Children are Not Fashion Accessories for Narcissists

A reader sends along this story from the tormented world of the Transgender subculture:

Heard an interview on CBC a few weeks ago, and when I read the part in today’s blog about incest being kinda-almost-acceptable, I have to share this with you.

This is about a female-born person who takes testosterone to become a man (and has a breast reduction) and deems herself a homosexual man and now (as a man) is in a homosexual relationship with a man, and they decide to have a baby. And the female-male guy lactated his/her biological baby and now wants to be a La Leche Leader, as a man. The only thing “normal” about this is that underneath all the sexual inclinations and lifestyle, it’s a man and a woman having a baby. Poor kid.

Carry on, warrior!

A “Canuck” who keeps it simple: wife, mom, Catholic–there’s no life like it!

The problem with a culture in which consent is the sole criterion of the good is simply this: our individualist, libertarian, atomized, isolated me, myself, and I choices that are nobody else’s business are as rare as hen’s teeth. Everything you do sends out ripples to the whole world and has effects on everybody else whether you or they like it or not. This is nowhere more true than in matters touching on the family, where the choice of parents to be self-absorbed narcissists directly impacts the poor wretched children who are, like everything else in the universe, turned into tools of self-expression for parents who cannot extract their heads from their own navels for one second in order to consider the needs of their children.

Part of the reason American conservative culture is so terrible at answering the arguments for gay “marriage” is that it is deeply complicit in the libertarian mindset of atomized individualism that undergirds it. The only part of Catholic social teaching we ever hear about from Paul Ryan flavored Catholic conservatives is subsidiarity. Subsidiarity basically says that, all things being equal, the people closest to the problem should handle it and only kick the problem upstairs to higher authorities when local action can’t handle it. Many libertarian and Randian devotees like Ryan regard this as a useful figleaf for a radical individualism that is recklessly heedless of the common good. What is seldom considered by such a politicized and ideological (that is, heretical) reading of the Catholic tradition is the equally important doctrine of solidarity: namely, that we are all in this together, that the human race is radically interconnected with one another and with the rest of creation, and that you can’t just recklessly ignore nature (including the nature of human sexuality and the family) without doing massive damage that sends out ripples far beyond the narcissist’s little bubble of selfishness. It’s true for people like this. It’s true for polluting corporations. It’s true for pols who smash conscience in order to enforce the abortion regime. It’s true for pols who simplistically consign half the country to the status of Takers. It’s true for a whole slew of ideologues on left and right who ignore their duty to the common good in pursuit of some tiny sliver of Catholic teaching they have expanded into an all explaining theory of everything. Catholic teaching must be received as a whole weave, not as a cafeteria.

Happily, there are sane people like my reader who get that and live out sane relationships such as “Catholic, wife, mother” which respect the solidarity of the human race and do not tear it to shreds in pursuit of selfish ideology. Way to go, Canadian Woman of the Northlands! Keep up the good work!

  • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

    Disclaimer first: 90% of this I agree.

    Part of the reason American conservative culture is so terrible at answering the arguments for gay “marriage” is that it is deeply complicit in the libertarian mindset of atomized individualism that undergirds it. The only part of Catholic social teaching we ever hear about from Paul Ryan flavored Catholic conservatives is subsidiarity. Subsidiarity basically says that, all things being equal, the people closest to the problem should handle it and only kick the problem upstairs to higher authorities when local action can’t handle it. Many libertarian and Randian devotees like Ryan regard this as a useful figleaf for a radical individualism that is recklessly heedless of the common good.

    Incorrect, many libertarians and conservatives believe there is a common good, but to arm Leviathan to try and enforce it will [pick one: backfire/destroy that good/be counterproductive/etc]. Any time a law is proposed you have to ask yourself: “Is this matter worth someone going to jail over (and/or being killed if they resist going to jail hard enough).”

    (This is partly why a some have had a bit of schadenfreude at Catholics whining over the HHS; when you feed and arm Leviathan, don’t be surprised when it turns against you. Some see the wailing and gnashing of teeth as reaping what the church has sown.)

    The debate is fundamentally one about the nature of disease. Libertarians & conservatives (well, some of them, I know plenty that don’t) see the government as a symptom. Making it more “social justice-y” won’t fix anything; society & culture must be fixed at the ground level, by us in our every day interactions. Or… well how did a wise writer put it?

    It is fascism, not American representative democracy and emphatically not Catholic teaching which says that our dignity and our rights come from the generosity of Caesar and not the hand of God. We find meaning and purpose from serving God and neighbor, not Big Brother.

    Exactly! It’s not Romney’s or Ryan’s place to talk about charity because they’re not preachers. They’re just our representatives in the government. We should look for our leaders to be moral, but not for moral leadership.

    • ivan_the_mad

      “Exactly! It’s not Romney’s or Ryan’s place to talk about charity because they’re not preachers. They’re just our representatives in the government. We should look for our leaders to be moral, but not for moral leadership.”

      That may be your opinion, but that’s decidedly not what the Church teaches. See CotCC 1905-1912 (among others).

      • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

        Ok, fair enough. Though some of ya’ll could stop acting surprised when the scorpion finally stings.

        • Michael F.

          Nate – I think your reply to Mark is a good one. And I appreciate your acknowledgment of Ivan’s point, too.

          I agree with much in Mark’s article, but I think he stretches too hard sometimes to paint a “both sides are wrong” picture. In the current context, I don’t see a moral or practical equivalence between the errors on the left and right.

      • Ted Seeber

        This is why I’m as against libertarians as I’m against other libertines. We’re all preachers in this world, whether we like it or not others *will see our behavior and ape it*. No use modeling bad behavior.

        • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

          So you….. have a problem with people disagreeing with you? (and/or not being Catholic?)

          Yes, in a pedantic sense we are all “preachers” to the world (everyone, for whatever they believe) but Free Will is a b*** and until you can vote for Jesus (or yourself), politics will always involve flawed candidates that don’t measure up to your own checklist. Complaining about it comes off rather like complaining that rain is wet.

          • Ted Seeber

            Yes, I do. Have a problem with people not being Catholic at least. Disagreeing with me not so much, but ignoring truth just for the sake of some favorite sin? I certainly do have a problem with that.

            Having said that- my point is FAR more general than you are thinking. Any parent who has ever cursed in front of their child only to have that child repeat the wrong word for several weeks in every stressful situation, knows that we are all unintentional preachers, and that is a fact of being *HUMAN*. Someday, somebody WILL use your sin to justify their sin. I guarantee it.

            • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

              Yes, I do. Have a problem with people not being Catholic at least. Disagreeing with me not so much, but ignoring truth just for the sake of some favorite sin? I certainly do have a problem with that.

              So you have a problem with the truth of free will. And how far does your problem go with it? Enough to put a gun to their heads? Throw them in jail? (because that’s fundamental result of every government policy, “agree or else”)

              Having said that- my point is FAR more general than you are thinking.

              Yes, when I said “[I]n a pedantic sense we are all “preachers” to the world (everyone, for whatever they believe)…” I clearly wasn’t being general enough.

              Consider this the last reply (none of us have enough times to waste on trolls). I would much prefer debating someone who actually debates what I’m saying than the figment their imagination has concocted. Maybe some day you can learn not to ignore the truth (what they actually say & think) of other people.

              • Ted Seeber

                Not so much the truth of free will- but the idea that civilization should tolerate sin is one that is rather abhorrent to me (as well as being slightly nonsensical).

                As for debating what you were saying- I would suggest you’re projecting your problems understanding onto me. I was debating the literal words you were saying. You were claiming individuals do not harm each other in ways that cannot be predicted, I brought up the example of children mimicking their parents.

                And now I’m wondering why you failed to understand.

    • http://www.virtue-quest.com/ Robert King

      The debate is fundamentally one about the nature of disease. Libertarians & conservatives (well, some of them, I know plenty that don’t) see the government as a symptom.

      A symptom of what, exactly?

      Just because government has well overstepped its proper role doesn’t imply that it has no proper role. Society needs some principle of order and unity, and government is (or ideally should be) that principle.

      • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

        Well, its proper role is where the debate is, isn’t it? Small-government conservatives (and libertarians) believe that government best serves as an agent of order, and even then only partial order. That culture, social bonds, family, religions, etc are the more important principles of order and unity in a society. You can have government encourage or force people to behave, but you can’t have it force them to be good people against their will. (well, not without becoming the worst tyranny ever seen in history – and it will still fail)

        Now to your first question: a symptom of fallen man in the general, a post-Christianity culture at this moment in history. And no president, Supreme Court or Congress can change or fix that, only us, in our every day lives, can do so.

        • SpasticHedgehog

          So what happens in the void? I think that the libertarian view of government makes sense in a sort of Utopian way where we all listen to our better angels and participate in acts of charity. But since we live in a fallen world where instead people are routinely selfish, cruel and lazy, what happens to the poor who try to better their lot in life but fail?
          I’m no bleeding heart liberal, but this is where my stumbling block with libertarianism is. How do you convince a society made of fallen creatures to participate in acts of charity?

          • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

            You sort of answered your own question, or do you think that a fallen society will be able to make a government that’s not? As Briggs pointed out in this review of an essay by Stove, what if your efforts make the poor (and others) worse off? (as a government, as individuals, you probably are helping, probably) Or as the trope goes: Stop Helping Me!

            Plus, there’s an old conservative saying: “A government big enough to give you everything, is big enough to take it all away.” To amend it, “a government big enough to enforce your religious precepts, is also big enough to violate them.” If that’s what you want, fine, just be aware that one day it will probably bite you.

            • http://www.likelierthings.com Jon W

              If that’s what you want, fine, just be aware that one day it will probably bite you.

