If there is no more “good faith”. . .

…then how do we proceed as a nation?

That’s essentially the question I am posing in my column at First Things:

Perhaps projecting their passions on to me, both sides assumed that whatever I was writing about Palin was meant as a political manipulation against them. If I tried to offer balanced criticism, Palin fans accused me of “hating her from the first.” When I—because I detest bullies—defended her from an unconscionable assault by supposedly “liberal” people and the press after the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, I was derided, even by progressives whom I considered real friends, as being a “secret Palin lover.”

A good-faith assumption that I simply meant the exact words I wrote, in either case, and nothing more, was not permitted. It was deemed not possible.

Ms. Noonan’s dictum that people could disagree and still be “decent people” began to take a real beating, and things have only gotten worse, since then. Lately, I admit, my willingness to assume good-faith of others, particularly of the administration, has collapsed, mostly thanks to the HHS mandate and the shameful willingness of some to mischaracterize the church’s opposition as being about something other than a genuine concern for first-amendment freedoms, and to play along with the utterly false, media-contrived, so-called “war on women” narrative.

I don’t like feeling like this; I don’t like surrendering that “good faith” instinct—and I most certainly do not like being in discord with fellow Catholics, many of whom I have long liked and respected, over a matter of policy.

We are at each other’s throats, both in the church and secular venues; in government neither side knows can tell if they are dealing with honest brokers who are working in good faith.

I think what is becoming a true sticking-stone for many is the sense that the administration, and the press that supports it, have not displayed much evidence of “good faith” themselves—not last November when Nancy Pelosi groused about Catholics having “this conscience thing”; not in January when George Stephanopoulos pretended that someone, somewhere was suddenly scheming to “ban contraceptives”; not when President Obama told then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan that he considered the conscience “a sacred thing” and then actively moved against it.

I would like to believe that Obama spoke to Dolan in good faith. In fact, a progressive friend insists that Obama did mean it, but that he was swayed against his own best instincts by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and others.

You can read the rest here.

If good-faith assumptions cannot be well-founded, what does “civility” serve beyond the preservation of polite fiction?

Perhaps it becomes a branch we cling to, so we may not be completely washed away in our storms?

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Iris Celeste

    The amazing thing is that I remember you being one of the first to suggest that the Governor of Alaska would make a wonderful Vice-presidential candidate and that it was that type of Person that the GOP nominee would need! So, yes, I was a little dumbfounded when you gave constructive criticism and were attacked as a Palin hater. I like Palin, but I personally wanted Dr. Thomas Sowell! He would have been perfect to fix the economy! Actually, my dream team now would be a Condoleezza Rice – Thomas Sowell ticket! Rice in the presidency to handle all the messes in foreign policy (her expertise) and Sowell sitting in the House of Representatives as the VP keeping Congress honest and telling the American People what is being brought for a vote and what economic consequences (his expertise) he foresees…

  • JamesR

    Just as we conservatives have taken to saying “I blame Bush,” as a way to mock the non-stop (to this day) blaming of our current problems on the prior administration (one in which the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress his final two years) — as in, “Oh no, another hurricane is forming in the Atlantic,”…..”I blame Bush,”…….Now I am going to make a simplistic and perhaps silly statement in response to your article: I blame Al Gore.

    As a Floridian, my wife and I lived through every minute of that horrible post-2000 election litigation, missing Chad, etc., debacle.

    When the end result finally came – he did what no other politician, at any level or office, in my lifetime (and I am in my 50′s) has ever done. He did not GRACEFULLY accept the outcome, adn place COUNTRY above his petulant sore loser attitude. Not once did he EVER step up to the mike and state what every politician who loses in this country is honor bound (IMO) to do: “After a long hard battle, I congratulate my opponent and accept this decision; the time has come for us to set aside our differences, move forward together and work for our common good as Americans. I have reached out to President Elect Bush, and he and I…..”. Etc. I was never a Bush fan, but you know D— Well, that that is what HE would have done. Case in point – the classy way (in spite of being SAVAGED the entire campaign by the Obama crowd) he handled the turnover of the WH to the Obamas.

