together or are dispersed throughout the world in unison on an issue of Faith and morals. One Bishop’s prudential determinations do NOT make him a voice of the magisterium, not even under Vatican II. In fact, a Bishop’s role in the magisterium individually is very limited. Let’s continue with Dolan’s faithful defender.
Am I saying that bishops never make mistakes? Of course not! Bishops make mistakes just like the rest of us, and they also deserve the benefit of fraternal correction. Some bishops commit crimes and should be held accountable under civil, criminal and canon law [Like Cardinal Law, who committed purgery in a court of law (against the 7th commandment), and was rewarded with a nice job in Rome for it!]. But no one has appointed any of us to take the place of God in judging us all for our sins [Whatever Voris is doing, that is not it. This smacks too much of the infamous “who am I to judge?”]. Alone we will stand before God and take responsibility for the way we’ve lived our lives.
Let’s take just one example from the litany of complaints made by Mr. Voris, and analyze just how wrong he is. He condemns Cardinal Dolan for not publicly condemning Islam as “a heresy and a false religion”. While this may be what he believes, it is NOT what the Catholic Church teaches [Really?] (remember the claim that he is 100% faithful to the Magisterium?). What DOES the Magisterium of the Church teach about Islam?
Here’s some truly authentic magisterial teaching, found in Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution [please note that well — it is a DOGMATIC text, dealing with the most fundamental issues of faith and church] on the Church (Lumen gentium), #16: [I have to interject here, Pope Paul VI inserted a Nota Praevia to Lumen Gentium, making it clear that nothing was dogmatically defined unless otherwise noted. So, while we might remark on the novelty of a “dogmatic contitution” not declaring anything dogmatic, there is nothing from the extraordinary magisterium that binds Catholics to belief].
But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind.
Later, this thought is developed in the same Council’s Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (Nostra Aetate), #3:
The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and
subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has
spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as
Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though
they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His
virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of
judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead.
Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.
Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual
understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.
In fact, even earlier — when talking about religion in general, the bishops of the Council (that “episcopal college” mentioned above) taught at #2:
The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men.
When a person claims to speak with complete faithfulness to the Magisterium, then, we should expect that this person would be echoing these teachings, which Cardinal Dolan has certainly done. The Church does NOT teach what Mr. Voris teaches: that Islam is “a heresy and a false religion.”
Well, where to start? We could talk about the fact that he ignores all previous Church pronouncements, both through the unanimity of theologians and even former conciliar declarations concerning Islam, but we’ll stick with what Islam is and the philosophy of God. I will say that I have personally known Muslims who are good people. That is not the issue here. All Trads have issues with Vatican II, and I am no exception, but for the sake of argument I’m going to leave that behind. Vatican II says nothing here that contradicts what Voris is saying. The Church can indeed note those elements of the Islamic religion that are praiseworthy, in the realm of philosophy, but none of that changes the reality that nowhere does the Church acknowledge Islam as a true religion. That is the problem. If it is not a false religion, then it must be a true religion, because of the law of non-contradiction, two contrary positions cannot be true at the same time and in the same respect. Thus in the Qu’ran, Ibrahim (the Arabic spelling for Abraham) takes Ismael up to the mountain to sacrifice, while in the Bible Abraham takes Isaac up to the mountain to sacrifice. They might both be false, but they cannot both be true. Muslims may indeed worship one God, but that does not mean that their philosophy of God is the same as ours. In point of fact, if you look at the Qu’ran, Muhammad’s mother is depicted as a whore, Jesus’ mother is revered. Jesus is glorified more than Muhammad, and Jesus will judge all on the last day. Most of what Muhammad got into the Qu’ran is in fact from Christian heresy, and it is not without reason that St. John Damascene, a doctor of the Church, characterizes Islam as a Christian heresy.