              Yeah, but that’s not an argument against the assertion that something is per se good. Abusus non tollit usum.

              • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                True, and the day humanity is perfected, I’ll gladly vote for a more powerful government. But then since that day Jesus will be the only One on the ballot, the vote will just be for my conscience.

        • Ted Seeber

          I wish conservative libertarians would use the English Language right. They’re not for small government, they’re for WEAK government. If they were truly for small, strong government they’d support families and small businesses ruled by theocracies consisting of no larger area than a parish, supported by the diocese, then the archdiocese, then the worldwide church. Then they’d be distributionists.

          • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

            Uh… federalism? States rights? (this kind of confirms my belief that not many here know what conservatives & libertarians actually want or believe)

            • Ted Seeber

              The way federalism has been interpreted by the Supreme Court, especially the monopoly over the creation of money and the oversight of interstate commerce that seems to automatically extend as large as international trade and as small as a man growing pot in his front living room as a decoration; it’s a useless concept. Distributism would be every parish having it’s own currency. Distributism would *enable protectionism* because after all, protectionism is about protecting your family, your parish, your town.

              I even suggested that a population of 10,000 is the upper limit for any useful government to be at one point- because beyond that, social structures break down.

              THAT is small government. Federalism is about large government.

              • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                Except now you’re no longer using federalism in the manner that conservatives & libertarians do, which was the use I applied. The ideal of federalism would actually be what you’re also calling distributism. (see also)

                Though that does nullify your earlier complain not that others are misusing the english language, but that they’re misusing YOUR interpretation of it. (at least it finally explains where all your strawmen are coming from) Which is quite unfair. It’s rather like going up to a bunch of tech geeks and trying to point out to them that “server” actually means the fellow that brings you your food. While technically true, they have adopted the term as shorthand for their own uses, thus why it’s handy to examine a group’s actual vocabulary.

                • Ted Seeber

                  But that version of federalism still has an overreaching structure to it. It isn’t like the Catholic Diocese, which are autonomous.

                  Subsidiarity is illegal under the Constitution of the United States. Articles I Sections 8 and 10, along with the 10th Amendment, prevents localities from being economically autonomous.

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          Nate Winchester,

          I am going to shamelessly steal from a Catholic Worker here, because he probably would say ‘you need it worse than me, brother’.

          Let me get your opinion on a few policy proposals, and see how you feel about each and every one of them…

          “Participation is the teaching that people have a right and a duty to participate in their own life, in their own rescue if need be. Government commits grave evil when it prevents people from participating in their own life.

          So let us count the ways that the governments of these United States — federal, state, and local — oppress the poor by making it illegal for them to participate in their own lives:

          In most areas it’s illegal to sell along public right of ways (sidewalks, roads, rest stops on the highways and toll roads, etc.) Where legal, such high prices are charged for licenses and bizarre requirements are enacted as to make street vending for all practical intents and purposes illegal.

          It’s illegal to practice small scale itinerant trades without “proper licenses” which often have expensive prerequisites so that they function as barriers to market entry rather than protections for the public. These are trades like hair braiding, hair cutting, carpentry, plumbing, etc. The proliferation of coercive credentialing in general raises political barriers to finding and doing work and lowers compensation.

          It’s often illegal for poor people to practice trades out of their houses.
          Laws limit the number of garage sales people can have at their homes and restrict the ability to open a small sales or hospitality operation in a home.

          Laws forbid people from making non-hazardous foods (like jams, pickles, and baked goods) at home and selling them to the public.

          Poor people who own cars can’t drive people around and charge for the service. It would likely be illegal to use a van to establish a jitney service (a type of transit, common elsewhere, where a van or small bus drives a route but deviates around the route to pick up fares dispatched from a central location). Transportation has serious political barriers to market entry.

          It’s generally illegal to teach people how to apply makeup without government licenses which require expensive training.

          It is generally illegal to grow vegetables in your back yard and then sell them in your front yard.

          The government’s “war on people who use drugs” breeds crime in low income areas and makes crime pay much better than honest work and entrepreneurial activity.

          The common political practice of rewarding friends and punishes enemies (known as “rent-seeking”) reduces economic opportunities for all, keeps people out of the market, and is a non-market process driving the centralization of wealth.

          Now let’s consider how government makes the lives of poor people more hard and miserable and prevents people from helping them.

          In many areas it is effectively illegal to be homeless. This is accomplished with laws forbidding loitering, sleeping in public, etc.

          Begging is often illegal.

          Zoning laws prevent people from adding small apartments (garage, attic, basement, back-yard) that would increase the amount of rental housing and thus moderate rental prices.

          In most areas it would be illegal to put a trailer house in your back yard and allow a poor person to live in it rent free or for a moderate rental.

          In most areas it is practically impossible to establish a boarding house, which was always a traditional place for poor people to live.

          Economic redevelopment programs, using eminent domain, have attacked poor neighborhoods across the country, destroying millions of units of low income housing. This non-market, politicized process has driven up the price of housing, especially at the low end. It has taken property for the poor, cheated them by paying cheap, non-market, court-dictated and politicized prices for the property, and then given that property at low prices to persons with privileged access to politicians.

          It’s illegal for people to build their own houses. Code requirements increase the cost of housing and are more related to political pressure from construction contractors than to actual safety issues.

          It’s illegal for poor people to live in many neighborhoods. This is achieved by mandating minimum lot sizes, distances between houses, square feet minimums, and by forbidding any manufactured housing or trailer houses.

          It’s illegal to provide some kinds of useful housing to poor people.

          It’s illegal to not have electricity in your house. It’s illegal to not buy water from your city utility. The state can seize your children if you don’t have electricity.

          It’s illegal in most areas for more than 4 unrelated people to live together.

          Government credentialing in health care drives up its cost. In particular, the practice of indenturing nurse practitioners to doctors raises the price of health care and reduces access for low income people. Government indenturing of denturists (skilled health care craftspeople who make dentures) to dentists means much high prices for dentures without a corresponding increase in quality. Dentists apparently prefer that poor people present a “snaggle toothed” appearance, which is a problem for getting a job, since they have manipulated the system to give themselves this non-science-based economic advantage.

          You can’t raise chickens or other small animals in most cities unless you have a large (one acre or larger) lot. This is inhibits economic activity and prevents people from supporting themselves by their own labor.

          Police commonly allow crime that would not be tolerated in upper income neighborhoods to proliferate in low income areas.

          Our education system is oriented towards college. Secondary school systems everywhere marginalize and provide poor services to non-college-bound students.

          Taxes and fees extracted from low income, working class, and middle class areas subsidize upscale development. This constantly drains older neighborhoods of revenue important for maintaining infrastructure and providing services.

          Laws that mandate minimum apartment sizes drive up the cost of low income housing and restrict its supply.”

          I ask because, as Brother Bob points out…

          “The negative cumulative impacts of these prohibitions and persecutions is to –

          Make people dependent upon government social services,

          Make the lives of poor people more miserable, risky, and unhealthy,
          Suppress the price of lower-income labor,

          Keep unemployment high,

          Reduce entrepreneurial activity and thus ensure a continued supply of cheap workers,

          Increase the number of abortions due to economic distress and psychological despair.”

          What do you think? Are these examples of onerous government activity, or as SO MANY “free-market” conservatives and libertarians claim, just examples of government maintaining order?

          • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

            Sorry I missed your reply earlier.

            Though I’m not sure what you’re asking since I actually agree with you and is part of why I think government needs to be drastically downsized. What do I think? I think “amen, brother!” Cut the heads from Hydra and cauterize the wound!

            Though some times we’ll have to share links because where your “free-market” guys are, they are clearly not trafficking in the same circuits as the ones I read.

            • Hezekiah Garrett

              I’m not reading them. I live around them. I meet them in my day to day life. This may be the disconnect. I could care less what folks write. I’m interested in how they vote and what they say when they think everybody in the room agrees with them.

              And you, sir, are a totally unique bird in my experience. GOP voters may be the GOPs biggest enemies.

          • Blog Goliard

            I don’t know of any libertarian or “free market” conservative who wouldn’t gladly abolish 90% of what you just described tomorrow.

            When right-of-center people are banging on about unlimited government and excessive regulation choking our economy and society, about the need for deregulation, this is exactly the sort of thing they mean.

            (Republican office-holders are a regular disappointment on this front, though…not that any of the regulars around here would need to be reminded of–much less be surprised by–that. As ever, they try to keep winning elections by promising to choke us a little more slowly, is all.)

            • Hezekiah Garrett

              If you say so.

              In Atlanta, GA, at St Brigid’s and St Monica’s and even Sacred Heart, the very idea that shacks could go up across the street from their subdivisions, or that they could be accosted by filthy drunks asking for money on their way to the Gap, or that I could set up a chittlin’ stand on the public right of way in front of their favorite salon is immmmmmmediately met with one response and one response only: PROPERTY VALUES.

              Change hearts and minds, win elections, boys. Its that simple.

              • Hezekiah Garrett

                So how is it that my experience of pro-life catholic Republicans is sooo different from y’all’s? Nate admits he’s just reading folks writing.

                I think y’all are getting suckered.

                • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                  Well I’m anti-social. (actually an internet meme that gained self-awareness and now wander about the virtual highway)
                  Plus where I live is a shortage of Republicans in the first place. I think I saw a Catholic one having tea with Bigfoot the other day but it turned out just to be Rodney Dangerfield eating BBQ with a Yeti.

                  • Hezekiah Garrett

                    Virtual Zombie Nate!!! How awesome. I probably should have left the Catholic part out, but most republicans I know are catholic. Not a lot of hardcore GOP voters in EMS as a profession. A lot of libertarians and gun nuts, but people concerned about the plight of the poor usually too, seeing as how most of us with families feed them with food stamps.