    Instead, I believe that Gore’s classless and boorish behavior and attitude, and his never, not once, encouraging his supporters to end the hate rhetoric, post election — set a new low in American politics. And lowered the bar on future discourse, and attitudes between the two sides of the spectrum. From that point forward, it became — at least in my impression – — perfectly okay and acceptable for the left to come right out in the open on characterizing those on the right as the “enemy” — racists, homphopes, Jesus Freaks, Neocons, warmongers, you name it. Rather than “decent people with whom you simply disagree.” The demonization of Bush (lazy, stupid, drunk, etc.) which is often typical politics DURING a campaign, but which is supposed to cease for awhile afterwords — did not happen in 2000. And I lay that right at the feet of Al Gore – for placing his bruised ego and sense of righteous indignation, above the best interests of all of us.

    Some on the right, finally decided that since the media is no longer remotely honest or objective, the time has come to, to directly quote our current President “punch back twice as hard.” I don’t see civil discourse coming back until people can respect each other again. Pro-lifers should not call pro-choicers “baby killers.” But in turn, pro gay marriage types need to stop calling those who have reasonable concerns over the impact of gay marriage “homophobes” or “bigots.” To give just two examples. THAT is the challenge.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    I personally liked any number of Republican candidates, and would-be candidates who, for one reason or another, either chose not to run, or were hounded out of running by the media. (NOTE: Never let the press choose your candidates for you.)

    Most of them struck me, and still strike me, as more intelligent, articulate and able to win than the three we’re now left with.

    There won’t be any dream team. What we’ve got now, is what we’re going to run with.

    The coarsening of American politics has been going on since the 1960′s, and the Summer of “Love”; it’s been coming a long time, we just didn’t want to admit it.

    With Obama’s signing of Executive Order PDF, we can no longer assume he’s acting from good will. I fear the time for civility may be past.

  • Gail Finke

    As an independent who doesn’t think either party is right, I would like to remind everyone that this began long before Al Gore did what the last poster said. Does anyone remember the relentless 8-year campaign by Republicans against Bill Clinton? Now I am not defending everything the man did by any means, I am not a Democrat. But I remember being appalled by the daily savage assault against Clinton, and it’s nothing for the Republicans to be proud of — nor is the immense amount of time and money spent looking for something, ANYTHING to pin on him, and the (to my mind) absurd attempt at impeachment. Sure, what he did with Monica Lewinsky was stupid and a disgrace. But it was not an abuse of presidential power like, say, President Bush’s warrantless wiretaps. Warrants can even be requested after the wiretaps start, so what was the legal basis for this? That should have meant impeachment, IMHO. And I do not suffer from “Bush derangement syndrome,” I am as bemused by it as anyone.

    My point is that this started quite a long time ago, and has been indulged in shamelessly by both parties. The result is pretty awful, but it didn’t come out of nowhere, and conservatives are partly to blame. Another example? How about all those “family values” attacks against Clinton (who behaved badly, but was still married to the mother of his child) by Republican leaders who were all divorced, some more than once? Bob Dole left his wife and child to devote himself to working for Nixon. Newt Gingrich walked out on his wife and kids. The list went on and on, but pointing that out made about as much of an impression on the Clinton-haters as pointing out Al Gore’s many plane trips and huge estate makes on the global warming crowd.

  • Mike M.

    I think it is irresponsible and immoral to assume “good faith” of the other side. Sorry. I yearn for the old days too. But yesterday it was demonstrated by none other than the WAPO that our so-called President knowingly lied to the American people in a nationally televised address last summer. And as if we did not know he and his side do that every day anyway!

    The responsible and moral thing to do is to call a liar a liar, and immorality for what it is. For that side, they have simply given in to the power of darkness. Their father is the father of lies. This is a surprise? Why? This is the normal condition for many people over time and over segments of all lives. Jesus, of all people, was realist enough to know and state the truth.

    I hate it, but wishing won’t make it go away. We are going to have to earn “good faith” trust again from the ground up and very slowly, if ever.

    It is my belief that every liberal or Democrat must tell themselves five lies before they eat breakfast. Otherwise they could not be a liberal or a Democrat. The first lie is that abortion is no problem. Sorry. I am to have “good faith” with people pushing abortion? Can anyone tell me why I should? I do not. Not now, not ever. And that is just one of the five.