“There is also the superstition of the Ishmaelites which to this day prevails and keeps people in error, being a forerunner of the Antichrist. They are descended from Ishmael, [who] was born to Abraham of Agar, and for this reason they are called both Agarenes and Ishmaelites… From that time to the present a false prophet named Mohammed has appeared in their midst. This man, after having chanced upon the Old and New Testaments and likewise, it seems, having conversed with an Arian monk, devised his own heresy. Then, having insinuated himself into the good graces of the people by a show of seeming piety, he gave out that a certain book had been sent down to him from heaven. He had set down some ridiculous compositions in this book of his and he gave it to them as an object of veneration.” (source)
St. John Damascene is just another self-righteous crusader ignoring the magisterium of course! The fact is the Church does not teach what the Deacon here is proposing, that Islam is not a heresy and a false religion. In the comment box, several people pointed out similar things to the deacon, and he remonstrated that he was simply worried about Voris’ threatening language. Yet, he makes this a primary point of questioning Voris, that he is not faithful to the magisterium, and uses this as part of his example. The fact is that Voris is exactly right when he says that Islam is a heresy. It would be a heresy for a baptized person to embrace, and in its doctrines it is a false religion. That doesn’t mean that the Church can’t make common cause with Islamic countries at the UN, for instance, to oppose population control and birth control measures. It doesn’t mean that we can’t point to what is true in Islam. But it doesn’t make Islam a true religion. If it is not a false religion, it must be a true religion, and if so, what in the world are we doing in the Church? It may be that Dolan’s earthly prudence is justified or it may not, but it certainly doesn’t have a basis in Islam being a true religion.
Nevertheless, let’s look at where the attack on Vorris is going, which I have seen on a few other websites too:
Finally, I want to return to the threatening language used by Mr. Voris when he refers to punishment that he thinks may happen to Cardinal Dolan after he dies, “or even before you die,” and when he issues his call for an “authentic Catholic uprising. I would refer Mr. Voris and anyone else who is interested to the following canons from the Code of Canon Law:
Can. 1372 A person who makes recourse against an act of the Roman Pontiff to an ecumenical council [note: such as Vatican II] or the college of bishops is to be punished with a censure.
Can. 1373 A person who publicly incites among subjects animosities or hatred against the Apostolic See or an ordinary [note: such as Cardinal Dolan] because of some act of power or ecclesiastical ministry or provokes subjects to disobey them is to be punished by an interdict or other just penalties.
It would be interesting to hear the opinion of a canon lawyer with regard to these canons as they might apply in this instance.
Now we need to make important distinctions. Firstly, I don’t know what the deacon is taking about with his reference to Canon 1372, since Vorris is not making an appeal to Vatican II against all the bishops of the world, gathered together or dispersed throughout the world. It is a total non sequitur. This canon is talking about those who engage in private judgment attempting to challenge authoritative acts of his magisterium or jurisdiction on the basis of a council. This is based on much older laws, originating in the debates of Renaissance humanists who wanted to reform the papal court on the basis of the Council of Constance, the provisions of which were not entirely accepted by subsequent Popes. 1373 is a bit more pertinent. Now, in 1373, the Canon is envisioning someone who incites subjects to disobey their bishop, or to actually hate him. What Vorris has done, by contrast, is to call on Catholics to oppose bad decisions of their bishop, and to refuse to cooperate with his bad actions. I’ll readily grant he could be more clear about the “Catholic uprising” he is calling for, but his words are clearly in the realm of the necessary opposition that Catholics can have to bad members of their hierarchy. An authentically Catholic uprising by its very nature would suggest something non-violent, prayerful, etc.
Again, Dolan is not evil because he is in secret liaisons with the devil, or because he has palmist readings, or writes meditations on tarot cards like Hans Urs von Balthasar, but because he has chosen human respect above his divine calling as a bishop. We should support Voris’ call for a Catholic uprising, by telling our shepherds we will not tolerate any more wishy-washy compromise, watered down doctrine and assaults on our liturgical tradition. We do need any more “Bravo’s” to the world. Nay, we need another bravo: Bravo Michael Voris!
It cannot be too often repeated that what destroyed the Family in the modern world was Capitalism. No doubt it might have been Communism, if Communism had ever had a chance, outside that semi-Mongolian wilderness where it actually flourishes. But so far as we are concerned, what has broken up households and encouraged divorces, and treated the old domestic virtues with more and more open contempt, is the epoch and power of Capitalism. It is Capitalism that has forced a moral feud and a commercial competition between the sexes; that has destroyed the influence of the parent in favor of the influence of the employer; that has driven men from their homes to look for jobs; that has forced them to live near their factories or their firms instead of near their families; and, above all, that has encouraged for commercial reasons, a parade of publicity and garish novelty, which is in its nature the death of all that was called dignity and modesty by our mothers and fathers. It is not the Bolshevist but the Boss, the publicity man, the salesman and the commercial advertiser who have, like a rush and riot of barbarians, thrown down and trampled under foot the ancient Roman statue of Verecundia.