      • http://ohnimus.wordpress.com Christian Ohnimus

        I believe that it is anarchists and not libertarians who assert falsely that the government has no proper role. If you actually read the big thinkers behind classical liberalism (and by extension modern libertarianism) they found the anarchic philosophy to be just as abhorrent as the socialist one. Anarchy is pure individualism; socialism is pure collectivism. Libertarians hated both because both had the same end result: defining man by only one facet of his nature and thereby reducing man to something sub-human, destroying justice and perverting morality into nothing more than the advantage of the stronger.

        Classical liberals, in contrast, supported an austere government. However, that they would embrace such a model of government despite their intense suspicion and dislike of the governments of their time is testament to the fact that they still viewed government as necessary and even good.

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          So you don’t understand anarchy, huh? There is precious little in anarchy that could be called pure individualism. I’m no anarchist, but I know BS when I smell it.

          • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

            Well to be fair, it’s not like the anarchists of the earlier parties (the one GK Chesterton wrote about in the Man Who was Thursday) were that committed the ideal of anarchy

            • Hezekiah Garrett

              That catholic worker I quoted earlier is a proud anarcho-syndicalist.

              • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                Huh, well I guess he and I agree on some things.

    • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

      A couple of quibbles:
      1. As an individual it *is* Ryan’s job to explain and promote catholic social teaching. That makes him no different than any other Catholic.
      2. As a civic leader with enhanced visibility, the extra consequences of his failure to live out a Catholic life demand extra prudence commensurate with the potential for greater damage if he fails.
      3. Romney is a Mormon. While I’d be tickled pink if he’d uphold Catholic values, it’s unfair to expect more out of the man than common decency, respect, and that he uphold his own church’s well known values which are generally not incompatible on the level of public policy.
      Other than those three, I agree.

      • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

        You are spot on. I’m just sometimes missing in Mark’s posts the line between what an individual does and what the government will be doing (via police if necessary).

  • Matthew

    This is why I have always adamantly denied that there is such a thing as a “right to privacy”. NOTHING is private! Things may be more or less PERSONAL that is directly pertaining to the person. So sexual acts are not private but they are personal meaning that to discuss them one must have direct contact with the person – they may not be dealt with abstractly.

    • Realist

      “This is why I have always adamantly denied that there is such a thing as a “right to privacy”. NOTHING is private!”

      Wow. That’s the road to totalitarianism in a nutshell.

      • Ted Seeber

        Good, reality could use more totalitarians rather than people who claim to be realists but actually invent their own morality as they go along.

        • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

          Just what we need, totalitarian friendly Catholicism.
          Not.
          I will pray for you.

    • Realist

      Seriously, “nothing is private” is one of the most chilling statements I’ve ever read. It’s the authoritarian bootlicker’s motto.

      • Matthew

        It would be nice if you read ALL of my post. The PERSON is superior to the state ALWAYS! Thus a resounding no to totalitarianism. The problem with a “right to privacy” is that once you determine an act is not ‘private’ the State can control. If an act is personal it may NOT be regulated by the STATE. Thus my stance against privacy and for personalism is a stronger stance against totalitarianism than any support for privacy could ever be.

        • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

          You may wish to figure out a better way to put forward your point as the Ted Seebers of the world are going to mistake you for one of their brethren.

  • Matthew

    PS: I believe that this is what is meant when we talk of subsidiarity – the closer we are to the person the better the decisions being made.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      Nope. Close, but nope.

  • Vera

    Governments seem to me to end up favoring convenience at any cost and seem pretty good at passing similar inclinations along to their constituents. Look at abortion and birth control in the US — my tax dollars are paying for that — and the more extreme example of the limitation on births in China. I have personal values that are as conservative as they get, but I lean Libertarian because I want a chance of passing those teachings on to my kids one day. Furthermore, if I understand human nature correctly, oppression from above would never change the heart of someone who wanted to live an unstable or immoral lifestyle and raise a kid in that context.

    Yeah, Ayn Rand is nutty, but even people who like her stuff realize that for the most part and read it as a part of a general exploration of political philosophy. I have met real objectivists, and you can’t get very far in a conversation with them because they abhor charity. Let Ryan off the hook for that one thing.

    • Realist

      And I have to pay for wars I disagree with an agricultural subsidies. But I don’t ask for a special exemption because I think my issues are Special Snowflakes that deserve Very Special attention.

      • http://ohnimus.wordpress.com Christian Ohnimus

        You should demand that your government stops wars and subsidies that you disagree with. Government does not have the right to fund any injustice at your expense or to favor special interest groups like corporate farms at everyone’s expense. All state-endorsed injustices must end; all special favors that benefit certain individuals or groups and not society as a whole must end; all government mandates that compel people to buy a certain product (employers forced to buy birth control insurance, for example) or to provide a certain service or face draconian punishments must end. That’s not asking for special treatment from the government – in fact, it is quite the opposite.

      • Vera

        Agreed, Christian.

        Looking for general freedom, not Special Snowflake freedom.

        • Realist

          Yes, but the only people that agitate for special exemptions are those that don’t want to fund abortion or birth ccontrol.

          The government is going to fund things you may consider immoral, now and in the future. Get used to it.

          I mean FFS, if I started the Church of the Dancing Mouse and said that my new religion says that I must be against war, should I demand the government refund my portion of taxes that go to defense spending in the name of “religious freedom”? How about if the Church of the Dancing Mouse says that paying any taxes at all is against my religion?

          • http://ohnimus.wordpress.com Christian Ohnimus

            “The government is going to fund things you may consider immoral, now and in the future. Get used to it.”

            Fascist mindset in a nutshell.

            • Realist

              Do you really think you’re going to hell if you comply with a government mandate for contraception? I mean really?

              In that case we’re all in trouble because we’re all funding the murder of children overseas as we speak.

              • Andy, Bad Person

                There’s a difference between Caesar using tax dollars to fund murder and Caesar forcing Catholics to directly fund immorality. It’s the difference between direct cooperation and indirect cooperation.

          • Ted Seeber

            I’d suspect the same place the Amish have gone, seeing as how that’s exactly how they treat War.

          • Marion (Mael Muire)

            Uh-oh.

            You can see that this is going to start going downhill fast. And too bad: just when the conversation had been interesting.

          • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

            If only the abortion/birth control people were demanding special exemptions, the US Code and companion regulations would be a great deal shorter. Pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

        • Realist

          BTW, this is coming from someone who is actually pretty squeamish about abortion and would prefer the more prudent abortion laws that western Europe has rather than our extremely lax and permissive ones, but as long as it’s legal the state can choose to fund it, just like it funds the killing of children by flying death robots overseas.

          • http://ohnimus.wordpress.com Christian Ohnimus

            To which my response is: we as citizens have a moral duty to oppose our own government’s killing of children overseas, not to sit down and shut up. Government exists to serve us, not the other way around.

            • Hezekiah Garrett

              Realist says sit down, shut up, and let the government do it’s thing.

              Or you’re a boot-licking fascist.

              I swear to all of you, I didn’t hijack his handle and start posting incoherent blather just to make him look like a tool. I promise.

              Mark can ask the web elves to check the logs.

          • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

            If you don’t have a definition of when the police start and stop arresting people for killing, ultimately civilization turns unworkable. It may take awhile, but we simply do not have a current working definition. This should terrify you.

      • Ted Seeber

        Apparently you don’t even know what a consistent ethic of life is, if you think all there is to pro-life is abortion and contraception. We’re just as against war as you are.

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          Ted, that’s just not true. We’re outspoken against war. Realist says “I don’t like war but sit down, shut up, do as you’re told. Or you’re a boot-licking fascist.”

  • bob cratchit

    I doubt that a man who is so completely immersed in a particular philosophy, would pick and choose the bits that would make him less palitable. ( a “cafeteria-Randian”?) Ryan is completly immersed and mesmerized by Rand thought. He hands out copys to staff members and friends like the Giddeons. Can’t let him off the hook.

    • bob cratchit

      RE: That should be “more palatable” ^

    • Vera

      Idunno. At the very least he found out that people hated his Rand-inspired ideas and moved on?

      http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/chapter-and-verse/2012/0814/Paul-Ryan-does-an-about-face-on-Ayn-Rand

      • Mark Shea

        Actually, he lied that it was an “urban legend” concocted by his enemies that he was ever a Randian. Repentance and denial are not the same thing.

      • Hezekiah Garrett

        I’m going to take you at your word, Vera, that he is a duplicitous fellow who’s convictions are up for popular vote.

        He’d be better off as an objectivist than the Poster Boy for Laodicea.

  • Realist

    Surely nothing bad ever happened to children in the secure, loving arms of the Roman Catholic Church. Oh, wait…

    • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

      Dude, you were making some good points but then had to shoot yourself in the foot with this cheap shot (which is not a good way to get people to listen – and yes, I’m calling you out since I’ve posted on here in the past to try and break the strawmen of conservatives/libertarians that persist and you’re not helping). In order to get things accomplished in a republic/democracy, people have to build alliances and coalitions to achieve majorities/pluralities.

      Bring the snark if you want, but cheap shots only cheapen the debate and stall a dialog we need.

      • Realist

        It’s not a cheap shot. It’s perfectly valid and every time a Catholic tries to bring up something about such-and-such being “for the children” should remember the last fifty years of the rape and torture of small children, along with a massive coverup, under an organization that claims to be God’s voice on Earth. I’d be way more forgiving, btw, if your church didn’t claim that for itself. But those who make big claims are going to have to live up to higher standards.

        • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

          (man, I must disappoint so many people) Actually, I’m a filthy protestant, so I don’t think it’s quite my place to defend them and you are right about higher standards. HOWEVER, my post was more about practicality and what we have to do to get along in this world, particularly when it comes to politics in a democracy/republic/voting system.

        • Ted Seeber

          Then can we at least remember how atheist secular teachers have treated children in the public schools over the last 50 years as well? The public schools have FOUR TIMES THE ABUSE RATE of the Catholic Church.

      • Realist

        Let me put it this way: I, and at the very least a very large plurality of other people, would feel safer leaving my kid alone with an open, loving gay couple then leaving him alone in with a Roman Catholic priest.

        Let that sink in for a few minutes.

        • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

          Well you are setting up a flawed dilemma. “open, loving gay couple” implies that you already know something about them compared with “Roman Catholic priest” (which you could identify by dress), so essentially you’re saying you rather leave your kid with people you know instead of a stranger (which is sort of a “duh” idea).

          • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

            Plus it’s always a good idea, whenever possible and all things being equal, to leave a child in the care of two people rather than one, for multiple reasons.

            Roman Catholic priests commit no more abuse (and in fact less) than any other group of males. It’s only because of their position, and the anti-Catholic bias of our culture that they get more press than anyone else.

            • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

              Exactly, so should the question be between a gay couple vs two priests? ;) There’s great individuals and scumbags in any group of people (because they involve – wait for it – people!) the real lesson for parents is to always check out who you’re leaving your kids with and be sure of their character.

        • EBS

          What a low attention seeking comment.
          Its only Roman Catholic Priests that abuse children. Gay couples never have. How could they- they are “loving” and “wholesome” baking cookies and playing matching pink shirt dress up. (and don’t you dare be a hypocrite and accuse me of generalizations “Realists”).
          School teachers never have. Neither have Sports Coaches. Nor have parents. All the child abuse ever committed has been by Roman Catholic Priests- not Eastern or another kind- it’s the Roman Catholic variety, just to be specific….
          Please change your name to “Naive”, cause you definitely don’t come across as a “Realist”, or even fair and accurate for that matter.

        • Ted Seeber

          Uh, I would not leave my kid with ANY adult who was not being watched by other adults. At all. What kind of neglecting parent are you?

        • Jay

          It has sunk in.

          And the verdict is… you’re an idiot.

        • Irenist

          Wow, “Realist,” so you’re bigoted against priests instead of against gay people. What an independent thinker you are. Have you thought about maybe judging both the priest and the gay people as individual human beings instead of sterotypes?

    • http://ohnimus.wordpress.com Christian Ohnimus

      Don’t trust the public school system. Their track record is far worse. Maybe we should homeschool everyone instead. Oh wait, parents abuse children too? So, we can’t trust the government, the church or even families. That deteriorated quickly . . .

      Public policy must be grounded in Natural Law. It cannot be reactionary to the sins of the few bad eggs in society no matter where they turn up (which is everywhere).

      • Realist

        Does the public school system claim to be the voice of God on Earth? Is the Secretary of Education called the Vicar of Christ? Did the public school system engage in a global coverup? No? Then it’s nothing remotely similar.

        • http://ohnimus.wordpress.com Christian Ohnimus

          Yes, I agree: slinging crap at the church for its mistakes is far more important than actually protecting children.

        • Richard Bell

          It was not a global coverup, but individual dioceses covering up, so the scope of the coverup is the same scale as the coverups done by the school boards and teachers’ unions. Unlike the RC church, the unions and school boards are still in denial and the abuse and coverups are still happening. New allegations of priest child sex abuse that hit the news are unheard revelations of events that happened twenty-five to thirty years ago. The mass media is complicit with the school boards and unions, as (except in the case of women teachers seducing boys) sex abuse by teachers is not deemed newsworthy.

          • Ted Seeber

            I will disagree with your statement, only to lend credibility to my own. The latest abuse case in Woodburn, Oregon happened less than two months ago. But there was no coverup. The first the archdiocese of Portland heard about it was when the press forwarded them a copy of the arrest report.

        • Ted Seeber

          Last I heard, yes, the Public School System, overseen by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, claims to be the only God there is- they’re atheists, they deny the existence of other Gods than Government.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      Yawn. Anderson’s Corollary. Didn’t take long.

      • SpasticHedgehog

        Ooh, we have a name for that now?

        • Andy, Bad Person

          Oh, yes. It’s been around for a while, actually; many people just don’t know the name. Anderson’s Corollary to Godwin’s Law is that the longer a religious (and particularly Catholic) internet discussion goes on, the probability of someone bringing up the sexual abuse crisis approaches 1.

          I believe it’s even older than Manning’s Corollary.

        • Dr. Eric

          I thought it was called The Cardinal Law. :-o

          • Andy, Bad Person

            I think “Cardinal Law” has caught on recently, but it wasn’t the original name. I prefer it as a corollary because it’s already so similar to Godwin’s Law, and thrown out there nearly as often.

            • Andy, Bad Person

              You know what? A simple Google search proves me wrong on all counts. It was originally called “Anderson’s Law,” and is identical to Godwin’s except for the abuse detail.

              The “corollary” is that said person forfeits the argument in which it is bandied.

              I dislike those kinds of corollaries because they shut down discussion and make arguing more about winning than finding the truth. Not that someone tossing pedophile and Nazi analogies is usually interested in discussion.

    • Ted Seeber

      Except now the exact same things are happening under Planned Parenthood, with the TOP (Teen Outreach Program). Just read one of their permission slips sometime- it’s virtually asking the parents if they can please let their children be victimized by pornographers.

    • Marion (Mael Muire)

      Here we go.

      How many minutes did that take?

      Honestly, why do intelligent people allow interesting discussions to get derailed like this?

  • http://ohnimus.wordpress.com Christian Ohnimus

    Many “libertarians” embrace a selfish, narcissistic ideology. However, for anyone who’s taken the time to familiarize themselves with the libertarian ideology’s foundation and not simply judge the entire thing based on faddish libertarian narcissist groups its readily apparent that personal and social responsibility as well as liberty is kind of a big deal in the movement. Here’s a well-thought out argument from a libertarian in defense of traditional marriage, marriage as a public institution and in defense of (gasp) the idea that marriage isn’t just about me but also about the interpersonal responsibility of raising and protecting children. http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/04/5069

    • Realist

      “responsibility of protecting and raising children”

      I guess that means banning infertile couples, sterilized couples, elderly couples, and couples that don’t want children from getting married in addition to banning those couples with Teh Gay, am I right? No?

      Then the whole premise about children is self-serving BS covering up a nasty prejudice.

      • http://ohnimus.wordpress.com Christian Ohnimus

        Actually read all three articles and provide some counter-arguments to the points that it brings up and then we’ll talk.

      • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

        “Infertile” and even sterilized couples have been known to get pregnant. Anything is possible when the proper equipment gets together. Not so much in other cases.

      • Irenist

        As usual, “Realist,” you’re trolling. The Catholic opposition to gay “marriage” stems from Natural Law, as does the Catholic opposition to premarital sex, contraception, heterosexual sodomy, homosexual sodomy, divorce, and lots of other sins. Homosexuality is not an especial focus of Catholic ethics, however much it may be a focus of American politics.

        • Irenist

          Natural Law, a philosophical tradition the roots of which in the West go back to the pre-Christian secular philosophers of Greece and Rome, teaches us that sexual acts should be both unitive and procreative in kind. A loving gay couple might have unitive sex, but their acts cannot be procreative in kind.

          • Irenist

            An unmarried straight couple might have sex both unitive and procreative, but it would be sinfully irresponsible of them to have children without having committed to a lifelong marriage. A contracepting married couple might have unitive sex, but it would not be procreative in kind. A sterile or elderly married couple can have unitive sex that is procreative *in kind* even if not in practical outcome. Maybe you should read a book sometime, Realist. Any book. It’s a lot like r/atheism, except you learn things.

            • Irenist

              (BTW: Why did the comments above set off WP-SpamFree and so need to be broken up? I’ve never encountered such a stringent spam filter in my life.)

  • Realist

    Would a single-payer system that pays for contraception be less offensive to you than a hybrid system where the government mandates you to buy coverage for your employees? Did the Catholic Church in Germany or Italy or Spain ever object to this?

    I’ll leave abortion out because IIRC those countries do not use their national healthcare systems to fund abortions. I’m absolutely sure Germany doesn’t.

    • Irenist

      “Would a single-payer system that pays for contraception be less offensive to you than a hybrid system where the government mandates you to buy coverage for your employees?”
      It would be less offensive to me. The Iraq War was unjust, but because it was funded by taxation rather than through a direct charge as in the HHS contraception mandate, that injustice was not compounded by requiring direct material cooperation with evil. Similarly, although a single-payer system using taxpayer funds to pay for contraception would be perpetuating the evil of government support for contraception, at least it would not be ADDING to that evil the evil of requiring Catholic employers to directly materially cooperate with evil.

    • Ted Seeber

      The actual issue isn’t the contraception. The issue is reducing the definition of religion to only the spiritual acts of mercy and not the corporal ones.

      But considering how obsessed with the right to orgasm the left wing is, I can see how you made that mistake.

    • Blog Goliard

      I don’t know about all countries in Europe individually; but overall, it’s much more common for socialized medicine to pay for abortions than not. For instance, this news item just turned up yesterday:

      http://times247.com/articles/france-announces-abortions-are-now-100-free

  • Irenist

    A problem the current attitude toward sexuality whereby consent is the sole criterion of the good is that sexual vice is like the pollution of an ecosystem in terms of the way that it can ripple out and effect others in the community by removing the stigma from previously marginal actions. For an excellent example of how the removal of social stigma can lead to changes in marginal utility that keep shifting the frontier of socially acceptable decadent behavior, I offer this link to an essay by the libertarian Megan McArdle, who once blogged as Jane Galt. (Regular readers hereabouts know that I am vociferously anti-libertarian, but when people are right, they deserve a hearing!) Please read the whole thing: it even has that Chesterton quote about the old gate across a road that ought not be torn down. It’s a great essay.