    We are in a great cultural war against the forces of Mordor. I do not have “good faith” with Mordor. O, That we were not in such times. Would that Mordor would just be the other side of the political aisle, like they used to be.

    But they are not.

    The Rosary, and telling the truth. That is my only plan and I have no idea how anything else could remotely work.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Actually, a little rudeness, some uncivility, a little plain speaking back in the day, some challenging of popular assumptions: no, abortion is not about womyns’ rights, birth control will lead to the cheapening and coarsening of sex, people who riot in order to get their way aren’t activists, they’re thugs—might have saved us from the present mess.

    But, when we dared criticize our opponents, they called us “Mean hatey-hate-faces”, or something like that, and we cringed, and went along with their program, with only a few dissident murmurs. We were afraid of being called racists, women haters, haters of the poor. We went along to get along.

    At this point, after Executive Order PDF, this administration’s good faith simply can’t be presumed anymore. The time for civility may be past.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Gail, you’re not going far back enough.

    All this began in the 60′s, with the student riots, and Rules for Radicals, by Alinsky.

    (Actually, allowing our social and political policies be determined by rioters—i.e., “Do we want, or we’ll tear your cities apart!”—was a big mistake.)

    Civility died at the Democratic convention of 1968, when the Leftist took over. Everything since them has been backtracking.

  • Bill M.

    I wonder if much of the bad faith bedeviling us is the product of combox culture, in which it isn’t so much shooting first and asking questions later, but shooting and never bothering to ask. I despair over the general lack of curiosity, the readiness to impute base motives.

  • doc

    Gee Gail, as an “independent” you sure leap to the defense of the Democrats with enthusiasm. One would think an independent would’ve been non-partisan enough to have researched the facts about the Clinton impeachment. He wasn’t impeached for anything he did with his intern, other than encouraging her to commit perjury and doing so himself. About those daily savage attacks against Clinton, where did they come from? Certainly not the corporate media, who loved and protected him almost as much as they do with Obama. Perhaps you refer to Limbaugh.

  • Elaine

    Let’s face it that some of us are just down right scared the direction the country is going with a progressive president. We must be civil but we must state our position and not back down. I was always “wow, let’s all get along folks” but unfortunately this is impossible with what is at stake now. It is crunch time! It is sickening to feel that your church is being attacked for what it believes in, sickening when our debt is so high, sickening when a new healthcare system that we can’t afford is passed, sickening when gas prices skyrocket and the people’s money is being wasted on green energy, sickening when our president sits with a union boss that calls others bastards, sickening when people like Paul Ryan are vilified when he presents a plan and the president does not even try to negotiate but just call GOP names, sickening when the unemployment rate is high, etc. etc. and we wonder why people are in a foul mood. It takes prayer and discipline to figure out how to be civil when you are screaming at your tv or at a news blog all the time. Sorry what this is my vent!

  • lovemysoldier

    We can look back at any point in history and complain about incivility. We will also find thousands of mobs with undue influence.

    Good faith is dangerous when it leaves you vulnerable to a con. Consider it your duty to remain a truth seeker for the sake of the rest of mankind. It’s a social contract. I promise to vote against the theft of rights and property. I also promise not to be duped by anyone merely because I have a strong desire to be Pollyanna (and I do).

    One element of online blogging I do not appreciate: when the writing, and underlining philosophy, of the blogger is damaged by the criticism he receives. It reminds me of great bands who then start releasing songs about life on the road, smashing hotel rooms, media pressure, etc. A big part of what made them great was the life they represented before corruption.

    Don’t worry about the perception of others or consider that the perception is being misrepresented by online communication. Maybe people do get it but that has little to do with what is going on here. It’s not about you. It’s about them. Your work is just one piece in a puzzle that makes some folks spasm.

    In other words, have good faith in you. Or, as my family says, “Garden Party.” You can’t please everybody so you got to please yourself.

    Always interesting. Thank you.