Three Foes of the family
Since Obama won his second term, conservatives, religious conservatives in particular have had to lick their wounds. Some reactions go to the extreme, such as the pregnant woman who ran over her husband for not voting, as if his vote really mattered and he is the reason why Obama won when he lives in a state that went for Romney any way. Others blame Catholics who voted for Obama, while others bemoan those who voted for a 3rd party or could not bring themselves to vote for “Mittens”. All of these and the countless string or reactions and “if only we had gotten out the vote” etc. indicate amongst religious conservatives and pro-lifers an underlying problem, why aren’t we winning? The answer is that the movement has failed.
Is the pro-life movement really successful?
In one sense certainly. No other organization has consistently brought several hundred thousand people to the capital every year for over 40 years, not that I’ve ever heard of anyway. Moreover, the Pro-life movement in particular offers real solutions for women, through crisis pregnancy centers, post-abortive counseling, gifts, donations, adoption etc. In my estimation these are the real successes. I should also add before I criticize the movement that I am 100% pro-life, but I am dismayed by where the movement comes up short.
The successes, alas, sadly don’t overshadow the striking failures of the movement politically, and these are due to two factors: 1) A faulty grasp on the real nature of the problem and 2) absolute dependence on the Republican party which does not care. Thus we can say that the pro-life movement is successful socially with all of the good it is able to do for women in need, but not politically.
In the first place, we must correctly realize why abortion in this country (let alone in Europe) came into being. It did not come in with the legalization of contraception 6 years earlier, nor did it come in because of Margaret Sanger, who was a socialist and a Nazi supporter. It did not even come from Eugenics. These are all secondary causes; they are all involved, however, they flow from a primary cause.
Abortion came from Capitalism’s betrayal of the family. The assault of liberalism always realizes itself as economic before it does as political. Until the pro-life movement comes to the realization that abortion is wedded to our economic system, it will fail each and every time. Moreover, as long as it is beholden to the Republican party, which by and large is a party wedded to free market capitalism (the source for abortion) then the movement to end abortion will never be realized.
How Capitalism Causes Abortion
Why is this? Firstly, let us consider the assault on the family resulting from Capitalism. Most are aware of the 18th and 19th century realities, families forced into a small room which is all they can afford, children working and losing limbs in factories, etc. Since the 20th century most of the horrid conditions had been extirpated, at least for the time being. Thus many say we’ve cleaned up our act economically, so how does Capitalism cause the break-up of the family?
In the first place, we operate from a novel notion of “family”. In the past, the family is not only the husband, wife and children, but the extended family as well as those close friends and servants who are considered like “family”. We are all familiar with Hillary Clinton touting: “It takes a village to raise a child”, and Rick Santorum’s response with: “It takes a family to raise a child.” The truth however is both, but in their proper sense. When Clinton uses that African proverb, she means by “village”, something the Africans do not mean with the saying. She means it takes the government to assist parents financially and materially. In the case of the latter, Santorum means to defend the western, particularly American status quo of the nuclear family which should be able to work and provide for all of its needs on its own. This is of course the family created by American Capitalism. The problem lies in that it is not enough.
The term “familia” is an ancient Roman legal derived from the word “famulus” which means, well a slave or a servant. In Roman legal terms, the familia is the unit of the Erus, or Dominus, his wife, his children who are denoted as liberi, (the same word as the adjective “free”) namely the free offspring, and the famuli who vary from slaves who work in the fields, the house, their children, or scholarly foreigners in his retinue. Its name in Latin implies a group of people who are not the blood relation of the father, mother and their offspring. This composition of the family was similar in the Greek world, and in the Germanic cultures which ultimately took over the Roman Empire in the west. This particular conception of family only changed with the outlawing of slavery from slaves to servants, domestic servants attached to the family either by duty or for pay, and until the advent of capitalism this changed very little. Jane Austen for example, refers in one of her works to a family so poor they could only afford one servant. (Today due to taxes and bureaucracy, even a well to do family could scarcely afford to pay one, even well). Why did people have servants? As fathers of large families can affirm, having children, tending to a house and the normal course of female biology take their toll on women. A woman who works in the home often works much harder than a woman in the workplace. In short, women needed (and still need) help that the husband cannot provide while he is earning a living, irrespective of whether this was on the land or at his own business, or working elsewhere for a wage. All of these occupations in the past were sufficient to provide an income to employ a servant or two, until work in the city, the factory, the shop became paramount and because of the centralization of ownership, wages could no longer support a servant.
