The Mentality of our Ruling Class

The Mentality of our Ruling Class February 21, 2012

“Robert Creamer–Democrat strategist, Obama 2008 campaign aide, and political architect of ObamaCare–argues that the new contraceptive mandate for Catholic institutions isn’t really about equality for women, or religious liberty. Rather, it is about population control.”

Of course it is. Just as the powers and principalities are lining up to force the Church to knuckle under to the glories of homosex, so they are trying to compel the Church to capitulate to the lefty urge to impose secular totalitarianism upon it. This is about spiritual warfare. Which means the weapons of our warfare are primarily spiritual too. Politics and media combat and so forth have their place. But the main fight will be conducted in the realm of prayer, sacrifice and through the Holy Eucharist. We wrestle not with flesh and blood here and we are fools if we think the Obama Administration is the main enemy here.

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  • kevin

    Arresting that he would admit that. I have to say I missed that Malthusian angle, seeing it solely as an attack on the First Amendment and Catholicism. Lord Barack knows that there are too many people on the planet, and he is going to reduce their numbers.

    • kenneth

      Would it help If I go and talk Satan through his relationship drama again? He does get SO ornery when he and Saddam are having a tiff! Neither of them recognize what a gem they have in each other!

    • Dale Price

      What’s extra-hilarious about it is that the total fertility rate of the U.S. is below replacement levels right now–it’s 2.06 (it has to be 2.1 to be at replacement levels to account for the mortality rate). So the abortifacient/birth control mandate is a solution to a problem that does not exist.

      In short, Mr. Creamer is imposing his math-impaired morality on the rest of us. But that’s OK, because he’s right.

      “My moral imperative is good policy. Yours is an imposition.”

    • @Kevin: Both Thomas Malthus and Paul Erhlich of Population Bomb ignored Divine Providence, the truth that our CREATOR, who created man will care for man. Our Creator created man EQUAL, not to be aborted or enslaved by individual or state.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    And because the GOP is “not them,” many Catholics will go GOP. But if you think the GOP really cares about this issue or any of the other issues we care about, you’re deluding yourselves.

    Yes, the Democrats are all about the people being ruled by Big Government. But the GOP is all about the people being ruled by Big Business. Either way, we Shirefolk won’t last long.l

    If you join Saruman to fight Sauron, you’re still going to end up in chains.

    • “But the GOP is all about the people being ruled by Big Business.”

      This is a broad brush you’re painting with. A more accurate statement would be “But the GOP *elite* is all about the people being ruled by Big Business”, and that would work. Many GOP’ers are pro-business, but the majority of businesses are small businesses, many of which are owned by people who consider themselves conservatives in the sense that government should just get out of the way and let the market (and the buyers) determine failure or success.
      The GOP elite (and the Dem elite for that matter) are in bed with Corporate America, and you, I, and many others have sniffed it out and are calling for real change….not the bravo sierra that was promised in 2008 either….

    • Joseph

      Yes, the Democrats are all about the people being ruled by Big Government. But the GOP is all about the people being ruled by Big Business.

      No, it’s not an either/or scheme. Where have you been for the last decade?

      • Mark S (not for Shea)

        I agree it SHOULDN’T be an either/or scheme. But under the current policies of our 2 Party system, that’s what we have. And nothing will change as long as people continue to vote for the lesser of two evils. That just gets you progressively more evil with every election.

        Hence, our current situation.

        • I think he’s saying that the GOP is for BOTH Big Gov’t and Big Business and so are the Dems. I think he’s right.

          • Mark S (not for Shea)

            Well in that case, he’s right.

            Which is why I no longer vote for the major parties in National elections.

            • Mark, I’m curious. Since you won’t vote for a major party, what party *will* you vote for? Is there another party tat you feel will advance the cause of goodness and light? If so, I’d like to vote for them too (not meaning to sound like Herod).

  • the new contraceptive mandate for Catholic institutions isn’t really about equality for women, or religious liberty. Rather, it is about population control.”

    It might be for some people, but that’s not why it has broad currency in the general culture. The birth control mandate really is about rights for women in an individualistic existentialist culture.