    “A really, really, really long post about gay marriage that does not, in the end, support one side or the other”
    At:
    Source: https://www.evernote.com/shard/s1/sh/eac8d03a-cf5f-4761-8533-e41b8184caba/f0709171ee993d21a83370bd07f31df4

    • Irenist

      Here is an excerpt from McArdle’s essay:
      Unlike most libertarians, I don’t have an opinion on gay marriage, and I’m not going to have an opinion no matter how much you bait me. However, I had an interesting discussion last night with another libertarian about it, which devolved into an argument about a certain kind of liberal/libertarian argument about gay marriage that I find really unconvincing.
      Social conservatives of a more moderate stripe are essentially saying that marriage is an ancient institution, which has been carefully selected for throughout human history. It is a bedrock of our society; if it is destroyed, we will all be much worse off. (See what happened to the inner cities between 1960 and 1990 if you do not believe this.) For some reason, marriage always and everywhere, in every culture we know about, is between a man and a woman; this seems to be an important feature of the institution. We should not go mucking around and changing this extremely important institution, because if we make a bad change, the institution will fall apart.
      A very common response to this is essentially to mock this as ridiculous. “Why on earth would it make any difference to me whether gay people are getting married? Why would that change my behavior as a heterosexual”
      To which social conservatives reply that institutions have a number of complex ways in which they fulfill their roles, and one of the very important ways in which the institution of marriage perpetuates itself is by creating a romantic vision of oneself in marriage that is intrinsically tied into expressing one’s masculinity or femininity in relation to a person of the opposite sex; stepping into an explicitly gendered role. This may not be true of every single marriage, and indeed undoubtedly it is untrue in some cases. But it is true of the culture-wide institution. By changing the explicitly gendered nature of marriage we might be accidentally cutting away something that turns out to be a crucial underpinning.
      To which, again, the other side replies “That’s ridiculous! I would never change my willingness to get married based on whether or not gay people were getting married!”

      • Irenist

        -continued-

        Now, economists hear this sort of argument all the time. “That’s ridiculous! I would never start working fewer hours because my taxes went up!” This ignores the fact that you may not be the marginal case. The marginal case may be some consultant who just can’t justify sacrificing valuable leisure for a new project when he’s only making 60 cents on the dollar. The result will nonetheless be the same: less economic activity. Similarly, you–highly educated, firmly socialised, upper middle class you–may not be the marginal marriage candidate; it may be some high school dropout in Tuscaloosa. That doesn’t mean that the institution of marriage won’t be weakened in America just the same.
        This should not be taken as an endorsement of the idea that gay marriage will weaken the current institution. I can tell a plausible story where it does; I can tell a plausible story where it doesn’t. I have no idea which one is true. That is why I have no opinion on gay marriage, and am not planning to develop one. Marriage is a big institution; too big for me to feel I have a successful handle on it.
        However, I am bothered by this specific argument, which I have heard over and over from the people I know who favor gay marriage laws. I mean, literally over and over; when they get into arguments, they just repeat it, again and again. “I will get married even if marriage is expanded to include gay people; I cannot imagine anyone up and deciding not to get married because gay people are getting married; therefore, the whole idea is ridiculous and bigoted.”

        • Irenist

          -continued after skipping a bit-
          Another example [of unintended consequences] is welfare. To sketch a brief history of welfare, it emerged in the nineteenth century as “Widows and orphans pensions”, which were paid by the state to destitute families whose breadwinner had passed away. They were often not available to blacks; they were never available to unwed mothers. Though public services expanded in the first half of the twentieth century, that mentality was very much the same: public services were about supporting unfortunate families, not unwed mothers. Unwed mothers could not, in most cases, obtain welfare; they were not allowed in public housing (which was supposed to be–and was–a way station for young, struggling families on the way to homeownership, not a permanent abode); they were otherwise discriminated against by social services. The help you could expect from society was a home for wayward girls, in which you would give birth and then put the baby up for adoption.
          The description of public housing in the fifties is shocking to anyone who’s spent any time in modern public housing. Big item on the agenda at the tenant’s meeting: housewives, don’t shake your dustcloths out of the windows–other wives don’t want your dirt in their apartment! Men, if you wear heavy work boots, please don’t walk on the lawns until you can change into lighter shoes, as it damages the grass! (Descriptions taken from the invaluable book, The Inheritance, about the transition of the white working class from Democrat to Republican.) Needless to say, if those same housing projects could today find a majority of tenants who reliably dusted, or worked, they would be thrilled.
          Public housing was, in short, a place full of functioning families.
          Now, in the late fifties, a debate began over whether to extend benefits to the unmarried. It was unfair to stigmatise unwed mothers. Why shouldn’t they be able to avail themselves of the benefits available to other citizens? The brutal societal prejudice against illegitimacy was old fashioned, bigoted, irrational.
          But if you give unmarried mothers money, said the critics, you will get more unmarried mothers.
          Ridiculous, said the proponents of the change. Being an unmarried mother is a brutal, thankless task. What kind of idiot would have a baby out of wedlock just because the state was willing to give her paltry welfare benefits?
          People do all sorts of idiotic things, said the critics. If you pay for something, you usually get more of it.
          C’mon said the activists. That’s just silly. I just can’t imagine anyone deciding to get pregnant out of wedlock simply because there are welfare benefits available.
          Oooops.
          Of course, change didn’t happen overnight. But the marginal cases did have children out of wedlock, which made it more acceptable for the next marginal case to do so. Meanwhile, women who wanted to get married essentially found themselves in competition for young men with women who were willing to have sex, and bear children, without forcing the men to take any responsibility. This is a pretty attractive proposition for most young men. So despite the fact that the sixties brought us the biggest advance in birth control ever, illegitimacy exploded. In the early 1960s, a black illegitimacy rate of roughly 25 percent caused Daniel Patrick Moynihan to write a tract warning of a crisis in “the negro family” (a tract for which he was eviscerated by many of those selfsame activists.)
          By 1990, that rate was over 70 percent. This, despite the fact that the inner city, where the illegitimacy problem was biggest, only accounts for a fraction of the black population.
          But in that inner city, marriage had been destroyed. It had literally ceased to exist in any meaningful way. Possibly one of the most moving moments in Jason de Parle’s absolutely wonderful book, , which follows three welfare mothers through welfare reform, is when he reveals that none of these three women, all in their late thirties, had ever been to a wedding.

    • Blog Goliard

      That is a fantastic essay, Irenist…thanks much for the link.

      • Irenist

        You’re very welcome!

      • beccolina

        I’m going to second that. A really excellent, well-thought-out piece. Thank you for linking to it.

  • EBS

    Mark what purpose does it serve to write about these disgusting scenarios? Doesn’t it just put the air underneath the wings of these demented narcissistic players in these scenarios? Furthermore, doesn’t it give excuse to “intellectualize” this demented thinking- for or against? These people are crazy.
    Good grief, stop giving this circus anymore airtime. It’s disgusting, shocking and perverted- ultimately serving no good purpose.

  • Michael F.

    “The only part of Catholic social teaching we ever hear about from Paul Ryan flavored Catholic conservatives is subsidiarity. ”

    Is that really the “only part” you ever hear? If that’s not a bit of Sheasian hyperbole, then you can’t be reading much or hanging around many politically conservative Catholics. ;-)

    Abortion? Traditional marriage? Education?

    I think the reason you’re hearing so much about subsidiarity now is because it’s a Catholic principle that has been long been ignored by politically liberal Catholics. This principle is particularly important, imo, because many politically liberal Catholics operate and argue as though the Democrat party is “with the Church” on economic issues while (sometimes) grudgingly acknowledging that the Republican party is more “with the Church” on the “life” issues. They essentially argue that this allows them to vote either way. Both parties have something “right”, both parties have something “wrong”. I know, because I run into this argument almost every day in my personal experience.

    Of course, this argument misses the Church’s teaching on proportionality. There is no moral equivalency between being supposedly “correct” on the level of funding of federal poverty programs vs. being correct on the right of human beings not to be killed in their mothers’ wombs.

    But I believe the new focus on subsidiarity is particularly important because it fundamentally challenges the notion that Democrat economic policy is so faithful to Catholic teaching as liberals seem to believe. Some of our American bishops are picking up on this as well.

    http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/bishops-critique-their-handling-of-ryan-budget-before-approving-new-stateme/

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

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/denver-archbishop-defends-paul-ryan-against-claims-of-anti-christian-policies

    ( I would provide more but the spam filter won’t allow it)

    I hope our politically liberal Catholic brothers and sisters who intend to vote for Obama come to see that their fig leaf is only in their imaginations. One hopes then that a sense of modesty will kick in and lead them to seek actual clothing.

    [Disclaimer: I am an Independent]

    • Michael F.

      Typo correction:

      “I think the reason you’re hearing so much about subsidiarity now is because it’s a Catholic principle that has long been ignored by politically liberal Catholics. “

    • Irenist

      “many politically liberal Catholics operate and argue as though the Democrat party is ‘with the Church’ on economic issues while (sometimes) grudgingly acknowledging that the Republican party is more ‘with the Church’ on the ‘life’ issues. They essentially argue that this allows them to vote either way…. Of course, this argument misses the Church’s teaching on proportionality.”
      Michael F., you are correct that life issues trump economics because intrinisic evils are graver matter. However, the fact that many Democratic-leaning Catholics abuse the insight that the Democratic (there is no “Democrat party” in this country, btw) Party *is* more “with the Church” on economic issues does not invalidate the insight, which, as it happens, is true.