  • florin

    March 20th…I have become so disheartened by the bitterness, the attacks, the maliciousness taking place not only between Dems/Repubs. but between Republicans on the campaign trail. Whenever I hear Rush Limbaugh go ballistic when it seems that Dems. and Republs might be able to work together to get something passed, i feel so torn…and I e-mail him to remind him that there are honorable men and women of good character on both sides of the aisle and if we cannot all work together for the good of the people, and for the good of our country, then we will destroy ourselves from within. The Civil War found brothers fighting against brothers with guns; now we find Americans fighting against other Americans with words and often vicious slander. I don’t believe that we should betray our deeply held moral principles – I would never vote for a pro-abortion candidate, but there are surely many areas where there can be compromise (just as in a good marriage), but as long as we remain divisive and divided, we will never advance in anything we attempt to do for the good of our country.

  • Mike M.

    I disagree that there are honorable men or women on the D side anymore. If you think so, I want names. I want real examples.

    There is no compromise that would be worth anything with that side. You don’t meet the devil half-way. Mordor does not compromise; they make tactical concessions for ultimate victory.

    it is all very unpleasant. I am sure it was very unpleasant during our last Civil War. Indeed. Now we are in a cold Civil War.

    Sometimes in life one side is right and one side is wrong. Sometimes there is no compromise. Sometimes honestly and courage mean that you can no more go along to get along when that means what it means today. For my part, I give no Democrat today (emphasizing the today) even a shred of credit for any virtue at all you can name except the doggedness that the wicked and demonic often display. There is no good in them. Not in any one of them. The whole side has gone over to the dark side, total and complete.

    That may change at some point in the future, but that is the way it is now and I don’t want them to get even one blessed thing they want since literally everything they want is immoral and harmful to the private good and the public good.

  • http://dailywoof.wordpress.com Kensington

    I’m not inclined to call people “baby killers,” but the truth of that description is a legitimate defense in the way that calling someone who opposes same sex marriage a “bigot” or a “homophobe” is not. The former statement is true, albeit harshly put. The latter simply is not.

  • dry valleys

    I don’t believe in good faith, moderation, healing the wounds etc. because I just don’t think the other side wants the same thing as me. David Camoron knows, but doesn’t care, that he is a disaster for low and middle-income people because the 1% are his priority. He may not object to the working classes as such, but we aren’t his priority. And his counterpart is essentially Romney.

    With social conservatives, a whole other bunch of things come into force, and our causes are meaningless to each other. If some people’s goal is a religious state and mine is a secular state, what is there left to say to each other?

    Social conservatives are somewhat different to neoliberals because they rue family breakdown, unemployment, crime, divorce etc. But they always align themselves with the neoliberals on whose watch these things, which were very rare before 1979, always take off.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Well, just reading Valley’s post shows why their can’t be much cooperation, here.

    The other side doesn’t believe in good faith, moderation, healing wounds, etc. They think of us as the enemy, because we are supposedly against the “working class”, and we supposedly do not care about poor, or middle-income people (even though many of us are poor, and middle-income ourselves.)

    (If they don’t believe in good faith, moderation, etc., by the way, how on earth do they manage to work together, to assist the supposedly long-suffering, oppressed midle-class? But I digress. . . )

    They see us as wanting to install a theocracy (even though we don’t), and they see us as the enemy, to whom no mercy is to be given.

    That does make dialogue a wee bit hard. If you tell me you disagree with my point of view on something we can discuss that. If you tell me that everything I believe in is all wrong, that I’m an enemy of all that is decent: the “working man”, women, reproductive freedom, multiculturalism, free candy for all, whatever—and that, furthermore, you will never show mercy to me, or compromise with me, or treat me justly—well, why should I take you seriously? Why should I listen to you at all?

    Valleys, with all due respect, I believe you should read the article the Anchoress links to about “sentimentalism” coming before cruelty. I also think that, rather than worrying about Cameron, or American politicians, you might want to pay some attention to your own “Red Ken Livingstone”—I don’t really think you want England to be a beacon for Islam, do you?

  • dry valleys

    Not particularly, no, though I would support Livingstone over Boris Johnson who actually does wrongs rather than talk to theocrats and, as far as I cann tell, politely ignore them. But it’s interesting you should say this because I used to be, or try to be, all moderate and centrist and nice. The main thing that disillusioned me was the fact that no government anywhere confronted bankers in any meaningful way, and that applies to those allegedly of the left too, so I became more sharply defined in my views.