Who were the types of people employed as servants? They were not all like Jeeves of Wodehouse’s famous novels. Rather, they were widows, poor women, poor landless men, etc. Namely, people who today are on welfare. What could they receive for that? Some pay, no doubt, but also room and board which is no small cost either. They wouldn’t have lived like kings, but they also didn’t suffer a hand to mouth existence dependent upon the government handouts of Hilary Clinton’s “village”. With the ruin of the middle class culturally and economically in the 18th and 19th century, servants became the domain of the rich (enter Jeeves!). Today there is a finishing school in England where women spend a lot of money to be trained to be domestic servants and are thereupon hired by the wealthy. The old virtues had specific etiquette for how to treat servants, how long they might be expected to work, etc. Today these have been lost, so one frequently reads about foreigners recruited to be servants in Europe then treated like slaves. None of this is thought of when speaking of the older virtues of servants. They were not employees, they were family from nannies to those helping with dishes. The point is all these factors added to peace in the home, for the most part, by helping mothers during difficult periods. As I myself have experienced, while women have maternity leave men often do not have paternity leave. Who is going to cook and clean while the mother is recovering? It is a necessary thing for women to be able to relax after having a baby. Birth is a difficult thing, it is a wonderful thing but very painful and trying on a woman’s body. Older children still need to be cared for, fed, etc. Houses still need to be cleaned, as any parent of a large family knows, dirt builds up! True, older children can do quite a bit of work, but what if you are a mother of toddlers? There are people who do hire nannies and domestic servants, but to afford it both parents must work unless the husband is in a high paying job, which today is not most people.
Yet this is only one facet of the problem. The other is the fierce individualistic spirit of capitalism which yields so many bad effects in society. Since capitalism focuses on individual material happiness, grandparents become a drain on modern notions of privacy, not only for children who don’t want irritating elders around, but even for grandparents who want to maintain independence themselves! Thus nursing homes came into being, a place for people to stick their unwanted elderly, and on the other side elderly who don’t want to give up their independence and prefer to go to a nursing home. There is a good bit of both. Another factor is that elderly must work later into life. This is not just because of corporate CEOs raiding their retirement accounts, or social security not paying until later, but the obscene cost of health care and the inability of retirement or social security to pay the rising bills thanks to the effects of inflation. In 2010, the biggest single cause of bankruptcy was individuals with health insurance who could not pay medical bills. Thus grandparents are increasingly unable to help young families manage. Other relatives must make ends meet themselves and the assistance which in the past was there is not now.
The Political Failure of the Pro-life movement
The Pro-life movement politically speaking is similar in its nature and its conduct to the Populist movement of William Jennings Bryan. The Populist movement brought together many people of different backgrounds and opinions, who had one basic premise: take the power from big banks by freeing us from dependence on gold for currency. In this they were right of course and many Americans at the time agreed, but in the end they failed politically. The reason for this is that they were not able to get an effective grass roots movement going and their third party presidential candidates failed. Why did they fail to get an effective grass roots movement? There are several reasons for this, but primarily they didn’t have enough grasp on the plurality of issues effecting government. The left for instance always talks about a one issue voter and how this is bad. There is a sense however in which the charge is correct, they are simply applying it wrong. The left uses the “one issue voter” slogan to say abortion is not a big issue. That is false, it is. Yet they are right in that it is not the only issue and to have a coherent platform one needs to be able to address a plurality of issues. The populists had no grasp of this locally or statewide, and they got eaten up between loyalty to the established parties.
The exact same thing is true for the pro-life movement. The movement itself has almost nothing to say about economic policy, the environment (in its proper sense), healthcare, the war on terror etc. As a whole the movement is shortsighted politically, and it is generally owned and run by the Republican party. Abortion is the biggest gift to the Republicans, because never could a more incompetent party manage to stay alive in modern politics without a major issue to keep people voting for them. For this reason, among many others, the Republicans will never end abortion, nay more, they have, continue to and will in the future continue to run pro-abortion candidates. We even saw the specter of pro-life Rick Santorum defending a pro-abort candidate from a pro-life candidate to maintain the “party interest”.