    “You can do anything you put your mind to.” That’s from Back to the Future. “Be what you want to be, do what you want to do: believe in yourself.” That’s from Sesame Street’s 10th Anniversary Album. Both of those are pretty mainstream sources for commonly held American pieties.

    “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.”

    According to the internets, that’s by William Arthur Ward, but I remember it from a motivational calendar someone gave me for free. This is pretty basic stuff for a modern liberal culture. Our society does not believe that anyone has any sort of nature that properly limits what they are able to do or become. All that limits us so far is our primitive technology. As our technology gets better, so will the range of choices available to us. In fact, the purpose of technology is to expand the range of humanly willed choices – without any question of whether those are good or bad.

    Now of course there are some in our society who for reasons beyond their control do not have access to the full range of human possibilities. Paraplegics can’t run marathons. If, therefore, our society is wealthy enough (and it pretty much is), it is a responsibility of our society to enable these disadvantaged people to access – through technology – as full a range of humanly willed choices as they choose to avail themselves of. That’s why the boys at GQ get all excited thinking about this guy. Oscar Pistorius has the will and the desire. Why should he be penalized (barred from the Olympics) by the accident of losing his legs?

    So here’s the thing: to be a woman is to labor under a congenital inability to access the same freedoms that men possess. Physically, women end up having to bear the brunt of sexual activity, and there is no way around this fact. Men don’t bear children, and, by and large, they just don’t naturally care as much about babies. But unless any individual woman is going to be penalized by the accident of her gender, our society has the responsibility to provide this group of people with the technological means to overcome their disadvantage and compete in the free market on the same terms as every other individual person. (And if you don’t think that having to be the one to carry the child is a “penalty”, ask yourself why that’s exactly the language that liberals always use.)

    Don’t you see? This is why liberals are flabbergasted by our opposition to birth control. Birth control is the easiest and most moral way technologically to provide women with a freedom that men already possess. The alternative is abortion, which nearly everyone admits is physically and emotionally devastating for a woman even if they don’t believe it’s morally wrong.

    You cannot deny advantages to individuals in one particular segment of society when those advantages are based solely on the accident of being born a particular way when society has the technology and the resources to correct the disadvantage.

    This is why it is blindingly obvious to everyone else in society that birth control is basic health care for women, and providing it is just good sense. This is why we look like patriarchal troglodytes. Furthermore, we need to be very careful before we cry “freedom”, whether religious or any other kind. There is only one (there ultimately can be only one) freedom in our society, and that is the freedom to choose whatever you can choose, and it is the responsibility of society to enable as many as can to avail themselves of that freedom.

    The population control issue is something nice that population worry-worts feel good about on the side. But it is not the real issue.

    • You’re still viewing pregnancy as a disease, or at least a disadvantage. If you have a problem with the way God designed the world, take it up with Him.

      The solution isn’t to give women the same ability to act like assholes in regards to taking responsibility for a choice to have sex; it’s to have men STOP acting like assholes. But contraception just encourages them to act like assholes.

      Besides, contraception actually leads to more abortion, not less

      • You’re still viewing pregnancy as a disease, or at least a disadvantage.

        I know. But that’s what the free market requires. How can women compete on an equal footing with men if they have to put all their projects on hold while they have a baby. You couldn’t give a woman like that responsibility for directing the development of your next generation smartphone. Apple would have scooped you while she was throwing up at home. Pregnancy is a disadvantage in our society and – what’s more – in our economy.

        • Hmmm, that is a good point. In that case, it will all need to come tumbling down before sanity can prevail again (which is what I suspected anyway)

          Still, it is worth making the effort to educate people.

    • Thomas R

      I do think this is how many of them see it. America’s fertility rate, right now, is relatively low so some kind of zero-population-growth reason doesn’t make that much sense. It would make sense as to why we support contraception overseas, but that’s a different matter.

      Still that a guy in the group says this makes me think maybe it was a reason as confusing as that might seem. Possibly the population-control thinking, for the US, is that child-poverty is a problem here and a solution is to make it easier for the poor to not have children. Or encourage same. Less poor kids less childhood poverty as upward mobility is kind of a myth anyway, or some argue, so you’re either born poor or you’re not. And that could be a kind of population-control.

      • Joseph

        Well, in fact, the most effective way of eliminating poverty is to kill the poor and sterilize the poor women whom are left alive. That is 100% effective.