    I started visiting this site in 2009. And I like to think I’ve established friendly relations with some people, I certainly don’t have some kind of personal grievance against anyone. But seeing what you and your friends have to say has convinced me that there can’t be a reconciliation of views, so I’ve moved further away. And I don’t mean that anyone is a theocrat in the Iranian sense, I don’t actually know quite what is meant by the attacks on “secularism” that often come up in the comments here because I can never see what is meant by them.

    Those who vote for right-wing parties are different to those who lead them, and as you say are often not wealthy. You may in fact be aiming for the same things (I don’t actually want any of the things social conservatives deplore, it’s just that I think they have the wrong response to them, so their solutions will never work) but it isn’t possible to reach accord. Before I said anything at all, the MikeM.s and James Rs of this world made the point for me.

  • Peggy

    “If good-faith assumptions cannot be well-founded, what does “civility” serve beyond the preservation of polite fiction?
    Perhaps it becomes a branch we cling to, so we may not be completely washed away in our storms?”

    Good-faith assumptions are grounded in the belief that “we are all good people” and that even in disagreement, we can be courteous and civil. There was a time when that was more often true than not. But more and more, that is a false assumption.

    I have taken a lot of criticism over the years for my honesty about what I see or do not see in others. I have been called negative, critical, pessimistic, unkind, mean, etc. I have accepted that, because I can see that people who “only want to acknowledge and believe the best in others” are sincere in their beliefs. From my perspective though, part of why they do this because that is all they want others to see in them and all they want to see about themselves They prefer to believe in “polite fictions” as you call it, rather than facing the harsh and ugly truth about who and what we are. We are sinners. All of us. Not one of us is any better than the other if we judge ourselves by the standard of perfection that is Christ and that is the only standard that counts in the long run. Sin can be measure in terms of both quality and quantity to try and make ourselves feel better in comparison to others, but isn’t it sin still?

    A recent conversation with a friend illustrated for me the deep and abiding difference in those who only want to see the good and those who are willing to see all. In our discussion, I said that I believed we were all the same, no one is really “better’ than anyone else and that it is only our choices that make the determination of what kind of people we are. She made the statement that she believes that some people are innately worse than other and some are innately better than others. I asked her if she believed that there was any hope for the ones she considered worse and she said she did not believe they could ever change. I told her I believed there was hope for everyone.

    So which of us is truly the negative, pessimistic, unkind and critical one?

    I believe in the transformative love of Christ. There is nothing about us that escapes His notice. He sees and knows every flaw and failure, every sin in all of us. And yet His love is undiminished. How much deeper, finer, and truer is a love that sees both bad and good and acknowledges both and still loves completely, as opposed to a love that refuses to look any further than “good”?

    I have followed you quietly for many years, but now I write this because it made me a little sad to see you seem so unhappy and disillusioned. That is something of a rarity for you. But disillusionment is not a bad thing if you accept that it has its own value. Because the definition of disillusionment is “a loss of naive faith and trust”, not a complete loss.

    I want to love like He does. To see honestly and still love. But to look at people and see in them all that is not good would be depressing beyond measure, if I did not have full faith that none are beyond the redemptive love and forgiveness of Christ if they choose to reach out to Him. I am never without hope.

    God bless, Elizabeth.

  • dry valleys


    I live in a landslide community myself. I’ve never met a conservative before, because virtually no one in the city I live in (probably one of the most deprived in the wwhole of Europe) is that way inclined, whereas rural districts I cycle through are entirely right-wing.

    So I went on blogs to read what right-wing people think, and it still seems like anothher world.

  • dry valleys

    But the reason I visit right-wing websites is to have some form of conversation, to flesh out issues. It’s just that I find it difficult to have any meaningful talk at all. That is why it must seem like I do nothing but incoherently rage at whatever you’ve just said :)

  • http://cinemacatechism.blogspot.com/ Bender

    If good-faith assumptions cannot be well-founded, what does “civility” serve beyond the preservation of polite fiction?
    Perhaps it becomes a branch we cling to, so we may not be completely washed away in our storms?