      • Blog Goliard

        “the Democratic…Party *is* more “with the Church” on economic issues”

        Only if you give them a pass on unintended consequences…and only if stoking envy towards and resentment of the rich is less sinful than encouraging the worshiping of wealth.

        • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

          *slow clap* Thank you for expressing my thoughts in wiser words. And I think a lot of the debate is over (among many issues) “how is poverty defined?”

          • Blog Goliard

            Thank you for your posts above. I agree wholeheartedly that “when you feed and arm Leviathan, don’t be surprised when it turns against you”…as much as I was outraged by the HHS Mandate, I was also shocked at how so many people could be shocked that Obamacare would lead to this sort of thing. It was inevitable.

            As are death panels, if we continue on this course: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/17/opinion/health-care-reform-beyond-obamacare.html?_r=2&

            • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

              That’s what I think Shea misses when he posts something like the “54% of Catholics support Obama”. It’s a debate about organizing principles, so should he be surprised that many Catholics place “care for the poor” (which I disagree on the D’s means & methods of it, but let’s leave that aside) above “care for life” (and/or freedom) when voting? Everything is about tradeoffs, and that applies ten times when it comes to politics.

            • Michael F.

              To Nate and Blog Goliard:

              Mark wrote something excellent on another post that actually supports our point quite well.

              QUOTE:

              “No wonder he is making war on the Church. Caesar is a jealous god. All those good corporal and spiritual works of mercy that video talks about (as well as an admixture of acts of worship offered to Moloch) are being appropriated by President Narcissus and other worshippers of the state as purely human achievements rooted in human pride and not in divine love. A nation that attempts this will discover the truth of the biblical principle that even our righteous deeds are like filthy rags.

              That’s not to denigrate the generous impulse motivating the people who want to do good for their neighbor. But it is absolutely to denounce the secular messianic evil that labors to divert that work from being an act of love to God and neighbor and turn it into a prideful messianic claim by this most narcissistic and messianic president in our history. I absolutely refuse to be a servant to our President or any other elected official. He is *my* servant. I elected him. He works for me as does the rest of the state. It is fascism, not American representative democracy and emphatically not Catholic teaching which says that our dignity and our rights come from the generosity of Caesar and not the hand of God. We find meaning and purpose from serving God and neighbor, not Big Brother.” ~ Mark Shea

              Excellent. This dovetails quite well with the point I made below:

              “Additionally, [liberal economic] policy creates a dangerous, psychological dependency on an increasingly secular government that is becoming increasingly hostile to Catholic principles and the Catholic faith itself.”

              Knowing where the Obama administration and the Democrat party is going in general (less God, more secularism), Catholics should naturally want to keep the federal government from creating more dependence upon it. Instead of God getting the glory, people will increasingly see Obama and the government as their god.

              • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                Ah yes, i believe i quoted Shea’s post up there in my first response (WAY at the top). ;)

                Now there’s a debate we should all have: is “collective welfare” a rendering of charity unto Caesar when it should properly be rendered unto God? (I’m genuinely undecided on that so I look forward to the best arguments on the matter.)

                • Ted Seeber

                  Ok, I’ll give it a shot. The charity we should render unto God is all in Matthew 25. The charity we should render unto Caesar is Taxes, the rent we pay on Caesar’s money for the use of that money in our everyday lives. It’s probably unwise for Caesar to demand too much of that money, but if so, we’ll do our charity in other ways.

                • Michael F.

                  Nate,

                  You wrote, “Ah yes, i believe i quoted Shea’s post up there in my first response (WAY at the top). ”

                  What I quoted was from a different post. I don’t see any place where you quoted what I quoted. Did you read it? It’s quite good and dovetails nicely with some of the points we’ve been making.

                  It came from this post:

                  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2012/10/once-deny-the-god.html

                  • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                    Yep, that’s the one. If the link works right, this should send you there.

                    • Michael F.

                      Oh – see a partial quote now toward the bottom. You didn’t quote everything that I quoted.

                      I guess great minds think alike (or fools seldom differ?). LOL

                    • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                      Oh well yeah. Guess we’ve learned that great minds may think alike but fools edit differently. :D

        • Ted Seeber

          Are you mad at Christ as well for “stoking envy towards the rich”? After all, considering the rich to be sinful is in the gospels.

          • Andy, Bad Person

            Your own Scripture reference says the opposite. I, for one, would NOT envy someone who has such a difficult time attaining Heaven.

          • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

            Uh… I believe ALL are sinful in the gospels. No exceptions.

            • Ted Seeber

              Yes, so why this sudden canonization of the rich? Why the denial of the sin of usury?

              • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                I leave it as an exercise to the reader to find where I’ve canonized the rich or denied usury as a sin.

                • Ted Seeber

                  The original post was in response to Blog Goliard:
                  “Only if you give them a pass on unintended consequences…and only if stoking envy towards and resentment of the rich is less sinful than encouraging the worshiping of wealth.”

          • Blog Goliard

            Jesus warned the rich that they were in real trouble spiritually. This is not the same as declaring “the rich to be sinful”. Being an extortioner will get one on St. Paul’s list in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; merely having a lot of money, not.

            And I do not see where Jesus called for either the mob or Caesar to try to seize more of rich people’s stuff, even though I’m quite confident that they were much farther away from paying their “fair share” than the top 10% of earners today.

            • Michael F.

              A fair point, I think. No doubt, there are some of “the rich” who find ways to avoid paying much. But it can’t be most of “the rich”, however you want to define that.

              I’m not one of the top 10%, but how can we say that the rich don’t pay their fair share when the top 10% of income earners pay 70% of all federal income taxes while earning 43% of all income?

              http://www.heritage.org/federalbudget/top10-percent-income-earners

              http://www.businessinsider.com/who-pays-taxes-2012-8?op=1

            • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

              Also there is an argument to be made (though I’ll leave it to those better learned in econ history) that back then the economics was more of a zero-sum game so the rich were rich by exploitation.
              (now how about when tax collectors were redeemed in the gospel, they gave money back to those they collected from? I’m sure there’s a lesson in there somewhere…)

              • Hezekiah Garrett

                3 data points, that say a lot.

                1% of the population in these United States in 1860 were taking 10% of the total income for the nation.

                In 2010, the top 1% were taking a hair’s breadth under 20%

                In 1860, 12.67% of the population were chattel.

                Talk about your obviously failing economic policies…

                • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                  This time I’m not following. (though I lost the point when you said “taking” since in a free market, wealth is created and traded, not “taken” by anyone)

                  Plus, I think it would be advisable to read up on Thomas Sowell and the top 1%. Such as

                  But, in politics and in commentaries on political issues, people talk incessantly about how the “top 1 percent” of income earners are getting more money, or how the “bottom 20 percent” are falling behind. Yet the turnover in income brackets over a decade is at least as great as the turnover in batting-average brackets.

                  In the course of a decade, the top 400 income earners include a couple of thousand people. The income received by the top 400 (as a statistical bracket) has risen, both absolutely and as a share of all income, even while the average income of the average person who was in that bracket at a given time has fallen by large amounts. How can this be? The short answer is turnover.

                  Also

                  Most other data, including census data, are based on compiling statistics in a succession of time periods, without the ability to tell if the actual people in each income bracket are the same from one time period to the next. The turnover of people is substantial in all brackets — and is huge in the top 1 percent. Most people in that bracket are there for only one year in a decade.

                  All sorts of statements are made in politics and in the media as if that top 1 percent is an enduring class of people, rather than an ever-changing collection of individuals who have a spike in their income in a particular year for one reason or another. Turnover in other income brackets is also substantial.

                  Politicians and media talking heads love to refer to people who are in the bottom 20 percent in income in a given year as “the poor.” But, following the same individuals for 10 or 15 years usually shows the great majority of those individuals moving into higher income brackets.

                  The number who reach the top 20 percent greatly exceeds the number still stuck in the bottom 20 percent over the years.

                  There are people who are genuinely rich and genuinely poor, in the sense of having very high or very low incomes for most, if not all, of their lives. But “the rich” and “the poor” in this sense are unlikely to add up to even 10 percent of the population.

            • Ted Seeber

              Hmm, I’ve got to look up Taxes Under Rome for future arguments on this point. You may be right.

              • Ted Seeber

                And so I did. And you were *somewhat* right: The average OFFICIAL Roman Tax was a mere 3%- and often rebated as an act of charity by the governor. HOWEVER- around the time of Christ, Rome tried to outsource tax collection- and quite often paid tax collectors would pad their profit by padding taxes owned (worse yet, Rome would charge a licensing fee for the privilege, which also had to be made up out of collection) so it was not unusual for taxes in Palestine to reach 25% of income.

                Plus, special areas like Egypt, which was apparently the breadbasket of the world at the time, experienced higher taxes officially, especially after Agustus Caesar tried to support being openly free market with the standard welfare of a loaf of bread every day for every citizen and slave in the empire (our daily bread, apparently, originally came not from God like one might expect, but from Government).

                Hmm…Knowledge of that lends new light to the “Sharing” interpretation of the miracle of the five loaves. But it also means (since everybody ate their fill AND there were several baskets of bread left over) that something miraculous must have still taken place.

      • Michael F.

        Irenist writes, “However, the fact that many Democratic-leaning Catholics abuse the insight that the Democratic (there is no “Democrat party” in this country, btw) Party *is* more “with the Church” on economic issues does not invalidate the insight, which, as it happens, is true.”

        I would disagree, Irenist. IMO, at best, the case that Democrats are more “with the Church” on economic issues is subjective. I believe that Democrats conflate the Church’s preferential option for the poor with Federal Government Programs. I believe that the Federal Government model of charity that liberals commonly prefer too often perverts true charity.