        So, you have to hand it to them. They’re thinking logically.

    • mndad

      That is the best comment I have read in a long time – thank you

    • ds

      Jon W thanks for putting it so well. I’m pretty familiar with liberal policy and mindset and this sounds accurate.

      One thing I would add especially for Mark Shea and other followers is, They are a little self centered, and ITS NOT ABOUT THEM.

      Obama does not want to destroy catholicism or christianity or anything. He has goals that are not theirs, and he has a different set of values (not as different as they think) but he’s not out to get them. He’s out to win, and they are losing, so maybe they feel a little butthurt but it aint personal. umad.jpg

      And before folks start attacking me, I’m not exactly an Obama supporter. I used to be but he’s kind of lost me. I’m ostensibly catholic, but honestly I don’t feel too welcome or comfortable there anymore so I really don’t know what to think…

      • S. Murphy

        Stick around. It’s a big Church. There’s someplace init for you to ferl welcome. I pray you find it.

    • Kate B.

      This is where Aristotle comes in handy. Womanhood is not an “accident”; it is a substance. Women ARE fundamentally different from men; what is natural to men is not a right for a woman, and vice versa. And you’re right: it’s hard to be a CEO while throwing up. It’s also hard to be a CEO while playing catch with your kids. The problem, here, is that our society and our economy think in terms of power, not in terms of the common good. Birth control will not fix that problem.

    • I have to differ with you. Being pregnant is NOT a disability, nor a punishment. It is the one thing women can do that men can’t – continue the human race. In short, be fruitful and multiply.

      I’ve had 3 kids. My daughter has 3. Both of us managed to finish college, attend graduate school, and carry on successful careers, even with those “handicaps”.

      You are looking at the wrong end of the problem. The issue is: does the executive branch of the government have the right to overrule the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom, given in the 1st Amendment, by fiat?

      My answer, and I pray the US Supreme Court’s answer, is HELL, NO!

  • Furthermore, Mark, you need to be very careful about your Ruling Class vs the Rest of Us theme. President Obama doesn’t get his sense of righteousness from the knowledge that he’s helping out his fat-cat buddies. He feels perfectly justified doing what he’s doing because he is entirely convinced that this is the way to enable as many Americans as possible to enjoy as many freedoms as they can.

    It may be fascistic in the sense that it involves the (potentially) violent imposition of a particular culture, way of life, and ethic onto a resistant sub-set of society, but it is not being done in the name of more cash for the well-connected. It is being done for our own good.

    Remember Lewis: Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

    This is what’s going on. There are robber barons abroad in this country, probably in the West Wing, but they’re not sitting in the Oval Office.

  • Consistency

    Jon, you do realize the people promoting this mandate (Planned Parenthood) get to cash in an actually make money when it fails. Their entire existence is predicated upon unwanted pregnancies. It’s not about equal rights. It is about money.

    All you have to do is look at Obama’s policies to see he is placating his campaign donors and rigging the system for them. The majority of his policies are identical to Bush for all intents and purposes. Bailouts and advantages for the bankers, wars for the military industrial complex, NDAA, Patriot Act, and Gitmo for the CIA. Guess who is left footing the bill?

    • This is the kind of comment that just destroys any chance for rapprochement in our society. “My opponents’ motives seem irrational to me, therefore they are greedy and wicked.”

      I’m telling you the truth – and I say this as a conservative, a traditionalist, and a lifelong Republican – these people are absolutely morally earnest. I’m sure you can find people who use this particular worldview to profit. So what? There are people who profit off of our worldview. That means nothing. The Barack Obamas and Kathleen Sebeliuses of this world, however, are not doing this because they think it’ll make them rich. They’re doing it because they absolutely believe in it.

      Seriously, we sound like the comments under that DailyKos article Mark linked to about the food pantry that didn’t want to give Planned Parenthood a warm fuzzy photo-op:

      Once again and for the millionth time, there’s nothing pro-life about “pro-lifers.”

      They don’t care about children or women. They don’t care about the poor. They just don’t care. Disgusting.

      They just don’t want their truck in front of the PP office. Why? Because they are stupid.

      Guess this makes it clear that this isn’t just a war on women, but a war on the poor. Appalling behavior.