    They cry “peace, peace,” but there is no peace. In fact, such cries are an obstruction to real, authentic peace. And that is a necessary first step in obtaining real peace — recognizing and seeing a false peace for what it is.

    While we should, in charity, seek to see the good in people, that does not mean always giving them the benefit of the doubt that they seek what is good and true. To always do that is to reject and dismiss what Jesus told us — that there are those who prefer the darkness, that the world would hate us, that if we kept the faith, people would turn against us. Are we to suppose that Jesus was joking when He said that, that He didn’t really mean it, or that He was exaggerating?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    It seems like another world, because you don’t get out enough, and because you don’t really want to see it as it is—and because you’ve set up a false idol in your mind; the noble working man, vs. the evil banker, who’se supposedly responsible for all the evils in the world. Because of this, you support men like Ken Livingstone, who mean neither you, nor any other working man, or woman, any good—who will, in fact, ultimately destroy your country. But you’ll support them, because you continue to see them on “Your” side, as opposed to “Their” side, even though they’re not in favor of the working class (or anybody else, except, maybe, Islamic oil sheiks, who are certainly as rich as decadent—if not more so—than bankers!)

    As the 20th Century has shown us, there are far worse things than rich bankers, out there. All modern revolutions have begun with wonderful, fine sounding ideals: “The working man!” “Equality!” “The Fatherland!” They all end in the Gulag, the execution chamber, the concentration camp.

    You do need to read that article about violence and sentimentality. Sentimentality applies to politics, too.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Well, Valleys—if, as you said, there’s no point in trying to be in accord, what’s the use of discussion?

    We have discussed things with you, from our point of view, pretty much in depth. You seem to find it dismaying that we don’t share your worldview—even when we explain why we believe what we do, and cite history, facts, etc. Antyhing outside of right-left/working class banker/good Left-bad rightwingers seems to disturb you.

    I think you need to get out more, and I think you need to try actually trying to see another’s point of view.

  • dry valleys

    No, I see perfectly well that “austerity” doesn’t work, and that’s why the British government isn’t heralded as a success by any sane person, even though it’s doing what the right wing advocate. Your Paul Krugman will point this out. There is no violent revolution on the streets of Germany or Brazil, just a better-run society and politics than the Anglosphere is managing.

    And I know that Arabs (Chinese, Russians) are among the main drivers of corrosive ultra-wealth who form an overclass cut off from society. That’s why I advocate, for example, higher taxes on extremely high salaries (due to be cut again by Ozzy Osbourne tomorrow), public ownership of utilities which were sold off in the 80s, and other ways to stop this profiteering and reduce dependence on imported oil.

    The same people who tell us they are “patriots” and use nationalist language to get us fighting each other will say they are going to decamp to Switzerland, or Singapore, or one of those seasteads “libertarians” were talking about a few years ago if they are called upon to pay a bit more in taxes! That’s what I’ve never grasped.

    I don’t believe that any social conservative can be happy to see the way neoliberalism works. Chesterton certainly didn’t like the orthodoxies of his day. But the solutions he proposed are ones I consider unviable. Benedict said a similar thing a few months ago. I disagreed with his solution. But better that than someone who denies that there is a problem needing to be solved.

    What you are talking about is primarily the influence of the House of Saud, which has continued to flourish, but wouldn’t do so if organised state action took the place of auctioning off what was once publicly owned utilities to the highest bidder.

  • Teresa

    Expecting “good faith” from this administration and this President is a fools errand. The man is a pathalogical liar and there is plenty of evidence of this. An example, he told a bald faced lie about his mother’s health coverage. Said she was denied coverage for her cancer treatment by the insurance agency. Only problem, it was a complete fabrication. And that’s just one example. I actually have along list. The problem is that many people are lazy and take everything he says at face value. One of the things that really annoys people is when they realize that they are being lied to over and over again. It leaves little room for civility. Hopefully, those who voted for him last time will pay close attention this time. If not this country is finished.

  • fiestamom

    Good points by James R re: the 2000 election contested by Al Gore. Even the hated Nixon could have contested the 1960 election but didn’t out of concern it would tear the country apart.