They will talk, they will stir people up, or offer their token resistance and there are even sincere Republican politicians who want to end abortion, however, in the end the party will never end it. We should not forget that an allegedly “good, christian, pro-life” conservative Republican, George H.W. Bush, while Nixon’s ambassador to the UN helped the Chinese craft the One Child Policy. As a congressman in 1968, George H.W. Bush used every opportunity to praise Planned Parenthood, and offered amendments with fellow Republican Herman Schneebeli to give “Family Planning Services” priority. During the hearings for these amendments, Allen Guttmacher, the successor to Margaret Sanger and equally a protegee in her support of NAZI eugenics and racism appeared as a witness in favor of the amendments. After discussing the problems that Planned Parenthood faces due to its inherent goal of wiping out blacks through contraception and abortion, George H.W. Bush said: “I appreciate that. For the record, I would like to say I am 1,000 percent in accord with the goals of your organization. I think perhaps more than any other type of organization you can do more in the field of poverty and mental health and everything else than any other group that I can think of. I commend you.” In the 70’s, Republican President Richard Nixon’s state department, with the aid of Henry Kissinger, drafted National Security Memorandum 200, a document which decried the rise of African birth rates, because as Africans developed their resources, America would be less able to steal them. (!) In the 90s, as a senator for Pennsylvania Rick Santorum supported Title X funding which went to Planned Parenthood in order to bolster other legislation. John McCain, who so many told us we should support in 2008, has met with Al Qaeda leaders in Syria who have kidnapped and killed little children on youtube to bolster support for his Syria policy. Pro-life over here, not in the middle east apparently, if we could even say he is pro-life at all. No Republican leader has been any different. They will talk but they will not do. The democrats of course have no interest in ending it either, and religious conservatives who make up the pro-life movement are just a political group to be wooed for votes by parties who do not share their interests. The pro-life movement makes no attempt to address the economic and social antecedents of abortion except in the area of personal morality. No one stops to ask the question, why was birth control attractive to modern women?
In the 19th century early feminists like Susan B. Anthony advocated laws against birth control and abortion because these were seen as being used by men to control and use women, thus the laws came on the books which became an issue in the 20th century. Why was Margaret Sanger able to appeal to modern women to use birth control and have recourse to abortion? It wasn’t her NAZI sympathies, it wasn’t her stated goal to get rid of the “morons” and “black babies” that inspired them, no it was the exigencies of modern life. Birth and raising children is difficult, oh here is a way to keep me from being pregnant, why is that illegal? Providing said services is also big business. If you convince the population it needs little rubber sheaths and it needs pills, or doctors trained to murder babies in the womb, there are a lot of people who will buy them, and given our modern culture, quite repeatedly. Capitalism is on the side of abortion. Entrepreneurs want to convince people to buy their products, why should government interfere? Is there force? no. Is there fraud? no. Therefore what’s the problem? Arguing against it on the basis of morality, or even psychologically and sociologically is to import a foreign philosophy to the individualistic spirit of capitalism. As we have seen, pornography, in spite of study after study showing its bad effects, is still legal (See my article of several years ago the Market and the Moral Man). The failure of the pro-life movement to effectively deal with the moral problems of capitalism and how it has transformed the family will always leave it handicapped when dealing with abortion.
Furthermore, let us look to two significant failures of the Pro-Life movement politically, the Partial Birth Abortion ban and Obamacare.