        In Matthew 25, Jesus pinned the responsibility for taking care of those in need on the shoulders of the individual and did not say to cede it to the government. Why? What is the purpose of charity? Is it solely to take care of temporal needs? Even primarily? No. It is to model the love of Christ, to draw others toward him like a moth to the light. And there is the further hope that such love will produce other Christs who will in turn go out and do likewise. It is a grace-filled plan of reproduction, if you will.

        Charity is designed first and foremost to mirror and foster the love of God and neighbor. The government model tends to pervert charity and too often renders that which could have been truly meaningful and positive into something mixed at best. Talk to any poor soul who has had to apply for welfare or unemployment benefits.

        Instead of gracious giving, we see a tax that is forced upon the individual. Instead of gracious acceptance, we see a transfer payment that receivers tend to see as something “due” them. Instead of feeling urged on to become independent and then to help others who have suffered a similar hardship, we see a tendency to become complacent and lethargic. True charity has been perverted. Additionally, this policy creates a dangerous, psychological dependency on an increasingly secular government that is becoming increasingly hostile to Catholic principles and the Catholic faith itself.

        Is there a role for the federal government in helping those who fall through the cracks? Certainly. And conservatives wouldn’t disagree with that. But it should be a last option, rather than a first thought. In a nutshell, *that* is the Catholic principle of subsidiarity.

        I think this is probably why conservatives tend to give more of their income to charity than liberals. A political Independent who expected that liberals would give more to charity completed an interesting study. He was very surprised to find out that conservatives give significantly more, even though liberals are wealthier on average.

        http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/03/conservatives_more_liberal_giv.html

        http://richiericher.wordpress.com/2008/02/01/arthur-brooks-who-really-cares-the-surprising-truth-about-compassionate-conservatism/

        Just a small point, but I do tend to refer to the “Democrat” party. Do they call members of that party “Democratics”? They’re called Democrats. Members of the Republican Party are called Republicans.

        And candidly, I see less and less that is truly “democratic” about the Democrat party. What happened with the removal and restoration of “God” from the platform and how pro-life Democrats were excluded from their convention only reinforced that impression. I’ve seen how the Democrat party misuses language in order to make evil seem good (and “Democratic” sounds so good and noble, doesn’t it?). Killing babies in the womb is the noble sounding “pro-choice.” Homosexual sex/same sex “partners” are just “loving one another” and are being denied “civil rights” because Catholics hold that marriage is between one man and one woman. Etc. So, yes, I sometimes refer to that party as the “Democrat” party.

        • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

          Is there a role for the federal government in helping those who fall through the cracks? Certainly. And conservatives wouldn’t disagree with that. But it should be a last option, rather than a first thought. In a nutshell, *that* is the Catholic principle of subsidiarity.

          By now I would like to see the government try something like… an information hub. Say a visible, easily accessible building where the charities can connect with those who need them. And/or a database is provided of all charities (with maybe a star besides those who meet some standards or regulations instead of the failures being punished), perhaps they could provide phones so that the charities can be contacted, but something that is smaller, reduced, and has much less power and potential for abuse.

          • Michael F.

            Now THAT is a great idea, Nate.

          • Ted Seeber

            I LOVE this idea. And in addition- any charity meeting the government’s reporting standards for transparency, should be non-taxable funds- that is, charitable deductions should be from taxable income, not tax owed.

            • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

              Well in my world, taxes would be simplified so much that deductions wouldn’t even be necessary (especially ditching the income tax). Plus any time you attach money to something that’s encouraging power. (i.e. Say a bureaucrat likes Planned Parenthood but not the Catholic Church. So they mark PP’s transparency rating as passed to encourage funding to it while keeping the CC from passing.) I like better the idea of say… transparency ratings. It can still be abused but not for as much impact which reduces the incentive for abuse.

              • Ted Seeber

                Taxes are necessary as rent on fiat currency. The currency owner is due rent for the use of the currency, and that’s all taxes really are.

                What, you thought you could own money? Not since 1873 in the United States.

                • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                  1) Who said I’m a fan of fiat money? Baby steps, however.
                  2) Where does “taxes should be simplified” == “no taxes at all”?
                  3) I’m reasonably sure taxes existed before the income tax.

                • Hezekiah Garrett

                  Ted,

                  That rent can be gathered through many avenues. The Flat Tax, for one, is a proposed tax scheme that has some merit, as a replacement for income taxes.

                  It penalises consumption and, as proposed, contains a VERY strong preferential option for the poor.

                  • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                    I would like to see that or a national sales tax VAT as that also hits the higher income more than the poorer ones. (especially if you say… waive the tax on foodstuffs and/or healthcare)

                  • Ted Seeber

                    Oh, I know it can be gathered through many avenues. Myself- I prefer the “No direct taxes, all taxes taken by inflation” method of the Weimar Republic. Of course, the problem with that is when the government simply prints all the money it needs to fulfill all wants, the tax (inflation) rate goes to infinity.

                    Another option to that though, within fiat currency, is the Worgl Miracle- where the fiat currency had an *expiration date*, so that any money printed by the government was sucked back out of the economy after it had served it’s purpose.

        • Blog Goliard

          Thank you, Michael F. I’ve been trying to express those same thoughts in various fora lately, but haven’t always managed to find the right words. I’m going to snip this post and save it for later use.

          • Michael F.

            You’re welcome. Glad you found it of some use.

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          Let’s hear your preferential option for the poor then, Michael F.

          I’ll grant you Democrats conflate it with Federal Government Programs.

          But then you go on and on about charity, demonstrating you don’t understand what the Church does teach about the preferential option for the poor, to the point I doubt you know what it means. It isn’t rooted in charity but in justice, and that’s why several of you have screwy thinking not in line with the Church on these matters.

          So let’s here your proposed preferential option for the poor. Or Blog’s. I won’t ask Nate for one because he isn’t Catholic and it isn’t fair to treat him like an adult Catholic with all its obligations to form our consciences with the Church.

          Nate, if you have a proposal though, don’t feel you need to keep silent though. You’re as welcome as anyone, absolutely. In fact, I suspect with that hint (it’s rooted in Justice, not Charity) I’m almost willing to wager you’d be the first to do it, and probably the best, from the keen wit and open heart you’ve exhibited so far.

          • Hezekiah Garrett

            And Nate, if you are interested in what the Church teaches, not what some blowhard like me claims, you can find free downloadable digital copies of all the social encyclicals at

            http://holyspiritlibrary.pbworks.com/w/page/18886164/Social%20Encyclicals

            For give me if I am telling you things you know, but encyclicals are letters from the Pope to groups of bishops in an area, all the bishops (this just widens ‘area’ to encompass the whole world), and sometimes even more broadly to all Catholics, all Christians, or even in some cases to all men of good will. You are likely already more familiar than most of us with some of the very first encyclicals, the Petrine letters in the NT.

            The social encyclicals specifically are a series by different popes across the last 150 or so yrs treating on how societies should be ordered, and what a loving and just society must reflect. The first, Rerum Novarum (On the Condition of Workers), authored by Leo XIII in response to the destruction of the guilds and the rise of Marxism in the face of unfettered capitalism, is the one which most captivated my imagination. Written in 1891 it is absolutely prophetic, in that he foresees the totalitarianism and brutality soon to arise from the ideas then expounded by a relatively small group of Europeans, the Marxists.

            I also apologise that some of my coreligionists, being steeped in Modernist political and economic theory to the exclusion of the teachings of Holy Mother Church, might at times confuse them with other, equally important, encyclicals which are not part of the body of this tradition, such as Castii Conubii (On Christian Marriage) and Humanae Vitae (On Human Life).

            I used to be a staunch libertarian economically. The social encyclicals, more than anything, made the scales fall from my eyes in that regard.

            Oh that He continues to break my heart in all the other areas of life, where I am still so blind!!!

            • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

              Thanks for the link, I’ll read from them when I can. And it’s not even that I’m “staunch”, more like just wary of where good intentions can lead us and want to always check the map to see the direction we’re going. Sometimes the best answer may be to just sit down and stop moving until we get our direction oriented.

              I am certain nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after the mirage of social justice. -Friedrich A Hayek

              • Hezekiah Garrett

                No, no, I was not saying I ALSO was staunch libertarian, like you. I was saying I WAS a staunch libertarian. AND I am big on do-nothingism in the Right sphere. An admirer more of Cooledge than Reagan.

                But the guys you’re running with are talking, in the current situation, hard-core change, and quick. SSI and Medicare and Medicaid and AFDC and Farm Subsidies were all bad bad ideas. And there are very strong (DOrothy Day and Peter Maurin) catholic condemnations of them.

                But now you have your populace hooked on these drugs. Cutting the supply is not going to heal these broken homes. Imagine the unintended consequences of the American underclasses suddenly being turned loose on their own, with nothing else. These proposals are going to bring about the destruction of the free markets so cherished by all of us in various ways. And it will be in fire and smoke, chaos and destruction. You can’t create a huge barbarian nation within your borders, cut tribute, and expect everything to be fine.

                • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                  Yeah, I got your “was”, I’m just saying I’m more of of a waffling libertarian. ;)

                  I admit, change will be hard (and you’re right about the populace being addicted). I personally think it is likely that reality is going to cause a hard crash of those services as it is soon and we need to decide what to do. Personally, I vote for dismantling it all ourselves since we can do it more controlled and gently than impersonal forces will.

                  Or at the very least, if we want to help people, we best be getting in the habit of doing it ourselves because soon the government won’t be in any shape to help anyone.