    But to point back to a previous Anchoress post, it’s the media. The media hasn’t acted in good faith for quite a while, and no one believes them. I could watch 5 minutes of any news channel (or read a mainstream media publication), and play the “what if a Republican did it” game. The media also acts as if Republicans don’t act in good faith. How many times have pundits, newsreaders and even sitting congressmen and Senators accuse those who oppose Obama as racists?

  • Dad of Six

    Seen on a bumper sticker-

    “I liked Ike;
    Hell, I even miss Harry!”

  • Mark Greta

    I have voiced this before. I think we are at each others throats because we allowed justices of the supreme court to throw away the Constitution and to usurp powers that they were not granted or intended by the Founders. We are the United “STATES” of America. What unites us is the Constitution. No matter how we feel about issues, we could have different values and beliefs in our state than those of NY or California. We often laughed about these differences wondering why anyone in their right mind would live there. The federal government inlcuding the courts had very limited power to force one view or moral viewpoint on all the states. Tenth Amendment. We also had protection from the Government, walled and separated from doing anything to our religous beliefs or liberty, from forcing their beliefs everyone in the entire country. In fact, the Founders saw the solution to evil things like slavery bubbling up by religious persuasion into something that would bring about a national change using the other tool provided, the amendment process. Doesn’t work fast and is hard to get done, but if it happened, it would be because a vast majority of Congress, the president, and 3/4th of the states approved it. This meant there was a national debate. It worked really well for our country. We had a relatively small government and we had freedom and liberty protected by a document in writing that by oath everyone in office was supposed to protect and support.

    Those who wanted to see their changes to the country made mandatory and forced on everyone else therefore had to destroy this sacred document. They could not argue in open for a secular atheist government religion amendment and have a ghost of a chance of winning. the could not pass an amendment to the Constitution to remove God from all our schools which would also mean every history lesson about America had to disappear. The courts started to do this with a total distortion of the actual text and known intent of the first amendment under Justice Hugo Black, who hated the Catholic Church and feared its growing influence. The separation of Church and state and the complete lie allowed to stand opened the door wide for everything else on the agenda. Anyone under 60 has probably never been taught American history that included Bible verse or something like the President Washington farewell address. The founders came under attack and made to appear almost as enemies of freedom. Thus schools systems were decimated of anything that mentioned God..America’s first government ordered book burning. With this out of the way and the precedent to find words or meanings not in the documents, the new state secular atheist faith would soon push for killing babies and changing grave evil into legal and protected acts forced on every person and every state.

    We are at each others throats because we are being forced by a centralized godless secular government using the power of the courts to accept things that are against our core beliefs and that step by step have taken away our freedom without it ever being voted on or having the Constitution amended. Look at all that has changed and show me one amendment that passed on any of it. We know at our very core it is wrong and are powerless in a government that is supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people. Now we are seeing it attack ever more each day from Obamacare to wiretaps to wars and everythng else. If our guy is in office, it goes a little our way and if the other guy is in office, it goes the other direction. Those who think this is a good thing tend to be on the left and make fun of those who want to actually honor our founding documents as written. Since we are for two major different America’s, one by the Constitution which includes a strong religious liberty and influence, and one by court mandate to produce a centralized secular government with religious liberty allowed only inside the approved box we call a church if some still need to cling to their religion and guns. Those two postions cannot be reconcilled with dialouge and there is no common ground. whenever this has happened in the past, it grows to violence and war as the only way to settle it. That is what happens when you don’t like the rules of the game and decide to force your new rules on everyone else.

    If anyone wants to see this played out in history, we don’t have to go far back as it is well documented in the life of Bonhoeffer in Germany. Eric Metazas has written an excellent book on this time frame and the growing loss of freedom and religious liberty that even had a secularized German Church that swore its alegience to Hitler. Forget left and right and think about the two views of power and control. We have the same going here. That is what makes this election so important. If we do not stop Obama and his party from ever more power and control and do not try to get justices to get this back on track and under the Constitution. there will only be much of what happened inside Germany. After all, they have already worked out the death camps with the abortion mills forced on us by the courts and have already killed 54 million babies. They learned from the mistakes of the Nazi’s and others on how to boil the people so they don’t jump out of the pan.