      Sound familiar? We do the exact same thing. Maybe we could pay Terry Gross, et al, the respect of taking them seriously.

  • @Jon W. Jon, did not God create man to love, protect and provide for his progeny, his offspring, his helpmate and his family, to engage his paternity in being the spiritual father of all generations? You talk as if the only women out there are women who are single mothers and career climbers, but this is fallacy. Our culture is in the toilet and you are flushing. If this administration was not against our founding principles and our unalienable rights and our First Amendment freedom, this administration would not be “prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. Yes it is about the state, ceasar, not rendering unto to God what belongs to God. Freedom of Religion is man’s response to the gift of Faith from God, our Creator, endower of unalienable rights, atheism denies every citizen our unalienable rights by denying God. By denying God, atheism denies man’s immortal and rational soul and thereby makes of every man property of the state to be imposed upon as a beast of burden to pay for somebody else’s contraceptives. CHARITY is a corporal work of mercy and may not be redefined by an atheistic adminsitration.

    • I agree with almost everything you said. But the people who are trying to implement this birth control mandate passionately believe everything I wrote. This is not about nasty people who just want to take a crap on the Catholic Church because they hate babies and chasubles. This is about people who have absolute moral convictions about what is right and wrong, and they think we’re evil.

      Freedom of religion is nice and all, but no freedom, including the freedom of religion, is absolute. And if our practice of religion is seriously disabling the society as a whole from practicing its own freedoms, then we’re inevitably going to get stepped on.

      • Jon W, I really appreciate your comments and the time you’re taking to explain the mindset of the ‘pro-choicers’. I think you’re spot on – and thanks especially for the CS Lewis quote.

        However, I do take issue with your statement “… no freedom, including the freedom of religion, is absolute.” True perhaps from the perspective of our tired democracy, but not true from the perspective of how God created us.

        Freedom has a real definition and meaning for human nature, encapsulated by Bl. JPII as follows: “Freedom is not the right to do as you like, but the right to become what you ought [to be].” (a paraphrase, not a verbatim quote) Our Western culture lost this definition of freedom when we tossed out the idea of a common, knowable human nature – and it’s been replaced by the banal substitute you describe: “if it feels good, do it”.

        This doesn’t mean that freedom (again, JPII’s definition) is no longer an innate need of human beings and is lost forever. It just means that hedonism is a poor substitute for real freedom. And real freedom is what we need to keep fighting for.

        • Freedom is not the right to do as you like, but the right to become what you ought [to be].

          Sure, but that’s not at all the definition of freedom as enshrined in the founding documents and philosophy of this country. The policies of this country are based on the definition of freedom that goes like this: Human society has the responsibility to let you do what you like. To the extent that you do what you like, you are free. To the extent that you are interfered with, you are not free.

          And when we argue for “freedom of religion” that’s the definition we’re using, too: American society has the responsibility to let us do what we like and not interfere with us.

          But no one in an avowedly pluralistic society is going to understand how this definition applies to us and not to Mormons who want to practice polygamy or Rastafarians who want to smoke dope or “pagan priestesses” who want to dance naked in a public park. If we say that those practices affect other people, liberals will make the perfectly true and valid point that our unwillingness as employers in the public square to pay for basic health care for women affects other people as well.

          JPII’s definition of freedom, though perfectly true, means nothing in our society, since given our presuppositions, it doesn’t provide a guideline for how to make policy.

          • mndad

            Thanks again Jon for your smart and honest comments – deeply appreciated. Amazing what a series of well articulated thoughts like yours can do to the debate.
            I however fear that yours and Kenneth reasonable postions and crystall clear logic will not be appreciated by those around here that would benefit the most from taking a deep breath and a step back.

            • mndad,

              You do realize, don’t you, that the position I articulated is not my own. While logical in itself, several of the premises are completely wrong:

              Our society does not believe that anyone has any sort of nature that properly limits what they are able to do or become.