With respect to the Partial Birth Abortion ban, many in the Pro-life movement hailed it as a great victory, or the first chip at Roe vs. Wade. This however, apart from being shortsighted politically, this view is also incorrect legally. Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, stated that the ban was constitutional, because it upheld the principles in Planned Parenthood v Casey. That is to say, because the 2007 partial birth abortion ban upheld abortion law in general (adding further precedent to its constitutionality) it was fine. This is not a victory, it is a defeat. The high court essentially said this law is good because it continues the support of abortion on demand. It is not a victory either because it got rid of partial birth abortion, since if you kill a baby by sucking is brain’s out with a vacuum, or do so by dismembering it or boiling it in saline, what is the difference? An innocent child is still dead. Then there is Obamacare. Conservative democrats hailed the Stupak amendment and Bart Stupak’s party of eight resisting Obamacare, and many said this was a victory. Yet in the end when Nancy Pelosi demanded, Stupak accepted the promise that the president would not force abortion to be funded by taxpayers, which is completely ludicrous not only because Obama is not trustworthy, but how can he simply say this bill funds healthcare, and deny funding to something the Supreme Court calls healthcare? Then comes the HHS mandate, the complete support of the Obama regime for Planned Parenthood, and the fact the US Catholic Bishops were compromised while trying to argue against it. Pro-lifers, and Catholics in particular, had virtually no counter health care plan. They only came up with a free market argument in the face of Obama trying to provide a corporatist plan that in reality is nothing more than a bail-out for insurance companies. Where were they all this time prior on health care? It doesn’t matter if now we say abortion is not healthcare, the upholding of the partial birth abortion ban was done under the understanding that it is, it is law. Was everyone blind to this?
Hope for the future?
There are only three ways in which the Pro-life movement could be successful. Firstly, the issue of Capitalism and abortion needs to be addressed. Leaving it out is nothing more than ignoring the elephant in the room. The fact is, abortion clinics are simply made of of entrepreneurial individuals responding to a market demand, and a value free, market based economics such as that of the Austrian School has no means of stopping this, since the claim is that the government exists only to stop theft or fraud. Abortion clinics offer a service, people want to pay for said service, what more is there? (Or at least, someone wants to pay for it, since many times women are pressured or even forced to undergo the procedure). Once the positive law outlawing abortion was struck down, there were plenty of entrepreneur’s responding to market demand. Moreover, it expanded with universities and medical companies paying for the finished product (i.e. a dead baby) to pursue research. How can the Austrian school stop that? It can’t. Furthermore, capitalism in general supports the whole mindset which goes into abortion, from using sex to sell products, to increasingly cheapen human life itself and the destruction of the family which results.
Second, start a 3rd party that does not run for president for a period of at least 5 years. This party would necessarily have to be holistic, though while abortion would be the chief of all issues on the platform, there would also be a well thought out policy addressing a range of issues. It is necessary to participate in government in meaningful ways, that means at the local and state level. Running presidential candidates is a waste of time. It does not engender serious attention to issues no one talks about, it does not advance a message, it just wastes money and gets ignored by the media. I would turn the phrase attributed to Nathan Rothschild on its head, namely “give me control of the currency and I care not who makes the laws.” I would say instead: Give the people control of local and state government, and I care not what Wall Street goon runs a regime in the White house. But this is a longshot, since, if the voting system is not positively rigged, then at least most people do not care. There are higher voter turnouts in under-developed countries in Africa than there is in the “beacon of freedom”. My general opinion is that voting actually doesn’t solve anything anyway.
The other matter is to to attack the root causes of the abortion culture socially and domestically, not only contraception, for that too has antecedents, but the pornography culture and the “me” generation. The pro-life movement would be more politically effective if we worked on the restoration of the family; this is not achieved by merely working for abstinence education and educating about marriage, but to work for families owning sufficient material wealth to survive, support for mothers both from family and community, which is to say it needs to adopt authentic Catholic social principles. This requires, in our current situation, the de-funding of public schools and the strengthening of local communities, businesses and family life at a communal level. Failing a third party this is the only option to tackle abortion. Neither political party wants it to end, nor is committed to it ending. Thus the voter is placed between the Scylla and Charybdis of democrats who want National Socialism, and republicans who want Corporatism, and alternatives from libertarians like Ron Paul who would give us Plutocracy and genocidal austerity. On the one hand the former says abortion is not as important as healthcare, while the other says the market will take care of abortion, when in reality neither is true. In the case of the latter it is actually the opposite, abortion is a market driven demand requiring a market solution, namely the service [of murder]. Working within the framework of the Republican party will never end abortion because at the end of the day it is the same world that creates the demand for abortion. Only by returning to the basic concept of what government, law, society and culture are for, preeminently what the family is, and what the end of it is can we possibly broach an end to abortion. Thus it is not enough to oppose capitalism, or to found a third party, we must work to make Catholic Social teaching happen, restore the family, restore people working and owning capital (not stocks), restore the concept of procreation and education of children, and then, not later, those pro-life goals have a chance of being realized. Until the pro-life movement figures these things out, it will continue to fail politically, in spite of its social achievements.