  • BarbS

    Anchoress, it goes much deeper than the rampant incivilty and rancor associated with the “great” issues (politics, religion, philosophy). This incredible feral behavior infests arenas where new technology is being discussed or sports are the topic or even folks are talking about taking a cruise.

    My hubby writes for a major technology website and reviews products. He has had death threats and emails full of curse words for being critical of a piece of electronic equipment. We live in Colorado and the airwaves are filled today with the Peyton Manning news (signing with the Broncos). Many of us are thrilled but also feel bad for Tim Tebow. But some folks have gone to extremes, emailing threats and curses to sportscasters and the team owners. As a diversion, I have participated in a website devoted to fans of cruising (on ships :-)). Many discussions devolve into rancor if you don’t agree with a “veteran” board participant who knows better than anyone else on cruises, tours, etc. (I could say it is truly a bastion of elitism).

    The ease in which we can dehumanize someone else is startling but not unexpected in the anonymous world of the Internet.

  • Dynan

    You cannot get to heaven by avoiding the 7 deadly sins. It is actually necessary to cultivate the 7 cardinal virtues before you can enter heaven. Technically, it is possible to reach heaven on earth, become a saint and go directly to heaven upon mortal death. Both Jesus and His Mother acheived that.

    Social justice catholics such as Pelosi believe they can create heaven on earth for other people. Wrong! Only in God’s time will that occur, hopefully in the next 5 billion years before the Sun dies. By no means with the current US constitution.
    By no means by executive orders.

    When all understand that the 7 cardinal virtues are our individual soul goals, then peace on earth is possible. Not until. Have no faith in men or women, only as Jesus had in the Father. Understand that Jesus represents all matter, that all energy is the Holy Spirit and that Father is a great mind, the Creator of all.

    Do not lose faith. As perfect as Jesus was in life on earth, recall that He was a slave for the Father. We can aspire to nothing less! Continue to improve you God-contact with Confession, Communion, prayer and meditation, finally arriving at sainthood!

    Dynan Candon 2012-3-20.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Yes, BarbS, I’ve noticed that too. It happens even when the subject is something fun, or relatively unimportant: cruises, sci-fi conventions, comic books, hotel reviews and the like. It’s incredible, and appalling.

  • Mark

    When God is removed from a society as the essential support structure for everything else, then everything positive that comes from a people whose lives and religious beliefs are entertwined will be lost. Why should anyone give a damn about anyone else without Christianity as a major influence? When we allowed God to be removed from our schools, we gave up everything else. When we made the atheist religion our state religion by court edict given power by the Democratic Party, we lost everything. Only a return to God and putting our nation once again under God will save us from our total destruction and it will not be a pretty death.

  • Deacon Steve

    Dynan Nancy Pelosi is not a social justice Catholic. What she does is not true social justice. Her brand of social justice is to force the poor to be dependent on the state. True social justice aids people when they are in need, while at the same time helping and empowering them to begin to provide for themselves. Giving handouts alone so that the person becomes dependent on the aid is actually sinful and evil because it creates a new type of slavery. It is a government sponsored form of the company store. Charity needs to happen, but the root causes for the need for charity needs to be identified and corrected. Pelosi and her type do not represent true Catholic Social Justice, just charity that enslaves the poor in order for the politicians to get reelected.

  • Mister Lynch

    The presumption of good faith cannot be a simple thing, in the practical sphere, just as “thou shalt not kill” and “thou shalt not bear false witness” are not simple, either.
    So, yes, it is a moral duty (expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church) to always impute the most favorable motives possible to others, in order to give those others the most “just” treatment. However, this does not occur in a vacuum; while assumption of good faith is certainly a moral tenet of our interpersonal relationships, the moral calculus changes when we are charged with the defense of other persons. In such a case, where the need for confidence is higher, it would be wrong to assume good faith from someone who gives you good reason to suspect their motives. In short, it is a matter of prudential judgement. In such cases, you would be within your rights to demand some sign of good faith, or — if the situation were extreme enough — to refuse to trust the other person’s word.

  • SKay

    I agree MarkGreta.
    It seems that Jefferson was deliberately misinterpreted to achieve an end -and it is allowed to continue.