              This is wrong. We do have a nature that constrains and – more accurately – properly channels and directs our instincts and judgments and will.

              to be a woman is to labor under a congenital inability to access the same freedoms that men possess

              Bad definition of freedom. Furthermore, if we mean “freedom to have consequence-free sex”, men should not have that freedom. That our society does not interfere with men in this regard (and hasn’t for a while) is an indication of a sick society.

              unless any individual woman is going to be penalized by the accident of her gender

              As Kate B has already pointed out above, gender is not an accident of our being. It is essential. It is part of who we are. This is the mistake of thinking that persons are essentially disembodied things that just happen to be inhabiting a particular body, like that alien king in Men in Black. It’s very widespread in our society, but that does not make it right.

              compete in the free market on the same terms as every other individual person

              The free market should be subject to the constraints of good social relationships. If the free market does not recognize the essential differences between men and women, so much worse for the free market. The free market was made for man, not man for the market.

              to provide women with a freedom that men already possess

              Only in a crappy society. See above.

              There is only one (there ultimately can be only one) freedom in our society, and that is the freedom to choose whatever you can choose

              As Kathleen Lundquist pointed out, this is a terrible definition of freedom, and one that is ultimately destructive of everything we think good. See C.S. Lewis’s book Abolition of Man.

              • Joseph

                There is only one (there ultimately can be only one) freedom in our society, and that is the freedom to choose whatever you can choose

                Wasn’t that Alistair Crowley’s one commandment, “Do as thou wilt”.

          • Dale Price

            I’ll dissent on the claim that that was how liberty was defined by the Framers. They weren’t “do your own thing” guys. They had a serious problem with the concept of license, which is pretty well what liberty has devolved into for Americans today.

            • Dale Price

              See, e.g.:

              John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, Oct. 10, 1817:

              “Can any organization of government secure public and private liberty without a general or universal freedom, without license,
              or licentiousness, of thinking, speaking, and writing? Have the
              French such freedom? Will their religion, or policy, allow it?”

              • Dale Price

                And just to clarify: this is about as “licentious” as a Founder gets–willing to risk it for thinking, speaking and writing. I think it’s safe to say that Adams would have a rather dim view of how licentious our society has come, most definitely outside of the intellectual sphere.

                • Yeah, but how’d we get from there to here?

                  It seems to me that our articulated principles held within them the seeds of their own destruction. The rules of the game looked fine until you played it for a while; then you realized there was a fatal flaw.

        • Kathleen,

          This will be my last comment today, because I’ve got to go get some other things done, but I will think more about how JPII’s definition of freedom could apply to our society. Thanks.

  • John

    Both parties are coalitions of smaller groups. Thus we have the Reagan Republicans vs. the Rochefeller or Nixonian Republicans. The secular elites vs. the religious right. Social liberals but fiscal conservatives vs. social conservatives and fiscal moderates… yes it’s messy but it’s what we have. To throw up our hands and just accept “they’re all the same” is both silly and factually wrong. Yes, maybe a Santorum Administration won’t be perfect, won’t address a lot of what’s wrong, won’t jail the bankers and reduce the Federal Bureaucracy. But to claim it’ll be “just as bad” or “worse” than Obama 2.0 is un-believable.

    There is no permanent victory, so we have to cobble together coalitions, alliances, if only on some issues while holding a truce on others. There is no other way other than a) flight to a foreign land b) going underground and hope the secular totalitarians don’t find us ala the Matrix. Either way though, Leviathan will find us and crush us…..unless (shock!) we act like salt, light, and leaven IN THE DOUGH…. in the world, to convert the world. That means engaged in the political struggle, not pooh poohing anyone who comes along because they’re not “perfect”.

    • Joseph

      In the end, the station wagon is hurtling off the side of the cliff to its inevitable end in a burst of flame, glass, and shredded metal. Whether it burst through the guard rail in reverse or in overdrive is irrelevant, I think.

      • I wish I didn’t agree with this. Still, I’d recommend applying the brakes just in case there is a chance to stop. In this analogy:

        Obama = accelerator floored
        Santorum/Romney/Gingrich = take foot off gas
        Ron Paul = take foot off gas AND slam on the brakes

        • Or:

          Obama = accelerator floored, steering wheel turned sharply and constantly to the left,
          Santorum/Romney/Gingrich = accelerator floored, wheel turned whichever way the kids in the back seat suggest,
          Ron Paul = take foot off gas AND slam on the brakes, engine dismanteled and replaced with a hamster wheel.