                • Ted Seeber

                  This reminds me of the recent homosexual activist who denounced gay marriage as a superficial bandaid that would solve nothing.

          • Michael F.
    • Ted Seeber

      The version of pro-life I hear from the Republicans (non-American and people who have been born seem to have no right to life) is as Christian as Ayn Rand as well.

      • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

        I retract my earlier assessment. You and Realist deserve each other. Ya’ll can start your own Defending the Realm Against Strawmen (DRAS) club. sarc: Remember kids, it doesn’t matter what they said, only what you THINK they said. /sarc

        • Ted Seeber

          I’m going on what they said. Under a consistent ethic of life, a person who is for criminalizing abortion at home but is for war abroad isn’t pro-life. Sorry that I was not clear enough for you, but what I am saying is that my definition of what it takes to be pro-life is so strict that nearly NO American politicians, in any party including third parties, are pro-life.

          • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

            So you’ve never heard of the Pauls then? (yep, that’s my senator too!)

            Besides, your earlier statement wasn’t limited to politicians, just “republicans” which can include any person registered with them, and I know you don’t have to hit very many think-tanks to find republican thinkers and voters also against war.

          • Blog Goliard

            I’m not clear on something: are y’all arguing that a consistent pro-life ethic means we should always be opposed to all wars? Was every American who participated in the Revolutionary War, the War Between the States, and World War II (for starters) guilty of perpetrating, or cooperating with, intrinsic evil?

            Yes, I’m familiar with the basic outlines of just war theory…but it only ever seems applied in two ways. Way one: the conditions for just war are–like the conditions for capital punishment–so stringent and so especially unlikely to be met in the modern world especially that we must effectively be pacifists. Way two: the conditions for just war are so loose that an essentially consequentialist argument, married to the confidence that it’s okay because Our Side are in power, is enough to justify even pre-emptive war.

            • Michael F.

              This statement by our current Holy Father should help to resolve any confusion on this issue:

              http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/cdfworthycom.htm

              QUOTE:
              The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorize or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a “grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. [...] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it’” (no. 73). Christians have a “grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. [...] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it” (no. 74).

              Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

              ~ Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

              END QUOTE

              • Michael F.

                Hezekiah,
                I know it’s your “thing” to try to provoke a response and get attention with so many accusations and insults, but it’s not enticing to me. You just poison the well, imo.
                I gave you the benefit of the doubt on a previous post, took you seriously and searched out the answers to your claims and retorts. But as soon as that post was no longer “hot”, you disappeared and moved on to the next post. That, in combination with the rest of your behavior, told me enough.

                http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2012/09/about-those-parasites-on-the-dole.html#comments

                So, you might want to seriously consider slowing down and thinking a bit more, son. Assuming you genuinely want to foster discussion and greater understanding, if you put nearly as much energy into that as you do into provocation and insult now, I have no doubt that you’ll eventually do great things!

                Pops

                • Hezekiah Garrett

                  Okidoke. Just remember, I’m not the only one who reads these things. If you have such a proposal for the preferential option of the poor, you might want to put the caveat out there that I am not worth your time, and then spell it out anyway, for everybody else. For the good of your Republic , even.

                  • Michael F.

                    If I believed that other people were honestly struggling with the answer and that it would make a difference if I provided some direction, I would, Hezekiah.

              • Ted Seeber

                Yes, but so what? My conscience leads me to hold my vote to a higher standard than that. I’m not saying other people are sinful for following THEIR consciences, just that I hold my conscience to a higher standard.

            • Hezekiah Garrett

              You revolted against the legitimate government, just like the French and Russians, and replaced it with a federation of States.

              When some of those States chose to withdraw from said federation, you began a war to stop them in an effort to hold control over their resources.

              Later, you involved yourselves in a European war which did not concern you and which, at the outset, you did not appear to have a reasonable chance of winning. The American-Japanese war could be argued either way, as Oahu was a distant military base and corporate plantation, not your federation proper at that time. Personally, I’d call that one just. But it is very easy to argue you had no reasonable chance of winning that one either at the outset.

              Legitimate US wars? The America-Japan war is about it as far as I can tell.

              • Hezekiah Garrett

                Then there’s 1812, where the legitimate government attempted to regain control of it’s revolutionary mob.

                The wars for Empire (all the Indian wars which would double or triple this list, Barbary pirates x 2, Aegean pirates, Mexican-American, Spanish-American Sumatran Expeditions, Exploring Epedition, Monterrey, Korkorareka, San Juan Del Norte, Opium war, Fiji expedition, Paraguay expedition, Cochinchina, Formosa, Boca Teacapan, Shinmiyangyo, Egyptian expedition, Columbian Civil War, Samoan war, Chilean civil war, Second Samoan war, Rio de Jianero, Phillipine Insurrection, Moro insurrection, Boxer rebellion, Nicaragua, Mexican expedition, Caco war, Domiican war, WW I, Russian Civil War, Indochina, Korea, Indochina, Laos, Kampuchea, the second Dominican War,Grenada, Lebanese civil war, Libya x 4, Tanker War, Panama, Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti again, Kosovo, Iraq again. The War on Terror deserves its own list.

                You can make an argument for Afghanistan, but it is a thin reed as you definitely don’t have any remote hope of success in the graveyard of Empires.

                Now that I wrote all that, I don’t think the Muslims are all that violent and bloodthisrty, comparatively speaking.

                • Hezekiah Garrett

                  In a 236yr history, that is 23 years of peace.

                  Less than 10%. Amazing.

                  • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                    Sweet! We’re still beating the Germans! ;)

                • Hezekiah Garrett

                  I forgot the Quasi-War. And intentionally didn’t include the Cold War, but rather the individual Nations that endured American bellicosity as proxies for the Soviet Union.

                • Andy, Bad Person

                  1812 was after the British had already conceded the states almost 40 years before, and can hardly be condidered “trying to regain control of its unruly mob.” The rest of your list is a good point.

                  However, your “you people” schtick is tiring. We get it; you’re Native American in heritage and believe that white people are invaders. My people are Polish and didn’t get here until the 20th century. If you’re living in America and are a citizen, you’re one of us now. You can’t blame everything in the past on the White Man.

                  • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                    Actually, I’m pretty sure all people are invaders of everyone else. Welcome to the fallen world, where nobody has a monopoly on vice or virtue. Humans have always been bastards the question is, are we always going to be from here on out?

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      In my defense, I found that link, and what of the site I read for the last little bit, hoping to, I don’t know…that was confusing.

                      It’s bad enough that tv is out there. Then it gets taken seriously too. Its enough to make my head explode. I think growing up on subsistence farming, without indoor plumbing (and not a social outlier either), in a valley where the presence of law enforcement or militaries after around 1865 could be counted on one hand (I mean, literally, any kind of deputy, trooper or anything, once Sherman got thru on to Atlanta) with a radio that was only allowed to be turned to the local AM station, a southern gospel format station, and that was usually to check on bad weather, I got a right to excuse myself from the culture that produces… I’m still sure what that is.

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      Not sure, I mean.

                      And that valley isn’t all Indian by a long shot. Lots of white folks, a hundred or more, where I am from and they are not included in my “you”.

                    • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                      Oh TV Tropes isn’t taken seriously at all. (well, maybe just a touch of seriousness) It was just my way of a little humor. A fact everyone knows (like water is wet) backed up by completely silly reference.

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      Sorry, I just didn’t understand what was being discussed. I tried following some links, thinking context would bring understanding.

                      But context is apparently thousands of hours of television viewing. Television.

                  • Hezekiah Garrett

                    Actually it’s more shopping malls and theatre and cable and on and on…

                    When I say you, It’s not directed at white people. Its directed at Americans, just mainstream middle of the road Americans. It’s shoskingly different than how I grew up. It astounds me at times. But it is a definitely foriegn thing. It isn’t schtick. If you were addressing the British people, it’d still be “you” on much less basis.

                    That’s all. I find the blue passport useful. I am an honourably discharged veteran. It’s your government and your culture. Why does that bother you so much really?

                    I mean, I am more than gainfully employed. I pay taxes as required. I frankly do some , I admit kind of odd, things to maximise what I can give directly to the poor, complicating my daily life. I only began voting on issues and politicians because the Church says I have to have really good reasons not to, and I haven’t formulated an argument for my disconnect from your culture being an excuse for a disconnect from your politics. But it’s from an outside perspective.

                    I don’t know what to do if pronouns are that bothersome.

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      If Mark never posted a political piece again, it’d be too soon. Culture pieces would still elicit “you”, but otherwise, I can discuss most anything calmly, except your politics. They’re maddening.

                  • Hezekiah Garrett

                    It was still an unruly mob of rabble in revolt against a legitimate monarch. That’s just a pretty middle of the road Catholic perspective on that one. It’s never coming back, but it has huge theological backing. It’s never coming back and look how Europe sinks and burns in fits and spurts.

            • Ted Seeber

              I would point out that the Catholic Church originally supported the Monarchies and the Strong Right of Kings. Still does when you consider the theology around Christo Rey.

            • Ted Seeber

              I should clarify- all UNJUST wars. And I’d like to see a return of the definition of a Just War to the three Augustinian Criteria rather than the expanded WWII Alliance five criteria.

              I don’t even believe that “possibility of success” is a requirement for a good Just War- and thus I believe the Crusades were Justified, if a bit (6 centuries is a long time to ponder) late to the party.

              The closest thing America has ever had to a Just War is the Civil War. The correct response to 9-11 would have been isolationism and complete severing of contact and trade with the Middle East- even though that would have caused a lot of financial pain at home as energy prices shot through the roof.

              • Hezekiah Garrett

                I’m genuinely curious how you see the Civil War as just? But not Afghanistan, if you don’t believe in reasonable chance of success?


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